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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

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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

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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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Blue Cat Audio updates MB Dynamix Pack multiband plug-ins bundle

Blue Cat MB Dynamix Pack

Blue Cat Audio has updated the MB Dynamix Pack, a multiband processing plug-ins bundle for Windows and Mac.

This upgrade introduces a new plug-in: a dual channel version for Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer. It also includes several enhancements for all plug-ins, bringing better performance and precision to streamlined multiband side chaining capabilities.

Changes in MB Dynamix Pack

  • Output data rate (MIDI CC or automation) can now be customized, from 20 to 500 Hz.
  • Increased the default output data rate (from 20 to 50 Hz) for smoother side chaining and more precise spectrum display.
  • Windows: improved settings dialog loading time.
  • Mac: global user interface performance improvement (up to 20% lighter on cpu).
  • [Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer 1.1] A “dual channel” version of the plug-in is now available. It can process the left/right or mid/side channels separately.

The MB Dynamix Pack is available to purchase for 259 EUR / $339 USD. The plug-ins are also available separately and in other bundles.

More information: Blue Cat Audio / MB Dynamix Pack

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Blue Cat updates Analysis Plug-ins for Windows and Mac

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Blue Cat Audio Analysis Plug-Ins

Blue Cat Audio has announced the release of new versions its audio analysis plug-ins for Windows and Mac.

This update mainly brings output data refresh rate customization to improve MIDI or automation output for smoother side chaining, new trigger mode for the oscilloscope, note display for spectrum analyzers, pan law selection for stereoscopes, performance improvements on Mac and much more…

Changes in Blue Cat Analysis Plug-ins

  • Digital Peak Meter Pro v3.5
    • Output data rate (MIDI CC or automation) can now be customized, from 20 to 500 Hz.
    • Increased the default output data rate (from 20 to 50 Hz) for smoother side chaining and increased meters precision.
    • All meters can now be reset with a single button.
    • Envelope graphs can now be zoomed.
    • Windows: improved settings dialog loading time.
    • Mac: user interface performance improvement (up to 30% lighter on cpu).
  • FreqAnalyst Multi v1.91
    • Output data rate can now be customized, from 20 to 500 Hz.
    • Increased the default output data rate (from 20 to 50 Hz) for smoother spectrum display.
    • Note value for the current mouse location is now displayed, in addition to the frequency.
    • Windows: improved settings dialog loading time.
    • Mac: user interface performance improvement (up to 30% lighter on cpu).
  • FreqAnalyst Pro v1.94
    • Output data rate (MIDI CC or automation) can now be customized, from 20 to 500 Hz.
    • Increased the default output data rate (from 20 to 50 Hz) for smoother side chaining and more precise spectrum display.
    • Note value for the current mouse location is now displayed, in addition to the frequency.
    • Windows: improved settings dialog loading time.
    • Mac: user interface performance improvement (up to 30% lighter on cpu).
  • Oscilloscope Multi v1.7
    • Output data rate can now be customized, from 20 to 500 Hz.
    • Increased the default output data rate (from 20 to 50 Hz) for smoother curve display.
    • New trigger mode: the oscilloscopes can now be synced using a trigger, based on the value and direction of the incoming audio signal.
    • Windows: improved settings dialog loading time.
    • Mac: user interface performance improvement (up to 30% lighter on cpu).
  • StereoScope Multi v1.91
    • Output data rate can now be customized, from 20 to 500 Hz.
    • Increased the default output data rate (from 20 to 50 Hz) for more precise display.
    • Several pan laws can now be selected to match your preferences.
    • Windows: improved settings dialog loading time.
    • Mac: user interface performance improvement (up to 30% lighter on cpu).
  • StereoScope Pro v1.9
    • Output data rate (MIDI CC or automation) can now be customized, from 20 to 500 Hz.
    • Increased the default output data rate (from 20 to 50 Hz) for smoother side chaining and more precise display.
    • Several pan laws can now be selected to match your preferences.
    • Center position is now displayed with numbers in addition to the graphical meter.
    • Windows: improved settings dialog loading time.
    • Mac: user interface performance improvement (up to 30% lighter on cpu).

The upgrade is free for existing customers and can be downloaded from the same location as the previous version. If you do not own these plug-ins yet, demo versions in DirectX, VST, RTAS and Audio Unit formats are available for download.

More information: Blue Cat Audio

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iZotope update Nectar to v1.1

iZotope Nectar

iZotope has released version 1.1 of Nectar, a complete vocal processing toolkit for Windows and Mac.

Nectar is a complete set of 11 vocal production effects combined in one plug-in that’s designed to give you immediate results.

Built-in Styles get the grunt work out of the way so you can focus on the creative finishing touches.

Changes in Nectar v1.1

  • Reverb improvements
    • Nectar’s Reverb has been overhauled for a better sound, including improved workflow for dialing in great vocal reverb settings. Because of these changes, users may notice that sessions saved with Nectar Version 1.0 sound different. For guidelines on adjusting the Reverb of existing sessions in Version 1.1, please refer to this knowledgebase article.
  • Pitch-related improvements
    • Adds a “Non-formant preserving” mode, which allows you to turn formant preservation on or off. Small (less than 1.5 semitone) shifts that occur in subtle pitch correction often sound better with formant preservation turned off, while large shifts will be better with formant preservation on. Tip: Turning off formant preservation is also good for special effects (like the Chipmonk and Dark Lord Styles).
    • In supported hosts, dragging a note in the Manual Pitch Editor now creates a color highlight to better see the target pitch of the note you’re dragging.
    • In supported hosts, dragging a note will also produce a tone so you can hear the target pitch of the note you’re dragging.
    • Pitch transpositions now sound more natural due to a change in the envelope shape.
    • Optimizations to pitch correction algorithms for faster performance.
  • Doubler improvements
    • Adds Low, Medium, and High quality modes to the Doubler module. Note that the version 1.0 Doubler was the equivalent of the High quality mode.
    • Doubler CPU usage is dramatically lowered in Version 1.1 (5.7x at High quality and 13x at Low quality).
  • Other changes and fixes
    • Improved host compatibility on OS X in 64-bit VST formats.
    • Includes the new iZotope Crash Reporter to help customers automatically submit crash reports to iZotope for rapid diagnosis and bugfixing.
    • In several hosts, keyboard shortcuts meant for the host are no longer “eaten” by some windows, especially in the floating Manual Pitch Editor window.
    • Fix to iLok authorization issue in some hosts where loading Nectar prompted an “Error: unable to open protection interface” message.
    • Stability enhanced in several hosts. Rare crashes or hangs in isolated hosts were also fixed.
    • Performance improvements for Tracking mode.
    • Pitch algorithm quality improvements: fixed bugs causing glitching such as stuttering, clicking, and popping.
    • Minor bugfixes and performance enhancements.

Nectar for Windows and Mac is available to purchase for $299 USD.

More information: iZotope / Nectar

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