Oct 4


Another lovely update – this time from Arturia who have just provide a great free update Version 1.5 to their SPARK Creative Drum Machine.

With this update Version 1.5, they have taken the art of creative rhythm programming and performance to a whole new level with a fantastic array of new performance-orientated features and a massive library which has 118 kits (28 new ones) and 1,800 instruments.

There is a new Tune feature, to easily compose melodies on the MIDI controller’s hardware drum pads and sequencer step buttons; the sample engine now enables Choke groups, so users can creatively specify samples that will cut each other off when triggered – this is great for emulating a hi-hat ‘choke’. It also offers creative modes for layering samples (circular, random, stack, threshold). The flexible FX Pad now includes the Oberheim SEM V filter featured in Arturia’s Oberheim SEM V soft synth for unique warmth and depth to those still-sought-after synth sweeps. I have just downloaded it and it sounds great.

Aug 2

Here is an invaluable piece of software for your DAW. Most of the Home studios either have no acoustic panels, tiles, bass traps or insufficient acoustic treatment and mixing is a complete nightmare. Those that do have, probably still wish it could be better, to achieve results as good as the professional studios.

IK Multimedia developed a piece of software to assist with this problem called ARC which stands for Advanced Room Correction System. They have just announced that they now have Version 2 of ARC for Mac/PC DAWs.

How does it work? Well it combines a measurement microphone, measurement software and a correction plug-in for most DAWs. It is designed to improve the acoustics and sonic reliability of your home studio by generating an algorithm to provide a correction of your room’s acoustic problems. You can then apply this to your mix using the plug-in. The idea is as it has always been – you make a recording that can be played on any hardware to faithfully represent your sound that you have recorded and mixed.

Arc Version 2 gives you a higher resolution especially in the very low frequency range which is where it is needed most but you get enhancements across the whole frequency range. You now just need to give it seven measurements for it to do its job. Do your mix, remove the plug-in and make your CD – simple. I really like the look of this product and think I will place an order.

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May 13

Those clever guys at Crysonic have just released the SPECTRA C2 for Mac and Windows which is a Wideband Audio Compressor Plug-In. They are absolutely convinced that this plug-in is going knock you out and provide you with outstanding results. This Non-Transparent Compressor gives you subtle but exactly the analog characteristics that you want on any signal being processed. It is Zero latency and is ideal in all music production.

With so much going on in the background that you don’t notice with its very fast and user-friendly interface giving you the results you demand instantly and suprisingly, it doesn’t drain too much from your CPU.

You can get it for an incredible $55 if you are very quick but it is going up to $159 from 16th May 2012. More info can be found at www.crysonic.com

Apr 6

Korg Kronos O/S Update 1.6 , Editor and Plug-In Editor

Korg Kronos O/S Version 1.6 and The Editor/Plug-In Editor software for the Kronos are now available with effect from the 6th April 2012 for download at www.korg.com/kronos/support . All you need to do is select  “Software” for the editor and select Operating System for O/S 1.6. You will also need to visit the “Drivers” section to download the latest USB-MIDI driver.

Korg Kronos OS v1.6, which is required to run the Editor/Plug-In Editor. In addition to various bug fixes, this update also adds an “Uninstall EXs” command, which will completely remove selected EXs data from the internal SSD.

Thank you very much for this free update


Mar 27

Steinberg Cubase 6.5

Things do not stand still and that is true of DAWS. We now have a new release of the famous Cubase. No it is not Cubase 7 (yet), but 6.5. It comes with two new Synths – Retrologue which gives you that old school analog synth sound with 300 presets and Padshop which has two independent layers that are based on an individual oscillator source and generate up to eight different grain streams armed with over 400 presets. This YouTube clip should show you what they are about:-

Mar 26

NUKLEAR Plugin Synthesizer


Nuklear, from hamburg-audio, is a new distinctive sounding VST/AU Pulsar synth plug-in. It doesn’t use
waveforms such as sine, saw or square waves played at different pitches, it uses individual pulses of shapes that vary and repeated at slower or faster rates.

Nuklear’s pulsar synthesis alternates the panning of pulses to create a super-wide sound; and omitting certain pulses, which gives some really great sub-harmonics.

There are four oscillators and each of these has a Pulsar knob. If you set them to zero, it makes the pulses stretch so that the results are just like normal synth oscillators. Take a look at http://www.hamburg-audio.com/

For all of your Sample needs go to:-

Oct 14

iZotope have just proudly announced two groundbreaking new products available in November: Ozone 5, the biggest update ever to their critically-acclaimed software mastering suite, and Ozone 5 Advanced, a new enhanced version of Ozone specially tuned to the needs and requests of professional mixing and mastering engineers.

Ozone is a great product and I am really looking forward to finding out more and trying version 5. Izotope say that it provides  Pristine sound, it has enhanced visual feedback, optimized workflow all with an updated interface. Sounds great – and so it should. This is definately a product you should consider to improve your mix and master. If you can’t wait until November, you can catch a glipse of Ozone 5 Advanced at AES in New York on 21st October 2011.

Sep 22


I have been with Cakewalk Sonar Producer since version 6 and having worked myself through the necessary learning curve of a new DAW, I got to the point where I was very happy with 8.5 and all of the many facilities it provided. For others, Sonar has always been let down by its interface.


With Sonar X1, I want to believe that somewhere underneath this new look is my old familiar Sonar 8.5 and that I know exactly what to do. I think however that I have a bit of a learning to do, as well as some un-learning especially as I understand many of the keyboard shortcuts have changed.


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Aug 28


Here is something that I would like to try. Those clever guys at Waves have come up with something simple and brilliant – The Waves OneKnob Native Plug-in Bundle. It has been designed for anyone who wants to get better-sounding tracks fast and has seven individual plug-ins for seven particular effects – controlled by a single knob. The idea is to provide a quick facility that will focus on one type of sound enhancement, and do it really well. The great thing is that the processors used behind the OneKnob are the same high-quality processors that are used in creating  many hit records.

We are all impatient today and we just want results, we don’t necessarily want to learn at that very moment how for example a Reverb works, we  just want to ‘get there’ and remain focused on the music rather than the process of mixing. These OneKnob plug-ins are apparently perfect for that.  I wish I had a set built into my DAW. Here is a quick look at what each can do:-

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Dec 20

PSP PianoVerb by PSP Audioware
I know you just cannot believe your luck – another great freebie.
PSP Audioware wish to celebrate Xmas by re-releasing their freeware PSP PianoVerb plug-in which reproduces the special kind of reverberation originally provided by piano strings. Here’s what they have to say…

PSP PianoVerb reproduces special kind of reverberation originally provided by piano strings. It generates reverberation using twelve string operators with adjustable damping and decay time. Each of them is tuned to a particular note starting from A(55Hz) to a G#(103.8Hz). The PSP PianoVerb string system can be transposed in the range of +-24 semitones, tuned within a range of +-100 cents and be detuned as well. Transposing to lower octaves produces a bigger and less resonant sound similar to traditional reverbs, while in turn transposing to higher octaves produces a very bright harp-like effect.

PSP PianoVerb (1.7.0) is a freeware plug-in but requires authorization. To get your unique authorization details (name & key) you need only to have an active account at PSP’s registering center. For more information go to pspaudioware.com

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