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iZotope releases Alloy 2 – Essential Mixing Tools

iZotope Alloy 2

iZotope has announced the release of the next generation of Alloy, a forward-thinking mixing suite that combines six essential tools in one self-contained and completely configurable plug-in.

A modern twist on classic mixing, Alloy 2 takes the traditional channel strip and brings it into the future with powerful sound-shaping tools, exceptional sound quality, and a streamlined workflow. Thoughtfully designed for mixing purposes across the music, audio, post and broadcast industries, Alloy 2 is perfect for engineers, musicians, and producers looking to sculpt their sound while addressing common mix issues.

“Whatever the track, Alloy 2 provides a wealth of tools that give you both corrective and expressive control over your audio while mixing. We went out of our way tocreate a tool that not only raises the bar sonically, but also enables engineers to achieve a desired sound simply and efficiently with a more seamless workflow,” says Brett Bunting, Alloy Product Manager. “Those who havenever used Alloy before will be amazed by the number of mixing solutions contained within a single plug-in, while users of Alloy 1 will be struck by how much we’ve managed to add and enhance while still improving usability.”

iZotope Alloy 2
Alloy 2′s new Overview Panel: A simplified view where you can easily monitor and tweak relevant settings of the currently-enabled Alloy modules. Panel also updates instantly while previewing presets, highlighting the modules and settings used by each.

Alloy 2 features

  • Get six powerful tools in one integrated plug-in: Equalizer, Dynamics, Exciter, De-Esser, Transient Shaper and Limiter.
  • Achieve exceptional sound quality, balancing vintage emulation with digital precision.
  • Hear results immediately with zero latency performance, whether tracking in real-time or in the midst of a mix session.
  • Visualize mixing decisions with rich meter displays to guide the way.
  • Start fast, then go deep with over 250 presets and a tweaker’s paradise of advanced controls.

What’s New for Alloy 2?

Fans of Alloy 1 will benefit from Alloy 2’s sonic enhancements, highlights of which include a redesigned Exciter module, a revamped multiband Transient Shaper, a host of new EQ filters, including Treble and Bass Baxandall filters, and more. Alloy 2 users will also click less to achieve more thanks to both a fully overhauled user interface, enlarged to make more controls accessible, and a new Overview panel that dynamically adjusts to show only the most relevant settings of the modules in play.

With low CPU usage and zero latency operation, Alloy 2 can be used again and again across a wide range of tracks and buses, making it a perfect mixing complement to iZotope’s flagship mastering suites, Ozone 5 and Ozone 5 Advanced. To this end, Alloy 2 also features an internal Meter Tap, which provides immediate visual feedback from Alloy 2’s tracks and buses in the Ozone5 Advanced Meter Bridge.


Overview of iZotope’s Alloy 2 Essential Mixing Tools.

Alloy 2 is available to purchase for the introductory price of $149 USD until September 6th, 2012 (regular $199 USD /159 EUR). iZotope customers who purchased Alloy 1 on or after June 27, 2012 will receive a free upgrade to Alloy 2 upon release. A special upgrade price of $79 USD will be available for all Alloy 1 customers who purchased before June 27, 2012.

More information: iZotope / Alloy 2

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Blue Cat Audio releases FreqAnalyst Multi 2.0 spectrum analyzer plugin

Related: , , , , , , Posted in news on Jul 06, 2012 - comment 0 comments

Blue Cat Audio has announced version 2.0 of FreqAnalyst Multi, the unique multiple tracks spectrum analyzer plug-in for Windows and Mac.

This new version comes with a completely redesigned user interface with improved workflow and readability as well as many new features and enhancements: a new presets manager, new MIDI and automation mapping capabilities, many new presets, Windows AAX support, multiple display sizes, and much more…

Blue Cat FreqAnalyst Multi
FreqAnalyst Multi lets you visualize the spectral content of several audio tracks on the same screen with extreme smoothness and high resolution, for both time and frequency.

New Features:

  • Brand new fully customizable user interface:
    • New look and feel.
    • Show/hide what you need.
    • Curves names can now be displayed on the graph (overlay).
    • Single or multiple displays modes.
    • Multiple display sizes
    • Improved readability.
    • Animated transitions.
  • All instances can now be forced to synchronize.
  • New integrated presets manager:
    • Load/save presets from the plug-in’s user interface.
    • Organize presets with folders.
    • Customize the default preset.
    • Exchange presets easily.
  • Automation range and response curve can now be customized for each parameter.
  • Automation and MIDI settings (channel, MIDI learn etc.) are now accessible from the main user interface.
  • AAX plug-in format is now also supported on Windows (Pro Tools 10.2 required).

Improvements:

  • Improved note display (now uses a +/-50 value for cents).
  • Improved Graph rulers display when zoomed.
  • Routing matrix automatically displayed when opening the plug-in for the first time for easier setup.
  • New presets to make setup easier.
  • Plug-in name has been shortened for a clearer display in mixer view for most host applications.
  • Changed the default VST install path on Windows.
  • License is now shared between plug-ins types (register only once for all formats).
  • Added new presets.
  • Improved value display in fine edit window.

Optimizations and Performance Improvements:

  • Reduced VST plug-in loading time.
  • Improved parameters precision (now stored as 64-bit).
  • More compact presets format (uses less space and loads faster).
  • Smaller binaries on Mac (dropped PowerPC support).

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed presets-related crashes in Cubase on Mac.
  • Fixed user interface display issues in Wavelab on Mac.
  • Fixed keyboard stealing issue in Digital Performer 7 on Mac.

Note: this new version can be installed side by side with the previous version for backward compatibility reasons. Installing this new version won’t break your previous projects.

FreqAnalyst Multi 2.0 is available to purchase with 15% discount through July, 2012, priced at 67 EUR/$84 USD (regular 79 EUR/$99 USD). The upgrade is free for users who have purchased the plug-in in the past 5 months, and a special upgrade price is available for others.

More information: Blue Cat Audio / FreqAnalyst Multi

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To DX With Love + Casino Soundsets for iOS Synthesizers released

Sunsine Audio To DX With Love & Casino

Sunsine Audio has released two new soundsets: To DX With Love for DXi and Casino for the Cassini synth for iOS.

Sunsine Audio’s love letter to the glorious world of 80s FM. 64 presets for the DXi iOS synthesizer, utilizing every feature of the instrument. From bright, bell-like, and cutting to dark, fuzzy and rich, these presets emphasize everything desirable about FM.

One of our favorite new synths for the iOS, Cassini is very powerful and sounds great but unfortunately doesn’t come loaded with a good deal of sounds. Casino is our response – 59 high quality presets showcasing this synths strengths, namely its ability for deep, rich evolving sounds and extensive, dynamic modulation. Thick basses, ethereal pads, glitchy “arp-chord” chiptune, vintage replications – we even threw in a oldschool gunshot!

The soundsets are available to purchase for $2.49 USD each.

More information: Sunsine Audio

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Blue Cat Audio releases Free Pack II

Blue Cat Audio has announced the release of Blue Cat’s Free Pack II, a complete redesign of its free plug-ins bundle.

This new package includes several new plugins (dual channel EQ, stereo phaser), brand new user interfaces, as well as dozens of new features and enhancements: a new presets manager, new MIDI and automation mapping capabilities, many new presets, Windows AAX support, and much more…

We encourage you to check them out, the whole package is entirely free!

Blue Cat's Free Pack II

The Free Pack II plug-ins are available for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/DirectX, 32/64-bit).

More information: Blue Cat Audio / Free Pack

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iZotope updates Ozone to v5.02

iZotope Ozone / Ozone Advanced

iZotope has updated its Ozone mastering system for Windows and Mac to version 5.02.

iZotope’s complete mastering system in a single integrated plug-in includes eight essential mastering tools: Maximizer, Equalizer, Multiband Dynamics, Multiband Stereo Imaging, Post Equalizer, Multiband Harmonic Exciter, Reverb, and Dithering.

Ozone 5 Advanced adds 6 additional component plug-ins, extended features in every module, and an entire suite of configurable meters.

Changes in Ozone v5.02

  • Feature enhancements:
    • Improvements to IRC3: lower distortion on low frequency material.
    • Improvements to IRC3: new “Style” control helps the limiter work with a wider variety of material.
    • Improved spectrogram functionality with better Meter Tap synchronization.
    • Improved EQ behavior when double-clicking for a new node.
  • Other changes and fixes:
    • Improved keyboard support
    • Fixed issues with loading EQ snapshots in multiple instances in a session.
    • Fixed crashes in Steinberg Wavelab.
    • Fixed UI issue in OS X with Steinberg Wavelab 7.2.
    • Fixed delay compensation issue for sampling rates above 48kHz.
    • Fixed issues using crossover Learn feature inside shared crossover network.
    • Improved Spectrogram behavior when hiding a spectrogram stream.

Ozone for Windows and Mac is available to purchase for $249 USD (Ozone 5) / $999 USD (Ozone 5 Advanced).

More information: iZotope / Ozone

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Review: No Dough Music NDS-3 Classic FM Sample Pack

No Dough Music NDS-3 Classic FM

NDS-3 Classic FM is No Dough’s third release in a series of libraries for software samplers. This one focuses on the sounds from some classic Yamaha synthesizers, the DX7 and the TX81Z.

Before I start, it’s probably good to know that while I enjoy “modern day” FM synthesis, I don’t particularly like the typical pluck/thump bass or brass synth sounds vintage FM synthesizers are known for. I rarely use those kind of sounds in my own music, yet I do happen to have a soft spot for synth pop music.

My dad was a DJ in his younger years and his record collection included tons of early 80′s music, a time when synth pop was pretty popular. Nine hour summer vacation car trips to Austria were filled with the sounds of Ultravox, Level 42, OMD, Phil Collins, Duran Duran, A-ha, the Human League, etc. I guess this made quite an impact on my musical preference. Browsing the sounds of No Dough’s Classic FM sure brings back some happy memories.

The Hardware FM sound is very distinctive and has created some of the more unique and memorable sounds in modern music. This pack epitomises the best of Hardware FM Synthesisers, from the DX7 to Tx81z we have created almost 250 hybrid sample instruments that bring some of the most famous, and unique sounding synths to the sampler of your choice.

NDS-3 is No Dough’s largest sample library to date, with the sample content weighing in over 4.1 GB. The 246 patches are sorted in 6 categories:

  • 54 x bass
  • 37 x string
  • 56 x lead
  • 49 x synth
  • 26 x organ
  • 24 x percussion & fx

The samples were recorded with expressiveness and playability in mind, capturing the vibe of the hardware. Use of scripting and/or modwheel modulation would make things even more dynamic, but there’s none of this in NDS-3.

Generally patches average about 20 samples for single velocity instruments, with two to four times that amount for multi-velocity patches – even up to 140 samples for the rather deep sampled Lately Bass sound!

Outboard analog gear was used to process the samples, creating ready-to-play sounds that should fit right in with your productions. Patch names typically indicate the type of sound so it’s quite easy to find (back) what you are looking for. The samples folder reveals there are just over 100 individual sounds sampled, so the rest of the patches are designed variations, combos, etc.

Check the audio clip below for some sounds from the Classic FM sample library.

NDS-3 Classic FM is available in Kontakt, EXS24, NN-XT, and HALion formats.

So what do I think?

Product: NDS-3 Classic FM by No Dough Music
Format: 24-bit Wav + sampler patches
Price: £22.49 GBP (regular £29.99 GBP)
Like: Large variety of sounds, high quality
Don’t like: No modwheel
Verdict: 9/10

FM synthesis is hit and miss for me. There’s some real love – complex FM pads and strings – but other sounds make me cringe, really.

Classic FM has its moments (ChibedRhmba is just gorgeous), but it was not made for me. Too many of those bass, lead and synth sounds that I simply can’t see myself using. I like my FM a bit more “modern” for lack of a better word.

That is not to say this library is no good. On the contrary. Personal preferences aside, I do appreciate the quality of this library. The sounds are solid and well recorded. NDS-3 reminds me of synth pop from the 80′s, but you know what, everything old vintage becomes modern again at some point. And so it is with acts like Justice, La Roux, Little Boots, etc. that the sound of synth pop is part of mainstream music again.

NDS-3 Classic FM lets you infuse that synth pop flavor into your productions, so if you want the sounds of the DX7 and TX81Z without having to use the actual hardware, this library is for you. Check it out.

More information: No Dough Music / NDS-3 Classic FM

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Blue Cat Audio launches Winter Special Offers

Related: , , , , , , , , Posted in news, promo on Dec 14, 2011 - comment 0 comments
Blue Cat Audio Winter Special Offers

Blue Cat has announced its Winter Special Offers, a limited time 20% discount on the entire catalog of plug-ins and bundles.

Blue Cat Audio has announced the launch of winter special offers on their newly refreshed online store: all 30 professional audio plug-ins and bundles are available for purchase with 20% off. The offer is valid only until December 31st. For existing customers, the discount is increased up to 40%.

Demo versions of the plug-ins are available for download on the editor’s website (www.bluecataudio.com). Blue Cat Audio plug-ins support both Windows and Mac platforms (32 or 64-bit), and can be installed in VST, RTAS, Audio Unit, AAX and DirectX formats.

More information: Blue Cat Audio

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Blue Cat Audio announces Avid Audio eXtension (AAX) Plug-in Format Support

Related: , , , , , , , Posted in news on Oct 21, 2011 - comment 0 comments
Blue Cat Audio

Blue Cat Audio has announced the release of all its audio plug-ins in the new AVID Audio eXtension (AAX) plug-in format for Pro Tools 10.

Mac versions are available for download right now from the editor’s website, and windows versions will follow soon.

Blue Cat Audio produces a wide range of audio plug-ins, with a focus on advanced audio analysis and detailed visual feedback in all its plug-ins.

The newly released AAX plug-ins include 8 free plug-ins, 6 award winning audio analysis tools, 9 flexible EQs, 2 powerful multiband processors, a couple of dynamics processing plug-ins and more. Details are available on the editor’s AAX plug-ins page, together with demo versions for download.

The upgrade to this new format is free for existing customers, and the new AAX plug-ins are fully compatible with their existing RTAS counterpart.

More information: Blue Cat Audio

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