Guide to Free Mac Music Software
Hey! I am Arvid. This list of free mac music software exists to help people to have fun with and become inspired by creating electronic music using their macs. This list is subjective and not meant to be comprehensive. It is based upon my own likes, dislikes and interests. All of this stuff is work having for the creative mac user, I would say.
I'm sorry this page getting so out of date though - the pace of OS X software development is getting so fast and I'm too busy to keep up! Do check out also Macmusic.org and studiotoolz.net for more up to date software listings. I consider this a good guide to some of the older tools that don't get too much press anymore with the likes of Garageband and other such flashly new music software being ubiquitously available.
And to check out a little of what I do using some this software, take a listen to my Music
Choose your operating system:
Mac OS 9
Mac OS X (10.4 or 10.3 recommended, 10.2 required by most)
Plugins - Audiounits:
Now that I am using Logic Pro, I will update this plugin section most actively! Plugins I list here may also have VST and RTAS versions - check the developer's site.
Musolomo - A looper that claims it will get you away from looking at the screen and back to playing. Made by the cool people are Plasq - and make sure you watch the how-to videos on the site - they are hilarious!
Pluggo -- Cycling 74's Pluggo is here for OS X - an environment used to host special MaxMSP patches created by programmers as VST, AU, MAS and RTAS plugins. For those new to Pluggo, this is a really amazing resource for plugins. If you are using them as AUs, remember to run the Pluggo AU scan! Unfortunately a number of them don't seem to show up in menus in Logic or Plogue Bidule's menus. I think it has something to do with unique plugin IDs or lack thereof...
See Pro Tools Section for more info and places to find free plugins.
Pluggo - Cycling 74's Pluggo has just been released for OS X - we wait to see what other crazy plugins people will build with it! For those new to Pluggo, these are really amazing.
See above in Pro Tools Section for more info.
you will need the free pluggo runtime from Cycling '74. This does not include any plugins, but allows the running of many that are freely available from third parties.
Here are some free pluggos that have already been released for OS X:
• jk audio - useful and fun individual pluggos. luppo is sort of like a rex file player. piczer is the only simulation of a malfunctioning tape deck I have ever come across (besides the bombfactory funk-logic-mateurizer which just adds hiss and lo-fi). limo is good for distortion and limiting and there are several other plugins that act as displays for info such as tuning, stereoscope, phase inversion, detailed level and spectrum. Skyes is a spectral filter. Autowash is and auto-wah, and fluidsynth is a really useful little soundfont player synth.
• Percolate Collection - a collection of 12 of the nastiest, strangest plugins you have ever seen - from Columbia University. Lots of healthy granular stuff.
• The Lone Roger - some crazy pluggos - but many need 3rd party MaxMSP externals to work. You must find out these dependencies in the pluggo message window after loading the plugin, search for them on the web (google works), download and install in Library/Application Support/Cycling '74/externals.
• Gleetchplug - a very polished bundle of pluggos. NOW for OS X too.
• Go here, at the DUC forum, to learn more, including some OS 9 pluggos that are available and will work under OS X in Pro Tools.
Cecilia - A powerful graphical user interface to the very powerful csound language. Even with no knowledge of csound, you can do amazing things. My knowledge of csound is very limited, but I still use this to apply insane effects I have found nowhere else to my audio. One of my favorite audio programs actually. If you know csound or want to learn it, have fun creating the most insane effects you can dream up [or even whole instruments / scores]. Cecilia is a bit hard to get used to at first, but so fun. Versions are available for OS X, OS 9 (see below), various Unix flavors, and Windoze via tcl/tk an the Wish windowing shell. For OS X, just download cecilia, install tcl/tk from here, then unstuff Cecilia and drag her to your Applications folder. Double click to launch. Should be a snap. Make sure to go to File>Preferences... and select helper applications, the most important of which will be the HTML Viewer (your web browser) so you can get to the help files!
Updated 1/6/05 to version 2.5.3 - fully 24 bit compatible and new FFT based modules!
Check out this Electronic Musician tutorial.
Intervals - More flexible ear trainer application for musical intervals. I built this to practice for music theory class. A bit of shameless self promotion! But I felt there was a gap in this area which could be easily filled. Requires a MIDI synth to play notes on - hardware or software.
Also Check out OS X Audio, Macupdate and Macmusic.org
email me: arvid @ the address of this website