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
Febbie Ivaaden (Febbs!)on
Is it just me or is the UI kind of AI generated?
(Not a bad thing for this, it actually looks freaking awesome!)
Lemme try it out!
Yes, it seems like the GUI was generated using Midjourney. There’s a section in the article about this.
Febbie Ivaaden (Febbs!)on
I love it so much! It just goes so hard on the aesthetic! <3
Not a bad thing, well that’s the question is it. On one hand, you get tools to help one’s small, solo projects on aspects where one’s is lacking skills. On the other, you get tools to drive wages down for freelance artists and technicians, possibly driving people down from learning those skills in the first place.
There has been major changes in jobs since the industrial revolution, but this one is possibly the biggest one yet, at a time where we are reaching for the 9bn mark. Paradigm shift, you say?
I’m certainly not against it, as a whole, but I think transparency is the least we can ask, and should obtain. Proper credits, so you can give credits to the right people putting the work.
On a more positive note, nice to see Green Oak back. ;-)
and for those who aren’t aware of it, Crystal has been used in many commercial songs. one of them is gimme more by britney spears
Wait… what preset used, Satuloop?
I didn’t hear it in the song, but maybe I missed it because I was skipping through, as I’m not a fan of that type of music.
tungsten is fantastic !!! thanks green oak for this as a free plugin, very nice and the ui looks great too !!
excellent work as usual from all at bpb, cheers!!!
Haven’t tested this, but the download link on their page says:
“Universal 64 bit for Mac”
so Apple Silicon processors should probably be supported
Thank you, I honestly had no clue since I’ve been predominantly on Windows and Linux for ages.
Both plugins show up as Universal Binary 2 in the PlugInfo utility app so yes Apple Silicon is natively supported. :-)
Totally worth the $3. :-)
Drop the pkg on virustotal.com and it gives you the architecture of the Mach-O binary. Totally worth the $free. o_O;
(not sponsored, i swear… i just like that tool very much, lots of hidden possibilities, hehe)
Matthew B. Carteron
If anybody is interested I made a YouTube video reviewing Tungsten and Cesium, and going over all the controls.
Here is the link if you want to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgum3l4j4bo
The video might help you decide if these plugins are worth downloading and using in your projects!
From my testing I can tell you that for free plugins, these are definitely some of the best in their respective categories (delay and chorus).
The delay (Tungsten) sounded great and was packed with features. It has some interesting things like dual delay, ducking, reverse, and a granular mode, which you don’t often see on free delays.
Cesium (Chorus) was also impressive and versatile, but caused my project to crash a few times :(
I hope there are some updates to add to the stability of Cesium!
Matthew B. Carteron
Thanks a lot for the support :)
I think they look ridiculous, it’s hard to take a plug-in seriously when it looks like it was designed for 10 year old gamers rather than audio engineers,
Buddy, I think you are in the wrong business bc people that work with music have artist soul, and I mean not only musicians but also engineers. The aesthetics matters and the design is subjective. I loved it.
Analog Obsession released a new version of their Brit Bundle, available on their patreon site
Looks cool to me!
Both effects are really complete and extreme in their capabilities. The chorus is not as gratifying as a Juno chorus emulation, as in you press a button and you get that nicely tailored sound you’d expect. Or the delay is, especially the init preset, going into metallic very fast, which kinda fits with the GUI theme actually. They’re beasts, so they need a bit of taming, and time to understand if they’re the ideal pet for you. They both would benefit from a handful of presets to learn what they are capable of, and be less intimidating. But if you’re willing to get bitten a couple of times before they finally purr on your lap…
There are presets included in the download. To install them you’ll have to name the folders exactly as described in readme.
Made a typo when installing, forgot about them when testing the plugs. *facepalm*
Goldfish memory syndrome, heh. Thanks for the reminder… :D
Tried to upload the presets like they wanted, didn’t work.
You should put the presets folders that you’ve renamed accordingly in the Green Oak Software folder that you’ve created inside of your VST3 Presets folder under Documents.
– Hit Win+R keys
– insert this: %userprofile%\documents
– Find “VST3 Presets” folder, or create it. Open it.
– Find “Green Oak Software” folder, or create it. Open it.
You can now copy the presets in “Tungsten” and “Cesium” folders you need to create (or rename the “Presets” folders from the zipfiles…)
It’s rather simple, but yeah, requires some attention. :D *hawf*