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.

Hex Inverter Mutant Rim shot, ZNO, Red Dragon Eurorack modules at NAMM ’17

Hex Inverter the mind behind the Mutant Drums series of Eurorack Modules returns to NAMM 2017 with a new filter, Rim shot and wild noise source oscillator. Winston from Balcones Whiskey steps in to assist with this coverage so big thanks to Winston and the crew at Balcones whiskey.

New Synthesizer Modules from Hex inverter at Namm 2017!

Pittsburgh Modular Double Helix VCO and new Lifeforms modules NAMM ’17

 

Designed to be the nucleus of a synthesizer, the Double Helix Oscillator is a modular waveform generator like no other. A set of beefy, analog oscillators paired with voltage controlled shape contouring, deep modulation and a performance-ready voltage controlled modulation matrix create a dynamic, analog waveform playground.

At the core of the Double Helix are two, wide-range precision oscillators. The primary oscillator includes a full complement of waveforms and multiple modulation options. The secondary oscillator offers a more focused set of waves and frequency modulation. Both oscillators reach deep into LFO range and can be used as voltage-controlled modulation sources.

The contour section of the Double Helix Oscillator features a highly tuned wavefolder paired with an exclusive dynamic impulse low pass gate. The contour signal chain starts with a two-channel mixer. This allows multiple waveforms or multiple oscillators to be combined before passing though the contour section. The first half of the contour section is a voltage-controlled, 6-stage wavefolder used to add odd harmonics to the incoming waveform. The timbre and timbre CV controls set the density and amplitude of the folds. When processing a sine wave, the wavefolder creates a spectral change from zero harmonics to square, with an infinite harmonic series.

The second half of the contour section is a dynamic impulse low pass gate. The effect of the low pass gate is similar to pairing a low pass filter and VCA together. As the dynamics control is opened, the filter adds harmonics and the VCA increases the amplitude of the waveform. As the dynamics control is closed, the filter removes harmonics and the VCA decreases the amplitude of the waveform. This pairing mimics how sound behaves in the real world creating a more naturally tonal response. The impulse input adds the ability to strike or ping the low pass gate circuit creating a very organic, percussive sound. The decay time of the impulse input is set by the dynamics response control allowing the strike to be tuned to a specific musical context.

The modulation section includes an LFO offering simultaneous sine, square, and random waveforms. A noise source is also available for audio or modulation use.

A pair of voltage-controlled routers manage all the CV inputs creating a dual, voltage controlled modulation matrix perfect for complex signal paths, experimentation, and live performance. The matrix consists of two voltage-controlled amplifiers designed to control the modulation amount inputs that can be routed to any of the Double Helix CV inputs. Each of the CV inputs can be switched to channel a, bypass, or channel b and mixed with a dedicated CV input.

Features

  • Panel size: 28hp
  • Depth: 37mm
  • Power Usage: +12v 223mA, -12v 205mA
  • Does not require +5v

Radikal Technologies releases the eurorack Swarm Oscillator RT 311

Radikal Technologies releases radical Eurorack-compatible oscillator module with a DSP-driven difference

MÜNCHEN, GERMANY: having turned heads, opened ears, and blown musical minds with a successful showcase at The 2017 NAMM Show, January 19-22 in Anaheim, California, high-quality synthesizer developer Radikal Technologies is proud to announce availability of its RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR — an advanced DSP-driven Eurorack-compatible oscillator module that, as implied by name, goes far beyond the realms of standard oscillator fare, firstly thanks to two oscillators that can both build swarms of (up to eight) oscillator ‘clones’ capable of being pitched in musical intervals, chords, clusters, or fat detunes, dutifully backed by having all parameter settings saveable as interpolatable snapshots, enabling even more radical results — as of March 28…

A dictionary definition of swarm typically reads: a large number of things… or oscillators, in the case of Radikal Technologies’ radical RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR, which, when switched to its highest SWARM setting, sees a maximum of 16 oscillator ‘clones’ running simultaneously. Something that stands out from the sound of the (ever-expanding Eurorack modular) crowd — to (partially) paraphrase the early-Eighties British breakthrough hit from synth-pop pioneers The Human League (themselves no strangers to the small-format modular system popularised by fellow German developers Doepfer Musikelektronik) — and surely something to behold? But building swarms of oscillator clones using both (OSCILLATOR 1 andOSCILLATOR 2) banks’ specialised set of TUNE, OCTAVES, DENSITY, SPREAD, and DETUNE controls to create pitched musical intervals, chords, clusters, or fat detunes does not necessarily mean that all 16 of those clones have to sound simultaneously.

Switched into (its default startup) Manual-Mode of operation, the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR can function much like any other Eurorack-compatible all-analogue oscillator out there with OSCILLATOR 1 and OSCILLATOR 2 respectively appearing at the two (OUT 1 and OUT 2) outputs as sound sources for further manipulation elsewhere — using Radikal Technologies’ own RT-451 DUAL MULTIMODE FILTER module, for instance. In this scenario, the sound of the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR module matches exactly what would be expected from the potentiometer-controlled parameter positions on its 32 HP (Horizontal Pitch) sized front panel; putting yet more controls at adventurous users’ fingertips, both banks of oscillators feature WAVE controls for smooth transitions between waveforms and TLM (Timelinearity Modulation), a variation of pulse-width modulation — known from Radikal Technologies’ SPECTRALIS 2 ANALOG SYNTHESIZER/ BEATMATRIX/FILTERBANK desktop hybrid — that can be applied to all waveforms, while exponential FM (Frequency Modulation) and linear FM modulation or PM (Phase Modulation) are also available alongside oscillator synchronisation. Pitch is, of course, controlled by the (calibrated) 1V/OCT input (which can be quantised so that only pitches of a certain tone sequence or scale are output).

Other operational modes make more radical results really shine through, though. Switching Snapshot-Mode into play permits the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR to store up to eight memory setups, each with eight snapshots, saving all oscillator settings and memorising them even after whatever Eurorack small-format modular synth system is playing host to the module has been powered down! Such snapshots are assigned to one of eight positions accessible via the ‘big knob’ dominating the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR’s front panel. Put it into Interpolator-Mode and everything (literally) revolves around the cyclic traversal of those snapshots, smoothly crossfading from one to the next with transitions taken care of via voltage control, an internal LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), or the big knob itself — either way, the surrounding eight LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) illuminate accordingly in user-chosen colours, helpfully highlighting which snapshot is playing at any given time.

To make room for an RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR in any Eurorack small-format modular system means making more sound colours available to the sophisticated synthesist… Radikal by name, radical by nature, now a swarm of oscillators need not take up too much valuable rack space, so why not add one (or more) modules to your setup today to start puttingRadikal Technologies’ latest DSP-driven design through its unique-sounding paces? 

 

Now shipping, the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR is available for purchase from Radikal Technologies stockists at an MSRP of €598.00 EUR (in Europe) and $659.00 USD (in the US).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR webpage here: http://www.radikaltechnologies.com/index.php/rt-311-swarm-oscillator/

Watch a short demonstration video of the RT-311 SWARM OSCILLATOR here: http://youtu.be/u3q03WoDwyk