Green Oak Software releases free Tungsten and Cesium plugins for Windows and macOS.
Old plugin fanatics are no doubt familiar with Green Oak Software. Crystal has been an astounding freeware synth for quite some time.
Green Oak Software is back with a couple of new goodies for effects fanatics: a creative delay and a workhorse of a chorus.
AI-Generated User Interfaces?
Tungsten and Cesium share a lot of similarities in terms of design. The interface is shockingly modern, not as evocative of yesteryear’s design ethos as Crystal might inspire.
We heard from developer Florian Mrugalla, whose MIDI-Triggered ADSR plugin you might already know. Florian achieved similar-looking results when prompting Midjourney to generate a “Steampunk VST interface.”
We recently asked our readers to comment on how AI will impact the world of music production. It seems that plugin interface design may be another area where we will see artificial intelligence play a bigger role.
Keep an eye on Florian’s YouTube channel, as he will soon release a video on this topic.
We reached out to Green Oak Software about this and the developer confirmed that Midjourney was used for the GUI:
“Yes, these plugins are primarily an exploration of new methods of graphic design. My feelings on this subject are more than a little ambivalent. At Spectrasonics, I work with a talented graphic designer and he can come up with innovative new designs, while AI can only synthesize ideas that are already within the current body of knowledge.
I’m happy with the result in these plugins, but I’m not sure using AI was the best way to achieve that result. I was able to get a preliminary version quickly, but to refine it into a finished product it probably would have been more efficient to just use Photoshop and create the graphics from scratch.”
Tungsten And Cesium First Impressions
And now, let’s take a closer look at the two new effects from Green Oak Software.
Tungsten is fairly straight and to the point for a delay. It does add a few twists and turns you won’t find in a standard delay, however.
Control of the delay line is focused on a single time parameter. There’s no separation between the left and right lines in terms of control. You’ll also find a handy ducking feature, a welcome addition to a modern delay. Of special note are the freeze and granular functions.
The freeze and granular aspects of the delay make it a wonderful little ambiance maker. You can also simulate the effects of lower-quality tape with smear and wear controls.
Cesium is a bit more standard in many regards. The interface matches the same design philosophy presented by Tungsten. The function is fairly standard comparatively, however, offering some nice controls but not veering into the more experimental or wide-ranging territory.
It is a particularly lush chorus, however, and that counts for quite a bit when you’re after a little width and vibe.
Cesium fares quite well on pads and other synthy elements. It pairs up quite nicely with Tungsten as well. All Green Oak is missing is an equally creative reverb to create a nice soup of ambiance for any element.
Crystal is still worth a visit in 2023 (it’s featured in our list of best free synthesizers) and remains one of the best freeware synths out there. It isn’t a strict analog emulation but is a wonderfully digital instrument capable of those lush pads from the early days of trance and DnB with ease.
Tungsten And Cesium Specs And Download.
Tungsten and Cesium are available for Windows and Mac computers. Supported plugin formats are VST3 and AU.
Apple Silicon compatibility is unknown for Macs, so you may have to test independently.
Download: Green Oak Software