MusicTech.net http://www.musictech.net The World's best music technology website Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:05:09 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 iZotope Announce DDLY Dynamic Delay Plug-In http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/izotope-announce-ddly-dynamic-delay-plug-in/ Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:51:00 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40510 iZotope have released the DDLY Dynamic Delay Plug-In, this unique piece of software intelligently reacts to the dynamics of your track and adds it’s own experimental delays. Read on for more info…. Press Release Cambridge, MA (February 9, 2015) – iZotope, Inc., makers of award-winning tools for audio production, is announcing the release of DDLY […]

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iZotope have released the DDLY Dynamic Delay Plug-In, this unique piece of software intelligently reacts to the dynamics of your track and adds it’s own experimental delays. Read on for more info….





Press Release

Cambridge, MA (February 9, 2015) – iZotope, Inc., makers of award-winning tools for audio production, is announcing the release of DDLY Dynamic Delay, a one-of-a-kind delay plug-in that reacts to a track’s musical dynamics to create versatile and experimental delays. As an extra bonus during iZotope’s 15th birthday celebration, DDLY will be free for a time-limited special promotion through March 10, 2016.

DDLY combines top-shelf analog and granular delay with a dynamic responsiveness to incoming audio, providing both conventional and unconventional effects on a variety of instruments. The plug-in is well-suited for drums, vocals, synths, guitars, and any other source with a strong range of dynamics and expressiveness. On a drum track, for example, users can add echo to only the harder attacks of the kick and snare. For vocals, musicians can exploit the full range of a vocal performance, with subtle delays on calmer verses and more intense delays during the big moments of a chorus.

“When we created DDLY, we wanted to provide a fresh, new delay-driven playground for musical creativity. Whether you’re feeling timid or adventurous, we strongly encourage experimentation,” comments iZotope Product Manager Matt Hines. “With DDLY, keep it clean, make it wild, or anything in the middle -whatever feels right for you.”





Key Features:

Two delays in one: DDLY analyzes audio based on an adjustable threshold to determine what to send to the top delay and what to send to the bottom delay. Adjust the Intensity to affect how strongly the signal is split between the two-great for a punchy delay on the harder, transient crack of a drum and a shuffling delay on the main beat elements.

Customize your delay: Both delays have two modes to choose from: Analog or Grain. Analog produces warm lo-fi delays with smearing and nostalgic degradation. Grain produces melodic, symphonic, and futuristic sounds for truly new soundscapes.

Responsive interface: The interface of DDLY Dynamic Delay reacts to the material on which it’s applied to give unique, real-time visual feedback. As the knobs come to life, the sound gets more compelling.

DDLY Dynamic Delay runs as a plug-in in your favorite audio editor.

Availability and Pricing

DDLY Dynamic Delay is available now at www.izotope.com/ddly and at select retailers.

DDLY Dynamic Delay is offered free of charge through March 10th, 2016. Limit one, non-transferrable copy per customer during this period.
After March 10th, 2016, DDLY Dynamic Delay will be offered for $49 USD (€49.95 EUR).

Learn more about DDLY Dynamic Delay at www.izotope.com/ddly

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GIK Acoustics Alpha Wood Series Expanded http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/40505/ Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:39:22 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40505 GIK Acoustics have revealed that they are set to expand their Alpha Wood Series to include larger panels and corner bass traps. Read on for all the new information… Press Release ATLANTA, GA (February 3, 2016) – Leading acoustic treatment manufacturer GIK Acoustics is proud to announce the expansion of the Alpha Wood Series to […]

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GIK Acoustics have revealed that they are set to expand their Alpha Wood Series to include larger panels and corner bass traps. Read on for all the new information…





Press Release

ATLANTA, GA (February 3, 2016) – Leading acoustic treatment manufacturer GIK Acoustics is proud to announce the expansion of the Alpha Wood Series to include larger panels as well as corner bass traps.

GIK first introduced the Alpha Wood Series last fall with the launch of our 4A Alpha Panel. Last month at the NAMM Show we displayed the Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap, the large 2A Alpha Panel with freestanding supports as well as the 6A Alpha Panel. These products are now available for sale directly
worldwide on all our websites.

Changing the face of acoustic panels and bass traps, the Alpha Wood Series beautifully combines absorption with diffusion and enhances any room both aesthetically and acoustically with superior quality, high-performing, and stylish room treatments.





There are three ranges of Alpha Panels:

2A Alpha Panel is 2″ thick

4A Alpha Panel is 4″ thick

6A Alpha Panel is 6″ thick

All Alpha Panels are available in two standard sizes: 23.75″ x 23.75″ and 23.75″ x 47.75″

Alpha Panels are easy to mount with sawtooth hanger (included). No glue or destructive adhesive when mounting.

Customers have their choice of orientation. The Alpha Panel can be hung vertically or horizontally or in a combination of patterns. The choice is yours.

Optional supports make any 23.75″ x 47.75″ Alpha Panel a freestanding gobo with both an absorption side and a diffusion side. It’s movable, reversible, effective, and beautiful.

The Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap is designed to absorb pesky low-frequencies that build up in corners while diffusing the upper-frequencies leaving the room more lively.

At 47.75″ tall, the Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap is freestanding and designed to be stacked for floor-to-ceiling coverage.

The Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap effectively absorbs at 50 Hz and above resulting in a beautifully balanced room that will suit even the most critical listener.

Company founder and president, Glenn Kuras says, “When we launched the Alpha Wood Series last fall, we knew there would be more products added to the line and the day has come. I am thrilled to bring these items to our customers. The Alpha Series is truly a game changer for GIK and for the industry.”

With the Alpha Wood Series what you hear and what you see is beautiful.

The Alpha Wood Series is available for sale direct from all GIK Acoustics websites.

GIK Acoustics – U.S.A. http://www.gikacoustics.com/product-category/alpha-wood-series/

GIK Acoustics – Europe http://gikacoustics.co.uk/product-category/alpha-wood-series/

GIK Acoustics – France http://gikacoustics.fr/categorie-de-produit/alpha-wood-series/

GIK Acoustics – Germany http://gikacoustics.de/produktkategorie/alpha-wood-series/


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Sven Lens Interview http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/sven-lens-interview/ Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:00:34 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40489 Welcome to the latest in our series of producer interviews, where we put successful studio owners and engineers in the spotlight and ask them to pass on their knowledge and experience. This time, it’s Sven Lens and As Loud As… The Amsterdam-based studio As Loud As is run by Sven Lens, who has worked with […]

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Welcome to the latest in our series of producer interviews, where we put successful studio owners and engineers in the spotlight and ask them to pass on their knowledge and experience. This time, it’s Sven Lens and As Loud As…





The Amsterdam-based studio As Loud As is run by Sven Lens, who has worked with some huge names in the recording world but is just as happy offering advice to new bands at his incredible facility.

He has recorded with Lil’ Wayne, Willie Nelson, Nelly Furtado and Snoop Dogg and worked at many festivals, including Rockin’ Park, handling the live duties for Lenny Kravitz, Counting Crows and Ben Folds. We caught up with Sven to talk tips, sparse arrangements, DIY recording and six-foot speakers.

MusicTech: Tell us a little about yourself: why you got into music and the position you are in now, running your own studio…

Sven Lens: I’m a 40-year-old producer/engineer/musician, working from my studio in Amsterdam. I work as a freelance producer and engineer doing mostly music, but also quite a bit of sound for television, live sound and – just for the fun of it –some other stuff, together with fellow musician Gijs Pronk. Together, we run Audiomedia.tv where we make music for commercials, feature film, games and so on.

As to how I got into music… my parents played me Steely Dan, Zeppelin and Queen most every day when I was a kid. After playing guitar in my youth,
I got better and better, but not good enough to start a career as a guitarist. As a teenager, I recorded a demo with my first band – all Metallica covers – and the engineer made us sound even worse than we were back then!

I was sitting behind the console, tweaked a few knobs and it sounded better, and I just loved the technique, playing with EQ, axes and faders. From there on, I bought a small Tascam portastudio, a little desk and a few more bits and got myself into studios because I could do a bit of Pro Tools, which was up and coming back then. I was employed by a studio which did a lot of music sessions, and I worked there for two years before it went bankrupt. After that, I officially started for myself: www.asloudas.com was born.



A varied bunch of instruments in the live room



MT: What is your overall philosophy or approach when it comes to music with playing, recording and production?

SL: Music means so much more to humanity than we all think or know. In every phase of my life – and I’m sure in that of other people’s – music played a big role, from Metallica, Sepultura and Therapy? as a frustrated teenager to Steely Dan or the jazz and classical music and everything in between I love nowadays. In the studio, my opinion is that 95% of the sound of a recording is in the hands of the artist and/or the musicians.

As a producer, depending on what you do, I just try to get the best out of everybody by making them feel comfortable, at ease and give them as much confidence as possible.

A studio is not a natural environment for most musicians: headphones, different acoustics, a guy behind the glass watching you… You have got to make sure you understand that and deal with it. And, of course, music has to be your passion if you want to be an engineer or producer. It’s a tough question to answer though!



Mixing in the box and out



MT: Tell us a little about your studio: the main components behind it and a little about how it all came together…

SL: Right now, while my new studio is being built at our new house, I rent out a place in Amsterdam where I use my own portable Pro Tools HD set in a small flightcase, a super-fast Apple Mac Mini i7 connected to an RME MADIface USB, which is connected to an SSL interface. The MADI interface lets me hook up to most of the live consoles, which is good for concert work.

The main components would be that Pro Tools set, slaved to a Grimm CC1 master clock, connected to my Cranesong Avocet, which goes into Bryston amps, which feed PMC TB2 near fields and those big PMC MB2 speakers – with subwoofers. They are six feet tall and they are magnets for selfies – which I hate by the way.



As Loud As Studios features the best of old and new gear, above is the live area



Everybody wants a picture next to one of those speakers! Other components in the chain are two original 1073 preamps, Manley ELOP, Millennia preamps, original Neumann U47 and U67 tube mics, and more.

MT: What are your favourite sound-generating studio tools – synths, guitars, etc – and why?

SL: For me, that would be electric guitars, because I play them myself. I think I know what I like to hear from a guitar recording, and through the years
I experimented a lot with guitar amps, mics and preamps…and learned a lot from my mistakes! Years ago, while reading Mixing With Your Mind [by Michael Stavrou], I was amazed by the trick Stavrou uses for finding the right phase and sound from an amp, so I use that one a lot, too.

It’s a great book by the way. Right now – together with a friend – we’re developing a little stompbox to find the sweet spot for your mic in front of the guitar cabinet. It is really cool and simple because the only things you more or less need are a mic preamp, a noise generator and a headphone output.





MT: And outboard – what plug-ins or outboard do you find most creative and most useful on a day-to-day basis, and why?

SL: I love the Manley ELOP compressor. It is so easy to set up, and besides its smooth, smooth compression I love the sounds it gives you. I would describe it as ‘tubey’, I guess. I use that unit every day. The harder you drive it, the more you hear it working, even when not compressing.

MT: When you get asked about music production at the studio, what would you say is most common subject that people need to know about?

SL: The main question I hear is: ‘Why does it sound so awesome?’ I guess that it is me who is responsible for that one, right?! I think a lot of people think that it’s the gear and technology that make the music sound good, and that it’s so important, whereas I think the musicians/performers and how they play is the critical part to how things are going to sound.



Those selfie-inducing, six-foot PMC monitors. Yes Please!


Of course, mics, placement and all of that stuff is important, but once you have mastered that skill, you find out it is the band or the artist that really makes the difference. Although there is amazing gear which really does something nice to your sound, it will never be as important as a great musician laying just down his or her tracks in a great way.

MT: And when you listen to music recorded by other people, what is the biggest production mistake that you hear, and what is your cure-all advice for it?

SL: I have two, both from a studio perspective. In a lot of songs from up-and-coming bands, I hear this one before I record them: I want to do something about the arrangement of the song. Not in how the structure of a song is, but in how much it is played.

A lot of newer bands tend to record as much as possible, layer after layer, simply because it is possible these days to do it and every member of the band wants to get heard. When you write with your band, try to make one good part for your instrument, no dubs and no extra parts that just get in the way of the other parts. That sounds simple, but it is often the most difficult thing for a band to hear.

As a real-world example, that is why I love Steely Dan: their arrangements leave space for every instrument, while each instrument plays a great part in the song. And on the other side of the spectrum, with something like Sepultura’s Chaos AD (and more great ‘loud’ albums), although these are very intense and in your face, they also still manage to leave room and space.

The second one is that I get quite a lot of songs to mix which someone else has recorded, and I therefore know that this is the mistake that a lot of people make. It is that many people think that just sticking a mic in front an amp, instrument or singer makes a good recording that you can then make sound better in the mix, whereas what you should be doing is making a recording sound great in the first place!

Move your mics around, flip phase switches to see what sounds better, compare different microphones, try different drum kits, amps and instruments.

This helps you more then anything to get a great-sounding song, so maybe my overall advice should be to call the person who will mix your song before you start recording to see if he has helpful tips, etc!



It’s not all about the gear, having a great environment does help a lot…

MT: What advice and experiences have you picked up from running a studio that you can pass on to our readers?

SL: You have to have a passion for music and working with people. I love music and I love the work I do. If I wanted to earn big, big money I should’ve worked at a bank I guess…

MT: And from working in the studio?

SL: I have learned to work with people. For all kinds of reasons, people are happy, stressed out, angry, silent, outgoing or something else. When I started out, that sometimes really got to me, nowadays I just accept people can be all over the place, and most of the time they have a good reason for it!

MT: And what about any advice from working within the music industry as a whole that you can pass on?

SL: Nowadays, the whole band/artist to record company relation is a lot different than, say, 20 years ago. With the internet, artists have a way better artist-to-fan relation now because of all kinds of social media and crowdfunding.

They can organise gigs themselves, can put their songs on Soundcloud, Reverbnation, etc. And they can do all of this before they even hook up with a record label. I think that is a really positive thing. Bands work harder because they see that it pays off. Also, the industry has changed a lot without older people involved knowing it all, I guess!





MT: Talk us through at least one of your production tricks or processes that you tend to use most often and is something that perhaps defines your sound.

SL: I maybe tend to follow the original authentic sound of a band instead of trying to push it in some direction. Also, maybe the way I record guitars using that phase trick I mentioned earlier. Also try not compressing so much and just riding faders a lot while mixing! Try using automation more, as it helps keep your mix dynamic.

MT: What is on your wish list, studio-gear wise?

SL: Actually, there is not that much. I love DW Fearn preamps, and I would like a couple of them.

MT: What would you like to see developed in terms of studio technology, and why?

SL: That is another difficult one again. I know this is never going to happen, but I always wondered why speakers were never standardised (if that’s the word). In the dubbing stages, engineers decided they wanted to use U87s for all recordings of voice actors everywhere because they then would have some sort of consistent-sounding tracks.

As I am in quite a lot of different studios, for me it would be nice to have some sort of reference speaker – which could be anything as far as I’m concerned – so I know how the control room sounds. You know, a speaker can sound way different in one studio compared to other studios. But I know this will never happen, so I bring my own speakers most of the time…

MT: Tell us about your latest project and some of the latest work done at the studio…

SL: I did quite a lot over the last few months and one of them is a band called Princeton – five young guys who can actually play! They are not like a boy band, but musicians who write their own pop songs, which were awesome to record and they were great to work with.

Also, I have done some amazing work with some incredible engineers and producers, including Andy Bradfield, Chris Porter, Bob Clearmountain, Alan Branch and so on. Why do people come to me? Word of mouth, I guess. I make really strong White Russians, you know?





MT: What have you got planned for the future?

SL: I’m busy with some album recordings, a little tour with a choir… which may sound odd, but they are an amazing choir of students that sing songs from Mahler to the Stones… they actually performed with the Stones on the big festivals here last year. Never thought I’d ever like a choir, but these guys are great.

Besides that, I’m discussing doing some tips and tricks videos for Sonic Distribution over in the UK. I’m a big fan of their Munro Sonics Egg system, and they do Rupert Neve, Apogee, Waves, etc, as well.

MT: Lastly, what do you think is the future of music production?

SL: There will always be great albums from new artists. I know a lot of guys who do a lot of great stuff at home on their laptop, but most of the good ones miss real musicians/acoustics on their tracks and are searching to collaborate with producers/musicians to create something different. At the moment, I’m working with this really young talented guy who makes awesome tracks at home, but we’re introducing real drums, percussion and string ensembles into that.

It’s coming together really great, sounds rich, full and dynamic, almost dance 2.0 – maybe that’s were it is going.

For more information on Sven Lens and As Loud As, go to www.asloudas.com.

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Gothic Instruments DRONAR Released http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/gothic-instruments-dronar-released/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:27:59 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40472 Gothic Instruments have released DRONAR, a brand new atmospheric sound generator exclusively for Kontakt, with distribtion handled solely by Time & Space. Read all about this fascinating new, cinematic software below… Press Release Time+Space presents DRONAR: Hybrid Module by Gothic Instruments Time+Space are proud to exclusively present DRONAR: Hybrid Module – a revolutionary atmospheric sounds […]

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Gothic Instruments have released DRONAR, a brand new atmospheric sound generator exclusively for Kontakt, with distribtion handled solely by Time & Space. Read all about this fascinating new, cinematic software below…









Press Release

Time+Space presents DRONAR: Hybrid Module by Gothic Instruments

Time+Space are proud to exclusively present DRONAR: Hybrid Module – a revolutionary atmospheric sounds generator for Kontakt.

DRONAR: Hybrid Module makes it astonishingly easy to create rich, dramatic, complex and evolving atmospheres with a set of controls that have been designed to invite deep exploration, expression and discovery.

This is the first module in the DRONAR series with 300 inspiring presets that focus on deep, grainy cutting-edge, evolving cinematic and sci-fi atmospheres. Future modules will explore different areas of sound and music and existing DRONAR users will be able to purchase these at a special discounted price.









Create a massive universe of sound from a single chord
DRONAR: Hybrid Module spreads out the chord in the mid-range, adds a root bass note, a high note and then adds evolving sound effects. Eight simultaneous different sounds are then animated with LFOs and arpeggiators to bring them to life. The result is rich and dramatic without the need to add additional instruments.

Simple interface with powerful control
The six dials on DRONAR: Hybrid Module’s glowing and shimmering ‘Main’ page, power the Intensity, Movement, Hi, Mid, Lo and FX – simply hold a few notes with one hand and turn the expressive dials with the other to create amazing, complex atmospheric sounds and record the changes as a performance in your DAW.

Dive deeper…
Beyond the Main page, a whole other world of expert control awaits, turning DRONAR: Hybrid Module into a vast modular multi-timbral synth/sampler with multiple independent arpeggiators.

Incredibly innovative and addictive, there is nothing quite like DRONAR: Hybrid Module for offering so much live expression control.
300 presets
16GB of audio (compressed to 8GB)
Full version of Kontakt 5.5 required
Audio by Hollywood trailer sound designer Alessandro Camnasio
Live strings performed by players from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Works beautifully with external MIDI controllers
GecoMIDI preset included for use with Leap Motion Controller
Customer discount on future modules
DRONAR: Hybrid Module is available to download now from timespace.com for the introductory price of £49.95 / Euro 64.95 until 22nd February (normally £59.95 / Euro 77.95).

For full details visit: http://bit.ly/1PwkvM4

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Audio Technica Announce ATM230 Hypercardioid Microphone http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/audio-technica-announce-atm230-hypercardioid-microphone/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:24:25 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40484 Audio Technica have announced the ATM230 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphones. Designed to capture drums and percussion, and complete the Artist Series line. Read on for the full specs…     STOW, OH, February 4, 2016 — Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, introduces the ATM230 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone. The […]

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Audio Technica have announced the ATM230 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphones. Designed to capture drums and percussion, and complete the Artist Series line. Read on for the full specs…

 

 

STOW, OH, February 4, 2016 — Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, introduces the ATM230 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone.

The ATM230 brings a model ideal for capturing drums and percussion to Audio-Technica’s popular Artist Series line. The mic’s proprietary capsule is designed to excel in high SPL applications, delivering full, well-rounded audio with an exceptional low-end.

The hypercardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source – directionality that is aided by the mic’s low-profile design, which allows it to be placed in a wide variety of setups. ATM230 is ideally suited for miking toms, snare and other percussion instruments.

ATM230 Features:
• Big, warm low-frequency response with excellent attack
• Handles very high SPL at close range
• Rare earth magnet for improved output and transient response
• Low-profile design permits versatile placement around drum kit
• Hypercardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
• Rugged, all-metal design and construction for years of trouble-free use, ATM230 Specifications:
• Element: Dynamic
• Polar Pattern: Hypercardioid
• Frequency Response: 20 – 12,000 Hz
• Output Connector: Integral 3-pin XLRM-type
• Accessories Included: AT8665 drum mount; soft protective pouch

The Audio-Technica Artist Series ATM230 Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone will be available March 2016 with a U.S. street price of $139.00. Also available will be the ATM230PK pack with three ATM230’s with a U.S. street price of $349.00.

For more information, please visit www.audio-technica.com.

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Show off your Studio – Weekly Roundup 13 http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/show-off-your-studio-weekly-roundup-13/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:48:57 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40460 It’s time for our latest collection of our favourite studio shots, submitted by you – our glorious readers. There’s some quite unique and ecclectic studios this week. Take a butchers… This fantastically lit studio features a range of interesting goodies, thanks for submitting Benjamin L Gildersleve We can’t quite see it all but what we do […]

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It’s time for our latest collection of our favourite studio shots, submitted by you – our glorious readers. There’s some quite unique and ecclectic studios this week. Take a butchers…



This fantastically lit studio features a range of interesting goodies, thanks for submitting Benjamin L Gildersleve


We can’t quite see it all but what we do see is impressive in this shot from Chris Cleveland

The wonderfully named Cortex Stanev sent us this brilliant, cluttered-chic studio setup shot


Now this one is quite unique, a minimal and inviting recording space here from Mario York


We’ve previously featured Martha Plachetka in the midst of making music but here she is in her complete studio. We’re very jealous Martha – it looks amazing!


A cracking studio shot here from Oscar Hendrix, OHM Studio has a nice vibe…


Here’s a very unique studio from Perry Malley, it’s like something from Twin Peaks! (But we like it a lot)


Pronto Doc Daniel Muerto sent us this shot of his small but action packed studio space


Rafa Petzoo sent us this cracking shot of another very unique little setup

A weird angled shot from Randy Marsh, nice simple setup

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Pigtronix Deluxe Echolution2 Review http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/pigtronix-deluxe-echolution2-review/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:47:13 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40454 This highly-advanced delay pedal offers boundless functionality and 60 presets. Marcus Leadley explores a unit which could add time and space to your studio… Details Price £399 Echolution Remote: £59.99 Contact John Hornby Skews Tel 01132 865 381 Web www.pigtronix.com If you’re in the market for a top-end delay pedal, the Pigtronix Echolution2 Deluxe needs […]

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This highly-advanced delay pedal offers boundless functionality and 60 presets. Marcus Leadley explores a unit which could add time and space to your studio…







Details
Price £399
Echolution Remote: £59.99
Contact John Hornby Skews Tel 01132 865 381
Web www.pigtronix.com




sbtb

If you’re in the market for a top-end delay pedal, the Pigtronix Echolution2 Deluxe needs to be on your options list. This stereo pedal allows you to extensively manipulate and modulate echos. With six knobs, eight buttons, two footswitches, six banks of multi-segment LEDs and a preset indicator, you can manipulate every parameter from the top of the box.

At first glance, the Echolution2 Deluxe is a bit daunting. However, the controls are very well thought out. The unit’s 60 presets can all be edited and stored and the factory defaults (which can be restored by holding down both footswitches when you power up) are extremely useful as starting points for creating your own patches and for demonstrating the pedal’s potential.

Each bank of 10 presets is sensibly themed: core sounds, signature sounds, classic delays, modulation effects, special effects and multi-tap rhythms. Every function can be controlled via MIDI, and a USB port is provided so you can interface with the free Mac/PC editor software, update firmware and download new artist presets.

As cataloguing every feature of the Echolution2 would take several pages, here are the highlights. The Repeats knob takes you smoothly from single repeats all the way to wild oscillations. The Mix knob sets the volume of the echo in relation to your played part.

The Depth knob sets the intensity of the modulation. The Time knob changes the delay time manually (10ms to 10s) and tapping the Tap Tempo footswitch overrides this – so you can easily sync to BPM or other division. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to custom filters: Lowpass cuts highs to create darker tones; the Tape filter emulates the musical appeal of the vintage circuits and magnetic media and the Comb filter is designed to add motion and dimension. The Sweep filter is modulated by the LFO, and as a result, can create auto wah-style sounds.

The Crush filter (bit crusher) generated a variable effect that’s a lot like adding a distortion pedal into the chain. Both Sweep and Crush can be used alone or in combination with the other filters. Pushing the LFO button advances you through the different modulation waveform options – as indicated by the changing green LED. Each of the LFO modes can be further enhanced by a ‘super’ version of the selected waveform created by superimposing four additional phase-modulated LFOs onto the original signal.

A multi-tap feature allows you to select one or any combination of two parallel echos that can be set to musical fractions of the primary delay time. Pushing the tap button advances you through the various sub divisions, so you can create dotted eighth notes, triplets, etc.

And there’s even a setting that utilises the so-called Golden Ratio to create a musical swing based on a spiral. Pressing and holding the Tap Temp button freezes the first tap in place and allows you to place a second tap anywhere you choose. The Ping Pong function causes the echoes to bounce from left to right on each repeat.

The Reverse function is designed to generate backwards echoes. The Halo effect causes your echoes to cascade up in octaves on each repeat. This creates the impression that you’re a super-fast guitar picker with serious jazz fusion credentials! Envelope can be mapped to any parameter – so you can map it to delay time to create a flanger effect.

The jump function is something you’ll need the remote footswitch to access. When engaged, this causes the delay to jump up by octaves each time you tap the switch. Similarly, the remote gives you access to the Freeze function. This makes a loop out of the audio in the delay line and can be further altered and unfrozen at any time.





In-Use Tip
A great way to record organic-sounding delays that evolve over time is to tailor the basic patch using the onboard controls, record the part dry to your DAW and then automate the preset via MIDI when the unit’s set up as a hardware external. This allows you to massage parameters in a repeatable and creative way. Having control of Mix, Depth and Rate controls means that the delay profile can evolve over the entire duration of a track.

Alternatives
The Eventide TimeFactor (£329) features two independent three-second delays and 10 stereo or dual mono delay effects in a stompbox format with mono and stereo 1/4” jack I/O. The Vox DelayLab (£227) offers 30 different types of delay and majors on retro-flavoured tones.

It also functions as a looper pedal. The Strymon TimeLine (£379) is a monstrous delay with 12 delay engines, 200 programmable presets and front panel controls for Time, Repeats, Mix, Filter, Grit, Mod Speed and Mod Depth.

In Use
There are several ways to change presets: an onboard preset knob that you turn and then press, or you can engage preset select mode by holding down on the tap tempo switch.

When you arrive at the preset you want you just hit the Engage button. The Echolution Remote can also be used to toggle between the first four presets in any bank. One thing that is slightly confusing is the fact that the preset indicator goes only from 1-9, while the LFO indicator is a dual-function display that also clocks from the left, indicating the bank selection (the Echolution2 Ultra Pro, which is yet to reach these shores, adds a dual-segment display and a looper function).

While all the online videos demo the unit with electric guitar, having stereo input/output means it’s suitable for a wide range of studio applications. The extensive MIDI implementation further enhances its studio credentials.

The unit sounds great (24-bit, variable clock delay line coded to ‘behave like a futuristic tape machine’) and there are so many ways to mess with your repeats the hardest thing is to know when to stop tweaking and finally play the part





Key Features
● 10ms–10secs delay time
● True stereo i/o
● 24-bit delay line
● 15 multi-tap patterns
● Independent pitch shifting of each delay tap
● Tap tempo or manual control
● 8 modulation waveforms
● 8 filter modes
● LFO sync to tap and MIDI
● Bit crusher destruction
● Reverse delay
● Ducking
● Expression pedal control of all parameters
● Envelope control of all parameters
● Ping Pong
● Octave jump delay
● Halo ‘Shimmer’ effect
● Freeze effect
● Delay line bypass
● Dry kill
● Trails/listen
● Remote preset selection
● Complete MIDI control
● MIDI out
● 60 presets
● USB connectivity
● Free PC/MAC editor
● 18V DC power supply included

The post Pigtronix Deluxe Echolution2 Review appeared first on MusicTech.net.

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Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 & V1.5 Software Review http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/native-instruments-komplete-kontrol-s88-v1-5-software-review/ Mon, 08 Feb 2016 09:28:36 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40423 Komplete Kontrol, the software, has been updated and the hardware gets an addition, too, in the form of a brand new 88-note keyboard. The ultimate integration? Andy Jones finds out… Details Kit Komplete Kontrol S88 keyboard and v1.5 software Manufacturer Native Instruments Price £729 (S88). Other keyboards in the range are now at a lower price: S25 […]

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Komplete Kontrol, the software, has been updated and the hardware gets an addition, too, in the form of a brand new 88-note keyboard. The ultimate integration? Andy Jones finds out…











Details
Kit Komplete Kontrol S88 keyboard and v1.5 software
Manufacturer Native Instruments
Price £729 (S88). Other keyboards in the range are now at a lower price: S25 is £299; S49 £369; S61 £429
Contact T: +44 207 9207500, W: www.native-instruments.com
Tech Req PC: Windows 7 later; Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, Mac: OS X 10.9 later Intel® Core™ 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended)




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There are some products that follow trends and some that create them. Komplete Kontrol definitely sits in the latter camp, and since its release in both software form and the S-Series keyboard range, it has set the bar, not just for controller keyboards but for the very way that music production software integrates with hardware.

And it’s also helped the computer to be relegated to less than the main player in the recording studio. OK, you might think that’s over-stating the impact of this range, so a quick recap might be in order…

Until a few years ago, the computer was the dominant force in music making. Native Instruments itself was one of many companies producing music software that could do everything, and I mean everything.

However, a combination of software piracy, amazing new and colourful gear, a shift back to analogue, and the sorry fact that people were starting to mix with their eyes rather than their ears has meant that hardware has made a glorious return.






Ableton’s Push and NI’s Maschine have married the old software to this new world and simultaneously helped pull people’s faces away from their computer screens. And just over a year ago Komplete Kontrol promised the same for the keyboard player – and thus the broader playing world at large. Komplete Kontrol marries a great piece of hardware to possibly the finest music production bundle out there: NI’s Komplete collection (now at v10).

The Komplete Kontrol software offers a shell-like interface, while the Fatar-made keyboards replicate the software in hardware form.

I say again: replicate the software in hardware form. 15 years ago, I’d have been happily telling you the opposite was true in the studio world. Crazy!

So anyway, with KK software you can dial up anything in Komplete and Kontakt, all from your S-Series keyboard via preset type or list. You can step through the presets and control the most important parameters via the rather great Clear View screens.

The best bit is that everything, right down to the mult-coloured key ranges that have become Kontakt’s trademarks, is now replicated on the actual hardware keys of the keyboards by way of the S-Series’ Light Guides.

It’s hardware that does software, it’s multi-coloured and striking, and it keeps your head focused on what you are playing rather than what your mouse is clicking. It’s so 2016!

It’s also brilliant and Komplete Kontrol began, or at least helped chivvy along, a revolution in hardware and software integration that Akai has followed with its Advance range, Push 2 looks like maintaining for Live and Arturia, Novation and many others also have a hand in.

Which Brings Us Nicely To…
With everyone jumping on the bandwagon, though, NI has not rested on its laurels and has made several important updates to the Komplete Kontrol philosophy over the last year.

This includes third-party support, with the all-new Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) essentially meaning that the KK software and keyboards can be opened up to the VST community, so we’re not talking about hardware integrated with just Komplete but potentially a lot more developers. So far, Heavyocity, ProjectSAM, Arturia, Spitfire Audio and Sonokinetic are just some of the big guns who have signed up.

We’ll be looking at how Komplete Kontrol works on third-party software as we review it (look out for the Arturia V collection update soon). For now, we’ll cover what else you get with the software and the more immediate bonus: £850 of instruments within the all-new Komplete Select bundle.

Needless to say, this takes advantage of all of the S-Series’ hardware’s integration features while also offering a great selection of Native Instruments’ own software line-up.

It includes personal favourites Retro Machines, Monark and Massive, but there are some other choice titles here, including The Gentleman (piano), Drumlab and Vintage Organs – a little bit (actually quite a lot) of everything to show off what the Komplete Kontrol 1.5 software can do.



We used the S88 as the centre-piece of the MusicTech Christmas party decorations



The Hardware
So that’s the software, but we’re not finished. Testing the new 1.5 update required a Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboard, so we took delivery of the brand new S88 keyboard and are including that in this test, too – to be rated separately.

Hardware-wise, the all-new keyboard is ‘the biggie’: 88 notes of fully-weighted, hammer action keys and touted as the ultimate keyboard for the ultimate controller range. The keyboard is identical in format to the others in the S- range in that all the action takes place in the centre bar – the two multipurpose touch strips on the left.

There are Browse and Cursor buttons on the right to navigate through the KK software and eight Clear View screens and rotaries in the centre. There are performance keys, arpeggiator controls and the transpose keys to the left of these, and that is it. If you have any of the existing Komplete Kontrol S-Series, you will be at home here. If not, here’s a quick recap of my previous review to explain that all important integration.

Perfect Integration

Within Komplete Kontrol you get access to all of your Komplete instruments (and now other plug-ins) and you can select sounds via the instrument title and then focus on preset type and select that way. The beauty is that all of this can be done via the hardware controls, so you can be away from the computer screen and more focused on your playing and recording.

You can load up the Komplete Kontrol software standalone or as a plug-in. The integration then dramatically swings into action as the most/important parameters of whatever sound you have dialled up are mapped (via Native Map) to the Clear View screens.

I can’t stress how cool this is. They are designed in such a way that the hardware/software combo almost mimics a hardware experience, so suddenly that FM7 preset you have always loved becomes an FM7 preset, which is easily and dramatically tweaked.

The software instruments, therefore, come alive as not only preset selection is made easier but also editing, mapping, tuning and performance, all done via hardware, so negating a lot of – but not all of – your mouse clicks.

On that score, don’t think that this by any means frees you of your computer completely – you will still need to load up the instruments in whatever DAW you use and, of course, work in that software, but the hardware is more than capable of handling your Komplete duties and can also load in other plug-ins.

We had G-Force’s excellent Oddity 2 loaded up, and while not all of the KK controls are mapped to certain plug-ins, more will doubtless sign up to the NKS standard. Back to the hardware, and the new S88 certainly feels its cost.

It is pricey – a full £300 more than the 61 – but the keys will be attractive to proper players. They are fully-weighted, slightly heavy compared to the action on the Nord Stage 2 I also have in the studio for testing, but far more respondent than the 61-note S-Series I also have. Whether it’s £300 extra worth paying is, I’m afraid, a decision you will have to make, as this depends completely on your playing ability and needs.

Overview





1: Main Browse Screen
Press Browse in the hardware and you’ll be presented with all of the plug-ins you have (and annoyingly some that you don’t). Select here…





2: Komplete Instrument
Load in your Komplete Select instrument – in this case Massive – and show the Plug-in panel to reveal the control assigned to the Clear View rotaries





3: Other People’s Plug-Ins
Load in other plug-ins via the drop-down menu, but don’t expect them all to be NKS-ready just yet. They will play, but you won’t be able to control all of them via KK.

Alternatives
Where do you start? In terms of controller keyboards, there are stacks to go for. I’ve had some great experience with the Alesis V and VR ranges and Korg’s Taktile models, but for more integration the Arturia KeyLab range has been updated and includes a whole range of that company’s classic synth heritage. The closest to the KK experience, though, is the Akai Advance range, which includes VIP software that really gives you the hardware and software integrative experience.

Konclusion
We’ve reviewed the new Komplete Kontrol software and S88 keyboard together, as they are obviously designed to go together, but you can, of course, choose any of the four keyboards now in the range, and anyone who has already invested in Komplete Kontrol can download Komplete Select for free, so get to it!
The new software is really all about NKS integration and the instruments you get from the off with Komplete Select.

With both additions, you will be enjoying a much more integrated package and one of the best hardware and software set-ups out there. I say ‘one of’ because, of course, NI’s own Komplete 10 software bundle is even better, and should you want the absolute ultimate in that arena – the appropriately named ‘Ultimate’ – it will cost you £579 over and above whichever S-Series keyboard you opt for.

I have to say, though, that it is worth it, as you get hundreds of GB of the best instruments and content around – literally everything you should ever need for music production. Komplete Ultimate is also what the S-Series is designed to work with, so as good as Komplete Select is, this is what NI’s designers had in mind with the S-Series keyboards – and to use the S88, Komplete Kontrol and Komplete Ultimate 10 is undeniably one of the best experiences in music production

(I upgraded to v10 for this review and have to say it is staggering and very easy to install – Ultimate has never been so appropriate a name).
However, we’re also going to mark the all-new S88 in its own right, as it comes with one or two caveats which we’ve already touched upon. It now costs a whopping £300 more than the 61-note, which puts the 88-note out on a limb a little price-wise.

So, while I love it – and I absolutely do – you may find those 61 notes enough, especially for £300 less. Personally, I think it’s a bit steep a gap, or that perhaps the 61-note now looks even more attractive. Having said that, these 88 notes are weighted and seeing Light Guide across them in action in your studio is something else to behold. So if you are a player, and have a few quid, this is the one to get.

Either way, one of the range should be an even more attractive option, especially with the world and his wife now invited to the Komplete Kontrol party and £850 of software to tuck into when you arrive.







Key Features
● 88-note keyboard
● Features Komplete Select bundle of 10 plug-in titles worth £850
● NKS standard opens KK up to other developers
● Features Light Guides, Native Map, Smart Play
● Size (mm): 349x126x1389
● Weight: 14.4kg

The post Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 & V1.5 Software Review appeared first on MusicTech.net.

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Show off your Studio – Weekly Roundup 12 http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/show-off-your-studio-weekly-roundup-12/ Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:56:42 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40375 Another week passes and another salvo of studio shots came rapidly firing through our door (well our inbox anyway) it’s time to pick our faves. There’s some gorgeous ones this week… Kicking things off we have this great studio sent in by Andreas Prenen, that’s one hell of a desk This warmly lit studio from Andrew […]

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Another week passes and another salvo of studio shots came rapidly firing through our door (well our inbox anyway) it’s time to pick our faves. There’s some gorgeous ones this week…



Kicking things off we have this great studio sent in by Andreas Prenen, that’s one hell of a desk


This warmly lit studio from Andrew Keith Russell also has a pretty nice mixing console. Quite a thin room, could be on a boat!

A great music making space in this submission from Ecrob Iksvonamzuk


A pretty straightforward but very cool studio space from Luis Meneses. Less is sometimes more!


On the theme of less is more check out the minimal setup of Mus’ab Talha Açıksöz


Norwood Burress sent us this, very personalised, studio space full of cool stuff!



A great, dimly lit, shot from Riccardo Spaggiari


Romeo Oscar November sent us this updated shot of his studio, it gets better and better!

Here’s Deff Monk Studios in this awesome picture sent in by Sam Risaliti. Love the walls!

Toni Heinonen sent us this awesome shot of his studio, concluding our theme of big desks!


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Sonokinetic Percussao Do Brasil Review http://www.musictech.net/2016/02/sonokinetic-percussao-do-brasil-review/ Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:07:11 +0000 http://www.musictech.net/?p=40369 Percussão Do Brasil contains all the main instruments of a typical Brazilian percussion ensemble and is capable of producing a true carnival atmosphere. Keith Gemmell gives it the thumbs up Details Price €60 Contact via website Web www.sonokinetic.net Minimum System Requirements NI Kontakt 5.1 and up Anybody who has ever owned a General MIDI keyboard or […]

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Percussão Do Brasil contains all the main instruments of a typical Brazilian percussion ensemble and is capable of producing a true carnival atmosphere. Keith Gemmell gives it the thumbs up





Details
Price €60
Contact via website
Web www.sonokinetic.net
Minimum System Requirements NI Kontakt 5.1 and up




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Anybody who has ever owned a General MIDI keyboard or a Roland Sound Canvas (remember those) will be familiar with the sounds of such exotic percussion instruments as the claves, surdo, agogo bell, cowbell, shaker, güiro, whistle and more. They were all crammed into the limited GM specification, along with just about every other instrument known to man. Quite a feat really. Of course, in most cases just a single drum hit was available and emulating fiery latin percussion ensembles wasn’t feasible.

These days, it’s a different story and 50 Euros will buy a fully sampled bateria with lots of round robins and velocities, such as Sonokinetic’s Percussão Do Brasil. Recorded with the assistance of a South American music expert, it features 16 Brazilian percussion instruments in 24-bit format and more than 2,200 samples.

A full version of Kontakt 5.1.0 is required. Note, it’s not compatible with the free Kontakt Player.


9


Brazilian Flare
Open up the single Kontakt patch provided and we are greeted with a very colourful interface, the perimeter of which sports jungle-like fauna, a bright yellow parrot and a toucan. It’s all very jolly and creates just the right atmosphere and a sense of anticipation for what’s to come.

All the controls are displayed on a single page. Centre-stage are the 16 percussion instruments, each enclosed in its own box, along with a graphic display. Clicking on these turns them on, causing them to appear in the familiar Kontakt keyboard below. Small, high-percussion instruments are coloured blue, mid-size yellow and large bass instruments red.

All the articulations for a particular instrument are loaded onto consecutive keys, which is nice and handy playing-wise. However, the various articulations are not named which, if you are unfamiliar with the instrument and its playing techniques, is slightly confusing particularly when two or more instruments of the same type – mid-size yellow, for example – are loaded together. For playing one instrument at a time, though, an instrument can be replicated for two-handed playing – an excellent feature for playing fast passages and rolls.

Each articulation also includes a number of round robin samples that cycle through on playback, and because each one is designated a key, these can be
turned on or off at will.

Two microphone positions, close and far, are available for each individual instrument, along with volume and pan controls. All the settings here are
remembered, even when the keyboard mapping is altered.

Also available for individual instruments is a three-band EQ with hi, low and mid controls. A default convolution reverb, chosen for its suitability as a percussion environment, is loaded whenever an instance of Percussão Do Brasil is opened. Wetness and size controls are available in the main GUI but can be further adjusted in Kontakt. Impulses can be changed here, too.

Alternatives
Samba Drums from Wavesfactory (€19.95) is based on a Brazilian percussion ensemble and features 10 instruments, each with four velocity layers and six round robins. Carnival Drums: The Spirit Of Brazil from Zero-G (£76) features the main drums of the Brazilian samba baterias. In essence a loop library, with 14,000 of them, multi-layered hits of all the drums are available.

Carnival Time
A real live Brazilian ‘bateria’ typically contains several players for each instrument and to achieve the same effect, Percussão Do Brasil provides an ‘Ensemblator’. Turn it on and multiple hits can be played, and the timing of the hits can be tightened or loosened with a Spread dial. It works brilliantly and provides a quick way to drum up a full-bodied carnival frenzy.

Each instrument can be adjusted independently, providing a good deal of control over the size of the full ensemble. Like the EQ controls, any settings made are remembered.

There are some wonderful-sounding instruments here, but there is no mention of them in the manual. Some information on their construction and typical playing techniques would be useful for the uninitiated. That being said, some glorious and exciting effects can be produced easily without having any in-depth knowledge of samba band performance techniques. In fact, they are great fun to play and a quick way to add some excitement and a steamy Brazilian atmosphere to various kinds of productions.





Key Features
● 16 samba band instruments
● Multiple round robin and velocity samples
● Individual selectable round robin
● Two-handed keyboard layout
●‘Ensemblator’ – variable ensemble sizes
● Convolution reverb

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