Home Authors Posts by Christopher Simmons
SYNTH NEWS: UVI has announced SubCulture expansion pack for Falcon with 110 dark and hard-hitting patches made for producers of modern bass, post-EDM, DnB, garage and more. The second collaboration from sound designers Richard Gale and Carlo de Gregorio, SubCulture dives into the underground with a shadowy collection of snarling basses, dark ambiances, rhythmic tempo-synced patches, emotive cinematic textures and more.
MUSIC NEWS: It's with great sadness that I learned today that an original member of one of my all time favorite bands, The Moody Blues, Ray Thomas, has passed away on Jan. 4, 2018 at his home in Surrey. His passing was confirmed today by his record label (Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings).
SYNTH GEAR: ResonanceCircuits has launched its latest one-off bespoke drone synth, the GEIGER LAB, for January 2018. Described as a "bespoke sound generator capable of producing dense, rich dronescapes, haunting evolves, ghostly atmospheric echoes and swelling atmospheres." The Geiger Lab can also be used for ambient, tranquil sound creation and ethereal backdrops.
SYNTH NEWS: It's that time of the year again, when some outrageous deals on synths - both hardware and software - plugins, FX, and music tech spin up for both "Black Friday" and the Holidays. For 2017, I've collected some great 'early bird' buys on synth gear for electronic musicians and other folk, too! (UPDATED 11.22.17)
SYNTH NEWS: Spitfire Audio has announced their latest orchestral instrument library, ORCHESTRAL SWARM, the direct result of a creative collaboration with Bleeding Fingers, a next-generation composer collective who wanted to create a new Swarm library in pursuit of composing a perfect soundtrack to the oceanic goings-on featured on the groundbreaking BBC "Blue Planet II" natural history television series.
For Toontrack's annual "Metal Month" 2018, they have announced their first SDX for Superior Drummer 3, "The Rock Foundry" SDX by Bob Rock. According to the company, The Rock Foundry SDX features a staggering 65 GB of raw, unprocessed drum sounds recorded by arguably the most notable, influential and sought-after engineer/producer of our time: Bob Rock.
SYNTH NEWS: Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS) has announced PIVOTAL, a new soundbank (soundset) for its Ultra Analog VA-2 "virtual analog" synth, as well as free AAS Player. For this library, sound designer Daniel Stawczyk created a hefty 158-preset collection of focused and upfront sounds covering all the classic categories—arpeggios, basses, leads, synths, and effects are all there.
SYNTH NEWS: Impact Soundworks announces "Super Audio Cart PC" retro PC sampled instrument for KONTAKT, with NKS support. The most complete set of retro computer samples ever produced. Building on the success of Super Audio Cart this NEW instrument features EIGHT legendary sound sets from 80s and 90s hardware. Includes standalone SNESVerb plugin for FREE.
SYNTH NEWS: UVI today announced two new products; first a superb virtual synth instrument, OB Legacy, covering the classic sounds of Tom Oberheim's synthesizers, as well as an updated and expanded edition of their flagship Vintage Vault instrument plug-in collection, now at version 2 with 15 new elements added.
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS releases MASCHINE 2.6.8, introduces monophonic bass synth and isomorphic keyboard
SYNTH NEWS: Native Instruments has released MASCHINE 2.6.8 software update, available free for all MASCHINE 2 customers. The update introduces a monophonic bass synth and an isomorphic keyboard. The new MASCHINE bass synth lets users design and shape rich bass tones with intuitive, fun, and fully-automatable controls directly from the hardware.
SYNTH DEALS: In a return to form, I've brought back my monthly round-up of great deals on synth gear, such as virtual synths, plug-ins, samples, iOS apps, and more. This list is updated all during August, until the next month when a new list is started. Remember everything has an expiration date, and some offers are for existing users with an account from the respective brand / company / product.
SYNTH NEWS: KV331 Audio today announced a major update to the SynthMaster One wavetable synth to v1.0.5 with AAX support for Pro Tools 10 (and above) users plus 100 new factory presets by DeJaVu Sound and BigTone Studios.
PLUGIN NEWS: Brainworx is celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2017, and is offering fans and new users a promotion during August in celebration. The technical achievements of the last 10 years alone are noteworthy enough, but Brainworx’s success is also deep-rooted in company CEO Dirk Ulrich’s extensive experience as a producer and audio engineer, work which continues to this day.
Synth News: Wolfgang Palm, the "father of wavetable synthesizers," has released his latest virtual synth, PPG "Infinite" for Apple iOS devices. To address limitations of past wavetable designs, the frequencies of the overtones created by Infinite can be totally freely defined. Now available.
SYNTH NEWS: For #808DAY 2017, Roland Corp. unveiled a new iteration of its classic drum box - the TR-808 Rhythm Composer - called the TR-08 Rhythm Composer as part of its ongoing "Boutique Series" line-up. Additionally, a new analog synth recreation of the SH-101, and a portable "Linear Wave Sampler."
Today, the Bob Moog Foundation announced its Summer 2017 Raffle for a vintage Memorymoog Plus Synthesizer. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the non-profit Foundation’s educational and historic preservation initiatives. The vintage Memorymoog Plus synthesizer is described as a very unusual and powerful polyphonic synthesizer with six voices for each of the three oscillators, MIDI, and a sequencer. Tickets to enter the raffle, which runs Aug. 8 to Sept. 6, 2017, are $25 each.
Beginning in early 2018, Roland Virtual Sonics will release a series of RAINLINK-enabled software products through Roland Cloud, featuring audio recordings made at Sony Pictures Post Production Services sound facilities in Culver City, Calif. These new RAINLINK products will be designed to assist audio professionals working in today’s mixed media industries.
Apple Updates Logic Pro X DAW to 10.3.2 with enhancements for Alchemy Synth and New Virtual Drummers
Apple today announced and released an update to their Logic Pro X DAW (aka "Logic 10") to version 10.3.2. Highlights include three new Drummers who play percussion in the styles of Pop, Songwriter, and Latin; and Alchemy now includes an automatic time align feature for improved morphing, plus new additive effects expand the options for filtering and modulating sound.
SYNTH NEWS: Haken Audio has announced Continuum Fingerboard Version 8.50 is now available. The new software/firmware update for the Haken Continuum instrument adds many new System Presets and new EaganMatrix capabilities. The brilliant new External Note Mode offers a new way to combine keyboard playing with Continuum, where each formula can be customized for the limited accuracy of keyboard aftertouch and pitch.
VIRTUAL SYNTH NEWS: UVI has announced "Cinematic Shades" for their Falcon virtual instrument/sampler software. A joint collaboration from sound designers Richard Gale and Carlo de Gregorio, Cinematic Shades dives deep into the "dark and experimental side of music and sound culminating from of over 15 years of sound design experience."
Spitfire Audio Scares Up New Bernard Herrmann Composer Toolkit with Classic Sounds for Orchestration
MUSIC GEAR: Spitfire Audio has announced a new virtual orchestra sound sample library that brings to life the classic and iconic vibe of composer Bernard Herrmann, known for "Psycho," "Vertigo," and many other classic films. This is Spitfire’s first dry scoring stage ensemble library and the company worked closely with the Herrmann estate to examine his most famous scores and understand what makes his work so special.
MUSIC TECH: Softube recently announced the new 4ms SMR for Modular plugin, which "can process audio like a classic filter bank, ring like a marimba when plucked/struck, vocode, re-mix tracks, harmonize, output spectral data, quantize other oscillators to scales and much more. It’s deep, versatile and infinitely expands what is possible to achieve with Modular."
INDUSTRY NEWS: Today ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and YouTube have signed a multi-year agreement, effective immediately, for U.S. public performance rights and data collaboration. According to the annoncement, "The mutual goal of this agreement is to work together to ensure that ASCAP members get paid more fairly and accurately for the use of their music on YouTube."
VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT NEWS: Sonoma Wire Works recently announced release of an update to their DrumCore 4, the critically acclaimed AAX/VST3/AU plug-in with tempo-stretchable audio and MIDI drum loops of performances by celebrity drummers, plus multi-velocity samples of their drum kits in many styles. DrumCore's 4.2 update adds UI zooming, which helps DC4 fit better on laptops and smaller screens.
Native Instruments’ New ‘THRILL’ Bites with Thrills and Chills in a Virtual Instrument Sound Design Tool
Native Instruments has unveiled THRILL, a new virtual sound design softare instrument that enables the introduction of "terrifying live scores to movies, games, sound installations, or theater productions." THRILL was cooked up in the lab in collaboration with sound master Uli Baronowsky of Galaxy Instruments.
MUSIC TECH NEWS: IK Multimedia has announced a new "super synth" to the virtual instrument world, for both newcomers and those of us who look back with nostalgia on classic synths we've owned and let go, or wish we'd owned. IK's new SYNTRONIK for Mac/PC includes 17 instruments with over 2,000 preset sounds "covering a wide selection from 38 of the most iconic to ultra-rare and painstakingly multi-sampled vintage synthesizers."
MUSIC TECH: XILS Lab today announced the upcoming release of their new virtual synthesizer instrument, the PolyM, inspired by the rare and beautiful sounding Moog Polymoog, perhaps most famously used in the song "Cars" by Gary Numan, but also used by many other musicians of the time. The XILS PolyM offers two divided-down oscillators providing 71 voices; each one with two envelope generators, one filter, one VCA and Pulse Width Modulation.
Wide Blue Sound, a creator of cutting-edge instruments for KONTAKT, has announced a partnership with Native Instruments that allows its ORBIT and ECLIPSE virtual synths to be used with NI’s Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) hardware — namely, KOMPLETE KONTROL S- Series keyboards and MASCHINE workstations.
Just when you thought UVI couldn't come up with more digital sampled instrument tricks, they rolled up their sleeves to come up with a new instrument collection based on some truly unique digital synthesizers from Ensoniq, Kawai and Roland. Digital Synsations Vol. 2, a 3-instrument suite picking up where the first library left off, delivering over 500 new patches.
Wave Alchemy Revolution 1.1 adds seamless integration in Ableton Live via new Revolution Module Instrument
NEWS: Wave Alchemy has announced an update to their virtual drum instrument, inspired by classic analog and digital drum machines. Revolution 1.1 now offers seamless integration with Ableton Live and Push 2 via new Revolution Module Instrument.