SubLab is an 808 bass synth and more, from makers of Circle

Hard-hitting sub bass and percussion is the focus of SubLab, a new instrument from Future Audio Workshop. And it puts a ton of sound elements into an uncommonly friendly interface. Let’s get our hands on it.

This begins our Tools of Summer series of selections – stuff you’ll want to use when the nights are long (erm, northern hemisphere) and you need some new inspiration from instruments to actually use.

We hadn’t heard much lately from Future Audio Workshop. Their ground-breaking Circle instrument was uniquely friendly, clean, and easy to use. At a time when nearly all virtual instruments had virtually unreadable, tiny UIs, Circle broke from the norm with displays you could see easily. Beginners could track signal flow and modulation, and experts (erm, many of them, you know, older and with aging eyes) could be more productive and focused.

SubLab takes that same approach – so much so that a couple of quick shots I posted to Instagram got immediate feedback.

And then it’s just chock full of bass – with a whole lot of potential applications.

Sound layers, plus filter, plus distortion, plus compressor – deceptively simple and powerful.

So, sure, FAW talk trap and hip-hop and future bass and sub basslines – you’ll get those, for sure. But I think you’ll start using SubLab all over the place.

If you just want a recipe for 808 bass, this instrument is there for you. You can layer and filter and overdrive and distort sounds into basslines made from punchy drum bits. Then you discover that this produces interesting melodic lines, too. Or that while you have all the elements of various kick drums not only from Roland but sampled from a studio full of drum machines (Vermona to JoMoX), you … might as well make some punchy kicks and toms.

It’s just too fast. And that’s not because the interface is particularly dumbed down – on the contrary, it’s because once all the chrome and tiny controls are out of the way and the designers focused on what this does, you can get at a lot of options more quickly.

The synth has an easy-to-follow structure – sound, distortion, compressor. Sound is divided into a simple multi-oscillator synth, a sample playback engine, and then the trademarked ‘x-sub’ sub-oscillator. You can then mix these separately, and route a percentage of the synth and sampler to a multi-mode filter. (Don’t miss the essential ‘glide’ control lurking just at the bottom, as I did at first.) Pulling it all together, you get a ‘master’ overview that shows you how each element layers in the resulting sound spectrum.

Also in the sound > synth section, you can easily access multiple envelopes with visual feedback. (Arturia, who I’m also writing about this week, have also gone this route, and it makes a big difference being able to see as well as hear.)

The sampler has essential tracking, pitching, and looping features for this application. The x-sub bit is uniquely controllable – you can set individual harmonic levels just by dragging around purple vertical bars. It’s rare to sculpt sub-bass like this so easily, and it’s addictive.

X-sub (trademarked?) means you can sculpt the harmonics inside the sub-oscillator section just by dragging.

The interface is easy enough, but a couple of characteristic additions really complete the package. The sampler section is full of inspiring hardware samples to use as building blocks – great stuff that you might use for your non-melodic kicks, or try out for punchy percussion and melodies even in higher registers. The Distortion also has some compelling modes, like the lovely “darkdrive” and convincing tube and overdrive options.

Tons of hardware samples abound for layering.

There aren’t a lot of presets – it looks like FAW’s plan is to get you hooked, then add more patch packs. But with enough sound design options here, including custom sample loading, you might be fine just making your own.

Really, my only complaint is that I find the filter and compressor a bit vanilla, particularly in this age of so many beautiful modeled options from Native Instruments, Arturia, u-he, and others.

I figured I would be writing this glowing review and telling you, oh yeah, it’s definitely worth $149.

But — damn, this thing is $70, on sale for $40.

Sheesh. Just get it, then. There are lots of deeper and more complex things out there. But this is something else – simple enough that you’ll actually use it to design your own creative sounds. As FAW has shown us before, visual feedback and accessible interfaces combine to make sound design connect with your brain more effectively.

https://futureaudioworkshop.com/sublab

Here’s me messing around with it to prove it can do things other than what it was intended for:

And more hands-on videos from the creators:

The post SubLab is an 808 bass synth and more, from makers of Circle appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Future Audio Workshop launches SubLab synth for Trap, Hip Hop & Future Bass

FAW SubLab

Future Audio Workshop has introduced SubLab, a new class of synthesizer designed for Hip-Hop, Future Bass and Trap genres. Create powerful 808 style sub-bass that sounds punchy on every speaker, every time. Get all the tools you need to sample, layer, widen and distort any kick into a uniquely powerful sub in one plug-in. SubLab’s […]

The post Future Audio Workshop launches SubLab synth for Trap, Hip Hop & Future Bass appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Producers Choice Easter Sale: Save 60% on sample packs for Hip Hop, Trap & OVO

Producers Choice Easter Sale

Producers Choice is offering a 60% discount on all its sample packs and bundles featuring sounds for Hip Hop, Trap, OVO and more. The sale includes the popular 808 Warfare sample pack, Advanced Producer Bundle (7 best selling packs), Trapped In The 80s: The Drum Collection, Sounds From The 6 Producer Bundle, Cassette Samples Vol […]

The post Producers Choice Easter Sale: Save 60% on sample packs for Hip Hop, Trap & OVO appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Sub51 updates Satur809 sample library to v1.5 (Kontakt, Komplete & EXS24)

Sub51 Satur809

Sub51 has announced version 1.5 of Satur809, an update to the sample llbrary which includes several enhancements plus compatibility with Logic Pro’s EXS24 sampler. Presented as a fully-functional, velocity layered Kontakt Instrument with access to Compression, Limiter, Reverb, Lo-fi, Delay and Phaser, this package is based on meticulously recorded samples recorded using original TR808 and […]

The post Sub51 updates Satur809 sample library to v1.5 (Kontakt, Komplete & EXS24) appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Samples From Mars launches MPC1 drum synth sample pack

MPC1 From Mars feat

Samples From Mars has launched a new sample pack featuring the sounds of the rare, early 80s MPC1 analog drum synthesizer and sequencer from MPC Electronics. In contrast to Akai’s more famous line of digital MPC samplers, this MPC is a short-lived, 100% analog drum synthesizer that sounds something like an 808 crossed with a […]

The post Samples From Mars launches MPC1 drum synth sample pack appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Roland Cloud releases Techno Suite of Patches & Patterns by Francis Preve and Jim Stout

Roland Cloud Techno Suite Patches Patterns

In conjunction with Roland Cloud, Symplesound and Carma Studio join forces to create the Roland Cloud Techno Suite, a comprehensive collection of 220 presets and grooves that encapsulate the history of the genre—from its roots in 1988’s “Second Summer of Love” to the current revolution in melodic techno. Developed by acclaimed sound designer Francis Preve […]

The post Roland Cloud releases Techno Suite of Patches & Patterns by Francis Preve and Jim Stout appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Glitchedtones launches Serum 808: Smooth sub tones & distorted floorshakers

Glitchedtones Serum 808

ADSR Sounds has released the new Serum 808 sound pack by Glitchedtones, a collection of 808 sounds for the popular Serum wavetable synthesizer instrument by Xfer Records. The pack includes 25 versatile presets ranging from smooth sub tones to hard, distorted floorshakers. Inspired by Trap producers and artists such as Metro Boomin, Murda Beatz, Nick […]

The post Glitchedtones launches Serum 808: Smooth sub tones & distorted floorshakers appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Roland has registered the 303, 808 designs as trademarks

Roland has quietly filed for trademark protection (Unionsmarkenanmeldung) in Germany for the designs of the TB-303 and TR-808.

The filings were uncovered by a poster on the sequencer.de forum. The discussion is in German:

Roland versucht aktuell sich die 808-Farben und das 303-Design als Marke schützen zu lassen [sequencer.de]

https://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/registerHABM?AKZ=018016159&CURSOR=34

https://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/registerHABM?AKZ=018016158&CURSOR=33

The “trademark” here is trade dress, the design of the actual appearance of the 303 and 808 – the signature layout of the keyboard and knobs of the 303, and the sequence of colored buttons on the 808. “Iconic” is a word that’s wildly overused, but here we can take it to be almost literally true: you can draw out these layouts and even a lot of lay people with a passing interest in electronic music will immediately recognize this bassline synth and drum machine.

Forum posters conclude that this is about Behringer, who announced last month at the NAMM show that they would ship their “RD-808” drum machine – matching the original TR-808 color scheme and button layout – in March. But the registration in Germany could be a sign Roland are generally planning to more aggressively protect their intellectual property, in respect to Behringer or others. And as the RD-808 could, for instance, wind up being subject to litigation outside Germany – that is, anywhere the drum machine ships.

That said, Behringer without fanfare reversed the order of the colors on their RD-808, from a production prototype (orange / light orange / yellow / white, as on the original Roland) to what was shown at NAMM.

The one thing I can say for sure is – the artwork Roland filed from Japan is gorgeous. So, Roland, please don’t sue us for sharing. (And yeah, I’d buy this if you want to turn it into merch.)

No idea how long processing will take, or really how the law works; if I can find out, I’ll share. At least Germany should appreciate the aesthetics of combining gold, bright red, and black – check the flag.

Meanwhile, in America… Roland last year filed applications for trademark protection in the USA for the TR-808 and TR-909 (also right after the NAMM show, January 25, 2018). You can find these (pending) applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, under 87769864 and 87769891.

It’s routine practice to file for things you might want to protect, not necessarily manufacture, but that doesn’t make it any less privately amusing to read this list of apparel that would be covered under that application:

“Jackets; sweaters; sport shirts; polo shirts; shirts; overcoats; raincoats; underwear; pajamas; undershirts; Tee-shirts; wind-resistant jackets; swimming costumes; sleep masks; neckties; aprons; socks and stockings; bandanas; headwear; caps as a headwear; hats”

I totally want a Roland swimming costume. But yeah, if you’re thinking of making one yourself, you should read this:

https://www.roland.com/global/company/intellectual_property/

The post Roland has registered the 303, 808 designs as trademarks appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Wavediggerz launches Oberon 808 & Sub Bass VST/AU instrument plugin

Wavediggerz Oberon

Wavediggerz has launched the Oberon 808 and Sub Bass instrument plugin for Windows and Mac. We kept the trap urban genre in mind while creating these sounds, with that heavy bass sound we hear all over the airwaves in todays modern music. Inspired by artist such as Post Malone, Swaelee, Wiz Khalifa and inspired by […]

The post Wavediggerz launches Oberon 808 & Sub Bass VST/AU instrument plugin appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Wave Alchemy launches Tuned Tape Drums & Ethereal Electronica

Wave Alchemy Tuned Tape Drums

Wave Alchemy has released its new sample pack Ethereal Electronica, a collection of loops, one-shots, MIDI files and more. A playground of musical inspiration for any forward-thinking music producer, Ethereal Electronica creatively blends organic acoustic instruments with seductive electronic elements; delivering an emotive collection of blissed out Chillwave beats, undulating analogue bass, cinematic pianos, textural […]

The post Wave Alchemy launches Tuned Tape Drums & Ethereal Electronica appeared first on rekkerd.org.