Empirical Labs releases Rev 3 of AROUSOR

Empirical Labs releases Rev 3 of AROUSOR™ as ultimate evolution of flagship compressor plug-in with more Distressor-based tones “The plug-in is a game changer ITB; I have, for a very long time, been a fan of the Distresser on snare, and now I have that again.”


“The plug-in is a game changer ITB; I have, for a very long time, been a fan of the Distresser on snare, and now I have that again.” 
– GRAMMY® Award-nominated record producer, engineer, and mixer Jacquire King, 2021


LAKE HIAWATHA, NJ, USA: Empirical Labs Inc. (ELI) is proud to announce availability of AROUSORRev 3 — the ultimate evolution of its flagship compressor plug-in, introducing more tones based on its Distressor hardware counterpart, itself one of the best-selling high-end compressors of all time as the product that started it all for the professional audio signal processing equipment designer and manufacturer/plug-ins producer, with the addition of two Opto (and B) compression modes, as well as two additional (6:5:1 and 7:1) ratios for even more dynamic possibilities, available for free to existing owners of AROUSOR as the update they have been waiting for — as of March 30…

Being borne out of ELI founder Dave Derr’s love of classic compressors like the 1176, LA-2A, and Gain Brain (amongst others), the Distressor incorporates his favourite sonic characteristics of outstanding outboard originally released way back when with other unique and interesting features that have made it a staple for audio engineers all over the world as one of the best-selling high-end compressors of all-time. It is inevitable that such a popular product would one day receive the plug-in treatment, taking the soul of the company’s professional audio signal processing equipment hardware and applying it to the wonderful world of ITB (in the box) workflow within a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), albeit AROUSOR is the only native Distressor plug-in produced by ELI itself. As a new and improved (EL8-X) version of the Distressor increased its tonality with the addition of new features, so AROUSORRev 3 — the ultimate evolution of ELI’s flagship compressor plug-in — introduces more tones based on its Distressor hardware counterpart.

Kicking off with two Opto (and B) compression modes based on the time constants of a classic and a modern LA-2A compressor that many existing owners of AROUSOR have been waiting for — it is, after all, a much-loved Distressor feature, noteworthy new additions to AROUSORRev 3 also include a SOFT CLIPPING expert (e) panel — allows for introducing more second harmonic distortion and an ability to place the compressor input before or after the soft clipping circuit; a Listen mode — to hear what frequencies are affecting the DETECTOR SIDECHAIN EQ’s compression detector; additional 6:5:1 and 7:1 ratios (accessible by enabling ALT mode in the RATIO section) — for even more dynamic possibilities; and an enlargeable GUI (Graphical User Interface) — to double its original size for more comfortable onscreen editing.

ELI’s classic knee compression with proprietary high-resolution detector modelling remains at the heart of everything AROUSORRev 3 does so well, with 12 unique compression ratios, including the famous brick wall — RIVET mode in AROUSOR-speak — for maximum gain reduction. Remaining features well worth highlighting here are an adjustable broadband SOFT CLIPPING control — for introducing warm saturation; a unique AtMod ATTACK MODIFICATION control — to change the shape of the initial attack; an advanced high-pass/band-pass DETECTOR SIDECHAIN EQ — for fine-tuning compression detector response; and Mix knob with (panel-enabled) Dry Level Trim — for parallel compression.

As the update existing owners have been waiting for, AROUSORRev 3 has brought the legendary tone of ELI’s analogue hardware into the digital realm with even more possibilities as an ITB game-changer… just ask Jacquire King, whose work with the likes of James Bay, Kings of Leon, and Shania Twain has received 30-plus GRAMMY® Award nominations to date! 


AROUSOR Rev 3 is available for purchase as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting 64-bit effect plug-in for macOS (10.7 or higher) and AAX-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting 64-bit effect plug-in for Windows (7 or higher) for a time-limited introductory promo price of $129.00 USD for the first 10 days — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $199.00 USD — directly from ELI here: https://www.empiricallabs.com/product/arousor/

A fully-functional, 15-day trial of AROUSOR Rev 3 is available to download from here: http://www.empiricallabs.com/downloads/

An iLok account is required for activating both the demo and full versions of AROUSOR Rev 3 via iLok Cloud or using an iLok 2 or iLok 3 USB dongle. (Pleasenote that ELI’s BIG FrEQ EQ plug-in — partially extrapolated from its much-loved Lil FreQ hardware EQ — is now also iLok Cloud compatible in its latest update.) For more in-depth information, please visit ELI’s dedicated AROUSOR webpage here: https://www.empiricallabs.com/product/arousor/ 

XILS-Lab debutes new FM and VA synth plug in


XILS-lab creates KaoX as virtual instrument inspired by legendary FM synthesizer bolstered by virtual analogue and chaotic algorithms


GRENOBLE, FRANCE: 
virtual instrument- and effect plug-in-specialising software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of KaoX — a virtual instrument inspired by a legendary FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesizer, albeit bolstered by virtual analogue sound synthesis and additional chaotic algorithms in an advanced two-layer architecture allowing for a powerful sound creation tool to fuel DAW-driven synthesizer dreams with a much more easily understood signal path than its iconic FM forefather — as of April 12…


To appreciate its iconic inspiration is to truly appreciate the power of KaoXXILS-lab’s latest virtual instrument. Indeed, the early-Eighties synthesizer market was dominated by analogue synthesizers using analogue circuits and analogue signals to generate sounds electronically, which, when made available as programmable polysynths with patch storage, were costly with limited polyphony. Putting paid to that dominance, an Eighties-dominating 16-voice FM synthesizer changed course — changing the course of musical history in the process — by generating sounds via frequency modulation, a form of sound synthesis whereby the frequency of a waveform is changed by modulating its frequency with a modulator. Mass manufactured using very-large- scale integration chips by a Japanese giant of a company who had licensed the technology from Stanford University, California — composer, musician, and professor John Chowning developed the digital implementation of FM synthesis while there, the world’s first commercially-successful digital synthesizer subsequently sold over 200,000 units within three years — around 20 times more than the most iconic analogue synthesizer of all time sold in its impressive decade-long lifespan — and its preset sounds soon became staples of the Eighties pop pantheon with E PIANO 1 purportedly ending up on 40% of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart toppers throughout 1986. Therein lay the rub. Really complex menus and a lack of conventional controls meant that few learned to program the comparatively keenly-priced instrument in depth — despite FM synthesis lending itself to creating brighter, glassier sounds, as well as imitative acoustic sounds so much better than its instantly unfashionable analogue adversaries, programmable polyphonic or otherwise. Of course, fashions change with time and technology; the instrument in question has long since fallen out of favour. Although analogue synthesizers — somewhat ironically — are now more commonplace than they ever were with a perceived warmth of sound and appealing hands-on control working in their favour, the convenience of an ITB (in the box) workflow with DAW-driven virtual instruments and effect plug-ins has far from lost its appeal for today’s music-making masses. Time to revisit the wonderful world of FM synthesis with a modern-day twist? Knowingly, KaoX does just that. After all, as a virtual instrument- and effect plug-in-specialising software company, XILS-lab loves to create tools that inspire its users to create more imaginative music than they ever dreamed possible!
Put it this way: with KaoXXILS-lab has created a virtual instrument inspired by that legendary FM synthesizer, albeit bolstered by virtual analogue sound synthesis and additional chaotic algorithms in an advanced two-layer architecture allowing for a powerful sound creation tool to fuel DAW-driven synthesizer dreams with a much more easily understood signal path than its iconic FM forefather since said signal path is easily understood through the use of illuminated modules in a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that is equally easy on the eye. KaoX’s knowing nod towards the preset-powered popularity of its iconic FM forefather is immediately obvious for all to see and hear in an easy-to-tweak simplified view allowing its UP (upper) and LO (lower) synthesizer layers — each with independent synthesis modules — to be combined in three different ways. Working in single mode, only the selected layer is active and heard, while both layers are active and heard in SPLIT and DOUBLE modes — the lower part of the keyboard playing the LO layer and the upper part of the keyboard playing the UP layer in the case of the former, while both the UP and LO layers are simultaneously played across the keyboard in the case of the latter. Limited controls are available in this simplified view, including TUNEDRIFTGLIDEVIBRATOFREQ (vibrato frequency), DEPTH (vibrato), (wheel), TREMOLOFREQ (tremolo frequency), and DEPTH (tremolo), plus CHORUSDELAYPHASER, and REVERB effects, enabling users to easily play presets and to tweak them accordingly — adding vibrato and tremolo or switching effects on and off, for instance.
Alternatively, activating an advanced settings view brings the wonderful world of KaoX into full view, allowing more adventurous users access to the virtual instrument’s internal modules to tweak or change any parameter therein, aided by contextual help windows, while active modules are helpfully illuminated. FM synthesis options are available on each of the two available layers with eight operators grouped in two banks with independent pitch — perfect for creating chorus-like FM sounds or punchy stereo patches — and two outputs (O1 and O2). Each FM OPERATOR features one LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), one envelope, WHEEL and VEL (velocity aftertouch) access, two user-definable external modulators (assignable to any KaoX modulation source), KEYB (keyboard follower) 2D pad, RATIO or FIXED frequency selection, and a lowpass filter. Furthermore, virtual analogue synthesis options are also available on each of the two available layers with two continuous waveform analogue oscillators (ANALOG OSCILLATOR 1 and ANALOG OSCILLATOR 2), two zero-delay-like analogue filters (FILTER 1 and FILTER 2), four D-ADSR envelopes, and four VCA outputs for bringing a depth and warmth to the sound creation table. That said, KaoX also allows its users to create sounds that they had never thought possible, thanks to two chaotic oscillators (CHAOS OSCILLATOR 1 and CHAOS OSCILLATOR 2) and two chaotic ring modulators (CHAOX 1 and CHAOX 2). And as if that was not enough to keep committed sound creators seriously satisfied, KaoX comes complete with a flexible four-track step SEQUENCER, where each track can be assigned to the UP or LO layer with independent sustain and gating or used as a modulation source.
Sound-wise, KaoX comes packed with 500-plus presets programmed by world-class sound designers Mikael Adle, Soundsdivine, Status, Nori Ubukata, Tom Wolfe, Xenos, Yuli-Yolo, Zensound, and many more — more than enough to point anyone of any ability in the general direction of where they might musically want to go. Getting there is made much easier with its integrated single-window preset manager making finding the right patch for the task, managing presets and sound banks, as well as creating custom tags, an efficient easy-going experience that could barely be dreamt of back in the early Eighties. Today the time has clearly come to revisit the wonderful world of FM synthesis with a modern-day twist and appreciate the power of KaoXXILS- lab’s latest virtual instrument par excellence — from France with love… and all without the need for very-large-scale integration chip mass manufacture! 



KaoX 
is available to purchase as an iLok (2 and 3 dongle hardware or software) protected plug-in priced at an introductory promo price of €99.00 EUR until May 15, 2021 — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of €179.00 EUR — directly from XILS-lab via the dedicated KaoX webpage (https://www.xils-lab.com/products/kaox-p-168.html), which also includes more in-depth information. 


KaoX can be directly downloaded as a multi-format AAX, AU, and VST (Mac OS X 10.8 and later) and AAX and VST (Windows 7, 8, and 10) plug-in from here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/kaox-p-168/download.html

Listen to several KaoS-showcasing demo tracks providing the soundtrack to XILS-labs’ latest teaser video here: https://youtu.be/qeZJvGe6a4Y 

Nembrini Audio sends shimmers down DAWs

Nembrini Audio sends shimmers down DAWs with out-of-this-world soundscapes- and spaces-creating Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine plug-in 


PAVIA, ITALY: analogue saturation circuits digital reproduction specialist Nembrini Audio is proud to announce availability of Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine — sending shimmers down DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) by combining reverb, pitch shifting, and feedback to create out-of-this-world soundscapes and spaces as a plug-in promoting getting lost in the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum, drawing deeply from creative techniques developed by early-Eighties studio engineers — as of April 19…

Prominently popularised by British musician Brian Eno — effectively responsible for naming the genre itself with his 1978- released Ambient 1: Music For Airports album (comprising compositions created by layering tape loops of differing lengths, designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation with the intent of defusing the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport), ambient music is typically thought of as a style of gentle, largely electronic instrumental music with no persistent beat, used to create or enhance a mood or atmosphere. No need (necessarily) to go anywhere near an airport terminal to work with Nembrini Audio’s self-styled ambient machine, although it is perfectly possible to achieve a truly ambient atmosphere almost anywhere since Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine is also available in an iOS-friendly form on the App Store (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shimmer-delay-ambient-machine/id1559249944).
No need (necessarily) to work without beats when working with Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine. After all, the plug-in promotes getting lost in the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum, drawing deeply from creative techniques developed by early-Eighties studio engineers. Equally adept at working with guitars, keyboards, synthesisers, and vocals, it combines reverb, pitch shifting, and feedback to create out-of-this-world soundscapes and spaces via an easy-to-use interface implemented as an equally easy-on-the-eye experience, emphasising user control and playability. Indeed, it is designed to be tweaked in real-time with no-nonsense controls clearly guiding the way with some self-explanatory sections acting as their helpful home — namely, IN (input level metering); SWELL (auto-volume swell commonly used with electric guitar, similar to the sound of a violin being bowed); DELAY (main delay); down OCTAVE (manages a down octave); SHIMMER (manages the shimmer effect); DRY/WET (manages the dry/wet signal blend); and OUT (output level metering). Moreover, all controls have a smoothed response to avoid clicks when changing settings or applying automation, while the highly-optimised main delay algorithm allows anyone to achieve huge delay sounds without straining their CPU (Central Processing Unit).
Ultimately, Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine more than lives up to its apt appellation — and all without straining the finances of anyone wishing to take a (purchasing) plunge into the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum! 

Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine is available for purchase (as an iLok-protected AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plug-in for macOS 10.9 or newer and Windows 7 or newer) at an attractive introductory price of only $29.00 USD until May 3, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $79.00 USD — from its dedicated webpage (https://www.nembriniaudio.com/products/shimmer-delay-ambient-machine), which also includes more in-depth information.

Flexibility further abounds as Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine is also available in AuV3 format for iOS at an introductory price of $4.99 USD until May 3, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $8.99 USD — on the App Store from here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shimmer-delay-ambient-machine/id1559249944
Get lost in the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum while watching Nembrini Audio’s mellow mood-setting Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine trailer video here: https://youtu.be/xZFMkeqAIeA

Nembrini Audio announces vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb-emulating Voice DC30 plug-in

Nembrini Audio announces availability of vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb-emulating Voice DC30 plug-in par excellence


PAVIA, ITALY: 
analogue saturation circuits digital reproduction specialist Nembrini Audio is proud to announce availability of its Voice DC30 plug-in — meticulously modelled on a vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb, the iconic British-built 30W 2×12 combo guitar amplifier that defined a generation of sound, to bring its incredible tone (traversing from chiming, clean qualities with a brilliance bordering on grittiness to darker, more overdriven timbres) to today’s DAW-driven world while extending the possibilities of the original hardware with new features — as of March 15…
Iconic in both name and tone, the vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb — produced from 1979 through to 1984 — is readily recognised by British musicians (and, indeed, beyond those shores) for its ‘jangly’ high-end sound, something that Nembrini Audio has truly tapped in to with its meticulously-modelled Voice DC30 plug-in. Put it this way: thanks toNembrini Audio’s acclaimed analogue saturation circuits digital reproduction specialism, Voice DC30 allows anyone access to the signature sound of the hardware original by bringing both enchantingly clean and raucously overdriven tones to their chosen computer platform — or iOS.

Indeed, Voice DC30 pairs perfectly with the intricacies of anyone’s playing style, resulting in a sound that is truly their own.
On the face of it, then, Voice DC30 could well be viewed as a vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb-emulating plug-in par excellence. Working with software has, however, allowed its creator to take things to another level by bringing a host of new features to the present-day production table.
It is perfectly possible, therefore, to select between six different guitar CABINET emulations and four MIC emulations with on/OFF AXIS position switches and continuous POSITION and DISTANCE knobs. Additionally, a complete MIXER section — with multiple PHASESOLOMUTE, and PAN controls — allows users to blend MIC 1MIC 2, and AMBIENT levels. Above and beyond that, the IMPULSES LOADER lets users load up to three third-party impulse responses that can also be blended with dedicated PHASESOLOMUTE, and PAN controls. Additionally, a useful IMPULSES browser window is included so that users can easily search through their third party impulse response files. Finally, there is also a NOISE GATE section with THRESHOLD and RANGE controls alongside a meticulously-modelled CLEANER circuit with HARSH– and RUMBLING-reduction controls.
Clearly anyone lusting after that readily-recognisable, generation-defining vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb tone needs look no further than Nembrini Audio’s authentic-sounding Voice DC30 plug-in, pushing further forward in today’s DAW-driven world. 

Vox AC30 is a registered trademark of Vox Amplification Ltd. Voice DC30 was developed by Nembrini Audio SRL based on its own modelling techniques. Vox Amplification Ltd has not endorsed nor sponsored Voice DC30 in any manner, nor licensed any intellectual property for use in this product.


Voice DC30 is available for purchase (as an iLok-protected AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plug-in for macOS 10.9 or newer and Windows 7 or newer) at an attractive introductory price of only $39.00 USD until March 31, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $137.00 USD — from here: https://www.nembriniaudio.com/products/voice-dc30-guitar-amplifier

Flexibility further abounds as Voice DC30 is also available in AuV3 format for iOS at an introductory price of $9.99 USD until March 31, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $19.99 USD — on the App Store from here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/voice-dc30-custom-valve/id1556268876
For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated Voice DC30 webpage here: https://www.nembriniaudio.com/products/voice-dc30-guitar-amplifier
See and hear Nimbrini Audio’s authentic-sounding Voice DC30 plug-in being put through its musical paces in this must-see, guitar-showcasing trailer video: https://youtu.be/KR58oVzum1o 

BIG Freq plug-in available from empirical labs

Empirical Labs announces availability of its BIG FrEQTMplug-inpartially extrapolated from its Lil FrEQ hardware


LAKE HIAWATHA, NJ, USA: having hitherto made available an earlier version for prerelease, professional audio signal processing equipment designer and manufacturer/plug-ins producer Empirical Labs Inc. (ELI) is proud to announce availability of BIG FrEQ 1.0 — the full release version of its first EQ plug-in, partially extrapolated from its much-loved Lil FreQ hardware EQ (that takes a somewhat unusual approach to the task at hand by combining most of the sound-sculpting tools an engineer needs into a compact single rack space box), but expanded upon in terms of available sections and features — as of October 14…
With no fewer than 12 powerful sections of processing to its appropriate appellation, BIG FrEQ should single-handedly handle all tonal and spectral-shaping needs for single tracks, as well as busses, including use as a versatile mastering tool. As always, ELI itself strives to bring new functionality and creative twists to plug-in EQs with its first such release, having labored long and hard over making it easy to learn and plain fun to use.
But best of all, BIG FrEQ is immensely useful, obviously, offering the ability to create modern ‘flat-top’ EQ curves with an analog workflow and added controls for more tone-shaping possibilities than a typical EQ plug-in. Put it this way: each of the six parametric bands has an additional SLOPE control that allows for flattening out the EQ shape and grabbing more frequencies equally, while switching on the focus (F) function lets users fine tune frequency adjustment — centring the selected frequency and reducing the range of the FREQ (frequency) knob — to hear exactly what frequencies are being affected with the simultaneously switchable solo (S) buttons available on each parametric band. Elsewhere, each parametric section’s GAIN knob can be expanded from ±15dB to ±30dB with the range (R) button, while parametric section settings can uniquely be copied and pasted from one to another for quickly moving and duplicating bands, facilitating faster operation. On top of that, the unique FINISHER section adds warmth to any track with organic saturation and provides for up to 8x oversampling (tested up to 768 kHz operation).
Other features are also well worth highlighting: Hi Pass and Lo Pass filters with adjustable and selectable filter orders from 6dB to 96dB (per octave); Lo Shelf — smooth bass boost or cut, centered around 120 Hz — and complimentary Hi Shelf controls; WIDTH slider — controls bandwidth or, inversely, Q; and master PHASE switch — inverts the phase of the audio.
Additionally, a modern spectral display shows cumulative EQ shape as well as colored individual bands, while the built-in preset management system (with proprietary preset format for cross-DAW preset access), smooth automation of all parameters, available direct entry for all parameters (by double-clicking on any parameter to type in a value), un-linkable stereo version for dual mono operation, and an ability to bypass any section (to monitor changes and free up processing) rounds out BIG FrEQ’s fattened features.
Following in the footsteps of ArouserTM— ELI’s first foray into the software arena as the only Distressor-derived compressor plug-in, produced by the creators of the award-winning hardware Distressor itself, BIG FrEQ is another fine example of how the professional audio signal processing equipment designer and manufacturer/plug-ins producer brings the quality of its hardware to its software products and continues to offer things that cannot be done in the hardware realm to in-the-box mixing. Making room in any plug-in collection for BIG FrEQ is to see and hear what it can do when single-handedly handling all tonal and spectral shaping needs for single tracks, as well as busses, including use as a versatile mastering tool. 

BIG FrEQ is available for purchase as an AAX-, AU-, and VST3-supporting 64-bit effect plug-in for macOS (10.7 or higher) and AAX- and VST3-supporting 64-bit effect plug-in for Windows (7 or higher) for a time-limited introductory promo price of $129.00 USD for the first 30 days — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $149.00 USD — directly from ELI’s online Shop here: https://store.empiricallabs.com/big-freq-p/bf1-rtl.htm

A fully-functional, 15-day trial of BIG FrEQ is available to download from here: http://www.empiricallabs.com/downloads/
An iLok 2 or iLok 3 USB dongle is required for activating both the demo and full versions of BIG FrEQ.
For more in-depth information, please visit ELI’s dedicated 
BIG FrEQ webpage here: http://www.empiricallabs.com/big-freq/ 

Hammond b-3x by IK multimedia in partnership with Hammond USA and Suzuki music Corp

IK Multimedia Debuts Hammond B-3X virtual instrumentin partnership with Hammond USA and Suzuki Music Corp. of Japan

IK’s Hammond B-3X is the first real Hammond organ for Mac/PC, complete with Leslie™ speaker

Hammond B-3X - Image

September 26, 2019 – IK Multimedia announces the Hammond B-3X tonewheel organ virtual instrument. Created in close collaboration with Hammond USA and Suzuki Music Corp. of Japan, along with top Hammond artists, it meticulously recreates the sound, controls and entire effects signal path of the legendary Hammond B-3. This comprehensive approach offers a level of realism and detail that will satisfy most the discriminating B-3 fans while also offering an affordable introduction to the unique world of tonewheel organs that can be enjoyed by all levels of players.

IK’s industry-leading modeling techniques were employed to deliver fine details and nuances that passed the discerning ears of the Hammond Organ Company in Chicago. In addition to its authentic organ sound, this new instrument offers a full-rig chain including stomp effects, an extended version of IK’s Leslie® Collection with a rotary cabinet with mix-and-match amp and cabinet models plus four microphones, a parallel guitar amp with 4×12 cabinet, a mixer and three studio post effects.

Available for Mac/PC as a stand-alone application and as a virtual instrument plug-in, the Hammond B-3X offers plug and play convenience for both recording and performing.

Hammond USA Executive Vice President Peter Nguyen shared, “We’re excited about the very first official Hammond/Leslie Virtual Instrument, and the partnership with IK Multimedia which made it happen. The teams certainly captured the qualities that have made the Hammond Organ an essential part of music for the past 85 years.”

It’s all in the details
True to the hardware original, Hammond B-3X begins with 91 tonewheels, which are based on well-maintained Hammond organs that IK studied in locations around the world. These free-running tonewheels are mixed in real-time based on the notes played and drawbar levels, for authentic realism.

Hammond B-3X can be fine-tuned using IK’s detailed models of the original settings, controls and circuits, which were all approved by the Hammond Organ Company. Users can employ tonal filtering, select the independent key click, and engage the iconic Hammond percussion and chorus-vibrato circuits with advanced controls.

For deeper exploration and realistic touches, Hammond fans will appreciate a familiar simulation of the effects of “aging” components to control tonal balance, generator leakage and crosstalk, and the chorus circuit’s presence boost.

Hammond B-3X - Image

True tone, real experience
All the controls are designed to recreate the exact experience of playing a classic, hardware B-3 organ – from the order of the chorus/vibrato settings to the placement of the percussion switches. Some additional features have been included as well, for modern convenience.

The drawbars update in real-time when the inverted drawbar settings keys are selected, allowing users to save 24 custom drawbar settings per preset. For live use, a “Controls” view hides the keyboard and enlarges the drawbars and switches for less distraction while playing. MIDI assignments for modern Hammond digital organs are also included, making it plug-and-play easy to perform with everything at arm’s reach.

Extended stomp box effects
The organ feeds a 5-unit pedalboard in the STOMPS section that features overdrive, graphic EQ, stomp box-style chorus-vibrato, wah wah and spring reverb. Derived from IK’s award-winning AmpliTube and T-RackS software, these effects were carefully chosen and arranged for easy recreation of the widest range of iconic tonewheel organ sounds. They can also be assigned to MIDI control for on-stage use.

Real Leslie® sound
The signal is then sent to a CABS section that includes a choice of real Leslie amps and speakers that can be mixed and matched, along with a parallel guitar amp and 4×12 cabinet. Using technology derived from IK’s award-winning AmpliTube 4 amplifier modeling, combined with an extended version of IK’s Leslie® Collection, Hammond B-3X’s cabinet section offers a massive range of sound-shaping option tabs. They include:

  • Setup – lets users fine tune the Leslie’s slow and fast speed settings – including acceleration and deceleration – and adjust the mic distance and configuration

  • Leslie Amp – offers a selection of five Leslie power amps (or a power amp modeling off switch) and two guitar power amps to use in any of five Leslie cabinets, with full control over gain, EQ and volume

  • Leslie EQ – enables the rotary speaker to be shaped with high-pass, low-pass and parametric mid EQ

  • Guitar Amp – adds a parallel guitar amp derived from AmpliTube into the mix for use with popular rock tones used by top rock and blues players; offers full tone-shaping controls and spring reverb

  • Mixer – blends the sound of the Leslie, with independent volume and panning of both the horn and drum mics, the parallel guitar amp, and the DI organ sound for unprecedented tonal flexibility

Add professional polish
Lastly, Hammond B-3X offers three rackmount studio effects derived from IK’s T-RackS Mixing and Mastering Workstation to add a final, professional touch.

IK’s Limiter 76 FET-based compressor offers an iconic, timeless sound; the EQ-81 adds classic console tone-shaping and warmth; and a digital reverb adds a pristine sense of space.

Pricing and availability
Hammond B-3X is available from the IK Multimedia online store and from authorized IK dealers worldwide for a special introductory price of €/$199.99 (regular pricing will be €/$299.99). IK customers with qualifying registered products with a retail value of €/$99.99 or more will be eligible for special introductory crossgrade pricing of €/$149.99 (regular crossgrade pricing will be €/$199.99).

** All prices excluding taxes

For more information about Hammond B-3X, please visit: www.ikmultimedia.com/hammondb3x

To see Hammond B-3X in action: www.ikmultimedia.com/hammondb3x/video

To hear audio samples from Hammond B-3X, please visit: www.ikmultimedia.com/hammondb3x/audio

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