512 Audio: new Script & Tempest USB mics, audio interface for streamers

During CES 2022, Warm Audio spin-off 512 Audio unveiled a pair of new USB microphones and an audio interface meant to streamline audio production for content creators. The microphones in question are called Script and Tempest, and the sleek little box is the 512 Audio Interface. With Warm Audio resources and expertise to readily tap into, I figure these will be solid products for the money. 512 Audio Script USB microphone 512 Audio Script USB microphone Script is a dual-capsule USB microphone with onboard gain and mute controls. Its sound profile is modelled after the Warm Audio WA-14, in itself a clone of the venerable AKG C414. The microphone features both cardioid and omni pickup patterns as well as a dedicated headphone jack. It’s supposedly optimised for voice and speech, which makes sense considering the C414’s vocal mic heritage. The Script will be available in Spring 2022 at GBP 130. More information here. 512 Audio Tempest USB microphone 512 Audio Tempest USB microphone Tempest is a large-diaphragm condenser that replicates the design and character of the Warm Audio WA-47Jr, a popular choice for a Neumann U47 clone. It supports a recording resolution of 24-bit / 48kHz which is quite adequate. Connecting over USB-C, the microphone features gain controls, a mute control and a headphone jack with dedicated volume knob. Modeled after the old U47 which sounds right on almost anything, the Tempest is capable of handling voice (for podcasts and livestreams), acoustic instruments, and vocals alike. The Tempest will be available in March 2022 at GBP 155. More information here. 512 Audio Interface 512 Audio interface The 512 audio interface is an uncomplicated means of digital recording. It features a…

New audio tech at CES 2022: Mind Control Earbuds and the Noveto N-1

Some exciting developments from CES 2022 have really stood out in terms of innovation. Let’s take a look at two items in particular that have piqued our interest. Check out the Mind Control Earbuds from Wisear Technology, which makes use of a combination of sensors and an AI algorithm to read your brainwaves, and the Noveto N-1 Bluetooth speaker system with invisible headphone mode for a discrete uniquely earpiece-free listening experience. What are your favorite tech products from CES 2022? Let us know in the comments below. Mind Control Music Control with Wisear Technology Based in Paris, France, music tech startup Wisear has been hard at work developing the technology that allows your thoughts to control a smartphone’s basic music playback controls. Using specialized earbuds, the system carries out commands when you think of raising the volume, skipping to the next track, or muting the audio completely. Using sensors from the same manufacturers that created Apple’s AirPods 3 and the Bose QuietComfort earbuds, the system measures your brain activity. The system uses a method called “EarEEG” that combines an AI algorithm with the data captured by the sensors. Following the presentation at CES 2022, Wisear is looking to partner with an earbud manufacturer to take the Mind Control system onto the commercial market. Their neuronal biosensing solution has other potential applications like controlling a walkie-talkie’s push-to-talk function and their is a world of possibilities that will open up should it be incorporated in VR/AR headsets. As to when exactly we will be skipping through playlists telepathically, only time will tell. It certainly sounds like an exciting prospect either way. Noveto N-1 Invisible headphone solution Noveto N-1 – Soundbar with Invisible…

Best free plug-ins of the year: Top 10 free effects and synths of 2021

As 2021 is on its way out, it’s time to look back at the amazing free plug-ins that the year has sent our way. The successful KVR Developer Challenge in the summer sparked the development of countless inspiring synths and effects. But the rest of the year wasn’t too shabby, either, and many useful and innovative free plug-ins came out throughout the year. Join us as we take a look back and name our favorite freeware plug-ins of 2021. And if you’ve got some time on your hands while you’re waiting for New Year’s Eve, be sure to visit our huge freeware archive, where you’ll find all of our Sunday freeware posts with hundreds of free plug-ins. It’s time for the list! These are our Top 10 free plug-ins of 2021: Audiomodern Gatelab Audiomodern made last year’s top 10 list with the awesome Filterstep, and they’ve done it again this year with Gatelab. Gatelab is easily one of the best gate sequencers out there, and it’s completely free. The plug-in lets you go berserk with a bunch of ready-made and customizable rhythmic patterns, volume automation, ratcheting, creative randomization options and more. And it’s MIDI controllable, so you can use it live, as well. A must-have for any electronic producer. Gatelab is available for macOS and Windows in AU, VST, VST3, AAX and stand-alone formats. There’s also an iOS version. Get Gatelab here Phuturetone GR-8 Like many of this year’s best free plug-ins, Phuturetone GR-8 came out of the KVR Developer Challenge. GR-8 is an excellent virtual-analog synth with 8 voices (duh). It can be used in mono, poly, chord and unison modes and features two oscillators with PWM, FM and…

Best VST Plug-ins 2021: Our Top 10 Effects and Instruments this year!

2021 was a solid year for plug-ins and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to move onto the next! Here, I present the 10 VST plug-ins and instruments I felt most fond of in 2021. Don’t ask me why – I don’t understand the process very well myself. This list comes from the heart! But what does it take to captivate us as musicians, engineers or producers? Well, distortion certainly gets my ol’ corason going! But there’s more to the list than elaborate audio manglers, I assure you.  Here are my Top 10 VST plug-ins and instruments in no particular order: BOOM Library Enrage Boom Library wants you to enrage your productions. 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 having their way with your unsuspecting audio. The modulation options are predictably extensive, too. You can modulate effects parameters while modulating the modulators themselves. And why not trigger some of the action yourself via MIDI or sidechain input? Sure, be yourself at home! Enrage is powerful and flexible enough to make whatever it is that you need out of it. If you don’t know what that is, the preset browser certainly helps! Read more about BOOM Library Enrage BOOM Library Enrage – Video Tonsturm SPCTRL EQ SPCTRL EQ Transform Mode If you think filter sweeps are cool, SPCTRL EQ unlocks the rest of an equalizer’s unsuspected creative potential. It lets you edit up to 4096 individual frequency bands from a highly flexible curve editor, and switch things up with modulation and DAW automation. The plug-in has a lean and intuitive user…

Softube releases major update for its Console 1 Mixing System

Softube’s Console 1 is the first viable example of a hybrid mixing system (software + hardware controller) I can recall off the top of my head. For the un-initiated, Console 1 represents a bunch of top-notch SSL console emulations controlled by a tactile surface with actual knobs and faders. It’s a niche product, but an important one that led by example. I’m glad to see Softube took the time to do some major housekeeping and released a substantial update for it. Softube Console 1 major update The new version adds another degree of responsiveness and control to the hybrid mixing system. We are talking additional command over the Drive and Width sections from the Console 1 hardware, as well as advanced visuals and metering, improved frequency analysis, independent exchange of drives and channel strip filters, and the ability to load distortion plug-ins—like Softube Tape—in the Shape section. The complete list of changes and improvements is available below: Select Drive from the Console 1 hardware without changing the entire channel strip New metering for RMS (inner) and Peak dBFS (outer) loudness for input and output Adjust the input gain and width in the output section from the Console 1 hardware and software Exchange channel strip filters without affecting other sections Load Tape, Harmonics, and Overstayer M-A-S into the Shape section to distort audio before EQ Improved FFT frequency analyzer with four new operating modes derived from Softube’s Weiss EQ plug-ins Track color coordination for supported DAWs within the Console 1 Mixing System software and hardware units Universal Audio plug-in compatibility adds support for UA 175 B & UA 176, SSL 4000 E Channel Strip, SSL G Bus Compressor, Century Strip, Tube-Tech…

Komplete Now: NI launches $10/m subscription package for selected plug-ins

At long last, Native Instruments has figured out how to open up a piece of its vast Komplete instruments and effects bundle for subscribers. Previously sold the way all software used to be sold (buy once, upgrade later), Komplete gets with the times and is now $10 a month. You can still buy it on a USB hard drive for kicks, though! Native Instruments releases Komplete Now As expected, this package gives beatmakers, producers, and creators of all kinds access to some of Native Instruments’ defining synths and effects at a low monthly price. For $10 per month (and you can cancel anytime), subscribers get a comprehensive range of production tools, including NI’s flagship MASSIVE X synthesizer, the good old BATTERY 4 drum sampler, and three PLAY-series instruments: CLOUD SUPPLY, LO-FI GLOW, and HYBRID KEYS. KOMPLETE NOW also includes RETRO MACHINES MK2 (16 sampled analog synthesizers and keyboards, and the RAUM and REPLIKA effects). The collection is basically all the Komplete that many of you will ever need. It’s far from the whole package, but NI says that the package offer will keep growing with presets, sound packs, effects, and further content updates down the line. First up will be MELTED VIBES, NI’s recent Play Series release designed for drill and hip hop. All in all, NI should have done this at least two years ago, but I take it that the massive restructuring happening alongside running a mega-successful company took its expected toll on product development. Welcome to the subscription fold, Komplete, and have a blessed future! How much does it cost? Komplete Now is available from December 8, 2021 at the Native Instruments online shop. Creators can choose…

Best Christmas Synth Gifts for Under £100!

Wondering what to buy a loved one who is into synthesizers? Look no further! Here are our top picks for gifts for the synth lover in your life. Bjooks Synth Gems 1 SYNTH GEMS 1 A lovingly put together coffee table book exploring vintage synthesizers. You’ll find rate, weird and fabulous synths inside the pages enthusiastically described by Mike Metlay and represented by over 330 photos. It’s a great way to discover the history of synthesis and how sonic innovation shaped music forever. Synth Gems 1 also has a foreword by synth legend Vince Clarke. Synth Gems – £55. Bjooks website. loading … Eight Electronic Sound Advent Calendar Electronic Sound Advent Calendar Build a synthesizer is 24 steps over the course of Advent as a way of combining electronic sound with your personal religious expression of the coming saviour. There’s no doubt that baby Jesus would enjoy the soothing tones of your ambient noise drones. Behind each door is a component to plug into the breadboard and by Christmas eve you’ll be annoying your whole family with your tunes. Electronic Sound Advent Calendar – £24.79 Eight website. Befaco Synth Duster Befaco Synth Duster Of course, you can use any old brush from anywhere but hey, this is Christmas and what could be better than a red brush custom made (probably) and designed expressly for keeping synths and modular dust free? It works too! Befaco Synth Duster – £11.90 Befaco website. loading … Tesla Coil Bluetooth Speaker Tesla Coil Speaker It’s a Bluetooth speaker designed to look a bit like a record player with freakin’ lightning coming out of an inbuilt Tesla coil. Apparently, it will arc about 10cm and has…

Gearnews December Raffle #1: Win a Bluebox Digital Mixer/Recorder by 1010 Music!

The big Gearnews December Giveaway Raffle is on! We’re giving away some awesome gear this year, and we’re kicking off with a fantastic prize: The Bluebox Digital Mixer/Recorder by 1010 Music. 1010 Music Bluebox When my colleague Lyubomir wrote about the Bluebox on its release in 2020, he was stunned by the amount of functionality on offer in such a portable unit. If you’re aiming for a DAWless setup that’s mobile and flexible, the Bluebox is the answer. Six stereo 3.5mm TRS are on hand to hook up your modular stuff, synths and samplers – or even a guitar floorboard modeller. The recorder manages a highly respectable 24-bit and 48 kHz, more than enough for pristine audio. The inputs are mapped onto 12 mono tracks or six stereo controls, and each track is independently controlled, too. Parametric EQs, effects, three stereo outputs, a 3.5″ touchscreen – and it’s bus powered, too! This is a compact yet capable mixer and recorder, with an added live performance role thanks to the onboard MIDI I/O. Features 6 stereo 3.5 mm TRS inputs 12 mono tracks, 6 stereo tracks or something in between 3 independently controlled stereo 3.5 mm TRS outputs 5” touch screen, 4 knobs, 8 navigation buttons and 3 transport buttons 3 effects: reverb, delay and compressor Records and plays back 48k, 24-bit audio WAV files 4 band EQ per track MIDI In and Out for beat syncing effects Dimensions: 5.5″ x 5″ x 2″ (14 cm x 13 cm x 5 cm), 1 lb (450 grams) Durable metal case How to enter Entering our raffle couldn’t be easier. Just leave us a comment under this post or under the Facebook or…

Deal: Save on Universal Audio Apollo interfaces and get up to $1793 of plug-ins for free

Thinking about investing in a Universal Audio Apollo audio interface? Now is a perfect time! Until the end of the year, the manufacturer is offering huge price cuts on the Apollo x6, x8 and x8p Heritage Edition interfaces. And that’s not all: On top of that, you’ll receive a plug-in bundle that would normally cost you $1444 or even $1793 in the case of the Apollo x8p. What a great way to give your studio an upgrade! Universal Audio x6, x8 and x8p on sale Effective immediately, you can save big when you buy one of Universal Audio’s flagship interfaces Apollo x6, x8 and x8p Heritage Edition. Depending on your currency, prices have been reduced by around €600 for the x6 and €800 for the x8 and x8p. That’s a fantastic opportunity to equip your studio with one (or more) of these high-end, DSP-powered Thunderbolt 3 interfaces and harness the power of UAD plug-ins. Speaking of plug-ins: You’re not just saving big bucks on the hardware. This deal also includes a fantastic plug-in bundle that would normally cost you four digits. In addition to the Realtime Analog Classics Plus Bundle and the Heritage Edition Bundle (Helios Type 69, V76 Preamp, Teletronix LA-3A, Oxide Tape Recorder, Pure Plate Reverb), you’ll also receive free licenses to the Avalon VT-737 Channel Strip, Antares Auto-Tune Realtime Advanced, UA 175B & 176 Tube Compressor, Precision De-Esser, Precision Limiter, and Galaxy Tape Echo plug-ins when you buy the Apollo x6 or x8. That’s a $1444 value on top of the plug-ins normally included with the interfaces! Buyers of the Apollo x8p will receive all of that plus the Lexicon 480L Digital Reverb plug-in, which brings the…