AudioRealism has announced public beta version 2.9 of AudioRealism Bass Line 2 for Windows, a virtual bass line synthesizer instrument.
The legendary silver box which is hallmark in electronic music has been recreated in AudioRealism Bass Line 2 (ABL2). Analog modeling techniques have been employed to create a DSP-algorithm that accurately emulates every aspect of the original 303, from growling basses to hollow middles and beeping highs with metal rattling accents. Patterns are composed in a fashion similar to the original using the integrated step sequencer with easy to use manipulation functions such as transpose and randomization.
AudioRealism Bass Line 2 synthesizer plug-in
Changes in ABL2 v2.9.0
Added 64-bit support.
Improved Window compatability by storing patches and other files under My Documents.
Improvements to the 303 engine.
Patches are now stored in .pat and .param files instead of embedding the parameters into the .pat via meta-tags.
The public beta for Windows (requires a 64-bit VST host) is available to download here. A 64-bit version for Mac is expected to follow soon.
ShamanStems has released Acid House, a collection of twisted acid synth and basslines, jackin’ drum machine grooves, warehouse lazers and modulations, FXed hits and 6am orb-like pads.
Inspired by the second summer of love, Acid House pays homage to the 303, 808 and 909-led tracks of the late 80s and early 90s – serving up squelching 303 basslines, bleepy synths, classic rave chords and vintage drum machine beats created from 100% analogue sources including Roland, Yamaha and Korg.
All loops have processed with a host of outboard kit to ensure a richness, warmth and punch that will max out any contemporary club system.
Acid House features
120 authentic Phuture and Cajmere-style analogue acid bass and synths processed with various modulation, distortion, phaser and delay pedals. Many loops are offered with up to five variants.
20 bangin’ and jackin’ drum machine rhythms created on classic sequencers from Roland, Korg and Boss.
Vintage Textures & FX – lost-in-a-field FX, drug-induced ambiences, vast pads, reverbed hits, lasers, modulations and more.
Mangled Vox – Classic house phrases (‘Chicago’, ‘jack your body’) and indecipherable glitchisms to supplement the groove.
All samples are tempo-labeled at 122bpm and key- labeled where applicable.
Acid House is available from Sounds To Sample for 14.90 EUR.
An interactive architectural mapping. Fete des Lumieres / Lyon / France / 2010
A mapping by 1024 Architecture, projected on the facade of former Lyrical theater the “Celestins”. The building deformations and figures were controlled by the audience, using a microphone and an audio analysis algorythm.
The official Tenori on iOS app enter the app store the other week but at £12 I was a little hesitant to buy it. After a little thought and a bit of googling I decided it was indeed worth the price.
The cheapest hardware Tenori-On (the TNR-O) is roughly £500 where as the current price of the iPad 2 is £499 (cheapest wifi only model) so considering that both the devices are pretty much exactly the same price (and I already own an iPad) it makes sence to get the iOS version.
Mark Mosher shares some info on the Aalto semi-modular software synth.
Peter Kirn over at Create Digital Music did a post on a new synth by Madrona Labs last month. Even though I wasn’t in the market for a new synth right now I ended up buying this Aalto within an hour or so of downloading the demo so I wanted to pass this along and help promote Madrona’s great work. At $99 this is an incredible value.
You’ve heard the gripes, and heard and seen the somewhat unscientific demos. Now it’s time to examine the over-compression of music with – science! Earl Vickers of STMicroelectronics examines the Loudness Wars in an academic paper, as noted to us by reader photohounds.
Peter at Create Digital Music: Chicago-based hacker and synthesist Matt Heins is working on an open source synth kit. As a co-creator of the MeeBlip open source-synth hardware, I’m biased — I want more open synth hardware! So this is looking like some great company. The instrument is 8-bit, with analog filter circuitry, coded in C.
Propellerhead Software has announced that ReBirth, the software application that started a sea change in the 90’s with soft-synths in music creation, is now available for iPhone & iPod Touch.
This is the first time a leading music tool developer has brought a complete professional desktop music application from the personal computer to the mobile world. ReBirth is a true reproduction of the Propellerhead’s acclaimed music-making software from 1997 for the iPhone.
ReBirth literally puts faithful emulations of dance music’s vintage analog hardware at iPhone users’ fingertips: the Roland TB-303 Bass synth and the Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines. Combine these with audio effects units, fully featured pattern sequencers and a quick-acting, scalable iPhone interface and users will soon be making techno on the train, trance on the tram or beats on the bus.
ReBirth for iPhone/iPod Touch features
2 x TB-303 Bassline Synthesizer with pattern sequencer — The original Acid House and Techno bass synth. Unrivaled power, unmistakable sound.
D16 Group has just released an update of Phoscyon, a virtual bass line synthesizer plug-in for Windows and Mac.
Phoscyon is an emulation of Roland’s classic TB-303, the squelchy bass synth from the early 80′s. Originally designed as a bass companion for practicing guitarists, this little monophonic synthesizer would play a big role in the development of various genres of house music a few years later. Almost three decades after it was introduced, the TB-303 is now one of the most sought after vintage synths.
Phoscyon isn’t exactly new. Its first official release was in February 2006 and it received a few updates since then. The long awaited (almost 2 years) version 1.8 update brings some new features like new shuffle/swing parameters, oscillator tuning settings, updated preset management and MIDI learn (similar to other D16 plug-ins), accent velocity level settings and lots more. It also marks the first official release of an AudioUnit version.
The interface screenshot shows that Phoscyon offers quite a number of additional features to the original TB-303.
Phoscyon in detail
In the top of the screen you can set the sequencer mode to either internal or external (when internal LED is off). When using the internal sequencer it can be synced to the internal clock —30-300 bpm, or to your host tempo. Phoscyon has 96 patterns which can be triggered by MIDI notes in Host mode; great for performing live. With the new MIDI learn system it’s dead simple to link Phoscyon’s parameters to your external controller. Click the MIDI learn button, adjust a control on Phoscyon and on your controller and voila, all done. You can save your custom MIDI CC maps as well.
Moving on to the next section we find the presets section. Presets store information about the sound, arpeggiator, distortion, and volume parameters. Phoscyon can store up to 128 presets per bank, which you can of course save and load. The built-in preset manager can store presets in groups, a handy little feature to assist you in finding the sound you’re after with ease.
Phoscyon’s sound is generated by 2 oscillators with authentically emulated saw and square waveforms. D16 has even emulated some oscillator tuning modes. The default accurate mode has linear tuning across the scale, but if you set it to vintage or low battery mode you’ll get de-linearized tuning for some vintage detuned sound.
In the video below I will run through a few presets so you can get an idea of the sounds of Phoscyon and the various synthesis controls are tweaked to demonstrate how they affect the sound.
Something that the original TB-303 doesn’t have it an arpeggiator. The arp section on Phoscyon features two large knobs:
Arp chord, which has 7 predefined chord types (Major, Minor, 7th, m7th, M7, m7-5, and Dim) and a custom mode which takes notes from your host
Arp mode, sets the order in which arpeggiated notes will play; random, up, down, or up/down.
Four buttons are available to set the octaves which are used for the notes, from -1 to +2. A shuffle parameter sets the swing/syncopation from 0 to 100, to add some groove to your arp notes. Furthermore there’s a knob for setting the tempo multiplier and arp repeat, which both do exactly what you would expect; one multiplies the arp tempo so it plays more notes per step, and the repeat defines how many times a note is allowed to repeat before moving on to the next note in the arp chord/mode sequence.
If you have never seen a real TB-303 you might be surprised it originally does not come with a distortion effect. This type of effect is often used in combination with the 303 so it’s great to have one included with Phoscyon. Some 20+ presets in the Phoscyon distortion presets group do a good job in showcasing the variety of sounds you can get with this effect.
The distortion was designed to be an equivalent to a transistor amplifier with equalization. It features a preamp, diode clipper and three filters (HP, BP and LP).
On the GUI the following controls are available:
Pre-amp, amplifies the incoming signal
Clip, sets the clip level of the incoming signal (determines whether signal comes through or not)
Size, sets the middle frequency of the bandpass filter from 0Hz to 22kHz and also controls cutoff of the low- and highpass filters. Density sets an offset value (from the BP mid freq) which affects the LP and HP cutoff frequency.
Wetness, boosts the cutoff frequency of the LP/HP filters and the bandwidth of the BP filter.
Brightness, a cross-fade control setting the amount of filter and non-filtered signal.
Pre/post switch, determines the signal path. Pre routes the signal through the equalizer and then through the diode clipper, while Post routes the input through the clipper first and then the EQ.
As I mentioned earlier Phoscyon can be sequenced in your external host as well as with the internal pattern based sequencer. The bottom half of the interface is dedicated to manipulation of your sequences.
This section might be slightly confusing at first. When not in edit (pattern write) mode, most of the controls will not be active. In internal mode you can select one of the 24 existing patterns by clicking one of the 8 white note buttons in combination with a bank number (note: when using your host you can use MIDI notes to trigger all 96 patterns). Ctrl-clicking the notes chains patterns so one will play after the other. The currently selected pattern will always show in the little pattern name and number displays, but you can’t actually use the previous/next buttons to browse through patterns.
Besides the pattern (bank) load and save buttons the only other controls available are the gate, accent, and slide knobs located above the bank selection buttons.
Editing patterns is not very difficult but if you are new to it the manual will be helpful. In write mode you simply set the note, gate, accent, and slide for each of the 16 steps, which are selectable from the little red diodes in the step number bar, or by clicking the large previous/next button in the bottom right of the interface.
If you don’t need 16 steps you can set a different pattern length by clicking the yellow pattern length button, and selecting the required pattern length from the line of red diodes in the pattern length bar below the step number bar.
Most of the controls do what you would expect them to do so I won’t go into details of the clear, copy/paste, shift etc. buttons. The randomize function is more interesting.
It will be hard coming up with a bassline sequence that hasn’t been done before, but “randomize” is great for some instant action. In this mode you can specify the parameters that should be included in the randomize process (gate, accent, slide, and note) and the arp chord knob is available to generate notes from the selected chord only. Randomized patterns are stored on the fly so you can generate a bunch of them and navigate back and forth between them.
There is more to the pattern editor and the randomizer (like including custom notes, flatten function, transpose, shuffle/swing…) but I think at this point you should probably just check out the demo version if you are interested to know more about Phoscyon.
So what do I think?
Product: Phoscyon by D16 Group Format: Virtual synth instrument for PC & Mac (VST/AU) Price: 59 EUR
Whether or not you like the sounds of the TB-303, it is probably one of the most popular instruments in electronic music. Browsing through the sounds of Phoscyon reminds me of tunes by Aphex Twin, FSOL, Squarepusher, Chemical Brothers, Acid Junkies, Josh Wink, and many more. Perhaps overused at times, the 303 still has a timeless sound to me.
Once you get familiar with the internal sequencer it is a joy to work with. Options like osc detuning, mouse wheel support for knob controls, and comprehensive randomize features show attention to detail. Version 1.8 also has an improved square wave sound and envelope (more expressive). Phoscyon also has permanently active MIDI output, which means you can use its internal sequencer to trigger external hardware/software.
I don’t really know how Phoscyon compares to other emulations like then Muon Tau, AudioRealism ABL2, or the Silver Box by Spectralhead Audio but I think Phoscyon is a superb instrument. To my ears it sounds very similar to a real TB-303, and with the additional arpeggiator and distortion units it goes well beyond the type of sounds that the original hardware is capable of.
If you have experience with Phoscyon or one of the other emulations I would love to hear what you think!
You probably don’t remember 1987. If you do, then you might have hazy memories of wearing aviator sunglasses, big leather jackets and fingerless gloves.
But away from the mainstream the first seeds of acid house were being sowed by four house music lovers in Chicago: DJ Pierre, Marshall Jefferson, Spanky and Herb Jackson. Together, under their alias Phuture, they created the world’s first acid house record called ‘Acid Tracks’, an 11 minute 17 seconds-long house trip based around a sound that has become synonymous with electronic music ever since, the bassline of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer.
Besides being a crucial DJ and the production wizard partly responsible for the development of Chicago acid-house, DJ Pierre later influenced the sound of New York’s more disco-fied house with his tenure as an in-house producer for Strictly Rhythm Records.
Now Loopmasters have teamed up with the godfather of Acid House himself to bring you a collection of inspiring sounds and samples from the very machines that created the genre which brought the UK and USA closer together through a love of Acid House music.
DJ Pierre – Afro Acid House features
380MB of exciting content: 330 Samples, 300 loops and 30 ready to play patches for Reason NN-XT, Halion, Kontakt, EXS and SFZ samplers.
DJ Pierre has recorded over 70 Drumloops (expect 808/909 and classic Beatbox samples), 46 Bass Loops (suitable for Electro and Tech House), 46 Classic Acid House Basslines (The signature licks), 16 Grooves, 31 Keyboard Loops, 23 String Parts, 24 Synth Loops, 15 Pad FX and 52 Single Sounds.
This exclusive collection of samples cover the genres of House, Disco, Acid House, Tech and could even be worked into some progressive Techno.
DJ Pierre – Afro Acid House is available to purchase for £19.95 GBP.
Kreativ Sounds has released KS LOOPS TB-303 Bass Line, a collection of loops featuring the sounds of the Roland TB-303 synth.
LOOPS TB-303 Bass Line is an affordable, inspiring, elastic, pre-sliced and authentic basslines loops pack recorded from the infamous TB-303 synthesizer. All loops can sync to the tempo, can be shifted to different keys or can be even be rephrased to sound as totally new loops. Each loop is a signature sound on its own, you’ll NOT find multiple processed variations of the same loops, all are original (created and recorded by Kreativ Sounds) and all are royalty free.
KS LOOPS TB-303 Bass Line features
52 TB-303 acid and bassline loops as 44KHz/24bit REX, ACIDized WAV and Apple AIFF, virtually compatible with all audio software, hardware sequencers or groove boxes.
The loops are optimized for Sony ACID, Adobe AUDITION, Ableton LIVE, Apple LOGIC, Propellerhead REASON and Propellerhead RECORD.
KS LOOPS TB-303 Bass Line is available for as little or much as you want (“pay-what-you-wish”).