Free Software Friday - Soonth Blocks

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.

Here's a question for you: what's stopping you from getting into modular? The answer is usually price, space and the intimidation factor. While freeware modular plugins such as VCV Rack and ModulAir solve the first two issues, they aren't the most beginner-friendly. That's where Soonth Blocks comes in. 

Upon loading up Blocks, you're met with a 7 empty channels which can be populated with one of three options: sources, modulators and effects. Audio flows downwards, meaning you add your source on the top layer (Saw, Sine, Square, Triangle, and Noise) and then add your modulators and effects below it. 

Clicking on anyone of these elements will open it's own menu at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to tweak its respective parameters. 

Modulation effects can be placed in a separate column and then drag and dropped onto your source or effects. For example, dragging an LFO onto your filter's cutoff. This then opens a menu on the left of the screen where you can alter the parameters. 


Unlike ModulAir and VCV Rack, this is feature-limited plugin; one that favours accessibility over complexity. It's a great entry point to understand how to build your own virtual synth presets, as well as physical racks, but certainly not trying to occupy the same space as it's beefier counterparts. 

In spite of these limitations, Soonth Blocks is a lot of fun and an excellent starting point for anyone intrigued by the world of modular whose previously been put off. 

Soonth Blocks is available for Windows and macOS and can be downloaded for free using the link below. It's still in beta, so don't be surprised if you experience some crashing. The developer encourages feedback and ideas for new and improved features, so don't be afraid to share your thoughts! 



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