Recently I mentioned the Orwell Digital OR-1M analog style software sequencer (link). To create certain types of EBM or Giorgio Moroder stuff it really helps to have an analog sequencer. Being software I was surprised how well the OR-1M gets me “that sound”. I was on the Muffwiggler reading about the upcoming Intellijel Metropolis hardware sequencer. It’s based on the M-185 sequencer by “RYK” so I went searching for some demos. This lead me to a software version by Defective Records (also called the M-185). Having Daniel Miller’s photo on the page kept me reading and the M-185 is in partnership with RYK. To my delight Defective Records also has a software Klee and CycliC software sequencer. I can’t wait to try these out and the prices are good.
“Includes virtually all major functions from the hardware M185, and adds many new ones specific to the software version.” – defectiverecords.com
The Slate Digital Virtual Console is a set of plug-ins that model the character of both mixer channels and an analog summing engine. There has been a huge discussion of this plug-in set on various forums including Gearslutz. I’m not 100% convinced using the VC will get you the same sound as outboard gear however I do believe it will give you a new color. I often use microphone impulse responses on a few channels so they sound like they have been recorded through say a Neuman and 15″ away. I know that definitely adds something unique and interesting to my mixes so plug-ins like the Slate have my interest. The Beta is available now for $199. iLok required.
“What it aims to do is precisely emulate the sound of mixing through a legendary analog desk. We’ve worked very hard on the algorithms and we’re happy to say that in our testing, it was extremely difficult to pick out the real desk verse the emulation in an blind A/B test. Fabrice Gabriel implemented modeling techniques that capture the entire dynamic response of the desk, meaning that the sound of the desk, (depending on the emulation), can change as you drive it harder.” – Steven Slate
Sonic Charge’s MicroTonic is one of the best software drum machines. Now you can browse patterns and drum sets on their website in the Patternarium. You can thumbs up or down patterns, save patterns and if you have MicroTonic running simply copy the pattern with a few clicks. I think it’s a pretty interesting web meets sequencer diddy!
“What you are experiencing above are computer generated patterns for µTonic created through principles of evolution. All the sounds and rhythms you are hearing are produced by algorithms running on our servers (even the names are made up by random). Think of Patternarium as a giant collaborative patch randomizer. Our servers are regularly spawning new generations of a thousand unique patterns, each one being the cross product of two other patterns picked at random. The higher votes a certain pattern receives, the more likely it is to get picked and bear offspring into the next generation. This means that you may participate and influence the outcome of Patternarium simply by voting.” – soniccharge.com/patternarium
Mr. Alias Pro is a broken screwed up synthesizer. Mr. Alias was designed that way and it’s a perfect soft synth for anyone into ciruit bending, noise or headaches. I actually think this synth is very useful when it comes to creating easy interesting intros or breaks. It has an Auto Randomizer so I am happy. Mac/PC, AU/VST plug-in or Standalone. It’s Donationware so any amount gets you the pro version.
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
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