Lakeside Audio has announced the release of Isola Pro FX, an innovative audio plugin for separating audio input material into its components. Unlike many other products using simple left and right channel subtraction or phase/invert filter methods, the underlying algorithm works in real time by using psychoacoustic analysis. Another great advantage compared to state of […]
Audified has released SpeakUp, a bundle of two responsive, purpose-built plugins for streamlining and simplifying the process of voiceover and YouTube show creation. The bundle comprises SpeakUp Sensor for working with voice tracks and SpeakUp Performer for working with video/audio tracks. SpeakUp has emerged from the necessity to simplify the process of creating voiceovers and […]
NUGEN Audio has launched SigMod, a collection of eleven single-process modules which let you energize and enhance your existing plugins and get more from your DAW. SigMod easily allows you to add features to make your workflow more powerful and effective. Instantly enhance the functionality of your plug-ins and DAW with eleven different signal modification […]
It’s time for another trip into the strange and wonderful world of artist-created Reaktor ensembles. This time, our guide is dub techno maestro Deadbeat.
The Canadian-born, Berlin-based Scott Monteith is an artist whose chops are at peak maturity, from timbre to rhythm, recording to mix. And Scott’s latest, Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve, is both more personal — pulling from inspirational texts from friends — and more sonically intimate. The entire album sounds open and airy and organic, thanks to using acoustic re-recording of electronic elements. Every percussion hit, every synth line was either recorded in real space in the studio or recorded out of the box and into that open space and then miked.
Scott and I got to spend a pleasurably leisurely interview talking about the record, which I wrote up for Native Instruments’ blog:
Deadbeat on a return to hope, sound in real space
With all this focus on acoustic recoridng and re-recording, you’d think there wouldn’t be much to say about software – but you’d be wrong. There’s yet more shade and color around these sounds that’s produced by synthetic processing, a whole lot of it in Reaktor.
“There’s tons and tons of extra stuff that you would normally delete in vocal takes or guitar takes or whatever that ended up as sauce for feeding vocoders or feeding [Reaktor ensemble] grainstates,” says Scott, “or even some of the real classic [ensembles].” You’re hearing some of that in the hyperreal, clear color of the arrangements and mix.
“I think it’s nice to treat that stuff completely independently,” Scott says, “and then you end up with this bank of stuff that you know is going to be in key. And it’s somehow relatable, whether it be melodically or aesthetically – because you’ve fed it this stuff from a particular track. And then you go back to arrangement mode, because then I can take off my sound designer’s hat and put on my arrangers’ hat.”
Scott is confident enough in his skills to give that secret sauce away, so here’s a tour. Some of these are some long-lost gems of the library, too, so don’t expect to find them just by sorting for the latest or most popular ensembles. Some of these were used on this particular record, others represent a related techniques but have been used on other productions.
“I’m using that just to add color to things. I love vocoders, period.
It’s like taking the vocals of Gudrun talking or Fatima talking, and using that as the modulator and the carrier signal being the chords in the track. Or it could also be the extra recording of the high hats in the room, and vocoding the vocals with that. So, then you have something rhythmic that’s the same, and in the same air, but then can be free as its own track. Or taking the guitar or the bass…”
GRIP Grain Cloud Synth
Uwe G. Hoenig
Polyphonic granular synth
“This is a playable one – this is one you can play with the keyboard. And you can load the oscillator is whatever you load into it.”
Denis Gökdag / zynaptiq, Native Instruments
KOMPLETE effect; available à la carte or in KOMPLETE ULTIMATE
“It’s fantastic. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful combination of super, super simple granular synth process combined with lovely lush reverb. And it’s just amazing.”
Random sound generator
“There goes a few hours of time,” says Scott. “This whole frequency modulation and detune and weird shit that’s going on in these guys is amazing.”
“There’s this preset – ‘Coming Up From Hell.’ I use that a lot – I’ve been using that for years. If you’re rolling along, and you want to create density, it’s like, okay, flip this into the Ultimate Reverb, and all of a sudden you’ve got this underlying loud of ffffoooooosssssh. You’ve made things thick without adding another element.
And that with some sort of distortion, and some sort of sidechain compression to make sure that it doesn’t get in the way of anything — all of a sudden, you’ve created raging hell.”
Granular effect processor
Don’t forget the granular Reaktor ensemble that started the craze. Martin’s landmark granular processor has had an influence even outside the Reaktor community on imagining how grain processing effects can be used as instruments.
Hacking together custom ensembles
The biggest advantage of using Reaktor as a modular environment is, you can hack together what you need if a particular tool doesn’t do exactly what you want. Scott long ago made his name as a Reaktor patcher, but don’t feel obligated to achieve mastery — even he doesn’t necessarily go that route now. “The last one that I did … this thing [Deadbeats] 13 years ago.”
The aforementioned Grain Cloud synth, for instance, he used to substitute oscillators inside a drum machine. Or with granular processors, he’s swapped a sample player with a live input, as on The Swarm. These aren’t complicated hacks – you barely need to know how to operate Reaktor to pull them off. But they then open worlds of new performance and sound design possibilities.
In another instance, Scott had a happy accident hacking mmmd1, the “morphing minimal drum machine” by grainstates creator Martin Brinkmann. That ensemble includes a series of assignable X/Y controllers which can modulate the filter, bitcrush, and so on, with step-based sequencing.
Scott tried applying a child ensemble with a crossfader for interpolating between presets – and that’s when he was surprised. “Because this is step-based, morphing between presets on this thing, as you would go across, it would go thththththththththt …. and you would get these totally twisted, glitchy crossfade things.”
Thanks, Scott! Got more favorite Reaktor ensembles, other granular tools, or the like? Let us know in comments.
Deadbeat Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve [Review: XLR8R]
The post Deadbeat’s secret sauce Reaktor picks for “weirdo” production appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on Audionamix, offering up to 29% off on bundles featuring its SVC Speech Volume Control, TRAX Pro 3 audio editor and VVC vocal processing plugin. Since 2008, Audionamix has established itself as the global leader in audio source separation. Based on years of audio research, the company developed the […]
How do you demo or document something like KOMA Elektronik’s Field Kit FX? Well, you treat it like the mad experimental sound laboratory it is.
KOMA’s Field Kit FX was a massive hit even as a crowd funding project. It’s still listed as preorder, but will start to ship this month, beginning with backers.
In the meantime, our friends and music mavens Isabella and Zuzana (the latter a sometimes CDM contributor) have been working on helping document what you can do with this beast, from deep inside the Neukölln lair of the indie manufacturer.
And… yeah, it’s darned cool.
The “manual” isn’t a dry technical doc, either. It’s a recipe book full of creative ideas:
And the videos show how you can build ideas with this, as well. The whole package is the very opposite of a uni-tasker. So there’s a spring reverb, digital delay, a four-channel mixer with tone control, frequency shifter, looper, bit crusher, envelope generator, and a little sequencer. And both digital and analog effects have copious mappings to control voltage, so you can manipulate and automate effects from other gear (including modular devices). That means there’s a whole lot to look at.
There’s a video featuring the looper & digital delay:
And the delay and the spring reverb (the rectangular tank you see attached):
Sequencing is included, too, for some rhythmic effects, so you can add that in:
Check out the hardware:
The post KOMA’s Field Kit FX is like a crazy studio in a tiny box: videos, manual appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on McDSP’s SA-2 Dialog Processor, an audio effect plugin that is based on hardware originally conceived by Academy Award winning re-recording mixer Mike Minkler. The SA-2 plugin is designed to improve the overall sound of recorded speech. It is also useful for vocals, adjusting the timbre of any track, […]
You’ve heard Justin Bieber mangled into gorgeous ambient cascades of sound. Now, you can experience the magic of PaulStretch as a free plug-in.
It may give you that “A-ha” moment in ambient music. You know:
The developer has various warnings about using this plug-in, which for me make me want to use it even more. (Hey, no latency reporting to the DAW? Something weird in Cubase! No manual? Who cares! Let’s give it a go – first I’m going to run with scissors to grab a beer which I’ll drink at my laptop!)
The plugin is only suitable for radical transformation of sounds. It is not suitable at all for subtle time corrections and such. Ambient music and sound design are probably the most suitable use cases.
You had me at radical / not subtle.
Okay… yeah, this was probably meant for me:
You can use it two ways: either load an audio file, and just run PaulStretch in your DAW, or use it as a live processor on inputs. (That’s weird, given what it does – hey, there was some latency. Like… a whole lot of latency.)
It’s on Mac and Windows but code is available and Linux is “likely.”
If you want the original:
That does other nifty tricks, like binaural beats.
But the plug-in I think just became the easiest way to use it. Now go forth and make long sounds and chill to them.
The post A free plug-in brings extreme PaulStretch stretching to your DAW appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
Granulators, drones, mixing, synths, effects, control, and on and on – TX Modular is an insanely huge set of tools, and the cost is zero.
SuperCollider, the free and open source sound creation environment for Mac, Windows, and Linux, is vast and powerful. The problem is, actually getting into it is … a little arcane. Talk to many frequent SuperCollider users, and what you’ll find is that they’ve assembled personal libraries of code snippets to work with it. So it can feel a bit like trying to talk your way into a secret society, if you’ve come from another sound creation environment.
Paul Miller writes to share his TX Modular System, which gives you the keys to a huge treasure trove of modules, and some easier ways of combining them.
All of this also means you don’t have to touch SuperCollider code if you don’t want to – though you can add that, too, if you like. (And you can run some code without having to build everything else you need from scratch.)
And it’s all just kind of mind boggling. Just to give a small overview, you get – among other things:
Synths and drones. In addition to the more conventional stuff you’d expect, there are a range of unique morphing synths, wave terrain instruments, drone and noise makers – rare, creative stuff. And there are polyphonic synths with a special emphasis on physical modeling and filter-based sound.
Samples and granulators. Grains are part of the appeal of SuperCollider – these instruments have lots of variations to experiment with sound, plus more conventional players, loopers, and sample-based synths.
Effects. There’s an insane amount here: delays, amp simulation and distortion, waveshapers, bitcrushers, extensive dynamic processing, EQ and flter, resonators, reverbs, and then extra stuff like spectral delays, harmonizers, and vocoders. From studio-style processing to weirder realms, it’s the full gamut, and within a modular paradigm.
Mixing and processing. Need a Mid-Side encoder? Faders? It’s there, too.
Control. Arguably, the rise of Eurorack modular has renewed the interest in actually getting creative and musical with patching itself. So, here you get clock dividers and a rich variety of envelopes and the like, in addition to basic LFOs and such. And at the same time, you get modulation that’s only possible in the digital realm, like random walks and Perlin Noise (a particular digital algorithm with nice, organic results), plus physics models of balls and springs.
Hardware input. Here, too, you get some of the advantages of the computer: work with OpenSoundControl natively, add Wiimotes, plenty of MIDI processors, and more.
Sequencers. Most modular environments break down when it comes to the sort of sequencing in DAWs – but not here. There are scale, chord, note processing, and piano roll sequencers, not just some limited step sequencers. You can even work with multiple tracks or use sequencers for modulation and actions.
UI. For building interfaces, you get various widgets for knobs and sliders.
And of course, you still have SuperCollider for extending all of this, with convenient modules for adding your code to the modular environment.
A mature release is out now as of last month, with a powerful new multitrack sequencer and note processing, FM granulator, a new reverb, and module improvements. (In case you were already up and running with TX, you’ll find what’s new in this release, entitled 087, included in the release notes.)
It’s almost ridiculous that Paul has created this for free. But it’s a beautiful, completely open source solution:
On Mac, you can download a standalone, but the whole environment works on Mac, Windows, and Linux so long as you install SuperCollider first.
The post TX Modular is a vast, free set of sound tools in SuperCollider appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
sonicLAB has announced the release Cosmosƒ FX5, an updated version of the live audio stochastic processor that offers incredible sound bending potential. Cosmosƒ FX5 features a convolution engine that allows you to choose or import any impulse response file and have the meso events send their signals at stochastically modulated levels to the engine, creating […]