Micah Frank releases Tape Pieces Vol. 2 + Strata particle tape loop device (FREE)

Puremagnetik StrataShot

Micah Frank has announced the release of Tape Pieces Vol. 2, a new installment in the series of collaborations between Micah Frank and Chris Child (Kodomo). The EP contains four compositions that Chris and Micah built from field recordings, cassette tapes and synthesizers. While Tape Pieces Volume One focused on the layering and cascading of […]

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Puremagnetik releases Nighthawk “Cyberscape Dream Machine” synth instrument

Puremagnetik Nighthawk

Puremagnetik has announced the release of a new synthesizer inspired by film soundtracks such as Tron, Blade Runner and Escape from New York. Nighthawk is capable of generating complex, evolving sounds similar to those of the Yamaha CS-80 and Oberheim Xpander. Each Nighthawk voice is fed through a supersaw matrix of 7 oscillators that can […]

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Puremagnetik releases Shadow polyphonic harmonulation wizard

Puremagnetik Shadow

Puremagnetik has announced the release of polyphonic pitch and delay effect Shadow, a device capable of conjuring up everything from chorus effects to slapback delay lines and more. Used minimally, it can create wide chorus effects but it can also glitch, mangle and completely obscure sounds into crazy cosmic dimensions. The first part of Shadow […]

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Puremagnetik releases Parallax frequency orbiting station plugin

Puremagnetik Parallax

Puremagnetik has announced the release of Parallax, a unique effect that is part vocoder and part echo/reverb matrix. The plugin can create subtle, modulating filter effects that swell and transform through rich, algorithmic spaces. At its heart is a 10-band filterbank that can be shifted in real time to bring out resonances, shift tonal balance […]

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Puremagnetik releases Weave, buffer, drone & space machine for $1 USD

Puremagnetik Weave GUI

Puremagnetik experimental duo Larum – known for their signature tape drones and dreamy, ambient soundscapes – invite you into their world with a complementary plugin, Weave. Pledge $1 USD or more to their new album All the Roads and download Weave for free (included in the Bandcamp download). Weave is a buffer manipulator, space and […]

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Novation offers free Puremagnetik Lo-Fi Ambient Tools plugin suite

Novation Sound Collective Puremagnetik

The latest offer for members of Novation’s Sound Collective community is a trio of uniquely evocative plugins by Puremagnetik. Comprising two effects and a synthesizer, the Lo-Fi Ambient Tools provides the electronic producer and sound designer with three intuitive, inspiring and experimentally rewarding production tools. The bundle includes the Verv synth which emulates sun-baked, tape-recorded […]

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Puremagnetik releases Bitfight 83 cascading bit reconfigurator

Puremagnetik Bitfight 83

Puremagnetik has announced the release of its latest audio effect plugin Bitfight 83, a bit crusher featuring two cascading distortion chains with separate modulation. Inspired by 1980s video games, bit-smashing effects and the Commodore 64, Bitfight 83 is part distortion machine, part lo-fi chip emulator. But Bitfight 83 is more than just a bit crusher […]

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Puremagnetik releases Zerone audio particle splitter plugin

Puremagnetik Zerone

Puremagnetik has announced the release of its new effect plugin Zerone, an audio particle splitter that uses granular processes to dissect sound. Zeroe has two branches of granular processors that can time compress/expand and iterate over time segments. On one end of the processing spectrum, Zerone is a repeat, timestretch and stutter-like effect. On the […]

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Grainstation-C is a free granular tool with ambisonics, and an album to match

It started as an artist tool, but it could become yours, as well. Grainstation-C is a free and open source sound creation workstation that’s playable live and supports ambisonic spatial sound. And the music its creators makes is ethereal and wonderful.

Micah Frank, noted sound designer and toolmaker as well as composer/musician, produced Grainstation-C for his own work but has expanded it to an open source offering for everybody. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and I think it could appeal both to people looking for a unique tool as well as those wanting to learn a bit more about granular sound in Csound.

https://github.com/chronopolis5k/Grainstation-C [link + full installation instructions, etc.]

http://csound.com/download.html [requisite Csound install]

The engine: 4 streams from disk, 3 streams from live input. Live audio looping, multiple grain controls, six independent pitch delay lines, six switchable low- and high-pass filters. Snapshot saving.

Powered by: Csound, the modern free and open source sound creation tool that evolved from the grandparent of all digital audio tools.

Live control: It’s pre-mapped to the eminently useful Novation LaunchControl XL MK2, but you could easily remap it to other MIDI controllers if you prefer.

Ambisonics: This optional spatial audio processing lets you use a standard format to adapt to immersive sound environments – in three-dee! Or not, as you like.

It’s deep stuff – even with different granular modes and controls (time stretching, frame animation, pitch shifting). The inspiration, says Micah, was the now-discontinued System Concrète, a complete MakeNoise modular rig that combined grains with modulation, filtering, and delays. But – as is easily possible with software, unconstrained by knobs and space and money – he kept going from there.

Equally notable is the ethereal, beautiful album Quetico that also debuts this week, on Micah’s own Puremagnetik record label. Once, the line between toolmakers and musicians, engineers and composers was thought sacred – even with elaborate explanations about why the two couldn’t be compared. But just as electronic artists have demolished other sacred walls (club and concert, for instance), Micah is part of a generation doing away with those old prejudices.

And the results are richly sensual – warm waves of sound processed from Yellowstone geysers and Big Sur nights, Micah says. It’s classic ambient music, and the tool simply melts away, the essential craft of delivering a palette of sound. At the same time, being transparent with the tools is the ultimate confidence in one’s own musical invention. Micah’s Puremagnetik was a business built in making sounds for others, and yet both the album and free tool suggest the limitless possibility of that act of sharing.

In any event, this is acousmatic creation of the finest quality, with or without the GitHub link. And Micah is getting some deserved recognition, too, with a 2019 New York Foundation award for the Arts Fellow in Music and Sound.

With so much of the sound out of my country of origin the United States ugly, it’s wonderful to hear beautiful algorithmic sounds derived from the nation’s national parks instead.

https://micahfrank.bandcamp.com/album/quetico

Image credit: “Yellowstone 8/07”by stevetulk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Puremagnetik releases Grainstation-C free ambisonic, granular performance workstation

Puremagnetik Grainstation C

Puremagnetik has announced the release of Grainstation-C, an open-source, granular performance workstation designed to build real-time, evolving sound sculptures with optional ambisonics. It seamlessly integrates with a Novation LaunchControl XL Mark 2 (easily modifiable for any other controller) and can processes 4 disk tracks and 3 live input streams. You can save any state as […]

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