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batZode releases Blowfinger breath & wind controller app for iOS

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batZode Blowfinger

batZode has announced Blowfinger, an app that turns any iPad into a breath or wind controller.

Musicians blow across an iPhone mic – or any other mic – and the wind noise is converted into a MIDI continuous controller. The instrument can send notes from the onscreen keyboard or woodwind touch keys (which use a very simple and intuitive fingering system). Or it can just function as a MIDI breath controller.

Blow, finger.

“We designed this app to take the place of expensive, inferior hardware breath controllers,” programmer Stephan Podell says. “It’s also a fantastic auxiliary controller for playing MIDI instruments.”

Blowfinger features

  • Blowfinger Keyboard mode
    • Velocity-sensitive keyboard allows you to glide between notes in a way not possible on a regular keyboard, making this an excellent musical performance addition to any set-up.
    • Use the eight utility pads with user text labels to send program changes or keyswitches. Or use them to play drums and percussion – they’re velocity-sensitive.
    • The XY pad offers additional expressive control in both axes, and it can be set to snap back to zero, to the center, or stay where you release it. Choose which MIDI controller is sent in each direction.
    • Transpose octaves up or down with one tap (either or both keyboard manuals).
  • Blowfinger Wind mode
    • Simplified fingerings based on recorder or Boehm system allow anyone who’s ever played a wind instrument to pick up Blowfinger right away. You switch octaves with your left thumb, so once you know one octave you know them all.
    • One size fits all. The keys and the thumb pads can be resized, moved, and stretched all over the screen. Play the instrument on your lap or perhaps a desk in front of you, or move the pads to the sides and hold the iPad up to your belly.
    • XY right thumb pad. This has the same features as the one in Keyboard Mode, with your choice of snap back behavior and MIDI controllers.
  • General features
    • Blowfinger can work as a breath controller without sending notes; in Breath-only mode, blow without fingering and it sends a MIDI controller.
    • Simultaneous support for Network MIDI over Wi-Fi, hardware MIDI, and inter-application MIDI to control synths running on the same iPad. Also supports rpMIDI for wireless MIDI on Windows.
    • While it feels great right away, you can personalize the breath response to suit your preference and also to adjust for noisy environments.
    • Global transposition so you can play in the key of Cb without getting angry.

Blowfinger is available to purchase for $17.99 USD.

More information: batZode

Loopbased releases Eastern Grooves Vol 1

Inspire Loops Eastern Grooves Vol 1

Loopbased has launched Eastern Grooves Vol 1 by Inspire Loops, a collection of 7 construction kits made with Authentic Asian, Middle Eastern and African instruments and percussions.

Eastern Grooves was created from a collection of Chinese String and Wind Instruments, Indian Ethnic percussions, Persian instruments and many different rhythmic and melodic wind and percussive instruments.

Eastern Grooves has a slight mix of bollywood beat style and percussive styled rhythms. From Land scaping Pads to Dry taikos, Eastern Grooves has a unique sound to itself. Making it different from the usual. Eastern Grooves also has percussion from the african continent. All construction Kits are in Wave format. A variety of Tempo signatures has been used for this project.

The sample pack costs 30 EUR.

More information: Loopbased / Eastern Grooves Vol 1

Sound Magic releases Bamboo Dreams BaWu

Sound Magic BaWu

Sound Magic has released Bamboo Dreams BaWu, a virtual Chinese wind instrument.

Although shaped like a flute, it is actually a free reed instrument, with a single metal reed. It is played in a transverse (horizontal) manner. It has a pure, clarinet-like timbre and its playing technique incorporates the use of much ornamentation, particularly bending tones. The bawu likely originated in the Yunnan province of southwest China, it has become a standard instrument throughout China, used in modern Chinese compositions for traditional instrument ensembles. The instrument is also closely associated with Hmong, Yi, Hani and other minority cultures in southwestern China. It is typically used as a solo instrument, and is often featured in film scores; it is sometimes also heard in popular music recordings.

This over 1GB (500MB after compression) library covers nearly all existing performance skills of Bawu, with over 9 categories and 30 variations.

To ensure the maximum accuracy and musicality in the reproduction of this complex and beautiful sound, Sound Magic invited the virtuoso from the prestigious China National Philharmonic to record their wide variety of sounds. To make it easier for you to sound like one of these world reknowned Bawu performers, Sound Magic has developed a simpler set of controls to let you control all 30 skills on the fly.

Bamboo Dreams BaWu features

  • High Quality 24Bit/96KHz Resolution Samples.
  • VSTi/AU/ Kontakt Format, VSTi supports Sound Magic’s Add-on System.
  • Patented Multi-Dimension Vector Synthesis (MVS) Technologies.
  • Over 1GB size and 500MB after compression.
  • Key Switch, Mod switch different groups of samples.
  • Multi Layer Velocity Sample provides realistic experience.
  • Over 9 categories, 30 kinds of performance skills.

The Bamboo Dreams BaWu costs 79 EUR.

More information: Sound Magic / Bamboo Dreams BaWu

Kong Audio announces Chinee Orchestra Boxset

Kong Audio Chinee Orchestra Boxset

Kong Audio has announced that its Chinee Orchestra collection of sample-based Chinese traditional instruments will be available as a boxset shortly.

The boxset is currently is production. The disc will include the latest update to the instruments as well as the updated QIN engine player. Quite some instruments have been re-polished under the hood and are integrated with a new legato Extender module in the upcoming release, to provide a even more nuanced expressiveness to the instruments.

All of Kong Audio’s updates have been free for existing customers since 2005, and this upcoming update will be available as free download too.

Chinee Orchestra, powered by Windows native QIN RV 2.0 engine, contains 22 instruments, covering strings, plucked, percussion and wind instruments: ChineeWinds, ChineeKong V3, ErHu and ErHu II, NanXiao, GuZheng II, PiPa, MaTouQin, SuoNa, GuanZi, Sheng, YangQin, HuLuSi, GuQin, LiuQin, SanXian. Ruan, JinHu, ZhongHu, GaoHu, BanHu, Xun, BaWu.

More information: Kong Audio

Cinesamples CineWinds PRO—Orchestral woodwind expansion released

Cinesamples CineWinds PRO

Cinesamples has announced the release of CineWinds PRO, an orchestral woodwind sample library for Kontakt.

You have asked and we have labored, and we are proud to announce the release of CineWinds PRO, the expansion of the popular CineWinds CORE orchestral woodwind library.

CineWinds PRO expands the orchestral woodwind section with additions of Alto Flute, Bass Flute, English Horn, Eb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Contrabassoon — and we also added a wide array of ethnic and period wind instruments, such as the Penny Whistle and Ulleann Pipes, performed by maestro William Lyons, who performed on the same instruments he used in many films, including Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. CineWinds PRO was recorded at the SONY Scoring Stage and mixed by master engineer Dennis Sands.

The CineWinds PRO Expansion is now available to purchase for $399 USD. A bundle of CineWinds CORE and PRO is $649 USD. Libraries require full version of Kontakt 4.2.4.

More information: Cinesamples / CineWinds

Songbird wind-instrument app for the iPhone released

Songbird

Songbird Ocarinas has announced the release of Songbird, its new wind-instrument app for the iPhone.

Designed by musician and instrument maker Durian Songbird, it provides the user with a realistic and vivid wind-playing experience.

“My goal was to design a highly expressive app that offers the subtle nuances of a real wind instrument—and I’m extremely happy and excited with how it turned out,” says Durian, founder of Songbird Ocarinas. “Whether you’re a beginner or an accomplished player, you’ll have an enjoyable and musically fulfilling experience with this app.”

The Songbird app has a three-octave range, and is played by blowing into the iPhone mouthpiece while fingering the instrument on the phone’s touchscreen. Physical movements add additional expressiveness: tilt the phone up or down to change octave, tilt right to bend a note higher or left to bend it lower, and shake to add vibrato.

Songbird TooT

Make the experience of playing Songbird even more authentic with the optional TooT mouthpiece, which is ceramic, just like a real ocarina. The TooT, which can be ordered from the Songbird Ocarinas website, fits over the iPhone’s microphone and provides a comfortable perch for your lips, focuses your breath right at the mic, and is equipped with four holes for fingering.

The Songbird sounds are all meticulously multisampled from authentic historical and modern instruments, and offer a high degree of realism. The app lets you dial in reverb and delay to add tasteful ambience to the sounds.

Two instruments, Ocarina, and Birdsong, are included with the app. Many others—including Bagpipes, Clarinet, Oboe, Trumpet, Bassoon, Pennywhistle, Crumhorn and more—are available via in-app purchase for just 99 cents each. You can also buy specialized instrument kits for $4.99 each, such as the Early Music Kit, the Middle Eastern Kit, the European Kit, and the Orchestra Kit.

An added value with Songbird is its included song collection. The songs come in the form of backing tracks complete with tablature showing the correct fingerings. The tablature scrolls as the song plays, and you can adjust the song’s tempo to suit your ability. The library of available songs is constantly expanding and ranges from very simple to extremely challenging.

Also noteworthy is Songbird’s ability to stay active while the iPhone’s iPod app plays music in the background. That allows you to jam along with any of the songs on your iPhone. You can also route Songbird’s output into Apple’s GarageBand app and use all of its effects, looping, and other recording capabilities.

Many more useful features are planned for subsequent Songbird updates including ringtone creation, sharing on SoundCloud and Facebook, and saving as scrolling tablature.

Songbird features

  • Real instrument sounds.
  • Tap, slide, shake, tilt, blow.
  • Express music with your whole body.
  • Play in any key.
  • Richly satisfying breath response.
  • Will not feedback in noisy environments.
  • Plays with iPod/music apps in the backround.
  • Learn songs and music easily with tabs.
  • Tabs scroll with backing tracks and speed control.
  • Tasteful reverb and delay settings.
  • Breath or Touch input.
  • Extra instruments from around the world available for purchase.

The free Songbird app is available now from the iTunes store. Everyone who downloads the app will get a discount coupon for a real ceramic ocarina.

More information: Songbird

Kong Audio Chinee Orchestra bundles 23 classic Chinese instruments

Kong Audio

Kong Audio has announced the release of its Chinee Orchestra, a set comprising of 23 classical Chinese instruments covering the complete instrument list of a modern Chinese orchestra arrangement, powered by the in-house developed QIN RV 2.0 engine for Windows.

From its very conception, Chinee Orchestra is designed to meet Chinese composers’ needs for a true-to-the-culture set of classical Chinese instruments that are proper for the standard professional workload. Kong Audio, having been developing Chinee Series since 2005, have packed up everything in the Chinese Series, added 8 new instruments, and updated, molded everything into one the powerful yet easy to use authentic tool. Chinee Orchestra is for work, and is for fun as well, as the sound from a different civilization can be simply inspiring.

The focus of the Chinee Orchestra, other than the much lauded ChineeWinds, ChineeKong and ChineeErHu, is the new ChineeErhu II. Special attention has been dedicated to ChineeErHu II’s design: a different take on the recording for a clearer yet mellower sound and the much easier access to the legato performance, plus the auto upbow/downbow switching. All these attentions have made ChineeErHu II a much alive instrument.

A lot of work has went into the making of the new QIN RV 2.0 engine. Based on the experience of QIN engine v1.0, QIN RV 2.0 is rewritten from the scratch, hence the better performance and compatibility, and still keeps the original design philosophy. QIN RV 2.0 is now a multitimbral and multiout VSTi plugin.

Kong Audio Chinee Orchestra
Chinee Orchestra features Kong Audio’s new QIN RV 2.0 engine.

Chinee Orchestra features

  • 23 polished classical Chinese instruments, including 8 new instruments:
    • 5 Hu fiddles: ChineeErHu II, ChineeJinHu, ChineeZhongHu, ChineeGaoHu, ChineeBanHu.
    • 1 plucked instrument: ChineeRuan (Moon Guitar).
    • 2 wind instruments: ChineeXun (Chinese Ocarina), ChineeBaWu.
  • Re-written from the scratch, the brand new multitimbral/multiout QIN RV 2.0 Windows 32-bit native engine.
  • Special attentions have been paid to the legato mode to accommodate Chinese instruments’ characteristics.

Chinee Orchestra is available to purchase as a VST instrument for Windows, priced at $690 USD. Each individual instrument is also available for purchase separately. QIN RV 2.0 engine upgrade is free for existing customers.

More information: Kong Audio / Chinee Orchestra

Cinesamples launches CineWinds CORE

Cinesamples CineWinds CORE

Cinesamples has announced the release of its flagship orchestral library CineWinds CORE, the first installment of the CineWinds Series recorded at the world famous SONY Pictures Scoring Stage under the watchful eye of master engineer Dennis Sands (The Avengers, The Shawshank Redemption, Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, American Beauty).

CineWinds CORE covers the principal instruments of the orchestral wind section in stunning detail and unparalleled recording precision.

Each instrument was meticulously sampled to capture the perfect imperfections which subtly breathes life into your mockup. And as always we brought our intense focus to make these instruments incredibly simple and intuitive to use.

CineWinds CORE will earn a permanent place in your template.

CineWinds CORE features

  • 13GB+ (in compressed format).
  • 28,000+ Samples.
  • Includes articulations and true legato patches for Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon.
  • Designed for Kontakt (requires full version of Kontakt).

Walk through of the features of the CineWinds CORE library for Kontakt.

The CineWinds CORE library is available to purchase for the introductory price of $299 USD (regular $399 USD).

More information: Cinesamples / CineWinds CORE