Rob Papen has announced the release of BLUE II, the follow-up to the popular BLUE synthesizer “crossfusion” instrument, featuring a mix of FM and subtractive synthesis, Phase Distortion and wave shaping synthesis.
Today BLUE-II remains true to that ethos with even more sound dimensions and features to its extended name, starting with six oscillators beating at its musically creative heart. These can be connected in various ways, together with two analogue-style modelled stereo filters with 27 different filter types, an enormous range of processing and modulation options, sequencer, and an incredibly powerful arpeggiator.
A new range of specially selected waveforms based on samples have been meticulously fashioned for creating new and fresh-sounding synth sounds, so don’t go expecting acoustic pianos galore here. However, since choirs and strings are an excellent basis for so many synth sounds BLUE-II has them in abundance — with much more besides!
Moreover, BLUE-II takes the useful XY pad features from its popular virtual instrument sibling Blade — a cutting-edge additive synthesis powerhouse with a human touch — and transplants them into its own equally extraordinary workflow… perfect for time-based sound movements and vector pad-type sounds. Complemented by four top-quality FX processors, each offering 35 FX types, BLUE-II is a phenomenally powerful virtual instrument to behold.
But BLUE-II is also easy to use, thanks to its user-friendly user interface and an innovative Easy Edit page for speedy sound changes, while the Bank Manager allows whistle-stop navigation through thousands of inspirational Rob Papen presets and artist sound banks covering a wide range of musical styles.
BLUE II for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/AAX) is available to purchase for 149 EUR / $179 USD. Owners of BLUE can upgrade to BLUE II for 44 EUR / $49 USD.
More information: Rob Papen / BLUE II
Loopmasters has announced the release of Live Disco + Electro Beats, a collection of drum loops and samples by Nathan Curran aka Tugg the Drummer.
For this exclusive pack of production ready drum loops, we first mic-ed up Nathan’s incredible sounding Premier Acoustic drum kit using high end microphones and solid vintage outboard for totally authentic funk soaked Disco session that James Brown would have been proud of.
Next up, came the Electro Session where Nathan dusted off his Vintage Simmons SDS1000 Electronic Analogue drums and took to the rubber pads jamming out beat after beat of solid dance floor grooves. Once the session was recorded we pushed the loops through some of the vintage classic gear lying around the studio to maximise the impact and presence in the mix without over processing them with plenty of headroom for you to shape the sound to fit your needs. The collection also features a number of effected and heavily processed electro drums for producers looking for something a bit more whacky ready to go.
Live Disco + Electro Beats features
- 130 acoustic live disco drum loops.
- 50 electronic live electro drum loops.
- 31 special effected electronic drum loops.
- 65 one shot drum samples.
- 213 REX2 files.
- 465 MB content.
The sample pack is available to purchase for £19.95 GBP.
More information: Loopmasters / Live Disco + Electro Beats
Smash Up The Studio has announced the release of 90’s MIDI Key Loops, MIDI Lab: Electrik Funk, and MIDI Lab: Jazzy Soul, three new MIDI packs.
New Smash Up The Studio packs
- 90’s MIDI Key Loops – Smash Up The Studio presents a superbly authentic collection of 90’s House keyboard loops in MIDI format. Includes loops designed for classic House organs and pianos, rhodes, synths, basses and more! A “must have” for producers craving that more musical 90’s club fix!
- MIDI Lab: Electrik Funk – Super cool 80′s Funk and Soul oozes from this pro quality pack of MIDI Construction Kits. Slick keyboard hooks, awesome synth bass lines and classic chord progressions bursting with authenticity. Played by a top session keyboard player to achieve the maximum level of performance.
- MIDI Lab: Jazzy Soul – Jazz and Soulful flavours abound in this high end pack of MIDI Construction Kits. Funky Clavinet grooves and jazzy electric piano hooks as well as stunning MIDI loops for electric bass guitar, played in the style of both fretless bass and standard. There are also MIDI arrangements for Horns and Strings and a couple of great solos for Vibraphone and lead Synthesiser.
90’s MIDI Key Loops is available to purchase for £19.95 GBP; the MIDI Lab packs are £12.95 GBP each.
More information: Smash Up The Studio
Singomakers has launched Punchy EDM Drum Shots, a new collection of drum samples.
This sample pack contains a huge amount of Extremely Phat and Hard Kicks with key info, Epic Claps, Powerful Snares, HiHats, Crashes, Rides, and lot of EDM Percussion!
In detail expect to find 40 Kick samples with key info, 30 Claps, 30 Snares, 60 Percussions, 20 Crashes, 40 Hihats, 20 Rides, 20 Bonus Loops from Demo Track + sampler patches for Kontakt 2+, EXS24, Reason NNXT, Halion.
Inspired by W&W, Knife Party, R3hab, Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Tommy Trash, Hardwell, Ingrosso, Axwell, Alesso, Nicky Romero, Tommy Trash, Moguai.
The sample pack costs £12.95 GBP.
More information: Singomakers / Punchy EDM Drum Shots
Bluffmunkey has launched Adam Ellis Essentials, a new soundset for the Sylenth1 software synthesizer.
Bluffmunkey – Adam Ellis Essentials is a bank of 128 presets for Lennar Digital Sylenth1.
The bank comprises a selection of arps, basses, leads, pads and plucks designed specifically to cater to the artist looking at creating modern uplifting trance.
The bank will work in Sylenth versions 2.2 and 2.21b
The soundset is available to purchase for £15 GBP.
More information: Bluffmunkey
SampleTekk has announced the release of Rain Piano MkII, an update to the piano library inspired by Tom Waits’ ”Mule Variation” album.
Rain Piano MkII features Sympathetic Resonance – The life & soul of the piano.
Since the samplers has been become more advanced and the Rain Piano still are one of our most popular pianos, we decided to bring it up to date and add some functions in the line of the original ideas. So, we got the original master recordings out, (and they where in 24 bits), made some refinements to them and built the instrument from scratch.
We also added hammerback and pedalnoise samples and release samples. Then we added our True Resonance feature and used Kontakts scripting facilities to make Real Time/True Pedaling, Sympathetic Resonance and some other nifty features, and, Voila: The Rain Piano MkII!
Rain Piano MkII features
- Up to 11 velocity levels.
- True Resonance.
- TimeVel Release Technology.
- Sympathetic Resonance.
- Controllable volume for key/pedal noise.
- Controllable volume for Sympathetic Resonance and True Resonance.
- 24 bit 44.1 stereo samples.
The library is available to purchase for $79 USD. Requires full version of Kontakt 4 or higher.
More information: SampleTekk / Rain Piano MkII
Nektar has announced the immediate release of a powerful integration of Apple Logic X with the advanced workflow of the Panorama range of products including Panorama P1, Panorama P4 and Panorama P6.
Apple Logic X users can now benefit from a transparent musical workflow similar to what Panorama already delivers for Cubase and Reason.
Designed to allow musicians and producers to focus on their music without constantly having to reach for their mouse, Panorama delivers creative freedom, previously not available to Logic users.
Nektar Panorama Logic integration features
- Multi-channel mixing of volume, pan, mute and solo in banks up to 8 channels at a time.
- Navigation using Track and Bank buttons.
- Motorized fader plus dedicated mute and solo buttons follows selected channel (P4 & P6 only).
- Complete transport control including ability to set and go to left and right locators, switch click on/off, record arm plus more.
- Channel strip control of EQ, Sends, Smart Controls and Insert plug-ins.
- Insert and Instrument plug-in control.
- Parameter feedback and menu selection options transparent via Panorama’s TFT display.
- The order of Plug-in parameters and Smart Controls is customizable via Logic plist files.
In addition, Logic users get the benefit of Panorama’s comprehensive generic MIDI controller capabilities as well as the unique QWERTY macro function that allows for up to 8 shortcut commands to be sent out at the push of just one Panorama button.
Panorama integration files are available to registered Panorama users from the Nektar website immediately.
More information: Nektar
Xenakios has updated the Windows version of HourGlass, a free application intended for radical sound processing.
HourGlass is a standalone application intended for radical sound processing by taking fragments (more commonly referred to as “grains” in other similar software) from sound recordings, to create sound textures.
It is not intended for minor transparent corrections of playback speed or pitch, but is rather placed firmly in the sound mangling/glitch territory.
Changes in HourGlass v1.4.5 for Windows
- Preliminary feature to allow envelopes to play at different rates, as a multiplier of the texture length. (i.e., if the texture length is 8 seconds, setting an envelope rate of 8 will make that envelope play 8 times during the whole texture.)
- The dial allows changing the speed to some common multiples of the texture length, the text box can be used to enter a free rate multiplier between 0.001 and 1024.
- This feature currently conflicts with the looped texture playback. The workaround is to disable the looped playback. (The sounding result will however effectively still be looped for most envelopes.)
- Also, when offline rendering, longer progressions of multiple playback rates might not evolve as far as desired, as the offline rendering ends at the texture length plus the tail length. The workaround is to use the live output recording feature. I will try to come up with some solutions to these in the future.
- Maximum voice count increased from 256 to 512. It will depend on the computer capabilities, the used resampler mode and use of multithreaded voice processing if all the voices can actually play.
- While making the above change, I noticed a performance problem with high voice counts, which hopefully is now fixed.
- Sound volume to envelope converter window length now has name and value labels in the GUI.
- The offline chain processing progress indicator would sometimes get stuck over the waveform view, hopefully now fixed.
HourGlass is available as a free download.
More information: Xenakios