Waldorf Music announces availability of 128-voice, FPGA processing-powered Kyra VA Synthesizer sensation

having teased the musical masses last year, then turned heads and opened ears when unveiling a preproduction prototype at The 2019 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California earlier this year, with repeat showings Stateside (at Synthplex 2019 in Burbank, California) and closer to home (at SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin), high-quality synthesizer developer Waldorf Music is proud to announce availability of Kyra — its eagerly-awaited 128-voice, FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) processing-powered VA (virtual analogue) synthesizer sensation — as of October 7…

Accompanying documentation proudly proclaims that Kyra “…is one of the most powerful music synthesizers ever built.” But this is not hardware hyperbole on Waldorf Music’s part. Put it this way: with 32x oversampled hardware sound generation and 96kHz floating point sound processing providing guaranteed contention-free 128 voice channels, Kyra is guaranteed to make its musical mark as a sensational synthesizer that is as easy to use and easy on the eye as it is powerful and flexible.
From first glance it is patently obvious that Kyra is a beautifully-designed desktop VA Synthesizer — as the wording elegantly emblazoned on its eye-catching front fascia subtly states. As a truly multitimbral instrument it features eight independent ‘parts’ with up to 32 notes per PART, each effectively being a complete synthesizer with sound sources (OSC GROUP 1OSC GROUP 2SUB 1, and SUB 2); FILTERS; modulators (EGsLFOs, and MOD MATRIX); multi-effects unit (EFFECTS); and a USB 2.0 connection — can exchange MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) information, as well as send the audio from each stereo PART to a computer as eight stereo 24-bit streams at 96kHz (with 48kHz downsample mode available) and one stereo audio return from the computer supporting a single 24-bit stereo audio stream from the host DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). With that being said, the only other resource they share are the four balanced, stereo output pairs — OUT A (Right and Left),OUT B (Right and Left), OUT C (Right and Left), and OUT B (Right and Left) — using 32-bit DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Conversion) running at 96kHz sampling rate connected to four internal stereo busses and that powerful pool of 128 hardware voices. Versatility further abounds as each PART has a dedicated multi-effects unit comprising nine stereo effects modules — namely, three-band EQFormant filter, input LimiterDistortion module, Delay module, six-state PhaserChorus flanger, Stereo reverb, and output Limiter — with dedicated audio stream via USB (Universal Serial Bus).
Better still, each PART hosts a Patch from the pool available to the system. Speaking of which, Kyra has a generous Patch storage capacity of 26 banks — through to Z, each containing 128 patches. That’s a total of 3,328! The first seven banks are ‘user’ patches stored in RAM (Random Access Memory), meaning users can change them quickly and individually using the Store sequence. The remaining 19 banks are ROM (Read-Only Memory) patches that users can recall and use just like RAM patches but cannot be replaced using the Store sequence. It is, however, perfectly possible to freely copy whole banks between RAM and ROM, so all are user- programmable. And any Patch can be recalled via MIDI program changes and Bank select commands. Whatever way anyone views it, Kyra far from short-changes from a live performance perspective or when working with it in a studio setup as an alternative.
As a sensational synthesizer with a spectacular specification, Kyra doesn’t disappoint from the all-important sound standpoint, starting with two primary virtual alias-free oscillator groups (OSC GROUP 1 and OSC GROUP 2) per voice, each with Saw (sawtooth); Wave (waveform) — with no fewer than 4,096 18-bit linear PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) single-cycle 32x oversampled wavetables covering a huge range of synthetic and emulated sound sources with two wavetable sources per voice; Pulse; and noise simultaneously available. Also OSC GROUP 1 and OSC GROUP 2 each has an independent detune-able oscillator — SUB 1 and SUB 2 — with four selectable shapes and two selectable (Octave) pitches. Real Hard Sync, ring modulation, and FM (Frequency Modulation) are available between those oscillator groups.
Get this, though: switching from Wave mode — meaning Kyra adopts a virtual analogue synthesis model which has the advantage that it is easy to construct sounds using intuitive subtractive synthesis — to Hypersaw mode configures the voice to use a special algorithm comprising six real oscillators to quickly create lush-sounding soundscapes. Digging deeper, Hypersaw mode replaces Wave mode’s two oscillator groups with a single source whose tonal content is constructed with just two adjustable controls — Hypersaw Intensity and Hypersaw Spread (geometric detuning). Built entirely out of multiple, harmonically-rich sawtooth waves or ‘partials’ each adjusted to that special algorithm, the Hypersaw provides characteristic soundscapes ideal for a wide range of uses — from high-impact lead sounds through to lush, animated pads. Placed in Dual Mode, the Hypersaw has 12 real oscillator sources with an additional adjustable stereo spread.
Successfully synthesizing sound is inextricably linked with flexible filtering. Fortunately for discerning users, Kyra’s FILTERS front panel perfectly positions powerful control, creatively implementing accurate emulations of classic analogue ladder filters with 2-pole (12dB/octave) low pass (12dB LP), band pass (12dB BP), and high pass (12dB HP), plus 4-pole (24dB/octave) low pass (24dB LP), band pass (24dB BP), and high pass (24dB HP) configurations. Creatively, 128 filters are configurable for single or dual parallel (Dual Filter) true stereo operation.
Onwards and upwards, three fast-response ADSR (AttackDecaySustainRelease) envelope generators with EG Slope setting are also at hand. Helpfully, one is assigned to the VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier), another to the filter, while the third can be freely assigned. All are available in the MOD MATRIX (modulation matrix), itself being a six-channel affair with up to three destinations per channel giving a maximum of 18 routings. It is also worth noting that the three LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) — with 128 wavetable shapes, monophonic, polyphonic, random, anti-phase, and quadrature stereo phase settings — are also available in the MOD MATRIX and additionally as a MIDI clock sync source.
Creativity continues courtesy of an arpeggiator (ARP) on each PART with 128 preset patterns; UpDownRandom, and Chords modes; and an ability to synchronise to MIDI clock. Arpeggiators are aimed at live performance, primarily, but can clearly complement composition. Kyra’s ARP is an integral part of a Patch, so settings are always stored.
Far from forgetting its helpful high-resolution 256×64 pixel graphic OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display alongside the traditional array of MIDI InOut, and Thru connections — complimenting USB 2.0 — on five-pin DIN, as well as full key microtuning capability with MIDI Tuning Standard (MTS support), it is fair to say that Kyra is, indeed, one of the most powerful music synthesizers ever built… a sensational synthesizer with a spectacular specification, set to take performances and compositions to higher states of musicality and sound design! 

The Kyra VA Synthesizer is available through Waldorf Music’s growing global network of distributors (https://www.waldorfmusic.com/en/international-distributors) at an SRP (Suggested Reseller Price) of €1,843.00 EUR (excluding tax).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Kyra VA Synthesizer webpage here: https://www.waldorfmusic.com/en/kyra
Watch Waldorf’s wonderment-causing Kyra VA Synthesizer promo video here: https://youtu.be/HafV6CGS43Y 

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

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