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Review: No Dough NDS-4 Underground House

No Dough NDS-4 Underground House

No Dough’s fourth release in the NDS sample pack series is titled Underground House.

Simply put, this is the heart and soul of the underground house scene in a massive collection of over 7000 professionally crafted WAV sounds, designed to give you that authentic House music vibe you hear from your favorite artists but in a format that is useful for any style of music that requires a punchy analogue sound.

The sample pack features:

  • 4,700+ drum and percussion hits.
  • 59 multi-sampled instruments.
  • 161 bass and synth loops.

The drum and percussion hits include various classic sounds of drum machines and sampled sources, with three variations; Original recordings, driven, vinyl and Revox (Studer tape machine) versions. No Dough used some various outboard gear to get an authentic vibe. Everything is nicely categorized in folders by the type of drum hit. No drum kits are included though.

To record the multi-sampled instruments, No Dough used gear by Oberheim, Roland, some old EMU samplers and FM synthesizers. The sampler patches are split up in various sections. There’s bass, strings & pads, leads & synths and organs and misc. A good amount of sounds.

The bass and synth loops sound very authentic as well. Actually, playing them individually they almost sound kind of low quality, lo-fi. But in a good way.

Loops are ready to be chopped, smashed, distorted and resequenced, each loop features a Recycle version and we have also included a selection of Midi files so you can get at the notes themselves to twist, mash and create.

I’d say that is a good thing, because these loops are meant for chopping. You are not going to get much of a good result by simply tossing the loops together as there are some tuning issues and files have no mention of which key they’re in. This set of loops just isn’t a construction kit type set so unless you stick with using just a single loop and create additional melodies around that, you are supposed to do some of the work yourself. The sound is there though.

Check out the demo track to get an idea of what NDS-4 Underground House is about.

So what do I think?

Product: NDS-4 Underground House by No Dough
Format: 24bit WAV, REX + sampler patches (Kontakt/EXS24/HALion/NN-XT)
Price: £39.99 GBP
Like: authentic sounds, good variety
Don’t like: no key info in loops
Verdict: 8/10

Even though No Dough prides itself in recording in high quality 96kHz/24bit, it’s still vintage synths, gritty sampler sounds, tape machines, and analog processing chains we’re talking about. NDS-4 is not about pristine quality, it is about the vibe of classic underground house music.

No Dough’s key description for the Underground House pack is “tone, warmth and musicality”. I hear that, and I would sum those up and call it authentic. Individually the samples and loops sound somewhat raw to me, lo-fi, perhaps slightly dated. And that’s how it is supposed to be, because once you start putting things together you quickly end up with something that sounds like the real deal. Go check it out.

More information: NDS-4 Underground House

Nomad Factory releases Magnetic 2 reel-to-reel audio tape warmer

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Nomad Factory Magnetic 2

Nomad Factory has released Magnetic 2, a virtual reel-to-reel audio tape warmer effect for Windows and Mac.

The plug-in features pure analog reel-to-reel tape speeds, tape/tube saturation and tape color effects, as well as a dedicated vintage style EQ and a built in Boost mastering section. The result is a creamy, warm sound that can only be achieved by MAGNETIC II.

New in Magnetic 2

  • 9 tape models that give you the authentic sound of the famous vintage tape machines:
    • Otari MX-80 2-inch 24-track
    • Otari MTR-90 2-inch 24-track
    • Ampex MM1200 2-inch 24-track
    • Ampex ATR-102 half-inch two-track
    • Tascam ATR60-16 1-inch 16-track
    • Studer A80 Mk II 2-inch 24-track
    • Studer A827 2-inch 24-track
    • Studer A820 2-inch 24-track
    • MCI JH24 2-inch 24-track
  • Real Tape Model Mode: To engage the new Real Tape Model mode, simply turn the Reel Speed knob between 1 and 30 and it will activate the selector buttons on the left.
  • Wow & Flutter Knob: Turning the Reel Speed knob between 1 and 30 also activates the Wow & Flutter knob which gives you the irregularities in the playback speed of analog recordings.
  • Magnetic Tape Color: When the Reel Speed knob is set to DASH, this engages the original Magnetic Tape-Color sound. Any other Reel Speed Knob setting allows you to select between different Tape Model modes, including Magnetic.

Magnetic 2 is available to purchase for the introductory price of $79 USD. The upgrade from Magnetic v1.x is $20 USD for a limited time.

More information: Nomad Factory / Magnetic 2

No Dough Music releases NDS-1X Taped Drums & Perc

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No Dough Music has announced the release of NDS-1X Taped Drums & Perc, a selection of taped drums and percussion taken from the NDS-1 sample library.

No Dough Music NDS-1X Taped Drums & Perc

Offering a broad selection of tonal characteristics for each sound, this pack puts into your hands the sounds of some of the most enduring & sought-after outboard equipment including Studer 1/4 Tape Machines, SSL Compressors and custom built Outboard EQ in specially designed and tweaked chains. A expertly crafted set of drums with the sole aim of adding a musicality to your sound that’s often missing, or hard to get in the box.

All the patches are organised for various samplers for ease of use, NDS-1X makes full use of all the tools and technology that allow the modern producer the ability to concentrate on writing great music with unique and cutting edge results that may otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

NDS-1X Taped Drums & Perc features

  • 4000+ samples, including Kick Drums, Claps, Snares, Hats & Cymbals, Drums & Percussion.
  • Each sound has 2 analogue tape variations.
  • Samples were processed through chains of high-end outboard and classic Studer A800 & Revox machines.
  • Includes custom instruments for Kontakt 4.
  • Sampler patches for Kontakt, Logics EXS24, Reasons NNXT and special patches for import into Ableton are also included.

NDS-1X Taped Drums & Perc is available to purchase for £19.99 GBP.

More information: No Dough Music

Universal Audio releases Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder plug-in for UAD-2

Universal Audio has announced the released of the Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In, a faithful emulation of the Ampex ATR-102 Tape Recorder for the UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins platform.

Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In

For more than three decades, the two-channel Ampex ATR-102 Tape Recorder has turned music recordings into records. The perfect complement to the workhorse Studer® A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In, the officially sanctioned ATR-102 plug-in provides the final, cohesive analog polish and punch for any in-the-box mastering session, without the ongoing maintenance and calibration of a physical tape machine.

Impeccably developed over a nine-month period in the renowned UAD engineering tradition — and incorporating presets from noted ATR-102 users Chuck Ainlay, Richard Dodd, Buddy Miller, and Mike Poole — the ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In faithfully replicates the unique dynamics, frequency response, and saturation characteristics of the original hardware. Scrutinized and fully authenticated by Ampex Corporation, the sound of the ATR-102 plug-in for UAD-2 is virtually indistinguishable from its analog cousin.

ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In features

  • Ampex®-authenticated plug-in emulation of the ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder — the most popular professional 2-track machine ever made.
  • Provides rich, cohesive tape sound, without the hassles of calibration, maintenance, tape degradation, etc..
  • Adjustable (L/R) Tape Delay, Wow, Flutter, and Crosstalk.
  • Requires a UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card available from authorized dealers worldwide.
  • Models entire ATR-102 electronic path, including transformers, amplifiers, Input, Record. and Repro paths.
  • Featuring multiple Tape Formulas and Calibration Levels for mix down.
  • Independent L/R Input Gain (Record) and Output (Reproduce) Level.
  • IPS Speed/Emphasis Curve chooses between 3.75 NAB, 7.5 NAB, 7.5 CCIR, 15 NAB, 15 CCIR, 30 AES.
  • Independent L/R record Bias, Record EQ, and Playback EQs, with Auto and Manual Cal capabilities.

The Ampex ATR-102 Tape Recorder Plug-In is available to purchase in UA’s Online Store for $349 USD.

The Ampex ATR-102 Tape Recorder Plug-In is available as part of the new UAD Software v6.0 release. In addition to the Ampex ATR-102 plug-in, v6.0 includes the release of the Brainworx® bx_digital V2 EQ and SPL® Vitalizer MK2-T direct developer plug-ins, as well as highly anticipated Pro Tools compatibility enhancements and Mac OS X Lion support.

More information: Universal Audio / Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In

Review: No Dough Music NDS-1 House Music Sample Pack

Music label No Dough was originally launched by Antonio Monllor (aka Towie), as an outlet for his music. After a 2009 re-launch with fellow producer and friend Matt Sargeant (aka Broken), the label grew into a larger community, supporting a roster of artists producing and performing in various genres.

No Dough Music NDS-1 House Music

With NDS-1 House Music, No Dough takes the next step into sample library development.

The first in our Premium range of Sample-Packs for the Professional Producer, NDS-1′s extensive collection of samples offers the highest levels of quality and workability bringing together great tones in an instantly usable way.

Clever and user-friendly features such as Kontakt4 custom front-ends and the addition of midi files for all loop compositions are built-in to this high-end pack meaning your music will benefit from the quality, sought after sounds of the best equipment enabling you to concentrate on what matters most when composing … creativity.

NDS-1 House Music includes over 7,000 samples in total.
Here’s a breakdown of the content:

  • Drums & Percussion – over 4,000 samples in various folders/categories (kick drums, claps, snares, hats & cymbals, drums & percussion, and fx). Each sample has 4 recording variations: two analog tape machines (Studer A800 & Revox), an MPC, and the original, all recorded through a chain of high-end outboard processing units.
  • Loops & Progressions – includes 185 .wav loops, 178 REX2 loops, and 66 MIDI files. These are bassline and synth loops, no beats.
  • Synth & Bass Instruments – 63 multi-sampled instrument patches for Kontakt. Sound sources used include Roland’s Juno 60, Alpha Juno and Jx3p synths, and Oberheim synthesizers.

The single shot samples feature a good assortment of generally well recorded and useable drum sounds. By recording with different techniques you get slight variations, sounding a tad more muffled, or louder/driven, etc. The recordings are not always consistent, in that some of the sounds have a lot more tail than others.

Interestingly enough the drum sounds are all in stereo, and even though many samples are basically mono on a stereo track, for some of the samples the stereo field is quite apparent, underpinned by the use of reverb in the signal chain. Some of the samples in the hats & cymbals section – the crashes in particular, have so much juice on them it really makes it hard to fit them in your mix as is. Fortunately the majority of the samples don’t have this problem.

Loops come in bassline and synth folders, plus REX versions. Files are tempo and key tagged for ease of use (110-120 bpm for bass, and 105-124 bpm for synth). You also get 66 MIDI files in case you want to reconstruct or modify the melody of a particular loop. Some of the loops have similar titles across bass and synth folders, nevertheless this is no construction kit type library. NDS-1 provides a bunch of fine-sounding loops for you to work with, but there’s no connecting the dots here.

No Dough NDS-1 Kontakt patches

The last folder in this library features 63 patches for Kontakt (note that EXS24, NN-XT, and SoundFont versions are also available). Here we find lots of great multi-sampled bass and synth instruments, as well as some leads, strings, and a few piano instruments. The general tone is vintage, fat and lush.

When I first received the library the instruments didn’t have loop points, quite an essential feature if you ask me. I contacted Matt of No Dough to see what was up and it seemed this issue was due to a glitch that occurred when creating the patches from a different source format.
The same day I received updated patches with loop points (which are now also included in the online product). Note that the loop points still aren’t always perfect but I expect this, it’s real hard to create good seamless loops from sampled analog gear.

I ran into some other small problems like a missing background image for Kontakt instruments, but it only took a quick email to get things fixed so support from No Dough has been great so far.

Check the audio demos below to get a good idea of what you can expect from NDS-1.

So what do I think?

Product: NDS-1 House Music by No Dough
Format: 24-bit WAV/REX2 + MIDI
Price: £39.99 GBP
Like: All-round, Good sounds and Kontakt patches, great support
Don’t like: Some minor technical hiccups (got fixed fast though)
Verdict: 8/10

NDS-1 certainly has a bit of a house music flavor to it – especially in the loops section, however the sounds in this library will do fine for any kind of electronic genre really.

Comprising single shot drum samples, melodic loops, as well as the building blocks to take it your own direction with MIDI files and sampler patches, NDS-1 House Music offers a nice all-round pack of good quality sounds for electronic music producers.

No Dough is relatively a small-time developer, which may explain some of the small problems I experienced with design & consistency of the production of this pack. On the other hand I am seeing blazing fast support, something some of the big guys can learn from. Everything considered NDS-1 has plenty to offer, particularly when it comes to musicality. You can hear this sample library is a labor of love, done by producers, for producers.

No Dough is generously offering readers a £10 GBP discount on NDS-1 for a limited time (£29.99 instead of £39.99), so if you’re interested make sure to check it out.

More information: No Dough Music NDS-1 House Music

Freshtone Lost Tapes Vol 1 now available from Time+Space

Freshtone Lost Tapes Vol 1

Time+Space have announced a new partnership with UK sample library developers Freshtone.

Freshtone Samples features the work of producer musicians Matthew Corbett and Mike Wilkie who are best known in the world of samples for their work with Zero-G, including ‘Sounds of the Seventies’, ‘Vocal Forge’ and ‘Vocal Foundry’ which were all released to critical acclaim. They are also successful Film, TV and Production music writers with their tracks having been featured on many hundreds of productions around the world.

Time+Space has been appointed as the official worldwide distributor of Freshtone’s sample libraries and are pleased to announce the first release – Lost Tapes Vol 1 – which is available now as a DVD or download.

Lost Tapes Vol 1 features

  • 43 Funk and Soul construction kits, all recorded to tape using only mics, instruments and equipment from the sixties and seventies.
  • In WAV, Aiff, Acid WAV and Rex 2 format, Lost Tapes was recorded in a unique environment.
  • The tracks were played on a wide range of sixties instruments from legendary manufacturers such as Burns, Baldwin and Dan Electro into vintage Selmer and Vox amplification.
  • Premier and Ludwig kits also from that decade were recorded using a selection of rare ribbon mics and old tone wheel Hammond B3 and A100 organs further evoke the past. All tracks were recorded onto an old Studer 1” tape machine via an EMI Redd desk which once resided in the famous Decca Studios.

The Freshtone Lost Tapes Vol 1 is now available from Time+Space for RRP £39.95 GBP / 47.95 EUR / $63.95 USD.

More information: Time+Space

Wave Alchemy releases Syncussion Drums, sample library featuring Pearl Syncussion SY-1

Wave Alchemy Syncussion Drums

Wave Alchemy has announced the release of Syncussion Drums, a collection of electronic drum samples from the extremely rare Pearl Syncussion SY-1 analogue drum synthesizer.

With careful programming the Syncussion SY-1 is capable of producing a huge palette of percussive sounds, powerful kicks and experimental sound effects which have a unique vintage character inherent to its quirky design and seriously raw sounding oscillators.

Wave Alchemy Syncussion Drums supplies forward-thinking producers with a unique collection of vintage electronic drum samples combined with up-to-the-minute processed drum hits to inspire your latest music productions, whatever style or genre of music you produce.

Syncussion Drums features

  • 1885 24-bit 100% royalty free electronic drum hits!
  • 839 drum sounds recorded to 1/4” tape via a Studer A80 Mk1 tape machine.
  • 162 unprocessed kick drum samples including cone-melting subs, snappy clicks and enormous bass drums.
  • 74 beautifully processed kick drum sounds making use of our extensive outboard collection.
  • 16 creatively layered kicks and huge subs.
  • 148 carefully recorded round robin sample variations.
  • 158 percussion hits and wired tones.
  • 134 blips, glitch and creative noise hits.
  • 71 gritty SP-12 drum sounds including twisted percussion and lo-fi hits.
  • 95 tom samples covering deep to disco and everything in between.
  • 48 stereo and searing SFX sounds.
  • 104 additional layered snare drum and hi hat samples. Snares and hats are not the Syncussion’s strongest point so we decided to include a huge bonus collection of punchy snares and silky hats which make use our full gear list.
  • 63 ‘ready to play’ and carefully mapped drum kits including sampler patches for Battery, Kontakt, NI Maschine, Reason NNXT, Halion, EXS24 and SFZ.
  • Ableton Live 7+ Pack including 57 Drum Racks and 63 Sampler Instruments.
  • 6 multi patch arrays, each offered in a variety of key labelled pitches and designed to be played as musical patches.
  • 6 Page Syncussion Drums Booklet about the history of the instrument and the making of the library. Download Here.

Syncussion Drums is available to purchase for £19.95 GBP.

Purchase Syncussion Drums during April 2011 and receive a free drum sample pack which includes 318 Roland TR-808 drum sounds which have been recorded to analogue tape at 3 different saturation levels!

More information: Wave Alchemy / Syncussion Drums

Universal Audio announces UAD-2 Satellite DUO and QUAD Firewire DSP Accelerator Packages

Universal Audio has announced the impending release of UAD-2 Satellite DUO and QUAD Firewire DSP Accelerator Packages.

UAD-2 Satellite

As the newest members of UA’s UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins platform, the UAD-2 Satellite family combines DSP acceleration with the plug-and-play simplicity of Firewire 800/400 – perfect for modern, Intel-based iMacs and MacBook Pros.

UAD-2 SatelliteThe UAD-2 Satellite puts the entire UAD Powered Plug-Ins library within easy reach of Firewire 800 and 400-equipped computers; no PCIe card installation required. In developing these UAD plug-ins, UA’s DSP engineers work with leading hardware manufacturers – including Roland, Neve, Studer, dbx, Solid State Logic, Lexicon, Manley, Empirical Labs, Trident, SPL, EMT and more – using their exact schematics, golden units, and experienced ears. This gives computer-based musicians and engineers the warmth and harmonics of classic analog recordings, wherever they mix.

Available in DUO or QUAD processor format (with either two or four Analog Devices SHARC processors, respectively), UAD-2 Satellite packages provide a processing “boost” for digital audio workstations, and include a selection of classic analog emulation plug-ins, right out of the box.

Notable UAD-2 Satellite features include:

  • Access the UAD Powered Plug-Ins library on select Firewire 800 and 400 equipped computers.
  • Compatible with a wide range of modern Intel-based iMacs and MacBook Pros.
  • Run larger mixes in Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Performer and more – without taxing host computer CPU.
  • 5 models to choose from:
    • DUO (Core).
    • DUO Flexi (w/ $500 Plug-In Voucher).
    • QUAD (Core).
    • QUAD Flexi (w/ $500 Plug-In Voucher).
    • QUAD Omni v5.7 (w/ 50 UAD plug-ins).

The complete line of UAD-2 Satellite DSP Accelerators is slated for a Q1 2011 release with prices starting at $899 MAP USD.

More information: Universal Audio