Audio Damage freshens its line up with new plugins!

Audio Damage is Has released 3 new plug in VSTs available directly from their site. New versions of the Delay Plug in “Dubstation 2″, Reverb Plug in ” EOS 2 ” and the all new waveshaping distortion “Grind” are now available. 

EOS 2 consists of four high-quality custom-designed reverb algorithms, made with the modern production environment in mind. Three different plate simulators and Audio Damage’s own Superhall algorithm give you a broad palette of reverb, and the easy-to-understand interface makes adjusting the algorithms to suit your track incredibly simple.

Dubstation 2

From the Audio damage site:

The original dub delay plugin and still the best! Dubstation 2 takes our most popular product and adds a whole raft of new features, including a dual mode for separate control over the left and right delay times, ping-pong, a new feedback saturation algorithm, and an LFO. Along with an all-new procedural and Retina-friendly user interface and (FINALLY!) ProTools compatibility, this represents a major leap forward for one of our signature products.

All those bells and whistles aside, the heart of Dubstation is our painstaking bucket-brigade delay model. Often imitated, but never duplicated, Dubstation has been the go-to plugin for that sound for over a decade, used in thousands of commercial productions, and with good reason. With the addition of the LFO and saturation controls, Dubstation has moved in to the realm of tape delay emulation as well, and is a sonic Swiss Army knife for delay. 

Grind waveshape distortion

from the AD site:

A true powerhouse of audio warfare, Grind puts the “damage” in Audio Damage. From subtle tube-style saturation to full-on mangled wavetable distortion, Grind is a Swiss Army Knife of sound design.

Grind consists of three main blocks: wavetable lookup, in to algorithmic saturation/distortion/, and finally to a multi-mode filter. The wavetable module uses the amplitude of the incoming signal to replace the sample with one from 15 different linearly-interpolated wavetables, chosen for their mangling potential. Window size and phase controls provide further tone-shaping possibilities.

The next stop is the algorithm module, with eleven different distortion and saturation algorithms, from simple soft-knee saturation on up to full on sine warping.

After this, the signal passes through a multi-mode filter stage, with eleven different filter models to choose from, including “vintage digital” versions from the early days of plugin development, on up to our modern analog-modeled MS20-style lowpass and highpass synth filters. A tempo-synced LFO provides motion for the filter frequency, and a final stage of soft clipping and DC filtering tames the output.

Make no mistake: this is not a subtle, polite tool. With careful tuning of the provided presets, it can be tamed to normal filtering and saturation duties, but on the whole, it is a noisy, snorting beast of a plug-in, and is happiest with Full Metal audio destruction. 

OK enough with the AD copy. I have had some time with all three of these (I even created a group of presets for Dubstation 2). I can say these are a really nice step forward in the Audio Damage line up. The UI is really impoved on these (Grind and EOS2 have some killer front end graphics to help understand whats going on).

Grind really impressed me in its filter types as well as how the distortions can take a plain sound and add a ton of movement and character.  Similar to the Eurorack module Shapes also from Audio Damage, Grind lets you sequence lookup tables and waveshaping wavetables… very freaking cool.

tempo syncing the waveshaping and filter frequency changes is a joy.

Dubstation 2 is a very straight foward BBD sounding delay that will let you just easily get that dub delay you are after without a cluttered interface.

EOS 2 is just a joy to look at and hear. I’ve been using this to create gorgeous synth pads and basically create environments for my instruments to breathe in.

ESI brings better performance to USB audio technology with progressive professional audio interfaces

LEONBERG, GERMANY: leading professional and semi-professional audio equipment vendor ESI is proud to announce (upcoming) availability of U168 XT and U86 XT — a progressive pair of USB 2.0 high-speed audio interfaces for Mac and PC that bring better performance to USB (Universal Serial Bus) audio technology for better results — as of May 2…

As implied by name, U168 XT provides no fewer than 16 clearly-labelled line INPUTS and eight line OUTPUTS on balanced 1/4-inch TRS (Tip Ring Sleeve) connectors. Competitors’ comparable channel count offerings often add eight-channel ADAT (Optical Interface) ports, potentially adding confusion to that count — clearly not an issue with U168 XT, where all are available for simultaneous usage by discerning users. Ultimately, this full-featured 24-bit/96kHz solution also includes four integrated MICROPHONE preamps with XLR (External Line Return) inputs and switchable +48V phantom power, perfectly positioned on its front panel for easy access alongside two (switchable) MIC/HI-Z high-performance instrument inputs (1/4-inch connector) for electric guitars; plus (rear-mounted) coaxial S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) IN (input) and OUT (output) on RCA (Radio Corporation of America) connectors. Two independent headphone (H.P.) outputs are also easily accessible alongside an integrated monitoring mixer. Meanwhile, external keyboards, synthesizers, and sound modules can be connected via the 16-channel MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) with an INPUT and OUTPUT on the unit’s rear panel.

Providing fast, high-performance, low-latency drivers based on proprietary DirectWIRE technology — that can be used for routing audio streams internally within applications using ESI’s EWDM (Enhanced Windows Driver Model) — with support for the latest WDM (Windows Driver Model), ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) 2.0, and CoreAudio technology for both Mac (OS X 10.7 and above) and PC (Windows Vista, 7, 8.1, and 10), U168 XT works with all current standard audio applications available for professional usage.

As an equally versatile USB 2.0 high-speed audio interface for Mac and PC with an ADC (analogue-to-digital conversion) dynamic range of 107dB(a) and DAC (digital-to-analogue conversion) dynamic range of 112dB(a), U86 XT shares the same flexible feature set and functions as its U168 XT bigger brother, but with a reduced number of physical analogue inputs (eight) and outputs (six) — hence its appropriate appellation — and reduced (310 x 145 x 45mm) dimensions (down from U168 XT’s 450 x 145 x 45mm). Either way, with stylish and sturdy casings designed to work wherever their final destination may be, both bundle packages come complete with an eight-track version of Bitwig Studio, the namesake next-generation music creation and performance software solution from Berlin-based Bitwig as well as a license for DJ specialist Stanton’s Deckadance LE software. Simply start working… straight out of the box.

Both the U168 XT and U86 XT more than live up to their raison d’être of bringing better performance to USB audio technology for better results, as anyone adding either one of the progressive pair to their setup should surely delight in discovering.
U168 XT starts shipping worldwide in early May 2017 with an MSRP of €549.00 EUR; U86 XT follows in early June 2017 with an MSRP of €399.00 EUR. (For availability and pricing internationally, please visit the ESI website to find a distributor for your region here: http://www.esi-audio.com/company/distributors/)

For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated U168 XT webpage here: http://www.esi-audio.com/products/u168xt/

For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated U86 XT webpage here: http://www.esi-audio.com/products/u86xt/

Kenton makes managing multiple data streams simpler with eight-input intelligent MIDI merge unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON, UK: following its introduction at The NAMM Show 2017, MIDI solutions specialist Kenton is proud to announce availability of its new MERGE-8 — an eight-input intelligent MIDI merge unit designed, built, and assembled in the UK as the latest addition to its well-known line of MIDI utilities — as of May 4…

MERGE-8 can work in two modes: first is a full eight-into-two merge, where all MIDI data received across the eight input ports is merged into two outputs (with both ports outputting the same data); second is a split mode, with two completely independent four-into-one merges. Mode is set with a recessed push button and indicated with a bicolour LED. MERGE-8 stores this setting in EEPROM and starts up in whichever state it was last in.

Featuring a 32-bit ARM microcontroller for super-fast MIDI processing, MERGE-8 can handle large amounts of data. It is intelligent in that it applies merging rules to process the MIDI data from the inputs in the optimal way.

MERGE-8 is housed in a robust brushed aluminium case, measuring 155 x 80 x 35mm and weighing just 220g. With the famous Kenton build quality and reliability, MERGE-8 is able to withstand the knocks of a life on the road as part of a large keyboard rig, yet it is just as at home in the studio… powered from an included region-appropriate AC adapter — just fit and forget.

MERGE-8 can be purchased from dealers or directly from Kenton for £112.50 GBP (excluding tax and shipping), either online (www.kenton.co.uk/merge8) or by calling +44 (0)20 8544 9200.

About Kenton (www.kenton.co.uk) Kenton was founded in 1986 by UK musician John Price, who began by building a more cost-effective and well-specified MIDI interface for his beloved Oberheim OBX programmable analogue polysynth than was otherwise available; word soon got around, and today the company designs and manufactures a wide range of far-reaching MIDI solutions for famous and not-so-famous clients alike around the globe from its South West London-based HQ: “People often ask where the name Kenton came from; my father, Wylie Price, was a bandleader in the Forties and Fifties, and was a big fan of Stan Kenton, so, when I was born, I was given Kenton as my middle name.” © 2017 Kenton Electronics Ltd

Impact Soundworks releases retro-sounding, future-facing free KONTAKT instrument in handheld homage

 

FULTON, MD, USA: audio software creator Impact Soundworks is proud to announce availability of SUPER AUDIO BOY — a free AAX-, AU-, and VST-compatible KONTAKT instrument/sample library that creatively captures the retro sounds of the legendary Nintendo Game Boy handheld for authentically (re)creating Chiptunes or fast-forwarding them to today and beyond with advanced layering, filtering, arpeggiation, and much more besides — as of May 8…

SUPER AUDIO BOY is Impact Soundworks’ free version of SUPER AUDIO CART — the most complete set of classic video game samples ever produced, but bringing powerful SAC synthesis, rhythm, effects, and modulations to bear upon the detailed sample set of the legendary Game Boy alone. And it doesn’t get much more classic than Game Boy, a handheld system with interchangeable cartridges that truly revolutionised the gaming industry upon its release in 1989. Developed and manufactured by Nintendo to tremendous success throughout its lifespan, it shifted an unprecedented 64-million units before Game Boy Color came calling in late 1998, thanks in no small part to highly-addictive games such as Tetris, their distinctive-sounding synthesized electronic music made within the technical limitations of Game Boy’s sound chip. Powered by a specialised 8-bit Sharp CPU sporting two pulse oscillators, a 4-bit PCM sample channel, and a noise generator, Game Boy remains the first choice of many musicians in the Chiptune scene, thanks to the LSDJ cartridge, allowing for direct access to that sound chip to create music.

Musically, SUPER AUDIO BOY allows access to those classic sounds and much more besides. As Andrew Aversa — Impact Soundworks Lead Developer — himself proudly points out: “It basically takes the Game Boy part — all the samples that come with the Game Boy — and complete engine of our original SUPER AUDIO CART library and makes it free. All of the features from SUPER AUDIO CART are here, too; the only difference is that this is just Game Boy… all deliciously lo-fi and bit-crushed, just the way we like it! Everything is sampled from an actual Game Boy; these are the waveforms with all the grit from the circuitry of the Game Boy, recorded and very carefully edited and looped. Now, of course, the wonderful thing about SUPER AUDIO CART and, in turn, this free instrument is that you can take those very simple waveforms, put them into the engine, and do all sorts of cool stuff — not just Game Boy sounds, but create modern sounds as well. The big difference between SUPER AUDIO BOY and other free Game Boy emulations out there is that you have all these additional sound design features. For example, we also have an X-Y pad, which can be assigned to LAYER BLEND, so we can blend between layers, and then the X and Y axes can be assigned in our modulation matrix. This is incredibly powerful stuff! You can create LFOs, envelopes; you can do random parameters — modulate CCs or ranges, like key ranges, velocity ranges… it’s just awesome!”

Indeed, it is! Free it may be, but feature-light it is not. Needless to say, SUPER AUDIO BOY comes complete with the same four independent sound sources (LAYER A through to LAYER D) as its bigger brother, together with an integrated sound source browser; over a dozen filter models; poly arpeggiator, gate, and sequencer; 64-slot Mod (modulation) Matrix; plus five FX racks. Resumes Andrew Aversa: “These effects can be turned on and off; you can modulate these using the modulation matrix and hook them up to different things. We’ve got the SNES VERB — even though this is not a Super Nintendo — and convolution REVERB, and four additional effects racks — one per layer. You will not hear an actual Game Boy doing that, but that is the power of SUPER AUDIO BOY — all these advanced sound design things that you can use if you want to. Of course, because we’ve got arpeggiators and sequencers onboard, you can create drum loops just by holding a note.”

Notably, SUPER AUDIO BOY works with a wide range of controllers — keyboard or otherwise, since users can map almost any parameter or control to any physical CC. Clearly, then, this is a very powerful software tool for authentically (re)creating Chiptunes from a glorious (Game Boy) bygone era or dragging distinctive retro sounds — creatively kicking and screaming — back to the future… for free!

SUPER AUDIO BOY is available for free from Impact Soundworks here: http://impactsoundworks.com/product/super-audio-boy/#purchase

Note that SUPER AUDIO BOY requires the full version of Native Instruments KONTAKT (5.5.2 or higher).

For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated SUPER AUDIO BOY webpage here: http://impactsoundworks.com/product/super-audio-boy/

Watch Impact Soundworks Lead Developer Andrew Aversa’s SUPER AUDIO BOY video walkthrough here: https://youtu.be/pBOlE6gYqVY

 

About Impact Soundworks (www.impactsoundworks.com)
Impact Soundworks creates audio software designed with composers in mind: sample libraries, virtual instruments, and plug-ins. As passionate about creating music tools as its customers are about making music, the company was founded in 2008 by composers Andrew Aversa and Will Roget, II at a time when there were several large virtual instrument companies already around, but few developers creating affordable, flexible, and focused libraries featuring more unusual and unique sounds. Shrewdly, the dynamic duo noticed much in the way of in-depth orchestral offerings, but more unusual instruments were not being sampled with much detail at all. As such, the company’s first two releases were Impact Steel, a collection of found metal objects played as percussion, and Sitar Nation, a set of instruments from North India. It has since been collectively working hard to address the needs of modern composers, successfully striking the balance between depth and ease of use. Ultimately, Impact Soundworks is proud to call tens of thousands of musicians around the world its customers, intelligently investing time to study suggestions and review requests. After all, that is how a number of its best-loved libraries started… from the smallest seed!

© 2017 Impact Soundworks

Wide Blue Sound strikes partnership with Native Instruments to harness hardware integration for ORBIT and ECLIPSE

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA: Wide Blue Sound, creator of cutting-edge instruments for KONTAKT, is proud to announce a partnership with Native Instruments that allows its renowned ORBIT and ECLIPSE virtual synths to be used with NI’s NKS® (Native Kontrol Standard) hardware — namely, KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE workstation…

Wide Blue Sound is a company continually committed to integrating its software products with hardware — a rarity in today’s industry. “NKS is an important first step in harnessing the natural experience of hardware with the infinite creative potential of software,” states company co-founder and CEO Nathan Rightnour. “We’ll always be working to ‘bridge the gap’ in ways that bring usability and a visceral excitement to our software.”

ORBIT and ECLIPSE are the perfect powerhouses for creating stunning synth sounds, driving pulses, and atmospheric worlds, thanks to their critically-acclaimed interface and world-class sound design. With well-thought-through, creative mappings and tags for ORBIT and ECLIPSE, KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE workstations react with the feel of a custom hardware instrument. Indeed, ORBIT and ECLIPSE users with access to the trailblazing hardware will now feel closer than ever to their favourite Wide Blue Sound software synth… synths already benefitting from critically-acclaimed interface design that, according to Keyboard magazine, “All instrument makers could take heed to.”

The latest NKS®-supporting ORBIT and ECLIPSE updates bring with them the best of both worlds — intuitive interfaces and seamless interaction with intuitive tactility, thanks to Native Instruments’ innovative hardware. Hardened users and novices alike will be amazed at how fast they can come up with something stunning to fit any musical mood or emotion, whether wanting to tweak the dreamy, mysterious, or dark universe of sound in ORBIT or enter ECLIPSE’s pioneering heavy, forceful, and aggressive sonic vistas. The choice is out there — quite literally at the fingertips of KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE owners.

ORBIT and ECLIPSE are designed by working professionals in film, TV, video game, and electronic music production, built upon the idea that intuitive products provide the most inspirational results. Indeed, inspiration comes quickly since both instruments share three distinct sound engines. Engaging PULSE mode makes creating modern percussive elements easy; CHOP mode is best suited to fashioning electronic, stuttered stylings; and FLOW mode permits pads and texture creation like never before. Better still, users can seamlessly morph between those three engines using four independent 64-step sequencers — each with their own independent time base — that can modulate 24 useful parameters to further the creation of interesting, musical, and evolving sounds. Sculpting sounds still further comes courtesy of delays, multiple modulations, diverse distortions, and a special convolution engine that includes several practical creative impulses and beautiful reverbs from world-class hardware units commonly used in cinematic production.

Thanks to NKS® support, sound-shaping nirvana with Wide Blue Sound’s updated ORBIT and ECLIPSE is as simple as the turn of a knob. Each innovative instrument includes 250 track-starting presets. Put it this way: whatever way users choose to intuitively interact with them, the results are always out of this world!
NKS®-supporting versions of ORBIT and ECLIPSE can be respectively purchased and digitally downloaded directly from Wide Blue Sound for $199.00 USD and $149.00 USD from here: www.widebluesound.com (Note that both products are also available as the PLANETARY BUNDLE, including beta access to SKYPAD Remote, for $298.00 USD, representing a substantial saving of $50.00 USD.)

Note Native Instruments’ KONTAKT — full or free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.5.2 or higher) version — powers Wide Blue Sound products.

Additional Information

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated ORBIT and ECLIPSE webpage here: www.widebluesound.com

Watch Wide Blue Sound Founder & CEO Nathan Rightnour’s ‘Quick Drive’ ORBIT overview video here: https://youtu.be/ulxug3_VQUE

Watch Wide Blue Sound’s engaging ECLIPSE trailer video here: https://youtu.be/QCirtMFnEvU

 

 

Orange Amplification Launch Their First Dual, Discrete Op-Amp

Orange Amplification Launch Their First 

Dual, Discrete Op-Amp UK RRP £42.00

Orange Amplification has launched the new Dual Discrete Op-Amp which has been specifically designed for audio use. It is one of the most musically sounding of its kind on the market today.

Built to a high specification, the Dual Discrete Op-Amp has been constructed for superior musical audio performance purposes. Unlike existing products, it only contains the gain blocks that are needed to give good clean audio. Each of the individual transistors and resistors are of the highest quality, so the Op-Amp runs as close to pure Class A as possible instead of the class B operation seen in IC Op-Amps. It has been designed to be 8 pin DIP compatible, and comes with a socket, so is easy to drop in and replace. The DC offset of Orange’s Op-Amp is low, which means they can be used almost anywhere, even active filters.

We wanted to design something purely for audio’, explains Adrian Emsley, Orange Amplification’s Technical Director, ‘Many Op-Amps perform well on paper but the trouble is the human ear does not hear quite the same way as test equipment. To me, this Op-Amp sounds more musical, more natural, with the transient sound feeling more real and less synthetic.’

To find out more about the Orange Op-Amp and its full specifications please go to  ” https://orangeamps.com/shop/op-amp and to see Adrian Emsley talking about the new Op-Amp check out this video here

Tracktion Launches Waveform DAW

Tracktion Corporation is proud to announce the release of Waveform, the latest in their long line of innovative DAWs. Transcending the award-winning T7 in look, feel and feature set, Waveform maintains the open, intuitive characteristics of its predecessor. In addition to providing a solid recording platform, the Tracktion team has developed an array of new tools designed to speed up and expand creative composition.

All good DAW’s have the ability to record, edit, mix and share music however, Waveform may be the only application evolving at the same pace as modern music production. Since acquiring ownership of the platform in 2012, Tracktion has completely re-factored the application, adapting it to the latest production trends, on a yearly basis. No other DAW can make this claim. In addition, Waveform is laser focused on music production so it avoids the complexities inherent in most of today’s DAWs as they struggle to support everything from film mixing to enterprise operations or live music performance. 

Beyond sheer efficiency, Waveform inspires creativity with an unprecedented suite of composition tools. Intuitive MIDI pattern generators allow even untrained musicians to quickly assemble entire musical arrangements while built-in virtual instruments such as the FM Synth and new Collective™ sampler/synthesizer provide a wealth of new sounds and blending options for a truly sophisticated sonic palette. Of course, Waveform is also compatible with all VST and AU plugins such as Tracktion’s popular BioTek™ Organic Synthesizer.

Our goal is to continually gain market share by remaining more current and flexible than our competitors,” explained Tracktion Corp CEO, James Woodburn. “Our constant re-factoring process means that we can track emerging production trends and incorporate the best ideas into our codebase. Watch on-line tutorials detailing how today’s top producers like to work and you’ll find that Tracktion seamlessly fits into those workflows.”

Despite the remarkable power of this application, Waveform’s highly refined code remains efficient enough to support even the relatively tiny Raspberry Pi platform. This allows the app to run smoothly on almost any modern Windows, Mac or Linux computer but also opens it for use as an embedded solution in the growing DIY maker community.

Waveform is available from the Tracktion website,  HYPERLINK “https://www.tracktion.com/” tracktion.com, as well as top retailers, with prices starting at $99.

Arturia Black Edition release of Keystep, Beatstep, Beatstep Pro

 

Arturia are set to release a limited number of “Black Edition” KeyStep, BeatStep, and BeatStep Pro sequencer-controllers.

Known and loved throughout the industry, Arturia’s trio of DAW controlling, step-sequencing hybrids are now available in a sleek black finish. Offering something for every musician, the Step range synchronizes the analog and digital worlds, letting musicians control hardware instruments, outboard modules, virtual instruments, and reco

Each of the new Black Edition models comes complete with CV cables, giving you immediate access to the sequencer’s hardware control functionality.

 


rding software simultaneously.

Arturia KeyStep Black Edition – 149 US$ / 119

This small format keyboard sequencer features a 32-note slim-key keybed with aftertouch, and lets you sync with & control any software or hardware instrument through its comprehensive connectivity, including USB, MIDI in & out, CV gate, and Sync in & out. Create evolving, polyphonic sequences up to 64 steps long, with real-time recording and rewriting.

 

Arturia BeatStep Pro Black Edition – 299 US$ / 249

Arturia’s cutting edge, 3-part step sequencer now has a sleek new look. Featuring two separate melodic sequencers and a dedicated 16-track drum sequencer, BeatStep Pro gives the adventurous musician a powerful palette of tools to create dynamic, exciting tracks without the need for a computer screen.

 

Arturia BeatStep Black Edition – 129 US$ / 99

Packing 16 pressure and velocity sensitive pads and 16 rotary knobs into a neat package, BeatStep is an affordable way for musicians to get creative with simple monophonic step-sequences. Able to control outboard synths and virtual instruments alike, BeatStep’s versatility also makes it a great DAW controller.

The Black Edition KeyStep, BeatStep, and BeatStep Pro will begin shipping worldwide at the end of April 2017.