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Arturia intros VOX Continental-V virtual organ instrument

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Arturia has introduced VOX Continental-V, a virtual instrument emulation of the vintage Vox Continental 300 organ.

Arturia VOX Continental-V

As a high-end software recreation of the Sixties-vintage Vox Continental 300 transistor-based combo organ, VOX Continental-V is the latest addition to Arturia’s acclaimed Analog Classics lineup where it sits alongside an authentic recreation of another archetypal Sixties staple, Wurlitzer-V (based on the classic ‘Wurly’ electric piano).

Like the transcontinental history of the original Vox Continental, the road to creating VOX Continental-V was a long and winding affair. Arturia started its latest software developmental journey in the company of a rare Vox Continental 300 dual-manual model, capturing every nuance of the original right down to key contact timing and background noises — no elbows needed! Next, Arturia acquired a rare Jennings J70 — developer Tom Jennings’ Vox organ forerunner — and added a J70 Mode to the VOX Continental-V voice engine. End users have effectively ended up with two ultra-rare organs for the price of one as a result — with more tones to play with, which musically is a good thing to have!

The end result is surely the most authentic dual-manual Vox Continental 300 emulation that money can buy. Notable VOX Continental-V features include upper manual, lower manual, and bass pedal sections; multiple output effects processors; and independent channels per manual. Moreover, Expanded Mode adds a full compliment of drawbars for each harmonic; a new waveform drawbar on each section; several popular effects; Leslie™ and guitar amp simulator outputs; and an expanded percussion section. Similarly, Services Mode allows for individual tuning of each pitch — just like an original Vox; alterable key contact timing (to simulate older key contacts); and authentic background noise bleed control.

VOX Continental-V for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/AAX/Standalone) will be available in late April, priced at 119 EUR / $129 USD.

More information: Arturia

Martinic updates Combo Model V & F free organ instruments

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Martinic Combo Model V

Martinic has updated its Combo Model V and Combo Model F organ combo plug-ins to version 1.3.0 and 1.2.0 respectively.

Changes in Combo Model V/F

  • Added reverb.
  • Added guitar cabinet simulation.
  • Added extend vibrato speed range switch.
  • Added prompt for file when loading/saving MIDI map.
  • Added load default tuning.
  • Added mouse wheel support to on/off switches.

Both combo organ plug-ins are available to download for Windows and Mac (VST/AU) free of charge.

More information: Martinic

Sweetwater announces GearFest Mixing Contest

GearFest Mixing Contest

Sweetwater has announced the GearFest Mixing Contest, its largest audio mixing contest in collaboration with pureMix, offering participants the chance to win over $18 000 worth of high end audio equipment.

Sweetwater and pureMix.net are proud to announce that they have partnered together to organise the most exciting mixing contest ever seen on the web. Participants can register for FREE and download the raw tracks from famous artist Liza Colby and do their own mix. The winners will win amazing prizes donated by Dangerous Music, Focal Professional, Universal Audio, Blue Microphones, Presonus, Lauten Audio, Vovox and Sweetwater. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it ?

The tracks for mixing the best sounding version of Liza Colby Sound’s song ‘Oh Baby’ are actually downloadable at pureMix. The contest is FREE and is sponsored by Dangerous Music, Focal Professional, Universal Audio, Blue Microphones, Presonus, Lauten Audio, Vovox and Sweetwater.

Tracked live on stage in front of a rapt audience at Sweetwater’s GearFest 2012, “Oh Baby” is a raw gem that will let contestants really prove their mixing skills. The contest is completely platform independent : any DAW, any platform is welcome. The pureMix team and Fab Dupont will pick out the 16 winners for the 16 prizes. Judges will focus on mixing skills and “taste” to pick the winners, not what equipment was used.

Contest instructions are available at pureMix after a FREE registration. Contestants can also watch grammy nominated producer/Engineer Fab Dupont in a free video showing how the hit was recorded, with a detailed step-by-step explanation.

The mixing challenge runs until June 1st, 2013. Winners will be announced at Sweetwater’s GearFest 2013 on June 21st, contacted via email and announced on pureMix.net homepage.

More information: GearFest Mixing Contest

Martinic updates Combo Model V & F free organ plugins

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Martinic has released updates for its Combo Model V and Combo Model F free combo organ instrument plugins for Windows and Mac.

Martinic Combo Model F
The Combo Model F is modeled after the Farfisa Mini Deluxe Compact.

Changes in Combo Model V v1.2.1

  • Added 2-channel switch, which splits flute/reed or bass/treble output.
  • Fixed slightly irregular values when reacting to MSB/LSB CCs.

Changes in Combo Model F v1.1.1

  • Added 2-channel switch, which splits bass/treble output.
  • Added pitch wheel MIDI learn support for all tabs.
  • Fixed MIDI learning high-resolution CCs.
  • Fixed slightly irregular values when reacting to MSB/LSB CCs.
  • When changing MIDI channel turn all notes off.
  • [Windows] Slightly improved audio performance.

Both plug-ins are available for Windows and Mac (VST/AU) at no cost.

More information: Martinic

Hollow Sun updates Freepacks for Kontakt

Hollow Sun has announced it has updated its Freepacks sample libraries for Native Instruments Kontakt.

Hollow Sun SQ Strings
Freepacks includes the SQ Strings lush analogue string sound from the Ensoniq SQ80.

Amongst them, you’ll find THE PolyMoog Keyboard 280e ‘Vox Humana’ (THE sound used on Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’), Polymoog Strings I and II, various pads, Ensoniq SQ80 strings, Buddhist instruments, Novachord, Speak & Spell and Novation BassStation…

These raise the ante as to what expect of a freebie with sumptuous GUIs and flexibility one doesn’t even get from some ‘payware’ Kontakt products – an LFO, multimode/dual slope filter, dual envelopes for a great deal of synthesis flexibility plus chorus > flange/phase shifter > stereo/mono echo into convolution reverb with custom impulses multiFX all in an an easy to use and compact panel. They come with documentation and many with preset variations. There are some simpler Kontakt 3.5 freebies too. And they are all free for you to enjoy.

These are not compromised or crippled in any way – all perfectly looped and totally and professionally usable. My thanks (as always) to Mario/Evil Dragon of this parish for his masterful scripting.

Why? Well, we believe in bringing quality sounds at affordable prices and you don’t get cheaper than free. Also, it gives a taster of what’s on offer and what we get up to here at HS Towers. We do ok out of this business so it’s nice to give a bit back. And yes, if these entice some to put their hands in their pockets and buy some stuff, so much the better.

The Freepacks libraries are available to download at no cost. Requires Kontakt 4.2.4 or higher, full version.

More information: Hollow Sun / Freepacks

Vox announces JamVOX III

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Vox has announced JamVOX III, a jam and practice tool for guitar.

Vox JamVOX III

This stand-alone software package brings together the best of VOX amp & effect modeling along with advanced Guitar XTraktion technology (GXT III) and popular plug-in compatibility. Announcing JamVOX III, the ultimate performance studio for the guitarist.

JamVOX has been newly reborn as the “JamVOX III” stand-alone software. Offering dramatically evolved features plus an even more sophisticated GXT function – the new GXT III – JamVOX III provides significantly more precision and operability. There’s also an even easier-to-use interface, and a movie recording function, making JamVOX III the ideal choice for enjoyably playing your guitar, learning songs by ear, practicing, or producing music.

JamVOX III features

  • Mac or PC compatible Guitar Studio software.
  • Drag & Drop interface allows quick creation of a customized rig.
  • 19 Amp models, from vintage to high-gain
    • Virtual Valve Reactor delivers spot-on recreations of the original amp design.
  • 12 Speaker cabinet models; combine your favorite amp & cabinet.
  • 57 Effect models accurately emulate the originals
    • 18 Pedal type effects (Compressor, Wah, etc.).
    • 12 Modulation style effects (Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, etc.).
    • 11 Delay effects, including modeled analog tape echo, multi-head delay, etc..
    • 15 Reverb type effects plus Noise Reduction.
  • GXT III Guitar XTraktion removes (or isolates) the guitar from nearly any recording; allowing performers to play along in place of their guitar heroes.
  • Improved full-screen interface.
  • Access to JamVOX-online.com.
  • Movie Recording mode for critiquing your own practice sessions.
  • Plug-in (AU, VST) abilities; 64-Bit native support.

JamVOX III will be released in April, 2012, for the introductory price of $49.99 USD until May 31, 2012 (regular MSRP $99.99 USD). Current users of JamVOX can update at no charge using the JamVOX software’s auto update function or via JamVOX-Online.com.

More information: Vox / JamVOX

Vox introduces Lil’ Looper

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Vox has announced the Lil’ Looper, a looper multi-effect pedal.

Vox Lil’ Looper

Combining two independent loops with a dozen onboard effects, the VOX Lil’ Looper shares many of the winning features of the VOX Dynamic Looper.

The easy-to-use design, solid footswitches, versatile effects, and layering loops are ideal for guitarists who want to break new ground in looped performances or who seeks new expressive power. Lil’ Looper offers the additional convenience of being compact, lightweight, and battery operated. A balanced Mic input allows any mic’ed instrument – or even a vocalist – to enjoy the sonic power of the Lil’ Looper right away!

Lil’ Looper features

  • Intuitive dual pedal design.
  • Record for a total of 90 seconds on two independent loops.
  • Overdubbing with Undo/Redo.
  • Add infinite layers with SOS recording capabilities.
  • Loop Quantize:
    • Creates phrases that automatically loop on the beat
    • Sync two loops to the same tempo
  • 12 Effects:
    • Pedal: Comp, Crunch, Overdrive, Distortion
    • Modulation: Chorus, Phaser, Mod Delay; Stutter
    • Simulation: Acoustic, Bass, Radio, Pitch
  • Built-in metronome/rhythm guide.
  • Headphone output with metronome only mode.
  • Switch between Guitar input & Balanced Mic (1/4″) input.
  • Battery power (AA x 6) or optional AC power adapter.
  • Optional VFS2 can turn effects on/off, stops loops, or erase a phrase.

More information: Vox / Lil’ Looper

Bob Leggitt releases Classic-H and Skanksta organ plugins

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Bob Leggitt has released Classic-H and Skanksta, two free virtual organ instruments for Windows.

Bob Leggitt Classic-H

The Classic-H provides the essence of an old tonewheel organ within the VST environment. This VSTi captures the distinctive personality of a classic Hammond/Leslie combination, as well as simulating twin manual operation across a single MIDI keyboard, using a variable key-split function.

Thirty extremely cool presets provide a jumping-off point for almost every type of music, from the ‘Full Throb’ of old time soul to the screaming distortion of Deep Purple-type rock. It does gobble CPU, but it has the sounds, and it doesn’t cost a penny.

Bob Leggitt The Skanksta

The Skanksta is a ska-orientated VST organ, designed to produce a light and bright sound which will fit in well with quite a number of quirky and/or rhythmic music styles.

It’s essentially a Vox Continental II with animation provided by a rotary speaker rather than a vibrato unit, and selectable key-splitting to simulate two manuals across a single MIDI keyboard. The key-splitting is particularly important for reggae-derived styles, where the left hand part will typically contrast sharply in tone with the right hand.

Classic-H and Skanksta are available to download as freeware VST instrument plugins for Windows.

More information: Classic-H / FreeST Skanksta