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NUSofting announces Strings Dream Synthesizer

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NUSofting Strings Dream Synthesizer

NUSofting has announced Strings Dream Synthesizer, a virtual instrument that is able to reproduce the infinite array of rich, analogue pads from the most famous strings machines in synthesizer history.

Emulate the classic Eminent Solina as well as its sister keyboards from Elka, Crumar and even their Japanese cousins.

Strings Dream Synthesizer features

  • String Dream does not use samples. Instead the “octave divider” circuity typical of those early polyphonic synths has been natively emulated, so that all sounds are computed in realtime in true VA fashion.
  • The fundamental “Ensemble” effect (like the vintage Solina chorus) accurately follows the architecture of its hardware counterpart. However, it has been extended for a wider range of “chorus” effects.
  • String Dream is easy to use. It’s layout and features take their cue from and expand upon the familiar Solina design, with only the necessary controls to achieve the textures of the other strings machines.
  • Full ADSR envelope generator and Waveform selection (for several strings and organs sounds).
  • Volume fader and switch for each of 6 stops (C.Bass, Cello, Brass, Horn, Viola, Violin). The fader for each stop allows an almost infinite number of mixtures.
  • A powerful parameter to tune the relative phase of Violin wave against the other voices.
  • Brightness and highpass filters are also adjustable.
  • More performance flexibility with MIDI velocity and polyphonic mode selectable.
  • The C.Bass and Cello are monophonic with full legato mode and you can select one of eight keyboard split points, allowing you to layer the mono voices with the others.
  • Beside the chorus “Ensemble” effect, Strings Dream offers a four-stage Phaser for those famous “Jarre pads” and an exclusive reverb with the ability to morph on request to that “trembling” sound of the vintage spring reverb units.

Strings Dream Synthesizer will be released in May 2009 for an estimated price of $89 USD, first as VST plugin and later as AU.

Visit NUSofting for more information.


NUSofting releases Prima Delay

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NUSofting Prima Delay

NUSofting has released Prima Delay, an audio effect plug-in capable of producing a myriad of echo types and a compelling array of reverbs.

And as if that isn’t enough, it’s also able to produce stereo chorusing and a cluster of unique phasing effects that will provide complete transformations of your sounds. Easy to use and immediately rewarding, Prima Delay will expand your sound dimensions and become your sonic friend, tireless and versatile.

Prima Delay features

  • Number of Delay Taps adjustable from 1 to 128.
  • Tap Delay Time, each from 1 to 2000 ms (dependant on SampleRate).
  • Amplitude Envelope for taps with adjustable curvature.
  • Tap Times deployment for accelerated or decelerated delay effects (“bouncing ball”).
  • Positive or Negative Feedback.
  • LFO modulation of delay lengths (Rate and Depth controls)
  • 3 Delay Line Quality types.
  • 12dB Highpass and Lowpass filters on input signal before delay.
  • Mono, Stereo and inverse Stereo output of the Taps, alternated on left and right channels.
  • MIDI learn for each parameter, preset selction by Program Change.
  • Graphic Display of the series of taps, with zoom focus.
  • Works at any SampleRate.
  • Skinnable interface, 3 skins already included.
  • Use Alt key and click non the display to open the PDF Manual from the GUI.

Prima Delay is available as a VST plug-in for Windows and Mac Universal Binary (AU version will be released shortly) for $45 USD. A demo vesion can be downloaded from the product page.

Visit NUSofting for more information and audio demos.


Short links for November 27th, 2008

Indamixx Laptop

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Indamixx Laptop is First Pre-Configured Music Netbook, Running Linux, $499 – CDM has more on the Indamixx Laptop, a sub $500 laptop pre-bundled with energy XT, a bunch of samples and over 260 plugins and effects.

Oh, and you get a free T-shirt.

The Indamixx Laptop is now available for pre-order ($99 deposit, pay another $400 when it ships).

# Buddha Machine 2 released: Ambient device – The Buddha Machine is a small audio-gear, some kind of "multipurpose ambient device". It is a small portable device with batteries, a speaker and some build-in audioloops. You can select the soothing loops and they keep on playing. With two controllers you can select the volume and (this is the special part) the pitch of the loop. Nothing really special, compared to the things you can do with audio-software, but this device is very charming and inviting to some nice uses.

# quiet_channel: analog MIDI drum machine — R Scott's DIY analog MIDI drum machine:

The drum sound circuitry was taken from a broken old Farfisa organ. I removed the entire rhythm accompaniment assembly and later built a power supply for it, turning it into a stand-alone drum machine.

# Guthman Musical Instrument Competition (submissions open) – The first Guthman Musical Instrument Competition presented by GTCMT and Harmonix (makers of Guitar Hero and Rock Band) will award $10,000 to the best novel musical instruments as judged by a panel of experts from Harmonix, Wired, and Georgia Tech.

# Processing 1.0 – Version 1.0 final is out!

Processing is a programming language, development environment, and online community that since 2001 has promoted software literacy within the visual arts. Initially created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing quickly developed into a tool for creating finished professional work as well.

Nick's DIY spring reverb

# THE SPRINGATRON 3000 — a DIY spring reverb from Nick’s World of Sythesizers:

This is basically a giant spring reverb made from 10 slinkys. I was trying to make the best sounding spring reverb possible, I think I achieved this but it is probably the most inconvenient spring reverb ever made. The reverb time (sustain) is so long that the springs need damping and I found that the best material for doing this is a slice of cucumber wedged under the end of each spring, other materials like foam or rubber tend to kill all the treble.

Many other cool things on Nick’s website, like this interactive flash version of The Beast.

# Module Glitch Pas preview – Luigi @ NUSofting has put up a preview of some kind of glitch pad plug-in. It's an early beta but it already looks very promising.

# MIDI Retrofit Kits: MIDI2600 — MIDI-to-Joystick / MIDI-to-Keypad Adapter for Atari 2600. Translates incoming MIDI notes to joystick or keypad control signals for any Atari 2600 console MIDI-controlled.


NUSofting releases free Live Demo Pack

NUSofting Live Demo Pack No.1

NUSofting has released Live Demo No.1, an example of the “Workspace Projects” concept introduced with NUSofting’s recently released Gaming Athmosphere Live Pack.

“Nusofting.Live.Demo.No1″ includes some WAV samples and the mighty “Quick Inspirations.als” : a powerful Live Set. Like in the “Gaming Athmosphere” Live Pack the sounds and the grooves are inspired to Video game music with an IDM twist.

The NUSofting Live Demo No.1 Pack can be downloaded free of charge from the Gaming Athmosphere page (Ableton Live 7+ required).

Note: be sure to read the included readme file for details on how to use the free Live Set.

Visit NUSofting for more information.


Review: NUSofting BDM – Broken Drum Machine

NUSofting’s Broken Drum Machine (BDM) is a “Circuit Bent Drum Synthesizer”.

Circuit bending? Here’s what the product page reads:

Broken Drum Machine is an audio plugin for musicians who love the chaos and unpredictable behavior of bent circuits, and the potentials of digital manipulations of sound. Inspired by a combination of old school beat boxes and the circuit-bending culture that revolves around cheap, and old, hardware musical instruments (such as the “toy” Casio and Yamaha keyboards of the 80s), Broken Drum Machine brings circuit-bent drum machine sounds to your DAW.

Let’s take a look at what BDM has to offer.

NUSofting Broken Drum Machine
NUSofting Broken Drum Machine — even the interface looks a bit broken

The GUI centers around 4 drum pads (bass drum, snare drum, hihat and creative percussion) which all offer some individual controls:

  • Tone, Decay, Pitch, Pan and Gain (+Noise Snap for the snare and Cricket control for the percussion pad).
  • Mix slider for PCM (sample) and VCO (analog modeled osc).
  • On/Off, Phase and Keytrack buttons.
  • Chaos — Controls various “noise” modulations in each oscillator. Moreover, the modulations are customized for each VCO, meaning that you will obtain different effects for BD, SD, HH and CP. The chaos parameter is “double ranged”, meaning that at more than half the value of the slider, more variables are introduced to the sound. Play around to get a feel for how the chaos slider works and the various “sweet spots” it has for signal deconstruction.
  • Chance — Sets the probability amount for each chaos generator. With chance set to maximum (far right), the chaos parameter will affect every note played; when set to zero (far left), the chaos parameter will not affect the sound at all.

Besides these pad specific parameters, you also get some controls for global parameters. The PCM section has pitch controls for each of the PCM sounds (independent from the osc pitch) and a unique PCM reverse. This control sets the size of the reverse loop for all PCM playback to create some interesting reverse roll sounds. The probability amount per note for PCM Reverse can be controlled as well.

Check this screencast for a short overview of BDM’s PCM features.

Furthermore you’ll find a few master controls:

  • Master Chance, sets the relative amount of all the other chaos controls.
  • Vel>Amp, enable MIDI velocity information (when off BDM plays at full velocity).
  • Power, turns the stereo output on and off (the 4 mono outputs are unaffected).
  • Volume and pitch.
  • 4x Attack and Decay, for all voices.
  • Keymap, displays a map of the BDM key mapping.

Here’s a little sound clip of me playing around with BDM’s parameters. All percussion you hear is from BDM.

Broken Drum Machine demo

BDM comes with only a few PCM samples, but you can create your own Modpaks to expand the sonic range of this drum machine (and even change its looks if you want). It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but if you just want to use your own PCM sounds it’s a pretty straightforward procedure. For the adventurous ones who want to fully customize the looks as well, BDM comes with a Modpak so you can see how it’s done.

BDM is available for Windows and Mac for $55.95 USD / 35.90 EUR. A free demo version can be downloaded.

So what do I think?

I like “broken” sounds and I love a good amount of random in any instrument or effect, so it’s no surprise BDM scores well in my book.

The instrument is easy to control, yet you will never fully control its sound (unless you set the chaos and chance zero I guess), and that is exactly it’s appeal.

BDM has MIDI Learn so if you have a MIDI keyboard you can control all the parameters with knobs and sliders, which to me is 10 times more exciting than clicking on the screen.

You can tell from the various presets that this thing is really versatile in sound, even though it only comes with a few samples. I’m looking forward to using my own samples. Some things are meant to be broken!

More information: NUSofting / Broken Drum Machine


NUSofting releases Gaming Athmosphere LivePack

Related: , , , Posted in news on Oct 09, 2008 - comment 0 comments
NUSofting Gaming Athmosphere LivePack

NUSofting has released Gaming Athmosphere, a collection of external sounds and presets for the native Ableton devices that is intended to provide key elements of sound, structure and function.

“Gaming Athmosphere” pack was created with a ‘retro-ish’ gaming feel in mind, and is ready to use for your productions. The included loops were designed to inspire creativity in the studio or stage, with a variety of fresh melodies, basslines and MIDI grooves to get you started right away.

Gaming Athmosphere LivePack features

  • 47 Audio loops in a “Gaming Atmosphere”, of various lengths from 2 to 16 bars
  • 41 MIDI loops, the notes source used for “Gaming Atmosphere” audio loops
  • 12 MIDI Drums loops, already mapped as clips to 4 Impulse presets, arranged in 4 Live Set files = 4×12 clips
  • 10 Audio Drums loops
  • 3 “Workspace Projects”: a “workspace project” is a Live Set with many clips and devices (instruments and effect chains) neatly combined in one Session View. A “workspace project” is designed for your creativity: the clips (both audio and MIDI) are selected to allow easy song construction, just turn them on and try several combinations. A “workspace project” is also full of useful examples of what you can do with your Ableton Live.

The Gaming Athmosphere LivePack is available now for $25.95 USD.

Visit NUSofting for more information, audio demos and a link to download the Gaming Atmosphere PDF manual.


NUSofting updates Modelonia to v1.7.0.6 + AU/VST for Mac OSX

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NUSofting Modelonia

NUSofting has released version of Modelonia, a physical modelling synth instrument now also available for Mac (AU/VST).

Changes in Modelonia v1.7.0.6

  • 128 presets by Xenos explore new synthetic textures thanks to the Modelonia hybrid modeling, 294 presets total.
  • Further engine optimization and stabilization.
  • Graphics updated.
  • Mac version for PPC and intel machines, Trial version downloadable.

Modelonia is available for 51 EUR / $75 USD, and a bundle with Broken Drum Machine is available for $97 USD (save $33.95 USD).

Visit NUSofting for more information.