Native Instruments gives away ANALOG DREAMS for free

March 20, 2020, Berlin – Native Instruments makes the KONTAKT Play Series Instruments, ANALOG DREAMS, free until March 31st.

Today, measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing much of the world into an unprecedented period of restriction, isolation, and uncertainty – with the music community hit particularly hard. Native Instruments wants to support the community through this time, and help people at home to be creative.

For those out there with some extra studio time, Native Instruments is giving away the KONTAKT Play Series instrument, ANALOG DREAMS. Full of technicolor vintage synth tones, Analog Dreams comes with over 100 customizable presets from thick analog basses to dreamy pads. Usually on sale at $49, ANALOG DREAMS is now free until March 31st.

In addition to Analog Dreams, Native Instruments already provides a bumper suite of free instruments, sounds, and effects with KOMPLETE START, the free tier of Native’s popular KOMPLETE bundles. For DJs, there’s TRAKTOR DJ 2, a DJing app for desktop and iOS that’s completely free of charge. Perfect for home mixes, house parties, or anyone who wants to give DJing a spin.

In a statement on Facebook, Native executives Daniel Haver and Mate Galic said:

“These are challenging times for the global music community.

Cancellations, closures, and city lockdowns have hit artists and DJs particularly hard, with many people facing long periods of isolation. We are looking at ways we can support, and we encourage you to make the most of this time to connect with each other, learn new skills, and explore new sounds.

That’s why we’re making ANALOG DREAMS free until the end of March: A small gift to keep you inspired during all the extra home studio time.

Stay safe, look out for each other, and keep on creating.”

NEWS: Native Instruments Releases MASCHINE 1.6 with plug-in hosting


Berlin, March 28th, 2011 – Native Instruments today released MASCHINE 1.6, a major free update for its acclaimed groove production studio. With the addition of plug-in hosting for instruments and effects, the new version significantly expands the scope and functionality of the system. MASCHINE 1.6 also includes a free download of the new KOMPLETE ELEMENTS  bundle, and adds a multitude of other new features for studio production and live performance.

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REVIEW: Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4

I’ve been using Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig 3 for quite a while – I really dig the edgy clean tones of a few of the models, and am especially into the effects modules. Guitar Rig 4 ups the awesome factor with a wider selection of amp models, once again with effect and micing options all able to be laid out on one screen to make it easier to see exactly what you’re doing. There are now 15 guitar and bass amps and there are several key differences to the Guitar Rig 3, including a bunch of additional Plex models, enhanced virtual microphone control, a master effects section, and true-stereo processing across the entire signal chain. Neat!

Like Guitar Rig 3, a rack of components is displayed on the right side of the screen, including an Input module with input volume and a noise reduction section (you can also use this as a clean boost to push the amp models into overdrive, just like a real amp – there’s a free tip for ya); a Tape Deck module for recording or loading a file to play back through the software – for instance if you wanted to audition various amps for a particular part. It also has pitch and tempo manipulation for learning from a recording; a Tuner module with chromatic, guitar, bass, and various alternate tuning modes; a Metronome module with over two dozen time signatures and a wide variety of sounds for emphasis; another Tape Deck module for recording the entire signal chain, and finally an Output module which includes a limiter section for taming the dynamic range. While I prefer to jam to drum loops I cobble together, the metronome is still very handy to have, and I often use the second tape deck to record song ideas.

Guitar Rig 4 can be used in standalone mode for practice and general riff writing, or as a plug-in for most recording programs. You can also load it onto a laptop and use it in live performance, aided by the Kontrol edition, which includes an incredibly useful floorboard with all your switching and audio ins and outs.

Back to the screen: To the left is a Browser section which lets you choose settings by sound type or amp type, and a Component section which presents visual representations of everything: amps, speakers, effects, etc. The drag-and-drop method of signal chain shaping is very intuitive and it’s fun to mess around with ideas like “What if I took a cranked Marshall head and plugged the speaker out directly into the input of a clean amp?” Try doing that in the real world without getting exploded. Finally there’s an Options section which takes care of various admin tasks.

One of the biggest differences between Guitar Rig 3 and Guitar Rig 4 is the truckload of new Plex models. In addition to the original Plex from Guitar Rig 3, there’s Jump (high-gain take on the classic Plexi tone), Cool Plex (warm but with restrained overdrive when pushed), and Hot Plex, which reminds me of a cross between EVH’s ‘Fair Warning’ tone and the monster sounds Randy Rhoads got on Ozzy Osbourne’s live ‘Tribute’ album. To test each of these out I’ve been chipping away at a track which uses every model in a different way: Hot Plex for a Rhoads style rhythm, Cool Plex plus the flanger stomp model for a dirty clean-toned arpeggio part, Jump for some ringing emphasis chords in the background, and Plex for a Jeff Beck-like, single-coil-and-fingers tone. I would definitely recommend downloading the demo and trying out each of these models within the same track. It’s a great way of comparing their sames and differences. When the track is completed I’ll post it on YouTube and here on I Heart Guitar so you can hear it.

I’m also a huge fan of the Citrus and High White models. The former offers a muscular low end with ringing highs, and the latter excels at open chords in a percussive rock context. I like to use these with my Ibanez Talman, which has PAF-like Ibanez Super 58 pickups, for classic early 70s sounds. Citrus works extra well with the neck pickup and a fuzz pedal model, while High White does the ringing-chord, cranked-valves thing exceptionally well.

I also love the range of tones available from the Gratifier and Ultrasonic models. The Gratifier is by far the best models of you-know-what I’ve ever used. It models each of its channels very accurately, and is great for muscular modern metal riffage. The Ultrasonic is especially friendly with my Ibanez Jem, and the two of them pair up nicely to create Steve Vai ‘first G3 tour’ era tones, especially with a little Quad Delay from the effects section.

The real star of Guitar Rig 4 though is the Control Room module (see pic below), which allows you to mix up to 8 different virtual microphones placed on the one cabinet. You can balance the respective volumes and pan them anywhere in the stereo field. There are universal Air, Bass and Treble controls for overall tone colouring, and although it’d be nice to have individual versions of these for every virtual mic, it’s still an incredibly versatile system which goes even further in aiding Guitar Rig 4’s authenticity.

The addition of the extra Plex models and the Control room function are standout features for me, but the pedal models also deserve riotous applause (especially an incredible sounding ‘Cat’ distortion – pair it up with the 800 model for instant Nuno). I tend to keep an open mind to my amp modelling needs so I’ll never settle on a single program, but there are certain things I’ll use Guitar Rig for every time. It also achieves its tonal mojo with less processing power than some other amp sim plugins, which means I spent less time chucking picks across the room in anger when Pro Tools hangs up in the middle of a session, and more time rocking out in glorious high fidelity.

LINK: Guitar Rig 4

GUITAR CENTER: Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4 Kontrol Edition Standard

NEWS: New Native Instruments SCARBEE software basses

Here are a couple of press releases I got from Native Instruments this morning about some new SCARBEE bass software instruments. I love this kinda stuff. Lately I’ve been messing around with replacing or doubling my bass parts with synth sounds (using Melodyne to convert them to MIDI), but using SCARBEE in KONTAKT seems like an aweosme way to extend this idea by replacing or doubling bass sounds with sweet basses that aren’t at my immediate disposal.

Native Instruments Introduces SCARBEE MM-BASS

Berlin, October 26th, 2009 – Native Instruments today introduced SCARBEE MM-BASS, a new software instrument that provides an authentic rendition of the distinctive Musicman Sterling electric bass. MM-BASS is based on the acclaimed Scarbee Black Bass library, and is the latest release in the partnership between Native Instruments and sampling expert Thomas Hansen Skarbye.

Powered by the industry-leading KONTAKT engine and playable both via the free KONTAKT PLAYER or the full KONTAKT sampler, SCARBEE MM-BASS recreates the full sonic spectrum of the Sterling bass guitar, a modern classic whose characteristic tone has become a mainstay for funk, hip-hop, disco and similar groove-oriented genres. The instrument was created with assistance from seminal producer Nile Rodgers, and is available in two separate versions that address different musical applications and production requirements. The standard version was recorded through a DI box for a clean “funk” sound, and retains full flexibility for individual re-amping and further sound processing. The optional “Amped” version offers the choice between four different amp characteristics, providing various ready-to-record tones for rock, pop and urban genres.

All four strings of the original instrument have been expertly sampled in nine velocities, using flat-wound strings for a smooth vintage sound, resulting in 3 GB of studio-grade sample material for the regular version and 12 GB for the “Amped” version. Specific “Player Profiles” for various genres as well as EQ and effect controls allow musicians and producers to further customize the sound and behavior of MM-BASS to fit the musical context.

To preserve all the intricacies of the real instrument, MM-BASS takes full advantage of the unique scripting features of KONTAKT, resulting in a performance that is virtually indistinguishable from a real professional bassist. Authentic articulations and playing techniques include hammer-ons, pull-offs, grace notes, various trills, mutes, harmonics, pickup hits, fret noises and much more, most of which are automatically triggered based on the note material. The fretboard display in KONTAKT and KONTAKT PLAYER shows the playing position and articulation of each note in real-time, with intelligent string selection and index finger/middle finger alternation as well as dedicated slide and chord modes that contribute to the unparalleled authenticity of the instrument.

SCARBEE MM-BASS is available for purchase in the NI Online Shop at $89 / 79 EUR for the standard version and $119 / 99 EUR for the “Amped” version.

Additional information on SCARBEE MM-BASS including video and audio demos is available at

Native Instruments Introduces SCARBEE PRE-BASS Amped

Berlin, October 26th, 2009 – Native Instruments today introduced SCARBEE PRE-BASS Amped, an additional version of the PRE-BASS software instrument that provides a meticulous, highly musical rendition of the iconic Fender Precision bass, recorded through a selection of distinctive amplifiers. PRE-BASS Amped is derived from the acclaimed Scarbee Blue Bass library, and offers production-ready bass tones for a variety of styles and genres.

SCARBEE PRE-BASS Amped expands on the already available PRE-BASS instrument by providing additional versions of the instrument recorded through four different amplifiers, offering distinctive characteristics perfectly suited for a variety of musical styles. Available in Fat, Heavy, Crunchy, and Pop versions, the bass tones in PRE-BASS Amped range from warm, round and tight to crispy, hard, and even slightly distorted types.

The “Amped” version offers the same level of detail as the previously released PRE-BASS instrument, with all four strings expertly sampled in nine velocities through each of the amplifiers, resulting in 12 GB of sample material. Powered by the industry-leading KONTAKT engine, PRE-BASS Amped is playable via the free KONTAKT PLAYER as well as the full KONTAKT sampler.

SCARBEE PRE-BASS Amped is available for purchase in the NI Online Shop for $119 / 99 €.

Additional information on both versions of SCARBEE PRE-BASS is available at

NEWS: Native Instruments releases Guitar Rig 4

As I type this I’m excitedly downloading Guitar Rig 4 for review. I can’t freakin’ wait – I quite enjoy Guitar Rig 3, especially its sophisticated cabinet control, and it seems Native Instruments has upped the ante even further with Guitar Rig 4. I’ll let you know my thoughts in a few weeks, but for now here’s the press release.

Native Instruments Announces GUITAR RIG 4 PRO
New version of the digital guitar studio introduces advanced cabinet emulation for increased authenticity, adds new amps and effects

Berlin, September 1st, 2009 – Native Instruments today announced GUITAR RIG 4 PRO, the next generation of its acclaimed guitar studio.

The fourth version raises the bar on sonic authenticity with advanced new speaker emulation technology, and further expands on nearly all aspects that sets GUITAR RIG apart as the most capable digital guitar solution. To bring the acclaimed authenticity of GUITAR RIG to the next level, the new version introduces advanced cabinet and microphone modeling, providing an enhanced organic tone based on latency-free convolution technology. The advanced speaker emulation is also the basis for the versatile new “Control Room” module, developed in collaboration with leading German studio guitarist and recording expert Peter Weihe. This new module allows users to freely mix and match up to eight phasealigned studio microphones for each cabinet, allowing an unlimited range of high-end studio recording tones.
To further expand its comprehensive arsenal of carefully modeled amplifiers, GUITAR RIG 4 PRO offers two additional tube amp models that include the hot-rodded “Hot Plex” and the energetic “Jump,” both based on Native Instruments‘ sophisticated Dynamic Tube Response technology. The comprehensive arsenal of effects in GUITAR RIG is complemented with two new delay units and two new flavors of reverb, bringing the overall number of included effects to 48. Musicians who use GUITAR RIG for live performance benefit from the new, dedicated master effects section, which enables popular stage configurations that can now include global equalizers as well as overlapping delays and reverbs. For recording purposes, GUITAR RIG 4 PRO also introduces true-stereo processing across the whole signal chain, which greatly accommodates the usage of the software as a universal effect unit for stereo signals.

To give guitarists easy access to the right tones for every musical context, GUITAR RIG 4 PRO introduces a completely overhauled preset browser with many usability optimizations. With a new layout, faster and more efficient search functions, flexible attributes, convenient sorting and full compatibility with the KoreSound® format from Native Instruments’ acclaimed KORE 2, even large collections of tones can be managed in an especially convenient way. To provide users with a versatile sonic arsenal right from the start, GUITAR RIG 4 PRO includes a pre-categorized and conveniently tagged arsenal of more than 250 ready-to-play guitar sounds for a wide range of musical styles.

Further improvements in GUITAR RIG 4 PRO include optimized sound quality for pitch-based effect modules, expanded host automation and controller assignment features, universal MIDI control functionality for the Rig Kontrol 3 pedal board, and more.

Pricing and availability
GUITAR RIG 4 PRO will be available in October 2009 in various versions to accommodate guitarists and producers of all categories. The GUITAR RIG 4 PRO software will be available for a suggested retail price of $199/179 €, and will also be part of the new KOMPLETE 6 bundle.

Further versions of GUITAR RIG 4 include GUITAR RIG KONTROL with included foot controller/audio interface ($449 / 399 €), GUITAR RIG 4 ESSENTIAL as a more affordable software version with a reduced feature set ($99 / 89 €), GUITAR RIG SESSION which combines GUITAR RIG 4 ESSENTIAL with the SESSION I/O audio interface ($249 / 229 €), and GUITAR RIG MOBILE which now also includes the mid-range GUITAR RIG ESSENTIAL software ($119 / 99 €).

Additional information on GUITAR RIG 4 is available at