• VSTBuzz and Plugin Boutique sometimes have some great deals on audio and synthesizer plug-ins.
  • Don't Crack  has a lot of audio and music software for sale and they work directly with developers to get you excellent prices.
  • Both ZZounds and Musicians Friend carry a huge assortment of Musical supplies and equipment.
  • Inexpensive reconditioned Macs can be found in the Apple store here. The inventory may change frequently though.
  • Amazon sometimes has some good deals on computer hardware and has an excellent return policy.

Screen Recording and Capture Software (PC):

Free Software Plug-Ins:

  • A fairly exhaustive list of freeware/shareware AudioUnit (AU) and VST plug-ins can be found here and here.
  • FXpansion has a cool little synth plug-in named Orca.
  • An Incredible wealth of professional quality plug-ins can be had for free from apulsoft. Including a chorus, reverb, scope, thick sounding synthesizer name daHornet, Clav synth, EQ, compressor, phaser and more.
  • Togu Audio Line has a bunch of cool plugs including TAL-Dub, a cool little delay, and their hugely phat Noisemaker and U-NO-60 synthesizers are great.
  • U-he makes Triple Cheese. The most delicious free pizza.
  • GreenOak has some very useful VST plug-ins and amazingly they are free!
  • Smartelectronix destroyfx has many excellent and free Audio Units.
  • Creed has some excellent plug-ins and a very useful MIDI Keyboard for those who must use QWERTY.
  • SilverSpike has a very cool early reflection plug named RoomMachine 844 and digital amp tube plug-in named RubyTube as well as some inexpensive high quality plugs.
  • If you want to control resonant filters after Apple's DLS synthesizer, check these excellent plug-ins out: Ohm Force's Frohmage and Prosoniq's NorthPole.
  • alphakanal Multimedia has a cool free synthesizer named automat.
  • reFX had a cool free synth called the claw. Here is their download page.
  • PSP has a free VU Metering and a free PianoVerb plug-in.
  • PowerFX has a free version of their Miracle Drum Loops tempo matching plug-in. They also have a commerical sample-loop-preview-before-you-purchase-online-plug-in called Soundshuttle.
  • Izotope has a lo-fi record simulator for adding noise named Vinyl.
  • Camel Audio has a free version of their flagship synthesizer, Alchemy.
  • Luxonix makes a killer free AU and VST multi-effects plug-in named LFX-1310.
  • Samplebase makes a sampler Satellite free that allows one to add on reasonable priced sound blocks at any time.

Commercial Software Plug-Ins (PPC only):

  • Ultimate Sound Bank used to have a product named Ultra Focus that contained a vast diversity of musically phat synthesizer sounds and was also very processor efficient.
  • Native Instruments makes some amazing sounding plug-ins including AbSynth 5, Reaktor, and Battery.
  • Toontrack makes a realistic sounding drum plug-in, named Superior. The sound library is huge so reserve room on your hard disk.
Audio Harware:
  • M-Audio has a lot of PCI Cards. The delta series work quite well. They also have numerous other firewire and USB interfaces.
  • Echo Digital Audio has the Gina and the Layla. Both excellent PCI cards but require Metro 6.2.5 or greater to record in stereo properly.
  • Phonic makes some incredible fireWire mixers that have been tested and work quite well allowing you to stream up to 18 channels of 24bit 96kHZ audio.
  • Frontier Design makes Tranzport, an excellent cordless DAW remote control that works seamlessly with Metro.


  • The most complete set of Soundfonts available can be downloaded for free from SF2Midi.
  • Hammersound has a lot of excellent Soundfonts.
  • Many links to Soundfonts can be found here.
  • A sfArk converter that decompresses Soundfonts is now available for Mac OS X. Find it here.
  • Some nice and large Soundfonts can be found here.

Commercial Software Plug-Ins (Cross Platform):

  • A fantastic synth plug-in made by named Helix is no longer free but still sounds great.
  • A very nice sounding Grand Piano modeling plug-in that does not use samples, thus uses very little disk space, is Pianoteq.
  • FXpansion makes some quality drum sample/drum machine plug-ins, namely GURU and BFD. They are also very responsive to customer bug reports and feature requests.

Commercial Software Plug-Ins (Cross Platform) continued:

  • U-he makes some amazing synthesizers and effects including the new Diva, ACE, Uhbik, Filterscape, Zebra 2, and More Feedback Machine 2. Synth aficionados must check this one out.
  • Tone2 makes several cool synths and effects including ElectraX and Gladiator. They also have a plug-in named Filterbank3 which has some crazy wild filters.
  • Kong Audio makes some terrific sounding authentic chinese instrument emulations in (Windows only) plug-in form, including chineeguzheng.
  • SonicCharge has released a radically new interface with its synth 'Synplant'. While capable of producing a varied array of sounds, Synplant uses a metaphor based on life for editing which is both fun and visually rewarding.
  • UVI has a powerful free program UVI Workstation that is easily upgradeable through payware sound cards and sound packs.
  • Applied Acoustic Systems have some great cross platform synths and instrument models, including Tassman, Ultra Analog, Strum, Lounge Lizard and more.
  • NUSofting has many very good and low priced plug-ins for Macs including Instrument modeling synths such as Modelonia, MicroRock Pro and more.
  • Lennardigital makes an incredibly thick and versatile synth named Sylenth1, currently VST only.
  • Genuine Soundware has a couple of good modeling/sampled synths: Mr.Ray Mark II and Key Performer.
  • Stillwell Audio makes several nice plug-ins including a synth, Schwa Olga and a virtual analog effects package Schwa Oligarc,. It's about the sound.
  • db audioware has some very cool effect plugins including their modular effect building system Quantum FX, some nice guitar amp models, sidechain compressor, sidechain compressor gate and more.
  • XLN Audio makes Addictive Drums. A very complete and easy to use plug-in. Check this one out.
  • Spectrasonics has the ultimate drum machine groove construction plug-in Stylus RMX.
  • Synapse audio has an excellent bundle deal called Synth Pack Pro which includes Hydra, a multi-model synthesizer, designed for use in all genres of electronic music, Scorpion, a virtual analog synthesizer, Poly-850, and Plucked String. Note also that the demos of these plugins currently have very few restrictions and are quite usable.
  • KResearch has a very interesting reverb-like plug-in named KR-Space.
  • Antares has several plug-ins including Auto-Tune 5, the ultimate pitch correction plug-in.
  • Nomad Factory has many very cool plug-ins, including the Analog Signature Pack , now available for mastering on Intel Mac computers as well as Power PC's.
  • WaveArts makes a very nice EQ, Finalizer, a sweet MultiDynamics and a Reverb plug-in to name just a few.
  • FabFilter Software Instruments has released a fabulous compressor plug-in named Pro-C, a delay plug-in Timeless and a powerful filter plug-in Simplon. They also produce FabFilter Twin, a versatile, easy to use powerful synthesizer and Volcano, a filter plug-in.
  • Izotope will slice up your audio with the great Phatmatik Pro (formerly by Glaresoft ). They also have a very clean Drum machine plug-in iDrum,a very nice mastering plug-in named Ozone 4, a guitar speaker and cab modeler named Trash and a morphing EQ named Spectron.
  • Sonic Charge makes a very unique and cool VST drum machine plug-in named µTONiC.
  • The very nice SFX Machine RT houses quite a few audio effects in a single plug-in.
  • Korg, makers of incredible hardware synthesizers, now have available the analog legacy collection, consisting of software versions of the MS-20 and Polysix analog synthesizers, and the WAVESTATION . They also have the digital legacy collection which contains a software version of the classic Korg M1 and WAVESTATION synthesizers. The M1 soft-synth surpasses the original in many ways. Both packages contain very powerful soft-synths.
  • PSP has a many incredible plug-ins including Nitro (the ultimate multimode filter plugin!), Lexicon emulations, EQ's, mixing, mastering and more.They also have a killer limiter plug-in named Xenon.
  • Synful has the realistic orchestral instruments in their Synful Orchestra product that are not samples and it is available as a free trial.
  • Cakewalk has two soft-synths plug-ins for, get this, Macintosh computers. Dimension Pro is a nice all around sound generating/sampling soft synth and Rapture is a wavetable synthesizer with advanced sound manipulation capabilities, well suited for electronica-related music styles.
  • IK Multimedia makes an excellent sampler plug-in.... SampleTank II. They also make a fantastic mastering suite: T-RackS. IK Multimedia also makes an unbelievable Amp Simulator plug-in named Amplitube 3.
  • Audio Damage has some unique and innovative plug-ins.
  • Synthogy makes a great grand piano simulation plug-in named Ivory.
  • Swar Systems makes SwarPlug, which contains 49 virtual Indian instruments in VSTi/AU technology. There is also a Librarian to browse and select among a collection of over 1000 MIDI loops from the Indian classical and folkloric repertoire.
  • Arturia has quite a few very good synthesizer emulation plug-ins.
  • reFX has some really cool synths including Vanguard, and Virtual E-Guitar + FX + AMP + Cabinet + FX synth; Slayer 2, both released as Universal Binaries (UB).
  • Sugar Bytes has some very good sounding plug-ins including a synthesizer named Unique.
  • Native Instruments makes an incredible sample playback editing system with a vast array of capability named Kontakt. They have other amazing sounding plug-ins including but not limited to Vokator and Reaktor.
  • VSamp is a good low cost sampler for your basic sample playback needs.
  • An extrememly versatile virtual instrument plug-in by Vember Audio is named Surge. Definitely worth checking this one out.
  • Melda production has a huge assortment of very good plug-ins available here.

Instrument Definition (.ins) files or program names: