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WUSIK MAGAZINE

October 2007

#018

WUSIK.COM


Magazine Layout: MoniKe Editors: Paul Evans and MoniKe

Articles by: A. Arsov www.arsov.net Alexander Stoica - aka Beatslaughter www.beatslaughter.de DamBros Especial thanks to Claudia Picchi David Keenum Digital Messiah www.myspace.com/gnomusic E. Johan Vaxelaire Kevin Burke www.kevinburke.ca Mike Felker - aka Karmacomposer www.mfelkerco.com Squibs www.musician.ie Paul Evans - aka Triple-P (PPP) www.triplep.wusik.com Warren Burt www.tropicapricorn.com Wouter Dullaert - aka Kyran www.kyran.wayouthere.co.uk

Proof-Reading by: Kevin Burke www.kevinburke.ca

Wusikstation V4 Advertising Background: Michael Knubben Back Cover: Johan Vaxelaire

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Pictures: www.dreamstime.com

One more for the good guys! Issue 18 is knocked out without a doubt. We’ve got new sounds from P5 audio and remix toolkit. There’s also a new phaser plug-in from Togu Audio Line. And I am the new editor, PPP. So sit back, take notes, and enjoy the show. Wusik is on a roll, aimed straight for the crown. It is all about the new this month and for Wusik as a company. Williamk has not slept in 3 weeks. He is coding like an evil genius. He has wrapped up his Wusik tools and is already on v1.1 with them. He’s also coded an instrument creator that allows you to map, sample, make loop-points, and preview samples. It also supports drag 'n' drop. Boy is he on a roll. He has also announced the WusikXstation. This modular VST host is going to flip the game upside down and shake the money out of its pockets. Man it is an exciting time for Wusik right now! The Mac version is going well. Have no fear Apple heads - we’ve got you covered! We’re not stopping until we take over the world. Wusik Magazine is growing each day and getting better and better. We have an amazing staff of writers who work extremely hard. I can't thank them enough. Wusik is a bit hectic but we’ve got our minds set, and if your reading this you’ve got your money in the right place. Read on through these pages; the staff and I put together one for the ages. Oh, and next month we’re going to have an effect that was born on another planet. Go ahead and read into that - it was hint! Holla.

Paul Evans

MoniKe


Amazon II by DamBros

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Creating Sounds: Ballon Gongs by Warren Burt

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Flashback: Gong - "You" by Johan Vaxelaire

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Diversions: Fishing for Listens by Kevin Burke

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Interview: HERCs Music by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Gear Review: BFD 1.5 by David Keenum

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Modelonia by Mike Felker

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DR 008 by A. Arsov

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D16 Nepheton by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Rayzoon Jamstix 2 by Squibs

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SynthMaker by Wouter Dullaert

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Sample-Robot by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Unique by Paul "Triple-P" Evans Jobromedia by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Samplelord by A. Arsov

de la mancha by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Duncan Parson by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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What's On Your Amp From Paris to Berlin, and beyond by E.

Stefan

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by Paul "Triple-P" Evans Mucoder by Digital Messiah

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by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Robert Sugar Bytes by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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104 108 110

P5 Audio by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Remix Toolkit West-Coast v.1 by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Oops: The True E-mu Love Story by A. Arsov

Wusik Magazine

Xoxos

Sound Review: Loopmasters Movie Dialogue by Alexander Stoica

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AES IK News by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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DVD Review: John Cage One11 and 103 by Warren Burt

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Mastering Tips: What's in my Toolbox? by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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AES News by Paul "Triple-P" Evans


Amazon II by DamBros

Wusik Magazine

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A few months after making the documentary for Japan, I was invited to produce another one, though this time it was for a health plan group. I was informed that it was about cattle raising farms located in the state of Piaui in the Amazon jungle. The trip was at the same time exiting and frightening, both because of the long flight over closed forests, and a terrifying summer storm. The problem was that in a few seconds the small vessel dove into a dense darkness and then was thrown upward, downward and sideways in a fast and violent manner. This was a small single engine plane containing four passengers and enough baggage for a stay of fifteen days or more in a secluded and inhospitable location. The meaning of secluded and inhospitable I only learned when I arrived: it was a clearing in the forest, hundreds of miles away from civilization and a tiny wooden hut, covered with grass and nothing inside!

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The trip itself served as inspiration for an intense opera, something like overtures, arias or Wagner themes, I guess‌ While approaching the runway, I thought it would be a relief to be on ground, but the dirt runway wasn’t flat, it was like a camel’s back with three humps that demanded the pilot to abort landing twice before being able to land successfully. Whew!!! It was from this incident that the epilogue of this opera was composed. > >


Amazon II

Immediately after getting off the plane, all the well known sounds were shut off: car horns, door slaming, TVs, radios, children screaming, elevator sounds, footsteps, airplanes, helicopters, dogs barking and cats mewing. The ears, startled by the sudden silence, buzzed. It is the soundtrack of a forest clearing. You can clearly hear this silence. During the day all you hear is the breeze that rushes through the naked earth in pianissimo, and our adventurous footsteps. A word, a laugh, a scream sounds strange to our ears.

Wusik Magazine #018 October 2007

At dusk the program changes, or rather the DJ of the radio does. You can hear the penetrating sound of the araras (Brazilian parrot) and unintelligible noises from various places or from nowhere. In fact, you lose the sense of space and direction. There are no parameters to understanding things. It is filled with emotion, mystery and an indescribable fear. The darkness that reduces us in size as we face the immensity of where we are ( I guess it is like what a castaway must feel alone in the ocean), is suddenly defeated by the fragile light from the hut’s oil lamp which spreads light through the openings of the primitive walls. Dominated by the magic of the moment, we remained almost in complete silence. The few indispensable words were whispered respectfully. > >

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Amazon II The night was full of guesses. Was that soft dragging the sound of a boa constrictor? Is that panting sound from a feline waiting for one of us to come out? The massive moonlight that shines during the night doesn’t help much. Its light just disguises and distorts the scenery that we can see thought the cracks of the hut.

Wusik Magazine

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The dawn finds us tired from the discomfort of the hammock beds. The strong coffee restores our energy; though our bodies ache, we are willing to start our first hike.

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After an hour at a strong and firm pace, we reach the closed woods. It is a huge impact. The trees seem to form compact walls that hide the sunlight and prevent the wind from penetrating. These trees are about 200 feet tall. The impression we have is of entering a huge temple, where the wind imitates the sounds of a majestic organ, producing dissonant notes that go from a deep low tone to a minimum sharp pitch that the ear can perceive. Nothing very fast, all very heavy and solemn as the environment suggests. The winds cause the torsion of the tree trunks that complain with cracking and creaking sounds. Also, breaking dry branches fall from the trees with such loud sounds that it brings to mind giants fighting one another. It isn’t possible to go very deep into these closed woods without a guide and as we didn’t have one, we walked > >


Amazon II

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We stayed there for eighteen days and returned with more than twenty hours of video that resulted in three technical documentaries on various themes. One, of course, was about the penetration of man into the Amazon forest under the (false) guise of needing land to produce food. It is a hideous crime against humanity!

Wusik Magazine

only until the light from the wood clearing was visible behind us. As we were curious, we examined several tree trunks, leaves, branches and bark before we returned to our little plane and hut. In the following days we entered other areas, researching and filming each new area and the details of the flora. We almost didn’t find animals except for some cattle that had been transported there earlier. After, we visited some farms, all very distant from one another, that belonged to great European and American multinational companies. They were all very well organized, with houses for the employees, administration office, hospital, supermarket, and drugstore and leisure areas. Most were cattle raising farms, but some produced fruit from the region for export. The farming areas are immense; they are like vast wounds from insane combats of coward warriors against non aggressors.

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Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Balloon Gongs! by Warren Burt

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Balloon Gongs!

These gongs were made from simple strip aluminum, bought at the local hardware store, and cut with a home hacksaw into lengths – each bar being 5 cm shorter than the bar before it (except for the 16th gong, which is simply a

For these Wusik presets, the gongs were recorded in two ways. First was what I called “Gong Wavers.” For these, I struck each gong with a tiny hardwood beater once, and then slowly moved a dynamic microphone along the length of the bar about 1 cm from the surface of the bar. When done with larger vibrating metals such as cymbals and gongs, this technique provides wonderful phase-shifting sounds. Here, this is also the case, although due to > the faster decay of > the balloon gongs, the harmonic changes are > >

shorter off-cut left at the end of the project). This results in a nonlinear scale that does not correspond to the way we tune the piano, but the rich spectra of the gongs also mean that a conventional sense of clear pitch is sometimes absent from the gongs. That is, if you load any of the

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presets, such as GongWaver01 – GongWaver16, and play a series of keyboard octaves, such as Midi 48, Midi 60, Midi 72, you'll find that you're not hearing musical octaves. For each gong, the musical interval that you'll hear when playing a keyboard octave will differ. This is because there are so many partials in the spectra of the aluminum bars, and they are so unevenly spaced, that at each transposition, different partials will be heard as the fundamental pitch. This makes using the balloon gongs as harmonic instruments for “normal” music very difficult. For that kind of music, it would be best to treat the gongs as nonpitched percussion, as a different tone color. However, if you have an ear for the subtleties of found tunings, the gongs should provide you with much delight.

Wusik Magazine

A balloon gong is a set of rods or bars which are mounted on balloons in order to allow the rods or bars to vibrate freely. The use of balloons in acoustic instrument design goes back at least to the work of the Baschet brothers in Paris in the early 1950s. The ID group of San Diego exploited balloons in their designs in the 1970s and 80s, and my design was derived from Bart Hopkin's 1996 book Musical Instrument Design (See Sharp Press, Tucson, ISBN 1-884365-08-6 http://windworld.com/products/c atalog.htm). My particular balloon gongs were made for the soundtrack of multimedia artists Catherine Schieve's 2003 video composition Water, for which she wanted wavering, metallic clusters of sound. Since then, I've used them, both live and recorded, for a number of pieces.

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Wusik Magazine

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Balloon Gongs!

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more fleeting. Still, they can be heard clearly, and give a wonderful inner life to the rich gong spectra. The second way of recording was what I called “Gong Pulses.” Here, the microphone was mounted in one spot above the gong, and a steady pulse was played with the wooden beater. Each new pulse was played on a different spot on the gong, and the beater was moved along the gong's length while playing. This gave another kind of shifting harmonic sound to the gong - one in which there was also a sense of regular rhythm. Once recorded, loop points, widely spaced, were inserted in each “Gong Pulse” recording so that the sound would continue for as long as a key was pressed. Notice also that the pulses were performed by me, and I kept them as I performed them, with human imperfections. I tried to perform each gong at the same speed, but of course there are variations in the way I play. I wasn't aiming for the machineperfection of techno rhythms, but rather, a kind of human irregularity. There are many presets provided with the set of wav and WusikSND files, in order to play the gongs in different ways. Here is a listing of them. GongWaver01FullKeybd – GongWaver16FullKeybd are simply each gong spread out over

the entirety of the Midi keyboard, with Middle C (Midi 60) as the root key (the original pitch of the gong). I let the samples be mapped to the entire Midi keyboard so that all kinds of sounds could be derived from the samples. At very high ranges, sounds with foldover and aliasing are heard, as the partials of the gongs are well above the Nyquist frequency, half the sampling rate. At high ranges, the gongs turn into wind chimes. In the middle, their original gong-like nature is heard. At lower ranges, they turn into church bell like sounds, while in the lowest range, digital granulation and slow rolling low spectra are heard. With 16 different gongs spread out over the keyboard like this, a huge range of timbres is available. GongWavers16Keys – This is simply a mapping of each gong to a single Midi key, in ascending order, with the lowest gong on Middle C (Midi 60) and the highest one on the Eb - an octave above that (Midi 75). No attempt has been made to tune the gongs, or to match them to equal temperament. This simply preserves the gong scale as it exists on the 16 original gongs. GongWavers-A-B-C-D-Morf – Four presets of this kind are given. Each has a different set of 4 gongs, one on each of the Wusik Oscillators. LFOs are set to do a > >


Balloon Gongs! slow Vector Morph between the different oscillators. Because the four gongs strike at the same time, the attacks merge into a composite attack. You don't really hear that you're listening to 4 gongs, it just sounds like one very complex gong. However, because of the slow morphing between the oscillators, and the fact that each oscillator is panned differently, the sound has a richness and inner life that a single gong does not have. If you play a steady pulse on one key (say between 60 and 120 beats per minute), you will notice that the attack seems to pan between the stereo channels, as well as changing its harmonic nature.

GongPulses16Keys – This is simply each Gong Pulse recording mapped to a single Midi key, in ascending order, with the lowest gong on Middle C (Midi 60) and the highest one on the Eb an octave above that (Midi 75). Again, this allows one to hear the original scale to which the gongs were tuned. GongPulses-0A-0B-Together – Each of the four presets like this is simply a placing of four of the Gong Pulse recordings together, one on each of the Wusik oscillators. This is done to hear complex rhythms resulting from the Gong Pulses played together. If you wish, you could add your own panning and Vector Morphing to these presets to get an even more complex sound. As in the “GongWaverMorf” presets, the pitches of the gongs seem to merge together, but the regular and slightly varying pulses keep things separate and continuously moving.

#018 October 2007

Enjoy!

Wusik Magazine

GongPulse01FullKeybd – GongPulse16FullKeybd – As above, this is simply each Gong Pulse recording spread over the full midi keyboard, with Middle C (Midi 60) as the root key, playing the original pitch of the gong. Again, there are all sorts of effects that can be obtained by playing in different ranges. And although the sense of pitch is obscured by the spectra of the gongs, the sense of rhythm is still proportional to pitch. That is, if you play any of these presets at Middle C (Midi 60), and then play the key one octave above (Midi 72), you'll find that although the gong pitch does not change an octave, the speed of the pulse is indeed twice as fast as it was at the original pitch. This is

because the pitch ratio of an octave is 2:1 – if a sample is played one octave higher, its rhythm will be twice as fast. This suggests the use of all sorts of microtonal scales with these gongs – not to get accurate pitch transpositions, but to get complex polyrhythms from playing several keys together.

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Flashback

Gong

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

"You"

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(Radio Gnome invisible Part3)

by Johan Vaxelaire


Gong "You" For this issue, the time machine will stop us at the end of 1974. Gong will release his seventh album "YOU", a major release for progressive/space rock music. This transnational band was formed in the late 60's in Paris by the Australian Daevid Allen (a member of the first incarnation of Soft Machine). This album is the apogee of the first "psychedelic" phase of the group. Nothing will be similar after this album, it is quite different compared to older discs by the band. There is less singing in order to leave more place for instrumentals. And with such a quality group of musicians, you’ll recognize great psyche rock 'n' roll right from the beginning.

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"Master Builder" is an amazing song. I think the feeling of this track was bigger in the 70's than today but it pre-dates and yet foreshadows the techno trance style of the 90's. Phasered voices become more intense, the synth solo begins, and double bass drums hammer. Now we are high in the sky, in a perfect psychedelic place. Instruments are turning in stereo, Steve Hillage's guitar riffs and the synths of Tim Blake all contribute. An impressive jazz saxophone solo is presented in the first part of the song. After a while, birds sing and announce a brilliant guitar solo by Steve Hillage. This is also a most impressive rhythmic moment, a real example of what drum and bass rhythmic pairing should be like. It’s a fantastic song which shows all the talent of these musicians. "A Sprinkling of a Cloud" (8:42) further spreads the electronics introduced by "Master Builder". This song, again more electric, exudes a real strange feeling, a little bit like an end of time for me. She begins with space synth arpeggios and real strange sounds. A little bit later, we hear a little bass solo and some Tablas rhythms. After an impressive drum track arrives, strange chorused guitar arpeggios and a nice synth solo appear. Once at the six minute marker, you can hear the real craziness with an amazing and strange guitar solo with a big variety of stereo sounds. A strange psychedelic moment here, but the sax and flutes at the end supply a real jazz moment in the end. Relaxation and exotics abound for the ending of the first side of the vinyl. > >

Wusik Magazine

This album begins with two short tracks called "Thoughts for Naught" (1:30) and "A P.H.P.'S Advice" (1.37). These two psychedelic songs introduce this album perfectly. The first presents an eccentric male voice with some bass, flute, xylophone and synth notes. Sometimes a female voice comes in. No drum here - just few notes with a soft lead voice. The second presents more instruments. The guitar comes in with saxophones and a beautiful xylophone rhythmic. A little bit more rhythm in this song, but again - no drum. This short track is closed by a big gong sound. "You" can really be the beginning of "Magick Mother Invocation" (2:11); there is no blank space between the second and this third song. Huge reverberated male voices, like Tibetan monks, are turning in stereo with incantations from a strange female voice. The space synth is in fine form here with a thick, phasered sound. We are gliding slowly toward the terrific "Master Builder" (6:09),

"Magick Mother Invocation" was just an introduction.

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Wusik Magazine

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Gong "You"

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"Perfect Mistery" (2:25) originally opened the second side of the disc. This song is an eccentric and fun pop song with male and female singing voices. It’s a simple song in appearance, but complex in facts. The next song is another masterpiece of this album: "The Isle of Everywhere" (10:21) is great of space jazz song. The beginning starts with a good funky bass riff and voice incantations. When the drum arrives, it's another nice rhythmic moment courtesy of a great drumming performance by Pierre Moerlen. The sax solo and guitar solo are also really impressive in this song. The space synth sounds moves around the stereo sound field all during this song. "You Never Blow Your Trip Forever" (11.24) continues "The Isle" with a funkier style and fun jazz vocal scats. A break in the song comes in the second minute; we are now in the final throws of “You". Again, space synth ambience is the order of the day along with miscellaneous sounds and flute solo. Next, a strong guitar riff to follow all the instruments. This is one of the best vocal moments of this album, with a lot of feeling and various ambiences. In comes a short guitar solo and the song fades slowly, very slowly, with vocals from the entire band."You am I as I am You..."

Six months after the release of this disc, Tim Blake and Daevid Allen (the founder) leave Gong. The discs which follow will abandon gradually the psychedelic and pop side in favour of concentrating in a more jazz style. But a disc, which we can qualify as older brother of "You", will go out. That's the Steve Hillage's “Fish Rising” which will be

recorded by the most of Gong's musicians. This disc is every bit as good as "You". To conclude, it is important to know that this disc was to be a big source of inspiration for a large number of musicians bands which include the likes of Ozric Tentacles. Even electronic musicians show influence, and “You remixed" was done with the cooperation of The Orb.

Links: Gong's website: www.planetgong.co.uk/ Gong's Myspace page: www.myspace.com/radiognomeinvisible You can listen "The Isle of Everywhere” at this address from Progarchives site: www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=4682 #mp3


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Diversions

Fishing for Listens by Kevin Burke www.kevinburke.ca

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

While creation can certainly be accomplished in a vacuum, the product of that creativity, arguably – and by virtue of the mechanics of human ego, will seek an audience. In fact, there pre-exists a built-in homosapien desire to seek an appreciative audience.

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Fishing for Listens

There are a myriad of reasons for being creative: it can form the basis of a distraction from the ordinary or the painful. There is a certain gaming aspect to it (as in lotteries and gaming) in the sense that there is a minute chance of garnering (world?) recognition and commendation for your efforts. Creativity offers an opportunity to claw your way to the top of your field while the faithful edge you on through supportive purchases and show attendance. One might gain the respect that life had hitherto denied them. A creative output may unlock and draw in a world of new friends and new opportunities, and as well, prospects for collaboration and even greater recognition. But a creative output may well be all that you leave behind.

People largely base their lot in life by very real measurements; they may consider themselves successful if they raise 2.4 children, and/or reach a career height of corporate CEO, or successfully argue a criminal case upon which all media lenses focus, and public interest is ensnared. But they can also deem themselves privy to a worthwhile life simply by being able to provide for themselves and family, or by living to the high side of a predetermined life expectancy, or by struggling to live just one more hour with a debilitating or terminal disease or condition. Success may mean merely surviving, at great odds, in a nation of unrest. Your success is gauged by what reflects back from a mirror, and the scale with which you measure is one only you, yourself, can apply. > > Wusik Magazine #018 October 2007

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Fishing for Listens

For those who do not/choose not/can not have children, and literally have little other quantifiable future impact on this planet, the question then becomes one of legacy. When I reach that 32bit/192KHz state-of-the-art halogen-drenched studio in the sky, what have I left behind? What, indeed.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

The collective output of our creativity, once launched or otherwise released into the wilds of public consumption, can never be recalled. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. And it doesn’t matter whether that output is in the form of teddy bears, stained glass pieces, art installations, a book, an article or a song – they will find their way into people’s collections and will be held/viewed/read/heard long after the creator has left the “building”. While the impact may be minimal, the validation of existence is maximal. > >

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Fishing for Listens

Humans need to be heard. Witness the widespread selfpromotional tools that are MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Friendster, and Windows Live Spaces (and many other lesser known ether entities). We try to get the word out. We try to find our audience. We are the audience for others. And as we offer praise, or acid tongue, so too do we seek and appreciate admiration. It validates our creative bent, and messages our core that not only are we capable, but we are more than capable to exceed other’s expectations of us. We delight in the self-esteem we may not have recognized within ourselves. The perceived importance of popularity, and certainly peer acceptance, is undeniable.

I’ve mentioned previously in this column the ill-will afforded by writing scathing reviews of someone’s creative output, but even at that you are acknowledging their labor. In the end, cues that their work is of some merit are provided, along with the advice that there is value in stepping up to the plate and doing better. Of course, it’s only one person’s opinion. There are six billion more to poll. But one person has paid attention. You are on your way. One must remember that although one’s significance may be influenced by outside forces, it is not defined by them.

Wusik Magazine

A 1999 report by the Australian Dangar Research Group indicated that 1 in 5 twelve to fifteen year olds indicated that the prospect of unpopularity was daunting. About half responded

that it would be good to be popular, but not a requirement. But the very existence of widelyused social networking sites (an unknown entity in 1999) harkens directly back to the importance of popularity and seems to invalidate the report’s findings.

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HERCs Music

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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HERCs Music

When was HERCs music started, and what made you start it? We started 'HERCs Music Systems' as a business in 2007. However, it was owned and operated for some time before that as 'HERCs Synths', during which time Robert developed a VA instrument pack upon which Abakos was based.

Viktor is a 4 oscillator vector synth based on instruments like the Prophet VS. It has been in development for a long time...certainly longer than we expected, due to life interruptions and various programming challenges to overcome. We hope to release it officially, very soon. Like most of the instruments we make, it seems quite simple on the >> surface, but it is capable of a wide variety of sounds when manipulated in subtle ways. I find it excellent for really weird pads and drones, but it can do bread and butter sounds just as easily. The real heart of this beast is the vector pad. It is possible to move the cursor anywhere between each of the 4 oscillators to create some pretty dynamic soundscapes. When this is combined with the myriad of waveforms available, it turns out to be a pretty deep programming experience, yet remains quite easy for the beginner to manipulate. This is always the > >

Wusik Magazine

The core of HERCs has always been the massive synthesis engine that Robert has coded and revised over many years and we wanted to bring some of that power to people using the VST specification. If we were going to pack the whole of the engine into a single VST it would bring most computers to their virtual knees, so we decided to reveal a little bit at a time! The HERCs synth core was really designed from the ground up as an efficient hardware operating system, so it is quite challenging to port that into a VST format sometimes. The VST spec is really quite limited compared to what the full version of the HERCs synthesis engine can achieve when completely opened up.

Viktor is your latest project. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

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HERCs Music

balance we try to strike. It would be easy to create super complex synths, but most users will never use them to their full potential. We would rather focus on releasing good quality instruments that have sonic depth, yet remain easy for beginners to open and use. Viktor will be released as fully functional donationware. By donating a small amount, users will get a bunch of new waveforms, presets and a Java applet which can be used to create even more waveforms!

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

You released alien artifact for the DC, so what does happen when you press the alien keypad and move the green spheres?

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When you move the green spheres and press the weird buttons, sonic chaos ensues! Ask the Martians about where it came

from... I just found it at the bottom of my garden one weird twilight eve.

What can we expect to see after you release Viktor? We have a pretty full development roster for 2007-2008. We hope to release an effects suite sometime after Viktor and we have some ideas to follow on from Alien Artifact that could be quite weird. We would also like to explore more MIDI effects and MIDI scripting to produce some really useful plug-ins for composers and musicians.

What developers and products are really impressing you right now? Well, my favorite synth at the moment is Sylenth1 by LennarDigital. It's such a solid workhorse synth and just sounds really good. I am also really intrigued at the potential future of SynthMaker from Outsim. Despite a few teething problems, it seems to be shaping up to > >


HERCs Music

be a really interesting outlet for sonic experimentation and digital circuit builders. And I have always been really impressed by Luigi at Dash Signature. He is not afraid to throw caution to the wind sometimes and produce some really exciting stuff. He has developed a really diverse portfolio of synths and effects and is quite happy to use new tools like SynthMaker to create something funky.

If you had no limitations on what you could make, what kind of super synth would you make? Hmmm.... well, actually, if we had no monetary limitations, we would create a full hardware version of HERCs, meaning that users would

have access to the full potential of the synthesis engine. The operating system is already there, it just requires the right shell and plenty of money! Apart from that though, HERCs has a customized PROLOG interpreter inbuilt. PROLOG is a logic programming language developed in 1972 that is usually used in artificial intelligence and robotics. Robert has developed a musical version of it which can talk to the HERCs engine. It means that we can also develop all sorts of intelligent plug-ins that modify the way musicians interact with our instruments. Alien Artifact, released for the KVR Developer Contest, contains some pretty basic control elements that originated in the musical PROLOG language.

Wusik Magazine #018 October 2007

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Jobromedia by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

First things first - could you tell us about yourself?

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

My name is Johan Brodd, I'm 35 years young. I live in a flat in a south suburb to Stockholm. I was born blind but I got some sight back as time goes by. I used to joke by saying that when I turn 64 then I'll most likely take a drivers license test.

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Your entry in the developers challenge is very unique and of goodwill. What made you want to make BlindVU instead of something more expected? I was thinking about developing a synth more advanced then the last years entry, but I encountered several problems that I was unable to solve so I decided to step away from this entry and confront a plug-in I developed for myself back in 2002; the BlindVU. That plug-in was not very advanced, just an envelope that showed the volume by pitch. I thought this would be a good starting point. So I located my sources and developed it from there. > >


Jobromedia Of course you want to win but whose entry are you most looking forward to? I'll leave this question open for now. I haven't seen anything but small teaser images and they ain't much I can tell anything about. What is missing in music software and what trends would you like to stop in music software development? People tend to still love to create analog synths with 3 waveforms, 2 oscillators and 8 voices polyphony simulating different hardware synthesizers. This has to stop due to 95% of all breaks the company's copyrights. That isn't very useful although it is a cool concept but that has to be stopped. What I miss: Tough question! I think that people need to start creating synths and effects that are completely unique and not so constricted by what people want. More freedom for the creators. Can you tell us about how you came up with the idea for your entry this year?

I think the BlindVU will be of great help and it is extremely accurate. Can you explain to people who might not understand the concept what exactly it does? You play a drumbeat that you like. It takes the incoming volume and sends it to 2 oscillators 1 per channel. Depending on the intensity of the volume going in the more intensity is the pitch affected with. It then the oscillator outputs are sent to a threshold, if it's over the value then the amplitude envelope goes on and outputs the oscillator pitches into left and right channels. By doing this, for people who are sight impaired (like me), we can get an audio output [representation] of the volume level. Last words; can you give us some wisdom?

#018 October 2007

It is more important to be seen as the one you are instead of seeing. Blind people tend to see things that sighted people refuse to see. Be yourself. There lives over 6 billion people on this planet and no one is a copy of another. So be you, no matter what it takes!

Wusik Magazine

Well let me go back in time back to 1988 first. I was at a visit in a friend's studio. By that time there was no software or software plugins. But he had a buzzer that detected the dB count. If it was over 0 dB then it buzzed. So in 1997 I tested Rebirth and then it hit me: What if a complete sequencer would support external plug-ins? Then VST was announced, but by that time I had forgotten about my concept. Then in 2001 I tested the plug-in CM101 within the sequencer Buzz. And again the thought was awaked. So I tried during the autumn of 2001 to get hold of the VST SDK in Delphi. I got hold of it in November 2001. I started to create some shi**y plugins which had not much use. One's gotta start somewhere you know? Well, then I tried to create the synth included, but no luck. So I asked a source how one would do this Buzzer

in Delphi. Tobybear stepped in and made the plug-in Overloader that is still available on his site www.tobybear.de. That was the start of the BlindVU. Happy, but it wasn't until I discovered SynthEdit that gave me the chance to fully test the development and in 2002 I had a few synths and the prototype of BlindVU was done! But I left it that way since it didn't do what I wanted it to do. Time flies and we're back in late August 2007. I discovered I had way to limited time to get going for my primary entry, then it struck me, “Hey, I got BlindVU that needs work on.� So I located the source and got going and here it is.

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de la mancha

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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de la mancha

What got you into building plugins with SynthEdit? Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself Mr. Mancha? I started making music on an Amiga using SoundTracker back in the early 90's, trying to emulate the rave and hardcore acts of the day. But soon life went in a different direction for a while and snowboarding and mountain biking took all my time and money. It wasn't until 2004 that I picked up a copy of Computer Music magazine and got inspired to get back into it again, but this time it stuck. My first son was about to be born and the budget was tight, so I bought a copy of FL Studio and as many freeware plug-ins as I could and went from there.

What can people expect from a DLM plugin?

Let's talk about the developers challenge. You and sinkmusic entered Truc, which is an amazingly random and chaotic effect. What was your inspiration for Truc? The inspiration was all down to sink. We had already worked together as he provided lots of awesome drum samples for my 'erratic' drum plugin. He plays out live and is into all sorts of glitchery-pokery, and came up with a few ideas for some great multi FX plug-ins he'd like to use.

#018 October 2007

I started developing 2 of these ideas and for a while we weren't sure which one to enter into the KVR dev contest. As time went on, we liked Truc better and it made it into the challenge. The other idea is still in development as > we speak. >

Wusik Magazine

In a word, 'movement'. The general theme is to have quite a bit of temposync modulation, randomness and probability based triggering and general degradation. LFO's, envelopes, probability based step sequencers and randomized parameters all feature in a lot of my effects and synths. That and 2D GUI's with flat colors.

I wanted a plugin to do a certain thing and I couldn't find one. I thought it was a simple idea, so maybe I could make it myself. I looked around and SynthEdit looked like a good starting place. A great trial option, good value and lots of 3rd party modules out there. I wanted something to mute the audio using a midi key as a latch, and so 'moot' was born as my first plugin in November 2006. Before I realized it, I was hooked and almost a year later I have 21 SynthEdit creations out there

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de la mancha

How do you think Truc against the competition?

fairs

It's really difficult to judge right now, it's not the most talked about plugin by a long way. It's a plugin that takes time to get to know, which with 41 entries, maybe people don't have that luxury. Also, there's such a variety of tastes and styles amongst the user base, one persons dream plugin is another person’s idea of hell. I'm just a big fan of the contest as a way of promoting freeware innovation and a sense of community.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

What music is exciting you right now? What are you listening to?

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The CD doing heavy rotation in de la Mancha towers right now is Battles Mirrored (www.myspace.com/battlestheband). Between that and their EP C / B EP, it's an unholy collection of electronic sounds, guitar noise and pounding beats. My car CD player usually tells a story too, right now it's: Last Chance Disco - Acoustic Ladyland The World's Rarest Funk 45s - Quantic 70 Minutes of Madness - Journeys by DJ - Coldcut Mirrored - Battles Go Plastic - Squarepusher Cavalcade of Glee and Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms - Venetian Snares

Are you the leader of the Odd Skool? Not by a long way, lol! I use the description 'odd skool' for my music because I don't fit in a genre or style I think. I have eclectic taste in music and I think you can hear that in the music I make. I ended up with 3 musical projects, broadly sorted into 'music with beats' (www.delamancha.co.uk), 'music with vocals' (www.mono-log.co.uk) and 'music that most people wouldn't call music' (www.3x0.co.uk), but even then the variation in styles, tempo and sounds are quite varied.

What’s next after the developers challenge? What can fans of your plug-ins look forward to? I have a backlog of partly finished plug-ins and ideas. In development right now I have a multi-effect, a sample player, and a synth, all with lots of lovely randomness and modulation. I've also got plans to update 'erratic' to add velocity layers and random sample pool per slot. After that, I have a large pile of ideas building up faster than I can make them. I have a newsletter so people can keep updated with releases (www.delamancha.co.uk/contact.htm) or keep an eye out at: www.kvraudio.com or: www.rekkerd.org for news.


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/ Wusik Sound Magazine April 2007 #012

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Duncan Parson by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

You are representing BetabugsAudio as well as RoughDraftAudio. Did you help develop both entries?

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Yes! The RoughDraftAudio entry is all my own work, whilst the BetabugsAudio entry was a collaboration between Alex Volmer (aka multree/Mully) and me. I really enjoy working with Mully - his graphics are inspirational, and I always hope that the coding I do can match the visuals he creates.

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PanGloss is a really cool effect AND it was one of the entry's that has had no bugs for me! It sounds amazing on organs especially! What made you create PanGloss? Glad you like it - I've been using across some sub mixes, and it can do things I never thought it would! Actually, it wasn't my first idea. In fact I got through two other ideas! The first one is a new take on additive synthesis, which I'm going to keep quiet about! Whilst doing that I had a 'Eureka' moment about an entirely different way of looking at synthesis, and started work on the new project. I realised about 3 weeks from the deadline that I wouldn't get it finished, so I needed

something else if I was going to enter. I also have a day job (coding contractor, currently with a world leader in accounting software) and a family, so finding time for hobby coding isn't the easiest thing ever! PanGloss grew out of some coding I had done during some private explorative work for another KVR member earlier in the year. Sadly I couldn't help him on his project, but I had the code sitting there, so I figured it could be used. The background code is quite generic, so I could quite easily create a version with 10 bands - but the UI would be a nightmare! I'm toying with the idea of doing a 'Pro' payware version at some point, where each separated channel can have its own output, so you get the stereo as at the moment, plus another 9 outputs for exciting routing possibilities! I might add the odd LFO and delay to make it a pseudo surround and hyper Leslie plug. For the experimental amongst your readers: Put an instance of PanGloss on a buss, and follow it with a delay set to anything between 5 and 30msec. Largely, the shorter the better, but depends on what the source audio is. Make the delay 100%Wet,0%Dry, with > >


Duncan Parson

no repeats/feedback (unless you love that sitting in a steel bunker sound!). Set PanGloss up such that the Low band is muted and centre processing is on. Put the HF/MF freq XOver at around 8kHz, and the MF/LF XOver at around 800Hz-1500Hz. On the highs - L&R at extremes, both with gains of 0->+3dB; centre in centre with a dip to ~0>-3dB On the mids - L&R at at 25:75 and 75:25, both with gains of 0dB; centre in centre with a dip to ~-3->-5dB. Kind of like the 'Your Highness' preset, but morphed a little. Now, play it!

For a bit extra, put an instance of PanGloss on the source track, but set the track up so that the send to the buss is before the insert processing. On this instance set the Xovers roughly the same as on the buss, bring the highs in a little toward the centre (maybe 20:80/80:20), with cuts of 0->-3dB; but leave the MF and LF panned normally at 0dB Gain. Probably best to leave the centre processing turned off for this one. For ease, you could use one of the last few presets in the bank (like 'No Trouble at Mill') and tweak it. You now have an eerie space in your submix! > >

Wusik Magazine #018 October 2007

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Duncan Parson

After the developers challenge (DC), what’s next for BetabugsAudio and RoughDraftAudio? BetabugsAudio? Who knows! This is the first new plug for some time, actually since 'The Vascillator' for Computer Magazine last year!

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

We're all very busy, Mully has been doing secret work with larger companies and 'getting out there' with his music; Paul is always busy with FXpansion and has developed a superb coding framework; Johan Larsby has setup his Suriken product line and is attracting attention and magazine inches; Christian is studying hard and releasing stuff as he sees fit, as well as releasing another development framework! There are other BBA developers who have contributed as well. We would love to do more, but it's finding the time.

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For RoughDraftAudio, the first commercial product is nearing completion after 18 months development. I posted some teasers last Christmas, thinking it was nearly ready! Shows how wrong you can be! However, I sat down and went through all the loose ends a few days ago, and there were far fewer than I thought. I won't exactly say what it is, but I will say that it's aimed at acoustic musicians who use computers. Oh, I also have some updates to the 'Labs' section of the website which I'll be putting up soon. There are a lot of debates on software, what do you think is missing and what do developers need to do take it to the next level? What's missing!? Don't we have enough?! Honestly, compared to even 10 years ago we are truly spoiled with the gear that is available now, especially for free or for very little. I guess what's missing are the skills to get the most out of the creations

that are there, which, sadly, developers can do little about. For a more constructive answer... whilst much has been done in terms of recreating the past glories of our audioconstruction-heritage, there will always be boundaries that can be pushed and places to explore. I was pushing my own boundaries with the first ideas I had for this year’s DC, but you'll have to wait for DC08 and DC09 to get your hands on those! This year’s DC shows some great innovation - like KiTR and BlindVU. These two stand out for me, since they are totally unexpected pushing on boundaries of expectation rather than technology. I'm not saying that there aren't other 'feature creatures' in this year’s pack, but those two have caught my attention for their direction. I think, long-term, devs need to be exploring where to bend rules more and push harder on doors that weren't supposed to open. Those doors are harder to find these days, but they are there to be found. I love the DucklingCompressor; the finger smashing is awesome. What can you tell the readers about the BetabugsAudio entry? Like I said earlier, I got short of time for an entry. I had coded a compressor ages ago but never used it, and thought that it might be nice to do an update of our first plug-in 'SimpleSqueeze'. I toyed with the name 'SS22' partly because of the symmetry, and partly because of the tie-in with last year's EQ22; but Mully had other ideas, and sent me a GIF of him squashing a rubber-duckling! I mean how could I refuse imagery like that! So I got the audio code written, and Mully got the graphics done; from start to finish was > >


Duncan Parson

about 2 weeks (at the same time I was also doing PanGloss, a day job, and being a family man).

place, which I've set to ceiling at +2dB so you'll still get overshoots, but man, it's less than it could be.

For those acquainted with SimpleSqueeze, you'll know that it can do astonishing things to your audio, and I wanted the Duckling-Compressor to be in the same vein. Sadly Robert Randolf (the coder of SimpleSqueeze) lost all the original source files, so I was on my own in working out the parameters of our first release. I decided early on to do the internal sidechaining, and put in code to dynamically calculate a release time.

If you like that really pumping sound, choose the 'Fuzzy' or 'Ugly' setting, squash the duckling, put the MF and HF down at zero, and push the LF up until the 'breath' starts where you need it. For a more even sound, take the LF down, even out the MF, and push the HF a bit, use the 'Feathered' or 'Down' setting, and squash the duck to taste!

For those who need to know, DCDC's vital statistics are:

Not yet! (That's rather morbid!) I've enjoyed being part of the DCs tremendously, and seeing everyone else's contributions is great. Last year I entered the KVR monthly composition competition with a track made only with instruments and effects from the DC. I'd like to do the same again this year, but I'm not certain I'll have the time!

Thanks a lot Duncan. I've enjoyed getting my thoughts about it down! Thank you for the opportunity.

#018 October 2007

It can go really loud! There is an automatic makeup gain in the coding, and if you bear in mind that -40dB at 10:1 means a makeup of +36dB - and if the EQ isn't supplying anything to be compressed, then the audio is going to get that in full! I had to put a soft limiter in

I wish all the other entrants success in the voting, but most of all I commend the users to have a great time playing with the new toys!

Wusik Magazine

Threshold: Normal Duck: 0dB Fully Squashed Duck: -40dB Ratio Feathered: 4:1 Ugly: 10:1 Note this is automated via the 'Skweezy' parameter, and can slide smoothly to get any ratio in between EQ: This is implemented using really cheap 3dB/Oct LP filters and a bit of subtraction. It's not intended for sonic sculpting! The Xovers are at 300Hz and 7kHz, but the accuracy is questionable - thing is, it does the job quite well. Attack and Release: The attack is fixed at 10ms, whilst the release is dynamically altered between 50 and 1000ms. The louder the audio coming out of the EQ, the longer the release.

Do you have any last words?

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Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Stefan

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Stefan by Paul "Triple-P" Evans


Stefan Could you let us know a little about yourself? My name is Stefan HĂĽllĂŠn (or Hallen if you can't deal with those special characters :), and I'm 29 and live in beautiful Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden together with my girlfriend and our two cats. I started programming on computer about 19 years ago, with aid from my father when needed. He even helped me make my first softsynth back in 1996 or so. I started making music with trackers on Amiga and PC around 1992. From there on, it's all 'history'. I did, however, start working with SynthMaker stuff in 2004, and SynthMaker is something I really believe in and am passionate about, so these days that and making music are my biggest "computer interests". What made you develop Bagels for the DC, and why the name bagels?

Sure. It's a pure-synthesis drum synth, which instead of relying on using different synthesis methods for different drum sounds relies on providing a flexible synthesis method that can give you a wide range of different percussive and FX sounds. I've tried avoiding drifting into "feature creep mode", because I want to keep

I haven't had the chance to yet! Been way too busy, but I sure will. Last year was a treat, and this year seems to have raised the bar by quite a bit. Sure, Urs didn't participate this year, but the overall quality seems to have improved a lot. If there's a KVRDC'08 I think we can expect both higher quality and quantity that year too. Are you going to win? This year I don't think so, no. My synth, while fairly original due to its synthesis method, isn't exactly "in-your-face" or as bling-blingy as other entries, or my own entry last year, Anna. Apart from that I didn't have any time for beta-testing or building a proper factory preset bank, and the other entries seem really good! If they would've sucked hard I would've been quite certain about winning :). Would you like to add anything? I once again have to thank Ben, and even more so Tuz, for making all this possible. If I remember correctly, Tuz has been giving and giving to this community ever since he got a decent job (before that he really couldn't). Or am I confusing him with someone else now? Doesn't matter, Tuz rocks. And so do all the participants and donators. Thank you. I like bagel very much. Perfect plucks, it works very well. Thanks, I know I will be using it in my projects, which is what counts the most for me :)

#018 October 2007

Some readers might not know, but you have pretty killer drum synth called Smackbox. Could you give us some info on that?

Have you downloaded any of the other entry's for the challenge and what do you think of your competition?

Wusik Magazine

I made what you could call a "prototype version" after coding a few optimized resonant bandpass filters for another user who needed them for some simulations he was working on (which are bloody awesome, but I don't think I can tell you any more about them). I liked the sounds you could create with this type of synthesis so I decided to make a finished synth for the DC out of it. Something I started working on way too late however, two days before the deadline if I remember correctly. It's all a bit of a blur. The name was a suggestion from my girlfriend, so once again, she's the one being the source for my DC entry's name. Something I'm quite comfortable with, I think it's hard to come up with names I like.

it as versatile as possible without the need for lots of features. In that manner I'd say it belongs in the same family of drum synths as MicroTonic, which is a brilliant piece of software (in my opinion). Smackbox will be my first commercial synth (it will however be fairly cheap), so it will be interesting to see how that pans out. The beta testing has so far been a very good experience for me; the testers have been most helpful and proved to be a useful resource. I think I only have to release one more beta version before going final.

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Mucoder by Digital Messiah

Hey mucoder, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Congratulations on finishing Hypercyclic, and here's to hoping you put a good-sized dent in those polls.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Thanks!

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How do you feel about the response to it so far? Very positive! Both via DC Chat and mail I got quite some helpful and enthusiastic feedback; very heartwarming. So, to DC users reading this: thank you for that!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Sure. I'm a developer based in

Leuven. That's a small university town in Belgium, near Brussels. I got my teeth cut with midi programming in C and assembler on a C64, so that might give you an idea about my age. So the MIDImangling concept has been there for a year or so, but the specific ideas on how to do that came later, about two months before the DC deadline.

Now, companies have been known to test the market with free plug-ins before making the plunge into commercial software, so are these free plug-ins a way for you to launch your 'brand', or will we continue to see mucoder freebies? Hmm, both I guess. Doing freebies is a great way for testing out new concepts and getting user feedback, > >


Mucoder

Wusik Magazine

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Mucoder

not to mention the fun you get out of it. And even if the product isn't totally polished, people tend to forgive you because of the price/performance ratio. A nice effect as well is to alternate different Hypercyclic patches: e.g. more random ones alternated with more regular ones. Since it generates midi output, you are free to capture the midi of two different patches and alternate/loop them in your DAW. As to unexpected uses, I haven't really heard other people’s creations yet, but I sure would love to!

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

One (halfhearted) complaint I heard was that the presets seem to indicate a limited functionality; do you agree that they could better represent the power of the plug-in, and will more presets be added in the future?

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Yeah, there should really be more presets - I know. I hope to add more of them soon (if you have any and you don't mind me publishing them on my site, you're welcome to send them!) I mean Windows users (myself included) subconsciously take it for granted they are supported. While this is not nearly as evident on the other platforms.

What do you think of the lack of innovative (or fully realized) ideas in the Plug-in world, and

the commercial stigmata that rests on them? Hah! Don’t get me started.

Which plug-ins do you currently miss or would like to see created? I'd like to see more plug-ins that kind of capture what a musician (trained or untrained) does during the process of music creation. And then generate new stuff in a similar way. How and what exactly that would be is also a mystery to me at this point, but it seems a fascinating area at least. What's also fascinating is any attempt to rearrange musical concepts such that they become more intuitive to grasp for less-trained musicians. For instance, humans have an impressive visual pattern recognition skill. Why not use that to visually detect interesting musical structure and build user interfaces that harness that visual power? Tonespace tried to (modestly) do something like that (based on the excellent research work of Simon Holland and others). In the current DC crop, I find NickSonic's Blip very interesting as well.

What can we expect after the upcoming Tonespace 2? Yes, Tonespace 2.0 is planned for the end of this year if all works out as planned. It will be mainly the xplatform version of Tonespace 1.0, > >


Mucoder

based on the same foundation as Hypercyclic (but not incorporating Hypercyclic). I hope to achieve at least feature parity with 1.0, and maybe add some feature requests if time allows it. Like 1.0, it will be freeware. Mucoder is supposed to become the audio brand of my little micro-ISV, altalogix (that sounds a bit pretentious now that I wrote it down). I hope to professionalize stuff a bit more and release some payware next year. Maybe more elaborate versions of the freebies, maybe something else altogether, maybe both. To be honest, that part is still sketchy to me as well and depends also a bit on the feedback of the DC voters.

Which host does someone who codes these gems use, I wonder? And how do you feel about what's on offer right now, on all platforms?

What I find lacking is - not surprisingly perhaps - the support for MIDI-output from plug-ins. First you are sort of limited to the VST standard if you want to do that properly. Secondly, not all VST hosts deal with it , if at all, in a very intuitive way. You can get it working most of the time, but it remains a bit of an up-hill battle to explain to people how to use it, and it lacks the instant gratification that synth and FX plug-ins enjoy. Also, having to support both VST and AU is not exactly very cheap for developers. So, my dream would be one universal, broadly supported, crossplatform plug-in standard, with strong support for midi generators and effects, and with the routing view of EnergyXT. Oh well, it's good to still have dreams, right?

Thanks, the pleasure was all mine! BTW, if you're interested, more info at www.mucoder.com

#018 October 2007

Thank you again for your time, and much luck to any future endeavors!

Wusik Magazine

Well, the first thing a baby duck sees after getting out of the egg is its mother, right? For me that was Ableton Live, the first DAW I bought, which was introduced to me by a mate who was raving about it. (That is, not counting the urSteinberg DAW on the C64 I once had the pleasure to use). I still reach for Live first in many occasions. Increasingly though I have developed a liking for EnergyXT 2.0, especially during plug-in development. It starts blazingly fast and its MIDI routing is

second to none (wish all DAWS had the 'comps' view of eXT). Plus it's available on Linux. Cubase 4 I like for its all-round capabilities and for mixing. I have Logix 7.2 Express too, for testing on the Mac. Before I developed standalone versions, I also made good use of the tiny SAVIHost by Hermann Seib for debugging VSTs.

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Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Stefan

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Xoxos


Xoxos

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

> >

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Xoxos by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

Before the dc even started there was some controversy over your entry(s). What was up with that? Was it tough to get them to let the ‘sounds of nature’ in?

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Another developer had asked about submitting bundles earlier this year, and I understand Tuz had dissuaded them. I was well into the project before I placed an explicit inquiry to assure qualification as it wasn't indicated in the rules.

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Conveniently, Tuz and I chat a fair bit and I realized he had been aware of my project for over a month without discouraging me from it. When he told me it wouldn't be fair to the other developers to allow my bundle, I presented an argument using this datum and polled the forum, and was ceded qualification providing thematic cohesion and the lack of objection from the first dev. Each of the VST’s in the set are

specialized and wouldn't present much novelty compared to more flexible entries. What an amazing entry your 'sounds of nature' is. What inspired your entry? It is a very unique concept. Thank you! I was inspired by free academic sources, PDFs from CCRMA and acousticshut on the syrinx actually. I was building lots of waveguides and it seemed feasible and reasonable. The outcome had some favorable technical qualities and the other models made sense to do afterward. Monsoon season was beginning. Chris Kerry’s recent sem releases had low CPU and were applicable to modest candidates for the various forms. I spent a fair amount of time researching the subjects, weighed the options, and generally implemented low-mass abstractions I figured would be effective. > >


Xoxos

Posters have been asking for weather synthesizers for years. CCRMA said their oscine tract sounded like a raven. There’s a VSTi called little critters that has some looped bug samples. I’m sure there's a ton of patches on other synths. The Nord lead has a forest multi. Unique? Of course! The understanding of unique is complex. I keep an open ear for what birds, bugs and weather have to say.

After the challenge, do you have any new projects you will be working on? What's in the future for xoxos? I'm working on Breathcube 2, which will be profoundly improved now that I can code the logic in C++. In conjunction, I will release sem modules, VST implementations and video tutorials on building algorithmic applications from building blocks in SynthEdit. The new 'Clap of Luxury' clap synth is an expansion of a sound module from this process. Do you get the prize this year? If not who will?

I like lithium's Rastabox. I think it will have a lot of users. I’ve always liked spacedad's "can do" attitude. Speak & Pluck has some surprisingly authentic circuitbent tones.

I'd be pleased to win. For me, the dc is about promoting freeware. I think over time, we will see the return in independent developers who had access to ideas and tools made available by freeware.

Wusik Magazine

This year’s contest has some really good entries. Who impresses you in the DC.

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Robert

Robert Sugar Bytes

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Robert Sugar Bytes

Let’s start off by having you tell the readers a little bit about yourself. Sugar Bytes was founded in 2001 by two friends living in Berlin, Germany. We are music producers, live musicians and plug-in manufacturers. We love technology at work and we like a big and juicy sound. The stuff you are making is very different from what a lot of people are making. What inspires you to make these really different pieces of software?

The concept of assigning devices covers a lot of possibilities, so we just started working on our biggest project until now, a top secret sequencing product.

Here is the answer: Sugar Bytes means sweet sound packed into intelligent code, delivered by an intuitive interface. What kind of mark do you want to leave on the music software industry? We want to leave a mark in the musician’s heart. Our tools shall be known as fat sounding sources of inspiration which open up new ways of creating music or even new music styles. A top secret sequencing project sounds very intriguing. Could you give us any type of details about it? Yeah, the name will be Consequence ;) Roughly said, it will include midi transformer, step sequencer, piano roll editor and different kinds of step sequencers, chord sequencers and arpeggiators. It will soak a new world of sounds and melodies out of your existing gear and can work as a control center for all your midi devices. Artillery is a truly innovative plug-in as well as unique. Have they been well received?

#018 October 2007

Yes, we get a lot of kind feedback; people love the sound and the way they work. A lot of well known musicians use our soft in their setup: Tommy Lee, Modeselektor and Living Color if I may name a few... > >

Wusik Magazine

Our tools are the result of experiences on stage and in studio. During the production process and while playing live acts, we always stumble across limitations. So we build the tools that make life easier and inspire with a great sound and easy workflow. Artillery might be a good example: Artillery started off as a birthday present for a friend who releases records under the name Siriusmo. He wanted to control effects with his MIDI keyboard in real-time, but he could not find a suitable solution on the market. So we came to the idea that playing effects with midi notes is a huge innovation and made Artillery.

You know I have to ask why the name Sugar Bytes? Do you get any slack from people about the name?

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Robert Sugar Bytes

When did you first start coding plugins? We started in 2002, having some freaky ideas and programming small gadgets for ourselves and made our first real thing in 2003 with the release of Artillery. What is an ideal instrument to you? Without limitations, what would it be? We give our best to do come close to what we take for ideal. But existing sequencing software are still a bit limited in plug-in handling, for example, when it comes to sending audio, midi or automation between effect and instrument plug-ins. I think the ideal instrument would be a 3D holography of your virtual studio. It surrounds you and spends more attention to your body than the usual mouse-keyboard-monitor environment does. But yeah that’s far from reality. Maybe a mind-interface could also do a good job and that one is not too far in the future.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

What does your music making set-up consist of? Do you use mostly software?

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On stage we play with Toni Mahoni, a well known comedian from Berlin. There we have a classical band setup with a Roland Stage Piano, Takamine Akoustik and Duesenberg Electric guitar, Contra Bass and Neumann mics. In the Siriusmo live-project, our designhead programchild uses Artillery to resample and remix live vocals and playback on stage in real-time. Unique is used for synth solos there. The crowd is always rocked by the direct sound of Unique, especially when performing vowel filtering using the modwheel.

In the studio we have a lot of stuff, the Focusrite Saffire 10 IO has some great preamps and is used as the main audio interface, Also there is a rack of AXR gates, compressors and EQs, a racked tab v274 dual preamp, the Jomox Base 09, a Korg trident Synth, a Yamaha CS 15 monosynth, Vermona Formation 1 transistor organ from good old Eastern Germany. We have the great luck of having a Neumann Kunstkopf from the early 70ies, the integrated mics are great and used for nearly any recording, while the head makes a great hat stand. Vogue is our favorite channel strip; it’s so versatile and performs absolutely great with our Neumann mics. On the soft side we use Cubase SX3 as our sequencing environment. What music influenced you growing up and what do you listen to now? I personally like many different styles of music. I grew up with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, YES, Stevie Wonder... In the Mid 90’s, electro and techno came up, especially in Berlin that was a big movement. I fell into Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Daft Punk. My all-time favorites are Chopin, Billy Cobham, Squarepusher, Vitalij Kuprij, and Jordan Rudess. I guess my traditional Piano education, has made me especially looking for musical virtuosity. To wrap the interview up do you have any wisdom to impart on our readers? Just do it.


Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

The True E-mu Love Story

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Years ago, when world was much younger and the Internet merely a brave science fiction idea, my musical equipment was fairly simple: a Yamaha DX7, an E-mu sampler, a Behringer mixer and a DAT recorder. Oh, yes, I had computers, but they couldn't handle any audio back then. It was altogether a simple combination of an old Cakewalk as a midi sequencer, a few midi cables, various pieces of hardware and a bunch of audio cables. > >

by A. Arsov


All my main equipment was smuggled through the west-northern frontier, because there was no free trade in this part of south-east Europe, making all of the instruments on this side of the border much more expensive than in the rest of Europe. OK, maybe I should make sure that it is clear that there was nothing wrong with smuggling. At the time, one could easily categorize it as the main national sport. Everybody knew about it and everyone tolerated it. A good friend of mine told me about his border experience: Arriving at the border, the officer asked him if he had anything to declare for import duty. He replied: “No, nothing.” “OK, can you please open your car boot?” And there it was – they both stared at a huge guitar amplifier. A minute of silence ensued, after which the custom officer said: “So. Everything is OK. You can go now.” Expressing it in today’s computer terminology you might want to call it peer to peer. At the time it was more like poor to poor. He was a poorly paid public servant and my friend was just a poor student.

Trivial round

I eventually stood up, grabbed the telephone, put myself in the best cockney mood I could muster – and from that new perspective there was a sudden enlightenment. I couldn’t believe it. I saw the main electrical cable for my beloved Emu sampler unplugged from the wall lying on the floor. Gosh, what a relief!

#018 October 2007

It was a working day as usual. I was intending to start work on a TV commercial. Having just turned on my computer, keyboard, mixer, sampler – all done completely automatically - I switched on my PC monitor with my right hand. I started Cakewalk and opened some new arrangements in which I wanted to record some instruments. But, then … my Emu was dead. No light. No signal – nothing. I pressed few knobs,

There was a telephone number for European support on the last page of the manual. Total catastrophe – the only number for support was in the UK. Just my luck, these must be the only people in Europe who don't speak English. They just bark some sort of “wah, wah” in a cockney accent, and no one can understand a word. Plus, a telephone call to England at the time was so expensive that I found myself in cold sweat.

Wusik Magazine

To make a long story short – what I had were smuggled instruments and no local warranty. It was plug-and-pray technology. If something went wrong, you had to take it back across the border to some foreign service centre.

gave it a gentle slap (it always helped if a contact was bad), but still nothing. I was hoping it was just a bad contact. I tried the main button few more times. I also pushed all the other buttons, shook the cables on the back side, and did the same with midi cables. Yes, I stupidly checked every possible cable and button, literally trying everything and hoping that maybe the mere effort might help. I untwisted screws, pulled up the metal case and peered from a safe distance to see if something might look obviously wrong. I left the electricity on, as, obviously, how can you find a bad contact if there is no electric current? I even took the manual (always lying under my instruments) and leafed through looking for something to troubleshoot. Nothing. It was finally and painfully obvious that it was time for the last and the worst solution.

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news AES News news news news news news ws news news news Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

AES NYC sees the shipping version of RME's DMC-842 digital microphone interface Digital microphones become an affordable alternative RME/Synthax US, AES 2007, NYC; booth #743 (ictw) - AES NYC sees the launch of RME's DMC842 - the first multi-channel interface for digital microphones. The introduction of digital microphone technology into the pro audio sector has afforded sound engineers a greater degree of flexibility. At the same time, it has created a demand for interfaces that can control and handle digital microphones. Price wise the DMC842 digital microphone interface is comparable with conventional preamp/converter units such as RME's Micstasy. In addition to its role as an interface, the DMC-842 also acts as a power supply and control device for digital microphones, supporting the worldwide AES42 standard. Supporters of the Mode 1 and Mode 2 operating systems specified in the AES42 standard currently include, among others, Neumann, Sennheiser and Schoeps. Mode 1 permits an asynchronous operating system in which the microphone is supplied with Digital Phantom Power (DPP), but no control data can be transmitted "upstream". Working

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with several Mode 1 microphones requires the use of sample rate converters, which have already been implemented in the DMC-842. Mode 2 allows microphones to be synchronized and control data for adjusting gain, polar patterns, hipass filter and compression settings to be sent. Further functions are already specified in the AES42 standard and availability depends on the individual microphone. The cost of running digital microphones with a DMC-842 is comparable with that of many standard analogue microphone-preamp/converter set ups. What's more, it affords greater ease of use, with better quality and enhanced functionality - depending on the application. In many respects, the DMC-842 is an ideal companion to RME's Micstasy. Using the same interface connections as Micstasy (ADAT-SMUX and AES/EBU in series, MADI and other optional formats) it ensures problem-free assembly of combined systems for both analogue and digital microphones. The DMC-842 even includes analogue line level outputs, so there are no problems if pure analogue devices are included in the chain, for example when monitoring. The ability to switch the Digital Phantom Power on or off on individual channels means that the

news > >


news AES News news

new

news news news ne news news news news news news DMC-842 can handle "normal" AES/EBU signals at the same time. Thanks to the built-in SRC (sample rate converters), these can also be asynchronous. To adjust the various microphone parameters, RME has produced a free Windows-based software application that communicates with the DMC-842 via MIDI. As with Micstasy, the DMC842 also supports the transfer of MIDI data over MADI as well as over AES/EBU-Signals. All the main microphone parameters are also directly accessible from the unit itself. The DMC-842 is priced at $ 4.199.-. RME is also offering the unit with a built-in I64 MADI card - the DMC-842 M version. http://www.rme-audio.com

Wusik Magazine

zplane.development release version 1.1 of vielklang with RTAS support Berlin, October 4th, 2007 (ictw) – Today zplane.development released version 1.1 of vielklang, the audio

> >

#018 October 2007

Hi Performance Express Card from RME launched at AES The new HDSPe ExpressCard/34 connects existing RME Interfaces with modern PCIe slotted Notebooks. AES/ New York – October 6th, 2007 (ictw) – At AES RME present their new ExpressCard solution for modern PCIe Notebooks. The HDSPe ExpressCard is specified as an ExpressCard/34 and provides the same features as the successful PCMCIA version. The card comes with drivers for Windows XP (multi-

client operation of MME, GSIF and ASIO 2.0) and brand new drivers for Windows Vista and Vista 64. Apple users are perfectly served with Power PC and MAC Universal (Intel) drivers providing Core Audio and Core MIDI support. The new HDSPe ExpressCard features RME´s own high-speed serial audio data bus, as used in the Multiface, Multiface II, Digiface and RPM DJ Interfaces. These systems are owned and used by ten thousands of audio professionals around the planet. For users looking for a no-compromise high-speed audio recording solution combined with ultimate compatibility, these devices are state of the art. With the HDSPe ExpressCard the further use of the existing range of RME´s I/O boxes with next generation mobile computers and in Windows VISTA environments is secured. The HDSPe ExpressCard will be available in December 2007 for an expected rrp. of USD 349,-. Further Information and technical details available at: www.rme-audio.com

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AES News

news

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

news news news news news ws news news news harmonization instrument for easy generation of vocal or instrumental harmonies with up to four voices. The utilization of voice leading and harmony progression models allows vielklang to create harmony parts in a more musical way than traditional harmony processors and makes it a versatile and creative tool for musicians, songwriters and producers. Version 1.1 now offers support for the RTAS interface and includes the following new features: · two-voice harmonization mode, generating only a second voice in a typical backing vocal style · availability of 7th chords · timing humanization control · single note splitting and muting · drag’n’drop and file export of audio and midi data About vielklang vielklang allows quick and easy creation of natural sounding backing vocals, brass sections, and other harmony parts with up to four voices. It offers a new musical approach for the generation of the voicings: rather than synthesizing plain parallel voicings, vielklang takes into account the melodic context to create a chord-based arrangement and is thus able to produce musical harmonizations instantly. Automatic recognition engines take care of

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initialization of obvious parameters like root note and key to let the user to focus on musical issues rather than tedious plugin configuration. While vielklang will provide instant and meaningful results, experienced users have the option to edit the result with parameters like range (ambitus) or the distribution of the voices, to modify root note and scale, to edit single harmonies and to change each single pitch of each individual voice. vielklang’s main features are: * musical harmonization using voice-leading and harmony progression models * adjustable pitch correction, delay, timing humanization, timbre, volume, and pan for each voice * Audio-to-MIDI * MIDI-controlled snapshot system allows several harmonizations per audio input * one-click modification of tempo, pitch, scale and harmonies * plug and play: don’t waste time with tedious configuration vielklang 1.1 is available for RTAS (Mac OS X, Windows), VST (Mac OS X, Windows) and Audio Units (Mac OS X) at a MSRP of $249.00/€179.00. For registered owners of vielklang 1.0 the update is free of charge. More at: vielkang.zplane.de

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news AES IK News news new news news news ne news news news news news news by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

Announcing ARC System: Advanced Room Correction System for DAW-based studios

The First Acoustic Room Correction System in a Plug-in

October 2007, Modena, Italy – IK Multimedia is pleased to announce ARC System: Advanced Room Correction system, the first acoustic room correction system in a DAW plug-in.

One of the most critical factors influencing the quality of a music production is the accuracy of the monitoring system. In fact, the combination of speakers and room acoustics prove to be the weakest link in the music production chain. When monitors are placed in a room, the surrounding walls, ceiling, furniture and other objects reflect and absorb their sounds; creating complex distortions specific to the room- causing them to lose the accuracy they have been designed for, and you end up hearing more of the sound of the room than the music actually being produced.

to acoustical problems for any DAW-based studio. Combining a professionally calibrated microphone, standalone software that captures sound information and calculates proper room correction, and a multi-platform plug-in: this technology will improve how your studio sounds forever. ARC features the revolutionary Audyssey MultEQ® technology, which measures acoustical information throughout the listening area in your studio. It then combines this information to provide an accurate representation of the room’s acoustical problems. The equalization solution then corrects for both time and frequency response problems more effectively and efficiently than any other room correction EQ on the market. The result is a clear and reliable representation of your mix. Regardless of the acoustical issues in your studio, what you are recording, mixing or mastering becomes immediately clear and reliable and your studio sound will improve forever. www.ikmultimedia.com/arc/index2.php

ARC System delivers the most advanced solution

> >

Wusik Magazine #018 October 2007

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news

AES IK News

news news news news news ws news news news StompIO Shipping Next Month, Prices and Software Announced

The Most Advanced Guitar/Bass Amp & FX System In Details

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

October 2007, Modena, Italy – IK Multimedia is pleased to announce that the long awaited StompIO™, USB floor controller and audio interface, will start shipping in November. The StompIO gives you full control over the 5 current “Powered by AmpliTube®” software/plug-ins (AmpliTube 2, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix™, Ampeg® SVX, AmpliTube Metal™ and AmpliTube 2 Live) and also future packages, with the same feeling of a traditional hardware floor processor - no need to even look at the computer screen or touch the mouse - for a combination of hardware and software making it the most powerful guitar amp and FX system ever made.

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You can finally play live with ultimate amp and FX modeling software and an unprecedented sound quality, power and flexibility-which will revolutionize your stage and studio guitar and bass rigs. Immediately access thousands of amp combinations and hundreds of effects with fully selectable and configurable stomp boxes, amp-heads, cabinets + mics and rack effects. All of this can be used as standalone software for live play or integrated as a plug-in with the most popular DAWs such as Pro Tools®, Cubase®, Logic®, Live™ and more. www.amplitube.com/prod_StompIO.php

> >

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news AES IK News news

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news news news ne news news news news news news Announcing AmpliTube Metal

The Metal Distortion Powerhouse Software/Plug-in

October 2007, Modena, Italy – IK Multimedia is proud to announce AmpliTube Metal, the high-gain amps and distortion FX metal powerhouse in a single plug-in.

For the first time, a plug-in entirely dedicated to heavy-metal gear with an arsenal of 36 highly acclaimed modern/vintage amps and stomp box models spanning from the late 70’s through the 90’s. 7 highly sought-after distortion pedals plus 5 other must-have metal stomp-boxes, 4 amp heads and 8 cabinets for 32 high-gain amp combinations, plus 8-rack effects that rock! If you want a distortion powerhouse go for the Metal…

All of this available in the familiar and extremely easy-to-use Powered by AmpliTube interface which is laid down the same way your guitar rig is set up and with controls never more than 2 clicks away. - 12 Stomp effects with highly acclaimed distortion models

- Stand-alone and VST/AU/RTAS plug-in for all popular DAWs

Wusik Magazine

- 4 Power amps

- Speed-Trainer for riff tracking

- 8 cabinet effects

- Powered by AmpliTube®

- 4 microphones

- 8 post FX racks

- Exclusive DSM™ (Dynamic Saturation Modeling) technology - MacOSX and XP/Vista compatible

- Digital tuner

http://www.amplitube.com/metal

> >

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- 2 fully configurable rigs with up to 32 insertable effects

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news

AES IK News

news news news news news ws news news news Announcing AmpliTube X-GEAR

Expandable Guitar Effects & Amp Rig System

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

October 2007, Modena, Italy – IK Multimedia is proud to announce AmpliTube® X-GEAR (eXpandable Guitar Effects & Amp Rig). AmpliTube X-GEAR is a software shell-host that allows you to open, in stand-alone and plug-in mode, ANY current and future “Powered by AmpliTube” product in a single interface (AmpliTube 2, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix™, Ampeg® SVX, AmpliTube Metal and AmpliTube 2 Live) with full mixing between their huge numbers of accurately modeled gear and the ability to control this fully expandable guitar and bass amp and FX system live with the StompIO™.

Cutting edge, stage-ready, guitar and bass amp and FX system. Through the new AmpliTube X-GEAR shell, any “Powered by AmpliTube” application can be controlled live with the StompIO for the ultimate stage rig. The StompIO is the only USB floor controller that gives you the same feeling of playing your computer like a high-end hardware floor processor with its 10 floor-board switches, 6 knobs, 2 large displays and up to 6 external switches/expression pedals with no need to ever see the screen or touch the mouse. StompIO is the first of a new generation of PC/Mac based guitar and bass FX systems that offers incomparable sound quality, flexibility, expandability, upgradeability, portability and the number/management of presets, in respect to traditional guitar and bass gear.

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Mix any “Powered by AmpliTube” gear models to build your ultimate custom tone. AmpliTube X-GEAR also allows you to load in any of the 5 “Powered by AmpliTube” gear models together in a single interface with full mixing capabilities among the astounding number of 128 different and accurately modeled gear. Plus, all future “Powered by AmpliTube” products will allow even more expandability to further build your ultimate custom guitar and bass tone.

news

www.amplitube.com/x-gear


Enigma Engine Mallory's Preset Generator for WusikEngine With this amazing utility program you can create thousands of semi-randomly generated presets for your WusikEngine SoundSets. Presets are based on 8 carefully designed algorithms, each targeting a particular type of sound.

Features include: • Presets can be created for WusikEngine V1 and V2/V3 according to preference. • Many parameters affecting the algorithms can be tweaked according to taste. • Presets can utilize sounds from multiple Sound Sets simultaneously. Supports many popular WusikEngine SoundSets, including: • Famous Keys Wusikstation)

(default

soundset

for

• Famous Keys Plus 1, 2 & 3 • Digi One • TSW, TSW Pro and Vox'd, by BITR • Manystation and Ultimate Bass Kit, by Manytone Music • SoundCell 1-3, Oberheim Resurrection and Viral Outbreak Vol 1 by Nucleus Soundlab

Only $19.99

• Ignition, Fuel and SonicScapes vol 1, by Danger ous Bear • Prepared Rhodes etc, by Zvon • Drone Structures

Now includes a utility that allows users to add support for any other SoundSets not yet directly supported internally (perhaps commercial sets converted from another format). Sound Designers can also use this to provide support for new SoundSets without requiring my input.

System Requirements: CPU: Pentium 4 or better O/S: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP RAM: At least 512MB HD: At least 100MB free space Microsoft's .NET framework V1.1 The Enigma Engine software is built upon Microsoft's .NET Framework v1.1 In order to run the Enigma Engine software, you must have the .NET Framework v1.1 installed on your system. V1.1 can happily co-exist alongside the later V2.0 of the framework but you do not need to download that. Also there is no need to uninstall V2.0

For more screenshots, a freely downloadable demo or to purchase the program, visit:

www.wusik.com/w/enigma.html


John Cage One11 and 103

(1992) A film by John Cage and Henning Lohner

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

MODE DVD: Mode 174, www.moderecords.com

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by Warren Burt


John Cage John Cage (1912-1992) was undoubtedly one of the pioneers of electronic music, but the almost total domination of music criticism and publicity by commercial music today means that many people just starting out in electronic music may never have heard of him.

superscript. Hence, “One11” is the eleventh work in the series that Cage wrote for a solo performer. In this case, the solo performer is a cameraperson, Van Carlson, who is responsible for operating the camera that made this remarkable film. One of the critical things about Cage’s work is that very early on in his career, he decided what the purpose of music was for him, and stuck to that definition for the rest of his life. This was a definition wildly at odds with consensus views of the purpose of music, which usually involved ideas of individual expression, conveyance of emotion, or even providing emotional underpinning for visuals; but they were ideas that had solid historical precedents, both in classical Indian philosophy and European Renaissance aesthetics.

#018 October 2007

In the middle 1940s, Cage found a quote in classical Indian texts that said that the purpose of music was “to sober and quiet the mind, thus rendering it susceptible to divine experience.” A little while > >

Wusik Magazine

Cage was an incredibly inventive person, always trying to do things he had never done before, both physically and aesthetically. His work (which spans a period of 60 years, from the early 30s to the early 90s), is full of surprises, delights and aesthetic twists and turns. At one moment he can produce a noisy live-electronic work like Cartridge Music (1960), and at another, a work of almost traditional beauty, harmony, form and proportion such as the String Quartet in Four Parts (1949-50). He could produce music with more sounds in it, and of thicker texture, than just about anyone, such as the sound-collage for radio, Roaratorio (1979); and works which had just a few sounds spread over a vast plain of silence, such as the Music for Piano series from the mid1950s. And he could produce music that was as serious as your life (HPSCHD, 1969-70 for 52 computer generated tapes, 7 harpsichords, and numerous films and slides) and work that was as funny and loony as anything produced by Monty Python or the Goons (Birdcage, 1972, for processed electronic and environmental sounds).

In his last years, he worked on a series of very refined, austere works known as the “Number” pieces, so called because the titles of them give the number of performers required. So a piece called “Four,” (1989), is a gorgeous string quartet, while a piece called “103” is a piece for full orchestra of 103 instruments. If there was more than one work written for the number of performers, the number got a

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John Cage later, Cage’s friend and artistic associate Lou Harrison found almost exactly the same quote in the writings of the English Renaissance composer Thomas Mace. Faced with this coincidence of definition, Cage decided that that was indeed the purpose of music, and that European-based music since the Renaissance, whether classical or popular, had been based on a mistaken premise, that of individual expression.

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#018 October 2007

Over the next 3 decades, Cage worked assiduously on developing an aesthetic that would allow sounds to exist in a way where the intention of the creator was at least at one level removed from direct expression. He did this through the use of very refined process-oriented systems of composing, usually using some form of chance, or randomness in the composing process.

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The Chinese classic, the IChing, was used by Cage as a kind of sophisticated random number generator, which provided answers to questions Cage proposed during his composing. For example, he might ask – how many notes (from 1 to 8, say) are in this next gesture? He would use the I-Ching process for a number from 1 to 8 to find out. Then he might ask, are these notes heard as a chord, or as a melody? That would be a question with an answer of either 1 (the chord), or 2 (the melody). This process would be repeated as many times as

necessary to generate all the decisions necessary to make a piece. Along the way of composing the piece, sections of the process would be tried out, and if the results were not “working,” (that is, they produced results that sounded lifeless, predictable, or too close to traditional results), the process would be re-designed so that better results would be obtained. This revision process could last quite a long time (as in Apartment House 1776 (1976)), or it could be skipped altogether if the results sounded promising. By the late 1960s, Cage had automated the I-Ching process, producing, with the help of several computer programmers, computer versions of his random-number generating processes. The final one of these, IC, designed by Cage and his assistant Andrew Culver, is still available on the net. A (www.newmus.net/filelib.htm) DOS program, it provides numerical output which the composer has to decide how to use. “One11 and 103” is Cage’s last major work, completed just a few weeks before his sudden and unexpected death in August 1992. It’s a 90 minute black and white film with orchestra music soundtrack, or rather, a choice of two possible orchestral music soundtracks, each of which is a different performance of the same work, “103.” Since there is quite a bit of performer-choice (but not improvisation) involved in > >


John Cage the score to “103,” the two soundtracks are quite different travelling through the same musical map. The film itself has no subject, no characters, and no plot. It’s simply (or not so simply) a progression of light patterns projected on a wall, sometimes changing slowly, and sometimes changing quite rapidly. The entire film is simply made of patterns of spotlights on a wall! And given Cage’s interest in making pieces where our attention is focused on the materials of making the piece, this is quite an understandable choice. That is, if the “subject” of music is not “emotion” or “expression”, but the play of sound and silence, then the “subject” of film can be the play of patterns of light and darkness.

#018 October 2007

This piece is a masterpiece of abstract art – sensuous, refined, slow moving, and very beautiful. Its duration of 90 minutes is standard for a narrative film, but not for an abstract film with an equally abstract (and equally computer-composed) orchestral soundtrack. At first, I found it difficult to settle into the rhythm of the piece. In fact, on my first viewing, it took me about ½ an hour to sink into its graceful rhythm. I’m glad I made the effort, though, because slowing down like that allowed me to experience things in a manner I would not have otherwise done. The pleasure of movement, of light for its own sake, of slow moving orchestral music textures, of subtle and slow change, was well worth experiencing. It was not a “pure” experience, but a very rich one. It was an experience of “materials,” if you will, of becoming acutely aware of the quality of film and all its imperfections – not as “flaws,” but as part of the experience of working with light sensitive celluloid. > >

Wusik Magazine

And play the patterns do – this black and white film (which looks quite different as projected celluloid and as a DVD) allows us to see things happen which we normally wouldn’t because we’re distracted by narrative and photographic subject matter. That is, Cage here once again gives us a way to perceive that which is normally there, but which we normally don’t notice. Here we do notice them: patterns of light, shapes of light, speeds of fade ins and fade outs, little flickers of light on the lens, scratches on the film; parabolic, oval and circular shapes of spotlights at first, and later in the film, quite complex composite shapes which must have been made by the intersections of several spotlights with different filters; and

above all, the sensuous quality of light itself, of afterimage, and of slow change. All these movements were determined by a very elaborate computer-assisted composing process, which is discussed in detail in the two excellent documentaries that accompany the film on the DVD. In one of them, the process itself is shown. In the other, cameraman Carlson and producer Lohner discuss the process of composition and revision as it occurred during the making of the film.

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#018 October 2007 Wusik Magazine

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The orchestral score as well has a lovely transparency to it. Even in the thickest chords, the tones of the individual instruments usually don’t “cohere” (unlike in many newage influenced sound designs), and this allows your ear to wander between each timbre, each individual instrumental line. It should be noted that the film and the music were written and designed separately – they were composed to be the same duration, however, since Cage had decided that they were to be placed next to each other to make the overall piece. As such, the two drift along – being together, and sometimes, unexpectedly, even commenting on each other, but not reinforcing each other in the way film soundtracks usually do. In fact, it was very refreshing to hear and see this – that the pictures and the sound could each have a life of their own, and that our senses were perfectly willing and able to process this information, this juxtaposition.

during the interview documentary, we became acutely aware of the changing patterns of light on the wall behind the interview subjects! Cage’s film and his art have once more worked their magic on us, showing us once again the delights and joys of perception, the pleasures of a world looked at for its own qualities, independent of those qualities we might or might not want it to have.

As mentioned above, the two documentaries that accompany the film are great. They show the care given to the meticulous making of the piece – random numbers may have been used to make decisions, but there was nothing “haphazard” about making this film. In the interview documentary, cameraman Carlson goes into great detail about how the process was used to make each scene, and gives a very good insight into Cage’s acute sense of revision in the making of his works. And having seen the Cage film,

In short, if you want to experience a different way of making art, a different set of ideas about art, and a careful presentation or those ideas, you should experience this DVD. It may even give you plenty of ideas for your own composing, and your own use of synthesizers!

As an interesting sidelight, Carlson says that after making this film, in his commercial work, every time he applied a lesson he learned from working on the Cage film, some producer would immediately pick up on that, and tell him not to do that. Thus we learn of the incredibly restrictive codes used (almost intuitively) by narrative film-makers to tell their stories. How much of real life there is, just waiting to be seen and experienced, beyond the restrictiveness of “their stories!”


Add some Brass Power to your Wusikstation with the Marching Band Horn from Les Productions Zvon.

356 MB of samples and over 300 presets by ToTc and Zvon!

Visit our Web-site: www.lesproductionszvon.com/Zvon_horn02.htm

Don't forget to also check outour other soundsets for the Wusikstation: - Prepared Rhodes - IYTTIW modified trumpet - Electronic Drums and Percussion kits

- Julie Resynth


FXpansion’s 1.5

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by David Keenum

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Isn’t technology wonderful? Or maybe I should say, “Aren’t the advancements in technology wonderful?” I remember, way back, when I got my first drum machine. It was a Roland TR-626. I didn’t know it would become a classic. All I knew was that it sounded like a drummer… that is, until I heard the Alesis HR-16. Now that sounded like a drummer! Well, at least it did until I heard a real drummer. And that was the problem with being a MIDI drummer; the track didn’t sound exactly like a “real” drummer. Close, but not exactly - and I wanted it to sound like a “real” drummer. There was always the skill of programming MIDI drums to where they sound “real,” but there was also something missing from the sound, something from the samples themselves. Then I came across drum loops! Finally, real drummers! But, again, there were limitations. It was repetitious and things like fills and cymbal crashes were problematic. You can usually get around

drum track, but it can take a lot of time. And it can still leave you a little unsatisfied. Personally, both drum and percussion loops have served me well.

Wusik Magazine

the limitations and create a convincing

They add realism to the drum and

music to become something of an acoustic/electronic hybrid. That’s okay, but sometimes I just want it to sound like a real drummer… without a real drummer! > >

#018 October 2007

percussion parts. But it has caused my

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Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Enter BFD

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You could describe BFD as a drum sample player with a built-in MIDI file player, but that only begins to describe it. It is a sample player, but take a look at the detail of the samples! BFD comes with 9 GB of samples from 7 drum kits, plus some extra drums and cymbals. The individual drums have as many as 46 (!) velocity layers. So we’re talking detail when we talk about this sample set. Now if this doesn’t give you enough variety, FXpansion offers several add-on products. The biggest is the BFD Deluxe Collection weighing in at a whopping 55 GB, and it has up to 128 velocity levels! There are also a few 3rd party Expansion Packs as well as a 26 GB Percussion

Expansion Pack if you need this much detail in your percussion tracks. So I guess we could be talking about a new hard drive really soon. One of the reasons for the large sample sets is the fact that every drum has direct, overhead, room, and PZM samples. Seventeen different mics were used to record BFD, with each drum recorded by 11 mics. BFD allows you to mix the different samples in a variety of ways, but the easiest is right in the BFD mixer. In fact, the mixer offers a wide variety of options. You can, for example, vary the width of the overhead mics or how far the room mics are from the kit. > >


The BFD Family

#018 October 2007

BFD comes in 4 different versions: BFD Stereo sums all the mixer buses to one stereo output. BFD Groups outputs

each stereo bus as an independent stereo output. The BFD All version has individual outs for each kit-piece, as well as stereo outputs for the Overhead, Room and PZM buses. BFD Ultra gives you 6 stereo and 22 mono outputs, plus 3 stereo general-purpose outputs. There is also a stereo stand-alone version and a rewire version. The rewire version is for hosts that do not support multiple outputs. This may seem like an odd way of handling this, but (at least for me) it actually simplified my choices. My guess is that you will probably only use one or two versions, based on your host and the way you work. > >

Wusik Magazine

You can vary the balance between the top and bottom snare mics. You can even “tune� (change the pitch of) the drums. Just the ability to adjust the levels of the direct, overhead, room, and PZM mics is extraordinary, but it is only the beginning of the editing options. The mixer is deep! The options are deep! But if you need to EQ, compress, or in any way use effects on individual drums, there are options for that as well.

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Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Groove Librarian

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Another major component of BFD is the built-in MIDI file player, called the Groove Librarian. Described in the manual as an integrated autoaccompaniment module, the Groove Librarian has slots for 24 MIDI files to be used as groove files and 12 MIDI files to be used as fills. You can use the “grooves” and “fills” in a variety of ways. If the hundreds of supplied files are not enough, you can also import General MIDI (GM) files (both types 0 and 1). But the BFD files are slightly different from GM files because of the addition of ruffs, flams, etc. You can sync the Groove Librarian to your host, play the Groove Librarian from a MIDI track in your host,

or open the Groove Librarian’s MIDI file in a MIDI track of your host. Opening the “Groove” file in your host allows you to customize the MIDI file. The Groove Librarian is well developed. You have a number of ways to modify how the MIDI files play. For example, you can humanize (randomize) both velocity and quantize (timing). The velocity screen is based on a graph, but the quantize screen is just plain fun. As you loosen the quantize to more swing, the image morphs from a robot (straight quantize) to a beatnik (swing). Fun stuff. Incidentally, the velocity humanize function affects all incoming MIDI data, while the quantize function only affects the Groove Librarian. > >


The Manual

The Evaluation

And this brings up a point about the depth of BFD: when I describe it, I’m just scratching the surface as far as customizing options and uses are concerned. In using BFD I found that I needed to refer to the PDF manual quite often. I’m not implying that BFD is cumbersome or unclear. Rather it is a result of so many options and possibilities. BFD is designed for a variety of uses. It can be used for drum replacement, as a sound module for an electronic drum kit (hence the standalone mode), or as a VSTi, DXi, AU, and RTAS player/drum module. The manual explains all of these uses and the wide number of options for customizing BFD. So the manual became a necessity for me. If you were to only use BFD as a drum module, you could get it up and working without any problems. But even then you may be missing some of BFD’s editing options. So read the manual.

After spending some time with BFD, I have some opinions. First of all, the sound of the drums is… awesome! I don’t want to gush, but they sound so good! In case I haven’t made it clear enough already, the drums sound real, just like you’re hearing them on your monitors while the drummer is playing in the drum room. I am impressed. The interface is also excellent. It is very easy to adjust the balance of the individual drums, or the level of the room mics, or any aspect of mixing the drums. There is no insert for EQs or compressors, but you can use BFD All or BFD Rewire if you need external processing. The Groove Librarian is fun and useful for auditioning drums. In the context of a song, I think it is best to use the host’s MIDI track and edit that track to best match the song. The enclosed BFD grooves make a great place to start that track, but finger drumming or drumming with pads might make for make for easier work in creating a drum track.

The Website

#018 October 2007

I used BFD to create a loop for a chill/ambient track and to create a livesounding drum track. While BFD’s drums have a consistently professional sound, creating an authentically accurate drum track with MIDI still has its challenges. It takes some skill and patience, but it is worth the effort if real drums are your goal. The loops from the Groove Library go a long way toward helping with the skill level, but you still have to put it all together. For me, creating the loop was > >

Wusik Magazine

In addition, the website contains several helpful tutorials. They cover several uses for BFD, as well as well as a series of 9 short “quick start” videos. All the videos were well done and helpful. In fact, the FXpansion website is a good resource, even if you’re just considering a purchase of BFD. There is a lot of information on the recording of the BFD samples, and you can even audition the drums included in BFD. If you are willing to register, you can download a demo of BFD.

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very easy. Just import the MIDI loop into a MIDI track, set the markers, and render. And the room mics gave the loop a cool ambience. The drum track, on the other hand, took a lot more work.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

So how does BFD stand up to drum loops? Drum loops may be easier, but BFD allows you to create an authentic track, not just a loop. It allows you to change drums and then edit those drums. It allows you to adjust the overhead or room mics. It allows you to adjust the tempo wherever you want. It allows you to . . . well, you get the picture. And if you use the enclosed MIDI loops (Groove Librarian), it can be just like using audio loops, except you get all the editing ability of BFD. So in that sense, BFD, with a couple of extra steps, is an even better looper. Many of the Groove Librarian MIDI loops are played by drummers, so they have a live feel to them already. And, of course, you can edit the loop.

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But, at least in my opinion, BFD’s strength lies in its potential to create “real” drum tracks with all of the subtleties of a live drummer. In order to do that, you cannot treat BFD like a drum machine. With 46 different velocity layers, a consistent velocity of 127 for the snare drum seems a little wasteful doesn’t it? You’re going to have to learn to think like a drummer. I know that is scary for us in-control keyboard types,

and it conjures up images of drummers we have known (wink)! But be brave, it will be worth the effort. If you listen to the demos on the FXpansion’s website, you’ll be convinced that authentic drum tracks are possible. All that remains is figuring out how to do it. And if I were to issue a caution about BFD it would be that getting from purchasing BFD to creating drum tracks like you hear on the demos will demand some skill development for the average non-drummer. BFD will give you the tools, but you will need to learn to use them. I think the easiest and quickest way to start would be to mix and match grooves and fills in the Groove Librarian and trigger them from a MIDI track. The 4th Streamworks Audio tutorial (on the right side of the screen on the tutorial page), titled BFD – The Groove Librarian, demonstrates this, but, as I’ve said before, also consult the manual. Subtleties like velocity randomization and quantization might liven things up a bit. Let me make one final point on this subject. When I first started checking into BFD, I assumed that all the drums were played in with electronic drum kits, or at least with finger pads. But it seems that there is a fair share of drum tracks played in with a keyboard. So it is possible to program BFD tracks with finger drumming on your keyboard. > >


Conclusion If I understand the story correctly, BFD was developed as a front end for a very detailed and carefully recorded drum set library. Even if that is so, the interface is no afterthought. It is just as well conceived and executed. To sum it up: the drums are accurately and artfully recorded, the Groove Librarian has many uses, and the mixer is deep and complete. Now I only have one excuse left if my drum tracks don’t sound real . . . me! So I’m going to work on my “finger drumming” chops. Addendum By the time you read this, BFD 2 should have been announced.

I don’t know a release date

or any insider information, but I’ve heard rumors of built-in studio-quality EQ, compression and effects, a fresh new library, and expanded MIDI. If this interests you, then point your browser over to www.fxpansion.com and see what you find.

BFD 1.5 $199 Expansion Packs:

BFD Jazz & Funk $249.00 BFD Percussion $249.00 BFD 8 Bit Kit – This product has been discontinued and may be hard to find.

Wusik Magazine

BFD XFL $249.00

FXpansion may have a few copies left, so

They will sell it as long as stocks last. Third Party Expansion Packs: Andy Johns - Classic Drums $249.95 Joe Barresi - Evil Drums $249.95

#018 October 2007

contact them if you can’t find it elsewhere.

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Modelonia by NUSofting www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com

by Mike Felker

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Have you ever wanted to take a Tuba, stretch and pull and contort it until it was a pretzel, scale it up to over 30 feet tall and require a mouthpiece the size of a Chevy Truck? How about a trumpet the size of a Buick? A French horn no bigger than your pinkie finger? I know, how about a flute and a flugel horn combined. Think these are all just brass hogwash and fantasies. Think again.

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Introducing Modelonia, by NUSofting. Now in version 1.2.0, this incredible virtual instrument allows you to create all kinds of instruments, from brass and woodwind to marimbas and reeds. You can also throw in some nylon or steel acoustic guitar while you're

at it. However, none of this amazes most; the most amazing thing about Modelonia - the fact that just makes me completely bewildered - is that there is not a single sample to be found. That's right ladies and gentlemen, Modelonia models these instruments and more, and does so in such an incredibly fun, easy and fantastic fashion, that you won't believe the results even after you tweaked, contorted and played your creations all through the night. Modelonia ships with 128 instrument presets to get you started and there are plenty more available on their website. It has so many variables and tweakable parameters - this bad boy is deep at a major level. > >


Modelonia

Modelonia has a very nice preset browser and you can save to industry standard fxp and fxb files. Modelonia has far too many features to go over in this small review, but I can break down the general graphic user interface for you. In the upper left are the LFO1 and LFO2 controls. You can alter the shape, sync and rate of each one with drop down lists and radial knobs. Underneath the LFO section is the aforementioned Sound Wizard and Preset Browser and next to that is a diapson on/off button. To the right of the LFO area is the Envelope section which houses sliders for your standard ADSR envelope and a SMOOTH on/off button. > >

Wusik Magazine

So what do we mean, modelled? There are no waveforms (samples), no pre-recorded anything. Modelonia uses sophisticated algorithms and clever programming to create realistic and otherworldly timbres, but it does so with a very easy to use interface. If you are not just happy to use the included presets, like I am, then there are several ways to create your own sounds. My favourite way is to use the Sound Wizard, a nice way to begin any new instrument creation. The drop down box asks you whether you want to create a plucked, flute, horn, basic wave, pad, marimba, bell, EP tremolo, or a nylon or reed instrument. After that, you tweak the knobs and sliders until you are satisfied.

#018 October 2007

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Modelonia

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

To the right of the Envelope section is the Modulation Matrix. Using nothing but knobs, you can alter LFO's and envelopes organized by horn, string, noise and other variables. This section has a massive

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impact on the overall sound of your instrument. It is way too cool when tweaking this 3x6 matrix of knobs. The slightest twist can change your instrument entirely. Way too much fun for words! > >


Modelonia

Underneath the Sound Wizard is the Pick alteration area. This is where you define a stringed instruments pick and how it reacts on the strings (I told you this bad boy was deep). To the right of the Pick area is the Noise section, where we define, using sliders and knobs, the Filter, Gain, Velocity, Keytrack, and Noise. Using similar sliders, knobs and on/off buttons in the section to the right, the Lips section, you can define how soft or hard you blow your instrument, how big your lips are, how much buzz and many other kissable factors. It's all in the lips, baby!

#018 October 2007

There is one last section. The entire bottom portion of Modelonia is a step sequencer for string and horn - kind of like a coarse and fine tuning section made > >

Wusik Magazine

Yes, there's more. Underneath the Pick section is an area devoted to how strings react and perform. Using the now comfortable knobs, sliders and switches, we define our stringed

instruments. The right side of this row is dedicated to Horn instruments with similar controls. The line underneath this row has a parameter window to show you what you are doing, a Plucked to Sustained Preset slider, a MIDI on/off button and the very handy help, about, and skin buttons. Reading the manual is probably a good idea at some point, as there are so many parameters, variables and goodies that you can tweak, one could actually get lost. Mind you, it's quite fun to just play around with the interface, but in a crunch or with a definite goal in mind, knowing what does what comes in handy.

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Modelonia

up of a large number of lanes that turn either red or orange (or both) depending on how you slide them up or down.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

So how does it sound? In one word, INCREDIBLE! You can create totally convincing brass, woodwind and plucked instruments. However, all good things take time and care and Modelonia is no exception. You will want to tweak, re-tweak, have your neighbour tweak, the dog next door tweak and your mother's friend, Ruby, tweak, just in case. The cool thing, though, is that in all of the warping, morphing and tweaking you will be involved with, you will stumble upon

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sounds and timbres you did not mean to create. And you will want to delve further into vast unknown soundscapes. You may want to sit with tribal elders and play bygone stringed instruments from eras past. You may even decide to invent new crossbreeds of horn, string and wind instruments in your quest for the ultimate sound. By the way, 75% of the sounds in Brassphemy were created with Modelonia. Have fun and play with the instruments, then go out and purchase Modelonia so you can feel the exhilaration for yourself. It's all possible in Modelonia. Don't get lost!

Discount Coupon From 75 USD

to 45 USD www.modelonia.wusik.com


A pro audio daily news and reviews resource dedicated to computer musicians, sound engineers and hobbyists everywhere since ‘99.

www.traxmusic.org

www.ikmultimidia.com


DR 008

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

FXpansion DR 008 a drum sampler

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FXpansion DR 008

Actually a Mercedes on a budget by A. Arsov

No, it's not a mistake, they are still selling it. A while ago I've decided to equip myself with a decent drum sampler. I wanted one with sample preview and all the other fancy things that such a sampler needs to have. I had downloaded Native Instrument's Battery 3 demo, installed it and found it's changed a lot since the last version. Honestly though, I didn't like this novice at all. Too much unnecessary ballast for my taste. After seeing the price, my wife didn't like it either.

Wow – it seems a total bargain. Thank you, FXpansion!

> >

#018 October 2007

I Googled it and discovered that FXpansion is still selling it. For 55 euro you get DR 008 along with 1.5 gigabytes of drum samples, 200 midi drum patterns, and 500 synth drum presets. Oh, and yes, I almost forgot to tell you – it is not just a sampler, it's also a drum synth.

Wusik Magazine

Was there any life before Battery? Suddenly I remembered that one of my friends, a rhythm freak, told me a few years ago, “Man, I bought DR 008. It's the ultimate drum sampler, in every way a must have! “

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FXpansion DR 008

Installation: Installation was a breeze and after trying it out and browsing through the manuals I found that it had everything I need. There was only one tiny imperfection – the skin is pretty out of date. OK, they had stopped developing it in 2003 and we all know that VST Instruments had this cheesey look back then. Anyway, it seems just a small drawback for this kind of a full loaded sampler. Old and not too fancy looking, but otherwise ... It's like a Wartburg. Icho, an old friend of mine, told me about his out of date car, “Wartburg, my dear friend, is like a brothel. You feel a little ashamed when you are entering or getting out of it, but when you are inside – man, it's simply fantastic.”

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

On the technical side:

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Graphics aside, the DR-008 has up to 4 stereo and 8 mono outs. There are 128 pads of which 24 are visible at once; others can be reached through the so called octave buttons. You can choose between various view modes. In the Overview mode there are: edit, solo and mute buttons with a pan and volume slider. Details mode has got all that plus a choke button, output selection, note number and aux

selection. There are also Mix and Edit modes, first with a detailed volume fader and pan knob and second with all those mix details - adding some extra module controllers. But we'll get back to these modules in a little while. The DR-008 also offers an excellent sample preview. If you have already recorded some notes or if you play notes through a midi keyboard, then double-clicking on the empty pad opens an Explorer-like window and you can browse through your library looking for the right sample. Any incoming midi data triggers the currently highlighted sample. If you just want to find a sample without using midi, open the Browser menu. A right-click triggers a sample preview for the highlighted sample and after finding an appropriate one - simply drag it onto the desired pad. And here is my favourite preview option: holding the shift button while selecting a Load menu allows you to preview different kits in a song context. Just find your directory with pre-saved kits and ride along just as your heart desires. So far, so good - but we are just getting started. > >


FXpansion DR 008

On the spiritual side:

Back to the point:

Modules: this is where all the fun begins. Every pad can load one module. The Easy sampler, Ultra sampler, Quad sampler and Velo sampler are modules for sample manipulations. ADSR, reverse, distortion, velocity layering, filters etc, are all represented. I am content. Winter evenings are bound to be an endless fun.

As you can see, the DR-008 has got almost everything: a bit of Wartburg, a piece of Borges and besides that, a sample preview, kit preview, various modules, layering abilities, a 1.5 gigabyte drum library, 200 midi patterns and it even comes in VSTi, DXi or standalone versions.

Other modules vary from different drum synths to flam generators, auto rolls and a 16 step drum sequencer with eight assignable channels. Pretty weird, this last one is. It almost fits in a Borges' short story: There was a sequencer with a drum sampler which contained a sequencer and this sequencer can trigger drum samples etc ... Anyway, it supports midi import directly from windows explorer.

I don't want to pressure anyone by saying that everyone needs to buy it. I simply have my copy and am very happy with it. It's exactly what I was looking for – a drum synth – a sampler with sample preview and various editing possibilities. At only 55 euro a piece, and as I told you at the beginning, it's a Mercedes on a budget in a Wartburg disguise ;-)

#018 October 2007

The Dr-008 is a discontinued product and there will be no further upgrades. Before you buy it - register on the FXpansion site and browse through the forums to find out if it will work with your DAW. I've tested it successfully with Cubase SE 3 and Ableton Live Lite 6 on a Windows XP platform.

Wusik Magazine

If you are looking for those big, multi layered fatty sounds - with the DD Layer module you can layer up to four cells together to be triggered by a single press of a key.

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D16 NEPHETON

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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> >


D16 NEPHETON The 808 has been heard around the world. A long time staple in dance music and a huge factor in many of hip-hop productions, the 808 sounds are possibly the most overused in music. Many love the drums, I being one of those people. I am an 808 junkie. I love the trunk-rattling bass drum and slick but unrealistic high hats. Far from realistic sounding drums, the 808 has survived off of style. D16 has scored big with its other 2 emulations and Nepheton sticks to the script. This emulation of the 808 by D16 is scary. It captures the essence and sound almost perfectly. People can argue they could just use samples but no TR-808 samples will sound as good as Nepheton. To have all the sounds in one place with certain sound-specific controls make Nepheton a sure shot for those who love 808 drums. Nepheton is a drum-synth but the synthesis is done for you. You have enough control over each sound to get your 808 hitting just right. It has an intuitive 16 step sequencer with a set up similar to the original with controls for swing and control over variation between patterns. It even has a knob to control how often drum-fills come in. Nepheton can be used as a beatbox completely independent of your host sequencer. You can route every sound to a separate track for total control and the ability to apply effects to each sound individually.

> >

#018 October 2007

Nepheton really sounds like an 808. You would be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and the original. It is a very precise emulation. Nepheton will easily become your go-to drum-synth. D16 paid close attention to detail with Nepheton and I am sure anyone who likes the 808 sound will be satisfied. If you want the floor to shake and those familiar sounds that have made so many dance, D16's got you.

Wusik Magazine

With a simple switch to trigger different variations, you can make beats right in Nepheton with good flexibility. If you are a hip-hop beatsmith it is an essential tool. You can throw beats and deviate on the fly.

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D16 NEPHETON Like a lot of people. I have 808 samples and kits for drum machines like Guru. The quality here, though, is unreal and unrivalled. I will never be able to go back to using 808 samples again. If you own the original 808, you might want to save up a bit of space and pack the hardware up. Nepheton is the truth - plain and simple. Few have such a successful record at emulation. D16 has proven again that no hardware is safe from becoming software. This is a brilliant instrument that will surely be in many productions. You should keep in mind though that this is an 808: nothing more, nothing less. It sounds amazingly accurate but if you want to build your own drums you cannot do that with Nepheton.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

As far as synthesized drums, for me, the 808 is the only kind I really care for.

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Rayzoon

Beat Dis

Rayzoon Jamstix 2

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by Squibs

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Rayzoon Jamstix 2 Ralph Zeuner is a drummer and a programmer. He combined both passions and brought the revolutionary Jamstix VSTi plug-in to market in March 2005. The plug-in made it possible to create ultra-realistic drum tracks with minimal effort. You could construct tracks from preprogrammed styles, with each style containing a number of patterns. Alternatively, you could build your own patterns. The beauty of the plug-in was its ‘brain’, which interacted with the main pattern generating fills, ghost strokes and variations - all controllable from the main interface. A straight 4:4 beat could be transformed into a complex rhythm by experimenting with the brain.

Furthermore, the plug-in could "jam" with a live player by taking velocity information from the player and using this to match the player's intensity. This feature worked with midi and, by using the packaged audiom8 plug-in, with audio too. The VSTi supported multiple outputs, had a compressor and an ambience control to determine the amount of room sound in the output. The brain limb-control logic ensured that the VSTi would only play what was humanly possible. Pretty much all controls were midiautomatable. > >

Wusik Magazine #018 October 2007

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Rayzoon Jamstix 2 It even operated as a VSTi host in the event you wished to utilize the Jamstix brain, but use the sounds from another drum VSTi. I often used Odo's Dr Fusion 2 in conjunction with Jamstix for some very organic dance drums, not unlike the kind of breaks The Prodigy tend to use. And, if you wanted, the brain could be turned off and you could use Jamstix as a dumb drum rompler. There were multiple outputs, adjustable ambience and a built in compressor. All this was yours for a very reasonable $99.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

Jamstix 2 retains all this functionality (and from here on in the review all references to Jamstix pertain to Jamstix 2 unless I explicitly state otherwise). It comes with a brand new kit which sounds great, and the whole

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interface has been redesigned. I was able to upgrade for only $40. Jamstix 2 is far more song oriented, and has an arranger allowing you to lay out your song in parts - intros, verses and choruses. When you first open Jamstix, you find yourself in quick start mode where you can select from a number of quick start songs. These templates comprise a song structure and a kit. Each part of the structure has a style and a drummer associated with it. The drummer parameter is a new concept to Jamstix. The drummer algorithm applies the style of a famous drummer when it is applied to a part. Drummer names such as Stewart, Charlie and Phil should be enough to identify the drumming style for most people. > >


Rayzoon Jamstix 2 Once you start outgrowing the supplied styles, you can start programming your own groove. The interface for this looks like a step sequencer, but it's based on the limb constraints of a normal drummer. Thus we have a timeline for left hand, right hand, left foot and right foot. The left hand can only play one note at a time, and can only select relevant drums (kick is not selectable for the left hand for example). Each groove has an accent associated with it, and this is where the characteristics of the drummers are implemented, but you are free to program your own accents which influence parameters such as the probability of triplets on the hi-hat. You can also designate bars of the song to be fills, and a custom fill generator has

a large number of parameters to generate, on the fly, fills that are appropriate to the groove. There is a selection of kits drawn from the supplied palette of sounds. More “drumpaks� may be purchased, and you have access to any Jamstix 1 kits installed on the system. There is a cache option which loads sounds only when they are played for the first time, so unneeded sounds never get loaded. There is also a low-memory setting which reduces the number of velocity layers - handy on less capable systems. You can adjust damping, tuning, ambience, panning and volume for each drum, as well as grouping related drums on an audio output. Velocity envelopes are fully adjustable. > >

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Rayzoon Jamstix 2 On the negative side, I found groove editing to be fiddly in practice. Furthermore the whole complexity of the product makes it very daunting to newcomers - especially if they are not well versed in drum speak. You can get sound from the plug-in pretty instantly via the quick start templates, but you will not be able to get it to play what you hear in your head until you've read the manual and played with it for a long time. You will sprout grey hairs while trying to bend Jamstix to your will. Those seeking instant gratification should return to their drum loop CDs. Those with patience and the will to make a unique, human drum track will see their efforts rewarded.

Wusik Magazine

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There are a number of alternatives out there - Toontrack's DFH and Steinberg's Virtual Drummer being

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just two of the big hitters. Jamstix is different though. It's certainly more tweakable, and undeniably a lot cheaper, though the quality of the kits may not be as good as some of the competition. The main attraction is the passion of Ralph himself. He is very active on the forums, providing support and pre-sales information to all and sundry. I was downloading my update within an hour of ordering, due to his swift response. I love to support products from small dedicated companies like Rayzoon, and it's clear he has a loyal customer base. Ralph has a product called JamBassist in the works, which promises high levels of integration with Jamstix. The two together could be an ideal solution for solo artists, although I suspect a really powerful machine will be required to run both in parallel.


Visit www.viraloutbreak.net For tons of demo mp3s and to Purchase!

Viral Outbreak Volume One Is finally here for Wusikstation. Viral Outbreak Volume * Over 2gb (Wusik Format) Sick of searching for One is the first in a series of of multisamples comprised of sounds and plugins that sample libraries based on the 130+ soundsets. are supposed to sound sounds of the Virus TI * virtually all soundsets stereolike a Virus, but don't? hardware synthesizer. Using sampled for the greatest depth. Get the real thing - and the power of extensive 96khz * Sampled at 32-bit 96khz harnass its power in multisampling, manual looping quality! For resource efficiency, then Wusikstation! and professional preset design carefully downsampled to 24-bit Nucleus SoundLab brings the TI sound to your 48khz. sampler! * Nearly 750 Wusikstation v3 presets, many taking advantage of all the new v3 Viral Outbreak Volume One is available now features! (450 presets for Wusik v1) for Wusikstation v1/v2/v3, SFZ, and Kontakt 1/2. * The best preset designers out there: Viral Outbreak Volume One contains all ToTc, Teksonik, Tim Conrardy, Jeremy Janzen, manner of TI-based sounds. Classic wavetables, rsmus7 and more! raw saw and pulse waveforms (sampled at multiple * An amazing, TI-inspired, Wusikstation v1pulsewidths), unison dance leads, breathtaking v3 skin by Vera Kinter. pads and even punchy synth drumkits. Details:

Wusik Sound Magazine April 2007 #012

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Wusik Magazine

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Synthmaker

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SynthMaker by Wouter Dullaert


SynthMaker

You are about to read the most difficult review I have done so far. Not that it will be so hard for you to read, but it was very hard for me to write. The subject of this review, Synthmaker, is of such a phenomenal depth that it is hard to test all its fine features. I will try to give an overview of what Synthmaker is about and highlight some of the things that make it shine, but I'll not be able to give it the amount of attention it deserves in this one review. While this a program that you will need to spend a lot of time with to get the absolute maximum out of it (if that is even possible), it does not mean that it is a difficult product to learn, but more on that later.

> >

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Synthmaker ships with a huge amount of pre-made modules. Some of these are very basic (i.e. a knob) and others are very complex (i.e. a compressor), and come complete with a GUI. It is also very easy to create your own modules: select the part of the schematic you want to group into a module, right click and select “group into module�. In much the same fashion you can add this module to the palette, so you can easily reuse it in your other projects. The palette itself can be searched on words, or filtered on type, input type, output type etc. Synthmaker is full of these little well thought out features that make it an absolute joy to use.

Wusik Magazine

Synthmaker uses a graphical modular environment to aid in creating audio applications and plug-ins, much in the vein of SynthEdit, Reaktor and Max. It is currently Windows only and you can export your work as a VSTi (instrument), VST (effect) or as a standalone application. The idea is that you make your application by wiring all kinds of different modules together; much like you would make a patch on a modular synthesizer. Such a patch is called a schematic in Synthmaker lingo.

A schematic can contain two different kinds of elements: a component and a module. A component is very basic - there are components which perform additions, multiplications or which store a string. A module is an aggregation of a number of other modules or components. Double-clicking on a module will make the schematic window show that module's contents. Working with modules gives your project a very hierarchical layout. It makes it easy to manage, keeps your schematic uncluttered and shields off lower level functionality.

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SynthMaker

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Creating a nice GUI for your application is just as easy. Most of the modules come supplied with a nice layout out of the box, but it only takes a few clicks to order the components just the way you want. If you take a look at the examples on their site, you'll see that if you want to put in a bit more effort, extremely beautiful GUI's can be created.

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I could go on about all the little nice features in Synthmaker for an entire book, but there is one more element which really deserves a spotlight, and that's the code component. If you're not satisfied with the included filter algorithm, you can go right down to the code and get your hands dirty to improve it. There's no need to compile your code in an external environment to use it in Synthmaker. You can even write pure Assembler if you really want to. Now that is power. The beauty of the program is, however, that you do not need to go this deep to get good results,

and most people likely won't do so. Using the supplied modules, you can make a custom effect or synth (with good sound quality!) tailored to your needs in a matter of minutes. However, should you ever feel the urge to delve in deeper, the option is there. My opinion about Synthmaker is that it is a first class product. I honestly cannot find a single flaw in it. It has been in development for ages and its feature set is still being expanded. For instance, they added Sysex support in the latest update. Synthmaker is rock solid (I used the 1.07 release and have experienced no problems whatsoever), has a slick interface, brilliant workflow, etc. It just radiates quality. At the price they ask, it beats the competition hands down. If you ever felt the need to make your own synth/effect/music application, than this is the product for you, unless of course you work exclusively on OSX or Linux.


SynthMaker

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Skylife's

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by Paul "Triple-P" Evans


Skylife's Sample-Robot

I often hear people looking for an easy way to transfer sounds from their hardware onto their computer. Of course, sampling can achieve this, but it also involves setting up loop-points, crossfading, mapping and all the other tasks of manually sampling ones equipment. This usually results in hours upon of hours of work - laborious work. You make it halfway through and have another layer of velocities and you wonder if you should continue. Sound familiar? I have a guy I have been working with for months; he has some awesome synth keyboards and it just takes way too much time to do it the old fashioned way. I'm a young buck and I am not into "old fashioned". Even if you get the samples, there’s still the mapping. Geez. I'm here to help though. Sample-Robot from Skylife covers every aspect I mentioned. What’s more, it does them for you! I hear the angels singing now as I type.

A fully automatic sampler has to be a sound designer’s dream. With a simple multi-sample setup you can make layers of velocities at will and design totally unique multi-layered sounds. The interface is very user-friendly. All tools are right in front of you on a compact screen that is dead-easy to navigate. All of your sampling tools are just a click away. I think it is the most intelligently designed sampler I have ever used. Mapping, looping, and fading can be taken out of the equation totally with its auto functions. Those are the biggest sources of aggravation when it comes to sampling. Even if it had no fully auto sampling, not having to map and set loop-points cuts the time in half if not more.

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The robot comes with tons of sampling templates to get you going as well. Upon opening you are greeted with a project manager to set all your preferences such as looping, and how many keys. This makes the process worry-free from the start. The wait can be long when exporting samples and they even have a chess game to keep you busy while it processes! > >

Wusik Magazine

Sample-Robot is not your ordinary sampler. No sir, it features a fully automatic sampling mode. Yes, fully automatic! This means that a couple mouse clicks will rip the samples from your midi sound modules or, with virtual midi cables, VSTi's to. Lazy people like me rejoice. It auto-loops, fades, maps, and samples. The full version of SampleRobot also comes with Wave-Robot: a sample editor that you can open up to do the editing manually if the auto-modes don't satisfy you. Interestingly, WaveRobot’s graphic engine is based on video game technology. This in turn makes it operate very fast. Not to mention, it looks really good to. It’s better than any other sample editors I have used for sure. Wave-Robot can also be purchased as a

stand-alone application. If you don't mind the sampling but need a precise editor, this is it. Wave-Robot’s design and layout make it very easy to edit your samples. Quite honestly though, Sample-Robot’s auto features do the trick very well. The auto-looping has different settings to fit whatever you may need. Of course, you can sample non-midi instruments as well. You will have to do it the old fashioned way though. Mapping is done as you go though, and auto-looping can still be done!

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Skylife's Sample-Robot

Sounds fantastic, but how is it in practice? Amazingly enough, just as described! It exports to all of the popular formats, including our own WusikSND. The price point may be a turn off for some. Have no fear though; it comes in a cut-down version in which the limitation is no Wave-Robot. Like I said earlier though, the auto-looping is spot on. I rarely need to use Wave-Robot as is. So unless you are extremely anal about loop points, the cut down version will do all you need.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

This product would score a ten if we had a rating system (soon very soon).

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Impressed probably isn't the word. Skylife designed a sampler that is scarily perfect. I enjoy using all products I get the opportunity to review. I am not amazed by them all though. Skylife has made a product that leaves me in awe. Sampling is an art form that leaves many discouraged. You can design multi-sampled instruments with a couple of clicks. If you have hardware but want to be in the box entirely, Sample-Robot was designed for you. If you have a synth ready to die out and you don't know how to go on without it, you need SampleRobot. Hardware can now live forever, the assimilation has begun.


Unique

Unique from Sugar Bytes by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

If you have been searching for a synth with gritty sound, dead simple modulation set-up, and a killer set of features, Unique could be for you.

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You should never judge a synth by its interface. That statement couldn't be truer for Unique. Upon opening, it looks – well, simple. Knobs are even color-coded to differentiate their use. That is actually pretty handy though. The simplicity is what makes Sugar Bytes latest offering unique for me. Often synthesizers get bogged down with too many features, too much modulation, and an uncomfortable learning curve. However that is not the story here. Unique is a 2 oscillator synth packed with just the right treats for mouth watering consumption. The formant filters are the

centerpiece: it comes with 4. The modulation is setup to satisfy. All you have to do is right click and you can assign 4 of sugar's internal controls and also midi CC. The internal controls open up many possibilities for creativity. It has an LFO and an envelope. Two more interesting ones though are the 16 step sequencer and the x-y pad. You can use these controllers to modulate any knob on Unique. What’s more fun is you can watch the knobs spin as they modulate. Endless entertainment! Seriously, though with the formant filters you can use a four step sequence between each vowel filter and choose the rate and glide at which it is sequenced between the four. While it jumps between the formant filters you can use an internal controller to modulate the vowels on each filter simultaneously. Hypnotic robotic gibberish can result though! > >


The oscillators are a bit different; they have a triple FM waveforms and triple saw, with pulse, saw, and noise with an inbuilt filter for the more conventional waveforms.

Wusik Magazine #018 October 2007

Triple FM is a combination of 3 frequency modulated oscillators to cover a broader set of tones with a single oscillator. You can make some really thick sounds with Unique. I wish there was a little better variety of waveforms but you can still get the sounds you would want from a 2 oscillator synth. What’s interesting as well is the arp section of Unique. You can turn the arp on and off for

each oscillator giving you even more command of the sound. It has a sub oscillator as well that is chained to oscillator 1 when the arp is turned on. You can choose different ways to trigger the arp, and it also has several controls. There is a spread knob that will detune the eight voices and oscillators with each other for 24 different pitches! They really spent time making a gritty sounding synth. Unique sounds like syrup with dirt kicked onto it. You can route several knobs to the same source and create wild unique rhythms. Never for me has a synth been so simple. > >

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Unique To round out the features of Unique, it has two multi-FX units chained together. The effects consist of reverb, delay, lo-fi, chorus, multi-filter, and phaser. Unlike some synths onboard effects, Unique's are quite good.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

All of Uniques filters including the one in the vowel section are very good. With internal controllers, crazy filter sweeps are a right click away. All of the effects parameters can be modulated.

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Unique really gives you a lot of control over how you shape sounds. Although it can be used for simple sounds, I really do not think that is Unique’s intention. It is a synth that is meant to be tweaked to experiment with sound design. I really hope to see some other presets from users and from Sugar Bytes. It comes with over 300 presets and they all pretty good. It is capable of such crazy sounds, though I am just interested to see what people can

make with it. A lot of synths claim to have a thick analog like sound: Unique delivers. The synths name says it all. Do not be fooled by how simple it looks. Once you use it you will be very pleased it was designed with such a straight forward GUI. The modulation with internal controllers is where it excels for me. You don't have a big matrix to set; just right click and pick. Maybe not as complex as some, but it is more than capable of an amazing range of sounds that are full of character. I could stare at these knobs spinning around for hours too. It has the little details that a make a synth good. If you thought this synth looked dull you are only fooling yourself. Don't cheat yourself treat yourself. It is reasonably priced at 139 euros. It won't break your bank and you add new sonic possibilities that are not so easily attainable with other instruments. > >


Unique Unique LE If you don't have â‚Ź139 or you just don't want to spend that much on another soft-synth, Sugar Bytes offers a light version of Unique for $69. With only 3 of its big brothers features missing, it has only one multi-FX unit - really no big deal.

Check out my interview with Robert for some inside information.

#018 October 2007

Sugar Bytes is doing a great favour by offering virtually the same synth for almost half the price. It has all the amazing quality of the full version. I would probably buy the light version just to save money it is that good.

With products like The Artillery multi-FX keyboard and the Unique's along with its recent purchase of sonicbytes, Sugar Bytes is a company to be watching for.

Wusik Magazine

I like the effects on Unique but I usually use VST effects instead of onboard synth effects. It has no X-Y, and a single pan control instead of per oscillator pan. The 2 versions are so similar that they are able to share presets. It is only lacking the three things mentioned. You can't tell any difference between the 2 in sound character.

These are two very exciting synths to play. They sound amazing. They are just plain fun and brilliantly laid out. These are the first Sugar Bytes products I have tried and surely will not be the last. I am very impressed with what Sugar Bytes has offered here. If you struggle with sound design, or just find it tedious these were made for us. I am not a big sound design guy, but you can achieve so much with so little effort here that it really amazes me.

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Samplelord by A. Arsov

I sold my hardware sampler years ago and have cried ever since for some decent sample player to revive all those ‘blast from the past’ samples lying around my desk. They are in all possible formats. There’s a few banks in giga format, plenty of Halion banks, a bunch of sf2 (soundfonts) and here and there some Kontakt banks.

Talking about big boys Kontakt and Halion are excellent samplers, but they are not cheap, and to be honest, I’d rather edit my samples in a standalone audio editor. Even some of the free audio editors have much more editing options and “screw that wav” tools than any of those big and expensive soft samplers. Most of the time, I need a good sample player with a good browser and few extra options. And finally, here it comes: Samplelord.

Wusik Magazine

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Samplelord

O, Lord – rise and shine this sample Let's make it clear Samplelord is not a sampler, it is just a sample player, but it is an excellent one. It reads almost all hard disk sample formats and it is dead easy to use. I checked the manuals only after

testing it, just to be sure that I hadn't missed any important features. It's also relatively cheap – 79 euros – very fast, and very light on CPU. It's been a while since I have seen as fast piece of software as this one. I usually fell asleep while waiting for some virtual synths just to show up in a rack. > >

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Samplelord

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#018 October 2007

After spending a few minutes playing around with this lord of samples, I find that it can import patches on a desired midi channel! Just double click in a browser and it is done. Maybe it sounds like nothing unusual or special to you, but Samplelord imported patches so fast that I was able to browse through them normally, just like I were on one of the VST synths. I used to spend long hours/minutes browsing through my patches and usually it took me ages to find the right sound for a track. But Samplelord is so fast and easy to use that it's really joy to work with it. Without menus and sub menus, almost everything is there. True, you can’t layer sounds and make new patches, but you can edit all important parameters on imported patches such as pitch, ADSR envelopes, filter LFO, velocity etc. Just a few tweaks of attack and decay and your patch will lay much better in an arrangement.

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It also loads samples directly from the disk, so there is no need for any further conversions. If you want, you can save all those patches in Samplelord's native format. You have got 16 configurable midi channels, 16 configurable audio outputs and a virtual keyboard.

Is it any good? I Almost?

say,

it’s

almost

perfect.

Well, yes, because it has one drawback - a matter of a marketing decision. Samplelord is made by the same author as Extreme Sample Converter, so if you want to import sounds from any of hardware samplers’ CD's you need to buy Extreme Sample Converter. > >


Samplelord

OK, I can understand this selling policy, but a sample player without Akai S1000 format import ability is a pretty truncated sample player. Akai S1000 format is one of the most common sample formats on the world and if you intend to use some other more exotic sample formats, or if you want to convert one format to another, then buying Extreme Sample Converter makes sense. I can only hope that the author will add this feature in some nearfuture-upgrade. All in all, we are in

Conclusion

the 21st century, where people want to get the most for their money. It is ‘mimo’, the name of the game: more in, more out. Every program needs some extra exotic features to be better than other, similar or bigger programs.

But if you are a tweaking freak with a large Akai library and plenty of money (Samplelord costs less than a quarter of the asked price for the bigger ones), than check some of the bigger names.

If Samplelord could import Akai S100 format, than I would be the first to tell you: Dear Mr. Sample man, run and buy this program. It's a bargain! But without this possibility? Don't get me wrong, it's still an excellent program and if you need fast access to your hard disk sample library, than this piece of software is the right thing for you.

Long story short: In Samplelord we trust.

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What's on your Amp

What's

on

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#018 October 2007

your Amp

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From Paris to Berlin, and beyond by E.


on

your Amp

When the boys from Daft Punk released their ’97 debut album ‘Homework’, their unique blend of techno, acid, house and electro brought a much needed breath of fresh air into a scene that was, at that time, dominated by relentless hardcore, commercial tripe (2Unlimited style), and a lack of innovation. Influenced by the likes of Kraftwerk, Africa Bambaataa and the Beach Boys, they had little respect for convention but felt compelled to do their own thing. Their style, and subsequent success, ‘inspired’ other musicians to copy the sound, but was also responsible for reviving a genre that’s gaining popularity today: Electro. Of course Electro branches off into various styles, but it’s easily recognizable by the prominent beat, pronounced staccato bass, short and harsh sounding stabs and repetitive lyrics. But most of all, Electro is about having a great party!

Somewhere in between Paris and St. Petersburg lies a quaint little town called Berlin. A fertile breeding ground for (aspiring) music producers in virtually every genre of dance music, Berlin seems especially suited for those artists with a liking for the minimal side of house or techno, and..., wait for it: Electro. Here’s a taste of Electro Berlin. However, it does seem that there’s some controversy between the minimal and Electro camps, nicely illustrated by this Lady Waks and Hardy Hard track: Minimal. To conclude: Electro is a type of dance music that evolved from its hip-hop roots into a form that can only be described as fun! It makes you want to dance, and although it takes skill to put a good electro track together, somehow the vibe that I get from almost every track I listen to is one of enjoying life but not taking it and yourself too seriously.

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Africa Bambaataa, the father of Electro, collaborated in the wake of Daft Punk's success with, amongst others, Leftfield and WestBam and pushed the genre on, forcing it to re-invent itself. Who doesn’t remember the unsettling video to ‘Shox’?

Meanwhile, further up north, a young woman who calls herself Lady Waks is causing a stir in Russia’s St. Petersburg. Moving from hip-hop to d&b, her hard work results in the In Beats We Trust club-night, touring the globe with the biggest names in the Breaks music scene, and her own Breaks Festival (use Babelfish to translate from Russian).

Wusik Magazine

,

What's

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Loopmasters

Loopmasters Movie Dialogue

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

by Alexander Stoica

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Artists are always in search of royalty free vocal samples for use in their music productions, especially those of us doing electronic music productions like Drum and Bass, Techno or other styles that can benefit. One product which promises to quickly fill the need for vocal audio clips wherever you may need them is Loopmasters Movie Dialogue.


Loopmasters Movie Dialogue Loopmasters' package contains a wide variety of recorded phrases from the following six old movies and public information films: Assignment Outer Space Keep Off the Grass Made In the USA Man and Machines Sleep Easy The Vampire Bat The library is well sorted and comes as plain WAV files (sampled at 44100kHz/16-bit) which are named descriptively so that phrases are easy to find. All samples also come with additional mappings for popular samplers such as Halion, Kontakt, EXS24, NNXT and SFZ. With a total of 665 samples you should be able to find enough useable material for any project's needs.

If you're feeling adventurous and have time on your hands, the aspiring artist can also look up public domain movies at sites like: www.archive.org/details/prelinger, www.publicdomaintorrents.com and www.pdmdb.org, where you can find and download a lot of old public domain movies which are just waiting to be sampled. But if you want quality right out-of-thebox, Loopmasters Movie Dialogue provides you with no-nonsense samples ready-to-go! Movie Dialogue is available as download from: www.loopmasters.com at the fair price of ÂŁ14.95 ($30.52) and is a recommended buy for everyone searching for vocal samples.

Wusik Magazine

Most samples on the CD contain background noises and music from the original movie, but this isn't much of a problem for most people: you can use filters to hone in on the parts of the samples you want to keep, or use the whole

raw sample and blend it into the mix for added flair. Of course it's also great fun to mangle the vocals with vocoders and other effects to create some truly unusual sounds.

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P5 Audio The Sample-Pack Breakdown

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#018 October 2007

by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Dirty South Melodies - 25 Multi-track loops - $49.99 P5's Dirty-South collection is aimed at getting crunk. It’s packed with synth leads, melodies, basslines, and a few nice piano loops. If you’re into chopping up loops for single hits, this is a good pack. I used Guru to auto-slice some of the very nice synth loops on offer here. Unfortunately though, there are no drum-loops. This pack is perfect for people who use loops for groove templates - and the beats in here are

tight! These loops can get the club hopping in no time. The few piano loops in the pack are exceptional. All of the loops were recorded well and sound crisp. If you have your own synths (which I bet all of you that read this do) you could accomplish loops similar to these without much trouble at all. Overall, it’s a good pack. The sound selection is nice, and the stereo mix sounds great.

make some vicious kits from these (if you don't have the above samplers). You can lay down beat skeletons in no time. I really like the sounds in this kit. I will be banging out with these samples for awhile. Classic sounds are on offer here, and a new school flavour. This is a must-have for beatsmiths! > >

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As the name suggests, this kit is for the left-coast sound. Made up of one-shots, and not just drums, it has some good effects, plucks, and instrument hits. I'm a huge fan of Dr. Dre. The name sets the bar and P5 delivers. These sounds are very reminiscent of that classic west-coast sound. All the drums knock. You can

Wusik Magazine

Dretastic Detox Drumkit - over 344 individual hits-formatted for: NN-XT, Halion, Battery, Kontakt and EXS-24. Price: $34.99.

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Platinum Acoustic Guitar Lickz Producer Pack-1100 loops!-formatted for: NN-XT, Halion, Battery, Kontakt and EXS-24. Price: $69.99. Out of the five packs from P5, this is by far the most impressive of the bunch. It comes in three categories: Nylon Guitar, and two steel guitars.

Wusik Magazine

#018 October 2007

These are some really beautiful guitar loops. You get a lot in this pack, and they’re great quality and very well recorded. If you need some good guitar samples this will do it for sure. I did find myself chopping these samples up a lot, but – hey, with the

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Dre kit you have enough samples to keep you making music for awhile. There are 1100 loops here. Whoa! Good value for the money. The riffs are very nice and show the versatility of P5. The nylon guitar is my favourite of the three sets. They just have an extremely beautiful sound. Whether you make hip-hop or not these could be useful for a number of genres. This is my top pick from P5. Stamp it.

Ragin' Guitar and Bass Loop Sets: over 100 loops-$34.99 This set is for the hip-hop fan with rock in his heart ... I guess. Consisting of very heavy electric guitars and electric bass, the loops are broken into hook and verse parts. Convenient for someone who uses whole loops, the heavy guitars sound good and, like the other packs, were recorded well. Personally though, I wouldn't find much use for them. I

found them a bit too heavy for my productions. On the other hand, the bass loops are wicked! I can get a lot of miles out of them. There’s really great stuff here. It is, all in all, a solid kit, but the guitars just do not suit my needs. However, I do find this set not as memorable as the Dre kit, or as great sounding as the acoustic guitars. > >


RnB Flava Construction Loops Vol 1:24 multi-track construction loop-over 300 loops in total-$54.99 pretty average, actually. The silky sounds are okay though, and that’s why I suggest that it’s the percussion that saves the package. The other loops in the pack are not bad, and were recorded well, but they are uninspiring. The stereo mixes of these loops also sound a lot more like hiphop than RnB. I guess they are the same thing nowadays anyhow, right? Verdict: not bad, but more of a chopn-choose pack.

#018 October 2007

www.p5audio.com

Wusik Magazine

This kit is for producing that lova-lova music. There are buttery, soulful loops on offer here, and this kit has drum-loops! A passable kit, it can definitely help you get your RnB on. The drum-loops are quite good. There are quite a few percussion loops that can come in real handy. I am a big fan of percussion, and there are several quite memorable loops. That’s really what saves this kit. The drum-loops are okay but the sound is average;

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Remix

Remix Toolkit West-Coast v.1

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by Paul "Triple-P" Evans

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Remix Toolkit West-Coast v.1 Okay let me break it down for you here: Remix Toolkits West-Coast v.1 is a sample pack of one shot drum hits and sound FX. It is made up of 8 kits of 16 samples each. The packs are named after various rappers - some of which are not even from the west-coast!? Sixteen samples per pack is just right for Guru kits. The drums hit hard and sound okay, but I think you could find samples of the same or better quality off any number of free sample sites. It seems a pretty average kit. The guys at Remix Toolkit gave us a nice selection of Guru kits and WAV's for this issue, so check those out and see if they offer what you need. Could you make some bumping drumtracks with these? Certainly. There is just

get similar results yourself, just layer up your drum-sounds, or, save your money and get P5's Dretastic Detox kit. Like I

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nothing that sticks out with this pack. To

said though, check out the samples with magazine.

Different

different folks (and all that).

www.remixtoolkit.com

strokes

for

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Mastering

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What’s in my Toolbox? by Paul "Triple-P" Evans


What’s in my Toolbox?

If you make music chances are, you have used a compressor. It may be the most important tool for mixing and mastering. It’s also probably one of the most overused (that’s another article though). The compressor is an intelligent volume control shrouded in mystery. Lately, there have been some really great compressors updated and released. I will let you guys in on which ones are shaping the dynamics of my tracks. One is a dynamics pack, one a transforming super intelligent side-chaining compressor with a bit of everything dynamic, the other is simply fabulous (take a guess).

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About two months ago I got my hands on the Blue-Tube bundle by Nomad Factory. A huge bundle (19 plugs=$500). It is made up of 4 packs - one being a dynamics pack. These vintage tube emulations are just the thing to give your tracks some warmth. The Dynamic pack is made up of 6 plug-ins: brickwall, 2 regular compressors, de-esse, expander gate, and a limiter. > >

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What’s in my Toolbox? These are solid plugs inside out. As vintage emulations, they have very few controls, just the ones needed! This makes it very easy to dial in what you want and get the results you need. They all work very well together across a mix and sound fantastic. The CPU use is almost nonexistent. I can pile instance after instance and it really makes no difference. This pack really has all your dynamic needs covered.

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The limiter in this pack is a personal favourite and the only limiter I have used since I have got the bundle. It comes with a 5 band paragraphic EQ making it very easy to sculpt with precision. The de-esser has a frequency side-chain and it works great on vocals. It has smoothed and saved more than a couple vocal tracks for me. Most impressive in the pack for me are the two compressors. Unlike the other two I will talk about in this article, these are basic and not loaded with nifty features. This makes them all the more impressive for me though.

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The FA770 model uses fixed attack/release ratios making it one of the simplest compressors I have ever used. This simplicity is no sacrifice for quality though. The CP2S is the other blue tube compressor. It’s a very warm sweet sounding compressor with RMS and peak modes. It uses tube emulations and therefore has a tubular sound. It’s a must for anyone in need of some dynamic help. > >


What’s in my Toolbox?

Next in my compressing arsenal is Blue-Cats Dynamics. This thing is like a compression transformer. Just try the demo and you will see what I mean. It makes sidechaining as simple as whistling Dixie. I will do a comparison article between this and the Blue-Tube pack in a coming issue; a battle of the blues if you will. Another writer will be reviewing this so I don't want to steal any thunder. This thing can handle anything you put in its way. Fully customizable skinning is where the transforming comes in. Look out for the comparison. This beast is an amazing deal at under a hundred dollars. > >

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What’s in my Toolbox?

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If you’re not watching Blue-Cat Audio already or haven't tried their products, what are you waiting for? They are doing some really innovative and unique stuff. Their plugins can interact with each other to do some really inventive things. > >

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What’s in my Toolbox?

The last and most recent plug-in is Fab-Filters Pro-C. It’s the most precise compressor you can get your hands on. It has some great features, and of course fabulous filters. Fab-Filter has made a program dependant compressor meaning it responds different when used on different material. It has an expert mode which uncovers its sidechain and mid/side processing. It is more than an average side-chain though. It can side-chain internally and

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externally. The external side-chain is where it gets interesting. Host permitting, you can route something before Pro-C's level detector and it will determine precisely how Pro-C will react. Think of EQ's or filters. You can determine the exact frequencies for Pro-C to respond. The internal side-chain also comes with Fab-Filters notorious filters, including a very steep 48db low and high pass. When expert mode is on, you can choose to process the mid/side instead of the normal left and right channels. This allows for very precise compressing; very interesting indeed. Expert mode also makes a pan ring around all of the input and output knobs. This allows amazing precision. > >

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What’s in my Toolbox?

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Fab-Filter has made the dream compressor, I think. It was also made to be dummy proof. Hovering the mouse over any control will cause a tool-tip to pop up with very good information. No need for questions, just hover over the knob. It has a cutting edge display that shows the knee, level meters, ceiling, and exactly what the compressor is doing. With two knee options, and three flavours of compression, Fab-Filter has made a dynamite dynamic device. It comes with a very informative manual which offers a great overview of compression and how Pro-C works. > >

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What’s in my Toolbox?

I love compressors. All 3 products are high-quality and great at what they do. They are all similar in the fact they are compressors, but all offer very different approaches. Nomad has a simple yet awesomely effective approach. Blue-Cat has made a mammoth that is a lot more than just a plain compressor, but it can do that among many other things very well.

Fab-Filters Pro-C is the mother of all compressors. Quite frankly, in my setup, it works best for me. It offers precision I just cannot get with another compressor. The filters, side-chain, mid/side processing, and different compression styles make it my number one. Never have I used a more precise tool for sculpting the dynamics of my tracks. You want it loud, you want side-chaining, you want transparency, you want to make it pump? Pro-C does it all and more.

Pro-C will become a standard in production. I think it is that good. The blue-tube compressors offer refreshing simplicity and a very warm sound that I can't live without. There’s not much tweaking to do with them. They are a pack though, so it’s not fair to compare the whole pack to single compressors. Pro-C offers amazing results but the bluetube pack covers much more ground. If I had to recommend one though it would be Pro-C. It gives you control no other compressor will.

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If you don't have these compressors go get the demos. See which one fits for you. They are all amazing and in a very reasonable price range.

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Wsm - October 2007 - Issue 018