Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Mangleverb - Audio Damage

As the name suggests a hybrid variation mix of Reverb, filters and enveolopes. If it's by 'Audio Damage' then obviously its gonna be great! It is!

What happens when you combine a thick reverb, a filter, an envelope follower, an LFO, and a VCA? We wanted to know. The results are surprisingly useful. Mangleverb can be used as a filter, reverb, transient shaper, rhythmic gate, LPF gate, tempo-synced VCA, and any combination thereof. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Swiss Army Knife, for both wild sonic destruction and more utilitarian production work.

Want to make a cool smooth-shaped verby kick? No problem. A 16th-note stutter gate? Gotcha. A plain ol-fashioned funky duck envelope follower? We can do that. A huge 80s "Pour Some Sugar on Me" gated snare 'verb? Although we're not sure why you'd want to do that, with Mangleverb it is alarmingly easy.

Mangleverb has an updated version of the reverb algorithm from our long-deceased Deverb plug-in, along with our most popular analog filter model, an incredibly sophisticated LFO and envelope follower, sidechain input, a full I/O section, and just in case you want to replace your tweeters, a feedback knob. In short, the question isn't "what does it do?" but rather "what doesn't it do?"

Mangleverb is available as both 32- and 64-bit VSTs for Windows, and as a Universal Binary AU/VST for OSX.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Waveform 8 - Tracktion Software

Lots of unique features in the new Traktion Waveform DAW especially in the MIDI department ,which goes quite deep with it's many composition tools. Oddly comes with hardly any VST's and the effects modules are very basic looking compared to most others. Niggles aside though, it's still a a great DAW!

Waveform is a rapidly evolving application specifically designed for the needs of modern music producers. Specializing in creative and inspirational workflows and avoiding features not explicitly needed allow the app to remain surprisingly fun and intuitive. While other apps try to appeal to broad user groups, for example film score, live sound, performance – we are laser focused on music production.

The all new MIDI composition tools available in Waveform are designed to empower and inspire the creative process. Tools which demystify complex musical structures and allow non trained enthusiasts to explore composition. Synchronized pattern generators allow you to dive into chord progressions with matching bass lines, melodies and arpeggios. Real time chord players turn one finger keyboard players into musical maestros. Don’t let your instrumental abilities restrict your creative flow.

Waveform features an expanded modular mixer that can take advantage of multi screen setups. The customizable interface allows you to quickly switch from editing to mixing workflows and desired viewing. Waveform’s powerful ‘racks’ environment allow you to build limitless DSP chains and save/recall them as presets, whether it be your favorite DSP for a particular vocalist, or deep sound design patch. Embrace the power and flexibility of digital modular.

Collective is a powerful sampler and synthesizer capable of generating a wide variety of instrument sounds. Developed to accompany the new music composition tools, Collective allows you to immediately start creating diverse musical styles. Quickly select from over 600 presets and deep dive to surgically craft your unique sound. Pull from the included sample library or load your own, combine with synthesis or cherish the supreme quality of traditional samples. One instrument to rule them all.

Waveform is an unlimited app designed for modern music production. Developed to be creative and inspirational and with a minimal learning curve, our goal is to empower music enthusiasts. Unlike other apps, Waveform supports all major plugin and loop varieties and runs on all major desktop operating systems – now including Raspberry Pi. The beautiful user interface has been carefully crafted to guide the user through the deep capabilities of a digital audio workstation. Dive in and start creating today

Thursday, 23 November 2017

BOOM - AIR Music Technology

Great little drum machine from 'Air' which is easy to get to grips with and sounds great. Many drum machines out there but this one is very highly recommended for it's simplicity and ease of use. Using MIDI notes to trigger the 16 step patterns is fab!!!

Air Music Technology originally created Boom as part of the Creative Collection of instrument plug-ins included as part of Avid™ Pro Tools™. As the popularity of Pro Tools grew, more and more musicians and producers relied on the incredible sonic firepower of this amazing Drum Machine. Boom continued to evolve, and demand grew. Boom is now available on its own by popular demand, available to anyone who demands instant creativity in AU/VST formats.

Boom features a slick modern interface that pays homage to the most popular vintage drum machines of the past. Boom has been used on many famous projects since its launch, ranging from hit albums, feature films and radio projects. It’s one of the most loved Pro Tools Plugins.

Boom includes a diverse collection of 10 different classic electronic drum kits, offering variations on the classic 808 and 909 kits, more aggressive Dance and Urban-style kits and a powerful retro style kit modelled on the concept of a 'CR78 merged with a 606'. Each one has been created with great attention to detail and provides serious sonic impact.

Each kit contains 10 different drums, and you can adjust the panning, volume, tuning and decay of each drum within a kit. Each drum channel also contains a special tuning screw that can be turned to make a sonic adjustment, specific to a particular drum. This tweaking ability provides for nearly limitless possibilities with a user-friendly interface.

You can mix and match drums from different kits to make your own custom kit, and the drum sounds can be triggered individually via standard MIDI pitch mappings.
For instant inspiration, over 50 presets are included cover contemporary, classic electronic/urban musical genres. Boom also has an on-board sequencer that enables you to create and trigger your own patterns, which can be saved and recalled as presets.

You can select different patterns using the keys along the bottom of the interface, when you're in Pattern Select mode, and these are conveniently colorĂ¢€‘coded to show you how they map to a MIDI keyboard from middle 'C' upwards for remote selection.

The Matrix display in the top left enables you to program a pattern, but if you prefer you can also use the keys along the bottom, this time with Pattern Edit mode selected. You'll find some nice touches, such as the ability to copy one pattern to another, and some simple controls for adjusting the way in which the pattern plays back within your host: normal, double, half or triplet time, and there's even a swing control mirroring classic MPC’s and other vintage drum machines/samplers.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Twistor - K-Devices

Companion effect to K Devices 'Moor' This time, as the name suggests, focusing on mangling your audio with a myriad of modulation effects. Very effective , though like 'Moor' i find the  layout slightly confusing !!

Max For Live audio effect designed to modulate anything you want in Ableton Live


Thanks to powerful pattern creation and twisting features, Twistor creates modulations that are not possible to obtain with other modulators!


Any Time Resolution

Set the exact time resolution you need for your steps: 1/8, 3/4, 7/8, 3/16T, 15/1D, 13/32 and so on.

Exclusive Step Duration

Set exclusive duration for each step: 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 400% of the global time resolution. This opens to crazy new possibilities!


Twistor is easy to master.
You can start considering a classic step sequencer modulator: steps of a given duration sending values to a controlled parameter, according to a time resolution. The main difference with a classic step sequencer is that in Twistor each step can have different duration: by modifying the single step duration, and by manipulating the entire pattern.

The modulator signal is scaled by minimal and maximal values, to perfectly fit your target’s range and purposes. You can change the duration of the pattern, changing time resolution, or using the Rate parameter to let a given length of 1 bar become one half, the double of it, one time and a half, etc, always keeping the same number of steps, and, very important, the sync with Live’s transport!
You can modify the sync position of your pattern with Shift: if you have time resolution equal to 8n, and you set Shift at 50% (the range is 0-100% of the time resolution), then all your sequence will be delayed by 16n. You can use Bend to let the playhead make movements from linear, to exponential, or logarithmic, dynamically changing the duration of each step, always keeping the given length for the whole sequence! Isn’t amazing?!

Let’s talk about the duration of each step. You can modify the duration of each step manually, listening to the results, and keeping an eye on the Resulted Length. This will bring you far from the grid concept, opening to new possibilities: your ears only can evaluate the results. Or, you can choose to gone wild, but all staying in the safe sanctuary of the grid, setting a Main Length, locking it with the toggle on bottom right corner of the device, and hitting the random button; Twistor will generate again different durations, but now their sum will always give the original length of the pattern. This features gives, it’s guaranteed, amazing results!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Moor - K Devices

Interesting new device from the renowned  K- Devices stable which always has lots of very interesting modulators. This one is particularly nice if you have Push2 as it maps all the controls for a an even more fun experience. Requires Max for live.

MOOR is a unique monophonic step sequencer that will let you create sequences that you could never get with other tools of its kind. It creates, then twist and manipulates your sequences and synth lines giving results that go beyond your imagination.


“MOOR” is an arbitrary contraction of words “Mono Oracle”, that was the codename during the development. This is still useful to explain the nature of this device: – Mono: it’s a monophonic step sequencer – Oracle: it lets user ask for something, then it elaborates an answer MOOR starts as a standard mono step sequencer: you set a time resolution, and pitch and velocity values for each step. Around these core features, several functions make it special. Two new parameters are added to each step: chance and exclusive duration. Chance works similarly as in AutoBeat device, but it offers here an improvement specially designed for a melodies sequencer as MOOR is: the hold mode. You can set a different chance factors for each step, globally, via the random and scramble functions, or exclusively, editing step by step with mouse or Push2. The result is that, depending on its chance factor, some steps, sometimes, do not trigger the note, letting silence fill the sequence in a controlled-random way. Enabling hold mode, a note off message is sent just when a new note on message comes, that means that for each silent note, the previous one is kept active: this mode creates still continuously changing sequences, but with, instead of silence, notes of different length. Exclusive Duration is another great feature of MOOR: considering the time resolution you set, it’s possible to refine the duration of each step. Each step can be set to 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, or 400% of the time resolution: this introduces the chance to create complex sequences with a step sequencer! You can set this parameters manually, or globally, and this introduces an important feature, the duration lock mode: when you have a sequence with a duration, let’s say 1 bar, if you randomize durations, the global length of the sequence will change.
This opens to new, exciting, let’say wild perspectives, and is cool, but, if you want to experiment with step durations, all keeping the original length of the sequence, you can do it: enabling the duration lock mode! Then MOOR will find for you randomized durations, but their sum will always gives the original length of the sequence, isn’t amazing? A given number of steps, at a given time resolution, steps with pitch, velocity, chance, duration values. All of this gives us a sequence, and MOOR offers several parameters to manipulate it. Processing the sequence as cyclic signal, MOOR can twist it thanks to scale and phase distortion operations! MOOR can also make your life easy when you go on stage: you can store, and recall, up to 4 snapshots in a preset or, even quicker, you can export your sequences to Live clips! As often happens with K-Devices, you can accurately control and define each aspects of the multiple features manually, or wisely exploit the advanced random functions included. In both ways, MOOR will bring you really far! The user interface of MOOR is just beautiful, made to be self explanatory: when you edit a parameter, animations on interface will let you easily understand what the parameter does. Of course you also get an accurate description of parameters in the Live Info View.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Acoustica - Acon Digital

We all need audio editors and this is a particularly nice one with a plethora of features.

Acoustica is a comprehensive solution for professional audio recording, editing, mixing and mastering. The intuitive user interface was designed with speed, accuracy and ease-of-use in mind and gives access to a large set of powerful tools to make your recordings sound the best. The consistent workflow simplifies your production work all the way from recording, editing, batch processing, sound design and audio restoration to Red Book compatible CD burning.

Ultimate Audio Quality
Acoustica offers support for state-of-the-art audio resolutions up to 32 bit and sampling rates up to 384 kHz, ensuring that all of your work comes across at the highest quality. Acoustica Premium Edition even supports multichannel audio recording and editing such as 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.

Audio Restoration
Integrated audio restoration tools help you get the most out of recordings impaired by background noise, clicks, crackle, clipping or missing high frequency content. The Premium Edition contains the same set of professional tools as our Restoration Suite.

Multitrack Editing
New in Acoustica 6 is the ability to edit multitrack audio. Both the Standard and the Premium Edition allows you to mix audio from different tracks in real-time, add audio effects to tracks or easily create cross-fades. You can even loop or time stretch clips directly from the multitrack timeline.

Processing Tools
High quality audio tools and effects are integrated such as dynamic processing, limiter, equalizing, reverb, convolution reverb, chorus and flanger. You can also modify tempo and key of your recordings independently using the superb quality time stretching and transpose tools.

Effect Chains and Plug-In Support
You can create complete chains of processing tools, including external plug-ins, and save them along with all the parameter settings for later use. VST and DirectX plug-in support allows you to access a vast number of both free and commercial third party audio processing plug-ins directly from Acoustica.

Analysis Tools
Powerful offline analysis tools are available, including spectrum, spectrogram and wavelet analysis. Real-time analyzers such as K-System level meters, phase correlation meters and spectrum analyzers allow you to monitor your audio output visually in real time during playback.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Strobe2 FXpansion

Strobe 2 as well as being an excellent polysynth has many unique features, such as the ability to morph between presets which reminds me of the snapshot feature of NI's Maschine Jam. Modulaation is a breeze and the random and XY pads are fun. Be aware though that it's a little heavy on the PC!

Strobe is inspired by the classic single-oscillator synth designs (think Roland's SH-101), but it's polyphonic and features unison (32 unison voices for each main voice).

The Main oscillator combines Saw and Square waveforms with level faders for each and pulse width for the latter, and includes a Stacking option with Detune, enabling up to four extra oscillators to be stacked, independent of the Unison.

Sound generation is bolstered by four sub oscillators (Sine, Triangle, Saw and Square, each with its own octave setting) and a Noise generator.

"At the centre of the interface is the Scope display, providing visual feedback."

The signal is shaped by a single multimode filter offering 22 filter types and a Drive control; an LFO with swing and pulse width; two envelopes (Modulation and Amplitude) with tempo Sync and Loop; and a VCA with adjustable analogue colour.

The TransMod system enables modulation of most parameters, and each assignment includes a secondary slot for applying a scaling modulator. Other options include an Arpeggiator and a Ramp module for delay and rise time generation.

Finally, at the centre of the interface is the Scope display, providing visual feedback on the oscillator and LFO waveforms, and filter curve.
Ground zero

In terms of layout, Strobe2 is pretty much identical to Strobe 1; but under the hood, the audio engine has been completely rebuilt. Version 1 patches you've created in Strobe's native preset format can be imported via Strobe2's Legacy tab or from your OS's browser.

The new engine is far better CPU-optimised than its predecessor, and the previous extreme oversampling rates (x16 and x32) have been ditched, although oversampling is now always active (x2, x4 or x8), and the option remains to switch the rate when rendering.

The new interface offers scale options (75- 220%), two colour Themes (light and dark), a fold-out preset Browser, plus two tabbed pages for the new Effects and upgraded Arpeggiator.

Said Effects section comprises 28 processors, 19 of them lifted from Fusor (TinCan Reverb, for example), and new ones including FX-Verb (an algorithmic reverb), Pattern Delay (a multitap delay), Env Shaper, Enhancer, Nonlinear Ringmod, DirtyDAC (an old DA converter emulation) and various EQs. The effects are inserted in series in two three-slot chains, with mix blend dials for each effect and each chain.

"The Filter Drive is now gain compensated and includes a Leak level control for introducing the pre-filter signal."

Meanwhile, the 32-step Arpeggiator has all the typical options you'd expect, such as Swing, Gate time, Rate and Mode, as well as a modulation Step Sequencer. This last can be used in tandem with the Arpeggiator (each can reset the other) and as a TransMod source.

Further new features include eight Quick Preset slots for easy access to up to eight patches, with time-variable morphing between them, freezable at any point in the morph; 16 TransMod slots, up from the previous eight; parameter locking when changing patches (including the Arpeggiator); a Randomizer with X/Y pad (morph between randomly generated variations in each corner) and its own Quick Preset slot; and three new TransMod Processors.
Synth matters

The new arp and effects contribute immensely to Strobe2's 900-odd new patches, but there are changes to the synth itself that prove transformative, too.

The sub oscillators can now match the Main oscillator octave as well as up to three octaves below (as per v1), and the Sub section as a whole can be unlinked from the main Oscillator's pitch-related parameters (Sync, Stack and Detune) - ideal when you want to retain a solid underpinning while the Main Oscillator is doing something more complex.

There's also a Phase Reset option for the Main Oscillator, facilitating consistent note onset, and each oscillator section includes a Tone control, which is basically a high shelving EQ.

The Filter Drive is now gain compensated and includes a Leak level control for introducing the pre-filter signal; and the LFO offers an additional sub cycle, which is a multiple of the main LFO. Finally, both Envelopes have doubled maximum time ranges (32 seconds each for Attack, Decay and Release).

All of this expands Strobe2's sound capabilities considerably, and A/B-ing it with v1 reveals a much more vibrant- and expansive- sounding synth. This is particularly noticeable with pads, leads and textures, where the new effects often play a big part.

Of course, the arp patches are also considerably better, with complex 32-step patterns outshining the eight- steppers of v1, although sadly the Legacy arp patches don't include the arp programming, rendering them pointless.

Basses benefit, too, with more potential in the edginess department. Nevertheless, there was a certain directness of sound to the original Strobe that worked particularly well for simple basses, and that has changed.

Overall, Strobe2 is a more rounded synth than v1, with a far broader feature set, a better preset library and greatly finessed sonics. Review from Techradar