Monday, January 26, 2009

Native Instruments Answers the Call

 Uploads Pics Ksp Acoustic Refractions Newspic

In a previous post I hint that software designers should synthesize more common sounds, or develop new types of synthesis. It looks like Native Instruments has something close: Acoustic Refractions. It uses an exaggeration of acoustic sound by electronic means. (Kontakt, Absynth, FM8)

The brand-new ACOUSTIC REFRACTIONS KORE SOUNDPACK delves into a weird and wonderful world of highly idiosyncratic sound design. Ever wondered what it would be like to turn the Golden Gate Bridge into a giant instrument? Or what musical potential can be found in blocks of ice?

They didn't invent a new type of synthesis here but it still looks and sounds cool for $80. I don't say this often, but it looks like its worth picking up!

Go here and take a listen.

I didn't know this but Kore Player is FREE with 300MB worth of sounds. Go download it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Two-Step Equalization Tip in Logic

You can use this tip for mastering, after compression or adding on a single track that needs mastering.

In Logic Audio there is the Match EQ. It is designed to match EQ curves with other material. It does this when you play material through it and automatically takes a snapshot of the EQ curve, which you can apply to any other material on your computer. BUT we are going to use it in a backwards type of way which will be a corrective EQ on the same track to get a slightly better balance.


Step One: Hit the "LEARN" button, and play the material through it in logic. Wait till your song is done. An EQ curve is now created.


Step Two:
Hit the "MATCH" button, which has an equals sign. Bring the "APPLY" slider into negative territory.
Thats it!!!

Make sure you don't boost the audio too high with this method. If you look at the graph I gave +6db max, which happened to be the upper range. EQ curves will depend on your material. (You can also go in by hand and drag points with this plugin, if your really picky). Too much subtraction and it will make your mix sound like a tin can.

Overrall, this method is supposed to add a little bit of balance and shine onto your mix!

I'm currently looking for a Multi-band compressor that is this easy to use and has this amount of precision, on the Mac - as it would make mastering a 5 minute process instead of 3 hours it seems to take by hand ^_^

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Has every form of sound synthesis been invented?

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Seeing the lack of innovation and lack of products NAMM was worrying. What is the point of created the same synth over and over? Some were digital instrument versions which add to the convience, and are wanted, but they are only emulating technology invented over twenty years ago. Its taking the easy way out, but makes your company not as hot anymore, at least to me.

Here is a list of available types:
Subtractive synthesis
Additive synthesis
Granular synthesis
Wavetable synthesis
Frequency modulation synthesis
Phase distortion synthesis
Physical modeling synthesis
Sample-based synthesis
Subharmonic synthesis

Definition from wikipedia:
When any mechanical collision occurs sound is produced. The energy from the collision is transferred through the air as sound waves, which are perceived by the human auditory system.
By this definition there must be a greater horizon for sound.

Expanding physical modeling innovations, for the end user, along with today's processors, could be the greatest advance in sound generation ever.

Ideas: using a 3d scanner you could input physical objects, designate a material, then simulate what they sound like from the inside (reverb) or even what they would sound like being thrown at different surfaces with physics.
Why not make a synthesizer that can simulate the sound of an egg being crushed?? Maybe I want a building exploding from exactly 3 miles away. New, fun, models, and multiple parameters when changed, could create possibly bizzare, unheard of sound.

It sounds complex, but even a little bit of change, a little bring of fun, could bring in some fresh air and new money for those willing to pay for real creativity and not just another digital music device.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Full Orchestra Re-creation Tips

 Sharedfiles Images Artists Orchestra Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Some people want to orchestrate an entire symphony from their computer or keyboard. ROM voices or even sampled instruments don't cut it by themselves, but you can use them to get a useable sound TV style sound ala Stargate or half of the stuff on TV. Here are some tips not everyone will tell you.

Here is an example of what you can do with plain "rom" or GM voices and alot of time tweaking.

Time for the tips

  1. Use lots of Reverb on every instrument. They are supposed to be all in the same space.
  2. When layering, respect the dynamic range of each instrument and research each instrument. For instance a violin cannot go all the way to C1.
  3. <--- Check this link
  4. Use the correct panning of where each instrument lies in the orchestra.
  5. Sometimes your workstation won't have enough power to play 12 violin voices at the same time. Try to fake it with a chorus filter or by using a patch that includes an entire section of the orchestra (violin and cello, double bass reeds)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Video: microKorg + Roland Handsonic 10 + Kitty

microKORG influencing the drum sounds on a Roland Handsonic 10. Sounds like a ring modulation. Pretty cool sounds!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Winter NAMM 2009 links

A new M50 by Korg with 76 keys.

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Korg releases the Pink Kaossilator.

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Korg releases the nano controllers in black.
Is all you could do was come up with new colors?

So far there is nothing too exciting to report about winter NAMM. Maybe everyone is buying guitars this year?

Nova Drive presented by Uffe Hansen at NAMM '09
This is kind of cool, a combination overdrive & distortion thats analog, with presets! Midi controlled too. Sounds like a premium pedal.

Kinda retarded but cool. The ultimate hacked TR707
Diabolical Devices TR-707 at NAMM 2009

More as I find it...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Audio Units By Blue Cat

  Vault Products Bundle Freewarepack Screenshots Main
The bundle contains a wide range of modulation effects as well as analysis tools to get you started with your DAW, for free!
NEW: Mac support. Our free plugins now include Mac support. The Mac version of our free plugins require Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) and a VST-compatible or Audio Unit application (Audio Units version is beta 2).
Here is the direct download links to spare you going to their page:
Download: Mac AU (beta) / Mac VST / Windows DX / Windows VST

I couldn't get the Beta AUs to work in Logic?

Friday, January 9, 2009

How to Get Free Tape Emulation On Any Workstation or Sequencer

 Wp-Content Uploads Tape
Some tape emulator plugins are very expensive costing $500. Hardware emulation versions costing $2000!!! If you just want to warm up your recording, then they may not be worth it. With this method its possible to get a warmer sound on any setup. Just use something close to it on your gear as a single mastering effect chain.

This is the primary chain that we will be using on our master channel (1-->2-->3)
Overdrive (tube) ----> Flanger ----> Phaser

Lets quickly go over the settings for each effect in the chain!


20% Wet 80% Dry
Drive 0% to 12% (Depending on how your effect works. On the Alesis I'm using 0%)
Low EQ +8.7 db
Mid-Low +2.3 db
High Eq +6.2db

The overdrive effect here simulates someone jacking up the sound past the tape's magnetic range, clipping the audio when it gets too high, but in a warmer way than a standard distortion.

10% Wet 90% Dry
Notch 50%
LFO Rate 0.604hz We want the LFO rate slow. This simulates defects in the tape rollers speed.
Shape: Sine
Mod Depth 100%

12% Wet 88% Dry
Num of Stages 12
Notch 50%
LFO Rate 4.8000hz or higher. If you are able to make this effect random and fast it will be better.

The phaser effect simulates the tape moving through various mechanisms giving it a stereo presence.

Thats it. You might have to play around a bit, depending on your setup. The key is to be subtle. Just a little bit of all these effects routed through a single chain will warm up your track. You can even put a compressor with longer attack, and short release, before all these effects to give it a vintage compression sound. Try it out, it doesn't cost anything with the basic effects every software and keyboard now has.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Alesis Fusion FM Presets Bank - "Alice FM" Released!

29 Must Have FM presets

This is the ultimate selection in FM sounds on the Alesis fusion. 29 must have FM presets range from Acid, Techno, Chip, to FX.

Alice FM presets honor the past of Yamaha style keyboards and others are remenesicient of sounds not since seen on the Sega Genesis game platform. Complex LFOs are used to generate envelope rythyms, like on those of expensive software packages costing $200 or more. Alice FM pushes the creative limits of the Alesis Fusion! Click here to listen to the demo (MP3)

Click here to visit the product page

Thursday, January 1, 2009

MicroKorg XL Ugliest synth ever created?

Honestly I thought that this was a joke. It looks like late 70s basement trash.

 Images Product-News Tech Dec08 Microkorg-Xl-850-100

But its a real synthesizer about to be launched by Korg.
I hope that the case is pretty beefed up or that the unit is really heavy; otherwise some people will really think this is something they found in storage, getting peed on by rats for 40 years, at your church.

Hopefully the presets are really nasty sounding, and the knobs make that audio crackle sound when you turn them. This is too old, even for me. Here is a link to the Music Radar Article w/ video.