Resonant DSP has released Swanky Amp, a freeware guitar amplifier in VST3 and AU plugin formats for DAW software on PC and Mac. Free guitar and bass amplifier emulations are a dime a dozen these days, and they sound pretty good. But having one more to enjoy cannot possibly hurt, can it? Especially since we […]
Step into the eerily realistic world of synthesized vocals in version 2 of Dreamtonic’s Synthesizer V Studio with realtime rendering and a range of Anime styled vocalists to choose from.
Synthesizer V Studio
“V” is for vocals and Dreamtonics believe they can provide you with a vocalist that’s not going to be late for any sessions, get too drunk to sing or run off with your boyfriend. It’s less of a synthesizer in that you don’t “play it” and it’s more of studio environment where you build vocal tracks. Think of it as Melodyne but in reverse.
The voices are generated by a combination of artificial intelligence and samples which allows it to find a natural and organic tone while giving you the ability to control the voice and the performance. In this new version of the engine it brings in neural networks to enhance the quality of elements such as breaths and whispers.
You need a voice to start with and currently, there are 10 to choose from. They are displayed as cute anime characters, predominately female and described in slightly odd ways. For instance, Chiyu is “A brave and honest girl. Her bright flaming voice reaches far and wide like a bonfire.” and Shian has “The faint smile on her is reminiscent of a baby or a teddy bear, rather. A soft and warm voice is released from the hold of her mouth.” Six of them sing in Chinese, three in Japanese and one in English called Eleanor Forte who “Despite being an epitome of the latest technology, Eleanor keeps an interest in antiques. She is honest, endeavoring, with an unwavering sense of morality.” which is good to know.
So what do they sound like? Pretty cool actually. Of course, there’s a lot of Japanese and Chinese pop music in this and so vocals overladen with autotune effects are not uncommon. But there’s also more to it than that and a surprising level of realism.
Here’s an example which, although synthetic, doesn’t sound like it couldn’t be real:
This one is a more realistic example in Chinese.
It’s really quite interesting.
Synthesizer V Studio itself looks very familiar with a piano roll interface and vocal objects that look every bit like Melodyne. You place notes and the vocals render themselves. Add in lyrics and it automatically throws them onto the notes you’ve placed. You can download a free “Lite” version and try it out for yourself, it’s really quite fun and slightly amazing.
You can tune things, add colour and vibrato, slide from note to note add accents and control breathiness, tone and pronunciations. You can even script up processes to automate your workflow. You can use it standalone or as a plugin within your DAW.
I wonder whether it’s worth all the trouble to craft a vocal performance in software when perhaps you could get your mate to sing it instead. It definitely has possibilities although I’m not sure we’re ready for it on this side of the planet yet.
Synthesizer V Studio is available now for around £80 but try out the free version first to get a flavour of the possibilities. And there’s a long video on the website going into all the details about the technology.
Tokyo Dawn Records has released TDR Molotok, a freeware compressor effect in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for PC and Mac. The plugin is the simplified free edition of the new TDR Molot GE (€40) compressor. The free TDR Molotok and paid TDR Molot GE are based on the legendary Molot freeware compressor […]
Developer VladG’s Molot compressor plug-in is an all-time freeware classic that keeps going strong, close to a decade after release! Molot (the Hammer) is a Fairchild-style compressor on steroids with tons of parameters and a rich analog character. It’s worth all the love it can get in this day and age. This explains why developer Tokyo Dawn Records decided to pay it some respect by reimagining VladG’s work. Meet TDR Molot GE, the follow up to last week’s free Molot compressor!
Tokyo Dawn Records Molot GE
Honoring the original in every aspect, Molot GE offers too much compression stuff to fit into a single sentence. First, there’s an analog-style brickwall limiter, a saturation section, and tone controls. A dual-stage timing section enables control over the auto-release behavior. Both feedforward and feedback compression types are supported.
There’s also adjustable stereo crossover and some mad science type stuff like negative ratios, sidechain phase rotation, and a bit-crusher. This war ensemble ofcompression techniques can operate in Stereo and M/S mode, the latter with dedicated controls for width. A modern addition is the equal loudness workflow with equal loudness bypass and equal loudness trim for proper monitoring of the results.
With this many options in it, Molot is really what you make out of it. It can be a gentle LA2A-style comp, an 1176-type peak leveler, or the next best thing after the Distressor. I love the attention to detail which is evident in aspects like choosable stepped/variable controls. And that user interface, of course – vintage Soviet madness!
All in all, this is Molot – one of the most intriguing compressors to ever grace a DAW – and though it never went away, it’s back with a vengeance!
Price and availability
Tokyo Dawn Records is selling TDR Molot GE at an introductory 20% off discount, the final price being EUR 40. The offer is good until Wednesday, October 28.
Molot GE is available in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats for 32 and 64-bit computers runnng Windows XP SP2 and later, or macOS 10.7 and later. A user manual and free demo version can be downloaded from the developer’s website. Note that a paired-down free version called simply Molot is also available – you can read more about it here.
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