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Arturia releases VOX Continental V organ instrument

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Arturia has announced the release of VOX Continental V, a vintage keyboard recreation, bringing back the classic sound of the famous VOX Continental 300.

Arturia Vox Continental 300

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). Introduced in 1962, the VOX Continental — or ‘Connie’ as affectionately it became known — was originally designed to address the needs of touring musicians, but became musically much-loved in its own right. As such, it prominently featured on many hit records of the time, including The Animals’ classic ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ in 1964 and, a little later, ‘Light My Fire’ by The Doors. Onstage, The Beatles performed a memorably frenzied version of ‘Help!’ B-side ‘I’m Down’ during their August 1965 performance at New York’s Shea Stadium with John Lennon playing a VOX Continental using his elbows at times!

Despite being phased out of production in the early-Seventies, the VOX Continental has stood the test of time, too, playing a pivotal part in generating many of the distinctive keyboard sounds supporting later musical genres, including almost everything ever recorded by British Ska revivalists Madness, as well as New Wavers like Elvis Costello and The Attractions and American counterparts Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. However, VOX organs have become increasingly difficult to acquire due to the high prices that they can command, compounded by the limited supply of working units. Today, VOX Continental-V gives contemporary, computer-based musicians instant access to those same hit-making sounds of yesteryear, and much more besides — and all without breaking the bank!

VOX Continental V features

  • Physical Modeling of the VOX Continental 300.
  • Added models of the ultra rare Jennings J70.
  • Extended mode allows for more controls and more sound possibilities.
  • Includes classic stompbox-type modeled effects.
  • Modeled Guitar Tube Amp and Rotary Speaker outputs for vintage live sound.
  • Extensive MIDI mapping of pedals, effects and sound engine parameters.
  • Modeled amplifiers: Fender Deluxe Reverb Blackface, Fender Twin Reverb Blackface, Fender Bassman, Marshall Plexi, Leslie Speaker.
  • Modeled microphones: Shure SM57, Sennheiser MD 421, Neumann U 87.
  • Convolution reverb with custom classic spring reverbs.

The Vox Continental V is available for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/AAX/Standalone) for $99 USD/99 EUR (download) / $129 USD/119 EUR (boxed).

More information: Arturia / VOX Continental V

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Spitfire releases PP010 – Rare Groove Piano

Spitfire Rare Groove Piano

Spitfire Audio has launched Rare Groove Piano, a new sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.

If rare groove is your bag, this vintage and super primitive Vox electric piano, finger bass and electro-harpsichord will be a vital addition to your funk arsenal.

This 1960′s electric piano has been given a total Spitfire “once-over” (608 groups, 19638 zones, 8940 samples, 25065 seconds / 418 minutes / 7.0 hours, 6880 mb / 6.72 gb!!) with us deep sampling the unit to give you as close a replication of its sound possible via the finest Neve Pre-Amps and Cranesong AD converters. Alongside a host of additional signal paths via rarefied vintage outboard that fit with the style of the instrument.

As the Vox E.P. doesn’t sound the same every time play it, we have painstakingly recorded it with numerous round robins. We have isolated each sound; first the piano, then the harpsichord and finally the bass. We then scripted a mixer that behaves just as it does on the instrument itself. Mix and blend the Harpsichord and Piano, or switch in the Bass to play in split keyboard mode, which you can then mix and blend.

We have modelled the vibrato found on the instrument and have given you both intensity and speed controls for this.

Vintage outboard signal paths include a Telefunken Spring Reverb, a Roland Dimension D specially shipped from Japan, re-amping into a marshall JV combi series via fine BBC Coles ribbon mics, and the modern classic that is the Thermionic Culture Vulture.

The library is available for purchase for the introductory price of £20 until July 1st, 2014 (regular £25 GBP).

More information: Spitfire / Rare Groove Piano

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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