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Review: Goldbaby Productions Tape Drum Machines Vol 3

Goldbaby Productions

The third volume in Goldbaby’s Tape Drum Machines series of sample libraries features the sounds of another dozen drum machines.

For those new to the concept, the Tape Drum Machines series combines vintage and modern drum machines with tape machines and analog tape effects.

This third volume in the series features nearly 3,500 samples (24bit) from a total of 12 drum machines, recorded with Otari and Rola reel-to-reel tape decks and a Hitachi cassette deck. Add a touch of tape simulation from Kush Audio’s UBK-Fatso and you get Tape Drum Machines Volume 3.

Goldbaby Tape Drum Machines Vol 3
Gear used for Tape Drum Machines Vol 3

Tape Drum Machines Vol 3 drum machines

  • Casio RZ-1 (238 samples), one of the first drum machines which featured sampling (0.8 sec at 20 kHz).
  • Kawai R-100 (132 samples), 24 12-bit sounds in 3 kits.
  • Kawai XD-5 (905 samples), features 256 waveforms, with up to 4 waveforms per drum sound. Has advanced options like envelopes, filters, delay, ringmod and more.
  • Korg DDM-110 Super Drums (83 samples), a total of nine (9!) 8-bit 15.6kHz samples in this lo-fi machine.
  • Korg DDM-220 Super Percussion (71 samples), lo-fi crunchy sounds like the DDM-110, but this time with Latin American percussion sounds.
  • MFB-522 (453 samples), analog drum sounds from Germany. Features step sequencer and lots of controls for editing the sounds.
  • M.P.C. Electronics DSM-1 (515 samples), single channel analog drum synth intended to be used with drum pads.
  • Roland Rhythm 55/TR-55 (276 samples), analog rhythm box with 10 sounds generated by tuned resonance type circuits and white noise.
  • Roland Rhythm Plus PB-300 (314 samples), analog rhythm machine with 8 sounds (apparently a bit of a mix of TR and CR machines).
  • Sakata DPM-48 (122 samples), digital drum machine with old school sounds (also manufactured under Jugg Box and Hammond brand names).
  • Yamaha ED10 (284 samples), electronic drum pad with an analog synthesizer which can produce a wide range of sounds (includes filter+mod, subsonic, click, noise, etc).
  • Yamaha RX21L (80 samples), features 16 latin drum/percussion samples, in full 12-bit glory.

The sample pack also comes with some patches for Battery and Guru, which is great if you use these instruments. However, samples are categorized in separate drum machine folders so it’s easy to browse the sounds.

The samples themselves have descriptive names indicating the type of sample and what gear was used. For example, RZ1_BDvinyl_7_x_Tape2.wav is vinyl basedrum sound #7 from the RZ1, recorded on the Otari MX5050 1/4 inch 2 track machine with the gain set for more saturation. The “x” denotes additional processing like the use of a filter or equalizer.

The analog machines – DSM-1, ED10, MFB-522, PB-300, and TR-55, have many sounds that were sampled multiple times for use of round robin (also indicated in the filenames). These variations will help you get more realistic results.

Alright, so what do these drum machine samples actually sound like? I made a few demo loops so you can get an idea. The first track is a combination of the loops, the individual ones follow (drum machines indicated in the track title).

All drum/percussion sounds in these loops were done with TDM Vol 3 only. I didn’t use much processing, just some compression and a tiny bit of reverb on some of the samples. For melodic content I used u-he ACE, Sonic Charge Synplant, and Daichi’s Synth1.

So what do I think?

Product: Goldbaby Productions Tape Drum Machines Vol 3
Format: 24bit wav, Battery+MIDI & Guru kits and bundles
Price: $29 USD

The third volume in the Tape Drum Machines series includes a huge variety of digital and analog drum machine samples. Not all of them are equally interesting to me though. I am not a fan of digital latin percussion drum machines so the DDM-220, and the particularly nasty sounding RX21L I could do without. Goldbaby’s tape treatment does add value but they’re just not the type of sounds I’m usually looking for. Luckily those only account for 150 out of 3,500 samples.

In general TDM Vol. 3 is a well balanced pack of electronic drum sounds; from the raw digital 12-bit orchestral hits of the R-100 to the warm synthetic analog sounds of the ED10 and MFB-522. My favorites are the RZ-1 – great for lo-fi hip hop beats, and the XD5 which has a surprising large amount of diverse sounds. I love the rough, saturated “tape2″ samples of this one.

TDM Vol. 3 meets the high quality I have come to expect from Goldbaby. If you are into drum machine sounds this one is a no-brainer if you ask me.

More information: Goldbaby / Tape Drum Machines Vol 3

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Review: Sidsonic Libraries Circus Circuit Bending Library, massive collection of circuit bent sounds

Circuit bending has gathered quite a lot of attention in recent years. Sure it’s not for everyone, but blogs like Create Digital Music, GetLoFi, Make, etc. show there is plenty of interest in the art of modifying electronic devices by short circuiting them. If you are not really sure what I’m talking about, check Wikipedia here.

Sidsonic’s Circus Circuit Bending Library isn’t the first sample library that is all about circuit bending. It is however one of the most extensive ones I have seen so far, and the first Kontakt Player based one to my knowledge.

Sidsonic CCBL Box

Perhaps not essential but well worth mentioning is the physical design & packaging of this sample library. Where many developers choose to provide downloads only, or simple DVD boxes with half a page worth of info, Sidsonic is doing the opposite entirely.

The box CCBL is shipping in is a proper piece of art (click the image to enlarge). RCA sockets keep the lid in place and a lovely little red dip switch is located on the top right. Useless, you say? Sure there is no need for such a fancy box, but for me it certainly adds value to the product. Even before you get to hear the sounds of CCBL the packaging already shows that these guys are passionate about their work.

The sample library comes with a 36-page booklet that has extensive information on circuit bending, the Kontakt interface pages & controls available, and the instruments/devices used for CCBL and what was done to them to get these circuit bent sounds.

From the booklet:

Already from the first personal experiences of sound bending that emerged from the circuit board of a small electronic guitar and a connecting finger we noticed the potential that Circuit Bending harboured.

Sounds were suddenly able to develop playfully, the likes of which could otherwise have only been possible using complex technology. The first pieces of equipment gathered quickly and it was obvious, that Circuit Bending can be used for far more than for creating just a few typical textbook sounds. The Circus Circuit Bending Library is our way to further extend the art of Circuit Bending and take the distinctive sound of it out into the world. We aim to make it possible by using a simple way to explore the depths of sound bending without having to deal with individual pieces of gear, modification or emerging problems. To this end, a vast array of toys, drum computers and keyboards have been rebuilt, recorded and remodelled so that the emphasis is focused on establishing the largest sound collection possible. The result is a simple, honest remodelling.

Drums and synths

Sidsonic sampled over 18,000 sounds for CCBL, using a total of 14 circuit bent instruments as sound sources. From these samples they constructed nearly 180 synth and drum kits in Kontakt.

Circus Circuit Bending Library instruments

  • Casio SK-1, SK-2 & SK-200, sampling keyboards from the eighties.
  • Alesis HR-16, 16-bit drum computer featuring 49 digital PCM samples.
  • Boss DR-550, drum computer with 48 16-bit PCM samples.
  • Korg DDD-1 & DDD-5, dynamic digital drums with respectively 18 and 14 sounds, features some typical eighties drum sounds.
  • Roland TR-505 & TR-626, the 505 has 16 drum sounds, while the 626 comes with 30 (12-bit samples).
  • Yamaha PSS-140 & PSS-270, two 2 operator FM keyboards that come with 100 preset sounds.
  • Yamaha VSS-200, 8-bit sampling keyboard, FM synthesizer with 100 presets.
  • Texas Instruments Speak & Spell; V-Tech, the well known educational toys featuring a speech synthesizer.

Each of these instruments was circuit bent by soldering sound chips, connecting patch bays, adding switches to the devices, etc., resulting in those typical sounds– noisy, raw, dirty, lo-fi, harsh… you know, messed up.

The Kontakt instruments created from the massive amount of sounds (I can only imagine how much work it was to turn over 18,000 samples into 179 instruments!) are categorized in synths and drums. Inside each section the various instruments are listed with a number of Kontakt patches.

Sidsonic Libraries Circus Circuit Bending Library
Circus Circuit Bending Library Kontakt interface

These instruments are not simply a bunch of samples mapped across the keyboard either. Five custom Kontakt pages are available in each instrument to modify the sounds to your liking. There are many useful controls for envelopes, LFO’s, and various effects (send/insert/master). The drum instruments have five groups (basedrum, snare, toms, cymbal, and percussion) so you can assign filters and effects per group, very handy. Another cool feature is the use of circuit bent sounds in the convolution reverb found on the Send FX page. CCBL comes with 23 long & 21 short “impulse response” files that will turn sounds around in quite unexpected ways.

Check the illustration below for a detailed overview of the signal flow of CCBL’s instruments.

Circus Circuit Bending Library - Signal Flow
Signal flow of Kontakt instruments, CCBL is not just about the samples

So what does CCBL sound like? I made a few quick demo loops which you can check below.

The Sidsonic Libraries website has some more audio clips.

So what do I think?

Product: Circus Circuit Bending Library by Sidsonic Libraries
Format: Kontakt Player 3.5 (VST/AU/RTAS/Standalone)
Price: 189 EUR MSRP

If I could only have one circuit bending sample library, Circus Circuit Bending Library would be it. This thing is massive. It is amazing how many Kontakt instruments Sidsonic was able to build from just 14 sound sources. The instruments are really well done, ready to play straight from the box and easily tweaked with the custom Kontakt pages. There’s a lot of noise, glitch and whatnot in the sounds, yet they remain very playable. Especially in the synth section Sidsonic has worked hard to provide sounds which can be played across the keyboard.

This library truly feels like a labour of love, with much attention to detail and an overall high quality in every aspect of the product.

If you are only remotely interested in circuit bent sounds you should probably just pick up some of the free sample packs available on the internet. However, if you are serious about using circuit bent sounds (and you don’t want to do all the hard work yourself) you should definitely check out CCBL. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Sidsonic has a free demo (includes a drum and a synth instrument) for your Kontakt Player available to download on the CCBL product page. Try and see how you like it.

More information: Sidsonic Libraries / Circus Circuit Bending Library

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Justin Robert Mothman Z3000, synthesizer inspired by the Casio CZ-3000

Related: , , , Posted in news on Jul 19, 2010 - comment 4 comments
Justin Robert Mothman Z3000

Justin Robert has released Mothman Z3000, a virtual synthesizer instrument inspired by the Casio CZ-3000.

The Mothman Z-3000 is the newest sibling of the Mothman synthesizers and this one is the best one yet. It’s a 16 voice polyphonic synthesizer that features two Phase Distortion DCOs, two DCWs, and two DCAs all six feature the famous 8 point envelope section that made the CZ synthesizer so famous. You have the ability to make some of the most complex waveforms you’ve ever heard.

It also has the stereo chorus, noise and LFO just like the original CZ-3000. Also, there’s an added switchable velocity feature that gives greater expression than the original CZ, and an added analog style filter on DCA2 to give even more sound options. You can also pan the different DCOs to give more stereo fx. But other than that, I kept it pretty faithful to the original synth. Programming is very similar to the original CZs, the only difference being that on each 8 stage envelope there is a “scale” feature, which acts like a master envelope control to quickly lower or raise the length of the envelope all around without changing each one individually. You can even use the original Casio CZ-3000 Manual to understand the concepts behind programming this VST.

There are 64 preset slots with 18 presets already created. The sound of this synth is very similar to the real thing. Real phase distortion synthesis is used, real eight point envelopes and a cool “Mothman” design make this synth a must have addition to your VST library.

Mothman Z3000 is available to purchase as a VST instrument plug-in for Windows PC, priced at $24 USD.

More information: Justin Robert / Mothman Z3000

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Puremagnetik PakBytes, free sounds for Live, Kontakt & Logic

Puremagnetik PakBytes

Puremagnetik has announced the release of PakBytes, a collection of free sound packs for Ableton Live, Kontakt, and Logic.

PakBytes is a free catalog of sounds derived from Puremagnetik’s content for Ableton Live, Kontakt and Logic. This initial release includes 8 PakBytes with sounds based on products from Buchla, Casio, Atari, Ensoniq and more.

PakBytes catalog includes:

  • Phazeform Volume 1 & 2 – A collection of instruments, kits and looped clips based on Casio Phase Distortion and VL-Tone synthesizers.
  • Analog Drums – An assortment of percussives captured from modular analog systems.
  • Blip – A collection of multisampled instruments sourced from the original Atari 2600 sound chip.
  • B-System: Percussives, Basses & Leads – A sampling of percussion kits, multisample patches and looped clips recorded from an original Buchla 200e modular synthesizer.
  • Waveframe – A sophisticated wavetable synthesizer for Ableton Live based on the Transwave concept of Ensoniq’s FIZMO. (for Ableton Live only)
  • Vector – An advanced wave sequencing instrument based on the classic KORG Wavestation. (for Ableton Live only)

Users must register for the free Puremagnetik plan to gain access to these downloads.

More information: Puremagnetik / PakBytes

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Goldbaby Productions releases Tape Drum Machines Vol 3

Goldbaby Production Tape Drum Machines Vol 3

Goldbaby Productions has released Tape Drum Machines Vol 3, a new collection of drum machine samples.

More drum machines given some tape love!

Tape Drum Machines Vol 3 features

  • 12 Drum Machines and 3 Tape Machines. 3498 x 24 Bit drum samples.
  • Drum Machines used: Casio RZ-1, Roland TR-55 & PB-300, Kawai XD-5 & R-100, MFB-522, Korg DDM-110 & DDM-220, Sakata DPM-48, Yamaha RX-21L & ED-10, and the MPC ELectronics DSM-1.
  • The Tape machines used: Otari MX5050 1/4″, Rolla 77 valve mono 1/4 inch, and the Hitachi Cassette deck. Plus the UBK Fatso was also used.
  • Formats: Battery 3, Guru and Wav Pack (Guru version includes 18 Bundles & Kits, Battery 3 version includes 18 Kits & a few Midi files to preview the kits).

Tape Drum Machines Vol 3 is available to purchase for $29 USD.

More information: Goldbaby Productions / Tape Drum Machines Vol 3

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Puremagnetik releases Phazeform Volume 2

Puremagnetik Phazeform Volume 2

Puremagnetik has announced the release of Phazeform Volume 2, the second installment of the Phazeform series which includes more CZ-1 phase distortion patches, the complete tonal bank from the original SK-1 and a ton of percussion elements.

The mothership of Casio synthesis, the CZ-1 was a remarkable piece of technology in its day, emulated by other leading synthesizer manufacturers. Casio’s CZ line of Phase Distortion synthesizers are incredibly unique devices that used digital synthesis without a filter as opposed to traditional analog subtractive synthesis with a filter. The CZ line used phase distortion to somewhat simulate an analog filter, it had in total eight different waveforms: as well as the standard sawtooth, square, and pulse waveforms, it had a special double sine waveform, a half-sine waveform, and three waveforms with simulated filter resonance: resonant sawtooth, triangle, and trapezoidal waveforms.

The Casio SK-1 is a classic low fidelity consumer keyboard from 1985 and arguably the first toy sampler. Puremagnetik captured all of the uniquely kitsch and useful factory tones and processed voices with the gritty 9.83 khz / 8 bit sampler. You can bask in the raw nostalgic tones of this time machine and make use of these modernized instruments by using native effects in Ableton, Kontakt and Logic.

Phazeform Volume 2 features

  • Over 20 Phase Distortion sounds.
  • Multi-sampled CZ library with advanced DAW integration.
  • A collection of 30 expertly programmed clips.
  • 3 sets of percussion menus.
  • Custom Ableton Racks, Kontakt KSP GUI and Logic Channel Strips.

Phazeform Volume 2 is now available for Puremagnetik subscribers. Subscriptions start at $5.75 USD/Month.

More information: Puremagnetik / Phazeform Volume 2

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Loopmasters releases Circuit Bent Sounds Vol. 3

Loopmasters Circuit Bent Sounds Vol. 3

Loopmasters has released Circuit Bent Sounds Vol. 3, a collection of twisted beats and deformed audio sickness guaranteed to deliver a fresh bout of insanity to any production.

Back once again from the electronic surgery of the Circuitbenders labs, the products of an unholy alliance between soldering iron and sampler return to unleash another unhealthy dose of audio terrorism upon your unsuspecting senses!

From a cut-price drum toy to the mighty Roland SH101, nothing is safe from circuitbenders.co.uk attentions, with every machine being treated with an equally relaxed concern for its basic rights to bring you this unique set of sounds.

Stepping outside of normal methods of synthesis and audio production to unlock the true potential of an otherwise ordinary bit of hardware is the circuitbenders technique, All the machines used on this release have been rewired and abused to operate far beyond their normal design limits, enabling them to produce all those sounds that the original designers either fought to avoid or just never dreamed possible.

Circuit Bent Sounds Vol. 3 features

  • Over 650Mb of content, comprising of over 758 samples, 283 Loops and 475 Single Sounds.
  • 209 Drum Loops, 74 Sound Loops, and 22 Sounds and FX from a simply huge collection of circuit bent toys, drum machines and instruments of all types:
    • Includes old school drum machines given a new lease of life in the form of the rare Akai XR10, the Yamaha RX7, Korg DDD1, Casio RZ1 sampling drum machine, Boss DR550 and the legendary Roland TR707, along with a host of esoteric electronic devices and toys supplying extra beats.
    • Modified keys and synths include the analogue Roland SH101, the MFOS weird sound generator, Yamaha PSS270, Casio SA5, Rocktek Delay pedal and the favourite of every lofi musician and circuit bender, the Casio SK1 sampler.
    • Rewired kids toys including Early Leaner shapes toy, Letterland toy, Bongon electronic bongos, VTech Talking Alfie teddy bear, Little Tykes guitar, Mix Me DJ toy and the classic Texas Instruments Speak & Read and Speak & Write toys amongst many others.
  • 22 ready to play patches for all the most popular software samplers including Reason’s NNXT, Halion, Kontakt, EXS and SFZ.
  • Acidised Wav, Rex2 and Apple Loop formats are all available.

Circuit Bent Sounds Vol. 3 is available to purchase for £19.95 GBP.

More information: Loopmasters / Circuit Bent Sounds Vol. 3

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