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/

VERMONA ups Eurorack attenuation ante with flexible four-channel quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator

VOGTLAND, GERMANY: electronic sound tools creator VERMONA is proud to announce availability of the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator — a four-channel polarizer module for the popular Eurorack small-format modular system, capable of attenuating any incoming signal, in-phase or out of phase, plus providing additional functionality for further flexibility — as of August 25…

Eurorack has been nicknamed ‘Eurocrack’… and for good reason. It’s certainly addictive! As any enlightened Eurorack small-format modular system user would surely say: you can never have enough modules that influence levels, be that for audio signals or control voltages. VERMONA’s quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator helps fill that void — or, indeed, any empty Eurorack rack-space (assuming that potential purchasers have 10 HP to spare in their system) — as a four-channel polarizer module, capable of attenuating any incoming signal, in-phase or out of phase. Putting it ahead of the Eurorack pack, the way that each of those four channels work is one of its most distinguishing features. Fortunately, instead of only having one dedicated zero-point, it has a ‘dead-zone’ where the input signal will be completely suppressed, so users can easily locate the off position — even without a centre-click — while simultaneously being able to create extremely sensitive level increases.

Further flexibility abounds as the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator realises a number of other outstanding features. Firstly, any channel’s OUTPUT signal is optionally forwarded to the next one, allowing the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator to be used as a mixer module, as implied by its full appellation; as such, users can sum up to four signals. Secondly, the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator can also be controlled via control voltages, with each channel boasting a CV IN alongside its INPUT; so, setting the level manually apart, users can also use each channel as a VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier)… and — Eurorack being ‘Eurocrack’ — you can never have enough VCAs in a modular system, now, can you? Yet more functionality comes courtesy of the fact that the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator has one four-quadrant multiplier per channel, allowing the module to also act as a ring modulator without any compromises — in fact, four ring modulators!

Mind the (10 HP-wide) gap. As flexible as it is functional, then, owners of any Eurorack small-format modular system should surely consider adding a quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator to their setup. After all, once you’ve got your hands on one, it’s hard to live without it. Indeed, once you’ve got your hands on one, you might need to satisfy your addiction with another!

 

Shipping now, the quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator is available to purchase through VERMONA’s growing global network of dealers (http://www.vermona.com/en/dealer/) with an RRP of €269.00 EUR (Europe) and $309.00 USD (USA).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated quadroPOL polarizing mixer / ringmodulator webpage here: http://www.vermona.com/en/products/modules/product/quadropol/

Ik multimedia irig pro I/O in Apple stores now

 

IK Multimedia. Musicians First.

Media Alert

iRig Pro I/O now available in the Apple Store

The most advanced iPhone, iPad and Mac audio/MIDI interface
is now available in over 200 Apple retail and online stores worldwide

September 7, 2017 – IK Multimedia is proud to announce that iRig® Pro I/O, the cutting-edge high definition audio/MIDI interface for iPhone®, iPad® and Mac®, is now available in the Apple Store® at more than 200 locations worldwide and online.

iRig Pro I/O lets musicians connect all their gear to their mobile devices or computers to make music and produce audio, anytime and everywhere, with a portable, pocket-size mobile studio they can always carry with them. The combo microphone and instrument input allows users to record high definition, studio quality audio anywhere. A MIDI input and output allow to connect keyboards and controllers and a headphone output jack with a dedicated volume control is perfect for use with the new iPhone 7 and its future generations. iRig Pro I/O is a truly powerful, professional and portable recording solution that operates on AA batteries when connected to an iOS device, or on USB power when used with a Mac. When used with an optional power supply unit, it even charges a connected iPhone or iPad during extended sessions. A huge selection of IK’s award-winning apps and software is also included with iRig Pro I/O enabling complete music productions with a total value of more than $/€500.

iRig Pro I/O now available in the Apple Store

Being certified MFi hardware (Made for iPhone and iPad) iRig Pro I/O is guaranteed to be plug-and-play on all iOS devices with a Lightning® port using the included Lightning cable while the USB cable included connects Mac computers. iRig Pro I/O works out of the box with popular Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software like GarageBand®, Logic Pro® and more.

IK Multimedia is the leader of the mobile music creation revolution as the first company to utilize the power of the iPhone, tapping into it with products like the award-winning iRig line of guitar interfaces and AmpliTube amp modeling software allowing users to plug their guitars and basses into their phones and experience the most authentic amplifier tones and effects anywhere.

Today IK Multimedia offers more Apple certified music and audio creation and production hardware than any other manufacturer, with the widest range of interfaces, microphones, keyboards and other controllers for musicians, producers and podcasters available on the market. All of this is complemented by a full range of software and apps along with other accessories like stands, speakers and video accessories, focused on plug and play, portability and affordability that has made music and audio creation easier for millions of consumers around the world. With more than 50 million software and app downloads and over 2 million units of its iRig branded products sold since 2010, IK Multimedia is the undisputed leader in the mobile music creation category with over 70% market share.

iRig Pro I/O, together with the vast majority of IK Multimedia products are also “Made in Italy” in its fully owned state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that combines the highest quality processes together with a focus on unique Italian world class craftsmanship. This goes together with IK’s social responsibility standards that ensure compliance with the strictest labor regulations in the world along with eco-friendly programs, such as lessening environmental impact by reducing waste, employing smart recycling techniques and reducing power consumption by utilizing roof mounted solar panels to generate electricity.

iRig Pro I/O is available now from Apple.com and at more than 200 retail locations worldwide.

In addition, other IK Multimedia products like iRig HD 2 (guitar interface), iKlip Grip and iKlip Grip Pro (multi-functional iPhone stands) and iRig Keys (keyboard controller) can be found in the Apple Store worldwide.

www.apple.com/choose-your-country

www.apple.com/retail/storelist

 

For more information, please visit:
www.irigpro.io

For a video of iRig Pro I/O in action, please visit:
www.irigpro.io/vid

IK MultiMedia Ampeg SVX 2 for amplitude released

IK Multimedia and Ampeg release
Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube – Mac and PC

Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube offers bass players and producers a collection of iconic bass amplifiers and cabinets from the Heritage and Classic series
September 5, 2017 – IK Multimedia is pleased to announce the immediate release of Ampeg® SVX 2 for AmpliTube, a new collection that brings some of the most sought-after and iconic bass amplifiers and cabinets from the Ampeg Heritage and Classic series to AmpliTube for Mac® and PC.

Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube

Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube brings more power to bass players and music producers, giving them the opportunity to expand their collection with 2 amplifiers and 2 cabinets from the Ampeg Classic series: the SVT-VR and V-4B amplifiers along with the SVT-810AV and SVT-212AV cabinets. Also included from the Ampeg Heritage series is the highly sought-after B-15N amp and its matching cabinet, the B-15N 115. Ampeg SVX 2 provides the genuine tone, dynamics and feel of these iconic amps thanks to IK’s industry-leading modeling technologies. Dynamic Interaction Modeling™ not only recreates every individual physical component in the amplifier’s design, but also the nonlinear behavior between each component and its interaction with other components in the circuit. This provides an unprecedented level of realism, touch and feel for each amp.

Ampeg SVX 2 - Amps and cabs

Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube recreates the sound that defined electric bass in virtual form. IK software engineers worked painstakingly with the Ampeg engineering team to ensure that each amplifier and cabinet model has been created with the same attention to detail and authenticity that goes into their physical counterparts. The amplifiers and cabinets available in Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube include:

SVT-VR
The Ampeg SVT-VR is a vintage reissue of an early 1970’s “Blue-Line” SVT head. The preamp stage, power section, and even rocker switches emulate the exact signal path, tone, and vibe of this original rock ‘n’ roll workhorse giving all the growl one might ever need.

V-4B
The Ampeg V-4B 100W all-tube bass amplifier is a remarkable reissue of the legendary 1971 original, delivering the pure tube vintage sound, attitude and unmistakable grind that earned this classic amp a place in bass history.

B-15N
The Heritage B-15N amplifier features distinct switchable 1964 and 1966 channels with Ampeg’s flexible Baxandall type bass and treble EQ controls along with selectable cathode or fixed bias providing the ultimate control over response and tone. The Heritage B-15N meticulously recreates the world’s most recorded bass tone.

SVT-810AV
Powerful, tight and focused bass sound. This is the classic Ampeg cabinet seen on stages worldwide. The Infinite Baffle™ design has stayed the same since 1969 and delivers the punchy, round sound that is the hallmark of Ampeg tone.

SVT-212AV
The Ampeg SVT-212AV cabinet delivers pure Ampeg tone in a ported cabinet design, featuring 2×12″ custom LF drivers and a 1″ compression driver, with a 3-way level control, that bridges the gap between fast transient response and a rich, powerful low end.

B-15N 115
The perfect companion to the B-15N. This cabinet features a 15″ speaker that delivers pure, full-bodied and vintage-sounding tone, reminiscent of the good old ’60s, that suits a wide array of musical genres.

Plug-in and play out
Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube works perfectly with IK’s iRig line of mobile digital interfaces, like the iRig HD 2 or the iRig Pro I/O, to record and process bass tones on the go and on stage with the best-sounding virtual amps and effects ever created. Because Ampeg SVX 2 runs from within AmpliTube for Mac/PC, it offers a full-rig signal path ready to use in any production: tuner, pedalboards, amp head preamp, effects loop, power amp, speaker cabs, mics with room effects, and rack effects. Plus, two complete rigs can be configured and run in stereo.

Pricing and Availability
Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube is available now for $/€99.99* from the IK Multimedia website, the AmpliTube Custom Shop and participating IK retailers. Ampeg SVX 2 for AmpliTube is also available to currently registered Ampeg SVX users for the upgrade price of $/€49.99. Individual amps are available for $/€34.99 each and cabs for $/€14.99 each via the AmpliTube Custom Shop.

*All prices excluding taxes

For more information, please visit:
www.ampegsvx.com/svx2

For video of Ampeg SVX 2, please visit:
www.ampegsvx.com/svx2/video

New virtual console plug in Brainworx bx_console G released

Press release:

Brainworx hits home run replicating renowned British console sound with bx_console G plugin

 

“Growing up in the industry on both E and G Series consoles, I was eager to take the new Brainworx bx_console G for a spin. Having used other companies’ emulations of the same console, I am incredibly happy and impressed with Brainworx’s attention to detail — the channel strip compressor finally has the proper ‘snap’ I’ve been missing from the real console, and all the added features are fantastic… another home run!”

– Marc Nelson, GRAMMY®-nominated music producer/mix engineer (Fleetwood Mac, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat), 2017

 

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY: industry-leading pro audio plugins developer Brainworx is proud to announce availability of bx_console G — an accurate channel strip model of the renowned British G Series large-format mixing console, including both ‘Pink’ and ‘Orange’ EQ revisions, and featuring 72 distinct channels that use Brainworx’s TMT (Tolerance Modelling Technology) for the most realistic analog experience in the box — as of September 6…

Hot on the heels of Brainworx’s acclaimed bx_console E — their trailblazing flagship plugin that pairs a 72-channel emulation of the high-end, hit-making British E Series console complete with comprehensive COMPRESS (compressor/limiter), full-featured EXPAND (expander/gate), powerful four-band parametric EQ, and wide-ranging (high pass and low pass) FILTERS, together with incredibly flexible signal routing (just like the original console), and much more besides — comes bx_console G, growing the company’s collection of TMT channel strip plugins.

Powerful yet different, those true-to-life E Series- and G Series-modeling plugins are distinguished by their respective filter sections — both ‘Pink’ and ‘Orange’ revisions — that deliver a totally contrasting character when treating frequencies. The G is largely known for its more mellow character while the E is more aggressive, but both G Series filters feature proportional-Q behaviour, allowing for more precise gain adjustments while leaving the surrounding frequencies intact. The ‘Pink’ revision also allows the HMF and LMF (midrange) bands to be multiplied (x3) and divided (/3) by a factor of three to allow for an extra-wide range of tone-shaping capabilities. The G Series VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier) also has a lower THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), making it a cleaner compressor option as well.

When designing bx_console G, Brainworx Owner Dirk Ulrich — an acclaimed producer/engineer in his own right — and his award-winning development team tossed tons of useful extras not found on the original hardware into an already exciting-sounding mix. Mods include: continuously-variable THD control (adds saturation); secondary release time (REL2) compressor control (prevents pumping); dry/wet (MIX) compressor control; mid (Solo M) and side (Solo S) channel monitoring; and virtual noise floor (V GAIN) control.

Channel strip plugins typically only model one channel of a mixer. Applying that same cloned channel across all tracks in a mix — even using different control settings — makes for a flat, narrow, two-dimensional digital sound. But bx_console G avoids this, thanks to TMT taking into account the real-world variation between channels of a hardware console, which lends itself to the complexity and nuance that analog hardware imparts on mixes. Meanwhile, bx_console G’s gorgeous GUI (Graphical User Interface) and acutely low CPU (Central Processing Unit) load lets users instantly recall up to 72 slightly different-sounding channels across all plugin instances on their tracks to create that mixed-on-a-large-format-analog-console sound so sorely missed when working on a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). When working with bx_console G, however, DAW users can use its RANDOM CHANNEL buttons to easily invoke the random nature of this variation on a single instance of bx_console G, and also randomize the channels across every instance in a mix in one simple click.

Could it be that Brainworx has hereby answered the prayers of anyone yearning to mix their projects on a large-format analog console yet does not necessarily possess the necessary means — monetary and/or room — to do so? So much more than just a channel strip model, bx_console G’s potent modern features clearly create a G Series console on steroids! Indeed, it is hyper-realistic analog large-format console sound for your DAW… just ask Marc Nelson!

 

bx_console G is available for purchase — as an AAX Native & DSP-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plugin for Mac OS X (10.8 through 10.12), Windows (7 through 10), and Pro Tools 10.3.10 (or higher) — exclusively from Plugin Alliance for an introductory promo price of $179.00 USD until September 30, 2017, rising to $299.00 USD thereafter. (A permanent crossgrade to/from bx_console E for $99.00 USD is also available.)

A fully-functional, 14-day trial is available to anyone registering for a free Plugin Alliance account here: http://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/registration.html

Note that the proprietary Plugin Alliance Installation Manager means users can select, download, and install only the products and formats needed for their system.

For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated bx_console G webpage here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_console_g.html

Watch Plugin Alliance’s tantalizing trailer for bx_console G here:  https://youtu.be/te705_OeFqI

Watch Plugin Alliance’s teaser trailer for bx_console G here:  https://youtu.be/wN-Osk_LSrw

IK Multimedia’s ARC System 2.5 with new MEMS microphone is now shipping

IK Multimedia is proud to announce that ARC System 2.5 with MEMS microphone is now available for shipping. Version 2.5 of the Advanced Room Correction System combines a new highly accurate MEMS measurement microphone, measurement software together with an audio correction plug-in for Mac/PC DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and employs Audyssey MultEQ® XT32 patented technology to greatly improve the audio monitoring accuracy of speakers in any studio or listening room.

The first system of its kind, ARC System works by measuring the room in multiple positions, producing an accurate representation of its acoustic response, then generates a correction filter that makes the response linear. This allows users to mix and compose in an environment capable of an exact representation of the music and audio being produced, regardless of the acoustic characteristics of the room. ARC System was first introduced by IK Multimedia in 2007 and quickly established itself as one of the most popular acoustic correction systems in the world.
New high-precision MEMS measurement mic
IK Multimedia was the first to incorporate the use of MEMS (microelectro-mechanical systems) microphones for pro audio recording applications with its popular iRig® Acoustic range, first released in 2015, and is now pioneering their use in the field of ultra-accurate measurement microphones. The new MEMS measurement microphone included in ARC 2.5 works together with the room correction software to achieve a new milestone in accuracy with a precision of +/- 0.5 dB. Just like the other MEMS products from IK, the new measurement mic is manufactured in Italy and features an omnidirectional capsule that ensures maximum response accuracy and stability over time, in contrast to standard condenser measurement microphones which can exhibit frequency response variations due to manufacturing or age.

MEMS microphones offer extreme resistance to shock along with humidity and temperature variations thanks to the manufacturing process behind them. This means they are very durable and can be easily transported without the risk of damage. Additionally, all the ARC System microphones manufactured using this process maintain a consistent degree of accuracy with near-zero variation in performance from unit to unit. This guarantees accurate, repeatable and reliable audio measurements even after long periods of time.

MultEQ® XT32 Technology
ARC 2.5 utilizes Audyssey MultEQ® XT32 technology to evaluate the acoustic information captured at multiple locations in the listening area in both frequency and time domains. It uses a sophisticated clustering algorithm to combine this information so that acoustic problems are accurately analyzed. Based on these measurements, a correction filter is calculated that adjusts both time and frequency response problems in the listening area and performs a fully automated system setup. The result is clear, well-balanced audio monitoring in any environment.

“Virtual Monitoring” for the real world
The included “Virtual Monitoring” feature lets users select specific templates to deliberately alter the response of the monitoring setup to match devices like LCD TVs, car audio systems, small radios, etc., and listen to how their mixes will translate on other “virtual” band-limited systems and to ensure a perfect sound translation.
Thousands of rooms corrected worldwide
Since 2007, IK Multimedia’s ARC System has been leading the way in terms of true affordability and professional reliability when it comes to acoustic room correction systems. With tens of thousands of installations worldwide, correcting the rooms of music enthusiasts and independent producers to those of studio and acoustic engineers, ARC has become an absolute industry standard that continues to amaze for its ease of use and indisputable effectiveness.

Take the room out of the mix
ARC System is the most cost-effective, professional solution for achieving a consistent sound and frequency response across the entire spectrum in any room, whether acoustically treated or not. From home studios to professional recording facilities, ARC will take the “sound of the room” out of the equation, enabling users to mix faster and with total confidence, ensuring their productions translate properly with the outside world.

Pricing and availability
ARC System 2.5 with MEMS microphone is now available at a cost of $/€199.99*. Users that have previously purchased any IK product with a minimum value of $/€99.99 can take advantage of a special crossgrade price of only $/€149.99.

Current ARC 2 users can upgrade to software version 2.5 free of charge (Mac/PC), whereas ARC 1 and ARC TDM users can upgrade their software for as low as $/€49.99.

The MEMS measurement microphone can be purchased separately for $/€69.99 by previous ARC users**.

* All prices excluding taxes
** Software must be updated to v.2.5 for compatibility with the MEMS microphone

For more information, please visit:
www.ikmultimedia.com/arc

XILS-lab literally creates plug-in pleasure principal when recreating revolutionary polysynth

GRENOBLE, FRANCE: audio software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of PolyM — an authentic recreation of the pioneering Polymoog polysynth, dreamed up by American designer Dave Luce and produced by Moog Music between 1975-1980, but benefitting from finest French software skills to truly create a plug-in pleasure principal as arguably the best ‘virtual’ divide-down oscillator technology-toting soft synth available anywhere and teaching the old dog some new tricks in the process — as of July 3…

That’s today. Putting PolyM in its present-day context involves initially looking back. But back in the early-Seventies, setting out to create an analogue, functional voltage-controlled synthesizer that was polyphonic against a backdrop of monophonic mainstays proved problematic for many. Moog’s musical solution came quicker than most, making an appearance in 1975 in its extremely expensive ($5,295 USD), nine-preset original form as the Polymoog keyboard (model 203a). It included a front panel packed with an almost continuous row of slider pots (permitting presets to be fully modified into more individualised analogue sounds via various subtractive synthesis parameters, including a 24dB Moog ladder filter section — allowing modulation modulated from its own envelopes and low frequency oscillation — alongside a unique and flexible three-band resonant filter section with lowpass/bandpass/high-pass filter modes) before being joined in 1978 by a marginally more economically-viable ($3,995 USD), 14-preset stripped back version (with editing reduced to volume, tuning, high-pass filtering, and basic LFO — Low Frequency Oscillator — features), which was also (confusingly) called the Polymoog keyboard (model 280a), though the original fully-variable version was then rebadged, admittedly, as the Polymoog Synthesizer.

Saying that, unlimited polyphony united the two innovative instruments in question, albeit unlimited in the sense that all 71 notes of their weighted touch-sensitive keyboards (capable of being split into three sections, each with independent volume control) could sound simultaneously, but based on divide-down oscillator technology — similar to electronic organs and string synthesizers of the time — to generate all notes and pitches using a small number of fixed-frequency oscillators as an alternative to ‘traditional’ VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators). Obviously, the Polymoog cannot create each voice from individual oscillators and filters, nor store sounds programmed by the user — unlike the first generation of microprocessor-controlled designs that soon followed suit, such as Sequential Circuits’ classic Prophet-5, the world’s first fully-programmable polyphonic synthesizer — as a result. Regardless of those limitations and reliability issues inherent in its complicated, convoluted design downfall, some notable users still shaped some stunning-sounding records using the pioneering Polymoog.

Prime example… as an innovative individual almost alone in seeing the opportunity for a star of synth-based music, a futuristic-looking Gary Numan notably ‘drove’ over an endless Polymoog landscape in the pioneering promo video for his 1979 chart-topping ‘Cars’ single and arguably opened the floodgates for the wave of (mainly British) synth-pop acts that trailed in his wake. Wisely — and appropriately — once observed: Gary Numan’s classic breakthrough, The Pleasure Principal, is almost an album-length advert for the Polymoog. Those beautiful, stark, synth-strings frozen all over the songs is the Polymoog’s Vox Humana preset.

Fast-forward, then, to two years ago, and XILS-lab clearly considered those oft-overlooked Polymoog presets to be well worth revisiting, recreating an ‘unlimited’ polyphony polysynth that was recognisably revolutionary upon its initial release and making it fit for today’s creative computer-based music-makers with a state- of-the-art software makeover. Making that happen was easier said than done, however — hence that two-year development time. That equalled the same time taken to develop the original, overly-engineered historical hardware from which it drew its innovative inspiration, ironically — hardly surprising, given that the Polymoog uses a TOS (Top Octave Synthesizer) system with a TOG (Top Octave Generator) chip to create a bank of 12 square waves representing the top octave of the keyboard, each of which are then passed through a divider chip to create all the lower octaves, and can then be processed to create other wave shapes; making matters more complicated, the Polymoog has two sets of TOS chips, generating two wave shapes (pulse and sawtooth) per key — two oscillators per key, effectively. There are also two envelope generators, two VCAs (Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers), and two fixed filters for each key. Those circuits are combined into a custom chip called the Polycom, mounted on a small card, and there is one Polycom card per key. That all adds up to a whole lot of circuit boards in one cumbersome keyboard…. little wonder, then, that reliability became an issue!

No such issues with the perfected PolyM, but no pain, no gain getting there as XILS-lab CEO Xavier Oudin obviously learned — the hard(ware) way — when taking today’s much more reliable route to software-based synthesized splendour: “Recreating this legendary synthesizer as a virtual analogue synthesizer was a real challenge, but we decided to take up the gauntlet. This was made more difficult due to our real machine’s poor condition.”

Continuing against all odds, Xavier Oudin and XILS-lab literally created a plug-in pleasure principal when recreating the revolutionary Polymoog polysynth as a soft synth plug-in par excellence — even ending up with more bells and whistles when finally finished. “It took more than two years, analysing, measuring, testing, and scratching our heads,” he concurs, before adding: “But we are proud to now offer PolyM, one of the best — if not the best — ‘virtual’ divide-down-based virtual synthesizers out there!”

In there is what counts, though, and PolyM palpably doesn’t disappoint… deftly reproducing yesteryear’s divide-down technology with two TOD (Top Octave Divider) oscillators — one for the sawtooth wave and another for the square, slightly detuned for a phenomenal phasing effect (when running independently in FREE mode), yet these take the concept further forward by adding polyphonic pulse width modulation. Meanwhile, in LOCK mode, those two TOD oscillators are almost locked in phase, producing PM (Phase Modulation) instead of FM (Frequency Modulation) when the square wave oscillator is modulated in pitch. The two TODs can also be modulated — tempo-sync-able — in pitch by an LFO, while the square wave oscillator has it own pulse width modulation by a tempo-sync-able LFO. Alongside a distinctive envelope generator, this represents the musical heart and soul of PolyM, pushing that revolutionary polysynth sound kicking and screaming into the future!

Further features of note include: 71 emulated chips, offering mixer, VCA, envelope, 12dB filter, and pulse width modulation for each of the available notes; stunning-sounding 24dB ladder filter (using XILS-lab’s critically-acclaimed zero-delay algorithm); nine dedicated acoustic filters — STRING, PIANO, ORGAN, HARPS, FUNK, CLAV, VIBES, BRASS, and VOX — carefully recreated from the original (model 203a); RESONATORS filter bank with three parametric (6dB and 12dB) filters matching the original; three vintage — DEL. (delay), PHAS. (phaser), and REV. (reverb) — effects (with adjustable settings from within an Advanced Settings Panel alongside nine modulation slots for furthering sound design possibilities well beyond the scope of the original hardware); and more…

More than 260 presets are available to help users get going and all parameters are MIDI-controllable, combining to position PolyM as an innovative instrument of its time while retaining the one-time pioneering Polymoog’s performance properties. Put it this way: while what Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud would have made of it is obviously open to speculation, surely Gary Numan should approve… as will anyone’s bank balance by paying (comparatively) so little for so much playing pleasure! Perhaps PolyM pushes beyond the pleasure principal?

PolyM is available to purchase as a USB eLicenser or iLok (1 and 2 dongle hardware or software) protected plug-in for an introductory promotional price of €99.00 EUR until August 31, 2017 — rising to an MSRP of €149.00 EUR thereafter — from XILS-lab here: http://www.xils-lab.com/products/polym-p-160.html

PolyM can be directly downloaded as a multi-format (AAX, AU, RTAS, VST), 32- and 64-bit virtual soft synth plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.7 and later) and Windows (XP, 7, 8, 10) from here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/polym-p-160/download.html

For more in-depth info, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated PolyM webpage here: http://www.xils-lab.com/products/polym-p-160.html

Watch XILS-lab’s lovingly prepared PolyM promo video here: https://www.xils-lab.com/audiosample/PolyM/PolyMTrailer.mp4

Spitfire Audio debuts dry scoring stage ensemble library innovation inspired by legacy of iconic film composer namesake

LONDON, UK: Spitfire Audio, purveyors of the finest virtual instruments from the finest musical samples in the world, is proud to announce availability of BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT — taking inspiration from the electric genius of its iconic composer namesake (noted for his lengthy legacy of fresh film scores such as Citizen Kane, Psycho, Vertigo, and Taxi Driver that continue to inspire today’s composers) when working exclusively with The Bernard Herrmann Estate to curate and assemble a unique set of studio orchestra ensembles informed directly by a legendary orchestration aesthetic recorded at London’s legendary AIR Studios (Studio 1) by Abbey Road Studios Senior Engineer Simon Rhodes (Avatar, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Magnificent Seven) before being ‘translated’ to Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform as an orchestral innovation for all — as of June 22…

“No composer contributed more to film than Bernard Herrmann, who, in over fifty scores, enriched the work of such directors as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, François Truffaut, and Martin Scorsese.” So stated Bernard Herrmann biographer Steve C. Smith. So when the opportunity arose for Spitfire Audio to collaborate with his estate, excitement throughout the cutting-edge company co-founded by working film composers was understandably palpable.

Putting the resultant BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT into its rightful perspective, Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson touts, “This is an incredibly vivid, tense, and exciting collection of recordings. It covers all kinds of things, from more slightly standard orchestral instruments through to unusual combinations of orchestral instruments, some synths, and some more esoteric instruments in there as well. This is definitely not a vintage sound source, so we’re not looking at recreating the sound of movies of the Sixties. What we’re looking at is the inspiration of a giant of cinema. Bernard Herrmann’s career started with Citizen Kane and finished with Taxi Driver, and he did a colourful collection of Hitchcock movies in between. But not just that; he was also a very passionate advocate for new music, championing the careers of many composers who would never have been heard otherwise. We’ve taken his original scores from some of his key movies and we’ve looked at the way that he tended to combine instruments, and we’ve used that as the inspiration for how we’ve recorded this collection of sounds.”

So how, exactly, did the steadfast Spitfire Audio team set about recording what would become BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT? Well, working exclusively with The Bernard Herrmann Estate to curate and assemble a unique set of studio orchestra ensembles informed directly by a legendary orchestration aesthetic, all duly decamped to Studio 1 within London’s legendary AIR Studios — complete with its unique AIR-custom Neve/Focusrite large-format mixing desk with 72 channels incorporating original ‘AIR Monserrat’ mic preamps and GML automation, alongside a 140m2 fully-floated floor live room capable of accommodating up to 45 musicians — in the capable company of Abbey Road Studios Senior Engineer Simon Rhodes — who has a longstanding association with various composers, including the late James Horner whom he worked with for 18 years on over 40 projects including Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time — to capture players performing as Bernard Herrmann himself would have done had he still been working today… boisterous, lively, and upfront.

Unusual instrumental combis, selected groups, chords, effects, and much more are the supremely sampled order of the day with BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT, tasty musical morsels served up in an easily accessible form from within Spitfire Audio’s already-familiar GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) and organised as follows: STUDIO ORCHESTRA; HIGH STRINGS; HIGH STRINGS OCTAVES; HIGH STRINGS HALF SECTION; LOW STRINGS; LOW STRINGS AND HORNS; LOW STRINGS AND TROMBONES; PICCOLO AND FLUTES; CONCERT FLUTES; MIXED FLUTES; FLUTES AND CLARINETS; COR ANGLAIS, CLARINET, AND TRUMPET; OBOES, BASSOONS, AND HORNS; TRUMPET AND XYLOPHONE; HORNS; MID BRASS; TROMBONES; TROMBONES AND TIMPANI; HARP AND CELESTE; HARP AND VIBRAPHONE; ONDES MARTENOT; PERCUSSION; TIMPANI; and SYNTHS. Speaking of the latter, included in the ‘advanced’ folder are over 30 patches inspired by Bernard Herrmann’s use of synthesisers in combination with orchestral material, all of which can be controlled using Spitfire Audio’s Mercury Synth GUI, an ingenious interface initiating instant interaction without forcing users to delve deep under the KONTAKT hood; helpfully, all controls are assignable to (compatible) control surfaces, so users can quickly make Spitfire Audio’s synth sounds their own with minimal fuss.

Much fuss has been made about Bernard Herrmann, however. And deservedly so since he is one of the great modern composers, after all. His work for TV and film is nothing short of iconic, and truly synonymous with mid-20th Century cinema. Collaborating with Orson Welles on Citizen Kane (1941), Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver (1976), and in longterm partnership with Alfred Hitchcock on scores such as Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), and beyond, the sheer magnitude of critical works is breathtaking. But not only did his work have a significant impact on popular culture at the time, more recently those works have been used to invigorate contemporary scores, such as Quentin Tarantino’s twist on the Twisted Nerve theme in 2003’s Kill Bill, 35 years after its inception — an eerie whistle which is now instantly identifiable worldwide.

But Bernard Herrmann demonstrated a unique and trailblazing compositional style throughout his celebrated career. His orchestrations were entirely original, daring, and inventive — albeit always appropriate for the context, so subsequently incredibly influential in film scoring. Psycho — famed for its strings-only approach — is an obvious example of a totally new way to score a thriller. The bold selection of specific instrumental ensembles — the infamous Torn Curtain featured 12 flutes, for instance — and choice of interesting combinations — harp and vibraphone in Vertigo; stopped horns and pizzicato strings in North by Northwest (1959) — challenged the status quo. Equally, experimenting with electronic instruments in scores — the Ondes Martenot in The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) and amplified Moog synths in 1972’s Sisters and Endless Night — brought with them sounds previously unheard in cinemas. However, Herrmann also went as far as to affect change in the performance style of players, requesting that they did not play in the then-traditional, somewhat overblown nature that other Hollywood composers of the time tended towards.

Outside of his innovative scoring for film for which he remains best known, Herrmann had boundless curiosity and a genuine love of new music, championing the names of several composers who became household names as a result of his hard work as a conductor. As Chief Conductor to the CBS Symphony Orchestra, and the many radio broadcasts he made with them, he helped bring a huge variety of often little-heard music to the masses.

In short, Bernard Herrmann was a truly individual voice, an innovative individual who stood firm against what he saw as the dilution of the art form to which he dedicated his life. Little wonder, then, that his powerful presence continues to be felt so strongly so long after his passing, respected by and resonating with today’s film composing community. It is in this spirit that Spitfire Audio brings BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT to bear on today’s ever-expanding compositional climate as an orchestral innovation for all. As Paul Thomson tellingly concludes — for the right reasons, it’s all in there for the taking: “Tons and tons of really great material, recorded in a tight, dry acoustic that is a very, very fine room through a lot of amazing mics by Simon Rhodes. It really is a wonderful-sounding library — hope you’re going to enjoy using this and looking forward to seeing what you come up with.”

BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as 225.0 GB of uncompressed .WAV files, featuring 186,742 samples) for a time-limited introductory promo price of £339.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$399.00 USD/€409.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until Thursday, July 6, 2017 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of £429.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$499.00 USD/€509.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/bernard-herrmann-composer-toolkit/

Note that BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT needs Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.5 and above) — included in the purchase — while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application for Mac or PC allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

For more in-depth informaton, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT webpage here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/bernard-herrmann-composer-toolkit/

Watch Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson’s ‘traditional’ BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT video walkthrough here: https://youtu.be/CfXxlZVTT30

Watch Spitfire Audio ‘composer in residence’ Oliver Patrice Weder’s BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT ‘In Action’ video here: https://youtu.be/c-G_lNSGNzM

Watch Spitfire Audio’s enlightening promo video for BERNARD HERRMANN COMPOSER TOOLKIT here: https://youtu.be/Jr5SOEytres