Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Diego Stocco Jams on a... Dinner Plate?

Diego Stocco - Improv on a Plate from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.

You may know Diego Stocco as the mad scientist sound designer responsible for some of the more interesting sound sources in Spectrasonics Omnisphere (burning piano, anyone?) Here, he builds a performance out of recordings he made using nothing more than a dinner plate. I often hear musicians lament that they can't afford the latest and greatest softsynths. I think Stocco proves that so long as you have a mic and a sampler, the everyday world can provide plenty of interesting sounds if you're willing to put in the time.

Access Announces Virus Ti OS 5

Including 2 additional, assignable envelopes, new filters, selectable filter slopes, and more...

Free Binaural Beat Generator for Mac

I'll be honest, I think the whole Binaural Beat thing is a load of bollocks, but if that's your thing, Thomas Glendinning has just released an absolutely free Binaural Beat generator for Mac. Supports both AU and VST format.

Custom 6-Tier Keyboard Stand

Info at the listing...

Tama Techstar TS-206 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Drumfire Drum Synth on eBay

Info at the listing...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Your Monday Morning Cup of Cute

"Cute" and "Depeche Mode" are not usually words you hear thrown around together, but this video may change that for you. The world would be a better place if more parents shared their love of music with their children. Dad is quite the multi-tasker, too! I guess all parents are, though, aren't they?

Siel DK-600 on eBay

Info at the listing...

MFB 522 Drumcomputer on eBay

Info at the listing...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Arturia MiniBrute Sounds Demo

Woohoo! Sounds super nasty! I love it.

[via SoundsAndGear on YouTube]

"Single Blip": Second Single from Clarke/Gore Collab

Here is "Single Blip", the second single from VCMG, the collaboration between past Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke and present Depeche Mode member Martin Gore. The full length album, entitled "Ssss" will be released on Mute records March 13th.

A Record Player That Reads Tree Rings Instead of Vinyl

YEARS from Bartholomäus Traubeck on Vimeo.

This is the work of a German artist named Batholomaus Traubeck, who devised a way to use digital cameras to read the rings of tree slices and translate the result into piano music. The resulting work is appropriately entitled "Years".

[via Gizmag]

Moog Opus 3 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Sequential Circuts Six Trak on eBay

Info at the listing...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Polaroid Kiss - Pay Your Dues (Assemblage 23 Rmx)

Polaroid Kiss - Pay Your Dues (Assemblage 23 Remix) by Polaroid Kiss

I don't post my own work here very often, but I thought I'd share this remix I completed earlier this week as it includes sounds from both the Waveformless Soundware DUNE Spiceflow soundset as well as the recently released Omnisphere Encompass set.

Mix n' Match

Some time ago, I wrote an article suggesting that you could get interesting results on drums if you combined a dry snare with a fully-wet reverbed different snare at the proper levels, you could get some unique sounding drum and percussion sounds.

It just so happens that this works on synths, too. Try setting up a lead line on a dry (no reverb) synth lead sound. Copy that sequence to a new instrument track and call up a different synth lead. Now, feed the second synth lead through any sort of reverb you like with the wet dry mix at 100% wet. You can get some really striking sounds this way. Don't just try it with reverb either. Try distorting one layer and keeping another clean, etc.

Pearl Drum-X Drum Synth on eBay

Info at the listing...

Sequential Circuits Prophet 10 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rob Papen Demos "Blade"

Sonic State has a look at Rob Papen's upcoming synth Blade.

Thinking on Your Feet

If you perform live long enough, sooner or later you will have to deal with a disrespectful audience member or two. Such was the case with violinist Lukáš Kmiť , who was performing in an orthodox synagogue when someone in the audience's Nokia cell phone started ringing. The way Kmit' handles it is fantastic.

MOTU Announces Windows Version of Digital Performer

Every since its earliest incarnation in the mid-eighties, Mark of the Unicorn's Digital Performer has been a Mac-only DAW. All that changes, though, with the announcement of Digital Performer for Windows in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. The new version includes new features for both Mac and PC versions including new Guitar and Bass Amp modeling plug-ins, an improved video engine, and new visual themes. For more info check out the MOTU page.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sonic State Looks at the Arturia MiniBrute

Here's a look at the features behind the Arturia MiniBrute hosted by Charles Rehill, who just happens to be the guy behind Lost Signal, a project I've put out several releases for. Check out his music!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sonic State Looks at the Moog Minitaur

Sounds pretty fat. Might have to pick this one up, too.

Free Sample Friday: BOOZE!

As you may have heard on the news, Seattle has had a bunch of unseasonably wintery weather in the past couple of days. The mixture of snow and ice and the fact that Seattle only owns a handful of snowplows means that when it snows here, everything shuts down. And when everything shuts down, everyone goes to the store and stocks up on booze. So in that spirit, today we have 8 samples sourced from beer cans and bottles. 24-bit, 44.1k WAVs. As always, I urge you not to think of these as finished samples, but as the starting point for new and interesting sounds. Time stretch the hell out of them... use them as attack transients for other sounds... just have fun with them. Bottoms up!

360 Systems Spectre Guitar Synth (Oberheim SEM) on eBay

Info at the listing...

Novation A Station on eBay

Info at the listing...

Moog Liberation with Case on eBay

Info at the listing...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Look at Teenage Engineering's OpLab

Casio Re-enters the Synth Market

Prior to the teases they started leaking last week, it had been ages since Casio released a "professional" synthesizer. All that looks to change, however with the announcement of the XW-P1 and XW-G1. Pricing is said to be around $699. Here are the specs:

"6 Oscillator Monophonic Solo Synthesizer (Both)
Sample Looper - Up to 19 Seconds of sampling time (XW-G1)
Sample Player - 10 user tones with up to 5 samples each can be stored in Flash Memory for instant recall (XW-G1)
HexLayer - A single sound made up of 6 components for gig ready splits and layers (XW-P1)
Drawbar Organ Mode with 9 sliders, adjustable rotary speaker, key click, vibrato and percussion (XW-P1)
Fully editable PCM based sounds like stereo pianos, vintage electric pianos, strings, guitars,
drums and more. (400 XW-P1) 300 (XW-G1)
13 Track Step Sequencer (Both)
16 step programmable Arpeggiator (Both)
Performance mode providing 4 internal or external instrument zones with instant recall of effects, Step Sequences, Arpeggiators and Phrases (Both)
4 real-time controller knobs (Both)
Phrase sequencer to record and playback your riffs (Both)
Stereo 1/8" line input to connect an MP3 player, laptop or tablet (Both)
USB and MIDI ports (Both)
1/4" Line Outputs (Both)
Included Power Supply (Both)
Can operate on 6 D batteries (Both)"

Video Profile on the Arturia MiniBrute

Yep, I think I need this.

Studiologic Announces Sledge Synthesizer

Studiologic, mainly known for their controller keyboards previously, have released their first synthesizer, the Sledge. The Sledge is a 3 oscillator virtual analog synth that includes not only the standard analog waveforms, but a full set of wavetables from the PPG Wave. Also includes a Waldorf-modelled multimode filter, selectable white and pink noise, hard sync, an arpeggiator, fast envelopes, and a basic selection of effects. No word on pricing yet.

Waldorf Announces Pulse 2 Analog Synth

Man, remember when Winter NAMM used to be "the boring one"? Not this year, it seems!

Waldorf has announced the Pulse 2 Analog Synthesizer. The Pulse 2 builds on the original Pulse architecture of 3 analog oscillators and an analog filter by adding new highpass and bandpass modes for the filter, Filter FM, and ring modulation. It also features a paraphonic mode that allows up to 8 notes to be played at once. All this is in a compact, metal desktop case similar to the Blofeld. No pricing or release date has been mentioned yet.

Arturia Announces Minibrute Hardware (!) Analog(!!) Synth

Wow, did not see this coming! Arturia, most famous for their softsynths, has announced the MiniBrute, a genuine analog synth rumored to be priced around 500 Euro. This would be cool news in itself, but it includes a filter modeled after the rare Steiner-Parker Synthacon, CV/Gate in and out, and lots of other cool features. Granted, NAMM only starts today, but it seems safe to say that Arturia may be the ones to beat in terms of coolest announcement of the show.

Akai Introduces the MPC Fly

A pretty clever design combining a hardware control surface and an iPad2 app.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kawai K5 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Korg Poly 61 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Review: Impact Soundworks Shreddage Bass - Picked Edition: DI Electric Bass

Product: Shreddage Bass - Picked Edition: DI Electric Bass
Format: Native Instruments Kontakt 4 or later as download
Demo: On the product page.
Price: $59

An electric bass sample library based around recordings of a Music Man Sterling electric bass run through a high end Avalon DI, sampled at 24bit/96k and downsampled to 24bit/44.1k. The instruments are sampled at multiple velocities (three, to be specific) and in round-robin (4x downstrokes and 4x upstrokes) to avoid static, synthetic sounding basslines.

The latest sample library from Impact Soundworks consists of 4 expertly-mapped instruments for Native Instruments' Kontakt 4 or later sourced from the classic Music Man Sterling electric bass. The instruments are: Shreddage Picked Bass Combo, Shreddage Picked Bass Mute, Shreddage Picked Bass Open, and Shreddage Picked Bass Slides.

Additionally, the instruments feature a custom interface within Kontakt allowing you to alter Sub, Presence, and Edge. Effects such as Octaves, Amp, Compression, and Limiter are also available to help get you closer to the "ready for the mix" sound.

As with their previous libraries, Impact Soundworks has done a bang-up job with Shreddage Bass: Picked Edition. The recordings are pristine, the matching between samples is perfect, and, provided you take a realistic playing technique to mind, it sounds uncannily real in use. One of the things I find especially appealing about these samples is that the tone is a sort of perfect neutral starting point. Although it includes some rudimentary effects to sculpt the sound, the best results will come from applying your own effects chain and coloring it however you like. As it is, though, it's hard to think of a style these samples wouldn't work in. If you need a really specific tone right out of the box, this might not be the library for you, but if you're looking for a good, flexible library of electric bass sounds, this would be a great place to start! [10/10]