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Sound Magazine www.Wusik.com

March 2007 #011

HQ Synthetica Volume 5 Artvera MISTRAL Demo Babel Audio Sounds Several Flutes Microtuning on the Wusik OpenLabs Miko - Review Channeling Energy Sounds Reviews

and much more...


Letterfrom theEditor

Sound Magazine Editorial

Its funny on how things changed over the past years. I remember when I was happy with my old Pentium-100 and Cakewalk ProAudio. Now I got this powerfull Dual-Core machine and SONAR 6. And I must say, what a long way have we travelled from yesterday to today. Now that my computer has over 200 Giga of free-space, we need to work harder to fill this up. This month couldn't be different. We got tons of articles and sounds for you. Yes, you, the user. Paul Walsh has done it again, with a good set of odd-sounds. ArtVera have contributed a small selection of sounds from her new MISTRAL set.

Magazine Layout: MoniKe Editors: WilliamK and MoniKe

WilliamK: Getting Started; Creating Sounds: Clap Your Hands and Bass Basoon; Reviews: Opens Labs Miko, Loopmasters - Raw Power and PrecisionSound - Persian Santur; Tips & Tricks; The Voices and The Synth Romance. Sounds: Bass Basoon, Several Flutes and Hand Claps www.william-k.com

Dilom - aka DamBros: Stick Special thanks to Claudia Picchi

Artvera Sounds: Artvera MISTRAL Demo - www.artvera-music.com

Liquid Brad come with even more sounds in his Neuropathy VooDoo collection.

Zachariah Weckter: Channeling Energy - www.strict-9.net

A small selection of very usable Flute sounds, done with dynamic programming. (test both ModWheel and Aftertouch).

Warren Burt Microtuning on the Wusik - Part 2 Sounds: Tuning on the Wusik

And finally, HQ Synthetica Volume 5 is here. This time entirely done by Synthgeek. (Kevin Breidenbach) We hope that you enjoy everything, and please, don't forget to email us. We ask this every month, and will continue to ask until we got a good number of feedback messages. Email us your comments at info@wusik.com

WilliamK and MoniKe

Kevin Breidenbach - aka synthgeek Sounds: HQ Synthetica Volume 5 www.skincontact.com/synthgeek

Paul Walsh Sounds: Babel Audio Sounds www.babelaudio.org/

LiquidBrad Sounds: Neuropathy VooDoo

Peter 'Ray' Savage - aka Funkychickendance What’s on your amp

Proof-Reading: Peter 'Ray' Savage - aka Funkychickendance

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In This Issue: March 2007

Getting Started: Not Only Music Programs by WilliamK

04 Stick by DamBros

06

• Creating Sounds: Clap Your Hands by WilliamK Bass Basoon by WilliamK

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14 42

• Sounds Review: Loopmasters - Raw Power by WilliamK PrecisionSound - Persian Santur by WilliamK

40 45

REVIEW: OpenLabs Miko by WilliamK

10 Microtuning on the Wusik - Part 2 by Warren Burt

18 Channeling Energy by Zachariah Weckter

28

and more...

The Voices What's On Your Amp Tips & Tricks The Synth Romance Sound List

17 26 41 46 48

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GettingStarted

Not Only Music Programs by WilliamK

Since we don't just rely on Musical programs, I decided to introduce users to a new company that I've found useful: They're called Serif. Wusikstation people being thridty at heart, I thought you'd find several of their programs useful: ones with very low prices and high values. We use them ourselves here: Wusik.com counts on 3 of their packages to accomplish jobs like Photo Editing, PDF creation and Web Publishing.

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GettingStarted Not Only Actually, you can do better than 'cheap': you can even get free older versions from the site below: www.freeserifsoftware.com/ However, we'd recommend the newer, full versions found over www.Serif.com In this edition of the magazine, we're using Serif's PagePlus X2 (before we were using PagePlus 11). For our new web-site, we use their WebPlus 10, and for all picture editing PhotoPlus 10 is used. (the three are bundled as 'Studio Pack'.) I'm sure you're all familiar with Photoshop, a great product. But I can assure you that PhotoPlus 10 can do its job without any problems, at a fraction of the price. There's no waiting around for the mailman or postage-and-packing charges: you can download the product right after your order, which is an incredible bang-for-the-buck. You can't go wrong with any of the Serif programs.

Music Programs

I remember 4 years ago, when I downloaded the free version of PhotoPlus 6, and started using it. I found it a bit limited, but nevertheless still very good. After a few days, I got an email from Serif, offering PhotoPlus 7 for only $ 9.95 USD. I decided to go for it and purchased the product. A few hours after that, the phone rang, it was Serif's Sales Division. Asking if I would rather get PhotoPlus 8 for a bit more. "Sure, send it over!" I was very impressed by this: I got the program just two weeks later. At that time, they didn't offer downloads, but you'll now see that all their products come in both downloadable and CD/DVD versions. From PhotoPlus 8 to PhotoPlus 10 (and now 11) was a big jump. They made the program much better. It seems to me that Serif releases a full version update every year. Which is good, as it's clear that they listen to what users want, and apply this to new versions. The new PagePlus X2 is even Vista-compliant, a big step for the company. If you are on a budget, try the free versions first. Maybe Serif will email you a good deal after a few days, who knows?

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stick by DamBros

- Stick? - Stick. It was a sunny summer afternoon. Under a big tree sat a group of restless teens, as usual. I passed by them and said hello as I always do. One of them asked me of I was the music freak who everybody talked about. I was (am). A bored young man then started to question me about my “obsession” for sound, and I replied that it absolutely wasn’t a mania or obsession, but the purest pleasure that enriched my life and kept away stones that crossed my way. - Does everything have music? - I think so. - A stone, a shell, a rag? - Certainly. Then he gathered something from the ground, showed me and asked: - A stick?

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stick And I replied without thinking: - A stick! He laughed, as did his friends and challenged me: - How can a stick be musical? Of course I had to organize my thoughts to offer a clear and suitable answer. I coughed discretely, walked a few steps toward the shade of the tree and started to speak very calmly: - Well, a stick seems to be something lifeless and unable to produce any sound, but it isn’t that way. Let’s think of it as a part of a tree, a small tip of a branch that reached its adult size and continues on its life cycle. All this begins with the growth of a tree, a formidable symphony since the sprouting of the seed from the earth’s fertilized womb, and launches itself to a space adventure. The sounds produced from the labor and growth pains, facing bad weather, years of drought, years of flooding, years of cold and others of heat, produce magnificent music scores that would enchant any living creature on earth, as long as he could capture and understand these sounds. It’s not our case, but it’s possible to imagine it. Matured by all the survival battles, the tree unfolds itself in many branches and more

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stick branches, leaves and more leaves that burst into very green tree tops, cozy and cheerful. Is it very difficult to believe the melodies that sprout out before, during and after all this happens? I don’t think so! After that, the leaves change their clothing and wear strong autumn colors, to soon undress themselves. Allow me to say that I literally hear the space reflect new sonorities, always surprising, each time this happens. Winter on the other hand, brings the prophecy of death to the tree. Striped of its protective leafage it seems to shiver and in fact it always sings sadly when the cold winds assaults its branches. But it resists to one more misfortune and takes advantage of it to create the new Spring fashion trend, which is a parade with many music bands of the most various rhythms , all wild and fun! - You are daydreaming! And the stick? - Right, right, let’s go back to our stick. During all these stages the tree, like the serpents, shed its old skin and acquired new casing. Our stick at the tip of one of the branches, was involved in every splendid

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stick concerts. Since its birth, it matured and grew old and fell off the branch. But it still continues to be a part of nature. It is one of so many small but precious and pleasant pieces that compose the unforgettable general picture of the landscapes. It continues to sing and play in our souls, in our feelings, the same way it did while it was held to the original branch. The stick plays and sings with the voice of a musician/singer who sees and hears his band, his chorus, his music group on TV, while way from the performance, in another town, country or at a hospital bed. The connection continues even after the musician moves on to new grounds, just like the stick. And when it seems like the very last song will be played, when a distracted passerby steps on it and destroys it completely, its still finds strength to improvise a new melody. It sings: Crack! Crunch! And each little piece continues performing its part as if nothing had happened‌..

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OpenLabs MiKo by WilliamK

For those who don't know already, MiKo is a complete workstation solution designed, built and distributed by Open Labs. The main workstation device they sell is Neko, which includes a few more options like faders, knobs, buttons and a full-size midi-keyboard. So MiKo is what you might call the "mini-me" of Neko. Much smaller, but still fun to use.

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O s ab nL pe o iK M

Inside, the two devices share pretty much the same specs. The machine I've been testing, MiKo LX, is based on the new Intel Core-2-Duo processor - 2.1 GHz to be more exact. With a very fast 2 GB DDR2 RAM and 250 GB SATA 7200 rpm HD. All built in an ASUS Motherboard. The whole system is very quiet, using whisper-quiet cooling fans, three in total. And I can confirm that they are real quiet: I can do recordings with the machine in the same room without problems. Included is a 15" Touch-Screen that is very handy to use, especially on stage. (Which I haven't done, but I can imagine working very well.) I see on Open Labs' website that Prince's keyboard player uses both devices, MiKo and Neko, on stage (even in the rain during the last Super Bowl). Thanks to the dual-monitor graphics-card, (256 MB) you can hook up an external monitor and use it along with the internal one. That was something I had to do in order to use the machine for simultaneous work and composing. Right now the main monitor goes in front of me, while MiKo is besides me, at a 90-degree angle. When I want to compose something, I turn on the internal monitor and move SONAR there: going away from my "work" desk to my "composing" desk. But that's just my personal scenario. Some users will use an extra monitor to show something else instead.

For example, you can set the external monitor to display graphics while you play live. There are some VJ programs that do that. Or you can move your sequencer's mixer to the other device and have double space to mess with. I wanted to open my machine to check a few USB settings, so I could hook-up 4 more USB devices. The system is very easy to open and when you do, you will discover how well-organized the company has managed to make the machine's guts. It just looks very professional and very well built. The processor uses a very large cooler that is quiet and does its job impeccably. Some might dismiss the machine as just a set of third party products bundled together. Well, yes and no. The audio-interface and midikeyboard are ready made, from other companies. But Open Labs also built its own MIDI devices, in this case, the DJ and Control set. This section includes software that lets you customize how you want to use the controllers. In my case, I set it to send keyboard shortcuts to SONAR. Making it feel like a real workstation. Like they say in thier promotions: "Not just a computer in a fancy case." I was very impressed with the included MIDI keyboard, with both aftertouch and semiweighted keys. I already owned a larger keyboard, the M-Audio Keystation 61es, which also has semiweighted keys. But somehow, MiKo's keyboard feels much better, so I'm no longer going to use the M-Audio.

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O

s b a L n e p

o iK M

The first time you turn it on, you may get a bit upset, to say the least. The internal monitor appears to be upside down! But after the BIOS screen is gone, you get a correctly oriented "MiKo Loading..." image. For some internal reason they decided to built it like that. Anyway, it's no real problem at all. After Windows boots up, you don't even notice anymore, as the graphics card takes care of rotating the image 180 degrees. The machine's boot time is very fast, and once it’s done, you get the Open Labs Shell Screen - hiding the XP screen. From here you can load up instant sounds to play. For this, they use a customized version of Forte, a VST Host (which is kinda like Chainer on steroids). I played with all the sounds included and was very impressed with the quality of the sound, speed, and CPU usage. Everything is done using the touch-screen, as both the Shell and Host use a special large skin. Which makes it feel like a real workstation keyboard, and not a computer. Since the device is based on Windows-XP, you can load up any compatible program and VST without any fear of incompatibilities, which other other solutions would present.

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The system comes set to 6ms of latency, which is very low and totally usable for live presentations. Not to mention that they optimized Windows to run without any problems that might need extra tinkering. I couldn't get any clicks or pops during my tests with SONAR and the included VST Host, Karsyn, the Forte customization. Since I love Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, I had to test it with this machine. And to my surprise, it runs at high-quality without problems. The 3D card is indeed very good, not the best, but it does the job nicely. For someone looking for a total solution, this is 'The One.' It even comes with a set of licensed VSTs like Wusikstation, Purity, Sylenth1, TruePianos and many others. Combine this with the VST Host and Cubase LE Sequencer, and there you go, a full Workstation at your finger tips. Visit www.openlabs.com for prices and more information.


Artvera presents her first commercial sound project for Wusikstation - MISTRAL. This sound library offers Wusikstation users the chance to own a collection of ethnic sounds - string instruments, drums/percussion, woodwinds, vocals and more. With more than 300 presets and 300 megabytes of sample data it's a great inspiration for musicians in any kind of music, especially composers of Film, Ethnic, NewAge or Ambient music. The presets contain not only individual instruments but also longer melodic sequences. Many presets take advantage of all the new features of Wusikstation version 3. In addition, there are very interesting pads with extra sounds which can be used in different music styles. These pads have been created by combining multiple ethnic instruments. The package also contains percussive/drum sequences and even some nature sounds, which have been used to create some special sound effects.

MISTRAL contains also a free bonus - two variants of a new skin for Wusikstation, in both normal and large sequencer formats (see the preview of main page below). The MISTRAL presets have been created by Vera Kinter (Artvera), Daniel Kemp (dnekm) and Stephan M端sch (rsmus7). The price is very friendly - only $30. Release is scheduled for March 2007. www.artvera-music.com/


Creating Sounds - Advanced Level -

Clap Your Hands by WilliamK

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Creating Sounds Ever wondered on how to get a new sound with each pressed key, as in Round Robin? Since Version 3.1.2 we have added this option to the Wavesequencers on the Modulation Matrix. What happens is that when you play a key, it will jump to the next value. This can only be used correctly with a Wavesequencer Start Position as Destination. Let's see how this works:

Clap Your Hands

Open up the file "Claps 1"

See how we have set the Modulation Matrix by using R.Robin as Sequence Start? We've also added a bit of pitch deviation by using a Key Random (Polyphonic) function.

We don't have any effects loaded for this preset, but still, we can use the FX1 send to make the overall volume a bit higher.

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Creating Sounds Clap Your Hands

On each Wavesequencer Soundset slot, we load a different Clap sound. There are around 32 clap sounds in five variations, and a multi-clap stereo set. But for this preset, we'll only use the sounds from the Clap 1 directory.

Open up the Wavesequencer page, by rightclicking on the W1 icon.

Here you can see that each sequence step has a different soundset to it, and that the global sequence speed is set to 0.010 Hz. So slow that it doesn't actually move when you hold a key. Now play a bit with the keyboard, and notice how the sound changes. For every key pressed, the sequencer will step to the next position, and a new sound will be played. That's the Round Robin effect.

You can also use two layers playing the same sound, but set one with a static delay. This would emulate a person clapping off-sync with the rest of the players. We used this effect on the patch "Multi Claps 2"

Also, test the patch "Multi Claps 1". To get this sound, we used several instances of Wusikstation, playing several clap sounds on each instance, and recorded the resulting sound. So you can play several clap sounds at once with this patch.

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s a e d i y r a Vision K m a i l l i by W

ou could even program it in sync with your heart-beat. If you started to go off the recommended beat, the song would slow down a bit until you get ‘back in the zone.

he other day I was wondering about jogging and music. I saw a guy running very slowly, and made a funny remark about his music been too slow for him.

o, seriously. In terms of technology, this product would not be so hard to make. Think of all the features we regularly see in VSTi technology, doing the same kinds of things.

o, the idea came to me that we might beneit from a BPM (Beats Per Minute) Musical Device. Where all songs are synced and categorized by time, and a small program would take care of mixing it in real-time, as you change the BPM settings.

f course, the songs would need some work…it’s not like you will be able to pick any MP3 file and just use it. You would need a special selection of non-ending songs, so the beat never stops, all looped correctly in a way that you can mix two songs without problems.

his way you can start your exercise with a relaxing walk, maybe with some stretches, while listening to a slow song.

s you start to jog, the music would slowly start to speed up, until a desired speed is reached.

he software could be a Java or Symbian application. That way it could run on most Cellular phones. And I'm pretty sure that such device would have a good market, don't you agree?

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Microtuning on the

Wusik Part 2

by Warren Burt

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Microtuning on the

OCTAVE-BASED EQUAL TEMPERAMENTS The WusikStation comes with a large selection of TUN tuning files, but one big lack in that collection is that there are no octave-based equal temperaments in it. That is, there are no tuning files that allow you to divide the octave evenly into any number of scale degrees - no 13 tones per octave scale, no 19 tones per octave scale, no 24 tones per octave scale, etc. This is because the Wusik TUN library uses all the files in the Scala SCL tuning library, converted to TUN format by TobyBear. Octave-based equaltemperaments are so easy to make in Scala, that the Scala developer didn’t think they were worth including in the SCL library. To make up for this lack, I’ve prepared a folder full of TUN files for every octave-based equal temperament from 5 tones per octave up to 53 tones per octave. This will provide a large reference collection of some of the most basic microtonal scales for Wusik users, enabling them to explore the world of different ways of dividing the octave equally. These TUN files are found in the folder “Equal Temperaments tun files.”

Wusik

Many composers have written in non-12 equal temperaments throughout the 20th century. The American Charles Ives, the Russian-French composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky, and the Czech composer Alois Haba all wrote memorable music in the 24 tone per octave scale. The Mexican composer Julian Carillo explored all equal temperaments that were multiples of 12 up to 96 tones per octave, and the Dutch composer Adriaan Fokker and the Australian composer Bill Coates wrote a large amount of music in the 31 tone per octave scale. Beginning in the 1970s, with the advent of easily retunable electronic instruments a number of composers wrote sets of etudes exploring a number of equal temperaments, just as composers like Bach had written preludes exploring all the major and minor keys. Some of these sets of etudes were by Easley Blackwood ( Easley Blackwood: Microtonal www.cedillerecords.org/018.html ), Ivor Darreg ( Ivor Darreg: Detwelvulate! www.cdemusic.org/store/cde_search.cfm?keyw ords=Ivor%20Darreg&CFID=1430250&CFTOKE N=77323100 ), and myself (Warren Burt: 39 Dissonant Etudes - Tall Poppies records www.cdemusic.org/store/cde_search.cfm?keyw ords=Warren%20Burt&CFID=1430250&CFTOK EN=77323100 ). The American composer Brian

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Microtuning on the

Wusik

McLaren continues to work on his magnum opus, “240 Piano Pieces” which is a set of 5 etudes in every equal temperament from 5 to 53 tones per octave, excluding only the 12 tone per octave scale. It is my hope that when he finishes the work, he will find someone willing to publish it, so it can be available to all of us. There are so many aspects to the different equal tempered scales that it’s almost impossible to sum them up quickly. Each scale has different shades of harmony, from the very spiky dissonances of the 11 and 13 note per octave scales, to the smooth consonances found in the 31 and 53 note scales. Some scales make interesting harmonies, other scales have unusual intervals best heard in melodies. In each scale, your imagination is the only limitation for what you might want to do with it. Just to show one small aspect of some equal temperaments, I’ve prepared a sound example. In this sound example, a chord played on the keys C-G-d-a, starting on the C below middle C (midi note 48), using the “KEY-Misty Keys” timbre from the ArtVera NewAge Collection Volume 05, (from Wusik Sound Magazine #8,

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Dec. 2006) is played twice each in every equaltemperament from 5 to 36 tones per octave. There are two versions of this mp3 sequence. The first, "One chord in many scales.mp3" is just the chords. The second, "One chord in many scales with numbers.mp3" adds a computer voice speaking the name of the tuning before each set of two chords, so that you can hear which scale produces which kind of chord. Listening to this example should reveal a few of the many different harmonic colours available in the different equal temperaments.

Exploring the Tun Library The TUN library supplied with Wusik is huge, but hard to explore. One can simply load any scale into the “Microtuning” Slot on the Config Page, and play away, but if you do that, you might find that some of the scales don’t seem to make sense - tuning your particular Wusik timbre either too high, or too low, or having an unexpected arrangement of pitches, etc. It would be good if there were a way to see what those scales in the TUN library were, and how they worked. Fortunately, there is.


Microtuning on the

The first thing to do is to download and install the free program SCALA, and the Scala Scale Archive available on the same download page: www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/scala/downloads.html. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to follow this simple procedure to see what any particular scale looks like. 1. Take any TUN file from the Wusik Tuning Library. Open it with a any text editor, such as Notepad. Here we’re opening the TUN file “Bulgarian Bagpipe Tuning.TUN.” 2. Look at the top of the file - you'll see a file name ending with .scl, as in this example: ; ; ; ; ;

AnaMark / VAZ 1.5 Plus tuning map file File converted by "ScalaConverter", written by Tobias Fleischer, available at www.tobybear.de bulgaria.scl

3. Open Scala, and with the “Open Scale” command, open the listed .scl scale. In this case, it’s “bulgaria.scl”.

Wusik

4. In Scala, press F6 to see the scale listed. Here is the listing of this particular scale: Bulgarian bagpipe tuning 0: 1/1 0.000 unison, perfect prime 1: 66.000 cents 66.000 2: 202.000 cents 202.000 3: 316.000 cents 316.000 4: 399.000 cents 399.000 5: 509.000 cents 509.000 6: 640.000 cents 640.000 7: 706.000 cents 706.000 8: 803.000 cents 803.000 9: 910.000 cents 910.000 10: 1011.000 cents 1011.000 11: 1092.000 cents 1092.000 12: 2/1 1200.000 octave

In the case of this scale, it’s a 12 note scale, and the tuning of each degree of the scale is listed in cents above the fundamental (which is midi 60 - middle C for most of the scales in

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Microtuning on the

Wusik

Scala). A cent is 1/100th of a semitone. There are 1200 cents in an octave. Other scales in the TUN library sometimes list their pitches in both ratios and cents, such as this one, “Just Scale by Paul Erlich (2002).TUN.” Here is the top of the Wusik TUN file for “Just Scale by Paul Erlich (2002)”

In this listing, we see that the scale is a 10 note scale, and that the pitches are listed both as ratios and cents. The ratio shows the amount that the frequency of the fundamental pitch is multiplied by to get the pitch of that particular note. Cents show the tuning in cents divisions above the fundamental. People who study tunings like to have both ratios and cents listed in order to see how a scale works.

; ; ; ; ;

AnaMark / VAZ 1.5 Plus tuning map file File converted by "ScalaConverter", written by Tobias Fleischer, available at www.tobybear.de erlich13.scl Just scale by Paul Erlich (2002) And here is the 0: 1/1 0.000 unison, perfect prime file “erlich13.scl” undecimal comma, al1: 33/32 53.273 opened and listed Farabi's 1/4-tone by Scala: 2: 9/8 203.910 major whole tone 3: 5/4 4: 21/16 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10:

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11/8 3/2 27/16 7/4 15/8 2/1

386.314 major third 470.781 narrow fourth undecimal semi551.318 augmented fourth 701.955 perfect fifth 905.865 Pythagorean major sixth 968.826 harmonic seventh 1088.269 classic major seventh 1200.000 octave

Once you know how to do this procedure, you’ll be able to see what all those TUN files supplied with Wusik actually look like, and playing with them should become much easier. As you look at them, you’ll also become more familiar with the terms and ways that tunings are described.


Microtuning on the

Wusik

Some Equal-Tempered Riffing One of the things I like to do with Wusik is to record a riff, turn it into a loop, and then reload that riff into Wusik in order to play it at different pitches and at different rhythmic rates. I really like the kinds of polyrhythms generated by different tunings. I’ve made three presets to show this. They are: 1) GuitarLick17T-01.WusikPRST 2) GuitarLick17T-02.WusikPRST 3) PianoLick53T-01.WusikPRST They were made using the timbres of the Wusik Sound Magazine General MIDI collection, Part 1, found in Wusik Sound Magazine #5, September 2006. The first two are guitar licks played in 17 tone equal temperament. The licks cover a wide range of pitches. The third is a piano lick played in 53 tone equal temperament. It covers a very narrow range, just over a Major 2nd, but uses many pitches within that range. The first two licks load up in 17 tone tuning, as well, as long as you have the “Equal

Temperaments tun files” folder installed. Play this looping lick by holding down middle C (midi key 60), and then play several of them at the same time by pressing down several keys at once and holding them. Notice the different polyrhythms that result from the different combinations of keys. Now in the Config Page, load 53 tone equal temperament (53 Tone ET) into the Microtuning slot. Using either of the guitar licks, play a cluster of the keys Bb B C C# D (C=60) and HOLD the notes down for quite a while. You’ll first hear the lick in unison, but out of tune, and then you’ll hear all sorts of phasings, as the very slightly differently tuned riffs begin to go out of phase with each other. For something completely different, load up the “PianoLick53T-01" preset. This piano lick is played in 53 tone equal temperament, and the keys are tuned in 53 tone equal temperament. Hold down middle C to hear the original lick, and then play the cluster given above and hold it to hear the same kind of phasings you heard with the guitar, but with tones tuned much more closely together.

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Microtuning on the

Wusik

Changing Change

Finally, try this - keeping the same piano lick preset, load 9 tone equal temperament (9 Tone ET) into the Microtuning slot. Play and hold the following keys - Ab C Eb ( where middle C=60). Listen to how these melodies don't overlap in pitch range. You can clearly hear 3 part counterpoint of the same melody at different tempi. The tempi are related by the proportions of the tuning. Seeing as how the ratios between notes in all equal temperaments are irrational, all these rhythms will be out of phase almost forever.

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Tunings

With

Program

Changing tunings by loading them into the Microtuning slot is a slow process. What if you want to change tunings more quickly, to contrast between different tunings? There is a way to do this. Load the timbre you want, and the tuning you want. Now, by right-clicking on the window that lists the preset, you can save the timbre and the tuning as a preset file. Be sure to give it a different name that indicates the tuning used, such as “17TonePiano”, so you’ll be able to see what scale your timbre is in. If you make several of these, and put them in the same directory, you’ll be able to use MIDI program changes to select between the timbre with different tunings quickly and efficiently. Just remember to save a preset with standard 12 note equal temperament as well, in case you want to rapidly go back to traditional tuning. Wusik Presets saved without a tuning file simply use the tuning that’s already loaded.


Dark Ages Album by WilliamK Downloadable Format: MP3 (192 bitrate) and FLAC (High Quality) formats.

Song List: Dark Ages I - The Start Dark Ages II - Memento Dark Ages III - Nova Era Dark Ages IV - Jungle Rain Dark Ages V - Warfare Dark Ages VI - Holding Time Dark Ages VII - The Field Dark Ages VIII - A New Dimension Dark Ages IX - The City Bonus Track: Rock The House

$ 9.95 USD € 6.95 EUR £ 4.95 GBP

Purchase at http://wusik.com/w/darkages.html Listen at http://www.william-k.com


What's on

your Amp

Funkychickendance’s Train of Thought Edition

It’s funny how over the course of a few weeks, one CD will suggest another, which suggests another… and sometimes, it’s all inspired by raw sound… Having treated myself to some Bosendorfer 290 samples ($25 in a year-end sale), what else but Tori Amos (who insists on a Bosie for studio work). I picked an album that I’d rejected a couple of years ago, Boys For Pelee. Her piano work is amazing, but so are the songs and singing. Mixed in with this album are some accompaniments by the Black Dike Mills Band, which reminded me that I’d bought a fantastic brass sample set in the same sale…

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Funkychickendance’s Train of Thought Edition

What's on

your Amp

Moving on to her kinda weird Strange Little Girls I was amazed by two things: her crafty Rhodes playing, and an excellent Tom Waits song, ‘Time.’ Obviously, it was time to check out Waits’ classic Rain Dogs, which didn’t disappoint in the slightest, though I’ve not listened to it in about ten years. An amazing mix of Captain Beefheart, Jazz, Brecht, and funky blues, with braying brass, pump organ, Mark Ribot’s psycho guitar, scrapyard drum kits, too much good stuff to describe in ten pages…the title track is nuts – tango? Klezmer? I don’t know – and a great reminder that there are many musical forms we are just plain ignoring lately.

Except when you find Vol.2, a record called Music Power from Okinawa…by Shoukichi Kina, a guy much praised by Richard Thompson and Henry Kaiser and thus certain to please me. It’s a kind of punkish take on Asian bubblegum music, and impossibly brilliant.

Which should have sent me off listening to New Orleans jazz or whatever, but instead delivered me to a wonderfully absurd Bollywood record on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label, Dance Raja Dance. Why? Because of a bickering thread on the subject of Indian film music on KVR…as if there are many other kinds of threads…Raja is Vol.1 of a short series called Asian Classics, and is by a guy named Vijaya Anand. Total insanity and probably proof that this is among the most unduplicable music around…

But, what? No music with synths, drum machines? What got into me? Back to Tori Amos, and the track Happiness Is A Warm Gun on the second album named above. I guess she’s on a Wurlitzer, playing totally whacko arpeggios, deconstructing the classic John Lennon song by working through it backwards from the chorus, ignoring the original tempos, chewing it over like a jazz performer, an amazing production and performance. Pure genius, the kind of music we all try to make at times, but mostly fall short.

With my eclectic button locked down, it was time to go remind myself of The Incredible String Band, and their amazing 1967 album The 5000 Spirits, or the Layers of the Onion. Long before we even had the phrases ‘ethic music,’ or ‘crossover,’ they were doing it. A truly memorable experience, rehearing this.

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Channeling Energy by Zachariah Weckter

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Channeling Energy Energy XT has been around for

quite a few years now, and has developed a considerably large user base of audio fanatics, connoisseurs, and professionals alike. This powerful application is coming around to version 2 as this is being written, and the beta release is nothing short of pure brilliance. This month I’ve been submersed in exploring and exploiting its features, which arguably rival more expensive applications at only a fraction of the price. This program has a way of making you compile new sounds and compose music with an entirely different approach, and the end result comes nothing short of breath taking. Whether you are accustomed to traditional sequencing, sound design, or playing live, XT may just be exactly what you’ve been looking for…

E

nergy XT 1.4 is distributed in standalone, VST, and VST effect versions. All of these are available for download at www.energy-xt.com/xt1.php which are only restricted to session use, meaning you can’t save or load arrangements without purchasing and installing a license file. Purchasing a license file costs less

than $50.00 (USD) and also entitles you with the key for version 2 as well. Although this article is aimed more towards the latter, key features from the previous version are necessary in order to harness the power of what this application can actually do. You can also install version 2 from www.energyxt.com/xt2.php with the same restrictions mentioned above.

S

o what is it, then? Energy XT is a sequencer, sound design tool, audio processor, and complete music workstation package for Windows & Linux platforms. There are native synths, a drum machine, and a sampler available for registered users. As a longtime user of the Cubase range, I found myself right at home and made a complete track with it the first day. XT allows you to rapidly route devices to one another with excellent results in seconds flat. Multitrack recording is supported so long as you have multiple inputs through your audio input interface. Unlimited MIDI tracking and sequencing is supported (depending on system specifications), but sadly, it is not ReWire compatible (although I’m sure it is in the works).

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Channeling Energy XT allows you to assemble sound in a modular fashion providing support for VST and audio tracks. This system is both flexible and effective because you can group several instruments together & channel them through any effects you have at your disposal. However, to access your VST folder you must first tell XT where to look by right clicking in the main bay and selecting the “folders� option. Once this is completed simply right click anywhere in the bay and select your VST of choice. Figure 1.1 Shows Wusikstation routed through Wusikstation FX & then through an EQ to Fig. 1.1

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get the lows rumbling. This method allows you to quickly compile new sounds and get your ideas out very fast. You can also split the incoming MIDI signal to control multiple VST instances at once to create new sounds by blending them together. Connecting everything together is as simple as dragging lines like patch cords from one device to the next, and provides an extremely flexible means to compile brand new sounds with just a few clicks of the mouse. XT also provides MIDI effects such as an arpeggiator and auto chord patcher. Parameters can be controlled to left of the main bay in a simple yet effective manner.


Channeling Energy Figure 1.2 portrays the sequencer in version 1.4 which is selected by right clicking in the main bay again and selecting it from the menu. This gives you access to all the parameters of that instance similar to Cubase or Sonar. You can add as many sequencer tracks as you like to control the entire arrangement in one window, or

alternatively create a sequencer for each instrument individually. Audio can also be imported by dragging and dropping into sequencer tracks and routed out to various effects, or streamed directly from your computers interface for recording. Energy XT supports WAV and AIFF files, and exports in 16, 24, and 32 bit formats, providing excellent sound quality output.

Fig. 1.2

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Channeling Energy The XT sampler is pictured in figure 1.3, which facilitates the above specs as well. There are a large number of extras free for download at http://asseca.com/ which include free VST components as well as different skins and an installer program with installation walkthroughs to Fig. 1.3

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make the installation process a little more uncomplicated. Those of you who followed the “Into The Core� article in last months issue will be happy to know this program works on both Windows and Linux, allowing you to sync both systems in perfect harmony.


Channeling Energy Energy XT2 has been redesigned to work as a powerful host sequencer, with a little more under the hood than you would expect at first glance. By default the program opens as a minimal sequencer, with a single MIDI and audio track exposed, staring you in the face. Again, you will have to instruct it to look in your VST folders, but this time there is a directory for audio files and presets as well. Once these are routed to the corresponding folders your entire collection of VST instruments, effects and your sample banks are just a click away, located in the file directory to the left. The file structure in XT2 has been completely remodeled for the better, providing almost instantaneous access to your samples, instruments, and effects. Figure 2.0 reveals the new structure and the page select, which is implemented in the new setup by default. This auto-docks three separate pages, the Comps (Modular routing and connections) page, the Sequencer page, and the Mixer page.

Fig. 2.0

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Channeling Energy Figure 2.1 reveals revisions to the sequencer, which provides a clean interface for multitrack recording and MIDI editing. The enhanced sequencer has incorporated a drum track, which allows you to drag and drop drum samples directly into a single track and position the hits along with the rest of your track, providing a drum machine built right into the sequencer itself.

Fig. 2.1

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Channeling Energy Adding audio clips is as easy as dragging and dropping from left side panel directly into place on the arrangement mixer as shown in figure 2.2. Once in the mixer, break point envelopes can be applied to adjust the audio in the mix and are fully assignable to volume, pan, and mute. The

new version of Energy XT provides an updated engine for audio, allowing you to use time stretching and pitch shifting techniques using the “elastique� engine, which works for time stretching beats to fit and sync with your mix using just the sequencer window.

Fig. 2.2

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Channeling Energy Once an audio track has been affixed to sequencer, you can use the Comps page to apply VST affects, and control those parameters with break point envelopes as well, shown in figure 2.3, which provides greater control over VST effect parameters. The audio manipulating properties and sequencing of version 2 have vastly improved,

Fig. 2.3

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while maintaining the semi-modular workspaces it was founded on. The comps page reveals a similar interface from its previous version, with a little bit of a different structure to it. XT2 has automatically created the sequencer and mixer tracks for you, and adding an instrument is as simple as pulling it from the tree


Channeling Energy to the left and dropping it on the page. Once an instrument has been applied and connected you can return to the sequencer to find the VSTI has been auto connected. Clicking on “+� at the bottom of the sequencer track provides instant access to

all of that instruments parameters, instantly labeled to negate confusion (a trick Steinberg and the like would do well to learn), as shown in figure 2.4. Fig. 2.4

Fig. 1.1

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Channeling Energy The comps page has retained its semi modular approach, making it easy to group all the instruments in the arrangement for easy identification, as shown in figure 2.5.

Fig. 2.5

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Channeling Energy Last but not least is the mixer, which has been streamlined to automatically group instruments, audio, and effects in sections of color blocks to easily find what you are looking for when doing the final mixing tasks before export. You can easily apply send/return effect to all tracks by dragging and dropping from the left directly into the mixer as shown in figure 2.6. There are two slots available for this function, but if you need more (or enjoy doing these things the hard way) this task can also be accomplished through the routing capabilities in the comps page.

One more thing worth mentioning is that although XT2 is still in its beta stage, it remains rock solid even under pressure. I loaded up some configurations that would have Cubase seriously sweating, and it didn’t even seem to wince. Although XT2 doesn’t have support for functions Cubase accommodates (score editing & surround mix downs, for example) It is a powerhouse sequencer that allows for creativity to flow just by being a little different. And considering the price for all of these features, there’s really no reason for you not to have a licensed copy.

Fig. 2.6

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REX/WAV Format - Downloadable by WilliamK For those looking out for good and affordable downloadable loops, there's a new option in town. www.loopmasters.com/ Thanks to ClickGroove services, you have now the option to download all LoopsMasters CDs. No need to wait for the mailman anymore. Visit the following link for more information: www.clickgroove.com/loopmasters-m1845.html We tested the system by purchasing the Raw Power CD. (in download format)

The system works without problems, and the price was very good compared to the quality and number of loop files we got in return. If you are looking for good Guitars and Rock-Drums, this CD is a really good start. It even includes some vocal samples, but nothing big. There's also the option of downloadable Sample-Packs, which are smaller selections of the CDs contents. LoopMasters is a good option if you are looking for something new and don't want to wait.

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TT ii pp ss

&TT rr ii cc kk ss by WilliamK

Don't know how much space each directory is taking in your HD? This small tool will help you out, and its Free! TreeSize by Jam Software. www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml The good thing about this little program is that after you install it, a new right-click context-menu will show up for any directory. Making it very easy to see how much space your files are taking, and where you can free more room. A must have for all users.

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Creating Sounds - Advanced Level -

Bass Basoon by WilliamK

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Creating Sounds Before I start, let me explain that this is not an original idea. I saw this in YourTube the other day, but decided to do my own version.

Bass Basoon

You can either just use the sounds we recorded, or create your own. For this, you will need a crappy computer speaker with bass-woofer and a microphone. If the bass-woofer you got have the option to turn off or disconnect the regular speakers, do so. Otherwise this may not work correctly.

Find the air-hole of the woofer, and put a post-it tape on it. You can also try other things, like a regular paper or even a tissue.

Be sure that the papers covers the whole hole, but its not totally secured. So it vibrates when you play a bass sound through the speakers.

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Creating Sounds

Bass Basoon Now put the mic near the woofer, best to be near the air-hole, to capture the sound of the paper vibrating.

Play a pure low-sine waveform on the speaker. (around C1 to C2) Turn up the woofer volume until you get a good sound, and that the paper vibrates. Some woofers will distort and get a better sound with volume set to MAX. You may need to adjust the paper a bit to get a better flapping sound. Also, try a Pulse waveform, for a deeper sound.

Now is where the fun starts, you can also try to obstruct the mic with something. Here we tested with a Glass, which produced some sort of a filtering effect. But you can also try other stuff like a beanscan, spam-can, ... Whatever, you get the point.

You can save the samples as WAV files, and load within Wusikstation directly. We have included some samples with the magazine, check the last pages for more information.

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Persian Santur from PrecisionSound.net $ 69.00 USD

WAV/SF2/Sfz/Halion/Kontakt - Downloadable Can be converted to WusikSND format by using Extreme Sample Converter.

From the Author's Site: the Persian Santur is a trapezoid shaped instrument with 72 strings and a 3 octave range. Similar types of instrument could be found all over the world; “Santoor” in India, “Yang qin” in China, “Hammered Dulcimer” in England and “Hackbräde” in Sweden. They are all slightly different in the amount of strings and the timbre but with similar constructions. We have sampled the Persian Santur with 2 types of mallets in 3 velocities, “Santur 1” (hard mallets) and “Santur 2” (soft mallets). You also get a huge set of different glisses, fx both tonal and percussive divided into 6 programs. The complete Persian Santur contains 241 24bit Stereo WAV samples.

by WilliamK

You may think that the price is a bit high for this kind of sound, but from our first impression, this is totally worthy. The conversion from Sfz to WusikSND was very easy and fast. Playing this sampled instrument gets you a very responsive sound. Thanks to the multi-velocities. A very good sampling job from Precision Sound. They also offer other Ethnic instruments, and even some free sets. The Koestler Rigoletto is one that you can't miss, also very well sampled. Don't forget to check the other sounds they offer. A very good mixed selection.

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The Synth Romance by WilliamK

The wonders of re-installing Windows 46 Wusik Sound Magazine March 2007

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The Synth Romance T

he other week I got myself a new computer, as you will guess by reading my OpenLabs MiKo Review. And it came with Windows XP pre-installed, as an OEM item.

Oby symantec.com - but this only works

T

F

hanks to that -- not that I'm complaining -- I had to re-install every piece of software that I use. The good part was that I could chose only the programs that I really use, and ditch the ones I wasn't using so much.

S

o it began, the adventure of almost a week configuring XP to work the same way I was used to. Again, I'm not complaining...yet.

A

fter installing so many programs, finding the Serial-Numbers and going through several Challenge-and-Response forms, I was ready to get to work again. It could have been worse, but thanks to being an organized kind of guy, I had a DVD with all the stuff I owned, plus the proper registration information in .TXT files. The rest could be found in my email-backups, which I keep on a machine all the time: in a folder called Important.

ne of the familiar tools is called Ghost,

when you have already got everything installed, and just want to make a security copy of the HD.

or my recent situation, this wouldn't work...tough luck, had to re-install everything.

T

he issue, as you'll recognize, is in the way XP manages all installed software: the complicated registry system that has grown up. It makes me wonder how things will work when it comes time to upgrade to Vista.

M

aybe some of you are going to find out quicker than me, real soon!

B

ut still, I wonder, why can't we come up with a way to make this process easier? Most of us know of software that can clone your HD on to another one.

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Wsm #011 Babel Audio Sounds by Paul Walsh www.babelaudio.org/

11 SoundSets - 49 Meg 29 Presets Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Babel Audio\Serendipity Loops Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Babel Audio\Strat

S ound s

HQ Synthetica Volume 5

Artvera MISTRAL Demo

by Kevin Breidenbach aka synthgeek

www.artvera-music.com/

www.skincontact.com/synthge ek

28 SoundSets - 50 Meg 20 Presets

This is the Fifth volume of our special High Quality (HQ) Synth Sounds. (check issue #007 for detailed information)

Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Issue 0011\Artvera MISTRAL Demo

3 SoundSets - 87 Meg - 22 Presets Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\HQ Synthetica\Volume 05

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Wsm #011

S ound s

Bass Basoon

Hand Claps

Tuning on the Wusik

by WilliamK

by WilliamK

by Warren Burt

53 SoundSets & Sounds 116 Meg - 17 Presets

216 Sounds - 11 Meg - 11 Presets

Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Issue 0011\Tuning on the Wusik

Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Issue 0011\Bass Basoon

Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Issue 0011\Hand Claps

Several Flutes

Neuropathy VooDoo

by WilliamK

by LiquidBrad

14 SoundSets - 56 Meg - 9 Presets

83 SoundSets - 234 Meg 97 Presets

Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Issue 0011\Flutes

Location: Presets\Wusik Sound Magazine\Issue 0011\Neuropathy VooDoo

MP3 Examples at the same directory above. Extra TUN files at: TUN Files\Equal Temperaments TUN Files

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Wsm - March 2007 - Issue 011