Waveformless Soundware has annnounced the release of Expanse, a soundset for the SEM-V software synthesizer by Arturia.
128 brand new patches that skirt the line between total retro and futuristic sounds. All the expected tyoes id sounds are here – punchy basses, searing leads, warm pads, intricate arps – but we don’t stop there!
We take the SEM-V beyond the expected and deliver unusual sounds… a metallic koto, modular-type synth sounds, a piano. This is a soundset that truly takes the SEM-V into new territories!
Waveformless Soundware has announced the release of Encompass, a soundset for Omnisphere by Spectrasonics.
True to its name, Encompass covers a wide range of sonic territory from convincing vintage and eighties synths, to punchy synth basses, to cinematic pads, to warped textures, to pulsing gates, to soaring arps, and even electronic drums.
A common complaint we hear about the presets that ship with Omnisphere is that a lot of them sound amazing, but are hard to actually use in a full arrangement. Encompass was programmed with this in mind, aiming to provide sounds you’ll actually want to use in your songs. And speaking of programming, the mod wheel modulates something on every patch allowing you to transform the sounds as you play.
Encompass features 128 sounds for Omnisphere. The soundset is available to purchase for $9.99 USD.
AfroDJMac celebrates 6 months of free Ableton Live Racks with SQ-80 Hush, the 26th download in the series.
A big reason I do this is to meet new people and share ideas and music with people I would otherwise have no way of reaching; I thought that this 26th Ableton Rack should reflect that.
One great soldier of information in the electronic music community is Tom who writes the blog Waveformless. The motto of the site is a “Freeform discussion of electronic music and the techniques and gear used in making it.” I highly recommend checking it out and exploring the vast information from synthesizer news to free sample Fridays. This weeks Free Ableton Live Rack was created using some of Tom’s free samples. Thanks to Tom for sharing these samples and letting me rack them up for everybody’s enjoyment!
The SQ-80 Hush Live Rack is available as a free download from AfroDJMac.
Regular rekkerd readers will likely recognize the name Tom Shear. I frequently post links to Tom’s excellent blog Waveformless, where he shares tons of tips and tricks, ebay finds, free sample packs and more.
A few months ago saw the launch of Waveformless Soundware, a site where Tom shows his expertise in sound design by – to quote the website, providing high quality presets for popular softsynths at extremely reasonable prices.
After releasing a soundset for reFX Vanguard, Waveformless Soundware’s second title is Dune Spiceflow, a collection of 128 presets for the Dune virtual synthesizer by Synapse Audio.
Packed with musically useful sounds perfect for electrohouse, trance, dubstep, EBM and more. Thundering basses, scorching leads, widescreen pads, evolving arps, wavetable and wave sequenced sounds, useful effects, punchy drums – this is a soundset that covers all the bases for electronic musicians looking for inspiring new sounds.
Check the demo tracks below to get an idea of the kind of sounds included in this soundset. Note that all sounds in these demos (including the drums) are from the Dune Spiceflow set.
If you like what you just heard you should probably just skip the rest of this review and go buy the set. Really.
In detail, Dune Spiceflow includes 18 arps, 23 basses, 6 chords, 8 drums, 3 keys, 20 leads, 18 pads, 6 sound fx, and 26 synth sounds.
The soundset takes advantage of Dune’s category tagging feature to assist you in finding specific types of sounds. Many patches also have patch information detailing modwheel assignment and general info on what the sound is all about.
I took some of my favorite patches from the set and created a few loops with them. Everything you hear is Spiceflow, no effects used.
If you like these loops you can download them here.
So what do I think?
Product: Waveformless DUNE Spiceflow Format: fxp/fxb patches Price: $9.99 USD Like: usable and inspiring sounds, use of modwheel, low price Don’t like: – Verdict: 8/10
My first impression of Spiceflow is very positive. There is lots of material in this bank that suits my music. I don’t consider my tunes to fit into electrohouse, trance, dubstep, or EBM genres, so “and more” is rightfully denoted on the product page.
To be honest, I am not likely to ever use patches like the drum hit sounds, but they do demonstrate the overall sound design quality and variety of this set. Spiceflow does a good job balancing both classic and more modern sounds. I am most excited about the pads, chords and keys. The whole set feels like a collection of handpicked favorites from a private stash of “best of” sounds.
This is my Waveformless soundset, but I think I already recognize a signature sound. Even when working with a synthesizer that is relatively easy to program (such as Dune), you are not likely to come up with the exact same sounds. For me, new patches are an opportunity to get inspired and I often let sounds direct the development of a track. Spiceflow is certainly going to serve me well in this respect.
In short, priced at just under 10 dollars, Dune Spiceflow offers incredible value for money. I reckon it is a worthwhile soundset for any Dune user.
Waveformless-Soundware has released DUNE Spiceflow, a new soundset for the Dune virtual synthesizer by Synapse Audio.
Consisting of 128 brand new presets for Synapse Audio’s DUNE synth. Packed with musically useful sounds perfect for electrohouse, trance, dubstep, EBM and more.
Thundering basses, scorching leads, widescreen pads, evolving arps, wavetable and wave sequenced sounds, useful effects, punchy drums – this is a soundset that covers all the bases for electronic musicians looking for inspiring new sounds.
Includes full documentation, and 128 sounds both as a bank (‘fxb format) and as single sounds (.fxp format)
DUNE Spiceflow is available to purchase for $9.99 USD.
Number stations, making their appearance in the post-war radio landscape, were shortwave radio stations of streams of symbols, mysterious to their listeners and apparently code.
Here, the idea of lost and indecipherable broadcasts inspires a wonderfully-varied collection of reflective artists, in a free, Creative-Commons licensed compilation by PublicSpaces Lab. That Barcelona-based netlabel has been reliably curating some of the smartest, most forward-thinking music collections around. This time, the artists are impressive not only in their output but in their range of backgrounds and extra-musical sources of inspiration.
Instructables user capricorn1 shows how to create your own antique light bulb organ to add nostalgic ambiance to any midi instrument.
12 light bulbs correspond to the 12 notes in an octave (minus the octave note). The rectangular box unfolds to position the light bulbs vertically for display, while at the same time providing a platform for the keyboard in use. Playing a note on the keyboard directly via midi, or through the usb port illuminates the light bulb for a particular key. Releasing the note, releases the key. Pedal presses are also recognized and keep the bulb maintained. The bulbs can be controlled without a computer by using the front mounted midi port, or via computer which allows for remote control via midi or osc messages.
Peter Kirn rounds up some music making tools that take the circular approach.
There’s no reason apart from the printed score to assume music has to be divided into grids laid on rectangles. Even the “piano roll” as a concept began as just that – a roll. Cycles the world around, from a mechanical clock to Indonesian gamelan, can be thought of in circles.
Imagine an alternate universe in which Raymond Scott’s circle machine – a great, mechanical disc capable of sequencing sounds – became the dominant paradigm. We might have circles everywhere, in place of left-to-right timelines now common in media software. Regardless, it’s very likely Scott’s invention inspired Bob Moog’s own modular sequencers; it was almost certainly the young Moog’s exposure to the inventions in Scott’s basement that prompted that inventor to go into the electronic music business, thus setting the course for music technology as we know it.
Get more out of your Launchpad + Ableton combination.
The aurex sequencers for the Novation Launchpad are devices and tools to compose, sequence, alter and remix music within Ableton Live. You don't need M4L / Bome / … to use them, just make sure you have a Launchpad and Live 8.1.3 or higher.
Owing to the Arcophone Mk I being stuck somewhere on the Nullabor owing to damage to train tracks from the recent rains.
As we had a gig at Scitech we needed a new Arcophone, using the prototype batch of v1.2 coil drivers, Brett, Simon & Daniel spent the better part of the last week building the Arcophone Mk II. The case was designed and cut by Simon Kirkby and the electronics designed and assembled by Brett Downing and Daniel Harmsworth.
“Gem Drops” is a rich, varied compilation covering “experimental electronic hip-hop inspired” music, with artists such as Anenon, yuk., Juj, Devonwho, Shigeto, and Sumsun. The 21 tracks were selected by curator Aaron Meola. It’s the sixth release from the collective Dropping Gems, and 100% of revenue will go to the American Cancer Society.
Pay what you want for the download; a “very limited” run of handmade CDs with artwork will go to people who donate US $15 or more.
Turning data strings like DNA and what-not into audio can produce interesting results. YouTube user r2blend says, "If you import an EXE file into an audio program as audio data, you hear all kinds of cool stuff. The most awesome by far for me was MS Paint." Fisco130 then made a club remix of the MS Paint data audio. Wonder if any scans of great works of art contain secret music? Does malware translate to sad trombone sound, or Rick Astley?
If you haven't checked it out yet, head on over to the Programming Tips section of the Waveformless-Soundware site for 10 random programming tips on programming your own sounds for ReFX Vanguard.
The plan is to post programming tips for different softsynths as I release new soundsets. And yes, I am hard at work on the next release. No idea when it will be done. I'd rather get it right then get it out right now.
This EMS Putney came into my hands when I purchased it from Iowa City South East Junior High School in 1997. It is one of the unique artifacts of electronic music. The Putney & it’s close relative, the attache-case-housed Synthi, were workhorse synths at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and was a favorite of musicians like Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, and other Space Rock bands of the 70s.
It’s sonic character derives in large part from the cheapness of the design and construction. Moog Synthesizers were laboratory grade audio equipment; the Putney is cheap and difficult to use in a traditional musical context. And yet it was seductive. It’s limitations and imperfections enlarged musican’s ideas of what sounds could be musical.
Delia Derbyshire was one of the pioneers of electronic music during and after her tenure at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She was both a gifted composer and an audacious and precise engineer. Since seeing her in documentaries, and hearing her music I’m both awed by her and have a synth-geek’s crush on her. She was on my mind as I recorded these pieces, and I dedicate them to her memory.
The 5 parts of this piece were recorded in one evening, with no editing or overdubbing. The Putney was plugged into the Stereo Memory Man pedal, and the pedal was plugged into my computer.
The only post processing applied was normalization. These recordings are as close to the original, raw sound of the instrument as I could make them.
Tracks like a zombie, but kicks like a mule – my first taste of yellow.
As Metasonix own video makes hilariously clear, you're never going to play Switched on Bach with the R54. Feed the Supermodule with the appropriate combination of CVs, however, and you can coax deep drums, watery plops, rubber basslines and tortured-animal sounds from this unruly, tube-based VCF/ VCO.
What can a new digital synth be in 2011? How will it work and sound? And given access to so many excellent tools, how can it stand apart?
In place of a press release and some marketing-speak, developer Christopher Penrose (Leisuresonic, Cosmovox) sent us an extended essay explaining his thinking behind his imminent SynthTronica synth for the iPad. Aside from getting into the nitty-gritty technical details, it cuts to the crux of the issue: how to make something personal and new that nonetheless can work for other people, and how that idea can be tailored to a tablet.
More free samples at Waveformless’ Free Sample Friday:
Today's free sample is a single sample of a Tibetan singing bowl. The singing bowl is essentially an inverted bell that is used by Buddhists to accompany meditation or chanting. It can be played either by rolling the padded mallet along the inside rim, or by striking it. The sample I'm providing is of a single strike. It's an extremely long sample that reveals just how this instrument got the name "singing bowl". The note of the strike is an E. 24-bit, 44.1k WAV sample. [6.07 MB]
A little something different this Friday… instead of free samples, today we have 50 free patches for Native Instruments Absynth submitted by reader Alan Stuart. You can download them directly from his website. Thanks, Alan!
# Dustland – Real-time Live performance by Diego Stocco.
"Dustland" is a cinematic sounding improv that I recorded with the Fence Bass. This instrument has a rough and edgy sound since it's all made of metal, so I imagined a piece that could work in a modern Western film, I'm a fan of the genre.
Everything is created in real time, no pre-existing loops, additional tracks or post-efx involved. I built a chain of processors in Live that I control with a pedal board, all rhythmic parts and ambiences are derived from whatever sound/noise comes from the Fence Bass. I hope you'll like it!
This animated short by Theodore Ushev is like a whirlwind tour of Russian constructivist art and is filled with visual references to artists of the era, including Vertov, Stenberg, Rodchenko, Lissitsky and Popova.
# Beep-it! – Michael Una's Beep-it! device, an optical theremin.
It outputs a square wave whose pitch is controlled by the amount of light striking a photoresistor. You control the pitch by casting shadows over the light sensor, or by pointing it towards/away from a light source. Flashing lights induce an interesting oscillating effect. A single momentary button turns Beep-it on or off.
There is an 1/4″ output jack for connecting to audio equipment like amplifiers, guitar pedals, recording, etc.
I’ve been a bit “heads down” working on all sorts of fun music projects over the last month and half and of course learning lots of new things along the way. As I work away, I always take a moment to shoot photos.
Short: MIDI-controlled 8-bit digital synthesizer and audio sampler
Long: Device generates several different sounds based on incoming MIDI Note On/Off, Pitch Wheel and Control Change messages. Default waveforms are Sine and Square. An audio sampling function is available to record custom waveform samples that can then be played-back similarly to Sine and Square waveforms (think Impulse Tracker or Scream Tracker or any other tracker from 1997). Audio input is switchable between on-board microphone and external 4-conductor headset jack.
Free sample pack by dubstep forum user Project EX:
A small collection of kicks, recorded and collected by me. No processing on the kicks, just normalized. Will try to make some more samples at some point. Will get it on the sample swap when it's back up.