Prolific Eurorack module creator Noise Engineering is bringing three of its hardware classics to your DAW for free. Most of our time making music is spent experimenting, but we don’t necessarily spend as much time experimenting with creating weird sounds. That space is reserved for modular. Well, modular has been invading the computer space for […]
Wavegrove releases Vastaus, a freeware high-end fixer plugin for digital audio workstations on macOS and Windows. Vastaus is available in AU and VST3 formats for macOS or VST2 and VST3 formats for Windows. Both Intel and M1 Macs are now supported. Vastaus is a plugin that you don’t necessarily want to do too much or […]
The House of KUSH brings upon thee a new mastering equalizer plug-in called BLYSS. By its description, it’s as much of an EQ as it is a “soundgoodizer” that makes things sound expensive. Mastering EQs tend to be on the surgical side, but there’s always a place in the chain for plug-ins like this.
BLYSS Mastering equalizer
The plug-in architecture employs multiple cascaded saturators, a 6-band EQ, and a mastering-grade compressor. Getting around them is as straightforward as possible, owing to KUSH’s product philosophy: “less is more, choices are limited but comprehensive, and all sections are designed to work together”. Couldn’t have said it better! For example, the saturation stage includes modeled input, interstage, and output transformers plus 3 discrete op-amp stages – but all it takes to get a good sound out of them is two knobs (saturation, blend) and one meter.
The equalizer section has switchable low (40, 80, 120Hz) and low-mid (200, 400, 800Hz) bands, high-pass filter (30, 40, 50Hz), high-mid (1.5, 3, 5kHz) and high (8, 18, 28kHz) bands, low-pass filter (16, 18, 20kHz). Likewise, the compressor has a timing switch (fast or slow), threshold, make-up gain, and a in/out switch (bypass). The BLYSS user interface is complete with a preset browser and input/output gain control with metering. With these facilities, BLYSS is practically a self-contained mastering chain. Judging by early bird user reports, this is another solid KUSH release.
BLYSS Master Channel EQ – Price and availability
The BLYSS Master Channel EQ is sold for USD 99. It’s also part of the USD 10 / mo KUSH Complete subscription bundle. A 10-day trial version and the user manual are available for download. The plug-ins work under macOS 10.13 or later and Windows 8 or later. A free iLok account is required for authorization (paid USB dongle is not required).
SaschArt is back with 3Sampler, an easy-to-use sampler plugin for macOS and Windows. There are lots of samplers around, even lots of free samplers, like Sforzando, Grace, Sitala, and our Grooove BPB drum sampler. The idea of which one is the best really depends on what you need from it. With 3Sampler, SaschArt has taken […]
ADSR Sounds offer the #producerlife ($19 value) sample pack as a FREE download until July 31st, 2021. #producerlife is a multi-genre sample pack by ADSR Sounds. The collection typically costs $19, but you can download it for free until the end of this month. It is ADSR Sounds’ free gift for their 11th birthday. The […]
BandLab 10.0 is the latest update for the free online DAW that was conjured from the ashes of Cakewalk SONAR. It brings notable new features – you can now access a sampler to quickly record your own sounds or import audio files. The associated mastering service also gets some improvements. Oh, and v10 has export to TikTok, too, if that’s your thing.
BandLab is a free DAW that you can open in your browser, install on desktop computers, and use as a mobile app. In addition to cross-platform operation, collaboration is also in the foreground – you can involve up to 50 people per project.
The latest update gives even more options with the new sampler. It lets you record your own sounds or import them from audio and video files. You also get access to the ever-growing library of BandLab Sounds. You can also use the included editor to make the most important settings – such as decide whether it is a loop, a one-shot, or a gate sample that’s playing. You can also normalize, crop, and play the sample backwards. A simple envelope and a few other parameters (pitch and panorama) are also available. Here, too, the idea of working across platforms plays a major role. What you record on the go with your smartphone, you can later edit on the desktop and use it as a sampler instrument. Cool!
BandLab 10 Sampler
BandLab Mastering – its own online mastering service – is also revised. Not only the look is new, but also the mastering algorithms that work under the hood. They were optimized in collaboration with Grammy-winning mastering engineers. You can use the mastering engine for your projects directly in the browser. Different settings can be previewed on a small loop. The update brings four new mastering algorithms – Universal, Fire, Clarity and Tape. In addition, the engine should work up to ten times faster than other online mastering services.
Mastering in BandLab 10
The Mix Editor has a new interface with workflow improvements. Since BandLab also works like a community, there are a few refinements in these areas as well. These concern the page for your profile, the new project page, and the option to upload audio directly to TikTok. The complete changelog is available here.
A new firmware update for the ARGON8 range of wavetable synthesizers also brings volume 2 of Modal Electronics ARGON Factory Library.
The ARGON8 is a neat and tidy wavetable synthesizer with a lot of great hands-on control, modulation and wavetable morphing. It has 32 wavetable modifiers running through 4 morphable filter types and a well-featured stereo effects engine. It has 2 LFOs, 3 envelopes and a 12-slot modulation matrix to keep everything moving. The keyboard versions offer great polyphonic aftertouch and they are all MPE compatible with a suitable controller or compatible DAW.
The new update brings in some more LFO synced divisions and improves the LFO1 sync when clocked from external MIDI. The oscillator Drift has been extended in the upper range and the expression pedal behaviour has been improved. MIDI clock now comes out as a Master clock source, the arpeggiator sync now works better with external sequencers and they’ve improved MIDI reliability on macOS Big Sur. All of these are helpful improvements.
However, what Modal are really excited about is the new Volume 2 of the Factory Preset Library. The new set of sounds contains 300 new presets plus an upgrade to 100 of the existing presets to make them MPE-ready for more expressive playing. The presets cover all sorts of styles, genres and tastes from basslines to leads, pads to soundscapes and even some world music inspired sounds.
Noise Engineering is busy developing VST, AU and AAX plugins and is offering beta versions for free to anyone who signs up to their Customer Portal.
We’ve already seen plugins from Noise Engineering and Rack Extensions for Reason. It’s a good fit because their Eurorack modules have digital cores and so it’s not a huge jump to bring those algorithms and concepts out of the module and onto the computer or other DSP platforms.
The plugins on offer are Ruina, Sinc Vereor and Virt Vereor; let’s see what they’re about.
This is a distortion plugin based on algorithms from the Ruina Versio Eurorack module. It has a wavefolder, multiband saturator, chaotic suboctave generator, octavizer and phase shifter. There’s a notch and bandpass filter with adjustable tracking and a control that sets the order of distortions. At the end of the signal chain you can dial in up to 128x overdrive gain for complete destruction.
They say it can handle warm, saturated sounds, lush distortions and hellish nightmares – sounds like fun!
Noise Engineering Ruina
Based on the Sinc Iter module it’s a deceptively simple synthesizer that manages to pull magic out of nowhere with the minimum of fuss. You can choose from 3 modes; Plain gives you the classic waveforms, Noise offers percussion and effects and Super mode adds 6 phase-offset oscillators for a big modulating sound. The Tone control then folds and morphs the waveform in delicious ways.
Rounding it off is the Vereor section with a slopeable ADSR envelope feeding an amp and multimode gate/filter. At the end is a multimode vintage-inspired Chorus for a good bit of wobble.
This is a fun and interesting synth with a load of great presets.
Noise Engineering Sinc Vereor
While similar in layout to the Sinc Vereor this is based upon a unique set of algorithms featuring Bass, a quadrature algorithm, Sawx supersaw and Harm, an additive algorithm with spectral control and partial distortion.
These are also the algorithms that were added to Arturia’s MicroFreak synthesizer with the V3 firmware update.
As with the Sinc they’ve paired the Virt algorithms with the Vereor dynamics section with the same ADSR, amp, filter and chorus.
Noise Engineering Virt Vereor
Free? Are you mad?
These are excellent plugins, smart, usable and sound pretty fabulous. The interface is slightly strange and can get very trippy if you turn on the “Fire” but is really easy to navigate and has some nice touches like how the slider caps get slightly bigger as you increase the parameter to the right.
Noise Engineering says that there will be more to come so get yourself signed up now! They are available in VST, AU and AAX formats for macOS and Windows.
IK Multimedia offers the Art Deco Piano sound library for SampleTank as a free download to all new and existing newsletter subscribers until August 3rd, 2021. Art Deco Piano is a SampleTank expansion with 600 multi-samples and over 1 GB of sample content. It recreates the Blüthner® PH Grand Piano from the 1930s. IK Multimedia […]
SingleCut Beersmiths, a US-based brewery, has created a line of craft IPAs that teaches you the basics of guitar playing. Each can of Notes IPA beer has a chord chart, and comes with access to an interactive Snapchat filter and a plectrum-equipped ring-pull.
Hold My Beer I’m taking a solo!
Each SingleCut BeersmithsNotes IPA is emblazoned with a basic open chord shape. You get C, D, G and E-minor which, let’s face it, is probably all you need to write a song. You also get a plectrum on the can’s ring pull, so you can start strumming straight away.
SingleCut Beersmiths Notes IPA C, E minor. G and D chords on your beers!
The cans also have a personalized Snapchat filter, to give you an idea of what you should be doing. Each can of the Notes IPA has a corresponding colour for each chord, so if you’re really drunk, your mates can scream which colour chord you should be aiming for!
SingleCut Beersmiths Notes IPA and a handy plectrum on your ring-pull
How much is the average guitar lesson? Let’s say $20 for the basics. And if that is the case, well, you got yourself a few beers in the deal as well.
The SingleCut Notes IPA can be found at the brand’s taprooms in Clifton Park, New York and Astoria, Queens. The four-pack will set you back $18, but, you get four free plectrums and a guitar lesson, plus your beer. Doesn’t sound like too bad a deal.
Unlike the UK, you have to be at least 21 to buy alcohol in the USA, so we Brits have a head start on our American cousins when it comes to getting drunk and playing the guitar!
Maybe they can make a soft drink version for bass players?
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