Entries in synth (29)
AIR have launched their new synths Loom and Vacuum Pro, two mighty fine beasts, building on the heritage of the cool stuff gone before them, but offering more power and some very nice sounds.
With Loom, explore one of the final frontiers of sound creation: Additive Synthesis. Loom makes it possible. While familiar to many, the promise of additive synthesis has gone largely undelivered. The creation of rich, swirling, and evocative sounds by combining individual harmonics has proved either too time-consuming for programmers or too calculation-intensive for all but the fastest supercomputers—until now. Loom takes an exclusive modular approach to creating the captivating sounds and unique harmonic signatures that are the trademarks of additive synthesis. The easy-to-use Loom architecture allows anyone to quickly combine any of 30 editable modules into 10 available cells to realize incredible, previously unheard-of sounds. Onboard effects, onscreen pop-up Tool Tips, and the amazing Morph page bring Loom to life for fantastic, accessible sound.
Vacuum Pro starts with two wide-range, sync-able vacuum tube oscillators. Each features Quad Detune controls for a lush, thick sound. Add to that two vacuum tube filters. We’ve included both the traditional Low Pass filter as well as an additional High Pass/Band Pass filter. Choose the filter slope to capture classic tones of the past. Vacuum Pro has it all: Four Envelope Generators; matrix-assignable modulation, and tempo sync’d LFO. The tube-driven mixer offers a drive circuit plus tone-warping ring modulation. For authentic analog behavior, the exclusive Age controls even add dust and drift.
To coincide with the release of the long awaited AIR Loom synth, Russ has released his latest video tutorial series ‘Loom Explained’. Working in consultation with the creators of Loom, Russ shows how to get the best from Loom. Groove 3 says:
“Untangle the creative possibilities of additive synthesis and produce something amazing with Loom. Synth master Russ Hughes takes you on a journey and helps you unlock the synth secrets of this cool new take on additive synthesis. This series includes a full, in-depth explanation of Loom’s features, as well as some practical sessions on designing sounds from scratch.
Designed for beginner to intermediate users of Loom, the video series guides you through step-by-step, showing you all of Loom’s features and functions, as well as many creative possibilities that this awesome synth has to offer. Russ gives you an introduction to Loom, detailed looks at its interface and menus, as well as all of the windows and fx modules available.
Whether you are a new Loom user, or someone who just wishes to expand their Loom knowledge and skills, this series is going to give you the tools you need to unleash the power and add up your sound of this amazing synth… Get “Loom Explained” today.
- 18 tutorials / over 2 hours total runtime
- For all beginner synthesizer users
- Tutorials written by synth master Russ Hughes
- Simple-to-use video control interface for Mac & PC
- Watch online, download, stream to iPad, iPhone & iPod”
Community member Burt Wolff has kindly sampled a cool Clavioline (regarded by some as the first modern synth) in Structure format.
Wikipedia says: The clavioline is an electronic keyboard instrument, a forerunner to the analog synthesizer.
It was invented by Constant Martin in 1947. It consists of a keyboard and a separate amplifier and speaker unit. The keyboard usually covered three octaves, and had a number of switches to alter the tone of the sound produced, add vibrato, and provide other effects. Several models were produced by different companies; among the more important were the Standard, Reverb, and Concert models by Gibson and Selmer in the 1950s. The 6-octave model developed by Harald Bode employed octave transposition.
Russ takes a look at the new Loom Synth from AIR and gives an extensive show and tell of this new virtual instrument.
XILS-lab has to announced availability of Oxium 1.5, a Pro Tools 11 AAX format-ready major update to its popular performance soft synth plug-in, as of April 13… they say…
Oxium has gained a solid foothold in the competitive computer-centric music marketplace since successfully launching last year to critical acclaim.
Novation has announced the launch of Bass Station II – a powerful analogue synth that’s made for bass but equally well adapted to leads. Based on the classic Novation BassStation from 20 years ago, Bass Station II has been completely re-worked for the 21st Century, with two filters, two oscillators plus a sub-oscillator, patch save and a fully-analogue effects section. Plus there’s a step- sequencer, arpeggiator, a two octave (25-note) velocity-sensitive keyboard with full-sized keys and a powerful modulation section. There’s even MIDI I/O and USB connectivity.
- Analogue synth: brand new version of the classic BassStation. Bass Station II has a pure analogue audio signal path, reviving the spirit of the original BassStation with an all-new design optimised for bass
- Two distinct analogue filters: In addition to the original ‘Classic’ BassStation filter, there’s a brand new ‘Acid’ diode ladder filter for squelchy 303-esque bass sounds
- Load and save patches: 64 factory patches on-board with room for 64 more of your own. Save more to your computer via USB
- Pattern-based Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator: Bass Station II has an arpeggiator with a programmable step sequencer that enables you to store and call up patterns as well as quickly sketch out ideas
- Instant hands-on control: Instant hands-on control of the sound engine via a traditional analogue synth control panel
- Two Oscillators plus an additional Sub Oscillator: Bass Station II has two sync-able, tune-able oscillators with four selectable waveforms, plus a third sub-oscillator for generating enormous bass sounds
- Analogue effects section: Bass Station II includes fully analogue distortion and filter-modulation effects and a separate filter overdrive to add aggression and crunch
- Powerful modulation section featuring two Envelopes and two LFOs: Two ADSR envelopes for amp, filter, pitch and pulse width modulation alongside two LFOs with waveforms including triangle, sawtooth, square and sample & hold
Bass Station II
It wasn’t that long ago that MIDI was a dream waiting to happen for hard core Pro Tools users. Even though the MIDI features in Pro Tools are often maligned, but make sure you have dug deep before wrtiing them off. Here are 5 Pro Tools MIDI features worth knowing.
Make sure you know how the button in blue works, it’s the difference between MIDI overwriting or over dubbing a part. It’s ideal for building up complex rhythm parts, simply set a loop on the timeline and then it will keep cyckling around as you build up the part.
Mirrored MIDI Editing
Mirrored MIDI Editing is a godsend if you need to change a looped part of a performance but don’t fancy going through the whole song to change. With it turned on whenever you make a change to the original it does the same to any copies in the loop.
One of the most powerful MIDI features in Pro Tools in Real-Time properties, a feature that is often misunderstood. What MIDI real-time properties do is, as the name suggests, modify MIDI data on the fly and in a none destructive way. This means you can make live changes to the MIDI data, such as timing, duration or pitch, but still have the orginal performance intact. Turn any of them off and the original is still there.It also means you can make a copy of the MIDI from the track and copy it to another and have two versions of the same performance.
The Pencil Tool
The pencil tool is a really cool and powerful tool you can use in the MIDI edit window, it is great for entering notes. Did you know that if you select a note input value and choose the Line tool and then drag across the MIDI editor it inputs notes at that value? In a second you can have 4 on the floor kicks across an entire song, or 16 note hi hats. The other line types are great for drawing automation such as filter settings.
Back in the day (whenever that was) but for the purpose of this article I’ll say the early 80s, all MIDI input was step based, you couldn’t just play live and record it. We dreamt of a day when we could just record MIDI like audio, but what step input gave us (and still does) is the tightest performances around. It works as the name suggests, you select a note value and then step through one note at a time, plus any rests you want to add. It takes time, but if you want very tight drums or bass parts, or arps, then step input is your best friend.
More MIDI tips to come soon! Enjoy.
Russ shows how to take Xpand and turn it into a really gutsy killer synth.
Members click the picture above to play or use our Pay Per View service to view it here
Propellerhead has announced Reason 7. To find out more visit the Reason 7 page on Propellerhead site. The most interesting thing that I see in the list of new features is a new ability to connect and control external MIDI devices with Reason.
For years Reason was a powerful, albeit closed, environment for music and sound production. The introduction of recording and sampling capabilities several years ago began to open it up. More recently we’ve seen the introduction of Rack Extensions so that third party developers could make their instruments and effects available within Reason. Now they are taking it to the next step by enabling the connection of external MIDI gear, particularly hardware synthesizers to Reason.
Reason 7 is currently in beta testing with an anticipated release in the second quarter of 2013. There is a link on the page above where you can sign up to be a beta tester.
Our friends at Native Instruments have posted both a YouTube and a Soundcloud tease of their new synth.
They’ve given us a a few clues about what is coming. So here’s what we know;
- The YouTube tags talk about a Mono Synth
- DSP based virtual synth
- Multiple plug-in formats
We’ll have one shortly, as soon as we do then we’ll fire it up and do the business giving you the full story.
A new and rather interesting mini synthesizer has appeared on Waldorf’s Website, heres the full info and a teaser demo video taken from Waldorf.de .
No one expected this Rocket launch, which is in clear violation of several UN resolutions and basic laws of physics. Unlike conventional missiles, this one comes in a square shape and will be sold world-wide in complete ignorance of German governments exports restrictions.
It’s incredible sound is a powerful weapon of mass destruction, and never before has this been achieved with such an enormous fun factor. It features an analog multimode VCF with lowpass, bandpass, and highpass, resonance up to self oscillation and beyond, a powerful monophonic oscillator section with Ultra High Density Sawtooth and unison for chord play.
Furthermore equipped with a powerful Arpeggiator and a destructive Bosster circuit, this Rocket is technologically way ahead of all current defense systems.
Russ takes a look at one of the new UVI Vintage Synth legends series, the FMX1. This synth is based on the DX1 synth from the 1980s. See what he thinks and download the demo yourself from UVI.
AU, VST, RTAS, AAX, 64-bit, Mac/PC, Spring 2013, $199 US MSRP - and no iLok needed. That’s the plan for Loom and Vacuum Pro
Moog have started a bit of a storm with a video showing a sneak peak of their newest baby, to be unveiled at NAMM 2013.
There’s an easy way to avoid critics, do and say nothing. Never have an idea, or if you do, then squash it before someone else squashes it for you. I say that knowing that before the ink was dry on the Waves press release for their new Element synth that someone, in fact thousands, were ready to trash even the idea of their new VI, let alone the reality of one.
I’ve seen a lot of comments about the new Element synth and some are asking “does the world need another subtractive synth VI?”
Let me ask another question, was it worth Apple inventing the iPod with all the other MP3 players already on the market? Or was it worth Apple messing around with phones when brands like Nokia and Motorola already owned most of the market? The iPhone may not be the best phone out there, but it certainly gave the industry a shake up it needed to be more inventive with phones.
In our derivative world, it is commonplace for companies to jump on the bandwagon and create ‘me-too’ products, but sometimes companies enter the market to bring a new thought on the same idea. Even better they do so to try and make something that is actually better than the rest - or in the case of instrument modelling, closer than the rest.
I think it’s no secret that I’m a friend of Wolfgang Palm and I’ve done what I can to support him as the PPG has born again on the iPad. There were a lot of iPad synth apps before the PPG. Did the world need another one? Yes, it needed one that was a professional sounding synth with ultimate tweakability. From both professional and consumer feedback so far, the world did need another iPad synth and Wolfgang made it, even better he did it right in my opinion.
It’s early days with the new Waves Element synth, but from my early interactions with it I have to say there’s something about both the filters and amps that is a lot better then other subtractive synth VIs. It may not be orginal, but as we’ve seen so often it’s not originality we seek but for someone to do it better.
You may have a different opinion on the new Waves synth than me, we can agree to disagree, but I would rather have companies like Waves try a new approach, than a culture where software developers don’t bother trying to do things better because there are armies of people ready to trash their ideas.
I don’t mind them trying, rather that, than a barren creative landscape. I’d rather have a world where people try something new, than bedroom critics who never made anything.
As Winter NAMM approaches and we’re all anticipating some sort of announcement from Waves about AAX DSP, they surprised us today with this!
Here is a quote from their Web site:
Introducing Element: The first ever synthesizer from Waves. Powered by Virtual Voltage™ technology, Element is an analog-style polyphonic instrument engineered to deliver the fat, gritty sound of the classics, with all the precision, flexibility and control of contemporary digital synths.
Element includes a vast array of convenient features and functions. Like integrated effects. A 16-step arpeggiator / sequencer. MIDI Learn for all controls. And a massive preset library, with total tweakability. Plus, all parameters are laid out right there in front of you, so when inspiration strikes, there’s no need to scroll through page after page to customize your sounds. Searing leads, booming basses, ethereal pads, electro-percussion, sequential motions, mind-blowing FX and lots more: Element does it all.
To learn more, visit the product page here.