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.
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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.
MUSIC GEAR NEWS: Impact Soundworks has announced Peak Rider 2, a “super-powerful and flexible FX plugin that lets you shape and control dynamics in a totally new way.” Use it to tame wild vocals or drum tracks, create all new rhythmic parts, remove mic bleed, breathe life into flat saturated tracks, and much, much more.
MUSIC TECH: Native Instruments today announced release of “ELASTIC THUMP,” for MASCHINE, which they describe as “a modern, melodic take on future funk that brews the smoothness of R&B with the feel-good vibes of dance music and the bounce of futuristic, beathead culture.”
GEAR NEWS: Vir2 Instruments has announced their new high-end sampled instrument line, the VITAL SERIES, and the first release “Vital Series Mallets.” Mallets’ powerful GUI offers eight instruments on one patch to be edited, played, blended, and recorded together. No sub menus or separate patches. Mallets has all the controls you need at your fingertips.
Applied Acoustics Systems announces Chromaphone 2 now supports Native Instrument’s NKS plug-in format
AAS’ creative percussion synthesizer plug-in, Chromaphone 2 now supports Native Instrument’s NKS extended plug-in format. NKS brings intuitive and seamless interaction between Chromaphone 2 and KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE hardware. Chromaphone 2’s key parameters have been mapped in order to provide optimal tactile control of its physical modeling engine.
MUSIC TECH: Eplex7 DSP has announced their new Particle Collider SX7 VSTi Virtual Synthesizer for Windows OS. According to the company, “Particle Collider SX7 is special FX and Experimental synthesizer for creating modern sci-fi FX sounds, atmospheric pads, robotic sounds, psytrance and psychedelic FXs, sweeps.”
MUSIC TECH: LANDR Audio and Native Instruments today announces a partnership to offer instant mastering for the Stems format. As of January 30th, 2017, Stems mastering will be available directly on LANDR.com. Files created in Native Instruments’ free Stem Creator application can be dragged and dropped onto LANDR.com for instant sound optimization.
MUSIC GEAR: UVI has announced “Ether Fields,” a new expansion pack for Falcon which “delivers a stunning selection of expertly designed patches” by one of the world’s preeminent sound designers, Simon Stockhausen. The collection includes bells, pads, soundscapes, granular and hybrid sounds, wavetables, sequenced sounds and more; perfect for those looking to expand their library of ready-to-play patches and ideal for those looking for inspirational starting points for their own sound design.
“Sensual Sax” from Embertone can now be had on your iOS device for playing solo, or with others. A new sampled saxophone virtual instrument. While some of us semi-dinosaur MIDI music dudes and dudettes might eschew the lowly iPhone and iPad for music creation when we have our various mega-rig Mac Pro studios to play with, the fact is that the largest growth base for new musicians is now on mobile devices. So, with this in mind, if that sounds like you, then a really cool new product from Embertone might make you breathless.
ETHNO WORLD 6 Complete: Virtual Instrument with Ethnic Instruments and Voices from all over the World
New for 2017, Best Service has rolled out ETHNO WORLD 6 Complete, a library that has continuously grown and been improved over a period of 16 years. In this sixth edition, 80 new instruments and voices with a volume of 13 gigabytes have been added to the library. ETHNO WORLD 6 Complete now consists of 320 instruments and voices being summarized in approx. 800 patches.
New for 2017, Spirfire Audio have announced their latest “symphonic masterpiece,” with “Symphony Orchestra.” The company describes this new collection as “A definitive mega-anthology of tools to create blockbuster symphonic works for TV, film, games and radio in a single and encyclopaedic core-level professional product.”
XILS-Lab this past week announced their latest virtual synth instrument, the PolyKB III which they describe as “The Synthesizer as it should have been, when invented 40 years ago.” The PolyKB III captures the sound and spirit of the legendary RSF PolyKobol 2 polyphonic synthesizer, including its most revolutionary feature : Morphing analog Oscillators.
For fans of expressive performance-focused MIDI instruments, the unique ContinuuCon event Returns to Asheville North Carolina for 2017 to showcasing the latest in Multi-dimensional electronic instruments, workshops, and live performances. The ideal event for those wanting to learn more about both the groundbreaking Haken Continuum instrument, as well as other next-gen music gear in a warm, informal setting. ContinuuCon 2017 will take place June 8-10 – UNCA – Asheville, N.C.
MUSIC GEAR NEWS: Best Service today announced a new series of symphonic performance sample instruments compatible with KOTAKT and ideal for scoring, multimedia and general music. The three new offerings include Chris Hein – SOLO VIOLA, Chris Hein – SOLO CELLO and Chris Hein – SOLO STRINGS COMPLETE. The latter includes Volin, Viola, Cello and ContraBass.
MUSIC TECH: Native Instruments today introduced RADIANT HORIZON – a new MASCHINE Expansion featuring percussive and effect-focused kits with sounds tailored to contemporary urban pop productions rooted in trap, moombahton, and bass music. The expansion focuses on diverse and easily interchangeable Caribbean-inspired rhythms as a backbone for bass-driven, forward-thinking pop.
NEWS: RØDE Microphones’ Sales & Marketing Director Damien Wilson has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Freedman Electronics Group, home to pro audio brands RØDE, Aphex, Event Electronics and SoundField.
NEW MUSIC: Dallas artist OG Bobby Billions (OGB) recently released what, according to him, “might be one of the greatest debuts from a new talent, and it’s only the beginning.” On Dec. 9, 2016 OGB will be releasing a more in-depth visual to the already buzzing “Bands” single.
MUSIC GEAR: Rob Papen Soundware has announced “Predator2,” the successor to Predator, “the natural-born, killer-sounding soft synth” that has inspired so many composers and artists. Predator2’s pliable GUI (Graphical User Interface) has once again been given the trademark Rob Papen treatment, designed so that (almost) all of the main controls are always visible onscreen, making it both inspirational and intuitive in use.
MUSIC GEAR: The folks at PSP have announced a new “stompbox” filter plugin, appropriately called PSP stompFilter. They describe it as “a creative tool designed to provide an exceptionally wide range of modulated filter and gain sounds.” Its effects include a simple LFO modulated low pass filter; auto-wah; low-, band-, or high-pass filter; and compressor.
HEALTHY LIVING: For many of us, we seem to be on a perpetual diet plan of some kind. Especially for those of us who have found our 40s and impending middle age a bit tougher to balance time, work, meals, and general lifestyle mis-adventures than it once was. For me, I joined the Jenny Craig meal plan this spring, and am happy to say I’ve lost about 34 pounds so far, which is about one-third of my overall goal.
MUSIC GEAR: Most modern musicians know that sometimes waiting for new gear can be tough when the magazines and videos demo a neato new software app, sample library or piece of hardware. This can lead to so-called “gas” (gear acquisition syndrome). Savvy folk know there are certain times of the year when deals are to be had. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and often around NAMM and other music shows, or right before a new version is released. (UPDATED)
MUSIC GEAR: Spitfire Audio has announced availability of SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS, a massic “encyclopaedic compendium of symphonic strings sampling,” with blockbuster content recorded at Lyndhurst Hall within London’s legendary Air Studios. The Kontakt-powered library comprises the same 60 star string players performing on the same instruments featured on numerous famous film scores.
NEWS: MUSIC Group, the parent of world-renowned brands MIDAS, KLARK TEKNIK, LAB GRUPPEN, LAKE, TANNOY, TURBOSOUND, TC ELECTRONIC, TC HELICON, BEHRINGER, BUGERA, DDA and EUROCOM, and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional audio products, has recently been ranked as one of the world’s largest and top manufacturers in the 2016 edition of Music Trade’s annual Global Music Industry 225 Report.
NEW MUSIC: The Second Spirit, an indie rock project, just released its debut EP, “Modern Life,” a five-song album, and its first single, “Rescue Car,” which, according to band leader Matthew Victory Warren “personifies the physicality of love through a retro vibe, rock and roll groove and cool, fuzzy guitar leads.”
UVI releases Synth Anthology 2, classic collection of analog and digital synths in one virtual instrument
MAKING MUSIC: UVI announced this week their newest creation, Synth Anthology 2, a classic collection of analog and digital synths in one virtual instrument. This new version and comprehensive update includes over 2,500 presets sampled from 77 hardware synths, new interface and premium UVI effects such as Sparkverb, Thorus and Phasor.
MAKING MUSIC: Native Instruments announced this week the Kontakt-powered sound library, “Symphony Essentials,” which they describe as five meticulously sampled orchestral instruments, featuring pristine recordings that cover all fundamental playing techniques, each in an elegant, intuitive interface.