protoverb

Play reverb roulette with this wild free u-he plug-in

Urs Heckmann just combined “reverb” with “experimental, possibly sonically unstable plug-in with unpredictable results.” And it’s free. Urs – how did you know exactly what I wanted for Christmas?

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Meet Bazille, the Obscenely-Massive Monster Modular Synth Plug-in from u-he

Simple, lightweight, minimal. No, not really. This is a total monster, the grandest synth yet from plug-in maestro Urs Heckmann, aka u-he. ACE, aka “Any Cable Everywhere,” already introduced us to computer plug-ins with massive tangles of virtual cables – in a good way. Bazille, then, is the plug-in that ate the plug-in that ate Chicago. And after first making an appearance in 2009, it’s finally here, like a beast foretold in legend. Its oscillators are digital, with FM (frequency modulation) and phase distortion and the wild-sounding fractal resonance. And then it has analog-style filters. And then it has effects …

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podolski

Podolski is a Free, Full-Featured Virtual Analog Synth Plug-in from Urs Heckmann [Mac, PC]

Any instrument from software maestro Urs Heckmann seems worth a mention. This one, doubly so: it’s free. Podolski isn’t new; it has made appearances through the years in the excellent German-language magazine KEYBOARDS (no relation to the US Keyboard). But now, it’s available for everyone, with some nice updates and modernization and versions for just about any Mac or Windows host (or Linux, via WINE). Now, even if we’re talking only free plug-ins, there are a lot of virtual analog synths out there. But this one is special: it’s got the great sound of FilterscapeVA, and waveform morphing and short …

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Ozone4_EQ

Learn Mastering Technique in Free Videos: Limiting, M/S, Dubstep Bass

Mastering to me is a bit like applying stain to wood: done correctly, it brings out the definition of what’s there rather than covering it up. But making mastering effective is a really special art. Danny Wyatt, a veteran mastering engineer now working as an instructor with Dubspot, has some serious credentials both on the mixing and mastering side and as an educator. He’s worked with a range of artists over the years (Wax Poetic featuring Norah Jones, Curtis Mayfield, Thievery Corp., the Roots, Ultra Records, and Mos Def, to name a few). But he also doesn’t mystify his knowledge: …

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Tyrell, Web Community-Imagined Synth, Will Be a Real (Soft) Synth

Another gorgeous render by Stephan Gries. I could live in a virtual reality studio made by this guy. At the very least, Tyrell, the synthesizer dreamt up by readers of the website Amazona.de, will be realised in software form – and it might inspire a hardware module, too. That’s the word from Peter Grandl from Amazona, who writes: our project TYRELL will become reality. :-))) First as a Software Synthesizer, programmed by U-He (from the inventors of ZEBRA 2) and hopefully later as an analog hardware device. Urs Heckman (see picture) is working on a Synth-project called DIVA. One part …

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Zebra 2 is Here; Gallery of Hardware Retired & Replaced for a Soft Synth

Zebra 2.0 is the deep, rich “everything, plus the kitchen sink”, “next-generation” synth. It was a wildly powerful subtractive + additive synth when it first came out, and version 2.0 adds FM capabilities, basic modeling, and wavetable, plus a mini-synth for learning and quickie programming called the Zebralette. All of this is packaged into a truly attractive and innovative UI from one of the masters of musical UI design. Now out of beta, the full-blown Mac/Windows instrument (AU, VST, Universal Binary for Mac) is just US$199. The result is a powerful “modular synth without wires.” Here’s CDM’s Adrian Anders’ take: …

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Zebra2 Super Synth Coming; Cross-Platform, Dreamy Feature List

Urs Heckmann is a prodigy of plug-in development, so when he sends something new, we pay attention. And in a world of a look-alike synths, Zebra2 does seem to qualify as “new”: a next-generation “wireless modular synth.” Didn’t quite get that? Think four joystick control, multiple sound-making techniques, massive, graphical sound sculpting and more:

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Filterscape Coming to Windows

Prolific plug-in virtuoso Urs Heckmann is bringing his Filterscape bundle (filter + EQ with dynamics + analog synth) to Windows; join in on the beta and Windows users get a special discount (US$89 instead of US$129) before 4/15. (thanks, kvraudio) This is Urs' first outing on Windows, and he's pleased as punch: "I'm very excited that we got things going so well on a platform that I haven't worked on until a few weeks ago." Yes, ladies and gents, it's a cross-platform world. Mac users, if you haven't checked out Filterscape, do it now — this is a fascinating combination …

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