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Beat Studio Starter Kit: 40 full versions for your studio

Beat Studio Starter Kit

Beat magazine has announced the Beat Studio Starter Kit, a collection of 40 full version software for your studio.

It was never easier and cheaper to build your own studio and to take the first step on the stairway to professional production.

With the „Beat Workzone – Studio Starter Kit“ the German Beat magazine put a complete virtual studio on a DVD.

Including sequencers for recording, cutting or podcasting, synthesizers for melodies, basslines and drums, and a lot of effect plug-ins to shape your sound.

The 40 full versions include

  • FXpansion Geist Lite
  • Waldorf Edition LE
  • UVI Electro Suite LE
  • Cableguys Curve 2 BE
  • Sennheiser DrumMic’a!
  • AudioRealism ADM 606
  • Tone2 Warmverb

The Starter Kit is available to purchase for 9.90 EUR at the news stand or online.

More information: Beat / Beat Studio Starter Kit

comment music production contest – A picture is worth a thousand words

Note: the deadline for this contest is extended to December 20th!

In the process of making music I take inspiration from many things. One thing I tend to do a lot is to take a sound or idea and let everything flow from there. Using pictures is a great stimulus to get my creative juices going.

a picture is worth a thousand words

For this contest, the idea is to take a photograph as your “muse” for a piece of music. Kind of similar to how you would write a soundtrack for a film. Use an image of a person, object, environment, or whatever might inspire you. Just make sure to keep it “G-rated” and free of copyright, your image will be part of your contest submission, posted on SoundCloud.

This time around you are free to use any kind of sound source or processing, so aside from the theme there are no limitations. For those who like to use samples, I made a small sample pack (16 loops, 24bit wav) that may serve as an inspiration. You can check the sounds at SoundCloud.

Contest sample pack Download size: 34.8 MB

I’m happy to say we have some great prizes donated by a bunch of generous developers.

contest sponsors

Contest prizes

  • D16 Group offers:
    • 1st place: 3 plugins of choice.
    • 2nd place: 1 instrument plugin + 1 effect plugin of choice.
    • 3rd place: 1 effect plugin of choice from the SilverLine collection.
  • Additionally, the top 6 winners get to choose (in order of ranking) an item from the prize pool below:
    • Soniccouture: Geosonics ft. Chris Watson and the Konkrete 3 sample-based drum synth for Kontakt.
    • Reveal Sound: Spire synthesizer plugin for Windows & Mac.
    • The Loop Loft: The Platinum Pack bundle in all formats (4.6 GB of drum loops).
    • ADSR Sounds: $250 USD store voucher (soundsets & video courses).
    • SKIN: The protective cover for NI Maschine that keeps your controller safe from liquids, dirt and debris.
    • Cableguys: Cableguys Bundle, including the Curve synthesizer, and flexible FilterShaper, VolumeShaper & MidiShaper effect plugins.

So to be clear we’ll have 6 winners, with the top 3 ranking entries getting both a prize from D16 Group as well as a pick of their choice from the 6 additional prizes.

The contest deadline for submitting your entry is Friday, December 20th, 2013, 11.59pm CET. The winners will be decided by popular vote amongst entrants.

Check the details below on how to join the contest.

Good luck and enjoy!

Contest rules

  • Create a musical piece inspired by a photograph. Use of the samples provided in the contest sample pack is optional. Use any sound source or processing you like, be creative!
  • Submit your entry in mp3 format (minimum of 192kbit) along with the image that inspired it per email to before December 20th, 2013, 11:59pm CET. One entry per person is allowed, you will receive a confirmation of your submission.
  • Your entry should be composed specifically for this contest. By entering, you grant permission for your track and image to be published at the website, through SoundCloud.
  • In order to be eligible to win, contestants are required to vote for their top 6 within a week after the contest deadline. Contestants will be contacted to submit their votes. Note: you cannot vote for your own entry.
  • Winners choose a prize from the prize pool in order of placement (1st place winner picks first, then 2nd, etc.). All prizes are granted at the discretion of Some prizes may be subject to specific conditions imposed by the sponsor (e.g. NFR licenses).

Contest rules subject to change. If you have any questions feel free to ask or comment on this post.

Contest entries

The submitted tracks are listed here, ordered by date of entry.


Cableguys updates Curve, VolumeShaper & PanCake plugins

Cableguys Curve 2

Cableguys has announced updated for its Curve 2 synthesizer and VolumeShaper and PanCake effect plugins.

Curve is a software synthesizer with an irresistible waveform editor, huge sound library and slick interface. Ideal for both experimentation and detailed tweaking at an excellent sound quality.

VolumeShaper is a plugin for shaping and automating the levels of any audio signal. From signature pumping effects to extreme gating, from tempo-synced stutter to precise sample-shaping, VolumeShaper provides a wealth of creative musical effects with a visual approach to volume.

PanCake is an innovative plugin that allows you to create flexible pan modulations.

Changes in Curve 2.13. / VolumeShaper v3.1.4 / PanCake v2.0.3

  • Some small bugs are fixed.
  • Slightly reduced CPU usage.
  • UI behaves smoother.

The updates are now available to download.

More information: Cableguys


Nicky Romero & Cableguys launch Kickstart sidechain plugin

Nicky Romero and Cableguys have collaborated to bring an effect plug-in for creating the sidechain compression effect with ease: Kickstart.

Kickstart plugin
Based on Cableguys VolumeShaper, Kickstart is the fastest way to achieve the popular sidechain compression effect.

Sidechain compression: no top-notch EDM, house or R&B production can do without. Kickstart is the fastest way to get that signature sidechain effect in your own tracks.

Nicky Romero and Cableguys got it all laid out for you. Forget complicated compressor routings, simply drop Kickstart on your channels—a big Mix control and hand-crafted modulation curves get you started.

You can use Kickstart in any VST or AU sequencer such as Ableton Live, Logic, Cubase, Fruity Loops, etc

Kickstart features

  • Mix control.
  • 16 hand-crafted modulation curves.
  • Precise oscilloscope.
  • Synced or retriggered via MIDI.
  • Loop and one-shot modes.

Kickstart is available to purchase for 10 EUR / $15 USD.

More information: Kickstart


Cableguys releases new betas of Curve & VolumeShaper plugins

Related: , , , , , , Posted in news on Sep 17, 2013 - comment 0 comments

Cableguys has announced new versions of its Curve software synthesizer and VolumeShaper effect plug-in for Windows and Mac.

Help us test the latest Curve and VolumeShaper!

We’ve fixed some small bugs, made the UI behave smoother on parameter changes and slightly reduced CPU usage. This required heavy changes under the hood, so although we’ve tested as much as we could, we can well need your help! So please download the latest beta versions and help us find any remaining bugs!

The Curve and VolumeShaper betas correspond to demo versions and are available for Win/Mac, VST/AU/RTAS in 32/64bit. If you find any issues, get in touch!

More information: Cableguys


Review: Cableguys Curve 2 synthesizer plugin

Related: , , , , , Posted in reviews on Sep 04, 2013 - comment 0 comments

I reviewed the first version of Curve about two and half years ago, and most of what I wrote there goes for Curve 2, but recently I have been designing some more sounds with this synthesizer so I thought it was a good time for an additional version 2 review.

For those who haven’t heard of Curve before, it is basically a subtractive synth with some tricks up its sleeve.

Curve is a software synthesizer with an irresistible waveform editor, huge sound library and slick interface. Ideal for both experimentation and detailed tweaking at an excellent sound quality.

Feed Curve’s oscillators, LFOs and envelopes with custom waveforms. For anything rhythmic from wobbles to FX loops and evolving pads. For broad oscillator timbres from deep basses to shrill, aggressive snarls.

Cableguys Curve 2
Curve 2 comes with a new layout, improved workflow, and a black skin.

I would say the main attraction of Curve lies in the drawable waveforms that can be used for the oscillators and LFOs. This allows for great control over partials/harmonics of the sounds and it welcomes experimentation which I reckon most sound designers will enjoy lots.

With version 2, you now can also use the same functionality with all three envelope (velocity + 2 custom) modules. This makes Curve an even more flexible synthesizer to work with, since you can now create/draw your own multi-stage envelopes right there in the main display.

Also new is the fact that you can combine two waveforms in a single oscillator, which likewise really opens up the way for new sonic exploration.

Curve 2 Marco settings
Macro knobs in Curve

A workflow improvement comes in the shape of macro knobs, to which you can assign a number of parameters for modulation.

Of course you could automate this kind of thing without macros just fine, but it where’s the fun in doing that when you can create sonic mayhem with the turn of a single knob instead?

The 2 filter units are still there, and with version 2 you can now also route them individually to each oscillator, either single or both in series or parallel.

Curve 2 has a more refined, and more user friendly interface. I have to admit I wouldn’t mind seeing a white/grey edition though. The new dark skin looks great but it can be a bit straining on the eyes, to me anyway. That said, it is still a lovely GUI and the workflow is great.

Add to that the ever growing online presets database (well over 2,200 last I checked) which includes tons of high quality sounds, and you will find Curve 2 to be a versatile synthesizer that can easily stand its own ground.

Check out Myagi’s video on how to create a supersaw synth bass with Curve 2 for a good overview of how to design sounds on this plug-in.

So what do I think?

Product: Curve 2 by Cableguys
Price: 119 EUR / $159 USD inc. VAT
Like: waveform drawing, very flexible, sound designer’s dream, presets database
Don’t like: –
Verdict: 9/10

Cableguys offered something new and exciting with Curve’s flexible drawable waveform based instrument, and they confidently lift the powerful synthesizer to a higher level with Curve 2.

The improved envelopes, extended oscillators, macro knobs and workflow adjustments all contribute to creating an instrument that motivate the sound designer in me.

The only thing missing is the effects section, and to be honest, I don’t really miss it at all. It is still refreshing to hear what you can achieve without reverb, delay, and whatnot, and if need be there are plenty of other tools to get that job done anyway. If nothing else, the lack of effect units makes me design my sounds more carefully. Browsing the many beautiful sounds in the presets database, I realize I still have a lot to learn.

So, whether you want to create your own unique sounds, or simply enjoy the thousands of presets provided by the community, Curve 2 is definitely a synth that deserves your attention.

More information: Cableguys / Curve 2


Plugin Boutique Partner Focus: 25% off Cableguys Curve 2

Plugin Boutique has announced that it is offering a 25% discount on the Curve 2 synthesizer plug-in, as part of its Parter Focus on Cableguys.

Cableguys Curve 2
Curve is a software synthesizer with an irresistible waveform editor, huge sound library and slick interface. Ideal for both experimentation and detailed tweaking at an excellent sound quality.

Feed Curve’s oscillators, LFOs and envelopes with custom waveforms. For anything rhythmic from wobbles to FX loops and evolving pads. For broad oscillator timbres from deep basses to shrill, aggressive snarls.

A huge library will get you started, with quality presets by well-known preset designers such as Michael Kastrup, Pluginguru, Myagi, Xenos Soundworks, Soundsdivine, and hidden pearls from the Curve community.

Curve 2 provides completely new possibilities for experimentation and detailed tweaking, with a simple to use, immediate, slick interface.

The sale ends August 14th, 2013.

More information: Plugin Boutique / Curve 2


Cableguys releases VolumeShaper 3.1.3 and WaveShaper CM 1.1.1

Cableguys has updated the VolumeShaper and WaveShaper CM effect plug-ins for version 3.1.3 and 1.1.1 respectively.

VolumeShaper and WaveShaper CM can now be used on mono channels, too. If you’re using Logic, you might need to select and rescan these plugins in Logic’s Audio Units Manager.

VolumeShaper for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) is available to purchase for 15 EUR / $20 USD. WaveShaper CM comes free with Computer Music magazine.

More information: Cableguys