Archive for the ‘Software Synths’ Category

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The Top 10 Music Technology Websites On The Web

June 3, 2009

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1.  SOUND ON SOUND

http://www.soundonsound.com/

SOUND ON SOUND has consistently remained at the forefront of music technology since it was launched on Channel 4 TV’s The Tube in 1985 by the visionary SOS Publications Group, championing the convergence of MIDI, computer technology and recording equipment that continues to revolutionise the music production industry today.

The magazine is excellent and the website is no exception!

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2. YOU TUBE

Youtube can teach you lots of useless and wondeful things, music technology and software is no exception. If you have query or a problem simply ask yOUTUBE and chances are 14YRD old from  Milwaukee will tell you eveything you need to know!2 Audio tuts+

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3. Audio Tuts+

Audiotuts+ is an in depth blog for musicians, producers and audio junkies! It features tutorials on the tools and techniques to record, produce, mix and master tracks. Audiotuts+ also features weekly articles for the music obsessive. Our commisisoned tutorials are written by industry experts and professionals, but anyone with an awesome skill to showcase can contribute a post and  pay $150 if we publish it.

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4. MUSIC RADAR

Like a few of the sites who are on this list, Musicradar.com is not exclusively about guitars, but a good amount of their features, including news, reviews and tutorials focus on guitars and are all of excellent quality, making this another essential stop. And their lists of the most outrageous guitars are simply hilarious…check them out!

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5. REMIX MAG

Endles resource of information. Remix educates DJs, engineers, producers, and performers of electronic music about the latest applications and new products specific to the electronic and urban music markets. Remix is the premier consumer magazine in North America dedicated 100 percent to the tools, techniques, and production syles of electronic and urban artists

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6. HARMONY CENTRAL

Harmony Central is generally a great place for anyone interested in any sort of musical gear info: tons of resources including news, reviews and forums about synths, souncards, software and much more. Great user reviews section!

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7. SYNTHTOPIA

Synthtopia is a portal devoted to electronic music.There are lots of electronica sites, but they all seem to cover one tiny aspect of electronica: trance, classical electronic music, dance, or synthesizers. Synthtopia covers it all.

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8.  eMUSICIAN

EM is the premiere resource for musicians interested in personal-music production. EM consistently publishes the most “how-to” applications and reviews-a real benefit for the recording musician. Our editors react quickly to changes in the industry to deliver the in-depth technical expertise and tools necessary to successfully use new concepts and technology.Being an American publication  this could be the first place you hear news!4 http://www.kaosaudio.com

Kaos Audio is a huge database of audio software and news, books, synth presets, samples and loops libraries, video software, links, interesting free soft and much more for all the audiophiles out there.

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9. KAOSS AUDIO

Kaos Audio is a huge database of audio software and news, books, synth presets, samples and loops libraries, video software, links, interesting free soft and much more for all the audiophiles out there.

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10. COMPUTER MUSIC

CM and its similar sites (Futuremusic etc) have  vast array of reviews articles and good image content

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Review Sony Acid Pro 7 Digital Audio Workstation

May 13, 2009

Acid debuted over a decade ago and really defined the way so-called “loop music” is produced. From its rather humble beginnings as a simple remixing tool, Acid Pro has matured into a full-blown audio workstation featuring multitrack recording with video sync, a robust MIDI sequencing suite with virtual instrument support, mixdown automation and myriad other production tricks. With all that fully integrated alongside the legendary looping functionality that first made Acid famous, the application is still a staple with DJs, remixers and game-music/video/film post-production houses.

But Acid has had some stiff competition along the way. Programs that once specialized strictly in audio recording, editing, sequencing and mixing stepped into Acid’s kitchen of time stretching, pitch shifting and other loop-music features. In a marketplace where being everything to everybody often makes the difference between a sale and no sale, even the classics have to reinvent themselves to remain relevant.

Acid Pro 7’s look and feel hasn’t changed much, except that the redesigned, dedicated mixer window is sizable, scalable and customizable, offering a view of all tracks and busses not previously possible. Also note the new track switches.

Your New Creative Partner

ACID Pro 7 software is a DAW powerhouse that combines full multitrack recording and mixing, MIDI sequencing, and legendary ACID looping functionality for a seamless music-creation and post-production environment. More creative partner than production tool, ACID Pro 7 software inspires you like nothing else. With its Transparent Technology™ design, ACID Pro 7 software removes typical barriers to the creative workflow so you can effortlessly transform ideas into real results.

Acid Pro 7 - digital audio workstation, multitrack recorders, dj mixing software, music mixing softare, midi software

Professional Multitrack Recording

For uncompromising 24-bit, 192 kHz sound quality production live or in studio, ACID Pro 7 software has an expanded set of features for maximum audio performance. Whether you’re recording your band or creating MIDI-based studio sequences, ACID Pro 7 software is the optimal platform for reliable multitrack recording and production: on-the-fly punch in/out, unlimited tracks for audio and MIDI, control surface support, powerful plug-in processing, and 5.1 surround mixing.

Innovative Loop-Based Music Creation

ACID Pro software has been the leader in loop-based music creation for nearly ten years. Version 7 has all of the core ACID Pro features: automatic pitch and tempo matching, real-time loop previewing, unlimited tracks, and our signature pick/paint/play interface. ACID Pro 7 software also includes over 3,000 Sony Sound Series loops and 1,000 MIDI files so you can start creating music right out of the box. Fundamentals

Comprehensive MIDI Support

Experience unparalleled MIDI sequencing in ACID Pro 7 software, with real time MIDI processing and precise control over MIDI events. All note and controller data can be recorded and edited on the timeline as easily as audio tracks. Use track envelopes to automate and modify modulation, expression, or other types of MIDI controller data over time. Other features let you record multiple tracks of MIDI, apply real time MIDI quantization, perform filtering and processing, create and edit drum patterns, and step record. ACID Pro 7 also includes over 1,000 free MIDI files for music creation. MIDI

Superior Mixing and Editing

ACID Pro 7 software has a dedicated mixing console for a flexible and efficient recording environment. Specify routing, assign audio effects, and use external effects processors with tracks and busses. ACID Pro 7 software also supports control surface automation and channel tracking for devices such as the Mackie Control and Frontier Design TranzPort. Its unique Beatmapper tool makes remixing easy, and the Chopper tool helps you create impressive drum fills, stutters, and DJ-style effects. Mixing and Editing

Professional Effects and Soft Synth Support

Expand your sound palette with native support for VST instruments, as well as VST and DirectX audio plug-ins. Create resonant sweeps, dramatic fades, EQ changes and add effects with parameter automation. ReWire and ASIO support help you smoothly integrate ACID Pro 7 software with your existing studio. Audio Control

Exclusive Quantization Tools

Transform loops and MIDI tracks into fresh, new sounds with our exclusive Groove Mapping and Groove Cloning quantization tools. Change the groove of a track, apply different grooves to the same track, extract a groove from one file and apply it to another, or even create custom grooves. Quantization Tools

Professional Workflow Features

Maximize efficiency with folder tracks and cluster editing to drag, pitch-shift, cut, copy, and paste sections of loops. Use the Clip Pool to choose and arrange events to use in your compositions. Create dramatic or subtle tempo changes using new tempo curves. Deliver projects in nearly any format without leaving the ACID Pro 7 environment. Import and Export Support

Interactive Tutorials New!

ACID Pro 7 software now includes built-in interactive tutorials for step-by-step help. Work along with the tutorials from within your project so you can learn and create at the same time.

Included with ACID Pro 7 software New!

ACID Pro 7 includes software for professional music production and editing, including ACID Pro Effects Rack, powered by iZotope, Garritan Aria for ACID Pro Player, Submersible Music KitCore, and Native Instruments Guitar Combos. Included with ACID Pro 7

Free Loops and Samples

Add to your content library with ACIDplanet.com 8packs. Available as a free download each week, an 8pack is eight loops arranged into a song. ACID Pro registered users can also download free exclusive content using Get Media. Click Get Media on the ACID Pro 7 toolbar for instant access to folders full of royalty-free loops. Get Media
Read a great review at  Remixmag.com
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Propellerheads New Record Software was designed for musicians – not audio engineers.

May 12, 2009

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Propellerhead have a very good standing reputation, and it safe to say their flagship program Reason opened up a lot of doors, for a lot of musicians. Its huge sound bank was, and is something every good musician need in their toolbox. Its layout reasonably (ahem) simple.

It just didn’t record audio! One minor flaw, but quite a big one if your looking for that all-in-one piece of software to ‘record’ you band for instance.

That’s where record steps in. Propellerhead Software’s brand new recording software. Record gives you unlimited audio tracks, world class effects and mixing gear, and a whole new take on music recording. With an intuitive, straightforward interface and a hands-on approach to capturing performances, Record was designed for musicians – not audio engineers. This is recording done right.

Record now – not later.

Recording music is all about seizing the moment. Capturing a perfect performance – or even nailing that idea before it goes away – requires tools that are ready when you are. Record is always ready. Created with musicians in mind, Record lets you create record ready channels in an instant, minimizing the steps between idea and actual recording. The result equals more music – and less dialog boxes. Simply plug in, breathe out and you’re ready to go.

Line 6 in the mix

For guitar and bass players, Record comes installed with separate guitar and bass POD® units from amp and cab simulation experts Line 6 Inc. With bass and guitar amplifiers available for every single track in your Record project, you are never short of interesting tones and timbres. As the Line 6 amplifiers are insert effects and don’t affect the original instrument signal, you are free to change your amplifier and cabinet settings at any point in time – even after laying down your track.

The Record rack

All the instruments, processors and effect units used in a song are housed inside Record’s customizable rack. Any device created is automatically and logically patched into the rack, but if you’re feeling adventurous or need to do some routing of your own, just flip your entire Record rack over and all the cables are all yours!

The Record Effects

Your Record rack can be stacked with an infinite number of reverbs, distortion units, delays, dynamic processors, mastering EQs – everything you need to shape and color your sounds. Click and drag effects straight to the rack, or load any of the expertly crafted patches.

EQ Section

The mixing console features a warm sounding EQ section with high and low pass filters, high and low shelving filters as well as parametric midrange filters. This is where you can add some extra polish to your recordings, and the sound is just fabulous.

Channel Dynamics

Every channel has its own fully featured dynamics section with compressor, gate and expander functions.

Effect Sends

The console has eight dedicated effect sends and each channel’s sends can be set to work pre or post fader. Adding a send effect to the mixer is a two mouseclick affair. Simply right-click in the mixer’s master section and select what effect you want to use. Simple!

Insert effects

Record’s mixer features a clever way to handle insert effects. As explained on the Record page, each track in Record is made up of three components: a sequencer track, an rack device (audio track or mix device) and a mixer channel. In the rack device, you can put all the insert effects you want on your sound, and you can also map controls on the insert effects to the insert section in the mixer. These setups can then be saved as patches for instant recall. Record ships with a large library of ready-made insert patches for a wide array of applications. Reason users will recognize this method from Reason’s combinator, so in essence this is like having a dedicated combinator per mixer channel.

Fader Section

Here’s the control you will find yourself using more than anything else in the mixer. As the name and the picture implies, this is where the faders are and this is also where you set the pan, handle solo and mute. Stereo channels also have a stereo width control.

Master Compressor

The Master compressor is what gives your music that final touch. The legendary dynamics processor it was modeled after is in use in studios all over the world.

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Maschine: What is it? An in depth look

May 6, 2009

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Finally merging a fast and intuitive groove-box workflow with the power and versatility of software, MASCHINE enables an inspiring and spontaneous creative approach for today’s computer-based music production setups.

MASCHINE is built on an intelligent combination of timeless groove box and drum machine workflows, systematically refined and expanded to take advantage of the best aspects of computer technology. It brings together flexible step sequencing and real-time polyphonic recording in a forward-thinking pattern-based arrangement concept that makes it easy to jam out ideas, and turn them into full-blown songs in a way that is efficient, effortless and fun. MASCHINE was designed to accommodate and facilitate inspiration at any point in the creative process, from spontaneous beat creation to sophisticated multi-timbral arranging.

The advanced MASCHINE controller was designed as a natural extension of the software, and makes the system feel and respond as a true instrument. The 16 pressure-sensitive drum pads have been carefully engineered for the best possible response and durability, and they illuminate to visualize sequence patterns and other crucial information.

Eight rotary encoders, a concise layout of dedicated buttons and dual high-resolution displays give immediate access to all functions of MASCHINE without touching the computer mouse or keyboard. By design, all features are quickly accessible “on the surface” rather than hidden away in hierarchical sub menus. The MASCHINE hardware also doubles as a powerful universal controller for any MIDI compatible music gear, thanks to an included MIDI mapping application and support of the MCU protocol for sophisticated DAW control.

Native Instruments Maschine

Based on a powerful high-resolution sample engine, MASCHINE is a versatile instrument that renders intricate drum kits and percussion, loops and multi-sampled polyphonic instruments with uncompromising sonic accuracy, assisted by automatic sample mapping, beat slicing, note repeat and more.

The advanced real-time audio recording and resampling features in MASCHINE also allow producers and performers to capture, map, sculpt and transform any external or internal signal immediately, and seamlessly integrate the result into a running track without ever breaking the flow of the music. Multiple performance effects sections on the sample, group and master level provide a versatile arsenal of 20 highquality algorithms ranging from conventional to experimental, all optimized for profound sound shaping and creative real-time control through the MASCHINE hardware.

MASCHINE lets everyone get into making music right away through its massive library of drum and instrument sounds for contemporary urban and electronic music styles, created in collaboration with international cutting-edge producers and sound designers.

Based on several GByte of studio-quality samples, the arsenal of MASCHINE provides hundreds of drum kits, synthesizer sounds and acoustic instruments, with around ten thousand individual sounds overall. All kits, instruments, samples and effects can be efficiently managed and located through a highly convenient browser that uses categories and concise metadata.

With MASCHINE, all crucial functions including parameter automation, sample mapping and sound editing are always immediately accessible through the controller and within the concise single-window user interface of the software. Usable both as a self-contained standalone instrument and within any DAW or music sequencer, MASCHINE utilizes all the benefits of computer integration like total recall, superior processing power, memory and file handling, project transfer and more, while retaining the inspirational handling and tactile appeal of a hardware instrument.

NI Maschine

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The Top 6 New Features of Cubase 5

April 23, 2009

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The new version of Cubase has landed with some pretty impressive new features that will be interesting to both new and seasoned users alike. Let’s take a look at a few ground-breaking features the new version has to offer and see if these latest additions keep Cubase up there with the other big guns.

Step 1 – Loopmash

There are three new rhythm based devices included with Cubase 5 which hugely expand the application’s potential when it comes to constructing your own beats. Two of these instruments are drum programming tools and another is a loop manipulation plug-in.

First we’ll look at ‘Loopmash’ which is obviously the loop based instrument out of the three. Steinberg claim this is a ‘first of its kind, interactive loop synthesizer’. A quick glance at the interface will certainly confirm that Steinberg are trying to introduce a new element into Cubase.

The GUI style is similar to some of the newer instruments and plug-ins we saw introduced in Cubase 4. On loading Loopmash you are presented with eight ‘tracks’, the slots within these tracks are designed to represent slices of loops you load into them.

Loopmash

You can load loops into Loopmash in a few different ways. The instrument supports drag and drop, so samples can simply be dropped onto its interface from either the media bay, the project window or from your system’s desktop or finder. This appears to work very well and load times are quick.

Once multiple loops are loaded, Loopmash will give you an alternative take on your audio by switching different slices from various parts of each loop. Loopmash looks for slices with similar dynamic signatures and plays them in place of others. The result is a brand new groove with endless variation.

The whole thing syncs with Cubase’s master clock, so everything you do here will be locked with your project. There are a good number of presets, with audio loops included to get you started or you can use your own material if you prefer. This certainly looks promising — but is it a useful addition to Cubase or just a loop toy? You decide.

Step 2 – Groove Agent ONE

Moving on we come to ‘Groove Agent ONE’, a bit more of a traditional instrument that looks to be Steinberg’s answer to Logic’s Ultrabeat or possibly a virtual MPC. This is a drum machine with some nice editing features that loads AIF, WAV and MPC formats. Each sound loaded can be edited independently, using the device’s internal filters and other sound processing tools.

Groove Agent has a couple of really nice little tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to span samples across its pads by simply dropping grooves onto its interface. MIDI can be generated the other way too and dropped onto midi tracks in the project window.

Groove Agent ONE

Step 3 – Beat Designer

Working in conjunction with Groove Agent ONE, the new ‘Beat Designer’ is an advanced step sequencing system, allowing you to program beats in true drum machine style.

It’s pretty straightforward and transparent but definitely adds a new slant to programming your beats in Cubase. It comes with loads of preset patterns and the ability to switch between patterns easily using keys on your MIDI keyboard.

Beat Designer

Step 4 – New pitch correction and vocal tools

Most DAWs only provide pretty basic pitch correction tools as standard, if any at all. Steinberg are set to up the ante here with a couple of really tasty pitch based tools. For many this will be one of the most important updates of the lot.

One of the two pitch based updates is called ‘VariAudio’ and is going to prove extremely useful to Cubase users who work with vocals a lot. It is built right into the sample editor and allows the user to edit monophonic audio performances in a very similar way to MIDI.

Steinberg’s new VariAudio

Timing pitch and length can be easily edited by moving colored blocks. The pitch and timing of each section can be quantized as can the pitch of an entire part. Other elements such as vibrato and glide can also be transformed with a few clicks. And all this takes place with next to no artifacts, so your original audio should be left pretty much intact.

Honestly, the whole thing looks amazingly similar to the successful Melodyne products, so this may not be as ground breaking as you may think — but the fact it is built right into the audio editor is the impressive part, and this could become an essential tool for a lot of users. Now all we need is for the other DAW manufacturers to follow suit.

The second pitch based update is a new VST3 plug-in called ‘PitchCorrect’. This is not miles away from pitch correction plug-ins in other DAWs or some third party products you may already own. Saying that, it is a nice processor with a slick interface and an impressive sound. The algorithm is based on Yamaha’s ‘Pitchfix’ technology.

The new PitchCorrect plug-in

Step 5 – New Reverb Plug-in

Although the algorithm based ‘Roomworks’ plug-in was a breath of fresh air to many users, a lot of people have been in need of a high quality convolution reverb for some time. REVerence could very well be the answer to your prayers if this was on your wish-list.

REVerence boasts 70 fresh convolution impulses and realistic natural space simulation from small rooms to huge outdoor environments. This can all be done in stereo or full surround flavors. As you can see the interface is really impressive and shows a picture of the location the impulse was recorded and also gives you a read out of the waveform data.

The newly added REVerence convolution reverb

Step 6 – Automation handling and enhanced media bay

The way Cubase 5 handles automation has been updated with a new automation control panel. This allows intricate control over every aspect of your automation recordings and allows the user to lock certain parameters from being changed. This should prove to be very useful when dealing with high track counts.

The new automation panel makes it easy to home in specific automated parameters

The MediaBay section of Cubase also gets a boost with improvements to its search filter, write protection system and the way search results are displayed.

These are just some of the key elements that have been updated and there are a huge number of other improvements in Cubase 5. Some other interesting things to mention are the upcoming 64 bit version of the application for OS X, and support for Vista’s new WASAPI super low-latency audio driver technology. All of these things should certainly make Cubase 5 a contender for one of the best DAWs of 2009.

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Cubase 5 Features Workshop with Steinberg Part 1

April 8, 2009
Visual Cubase 5

Cubase 5 – Advanced Music Production System

Dolphin Music recently had the opportunity of hosting the Cubase 5 tour. This evening offered  a one off workshop demonstrating the new advanced features of Cubase. Held in the sumptuous surroundings of the Leaf Cafe, Liverpool, we were one of the first to hear of all the exciting new additions to the worlds already most renowned sequencer.

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Cubase 5 comes with fully integrated new tools for working with loops, beats and vocals, such as LoopMash and VariAudio, combining with new composition features and the first VST3 convolution reverb to take musical creativity to new heights. With stunning innovations and additional enhancements that boost productivity and performance, Cubase 5 represents the absolute cutting edge in digital audio workstations.

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New Features in Cubase 5

Cubase 5 adds even more creative possibilities and new technologies to the world’s premier music production software developed by Steinberg — providing the finest tools to producers, composers and musicians in any musical genre. VariAudio and PitchCorrect provide integrated intonation editing for monophonic vocal recordings. Groove Agent ONE and Beat Designer change the game for beat creation, while the revolutionary LoopMash seamlessly blends loops, creating unimaginable variations. VST Expression tools for composers combine with the first VST3 convolution reverb and improved automation for more dynamic mixes. And an array of additional enhancements and 64-bit technologies boost performance — all designed to inspire further musical creativity and productivity.

Beat Creation and Loop Mangling

Cubase 5 features outstanding new tools for creating beats, generating exciting new rhythms and working with loops.

Vocal Editing and Pitch Correction

Cubase 5 comes with an amazing new toolset for perhaps the most important element in any song: the vocals.

New Dimensions for Your Mix

Cubase 5 has numerous new features that will help you bring new depth to your mix — in more ways than one.

Express Creative Visions

With Cubase 5, Steinberg has innovated even further to offer even more creative compositional tools.

Next-Generation Performance and Faster Workflow

Cubase 5 also includes an array of additional new ways of working faster, with added performance that takes advantage of new technologies.

Further Improvements and Added Value

Cubase 5 comes with redesigned and enhanced features plus many new handy tools and functions, making Cubase even more intuitive to use than ever before.

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AKAI release Vintage Beat Machines for MPC

March 17, 2009

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Fat kicks and raw snares.

Vintage Beat Machines is a a sample library for MPCs containing all kinds of classic drums and percussion sounds. You’ll find some of the most common sounds, and some sounds you’ve likely never heard before. These sounds are from drum machines, beat and rhythm generators, and other synthesizers dating from the 1980s all the way back into the 1960s!

These sounds have the less-refined, more raw sound qualities that many producers prefer for their drums. Until now, building a library of these classic sounds has meant locating expensive and rare equipment – a time-consuming and costly process. With the Vintage Beat Machines Sample Pack for MPC, you’ll have everything you need in a single, affordable download.

According to the manufacturer, this sample pack works with all MPC models and contains samples and analog synthesis-based sounds from nearly all well-known units dating back to the 1960s.

This sample pack works with all MPC models and contains samples and analog synthesis-based sounds from more than 55 different beat machines.

  • Sample library for all MPC models
  • Classic drum and percussion sounds from drum machines, beat and rhythm generators, and other synthesizers
  • Less-refined, more raw sound qualities
  • Samples and analog synthesis-based sounds
  • Sound from from more than 55 different beat machines