A pre-release version of the multi-band distortion plugin Fire by Wings Music is available for free download.
The plugin will remain free and open-source beyond this beta release. Fire (Version 0.9.4) for macOS and Windows (AU and VST3) and source code are available from the developers Github.
As it’s a beta version, the developer warns against using it for production. But, it’s a good time to check it out and pass on feedback or suggestions before official release.
For a debut plugin or at least a debut release, Fire is a fairly ambitious project, and I like that. The developer (Jerryuhoo) is also a producer whose demos cover multiple genres; have a listen.
The GUI is nice-looking and easy to navigate with two main tabs: Band Effect and Global Effect.
There are multiple distortion functions under four categories: Soft Clipping, Hard Clipping, Foldback, and Other.
Under the Band Effect tab, you’ll find Drive, Shaper, Compressor, and Stereolizer. You can cycle through the effects using the color-coded buttons.
The Drive effect has a handy link-to-output feature that auto-adjusts the output to compensate for increased Drive. There’s also a Safe Output mode that will auto-adjust the output if it gets too loud.
The Shaper provides a couple of ways to shape the sound without completely taming it via Rectification and Bias controls.
At the bottom left of the GUI, you’ll see a VU meter graph (per band, formerly global only) that you can click on to view RMS level details and the compression value. The Compressor per band allows you to be a bit fussier with small details.
You can use the Stereolizer to add width to your sound.
Under the Global Effects tab, you’ll find EQ and Downsample.
The EQ features Lowcut, Highcut, and Peak controls. Adjusting the EQ is quickly done by dragging and dropping the points on the graph.
Downsample offers more distortion by reducing the sample rate.
Fire offers some essential functions like A/B mode and Preset Management, which allows you to save and reload user presets.
Another multi-band compression plugin worth checking out is DriveShaper from Cableguys. It’s not free, but sometimes part of freebie promos or discounts, and it’s fantastic.
It’s always great to see developers like Wings Music share projects like Fire. This latest beta version, 0.9.4, has ironed out some bugs and added a few convenient features like Solo and Bypass buttons.
Even if there’s still some work to be done, Fire seems like it could be an impressive freebie.
Download: Fire (VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)