It’s amazing how many interesting granular sequencing sampler Apps there are for iOS. You can add Earhoof to that list. I picked up an iConnect MIDI2 just for Apps like this one. $4.99 available now.
“Earhoof is a musical instrument which combines a powerful sound generating engine with an innovative rhythmic playback mechanism. Simply by holding the surface, complex rhythms trigger and seamlessly transition, while the sounds the internal sequencer generates continuously vary as you glide your fingers across your device. Even though Earhoof is easy to play, its flexibility makes it easy to create your own techniques.” – psicada.com
A few months ago I purchased the full version of Native Instruments Reaktor solely to use Twisted Tools amazing S-Layer plug-in. They have just released a new plug-in called Ultraloop and it’s also extremely tasty. Imagine a polyphonic loop sequencer matched with Effectrix and you start to get the idea. To jump right in and see why I am excited about this one start watching the video above at 1:50. I think the real key to Ultraloop is to use your own song material in the plug-in. For breakdowns or remixes this will be quite fun. Ultraloop requires the full version of Reaktor and is $69 USD.
“ULTRALOOP is a first-of-its-kind loop remixing sampler with a fast and intuitive visual workflow for Native Instruments *Reaktor. ULTRALOOP combines advanced loop layering, comping, effect processing and automation techniques to generate new grooves, riffs and song ideas. You can use ULTRALOOP with the included factory sample library or to remix your own samples, injecting new life into any existing loop library.” – twistedtools.com
I keep mentioning UVI’s sample libraries on this blog. The German French company doesn’t pay me or give them to me free they are simply really good. You can sample an instrument different ways but these guys must like the same type of music as I do as I’m consistently reaching for their sounds. I haven’t yet tried their latest library called WaveRunner which covers wavetable synthesis ala PPG and Waldorf. At $299 you could buy a Eurorack module or two Volca’s but when you’re writing songs on a laptop away from the studio you want some good sample libraries.
“A multitude of synths, drum machines and rare prototypes of esteemed German heritage come together in this massive and unparalleled retrospective. WaveRunner presents you with a wondrous collection of authentic and fascinating sounds from over 30 years of wavetable synthesis. Everything from the raw and strident origins to the wild evolving tones of more modern, full-featured machines. Each system addressed was serviced, meticulously multi-sampled and artfully designed into 7 unique hybrid instruments driven by over 30,000 samples. Both a historical archive of sound and a collection of new and unique instruments with hundreds of presets and limitless sound design potential, WaveRunner is a suite not to be missed.” – uvi.net
A free sample library of Metal Scratches. I can’t see any reason not to have this on your hard drive. Say thanks to Martin Oskera for doing these: click here
“This fourth library of The Binaural Collection consists of metal scratches. The recipe for this pack was simple: a metal housing from a deceased tape deck and a few sharp and blunt objects to ruin the surface of the housing. I tried to capture all the nuances of the sounds and make the sounds as big as possible without any additional processing so I close mic’ed them with the front perspective of my dummy head. Metal Scratch contains 126 a variety of metal scratches.” ongelegen.com
Eventually more 1980s retro styled tracks are going to be created than were originally created in the 80s themselves. I’m not complaining at all. This week two new hairspray decade sample packs were released. Ueberschall’s 80s Smash Hits (99€) and Zenhiser’s 1987 Drum Beats (25 AUD) both will take you back 30 years.
“80s Smash Hits is a cutting edge construction kit library, inspired by the catchy sounds of the legendary Synth Pop and Wave bands that are still sought-after today. In the eighties despite the fashion, it was all about song writing and playful experimentation with sounds, machines, synthesizers and effects.” – ueberschall.com
Here is a free download of Household Motors from Ongelegen. I really find these type of sounds useful in a lot of different types of music. Don’t forget you can pitch, stretch, reverse and effect these into transitions, explosions and more.
“This third installment of The Binaural Collection contains recordings of small motors of common household devices such as blenders, juicers, drills etc. During this recording session I’ve tried to capture the sounds from three listening perspectives: stationary front, stationary rear and a moving perspective where the sound moves around the stereo field/listeners head. The front and rear perspectives sound very similar as the sounds were recorded close to the microphones.” – ongelegen.com
477 samples of Blood and Guts for $50. These were created using pumpkins, yogurt and other gut like sounding products. I wonder how much more this sample library would be worth if they used really living humans?
“Recorded and produced in collaboration with Sound Designer Rob King, this is a collection of gore, stabbing, and impact sounds. Use these sounds as source effects to layer into your fight scenes, zombie feasts, dismemberments, autopsies, or anywhere else you might need to add a little bit of blood, guts, flesh ripping, or bone breaking sounds.” – chuckrussomfx.com
Here’s a trio for Tuesday. Three new interesting pro-audio related products. Number one we have Steinberg LoopMash. LoopMash mangles four loops. It’s an iPhone App. I grabbed it and it has a pretty cool faux 3D swipe to different screen effect worth checking out. Years after abandoning Cubase I’m using a Steinberg product again. Number two is Mike. It’s a microphone from Apogee that goes directing into your iOS device. It’s from Apogee so it deserves mention. Convenience and AD/DA conversion wise it should be a winner however I’m all about high end mic pres and Mike can’t use one. Number three we have SuperAnalog808 a Roland TR-808 sample pack from Goldbaby designed for Loopmasters. If you don’t own a real 808 or Acidlab Miami then samples are your friend. Goldbaby does them right and there’s a million suble differences between 808s and ways to record them so another sample set is always welcome.
Puremagnetik creates and sells mini monthly sample packs for Ableton, Kontakt & Logic. I recently met Micah Frank at IMSTA FESTA and thought I would follow up with this interview.
I really like your subscription model. Tell Wire to the Ear readers how it works.
Puremagnetik produces a new “Micropak” each month. A Micropak is a small (usually under 600MB) sound set that is very focused on a particular instrument. You can subscribe for $5.75 per month and download the Current Micropak. We keep each Micropak current for 2 months, so there are two Current Micropaks available at all times. You can also buy a full year subscription or buy the entire catalog. Additionally, users can purchase back catalog Micropaks individually – similar to back issues of a magazine.
Tell us about your recording chain. Are there any microphones or outboard processors your in love with?
I mostly program Puremagnetik’s electronic content. I prefer to keep my signal chain as transparent as possible. Good A/D matters most to me. I rarely use compression during tracking but sometimes I like to use my API Lunchbox’s 512C’s as a DI. Our other sound developer Brian produces all of the acoustic stuff in some great studios. He uses all of the Pultecs, Chandlers and Neumanns.
Digital Blasphemy by micahfrank
How do you go about finding the instruments to record? I can’t imagine you own all the toys ToyBox Micropaks!
Sometimes we go shopping (Toys r Us). We also have a great network of studios and synth geeks all up and down the east coast. If I can find a good deal on eBay, I’ll jump on it – Synthi owners speak up! A lot of the stuff I’m working on now is more conceptual so it requires less defined devices.
What percent of your customers would you say subscribe vs just buy a pack they like?
It’s a 50/50 split. Some people like the subscription model. Just as many people are happy grabbing them once they become back catalogued.
What is your most popular Micropak and what are your top 3 personal favorites?
The most popular Micropak is an oldie but goodie – Eight Bit. It is a pack of sounds from a Commodore 64 SID chip.
The Micropaks I like the most are the ones I enjoyed working on the most. I love the ability in Live to reverse engineer the concepts behind some great synths. If you look at Puremagnetik’s Vector, Waveframe and P-50 Linear you will see that I have broken the synths down into their core components and reconstructed them in Live Racks. In Waveframe for instance, I took all of the Fizmo’s wavetable content and reconstructed the whole synth in Live using Ableton Sampler’s modulation functions.
Brian also did the same kind of reverse engineering in this month’s Omnichord inspired pack. In my opinion, this is where Puremagnetik really shines – when we break away from the same old multisampling conventions.
I know you make music yourself. Tell Wire to the Ear readers some of the bands you work or have worked with and some places online they can hear your music.
The only band I have worked with in the past few years is a local artist named Atarah Valentine. I got in touch with him through Ableton and Damian Taylor (Bjork). The highlight of my work with him was this past June when we opened for La Roux at Terminal 5. He’s a very talented singer so I look forward to working with him a lot more in the future.
My big project for the past year is Tectonic. It is a realtime sonification of earthquake data as interpreted by Max and then synthesized by a Kyma/Pacarana system. http://micahfrank.com/tagged/tectonic. For the past few years I haven’t really enjoyed making horizontal music. By that, I mean music that is pre-composed in a given timeframe by a horizontally oriented DAW. I am finding it much more gratifying to create a system like Tectonic or just grab my DrumKat and improvise under my alias Kamoni (kamoni.net) You can see and hear all of the other stuff I’m up to at micahfrank.com or soundcloud.com/micahfrank.
What music are you listening to lately?
Tim Hecker, Robert Normandeau, Ben Frost, Alva Noto, Zoot Woman
Here’s a public offer. If you want to make a Micropak out of my Electrocomp-101 (number 521 out of 2000) feel free but you have to come to my place. I’m not lugging that thing to Brooklyn!
Thanks Oliver! That would be totally awesome. You have just been inducted into PECSGN (Puremagnetik East Coast Synth Geek Network).
Here’s a link to some audio samples from The European Organization for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider and computer room. Listen and download the samples: click here
“Above all, we want everyone to be able to share in the wonder and excitement of the greatest experiment ever built. We feel passionately that everyone is capable of appreciating what is happening at CERN and that it is the responsibility of those of us already `in the know’ to find new and better ways of sharing the awe-inspiring magnificence of it all. The LHC belongs to us all; you paid for it to be built and you will enjoy the technological advances it brings.” – lhcsound.com