Madrona Labs has a Christmas present for Mac-based musicians – a free reverb plugin:
It’s damp and chilly, and I hear the gray pitter patter of endless rain. Looking out my window I see gray sky, gray water, gray trees and gray clouds. That’s right, it’s Christmas in Seattle.
Because of your support of Aalto these past few months, I can now work full time to bring you more software and hardware to make music with. And that is something I am very thankful for. I am very excited about what we will have to offer this coming year: Aalto for Windows, the Soundplane A, and more software instruments that are even farther off the beaten path.
As a small way to say thanks, today I’m releasing Aaltoverb for Mac OS X. Aaltoverb is just the reverb section from Aalto, packaged up as its own plugin and with mix and brightness knobs added. It won’t replace your ValhallaShimmer, but it is easy on the CPU and on the eyes, and I hope it makes a nice addition to your box of colors.
Download it here (.dmg).
Aaltoverb is an Audio Unit plugin. It requires an Intel processor of speediness 1.6 GHz or higher, and Mac OS of versioniness 10.5 or higher.
2CAudio has released Breeze, an ultra-effecient auto randomizing algorithmic reverb software plug-in for Windows and Mac.
2CAudio’s Aether is an award-winning, ultimate quality, self-modulating algorithmic reverb, which delivers unprecedented levels of fidelity and programmability. It has been nominated for, and won numerous industry awards, including most recently the 2010 Sound on Sound Annual Award, and the 2010 EM Editor’s Choice award. Its huge list of industry-first advances have made it the go-to reverb of choice by many of the industry’s top engineers and producers.
Breeze is Aether’s pristine eco-conscious cousin. Breeze focuses on simplicity, efficiency, and economy. Additionally it offers several of its own exciting new features that have not been offered previously and make it fufill a special need in the market.
Breeze for PC and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) is now available for the introductory price of $99.95 USD until 1 January, 2011 (MSRP $149.95 USD).
Additionally 2CAudio has introduced the Perfect Storm Bundle which includes Breeze, Aether, the Aether Integrity Expansion and the the Aether Creativity Expansion, priced at $299.95 USD (Save $150 USD). Special end-of-the-year holiday pricing is available on all 2CAudio products until 1 January, 2011.
Plug-in developers PSP have re-released their freeware PianoVerb plug-in updated to work with all the most recent operating systems. You will need to register the plug-in to use it, but it is still absolutely free. Here’s what PSP has to say about it:
“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.”
Complex Buchla 200e patch combined with Hertz Donut and ATT4. Ableton Live Reverb and Filter FX. Visualizer by David Tin Nyo
Izotope will be releasing a vocal plug-in this month called Nectar. The software will have Pitch Correction, Breath Control, Compressors, a DeEsser, Doubler, Saturation, EQ, Gate, Limiter, Delay and a Reverb. It will be $199 at launch then jump to $299 shortly after. As with other Izotope plug-ins there will be an extensive preset browser too.
“Nectar offers dozens of professionally designed vocal production styles powered by eleven processing modules. Users will select an included style and then customize it with faders tailored to that style. For further customization of their vocal sound, users can switch to the Advanced View and access all of the controls of the underlying modules that power the plug-in… iZotope Nectar is ideal for audio engineers, voice over artists, singer/songwriters, recording enthusiasts, podcasters, and anyone else who records sung or spoken vocals. Its dozens of styles cover genres including: Alternative & Indie, Blues/R&B, Classical, Country, Dance & Electronica, Hip Hop & Rap, Jazz, Pop, Rock, and Spoken Word.” – izotope.com
For more info: izotope.com/products/audio/nectar/
eaReckon has released version 1.2.2 of BloXpander, a VST host designed for live situations.
Changes in BloXpander v1.2.2
- Far more stable authorization process. BloXpander should not need multiple authorizations anymore.
- A new button has been added to easily clear the search box (Plugins Case).
- Subscenes can now optionally store and call plugins’ state.
- More anti-virus friendly loading procedures.
- Checks for Scene Control Configuration validity on start-up.
- Using the same MIDI input port for both “Scene Control” and “Main Controller”, it is now possible to assign Basic Control elements via MIDI learn (as prior 1.2.0).
- Fixed Unicode typo issues (‘Rename Preset’ input box).
eaReckon has also announced EAReverb, a true stereo VST reverb for Windows.
EAReverb stands for “Earthy Algorithmic Reverb”. This reverb is 100% algorithmic and does not use any IR files. Early reflections are built “on-the-fly” depending on your own settings. The main “Size” parameter has an impact on both early reflections and late reverb… Switching from a size to another will immediately put your music and/or sounds in a place that matches your choice.
Then you can tweak early reflections using 5 easy parameters + 15 advanced but still comprehensive settings. Finally, you can set the late reverb so it matches your needs. “BNC” and “Warp” settings will add the extra randomness your late reverb deserves. For even more realism, you can inject some of the early reflections into the late reverb.
Most of all, EAReverb provides a natural sounding, “earthy” reverb effect. It is able to simulate the subtle reflections of a very small room as well as very large spaces. It is suitable for music and sound design.
EAReverb has been designed and “fine tuned by ear” to sound the most possible natural… Though, the plethora of parameters should be enough to place your music in a twisted environment if you really want it!
EAReverb will be available by end of 2010. A 3-part teaser is progressively uploaded to Youtube. Parts 1 and 2 are already available.
More information: eaReckon
Valhalla DSP has announced that Valhalla Shimmer – an algorthimic reverb inspired by the work of Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois – is now available for $50.
You can preview a demo of Valhalla Shimmer below. The example uses 4 instances of Shimmer in series, with pitch shifting on 3 of the instances (+/- 12 semitones, +/- 7 semitones, and +/- 5 semitones).
At its core, ValhallaShimmer is a high quality reverberator, designed to produce a smooth decay, that is both dense and colorless. There are several reverberation modes available, to allow the user to dial in reverb decays of different sizes, ranging from smaller rooms to vast ambiences.
- By adjusting the Feedback, Diffusion and Size controls, the attack, sustain and decay of the reverb signal can be fine tuned.
- The modulation controls can be set to produce subtle mode thickening, glistening string ensemble-esque decays, and the distinctive random modulation of the older Lexicon hall algorithms.
- Two tone controls and the Color Mode selector allow the timbre to be adjusted from bright and glistening to a more natural dark decay, similar to that produced by air absorption in large spaces.
In addition, ValhallaShimmer has the ability to pitch shift the feedback signal. There are 5 pitch shift modes available:
- Single, where the feedback is shifted up or down by the Shift value.
- Dual, where the feedback is shifted both up and down (in parallel) by the Shift value.
- SingleReverse, where each grain is reversed before it is pitch shifted. This results in a smoother pitch shifting sound than the Single mode.
- DualReverse. Similar to the Dual mode, but with reversed grains, for a smoother pitch shifting sound.
- Bypass, which turns off the pitch shifting (useful for “standard” reverb sounds).
By setting the Shift amount to +12 semitones, and the Feedback to 0.5 or greater, the classic “shimmer” sound is produced, as heard on Eno / Lanois productions for U2 and others. A wide variety of other sounds can be created by the algorithm, ranging from spring-esque reverbs to “reverse” reverbs, to glistening pitch shifted pads that are usually associated with high end hardware processors.
The developer says that ValhallaShimmer has been designed to be tweaked in real time. All of the sliders have a smoothed response, to avoid clicks when changing settings or automating the controls. At the same time, the algorithm has been highly optimized, so you get a huge reverb sound without straining your CPU.
Native Instruments have today launched their new REFLEKTOR convolution reverb.
In their own words:’REFLEKTOR represents the pinnacle of digital signal processing – a definitive convolution reverb based on the groundbreaking Zero Latency Convolution technology developed by Native Instruments. This high-performance effect provides reverb ranging from super-realistic physical rooms to fully virtual acoustics, offering in-depth modeling parameters for creating unique spaces.’
More information on REFLEKTOR can be found on the NI website
Nucleus Soundlab is in my mind a solid provider of highly crafted refills for the Propellerhead Reason suite. With refills like Pantheon I and II and Synthetic Kits in their portfolio, as well as with my experience with their predecessor Filter Research I, I was pretty intrigued to see how it had evolved.
To start of I would like to remind you that FR 1 and 2 are not by any means your traditional refill with predefined loops, pads, keys, bass and lead sounds – it is actually quite empty of any sounds, instead you are provided with the tools to uniquely tailor your sounds with effects hardly imaginable for the “standard” Reason user. Basically what Nucleus are doing is that they are cramming every inch out of the Reason rack to give you an amazing toolbox of high quality sequenced effects with inbuilt patterns.
Something that triggered me the most and is probably one of the main reasons I would strongly recommend this refill is the way Nucleus has been able to add delays that are far richer than what most skilled Reason users what be able to produce themselves as well as the envelope-followed distortion, and spectral processors.
In my work I have come across a number of excellent VSTs focused on adding that specific touch to your music, let it be reverbs, filters, delays, distortion devices etc, and pretty much optimized towards that one objective. With FR 2 you will definitely get a short cut to adding that extra dimension to your music and with the added MIDI support you are free to experiment. I can say that FR 2 is a strength indicator of Nucleus, but equally well an indicator of Reason as a key software in your music production. I am really looking forward to see what Nucleus will come up with for Reason 5.
Filter Research 2 features
- 200+ Combinators included.
- PDF manual describing each Combinator.
- New more detailed manual format.
- 5 Epic Combinators – including video documentation.
- All Combinators created from scratch.
- Each Combinator has all 4 rotaries/buttons uniquely assigned.
- Requires Reason 4+ either standalone or together with Record.
Filter Research 2 is available to purchase as a download for $59 USD. For 30 days, Nucleus SoundLab customers and newsletter subscribers can purchase for only $49 USD.
Valhalla DSP has announced ValhallaShimmer, a algorithmic reverberation plug-in designed to produce big sounds, from concert halls, to the Taj Mahal, to the halls of Valhalla.
ValhallaShimmer is a reverberator, tuned for emulating large spaces and big ambiances. Lots of modulation on tap. Minimal yet powerful controls, to allow the user to tune the attack, sustain, decay and color of the reverberation, with the results ranging from chorusing and short rooms to concert halls, to cathedrals, to near-infinite reverbs.
It also features the ability to pitch shift the reverb feedback, to obtain the “shimmer” sound heard on the Eno / Lanois productions for U2 and others, as well as a variety of beautiful harmonic washes.
I plan on releasing the OSX versions of the plugin (VST/AU/RTAS) in the next week or two, with the Windows version to follow shortly thereafter. Price will be announced when the demo is released and the plugin is offered for sale.
The guy behind Valhalla is Sean Costello also known for some prominent work with NI Reaktor and Csound.
More information: Valhalla DSP Blog