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Review: Arto Vaarala Kirnu Cream MIDI performer plugin

Related: , , , , , , , , , Posted in reviews on Jul 19, 2013 - comment 0 comments

I don’t normally use arpeggiators much. It’s not that I dislike them, I just don’t really need them for producing my music.

That said, I do enjoy happy accidents and I like drawing inspiration from things I would normally not think of doing myself — randomize FTW — so why not give Kirnu Cream a try.

Aarto Vaarala says this plug-in is not like your traditional MIDI arpeggiator or sequencer, rather it is a very powerful MIDI performer, intended to be used in both live and offline DAW usage.

With simple and clever design it has been made easy to learn and operate. You can easily create cool performances by tweaking only couple of controls. If this is not enough for you there are so many ways you can control Cream that you never feel bored with it.

Arto Vaarala Kirnu Cream
Kirnu Cream is a full featured MIDI performer plug-in for Windows and Mac.

Setting up Cream is quite straightforward. Just load the plugin on a MIDI track, set the output to the instrument you want to control, and feed Cream some MIDI notes. MIDI routing is not the same for all host applications, so if you’re not sure how to do this you can check Arto Vaarala’s YouTube channel for instructions on setting it up with Ableton and Logic.

Kirnu Cream has 4 tracks that can drive individual MIDI instruments with up to 12 patterns each. The patterns feature gate, swing, octave, transpose and rate controls for each of the patterns. These controls can be locked to prevent presets from changing the values.
Each track has the following pattern data screens:

  • Order sets which note is played (none, previous, last, first, high, low & random).
  • Chordmem selects which chord is used (16 chord memory slots available, up to 8 notes per chord).
  • Length multiplies the note lengths of a step.
  • Gate sets the note length for individual steps.
  • Accent adjusts note velocity.
  • Transp for transposing notes in semitones (or chosen scale).
  • Div allows notes to be divided into multiple (shorter) notes.
  • Shift lets you shift notes left and right.
  • Seq specifies which of all notes of a held chord in a step are actually played.

You also get 8 MIDI CC slots in which you can control additional parameters after assigning them with MIDI learn.

Each pattern data screen has up to 32 steps and various play orders, and they can be looped individually with the loop control. Looping is left to right, right to left, or back and forth between start & end, and reverse. The pattern data can simply be drawn in with your mouse, and there are handy copy/paste, randomize and clear buttons. Unfortunately there is no undo/redo.

A pattern sequencer is also included. It has 16 slots in which you can assign the pattern, length and amount of repeats. Cream uses a number of MIDI keys to control pattern data toggles and pattern changes, which follows the global pattern change sync. Cream comes with some 40 scales to restrict the notes used by the arp.

Check this nice demonstration video on how to use Kirnu Cream’s loop points, patterns and the pattern sequencer to create a nice chord progression.

So what do I think?

Product: Kirnu Cream by Arto Vaarala
Format: VST/AU instrument plugin
Price: 35 EUR
Like: inspirational & flexible MIDI performer, control zones, randomize
Don’t like: not so intuitive
Verdict: 8/10

Well, I’m still a bit divided on Cream. While I am well impressed with what it can do, I prefer to simply program my sequences manually. That is, when I know exactly what I am looking for.

I think Cream (and arp tools in general) might be more useful to producers of certain types of electronic music. Arps are a staple of the trance diet, and I can see Cream will definitely be something that can improve/speed up one’s workflow a lot. However, I don’t produce trance.

What does totally click with me though, is using Cream as an inspirational tool. Enter some data in the pattern screens, clicks a randomize button, set some loop points, and voila! It allows me to create sequences that I would never not think of myself. With the right settings you can even use it on drum/percussion instruments to create interesting rhythmic sequences. Being able to control patterns with MIDI is great for live performances, as well as the creative process in the studio.

I would like to point out that I didn’t find Cream totally intuitive. This could be due to my lack of experience with arp tools. The manual explains the basics pretty well and it is worth a read for the shortkeys, but for more hands-on instructions you should watch Arto Vaarala’s YouTube videos.

In short, Kirnu Cream is powerful and inspirational MIDI tool. It goes well beyond the traditional arpeggiator, offering lots of flexibility in programming and performance.

More information: Kirnu Cream

macProVideo.com launches 6 Logic Pro X video courses

Related: , , , , , , , Posted in news on Jul 17, 2013 - comment 1 comment

macProVideo.com has announced the release of new Logic Pro X full HD video tutorial courses.

For people new to macProVideo, there’s a free 1-hour overview of the new features in Logic Pro X available directly on the company’s website. By purchasing a library pass for $25 a month, a user can get further access to streaming courses for Logic Remote for iPad, Drummer & Drum Kit Designer, Flex Pitch & Vocals, The Arpeggiator MIDI FX Plugin, and Smart Controls.

macProVideo Logic Pro X courses

Logic Pro X tutorials

  • Logic Pro 100 – New In Logic Pro X
    Logic Pro X is here… and it’s packed with tons of powerful and inspiring new features. Check it out right here in this exclusive, FREE collection of tutorials by Logic masters Steve H and sflogicninja David Earl…
  • Logic Pro 106 – Logic Remote
    Logic Remote is Apple’s FREE iPad app that is designed exclusively for Logic Pro X. Learn all about its intelligent, multi-touch, second screen capabilities with Logic expert and macProVideo publisher, Steve H.
  • Logic Pro 107 – Smart Controls
    Tired of diving through plugins to find the parameters you’re after? Smart Controls let you assign parameters from several plugins to one collection of knobs that are always available!
  • Logic Pro 108 – Flexing Vocals: Time and Pitch
    Logic Pro X adds a new “Flex Pitch” feature that lets you tweak vocals to make a perfect recording. It’s a cool new feature that accents Flex Time – David Earl dishes out the secrets in this new Flex Pitch & Time Course.
  • Logic Pro 200 – MIDI FX: The Arpeggiator
    Logic’s new MIDI FX plugins are a galaxy of creativity and they all revolve around the expansive Arpeggiator. Join Logic guru Steve H as he explains the Arpeggiator and shows you how to unleash all of the powerful potential locked deep within…
  • Logic Pro 202 – Drummer and Drum Kit Designer
    Need a real drummer to put the perfect polish on your indie song? Fear not, Logic Pro X’s new Drummer & Drum Kit Designer plugins inject a virtual session drummer directly into your project studio. Watch as David Earl shows you how this new Audio AI works!

The videos are now available to macProVideo.com library pass users.

More information: macProVideo.com / Logic Pro X

ADSR Sounds intros Club Arpeggiators & Sequences for Massive

ADSR Club Arpeggiators & Sequences

ADSR Sounds introduced Club Arpeggiators & Sequences, a soundset by Speaker Feature Studios for the Native Instruments Massive software synthesizer.

Programmed to drop into any EDM song with just the touch of a key (seriously – the whole demo is just holding C for 4 bars!), the Club Arpeggiators & Sequences sound bank packs 50 ready to go patches.

Genre’s range from 90′s House to Moombahton (and everything in between) but a theme throughout is fast pace gated, arpeggiated, and gliding sounds.

The soundset costs $12 USD.

More information: ADSR Sounds / Club Arpeggiators & Sequences

7Aliens updates Catanya to v2 (incl. 64-bit)

Related: , , , , Posted in news on Jun 25, 2013 - comment 1 comment
7Aliens Catanya 2

7Aliens has released version 2 of its Catanya pattern based MIDI arpeggiator.

Catanya is an advanced VSTi Pattern Arpeggiator with recordable Midi Output and easy DAW integration containing 1200 built-in ready to use patterns suitable for every musician or producer who likes to spice up his compositions.

Changes in Catanya 2

  • x64 Windows support.
  • New GUI.
  • New preset system.
  • Save/Load custom preset patterns.

Catanya 2 for Windows (VST) is available to purchase for 45 EUR. Users of Catanya version 1 can upgrade for 25 EUR.

More information: 7Aliens / Catanya

Archetype Instruments updates Arc 5 synth plugin to v2.01

Related: , , , Posted in news on Jun 10, 2013 - comment 0 comments
Archetype Instruments Arc 5

Archetype Instruments has announced version 2.01 of Arc 5, the 2nd generation of its synthesizer instrument for Windows.

We have been focused on how to create those outstanding and extreme sounds easier and faster expected from 5 characteristic synthesis algorithm: Subtractive, Supersaw Emulation, FM, Physical Modeling and Unison voice sawtooth with hard sync.

We also have been researched on advanced multi effect processor for more diverse results and easy to use arpeggiator system for more dynamic phrases.

As a result of these efforts, Arc 5 has extremely few controllers for quick and easy control, extreme sounds from 5 synth modes with 2 layers, 1 multi-effect processor and 32 step DUAL Arpeggiator system.

Changes in Arc 5 v2.01

  • 32 Step DUAL Arpeggiator System
    • 4~32 step 2 independent Arpeggiators.
    • More dynamic and brilliant phrases can be made.
    • 64 preset programs made with DUAL Arpeggiator added.
  • Instant On/Off: Instant Arpeggiator, Layer and FX On/Off without page moving.
  • Pre Effect Pan Control: Pre Effect Panpot added for more dramatic FX.
  • Graphic User Interface
    • Fascinating Real-Time Oscilloscope.
    • Vectorized UI for clearer view.
  • Higher Audio Quality with Low CPU usage
    • CPU stability improved.
    • VA mode engine improved.
  • And more
    • Preset manager stability improved.
    • Bug fixed.

The Arc 5 synthesizer for Windows (VST/standalone) is available to purchase for $49.95 USD.

More information: Archetype Instruments

Arto Vaarala updated Kirnu Cream to v1.0.3

Related: , , , , , , , Posted in news on May 27, 2013 - comment 4 comments
Kirnu Cream

Arto Vaarala has released version 1.0.3 of the Kirnu Cream MIDI performer plug-in for Windows and Mac.

Kirnu Cream is a very powerful MIDI performer VST/AU plugin for Windows and Mac. It works on both 32 and 64 bit systems.

Cream is intended to be used in both live and offline DAW usage.

Changes in Kirnu Cream v1.0.3

  • Improved behavior when host transport is in loop mode.
  • Improved odd notes behavior.
  • Fixed: Inconsistent PLAY ORDER for adjacent notes.
  • Fixed: 1.0.2 broke something in arp timing.

Kirnu Cream for Windows and Mac (VST/AU) costs 35 EUR.

More information: Kirnu Cream

Daniel Stawczyk releases Decent-Neurotic-Arpeggiators for Ultra Analog VA-1

Daniel Stawczyk Decent-Neurotic-Arpeggiators

Daniel Stawczyk (Status) has announced the release of Decent-Neurotic-Arpeggiators, a collection of 200 arp presets for the Ultra Analog VA-1 software synthesizer by Applied Acoustics Systems.

“DNA” is the set of two hundred arp loops created on the basis of the Ultra Analog VA-1′s arpeggiator concept.
Despite the seemingly limited possibilities of the instrument’s arpeggiator, when skillfully conducted, the synth seems to make miracles.
With its LFO action combined with the PAN flexibility, “Decent-Neurotic-Arpeggiators” Soundset is probably the first offer of this kind on the market.

Decent-Neurotic-Arpeggiators features

  • 58 presets of HARD feature.
  • 60 MILD presets.
  • 52 SOFT loop inspirations.
  • 11 DRUMS playing.
  • and 19 SPECIAL EFFECTS.

The soundset costs $18 USD.

More information: Daniel Stawczyk / Decent-Neurotic-Arpeggiators

Arto Varaala updated Kirnu Cream to v1.0.2

Related: , , , , , , , Posted in news on May 15, 2013 - comment 0 comments
Kirnu Cream

Arto Varaala has updated the Kirnu Cream MIDI performer plug-in to v1.0.2.

Kirnu Cream is a very powerful MIDI performer VST/AU plugin for Windows and Mac. It works on both 32 and 64 bit systems.
Cream is intended to be used in both live and offline DAW usage.

Changes in Kirnu Cream v1.0.2

  • Track key area ranges caused key area overlapping (i.e track 3 C5-B5, track 4 C6-B6 pressing C5 caused track 4 also to trigger). Fixed.
  • Pattern step data copy/paste doesn’t work. Fixed.
  • Stuck notes when Swing is used with Div and too low Gate length. Fixed.
  • Fixed: Cream is now fully compatible with OS X 10.5.
  • Fixed: Step indicator visuals are stuck on “off” steps.
  • Fixed: Odd notes (1/16D,1/16T) handling.

Kirnu Cream is available to purchase for 35 EUR (Windows and Mac, VST/AU).

More information: Kirnu Cream