I’ve become internet friends with Brian “AfroDJmac”. In passing I mentioned a possible idea for one of his incredible free Ableton Live packs. Basically I love cassette tape hiss. I suggested that if he access to some old tapes I would certainly like a “pack of hiss”. Well a week later and viola Brian surprised me with this nice gift: Free Ableton Pack #60: Tape Hiss Vinyl Crackle! Watch the video above because this isn’t just some samples. Brian has spent time making things work properly and also added vinyl crackle. Eat that Slate Digital!
“An Ableton Live Instrument Rack that turns any synth you have into a synth that sounds like it came from tape or record!” – afrodjmac.com
Twisted Tools S-Layer is a sample library paired with a glitch effect plug-in. This only works with the full version of Native Instruments Reaktor. Check out Torley’s video above to get an idea some of the sounds and effects. If you have Reaktor and make any type of electronic music I think you will get use of this. $69 USD.
“S-LAYER is a sample layering sound creation tool that allows you to create, edit and play new sound combinations by taking samples and layering them together using an eight part sampler and an intuitive cell layout.” – twistedtools.com
I love storm sounds. In New York we get some massive thunder from time to time. I like to turn off any TV or music playing, sit by the window and listen to the rumble. Rain and wind sounds are great in music. I often use white noise to simulate wind. There are sample libraries of this stuff but if you want a proper VST which simulates rain or wind well now you an have one. Audiowind and Audiorain do just exactly that. There’s even the almighty awesome random button. The only caveat is the price: 149 Euro each launch price going up to 245 Euro or 399 Euro for both. Without a doubt for weather channels, commercial producing studios and filmakers it’s worth it. For a solo electronic musician looking for a storm maybe not.
“They are perfect tools for wind sound effect and rain sound effect.” – audiogaming.net
Of all the sample library makers I think UVI is one of the best. They have good taste and also wrap their sounds in a nice way. This time they do a take on the Fairlight called the Darklight IIx. I love these very Trevor Horn sounds so much. Think Art of Noise, late Yes, Yello, Herbie Hancock… I had a few of the type of sounds on my first sampler a Roland S-50. There have been a few recent sample libraries and an iOS app but I’m betting this one from UVI will be the most useful. It has 3 pages/screens. Page P is where you load and change the sound, Page B is a digital drum machine (yay) and Page U is a sequencer. $200 USD.
“UVI Darklight IIx is the latest UVI product, inspired by the most mythical Computer Music Instrument of the 80’s. We took our obsession to the next level, creating a complete set of instruments, sounds and sonic tools deeply inspired by the original digital monster. A unique, hybrid process of exhaustive multi-sampling, analysis, and advanced audio processing allowed us to not only capture the original character of this machine but to enhance its ability with a host of today’s most powerful analog modeled filters, LFOs, envelopes and effects–packaged beautifully in an old-school interface.” – UVI YouTube
Sonic Charge who make the excellent uToniq, Synplant and Bitspeek are gearing up to release something called Permut8. There’s a thread over at the KVR forums getting into what it could be (link). My guess it uses some Bitspeek tech and is sort of a bit-crusher, filter, fxstep sequencer with feedback? Someone there mentioned it could have software like Otto Biscuit. I think it will be a good one!
“NDA, I’m afraid. But it’s a doozy of a plugin. Definitely not a one-trick pony.” – ariston
I love all the plug-ins Berlin based Sugar-Bytes produces. Even though their new software Cyclop is aimed at the dubstep crowd don’t let that deter you. In fact, tools created for one thing used for another often makes a lot of sense. A FX Sequencer, 10 filters, 6 synth engines, Routing Mod and more in an easy to use thing should make any electronic music producer smile. I’m going to buy this tonight. $139 USD.
“And with it comes bass — lots of it. Synthesis in its purest form. Spectral, digital, or fat analog. Use your own samples as a wavetable, throw effect sequencer orgies, drop on filters and make wobble basses never heard before.” – sugar-bytes.de
So let’s say you modified your Korg Monotribe to use MIDI. You can see the post I did about the Amazing Machines Miditribe I/O: here. Unbelievably there is now a software editor that lets you control your MIDIed Monotribe called Mtribe. You can now save presets, record automation, etc… There’s even a random patch generator (yay). It’s stand alone or a Max4Live device. The software is $5. I love my Monotribe and think it has a great sound. Very much worth the price.
“MIDI IN/OUT for all MIDI supported features in a practical GUI. Presets (load/save for storing and recalling presets!). Key Tracking. In real time pitch modulates LFO intensity / VCF cutoff. LFO as second oscillator, auto tuned based on harmonics schemes. Glide emulation and finer pitch bending (more precisely than raw MIDI). XY Pad for two parameters at once (with reset and spring mode). (optional) note off removal (to remove gate clicks) and velocity off/on. preset randomizer for each section (VCA, LFO, modulation, glide). MIDI learn for the GUI through extra MIDI input.”
Jono named after it’s creator Jonáš Gruska is a MaxMSP synthesizer inspired by the modulars. It has a sequencer and a random patch generator (nice). It’s 15 Euro and if you don’t like it they will return your money.
“JONO is a software musical instrument inspired by modular synthesizers. By providing a mixture of classical and experimental elements it can serve as an interesting addition to your setup or as a standalone tool.” – jono.zvukolom.org
Izotope has released a “sampling re-synthesizer” called Iris. Many years ago I was at Sam Ash in White Plains. There was a guy demoing some IRCAM software. He told me it was top secret. You could see audio; not in a waveform sense but spread like an image with varying colors as parts of the sounds. You could then draw on the image and filter out audio. That product was never released to the public. I suspect the French government was using it in it’s crime labs. Iris reminds me of that software and a bit more. Some of the tech from Iris certainly comes from Izotope’s own amazing RX audio cleaning software. Check out the videos above as they will show you what Iris can do better than any text. I’m going to get this one and first thing put my own vocals into it. It’s $149 USD and comes with a 4GB library.
“Evolve your sounds rapidly with Iris?s diverse and intuitive visual selection tools. By drawing shapes in the Iris spectrogram, you can isolate speciic audio frequencies within a sample and play them back immediately on your MIDI keyboard.” – izotope.com
Rob Papen has another soft synth out called Blade. It has some morphing additive XY tricks. I haven’t tried it myself yet but most of the Papen is stuff is good especially because all the products come with a zillion presets. I’m not sure ir it’s true or not but interestingly it says on the Rob Papen site he’s a Christian Music artist.
“At the heart of BLADE, ready to twist and transform your musical mind, lies the Harmolator. An additive synthesis system, which rather than using the system of changing additive partials, uses global controls which capture the essence of additive synth in an intuitive way making the creation of sounds much easier than using other additive synths. The nine Harmolator controls allow you to create a vast range of sounds so you get all the amazing sounds that additive synthesis can generate with the added simplicity of traditional subtractive synthesis. The Harmolator allows oscillator spreading, fattening the sound and also square / sine wave sub-oscillator. What’s more, the sound can be modified further by the 21 per-voice distortions types and 14 filter types.” – robpapen.com