Free Software Friday - Nettle by Fellusive

Free Software Friday is our regular Friday feature here at the dBs blog. We dig the depths of the music production and media webosphere and discover what downloadable plugin freebies are worth double clicking each week.

We're suckers for a new free synthesiser that immediately starts inspiring new ideas, and that's exactly what Fellusive's Nettle brings to the table… and more (available on macOS only at the time of writing).

Designed to take advantage of the relatively unexplored world of scanned synthesis, Nettle offers a synth that is always moving - here's how it works. Scanned synthesis is based on the manipulation of a physical model, in Nettles case the model is a series of "masses" that are connected by springs, made up of 'Flexibility', 'Centering' and 'Damping'.

When you press a note on a MIDI keyboard this acts as the hammer that excites the model and generates the sound. The exciting part is that scanned synthesis is continuously generating sound based on the parameters of these masses, meaning the waveform is constantly evolving. The speed in which the waveform changes can be altered using the 'Refresh' knob. 

The hammer's shape can be altered, along with its strength to further tweak the sound that's being generated. This can be paired with the 'Feedback+' control which uses the audio output to excite the model even more. 

In addition to these controls you'll find a filter and reverb module, ADSR controls, plus four LFOs and four envelopes to modulate the signal. MIDI controller modulation is also possible using the control on the bottom left of the UI.

There are 13 presets built-in to Nettle, each of which can be modified and saved as a new custom preset. We found ourselves particularly drawn to 'PLK Lunar Tear', which instantly took us back to the more reflective moments of the original 'Stranger Things' score. There's honestly so much customisation on offer here, so we highly recommend exploring the wealth of sounds that Nettle can generate. 

Nettle is free to download for macOS using the link below. A Windows version is in development, so hopefully that will be incoming in the near future. 



Want more free software? Check out all our other Free Software Friday blogs here

Interested in production, plugins and sound engineering? Why not take a look at our hugely popular music production and sound engineering courses?

Study at an institute #drivenbysound. Now accepting applications for September 2021. Find your audio specialism.