vintagedrumelements

Add Classic 80s Yamaha Drum Machine Sounds to Your Set, Free

Ready for some poppy, retro Cocteau Twins feeling in your Mac or Windows plug-in collection? The aptly-named “Vintage Drum Elements” does the job for free. The sound source for the plug-in drum machine is the classic Yamaha RX5, with its distinctive, synthetic sound sets. And while this is advertised for your synthpop and chillwave 80s fans, you get a range of cutting timbres you could easily apply to something else – not just Depeche Mode throwbacks. There’s also more than one kit. Four basic drum selections are included, including a harsher “synthetic” option and and “ethnic” variant, plus some really …

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alchemyipad

Camel Audio Almost Certainly Acquired by Apple

When audio software maker Camel Audio announced they were ceasing operations and making their product line unavailable, we considered two possibilities: either they had simply closed shop, or they were bought. Well, they were bought. That is, we can’t confirm the plug-in vendor has been purchased by Apple. Here, let’s line up two scenarios again. Either: 1. Camel Audio spontaneously moved their UK business registration to Apple’s London address and named Apple lawyer Heather Joy Morrison as their sole Director. (Upside: awesome prank. Downside: um, maybe you get thrown in the Tower of London, or whatever England does these days.) …

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crowd

A Choir Made from a Chrowd: Hundreds Contribute to Charity Choir Sample Instrument

We hear a lot about the “wisdom of crowds.” Now, here’s the voice of the crowd. Photo (CC-BY) James Cridland. Every choir is, in a sense, crowd-sourced. In this case, a set of choir samples were composed from “choir members” from around the globe who never met each other. In Soniccouture’s new Chrowdchoir instrument, over a thousand people contributed individual sounds, which were then put together to produce the ensemble instrument. As the developers describe it: The ‘Crowd-choir’ was an idea for a crowd-sourced sampled instrument, partly inspired by the 10cc track ‘I’m not in love’, which famously featured a …

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Padshop

Steinberg Padshop, Coming Soon, Granular Synthesis for the Rest of Us? Handy Intro Video Explains

Let’s get straight to it: granular synthesis, and the various processes based on the principle, is one of the coolest things about making music with computers. With the ability to take sounds and stretch, mangle, and reshape them into new textures, it’s one of the fundamental techniques allowing sound software and lots of terrific timbral techniques to work. Of course, explaining it to lay people is a bit of a trick. So that’s why, even before we get into talking about Steinberg’s upcoming Padshop synth, it’s worth watching the first few minutes. Sound designer Matthias Klag explains that coolness really …

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Rockmate Features Collaborative Finger Tapping on iPad in Virtual Band

Back before the iPad (perhaps deservedly) hogged the spotlight, there were interactive tables. And one of the selling points of these new interfaces was collaborative play. Unlike the solo experience of using a computer, you’d gather around a display surface – just as you would a dining room table – and share the device. You’d play together. The iPad is much smaller, but in a way, that lends a certain charm, cramming hands around its little surface. (Anyone play Hungry, Hungry Hippos?) Tapping fingers on that shared surface, you have an experience that, while perhaps less finely-tuned than using the …

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Alternative Controllers: Eigenharp Users Reflect on Playing a New Kind of Instrument

Photo courtesy Eigenlabs. Novel instruments come and go; futuristic ideas appear in demos, wow crowds, and then vanish just as quickly. In order to really become part of musical practice, they require practice. And with something as unusual as the Eigenharp – a digital music controller that looks like the love child of a bassoon and a fretboard and connects to a computer – they even necessitate new techniques and strategies. Enter musician Geert Bevin. As the creator of the fan site Eigenzone, he’s been a tireless champion of the instrument. He’s been compiling videos revealing player techniques and ideas …

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Cyber Monday, Ongoing: Delicious Synths, Effects for $5-20 from audioMIDI

The EMS VCS3 has inspired a virtual synth. You can try to get someone to give you a hardware EMS for $20 – or you can take advantage of this deal. Photo: Rosa Menkman. Online retailer audioMIDI has begun a new sale I really love called the “No Brainer” series. They offer some carefully-selected instruments and effects for prices like $5, $15, or $20. These aren’t clearance bin deals, either; they’re some of the best plug-ins on the market, in either full versions or slightly stripped-down (but fully-functional) editions. audioMIDI has exclusively released details of the deals they’ll offer Monday …

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Gorgeous Full-Sized Hammond B3 Controller for Native Instruments B4

Here’s someone who really, really loves Native Instruments’ B4 (II) software rendition of the Hammond B3 organ. The work of Markus Berger, this dead-ringer for a real B3 is actually a carefully crafted replica with elaborate MIDI control inside. The body is built by hand from cherry wood. Electronics were prototyped with the open source Arduino platform and implemented with electronics from Doepfer, then finished with manuals (that’s “keys” for you non-organists) from Fatar (as seen in Nord’s organs). Authentic-style drawbars finish the project. Correction: I got my wires crossed and originally claimed this had Fatar drawbars, but it’s Fatar …

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iPhone as Serious Instrument: New Synthable iSyn, Strummable Star Guitar

The iPhone and iPod touch are getting more in the way of playable software instruments that could ease its transformation into a handheld idea-capturing gadget. noise.io lays claim to being the first full-featured soft synth on the platform, with unusual FM synthesis control – and I still like the fact that it isn’t anything like most soft synths on your PC. And of course there have been beat machines like the surprisingly capable Intua BeatMaker drum machine/suite. On mobile platforms, though, the more the merrier – especially given the bargain-basement prices. So I’m pleased to see the likes of noise.io …

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Life After Giga: SONiVOX Now Doing Their Own Development, Among Others

What do you do if Tascam lets you down, and you’re a sound house dependent on their GigaStudio/GigSampler player? For major soundware development house SONiVOX, the answer was: make your own software. Somerville, Mass-based SONiVOX has announced “announced the existence” of an in-house software development team. Read: the team has been there already, but they haven’t wanted to talk about it until news broke that Tascam’s GigaStudio was going away. SONiVOX says they have developed “a universally compatible player technology that focus on intelligent MIDI performance, intuitive interfaces, and the highest sonic fidelity.” It will support not only SONiVOX’s own …

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