While I am using a lot of hardware these days software is still very important in my workflow. I often want a simple software synth to get things going. Audio Damage’s new Basic will definitely be useful. It may seem like a strange reason but I bet I end up using Basic often for the simple fact that out of all my plug-in folders in my Ableton sidebar I already go to the AD folder more than any other.
“One day not long ago, we were speaking with the music department head of a local college; he lamented the fact that there really wasn’t a commercial-quality low-cost three oscillator subtractive mono-synth available for the educational market. This puzzled us, because there’s no shortage of synth plug-ins out there, and this seems like a fairly glaring oversight. So we did some market research, and discovered he was right. All the available options are either slavish recreations of classic synths, with all the foibles and strange UI decisions intact, or modern behemoths with every feature under the sun. We decided to tackle the challenge of an inexpensive, simple 3-osc mono-synth that followed the classic subtractive style, and Basic is the result. While it is designed with ease-of-use, low cost, and simplicity in mind, the panel sits in front of a powerful modern synthesizer engine with an aggressive tone and self-resonating filters that scream when pushed. We’re sure every electronic musician will find a place in the mix for Basic.” – Audio Damage
I use Audio Damage plug-ins all the time. I have to admit I was excited to see them get into Eurorack Modular however I didn’t grab any of their first efforts. On Chris Randall’s blog Analog Industries he posted info on their new module called Sequencer 1. I will be grabbing this one day one. Besides it’s myriad of features for the sequences themselves it has a mini keyboard quantizer (yes!) and a LCD screen with patch storage. This is fantastic. Expected to be released soon at about $600.
36HP, 20mm depth. 4 banks of 16 patterns, each pattern can be from 1 to 64 steps long. The entire state (all banks and patterns) can be saved to SD card as a preset, so the memory is essentially unlimited. Clock input can be per step (like any other sequencer’s clock), or 24ppq or 48ppq for DIN sync (via a simple 5-pin DIN -> 3.5mm adaptor). Clock output can be a staggering number of choices, which is handy if the unit is acting as the master clock. The Run input can be operated a couple different ways, as can the output. In short, it can interface to pretty much anything clockish, and can in turn drive pretty much anything in a clocklike fashion. Each step gets a 1v/Oct output, three CV outputs (that can each be either 0-10v, -5 to +5v, or 0 to +5v), a main gate output, and an auxiliary gate output. Gate length is programmable per step. The playback modes are forward, reverse, pingpong, pingpong with double end triggers, skip forward, walk, and random. This is programmable per pattern. There are several ratcheting features; you can program a ratchet of various lengths per step, or you’ll note the 6 buttons labeled “REP.” These will repeat, in order, the last 8, 4, 2, or 1 steps as a loop, or cause the step you hit them on to repeat in half or quarter time. (In the same manner that the MIDI triggers in Replicant work, basically, if you own that plugin.) As I hinted before, SD card for storage and OS updates.” – Chris Randall (Audio Damage)
Audio Damage has jumped into the hardware game with 3 Eurorack modules. DubJr, Grainshift and Errorbox are 8HP, $179 each and available now. I love and use AD plug-ins all the time so I am very interested in trying these out.
“during the week of Audio Damage’s tenth anniversary, we have succeeded in releasing a hardware platform for our DSP effects, and are ludicrously proud to unveil the first three Audio Damage hardware products: DubJr, Grainshift, and Errorbox.” – Chris Randall
I use panning and pan plug-ins for numerous tricks in my music. I love the 80s UI in Audio Damage’s Panstaion. It’s a pseudo recreation of the Drawmer M500. $39.
“Panstation is, without question, the most sophisticated autopanner plug-in available. We started with a loose model of the venerable Drawmer M500’s panning engine, then added the counting features from the Audio & Design PanScan (probably the most famous vintage autopanner, and the “secret weapon” of many well-known producers.) The result is an autopanner plug-in that is second to none in both feature set and sound.” – audiodamage.com
Audio Damage’s new synthesizer plug-in Phosphor is a recreation of an 80s synth called the alphaSyntauri that required an Apple IIe. Herbie Hancock and Keith Emerson both used alphaSyntauris. I remember seeing them but I don’t think I ever used one. I’d like to make a track using only Phosphor and Lindrum. Available now for $59. Anyone buying this one? Please let me know if you like it.
“Phosphor is a VSTi/AU instrument modeled on the alphaSyntauri, a vintage digital additive synth. The original alphaSyntauri required an Apple //e to operate, but we’ve gone ahead and eliminated the middle-man, and now you can have this classic digital synth in your DAW of choice.” – audiodamage.com
Audio Damage is getting ready to release it’s first instrument. It’s a non-sample based drum synthesizer with sequencer. It has a random function and the VST version outputs MIDI so you can make your external hardware freak out too. Chris Randall and Co. make plug-ins with a very high fun factor so this one is surely going to be a winner.
“We haven’t decided on a price, and I have no idea whatsoever as to when it will be done. We’ve got the synthesis all in place, but not “tuned,” and the sequencer is about 80% complete…” – Chris Randall
The next two days in New York be sunny and warm. My wife’s been pointing out all the holes in my favorite T-shirts. Therefore this post is for her and her wallet. Most of these prints are available on American Apparel shirts which means they fit well and are nice and soft. The classic and now fully hipsterized green Moog T? Could I be in full “Hawtin, bald, those black geek eyeglasses” Ableton T mode? Do I want to date myself with the Fairlight T? I love AD and Ohm Force but no one other than readers of this blog would have a clue what the prints mean (which is ok by me!).
Chris Randall from Audio Damage gave us a teaser of what the next version of BigSeq will look like. On his always fun to read blog Analog Industries he says:
“Development on BigSeq2 is proceeding at a break-neck pace; We’ve got the UI mostly done, and the sequencers themselves are mostly done. All the hard shit is done, essentially. Now it’s just a matter of putting things together, “tuning” all the DSP, then doing the ports. Click the image above for a full-sized version. Note that many of the placements are off, and this isn’t a done final UI. But since we’ve been fairly open about this particular product from the beginning of design, I thought I’d just go ahead and show you where we’re at.” – www.analogindustries.com
Do you ever consider putting a plug-in like this on your master before you even start a creating a song? It can really help you create a song that’s quite different than your normal material.
I like Ableton’s Beat Repeat plug-in , Monome hardware, the iPhone and random sequencers so how am I not going to fall in love with Audio Damage’s new plug in Automaton? It was released over the weekend for $49 and is available Mac/PC VST/AU. On Twitter, Audio Damage’s Chris Randall proclaimed this was their fastest selling plug-in to date.
“Automaton is a unique look at buffer effects, allowing you to experiment with artificial life within your DAW. With four separate effects (Stutter, Modulate, Bitcrush, and Replicate) driven by a cellular automata sequencer, Automaton is capable of adding subtle seemingly random fills and “humanizing” effects, but if you like, you can crank the sequencer up to eleven, and watch as your DAW becomes a petri dish while Automaton makes complete hay of the track you’ve inserted it to.” – Audio Damage
Ever since I saw André Michelle’s software physics demos I knew the concept would make it’s way into audio applications. Bouncing balls attached by strings colliding with walls, creating sounds all said to me: glitch sequencer. Audio Damage’s Dr. Device has kinetics built into it so you can start flinging filter and delay nodes around. Audio Damage does not offer demos so until today when Chris Randall posted the above video I wasn’t sure how cool this feature was. The good stuff starts at 7:55.
I expect a few years from now we will see sequencers that look like realistic rivers which you can drop objects/sounds into. You would control the flow of the water instead of tempo. The wind, sky, roads or even a heard of buffalo could be other “tracks”. Finally we will have a productive use for super expensive Nvidia graphics cards. And of course we will control all of these elements by reaching out and touching them on our screens. I can’t wait!