Plugin Boutique is giving away Freak ($29 value) from Native Instruments with every purchase this month.
The giveaway will be available throughout September and comes with the usual guidelines. Your purchase can’t be a FREE product, and you can’t pay 100% with a voucher or virtual cash (anything under 100% is fine).
Freak delivers what Native Instrument calls Sonic Mutation, and it does it with very little fuss.
Going off track for a second, when I hear phrases like Sonic Mutation, it makes me think of plugins like HomeCorrupter (Igorski) that we covered earlier in the year.
And we’re back on Freak.
At first sight, I like the layout of the GUI, and I like the in-your-face color/style.
Freak has three core effect modes, which you can find right in the middle of the interface: Radio, Oscillator, and Sidechain.
Directly under the mode selection area, you’ll find the Modulation Type knob, which is shared by all three effect modes. The Modulation Type knob allows you to glide smoothly between Amp and Ring Modulation, or Frequency Shifting.
There are three control knobs down the right side of the GUI and three down the left. On the right, you’ll find Mix (Dry/Wet), Harmonics, and Feedback. Increasing the Harmonics knob introduces more even harmonics, producing a harsher tone.
Increasing the Feedback can lead to distortion, phasing, and general instability.
The controls down the left side change depending on the effect mode selected.
In Oscillator (Sine) Mode, you have Stereo, Frequency, and Antifold. Stereo adds more space and width, while Antifold reduces artifacts in the lower frequency range, producing a thinner sound. The Frequency knob has a clever little zoom switch that lets you switch the range between +/- 5 kHz and +/- 200 Hz.
Sidechain Mode allows you to use external sources to modulate the audio input signal. The controls for Sidechain Mode are Release, Contour, and BP Frequency. It gives you a quick and easy way to create gating effects that can be as rough or smooth as you like.
In Radio Mode, the unique controls are Width, Tuning, and Carrier. Width controls the bandwidth of the bandpass filter. With Tuning, there are two types of demodulation, Vintage Radio (default) and FM-like multiplication (more extreme) style. The Carrier knob changes the center frequency, which you can see adjust on the GUI, much like an old radio dial.
As gimmicky as it will seem to some users, I like Radio Mode. Apart from messing around with robotic or horror-style vocals, I love plugins that save me time. I can imagine working on a project where I need the old, slightly-off radio sound, and I wouldn’t need to mess around with other plugins.
I’m not the biggest NI fan, but I take everything on its own merit, and Freak is cool-sounding, simple, and FREE (for now).
On that note, if you’re interested, get it now; it’s embarrassing how many deals I write about then miss!
Freak is available in AU, VST, and AAX formats for macOS and Windows.
More info: Freak (FREE with any purchase @ Plugin Boutique)