It gets earlier every year, doesn’t it? Black Friday has arrived once again to raid our wallets and leave us crying at the mercy of sample library and plugin developers.
Never fear, we’re here to sift the shit and unveil our curated guide of bargains and freebies that are either cheap, great or preferably both. These are products that are personally recommended, either because I’ve had hands-on experience with them, or super-reliable friends have given them a try and can’t stop raving about them. Let’s go…
Kontakt 6 – Native Instruments (up to 69% off – now $199.50 or $124.50)
Kontakt has topped my list for 3 years running and rightly so as owning the full version of this sampler opens the door to 1000’s of free sample libraries from almost every developer. The 50% discount during Black Friday is pretty good but if you can bag crossgrade pricing via free Kontakt Player libraries Arcane or DrumMic’a then the saving is even more serious, bringing the price down to just $124.50.
Trackspacer 2.5 – Wavesfactory : was €59 – now €29
This little plugin doesn’t look like much but I find it incredibly useful for fixing up frequency clashes between instruments. I regularly use it to tighten up kick and bass parts although I have utilised it on guitars and synths in the past. It’s hard to describe but I guess it’s kind of like a sidechained EQ. All I know is that at 50% off it’s worth picking up.
Morphestra 2 – Sample Logic : 82% off – now $89.99
Sample Logic’s products really seem to divide people right down the middle, as some adore them and others find them too brash and shiny to fit into their mixes. I’ll admit I rarely use any of the presets ‘as is’, preferring to deconstruct them and apply my own effects. Take the original price with a pinch of salt as it’s been discounted before, but never this heavily. For over 25GB of content with 5000+ hybrid instruments I think this is going to inspire many one-finger wonders.
Black Friday Bundle – iZotope : 93% off – now £44.95
I posted this offer on facebook a few days ago and people have been going crazy for it. 7 incredibly useful mixing products include the elements versions of RX, Nectar Elements, Neutron 3 and Ozone 9. Plus you get the full versions of Trash 2, DDLY Delay and Mobius Filter. I use Ozone, Nectar and Trash 2 on almost every track so they’re highly recommended. Even though this offer is a bargain in itself, you’ll probably be able to pick up deeply discounted full-fat versions of most of these products in the future, all because you own the elements copy – so worth keeping an eye out.
Blockbuster Cinematic FX Bundle – Cinetools : 80% off – now £97.95
This is by far the best value way to get your hands on over 50GB of cinematic tools from Cinetools (inspired name, right?). Along with Sampletraxx, Cinetools are my go-to guys for FX and transitions and I own most of the libraries. What I really appreciate is the neatly categorised folder structure of each library, making it quick and easy to find what I need. This bundle also has lots of useful melodic content and soundscapes. At the moment almost all of the packs are on deep individual discount too, along with a very nice looking Sound Designer Toolkit Bundle (but I haven’t got this bundle myself). All the options are HERE
Century Brass / Strings Bundle – 8DIO : was $796 – now $238
I’ll be the first to say that 8DIO’s constant sales are impossible to keep up with and are far too frequent. Plus, their pricing model seems to have gone completely mental (and their products have mixed reviews). However, one thing that almost every composer I know agrees upon, is that their Century Brass & String libraries sound spectacular. I will admit that I don’t have either myself, but at this price I may be tempted to pick them up.
‘The Ton’ bundle – Spitfire Audio : was £273 – now £100
Love ‘em or loath ‘em, you can’t deny that Spitfire always get people talking. Step away from the drama for a while and you’ll find some decent Black Friday bundles with this one being my favourite. The grab-bag of libraries include the highly underrated British Drama Toolkit, eDNA Earth and Orchestral Grand Piano.
Babylon – WA Production : was $69 – now $8.28
I have loads of synths but I was recently asked to do the walkthrough video for this deceptively simple looking plugin from WA Production and I took a real shine to it. Despite looking like nothing special, the one-page interface makes it simple to see the signal flow and exactly what’s going on with the audio. Plus, there are about a bazillion presets. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but download the trial version and you might love it too. Use code WABlackXX to get an additional 40% off (and another free plugin too).
BreakTweaker Expanded – iZotope : was $249 (yeah right) – now $19
There is no way in hell that anyone has bought BreakTweaker for anything close to $200 for about 5 years now. But it’s still a great plugin and I regularly fire it up when I need some dirty glitchy beats. For $19 via Audio Deluxe this is a great deal and includes multiple expansion packs of extra sounds and rhythms.
Bunker Strings & Harmonium – Bunker Samples : 45% off – now $59
I’ve been recommending this delicate string library to anyone who’ll listen for a few months now. This week it comes packaged with a new Harmonium library for 45% off. If you’re a fan of Spitfire EVO grids or their more texture-based libraries then this will be right up your alley with some excellent string textures and extended articulations.
Indie – Sonokinetic : 50% off – now €124.95
Yes yes… there’s a distinct smell of nepotism about this one as I work for Sonokinetic on a regular basis, but I wouldn’t recommend Indie if I didn’t use it. This phrase-based collection of delicate performances is one of my favourite ever Sonokinetic releases and comes highly recommended at half off. Keep an eye on their upcoming yearly ’12 Days of Christmas’ promo which will no doubt have freebies and deep discounts galore. Sign up to their newsletter to stay in the loop.
Black Friday Bundle – Sample Logic : 83% off – now $199.99
I’m fully aware this is the second Sample Logic deal here, but it popped up just as I was finishing compiling the list and I couldn’t ignore it. I’ve actually tested and produced the walkthrough videos for 3 out of the 4 products here so am intimately familiar with them and I have to say they’re a lot of fun. Trailer Xpressions gets a lot of use from me as it has a useful toolkit of FX samples. XOSphere and CG Organic Atmospheres are better for soundscapes and ambiences, especially with the intelligent randomisation. 83% off for this bundle is good value, or you can grab individual discounts at 80%. Watch my videos and make your own mind up.
More to follow as Black Friday / Cyber Monday rolls out…