Wave Alchemy are sound designers from Nottingham in the UK. In the past 5 years Dan Byers & Steve Heath have built up a reputation for producing some of the better sample packs especially when it comes to drum sounds. Recently they released a very ambitious project called Transistor Revolution which uses 22,000 samples to recreate a Roland TR-808 and TR-909. Some people will ask why do we need more 808/909? I think theses specific drum machine sounds are the pencil and pen for electronic music. They are important backbone sounds that can be used a million different ways. Real 808s and 909s are continually going up in value. Last time I checked an 808 is about $2500 on eBay. Transistor Revolution is currently less than $100 USD (introductory price) so if it sounds good it’s value is apparent. “TR” uses Native Instruments free Kontakt Player and is a 6GB download. That’s 6GB of essentially 20 different drum sounds! When you turn a knob in Transistor Revolution changing each of the sounds parameters the drum samples are actually changing from one to the next behind the scenes. In addition, “7 variations of each drum sound… cycle randomly each time a key on the keyboard is played”. Within the custom TR Kontakt player there are 7 effects: EQ, Compression, Tape Saturation, Transient Designer, High Pass Filter, Low Pass Filter and Bit Crusher. Each effect has it’s own page with multiple parameters that can be edited and saved. There is a full mini mixer within the plug-in so you can mix and place drum sounds on separate virtual outputs and add Send Effects. Send Effects inlcude the ones mentioned above and others including a Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Delay, Rotator, Stereo Modeller, multiple Distortion types and Convolution and standard Reverbs. The interface reminds me of Propellerhead’s Reason. Each drum sound has it’s own rack piece which can be closed and opened. Without reading the manual I was able to find my way around.
So how does it sound? Very good. Different model 808s sound different from each other. However, in my own opinion when listening to hardware or software clones there are things to look for. You want super clear white metalic high hats, rides and crashes. Snares and claps should have a very sharp transient attack. Kicks should go from tight to boomey. Transistor Revolution does an excellent job. I have one criticism and two things for the wish list. There are 4 “multis” which are basically a full 808 or 909 group of samples with some settings. For example there is an MP60, S1200, Lite and Analog version of the 808. I’m not sure if they use different sample sets or just the effect settings are different. Either way I want to see many more Multi presets. As I said above 808/909s lend themselves to treatment very well. Give us 50 flavors of each please! For the wish list I would like to see a TR style sequencer and MIDI file player. Why just give us the sounds? Part of what makes a the drum machines great is the patterns. Give us a few hundred MIDI patterns built-in and give us 16 lights going from left to right please.
Wave Alchemy are on the right path here. I suspect we will see more drum machines meticulously multi-sampled by the UK duo. In short of a real 808/909 or maybe the Tiptop Audio modular stuff this is the best sounding and certainly most affordable convient way to the TR sound.
“Our aim with Transistor Revolution was always to produce a product that could completely replace the hardware in our own productions.” – wavealchemy.co.uk
For audio samples and more info: wavealchemy.co.uk/transistor_revolution
This entry was written by drum machine, plug-ins, sounds and tagged drum machine, roland, Roland TR-808, Roland TR-909, Transistor Revolution, Wave Alchemy. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Wave Alchemy has created a Kontakt sampled version of the classic Sequential Circuits Pro One synthesizer called the Pro-II. The Pro One is best known as the synth heavily used on every Yaz record. It has a very clear sharp sound with very fast envelopes. In addition to the sample library there is a sequencer and “fully editable effects as well as specially created reverb IR’s (Impulse Responses) recorded from our Eventide DSP-7000 Harmonizer.”. As usual I recommend getting the real thing. However, with the Wave Alchemy you can save your presets, work on an airplane, have polyphony and skip the vintage synth repair bills. 3.9GB sound library including 6587 multi-sampled 24-bit WAV samples. £39.95
“Inspired by one of the most popular synths of its time, Pro II combines classic sounds with modern sound shaping tools to achieve a versatile and fully programmable hybrid synthesizer!” – wavealchemy.co.uk
For more info: wavealchemy.co.uk/pro_ii_synthesizer
This entry was written by plug-ins, synthesizer and tagged Kontakt, Pro-II, Pro-One, rompler, sampler, Sequential Circuits, synthesizer, Wave Alchemy. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Wave Alchemy has released a free sample pack of the vintage analog Roland TR-606 drum machine. Four free kits are included titled: Driven Kit, Dry Kit, Stereo FX Kit and Warm Kit. To grab the samples: click here
“606 Drums by Wave Alchemy serves up 290 drum samples from Roland’s sought-after TR-606 drum machine. The samples included have been lovingly recorded through an API pre-amp with many sounds boasting multiple round robin variations, accent and velocity layers! 606 Drums contains four pre-mapped drum kit patches for use with Kontakt 2, 3, & 4 and Battery 3. Each kit makes extensive use of multiple velocity layers, round robin sample playback and choke groups to create truly expressive sample instruments.” – Wave Alchemy
Disclaimer: Wave Alchemy is an advertiser on Wire to the Ear.
photo credit: BatterseaTrump
This entry was written by drum machine, sounds and tagged drum machine, free, roland, TR-606, Wave Alchemy. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Today I would like to welcome a new sponsor at Wire to the Ear: Wave Alchemy. You can see there advert running on the top right sidebar of this blog. I’ve turned down a lot of advertising requests from companies that were totally unrelated to pro-audio. Why diamond and shoe companies think this is a good place to advertise I don’t know! Wave Alchemy are based out of Nottingham in the UK. They sell sample libraries that are 100% royalty free and every sample is 100% original (not ripped from vinyl or anywhere else). Even if your not ready to buy anything it’s worth a visit to their site because each pack has a free sample set. There’s also a few totally free sample packs such “Club Kicks” and “Odyssey FX”. Robert Babicz (Rob Acid), Chris Lake and Martin Eyerer are a few of the artists using Wave Alchemy’s stuff.
I hope you welcome them as it does help Wire to the Ear stay on your computer screen.
For more info: http://wavealchemy.co.uk
This entry was written by business, sounds and tagged Dan Byers, drum samples, samples, sound effects, sponsor, Steve Heath, Wave Alchemy. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.