FireBird Synthesizer – was $79, now FREE!


FireBird is a professional music synthesizer developed by Tone2 which has previously sold for $79.00us. However, Tone2 has decided to release a final updated version and make it available free to everyone.

FireBird 2 – now available for free!

After seven years of faithful service, the time has come to set the bird free. Firebird itself has become vintage and even though it’s no longer profitable to remain a commercial product, we feel that more people should deserve an opportunity to enjoy this sometimes heavily underestimated synthesizer.
Which is why we decided to release one last update and turn the product into freeware (previuosly $79). We want to say a big THANK YOU to all customers who supported the development of Firebird and other Tone2 products, by purchasing our software.

In the interests of full disclosure I must start off by saying that I am certainly no expert in the field of music synthesizers. However, I have checked out this software from Tone2 and found nothing but highly favorable comments from both editorials and audiophiles alike. Even though most of the reviews are now getting a little long in the tooth, they do speak very highly of this software:

FireBird 2 – the software

firebird_screen02

Firebird is not just another subtractive synthesizer, it uses a unique synthesis architecture to deliver next-generation sounds. Its innovative user interface provides you with the tools to create impressive sounds with a minimal amount of effort. Featuring an impressive selection of 437 build-in sounds, representing both highly sought-after VA sounds, as well as sounds more specific to Firebird and characterized by its Harmonic Content Morphing synthesis, breathing both life and dynamics into the sounds.

Key Features

  • Very easy program to use
  • A unique sounding synthesis: Harmonic content morphing (HCM)
  • High sound quality: Warm, transparent
  • 437 hand picked presets included, over 1000 sounds available
  • 84 oscillator types containing 18,000 morphable waveforms
  • 38 different filter types
  • True stereo mode, 4x unison mode, and up to 8 oscillators per voice
  • Can sound like other synthesis methods – additive, subtractive, AM, FM, phase distortion, supersaw, vocoder, sync
  • Can sound like natural instruments like piano, brass, organs…
  • 23 spectral manipulations or “modifiers” can be applied to the oscillators
  • 21 arpeggiator types
  • 13 effect types
  • Skinable user interface

FireBird 2 – download and installation

You can read more information about FireBird and its features, and download direct from Tone2 here: http://www.tone2.com/html/firebird_vsti_vst_synthesizer_1.html

firebird download

FireBird 2 is an 18.8MB zip download, simply extract the contents of the zipped folder and then run the extracted executable to install. FireBird 2 scans 100% clean through Virus Total and installation is pretty straight forward and perfectly clean.


**NOTE: During installation you will be provided with options to install the FireBird Synthesizer plus free Saurus Synthesizer demo (default), or FireBird Synthesizer only. If you do not want to install the free Saurus Synthesizer demo, make sure to select the “Firebird Synthesizer only” option from the dropdown menu prior to clicking Next:

firebird installation

**Important Note: FireBird is a plug-in, it is not a complete stand-alone synthesizer. You will need a VST host application installed for this software to work.

Fortunately, DCT subscriber Dave has provided details on how to get this working with a free VST host, no installation required. You can view Dave’s advice in the comments under… or follow these instructions:

  1. Download SAVIHost here: http://www.hermannseib.com/english/savihost.htm
  2. Extract the contents of the zipped folder
  3. Copy or move the extracted savihost executable “savihost.exe” into the same folder as FireBird (by default: C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Steinberg)
  4. Rename “savilhost.exe” to “FireBird.exe”
  5. Double click “FireBird.exe” to run

Thanks Dave!


As I said earlier, what I know about synthesizers would fit on the back of a postage stamp. So, any audiophiles out there, your comments would be most welcome.

About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

9 Comments

  1. I know very little about synths either but (unless I’m missing something) this appears to be some sort of VST plug-in for a “host”, as all I get is a program folder with a .DLL file and some multilingual manuals. See “support” and “installation” on the main site. The article seems to infer that it is a complete stand-alone synth.

    • Hi Dave – You are quite right. Seems this does require a ‘VST host application’ installed first.

      Apologies if the article is misleading, not intentional I can assure you, just my complete ignorance of the subject.

      The good news is, there are plenty of free VST host applications available, just search “Free VST Host”.

      Thank you for your input here mate, I’ve now added a line into the article to clarify.

      Sincere apologies again.
      Cheers… Jim

  2. Just can’t get the quality staff these days! 🙂
    This does the trick. Just follow the instructions re. renaming the .DLL file.
    http://www.hermannseib.com/english/savihost.htm
    These instructions from a review seem simpler to me
    “A very simple but effective method that allows you to turn a plugin dll into a standalone executable. Very easy to use and no installation needed. Just put the savihost.exe in the same folder where the plugin dll is located and rename the savihost.exe to the name of the dll”
    Just tried it and it works fine. All I’ve got to do now is work out how to drive the synth!

    • LOL. Or as my mate would say… it’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys!

      I followed the instructions, as per your link, and it works a treat. Thanks for the heads up Dave.

      I’ll add your advice into the article.
      Cheers… Jim

  3. Dave — I gave this link to a couple of other admins in PC Tech in Paltalk and one did get the program or at least went through the process (seems to not be available on a MAC) and this item is a 5 or 6 day trial ($35 after so not exactly free) and if one wants to not proceed further they charge a $.99 fee to remove the product. Don’t know if you were aware but I just learned this a few moments ago. I only sent the link to a couple of folks that do music so it was not made available to all users of the room thank goodness,

    • Hi Murray – I can assure you this software is 100% free. It is not a trial, and removing the product is a simple case of merely deleting the program folder.

      Don’t know where you got your information from but it is completely false.

      Cheers… Jim

  4. Jim,
    I can’t find the 18.8 Mb zip file you referred to. Can you provide a direct link to it?
    Thanks,
    Dan

    • Hi Dan,

      I can’t locate the original link either, things appear to have changed since I wrote the article almost 2 years ago. But I did come across this one here: https://www.tone2.com/Tone2_Firebird.zip

      NOTE: This download is 88.1MB. Not sure why the download size is now so much larger. Perhaps because Firebird was initially offered as a free plug-in and is now a full stand-alone synthesizer?…. but that’s just a guess on my part.