Let's Listen: Air Hybrid 3 Synth and Tantra (Rhythmic Processor)

Hey guys, I wanted to offer some opinions on some really great plugins for a VERY low price. I'm going to try to make this an ongoing series, offering short reviews/impressions on the plethora of sounds available at ridiculously low prices at the various audio discount websites. As I'm sure many of you can relate to, I LOVE to get new sounds and just have a field day experimenting and playing around with them, so I often take advantage of the discounted websites such as VstBuzz, Audio Plugin Deals, and Plugin Boutique (there are others, but these are the ones I have most experience with)

Earlier this week I offered my impressions on a great orchestral library, the Herring Clarinet. Today I want to cover something complete different, the ever popular electronic/hybrid sounds. I picked up the Hybrid 3 Synth by Air Music Technology (creators of integrated plugins for PRO TOOLS) for only ONE DOLLAR here at Plugin Boutique (the deal may be limited, however). I didn't buy it at first because, come on, how good can it be for one dollar? I did a little research and heard some audio demos and a few days later I bought it. For the price, this is hands down he best deal I've ever gotten on any plugin, ever.

hybrid 3.png

Load it up and you have a basic interface, and if you have ever used soft synths at all, it will all be very familiar: Oscillators (up to 6), envelope options and knobs for LFO, Filter, Preset bank, effects, etc. I won't go into much depth here, because there are much more knowledgeable users on the internet with more helpful tutorials and overviews of the features. I was mostly interested in how it sounds.

I proceeded to play around for a few days and get the feel of the workflow and operation, and then this evening I timed myself to produce an audio demo in one hour that still sounds good and relevant in today's constantly changing music scene. I was constantly impressed with the quality and lushness of the presets, and even those that didn't sound so great to me became useable after doing some tweaks, which is very easy to do. It was all very simple to use, and more importantly, a whole lot of fun to play with. A real sense of joy and discovery when finding a solid preset and then manipulating it to sound soft and airy, or thick and gritty, and everything in between. For those sounds that may have sounded a bit static, another great plugin saved the day.

I'm talking about Tantra by Dmitry Sches. The combination of these two plugins cost me around 35 dollars. I have only owned Tantra for less than a day, but I can tell you now it's going to be an absolute staple in my compositions from now on. I used it on the synth, but it can complement any possible audio signal you can throw at it. Vocals, guitars, synths, basses. It takes stale and static sounds and gives them a new life, deeply sampled rhythms and effects that sound phenomenal. The interface is also beautiful and a bit overwhelming with all the buttons and knobs, but it goes to show the amazing options for manipulation and tweaking.

Where Air Hybrid 3 is a niche product, Tantra is an versatile workhorse and can make anything sound better., providing anything from soft and subtle delays and frequency modulation, complete glitch-style signal manipulation, deep pulses and sidechaining, and percussive sequences. I was looking into buying Movement by Output, and after doing some research on forums, decided I could get something that does the same things for less money (who can say no to that?) and I settled on Tantra after the deal popped up in my inbox. I am not knocking Output at all, they have amazing products, but, if you are looking for something that has similar capabilities and features and can't afford Movement, go with Tantra. I have not even begun to delve into the full capacity of the features and sounds available, but already I know it will be a staple for years to come. It provides seemingly endless possibilities and rhythmic variations, at an amazing discounted price for a limited time here at VstBuzz.

Here is the demo I made in only ONE HOUR, using 95% Hybrid sounds (FL studio stock drum samples and one instance of the FL 3xOsc for the white noise sweep) and Tantra on the mixer channel for a couple of the Hybrid 3 layers. Tantra provides that great rhythmic sequencing (with built in delay/filter modulation) audible in the start and throughout the whole track.

Let's Listen : Embertone "Herring Clarinet"

I recently picked up the "Winds of Awesomeness" bundle by Embertone, available at discounted price via I'll do my best to add more reviews of the different instruments available in the bundle, but I wanted to start off with my favorite, and my new "go-to" clarinet library, Herring Clarinet.

I've always heard great things about this company, and finally had the chance to check them out. Do they live up to the hype? YES, Yes they do, actually even exceeding expectations. All I can say for certain is the folks at Embertone are simply genius, or possess some otherworldly magic and have somehow transported a real, living clarinet player into my midi controller/computer.

This sample library is performed by Jose Herring, and I really like the fact they show a great level of care about the artist, devoting an entire section of the GUI to him.


As you can see, the GUI is clean and easy to navigate. We have legato sustain, poly sustain, staccato (short), and trill patches, all changeable via the GUI or keyswitches. Clicking on the "Solo" button changes from a solo instrument to an ensemble, and we have slider controls for dynamics, vibrato, flutter, instrument multiplier, reverb, and a switch to enable round robin sampling. 

The sound of this library is truly stunning, and the level of detail and depth of scripting provides incredible realism. The slurred or tongued legatos are natural and smooth, and each slider is very responsive, adding details and creating a performance I didn't think was possible using just a midi instrument. Turn up the dynamics and ease on the flutter control, and you get a gritty flutter tongue effect which sounds detailed and natural. The versatility and playability of this library is fantastic right out of the box, and it really needs to be heard to give it justice. Delicate passages with the legato add nuance and texture to any orchestral or classical composition, and by turning up the dynamics and switching to the "short" patch, you can play ragtime or jazz runs with ease. The trill patch is great for achieving a natural, human sounding trill effect, as doing these on the piano roll often end up sounding static or overly quantized. 

I purchased this library as part of a discounted bundle, however this library alone was worth the price of admission. It retails for $99 USD here at the official Embertone site. 

Audio Demos

Embertone Herring Clarinet audio performance demo (straight out of the box) going through Legato sustain, short staccato, and trill patches. Adjusting dynamics and vibrato via mod wheel, and adjusting flutter effect via the GUI sliders (flutter tongue effect audible at around 40 seconds )

February update! 2-20-2018

Hi everyone! Finally have some free time to update the site a little bit. Some may have noticed I added a resources page, featuring some great free content for composers! I hope to see some of you in the Facebook groups. I also added a tab to the about section, which lists the software and hardware I use daily to write music, as a few people have asked. (Click here to view)

Today marked the debut of a motion-comic trailer for a new indie comic series, "Cry Hero", featuring an original theme from B. Free Productions.  Check out their site here , and view the video by clicking here. The epic original theme, entitled "Chosen" is also on this site in the AUDIO section, so please go have a listen! 

Stay tuned for more music projects, as a new smartphone game in development by one of the biggest app companies in the world, Cheetah Mobile, will feature music by B. Free Productions when it releases later this year! I can't wait for everyone to get a chance to play the game, it's really addicting and the artwork is phenomenal.

More updates coming soon, so stay tuned!