Casio CZ Emulator Coming To Pro Tools With The Virtual CZ

The Casio CZ sound is coming to Pro Tools thanks to plug-in developer Oli Larkin.

For those with memories of the 1980s the introduction of the Casio CZ series of synths such as the CZ101 and CZ1000 put Casio on the map with their Phase Distortion synthesis.

The Virtual CZ

The Virtual CZ is a plug-in emulation of the original sound and features;

  • Recreates the unique synthesis engine of the CZ synths (it models the flagship CZ-1 but does all the other ones too!)
  • Works as a SYSEX editor/librarian for all CZ hardware as well as an emulation
  • 2 Phase Distortion oscillators per voice(each has 8 wave shapes, which can be different for alternate cycles)
  • 6 loop-able envelope generators per voice(switchable between easy-to-use ADSR and powerful 8-Stage MSEG mode)
  • Tempo sync-able LFO for vibrato, with 7 shapes
  • Ring Modulation and Noise Modulation
  • 32 voice polyphonic/mono/legato modes
  • Unison and detuning effects
  • Stereo panning effects
  • Vintage stereo chorus/ensemble effect
  • Microtonal tuning support
  • Easy to use interface: all key synthesis functions accessible on the front panel
  • Import/export presets for all plugin formats & cross-format preset browser
  • Includes over 200 high quality presets plus ability to load thousands of CZ patches online
  • Available for OSX and Windows in Standalone, VST2, VST3, Audiounit and AAX formats 

Sound Examples

Here are a few sound examples of the new CZ plug-in.


More Information

For more information on the The Virtual CZ click here

The Story of The Audio Restoration Of Neil Young's Human Highway To The Original Director's Cut

Once described as “The Wizard of Oz on acid,” Human Highway was Neil Young’s mind-bending 1982 post-apocalyptic musical comedy film conceived in the cauldron of Cold War America, which the rock legend wrote, directed and starred alongside an eclectic and eccentric cast including Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper and members of the band Devo and may also be the secret origin of The Simpsons.

Human Highway was first screened in 1982 at the Mill Valley Film Festival to mixed reviews which caused the producers to and over the intervening 30 years the sections that hit the cutting room floor in that recut have gone astray.

So Shakey Pictures decided to see if they could find all those missing bits and rebuild the film as writer, director and star Neil Young originally envisioned it. However restoration very quickly proved to be problematic and was was further compounded by the fact that several of the original masters were missing.

The team had to dig their way through over thirty years of archives, cataloging and viewing every element ever associated with the film in the hopes of finding the masters.

They found some 2” 16 track analog masters which were transferred to 24 bit at high resolution but it become clear that music and dialog were not on separate tracks and despite extensive searching they were unable to track down the master dialogue tapes. So as a final step, the search was on to find the original reels to get clean dialogue. The dialogue reels were located, and incredibly - the original Nagra IV-S machine was found as well – the exact same machine that had actually been used on set. Now the team had to identify the exact takes that were used in the film, transferred at high resolution and pain staking rebuilt the dialog tracks. Will Mitchell from Shakey Pictures described the process…

As I listened through boxes of Nagra reels, I really felt like a fly on the wall of the set” said Will Mitchell of Shakey Pictures “Often tape was rolling wild both before and after takes, so I got to experience the process and understand just where the crew was in capturing the master performances. As with many films, the improvised lines on alternate takes were incredibly creative and fun. It was clear that this was a fun shoot.

With all the different parts to the puzzle, some fully mixed, others partly mixed and others using the original source takes it was a challenge to bring them all together to produce a seamless mix and this task fell to Tamara Johnson, Sound Designer & Re-recording Mixer of Post-Apocalyptic Studios. I managed to catch up with Tamara and my first question was to ask here how she handled this enormous needle in a haystack.

TJ - When the tapes first arrived it was like walking into a room full of treasure. There was boxes and boxes and it really makes you appreciate that now you can put everything on a thumb drive compared to sometimes needing a fork lift to get everything in.

Click to read more ...

Novation Announce A Combined Audio Interface & USB Hub - Audiohub 2x4


There is a pretty good chance that in any studio there will be an audio interface and a USB hub. That’s why Novation have designed Audiohub 2x4: designed for electronic music production.

Audiohub 2x4 At A Glance

  • Two in, four out audio interface and USB hub
  • 96kHz, 24-bit ‘Focusrite Sound Inside’ audio quality
  • Loud outputs for DJs and Live performers
  • Integrated USB 2.0 hub with three ports
  • Bus powered and class compliant
  • Ableton Live Lite and 1GB Loopasters samples included
  • Connects to iPad via Camera Connection Kit 

It provides an ultra-low latency stereo input, four high quality audio outputs and a super-loud headphone output, all in a compact and tough aluminium case with 96kHz, 24-bit ‘Focusrite Sound Inside’.

Its integrated USB hub powers up to three USB devices simultaneously, meaning a single power supply can power an entire setup, and connect everything to a computer (or an iPad with a Camera Connection Kit).

Novation have produced a video that demonstrates how Audiohub 2x4 is central to Nightmove’s (Tycho’s drummer) live performance rig.

No details of price where available at this point.

Mark Brown From Editors Keys Reviews The New Microsoft Surface Pro 3

We have been talking a bit about this new offering from Microsoft on the podcast about a tablet that is actually a full blown computer rather than a mobile device. This means you can run standard applications on it like Adobe Photoshop, or our beloved Pro Tools.

What Does A Mac User Think Of the Surface Pro 3?

Watch this video and see what Mark Brown from Editors Keys, a self declared Mac user of 9 years, has to say about the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 And Pro Audio

Then Robin Vincent the other person behind Pro Tools PC with our own Neil Hester has put together a site dedicated to working with audio on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 called which is well worth checking out.
Robin has already put together several videos including his first impressions on the Surface Pro 3 from a pro audio perspective.

Universal Audio 1176 Hardware Versus The UAD 1176 Limiter Plug-in - The Results

Several days ago we ran a post giving audio examples from both the hardware and the software Universal Audio 1176 limiter and their UAD 1176 emulation plug-in. You can read the orginal post here.

We asked you to both vote on your preference and also to comment on why you made the choice.

It was a lot of fun and also somewhat revealing, remember this was about preference and not a test to see who has golden ears, so don’t expect a Grammy for making the choice if it you were right - there was no right answer. To be honest we made the audio and we had to label it so we got them the right way around, which leads us to the most revealing part of the exercise.

It seems that even those of us who use this stuff day in and day out could not spot the difference. The vote was split almost down the middle, which means Universal Audio have done a great job of making the plug-in.

Hardware Or Software 1176?

We have an 1176 hardware limiter at Pro Tools HQ, so does this mean we will be selling it and using the plug-in instead? Not at all, what it means is when we need more than one then we have the plug-in. It also means that if you don’t have the money to buy the hardware version right now, then you can still be assured of the plug-in sounding great in the mix. That has to be good news for everyone!

So which one shall we test next? Suggestions please.

Oh yes, which one was which? A was the plug-in and B was the the hardware.

TSL Announce New Soundfield Products 2 Years After Buying The Product Range

The Soundfield mic format has had a checked history being owned by a number of brands in its long life including AMS and KGM before settling in the TSL group two years ago.

At IBC this year TSL have revealed the direction they are taking the Soundfield range with several new products.

DSF-2 MKII digital surround and stereo microphone

This has a wide range of integrated system self-tests with alarming and correction including the monitoring of all supplies and the microphone cable health, showing detected errors on the front panel display and the SoundField Remote App, while at the same time auto-correcting errors as necessary to allow the event or recording to continue.  Soundfield mics are used alot in sport so these features are clearly aimed at that market.

The DSF-3 MKII digital surround processor

This new version now supports a new range of Object Based Audio formats, in addition to Stereo and 5.1. These new formats include height information – 5.1 + 2, 5.1 + 4 and 7.1 + 2. The new front panel design is based around two LCD displays, with a lock-out function to avoid accidental changes. These formats are aimed at the new surround formats and the 5.1 +4 describes the Auro Technologies 9.1 format with 5.1 on the bottom and 4.0 on the top.

Soundfield Remote App

Both the DSF-2 MKII digital surround and stereo microphone system and the DSF-3 MKII digital surround processor are now fully integrated into the SoundField Remote App, giving users a single piece of software for control and firmware updates and access to all the control units functionality such as mic-pre gain, Limiter On/Off, HPF, Stereo Polar and Stereo Width. The new models offer both Ethernet and USB connectivity to interface with the SoundField Remote App as well as a new front panel design based around an LCD display. The DSF-2 MKII features new low noise mic-pre design with 1dB gain steps and new low-jitter clock circuitry for further improved audio performance, as well as auto-ranging power supplies which reduce power consumption.

See them at IBC 2014

TSL Products are also launching the DSF-1 MKII which is aimed at music recording. The DSF-1/2/3 MKII will be available for demonstration on Stand 10.B41 at IBC 2014.

How To Transform Your Delay Effects In Pro Tools For Free - Free Video Tutorial

In this free Pro Tools video tutorial Russ shows several ways to transform an ordinary delay effect.

He uses all free stuff that ships with Pro Tools to change the sound of the delay and create interesting time based effects for use with synths, guitars, drums even vocals.

Ableton Live Expert Day In London

Our buddies over at Ableton Live Expert are hosting their first Ableton Live Expert Day in London. So if you are an Ableton Live user then make sure you check this out.

The event takes place on Saturday October 4th, at No. 5 Denmark Street, London and hosted by Red Dog Music. We have a programme of presentations running from 12 – 5pm, and there will be plenty of time for you to ask questions, try the gear. The team are also lining up some promos and giveaways.

Booking is FREE, but places are very limited, so reserve your place now.

The Ableton Live Expert Day At A Glance

Each presentation is bookable separately, and all will last approximately 40 minutes. Here’s the timetable.

  • 12.00 MARTIN DELANEY – using Live with Elektron hardware drum machines/synths.
  • 13.00 LEE HUDDLESTON – controlling Live with Novation Launchpad and Launch Control XL.
  • 14.00 PHELAN KANE – using Live with software instruments and Push.
  • 15.00 BERTIE SEYMOUR – controlling Live with Alphasphere.
  • 16.00 SIMONE TANDA – using Live with bass guitar and hardware controllers.


Pro Tools Expert Podcast 133

Russ, Mike, Neil and James are back to bring you another show with talking points, tips, tricks and questions answered.

 Groove 3 Titles We Like


Deals page

Sonnox Community Award

Talking Points Kindly Sponsored By Universal Audio

Community Feedback Kindly Sponsored by RSPE Audio Solutions

  • RSPE are continuing to offer a summer rebate on Royer ribbon mics They have another in their virtual hardware series the virtual System 5 channel strip  
  • Andres Gonzalez offers a tip for using the stock plug-ins to emulate dynamic equalisers like the Sonnox SuprEsser DS using duplicate tracks and stock compressors and eq plug-ins which is similar in concept to parallel compression.
  • Mark P pointed out that there is a way of getting computer audio into your monitoring with an HD Omni interface.
  • Britton Murray tells us about after a near miss he remembered about iLok’s TLC service as part of ZDT.
  • Glenn Skinner with a tip about setting up default output busses to save missing a track when bouncing to tracks.

Questions - Kindly Sponsored by Alchemea

  • Already got a music tech qualification and are struggling to break into the competitive audio job market? Why not up skill with Alchemea College’s intensive 4 month diploma in Audio Post Production and Game sound - enrolling now for October 
  • Matt North is having problems with OMFs from one contributor unless they are opened directly in Pro Tools.
  • Daniel Lewis - problems with a 3rd party numeric keyboard not working with most Command based shortcuts 
  • Matt Greaves - Would I be OK to change from a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 to an Apollo Twin?
  • Timo Saila - needs to process 250 clips with eq, gating and processing and then export them as 250 files in one folder.

Find Of The Week 

Listen on to the Pro Tools Expert Podcast on iTunes

Download the Pro Tools Expert Podcast as an MP3

Audinate Dante Via Could Blow The Doors Of Audio Networking Wide Open

This week while bumbling around the Internet I stumbled across what I believe could be a total revolution in audio over network technology.

Although still in development and not available until December 2014, Audinate makers of the Dante audio networking hardware and software most notably used by Focusrite in their RedNet range of Interfaces have released a “Heads Up” promo website to show off this new breakthrough.

Simply named “Via” the technology hints at being able to share any connected audio interface whether it be Firewire, USB, Thunderbolt etc available with any other network attached computer.

What Is Dante Via?

So for example you workstation in room 1 of your facility that has a USB attached audio interface could share its audio i/o with the laptop someone is using in room 2 quite simply down a normal Ethernet connection, No proprietary or 3rd party hardware required just a network and Dante Via.

In Audinates own words:

“Dante Via creates a flexible software audio bridge for your computer to connect with local USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt and analog audio interfaces, transforming them into networked devices.”“Dante Via breaks down traditional physical barriers and allows for flexible networking of sound to and from any connected PC or existing Dante endpoint. Send, receive, and monitor any track while also recording. Use your Dante Via to connect to other media applications, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, PowerPoint audio or Skype. Connect your existing Dante network with Dante Via and extend sound from your Macs and PCs. Or use it to as a tool for monitoring any local or remote channel. Dante Via allows networked audio to be sent anywhere within facilities like schools, houses of worship, meeting centers, conference rooms and court houses. Dante Via makes it easy!”

Find Out More

For more info go take a look at the Dante Via website, watch the video and sign up to the mailing list to get new info as it becomes available.

Things just got very exciting! - Neil Hester