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Wusik Sound Magazine May 2008 - Vol II

Issue 03


Wusikstation Basics 03

Wusikstation Basics 03

Wusik Magazine

May 2008

by Bruce David


Wusikstation Basics 03

Alright, with Wusikstation loaded into your favorite host let’s examine some of the basics of both it and synthesis itself; subtractive synthesis anyway. For this project we are using version 4.6.4. At the very top of the graphic user interface (GUI), to the left, you see a waveform name (e.g., Pure Sine). The situation is the same in traditional subtractive synthesis. No matter how it is presented graphically, hardware or software, there must be an initial waveform or sample (wave) from which to work, or gadgets with which to make one. WS uses samples that can be loaded (Wusiksnd) or .wav’s (a Microsoft format). And therein is an example of its

enormous versatility. In hardware and much software subtractive synthesis the waveform (sine, sawtooth, triangle, etc.) is generated by an oscillator and fixed between a few select waveforms. The oscillator is hardware electronic device used to generate waveforms and simulated in many software synth’s. But in WS wav files or samples may be substituted for this process and the variety becomes immense. Oscilloscopes are devices used to measure and make waveforms visible. Waveforms get their names from the visual forms they take (roughly) on the screen of an o sci l l o sco p e. Bel o w i s an o sci l l o sco p e screen and a sawtooth waveform.

Wusik Magazine May 2008


Wusikstation Basics 03

So we start our WS project with a sine wave. Notice at top right it says “init” meaning initial or beginning preset. Let’s save that with a new name of your choice to start. Put the mouse arrow in that window and click. You will get a window titled Wusikstation Sounds. In the lower left corner of the window is an options button. Click on it. You get a list of options; click on Preset Save, name your project, and click on Save. Your new preset will appear in the window pane on the right. We are ready to modify it.

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May 2008

The first step is to change the waveform to an old standard, a sawtooth. It’s sound is more distinctive than a sine wave and produces more dramatic results when processed. When you saved your preset the waveform window change to Silence. Close the

sounds window and click on Silence. You get a window with Waveforms highlighted in the left pane and a large list of wusiksnd’s (a small part of many, many) in the right pane. Click on Saw.WusikSND and close the window. Now save your preset again, modified. We now have a sawtooth wave loaded. The default volume for WS is a little low for my taste so, if it is for you, click on the Mix button (top center) which brings up the Master panel. Adjust volume to your taste. Then click on 01 (top left) to return to the 01 layer. As you can see there are 4 layers side-by-side there, identical in structure, but we will work with just the one for the moment. So, the GUI on layer 01 is, in highly simplified block diagram, what we have illustrated below.


Wusikstation Basics 03

Let’s see what some of the stuff does. An amplitude envelope (upper left) does just that, envelopes the sound level. It wraps around it to control volume levels over time. The traditional basic envelope controls attack, decay, sustain (volume after decay), and release (fading after release of the key(s)). The common trade name for this type of envelope, the most used and best known, is ADSR for the first letters of each stage. But this is better heard than described, so move the release slider all the way to the top and push a key on your keyboard, then release it. The sound will fade out in about 10 seconds. That is the maximum release time of a WS envelope.

Now set the release to about 1/2 of the way up, move decay all the way up, and move sustain all the way down. When depress a key and hold it until the sound fades out. When you release it, there is no sound trailing after (release). But if you let the key up at anytime before it fades out you will hear the sound gradually fading out (releasing) proportionately to the slider setting and point in the fade out where you released it.

Wusik Magazine May 2008


Wusik Magazine

May 2008

Wusikstation Basics 03


Wusikstation Basics 03

Set the decay to 1/2 and sustain to 1/4. Now when a key is depressed, the sound will fade to a point (sustain level) and continue at that level until released. Release will take over and fade out at the rate to which it is set when the key is released. The only thing we have not addressed is attack. Move the attack slider to 1/2 way up and listen to the gradual fade in of the sound. You are now familiar with basic enveloping in Wusikstation. It has 9 such envelopes, 1 amplitude envelope and 8 in the modulation

matrix which can be assigned to many different functions, plus a linking function allowing envelopes of multiple layers to perform identically. All these items are the Wusikstation manual with more detailed instructions and I encourage you to explore them. The enveloping in the Modulation Matrix is complex and versatile and you will see many intriguing uses for them as we go forward. In installment 3 of this series of articles we will see what filters, the backbone of subtractive synthesis, are and what they can do in Wusikstation

Wusik Magazine May 2008


Graphic Synthesis

Graphic Synthesis: A World of Exploration by Warren Burt

One of the most interesting and easiest ways to explore synthesis and analysis of

Wusik Magazine

May 2008

sound on the computer is with a technique called graphic synthesis.


Graphic Synthesis

Basically, this is a technique where images are converted into sound, and sound can be converted into images. These programs all use a technique called Fast Fourier Synthesis (FFT) to make or analyze sound. The process is very complex, but what it gives you is a drawing of a sound in which time moves horizontally, and frequency (or pitch) is displayed vertically. This is the same formula that Western musical notation uses, so the concept of how the drawings work should be very familiar. The drawings are called spectrograms, and what they do is show how the frequencies of the sound change in time. A normal waveform display

shows the amplitudes of the waveforms. Figure 1 shows a waveform, and the sounds spectrogram displayed one above the other. The top diagram shows how the loudness of the sound changes, but doesn't tell us much about the character of the sound. The spectrogram on the bottom shows us that the tone is, in fact, made of several unwavering tones – that this is, in fact, a chord. Despite the complexity of the arithmetic involved, learning to use these programs is very simple – in fact, these programs have been successfully used with elementary school students.

Sound Example: Click here

Wusik Magazine May 2008

Fig.1


Graphic Synthesis There are a number of free programs which use this technique in different ways. For the PC, Coagula is a very good free program that does a lot. Also for the PC are programs like Atmogen, Phonogramme Svelte, Sound 2D Warper, and Spear. All of these except Atmogen are free, and the demo version of Atmogen can also be used to generate and analyze sound in many ways. For the Mac, the choice is more limited, but one of the programs, MetaSynth, is the king of graphic synthesis programs. Phonogramme (free) is also available for the Mac, as is Spear. MetaSynth, though expensive, has a demo version which can also show many of these techniques. For this

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May 2008

Sound Example: Click here

Fig.2

article, we'll concentrate on the PC programs, Atmogen, Coagula, Sound 2D Warper, and Spear. ATMOGEN Atmogen is an expensive program (229 Euros), but it has a demo version which still does many things. Among these is the ability to analyze a sound, and make a fairly accurate spectrogram of the sound. This spectrogram can then be exported to be used in other programs. To demonstrate this, let's take a computer voice saying a simple Brazilian political slogan. Figure 2 shows the waveform. Sound Example 2 is the computer voice saying “Viva Gil, Ministro de Artes.�


Graphic Synthesis

With Atmogen, we can analyze this sound, and turn it into a spectrogram, then turn that spectrogram back into sound, changing aspects of the sound visually, if we wish. Start the Atmogen demo, and select File/Import/Wav. Select the sound file you want to analyze. At this point, you're given a menu of choices. The quality of your sound conversion is determined by the settings you make here. To give an example of a bad conversion, set the settings to the following: Width:

1024; Height: 512; Top Oscillator 18500; Bottom Oscillator 40; Calculation: Exponential; Overlapping, 4.0; FFT Length: 32; FFT Mode Hamming. Click OK. Very quickly, you will see a diagram of your sound appearing. But it won't look or sound anything like your original sound. Figure 3 is the visual result of this conversion. Sound Example 3 is what it sounds like. About the only resemblance to the original computer voice is in the rhythm and shape of the sound.

Sound Example: Click here

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Fig.3


Graphic Synthesis

However, if we change the FFT Length parameter to something a lot longer, the result will be much closer to what our sound was originally like. If you Import the sound again, leaving all the parameters as above, except for the FFT Length, which you change to 16384, and click OK, you will find that converting your sound

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May 2008

Sound Example: Click here

Fig.4

takes much longer, but the results will be much closer to the original voice. Figure 4 shows the resulting visual, and the results of the conversion can be heard in Sound Example 4. It's a bit noisier than our original sound (Sound Example 2) but is still quite intelligible.


Graphic Synthesis

Having made a successful conversion of our sound, we can now manipulate it. For example, one could cut pieces out of the spectrogram, and rearrange them with cutting and pasting, making a collage out of the smallest parts of the sound. Or, if one were lazy, one could simply “Image/Flip” the drawing upside down, and see/hear what happens. Figure 5 is the spectrogram of the voice flipped upside down. Sound Example 5 reveals that although language is

obscured, many aspects of the sound – sound shapes, and the placing of consonants and vowels in the speech are still audible.

There are many other features in Atmogen, such as different kinds of brushes, different kinds of filters, etc. Exploring the demo version, and if you like it, purchasing the full version, will provide you with many powerful sound design tools.

Sound Example: Click here

Wusik Magazine May 2008

Fig.5


Graphic Synthesis COAGULA Rasmus Ekman's free Coagula program does not convert pictures to sound. However, it has many other features which make it an incredibly versatile program. It will import bitmap picture files, though, so if you make spectrograms in Atmogen, you can also use them in Coagula. Coagula makes sound with two components – very simple electronic tones called sine-waves, and noise. The addition of noise to the synthesis palette makes Coagula unique among PC programs. The color black indicates silence. Tones are

indicated by areas of color, on a spectrum between red and green. Loudness of the tone is indicated by the brightness of the color. Stereo placement is given by color. So a very bright red line produces a loud sine-wave in the left channel, at the indicated pitch. A very bright green line produces a loud sine-wave in the right channel, and a very bright yellow line produces a loud sinewave in the middle. Noise is indicated by the color blue. The more blue that is added to a line, the louder the noise is. This can be clearly seen by listening to Sound Example 6, which was produced with Figure 6.

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May 2008

Sound Example: Click here

Fig.6


Graphic Synthesis Reading this drawing from left to right, the first shape seen is a thin red line, which produces the first tone, in the left channel. The second tone is lower in pitch, and in the right channel. This is produced by the thin green line. The thin yellow line produces a tone in the middle, and higher than the 2nd tone, but lower than the first. The four fuzzy ball shapes produce clusters of sound ranging from pure sine-tones to noise. Each ball has more blue added to it than the one before (yellow plus blue = white in this kind

of computer color), and gets noisier as this happens. The final ascending gesture is made by many short ascending yellow lines, to which a graphic fadeout is applied, which makes the notes get softer over the course of the musical gesture. Figure 6 is a very simple demonstration drawing. More complicated drawings produce more complicated sounds. For example, Sound Example 7 was produced with the Figure 7. It is more complex than our first drawing, and sounds more complex, too.

Sound Example: Click here

Wusik Magazine May 2008

Fig.7


Graphic Synthesis The gray areas produce noise of various kinds, the red, green and yellow areas produce purer tones, and the colorful area in the upper right corner produces a sound that is somewhere between noise and tone. Although it only has two basic sound building blocks, Coagula can produce a wide variety of sounds. If you work with a drawing program, Coagula can produce a wide variety of electronic sounds. Sound Example 8 was produced by using a drawing program and very carefully drawing sets of lines which made tones at particular pitches, and then shaping those tones by cutting out portions of them, and applying red-yellow-green filters on them so they would pan between the channels.

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May 2008

Figure 8 contains two chord sequences. In the first, a group of tones is heard, first all together, then in ascending order individually, then together again. In the second, the process repeats, but it sounds very different. Why is this? In the first sequence, the pitches are in that unique relationship to each other called the harmonic series. In this relationship, the frequencies of all

the upper tones are whole number multiples of the frequency of the bottom, or fundamental tone. This relationship makes the tones merge together, so the mix of the tones is heard as a single note, rather than as a chord. The sounds of almost all melodic musical instruments are made up of component tones in this relationship. Although the “chord” of the first sequence is heard as a single musical note, the “chord” of the second sequence is, indeed, heard as a chord. Here the individual notes are not in the harmonic relationship, and they don't seem to “stick together” to form a single note. Listen to this Sound Example 8 several times, and see if you can hear the difference between the two. You might also note how the “note” of the first sequence has a fairly harsh sound, while the ascending set of its components have a fairly sweet sound. This difference in quality between sound components and their mixing is one of the main aspects of timbre, the aspect of sound that deals with its color. In fact, it could be said that control over timbre is the main reason for the development of musical electronics.


Graphic Synthesis Sound Example: Click here

Fig.8 Wusik Magazine May 2008


Graphic Synthesis

Coagula can also convert pictures into sound. Remember that black is silence, so a picture with a lot of white in it will simply be rendered as noise. For example, Figure 9 is a picture of Isobel the Dachshund. If turned into sound, this will make a very noisy sound, as in Sound Example 9.

But if the picture is processed in a simple drawing program so that black is the predominant color, resulting in a drawing like Figure 10, the sound can be more subtle, and more interestingly shaped, as in Sound Example 10. (The two techniques used to treat Isobel were color inversion, and then “Tone Curve� where an input color is mapped to an output color via a drawing of a conversion curve.)

Sound Example: Click here

Wusik Magazine

May 2008

Sound Example: Click here

Fig.9

Fig.10


Graphic Synthesis There are many other aspects to Coagula, as with all the other graphics programs. For example, you can choose which frequencies your drawing is turned into sound with, and how long it is. The same drawing that makes a long low series of sounds can also be used to make a short high series of sounds. Each program has its own capabilities, and does things differently from the others. Graphic synthesis is a technique which can be learned by almost anyone very quickly, but one which can be used as deeply and subtly as one wishes. SOUND 2D WARPER Sound 2D Warper, by Victor Khaschanskiiy, is a much more

limited program, but it has a lovely spectrum warping feature not available in any of the other programs. It's also free, and Victor's other programs, on his website, are also worth checking out. Here's a quick example which shows one of the capabilities of Sound 2D Warper. We'll take our wav file of the computer saying “Viva Gil” from earlier, and “Load” it into Sound 2D Warper. Note the settings on the interface. Figure 11 shows the sound converted into a spectrogram and placed behind a 7 x 7 grid. The settings of this grid can also be changed. Sound Example 11 is our original sound resynthesized, so you can hear the effect of how your sound is changed by being loaded into this program.

Sound Example: Click here

Wusik Magazine May 2008

Fig.11


Graphic Synthesis With Sound 2D Warper, you can now grab any of the square shaped nodes on the grid of the interface, and move them about. When you click “Apply” the sound spectrum will be warped. Clicking “Play” will let you hear the resulting sound. Checking the box “Resampling” will give you a smoother resulting sound. Figure 12 shows the sound with warping applied. Listen to Sound Example 12 to hear the result.

Expanding the screen size with Sound 2D Warper, and increasing the size of the grid, will give you very fine control the warping of sound. It may be a simple tool, but it's one that is worth exploring. SPEAR Another approach to graphic synthesis is shown with the free program Spear. Spear analyzes an existing sound, and produces a drawing which shows all the components of the sound, in all their complexity. It features the highest quality sound conversion of any program listed so far.

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May 2008

Sound Example: Click here

Fig.12


Graphic Synthesis Spear can be used on many levels, from the beginner to the advanced. Even on the beginner’s level, however, one can use it to both modify sounds in interesting ways, and to learn much about how sound works with it. For example, let’s take a simple sound, a recording of a train horn, with all the background sound of a level crossing, including traffic and crossing bells. Using Spear, we import Sound Example 13, using “Sound / Analyze / Choose File,” and we get the Figure 13.

With this diagram we can tell many things about the sound right away. Notice the numbers on the left hand side of the diagram. They are the frequencies of the partials of the sound. In this case, they only go up to 4000 hz, which is not even as high as the top note on a piano. This shows that the recording was recorded at a very low sampling rate, and won’t have any high partials, so as a recording, it probably doesn’t have much “sparkle” or “life.” The numbers on the bottom of the diagram give time - this sound is just about 12.5 seconds long. The many horizontal lines in the diagram are the individual partials. They range from very soft (almost white) to soft

Sound Example: Click here

Wusik Magazine May 2008

Fig.13


Graphic Synthesis (grey) to loud (black). The darkest lines are the sound of the horn itself. One can quickly see how almost any sound in an environment is embedded in the sounds of the environment. Listening to sound with this knowledge will often remove our “focus-filters” - the way we focus on a particular sound and ignore the sounds around it. In the environment, EVERY sound is embedded in this way. With Spear, we can not only look at the sound, we can modify it. For example, using the “arrow” tool, we can select individual partials and copy them and paste them into a different part of the diagram. Sound Example

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May 2008

Sound Example: Click here

Fig.15

14 was made with from Figure 14, in which several of the partials were selected, and then pasted after the original sound. Then a freeform section of the harmonics of the initial part of the sound was selected, copied, and pasted at the end of the drawing. In Sound Example 14, what one hears is the original sound, followed by a ghostly, filtered version of just the first blast of the horn, followed by a burbling sound made from a freeform section of the original sound chopped out and pasted at the end. You might not even think these extensions sound like a horn - just some spectral presence of a chord, or some strange burbling, from somewhere far away.


Graphic Synthesis

With Spear, one can select many aspects of a sound for manipulation, and also change the duration of a sound without changing the pitch. Sound Example 15 is simply a recording of a computer saying the word “hippopotamus” analyzed with Spear and stretched to last 15 seconds. Sound Example: click here

These graphic synthesis programs are not only a lot of fun, but they can teach us a lot about the very nature of sound itself – how each sound is made up of a lot of component tones, and how the quality of a sound is determined by which components it has and how those components change in time. And for users of Wusikstation, they can present us with opportunities to make sounds to use in our favorite sampler!

Software URLS:

May 2008

MAC: MetaSynth: www.metasynth.com/ Spear: www.klingbeil.com/spear/ Phonogramme: www.ai.univ-paris8.fr/~vi/phonogramme/phonogramme.html

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PC: Coagula: http://hem.passagen.se/rasmuse/Coagula.htm Spear: www.klingbeil.com/spear/ Atmogen: www.sonorouscodes.net/atmogen_overview.html Sound 2D Warper: www.webcenter.ru/~vsoft/SndWarp.htm Phonogramme Svelte: www.ai.univ-paris8.fr/~vi/svelte/englishsvelte.html


Digital Dreams The Very Best Of

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May 2008

by Squibs

This CD is a potted history of the musical career of Thomas “TJ” Janak from 1988 to 1996, with some new bonus tracks bolted on. It’s an electro pop production containing 18 tracks and spanning the entire lifecycle of the Digital Dreams project. The albums themselves had top 10 success in the DRMV charts.


Digital Dreams The Very Best Of TJ notes on the sleeve that there are some quality issues with some of the songs, and made the decision not to re-master so as to keep the authentic sound of the original tracks. I’ll mention a little about the recording of the tracks on the album later.

background. Musically, it is a little sparse, but it is a very interesting experimental piece. I only wish I understood more of the dialogue.

The album itself is beautifully presented, with a collage of press cutting adorning the insert and a proper full-size jewel case.

"Free Your Mind" is possibly the most overtly commercial track on the album. A stop-start arrangement utilises some luscious pads and bell sounds in the slow sections which contrast with the hardcore beats and super saw lead of the up-tempo section. TJ struggles with the vocal line here, and I’d have pictured a female vocal smothered in reverb to mesh with the music.

"Vesicula" opens the album, with a driving rhythm and hints of the riff from the Knight Rider T.V. show. There is some German spoken word on the track, which I was completely unable to decipher, so I’m sure I didn’t get the full effect of the song. The whole track is based on a descending four chord pattern, but there is enough variation in the arrangement to keep it from getting stale.

"Take Me Higher" sees Digital Dreams carving a typical slice of 90s euro pop, in the mode of Army of Lovers, and is again very commercial. The male and female vocals overpower the music a little, and the male and female tracks aren’t always exactly in sync, but the arrangement is satisfying and it would have been quite at home in the charts of the early to mid 90s.

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“Der Teufel” is a hoot – Imagine Kraftwerk covering the Shamen’s “Ebeneezer Goode” after ingesting some very strong hallucinogens. “Ich bin Der Teufel” (“I am The Devil”), TJ cackles manically over a burbling techno arp line, with satanic synth choirs belting out in the

"Murder Mystery" samples the narrative from a Sherlock Holmes interactive DVD – I hope he got clearance for the samples!

May 2008


Digital Dreams The Very Best Of

"Heaven" is TJ’s take on the Robert Miles sound, complete with the offbeat bass and the piano melody. He uses a phasey modulation on the drum track to create movement, and this takes me back to happy times in the chill out room of my favourite club in the early 90s.

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May 2008

"Con Course Theme" is an ambitious attempt at a movie soundtrack which then segues into a rhythm which is almost Bollywood-esque, and then the track morphs to a 140bpm dance track. Remarkably the track never feels schizophrenic and the metamorphosis of the track is very fluid. It’s got the big string sections, solo woodwinds and explosions of timpanis. The solo instruments reveal their synthetic origin, but in general the track is very well implemented, and possibly my favourite on the album. Stylistically and sonically, the album meanders quite a bit, from the experimental outtakes like "Hi-tech Hero" (a hip-hop idea complete with funky drummer loop and that "Insane in the Membrane" sample) to "Dicke Backe" (a techno track with some sort of circus music as a melody, which made my ears bleed). It’s a good retrospective of the sonic palette of dance music in the 90s. Much of the material is a little light in the high frequencies, in an audio-cassette kind of way. Perhaps some of it was

recorded on an 8-track? I decided to investigate, and asked TJ to explain the process behind the recording. It turns out that the earliest Digital Dreams release was recorded from a Korg M-1 and Commodore Amiga straight to 4-track. I’m betting these are the tracks lacking in high end. After that, the project upgraded to 8-track recording before graduating to using professional studios. These days TJ is primarily using analog synths and recording them to a dedicated 12-track digital recorder, using a PC only for the mastering stage. It will be interesting to see where the next album takes TJ. I would like to see him collaborate with a female vocalist. Coincidentally, when I browsed my way to: www.myspace.com/digitaldreams2008 to check out his online presence, it appears he has teamed up with Caitriona Moran, who appears (I assume) on a track featured there called “Can’t Help Myself”. She has a great soulful voice and is the perfect foil to TJ’s understated musical accompaniment. More of this please! It would also be interesting to see where he could go if he added some guitars to the equation. As a member of the small but elite club of hardware synth aficionados, he’s probably aghast at the idea!


bells and whistles by Bruce David

- Mystery of the existence of art and music - Maslow's sense priorities: auditory, visual (e.g prison). tactile, olfactory (dogs) - primitive tribes not understanding perspective vision but solid in musical rhythms, dance - the multi-form art of dance; the human body as instrument (pop: Madonna/Alvin Alley)

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It is fun to imagine what the first dance movements or the first organized sounds may have been like. Why the 2 became joined is another mystery of art and music. The human existence of course is accompanied by the rhythmic beat of the human heart, the surging pulses of blood in vein and artery, the ceaseless movement of molecules and cells. Movement, organized or otherwise, is fundamental to human existence. In sleep or wakefulness, prone or upright, with or without desire to we move. Humans are beings who cannot not move.

May 2008


bells and whistles It is not a far leap from ceaseless movement to organized movement, dance. But dance is more than organized movement, it is rhythmic organized movement. Thus comes the engagement of dance, rhythmic organized movement, with the organized sounds of music. And there in swirling vortex of possible form, sound, and their relationship, the human body only as its instrument, dance has put forth some of the most magnificent kinetic forms ever viewed by our eyes. The swan like stroll of ballet, the sharp exaggerated jerking of pop dancing, the elegant romantic glides of close dancing, the twisting, spins, slaps and kicks of hip-hop. How many ways the body can move with grace and poise is still under the painstaking scrutiny of the masters of dance. integrate

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May 2008

Can you imagine the moment music, consciously organized sound, was discovered? The sheer fascination of structured rhythm, the enthrallment of harmony when they emerged from cacophony are almost unimaginable at the current evolved state.

Pop Star Surprises: How many of you know Madonna spent 3 semesters at University of Michigan on a scholarship in dance and drama, only to leave there and join one of the most prestigious dance groups in New York, headed the famous Alvin Ailey. You might have noticed she dances well. If you haven’t

Any

activity with an extensive jargon is attempting to conquer the world backward by reducing its size; to isolate itself into a proprietary realm;. Jargon is a form of communications but a paradox to the very meaning of the word. The Latin communis means common, as in “common sense”; shared among all. But jargon is intended in reducing exactly that field of activity to “shared only among a few.”


bells and whistles Those who are subscribers to either Wusikstation services, or even just Wusik Magazine, are likely to have seen most all Wusik products in one form or another, but not likely to have seen them in one place, all outlined. And since they being regularly revised and expanded, it can be hard to keep up. So here is a concise list as of May 15, 2008, with brief descriptions and pricing. Pricing is in USD. PRODUCT

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

Wusikstation (WS)

Hybrid Vector & Wavesequencer Sampler for VST hosts - includes extra sounds and the V5 update.

Wusikstation Basic

Wusikstation with limited General MIDI sounds.

WS sound sets

The sound sets for WS are too numerous to be listed here. But there are many sets available covering every type of instrument. Go to explore.

Wusik Sample Editor

A VST that allows manipulating WAV files and creating multi-sample sounds in WusikSND format.

9.95

Wusik VM

WVM is a manager for storing and organizing sounds for any VST / VSTi. It makes loading large preset libraries of many types easy to use by providing categories and auto-loading to the correct VST.

now free and open-source (BSD)

Wusik Magazine

A monthly magazine devoted to Wusik products and the music world surrounding it.

9.95/ mo 79.95/ year

Wusik Label

The place to go to hear new music and post your own.

free to join

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May 2008

Until next time, walk in light and harmonious sound.

29.95

Wusik Magazine

This is a simple scan of what’s offered. The prices, of course, may change and new products (or revisions of current products) may be offered at any time. But generally, the product line remains stable and is progressively updated and expanded.

129.95


Best Service

Ethno World 4 Professional by A. Arsov

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May 2008

Heavy Metals United Pretty funny way to introduce an Ethno World sample library, isn't it? Maybe, but one thing is for sure: No matter what genre you play in, you can't achieve any progress or success these days if you just follow the rules. Music is about imagination, and imagination knows no borders. I always fall asleep when I turn on the radio and hear the same chord progressions I heard thirty years ago, or repeated use of the same sounds I've known for ages. In the 21st century, everyone makes music. This is fantastic if you ask me, but if you want to stand

out of the crowd you should offer something more. So here comes your chance to be special: Ethno World 4 Professional. If you are already involved in some sort of world project, you might already have something similar. It probably isn't as good as this sample collection, but I presume it includes some ethnic instruments. Still, this collection remains a must have as it offers a unique possibility to get real, juicy sounding loops and phrases. Even if you play newage, ambient or downtempo music (where such instruments are often heard), this library


Ethno World 4

gives a valuable freshness to the sounds that transcends having encountered the instruments in this style of music a zillion times before. A rich pad and an eastern flute - does this sound familiar to you? If you've ridden in an elevator more than once, you've heard them all. But with Ethno World 4 Professional, it can make it sound as original as if they were used for the first time.

Pro

Use Your Imagination On other hand, can you imagine the sound of a metal band: hairy dirty creatures slamming with their long hair through tons and tons of noise, hysterically fast riffs and suddenly... a break followed by a solo from this bizarre ethno instrument, (even if it is that golden oldie, the eastern flute). Shock and contradiction. Eight bars of pure shepherd style

Wusik Magazine May 2008


music, then, before listeners even realize what happened to them, a fast drum intro and the whole band is back rocking onward as if nothing had happened. Trust me: such things are killers for jaded fans. That's rock and roll: spirit of the unknown. The more bizarre the combination is, the more it stands out. This ethno library could be a life saver for all your different genre projects. Use it and abuse it.

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May 2008

All United - EW4P So, let me introduce you to Ethno World 4 Professional, a sample library with an included Kontak 2 player, suited for all types of musical genres. It comes in a nice colored cardboard box with printed manuals for the Kontakt player and the

sample library's user guide as well as an additional DVD. It all looks good and, as I discovered later, it sounds even better. After the incdent free, boring and snoring installation (no complications, just copying 9.5 gigabytes of samples to your hard disk followed by a short registration on the Native Instruments site), I put my dirty fingers on the keyboard and gave all the sounds in the library a hard try. Ethno World 4 Professional may not be all that cheap (MSRP â‚Ź389 / $499.95 U.S.), but I was really pleasantly surprised to find that all but one of the sounds in the whole library exceeded my expectations. Yes, I've heard some better accordion presets in my life, but that's the one and only instrument in a 9.5 gigabyte library! I have used a


Ethno World 4

lot of sample libraries in the past. There was a time when I made all my music with just a sampler, and I have to say that you rarely find a sample library that isn't padded with average or even useless samples. All the samples, presets and loops in Ethno World 4 Professional are top notch (with the possible exception of the single patch mentioned earlier). They are full, rich and, what's even more important, are very musical and sound authentic. Thanks to award winning producer Marcel Barsotti, who collected and produced this sample library, all instruments sound authentic, with all the mystical tonal

Pro

progressions from other continents and floating rhythms from around the world. You can almost smell and feel their country of origin. All loops and samples are quality recordings with a professional richness and fullness rarely heard in such libraries.

The World Is My Oyster Ethno World 4 Professional contains over 200 ethno instruments along with more than 14,000 samples. Almost all instruments have licks recorded along with the multilayered presets. Thanks to the

Wusik Magazine May 2008


May 2008 Wusik Magazine

Kontakt Player's Elastic Audio Engine, all licks can be timestretched and transposed, and with the included Beat machine 2 technology, all percussion loops can be freely programmed and played in all tempi . Nice touch. I'm used to doing this in a DAW but it is a useful addition for all of the customers who can't do it in their sequencer of choice. I fell in love with all 1,400 included licks and loops from the moment I first heard them. They are very professionally recorded with all the breath and string noises that make them sound real and alive. Samples, loops and licks are packed in following categories: bowed instruments stringed instruments, woodwinds and brass, key instruments, bell type instruments,

metal type instruments, world percussion, gongs and bowls and (almost the most exotic one) the voice. This category includes choir, male and female solo voices along with Khoomii overtone singing, all from Mongolia. We can't name all the included instruments here, but the selection is excellently picked from all around the globe. From the Shanghai Baby Piano to the Erhu plectrum violin, the Dung Dkar Conch Trumpet to Hulushi, (and so many more) there are several strange sounding and rarely known ethno instruments. The unique licks and loops along with all multi layered presets will make your “heavy metal", "pop rock", "dnb", "jazz", "trip-hop" and "new garage" (or whatever musical genre you play) proudly stand out of the crowd.


Ethno World 4

Adios, Au revoir, Arrivederci, Nasvidenje I've spent a few hours testing this library and I'm sure that I will spend much more time using it in my future projects. The licks themselves are worth all the money you spend and believe me, these licks and loops are just the beginning of your beautiful friendship with Ethno World 4 Professional. Note: I always choose the best instruments and effects for review, so there tend to be endless pros and only minor cons. The only

Pro

shortcomings for EW4P are the aforementioned accordion preset and the lack info about the licks. Namely, the key of recording, notes used in some exotic scale and similar dirty details would all be nice to have, but I presume this can be easily be overcome with a musical ear. After all – we are musicians, so this shouldn't be a big problem. Audio demos and detail info on: www.bestservice.de/detail.asp/en/b est_service/ethno_world_4_professi onal/138866a62p253p32p6 Enjoy!

Wusik Magazine May 2008


Dash Signature HQS Volume 3

Wusik Magazine

May 2008

Evalon

A library of vintage polysynths and string machines by David Keenum


Dash

Besides their VST instruments (TDP, EVE 2, EMM Knagalis Ethno Synth, and SaxLab) Dash Signature has 6 libraries in their DASHsnd format. All of these soundsets will play in any DASHsnd-compatible VST instrument (see side box for DASHsnd compatible instruments). Wusikststion is one of those DASHsnd compatible instruments and, in addition, the first 4 libraries (HQS1 – HQS4) also contain Wusikstation presets. For the purpose of this review, we will mostly focus on the Wusikstation presets.

- KORG mini-700s

Evalon is the third in the Dash Library Series and is also known as HQS volume 3, or "HQS3". It features a wide selection of vintage keyboard samples. The samples are eclectic but mostly focused on ensemble or string sounds. The Evalon soundset is divided into three categories – Ensemble and PolySynth, Piano and Organ (which also contains Clavinet), and Waves. The samples are taken from a number of instruments. Here is a partial list:

- Yamaha CS80

Evalon

- Korg PS-3200 -

Korg PE1000, 2000, and Lambda ES-50 Poly Ensembles

- Logan String Melody II - ARP Solina String Ensemble - Yamaha SS30 String Synth - Roland D-50 - Sequential Circuits Prophet VS - Roland Jupiter 6 - Oberheim Matrix 12 and OB 12

I’m impressed! There are even samples of a Yamaha DX-7 electric piano patch and from a Korg SG-1 piano patch, but the strength of this library lies in its ensemble and string machine sounds. It might also interest you to know that the samples in Evalon were produced by Back In Time Records (www.backintimerecords.de/bitr00 1.htm).

Wusik Magazine May 2008


Dash

Evalon Twin Dash Player (TDP)

The 104 Wusikstation presets were programmed by Paul Walsh of Dash Signature. Each of these presets is a basic setting with one of the 104 multisamples or one-shots: 104 instrument samples = 104 presets. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like the Wusikstation presets: they don’t contain a lot of layers and wavesequences, but they are useful. Within a day of receiving the library, I was already using it in my music.

Wusik Magazine

May 2008

I’d love to have some Evalon presets programmed by Tim Conrardy, or Vera Kitner, or any of the other well known Wusikstation preset designers (hint, hint) but the presets that

come with Evalon are fully functional, right out of the box (in a manner of speaking). And besides that, it gives you reason to frequent the Wusikstation Preset Exchange (www.westgatenecrom antic.net/WusikPE/inde x.php)! Some of the samples are very nice, such as "String Melody Organ", "Solina C" and "OB Strings". But some of the samples have some obvious split points and changes in the sound. "WS Time Traveler" seems to have the [untweakable] LFO sampled in; "CS80 Mod Pad" sounds different above and below a split point, but it still sounds nice in a Vangelis sort of way and it didn’t really bother me.

www.dashsignature.com/prod ucts/dashsound/tdp.htm Another cool inclusion with your purchase of one of the Dash Signature Libraries is the Twin Dash Player. The TDP is a two-layer VST instrument that is designed for playing the Dash Sound Libraries, and each library comes with presets for the TDP. For example, Evalon contains both the TDP and 32 presets for it.

DASHsnd compatible VST instruments: DASH Signature: EVE 2, EMM Knagalis, Twin Dash Player ManyTone: ManyStation, ManyOne, ManyGuitar, ManyBass Wusik: Wusikstation


Dash

Evalon

Special Offer for Wusik Magazine Subscribers Only For a short time Dash Signature/Nusofting is offering a special price on the Dash Signature Libraries. This offer is only open to Wusik Magazine Subscribers. At the time of writing, the special pricing only lasts until May 31, 2008, so if any of these libraries interests you, you might want to act quickly. Here is the link: www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/

Here are some of my favorite presets: - AirVox – A vintage airy vocal pad. - CMI Low Bang – One of the classic Fairlight sounds. - CMI Male Vocal – Another one. - D50 Heaven – A D-50 preset. -

More info:

- ES50 Chorus – My idea of an “Ensemble” sound. -

OB Angel – An atmospheric lead.

- OB Strings – Very synth stringy.

- Solina C – There's only one Solina sample, but it's a nice one. - WS Debussy Strings – Yes, the Wavestation. - XWhisper – A cross between a vocal and a whistle.

May 2008

If you are like me, and really like classic, vintage, and old sounds (call it what you like), Evalon is worth a serious look. It will not replace any comprehensive vintage library (so GForce’s Virtual String Machine is safe), but as a simple, low-cost Wusikstation library, this is a find!

Wusik Magazine

www.dashsignature.com/pr oducts/dashsound/hqs3.h tm Price: 35.00 EUR/ 45.00 US

D50 Nylon Atmosphere – Another D-50 preset.

- P800 Strings – A great companion to OB Strings.


Apulsoft apEQ

Wusik Magazine

May 2008

by A. Arsov


More Lunch Than You Paid For Apulsoft's multi-band equalizer apEQ

costs

reviewers

in

49

Euros.

various

Some musical

magazines wrote that it's the price of lunch at a three star restaurant, but apEQ is much more than that. You get a top rated menu, for a low price along with a Gypsy band playing your favourite songs and a stunning server that stares you straight in the eye and asks you if you're ready for dessert. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Apulsoft apEq is a fantasy come true in equalizer form. Not because its the best sounding equalizer in the world It is simply one of the most useful

and

user

released to date.

friendly

EQ

Wusik Magazine

but rather because of its utility.

May 2008


Apulsoft apEQ

EQ for the Deaf Musician Of all the musical friends I know, only one or two have a "sixth sense" for shaping a sound during the mixing process. The others, including me, are self-made producers that have had to develop our abilities through years of trial and error and practice. So it is always a blessing to get a tool that can ease the working process and help us to overcome our difficulties. Apulsofot apEQ is some sort of WYSIWYG (What-You-See-IsWhat-You-Get) application. That's a term mostly used for HTML and word processors but seems to finally find a place in the VST world.

Wusik Magazine

May 2008

You may have top notch EQ, but it can't help you fix the problem if it won't let you find and define it. Normally, some rumble/tumble low frequencies may blur the whole mix and you don't know where the hell they are coming from or maybe some frequencies punch out and you can't figure out where they are. But Apulsoft apEQ comes with a high resolution real time frequency analyser along with aneasy to use equalizer: a killer mixing combination that goes far beyond many other (far more expensive) EQs. For all of us weak-eyed fellows, offers a big, easily scanned window covering the real frequency analyser along

apEQ main time with

equalizer graphs. One click anywhere on a display brings us a drop down menu with all the included filter types. Not simply an ordinary menu, this one has nice self-explanatory icons along with the filter types. So if you are not to familiar with all the fancy names, just follow the signs. Selecting the right filter is just the beginning of the easy to use fun. Most new equalizers these days already have some sort of possibilities for drawing curves, but apEQ beats the competition with a few additional user friendly options. After selecting the right filter type it is dead easy to finetune your selection. Each selected point has a box above it that contains all the filter information such as frequency, gain, width, stack (a parameter that changes the filter characteristic by stacking multiple filters on top of each other), selected channel and filter type along with delete or bypass option. Changing the desired parameter is easy as clicking on it and dragging up or down. For greater precision, it is possible to manually enter a value by double clicking and typing it instead. For surgical operation it is also possible to zoom a specific region allowing you to be ultra picky. I've tried many equalizers and I constantly rely on a few chosen ones, but this one became my essential one for solving delicate equalization problems.


Apulsoft apEQ

Should I? Yes, you should. Download the demo and you will see why. The only possible imperfection is that the CPU usage is just a bit above average. It is not a major problem, but if you use forty tracks and plenty of other effects it may cause some issues. Other than that, it is definitively a musical lifesaver. Regarding updates, Apulsoft is planning spectrum overlays for viewing the frequencies from other tracks along with the present one. This will be an excellent bonus for this already exceptional mixing tool. They are also working to solve

the CPU issue and if they should add tone names along the frequency ranges then the sky will be the limit. Direct to 0 dbfs heaven without digital clipping. Apulsoft ApEQ is already one of the most user friendly ultra-useful virtual effects out there. We all know that competition doesn't sleep, but talking with Adrian (the Apulsoft headmaster) I got the impression that he doesn't sleep either. The battle will be ruthless and we, the users, will be the winners. But if you want to join the winners club you should buy an ApEQ first. So, what are you waiting for... dessert?

Wusik Magazine May 2008


Wsm - May 2008 - Issue 03 Vol.II  

Wsm - May 2008