As little as 10 years ago, this vile concept known as “Black Friday” actually referred to a single day: the day after Thanksgiving in America. Retail employees named it Black Friday for the biggest shopping day of the year, that dark day when they had to work long hours and suffer obnoxious customers shoving each other to get to moderately attractive deals. Since then, however, Black Friday has spread out like the thought virus that it is. We’ve been receiving emails claiming “It’s Black Friday all month!” or “Black Friday starts Wednesday!” for at least three weeks. Aside from the simple infraction of being grammatically atrocious, those messages just make me glad that I finally got myself out of debt after far too many years.
By all means, if you have money to spend on gifts for others, as well as treats for yourself, that’s a wonderful thing to do. However, Gear Acquisition Syndrome is not just a cheeky way to make an acronym for GAS, it can be a serious weakness that gets you into financial trouble that's not worth any amount of great, shiny new objects. Nor does having better stuff necessarily mean that you'll make better music.
While Thanksgiving in America, as well as the shopping season surrounding it, is often associated with excess consumption, it’s still based on the pureness of gratitude, a positive emotion that can relieve stress stemming from negative emotions, such as greed, resentment, and guilt. Stress releases cortisol, which in high levels can damage one’s immune system, cause unhealthy cravings, lead to bone loss, and a host of other unsavory effects. All this is just to say that thankful artists will be better equipped to pursue their best work. I hope that you’ll be thankful for what you already have and for your ability to do more with it today than you did yesterday.
But if you are fixin’ to get some new musical toys this season, just do so with self-respect. Consider not spending what you don’t have. There are many treasures waiting for you in the form of free plug-ins, samples, presets, services, etc. that the music technology community provides with the hope that when you are in the spending mood, you’ll buy their stuff. So in the spirit of potentially helping one or more electronic musicians stave off punishing debt, here are the links to every “Free Stuff” post I’ve written for Electronic Musician, as well as one cool new instrument from this week, SampleScience’s Room Piano plug-in, a small, lo-fi piano based on a physically modeled string synth patch.
SampleScience Room Piano
The VST/AU Room Piano utilizes SampleScience’s recent SampleScience Player instrument technology. It starts with a physically modeled string synthesizer patch and processes it to make it sound more like a piano. The use of a vintage microphone emulation and other processing give a lo-fi piano tone vibe.
•Physical modeled piano sampled each 3 notes, 1 velocity, 37.8 MB in size from 24-bit/44.1kHz WAV files
•On board Attack and Release controls
•Vinyl and sub (sine waveform) sound layers
•Full featured LFO with routing selectors for input and output
•Amplitude range controls as well as PreGain to ensure that your sound is always clean (or dirty, depending on your needs)
•Individual outputs for each sound layer
•Lowpass and Highpass filter
•Plain Kontakt 4, Reason NN-XT, Sfz, Apple EXS24 and Sf2 files
“This Week in Free Stuff” Archive:
[Note: A few of these articles include links to free offers that have since expired.]
This Week in Free Stuff: Soundtoys Little Plate Reverb & All the Sounds to Run Through It