Wavetable

Synthesis Technology WaveEdit & Wavetable VCO Hands-On Demo

At Knobcon 2017, engineer Paul Schreiber of Synthesis Technology gave us an overview of their free WaveEdit waveform editor and two new wavetable VCOs, the E352 and E370.… Read More Synthesis Technology WaveEdit & Wavetable VCO Hands-On Demo

Wavetable – Sampler Percussa SSP Luxusmodul wird Realität

Percussa SSP

Das neue Modul von Percussa fürs das Euroformat ist breit und hat ein großes Display. Es war mal als Wavetable-Modul geplant, ist am Ende aber doch ein vielfältiger nutzbares Gerät geworden. Vielleicht heißt es deshalb Super Signal Processor.

Er kann Wavetables mit 3D-Darstellung erzeugen, ist ein Sampler mit Schichtung mehrerer Samples, kann als Waveshaper arbeiten, als Kammfilter Signale verarbeiten oder als klassisches State Variable-Multimode-Filter fungieren. Außerdem ist er ein Step-Sequencer und kann LFOs und Hüllkurven herstellen. Außerdem kann er natürlich auch Gleichspannung bereit stellen und ist ein spezieller Band-Rauschgenerator für bestimmte Frequenzen.

Kurz gesagt, dieses Modul kann fast alles außer Wäsche waschen und fliegen. Es bietet eine Art Schnittstelle für eigene DSP-Coder an, womit es sehr offen ist für weitere Optionen. Man könnte es als kleinere Auskopplung des Modularsystems “System 8” sehen – damit ist nicht der Roland-Synthesizer selbst gemeint, sondern ein Modular-System auf digitaler Basis, welcher aus einer Bedieneinheit und einem Display besteht.

Nach mehreren Namensgebungen und Funktionen ist das Gerät mit diesem Namen dann in die erst kürzlich gestartete Kickstarter-Kampagne gegangen. Und nach kurzer Zeit war das Ziel auch schon erreicht. Das Modul ist sehr vielseitig, hat USB-Anschlüsse und ein Display, was schon einem Kleincomputer nahe kommt. Ein SD-Slot ermöglicht die Sicherung von Samples und anderen Daten, es arbeitet mit 192kHz und ist mit einem ARM Chip ausgestattet. Eine Computerarchitektur, die sich im Bereich Synthesizer immer häufiger wird, z.B. beim Waldorf Quantum oder bei Rolands Boutique-Serie, dort allerdings eher für die Steuerung, nicht für die Synthese.

Die 60 HP Breite ist nicht gering, aber notwendig, da das Gerät eine große Patch-Anschlusswelt und Taster sowie vier Knöpfe für Einstellungen anbietet. Der Preis ist 1500 USD für eine fertig aufgebaute Version innerhalb der Klickstarter-Crowdfunding-Aktion und wird vermutlich auch weitere Geräte finanzieren, so die Summe weiter steigt.

Es gibt unzählige Videos und Demos auf der Seite, weshalb sich dadurch schon einige Möglichkeiten gut erklären lassen, lang aber nicht so umfassend, jedoch genug um sie gut zu finden. Alles zusammen ist aktuell hier zu finden. 

VIDEOS (Auswahl)

PPG Infinite’s touch morphing could make it soft synth of the summer

Over the weekend, PPG mastermind Wolfgang Palm let slip his latest creation: PPG Infinite. In previews for iPad, we see an innovative touch synth full of morphing and wave shaping tools.

There are two videos. The first one … uh … well, mainly involves hearing some sounds and staring into the void of space. (True fact: this is what normally happens inside my brain when I look at my to-do list on a Monday.)

But the second video actually reveals plenty – way more than just a teaser. And even from these screenshots, the “Infinite” name suggests that PPG took basically everything they’ve ever done and built a fresh synth around it.

There’s vocal synthesis (à la their Phonem app and plug-in).

There’s wavetable synthesis, with fingers gliding through representation of waveforms, as per the original PPG Wave synths and PPG’s first app, WaveMapper. (Palm is the inventor of wavetable synthesis.)

There’s also the new functions of their follow-up synth WaveGenerator, with more ways of generating and navigating and shaping waves.

And then it seems there’s more.

If you blinked, you may have missed something, so let’s get some frame-by-frame replay. Infinite sees synth wizard Palm teaming up again with designer Cornel Hecht (who also provides the spacey background music for these videos).

Here, we get a unique-looking synth architecture, one that adds loads of touch-accessible morphing modes for combining sounds, as well as something called the “noiser” – which appears to be a spectrally-shaped noise source.

And at its heart, there’s the functionality that made the first PPG app such a breakthrough on the iPad, the ability to “touch the sound” by scanning and morphing wavetables with 3D and 2D views. That visual seems now greatly expanded as a central user paradigm, and it seems to me that it could be reason to see iPads running this app alongside beloved hardware synths in the studio or onstage.

Of course, the other Palm apps have also now been available as VST/AU plug-in, so I hope we’ll see that for this, too. (No reason to choose, either – you might use your iPad to shape presets, then loads those into the plug-in when it comes time to track and arrange and finish tracks. I need to research whether multi-touch computers on Windows can support touch gestures for plug-ins – not sure on that – but even with a mouse, this looks fun.)

Let’s have a look:

Touch is central to the UI. These morphing options look especially nice and accessible, even if you aren’t ready to delve into every nitpicky detail of the architecture and sound design:

A glimpse of the architecture, including simplified oscillator controls and these morphing and noiser options:

The oscillator interface really appears to shine via touch interaction:

A closer look at those controls:

The presets are suggestive of the combination of two or three of the previous instruments from PPG – and indicate some diversity of possibilities with this one, from vocal-ish presets to percussion to pads, bass, leads, and all that business:

For those so inclined, it appears you can get really deep with mapping by key range and matrix-style modulation:

I love the LFO interface, both for its advanced parameters (for going deep) and clever touch adjustment (for quick play):

Stills don’t do it justice, but as in the other PPG apps, it’s really getting your grubby fingers on the 3D waveform view that looks like fun. Combine that with some new vocal synth options, and … sold.

It’s about time for an exciting new soft synth, especially with Alchemy having disappeared into Logic and most of the headlines covering hardware. And for all the depth and diversity on the iPad, this could be one that stands out on that platform – not least if it’s paired with desktop plug-ins so you don’t disrupt your workflow.

Ready, Wolfgang. Watching for this one.

Stay tuned to CDM for this one, with team coverage by myself and Ashley (Palm Sounds).

wolfgangpalm.com

The post PPG Infinite’s touch morphing could make it soft synth of the summer appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Kickstarter: MOTM-Gründer plant E370 Quad Morphing VCO

Quad Morphing VCO Eurorack

Wavemorphing mit Vierfach-Oszillator von Paul Schreiber

Wavetables und Morphing gibt es ja schon einige Zeit, aber als Eurorackmodul ist das doch extrem mächtig. Kein geringerer als Paul Schreiber startet einen Crowdfunding-Aufruf für das neue Morphing VCO Modul.

E370 Quad Morphing VCO ist der offizielle Name des Moduls. Es nimmt seine Wavetables von einer SD Card und zeigt alle vier Wellen direkt an. Da es keine Samples, sondern nur sehr kurze Ausschnitte sind, die jedoch mit 16 Bit und 96 kHz verarbeitet werden, ist die Menge der entsprechenden Wavetables mit 16 GB nicht unbedingt klein. Bei Waldorf waren es klassischerweise 8 Bit und im Blofeld werden 12 Bit verwendet. Die Länge eines solchen „Samples“ ist mit 256 Samples also eher kein Speicherfresser.

Jeder der vier Oszillatoren kann 64 Waves gleichzeitig laden und im Speicher halten. Dies ist der eher klassische Ansatz. Bei Waldorfs Nave und Blofeld sind es mittlerweile 128, da die MIDI-Auflösung ebenfalls 128 beträgt. Dennoch stellt das keine große Einschränkung dar. Man möchte sogar langfristig einen Editor für Wavetables erstellen. Außerdem ist eine Frequenzmodulation zwischen jeweils zwei Oszillatoren möglich, der ein spezieller 2-OP-FM-Modus ist.

Der Preis ist zwar stolz, dennoch sind vier Oszillatoren mit diesen Merkmalen auch bisher einmalig. Der Vergleich mit Waldorfs Angebot als bekannter Wavetable-Hersteller liegt bei 2 Oszillatoren für 299€. Der Paul-Schreiber-Vierfach-VCO kostet 699$ für eine Bausatz-Version und 879$ für die montierte Variante. Das Projekt hat bereits das ursprüngliche Crowdfunding-Ziel erreicht, weshalb dieser ungewöhnliche Oszillator nun wirklich gebaut wird.

Paul Schreiber ist bekannter Vater des MOTM-Systems, welches mit extrem vielen Modulen aufwarten kann und im klassischen Moog-6HE-Format schon länger anboten wird. Allerdings gibt es ebenfalls schon länger auch Eurorack-Varianten.

Im Text findet man noch den Hinweis, dass das Ziel auf 115.000$ erhöht wurde, um eine lineare Frequenzmodulation zu ermöglichen. Auch wenn das Projekt wirklich aufwendig und nicht gerade günstig ist, so ist es durchaus seinen Preis wert.

Auf der Seite findet man weitere Klangbeispiele und Videos sowie die Display-Möglichkeiten und Funktionen. Die Anschlüsse und Konfiguration des Moduls selbst sind exakt so, wie man das erwarten würde – nämlich mit identischen Anschlüssen und Sync-Herausführung. Die FM-benannte Buchse wird durch die Weiterentwicklung linear sein, was für eine exakte Steuerung wichtig ist. Mit „MOD“ sind die exponentiellen normalen Tonhöhensteuerungseingänge bezeichnet.

Alles zum Morphing VCO auf Kickstarter

Demo:

Der Prototyp funktioniert bereits:

PPG Wave 2 Synthesizer Hands-On Demo

Synthesist Thomas P. Heckmann shares his thoughts on the classic PPG Wave 2 wavetable synthesizer.… Read More PPG Wave 2 Synthesizer Hands-On Demo

Get a bunch of drum and wavetable sounds for Novation Circuit

What does that tasty ice, cold vanilla ice cream need? Chocolate sauce and peanuts. What does the Novation Circuit need? This sample pack.

No, seriously. Cuckoo, that brilliant YouTube personality, has put his love for gear into a brilliant and genius sound pack for Novation’s adorable Circuit drum machine – the box for the common man and woman to make riotous noise uncommonly easy.

And it works like this: you give Cuckoo love in the form of Patreon (in absurdly small increments if you’re broke), then he gives you love back in the form of a download that shows his love for Circuit.

There are two elements: one, sampled drums based on Teenage Engineering’s excellent-sounding Pocket Operator. Two, synths based on some friendly abuse of the wavetable sound — because, as he puts it, wavetable synthesis “kind of sounds a bit gritty” if you push the parameters.

And that’s basically perfect for making some dirty sounds. In fact, if I have any complaint about the Circuit, it is that its internal sound bank is too vanilla. I don’t blame Focusrite/Novation; you’re meant to make your gear sound good. But then it’s up to the rest of us to make it sound bad, which is better.

The Teenage Engineering sounds, for their part, benefit from not being locked inside that inscrutable Nintendo interface, love it as we do.

Here, you can watch the ever-charming Cuckoo with his epic beard and hair as he walks you through what he’s done:

If I rambled on like this, no one would watch, but… he’s sort of mesmerizing.

And, for absolutely no reason at all, it goes on for 89 minutes, rivaling ambient Enterprise-D engine noise for “nerdy things from YouTube you might leave on in the background as you fall asleep.”

Anyway – the pack. Thanks, Cuckoo. Total win.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/novation-circuit-7029116

And for anyone wondering: no, Focusrite/Novation are not flying me over to the UK regularly to ply me with curries and ales. (Curry my favor, so to speak.) Rather, the Circuit has found its way into my rig at home and abroad, and more importantly, everyone I know who owns one is finding themselves blissfully happy with it, meaning I’m thus obligated to keep talking about it in this way. See above regarding love and happiness. But… actually, Focusrite/Novation, you are welcome to violate ethics and do that, as it sounds a good idea. I promise not to spill vindaloo on my Circuit.

The post Get a bunch of drum and wavetable sounds for Novation Circuit appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Synthesis Technology E350 Morphing Terrarium Wavetable Oscillator Hands-On Demo

This video, via Future Music Magazine, takes a hands-on look at the Synthesis Technology E350 Morphing Terrarium wavetable oscillator. The Morphing Terrarium is a unique wavetable VCO with two independent waveform outputs. What sets the E350 apart from previous wavetable oscillators is voltage-controlled morphing. The E350 automatically blends between various wavetables, creating 128 “in-between” waveforms. This expands the… Read More Synthesis Technology E350 Morphing Terrarium Wavetable Oscillator Hands-On Demo

BlokDust is an amazing graphical sound tool in your browser

Just when you think you’ve tired of browser toys, of novel graphical modular sound thing-a-ma-jigs, then — this comes along. It’s called Blokdust. It’s beautiful. And … it’s surprisingly deep. Not only might you get sucked into playing with it, but thanks to some simply but powerful blocks and custom sample loading, you might even make a track with it. And for nerds, this is all fully free and open source and hipster-JavaScript-coder compliant if you want to toy with the stuff under the hood.

Here’s a teaser to give you a taste:

The tasteful, geometric interface recalls trendy indie games, a playful flat world to explore. The actual geometric representations themselves are a bit obtuse – it seems there was perhaps a missed opportunity to say something functional with the shapes and colors – but it’s easy enough to figure out anyway, and makes for a nice aesthetic experience. (And, indeed, some three decades into visual patcher software, why not play around with making them attractive?)

And then there are the modules. These are indeed simple enough for a first-time musician to play around with, but they sound good enough – and have enough necessary features and novelties – that the rest of you will like them, too.

Crucially, it’s not just some basic synths or pre-built samples. There’s a powerful granular and wavetable sound source, for instance. You can load your own samples into the granular source, and the generative wavetables are actually themselves worth giving this a go. (They’re really delightful. Try not to smile while messing about.)

And you can use a microphone. And there are a dozen clever effects, including a convolution reverb (with Teufelsberg impulse, no less).

You can play with MIDI (thanks, Chrome) or a computer keyboard, but there are also a section of automatic triggers the developers call “power.” These include particle emitters and the like, and they seem in fact the best opportunity for open source development, because they could take this all in some new directions.

In fact, really the only disappointment here is that there’s not a whole lot of advantage to running in a browser, apart from this being free. Sure, there’s a share feature, but this is nothing that couldn’t be in a standalone app – and you lose out on touch interactions since it’s built for desktop Chrome, unless you have capable hardware.

As design experiment, though, it’s brilliant. And you could still use a third-party audio recorder to capture sound, thus making this a real sketchpad.

I’m very interested to see where this might go. It’s perhaps the most compelling use of browser audio yet, through sheer force of the intelligence of the interaction design, looks, and sound.

The project is developed by Luke Twyman (Whitevinyl), Luke Phillips (Femur Design) and Ed Silverton. It’s made in the UK – Brighton to be exact – with Tone.js and of course the Web Audio API. And yes, it works best in Chrome. (Come on, Apple and Microsoft.)

Try it yourself:

https://blokdust.com/

That library (good stuff):

https://github.com/Tonejs/Tone.js/

Genius work – congrats, lads.

Thanks to Noah Pred for the tip.

The post BlokDust is an amazing graphical sound tool in your browser appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Play games and music with Bandai Namco and Korg

You’ve got to love Japan sometimes. Korg are continuing the beautiful marriage of gaming and music – one that began first on the Nintendo DS and has nicely made the jump to iOS. The latest outgrowth of that is Kamata, a synth add-on to the KORG Gadget music studio. This time, arcade legend Bandai Namco are teaming up with Korg, and long-time Korg collaborator Detune Games.

Detune are the folks who did the iMS-20 for iOS and the M01 for DS, led by CEO Nobuyoshi Sano whose work as a composer includes credits on Ridge Racer and Tekken.

With Kamata, you get a wavetable engine that uses 4-bit, 32-sample wavetables — this is gorgeous, edgy stuff — taken directly from the C30 sound engine used in games in the arcades. (The C30 was the 8-channel successor to the 4-channel C15)

Here’s a great example of that chip in use (the original, not the app). It’s appropriate that the composer here made a score that recalls cheery turn-of-the-20th-century music – the lineage of these machines can be connected directly to the automatons that defined the first (mechanical) machine music, the pianola and orchestrion.

And the wavetables, while digital, are so particular as to sound like a unique class of instrument – nothing like other analog or digital synthesizers or acoustic instruments, but something with a defined character all its own.

features_img_game1

features_img_wave

This is an instrument that challenges you to work within restrictions, to really compose for a particular instrument.

And as a synth, the C30 engine is worth some time investment. You can record changes to the wavetable, you can detune, and you can edit every last parameter.

That is, this is anything but a preset machine.

Oh, but just in case you need a break or just weren’t deep enough into this instrument, the Detune collab also added game play to this.

It’s funny, because I’ve heard a lot of people talk about young producers today opting for music production over gaming. Well… why choose?

What’s amazing about the Gadget community in general is, people are making incredible music – stuff that’s really impossible to classify by genre, a lot of it. So while this story is a story about a tool, it’s also really a story about a music scene that’s grown around it.

For added incentive, Korg and Bandai Namco Studios and Detune are hosting a contest.

http://www.korg.com/us/products/software/korg_gadget/contest.php

And this, of course, is what mobile music making is all about – these are musical instruments that are connected, so sharing becomes a must. It also occurs to me that if everyone has access to these tools, simply stringing together presets isn’t enough: the connected nature of these means there’s an incentive to one-up competitors and be as original (or even weird) as possible. That’s probably the opposite of the narrative I’ve heard about apps, which is the idea that the Internet-connected musician is just aping existing music with presets. This suggests a bizarre alternate universe where people can invent their own idiosyncratic genre, and spread it in instantly.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Listening to the examples, they create strange and enchanting hybrids of cinematic stylings and pop with nostalgic game-style chip music.

Also, by way of challenge, Korg made one of the categories remixing the demo song – which is already yielding some nicely freaky results.

Check out the Kamata instrument and more on KORG Gadget:

http://gadget.korg.com/kamata/index_en.php

On sale through 10 September, then back to regular pricing.

The post Play games and music with Bandai Namco and Korg appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Rent-to-own Serum means Kanye doesn’t have to pirate it

Somewhere – tonight, even – some unknown producer is going to make some brilliant new track using software. (Seriously, this is the world we live in.) And when they do, odds are they might well turn to a popular synth like breakout-hit Serum. The problem is this: someone getting started in producing is probably unwilling or unable to shell out US$189 for a single software instrument. So that individual is likely to pirate the software.

We’ve known this for some time; what we haven’t had is much of a solution. And just how prevalent is piracy in our industry? Well, I’ve talked to plenty of people off-the-record in the software development industry who say they’ve done it (like the people whose bills are paid by software fees). Cakewalk founder and original developer Greg Hendershott has talked on the record about trading floppies.

And then there’s Serum. Plenty of high-profile producers have been caught using pirated plugs. But this probably takes the cake – someone found Kanye West with a browser tab opened to Serum on a torrent site, prompting swift condemnation by deadmau5 himself (plus an hilarious offer to set up a Kickstarter campaign to help him buy a license):
Kanye West caught visiting Pirate Bay—possibly to download music software [Ars Electronica]

Enter pay-to-own

Big suites of software have already moved to a monthly paid subscription model – think Microsoft’s Office 365 or Adobe’s Creative Cloud. (That was easier, of course, in that those markets each have one dominant vendor.)

In music, so far Gobbler has offered subscription plans, with names like Eventide and Slate. This also offers a single unified back end with support for PACE copy protection. (Before that sends chills down your spine, “PACE” no longer necessarily has anything to do with physical dongles – more often these days you’ll just store your authenticated license online.)

Online music platform Splice offers something a bit different: pay-to-own. This way, instead of paying a subscription forever, you will eventually pay off the cost of the plug-in.

In fact, this is even better than a normal payment plan, in that you can switch off your subscription on months you don’t need it. So if you’re only going to get around to using Serum in September and October, but not November and December, you can opt not to pay for those months – then switch on the subscription again in January.

You can start out with a 3-day free trial, too, to see if you like the software. Either way, whenever the subscription is active, you have full access to the software. And after the equivalent number of months, you will have successfully bought the software.

Splice are launching this service now with Steve Duda’s Serum plug-in, and say it’s the first time this has ever been offered in music software. (I think that’s largely accurate, at least in this form.)

Why Serum

Serum is actually a significant choice of launch instrument.

https://www.xferrecords.com/products/serum

There are a lot of software instruments out there, and many of them really terrific, but not so many hits. Serum is something special. Its production lineage is significant – creator Steve Duda is a rare electronic music genius and EDM production guru, collaborator with deadmau5 and developer through Xfer Records of a number of terrific plug-ins to boot.

Serum accordingly feels like a truly modern take on the software wavetable instrument, complete with loads of wavetable morphing and modulation features and built-in effects. And while the other instrument looming large in EDM production, Native Instruments’ Massive, hasn’t seen much in the way of updates since its introduction, Serum has a fresher take on how visual feedback and workflow could look in the interface. (That’s not a dig at Massive, necessarily — on the contrary, given Massive’s impact on EDM in particular, it’s remarkable that Serum has been one major instrument to successfully rival it.)

And as testament to the instrument’s online following, you’ll find loads of YouTube content on it. Here is some to get you going:

Probably the best is this series of tutorials with Steve himself (with nice insights into production whether or not you use Serum):

ADSR also have some free tutorials:

http://www.adsrsounds.com/category/serum-tutorials/

Why Splice

So, maybe Serum for ten bucks enough has you sold on the idea, and you don’t need much else.

But for pay-to-own to work as a model with Splice as provider, that online platform will have to do some legwork both to attract developers and to make users see the advantage of tying software payments to their service in particular. Otherwise, we could see still more fragmentation – with every developer offering their own plans separately, rather than showing up in a unified, App Store-style market.

Splice does have a case here. The service’s features effectively cover all bases. Their service backs up your projects. And it’s version control for yourself. And it’s a means to collaborating with others (with a Web interface that shows you what collaborators are up to).

Splice is also a community, with people not only collaborating with one another, but sharing stems and songs. And it’s a platform for finding loops, samples, and sound content. And it’s a store for plug-ins.

Now, that’s a lot of different stories to explain to people. On the other hand, Splice’s angle on putting all this together is summed up in one word: data. With people uploading actual project data, they can see plug-ins that are being used, which in turn lets them potentially offer a storefront full of plug-ins – and maybe rent-to-own plans – based on what people actually like.

For now, though, I think this may be the simplest next step: offer one really good, really popular plug-in, from an independent developer (who can’t necessarily roll their own plans with the same ease). And then see how it goes.

We’ll be watching.

https://splice.com/features/plugins

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