renoisekeyzone

Renoise 2.7 Arrives; Q+A on Free Puremagnetik Sounds; Hacks to Come?

Renoise 2.7 is now available, following some eight weeks of testing by the community. The update, which the developers describe as “back to the beats” in reference to focusing in this release cycle on musical workflow, delivers plenty of features that make the modern tracker more modern. I wrote about them back in March, with some detailed Q&A from the developers – including tips on where to get started: Renoise 2.7 Adds Sample and Slice Savvy; Tips and Inside Info from the Developers The short version: better automation, sample slicing, and sample keyzones, plus improved DSP and audio routing and …

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neslightgun

Make Ableton Sing Like a Tuvan Synth, or Bleep like an NES

Zap! Photo (CC-BY-SA) candescence. Ableton has introduced various features to its flagship Live tool over the years, but one of the simplest ideas – combining instruments and effects into accessible Racks – is also one of its most useful. They make those sound controls immediate and functional, and they can be a great way of delivering sounds. Two cases in point: free downloads that incorporate synthesized vocals and retro Nintendo blips. AfroDJMac keeps his free Live goodies coming with noises constructed on a vintage Nintendo Entertainment System, the 8-bit timbres orchestrated by the sadly impossible-to-get MidiNES MIDI adapter. True to …

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sp1200_back

SP-12, SP-1200 Sample Collection, Free Samples, and Some Tips for Vintage Digital Sampling

Call it future shock. Love of retro gear is more than nostalgia; sometimes it takes time to appreciate what technology means. And so, today, classic digital samplers and drum machines like the E-mu SP-1200 and SP-12 can inspire even greater passion than they did when new. Today, producers can feel love not only for retro analog, but retro digital. With plenty of 12-bit digital dirt, the original SP samplers sound gritty, warm, and unique. And one of my favorite samplists, Hugo of Gold Baby Productions, does a nice job of capturing that personality – enough for me to take note …

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Wintry Samples: Recording Snow, Free Snow and Ice Drum Samples, Gnomish Choirs

Photo: Frank Bry, courtesy his blog The Recordist. It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For some of us, there’s little need to remind us of snow and ice. But if you fancy adding some frozen sounds to your music, we have both free samples and expert recording tips to help get your cold on. Frank Bry, a master sound designer, apparently has plenty of access to snow in his home of Idaho, but that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the white, fluffy stuff. He’s devoted an entire library to Ultimate Snow with some 300 locations. You can read an interview …

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Max Fuel, a Bundle of Max for Live Devices, Debuts

For those of you just joining us, Max for Live is an interactive environment that incorporates the full Max/MSP/Jitter inside Ableton Live, with the addition of hooks that allow it to integrate with and control Live, and to make Max creations look like Live devices. Individual artists have begun using Max for Live, and we’ve seen some free downloads, but less of its use as a development platform. The problem is, your target audience must own both a full version of Ableton Live 8.1x or later, as well as the paid Max for Live add-on. Max Fuel from Ableton soundhouse …

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Inside New Komplete 7, New Instruments, Effects; Player Could Change Reaktor

When it comes to software sonic goodies, loads of virtualized gear you can add to the digital, computer-based studio, Komplete is one of the deepest boxes out there. Komplete 7, announced today, is the latest edition of Native Instruments’ bundle of virtual studio software. As always, that means a refresh of what’s in the box to recent upgrades of synths like Absynth, FM8, and Massive, plus drum instrument Battery, guitar effects and amp simulation Guitar Rig, and the modular creation powerhouse Reaktor. In addition, though, today’s Komplete 7 announcement brought some new tools to the table, as seen in the …

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Ableton Users, Grab Gigs of Custom Instruments for Free

Inside an Ableton instrument sample. Photo (CC-BY) Cliff Beckwith. Live’s Instruments can be a terrific way to explore Ableton Live – rather than simply giving you black-box preset sounds, these include custom racks that can be customized, disassembled, and warped to your own applications. I’m a fan of the work of some of the folks doing the programming, too, like the talented Puremagnetik folks; rather than just generic productions, you get a lot of the sort of oddball stuff that we love. Live users may already know this via Ableton’s mailing list, but in case it got into your “marketing …

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Free Instrument + Sounds from NI in the Holiday Selection 2009

The days (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) have grown shorter, so it’s time to put in some extra hours working on music production. Native Instruments have released a big selection of synthesis sounds, sampled instruments, and multiple effects in a free, Kore Player-based instrument, in case you haven’t already heard the news via NI’s site. While they’re presets, there are enough macro controls and variations that, combined with your own effects, you can certainly make these your own. And if nothing else, you can drown out the sound of overplayed holiday picks – just make yourself a soundscape, put …

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Chipsounds Reviews, Videos, and More Places to Get Your Vintage Chip Fix

Want to make a splash among the aficionados of digital sound? Releasing a software instrument emulating a broad collection of vintage digital synthesis chips from game and computer systems seems to do the trick. See my look at that software, and just as importantly, the chips that inspired it. Within days of the release of Plogue’s Chipsounds, we have a couple of fair reviews of the new tool. Already got Chipsounds? Plogue’s David Viens has released screencasts showing you how to use it. Curious about other ways to explore vintage 8-bit sound? We’ve got that, too, in samples, hardware, and …

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Torrent a Live Pack for the Weekend; Could Donationware Work?

An unfortunately-worded tip jar at the Hanoi Airport. Photo: theloneconspirator. Here’s a different take on soundware business models: offer your stuff for free, then depend on donations. That’s the tack at Togeo Studios, who have an impressive collection of packs. Wave Attack I, for instance, includes single-cycle waveforms with arpeggiated sequences and leads. Their work is available on BitTorrent, too, which could help defray bandwidth costs. (Well, single-cycle waveforms don’t take up much, but perhaps larger packs might.) I have to admit, I’m skeptical of the donationware model. The issue is, it seems like a lot of folks just aren’t …

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