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
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
Sounds To Sample has launched its new Amsterdam Techno 2 sample pack.
Fuel up on the wonky wooze that make the late night scene in Amsterdam a world renowned techno destination with Sounds To Sample’s follow up to their chart topping pack Amsterdam Techno!
Over 500 MB of the punchy low end and sub sine bass that create the unmistakeable Amsterdam style, Amsterdam Techno 2 is the only pack you’ll need to open up to find the perfect part for your latest track.
Processed through both analog and digital signal chains to produce maximum pump and early morning groove, Amsterdam Techno 2 will be your one stop shop to build that driving dutch style!
The pack is available to purchase for $19.99 USD.
More information: Sounds To Sample / Amsterdam Techno 2
Aria Sounds has launched Aria Celtic Harp, a virtual harp instrument for Native Instruments Kontakt.
Aria’s “Celtic Harp” is our first traditional, folk sounding instrument, outside the realms of standard classical music.
This VST instrument was created with a harp recorded in a very warm and soft sounding room, for a much more intimite and pleasing sound. It has also been recorded in such a way that it can easily be applied to all sorts of mixes and styles of music and fit wonderfully with other instruments, reverb etc.
It comes complete with three true dynamic levels, and a brilliant maximum nine true variations pernote!
The library is available to purchase for the introductory price of £15 GBP (RRP £30 GBP). Requires full version of Kontakt 5 or above (Kontakt Player not supported).
More information: Aria Sounds / Celtic Harp
Sample Magic has launched Vintage Breaks 3, a new sample pack featuring an essential collection of classic live breakbeats by Hal Ritson and Alex Reeves.
The dream team behind Vintage Breaks and Classic Disco Breaks return for the third outing in their critically-acclaimed series. Spanning rough-and-ready jazz, funk, soul and disco, Vintage Breaks Vol 3 serves up 101 all-new breaks loops recorded with the same breathtaking attention to detail which has become their calling card.
From the use of rare vintage kit – drums, mics, pre-amps and outboard processors – to immaculately authentic playing styles and the replication of classic, often long-lost, mic’ing techniques, Vintage Breaks Vol 3 resurrects the drum sounds of decades past, from the easy-listening 40s to the glitter 70s.
The sample pack is available to purchase for £16.90 GBP.
More information: Sample Magic / Vintage Breaks 3