iZotope Spire Studio 2: the portable, hybrid recording system gets an upgrade

iZotope Spire Studio 2iZotope has released Spire Studio 2. The concept of the hybrid, portable recording system for your smartphone remains the same, but iZotope has updated several hardware components and improved the iOS app. What’s new in Spire Studio 2?

iZotope Spire Studio 2

iZotope Spire Studio was launched in 2017 as a unique, portable recording solution. The system consists of two main components: The hardware, which bears somewhat of a resemblance to typical smart speakers (“Alexa, record the guitar, please!”), and a smartphone app. The hardware connects to your phone wirelessly via WiFi. According to iZotope, the system saw a spike in popularity during the lockdown, so they’ve decided to give it an upgrade.

The hardware provides two XLR-1/4″ combo jacks with preamps for connecting anything from microphones to guitars to keyboards, as well as two headphone outputs. There’s also an integrated microphone with an omni polar pattern for recording anything that’s happening in the vicinity of the Spire, without any additional equipment. The circular level meter, which encircles the centrally located record and play buttons, also works as a touch surface for setting volume levels and other adjustments. The idea is to have a compact device that you can place on the table wherever you may be, connect to your phone and start recording without the need for additional gear.

This layout remains the same in the second generation, but iZotope has made a few adjustments. Spire Studio 2 features new preamps, which deliver a “smooth” sound, according to the manufacturer. They’ve also made the display a bit brighter and added more memory for a longer onboard recording time of up to eight hours. Other improvements include better battery life and a new Bluetooth link to your phone for faster pairing with the app.

Spire iOS app

The Spire iOS app comes in two versions: free and Pro. The app lets you record, edit and mix up to eight tracks. It also includes collaboration functionality and lets you share your tracks and mixdowns with others via the Spire cloud. The iOS app can even be used without the Spire hardware, while the Spire Studio Controller app for Android requires pairing with the hardware.

The Pro version of the iOS app, which requires you to enroll in a subscription plan, unlocks additional functionality such as vocal tuning and automatic sound checking. New in Spire 2 are noise reduction and pop filter algorithms pulled from iZotope’s RX audio restoration suite, which will come in handy for recordings made in less-than-perfect environments.

It’s not a huge upgrade, but the new version of Spire Studio does come with a few improvements that keep the hybrid platform up to date.

Price and compatibility

Spire Studio 2 is available now for €485. If you order it today (March 31, 2021) from Thomann.de*, you’ll receive the Spire Studio Case for free (a €29 value).

The Spire iOS app is available on the Apple App Store. The Pro membership costs €5.49 per month or €52.99 per year.

The Spire Studio Controller Android app is available for free on the Play Store.

More information

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Cinematic Trailer SFX By Ghosthack Is FREE @ Audio Plugin Deals

Cinematic Trailer SFX by Ghosthack (FREE DOWNLOAD)

Audio Plugin Deals offers the Cinematic Trailer SFX ($60 value) sound library by Ghosthack as a free download until April 13th, 2021. Cinematic Trailer SFX is a premium sound effects library by Ghosthack. It contains 411 cinematic trailer sound effects, including impacts, drones, risers, atmospheres, cinematic percussion, sub-booms, and more. The library typically costs $60, […]

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From: Bedroom Producers Blog | bedroomproducersblog.com/2021/03/31/cinematic-trailer-sfx/

First Look: Enrage is a beast of a multi-FX plug-in that needs some taming

Boom Library Enrage First Look ReviewBoom Library is among the top dogs in modern sound design. We’re talking the kind of software used in big time cinema and videogames. It’s latest release is Enrage, a modular multi-effects plug-in of the aforementioned caliber.

Although the user interface doesn’t look too intimidating, the level of complexity beneath it stops just short of coding your own stuff in Reaktor. Then again, no one is twisting your elbow towards Enrage’s more occult aspects, such as modulating effects parameters with mathematical formulas. The plug-in is powerful and flexible enough to really be what you want it to be. And if you don’t know what that is, head to the immaculate preset browser for a serving of instant inspiration.

At its core, Enrage makes it possible to stack up to 6 effects in parallel, and up to 8 effects in serial for a total of 14 processors doing potentially outrageous things to your innocent audio. Furthermore, the modulation options are extensive. Feel free to modulate effects parameters while modulating the modulators themselves and triggering some of that action via MIDI or sidechain input.

DAW automation? Not quite

With this amount of liberty, it is very easy to go overboard or lose track of things. To that, the Undo/Redo buttons and two types of overview – Rack and Matrix – prove quite helpful. The latter covers modulation and notably lets you add multipliers to the mod sources for extra zany-ness. Another option is to simply drag and drop modulators onto the parameters which allow it, like in many modern virtual synths.

If you prefer automation curves instead of dialing in modulators, you’ll have to create some macros. Up to 6 of these are available. They can be modulated and are the only parts of Enrage that allow DAW automation.

Enrage matrix

Not your usual signal chain…

Charlie’s sound design factory

The scope and depth of Enrage becomes clearer the more you dive into its vast catalog of devices and modulation sources. The devices cover 6 delay types, 4 distortions (including non-linear drive and waveshaping), 2 dynamics processors (gate and compressor), 6 types of frequency filters (such as Splash, which changes the frequency spectrum according to the behaviour of simulated water), 4 audio generators, 7 stereo image processors (they make up the most exhaustive M/S processing suite I’ve seen anywhere), 5 modulation effects, 5 pitch shifters, 2 reverbs, and 4 visual analysers.

Boom Library Enrage

Boom Library wants you to enrage your productions.

Each processor has enough functionality to exist standalone, so we’re not talking abridged versions of studio mainstays. What’s more, the set of stereo processing, metering, routing and gain control tools makes Enrage a potent mastering powerhouse. If anything, it beats any modern DAW’s respectable collection of stock plug-ins out of the water.

Modulation Madness

Moving onto the modulation sources, we get an envelope follower, LFO, Curve, ADSR, Mapping, Transient, Change, Pitch tracker, and Formula. They have very detailed controls and offer quite the interesting possibilities. The envelope follower lets you modulate anything to mimic the behavior of a compressor. Take it into the Change modulator, which analyzes the changes in input data, and you have a fully controllable transient detector circuit. The LFO does everything you’d expect it to do in this day and age, including Random Sample & Hold and bipolar (up/down) behavior.

Curve lets you draw custom curves and trigger them via audio and MIDI. ADSR covers the familiar volume envelopes with some added twists. Mapping maps modulation sources to new values in a custom curve which is then modulated by other mod sources or macros. Transient creates an envelope from the changes in your audio’s dynamics. The pitch tracker tracks the pitch of monophonic signals for use as a modulator, and Formula generates mod values from mathematical expression which you enter yourself.

Powerful features that need some taming

Despite its immense powers, Enrage is accessible enough to act as a medium for random experimentation and happy accidents. But with this many high-quality processors, unorthodox modulators and detailed controls, it really helps to be deliberate. The more you understand what you are actually doing, the better and more sophisticated results you will coax out of Enrage. This is why I feel the plug-in is better suited towards proficient producers and sound designers able to put all its machinations to work.

Enrage preset browser

Enrage’s preset browser is incredibly deep.

Price and availability

Enrage is available in VST, AU, and AAX formats for 64-bit Windows and Mac computers. The plug-in is on an introductory sale until April 13 2021, priced EUR 239.20 / USD 279.20. That’s 20% off from the regular EUR 299 / USD 349 price. A 7-day feature unlimited demo version is available from the BOOM Library website.

More information

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Arousor v3: Distressor plug-in gets 2 Opto modes, on sale at USD 70 off

Arousor v3 plug-inThe Empirical Labs Distressor is a highly-revered hardware compressor known for its impressive versatility. The Arousor plug-in is where Empirical Labs recreate the unit in software and explore the many possibilities to improve offered by the digital environment. So the Arousor is not a straight-up Distressor emulation, but more of an evolution. Version 3 of the plug-in is out now and available at an introductory price until April 8, 2021. The manufacturer’s Big FrEQ parametric equalizer plug-in is also on sale.

Empirical Labs Arousor v3

New in Arousor v3 are two Opto compression modes – A and B. They are based on vintage and modern Teletronix LA-2A units. Another new feature is the Soft Clipping expert panel which lets you apply second harmonic distortion and place the compressor input stage before or after the soft clipping circuit. Also new is the Listen mode where you can hear the frequencies affecting the detector sidechain EQ’s compression detector. Furthermore, additional 6:5:1 and 7:1 ratios are possible by enabling ALT mode in the Ratio section. Finally, the user interface can be enlarged to double its original size. These are all significant improvements worthy of a major release.

Price and availability

The Arousor 3 update is delivered for free to existing owners. The plug-in can be purchased at an introductory price of USD 129, down from USD 199. The offer is good until April 8, 2021. A 15-day trial version can be downloaded from the Empirical Labs website. A free iLok account is required for authorization via iLok Cloud or iLok 2 and 3 USB dongles. Arousor is available in AAX, AU, VST2 and VST3 formats for 64-bit Windows and Mac computers.

Also on sale until April 8, 2021 is Empirical Labs’ BIG FrEQ parametric equalizer plug-in. Its price is reduced to USD 129 from USD 149. You can read more about it here.

More information

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Get A FREE Plugin Alliance Product With The $20 OFF Voucher Code

Plugin Alliance DEAL

Plugin Alliance launched the MEGA Sale, offering up to 90% OFF in discounts on over 100 products until April 3rd, 2021. The company also provided a $20 OFF coupon code which is valid for a single purchase. The recently launched MEGA Sale includes over a hundred plugins from developers like Brainworx, Shadow Hills, Lindell, and […]

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From: Bedroom Producers Blog | bedroomproducersblog.com/2021/03/31/plugin-alliance-deal/

#StayCreative Offers FREE Ozone Elements, Sounds, Tuts & More!

#StayCreative Offers FREE Ozone Elements, Sounds, Tuts & More!

Beatport, Loopcloud, iZotope, and Producertech have joined forces with Plugin Boutique to bring you #StayCreative. It’s not the first time these audio production giants have got together; this time, it’s to help people stay positive and creative through the challenging times we are all experiencing. #StayCreative (available 30th March – 18th April 2021) is a […]

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From: Bedroom Producers Blog | bedroomproducersblog.com/2021/03/30/staycreative/

Pioneer DJ introduces the VM series active monitor speakers

Pioneer DJ VM seriesPioneer DJ has announced the VM series active monitor speakers. The company says that the new VM-50, VM-70 and VM-80 monitors are equally good at recreating a club atmosphere as they are at providing a flat frequency response for producing and mixing music. How do they achieve it?

Pioneer DJ VM-50, VM-70 and VM-80 monitors

Coming from a DJ brand, the new VM series speakers feel right at home in your DJ setup. But Pioneer says that they’re neutral enough to serve as monitors for producing and mixing in your home studio or studio, as well.

The VM series is an evolution of the S-DJX speakers. According to Pioneer DJ, the linear frequency response, Class-D amplifiers and new, lighter Aramid fiber woofer cones ensure an accurate reproduction of any signal. The manufacturer has also developed a new ‘Vortex Bass Accelerator’, which uses ribs in the bass reflex port to ensure a free air flow from the speaker. The front baffle consists of 4-mm-thick aluminum, which further suppresses vibrations and resonance, Pioneer DJ says.

The mid and high frequencies are handled by the constant directivity horn, which also creates a broad, uniform listening space, the manufacturer claims. According to Pioneer DJ, the shape of the horn and the woofer edge have been optimized to ensure a flat crossover and a natural sound.

Pioneer DJ VM-80

VM-80

Integrated DSP

All VM series speakers are equipped with an integrated DSP that runs at 96 kHz. You can fine-tune the speakers to your listening environment using the high and low EQs, which provide four settings each. There’s also an auto standby mode, which you can disable if you prefer.

The smallest of the bunch, the VM-50, comes with a 5.25″ woofer. Pioneer states a frequency response of 40 Hz to 36 kHz and a maximum SPL of 107 dB. With the VM-70, you get a 6.5″ woofer that reaches down to 37 Hz. The max SPL is 112 dB. The larger VM-80 increases the woofer diameter to 8″ and delivers a frequency response of 34 Hz to 36 kHz and a maximum SPL of 115 dB. All models provide XLR, 1/4″ and RCA input options, which gives you a choice depending on your application.

Competition is fierce in the budget monitor segment, and we’ll have to see if the VM series can successfully establish itself as a viable option for music production and mixing. But with streamed DJ sets being all the rage, I think we’ll soon see the new monitors all over the place in home DJ setups.

Price and availability

The Pioneer DJ VM series should be available by mid April. The prices are as follows:

  • VM-50 (available in black or white): €129
  • VM-70: €249
  • VM-80: €309

More information

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Moog Sound Studio: magical all-in-one synth package

Moog Sound StudioChoose from a Mother-32 and DFAM or Subharmonicon and DFAM as a cool synth studio package with a 2-tier stand, cables, artwork and a little mixer.

Moog Sound Studio

What a brilliant idea. A complete Moog Sound Studio experience that gives you a workable synthesizer set up with everything you need in one box.

Moog Sound Studio

Moog Sound Studio

There are two packages; one containing the Mother-32 and a DFAM, the other with the DFAM and the Subharmonicon. They combine synthesizer elements with percussive elements but in quite diverse ways. In one set you’ve got more traditional drums and sequenced bassline and in the other an experimental journey into noise, loops and percussion. These are brilliant combinations.

Moog Sound Studio

Moog Sound Studio

Regardless of which package you choose you’ll also get the 2-tier bracket for turning the synths into a little console, a bag of Moog patch cables with a patch cable dangling rack and a very cool little mixer and headphone amp so you can actually hear everything properly. You also get a glimpse into the Moog lifestyle with artwork and custom interactive objects (cardboard characters) that you can surround yourself with for a sense of inspiration. It’s a lovely thing – even the box is beautiful.

Moog Sound Studio

Moog Sound Studio

Moog is also releasing a Compilation EP: Explorations in Analog Synthesis which will be free on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, that showcases the sound of these synth combinations. Contributing artists include Bonobo, Peter Cottontale, Julianna Barwick, Madame Gandhi, Martial Canterel and Ela Minus. That’s a really inspirational idea.

Moog Sound Studio

Moog Sound Studio

Moog Music has this ability to wrap the world in joy and light and these Sound Studio packages exemplify that creative desire to express life through music and technology. Or, get a pair of really great synths and some cool stuff for a slightly cheaper bundle price!

Moog Sound Studio: Mother-32 & DFAM: $1,399

Moog Sound Studio: Subharmonicon & DFAM: $1,449

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Sign Up Today – Get A FREE Slate Digital Sample Pack On March 31st!

Slate Digital BASSHOLE

Slate Digital offers BASSHOLE, a free collection of royalty-free samples for everyone who signs up before March 31st. BASSHOLE is expected to drop on the 31st of March, and all you have to do to be eligible is join the waiting list. If you want to grab this sample pack for free, you’ll need to […]

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From: Bedroom Producers Blog | bedroomproducersblog.com/2021/03/30/slate-digital-basshole/