If you read this blog you know I like song writing helper software. Cthulhu is a VST plug-in thats a simple/complex chord generator and arpeggiator. I would say it reminds me a little bit of the Max for Live Device Schwarzonator. Cthulhu is $39.
“Cthulhu is firstly a chord memorizer and player, allowing you to experiment with creating and reworking chord progressions with single-note presses. Included are over 150 factory chord presets allowing for a near-unlimited amount of possible musical-sounding chord progressions. Import MIDI or ‘record’ chords straight in, Cthulhu is able to analyze the chords you play and allow for various sorting options (Circle of 5ths, Chromatic, low note, etc) allowing for easy access over your chords! The other half of Cthulhu is a unique pattern-based arpeggiator, allowing incoming notes or chords to be manipulated in various rhythmic ways. The 8 tabs of the stepsequencer allow you to completely reshape the incoming MIDI notes, even a single note fed into the arp can become a unique and rhythmic riff! Even if you have other arpeggio software plug-ins, Cthulhu’s arp is unique and powerful with advanced features such as chord-arpeggio mode, ties, duration / velocity sequencing, intelligent transpose, harmony, and more!” – xferrecords.com
At 32 seconds in see PSP Audioware’s custom channel strip and at 47 seconds in see a Fabfilter “VST” plug-in. When we get an iPad Pro which is 2-3x the size, speed and a retina display I’m in… for now full on DAW, mixing, etc… on a small underpowered screen is a novelty.
“With the ability to play 48 mono or stereo 24bit/44.1 kHz tracks simultaneously, record up to 24 of those tracks simultaneously (through any supported USB multichannel audio interface), and edit and mix with familiar tools and full parameter automation, it’s clear Auria sets a new standard for iPad multitracking.
What’s more, Auria’s 64-bit Double Precision architecture ensures ample headroom for plug-in processing and mix summing, transforming your iPad into a recording and mixing system with sound quality that rivals most DAWs.
The depth is in the details. Like customizable pan laws. Like meters that are selectable between VU and RMS. Like full delay compensation for all tracks, including aux sends and subgroups. Complete with a vintage-inspired channel strip on every channel, a dedicated master channel strip, VST plug-ins engineered by renowned makers such as PSPaudioware, Overloud, Fab Filter and Drumagog, and support for Dropbox, Soundcloud, AAF, and MP3, Auria truly raises the bar for recording and mixing on the iPad.”
IRCAMAX SuperVP is a set of 5 plug-ins for Ableton Max4Live. You really have to head to the Ircam website and watch the demo videos. Each of the plug-ins SimpleTransp, Transp, Scrub, Mover and SuperVPSynth allow for some serious audio rearranging, part transposing, formant manipluations, etc… My favorite is Mover. 139 Euro.
“Mover offers a different way to control time position and transposition performed by the SuperVP engine. It displays the sound on a big waveform on witch the user can move using the mouse, its MIDI controllers or a joystick. It can be easily use to improvise on the sound material thanks to its synchronized random motions capabilities.” – ircamax.ircam.fr
Beginning next March Apple will require Apps sold through the Mac App store to be “Sandboxed”. Sandboxing keeps the app in it’s own space and restricts what it can do system wide. Apple does this on iOS to protect your phone from being hacked, taken over, etc… One side effect is that as far as things stand today you can’t use plug-ins. Obviously for musicians using sequencers this would have serious implications. Before you get into a huff we will still be able to install and use unsandboxed Apps and plug-ins as long they are not sold on the Mac App store. Two things could happen here. First, Apple could eventually require Macs to use the Mac App store. Imagine having to Jailbreak your Mac? A more likely scenario will be a new type of plug-in architecture will be implemented that works in a way Apple likes. What do you think?
“In computer security, a sandbox is a security mechanism for separating running programs. It is often used to execute untested code, or untrusted programs from unverified third-parties, suppliers, untrusted users and untrusted websites. The sandbox typically provides a tightly-controlled set of resources for guest programs to run in, such as scratch space on disk and memory. Network access, the ability to inspect the host system or read from input devices are usually disallowed or heavily restricted. In this sense, sandboxes are a specific example of virtualization.” – Wikipedia
Christmas is around the bend and a theme this year is pro-audio software bundles. Linplug and Sugar Bytes are two companies that make goodies worth making noise with so they get some space here. The LinPlug offer gives you CronoX 3 Sample Synthesizer, MorphoX Synthesizer, Rob Papen Albino 3, Octopus FM Synth, Alpha Classic Synth, ElementP Percussion Synth, Ian Boddy Soundset for the Alpha, Summa Soundset for the Octopus (altogether more than 5500 preset sounds) for $399 which is less than half of what you would buy them for seperately. Sugar-Bytes is selling their Sugar Bundle which consists of Guitarist, Thesys, Consequence, Effectrix, Artillery2, Unique, WOW, Vogue and Robotronic for $499.
“This year we celebrate the most insane christmas deal we ever had!” – Sugar Bytes
Bored with regular GUIs? Recording a music video and need a studio shot with a computer in it? If you want something unique check out Kammerl Audio’s new VST plug-ins for Mac or PC. Pitch, Distortion, Scratcher, Slicer and Looper are ready to be installed. These are free from Germany. Go get em: www.kammerl.de/audio/
“I just discovered these frunny and usefull plugins I needed to share… Playing with it for a moment proves me that there’s some really usefull tools here!” – Miro Pajic
Not so long ago computers for producing music were all seriously underpowered. I remember on my old Mac clone, a Power Computer PowerCenter Pro210 I could only open 2-3 plug-ins before the computer would click and glitch to a halt. However, today we live in an amazing time as far as music technology. I can load up my Macbook Pro all day long with plug-ins and it seems my CPU never jumps past 50%. It actually took me a few months to get used to piling on plug-ins without freezing or bouncing tracks. I realized I was wasting time bouncing everything by watching younger kids demo their Ableton and Cubase tracks on YouTube. My keen eye caught mountains of plug-ins placed frivolously over twenty plus channels. I realized I better “un-old fogey” myself and start painting with thick strokes of live effects or be left behind.
So today’s quick tip is to start a song with plenty of effects placed on assorted channels before you ever even place a sound producing synth, sample or voice anywhere. What do I mean? Well how about putting Altiverb with a Neuman Mic IR (Impulse Response) on the Master Channel? Why not also put a nice compressor there too? Now as your build your song and mix as you go building into those plug-ins. In effect it’s almost like you bought a new sounding mixer.
There’s no reason to be subtle either. Try creating a sub-mixer of 6+ channels and on the Group’s master fader and have a flanger set to 100% wet. Next place all your synths in your new flanger group and adjust the oscillators and filters toward the flanger not the other way around. The key is to start off fully loaded with effects on so everything you hear isn’t the same ole, same ole…
With today’s massive computer power you don’t buy a TC Powercore or Universal Audio UAD-1 because you need a boost, you buy them because the plug-ins sound fantastic. One of the early posts on Wire to the Ear was about TC Voice Modeler which is not available in any native format and is a must have in my arsenal.
Universal Audio has posted a video teaser for the upcoming UAD-2 card. Here’s the highlights:
The UAD-1 had a 7 year life.
They will break any limitations enabling any kind of audio processor on UAD-2.
They discuss the SHARC chips.
The card is capable of 2 Gigaflops per second.
Years of devolopment.
More new partners.
I personally don’t use any cracked software. I like a really stable system and if I buy something I know I will learn all it’s features and get the most out of it. I also like having new updates available to me. There’s no doubt I have been tempted especially when it comes to things like Adobe CS which costs as much as my laptop.
Another good reason not to use warez is if you get caught by the public it’s totally embarrassing! In the February 2006 issue of German Keyboards magazine they printed an article on producing William Orbit style Filter Delays. They used Ohm Force’s amazing OhmBoyZ plug-in and as you can see in the screenshot it clearly shows a hacker groups name “Team ArCTIC” displayed on the interface.
To read Keyboards official response and some comments head over to the Digital Music Mag blog’s post: click here
A more recent case was outed over at the KVR Forums. A jungle/breaks act named Aquasky did a video interview for the DVD that comes with Future Music Magazine (Issue 201). In the video it shows they are also using an Ohm Force’s crack, this time for distortion plug-in Predatohm. Remember I mentioned how you can use Predatohm as a widener in: this post?
For more info on warez and cracks and a list of alternative freeware stuff you can download check out dontcrack.com