Monday, 9 January 2012

VST Freeware Effects for Download

THE STOMP KINGS ARE HERE!

January 2012 saw the release of the first Stomp King virtual FX pedals for the VST environment. These are highly individual, but extremely musical freeware devices which have the sonic aura of a classic vintage stomp box range. Among the first batch were some offbeat and interesting units including an analogue delay, a very cool guitar amp simulator (also brilliant for bass or clonewheel organ), a sophisticated ‘dimension’-style symphonic chorus, a cyclic filter and a standalone vibrato. The range now comprises seven virtual pedals - the latest being a dual chorus with a fat, retro sound.


The brief has been to keep everything dead simple for the user, and leave all the complicated stuff ‘under the bonnet’. This was one of the reasons I chose a stomp box format over a rack type unit with loads of parameters. Here are the units available so far...

Stomp King SK-1 Vibrato: A flexible vibrato effect which works well on clean guitar and electric bass sounds, electric pianos, and of course organs. The additional flexibility of this unit means that if your organ has a built-in vibrato with limited settings (which is often the case), you can now get a much more personalised sound. A lot of retro organ sounds were characterised by the way their electronic vibrato units were set. Vibratos were not just generic algorithms with one personality. They had different depths and different speeds. With the SK-1 you can mimic everything from a slow Vox Continental to a superfast Yamaha YC45D.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK1 Download Page.

Stomp King SK-2 Sympho: The Sympho is a highly attractive sounding symphonic dimension/chorus type effect with multiple simultaneous modulations creating a richness beyond the reach of any standard chorus. But it's different even from a 'dimension'-type unit in that it also features some special tonal modification parameters. There's no chorus depth or rate to mess about with. The modulations are preset for optimum beauty and width. But you can subtly tailor the tonality of the output to make a classy sound even more classy and sophisticated. I believe it would be hard to find a nicer sounding VST modulation effect than this - even at a price.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK-2 Download Page.

Stomp King SK-3 F-Cycle: If you like the basic concept of a phaser, but feel that standard phasing sucks too much out of the tone of the instrument, give the SK-3 a try. It uses a cycled analogue synth style filter system rather than standard phase-shifting, and this, in my opinion, preserves a more musical representation of the input sound. You can change the character to create a more transparent tonality, and also manipulate the length/depth of the sweep. A resonance control allows you to take things further into 'futuristic' territory. This would be a more specialised effect than some others in the range - unlikely to see constant use. But again, it's free, and it's different.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK-3 Download Page.

Stomp King SK-4 Anacho: Digital delays are ten-a-penny. They're easy for techies to make because they're all about maths. This delay is all about music. It simulates the old analogue delay pedal, with its steady degradation of repeats and characteristic pitch instability. If you're bored with clinical digital delays and want something with more character, this is your free route to that retro echo unit we all complained about so much in the 1980s, but can't get enough of today. You should find some nice dub-type effects - especially if you control the grunginess of the delays by adjusting the volume of the input signal. Retro synth arpeggios work very well too.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK-4 Download Page.

Stomp King SK-5 GuitarAmp: The Stomp King GuitarAmp is an unusually exciting way to produce overdrive for your guitar, bass, organ and keyboard sounds in the VST environment. This is no ordinary overdrive. The Strain control simulates the power stage of a loud tube amp, and you should really feel the 'push' as you crank it up through its seven positions. I'm not aware of any other VST drive effect which works exactly as this one does. Use it with guitar samples, bass samples, synth renditions of real bass, etc. If you've already downloaded the VSTX3 virtual clonewheel organ you can use this effect to seriously dirty it up.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK-5 Download Page.

Stomp King SK-6 Ro-Tube: The Stomp King Ro-Tube replaces the older Real Rotor rotary speaker simulator. It emulates the sound of an old, valve-type rotary speaker in keeping with a Leslie 122, and has independent rotations for speaker and horn components. Transition from slow to fast rotation rates is very natural and the tone is big and solid. This fat and gutsy effect should make even the most basic VST organ sound retro, powerful, and attractively animated. But you can also get great electric guitar or electric piano sounds with this virtual stomp box. This is another effect from which it's extremely difficult to get a bad sound.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK-6 Download Page.

Stomp King SK-7 Chorus: This is a dual chorus unit which sets out to emulate older incarnations of the classic modulation effect. Using twin circuits, the SK-7 creates high levels of movement within a sound. You can get standard, vintage chorus effects, but you also have access to a much richer and more intricate set of cross-modulations, which integrate into a spacious stereo image. A special Thicken control balances the dual chorus circuits for some of the fattest and richest sounds available in a retro style chorus. Much more vintage-sounding than the SK-2 Sympho, this is the virtual pedal for fans of '70s lushness.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK-7 Download Page.

Stomp King SK-8 Jet Flange: The Jet Flange is a real back-to-basics approach for VST flanger effects, dispensing with the increasing complexity of modern flangers and putting good, true flanging sounds back within easy reach. It doesn't matter how you set the controls - this virtual pedal has the distinctive, soaring flanger sweep with a varied range of Resonance settings which take you from the spacious to the classic, full 'jet' sweep. The unit operates in stereo for increased spaciousness, and lends the archetypal flanged personality to all instruments, from guitar, keyboards and bass, to percussion. The days of great, simple flangers, are back.

To download, please visit the Stomp King SK-8 Download Page.
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Posted by: Bob Leggitt