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.
Sound creation and manipulation is one of the most enjoyable aspects of audio production, but like so many things, the best tools for the job such as Massive and Serum come with a price tag; but there's another option.
Released in November 2020 by Matt Tytel (creator of the excellent Helm synthesiser), the Vital wavetable synth goes toe-to-toe with the likes of Serum but unlike Serum, it comes with a feature-packed free version.
The free version of VItal is just one of four price points. There's a $5 p/m subscription, $25 one-off fee for Vital Plus and an $80 one-off fee for Vital Pro. Each price point comes with greater features and exclusive perks, but the core feature set crossed all versions and the free option is now slouch.
Packaged with 75 presets and 25 wavetables to work with, Vital had us grinning from the start. Sporting a visual UI that's not dissimilar to Serum's, the workflow is really intuitive though it can seem quite intimidating if you're a beginner to this sort of thing, but trust us; you'll get the hang of it.
There are so many features to cover, so we're going to give a brief overview of the functionality on offer here. The controls and FX are spread across five individual screens; voices, effects, matrix, advanced and the preset menu. Each of the 25 presets can be manipulated using VItal's bank of oscillators, envelopes and LFOs. FX are predetermined per preset, but can be edited, removed or added to.
Whether you're looking for an incredibly versatile synthesiser to form the bedrock of a track, or an insanely fun sound design tool, we really can't recommend this plugin more.
Vital is free for Windows, macOS and Linux (VST, VST3, AU, and LV2 / 64-bit) and can be downloaded using the link below.
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