Soonth Blocks is a free straightforward modular Synthesizer plugin focusing on the essentials without cables and huge module masses.
Update: Soonth Blocks is now open-source and you can find it on GitHub. Excellent news.
In 2021, I reported on Blocks, a very unique free modular Synthesizer plugin from the developer Soonth. This is modular but does not use virtual cables. With the help of blocks, you can put together a modular synth.
Just recently, the developer released a free update with new features.
The development progressed in very small steps. With the update 0.0.4 there is now a free update for the synth. It introduces a new modulator menu on the right giving you an overview of all active modulations, including envelopes, LFOs, and more.
Besides the regular black UI finish, you can also get new themes like the grey one in the picture. It also comes with new tabs in the update 0.04.
Article From August 31, 2021
Modular synthesis is more accessible than ever. Free software products such as VCV Rack have given every musician the opportunity to experiment with modular synthesis. And it’s definitely not a free soft gimmick. It is a complete synthesis environment that is supported by a huge wonderful community of developers and users.
Today, South, a new developer, has released a free modular synthesizer that is much more classic and straightforward
Blocks is a free modular synth without modules and cables. Instead, it uses tiny blocks that clip together and that you can arrange in a modular way. But you have to follow three rules:
- the audio flows down: similar to the data in a track
- drag & drop to add modulations
- stretch effects across channels
Everything is kept very simple and unspectacular. Not colorful but with an industrial look with black, gray, and white. Clicking on the module opens an integrated menu with which you can set the modules, eh blocks. And in the tab on the left, you get more information about the active modulations and rates.
Compared to VCV Rack, the range of functions is very minimal. However, you have everything you need to take your first steps in modular synthesis: sources (saw, sine, square, triangle & noise), modulators (LFO, ADSR envelope), and effects (filter, mixer, delay, reverb). Hopefully, there will be more functions in the future.
Blocks is certainly not a big competitor for VCV Rack. However, it’s a neat contrast to the super-deep VCV environment with fewer features and with a more simple user interface. This can be an advantage, especially for beginners. You can focus on the essentials without being distracted by too many features and modules. And yes, it’s a plugin.
Sonnth Blocks is available now as a free download for macOS and Windows and runs as a VST and AU plugin. It is also available as a standalone version.
More information here: Sonnth