PPG Phonem Synth for iPad

Wolfgang Palm’s Phonem VST synth was successfully ported for the iPad. Apart that the voice-synth itself is cool and powerful it also has all the main features you can expect from the modern iOS music app: Inter-App Audio, Audio Unit support, Audiobus with state-saving etc.

Phonem synth iOS Audio Unit extension allows you to use multiple instances of the app in the compatible host (Cubasis, GarageBand).

The app requires you to spend some time playing with it to start making sound that make sense. But the synth comes with useful library of 500+ presets – covering basic and advanced sounds.

[appstore id=1088853546]

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Learn more at wolfgangpalm.com

Serum 1.10b8: What’s new?

One of the most advancedd VST synths – Xfer Records Serum was recently updated with cool new features like Multiband Compressor, Additional LFOs and Stereo file analysis that splits stereo file into independent left and right panned waveforms.

Learn more about Serum

Softube Modular Review

First Eurorack Plugin authorized by Doepfer and Intellijel 

Buchla and Moog started with modular synthesizers in 1960s and Doepfer made it affordable in 1990s by introducing the Eurorack standard.

Softube has introduced Modular – their own take on Eurorack bringing unique expandable VST instrument with almost unlimited possibilities.

Softube has great experience on emulating hardware gear – from guitar amps to high-end compressors and vintage EQs. Even some DAWs – Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason have Softube modules embedded out-of-the-box. Their work with Tube-Tech is probably one of the best and closest mixing gear emulation you can find in VST. With all that experience you can expect highest quality of their new plugins.

Unlimited options of rewiring modules with feedback loops and cross modulations was always stopper for faithful modulation of Eurorack systems.

However Softube managed to get a truly analog sound – the sound of its oscillators and filters is amazing. But beyond that you can do everything you can imagine in Eurorack with feedback loops, modulation and audio-rate modulation as well – simply connect audio output of one of your modules into the input of another module.

With DC-coupled audio interface you can send CV signals from the Softube modular right into your modular rig.

Modules that are already presented in Softube Modular would cost you at least $2000 (without the case and power) if you’re making your own Eurorack. But the beauty of the software emulations is that you can add multiple copies of the module – I have not seen Euroracks that have let’s say two Korgasmatrons and three Rubicons… but you can easily do that in Softube Modular.

In Softube Modular basic system contains six Doepfer modules (A-110-1 VCO, A-108 VCF, A-132-3 Dual VCA, A-140 ADSR, A-118 Noise/Random, A-147 VCLFO)

Basic system also contains over 20 Utility modules (such as MIDI to CV/gate, mixers, slew, sample & hold, switches, multiples, delay, offset, sequencers, clock dividers, logic and signal tools, as well as a Polyphonic MIDI to CV/gate module).

Additional authorized emulations from Intellijel is available as add-ons (uFold II, Korgasmatron II, Rubicon).

What’s next?

We can’t wait to see more brands like Make Noise, Mutable Instruments, 4ms, Verbos, Harvestman and others joining the party while Softube bringing some of their plugins (delay, reverb…) into the Modular format as well.

Pros:

  • Sound is very close to the real Eurorack
  • Unlimited modulation options
  • New modules come in future releases
  • Hearbeat users got drum modules in Modular
  • Up-to 4 voices polyphony support (via MIDI-CV notes distributor)

Cons:

  • CPU hungry (due to the complex mathematics and upsampling – that’s the price of good sound quality)
  • No modules drag’n’drop
  • Very basic sequencing abilities

GET SOFTUBE MODULAR

Alternatives:

Reaktor Blocks update brings Eurorack and Maschine integration

Native Instruments has updated Reaktor Blocks to v.1.2 (Blocks is modular Eurorack-style extension for Reaktor 6).

New update brings integration of Blocks into Eurorack (or other modular format) setup. NI also introduced couple of new blocks available via Reaktor User Library: Maschine sequencer and NIJI Drums (set of modules that emulate classic drum machine sounds).

First new block is Pitch CV out which is converting Pitch into CV signal that can be sent into Audio output via DC coupled interface and also the block has calibration feature. There are several options how to get this signal from Reaktor into Eurorack: DC-Coupled audio interface (ex.MOTU), Specialized Eurorack Module – ex. Expert Sleepers ES-3 or one of the Roland AIRA modular devices that work as audio interface when connected to USB port of the computer – so you can use their outputs to transmit CV signal from Reaktor to Eurorack.

Second block – MIDI out is converting Reaktor internal CV signals + Pitch and Gate into MIDI Pitch, Gate and CC messages. With MIDI out you can send pitch, gate and CC messages to any MIDI to CV, USB/MIDI/CV device to get that signal as Eurorack CV. Our favorite in this department is Endorfin.es Shuttle Control. This Eurorack module has 16 configurable MIDI to CV outputs and supports Eurorack pitch format (1v/oct) as well as Buchla format (1.2v/oct).

Third new block is Gates and Triggers. Generate up to four gates and triggers from incoming signals. Perfect for pinging filters, triggering function generators and envelopes, clocking sequencers and much more. Connect external modular gear or use them internally in your Blocks patches

Also NI released two new blocks (one block and one block set) via Reaktor User Library. Those are Maschine Sequencer – drum sequencer with 8 gate-outs easy controlled via MIDI Maschine template. For now the MIDI template was released for MKII only (where’s Maschine Studio support?). But MIDI template uses CC messages so it should be easy to configure similar MIDI template for Maschine Studio, Maschine Mikro and even other MIDI conrtollers. Release of Blocks 1.2 opens whole new world of new blocks for various midi controllers – it should be really cool – I can’t wait what amazing Reaktor community will release in the next weeks.

Another addition NIJI DRUMS is set of 8 blocks emulating classic drum machine sounds. 8 drum sounds would play nicely with new Maschine template.

Watch these videos to learn how to use new Reaktor modules:

 

 

iConvolver – Convolution Reverb for iPhone and iPad

ART Teknika has released a new convolution reverb app with over 100 impulse response files included. The app allows to import your own IR files (below there are several links where you can get if free).
iConvolver is Aubiobus and IAA compatible so it is easy to implement it into your sound chain.

[appstore id=1042911823]

Where to find IR files?

Here is a collection of great places where you can download free impulse responses from hi-end hardware reverbs to weird halls and strange things like dustbin:

http://pipelineaudio.net/downloads/convolution-and-impulses/
http://www.openairlib.net
http://fokkie.home.xs4all.nl/IR.htm

http://www.voxengo.com/impulses/

http://www.echochamber.ch/index.php/tipps-freebies/impulseresponses.html

http://www.cksde.com/p_6_250.htm

http://www.dubbhism.com/2008/10/free-download-60-classic-and-king-tubby.html

Also if you have Logic Pro X you can find IR files folder //Library/Audio/Impulse Responses and you’ll find many files open in iConvolver or similar apps without any problems. BTW, Logic Pro has one of the best Impulse Response file libraries (there is unconfirmed information that they made a deal with Audio Ease – developer of $500 Altiverb convolution reverb plugin to use some of their files).

How to make IR file?

You can create an IR files by running sinesweep file through the reverb device or mic it in a space and deconvolve it with software like Voxengo Deconvolver – http://www.voxengo.com/product/deconvolver/

Other convolution reverb apps for iOS:

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Also don’t forget that Auria has excellent convolution reverb plugin built-in.

iConvolver:

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Yeco – new multitouch controller for Ableton Live

When I first have seen Yeco picture – I thought that’s a new hardware controller with touch-screen, and next thought was “hm… why would anybody make new device when you have lots of ipads and androids”. But Yeco is something new.

Addressed for people with Touch-enabled displays on Win and Mac (well, that’s mostly for Windows because there are minority of people using touch displays with Mac) that app would work great on devices like MS Surface. I need to say that Ableton Live is almost unusable on the MS Surface comparing to touch-friendly DAWs like FL Studio or Bitwig. So a good touch-layer is something that most of Live on touch-screen devices would love.

The app itself is fully-featured controller with clips launcher, keyboard, hex-keyboard, drum-pads for drum racks, xy-pads, mixer and Live-devices controller.

Here’s short intro video to get an idea of how it works:

Though multi-touch is not officially supported in OS X there’s a workaround for that using Touch-Base driver.

As there’s no demo version available you can check out Yeco features with set of 12 tutorials:

Software is available from the website: yeco.io and it costs 45 EUR (no demo version is available). Yeco works with Ableton Live 9.x.

Some other solutions to control Ableton Live with multitouch screen require iPads and 2 of my favorites are Touchable (great push-like keyboard, intuitive interface for Live devices control, Live browser support and many other great features) and Conductr (highly customizable app with great user interface).

[appstore id = 385949475]
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