I like almost all the plug-ins from Berlin based Sugar Bytes. I can see thier new plug-in Consequence being really useful. Sometimes it’s good to have a virtual helper in the room. You know the scenario: You’re in the studio and you hit middle C, next it’s D# and up to G. You can’t seem to hit any new keys. Your melodies are your melodies and you can’t seem to go anywhere else. Consequence can help by having it’s “Sound Generators” spit out sequences, chorus, envelope curves, etc… It can’t hurt right?
“The word Synquencer describes the combination of a powerful synthesizer and complex step sequencer which creates pitch-, modulation-, and trigger data. Consequence uses 16 chords to play them in sequence, extract melodies to trigger a unique sound section with lots of available instrument sounds and intelligent trigger interpretation. The Consequence VST plugin sends MIDI data, so all kinds of MIDI-compatible gear can be controlled by Consequence.” – Sugar Bytes
There is a demo version available. Consequence is $199.
For more info: sugar-bytes.de
I don’t know how to pronounce D16’s new synth Shioitor. However, I clearly know how to say Roland SH-101 (Wikipedia link) and that’s the target of the Polish crew this time. I used to own a red Roland SH-101 with a handle and it was always the first thing anyone made a comment about when they entered my studio. A few months ago D16 asked me to make some presets for Shioitor so I’ve heard this synth in action. If you liked the original you won’t be disappointed.
“D16 spent many hours analysing analogue synthesisers and creating DSP code to replicate the hardware in software. As a result, Shioitor has a very true sounding analogue filter with constant Q and a very warm character. Resonance is constant across the whole frequency domain which makes the filter sound totally authentic – especially when controlled using envelopes or an LFO. Turning resonance to maximum and turning off all oscillator volumes will produce a pure analogue sine wave as the filter self-resonates. Innovative oscillator algorithms developed by D16 make Shioitor sound like the hardware synth which inspired it. There is no aliasing in the oscillators – even at 22kHz from the note’s base frequency. The level of aliasing around the highest produced frequency is about -70dB.” – d16.pl
Besides presets you get a few niceties the original didn’t have including arpeggiator shuffle, polyphony and key zones. You also can choose your favorite color!
Here’s a video preview of a new software modular synthesizer from Urs Heckmann called Bazille. He’s the Berliner known for the acclaimed Zebra and Filterscape plug-ins. Bazille definitely adds something new sonically to the software landscape. For an example, take a listen at 1:06 to the when he uses an Oscillator on the Filter Resonance. In case you were wondering Bazille is the German word for bacteria.
“This synth combines FM-Synthesis, Phase Distortion and subtractive in a rack-like appearance. Here are some early examples for unusual patches. Note that the sound quality here is really bad, but I guess you catch the drift. No fx used of course, just raw output of the synth.” – UrsHeckmann
A few more videos of Bazille are on the UrsHeckmann YouTube channel: click here
A few years back a new high-profile software synthesizer was being released every week. That digital transition has cooled off a bit so I get excited when one of my favorite companies releases a new version of one of their sound making toys.
“A short introduction to FabFilter Twin 2, a great sounding and innovative software synthesizer for vst, rtas and audio units.” – Fabfilter
1500 presets, 3 OCS, 2 Multi-mode filters, 2 delay lines, 2 more filters, fun to use futuristic GUI and modulation section.
Sonic Charge, the makers of the well loved µTonic (MicroTonic) have released their new creation Synplant. I would describe Synplant as a Generative music plug-in. The results from Synplant don’t sound like random bleeps though. I was checking out some of the audio demos on the Sonic Charge site and at first I thought they were human created songs. Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music has been testing the plug-in and is also working on a video walkthrough. Here’s his post: click here
Synplant is a software synthesizer with a genetic approach to sound creation. Instead of creating patches the conventional way by turning dials and knobs, Synplant lets you explore a world of organic sounds by planting seeds that grow into synth patches. The purpose of this product is to move focus away from the sometimes intricate and difficult process of sound synthesis and instead let you develop sounds by simply using your ears. – soniccharge.com
Synplant is $89. 3 week fully working demo: click here
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.
Vintage color is the special sauce audio producers crave when producing. We want the sound of Mic pres from the 70s, spring reverbs and even that classic sampler sound. Decimort is a new plug-in from the ever impressive Polish software freaks D16. There are a host of bit crushers on the market but Decimort specializes in recreating the effect of old EMU Emulators and Ensoniq samplers.
“Electronic music producers (especially in Hip-Hop) have always been aware that classic samplers (such as early Akai and EMU units) had a character and sound of their own. They added a “grit” and “colour” to the samples and loops they played back which made them sound “Fat” and sit well in a mix. This sound colouration was due to the encoding techniques, lower sample rates, lower bit rate and conversion circuits which these early samplers used. Decimort recreates this colouration and adds the vintage sampler magic to any loop, bass line or sound played through it. It also acts as the perfect bit crusher with filter.” – D16.pl
You can hear some very good Decimort samples in the context of full songs on the D16 site: click here However, below I recorded and posted some straight forward clips. Each clip starts with the dry sound then I click on Decimort:
A choir sequence from the basic Reason soundbank. I chose the choir samples because you could find very similar samples in The Fairlight CMI:
A computerized vocal which I think shows off Decimort quiet nicely:
A simple Roland TR-808 loop through some Decimort presets:
One thing I really like about Decimort is that is has a wet/dry knob, something I wish all plug-ins had! Also, automating the Frequency in Decimort sounds very potent. Overall it’s a nice plug-in that I could see using many instances of. I like to try using filters and bit-crusher before I’ll grab an eq.
Decimort is Mac/PC AU/Vst for 35€. Demo available: click here
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!
D16’s newest plug-in Fazortan has come out of beta. It’s part of their Silver Collection. I use Phaser effects to make pads and string sounds shimmer. Want to see over 80 photos of vintage Phaser pedals? Head over to PedalHeaven the online guitar effects museum: click here
Have you ever wondered where does that unique magical breeze so audible in most of Jean Michael Jarre’s tunes come from. Suprisingly the backbone here isn’t the synth itself but the effect unit coupled with the synthesizer, saying more precisely – analog phaser of which our Fazortan seems to be a fine equivalent.
Therefore You can think about Fazortan as of the exact copy of a retro phaser taken out from 70’s and redone to become a virtual unit. – D16.pl
I installed Fazortan and can happily report it sounds nice and doesn’t crash or anything weird. I recorded some audio samples of Fazortan inserted over a simple Sawtooth wave from Fabfilter Twin and a TR-808 loop. My examples have the LFOs going a bit more crazy, tremoling than you probably would use them. In fact, I recommend going to D16’s Fazortan page to hear a more conventional use of a Phaser (it’s hard for me to be subtle!). The player will load each sample in succession. The first sample is the loop 100% dry, no effect:
I really enjoy Chris Randall’s blog Analog Industries. He’s definitely got his own voice. Some people would say he’s rude but I like that he tells it like it is. More importantly his company Audio Damage makes some great plug-ins. The next release from AD called Automaton has peaked my interest. In fact, I’ve left some money in my PayPal designated for this new baby.
Chris describes it as, “…cellular automata plus buffer effects = complete and total chaos.” Check an an audio sample he posted: Automator MP3
From what I see and hear it has some Tenori elements, cool iPhone style icons matched with some audio mangling ala Smartelectronix DestroyFX dfx Buffer Override.
On a side note I can’t leave comments on the Analog Industries blog. I’ve signed up and logged in but a message tells me “You must have an access level of 1 to post a comment.” Anyone know why?