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 Free VST Plugins: Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series 
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Post Free VST Plugins: Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series
Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series
Formats: PC VST
You know how it is when you have a spare hour and spend it surfing the 'net looking for free stuff. Normally such trawls come up short, so I was pleased to stumble across new Danish software developer Kjaerhus Audio's web site. In addition to their commercial products, they have produced a series of six (Windows-only) VST plug-ins — a reverb, a limiter, a flanger, an EQ, a compressor and a chorus — branded as their Classic Series and all free to download.

So are they any good? Well, they're certainly easy on the eye. The user interface is simple and uncluttered, with eight or fewer controls, and rather reminiscent of half-rack hardware units like the Alesis Nano-range. Each plug-in also comes with a range of presets to cover most uses, none appears to gobble up great chunks of processor power, and all respond to full VST automation.

Looking quickly at the set individually, we'll start off in alphabetical order with Classic Chorus. Sporting a fetching purple interface, this unit has just six controls: Delay Time (from 0.625 to 320 ms) with a separate fine adjustment, Modulation Rate (0.1 to 10 Hz), Depth, and finally Mix and output Level. The presets are usable, covering the usual guitar and vocal applications, and I especially liked adding the bass preset to a deep synth tone, which created some nice warmth and movement.



Moving on, we come to the compressor which again features a very easy-to-use front panel containing the usual compression (Threshold, Ratio), time-constant (Attack, Release) and output controls. In addition, Kjaerhus have included both hard- and soft-knee compression, adjustable from a single rotary control. Compression is very much a personal taste, but I thought the sound quality was fine on jobs ranging from gentle vocal processing to heavy pumping.

Next up is the seven-band stereo graphic EQ, featuring switchable 'warm' and 'saturation' algorithms. Each slider provides up to ±10dB gain, with the left and right channels adjusted independently or linked and monitoring via a row of virtual LEDs. The presets cover standard jobs like panning, the ever-popular radio effect and adding 'air', whilst the EQ in general is both warm and responsive.

Classic Flanger has rotary controls for delay Time, modulation Rate (0.1 to 10 Hz), Depth and Feedback, and Mix and output Level. Unsurprisingly, most of the presets are set up for guitar, and they work well, with very little unwanted noise, even when pushed hard. As well as guitar, pads, strings and drums all works well with this unit, but it's easy to fall into well-trodden effects that sound rather cliched.

Pehaps the simplest of the Classic Series to use is the limiter. A serious shade of slate grey in colour, it sports only a single rotary threshold control ranging from -20dB to 0dB and a peak level meter. Designed to be used on whole mixes, the limiter couldn't be easier — just turn down the threshold to increase the overall loudness. When used subtly, the limiter works well, keeping definition without colouring the mix, but is all too easy to overdo.

Finishing off this collection of effects is Classic Reverb. Room Size is adjustable from 0.62 to 640 square metres, with an adjustable pre-delay of ±150ms and a simple rotary Damping control. The filter section contains a Hi Damp dial and adjustable Lo Cut (20 to 1000 Hz), whilst output controls cover the relative levels of the early reflections, wet/dry mix and overall level. The included presets cover most sizes of room, from shower to grand hall, keeping a reasonably natural response without sounding too harsh, but where this plug-in really comes into its own is on drums. By using the low cut to keep the bass-frequency rumbles under control and high-frequency damping to adjust the brightness, it's easy to get some good effects, from subtle colour to massive-sounding beats.

With the Classic Collection Kjaerhus have come up with a solid set of good-quality plug-ins that are quick and easy to use in just about any production situation. Although these effects may not have the flexibility or user options of other commercially available programs, they get the job done with a minimum of fuss and effort. Out of all the above effects I've found myself returning to the compressor for a quick solution to a thin or quiet sample, and the reverb which, although it won't be to everyone's taste, works well on my preferred style of drum sound.

This collection would also provide a good, user-friendly introduction into the rather confusing world of effects and processing, or just a speedy, quick fix when you'd rather concentrate on the job of making music than get bogged down in effects programming. And since they're free to download, there are very few reasons not to give them a go. Oli Bell

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www.kjaerhusaudio.com


Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:35 pm
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nice thanks

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Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:25 pm
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will try them later this week! :bigup: free software!

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Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:38 pm
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thx 4K
reminds me of this site I got in school
maybe you already know it, but at least I'm mentioning it:

www.kvr-vst.com

It's a site about audio plugins in general
you can find a lot free and less free ones, in all formats

greetz

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Fri Apr 02, 2004 8:11 am
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