Friday, 23 June 2017

Spitfire Audio debuts dry scoring stage ensemble library innovation inspired by legacy of iconic film composer namesake

Spitfire Audio, purveyors of the finest virtual instruments from the finest musical samples in the world, is proud to announce availability of BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT — taking inspiration from the electric genius of its iconic composer namesake (noted for his lengthy legacy of fresh film scores such as Citizen Kane, Psycho, Vertigo, and Taxi Driver that continue to inspire today’s composers) when working exclusively with The Bernard Herrmann Estate to curate and assemble a unique set of studio orchestra ensembles informed directly by a legendary orchestration aesthetic recorded at London’s legendary AIR Studios (Studio 1) by Abbey Road Studios Senior Engineer Simon Rhodes (Avatar, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Magnificent Seven) before being ‘translated’ to Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform as an orchestral innovation for all.

“No composer contributed more to film than Bernard Herrmann, who, in over fifty scores, enriched the work of such directors as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, François Truffaut, and Martin Scorsese.” So stated Bernard Herrmann biographer Steve C. Smith. So when the opportunity arose for Spitfire Audio to collaborate with his estate, excitement throughout the cutting-edge company co-founded by working film composers was understandably palpable.
Putting the resultant BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT into its rightful perspective, Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson touts, “This is an incredibly vivid, tense, and exciting collection of recordings. It covers all kinds of things, from more slightly standard orchestral instruments through to unusual combinations of orchestral instruments, some synths, and some more esoteric instruments in there as well. This is definitely not a vintage sound source, so we’re not looking at recreating the sound of movies of the Sixties. What we’re looking at is the inspiration of a giant of cinema. Bernard Herrmann’s career started with Citizen Kane and finished with Taxi Driver, and he did a colourful collection of Hitchcock movies in between. But not just that; he was also a very passionate advocate for new music, championing the careers of many composers who would never have been heard otherwise. We’ve taken his original scores from some of his key movies and we’ve looked at the way that he tended to combine instruments, and we’ve used that as the inspiration for how we’ve recorded this collection of sounds.” 

Spitfire Audio’s enlightening promo video for B.HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT 

So how, exactly, did the steadfast Spitfire Audio team set about recording what would become BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT? Well, working exclusively with The Bernard Herrmann Estate to curate and assemble a unique set of studio orchestra ensembles informed directly by a legendary orchestration aesthetic, all duly decamped to Studio 1 within London’s legendary AIR Studios — complete with its unique AIR-custom Neve/Focusrite large-format mixing desk with 72 channels incorporating original ‘AIR Monserrat’ mic preamps and GML automation, alongside a 140m² fully-floated floor live room capable of accommodating up to 45 musicians — in the capable company of Abbey Road Studios Senior Engineer Simon Rhodes — who has a longstanding association with various composers, including the late James Horner whom he worked with for 18 years on over 40 projects including Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time — to capture players performing as Bernard Herrmann himself would have done had he still been working today… boisterous, lively, and upfront.

 Paul Thomson’s ‘traditional’ B.HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT video walkthrough
Unusual instrumental combis, selected groups, chords, effects, and much more are the supremely sampled order of the day with BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT, tasty musical morsels served up in an easily accessible form from within Spitfire Audio’s already-familiar GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) and organised as follows: STUDIO ORCHESTRA; HIGH STRINGS; HIGH STRINGS OCTAVES; HIGH STRINGS HALF SECTION; LOW STRINGS; LOW STRINGS AND HORNS; LOW STRINGS AND TROMBONES; PICCOLO AND FLUTES; CONCERT FLUTES; MIXED FLUTES; FLUTES AND CLARINETS; COR ANGLAIS, CLARINET, AND TRUMPET; OBOES, BASSOONS, AND HORNS; TRUMPET AND XYLOPHONE; HORNS; MID BRASS; TROMBONES; TROMBONES AND TIMPANI; HARP AND CELESTE; HARP AND VIBRAPHONE; ONDES MARTENOT; PERCUSSION; TIMPANI; and SYNTHS. Speaking of the latter, included in the ‘advanced’ folder are over 30 patches inspired by Bernard Herrmann’s use of synthesisers in combination with orchestral material, all of which can be controlled using Spitfire Audio’s Mercury Synth GUI, an ingenious interface initiating instant interaction without forcing users to delve deep under the KONTAKT hood; helpfully, all controls are assignable to (compatible) control surfaces, so users can quickly make Spitfire Audio’s synth sounds their own with minimal fuss.

Much fuss has been made about Bernard Herrmann, however. And deservedly so since he is one of the great modern composers, after all. His work for TV and film is nothing short of iconic, and truly synonymous with mid-20th Century cinema. Collaborating with Orson Welles on Citizen Kane (1941), Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver (1976), and in longterm partnership with Alfred Hitchcock on scores such as Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), and beyond, the sheer magnitude of critical works is breathtaking. But not only did his work have a significant impact on popular culture at the time, more recently those works have been used to invigorate contemporary scores, such as Quentin Tarantino’s twist on the Twisted Nerve theme in 2003’s Kill Bill, 35 years after its inception — an eerie whistle which is now instantly identifiable worldwide.

Spitfire Audio ‘composer in residence’ Oliver Patrice Weder’s 
B.HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT ‘In Action’ video 
 But Bernard Herrmann demonstrated a unique and trailblazing compositional style throughout his celebrated career. His orchestrations were entirely original, daring, and inventive — albeit always appropriate for the context, so subsequently incredibly influential in film scoring. Psycho — famed for its strings-only approach — is an obvious example of a totally new way to score a thriller. The bold selection of specific instrumental ensembles — the infamous Torn Curtain featured 12 flutes, for instance — and choice of interesting combinations — harp and vibraphone in Vertigo; stopped horns and pizzicato strings in North by Northwest (1959) — challenged the status quo. Equally, experimenting with electronic instruments in scores — the Ondes Martenot in The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) and amplified Moog synths in 1972’s Sisters and Endless Night — brought with them sounds previously unheard in cinemas. However, Herrmann also went as far as to affect change in the performance style of players, requesting that they did not play in the then-traditional, somewhat overblown nature that other Hollywood composers of the time tended towards.

Outside of his innovative scoring for film for which he remains best known, Herrmann had boundless curiosity and a genuine love of new music, championing the names of several composers who became household names as a result of his hard work as a conductor. As Chief Conductor to the CBS Symphony Orchestra, and the many radio broadcasts he made with them, he helped bring a huge variety of often little-heard music to the masses.

In short, Bernard Herrmann was a truly individual voice, an innovative individual who stood firm against what he saw as the dilution of the art form to which he dedicated his life. Little wonder, then, that his powerful presence continues to be felt so strongly so long after his passing, respected by and resonating with today’s film composing community. It is in this spirit that Spitfire Audio brings BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT to bear on today’s ever-expanding compositional climate as an orchestral innovation for all. As Paul Thomson tellingly concludes — for the right reasons, it’s all in there for the taking: “Tons and tons of really great material, recorded in a tight, dry acoustic that is a very, very fine room through a lot of amazing mics by Simon Rhodes. It really is a wonderful-sounding library — hope you’re going to enjoy using this and looking forward to seeing what you come up with.”

BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as 225.0 GB of uncompressed .WAV files, featuring 186,742 samples) for a time-limited introductory promo price of £339.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$399.00 USD/€409.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until Thursday, July 6, 2017 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of £429.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$499.00 USD/€509.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/bernard-herrmann-composer-toolkit/

Note that BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT needs Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.5 and above) — included in the purchase — while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application for Mac or PC allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

For more in-depth informaton, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT webpage here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/bernard-herrmann-composer-toolkit/


About Spitfire Audio (www.spitfireaudio.com)
Spitfire Audio produces the finest virtual instruments from the finest musical samples in the world. It was set up by a British group of composers, sound-smiths, producers, engineers, and technologists wanting to revolutionise sampling and bring it back to the centre of the music industry. Like any new music technology — from radio to synthesisers, sampling was (initially) perceived as a threat to music-making and music-makers. Spitfire Audio is at the vanguard of changing that perception; its main goal is to promote British music-making the world over while distributing royalties via an ever-growing distribution chain to its contributors — musicians, engineers, technicians, producers, and artists alike — based on sales. Spitfire Audio puts millions of pounds back into the British music industry while supporting charities and initiatives, both in the UK and beyond. (The fact that the company has become the second-biggest contributor to UNICEF via JustGiving.com by giving away samples in return for donations speaks louder than words.) By doing this, Spitfire Audio gets to work at the best places with the best people to make the best sounds on the planet today.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Antelope Audio announces availability of Goliath HD heavyweight pro audio interface flagship

Having relatively recently turned heads heady and blown musical minds with its showstopping showcase when launched at Musikmesse 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, high-end professional audio equipment manufacturer Antelope Audio is proud to announce availability of Goliath HD — its heavyweight Thunderbolt™/USB3.0/HDX Port/MADI pro audio interface flagship with ZERø-latency FPGA Engine and AFC Clocking Technology that represents the culmination of years of research and development, destined to capably serve as a powerful centrepiece of modern recording studios worldwide with 64 channels of highest-quality audio I/O and an abundance of powerful upgrades, including new adaptable Accusonic preamps alongside a full suite of hardware-based FPGA (Field Programable Gate Array) effects and much more besides.
Goliath by name, Goliath by nature; Goliath HD boasts best-in-class connectivity flexibility and pristine conversion while bringing Antelope Audio’s advanced approach to audio processing with its comprehensive suite of hardware-based effects — enabling hardware models of some of the most desirable vintage effects around with realtime performance — to both Pro Tools | HD and Native DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) systems. Says Antelope Audio CEO Igor Levin: “With Goliath HD, even the most sophisticated studios can access the market-leading features and innovations that only Antelope Audio interfaces can provide. Goliath HD, which works seamlessly in Pro Tools environments, is an uncompromising studio tool that improves overall sound quality while vastly expanding overall functionality.”

For starters, Goliath HD clearly cuts ahead of the competition courtesy of an exceptionally powerful, cutting-edge FPGA chip, delivering desirable hardware models of many sought-after vintage effects units with real-time performance without relying on DSP or native processing. Indeed, its users can currently access over 40 free real-time models of legendary EQs, compressors, guitar amps and cabs from the likes of BAE, Grove Hill, Gyraf Audio, and Lang. These not only behave and sound as authentic as the real world hardware that inspired them, but can be equally easily applied to recording, mixing, and mastering music. Moreover, though Native plug-ins are attractively convenient, FPGA freely offers a whole new level of performance and sonic excellence that plug-in solutions simply cannot accomplish alone.

As Antelope Audio’s flagship professional audio interface, connectivity, of course, comes naturally to Goliath HD, allowing it to instantly interface digitally with both Mac and PC platforms via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. It also delivers dual MADI (Multichannel Audio Digital Interface) connections, compatible with MADI to Dante Bridge products, permitting users to access all audio streams from anywhere within their Dante-enabled facility. Further refining the recording experience for Pro Tools | HD users, Antelope Audio’s proprietary HDX Delay Compensation technology allows any analogue or digital input to arrive at the timeline with sample accuracy. As such, integration of digital sources with Pro Tools | HD software is both refined and unparalleled. Users can even have a Pro Tools | HD and a Native DAW setup simultaneously interface with Goliath HD.

With 64 channels of I/O comfortably accommodated within a modest-sized 2U rack device that is as easy on the eye as it is easy to use with monitor and level indicators alongside a responsive touchscreen, Goliath HD pushes the envelope in pro audio interface design. Duly included are 16 of Antelope Audio’s all-new Accusonic mic preamps with individual push-and-turn-style volume controls, making multitrack recording a breeze by further leveraging the realtime processing capabilities of the company’s FPGA hardware and allowing accurate hardware-powered circuitry to complement any microphone selection — with or without any additional outboard gear. Get this, though: impressive iOS and Android apps allow users to remotely adjust those mic preamps and output volumes while freely moving around wherever Goliath HD is installed.
 Watch Antelope Audio’s informative introductory Goliath HD video
Impressively, Goliath HD’s 32 analogue inputs achieve an accomplished 124dB of dynamic range while its 32 analogue outputs offer up to 129dB. Combine that with mastering-grade monitor outputs that reach the heady heights of 132dB — thanks to new dynamic range-boosting technology like no other — and Goliath HD duly delivers a new level of mix detail, the likes of which has hitherto never before been witnessed in the digital recording world.

While supplying sufficient analogue connectivity through its mic preamps and multiple 25-pin D-SUB connectors, Goliath HD helpfully has several specialised inputs and outputs that do away with necessarily needing excessive amounts of external equipment, including four front panel-positioned guitar DI inputs (G1 through to G4), two transformer-based re-amp outputs (R1 and R2), an inbuilt talkback mic, and two headphone outs (HP1 and HP2), plus a pair of rear-mounted analogue INSERTS. In addition, Goliath HD has an abundance of clock signal distribution connectivity with AES/EBU, MADI, ADAT, S/PDIF, and BNC connectors (for loop sync or standard word clock usage). Ultimate audio experience comes courtesy of Goliath HD’s 10M IN clock input to connect to Antelope Audio’s acclaimed 10M Rubidium Atomic Clock or 10MX Rubidium Atomic Clock for the best clocking in the industry with unparalleled sonic satisfaction.

Still better, the Goliath HD desktop application also facilitates full control of input and output routing, as well as sub-mixes and effects processing. Thanks to Antelope Audio’s recently released Session Presets application, all of that functionality — including specific FPGA effects and HDX compensation settings — is instantaneously recallable and shareable, so this makes Goliath HD a perfect partner for Pro Tools | HD-based studios with multiple rooms or artists working in several environments. Either way, users can simply dial in a particular session and access it at any time or location with the click of a mouse (or trackpad).
But beyond a wealth of features making it more versatile than any other pro audio interface on the market, Goliath HD also sounds quite unlike any other pro audio interface. Indeed, it sports the lowest THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) available in a multi-channel interface across all 64 of its I/O channels. It is powered by the most powerful ESS chips available and — as boldly blazoned across its impressive facia — Antelope Audio’s AFC (Acoustically Focused Clocking) jitter-management technology and nonpareil noise-lowering know-how serve to set a new standard in digital conversion clarity. Concludes Igor Levin: “No other interface on the market is able to serve such a powerful and flexible centrepiece for the modern recording studio. Goliath HD is a ‘must-have’ for both advanced users and prolific recording studios around the world.”

Which is exactly why Antelope Audio will be displaying and demoing Goliath HD on Booth 443 at Summer NAMM 2017, July 13-15, Music City Center, Nashville, TN, USA. Ultimately, witnesses will be wowed when seeing and hearing the ultimate professional audio interface in action… and then they can invest in one — or more — as it is now available to purchase through Antelope Audio’s growing global network of dealers!

Shipping now, Goliath HD is available to purchase through Antelope Audio’s growing global network of dealers with an MSRP of €6,995.00 EUR. For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Goliath HD webpage here: http://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/goliath-hd/
For more information about Antelope Audio’s FPGA effects, including a full library list, please visit the dedicated webpage here: http://antelopeaudio.com/hardware-based-fpga-effects/
About Antelope Audio (www.antelopeaudio.com)
Antelope Audio is a leading manufacturer of high-end professional audio equipment, pioneering the adoption of atomic clock generators in audio master clocks through utilising CEO Igor Levin’s 25-plus years of experience in digital audio. Antelope was the first company to design a 1U 32-channel audio interface and a multi-channel portable interface with 12 mic pres. The company’s customers include many GRAMMY® award-winning sound engineers and some of the most renowned recording, mastering, and post-production facilities around the globe.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Audified gives generous 60% discount deal during one-week pricing promo on inValve Effects native plug-ins

Host application and audio effects developer Audified is proud to announce an attractive 60% discount deal during a one-week pricing promo on inValve Effects — its second-generation suite of three (already-affordable) native plug-ins pushing the boundaries of simulating proven valve processing hardware with accurate modelling of analogue circuitry and valve characteristics.

Now in its second-generation incarnation, inValve Effects has history, dating back to Audified’s decade-old origins as DSound, developing its VL2 Multichannel Valve Interface plug-in exclusively for TC Electronic’s proprietary Power|Core platform as a direct result of the phenomenal growth of affordable hard disk-based recording systems. As an accurate software simulation of UK audio product manufacturer TL Audio’s venerable VL-1 valve interface, an eight-channel rack-mountable ‘rose-tinted’ affair designed for use with — and to bring sought-after analogue warmth to — the commonplace eight-track digital recorders of the time, it proved popular by balancing pristine digital audio quality with the richness of valves neatly wrapped in the plain-sailing functionality of a plug-in. Put simply, the VL2 Multichannel Valve Interface was conceived as a means of easily adding the clarity and warmth of valve circuitry during mixing or mastering within any Power|Core-accelerated VST or RTAS plug-in environment at up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution. What was not to like?

 inValve Preamp can be seen and heard in this informative introductory video

Later the popular product line was extended, renamed to inValve, while DSound itself became Audiffex — later, Audified. As it still utilised Power|Core-provided DSP acceleration, accurate modelling of analogue circuitry and valve characteristics couldn’t be better (or simpler) than when using inValve — providing Power|Core remained an actively viable platform, of course. Cue TC Electronic’s disappointing decision to discontinue developing it — including hardware units as well as software — as part of a larger strategic review back in 2011. In an instant inValve was to be no more… or was it?

 inValve Compressor can be seen and heard in this informative introductory video

Interestingly, with many musicians and engineers still interested in accessing those warmer inValve sounds, Audiffex released the inValve Effects software suite in 2012, comprising three native plug-ins emulating hybrid valve devices and available in AU and VST versions with 64-bit support. inValve Preamp was almost the same as the original VL2 Multichannel Valve Interface plug-in while inValve Effects also added the self-explanatory inValve Compressor and inValve Equaliser to the welcome mix. Moreover, the complete bundle was affordably priced at $49.00 USD — unmissable really, bearing in mind that the original inValve bundle was priced at $250.00 USD (and the original VL2 Multichannel Valve Interface plug-in weighed in alone at $119.00 USD)!

 inValve Equaliser can be seen and heard in this informative introductory video
 
Ultimately, after another rebranding exercise, Audified’s second-generation inValve Effects software suite serves up those same affordable and still-popular plug-ins, each running in 64-bit on native platforms (AAX/AU/VST2/VST3) with full support of Mac OS X 10.12 and Windows 10. Since standard and multichannel versions have helpfully been merged into one universal version, each plug-in can handle up to eight channels without the need to use a specialised multichannel version. All add warmth and smoothness still to analogue-like mixes, but bring welcome AAX support to the Avid Pro Tools community (fully supporting bypass functionality) while dropping the RTAS plug-in format. DSP (Digital Signal Processing) performance, however, is improved — as is the high-quality GUI (Graphical User Interface) given to all three plug-ins — in keeping with the passage of time.

Today, though, the already-affordable ($49.00 USD) inValve Effects (momentarily) drops down to only $19.00 USD, courtesy of an attractive 60% discount deal during a one-week pricing promo… pay by clicking Add to Cart online today at Audified and make mixing more satisfying than ever before by saving more than ever before! Best be quick, though… that seductive software suite will soon be back to full (pocket-friendly) pricing!

inValve Effects is available to purchase at a discounted price of $19.00 USD from June 19 through to June 25, 2017 — rising to $49.00 USD thereafter — from Audified’s online shop here: https://shop.audified.com/collections/products/products/invalve-plugins
inValve Effects can be directly downloaded as a multi-format (AAX, AU, VST2, VST3), 32- and 64-bit native plug-in suite for Mac(OS X 10.6 to 10.12) and Windows (7 to 10) — alongside a demo version — from Audified here: http://services.audified.com/download/inValve 


About Audified (www.audified.com)
Audified is the premier brand of privately-owned Boskovice-based DISK Multimedia, s.r.o. in the Czech Republic, created to develop specialised audio applications, as well as handling the company’s high-end hardware product portfolio. Pioneering the development of audio applications for live (realtime) performance, as well as developing the first audio effects plug-ins for Apple’s Mac OS X, the company created some of the first plug-ins for Power|Core, TC Electronic’s hardware-accelerated DSP platform, prompting the Danish developer’s then-PR Manager Thomas Valter to comment, “Our two companies have been working closely together on various projects, and we are very satisfied with the products that have been a result of our cooperation.” Consequently, the company returned to its host application and audio effects developmental roots in 2007 by branding itself with the Audiffex appellation to resourcefully reflect that directional change. Credentials apart, Audified is not just a for-profit business, however; its parental company clearly cares about the future of audio software/hardware development, developing partnerships with both Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno, Czech Republic — realising a research project to bring modern audio engineering technologies to music education, and also Brno University of Technology, one of the Czech Republic’s leading research and teaching institutions — working with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication Technologies on scientific projects. Participating in organising entry exams and teaching at these highly-respected higher education establishments has helped establish the first specialised studies of audio engineering in the Czech Republic. In keeping with spreading the (audio engineering) word, Audified has helpfully seen fit to recently release a range of free plug-ins, available from here: http://shop.audified.com/collections/products/free#tags

© 2017 Audified

Friday, 16 June 2017

Plugin Alliance adds karacter to DAW domain with exacting emulation of elysia stereo saturator

“elysia has a knack for making products with features you didn’t know you needed until you tried them; the karacter plugin is no exception. Turbo Boost is awesome — crank it up until it sounds crazy, then back off the mix until you find the sweet spot… super fun!”
- Ethan Mates, recording engineer/mixer/producer (Linkin Park, American Idol, Anastacia), 2017


Plugin Alliance, a new ‘Über-standard’ supporting all major plugin formats and uniting some of the best-known international audio companies under one virtual roof, is proud to announce availability of karacter — an exacting emulation of German high-end processor manufacturer (and Plugin Alliance partner) elysia’s discrete class-A stereo saturator namesake, known affectionately as “The Coloring Box” because of the wondrous ways in which it fattens and adds sparkle to tracks, as a plugin par excellence (engineered by Brainworx) 

 Watch elysia’s Tom Van Den Heuvel’s overview of karacter here
karacter is actually a bundle of two plugins — karacter mix and karacter master, the former providing a straightforward set of controls for treating mono and stereo tracks, while the more surgical latter lets users process full mixes, stereo stems, and subgroups, thanks to its independent left and right channel controls or, in MS Mode, mid and side channels. Choose either, and characterful sounds shine forth for sure, separating them from the plugin pack. After all, elysia has a well-deserved reputation for building pioneering products of quality and distinction that really represent a paradigm shift in studio processing; plugins bearing the manufacturer’s notable name capably convey those admirable attributes in digital form.


Elysia’s Tom Van Den Heuvel’s sounds- and effects-focused karacter walkthrough
For both the karacter mix and karacter master plugins provide three different modes with which users can paint project tracks with colorful harmonics — hence that (“Coloring Box”) tagline thrust upon their hardware counterpart. Creatively, the standard saturation mode makes for fattening gently while heightening (odd) harmonics — heavenly when it comes to mastering and also for adding subtle size to pristine-sounding instruments such as acoustic guitars and grand pianos. FET Shred mode mimics the pleasing distortion of a driven tube amp, adding a relative boost to (even) harmonics that transform clinical-sounding electric guitar and bass tracks into bad boys! Turbo Boost mode — only available in FET Shred mode — should surely carry a warning! Why? Waging total harmonic destruction, it hard-clips signal tops like a weed whacker and sounds superb whether used for far-reaching processing of individual tracks or being tasked with severe sound design duties.

Charles Stella’s saturation- and overdrive-focused karacter walkthrough 
 Days of yore required racks packed with outboard gear to achieve elusive and highly-desirable styles of tonal saturation. Such serious outlay is not necessarily needed today, thanks to karacter… choose the desired saturation mode, then push it harder or softer using the Drive control to dial in ideal amounts of beautiful-sounding sparkle or meat-grinding grit. For floor-rattling bass tracks, turn up karacter’s Color control counter-clockwise to simultaneously jack up the saturated signal’s bottom end while softening its highs. Conversely, clockwise rotation of the Color control could rough out the smooth edges of clean FM (Frequency Modulation) synth tracks to dirty things up. Up top, try raining musical mayhem down on drum overheads in MS Mode by applying Turbo Boost to the kick and snare in the mid channel while creating crystalline-sounding cymbals on the side channel. Or overdrive the total kit to take things to the extreme! Either way, whether working on full mixes, drum subgroups, or stringed instruments, karacter’s Mix control can blend colorful distortion with pristine input signal to sculpt a perfect balance of girth and sonic detail. Duly transform tracks into beauty or beast with karacter!

Cutting — or boosting! — to the chase: karacter creates a wonderful world of tremendous tones and timbres courtesy of a carefully chosen small set of controls that can completely change the character of a sound, alongside a stereo M/S (Mid-Side) control that opens up several possibilities for creative effects. The choice is in there… and all keeping elysia’s well-deserved reputation alive and kicking (ass) within a convenient, creative plugin workflow without treading on the toes of any other saturator software solution out there.

karacter is available for purchase — as an AAX Native & DSP-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plugin for Mac OS X (10.8 through 10.12), Windows (7 through 10), and Pro Tools 10.3.10 (or higher) — exclusively from Plugin Alliance for $199.00 USD.

Note that the proprietary Plugin Alliance Installation Manager means users can select, download, and install only the products and formats needed for their system.

For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated karacter webpage here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/elysia_karacter.html

About Plugin Alliance (www.plugin-alliance.com)
Based in Wilmington, DE, USA, with offices in Santa Cruz, CA, USA, Plugin Alliance is more than just a website; it is a new ‘Über-standard’, supporting all major plugin formats and uniting some of the best-known international audio companies under one virtual roof. It empowers world-renowned analogue hardware companies with a digital strategy and provides software developers with services that allow them to develop products with increasing quality and quantity. It does this by providing world-class marketing and distribution, as well as platform features like a state-of-the-art authorization system. The Alliance is more than just a group of partner companies; it is a rapidly growing community of artists, engineers, producers, and industry luminaries who have joined to share what they have learned.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Impact Soundworks sustains VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS world travels to take in sampled pans flutes from afar

Impact Soundworks is proud to announce availability of the fourth entry into its VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series of deeply-sampled solo ethnic woodwinds virtual instruments, VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES, featuring (for the first time) two instruments in one — the versatile nai pan flute (from Romania) and powerful toyo bass pan flute (from Andean Peru and Bolivia) — for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT platform. 
Amazingly, as a distinctive-sounding group of musical instruments, pan flutes — also commonly known as panpipes or, less so, syrinx — independently initiated all over the world, albeit all based on the principal of the closed tube, consisting of multiple pipes of gradually increasing length (and, occasionally, girth) created from various kinds of wood or reed. With that in (musical) mind, they are a perfect fit for Impact Soundworks’ suitably-named VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series, deliberately designed to take users on a gripping global journey, capturing the tones of phenomenally performed solo woodwinds outside of the Western repertoire — Ventus being one of the Venti, wind gods in Roman mythology, who dwelt where their respective winds originated. 


Originating in ancient Romania, the nai — a higher-pitched pan flute with an instantly recognisable sound featured on countless film score and albums, thanks to its beautiful and breathy tone — prominently played a part in Impact Soundworks’ latest VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS, willingly and ably performed by composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Josh Plotner during extensive and exhaustive sampling sessions, successfully capturing all key articulations and a full range of playing techniques of the instrument in question — from expressive sustains, vibrato, flutters, and accents, to staccato notes and bends, pitched release articulations, and special extended techniques.

The lower-pitched and haunting toyo is a traditional Andean instrument with a rich history; it was originally primarily played by women, and, with its large size and multiple rows of pipes, often required two performers. These performers were musically bonded; neither could play the instrument without the other. The toyo belongs to a greater family of pan flutes known as siku, which, in turn, gives its name to the musical genre known as sikuri. 

Watch Impact Soundworks Lead Developer Andrew Aversa’s
adventurous
VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES video 
Saying that, the bright, breathy tones of both of these particular pan flutes can easily be used for ambient and soft stylings, but also respond well to extremely bright and agile playing with sharp staccatos, pops, and tongued notes. Needless to say, Impact Soundworks successfully captured their majesty — musically suited to evoking nature, sea, sky, and, appropriately (in this case), wind — for VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES when recording them in a small studio’s suitably treated room to appropriately add ‘air’ to the two room microphones used alongside a close ribbon mic, resulting in two deeply-sampled pan flutes in two distinct sizes and pitch ranges with multiple dynamics and round robin (RR) variations with 24-bit sample depth. (Depth of another kind completely can come quickly courtesy of Impact Soundworks’ simple-to-use FX rack, with an analogue-modelled parametric EQ, COMPRESSOR, DELAY, and convolution REVERB.) 

VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES also includes over 650 phrases shared between its inbuilt NAI and TOYO instruments, all performed in a variety of styles and lengths that can quickly be used with KONTAKT, allowing authentic performances without technology getting in the way — which is, indeed, the concept behind the VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series — or loaded as .WAV files for further editing, slicing, and arrangement within a DAW directly. 

VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES shares several key features with its series siblings, together with a common user interface, so anyone already familiar with VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - BANSURI, VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - TIN WHISTLE, or VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - SHAKUHACHI before it will immediately feel at home here with traditional playable articulations alongside a large pool of pre-recorded phrases that can quickly be dropped into a composition for instant colouration; an innovative Ornaments System designed to automatically create decorative techniques in real time with no need to tweak further or add any extra sequencing; as well as Impact Soundworks’ proprietary TACT (Total Articulation Control Technology) to unify and simplify the process of creating personal mapping setups for each and every instrument. Those three features alone — alongside their creator’s hallmark depth of sampling and attention to detail — duly stack up to ensure that VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES is destined to become another source of endless inspiration... time to join the journey and hear where it takes you and your music, maybe? Definitely, maybe! 

VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as a 6GB library totalling 6,200-plus 24-bit samples) directly from Impact Soundworks for $99.00 USD from here: https://impactsoundworks.com/product/ventus-ethnic-winds-panflutes/#purchase (Note that existing VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series owners receive an increasing discount,
depending on the number of
VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS libraries already owned.)

Note that VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES requires the full version of Native Instruments KONTAKT (5.5.2 or higher). For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated

VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES webpage here: https://impactsoundworks.com/product/ventus-ethnic-winds-panflutes/ 

About Impact Soundworks (www.impactsoundworks.com

Impact Soundworks creates audio software designed with composers in mind: sample libraries, virtual instruments, and plug-ins. As passionate about creating music tools as its customers are about making music, the company was founded in 2008 by composers Andrew Aversa and Will Roget, II at a time when there were several large virtual instrument companies already around, but few developers creating affordable, flexible, and focused libraries featuring more unusual and unique sounds. Shrewdly, the dynamic duo noticed much in the way of in-depth orchestral offerings, but more unusual instruments were not being sampled with much detail at all. As such, the company’s first two releases were Impact Steel, a collection of found metal objects played as percussion, and Sitar Nation, a set of instruments from North India. It has since been collectively working hard to address the needs of modern composers, successfully striking the balance between depth and ease of use. Ultimately, Impact Soundworks is proud to call tens of thousands of musicians around the world its customers, intelligently investing time to study suggestions and review requests.After all, that is how a number of its best-loved libraries started... from the smallest seed!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

4ms joins ever-expanding Softube Modular platform

Softube is proud to announce that highly respected synth module-maker 4ms has joined the ever-expanding Modular platform — the virtual Eurorack system released last year to rave reviews — to become a licensed brand alongside Doepfer and Intellijel.
One of the most striking Eurorack modules made by 4ms is the Spectral Multiband Resonator; having joined Softube’s successful Modular platform, it is fitting that the first product is also available to Modular owners today: 4ms Spectral Multiband Resonator (SMR). In short, 4ms SMR can process audio like a classic filter bank, ring like a marimba when plucked/struck, act as a vocoder, remix tracks, harmonize, output spectral data, quantize other oscillators to scales, and much more besides. It is deep, versatile, and endlessly expands what it is possible to achieve with Modular. Moreover, the 4ms SMR plug-in is light on the host computer’s CPU and comes complete with 75 expertly produced presets.
Simultaneously, Softube is releasing Modular-adapted versions of its award-winning TSAR-1 and TSAR-1R reverbs. These use the same algorithms and have the same feature set as their standard plug-in counterparts, meaning Modular users now have an easier way to add the world’s finest plug-in reverbs to their synth patches. But it extends far beyond that. The Volume and Wet/Dry parameters are CV controllable, making for new and creative uses — setting an envelope filter to control the Wet/Dry level, for instance. In addition, patching the reverb output to any other module opens up a whole world of creative possibilities, such as shimmering pitch-shifted reverbs, filtered spaces, and crazy feedback mayhem. 27 new presets are available to get going.
Get this, though. The license for TSAR-1 and TSAR-1R for Modular is one and the same as for the standard versions of the plug-ins, so owners of both Modular and either of the reverbs — including all subscribers and owners of the Volume 1 bundle — can simply download the update and get to work without making any additional purchases. Conversely, buying TSAR-1 or TSAR-1R with the intention of using them with Modular makes them available as traditional reverb plug-ins… one license, many uses!

4ms SMR is an add-on to Softube’s Modular, and can only be used from within the Modular platform. It is available now at an introductory price of $39. After June 30, 2017, the module will be priced at $49.
More in-depth information, including a must-see 4ms SMR video, is available here: http://softu.be/4ms_smr

Both TSAR… plug-ins are presently part of Softube’s ongoing Summer Sale, so TSAR-1 is now available for $199 (down from $269) while TSAR-1R — which is feature limited, but uses exactly the same reverb algorithm as its bigger sibling brother — is $49 (down from $99). Prices return to normal after June 30, 2017.

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated TSAR-1 product page — predominantly focusing on the standard plug-in version — here: http://softu.be/TSAR_1

About Softube (www.softube.com)
Founded by Oscar Öberg, and aptly dubbed “…the Swedish rock ’n’ roll scientists,” Softube has developed high-end software for the music market since 2003. Its own product roster ranges from modeled guitar amplifiers to professional audio mixing plug-ins and also includes the award-winning Console 1 hardware/software mixing system, as well as software instruments (Hearbeat and Modular). The company has received several awards — including, most recently, two TEC (Technical Excellence & Creativity) awards at the 32nd Annual event for the Marshall JMP 2203 and Marshall Bluesbreaker 1962 plug-ins (both developed by Softube exclusively for Universal Audio’s UAD/Apollo platform) — and award nominations in recognition of its innovative products. Productive partnerships have been formed with an assortment of pro audio companies held in high regard around the globe — including Abbey Road Studios, Mutronics, Solid State Logic, Summit Audio, Tonelux Designs, Tube-Tech, and Trident Audio Developments — to fashion faithful models of their analog hardware units. These third-party companies have happily lent their names and logotypes to the resulting plug-ins. Above and beyond its impressive namesake product lineup, Softube has also developed software products for other notable companies, such as Ableton, Fender, Cakewalk, Marshall Amplification, Native Instruments, Propellerheads, TC Electronic, and Universal Audio.

© 2017 Softube AB

Softube sets sights on recording reel world with Tape plug-in

High-end plug-in specialist Softube is proud to announce availability of Tape — a sonically versatile, yet easy-to-use tape emulation plug-in that models three types of reel-to-reel tape machine with distinctly different sound characteristics and offers several unique features without taxing CPUs or breaking the bank (with an introductory price of $79 and normal price of $99 after June 30) while the license itself includes a MixFX version for Studio One users called Tape Multitrack.

Softube’s Tape goes beyond existing tape emulation plug-ins in several ways. First and foremost, it effectively displays three distinctly different tape machine characteristics in one plug-in: TYPE A is based on a classic Swiss high-end reel-to-reel design, generally known and admired for its precision and linearity; TYPE B is a much more colourful affair — a transformer-based machine that adds weight and creaminess to the low end; and TYPE C is based on a British tape machine with a visible vintage vibe.

Users need not necessarily look any further than simply selecting a tape machine TYPE, then adjusting the associated AMOUNT control to add COLOR to taste. In most cases, tweaking these self-explanatory controls are all it takes to soak tracks in analogue tape sweetness. Sweeter still, load up one of the included presets from award-winning engineers, such as Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, Strokes, U2) and Howard Willing (Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Smashing Pumpkins), and you’re good to go!

More in-depth information, including a must-see Tape videois available here: https://www.softube.com/index.php?id=tape

Going further is, of course, perfectly possible with Tape. Users can control TAPE SPEED (which includes tape speeds that do not actually exist in the real world), as well as SPEED STABILITY, channel CROSSTALK amount, balance the DRY/WET signal, and access other unique features, such as the mastering-grade HIGH FREQ TRIM filter — which adds a smooth treble boost — and RUN STOP sound effects.

Tape is available as a standard plug-in that will run on any DAW that hosts AAX, AU, or VST formats. For Presonus Studio One users, there are some added extras. Not only can they also use Tape as a standard plug-in, but it is also available as a MixFX plug-in called Tape Multitrack, with selectable crosstalk between individual tracks and control of all instances of the plug-in from a single interface. The Tape and Tape Multitrack license is one and the same, so someone buying Tape then later switching over to using Studio One already has Tape Multitrack installed, licensed, and ready to go. Either way... no tape-opping required! 


Tape is available now from Softube’s website and from authorized dealers around the world. The list price is $99, but it is available at an introductory price of $79 until June 30, 2017.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Plugin Alliance announces promotion partnership with ROLI

“ROLI is a true innovator in our industry, so we were really excited to partner them up with arguably our most innovative Alliance member, Unfiltered Audio.” - Plugin Alliance CEO Matt Ward, 2017

Plugin Alliance, a new ‘Über-standard’ supporting all major plugin formats and uniting some of the best-known international audio companies under one virtual roof, is proud to announce a promotion partnership with London-headquartered digital age music-making device creator ROLI — resting on Plugin Alliance partner Unfiltered Audio being the first plugin developer to fully embrace ROLI’s revolutionary Lightpad Block control surface with its recently released Instant Delay echo effects plugin powerhouse.


In a six-month promotion running from May 25 to November 25, Instant Delay (MSRP $49.00 USD) is free for ROLI BLOCKS product purchasers who will, upon registration, be issued with a voucher code for redemption at www.plugin-alliance.com. Plugin Alliance will also provide an upgrade path to all Instant Delay license holders to the latest (v1.1) update of Sandman Pro (MSRP $99.00 USD) — Plugin Alliance partner Unfiltered Audio’s undisputed ultimate delay, doubling as a transmogrifying time machine making serious sonic travelling more musically adventurous than ever, thanks to major performance improvements and some serious upgrades to an already killer feature set — for $29.00 USD during this creative promotion partnership.

As a driving force behind the partnership, Plugin Alliance CEO Matt Ward sees the cutting-edge companies concerned as a match made in heaven, revealing, “ROLI is a true innovator in our industry, so we were really excited to be able to partner them up with arguably our most innovative Alliance member, Unfiltered Audio. Neither company is satisfied with redoing what’s already been done; rather, they strive for new ways to create music and sounds. We can’t wait to see what the world’s creative community will come up with by combining BLOCKS and Instant Delay.”

Sentiments that are surely shared by ROLI Senior Director of Developer Products and Partnerships Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut: “We are delighted to partner with Plugin Alliance and Unfiltered Audio on the release of the new Instant Delay and updated Sandman Pro. Their integration with BLOCKS shows both the cutting-edge quality of their plugin designs as well as the exciting potential of BLOCKS as an open platform for app development.” 

Watch the promotional trailer for Unfiltered Audio’s BLOCKS integration
For his company’s not inconsiderable part in the proceedings, Unfiltered Audio’s Dr. Michael Hetrick clearly concurs: “When ROLI announced the Lightpad Block, we were blown away. The combination of portability and flexibility excited us so much that we reached out to ROLI with our design ideas. We think our performance-based modulation system demonstrates a future of plugins as real-time instruments — not just point-and-click studio tools. We cannot wait to hear what our users make with this creative combo!”

Instant Delay is free for ROLI BLOCKS users during the first six months after its May 25 release, during which time Plugin Alliance will also provide an upgrade path for all Instant Delay license holders to Sandman Pro for $29.00 USD.
 
About Plugin Alliance (www.plugin-alliance.com)
Based in Wilmington, DE, USA, with offices in Santa Cruz, CA, USA, Plugin Alliance is more than just a website; it is a new ‘Über-standard’, supporting all major plugin formats and uniting some of the best-known international audio companies under one virtual roof. It empowers world-renowned analogue hardware companies with a digital strategy and provides software developers with services that allow them to develop products with increasing quality and quantity. It does this by providing world-class marketing and distribution, as well as platform features like a state-of-the-art authorization system. The Alliance is more than just a group of partner companies; it is a rapidly growing community of artists, engineers, producers, and industry luminaries who have joined to share what they have learned.

About ROLI (www.roli.com)
ROLI’s revolutionary music-making devices are the future of music creation. BLOCKS is a modular system that lets anyone learn and play on powerful devices that connect together. The award-winning Seaboard instruments are an evolution of the piano keyboard that helps musicians — including renowned artists like Stevie Wonder and Meghan Trainor — be more expressive. Professionals and people who have never played an instrument before are touching new ways through ROLI’s ecosystem of Connected Music products.

About Unfiltered Audio (www.unfilteredaudio.com)
Unfiltered Audio is a music software company hailing from Southern California. It was founded upon one simple idea: music software should be created by musicians. Company co-founders (and musicians) Joshua Dickinson, Dr. Michael Hetrick, and Dr. Ryan Michael McGee trained under some of the greatest minds in DSP and music technology while receiving guidance in developing their own cutting-edge algorithms. After releasing their first two plugins, Sandman and G8, they have received awards from many sources, including the Audio Engineering Society and Computer Music Magazine.

 © 2017 Plugin Alliance LLC