Free Software Friday is our regular Friday feature here at the dBs Music blog. We dig the depths of the music production and media webosphere and discover what downloadable plugin freebies are worth double clicking each week.
Those of you more well-versed in the history of free VSTs may recognise today's featured plug-in. Dating back as far as 2006, iZotope's Vinyl first landed on our computers at a time when vinyl was still years away from becoming a mainstream format again. However, the sonic imperfections of vinyl never really left music as an aesthetic addition, and with the explosion of lo-fi in recent years, it's use is now as prevalent as the format itself.
Before we get into what's new about the plugin, we'll recap on the original controls which are all still present in this new iteration. Emulating the quirks of an old turntable, Vinyl applies things like pitch imperfections, hiss, noise and hum to any other audio effect in your DAW in real-time. There's also the spin down effect, which recreates the gradual pitch drop when a record slows and stops.
While these effects are pretty timeless in their use in popular music, the original interface hadn't aged quite so gracefully and this is where iZotope has applied a fresh coat of paint. Now much more aligned with their other plugins, the UI is more streamlined and simplistic.
The control layout is much easier to use now, too, and choosing the various eras of vinyl sound are now just a click of a button away rather than a finicky knob. iZotope has also added a Lo-fi control which applies bitcrushing to audio signal, which while not a turntable feature is one that many producers will appreciate.
iZotope Vinyl is available to download for Windows (8-10) and macOS (10.13.6 High Sierra – 11 Big Sur) in AAX, AU, VST2, VST3 (64-bit only) formats using the link below. Just head to the page, click the 'update now' button and sign-in / register and you will receive a serial number to redeem the plugin.
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