Surge Synthesizer Team released a pre-alpha version of the ShortCircuit XT free sampler plugin.
One of the more exciting developments in the freeware realm was the open-sourcing of Vember Audio’s once-discontinued Surge synthesizer plugin (currently available for free download as Surge XT).
Surge was a contemporary of Native Instrument’s Massive and has a massive (ha!) feature set that was beautifully modernized for DAWs and even ported over to VCV Rack.
Vember Audio’s other venture was ShortCircuit, a flexible sampler plugin meant for use as a musical instrument and bearing many controls for shaping and sculpting sounds.
Surge Synthesizer Team announced last year they would be tackling ShortCircuit but couldn’t give an ETA for any pre-release builds. A lot of this came down to having to rewrite large chunks of the plugin’s code to fit modern standards, as ShortCircuit didn’t maintain the sort of popularity Surge held.
Thankfully, the team has pulled it off and made an early pre-alpha build available for testers and musicians. The nightly build is highly unstable, and the team does suggest the use of low-volume levels and a limiter on the master before instantiating in your environment.
ShortCircuit is a robust sampler and is capable of multisample playback. Each sample slot has its own individual filter, along with envelope generators and multiple modulation sources to alter the sound.
There aren’t any integrated effects to speak of, but thankfully it takes very well to the Surge FX plugin or whatever your desired third-party processors might be.
ShortCircuit XT can be used for just straight sample playback or for truly transformative sample-mangling work. With single-cycle waveforms, it can even be used as a synthesizer, given the degree of control present.
Currently, ShortCircuit is only available for Windows systems and is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit hosts. Plugin formats currently supported are VST3 and CLAP. Linux and macOS compatibility is on the roadmap as well.
Keep in mind that this is an early pre-alpha version of the software. Use it for testing purposes only, as it isn’t stable enough to use in projects.
Download: ShortCircuit XT (pre-alpha)