Friday, October 31, 2008

SSL Offers Free Halloween-Themed Plug-in

Via CreateDigitalMusic:

Solid State Logic has a special Halloween gift for all you computer musicians out there: a free plug-in called X-orcism that is compatible with both Mac and Windows in VST and AU formats. It is intended to transform your voice in various ghastly ways. Registration is required to download, but it's free, so quit yer bitchin'!


Happy Halloween!

Probably the most famous horror movie theme ever written, and it was written by director John Carpenter mainly out of necessity because the budget of the film was so low (a paltry $320,000!) Here's hoping you all have a great Halloween and that your kids get enough candy to put a horse into diabetic shock!

Rare Mellotron M400 on Ebay

You REALLY don't see these for sale very often. Actually, the last time I can recall seeing one was about 15 years ago in this crappy music store in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (one of the worst places I have ever lived). I was way too poor to snag it up myself at the time, but the one they had was in amazing condition.

Check out the listing...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Now Accepting Pre-orders for Burikusu!!! - 2080

Time for a little crass commercialism... As some of you may know, I run a small indie label called 23db Records.  On November 17th, we will be releasing the debut album from a Swedish band called Burikusu!!!  Of course, I am biased, but I think this is one of the most innovative electronic albums I have heard in ages.  I'm not going to wax eloquent trying to describe them to you, as it's nearly impossible to do so.  Just check out these preview clips and decide for yourself.  If you like what you hear, you can place a pre-order for the album here.  And be sure to spread the word to your friends or anyone else you think might dig it.  You'd be amazed at how important word of mouth can be for independent releases!

(Oh, and of possible interest to readers of this blog, one half of the band is none other than the man behind Vember Audio, creators of Surge, as well as being responsible for a lot of the nifty DSP in Ableton Live...)

Really Cool Home Made Drum Machine

On YouTube via deltalabstudios:

This is one of the coolest home made machines I've seen in awhile. Anyone know anything about it?

Cheap Roland XV-3080 on Ebay

I've got one of these, and even though it's a 'last generation' ROMpler, it's still a damn fine machine and can make some really contemporary sounds if you take the time to learn to program it. Very deep sound programming possibilities too.

Check out the listing...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Customized Korg Poly-800 II

On Shepitology via Matrixsynth:

My first synth ever was a Korg Poly-800. The Poly-800 II was more or less the same machine with a digital delay added to it. This one is certainly a lot more unique, though! I don't know why, but I am a total sucker for customized gear. Especially if it's an obnoxious color. In addition to the cool new case, this one also has the "Moog Slayer" filter mod, which ads knobs for filter cutoff and resonance.

Cool Looking Circuit Bent Casio SK-1 on Ebay

Here's one for all the noise-heads out there. Circuit-bent SK-1's are certainly not terribly hard to find on Ebay, but this is definitely the coolest looking one I can remember seeing...

Check out the listing...

Old School Gating The Manly Man Way

We really do live in an amazing time to be a musician. If you're only just now getting into making music on your computer, you may take for granted just how easy it is to achieve even very complicated effects. And don't even get me started on how many awesome, completely free effects there are out there. Back in the old days, if you couldn't afford the hardware, you couldn't have the effect. Period.
But with the ease of use, some of the old methods are forgotten, and I think that's a shame. So from time to time, I think it can be a valuable exercise to try things the old way... and I'll be honest, sometimes I think the old way is a lot more fun than just slapping on some random VST effect and calling it a day. A good example of this is rhythmic gating. Effects plug-ins that do this are a dime a dozen these days. Even some synths like the wildly over-used Vanguard have gating effects built right in. So I thought today we'd have a look at the way it used to be done back in the days when men were men (usually).

If you're unfamiliar with the effect, rhythmic gating is taking a piece of audio and having its sound cut in and out in a rhythmic fashion. If you've ever heard the 90's dance hit "You're Not Alone"
by Olive, you'll hear gating producing the pulsing effect on the strings. The technique developed out of an effect DJs used to use called 'transforming' where they would either mute and unmute a channel or quickly fade between an active channel and an empty channel on a mixer in a rhythmic fashion (listen to Public Enemy's "She Watch Channel Zero" to hear this technique used on a horn sample). Studio boffins realized there was an easier way to do this, however, by using a noise gate equipped with a sidechain. But enough of all this, let's get to it, shall we?

1. Fire up your DAW of choice. You can do this with anything that has a noise gate effect built in that has a side-chain input. For this exercise I will be using Logic.
2. You will need two channels of audio for this effect. One should be the audio you want to gate...most usually a pad, string, or other sustaining sort of sound. The other audio will be a hi-hat pattern we will use to determine the actual rhythm of the gating. So go ahead and record a brief riff with your pad sound on one channel.
3. Now record a brief hi-hat pattern. The closed hat will create the shorter, tighter gating, and the open hat will leave the gate open a little longer resulting in a more sustained sound. So make sure your pattern has a bit of both in it.
4. Once you have your hi-hat audio recorded, change the output on Logic's mixer to 'No Output'. We don't actually want to hear the hi-hat itself, we're just going to use it to trigger the gate.
5. Now, on your pad channel, go ahead and select the Silver Gate as an insert effect. You can do this with the full Noise Gate as well, but we don't really need all the extra bells and whistles, so Silver Gate will do just fine.
6. In the upper righthand corner of the effect window, you'll see the drop down menu to select a Side Chain source. This defaults to none. You want to change it to be the channel your hi-hat pattern is on. So if your pad sound is on 'audio 1', and your hi-hat is on 'audio 2', you should set this to audio 2.
7. If you play your track now, you most likely won't hear any difference. That's because we haven't set the 'Threshold', or the volume level at which the gate will be triggered. So go ahead and while your track is playing, gently move the Threshold slider upwards towards zero. You should hear the pad starting to chop rhytmically as you do so. The 'right' level depends on taste, so experiement with different Threshold values for varying amounts of choppiness.
8. If you like, you can leave well enough alone, but I encourage you to play around with the Attack, Hold, and Release parameters as well which can be used to control the 'shape' of the gate. If you find the results are too 'clicky', trying upping your Release level a bit.

What's cool about using this effect over a dedicated gating VST effect is that it's a little less 'perfect', so sometimes you don't get totally clean chops, or the audio chops in a slightly different rhythm than you had intended. Experiment with different settings and you will quickly discover that different settings can give very different sounding rhythms. This is the realm of 'happy accidents' and can sometimes give you results you wouldn't have come up with on your own.

Here's a quick audio example of the effect in action:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Doepfer Analog Sequencer on Ebay

I really hope to pick up an analog sequencer some day. I've played around with them in Reaktor and love the unpredictable results you can get from them, but the real deal would definitely be more satisfying. If you're looking for one yourself, this one by Doepfer seems to be very highly regarded...

Check out the listing...

Cool Dubstep Documentary

Cool, short documentary on one of my fairly recent favorite genres. Below is a longer one, but the first one has more of the well-known artists associated with the genre and is a bit less redundant.

Sequential Circuits Pro One on Ebay

I bought one of these earlier this year and absolutely love it. It's a total monster for bass!

View listing on Ebay...

Monday, October 27, 2008

GSi Releases Mac Version of Tape Echo Plug-in

"WatKat is a digital “clone” of a Wem Watkins “Custom” Copicat. It sounds very lo-fi, noisy, irregular. When you turn it off and leave the tape loaded, the tape bends in proximity of the capstan, and this turns into a periodic pitch fall during echo playback; plus, it gets hot and the background hum gets worse in time... you should turn it off every now and then; the tape is never completely erased, and the capstan motor flutters... and it gets worse if you touch it while it's spinning; heads tend to get dirty very soon, infact you should clean them often. This is true for the actual hardware unit, and for the digital simulation as well!

Panel Controls:
– Swell: adjusts the volume of the repeats;
– Sustain: adjusts the number of repeats; be careful with this knob!
– Gain 1: volume of input 1 (left channel);
– Gain 2: volume of input 2 (right channel);
– Head 1, Head 2, Head 3: use these switches to select the playback head(s); each head gives a different delay time.
Don't touch the capstan! :-)

Additional Features:
– Very easy to use
– Very light on CPU and memory
– Easy MIDI Learn feature
– Free for all, so the world may know how cool is a Watkins tape echo!"


Mixed in Key Releases Key-Matching Software

Via Synthtopia:

Mixed in Key has teamed up with Allen & Heath to release Mixed in Key 4.0 for Windows and Mac OS X. I'm not sure how this one flew under my radar for the previous 3 versions, but it sounds like something that would be useful not only to DJ's, but indeed to anyone who uses loops or sampled musical phrases in their music. From the website:

"Mixed In Key is software created for the world's best DJs. With its user-friendly design and trusted technology, Mixed In Key makes harmonic mixing easy.

Mixed In Key takes your mixing to the next level by showing which songs you can mix together without a key clash. It works with all CD decks, Ableton Live, Traktor, Serato Scratch Live, and all other mixing software and hardware. Your DJ sets will always sound smooth and professional. "

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Electronics Tutorials for Beginners

Via Matrixsynth:

Some day when my schedule slows down enough that I actually have free time again, I'd really like to learn to solder and get into circuit-bending. If you do too, here is a page with some excellent video tutorials covering just about everything a beginner needs to know about electronics...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Reset Codes for Old Digital Equipment

I'm in the process of transferring some old sequences from my Ensoniq SQ-80 (yes, I know the picture is from an ESQ-1, smart-ass) into Logic. As often happens with equipment that is getting on in years, my SQ-80 started behaving erratically and then stopped making sound. Although problems like this can be a little scary, most of them can be solved by resetting the machine. Most equipment from this era has a code or combination of key presses you can hold on start-up that will reset the machine and (hopefully) solve your problem. I couldn't remember what the SQ-80 reset procedure was, so I went looking for it online and came across this site which contains the reset procedures for a bunch of old digital equipment. I hope you find it helpful!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Politics Break

This blog is obviously not a political one, but I thought with all the ugliness the race has devolved into, we could all use a laugh.

It looks as if they used the same special effects technique used in this video by Future Shock which has always been one of my favorite music videos:

Free Nylon Guitar Samples for Kontakt


Sample jockeys Pettinhouse have released a free sampled nylon guitar for Native Instruments Kontakt.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Interviews and Public Image

So today I was flipping through the new issue of Spin magazine. I know, I know. But somewhere between all the fashion spreads and articles about shitty indie bands with backwards hair, there is usually at least one really good article or interview worth reading. This month, I was thrilled to find an interview with one of my old heroes: Lou Reed. When I was in high school The Velvet Underground's "White Light/White Heat" and Lou Reed's "New York" were in almost constant rotation on my car stereo. I'll admit I've kind of lost track of what Reed is doing these days, but his impact on me as a budding musician back in the day is something that is still with me. And then I read the article and realized... Lou Reed is a dick. Not 'kind of' a dick, but a full-fledged, swinging donkey genital.

The interviewer was well-researched and asked what I thought were good questions, but throughout the whole thing Reed refuses to answer questions and when he does give an answer it was usually dripping with condescension towards the interviewer, if not outright hostility.

Now none of this changes the fact that Lou Reed has an amazing legacy. Just his work with the Velvet Underground alone has influenced more bands than I could possibly count. He's not much of a singer, but he's written some timeless songs that will live on long after we're all worm food. I have to admit, though, that his demeanor in the interview really turned me off. If I had never heard of this guy before, there's not a snowball's chance in hell I would've bothered to check his music out. (Not like he cares, I'm just saying...)

I haven't even been doing music professionally for a decade yet, but in the short time I've been involved in the music industry, there is no doubt that I have become a lot more cynical. And I've done my share of interviews where I would've chewed my own arm off if it would just make it all stop. But I am always somewhat puzzled when I see artists give interviews like this. It's clear Reed hates doing interviews. Fine. So why do them? Someone of Reed's stature can certainly afford to be reclusive if he so chooses. Just hole up with Laurie Anderson in a bunker somewhere in the Village and be done with it.

I realize all of this sounds presumptuous. I'm a nobody in the grand scheme of things. If you added up every record I ever sold, it wouldn't match the sales of even Reed's lowest selling album. I'm a kid compared to him, and he's undoubtedly forgotten more about the music business than I will ever know. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us struggling musicians can't learn from this.

If you are a musician and you get to the stage where someone gives enough of a shit about your music to interview you, remember that interviewers are a window to your fans. It may get tiresome answering the same questions over and over again, or dealing with interviewers who don't take the time to do any research before they interview you, but consider for a minute that each interview you do may be the first one a potential fan ever reads. What's old hat to you, might be brand new info to a potential fan, and your demeanor towards the interviewer and indeed interviews themselves may go a long way towards planting the seeds for a whole new crop of future fans. And with the music industry in the shambles it is now, very few of us can afford to alienate fans. If you've had a 40+ year career like Reed, perhaps you can afford to do this. But let's be honest... you haven't, and you can't. Be gracious to interviewers, tip your waitress, and try the veal... I promise it doesn't taste like douche.

What Does a Comb Filter Do?

Although it is not an especially common type of filter, if you have a decent number of softsynths, you may have come across what is called a 'comb filter' (so named, because if you look at its frequency response, it looks like the teeth of a comb). Casual mucking about usually results in flanging type effects, which is all well and good, but why would you need that when your plug-in folder probably already has a dedicated flanging effect or two? While it is true that comb filters can be used for flanging type effects, where it really becomes useful is in doing a sort of basic physical modelling. Physical modelling, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is a type of synthesis the simulates a physical material being played in some way with a resonant body. If that still sounds like gobbilty gook, imagine plucking a string on an acoustic guitar. Part of the sound comes from the actual string itself, but part of it also comes from the body of the guitar interacting with that string. Therefore, physical modelling is very good at producing organic-sounding instruments such as plucked strings, flutes, brass, mallets, bells, etc. If you'd like to check out a cool tutorial regarding this, check out this YouTube tutorial that utilizes Native Instruments Massive to imitate a sort of nylon string guitar/harpischord hybrid.

What I think is way cooler, however, are the harsh, digital sounds you can make with it. Depending on the synth and the setting, you can get everything from hard FM-type sounds to hyper aliased sounds that sound like they're coming from a vintage sampler. I also happen to be a big fan of Massive, so here are some guidelines to get you started towards some hardcore digital weirdness:

1. Fire up Massive. (duh)
2. Go to the FILE menu and select 'new sound' to initialize a new patch.
3. Mute OSC1 by clicking the blue circle next to its name.
4. You'll notice that the NOISE oscillator (located at the very bottom left) is activated, but isn't producing any sound. This is because the the AMP level defaults to 0. Go ahead and up the AMP level of the NOISE oscillator.
5. To the right of the NOISE oscillator is a slider that lets you select a value somewhere between F1 and F2. This represents which of the two filters you are sending the NOISE oscillator to. Obviously, you can mix between the two, but for the sake of this exercise, pull it all the way up to F1 (FILTER 1).
6. To the right of the FILTER 1 title bar, you should see a pull-down menu that currrently says NONE. This is where you select what kind of filter FILTER 1 will be. Click on it and select COMB.
7. If you play a few notes now, you should hear a harsh, digital brassy sound.
8. Play with FILTER 1's FEEDBACK knob. You should notice that the lower the value is, the noisier the sound is. The higher you set it, the more the tonality comes through. The DAMPING knob has a similar effect, but high values will brighten the sound, while lower ones are noisier, but duller. The PITCH knob defaults to the value that will provide a properly tuned sound across the keyboard. So don't mess with this unless you are looking for more atonal sounds, or where specific pitch isn't important.
9. Now head back down to the NOISE oscillator again. Try playing notes while adjusting the COLOR knob. Generally, low values result in more restrained timbres, more appropriate for imitating 'real' instruments, and the higher you set it, the harsher and more 'digital' it sounds.
10. As if this wasn't enough, you'll notice there is a drop-down menu next to the NOISE titlebar that gives you several options for different types of noise. Try playing with these in conjunction with the previously mentioned parameters and it should be fairly evident that a rather wide variety of different timbres are available here.
11. Now that you've explored some of the basic, raw timbres you can get from this technique, try adding some modulation (read your damn manual). Try using ENVELOPES or LFOs or SEQUENCERs or PERFORMERS to modulate NOISE color, or the FEEDBACK level, etc. Yeah, you can set them to levels that imitate real instruments, but I think the real fun comes into the weird sounds you can make with it. And keep in mind that you still have 3 OSCILLATORS we haven't even used yet, so you can imagine the possibility for more complex sounds is just a button push or two away.

Here are two quick examples. The first is a sound I called MirageHorn, because it reminds me of the noisy, gritty textures of my first sampler, the Ensoniq Mirage, when you got REALLY lofi with it by using low sampling rates. This sound is pretty basic and is just using envelopes to modulate the various parameters. The next sound, called SteamFunq, gets into using LFOs and the PERFORMER to create an evolving arpeggiator type sound.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ultravox's Midge Ure Studio Tour

Via SOSMagazine on Youtube:

Unfortunately, they won't allow me to embed the file directly, but follow the link above. And if you've never read Sound On Sound magazine before, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Excellent, in depth gear reviews and interviews.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Electro Harmonix Mini Synth

Via peahix on YouTube:

Man, that membrane keyboard looks terrible. It's amazing there were actually multiple keyboards made that way. Anyway, the sound of this synth is nothing to write home about, but it's a bit of an oddity, and frankly looks cool which for some gear dorks like myself can be enough sometimes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WFMU Features Pre-Die Krupps Projects from Ralf Dörper

If you've never visited it before, WFMU's Beware of the Blog is a virtual treasure trove for lovers of rare and weird music. Being that it is complete with MP3's of some of this arcane weirdness, it's the kind of place that makes it very easy to waste hours of your life. Anyway, I hadn't checked it out in awhile and was interested to find this recent posting regarding some early musical projects from Ralf Dörper, who went on to be in Propaganda and Die Krupps.

From Beware of the Blog:

"Ralf Dörper is best known as a founding member of Die Krupps and Propaganda, but his musical career started earlier, as a member of avant-garde punk band S.Y.P.H. in the late 70s. When S.Y.P.H. broke up in 1980 out of protest against the commercialization of the local punk scene, he recorded his first solo project, the 7" single Eraserhead on the Rondo Biermeier label. He also collaborated with Jürgen Engler under the name Die Lemminge, releasing one 7" single Lorelei in 1981 on the Pure Freude label. In 1983 these two singles were released by UK label Operation Twilight on one 12" as Ralph Dorper's Eraserhead. Not available on the blogosphere before, here it is for your listening pleasure (if your idea of pleasure is dark electronic music from Germany...)"


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Free 'Cybernetic Mayhem' Sample Pack from Cybernetika

Via a posting by Lars of Cybernetika on KVR:

"Cybernetik Mayhem Samplepack - by Cybernetika
- October 2008 -
Compressed Size: 480 MB
Uncompressed Size: 844 MB
Sample format: 44.100-48.000khz / 16 bit .WAV

Download link (right click, save as):

These are the best samples I used in my released or unreleased tracks. This Sample Pack is focused on Dark & Cybernetic Sounds for Psytrance, Techno, Drum'n'Bass, Dark Ambient & IDM.

Feel free to use them in your tracks, these samples are 100% free to use however you like to use them. Please give me some credit if you use them and like them.

The samples are organized in 5 categories:

Dark Neurofunk Basses and Reeces, and some trance bass sounds.

Pads & Atmos:
Nightmare pads & post-apocalyptic ambient soundscapes.

Robotic Future FX, mostly one shot samples.

Psy Riffs & Sequences:
Mind-bending leads, FM assaults, acid sequences

Percussion Loops:
Digital Drumloops, from technoid to glitchy. "

Something to Gain...

If you're anything like me, when you are first building your mix, you may have to drop the levels of all your channels a time or two so that your levels aren't clipping. This is easy enough to do in Logic... you simply highlight all the channel names on your mixer, and drag one of the level sliders and all of the selected channels will move in proportion, thus letting you adjust levels without losing the balance of the mix you just built. There is one problem with this. If you have any sort of volume automation on any of your tracks, once you play back your project the levels on those automated tracks will jump back to their original levels. This is because automation values are absolute and not relative. So how can you have flexibility with changing your mix levels without having to redo all of your volume automation? Use Logic's "Gain" plug in (located under the Utility plug-ins) and automate THAT instead of the actual track volume. Gain works by adding or subtracting volume relative to the track's level, so no matter what you change the track's level to, the gain automation will increase or decrease in the proper proportion, thus preserving the proper balance of your mix.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Talkin' 'bout a Convolution

Although the technology has existed for quite some time, it is only relatively recently that the average studio computer has had the processing power to take full advantage of Convolution Reverbs in real time. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, you can think of a convolution reverb as a 'reverb sampler'. Ever been in a cathedral and wished you could apply the magnificent reverb it had onto your home recordings? Convolution allows you to do just that. There are a couple different methods of doing this, but the most common one is to make a recording of a very short, sharp sound (think starter pistol) in the environment in question. This is known as an 'Impulse Response'. That sound is loaded into your convolution reverb of choice, and the software uses the recording to apply the characteristics of the reverb to whatever sound you apply it to. It's an extremely powerful technique that has put otherwise impossible to get reverbs at the fingertips of computer musicians everywhere. But you can also use it for some unusual special effects that might not necessarily fall under the traditional definition of a reverb. Because this technique uses a sound recording to create its effect, one not need restrict themselves to the short, sharp sounds traditionally used for impulse responses. Have a go at loading in a bit of speech, a drum loop, or anything with a rhythmic quality to it, and you get effects somewhere between reverb and creative gating. Different convolution reverbs have different restrictions, but in Logic this is quite easy to achieve in the included Space Designer plug-in. Simply apply the reverb to the track in question, click on the IR Sample menu (on the left) and select 'load IR sample'. Select your audio, and you're off! It may take some experimentation to get the ideal results, but that's part of the fun. Below is quick example where I loaded a drum loop as the IR sample and applied it to a piano.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Goa and Psytrance Bass Sounds

Just a link to a thread on the KVR forums where a user named ZenPunkHippy gives a lot of useful advice on programming and producing synth bass sounds for Goa and Psytrance tracks...


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Burikusu!!! Remix Contest

Vember Audio, creators of the critically acclaimed Surge softsynth, in conjunction with 23db Records are happy to announce the Burikusu!!! 2080 Remix Contest. To help introduce the world to the genre-busting electronic sound of Sweden's Burikusu!!!, the band has uploaded the submix stems for their song Year 2080 for you to cut-up, remix, and smash to bits! All entries will be reviewed and judged by the band themselves, with prizes going to the top two contestants:

1. FIRST PLACE PRIZE - A free copy of Vember Audio's critically acclaimed Surge softsynth, a signed copy of the Burikusu!!! debut album 2080 (out on November 17th on 23db Records), and free copies of the entire 23db Records catalog!

2. SECOND PLACE PRIZE - Free copies of the entire 23db catalog, including releases by SD6, Lost Signal, Nerve Filter, and Burikusu!!!

Now for those pesky rules.

The remix kit (including stems) is downloadable at:

All submissions should be in MP3 format at 320kps and should be sent to:

Deadline for all submissions is November 5th, 2008. Winners will be announced November 7th, 2008. The rights to stems and all remixes belong to Burikusu!!! and 23db Records. (Don't worry, we're not going to sell your remixes and make money off them, this is just to protect the band from unauthorized parties trying to commercially release their remixes. Remixes are a derivative of the original track, and thus remain under copyright protection.). By entering this contest, you are giving permission for 23db Records and Burikusu!!! to share your remix with the rest of the world as a free download. All decisions are final.

You can hear the original version of Year 2080 at

Now get to remixing and show us what you've got!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hartmann Neuron Demos

Via Testheld on YouTube:

Audio quality isn't great, but it's rare to see a demo of one of these beasties in action, so here are two:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Free DJing Software for Mac

via Synthtopia:

Note that it runs on Windows and Linux too, it's just rare to find this sort of thing free on the Mac. From the UltraMixer website:

"UltraMixer is a DJ mixing software which enables you to mix digital music in various formats such as MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, WAV or CDs in real time. All you need is a sound card. The DJ's turntables are replaced by two digital SoundPlayers, the "vinyls" are available within seconds through the integrated FileArchive.
No matter whether you want to use UltraMixer for a professional gig or at a private party or as virtual jukebox in restaurants, hair studios or medical surgeries - it will prove the right choice!

UltraMixer is the first DJ software in the world, that is available for the most popular operating systems Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

There are three versions of UltraMixer available: the Free Edition and the Basic Edition for private users and the Professional Edition for high demands and commerical use. All versions are integrated in one program, and can be activated through the appropriate licence keys. This enables the user to switch to a more advanced version without any problems."


Friday, October 3, 2008

EDP Wasp Scares Small Child

I've always wanted a Wasp and I'm not afraid to admit that it's 90% based on the way it looks. Yes, I'm just that shallow. Anyone out there have one? Opinions?

via Babytog:

Incidentally, this is pretty much exactly what my own song-writing process looks like.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Logic's Hidden Autopanner

One way to add depth and interest to a mix is to make creative use of panning instruments in the stereo field. An auto-panner allows a producer to have a track automatically pan back and forth in the mix for a pretty nifty effect that can really add energy to a mix. As well-appointed as Logic is in the plug-in department, it doesn't have an auto-panner. Or does it?

Logic's Tremolo effect has an extremely wide 'Rate' control that actually gets slow enough that you can use it for more than just standard tremolo effects. Indeed you can slow it down so far that a full cycle of panning takes 32 bars! A couple of things to remember when using this for autopan:

1. The first, and perhaps obvious one is that you need to use either a stereo or mono->stereo version of the plug-in. You won't get any results if you try to do this in mono since panning is, by nature, a stereo effect.
2. You will probably want to cut the 'Depth' value to around 75%. The full 100% will go hard left and right, which is not as pleasing to the ear as a more subtle curve.
3. Mess around with the Symmetry and Smoothing values to attain different types of curve.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Help SD6 Win Evening Magazine's "Best of the Northwest"

I try to keep the personal plugs to a minimum here, but here I am doing my second one in a week. Damn my talented friends! SD6 is a band I produced and whose debut album I released on my small label, 23db Records. Check them out, and if you like what you hear, give 'em your vote!

Direct from SD6 headquarters:

SD6 needs your vote for Best Band in Western Washington!

It's election season, and sure enough - WE NEED YOUR VOTES! We're up against some heavy hitters here, but with your help we can win the music category in Evening Magazine's Best of Western Washington! You do have to sign up to vote, but we'd REALLY appreciate the support. And remember - a vote for SD6 is a vote for all electronic artists in Western Washington. Plug-in pride, baby!

Just head over to and click the "vote" button above our photo! It only takes a minute.

If you haven't heard SD6, pay a visit to and listen to tracks from our debut album "Between Noise and Transmission"

To celebrate the nomination (and SD6's unique economic bailout plan) 23db Records is offering the full-length "Between Noise and Transmission" CD for the outstanding price of only $8.00! This offer is available exclusively at Head on over and drop one in your basket!

Thanks in advance for your support! Together, we can make a difference!

Book Recommendation: Mastering Audio - The Art & The Science

In the world of Audio Mastering, there are probably few names more famous than Bob Katz. The Grammy-winning mastering engineer is known for the high standards he applies to mastering and for inventing some new mastering technology such as K Stereo. I will admit that I don't know much about mastering, but it is something I eventually hope to pick up, and this book is a very good place to start. It's probably not for total audio noobs, as Katz doesn't 'dumb things down', but if you have some experience with audio and recording and you want to expand into the world of mastering, this should be the first book you read.