Aug 19

Here is something that caught my eye, not because it is a Roland / Boss product but simply because of what the person is doing with it. Watch Youngr in the youtube clip above. I know this sort of thing has been done before but he really demonstrates a variety of skills with using technology, playing various instruments and singing – great stuff.

The Boss RC-202 is a tiny but powerful little unit that I am sure will be great for club performers, electronic musicians and beatboxers. It is based on their RC-505 Loop Station which everyone loved but whilst it is just a two-track it does have a whole load of new features. Four Input FX and four Track FX are available at once, and loops can be saved to memories in real time. It is therefore ideal for looping musicians who have their hands occupied with guitar, keyboards, and other instruments like Youngr on the youtube clip.

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Jan 18

Here is an interesting plugin from Waves and Greg Wells. Greg has given us two plugins in this series so far the VoiceCentric and the PianoCentric. This one is called the MixCentric and is designed to sit on your master buss. Greg states that “This plugin is very special, and much agonizing and experimenting went into it. The MixCentric plugin will quickly get your track sounding like an expertly EQed and compressed mix, using the same techniques employed by many of the best mix engineers.” This plugin has been designed as a quick and easy way for you to finalize your mix by using EQ, compression and harmonic distortion. You can use it on your master buss or groups.

Greg is a songwriter and mix engineer who has worked with some great artists like Katy Perry, Adele, OneRepublic and Mika.

Jan 4

voxengo-boogex-v2

Another Freebie for you and you don’t want to miss this one. That great company Voxengo have released and updated Boogex Version 2.0 VST/AU guitar amp free plugin. It has loads more new features and an improved amp algorithm and a completely overhauled GUI.

This sound shaping plugin now has a similar interface to other Voxengo releases and has things like undo and redo history and a preset manager. You get low enough latency (close to zero) to be used as a realtime processor, and you can apply any cabinet impulse response you like (a selection comes included). You can get nice heavy distorted sounds but also slight “jazzy” saturation sounds. It also includes a reverberation module derived from its own OldSkoolVerb reverb. You could also use it as a saturator for your drum sounds.

The installation of Boogex is very straightforward,just copy the “dll” into your VstPlugins folder. You can download Boogex for free from the Voxengo website (7.0 MB download size). It’s available in 32/64-bit VST/VST3/AU plugin formats for PC and Mac.

Dec 20

Native Instruments Free Plugin Replika

native-instruments-replika

It is nice to receive a free gift especially at this time of year and from a great company call Native Instruments. This freebie is a streamlined delay effect with two delay modes and a powerful diffusion algorithm. Native Instruments tell us that it is very easy to use – that’s a good start and it has a resonant filter and classic phaser built in – sounding good to me already. You need to download it before the end of the year to get it free because in the new year it will cost you the usual 44 Euros.

REPLIKA gives you three distinct delay algorithms. ‘Modern’ to give you that crystal clear digital delay. ‘Vintage’ with the John Wayne Grit that you used to find in old Studios. Lastly is ‘Diffusion’ which is lost somewhere between a delay and a reverb. You can even adjust your signal’s placement in the mix with normal, wide, and ping pong stereo modes.

Native Instruments inform us that Replika requires graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 – if you see any issues on your computer, please download and install the latest drivers for your GPU. This can be necessary even if Windows reports them as up to date.

Here is a great review from Saintjoe – he always does an excellent job:-

Jan 24

Namm 2014 – Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter

waldorf-2-pole-analog-filter

Well, we did not have to wait long – The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter is here for Namm 2014. The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter is an interesting beast because it is simply that – an Analog Filter for you to manipulate your sound(s) whether they are from a raunchy guitar or a synth or used by a DJ. I suppose if you are going to have a filter it may as well be one of the best, and Waldorf make some great filters. Looking at it my first thoughts are it is just like the Waldorf Rocket as it has the same size metallic case. The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter has a completely analog signal path and its Filter can be modulated by LFO, envelope follower or an external signal.

You get quite a bit to play with as it has extensive controls which are an input Gain with level LED; Rectify pot for mixing-in the rectified input signal; Filter Cutoff pot; Filter Resonance pot; Bipolar Filter Env Mod pot; Filter Type switch; Overdrive pot; Activation switch; Output Level pot; LFO Range switch with 3 positions; LFO Rate pot with LED; LFO Mod Depth pot; Trigger Button with LED; Trigger Threshold pot; Trigger Hold pot; Envelope Follower Source switch with 3 positions; Envelope Follower Attack pot and an Envelope Follower Decay pot.

Connections around the back give you Audio In and Out, Cutoff CV In, Envelope Follower CV In, Trigger In and a 12V DC Power input.

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Oct 26

sugar-bytes-plugins-sale

How good is this – 50% off all Sugar Bytes Plug-ins, especially those ones you have been thinking about like the New WOW 2 or Turnado Filters – Hurry Sale ends 2 Novemember – Just click the image above.

Sep 4

These types of product releases always catch my eye, especially when they come from Roland – The new Roland Handsonic HPD-20 Digital Hand Percussion. This looks packed with goodies and a noticable improvement over the original HPD-10 and the larger HPD-15 with more instruments and kits. You get 850 excellent sounds with quality of Roland’s SuperNATURAL sound engine. If you add in 13 very sensitive and playable pads, Multi-effects, EQ and Ambience and WAV import via USB you start to have something very special, very portable to hit the streets with.

The specification is very impressive but I sincerely wish they would step up to today’s quality sample rates. I was disappointed to see that as we fast approach 2014 that Roland are still using 16 bits at 44.1 kHz. I think it is about time we saw 24Bit and 96 KHz from them – it has gone on long enough. Please let us have some Flagship quality.

Ok now I am off my soapbox, what other goodies does the Handsonic HPD-20 have? Well possibly the most asked for is ability to import your own samples and the HPD-20 has it. You can import up to 500 of your own WAV sounds via USB flash memory – excellent.

It has great controller qualities and you could use it to control and play virtual instruments and record your MIDI and audio performances in your DAW.
There is storage capacity for two hundred kits of which a hundred of them have have been readily setup for you ready to just instantly play.

Around the back you will find sufficient connections; MIDI In and Out, Trigger Input, Hi-Hat Controller Input, Stereo Output and Phones, Mix In and Footswitch, USB Computer and USB Memory Ports.

Have a quick look at this:-


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Jun 7

<sonnox-plug-ins-at-loopmasters

I don’t know about you but I love Sonnox Plug-Ins and for the whole of June 2013 you can get 40% off at those great people at Loopmasters. Just click the Sonnox Enhance image above to take you direct to sale page and the many Sonnox options available such as Sonnox Inflator, Sonnox Limiter, Sonnox EQ, Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec and Sonnox Ultimate Oxford Plugins Collection plus more all with that essential loudness and punch that you have been looking for – excellent stuff and for a great price throughout June.

Jun 4

audio-damage-mangleverb-plug-in

There are Plug-Ins and Plug-Ins but personally I like something a bit different. You get to the point where you have many reverbs, filters, gates and all types of shapers but what if you could put them all in a bag and mix them all up to create something new? Well it looks like Audio Damage have achieved it with Native Instruments Monark-looking new plug-in called Mangleverb which will bring together a silky reverb, sexy filters, something to keep your transients in shape, a low pass filter gate as well as a rhythmic gate and a VCA nicely syncing in time. But imagine these all mixed together.

Whether you are Windows user or a MAC it has sensibly been designed as a 64 Bit Plug-in but more importantly it is very easy to use and achieve remarkable results with its mean drive circuit giving you all the grit you will need. At $49 from Audio Damage it looks like a must-have to me. Have a look and listen to this :-

Jan 26

Namm 2013 and Korg are hard – hitting with new products like this powerful supercharged Dubstep-sounding Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer/Loop Recorder – the Korg Kaossilator Pro+. I say the words “new product” but I think it will upset some of the customers who have just or recently purchased their earlier and not so different Kaossilator Pro.

This You Tube clip makes you want one but more importantly it makes you wish you had the skills of the person performing. It makes you think about skills for the future and how so very different that has become from practicing for years scales on a piano. I must say it looks far more fun and the results are clear as you sound like a whole band rather than just an individual – see what you think. Do you feel like spending £300 on one of these?

On the next page we will have a look at the Features and Specs:-

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