Way Out Where SynthX

There is a much better video demo of the new SynthX iPad App from Way Out Ware over at Gearwire. Take a look: click here. So far I loved all the Jim Heintz creations including the timewARP 2600 and iSample. SynthX will be in the App store in mid February.

“the upcoming Way Out Ware SynthX is a radically powerful virtual analog synthesizer instrument for iPad that features perhaps the coolest interface of any soft synth we’ve ever seen.” – Gearwire.com

For more info: wayoutware.com

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on January 21, 2011 at 5:15 am, filed under iPad and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

XILS Lab XILS 3

The XILS Lab XILS 3 is a recreation of the EMS VCS synthesizer. It comes in two flavors. There is a LE version for $37 and a version with more features for $181. There is a demo. All versions including the demo require an iLok. There is an extended review of the XILS 3 in the August issue of Sound on Sound: click here. Basically they say it’s not a spot on emulation but a very interesting plug-in. Hardware lust and purism aside is the XILS 3 in the realm of the TimewARP 2600, UHE ACE and the Korg Legacy Collection?

“Given the DSP power available nowadays, you might think that it would be possible to emulate the VCS3 in software. You could imitate its unstable oscillators, model its unpredictable filter, recreate its loopy envelope generator and all its other facilities, iron out its idiosyncrasies, add a few enhancements, and then stick a pretty GUI on the front that forces players to approach it in the same way as the original. So, what is XILS 3? On the surface, it’s a soft synth designed to look, feel and sound like a VCS3. However, as we delve deeper, we’ll find that it’s much more than that.” – Sound on Sound

For more info: xils-lab.com/pages/XILS-3.html

photo credit: The Standard Deviant

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on August 30, 2010 at 3:15 am, filed under plug-ins, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

ARP 2600

I love the ARP 2600 synthesizer. The mighty Macbeth M5 was a new incarnation (there were differences I know). Software-wise the closest you can get is the TimewARP 2600 from Way Out Ware. To play and hear one in person is to want one.

“The ARP 2600 is a semi-modular analog subtractive audio synthesizer, designed by Alan R. Pearlman (and Dennis Colin), and manufactured by his company, ARP Instruments, Inc. Unlike other modular systems of the time, which required modules to be purchased individually and wired by the user, the 2600 was semi-modular with a fixed selection of basic synthesizer components internally pre-wired. The 2600 was thus ideal for musicians new to synthesis due to its ability to be operated either with or without patchcords, and was, upon its initial release, heavily marketed to high schools, universities, and other educational facilities.” – Wikipedia

photo credit: Ethan Hein

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on August 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm, filed under hardware, synthesizer and tagged , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

A few soft synth patches from Bearnaomh.

Here’s the heads up on some free patches I came across today. They are from a generous person who calls himself Bearnaomh. He has patch sets available for Rob Papen’s Blue, Native Instruments FM7, the Novation V-Station and a set for the Linplug Albino.

Grab all of Bearnaomh free patches: click here

I believe these are a bit old but since they are new to me maybe you don’t know about them yet either. Bearnaomh also has a few tunes of his available check out. This is a good reminder that if your a musician making some free patch sets is a good promotion tool. Besides naming the patch set after your artist name you can name the patches after your albums, songs, website urls and ex-girlfriends.

Some people like to keep their own created presets a guarded secret but I don’t see any harm in sharing. Success and originality is all about the context the sounds are used in. Remember 99% of people who will download your freebies will probably only ever make a 16 bar loop at most.

I have two free sets of patches online that I created. You can grab The Horrorist soundsets for the TimewARP 2600 and Korg Legacy MS-20 on my record label’s studio page: click here

Have you made any of your own presets available?

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on September 23, 2008 at 4:41 am, filed under plug-ins, promotion, sounds and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Two quick and great Ableton Live File Browser Tips.

Here are two tips to help you become an Ableton Live power user. These are simple things I do while making music with Live that cut down the time between inspiration and perspiration. The Ableton Live file browser is very friendly. You can preview audio clips at the same tempo of your project. You can double click or drag and drop effects from and to the browser. In fact, Live has three File Browsers which is a really nice touch. Here are two tips:

Tip 1. Double clicking the icons for the Live Device Browser, Plug-In Device Browser or File Browsers take you to the root of each folder. Here’s an example: Your deep in the middle of a long project and you have been pulling Audio Units and VSTs from the Plug-In Browser for a few hours. You know you want to use the Audio Units version of the TimewArp 2600 (it’s more stable than the VST) but when you glance at the File Browser it shows the inside of your VST Powercore folder. The quickest way to the AU version of the TimewARP is to double click the Plug-In Device Browser Icon and then you will see the Audio Units folder root. This is easier than backing your way out of the VST folder and then back into the AU folder. This may seem trivial but if you doing it 100 times a day…

Tip 2. You can bookmark folders inside the Ableton Live File Browsers. Click on any of the three File Browsers and look at the top bar to the left of the search icon. See a little down facing arrow? Click it and a drop down menu of preselected shortcuts appears. The most important one to me usually is “Current Project”. Why would I use it? Anything I already recorded even if it’s no longer in Session View or in the Arrangement will appear here. I also make a folder inside Current Project called Renders which I then fill with multiple takes of fills or ideas. From there I can drag out and test which one works the best. As far as bookmarks take a look at the screenshot above. I have my song folder and sounds folder bookmarked… cool no?

The Bookmark menu lists a number of preset bookmarks such as Desktop and Library. Selecting the latter will bring you to the Live Library. To bookmark the current Browser root, choose the Bookmark menu’s topmost item, the Bookmark Current Folder command. Note that if the current Browser root is already bookmarked, the topmost option in the Bookmark menu will remove the bookmark. All File Browsers share the same set of bookmarks; a bookmark stored in one Browser can be accessed from another. – Ableton Live User Manual

I find the faster I get to a finished arrangement the better the song usually is. It has to come from a inspired or “live” feeling. Each computer barrier you hit is a thought in your head other than the final piece of music your trying to create. Learning keyboard shortcuts and using tips like these helps avoid a folder of incomplete songs!

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 14, 2008 at 6:26 am, filed under Ableton Live and tagged . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Interview with Jim Heintz of Way Out Ware.

Jim Heintz of Way Out Ware.

I had the pleasure of using a Macbeth Studio System’s M5. Some people compare it to an ARP 2600. It does have a similar layout although I personally found the sound to be also Moog-ish. Have you used one? What are your thoughts?

Macbeth M5I have checked out the M5 a couple of times now. I first saw it at MusikMesse in Frankfurt a couple of years ago, and after getting to play with it unfettered, I had the pleasure of meeting it’s creator Ken Macbeth. I found the instrument to be built of very high quality and the sound quality was exceptional, however, I felt the filter was not very similar to that of the ARP 2600. People may compare it to the 2600, and as far as the layout goes, it is somewhat similar making it easy for me to navigate, however, the sounds that the M5 produces are all it’s own IMHO.

I really like it.

I am looking forward to seeing the M5 and Ken again at the NAMM show.

What makes the TimewARP 2600 different from the Arturia ARP2600 V?

I believe that the TimewARP 2600 sounds much more like a real ARP 2600 than any other virtual synth on the market. This belief has been confirmed by many very notable users of ARP 2600s. Our emulation is sample accurate in all respects and models the original circuits of the ARP 2600 where ever possible. One area that TimewARP 2600 stands apart from other products is in the area of audio frequency modulation. You can take any audio source on the TimewARP 2600 and route it to an CV input and get the behavior that you would expect if you were to do that on a real ARP 2600 across the full frequency range of the component. I have not seen this in other virtual instruments. This feature is how many famous ARP 2600 sounds are created.

timewARP 2600 from Way Out Ware

Will there be more features added to the TimewARP 2600? A sequencer for example?

I would love to expand the TimewARP 2600 to include a sequencer, however, I can’t say when that will be. We recently added a couple of small additions to the TimewARP 2600 including a “Master Volume” control and offset controls to the MIDI beat synch feature. As time permits, and market allows, we will continue to enhance the TimewARP 2600.

Let’s talk about kikAXXE. It’s a synth, drum machine and sequencer which sounds super yet it’s priced quite low. Was there a lot of special discussion of it’s price? I am surprised by it honestly.

We did not compromise on sound quality inkikAXXE from Way Out Ware KikAXXE. Our goal was to produce a cost friendly electronic music environment that was fun. We left out a few features in order to justify the price, but all in all I believe KikAXXE delivers the goods. Our hope is that by providing KikAXXE at such an attractive price, that it will open the door to a wider audience of users and allow more people to discover what analog synthesis is all about. At the same time, we have many pros excited about KikAXXE too.

The thing that has to be clear is that KikAXXE is inexpensive, but still sounds awesome and can produce very useable results quickly and easily.

Are you still in contact with Alan R. Pearlman? I know he has endorsed the timewARP 2600. Did you send him kikAXXE?

I try to stay in touch with Alan as often as I can. He has been very supportive of Way Out Ware, and we really appreciate that. He has told me that he believes in what we are doing regarding brining analog synthesis to a wider audience, and making it affordable. He said that he had considered producing a computer based synthesizer when ARP was still around, but the computers of the time were not powerful enough to get the job done. I believe that he feels that WOW products are bringing his legacy to a new generation of users.

Besides your own products have there been other audio software emulations have impressed you? (more…)

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on January 10, 2008 at 5:38 am, filed under interviews, plug-ins, sounds, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

A video of KikAXXE from Way Out Ware.

The company Way Out Ware created my favorite software synth the TimewARP 2600. It’s a re-creation of an Arp 2600 semi-modular analog synthesizer. They have just released their new toy the KikAXXE and it’s a huge amout of fun!

It’s based around a re-creation the Arp Axxe and therefore it has only a single Oscillator. However like the original Axxe there is a noise generator and sample & hold which increases it’s flexibility. But the fun really starts when your eyes focus on the top part of the plug-in. Here you find a drum machine and an analog sequencer! The final joy can be found on the bottom right: an analog tape delay. Watch this video to see all these sections in action. The video is nicely sized so be sure to click the TV icon under the player to view the show in full screen mode.

Arp Axxe

As with the TimewARP this plug-in really does “Kik AXXE”! I had a blast using the fully working 30 day demo and I know in a month I will have to whip out the credit card. Luckily this noise machine is only about $70! Have fun watching the video but do yourself a favor and download it and make your bleeps and beats.

photo credit: geirarne

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on January 7, 2008 at 1:37 am, filed under plug-ins, synthesizer, video and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Free soundset for the Way Out Ware TimewARP 2600.

TimewARP 2600 - screenshot

My absolute favorite soft synth is a recreation of the ARP 2600 from Way Out Where. It’s called the Timewarp 2600 and it screams, bleeps, grinds and explodes. No other plug-in I own has such detuned madness happening inside it. Today I give you my first free sound set for the Timewarp 2600. If you don’t own this synth you owe it to yourself to head over to Way Out Where’s website and try the demo.

ARP 2600 - photoThe ARP 2600 is without a doubt one of the finest analog synthesizers ever. It is very popular and has been used by artists for over 20 years in all forms of music, especially today’s electronic music. The 2600 is a professional, semi-modular, monophonic, patch-cable synthesizer that competed directly against the first professional Modular Moog synths during the early 1970′s. Unlike other modular systems of the time which required you to pick and choose modules that you (or the manufacturer) then had to mount inside a case and wire together, the 2600 is semi-modular with a fixed selection of basic synth modules internally pre-wired and ready to go! Most of these connections can be “re-wired” with patch-cords and clearly labeled patch-points. – Vintage Synth Explorer

Here is an audio run through of some of the presets I created:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

So what are you waiting for? Download the sound set: Click here

photo credit: Ian Varley and check out Ian’s ARP music blog

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on October 30, 2007 at 11:10 am, filed under plug-ins. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

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