If you want a quick round-up of some of the hottest new software releases for use in music and post-production then at Production Expert we've created this summary. We tell you what the brand says and what we think, we also include links to help you find out more.
This week we take a look at:
Roland Cloud 5.5 - Now With AAX Support
What Does Roland Say About Roland Cloud 5.5
Roland Cloud represents the world's most powerful cloud-based suite of high-resolution software synthesizers and sampled instruments, connected services and software for modern music creators. Roland's global community of artists, creators and dreamers have easy-access to an ever-growing catalogue of legendary and brand-new software instruments. Roland Cloud 5.5 introduces long overdue Pro Tools AAX support. Users can have full access to over $4000 worth of software by subscribing $19.95 per month.
What We Think About Roland Cloud 5.5
I was really excited to see Roland release AAX versions of the Roland Cloud instruments as I’ve always been a fan of Roland analogue synths and I’ve owned two of the synths in this collection. The instruments cover a wide range of sounds categorised by style and by instrument. In the very quick look I’ve had at these I decided to limit myself to the two instruments I’ve owned. The Juno 106 and the SH101.
The library covers collections of sounds by genre and year as well as classic instruments from the extensive Roland back catalogue. My personal highlights, as well as the aforementioned 106 and 101 are the Jupiter 8 and System 100. There is a D50 which I’ll probably check out and them some things which don’t float my particular boat like the JV1080 and the Sound Canvas.
Being Roland there is of course an 808 and a 909, I’m not sure how I feel about there not being a 303, another synth I’ve lost days to. It's a silly synth which doesn’t hold up to scrutiny but it’s undeniably a classic.
Does It Sound Like The Hardware?
Yes. Undeniably. I know the 106 and the 101 very well and these virtual instruments are virtually indistinguishable from the hardware. I would be able to pick out the 106 hardware against the software 100% of the time in a blind test but only because the chorus in the hardware is so unforgivably noisy, that swoosh-swoosh would give it away every time but apart from that I wouldn’t be able to tell. The 101 has that familiar thing of sounding cheap and thin until you dial in the sub-oscillator, wind back the filter and drop down to 32’. Then everything gets way more fun.
As a quick test I set up my favourite 101 patch, a PWM and square wave burbling bass with the random LFO modulating the filter for a S&H style quasi-sequence - it nailed it. Next on the 106 I set up my favourite “fake THX sound logo” sound, setting all 6 oscillators to random notes spread over the keyboard in Poly mode and then switching to Unison and riding the portamento time while holding middle C to allow all the notes to converge on that note - It did it exactly how I remember - Julian Rodgers
- Sounds like the hardware
I was a bit conflicted about seeing features not on the original synths. Things like reverb and delay on the 106 and two envelopes. More flexible but not authentic. I probably need to get over myself…
Learn More About Roland Cloud 5.5
To learn more about Roland Cloud 5.5 visit the Roland website.
Saturate & Punctuate From Newfangled Audio & Eventide
What Newfangled Audio Says About Saturate & Punctuate
Saturate is the Spectral Clipper algorithm made popular in the Elevate Mastering Limiter. Saturate's two controls belie a sophisticated signal processing engine which allows it to overdrive a signal without effecting the tonal balance no matter how hard you push it. Add up to 12 dB of clipping with a variable shape parameter which moves from a pleasant soft curve to full hard clipping. Additionally, the SHAPE control allows you to smoothly morph between hard clipping and the mathematically smoothest curve possible. Use Saturate to overdrive individual tracks or your entire mix.
Based on the Transient Emphasis section of the award winning Elevate Mastering Limiter, Punctuate is a multi-band transient modulator based on the critical bands in the human ear. Punctuate's intelligent algorithms allow you to control the transient emphasis or suppression of all 26 critical bands with just 4 controls. This makes for an incredibly powerful, but very easy to use transient modulator.
What We Think About the Elevate 1.5 Bundle Update
I’ve been using Elevate as my go-to mastering limiter ever since it was introduced last year. The inclusion of saturation and transient shaping make it a unique mastering tool that I find easy to get a great sound with. I think breaking out the transient shaping and saturation modules into their own plug-ins is a fantastic addition to this bundle.
Punctuate works wonderfully on drums and other instruments where the percussive aspect of the attacks are important. The multiple bands allow you to use it subtly rather than the “heavy-handed” way a lot of other transient shaping plug-ins works. The addition of transient length and adaptive length controls gives even more control than before on how it works with the signal it is processing.
Saturate is wonderfully simple to use. There are two main controls. One for the amount of drive, and the other to shape the distortion and harmonics the drive introduces. I love that the output gain is adjustable. This makes it a great tool to add a thick rich texture to individual tracks or busses, without altering the overall level if you don’t want to. This means it works great for the mixing stage. You can safely add it in while preserving your overall levels and balance.
I think it is a fantastic update that moves this product out of the realm of being strictly a mastering tool, and into the mixing domain - Eli Krantzberg
- Great to have access to the transient shaping and saturation modules separately.
- The multi-band control in Punctuate makes it easy to emphasize or suppress specific areas in the frequency range.
- Saturate is easy to get a great sound with. The manual output gain control makes it perfect to use as subtly as you want anywhere in the signal chain.
- Being built on linear phase filters, it introduces unavoidable latency, making it difficult to use is you need to do additional tracking.
Learn More About Saturate & Punctuate From Newfangled Audio & Eventide
The Elevate bundle is on sale for $139 (reg. $199) from Eventide and authorized dealers. EQuivocate owners can upgrade for $99 (reg. $149). Sale ends 5th September 5 2018. Existing owners of Elevate can upgrade to v1.5 for free anytime. Learn more here.
World Cup HORN SUPPRESSOR From Zynaptiq
What Zynaptiq Say About World Cup HORN SUPPRESSOR
The World Cup HORN SUPPRESSOR plug-in suppresses the droning sound of compressor horns, popular at the 2018 soccer games, in real-time, leaving individual “honks” and other stadium ambience as well as commentary virtually untouched. This is made possible using a technology known as source (signal) separation, a.k.a. de-mixing, where state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques are combined with precision filtering to “unbake the cake”, providing after-the-fact access to the different sounds that make up a mix.
Already in use at Denmark’s TV2 for their World Cup game transmissions, World Cup Horn Suppressor is available now to broadcasters that apply for a free 3-month license.
“We were getting complaints about the compressor horns being too dominant in the audio of our World Cup transmissions, and there really wasn’t a lot that could be done about that with traditional tools.” said Jens Lyd, sound engineer at TV2, Denmark. “So we contacted Zynaptiq – and within days, they provided an easy-to-use solution that quite simply completely fixed the issue for us.”
What We Think About Zynaptiq About World Cup HORN SUPPRESSOR
This is one of those types of products that is so unique we cannot really test it for The Production Expert Community. It clearly has an application, but we don't have any cleared source material of live football matches that we can use to produce a video. We can only guess that this plug-in does exactly what it says on the tin, much like Zynaptiq's other audio repair style plug-ins UNMIX DRUMS and UNCHIRP.
HORN SUPPRESSOR doesn't appear to be available to purchase, however, you can request a free 3 month trial. For me personally, this plug-in release isn't getting me hot under the collar, however, Zynaptiq's previous release INTENSITY... That's something very special indeed - Dan Cooper
- 3 month free trial available
- Not currently on sale
- Single focused application
Learn More About Zynaptiq About World Cup HORN SUPPRESSOR
To learn more about HORN SUPPRESSOR by visiting the Zynaptiq website.