Lab Lounging with the Vermona uniCYCLE VCO

 

The Vermona uniCycle is the new VCO from synth masterminds Vermona. Sharing its core with the ’14 synthesizer the uniCycle adds some tricks for the modular system.

From the vermona site 

Oscillator-circuits are used in our VERMONA synthesizers, we know how to design them. But instead of copy and paste, we reworked many aspects when adapting our circuits for modular purpose. What is great for closed systems might not always be perfect for modular systems.

All that development work resulted in uniCYCLE: compact, high-performant and stable.

Simple interface and quality without compromises

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Keith McMillen Bop Pad Smart Sensor Controller is available NOW

Keith McMillen Instruments announce availability of BopPad smart sensor electronic drum pad controller
“For years we’ve been asked to make a drum pad with our patented Smart Fabric Sensor technology — a control surface that would integrate seamlessly into a standard drum kit or work perfectly on its own, so we made BopPad, the smart sensor electronic drum pad controller… time to give the drummer some!”
– Keith McMillen Instruments Founder & CEO Keith McMillen, 2017
BERKELEY, CA, USA: having successfully smashed its Kickstarter campaign goal several times over to help bring the thrilling project to life, innovative hardware and software developer Keith McMillen Instruments is proud to announce availability of the production version of BopPad — broadening the company’s considerable product appeal as a smart sensor electronic drum pad controller like no other with an appealing price point to match — as of September 26, 2017…
BopPad is a USB (Universal Serial Bus) powered expressive electronic pad controller for drummers, percussionists, and producers alike. As such, it advances accurate hit detection via velocity, continuous radius, and pressure sensitivity with a fast playing surface to die for. Faster than you can shake a stick at? Absolutely — as attested to by its incredible latency of under 3ms! BopPad’s advanced architecture allows for an innovative instrument that ‘sees’ every gesture, hit, or tap to truly respond to the nuances of any percussive performance, perfectly measuring strike velocity from the softest hand-drumming actions to the most brutal percussive assault.
At its core is a robust tuned elastomer surface covering a 10-inch circle of Keith McMillen Instruments’ patented Smart Fabric Sensor technology. Independently programmable Quadrants — helpfully highlighted by clearly visible guide lines on the production version — output MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) notes, velocity, pitch bend, pressure, and location CCs (Control Changes). Creatively, this serves to provide performers with a traditional feel and adds a dimension of expressivity, enabled further by BopPad Editor. Available as a desktop download and a web-based editor that uses new Web MIDI API technology to create and save presets from the browser, this allows each of those simultaneously-playable Quadrants to be assigned to play up to six simultaneous notes with six expressive timbre maps, meaning that BopPad can not only be played like a traditional drum by triggering a single sound from its entire surface but building out a drum kit by assigning a different sound to each of those Quadrants so that a single BopPad can comfortably handle several simultaneous percussive goals. Get this, though: smoothly varying radial sensing from centre to edge along with continuous pressure response can be mapped to any parameter, allowing for both traditional and experimental playing styles like no other! Once a preset has been saved to the BopPad there is no need to run the BopPad Editor software while using it.
It is easy to get started; simply plug and play via USB with any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. Critically, as a class- compliant MIDI device, BopPad works with all music software. Speaking of which, with the production version of BopPad, Keith McMillen Instruments has integrated full MIDI five-pin DIN hardware compatibility courtesy of its own MIDI Expander, enabling BopPad to be used in a standalone capacity with external drum machines, hardware synths, or rack effects by providing power and connectivity. No computer (necessarily) needed!
Whatever way users choose to work with BopPad, percussive performance is where its innovative heart is. It can comfortably operate as a conventional practice pad with realistic feel and a portable, lightweight design — robustness that has been made even more so, thanks to improvements in its production version such as an anodised aluminium USB guard with a finish that is as tough as the guard itself, so there is no chance of paint abrasion due to impact, never mind accidentally hitting the USB cable itself! In every sense, then, BopPad is rugged, ready to go anywhere and be played however hard the user sees fit.
For Keith McMillen Instruments, bringing BopPad to life in its final form is a proud moment — making something this sensitive, this rugged, and at such an appealing price point is very demanding. So who better to have his final say on what could conceivably be the last word in expressive electronic drum pad controller design than company Founder & CEO Keith McMillen, himself an acclaimed audio and music technology innovator of some 30 years standing: “For years we’ve been asked to make a drum pad with our patented Smart Fabric Sensor technology — a control surface that would integrate seamlessly into a standard drum kit or work perfectly on its own, so we made BopPad, the smart sensor electronic drum pad controller… time to give the drummer some!”
BopPad carries an MSRP of $199.00 USD and is available to purchase from any authorised Keith McMillen Instruments dealer or directly from Keith McMillen Instruments here: http://www.keithmcmillen.com/shop/
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated BopPad product webpage here: https://www.keithmcmillen.com/products/boppad/
Watch Keith McMillen Instruments’ intriguing BopPad overview video here: https://youtu.be/SqpISMt80hM

Spitfire Audio announces new Drum Library in partnership with Hans Zimmer

LONDON, UK: Spitfire Audio is proud to announce availability of HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION — partnering with the biggest name in film scoring to produce the ultimate drum sample library for cinematic percussion — as of September 26…

 

HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION is a perfect fit for Spitfire Audio’s established ethos of producing the finest virtual instruments from the finest musical samples in the world. Why? Well, with Hans Zimmer — one of the most successful, influential, and prolific film composers of his generation — generously giving not just his notable name to this authorized take on his trailblazing approach to cinematic percussion production but also overseeing every detail of its recreation using the same studio, musicians, instruments, signal chain, and talented engineering experience, innovation, and refinement — right down to personally mixing the resultant superlative-sounding sample-based virtual instrument’s C (close), R (room), and S (surround) HZ MIX perspectives, rest assured that this is the real deal!
Digging deeper, HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION combines the output from two extraordinary recording blocks. Material from the first features four of Hans Zimmer’s go-to percussionists — Paul Clarvis, Stephen Henderson, Gary Kettel, and Frank Ricotti — performing on a variety of instruments in various styles in what is essentially a distillation of over a decade’s worth of musical experimentation and innovation, including the composer’s classic selection of drum ensembles and solo instruments: TAIKO ENSEMBLE, BOMBO ENSEMBLE, SURDO ENSEMBLE, LOW BOOM, LOW BOOM GALLERY, BASS DRUM GALLERY, GONG DRUM, DHOL ENSEMBLE, TOMBEK ENSEMBLE, BOOBAM, TAMTAM, METAL (Piattis, Anvils, Crusher), and TIMPANI. The remainder of HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION makes much use of longterm Hans Zimmer collaborator and acclaimed percussionist Paul Clarvis (Spectre, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter, Star Wars) with played instruments including PAPER DJUN, DARBUKA, SNARE, and BUCKETS.
Bite, clarity, detail, and nuance are all brought to bear upon this epic-sounding sample library. However, Hans Zimmer is especially enamoured with the softer things in percussive life so HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION puts whisper-quiet lower layers in the hands of its users by way of potential for delicate drum programming to help keep their cues ticking along — alongside the thunder that Hans Zimmer’s notable name conjures up musically for many, of course.
Clearly, HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION is impeccably recorded at London’s legendary AIR Studios via an impressive signal chain: 96 rarefied microphones into Neve ‘Montserrat’ preamps into the world’s largest Neve 88R large-format console — which was exhaustively regained at every dynamic layer for optimum signal quality — via a dual chain to HDX and Prism convertors running at 192 kHz. In close collaboration with Hans Zimmer and his GRAMMY® Award-winning team of engineers, musicians, and technicians, Spitfire Audio recorded the drums and articulations each with up to nine round robins and six dynamic layers per hit with well over 30 TB of raw material from those superlative-sounding sessions alone!
Anyone looking to get started in epic drum composition needs look no further than HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION. After all, Hans Zimmer has defined not only a compositional style, but also a production approach and sonic innovation that has influenced a generation of composers. Convincingly composing cinematic percussion parts like a Hollywood hotshot has become perfectly possible, thanks to this ultimate drum sample library from Spitfire Audio!
HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as 48.5 GB of uncompressed .WAV files, featuring 12,225 samples) for a time- limited introductory promo price of £259.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$299.00 USD/€299.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until October 26, 2017 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of £349.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$399.00 USD/€399.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/hans-zimmer-percussion/
Note that HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION needs Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8) — included in the purchase — to run as a fully NKSTM (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD) supporting plug-in instrument for Mac (OS X 10.10, 10.11 or macOS 10.12 — latest update) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.
For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION webpage here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/hans-zimmer-percussion/
 
Watch Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson’s ‘traditional’ HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION video walkthrough here: https://youtu.be/zaXhe-v8xL4
 
Watch Spitfire Audio ‘composer in residence’ Oliver Patrice Weder’s HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION ‘In Action’ video here: https://youtu.be/GIQtHPa2y04
 
Watch Spitfire Audio’s helpful ‘How It Works’ video showing the Kickstarter interface used in HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION here: https://youtu.be/ZO1xC68KIyY
 
Watch Spitfire Audio’s persuasive promo video for HANS ZIMMER PERCUSSION here: https://youtu.be/uXMP3q_E7Dw

Newfangled Audio and Eventide partner to Elevate mastering technology with pioneering plug-in

NEW YORK, NY, USA: new audio tools creator Newfangled Audio is proud to announce availability of Elevate — a pioneering plug-in that elevates mastering technology using intelligent, adaptive technology that responds in real time to music — as of October 4…
Elevate is the most advanced mastering plug-in ever created. This unique multi-band limiter, human ear EQ, and powerful audio maximizer will increase the loudness of a mix while maintaining or improving its dynamic perception. It uses intelligent, adaptive technology that responds in real time to music, creating not only the loudest but also the best-sounding master.
Developed by Newfangled Audio, Elevate maintains subtle dynamics and improves the tonal balance of a mix. The adaptive LIMITER analyzes 26 frequency bands and alters the gain, speed, and transients for each band in real time. This results in a transparent, natural sound — no matter how hard it is pushed.
Elevate utilizes 26 critical filter bands modeled on the human ear. Each of the bands are spaced to give maximum control over how sound hits the eardrum. Draw curves, solo bands, and manipulate the transient attack for each individual band to bring out instruments such as kick or snare drums.
Elevate uses artificial intelligence algorithms to make it easy to get the best sounds, but users can still get under the hood to access as much precise control as deemed necessary. This includes control over tonal balance and transients inside the final limiting stage. Adaptive algorithms reduce audible artifacts while additional controls provide maximum flexibility with professional results.
Features:
  • Analyzes and alters the gain, speed, and transients of each filter band in real time.
  • Includes presets from APS Mastering, Eric Beam, Matt Lange, Jeremy Lubsey, John McCaig, ROCAsound, and Chris Tabron.
  • Automatically adapts the attack, release, and look-ahead parameters for each filter band to greatly reduce ‘pumping’ and breathing artifacts and perceived distortion.
  • Manipulates transients across the critical bands to preserve the attacks from kick drums, snares, and cymbals — without affecting the entire mix.
  • Uses linear phase filters — based on the Mel Scale — to manipulate the audio in a way that is natural to the inner ear.
  • Solo the output of one band (or a number of bands) to hone in on problem frequencies, tweak transients, or alter gain.
  • Use AUTO OUTPUT level features to compare the limited signal to non-limited signals with the same amount of gain to easily hear what impact the processing is having on the sound.
  • Use the SPECTRAL CLIPPER to overdrive the final output without affecting the tonal balance or allowing the signal to get ‘tubby’ — perfect for a more aggressive sound.
  • Six different metering types to keep an eye on every aspect of the output audio.
Elevate is exclusively available through Eventide (as an AAX/AU/VST plug-in for Mac OS X 10.7+ and Windows 7+) — bundled with Newfangled Audio’s EQuivocate EQ plug-in (based on the critical bands of the human ear) — at an introductory promo price of $99.00 USD thru to October 31, 2017 (rising thereafter to an MSRP of $199.00 USD). Owners of EQuivocate can upgrade to the Elevate mastering bundle at an introductory promo price of $79.00 USD thru to October 31, 2017 (rising thereafter to an MSRP of $99.00 USD).
For more in-depth information, including a free demo download, please visit the dedicated product webpage here: http://www.eventideaudio.com/elevate
Watch Newfangled Audio founder Dan Gillespie’s enlightening Elevate overview video here: https://youtu.be/KardBa0JpLw
See and hear how producer and recording artist Matt Lange has been using Elevate here: https://youtu.be/sBE3h2EKyW0
About Newfangled Audio (www.newfangledaudio.com)
Newfangled Audio was started by former Eventide DSP engineer Dan Gillespie. By combining traditional signal processing techniques with advances in the field of machine learning the forward-thinking startup is creating the best-sounding audio tools available.
© 2017 Newfangled Audio

New eurorack oscillator from VERMONA the UniCycle

VERMONA is proud to announce availability of the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator — a six-waveform VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) module for the popular Eurorack small-format modular system with an outstanding feature set that is all set to help it stand out from the sound of the crowd (to partially paraphrase the early-Eighties British breakthrough hit from synth-pop pioneers The Human League, no strangers to Eurorack today themselves) — as of August 25…

Audio-oscillators are probably the most widespread modules found in Eurorack small-format modular systems today — hardly surprising since they are fundamental for generating synthetic sounds, both tonal as well as percussive. Oscillators, of course, are at the musical heart of VERMONA’s sought-after synthesizers, such as the flagship ’14 ANALOG SYNTHESIZER, so the company clearly knows how to design them. That said, instead of applying a ‘copy and paste’ procedure, it reworked many aspects, adapting its oscillator circuits to Eurorack small-format modular system usage. After all, what works well for closed systems might not necessarily be perfectly suited to modular systems. Such ‘due diligence’ displayed during research and development resulted in the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator, a compact (10 HP-wide), high-performance, and stable oscillator offering all the common features that the discerning Eurorack small-format modular system user might easily expect… and, arguably, much more besides.

Besides classic sawtooth, triangle and square offerings, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator generates sine, even, and a special sawtooth with doubled frequency for a total of six waveform OUTPUTS. PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) is not only available for that square wave, but also even — a shape that only has even-numbered harmonics — can be transformed into a sine-like wave, while the doubled saw turns into half-pitched triangles. There are also six OUTPUTS, including LIN FM (Linear Frequency Modulation) and EXP FM (Exponential Frequency Modulation) as well as H – SYNC – S (hard and soft sync).

Saving space, one knob allows access to the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator’s frequencies in three different modes. TUNE either controls the low frequency or audio range, respectively adding or subtracting exactly one octave. In this calibrated mode it provides a ‘dead-zone’ around its centre position, making it easy to access all three octaves without needing a centre-click.

Care was taken to make the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator suitable for use in a musical context when VERMONA made its design decisions. Delivering superlative sound quality with rock-solid, stable tuning, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator obviously fulfils those all-important criteria, handling huge tuning ranges with the greatest of ease while strictly following the 1-volt-per-octave convention.

Clearly, then, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator makes a strong case for anyone to embrace Eurorack… and at least one such module should be in every Eurorack small-format modular casing!

 

Shipping now, the uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator is available to purchase through VERMONA’s growing global network ors (http://www.vermona.com/en/dealer/) with an RRP of €289.00 EUR (Europe) and $339.00 USD (USA).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated uniCYCLE voltage controlled oscillator webpage here: http://www.vermona.com/en/products/modules/product/unicycle/