|Native Instruments announces the launch of KOMPLETE NOW—a brand-new subscription offer|
The new offer lets creators access high-quality instruments and libraries for $9.99-a-month.
Berlin, December 8, 2021 – Native Instruments today announced the release of KOMPLETE NOW, a new subscription offer to sit alongside their perpetual portfolio of products.
KOMPLETE NOW gives beatmakers, producers, and creators a collection of some of Native Instruments’ most highly sought-after instruments and effects for a low monthly price.
As the needs of music creators continue to evolve, Native Instruments firmly believes in the importance of evolving with them. With KOMPLETE NOW, Native Instruments acknowledges that everyone, from professional musicians to beginners, needs access to the tools and inspiration that enable their process.
For $9.99 per month, beatmakers and producers can more easily access a growing range of premium instruments and effects with the freedom to cancel their subscription at any time.
In this walkthrough video you can watch product specialist Matt Lara as he takes a look under the hood to run through some of KOMPLETE NOW’s instruments and key features.Subscribers will get access to a comprehensive range of production tools, including NI’s flagship synthesizer MASSIVE X, a bespoke edition of the legendary drum sampling platform BATTERY 4, and three instruments from the easy-to-use and inspiring Play Series collection: CLOUD SUPPLY, LO-FI GLOW, and HYBRID KEYS. KOMPLETE NOW also includes RETRO MACHINES MK2 with 16 definitive analog synthesizers and keyboards, plus a pair of cutting-edge effects — RAUM and REPLIKA.
The collection is tailor-made for producers of radio-ready hip hop and pop, as well as being a great fit for genres including trap, drill, and various styles of electronic dance music. Through a range of highly sought-after instruments, KOMPLETE NOW provides a new way of encouraging creativity geared towards creators who are beginning their journey with Native Instruments.
The KOMPLETE NOW offer will also continue to grow, with preset drops, sound packs, effects, and more content updates introduced on a regular basis. First up on the conveyor belt will be MELTED VIBES, NI’s recent Play Series release that specializes in hooks for drill and hip hop.
Creators can choose to subscribe on a monthly or annual basis, and until January 10th, 2022, KOMPLETE NOW will be available as a three-month free trial.
Check out the video introducing KOMPLETE NOW, here.
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 AROUSOR™Rev 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 (A 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 AROUSOR™Rev 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 (A 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 AROUSOR™Rev 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 AROUSOR™Rev 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 (e panel-enabled) Dry Level Trim — for parallel compression.
As the update existing owners have been waiting for, AROUSOR™Rev 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: https://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 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 KaoX, XILS-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 KaoX, XILS-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 TUNE, DRIFT, GLIDE, VIBRATO, FREQ (vibrato frequency), DEPTH (vibrato), W (wheel), TREMOLO, FREQ (tremolo frequency), and DEPTH (tremolo), plus CHORUS, DELAY, PHASER, 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 KaoX, XILS- 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
BFD CELEBRATES LAUNCH OF NEW WEBSITE WITH SOFTWARE UPDATE, NEW USER PORTAL, AND EXPANSION PACK OFFER
Fort Lauderdale, FL US (April 19, 2021) – BFD, the recognized leader of virtual drum software products, today launched their new website, bfddrums.com. The new website will serve as the online hub for all things BFD, including an online store, inMusic Profile management, and more. This new website is BFD’s first major step towards solidifying a new brand image since being acquired by inMusic, the global leader in music production hardware, software, and consumer electronics.
Free Expansion Pack for Existing BFD3 Users
To celebrate the launch of the new site, BFD is offering a free Expansion Pack to all existing BFD3 users who migrate over to the new site. To begin the migration, BFD asks that all customers log into their existing accounts on fxpansion.com. Once logged in, users will see the option to automatically migrate their data to a new inMusic Profile on bfddrums.com. After following a few short steps, user information will be permanently moved to the new site and BFD3 users will have access to a free Expansion Pack among their existing BFD3 products. An inMusic Profile on bfddrums.com is required to continue receiving updates and support for BFD3 and its compatible Expansions and Groove Packs.
BFD3 (v3.4) Update
In addition to a new website and Expansion Pack offer, there is also an update to the core BFD3 software. BFD3 (v3.4) introduces a number of under-the-hood improvements as well as an all new per- voice Envelope Shaper and a suite of high-quality effects from AIR Music Technology. The brand new Envelope Shaper is one of the most versatile sound design tools ever included with a virtual drum instrument, empowering users to further shape the transients of each individual BFD3 kit piece to taste. For almost two decades, AIR Music Technology has been creating industry-standard effects plugins covering a vast assortment of dynamic and time-based use-cases. The BFD3 now has thirteen of the most popular AIR effects built-in:
- AIR Compressor
- AIR Lo-Fi (Decimator)
- AIR Distortion
- AIR Dyn3Compressor
- AIR Economy Reverb
- AIR Expander
- AIR Maximizer
- AIR Non-Linear Reverb
- AIR Saturation Filter
- AIR Spring Reverb
- AIR Stereo Reverb
- AIR Transient
- AIR Tube Driver About BFD
Since 2003, BFD has been the virtual drum software of choice for producers, mix engineers, songwriters, and electronic drummers around the world. The original BFD software pioneered a new way of approaching software drums by delivering expressive articulations, rich timbral detail, and in-depth mixing options. BFD has continued to release an ever-increasing library of expansions packs, cementing this software instrument as the world’s largest collection of acoustic drum samples and the most flexible and feature-packed software drum solution on the market.
inMusic is a family of 16 premier brands that includes AIR Music TechnologyTM, Akai Professional®, Alesis®, Alto Professional®, Denon® DJ, Denon® Professional, HeadRush®, ION® Audio, M-Audio®, Marantz® Professional, MARQ® Lighting, MixMeister®, Numark®, Rane®, SONiVOX® and SoundSwitch®.
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 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 PHASE, SOLO, MUTE, and PAN controls — allows users to blend MIC 1, MIC 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 PHASE, SOLO, MUTE, 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
Spitfire Audio adds CIMBALOM to ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools as a shimmering, spine-tingling tuned percussion plug-in
LONDON, UK: sound-specialising British music technology company Spitfire Audio is proud to announce availability of CIMBALOM — an appropriately-named addition to its ongoing ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools with the same outstanding recording quality as the ‘full-blown’ flagship libraries with which it has built its reputation, simplified and presented in its free, easy-to-use plug-in, perfectly capturing its 19th century-originating shimmering, spine-tingling tuned percussion instrument namesake (nowadays familiar from being brought into play in innumerable Hollywood film scores, thanks to its mysterious, sinister sound with a distinctive metallic tone that cuts through an orchestra) by being performed by leading London cimbalom player Greg Knowles (known for his work therewith on The Hunger Games in 2012 and 2007’s The Golden Compass), carefully captured to the highest standard in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, supremely sampled and served up as a ~1.7GB-sized library with three signals, five presets, and three straightforward NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) compatible controls, creatively combining to create the sound of suspense — as of February 4…
As a distinctive-sounding instrument in its own right, the cimbalom is a large, late-19th century-originating Hungarian concert-hammered dulcimer — itself a type of chordophone comprising a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top, played by striking two beaters against the strings. Saying that, dulcimers are an ancestor of the piano, dating back to Babylonian times as a family of stringed instruments known for their Eastern European sound. Somewhat closer to today, they have become widely used as a Hollywood film scoring staple — spy thrillers in particular proving well suited to the tremolo technique, as evidenced by the likes of English composer John Barry’s thrilling title theme to The Ipcress File (1965). To name but a few more notable big screen appearances for the instrument in question: John Williams’ scintillating score to director Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); American composer, conductor, and orchestrator James Horner’s ‘Stealing the Enterprise’ cue from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984); several scenes featuring Gollum in the Peter Jackson-directed The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), courtesy of Canadian composer and conductor Howard Shore; The Golden Compass (2007); The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008); Sherlock Holmes (2009), for which Hollywood hotshot Hans Zimmer turned to a banjo, cimbalom, and other unconventional instruments for the musical accompaniment; and French film composer Alexandre Desplat’s score to The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). In the smaller screen world of television, of course, composer Lalo Shifrin made much use of the cimbalom in several scores he wrote for the original Mission: Impossible American series, from which consequential cues were regularly recycled throughout its 1966 to 1973 run, one of which — ‘The Danube Incident’ — was notably sampled by British trip-hop pioneers Portishead on their track ‘Sour Times’ (from the 1995 Mercury Music Prize-winning Dummy album), which reached number 13 on the UK Singles Chart upon its re-release.
But back in the supremely-sampled world of sound-specialising British music technology company Spitfire Audio, it is little wonder, then, that the cimbalom was deemed as a perfect fit for fronting the latest (namesake) addition to its ongoing ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools as essential cinematic ingredients. As a brief (musical) side note, according to Spitfire Audio co-founder and composer Christian Henson, the ORIGINALS name embodies the concept of original libraries of original sounds that make their users sound original, albeit by bringing back to life some dearly departed company classics in a revitalised form — hence ORIGINALS CIMBALOM presenting the existing content of a previously-released (no-longer-available) Spitfire Audio library (GRAND CIMBALOM) reprogrammed as an intuitive patch accompanied by all individual articulations to allow for complete control.
And who and what better to be able to completely control than perfect performances by leading London cimbalom player Greg Knowles (known for his work therewith on The Hunger Games and The Golden Compass), carefully captured to the highest standard in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, supremely sampled and served up as a ~1.7GB-sized library with three signals, five presets, and three straightforward NKS compatible controls — Close, Tree, and Pitched, the latter adding a rich, frozen atmosphere created by stretching and pitching down the ambient mic signal, complementing the vibrant close and tree mics by adding depth and otherworldliness. On top of that, control over the ATTACK and RELEASE times expands on this further, together with REVERB, allowing the realistic-sounding ORIGINALS CIMBALOM to morph into eerie textural elements on the fly. Five presets are at hand, allowing users to dive in and get going with minimum fuss: Performance, Short Damped, Short Sustained, Tremolo, and Warp (using the aforesaid ATTACK and RELEASE times plus Pitched signal to create a reversed-like textural pad).
Presented in Spitfire Audio’s free, easy-to-use plug-in, ORIGINALS CIMBALOM perfectly provides computer-based composers with ready-made variations of that Eastern European folk sound, but can also be used to elevate cues in a number of ways beyond that. The ninth product in the ongoing ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools is the perfect addition to the sound of any symphony orchestra, whether as an extra textural element or, indeed, its instrumental apex. Ask Greg Knowles — after all, he should surely know as a seriously sought-after cimbalom player par excellence! Entering the sound of suspense is as easy as installing ORIGINALS CIMBALOM.
ORIGINALS CIMBALOM is available as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible plug-in supporting Native Instruments’ NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) for Mac (OS X 10.10 or later) and Windows (7, 8, and 10 — latest Service Pack) that loads directly into any compatible DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for an RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of only £29.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$29.00 USD/€29.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/originals (Note that owners of the now-no-longer-available GRAND CIMBALOM library will automatically receive ORIGINALS CIMBALOM for free.)
Spitfire Audio’s namesake Spitfire Audio application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime, and is available for free from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/info/library-manager/
For more in-depth information, please visit Spitfire Audio’s ORIGINALS Frequently Asked Questions webpage here:https://www.spitfireaudio.com/info/faq/spitfire-originals/
Musically marvel at ORIGINALS CIMBALOM’s shimmering, spine-tingling tuned percussive sound while watching a walkthrough with Spitfire Audio here: https://youtu.be/nJ6LldwcyJA
Plugin Alliance announces availability of one-off dual-stage tube saturator plugin as BIG AL arrives from NEOLD
“This is such a great tool to add glorious harmonic saturation, extra flavor, and vibe!”
– JUNO Award-winning mixer/recording engineer George Seara (James Bay, Drake, Shawn Mendes, Sting), 2021
SANTA CRUZ, CA, USA: Plugin Alliance, supporting all major plugin formats and uniting some of the best- known international audio companies under one virtual roof, is proud to announce availability of BIG AL — an emulation based on one-off analog hardware harvesting novel circuitry and authentic NOS (New Old Stock) components from the 1930s, exclusively designed for this dual-stage tube saturator from new pro audio plugin partner NEOLD offering a broad palette of stunning sound flavors flowing from the interactive network within its preamp and transformer-coupled power amp, where it generates gorgeous harmonics — as of February 2…
BIG AL’s frequency conditioning begins right in the EF9 preamp stage. Indeed, it is a filter freak at heart — hence the Low control being implemented as a Baxandall filter that allows for adjusting saturation intensity by around 100Hz in (optional) combination with boosting or cutting the bass at the same time. The High control is an additional EQ band placed in front of the preamp tube; its peaking filter boosts or cuts high-frequency content around 10kHz — essential for provoking or taming BIG AL’s potentially aggressive treble!
The straightforward user interface is spiced up with a jumper matrix, allowing access to BIG AL’s core circuitry: E (Emphasis Shift), B (Bass Compensator), and V (Voltage Sag) provide powerful options with which to make complex changes to the distortion profile on the fly by simply inserting or pulling out a few (virtual) plugs. An AL4 power pentode and its output transformer act as the finishing spice, driven hot by the preamp stage.
And anyone wondering what this all adds up to need not trouble themselves any longer because BIG AL is a truly gorgeous kind of harmonic saturation that will always sound organic, musical, and bold!
NEOLD BIG AL is available for purchase (as an AAX AudioSuite-, AAX Native-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting effect plugin for macOS 10.9 through 10.15 and Windows 7 through 10) at an attractive introductory price of $149.99 USD until March 4, 2021 — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $199.00 USD — from here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/neold_big_al.html
A fully-functional, 14-day trial of NEOLD BIG AL is available to anyone registering for a free Plugin Alliance account here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/registration.html
NEOLD BIG AL is included in Plugin Alliance’s monthly MIX & MASTER Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mix-master-bundle-monthly.html) and annual MIX & MASTER Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mix-master-bundle-yearly.html) subscription services, and also its monthly MEGA Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mega-bundle-monthly.html) and annual MEGA Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mega-bundle.html) subscription services at no extra cost!
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 Plugin Alliance’s dedicated NEOLD BIG AL webpage here:https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/neold_big_al.html
Watch Tom Van Den Heuvel formally introduce BIG AL in Plugin Alliance’s awesome-sounding trailer video here: https://youtu.be/e3sWXKHliSY
Take a NEOLD BIG AL walkthrough with Plugin Alliance’s additionally informative video here: https://youtu.be/sFCVunozUxE