Leaf Audio – String Box – Microphonic Soundbox im nächsten Level

Leaf Audio - StringLeaf Audio - String

Die Microphonic Soundbox gibt es nun in der zweiten Version, dort kann man mehr Gegenstände fest anbinden und der Amp wurde deutlich verbessert und verdoppelt. Es handelt sich um eine Box für Geräusche, die mit Kontaktmikrofonen ausgestattet ist. Aber auf der Superbooth gab es zwei neue interessante Instrumente oder elektroakustische Gerätschaften zu sehen:

Manuel Richter, hier im Bild zeigte neben der neueren Microphonic Soundbox II auch zwei neue Gerät mit ähnlichem Ansatz, beide sind mit Saiten versehen und können in allen Varianten gespielt werden, zupfen, streichen mit und ohne Bogen und auch ziehen. Die vier Saiten suchen eher Experimentierer aus dem entsprechenden Musikumfeld und sprechen sowohl Selbstbauer als auch Elektro-Musiker an. Sie sorgen dafür, dass die Klangwelt größer ist und sind dafür gefacht als Quelle für Filmmusik und Geräusche eingesetzt zu werden. Ein Missbrauch ist nicht möglich, deshalb ist selbstverständlich auch die Sicht als Instrumentenbau interessant.

Soundbox mit Saiten

Die Bauweise ist ähnlich der Soundbox und besteht aus Holzteilen, die sehr einfach ineinander gesteckt werden können. So ist faktisch auch der unbegabteste Nutzer in der Lage, das Gerät faktisch selbst zusammenzustellen. Auf der Innenseite gibt es Verstärker und insgesamt kann man dann mit Effekten und dem Rechner direkte Aufnahmen machen ohne eine weitere Infrastruktur.

Weitere Information

Preise und Verfügbarkeit sind noch nicht jetzt bekannt, zudem gab es ein zweites Instrument dieser Art zu sehen, welches ebenfalls auf Saiten basiert. Es ist denkbar, dass weitere Elemente zu finden sein werden, mit denen man Geräusche spielen und erzeugen kann, die sich organisch und „natürlich“ anhören.

Leaf Audio sind bekannt für Selbstbau-Kurse, die auch mit der Soundbox und sicher auch mit dem noch nicht namentlich bekannten Gerät, bzw. beider Geräte arbeiten und anderen helfen, diese selbst aufzubauen.

 

Spitfire Audio Intros Free LABS Strings & Piano Virtual Instruments

Spitfire Audio has announced that a new line of LABS virtual instrument plugins that are designed to be simple to use and sound great.… Read More Spitfire Audio Intros Free LABS Strings & Piano Virtual Instruments

LABS is a free series of sound tools for everyone, and you’ll want it now

Everyone’s talking these days it seems about new users and finding an entry way into production. But Spitfire’s take is pretty irresistible: give you some essential sounds you can use anywhere, then charge you … nothing.

Spitfire Audio are a little bit like the “recording studio, engineers, and world-class rented orchestra” you … never had. These are exceptionally detailed sample libraries, including collaborations with Hans Zimmer and Ólafur Arnalds.

LABS is something different. Spitfire says they’re planning a series of these bite-sized sample library instruments, integrated as plug-ins for Mac and Windows / all DAWs. Since they are more focused, they’re also smaller – so we’re talking a few hundred megs instead of many gigs of content, meaning you also don’t have to think about plugging in an external drive just to install. A new build of their online tool goes and grabs them for you.

VST/AU/AAX/Mac/Windows … free:

https://www.spitfireaudio.com/labs/

Now, just describing it, that sounds not all that exciting – plenty of sample houses offer freebies to get you hooked. But LABS’ debut two entries are something special. There’s an intimate “soft piano” that’s good enough that I temporarily got distracted for half an hour playing even on my QWERTY keyboard in Abeton before I remembered I was supposed to be doing something. It’s beautiful and delicate with loads of sounds of the piano action and … it’s sort of hard not to make some film score with it. (Plugging in a hammer action keyboard was, of course, better.)

Grab those downloads … and more arrive every month. (Here seen alongside their paid libraries.)

There’s also an essentials string ensemble that covers the bread-and-butter articulations you need, exceptionally well recorded on a 40-piece ensemble.

All of this is wrapped into a minimalistic interface, made in collaboration with UsTwo – the folks who did the hit game Monument Valley. Spitfire tells me that something like six to nine months of work between them and UsTwo led to the final design.

Dial in specific settings using the minimal interfaces, designed by the creators of Monument Valley.

LABS has just these settings so far, but they’re already pretty engaging.

This minimalism, from sound selections to interface, almost demands experimentation. You know, there’s a reason so many keyboards have pianos at patch 00 – we’re all often imagining a piano sound or string sound in our heads. It’s just rare you get one you’d want to return to, which is what this is. And I suspect for more adventurous producers and electronic work, the perfectly-recorded, back-to-basics nature of these selections will be perfect for transformation. (So you can weave them into electronic textures, and reverse and chop them up and re-pitch them and so on – all with good source material.)

And, of course, the price is right.

LABS is part of a larger project, with more sounds coming, also for free, monthly. Spitfire promises both more of these basic starting points for new producers or musicians wanting to cover their basic ingredients (like the samples you’ll want on your internal SSD and not just the big external drive), plus a testing bed for experiments in sound design and projects they want feedback on. (It’s not a freemium model, then – it’s more like a free laboratory, rather like what I was discussing yesterday around modules in VCV Rack, but for soundware. I wonder if we’ll see this elsewhere.)

There’s also a content plan around the sounds, a notebook of projects and ideas to go with the LABS sound downloads.

It’s also nice to see soundware companies pushing to increase the value of live musicians and composers/sound designers, rather than engage in a race to the bottom. I’ve heard some real concerns around the industry about the subscription model for sounds, and whether it will do to sound designers and recording artists what Spotify and iTunes Music streaming have done to record labels – but it seems the players in this industry really are committed to finding models that do something different. (Getting into this is obviously a matter for another day.)

Here’s their statement, whether you buy into that or not:

It remains Spitfire’s ethos to use live performances where possible, but when up against time and budget, Spitfire is the next best thing. By paying the players and collaborators royalties, Spitfire Audio helps sustain an incredible part of our musical heritage at the same time as championing innovation within it.

The plug-ins are free forever, not for a limited time. We’ll be watching to see what’s next.

Download:

https://www.spitfireaudio.com/labs/

The post LABS is a free series of sound tools for everyone, and you’ll want it now appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Analog Strings from Output melds string orchestras, string synths

There are string synths. And then there are sample libraries of orchestras. The strings synths produce sounds that are recognizably vintage, and more or less unrelated to actual orchestras. The sample libraries can get into obsessive compulsive detail and sound like an orchestra.

But either way, we’ve been there before. There are great string synths around, but they tend a certain direction. And sampled orchestra libraries, while great, give you that feeling that what you’ve really done is to skimp the musicians of the Bratislava Radio Orchestra on a gig (and your feeling of being in the room with a full orchestra playing your own compositions).

Now, Output has had a scary knack for finding the zeitgeist of contemporary sound design and delivering it as a package. And with each new release, they’ve gotten a bit better at that – building on the set of tools in the last one.

Well, Analog Strings does look different. It’s an integrated instrument, but it’s also like having a huge toolbox of sound design tricks, samples, processors, and more. It’s a “things related to strings” toolkit.

Here’s a sense of the sound:

And here’s a full detailed walkthrough:

So there are solo samples, ensemble samples, big groupings, small groupings, weird sounds, conventional sounds. There are acoustic ensembles, vintage synthesizers, and sometimes unusual hybrids and oddball sources, too. 39 GB of sample content is included.

And then there are additional tools: arpeggiators, sequencers, dual tape loopers, and a bunch of modulation. Output has their usual array of “movement” and effects like phaser/delay, all of which you can sequence and (if desired) sync.

So the idea is, you then bind all those samples together, add reverse effects and looping, glue it all together, and then out comes something new. Think of it this way – a lot of the stuff in your pantry (sugar, flour, eggs) is pretty ordinary. But it’s capable of essentially unlimited combinations, thanks to some additional flavors, chemistry, and tools.

This is actually what I loved about Exhale, but already it sounds like they’ve got this working even better by expanding the range and diversity of samples. (If you’re listening, Ouput, I’d love an Exhale II or Exhale XL or, uh, Inhale. Strings are I think easier than vocals, though.)

analogstrings

Output is as always on it, as far as I’m concerned. Right now, production can’t just ape old sounds and expect to stand out. But that doesn’t mean necessarily you should become totally unrecognizable, either. So whether it’s film scores or EDM, experimental music or techno, I think you could convincingly apply this tool set and produce stuff that sounds like new hybrids.

There are probably better options if you just want conventional sounds. But if you want to warp those sounds a little or a lot, this looks tough to beat.

Also, while they do have presets handy (500 of them), I like that their building block approach makes it fairly easy to construct your own stuff from scratch.

But forget that, first I have to go download it and get going. I’m going to be busy in the studio this spring.

Built in Kontakt; works fine in (free) Kontakt Player. US$199 (discounts available for purchasing multiple Output products)

http://output.com/products/analog-strings

The post Analog Strings from Output melds string orchestras, string synths appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The Roland Boutique that wasn’t a 303 or 909 might be the most interesting

808. 909. 303. 330. No, really “330.” VP-330. That last one is also a classic Roland product with a cult following, but suffice to say, it isn’t a household name on the same level. It’s Roland’s 1979 “Vocoder Plus” instrument – the “plus” added because it was not only a vocoder, but also a string and vocal synth. It also got a reboot on Friday’s mega-launch of Roland instruments. Here’s the surprise: it might be the most interesting of the Boutique offerings yet.

You might have seen this coming. One Roland product person told me Friday that there was overwhelming demand from users who saw the Boutique Series for a remake of the VP. It was an obvious choice, too: even if you hate mini keys, a vocoder with mini keys is a no brainer, because it lets you add access to pitch in a small space.

Roland had a vocoder in its recent offerings, too, one inspired by the VP-330 – well, kinda sorta. The AIRA VT-3 “Voice Transformer” had simplistic controls that forced you to dial in settings like “megaphone” or “radio.” So it’s nothing like the VP-330, which feels like an instrument. The funny thing was, the VT-3 was apparently a big hit. So there’s clearly demand for this kind of product.

Enter the VP-03. I’ll be perfectly honest – I had to look up the VP-330 panel to remember what it did. So to anyone who complains that the 303 or 909 is overly familiar and a remake boring, you might well discover something new on the vocoder. But if you do look back at its inspiration, the VP-03 in fact cleverly takes that keyboard panel and rearranges it to fit a smaller space.

And that’s a good thing, because the original VP has some clever and unusual interface features.

The VP-330 was really two instruments, combined into an expressive whole. It’s an intuitive vocoder, but it’s also a synth. The VP-03 assimilates all those controls. It’s a reason to buy it – not because you necessarily were looking for a slavish recreation of a 1979 vocoder, but because it has a lot of good ideas that you don’t typically see on an instrument.

vp-03_rear_gal

vp-03_top_gal

The VP-03 touch strips emulate the pitch bend, vibrato, and formant controls on the original, with some hidden switchable modes. You also get the VP’s unusual pitch envelope controls, which sweep the pitch as you trigger keys. (That is, they are actual pitch envelopes, not just glide / glissando controls, and they’re polyphonic.)

The sounds will be fairly familiar – these are the signature Roland string, synth, and vocoder sounds that made the original so well known. But having them in a compact space with easy controls I found really nice. I wish I knew the VP-330 better; I’ll try to track one down as well as do a full review of the VP.

The VP-03 breaks with tradition, though, in a wonderful way, with two new features. First, there’s a step sequencer – making the VP the love child of the vocoder and the 909.

Then, in the most delightful surprise on the unit, Roland added a sampler. The sampler and step sequencer work together. Hold down a step, record something into the mic, and then you can retrigger that slice from the step sequencer and/or keyboard.

And that to me is a stroke of sheer genius. In fact, for rapidly producing sliced-up sound, the VP-03 for me is what Korg’s volca sample failed to be. (I still love the volca sample, and it is a fraction of the price, but … still. It did make you painfully load samples one at a time from a phone over an audio stream. Argh.)

It’s just painfully fun. And to think about it, no one has created an instrument this simple, for vocoding and sampling and string sounds. It’s going to be an instant staple of a lot of bands, period. I think it’s also an answer to all the grumpy commenters who have complained that Roland isn’t innovating. And not because this is innovation – because playing it is a reminder that it’s the stuff that gives you stupidly good times that wins you over every time.

909day_ - 10

909day_ - 20

There’s an included gooseneck microphone, and it uses standard XLR so you can substitute your own input if you like.

Now, the only bad news is, Roland chose not to bundle the K25m keyboard model – bad news because this is the one time you’re likely to really want it. But this means you can certainly plug this module into a keyboard you already own if you choose – or, in addition to docking it in the K25m, even give it the same keyboardless dock that debuts on the TR-09 and TB-03.

Most everything else that the other new Boutique series has, the VP-330 has, too. So you get 24-bit, 96kHz sound over USB, onboard MIDI in and out, power over USB or batteries, and an engine that uses ACB modeling for realistic digital facsimiles of the analog gear. There’s no CV of any kind on this unit, though it’s not as obvious how it would be implemented as on the TB-03 and TR-09. Visually, it looks more like the earlier Boutique models, with light-up faders – it’d be nice to see more of the vintage flair the 303 and 909 got, but it’s missing here.

Anyway, it all makes me want to start an electro band. And fair warning – you might feel the same.

The VP-03 is US$349.

https://www.roland.com/us/products/vp-03/

The post The Roland Boutique that wasn’t a 303 or 909 might be the most interesting appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The Roland Boutique that wasn’t a 303 or 909 might be the most interesting

808. 909. 303. 330. No, really “330.” VP-330. That last one is also a classic Roland product with a cult following, but suffice to say, it isn’t a household name on the same level. It’s Roland’s 1979 “Vocoder Plus” instrument – the “plus” added because it was not only a vocoder, but also a string and vocal synth. It also got a reboot on Friday’s mega-launch of Roland instruments. Here’s the surprise: it might be the most interesting of the Boutique offerings yet.

You might have seen this coming. One Roland product person told me Friday that there was overwhelming demand from users who saw the Boutique Series for a remake of the VP. It was an obvious choice, too: even if you hate mini keys, a vocoder with mini keys is a no brainer, because it lets you add access to pitch in a small space.

Roland had a vocoder in its recent offerings, too, one inspired by the VP-330 – well, kinda sorta. The AIRA VT-3 “Voice Transformer” had simplistic controls that forced you to dial in settings like “megaphone” or “radio.” So it’s nothing like the VP-330, which feels like an instrument. The funny thing was, the VT-3 was apparently a big hit. So there’s clearly demand for this kind of product.

Enter the VP-03. I’ll be perfectly honest – I had to look up the VP-330 panel to remember what it did. So to anyone who complains that the 303 or 909 is overly familiar and a remake boring, you might well discover something new on the vocoder. But if you do look back at its inspiration, the VP-03 in fact cleverly takes that keyboard panel and rearranges it to fit a smaller space.

And that’s a good thing, because the original VP has some clever and unusual interface features.

The VP-330 was really two instruments, combined into an expressive whole. It’s an intuitive vocoder, but it’s also a synth. The VP-03 assimilates all those controls. It’s a reason to buy it – not because you necessarily were looking for a slavish recreation of a 1979 vocoder, but because it has a lot of good ideas that you don’t typically see on an instrument.

vp-03_rear_gal

vp-03_top_gal

The VP-03 touch strips emulate the pitch bend, vibrato, and formant controls on the original, with some hidden switchable modes. You also get the VP’s unusual pitch envelope controls, which sweep the pitch as you trigger keys. (That is, they are actual pitch envelopes, not just glide / glissando controls, and they’re polyphonic.)

The sounds will be fairly familiar – these are the signature Roland string, synth, and vocoder sounds that made the original so well known. But having them in a compact space with easy controls I found really nice. I wish I knew the VP-330 better; I’ll try to track one down as well as do a full review of the VP.

The VP-03 breaks with tradition, though, in a wonderful way, with two new features. First, there’s a step sequencer – making the VP the love child of the vocoder and the 909.

Then, in the most delightful surprise on the unit, Roland added a sampler. The sampler and step sequencer work together. Hold down a step, record something into the mic, and then you can retrigger that slice from the step sequencer and/or keyboard.

And that to me is a stroke of sheer genius. In fact, for rapidly producing sliced-up sound, the VP-03 for me is what Korg’s volca sample failed to be. (I still love the volca sample, and it is a fraction of the price, but … still. It did make you painfully load samples one at a time from a phone over an audio stream. Argh.)

It’s just painfully fun. And to think about it, no one has created an instrument this simple, for vocoding and sampling and string sounds. It’s going to be an instant staple of a lot of bands, period. I think it’s also an answer to all the grumpy commenters who have complained that Roland isn’t innovating. And not because this is innovation – because playing it is a reminder that it’s the stuff that gives you stupidly good times that wins you over every time.

909day_ - 10

909day_ - 20

There’s an included gooseneck microphone, and it uses standard XLR so you can substitute your own input if you like.

Now, the only bad news is, Roland chose not to bundle the K25m keyboard model – bad news because this is the one time you’re likely to really want it. But this means you can certainly plug this module into a keyboard you already own if you choose – or, in addition to docking it in the K25m, even give it the same keyboardless dock that debuts on the TR-09 and TB-03.

Most everything else that the other new Boutique series has, the VP-330 has, too. So you get 24-bit, 96kHz sound over USB, onboard MIDI in and out, power over USB or batteries, and an engine that uses ACB modeling for realistic digital facsimiles of the analog gear. There’s no CV of any kind on this unit, though it’s not as obvious how it would be implemented as on the TB-03 and TR-09. Visually, it looks more like the earlier Boutique models, with light-up faders – it’d be nice to see more of the vintage flair the 303 and 909 got, but it’s missing here.

Anyway, it all makes me want to start an electro band. And fair warning – you might feel the same.

The VP-03 is US$349.

https://www.roland.com/us/products/vp-03/

The post The Roland Boutique that wasn’t a 303 or 909 might be the most interesting appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Silk is a giant string instrument that makes Bitcoin into music

::vtol:: silk from ::vtol:: on Vimeo.

Welcome to the Internet of Sounds.

The latest from our friend vtol, aka prolific Moscow-based sound artist Dmitry Morozov, is an installation of tall, spindly metal towers strung with wire. Standing at two meters, motorized fingers pull on diagonal strings – five of them, for the dollar, Yuan, Euro, Canadian dollar, and Ruble.

The tune, though, is all about data. As Bitcoin and Litecoin cryptocurrencies fluctuate in value against the more traditional currencies, the imagined monetary values generate new melodies and rhythms. Recalling both the controversial recent silk road and its historical analog, these silk strings form a mythological musical song.

vtol_silk0

The whole thing operates robotically in real-time, adding complexity, and high-precision motors create fine-tuned sonic details even if the data changes are minute.

Behind the scenes:

– tuning mechanism with 10 stepper motors
– 10 servo motors
– dimarzio guitar rail pickups
– 2 channel sound system
– arduino

software:

– max/msp
– pure data

vtol_silk2

vtol_silk

More: http://vtol.cc/filter/works/silk
Via Matrixsynth

The post Silk is a giant string instrument that makes Bitcoin into music appeared first on Create Digital Music.

A Dreamy Video, Remix with Loscil, and Other Christina Vantzou Gems

Christina Vantzou. Photo: Renaud Monfourny.

Christina Vantzou. Photo: Renaud Monfourny.

You know that feeling, on a hot day, of someone running an ice cube down the back of your neck? Or perhaps, going deeper, the dream of plunging into a frozen lake?

That visceral, primeval emotion, that chill that prickles the hairs on your head – that might start to describe the eerily-lovely wonderlands of Christina Vantzou. Brussels-base artist Vantzou was the visual imagination behind The Dead Texan (with Stars of the Lid’s Adam Wiltzie), releasing an epic audiovisual masterpiece that paired cinematic ambience with video realizations.

Vantzou has continued as a composer, with two records on Kranky Records (easy to remember – titled No. 1 and No. 2) engineered by Wiltzie. In swells of impossibly-slow, post-minimal string, electronic, and vocal textures, she makes elegant scenes of sound. It’s not wallpaper to me, as those materials could easily become; there’s some emotional sensitivity that makes these frozen tone poems heart-wrenching.

But because Vantzou works so much with colors, with static images, the palette of these two records is also perfectly-suited to remixing – at least in the hands of experimental artists. And Vantzou proves she’s as sharp a curator as composer, she’s released remix albums of each that can stand alone as much as the original. No. 1, in 2012, featured the likes of ISAN, Robert Lippok, Ben Vida, and many others, plus a bonus Dead Texan cut. Tracing the same adventurous, experimental collaborations, No. 2 – released last month – turns to Motion Sickness of Time Travel, Ken Camden, John Also Bennett (aka Seabat), and Loscil (Vancouver’s Scott Morgan).

The Loscil track is beautiful enough to put a pit in your stomach. But it’s Vantzou’s video that crystallises this whole aesthetic path. It’s a simple conceit: a young woman half-dances in slow-motion, her hair flowing before the camera in a way you might dance to the track in your mind. But her ghostly figure and costume, all in rich colors against a dark background, recall a Caravaggio painting, transposed to more modern, non-descript settings. The effect is eerie, unsettling – as if she has been caught sleep walking.

VHS (Loscil Remix) from christina vantzou on Vimeo.

Loscil’s understated production pulses gently as if it’s an extension of your own body.

The remixes are available on Bandcamp. And I hope against all odds that some model like this can work. I don’t necessarily want a limited-edition vinyl record of this music to show off to my friends – this is digitally-produced music, meant to be distributed in an appropriate digital format. I want to, in this instant, spend a few dollars and support something I really love, because I simply care more about some music than others.

But wait – there’s more perfection to accompany the EP – slow-motion liquids, figures, just as much classical-surrealist masterworks. I can’t think of another composer who is also as accomplished as a film director, working in cinema for the eyes and cinema for the ears with the same eloquence.

Sister (Motion Sickness of Time Travel Remix) from christina vantzou on Vimeo.

Brain fog (John Also Bennett AKA SEABAT Remix) from christina vantzou on Vimeo.

The Magic of the Autodidact (Ken Camden Remix) from christina vantzou on Vimeo.

There’s even a video for the original ‘VHS’ well worth watching:

Don’t miss the first remix record, too:

– and, of course, the originals on Kranky.

And her Vimeo feed, for lovers of ambient music and image, is better than owning a TV:

Christina Vantzou on Vimeo

Do send money via Bandcamp and let’s hope more is on its way.

http://christinavantzou.bandcamp.com

The post A Dreamy Video, Remix with Loscil, and Other Christina Vantzou Gems appeared first on Create Digital Music.