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Review of ‘Nothing is Always’ album by The Hunted Hare on Verses Records — August 24, 2020

Review of ‘Nothing is Always’ album by The Hunted Hare on Verses Records

Not quite sure how this review didn’t get published at the time, it somehow slipped through.

The album was released in 2017 and there have been a few releases since so it’s a great way to discover the music of The Hunted Hare.

The Hunted Hare is the guitar oriented recording project of Dennis Kane, a Washington DC based composer, musician and audio engineer.

Nothing is Always is a superb album. I love how the arrangements are minimal but expertly done so that everything has its own place. It’s a captivating sound, contemplative and reflective with a cinematic feel at times.

Intro

There’s a slightly ominous feel to the opening leading into a minimal / sparse feel with a tolling bell and strings.

The Holy Warriors of Spain

Bassline gives momentum which contrasts against the sparser strings. A brilliant arrangement, it’s a pensive, reflective song.

Restraint and Then Relapse

A lovely opening guitar arpeggio and riff, a great interplay between the two creating a reflective and captivating song with an edge of tension to end.

My Blind Empire

A beautiful soundscape from delayed guitar and an evolving string / pad sound.

Anchorite

Solemn deep strings and bass to open, this is another contemplative song with a great flow and just an edge of tension at times.

A Lullaby (Of Sorts)

Another reflective song, a superb arrangement of sparse bass accompanied by a melody.

Magic Circle

An edgy feel to the opening with delayed guitar riff and lead line which creates a great tension. The song has a lonesome feel at times, an edgy vibe.

Mild Horses

Another reflective song, a contemplative feel from bass and slow strings.

Just Beneath The Surface

Delayed guitar to open, I really like the interplay between guitar parts creating a feeling of hope and anticipation.

Malleus

A synth arp to open contrasts against emerging background strings. As the arp fades, a guitar enters and the song takes on a soundscape quality, its an excellent ambience.

Review of Undulator modulated tremelo effect (VST/AU/AAX/iOS) by Eventide — August 16, 2020

Review of Undulator modulated tremelo effect (VST/AU/AAX/iOS) by Eventide

Introduction
Eventide have released a plug-in version of the classic modulated tremolo effect Undulator whilst simultaneously making a commitment to social justice. “Eventide Audio is committed to supporting the fight against systemic racism and violence,” the company stated. “We hope that you will join us by listening, learning, and taking action. We embrace diversity and seek equality, justice, inclusion, and dignity for all. We stand in unity with the Black community and will take action by donating to organizations that support justice and social change. Eventide will be donating 100% of the proceeds of the Undulator desktop plug-in to the Equal Justice Initiative & NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.”

Undulator for Mac and PC supports VST, AAX, and AU plug-in protocols for compatibility with every DAW and is priced at an MSRP of $19. The iOS version of Undulator, which works as a standalone app, AudioUnit v3 plug-in, or Inter-App Audio effect, is priced at $7.99.

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Undulator webpage.

Overview
Undulator, a magical tremolo from Eventide’s iconic H3000 Harmonizer® effects processor, provides a unique rhythmic effect by combining ethereal feedback and detuned echoes which are fed through an AM / FM modulated tremolo. Whether used for manipulating samples or adding movement to strings, pads, guitars, and keys, Undulator is a muse for creative musicians. The plug-in is available for Mac, PC and iOS.

By manipulation of a multi-tap delay and powerful tremolo, Undulator’s controls give any sound sustain and shape. The plug-in excels at transforming ordinary synths, keys, guitars, and even vocals into evolving pads. It’s also perfect for creating tempo-synched production elements, time-lapsed dreamy soundscapes and otherworldly and fluctuant delays. Simply put, Undulator can make shorter sounds into longer layered effects and give sustaining sounds shape and rhythmic character.

Eventide’s Ribbon control lets users fluidly sweep Undulator’s effect between two completely different settings of any combination of controls. Ribbon allows desktop users to plug in a MIDI keyboard and gain tactile control of Undulator via the mod wheel. Changing the rate and depth of your tremolo for a “ramping up” sweep or sequence becomes very simple with this intuitive performance macro. Ribbon can also be used to morph tremolo patterns into vacillating and varying rhythmic territories – effective for calling attention to synth pads and creating a state of flux or rarity, which is otherwise arduous to achieve.

In-depth Review
Undulator is the latest H9 Series effect. I’ve previously reviewed MangledVerb, Ultratap and Blackhole. If you’ve used any of these effects then you’ll instantly feel at home.

Undulator has a clear, well defined interface. The control knobs are large and allow easy adjustment of the controls to shape your sound as desired.

The top part of the display contains the menu where you can load / save presets; compare current settings with the last saved or used preset; enable the ‘mixlock’ which locks the mix settings and uses this value for every preset you load and access the user manual.

The input and output levels are shown on the left and right of the display respectively. Each has a VU meter above and there’s a sticky overload indicator that remains lit when there’s an overload suggesting you need to adjust levels.

The controls are pretty self explanatory;

Mix is the dry/wet setting. This control has a non-linear taper which puts most of the knob travel in the most usable range.

Depth is the tremelo sweep range.

Speed determines the rate of the tremelo unless Envelope or ADSR is elected for the Shape parameter when modulation is driven by the amplitude of the audio input and Speed becomes a Sensitivity control.

Shape selects the shape/source of the tremolo with choices of Sine, Triangle, Peak, Random, Ramp, Square, Sample and Hold, Envelope, or ADSR. Envelope tracks the envelope of the incoming signal, while ADSR uses the incoming source’s envelope to trigger a predetermined ADSR envelope under the hood. In addition, the Ribbon can be chosen as a source although Ribbon mappings for all knobs are disabled in this mode because the algorithm is reading directly from the Ribbon.

Feedback controls the amount of feedback in the delay structure.

Spread controls the amount of detuning in the delay structure.

Mod depth amount controls the amount of modulation of the tremolo’s Depth parameter from the secondary LFO. This is analogous to AM (Amplitude Modulation) of the tremolo.

Mod speed amount controls the amount of modulation of the tremolo’s Speed parameter from the secondary LFO. This is analogous to FM (Frequency Modulation) of the tremolo.

Mod rate controls the secondary LFO rate. Effectively this determines how fast the Mod Depth Amount and Mod Speed Amount ”wiggle” their targets.
The range is from 1/8 to 8X the Speed value. If Envelope or ADSR is selected as the Source, the modulation is driven by the amplitude of the audio input and the Speed Amt control becomes a Sensitivity control.

Mod source controls the secondary LFO modulation shape/source. The
choices are: Sine, Triangle, Peak, Random, Ramp, Square, Sample and Hold, Envelope, or ADSR. Envelope tracks the envelope of the incoming signal, while ADSR uses the incoming source’s envelope to trigger a predetermined ADSR envelope under the hood. In addition, the Ribbon can be chosen as a source although Ribbon mappings for all knobs are disabled in this mode because the algorithm is reading directly from the Ribbon.

Tempo sync has 3 settings. When off, the pre-delay is set in ms. When in sync mode, the amount will sync to your host DAW tempo or you can set it manually as required.

The bottom part of the display contains the performance controls.

The Ribbon is an innovative feature designed to emulate hardware. You can program left and right ranges and morph between them with the ribbon which looks like an electric arc.

It’s as simple as clicking on the white dot at the tip of any knob control and dragging it to the desired setting for the left hand side of the ribbon. This will program the knob and draw a blue arc from the initial knob position to the new, programmed knob position. To adjust the knob position for the right side of the Ribbon, click on the blue dot at the opposite side of the arc and adjust it to the desired position for the right side of the Ribbon. You can adjust the Ribbon programming by grabbing the dots at either end of the arc and adjusting them to the desired position. To delete programming, right click on either of the dots.

Alternatively, press the button on the left or right side of the Ribbon, and then move any knob to its desired Ribbon position for that side. The Ribbon programming can be cleared for all knobs by right clicking the button on either side of the Ribbon.

Additionally, the Ribbon is programmed to follow MIDI Continuous Control (CC) #1 messages so you can for example use the Modulation Wheel on a MIDI device to control the ribbon.

Active turns the effect on and off. It can be toggled via MIDI Continuous Control (CC) #2 messages. It will toggle when the CC goes from low (value < 64) to high (value >= 64).

Slow / Fast toggles the slow mode on and off. Holding the switch down engages a brake mode that slows the LFOs at a constant rate and pauses the tremolo until the switch is released. Slow/Fast can be controlled via MIDI Continuous Control (CC) #3 messages. It will toggle when the CC goes from low (value < 64) to high (value >= 64)..

Tap If Tempo Sync is in Off mode, repeatedly pressing Tap will update the tremolo’s Speed value. If Tempo Sync is in Manual mode, pressing Tap will update the tempo value. If Tempo Sync is in Sync mode, pressing Tap does nothing. Tap can be controlled via MIDI Continuous Control (CC) #4 messages. Tap is triggered when the CC goes high (value >= 64), and will return to the off state when the CC is low (value < 64).

Retrigger will re-sync tremolo and secondary modulation LFOs to the
beginning of their cycles.

Conclusions
This really is a win-win situation. You’re getting an awesome Eventide effect for only $19 and not only that, all proceeds are going to a very worthy cause.

It’s a superb effect. Not only does it do typical tremelo effects but the modulation options and multi-tap delays allow you to create some very interesting pad and soundscape effects. As well as automation to add subtle or more extreme movement, you can use the ribbon to morph between different effect settings for live performance.

I’ve used it extensively on the track embedded at the top of the post, using it on the guitar, pad, bass and vocals. I’ve used it to add depth and rhythmic qualities to the guitar; subtle rhythmic movement to the pad; with a delay on the bass to create a pulsing effect; with a reverb on the vocals to create a floaty, ethereal feel.

Review of Flood – ambient drones and samples by Mode Audio — July 23, 2020

Review of Flood – ambient drones and samples by Mode Audio

Mode Audio has introduced Flood – ambient drones and samples, a 1.88Gb collection of an immense, hallucinogenic blend of pulverising bass, shimmering SFX, crackling sonic atmosphere and lilting analog synth haze. This selection of fraying noise textures, rumbling resonance and glitch-oriented SFX is nothing short of a dazzling feast of inventive sound design, making this one of Mode Audio’s widest-ranging and multi-faceted ambient releases to date.

It is available in Wav format from Mode Audio (£20 regular price).

This sample pack contains 189 files in six different folders, namely ‘Atmospheres’, ‘Basses’, ‘Drones’, ‘SFX’, ‘Textures’ and ‘Drones’ folders. Many of the atmospheres, textures and drones are long samples, in the region of 1 – 2 minutes.  

‘Atmospheres’ contains a wide range of atmospheric sounds from wind chime, dusty analog string / synth to mechanical / industrial. They have a subtle movement and some have an edgy or haunting quality.

‘Basses’ contains a range of gnarly, rumbling and rhythmic bass sounds.

‘Drones’ contains a range of pad, string, keys and synth drones. These are typically long samples with a slightly saturated sound and a subtle movement.

‘SFX’ contains a range of impact, metallic, robotic and electrical type sounds that are ideal for creating rhythmic or contrasting elements.

‘Subs’ contains a range of rumbling and rattly sub-basses that add interesting movement and rhythmic elements.

‘Textures’ contains a range of metallic, impact, rattly, mechanical type sounds that have an edgy feel, adding rhythmic and contrasting elements.

Verdict

What I love about Flood is that it is so versatile. The sounds are brilliantly atmospheric and well suited to not only ambient sounds but also a wider range such as downtempo and soundscapes. There’s a bit of everything from analog lofi, glitchy, noisy to brooding textures.

The samples layer excellently together and allow you to create rhythmic or looping patterns as well as evolving soundscapes and furthermore are ideally suited to further processing in samplers or with effects.

I’ve created the five track EP ‘deluge’ embedded at the beginning of the post to highlight the sort of sounds that you can produce with the pack. I’ve used a number of effects including Fracture XT and Subvert (Glitchmachines), Shaperbox 2 (Cableguys) as well as various reverbs – SP2016 and Blackhole (Eventide) and delays – DDLY (iZotope), Incipit (Inear Display) and H949 Dual Harmoniser (Eventide).

All tracks arranged, produced and mastered in MuLab 8 using Saturn 2, Pro-Q 3 and Pro-L 2 (Fabfilter) and Stage (Fiedler Audio).

Loopmasters and Loopcloud launch #Stayinspired – free plugins, tutorials and sounds — July 14, 2020

Loopmasters and Loopcloud launch #Stayinspired – free plugins, tutorials and sounds

Following April’s #StayInCreate initiative, Loopmasters have teamed up with their friends at Plugin Boutique, Pulsar Audio, W.A Production, Baby Audio & Producertech to bring you another giveaway of Free Plugins, Courses and Sounds to help producers everywhere to #StayInspired.

Producers can find out more and access these deals from the Loopcloud Blog.

Free Sounds: Loopcloud gives you access to 4 million sounds right inside your DAW, in tempo and in key with your current project. Start a free trial of Loopcloud’s Studio plan and you’ll get an Exclusive 1GB Stay Inspired Vocal Pack, 1GB Welcome Pack, up to 750 free samples per month, plus over 300 points to spend on sounds which you’ll get to keep even if you cancel your trial period.

Free Courses: Producertech’s All Access Membership gives users unlimited access to 400+ hours of tutorials, over 10GB of Loopmasters samples, hundreds of projects and presets, plus written notes and assessments. While all this usually costs £9.99 per month, Producertech is extending their free access period (usually 14 days) by an extra three months, helping you to kick your tracks up a gear with expert tutorials and resources.

Free Plugin: Usually £25, I Heart NY by Baby Audio gives you that punchy, powerful sound without setting up parallel routing in your DAW. The Spank control lets you add an extra edge to the parallel compression process, heating up your audio even further.

Free Plugin: Vocal Splitter is a plugin for turning mono vocals into thick, modern-sounding stereo ready to add to a track. Not only have W.A Production taken a classic effect applied to vocals and made it easier to perform, but they’ve also added more customisation into the bargain.

Free Plugin: Smasher by Pulsar Audio is a plugin emulation of the legendary Urei 1176 compressor. This effect can give you an explosive sound on a drum bus, add body and sustain to a snare sound, and bring out the bite in a bass guitar.

Review of ChordPotion 2 midi sequencer and effect plugin (VST / AU) by FeelYourSound — July 1, 2020

Review of ChordPotion 2 midi sequencer and effect plugin (VST / AU) by FeelYourSound

Introduction

FeelYourSound has released version 2.0.0 of their MIDI sequencer and effect plug-in ChordPotion (VST + AU).

Chord Potion is typically priced at 45 EUR / $49. ChordPotion 2 is a free update for all ChordPotion 1 users.

Celebration deal: Enter the code “Celebration” at the checkout page to get 10% off. Save up to 20% with special bundle prices that are available until 9th July 2020.

The ChordPotion demo is available here

Background

ChordPotion is a composition and performance tool. It can turn any chord progression into new riffs and melodies instantly.

The basic concept is simple: You play your chords in your DAW, send them to ChordPotion, and ChordPotion generates new notes for you that are played on your favorite synth. You can also export the generated notes as standard MIDI files and edit them later on.

The plug-in contains four parallel sequencers. You can create and edit your own sequences from scratch or load one of the many factory patterns to build your own chord transformers.

This video shows ChordPotion in action and explains the user interface:

You can expand ChordPotion with preset packages to cover even more playing styles. For ChordPotion 2, FeelYourSound teamed up with game composer Denis Comtesse to create three free new preset packs:

Keys Mix“: A selection of keyboard presets for various genres (Rock, Pop, Ballads, Blues, Jazz, Reggae, Soul).

Golden Guitar“: Picked and strummed guitars patterns. From folk to triplets to classic playing styles.

Time Oddity“: Various presets for odd meters like 3/4, 5/4, 6/8, and 7/8. Spice up your songs with some arpeggios, basslines, rhythmic chords, or strumming lines.

In-Use

The interface is clean and well laid out.  The top section has 12 page buttons so you can work with different ideas or switch between presets; a sound button to activate the in-built piano sound and the midi drag and drop button.

The bottom bar has swing and octave options along with the preset browser and clipboard, copy save and paste buttons.

Speaking of presets, these are an excellent way to hear the sort of sounds that ChordPotion can produce. There are a range including pop, hip hop, beat, backbeat, edm and piano and there are also a number of expansion packs available like those outlined above.

Creating your own sounds is straightforward and easy and these are designed in the middle part of the interface that has four separate rows to transform incoming chord notes.  You can solo / mute each row, change the velocity, speed and octave for each row and also decide if it plays once or repeats.  For the chord row, patterns are applied to each input note and the melody rows play monophonic riffs like arpeggios and basslines that combine to create complex polyphonic rhythms.  You can also set a different midi channel for each row.

At the end of each row are 2 fx slots that allow you to add a number of options including add notes, remove notes, randomise notes, randomise note length and randomise velocity.  There are also 2 master fx slots.

You can edit a lot of the patterns which brings up a step sequencer window.  

Each step is shown as 0, 1, 2, – or #.  A zero is the bass note of the chord (or all notes), one is the second note (or first inversion) and two is the third note (or third) inversion; – is a blank field and # stops the currently played note.  If you right-click a step you can set the probability of various options such as turning a step into – or #, randomise note, velocity, octave.

ChordPotion will transpose notes as soon as it receives them and the generated output notes are automatically recorded and when you stop your DAW you can drag and drop the midi file.  If you set up each row to a different midi channel, when you export it will export multi-midi files rather than a single midi file. 

Conclusions

This is an excellent compositional tool that takes a different approach to some other similar tools, starting with a chord progression that you create and then ChordPotion enables you to create intricate and complex sounds.

It works very well on instruments as well as percussive sounds and can create simple single melodies such as basslines or arpeggios or much more complex polyphonic rhythms.

What I really like is that it is such an inspiring tool and best of all, fun to use. It’s easy to get to grips with and sounds very musical, the randomise options and fx allow you to add natural variation that means the mechanical feel you get with some sequencers doesn’t happen with ChordPotion. You can feed ChordPotion very simple progressions and it will convert them into full harmonies instantly improving your arrangements.

The export midi function is an excellent addition, this allows you to tweak or save your own midi files for future use, the multi-file export is very handy to save separate melodies and basslines for example.

Review of Scaler 2 – chord detection and creative chord progression creator utility (VST/AU/AAX) by PluginBoutique — June 27, 2020

Review of Scaler 2 – chord detection and creative chord progression creator utility (VST/AU/AAX) by PluginBoutique

Introduction
PluginBoutique have released Scaler 2, a new and updated version of the hugely popular compositional software.

Scaler is an inspirational and powerful music theory workstation that gives you access to a world of new ideas, expressions and melodies. With powerful detection of MIDI and audio, Scaler can determine what key and scale you’re in and suggest chords that match your music. The plugin helps you discover the perfect melody with performance expressions, and can even suggest ways to change from one key to another.

Scaler makes finding chords and progressions intuitive and fun! It’s a comprehensive but easy to use toolbox that will help anyone make better music.

It is available in AAX, VST and AU formats as 64 bit versions from PluginBoutique’s website. It is typically priced at £49.96 with an introductory price of £39.95 until the 30th June 2020.  Upgrade and bundle deals are available.

Using Scaler
Scaler 2 allows you to discover your music’s key and explore alternative scales and chord sets or you can create your own progressions from scratch or explore over 200 chord sets by artists or genre / mood.

The GUI is clean and well laid out. The header has the Scaler logo giving access to help, registration and version number. There’s a status bar giving live access to midi and audio input and a live settings panel giving access to playback parameters of enable / disable chord performances, key locking, voice grouping and humanization (timing, velocity or both).

The instrument panel below allows you to visualize notes, chords and scales on a keyboard or a fretboard. The icons to the left allow you to switch between keyboard and guitar layout, the sound selector is located underneath these icons. The buttons below allow you to change between detection, scale and chordset.

When you select a scale or chordset the display changes to display the notes in that particular scale. For example this is an EDM chordset with the chords displayed below.

And this is the same chordset with the fretboard display:

You can hear the chords with a variety of instruments, Scaler 2 has an extended range of instruments including pianos, synths, guitars and orchestras.

The middle part of the display changes whether you are in detect mode, scale mode or chordset mode.

Scale mode lets you explore a huge range of scales. You can explore these using all notes and scales and/or specific notes and scales. There are a huge range of scales including common major, minor, harmonic major, harmonic minor, pentatonic as well as more unusual Neapolitan and Persian.

When you select a scale, the corresponding chords in that scale are displayed below.

You have access to a huge range of chord variations from standard triads to extended chords, different voicings, chord variations and a very cool modulation option that allows you to modulate to a second scale, borrow chords from a relative mode or use mediants which modulates in minor or major thirds. The chords that fit with the chosen scale are highlighted blue. This allows you to fine tune your progression by auditioning a range of chords to add colour to your sound, add variation or unexpected changes for example.

As well as chord length, chord voicing and humanise options there are also a huge range of performance options including arpeggios, strumming and expressions that are further split into a number of performances, phrases and rhythms that can be used for creating melodies and basslines for example. You can also lock keys to your chords so that you always play in key and set voice groupings to particular octaves.

You can play live and record or create your own progressions in the progression builder at the bottom of the display, this allows you to create a pattern of up to 8 chords with up to 7 patterns in total.

You simply drag and drop chords into the progression builder. There are further options available with a right click, you can edit the chord, substitute, generate parallel harmony or extract voicing. Once you’ve finished you drag and drop the progression to your DAW and a handy feature is that you can drag and drop individual chords as well.

Using chordsets is very similar, in some ways it’s a short cut to producing a progression. You can of course still change the progression to suit using all of the features outlined above and drag the progression or individual chords to your DAW.

Conclusions
I was very impressed with the original version of Scaler, it is a tool that I’ve used on a large number of my songs and Scaler 2 is a big improvement with lots of new features and functionality. It is very useful whether or not you understand music theory and can provide inspiration and help you find new ways to be creative. There is a focus on modern music styles with a number of artists and progressions that are difficult to find generally so it’s an excellent tool to help you create new styles of music that you may struggle to do on your own.

Version 2 brings a number of welcomed improvements. The increased number of instruments really helps you hear how your song will sound and there are over 200 new chord sets and hundreds of new scales. The performance mode offers over 200 styles to easily allow you to create melodies and rhythms.

The chordsets are a great starting point, they can be used as is but it’s very easy to tweak these to suit the sound you want by editing chords, using extended chords or substituting chords.

By experimenting with scales, it’s very easy to create your own progressions and songs very quickly. It’s a very inspiring plugin, you will never be stuck in a creative rut again with Scaler 2.

Waldorf Music makes more waves by bringing flagship’s futuristic functionality and advanced tonality to desktop with Iridium Synthesizer — June 21, 2020

Waldorf Music makes more waves by bringing flagship’s futuristic functionality and advanced tonality to desktop with Iridium Synthesizer

Having opened eyes and ears when introducing its forward-looking flagship Quantum Synthesizer keyboard to widespread critical acclaim in 2018, Waldorf Music is proud to introduce its Iridium Synthesizer ‘sibling’ — sharing futuristic functionality and advanced tonality and applying those traits with welcomed added extras to a compact desktop form factor living up to the high-quality synthesizer developer’s demanding design standards.

Following in the Quantum Synthesizer’s trailblazing footsteps, the Iridium Synthesizer features a generous high-resolution multitouch display working — with haptic help — in perfect harmony with an adroitly arranged control panel positioning all functions for speedy operation. Noticeably new to the demonstrably different Iridium Synthesizer is its integrated 4 x 4 pad matrix, used to call up sequences, chords, scales, and arpeggios. A quick glance under the hood, however, reveals that the Iridium Synthesizer still shares the same selectable sound generation processes per oscillator (OSC 1OSC 2, and OSC 3). As such, it can convincingly and comprehensively reproduce the sound spectra of the following five synthesis types: WavetableWaveformParticleResonator, and Kernels.

As a direct descendant of the legendary PPG Wave hybrid digital/analogue synthesizer series that made their mark throughout the Eighties by bringing the distinctive sound of wavetable synthesis to the musical masses, the well-known Waldorf Music marque is synonymous with top-tier wavetable sounds. Subsequently refining and expanding this sound generation process’ potential, the sound of Waldorf wavetable oscillators span subtlety to brutality — animated, digital, and diverse, yet easy to control. Classic wavetables from well-known wavetable synthesizers hailing from the PPG and Waldorf stables, spectral analysis, speech synthesis, wavetable generation from audio material, and more besides are all available to Iridium Synthesizer users when selecting Wavetable.

With early wavetable synthesizers, even, typical waveforms familiar from analogue synthesizers were always available at the end of a wavetable. Waveform selection on the Iridium Synthesizer goes far beyond this, though, by offering up to eight simultaneously selectable waveforms per oscillator, enabling infinitely dense, fat analogue-sounding tones, with detuned modes, tuneable noise, and hard sync.

2GB internal sample flash memory is available to the Iridium Synthesizer’s Particle oscillator, opening up exciting new possibilities of traditional stereo sampling with granular synthesis functionality — also available when processing a live input signal — for extensive manipulation of sample-based sounds. So the Iridium Synthesizer comes complete with 2GB sample content, while sample material can be reloaded or backed up by the user via USB drives or MicroSD Card connections.

Creativity abounds further still when selecting the Resonator sound generation process to manipulate multi-samples from the internal sample flash memory or noise via an exciter and various modulate-able spectral parameters — perfect for generating awe-inspiring animated sounds and drones, which can, for example, easily be integrated into a Eurorack modular synthesizer environment via the Iridium Synthesizer’s integrated control voltage connections (CV In1CV In2CV In3, and CV In4)… another added extra that should surely be welcomed in this day and age of anything goes!

Get this, though: thanks to its innovative implementation of six Kernal operators, the Iridium Synthesizer can capably generate familiar FM (Frequency Modulation) tones of the type that revolutionised the entire synthesizer market in the early Eighties, as well as spectacularly different-sounding ones — and all without the notorious complexity associated with those once-revolutionary early-Eighties efforts ending up so overused on numerous hit records of the time. Thankfully, the Iridium Synthesizer’s deftly-designed multitouch display supports the processing and visualisation of sonic relationships of its Kernels, considerably easing the process of creating spectacularly different-sounding tones with more than a touch of originality thrown in for good measure!

But better still, OSC 1OSC 2, and OSC 3 can each play one of those sound generators, so spectacular-sounding sound design can come quickly to Iridium Synthesizer users of all levels — before being balanced by the OSC MIX (mixer). Thereafter, the signal from the three oscillators makes its way to the DUAL FILTER section where fully stereo multi-mode filters convincingly cover all conceivable classic filter variants. Various filter modes are additionally offered by the Digital Former, such as Comb, classic Waldorf high- and band-pass, and notch filters from Waldorf Music’s Largo and Nave software synthesizers, plus PPG models, alongside signal enhancer effects, such as Drive and Bit Crusher, and more.

Moreover, an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) section with no fewer than six LFOs works with six loop-able ENVELOPES, all of which can be linked and smoothly operated within the 40-slot modulation matrix, thanks to the Iridium Synthesizer’s integrated high-resolution multitouch display.

With up to 16-voice polyphony in full stereo and an ability to overlay two sounds or play them simultaneously via the split function, the functional desktop design of Waldorf Music’s Iridium Synthesizer allows for sound design opportunities that are often out of this world with up to 7,000 patches internally saveable. Speaking of which, since Iridium Synthesizer patches are compatible with Waldorf Music’s flagship Quantum Synthesizer (running recently-released version 2.0 firmware), they can be transferred to and from the Quantum Synthesizer. Such cross-compatibility means that the Iridium Synthesizer comes complete with an extremely extensive sound set from the get-go… get going with inspirational sounds programmed by some of the best sound designers in the world, or work with the inspirational Iridium Synthesizer’s fanciful features to sound highly original, off the cuff or otherwise.

On the face of it, then, Waldorf Music has named its Iridium Synthesizer appropriately. After all, iridium dates back to the early 19th Century and the chemical element of atomic number 77 — named from the modern Latin word for rainbow (irid), since it forms compounds of various colours. Clearly, the range of sound colours available to Iridium Synthesizer users are almost limitless. Letting rip with that generous high-resolution multitouch display working — with haptic help — in perfect harmony with an adroitly arranged control panel positioning all functions for speedy operation is a joy to behold… both for eyes and ears!

The Iridium Synthesizer is available through Waldorf Music’s growing global network of distributors at an SRP (Suggested Reseller Price) of €1,960.00 EUR (excluding tax).


For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Iridium Synthesizer webpage

Antelope Audio banishes buyer’s remorse with wallet-warming The All-In-One Production Suite summer sizzler —

Antelope Audio banishes buyer’s remorse with wallet-warming The All-In-One Production Suite summer sizzler

Leading high-end professional audio equipment manufacturer Antelope Audio has warm- heartedly set its sights on banishing buyer’s remorse with The All-In-One Production Suite offer — comprising a quality quartet of summer sizzlers set to warm hearts and wallets while taking recording journeys to the next level by including a full version of Berlin-based Bitwig’s namesake Bitwig Studio DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) alongside Antelope Audio’s cutting-edge Edge Solo high-quality single-capsule large-diaphragm condenser modeling microphone for free with every purchase of one of its innovative Synergy Core audio interfaces.


The All-In-One Production Suite is a smart and speedy way of plunging headlong into pro audio, fuelling creative fires for a guaranteed sizzling summer — and all without breaking the bank. Better still, since it has been assembled to compliment the unique features of Antelope Audio’s acclaimed Synergy Core audio interfaces, it is a surefire winner when it comes to helping produce album-quality recordings at home, in the studio, or on the go.

Berlin-based Bitwig’s truly cross-platform — Linux-, macOS-, and Windows-compatible — Bitwig Studio surely plays its part in The All-In-One Production Suite’s creativity-charged proceedings as an innovative music production and performance software title that takes musical ideas through each stage of production. Put it this way: when paired up with one of Antelope Audio’s Synergy Core audio interfaces, it can capably send and receive CV (control voltage) signals using the audio interface in question’s DC-coupled line outputs to create a (suitably-equipped) synthesizer-friendly experience. Enjoying intuitive sequencing and streamlined workflows with an array of advanced editing options for the studio world and beyond by tapping into Bitwig Studio’s nonlinear clip launcher and arranger alongside 90-plus included virtual instruments, audio effects, and sound design tools takes on a whole new musical meaning when also accessing Synergy Core effects for crafting signals into sound, thanks to The All-In-One Production Suite’s complimentary quartet of summer sizzlers on offer.

Digging deeper, the perfectly portable, perfectly formed Zen Tour Synergy Core is aimed at musicians and producers, both when working in a desk-bound capacity or, obviously, on the go. Its impressive specification highlights palpably belie its diminutive — 255 mm / 10.0” (w) x 62 mm / 2.4” (h) x 168 mm / 6.6” (d) — dimensions: ThunderboltTM 3 and USB 2.0 (Mac and Windows) connectivity; 8 | 14 channels of analog I/O; 4x Combo + 4x TRS (Discrete Ultra-Linear) preamps; 124dB A/D and 130dB D/A (monitors) conversion; 4x DSP (Digital Signal Processing) + 2x FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) Synergy Core effects processing; 36 included effects; 32 effects channel strips, each with four slots for up to 128 effects; flexible signal routing options — works like a digital patch bay (with dedicated routing for DAW, effects, and mixers); re-amp outputs; and touchscreen. Equally as at home on a desk top as it is on the go — albeit a little easier on the wallet without compromising on quality, Discrete 4 Synergy Core comparatively offers ThunderboltTM 2 and USB 2.0 (Mac and Windows) connectivity; 4 | 10 channels of analog I/O; 4x Combo (Discrete 6-transistor) preamps; 121dB A/D and 121dB D/A (monitors) conversion; 2x DSP + 1x FPGA Synergy Core effects processing; 36 included effects; and four effects channel strips, each with eight slots for up to 32 effects. Aimed at being the heart of production and commercial studio workflow, the rack-mountable Discrete 8 Synergy Core expands upon its Discrete 4 Synergy Core ‘little brother’ — both size- and specification-wise — with ThunderboltTM 2 and USB 2.0 (Mac and Windows) connectivity; 8 | 14 channels of analog I/O; 8x Combo (Discrete 6-transistor) preamps; 121dB A/D and 130dB D/A (monitors) conversion; 2x DSP + 1x FPGA Synergy Core effects processing; 36 included effects; and eight effects channel strips, each with eight slots for up to 64 effects. Ending on a high-spec high note, the rack-mountable Orion Studio Synergy Core capably lives up to its name with ThunderboltTM 3 and USB 2.0 (Mac and Windows) connectivity; 14 | 24 channels of analog I/O; 12x Combo (Discrete Ultra-Linear) preamps; 128dB A/D and 130dB D/A (monitors) conversion; 6x DSP + 2x FPGA Synergy Core effects processing; 50 included effects; 32 effects channel strips, each with eight slots for up to 256 effects; flexible signal routing options; re-amp outputs; and hardware inserts.

Innovation knows no bounds as Antelope Audio’s advanced Synergy Core platform that lends its name to The All-In-One Production Suite’s quality quartet of audio interfaces is in a league of its own, thanks to the built-in acceleration for emulations of studio gear — providing a creative balance between popular designs and rarer European designs — and allowing for monitoring and recording without latency, as well as mixing and mastering without adding CPU (Central Processing Unit) load to a DAW host computer. Controlling and recalling effects settings is perfectly possible using Antelope Audio’s AFX2DAW native plug-in for Mac/ThunderboltTM, while users can easily expand the effects library supplied with their chosen audio interface, starting at $55.00 USD per effect from here: https://en.antelopeaudio.com/software-store/

Sealing the deal when it comes to The All-In-One Production Suite-induced sizzling summer is Edge SoloAntelope Audio’s high-quality single-capsule large- diaphragm condenser microphone — presently priced at $499.00 USD/€499.00 EUR individually — included for free. Flexibility abounds as it not only delivers superlative sound straight out of the box, with a fixed cardioid pickup pattern feeding a single mono XLR input channel on the Synergy Core audio interface in question, but also adds creative tools for the whole production process. Thanks to Antelope Audio’s cutting-edge modeling technology, users can currently emulate over 20 of the world’s most iconic vintage microphones with uncanny accuracy. As such, vocal recording really is as simple as choosing a classic mic emulation and starting to track in real-time. Recording clean alternatively allows freedom to choose later from the modeling options during the mixing stage.

Saying all that, then, anyone taking advantage of The All-In-One Production Suite is literally buying in to an all-in-one production suite set to take their recording journey to the next level with a full package of quality products, priced like never before. Banish buyer’s remorse by plunging headlong into pro audio, fuelling creative fires for a guaranteed sizzling summer — and all without breaking the bank. 


For more in-depth information about The All-In-One Production Suite offer — valid through to July 31, 2020, please visit its dedicated webpage

Priced at $1,995.00 USD/€1,995.00 EUR, a Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interface purchased as part of The All-In-One Production Suite offer comes complete with a free full version of Bitwig Studio alongside a free Edge Solo modeling microphone, and can be ordered online directly from Antelope Audio via the dedicated Zen Tour Synergy Core webpage which also includes more in-depth info.

Presently priced at $999.00 USD/€999.00 EUR, a Discrete 4 Synergy Core audio interface purchased as part of The All-In-One Production Suite offer comes complete with a free full version of Bitwig Studio alongside a free Edge Solo modeling microphone, and can be ordered online directly from Antelope Audio via the dedicated Discrete 4 Synergy Core webpage which also includes more in-depth info.

Presently priced at $1,495.00 USD/€1,495.00 EUR, a Discrete 8 Synergy Core audio interface purchased as part of The All-In-One Production Suite offer comes complete with a free full version of Bitwig Studio alongside a free Edge Solo modeling microphone, and can be ordered online directly from Antelope Audio via the dedicated Discrete 8 Synergy Core webpage which also includes more in-depth info.

Presently priced at $2,495.00 USD/€2,495.00 EUR, an Orion Studio Synergy Core audio interface purchased as part of The All-In-One Production Suite offer comes complete with a free full version of Bitwig Studio alongside a free Edge Solo modeling microphone, and can be ordered online directly from Antelope Audio via the dedicated Orion Studio Synergy Core webpage which also includes more in-depth info. 

Antelope Audio steps back in time to bring two classic EQ emulations to next-generation Synergy Core effects processing platform — June 16, 2020

Antelope Audio steps back in time to bring two classic EQ emulations to next-generation Synergy Core effects processing platform

Trailblazing pro audio manufacturer Antelope Audio is proud to announce availability of Blonder Tongue Audio Baton and Filtek Mk3 — two new hardware-based software effects emulating EQ classics capable of running in real-time using Antelope Audio’s aptly-named Discrete 4 Synergy CoreDiscrete 8 Synergy CoreOrion Studio Synergy Core, and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go bus-powered modeling microphone, all of which, when processing proprietary effects with their inbuilt Synergy Core DSP (Digital Signal Processing) acceleration engines, enable monitoring and recording without latency and mixing and mastering without adding CPU (Central Processing Unit) load to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) host computer.

Effectively entering a music technology time machine to take a trip back to 1959, Antelope Audio proudly presents an authentic emulation of the Blonder- Tongue Audio Baton. An all-tube graphic equalizer so rare and special that it has an actual album named after it, now it is immortalised as an authentic- sounding hardware-based software effect by Antelope Audio. Time-appropriate looks aside, the original Audio Baton boasts seven separate amplifiers tuned to distinct frequencies, followed by high- and low-pass filters running in parallel with their outputs routed to separate level controls. Choices for frequencies correspond to actual notes and octaves on a piano keyboard — hence the graphical representation of one above the nine white vertical stripes with an eye- catching red markers. More meaningfully, those markers move up and down the white vertical stripes when turning the associated rotary controls to assists with visualizing boosts and cuts over nine frequency bands with a 28dB control range per band. Better still, the resultant frequency response curve is graphically overlaid on top of four horizontal stripes where each frequency region is distinctly colored. Clearly technically proficient for its time, the Audio Baton was actually an inexpensive unit that found its way into audiophile homes and recording studios alike. As such, AUDIO magazine qualified it as “…indispensable to anyone interested in dubbing from old records…” while strongly recommending it “…to anyone who does much recording…” when covering it in February 1959. “Rolloff of either lows or highs due to poor microphones or narrow-range amplifiers or recorders can be corrected easily, and response peaks can be smoothed out as desired,” it also noted. Needless to say, Antelope Audio’s talented team of DSP and electrical engineers recreated the Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton in its entirety, exclusively for the Synergy Core real-time effects processing platform. Providing further visual feedback as a purely cosmetic enhancement entirely in keeping with this unique equalizer’s late-Fifties aesthetic, Antelope Audio added a Magic Eye peak meter to Blonder Tongue Audio Baton. Both the vintage original and contemporary recreation compare favorably to other great equalizers of the time — think Altec 9073A ‘Motown’ graphic equalizer curiosity crossed with pre-eminent Pultec tube-amplified make-up gain stage… Synergy Core has gained another must-have hardware-based software EQ effects emulation. End users can look forward to running it in real-time on the Synergy Core effects module built into Antelope Audio’s aptly-named Discrete 4 Synergy Core and Discrete 8 Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go, the world’s first bus-powered modeling microphone, where it can correct frequency response errors, such as excessive bass or shrill high-end, as well as improving the clarity of instruments, vocals, and speech.

Fast-forwarding back to a highly-successful Seventies-vintage design, Antelope Audio’s emulation of the FILTEK MK3 is a versatile three-band equalizer with modeled transformer-based input and output sections that works in real-time with zero latency — just like using the notable namesake original hardware. Having said that, the FILTEK MK3 was originally built to the rigorous standards demanded by the IRT (Institut für Rundfunktechnik) — the research centre of the German broadcasters ARD (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen), and DLR (Deutschlandradio), Austrian national public service broadcaster ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk), and Swiss public broadcasting association SRG/SSR (Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft/Société suisse de radiodiffusion et télévision, Società svizzera di radiotelevisione, and Societad Svizra da Radio e Televisiun) — as a broadcasting module, so its initial cost meant that it remained within reach of only the most reputable radio stations. Saying that, though, it eventually ended up in receptive recording studios around the world when racked accordingly. As a versatile equalizer that sounds clear and precise — unusually modern for the time, it handles both broad sweeps and surgically-precise applications with equal aplomb. Indeed, its switch and knob combinations encourage experimentation — extreme settings at broad bandwidths turn the high and low bands into respectable shelving filters, for example. Efficient design, employing the best engineering practices and high-quality parts, produced first-class corrective capabilities and also enhancement-friendly frequency ranges. Results worth highlighting include boosting the high end without introducing harshness and a unique signal path allowing for parallel equalization by mixing the boosted/attenuated signal with unprocessed audio. This time, Antelope Audio’s talented team of DSP and electrical engineers meticulously modeled the three-band design with high- and low-pass filters — perhaps the most recognizable and arguably most flexible of the FILTER MK3’s many incarnations. In this case, each band offers a choice of 12 frequencies with boosts and cuts of up to 16dB. The three-way bandwidth (Q) switches for each band allow for bypassing specific bands when in mid-position. Put it this way: with FILTEK MK3, users can expect something special — clean and transparent, but packing plenty of punch and character when pushed. It is certainly an amazing-sounding addition to the frequency adjustment toolbox!

Owners of Antelope Audio’s Blonder Tongue Audio Baton and Filtek Mk3 should simply insert them into their effects chain. Click and turn the rotary controls to correct their specific frequencies while using the bottom-left knob to switch the equalizer itself IN or OUT and the bottom-right knob to adjust the output VOLUME when using the former. Feel free to push the input signal — within reasonable limits — to obtain meticulously-modeled transformer saturation with the latter. So step back in time with Antelope Audio and take time to treasure two classic EQ emulations brought back to the future, thanks to the next-generation Synergy Core effects processing platform. 

Blonder Tongue Audio Baton 
is available for Antelope Audio’s acclaimed Discrete 4 Synergy Core, Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core, and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go bus-powered modeling microphone, priced at $195.00 USD/€195.00 EUR directly from here: https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/blonder-tongue-audio-baton/

Filtek Mk3 is available for Antelope Audio’s acclaimed acclaimed Discrete 4 Synergy Core, Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core, and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go bus-powered modeling microphone, priced at $195.00 USD/€195.00 EUR directly from here: https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/filtek-mk3/

Avantone Pro brings back bygone classic as aptly-named sub-frequency kick drum microphone must-have —

Avantone Pro brings back bygone classic as aptly-named sub-frequency kick drum microphone must-have

TALLMAN, NY, USA: Avantone Pro is proud to announce availability of Kick — an aptly-named sub-frequency kick drum microphone that effectively brings back to life a well-known extinct example by utilising the affordable high-quality audio products producer’s own reproduction ‘white cone’ low-frequency driver to capture lower frequencies than a standard dynamic microphone, giving kick drum sounds that still-sought-after subsonic signature.


While using a speaker as a low-frequency capture microphone is nothing new — after all, The Beatles used this technique on their chart-topping ‘Paperback Writer’ way back in May 1966, watching people dangling a speaker from a makeshift stand, rewiring a monitor driver, or hot-wiring a combo amp to try and capture those lows is far from a pretty experience with results not necessarily assured, Kick ably addresses this by bringing the boom from appropriate instruments out to the forefront, making large-sounding sources sound massive. Moreover, it neatly does so with a sub-frequency microphone that utilises its well-known reproduction ‘white cone’ low-frequency driver — not just any driver, though… the driver!

Avantone Pro’s AV-10 MLF low-frequency replacement driver used in its CLA-10 recreation of an iconic studio reference monitoring mainstay — and compatible with the Japanese original — is also at the beating heart of Kick. Indeed, it has a single continuous press-formed cone to match that classic sound and allows a much higher level of quality control and consistency during the manufacturing process as well as delivering strong bass reproduction. In Kick’s case, the AV-10 MLF’s distinctive 18cm cone acts as a microphone element. The microphone itself is of a moving coil dynamic type, with a 50Hz to 2kHz frequency response, 6.3 Ω output impedance, and figure-eight pattern, plus a male XLR connector. All are housed in a birch plywood drum shell with a 10-inch mesh drum head.

Having said all that, to then mount Kick on a standard mic stand simply would not do the job justice — which is exactly why Avantone Pro provides a stage- ready, double-braced drum stand. Studio-bound or on the road, the comprehensive Kick package is really ready to deliver! 

Kick is available at Avantone Pro’s US Dealers with a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $349.00 USD.

European SSP (Suggested Selling Price) is €399.00 EUR, including VAT, with worldwide Distributors listed by country

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Kick webpage