Madrona Labs has released Kaivo, a semi-modular software synthesizer that combines two ways of making sound: granular synthesis and physical modeling.
Developer Randy Jones says:
“Today we release Kaivo, our new software synthesizer. ‘Kaivo’ is Finnish for ‘well,’ as in, a deep well of sounds, and I’ve been working on deepening that well over the last month or so. Kaivo’s models include metal, nylon and gut strings, different sizes of chimes and springs (yes, springs), wooden instrument bodies, membranes and metal plates. ”
Kaivo brings ‘some of the latest academic research in physical modeling to a patchable package for the first time.’ Mathematically speaking, its finite difference time domain (FDTD) models let the player affect the internal vibrations inside the instrument at any point. This allows for a fine degree of realistic detail, like the bridge rattles on a “gut string” model, for example. Developers say Kaivo is also designed to apply this subtlety to more abstract creations.
Every time a model is triggered, it makes a slightly different sound due to the initial conditions when the sound starts. This subtle variety can quickly give a very lifelike quality to sounds that would be tedious to recreate with sampling. Kaivo has eight different types of tuned resonators, including strings, chimes and springs, each with its own complex response to sound. As for instrument bodies, there are four, including two wooden body models, a metal plate, and a frame drum—all true 2D models.
Best Service has released MEIKO V3. Here’s all the details in their own words…
MEIKO V3 is futuristic singing voice synthesizer software. It is the brand-new version of Cryptons first released Vocaloid. The new MEIKO V3 features a beautiful female voice that fits a wide range of music genres from rock to electronic music. With its high sound quality and resemblance of a real voice the software lets you incorporate MEIKOs voice immediately into your music production.
MEIKO V3 features 4 carefully produced Japanese voice banks with various voice tones and moods, and an additional English voice bank for your production with English lyrics.
This all-in-one package includes vocal editor Piapro Studio VSTi, PreSonus Studio One Artist Piapro Edition, and over 200 virtual instruments for your immediate music production.
Easily edit Vocals in your music production environment
A vocal editor that allows you to easily operate and modify Meiko´s voice, Piapro Studio works as a VSTi and AU plugin, and therefore performs at a high compatibility with main music production applications (PreSonus Studio One, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Apple LogicX, Garage Band etc.).
Database (Voice Bank)
The database is based on a human voice, carefully recorded in a high-standard studio environment. Every sound was edited and optimized for the VOCALOID engine in order to create this database. With parameters such as gender factor or brightness, you are able to modify the voice and customize it to exactly fit your sound.
- Supported VSTi / AU plugin by all main music software applications
- Piano Roll Editor: Easy to use note & lyric editing. Enter the notes you want Meiko to sing via the easy-to-use sequencer window, then type in the lyrics corresponding to each note
- Control Effects via Automation: Dynamics, breath, velocity, gender and other vocal characteristics can be manipulated simply with a pencil tool
- Vocal parts editable while playback
- Chorus: You can add up to 15 voice tracks simultaneously
- Leads VSQ, VSQX, MIDI
- Import MIDI Files as Input: You can import a standard MIDI file and use the notes as the basis for Vocaloid tracks
- Save/Export Vocal Parts as .wav files
- Interface Language: Japanese, English, Chinese
- Display of multiple Automation Tracks
- Automatic Update (requires Internet Connection)
MEIKO V3 comes in an all-in-one package for your own music production of songs! The product contains MEIKOs English and Japanese singing voice database, vocal editor Piapro Studio and the music production application Studio One Artist Piapro Edition coming with over 200 virtual instruments (guitar, piano, drums, and various other synthesizers). All applications can be synched with each other which enables you to easily produce whole musical compositions.
With Studio One Artist, you can not only create rhythms and melodies, but also add all kinds of effects on Meikos voice! The softwares intuitive operation interface allows easy editing, mixing and mastering of your musical creations.
PreSonus Virtual Instruments & Sounds
Studio One Artist Piapro Edition comes with over 200 instruments, enabling your creativity to explore and compose for a wide range of music genres. [Instruments] Guitar / Bass / Keyboard / Drum / Strings / Woodwind / Percussion and more!
Additional Software included:
- Tiny VOCALOID™3 Editor (for Windows only)
- MUTANT VSTi Version (for Windows only)
- SONICWIRE Bonus Samples
Pricing and Availability:
£125 / €149
Analog Four OS 1.1. has finally arrived! This is a major OS upgrade, adding polyphony, resonance boost, MIDI multi map. Oh yeah, it also unlocks the pre-installed +Drive of all units. Head on over to http://elektron.se/support-and-downloads and upgrade today!
The Analog Four is a four voice polyphonic analog synthesizer. Analog oscillators and filters ensure the most organic sounds imaginable and the Elektron step sequencer caters for the innovative sound control. With sequencer features like parameter locks and variable length per track, intricate Analog Four compositions can be created quickly and efficiently. Add the completely new and incredibly well-crafted effects to the mix and experience the next chapter in analog sounds.
Elektron released OS 1.1 for Analog Four and Analog Keys adding polyphonic functions and increased strorage using +Drive. Here’s my demonstration of some new (slightly altered) factory sounds.
de la Mancha is continuing to put synths that were previously available for purchase online as free downloads. The latest is a monophonic synth, basic 65, inspired by the classic 80s home computer, the Commodore 64 and its legendary SID chip. Building on the waveforms and signal path of this famous chip, basic 65 adds further features and options to take things a step further. Here’s more details:
The double arpeggiator allows complex versions of that retro 8-bit game sound and the modulation options inspire experimentation via the mod envelope and 2 comprehensive LFOs. Pulse width modulation, ring modulation and oscillator detune/sync are key ingredients in the signature sound. Throw in some pitch drift, bit drift, a sprinkle of dirt and randomisation and you have a wide range of lofi, chiptune, retro-tastic sounds at your disposal.
This version is the update to the popular basic 64, redesigned from scratch, with many improvements, new features and all new presets. basic 65 was co-developed with sink, who also made the amazing presets.
- Monophonic synth in VST format for Windows based hosts
- 3 oscillators with pulse, saw, triangle and noise waveforms
- Pulse width can be modulated by envelope or both LFOs
- Each oscillator can be sync’d to another and/or ring modulated by another
- Each oscillator has its own ADSR envelope and can be routed to filter individually
- Resonant filter with low pass, high pass, band pass and notch modes
- 2 tempo-sync Arpeggiators in series for complex arp sounds
- Arp tempo, range and note length can be adjusted
- Modulation envelope can control pulse width and pitch of individual oscillators as well as filter and dirt
- 2 tempo-sync LFOs with wide range of waveforms, including random
- Both LFOs can control pulse width and pitch of individual oscillators
- One LFO also controls filter and dirt, the other can modulate the depth and speed of the first LFO
- Envelopes are non-linear and can be retriggered from zero or smoothed on each new note
- Pitch drift models instability with variable depth and frequency
- Options for 4, 6, 8, 12 or 16 bit audio with randomising feature
- Developed with SE 1.1, so no problems with multiple instances
- 128 presets by sink covering arps, leads, bass, drums and lofi sounds
Pricing and Availability:
basic65 VSTi for Windows used to be a payware plugin, but is now free to download. However, if you like and use any de la Mancha plugins, please consider donating to Cancer Research UK in order to help care for and find a cure for cancer sufferers.
Apollo MIDI over Bluetooth provides MIDI connections for controllers, synthesizers, and sequencers, connecting a pair of iOS devices, or an iOS device and a Mac.
The Mac version of Apollo should be available shortly.
We are waiting for approval from Apple for the OSX version (which will be free). In the mean time, you can download this version. Once the OSX version is released, we would encourage you to download the one from the Mac app store (this will make updating the app much easier).
Connecting synthesizers and sequencers across multiple iOS devices has been challenging, and there have been few options. For wired connections, you need multiple MIDI adapters (either dedicated iOS devices, or a Camera Connection Kit and generic USB MIDI). WiFi MIDI can have too much latency and jitter, making it unusable for music applications.
With Apollo MIDI over Bluetooth, you can easily connect a pair of iOS devices, or an iOS device and a Mac, using Bluetooth LE. Bluetooth LE is designed for low latency — ideal for music applications.
Simply start the app on each device, select an “A” endpoint for one, and a “B” endpoint for the other, and then press search on both devices. They should detect each other, and connect quickly. Once they are connected, MIDI from one device will be sent to the other — the connection is bi-directional. On each device, you can select the MIDI destinations that you wish to forward messages to.
When connecting to a Mac, select the “A” endpoint for the iOS device; the Mac will be a “B” endpoint. Just as with the iOS set-up, press search on both devices, and they should connect quickly. With MIDI routing on a Mac, there is a danger of creating a loop in the routing (where MIDI messages get sent and relayed repeatedly). To avoid this problem, Apollo on the Mac either sends MIDI from iOS to the Mac, or vice versa — make sure that you toggle on the direction you need.
The apps require Bluetooth LE — this is available on the iPad3, iPad4, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. iPhones starting with the iPhone4S support Bluetooth LE. Newer Macs also support Bluetooth LE; older Macs may require a USB Bluetooth LE adapter (we have had good luck with the adapters from IO Gear and Ciraco).
Apollo has been designed to be simple to install and configure, and it should expand your MIDI capabilities easily.
BFD3 is the third generation of FXpansion’s flagship software acoustic drum studio: new levels of realism and ground-breaking features in an intuitive redesigned engine, here’s what they have to say about it:
With stunning new kits with mix-ready presets and modelling technology for tom resonance and cymbal swells, BFD3′s audio engine delivers uncompromising detail while using lossless compression for efficiency. The revamped interface has a new mixer and sound browser for the easiest BFD experience yet.
BFD3′s kits were recorded at two world-class studios with varied recording chains and room ambience making a huge amount of sounds possible. The library includes expressive articulations, a brushed kit and processed drum presets for fast custom kit-building. BFD3 also contains a powerful built-in environment for pattern creation and editing, complete with a range of performances by legendary drummers for effortless production of drum tracks indistinguishable from the real thing.
Availability & Pricing
BFD3 is available on a USB 2.0 flash drive or as a download product from the FXpansion web shop as well as through our international dealer partners.
Pricing is USD $349.00, EUR €269.00, GBP £229.00.
BFD3 Upgrade is available for all registered BFD2 owners for USD $199.00, EUR €155.00, GBP £129.00 for the USB flash drive version and USD $149, EUR €115, GBP £99 for the download version.
All prices are inclusive of VAT where applicable.
French audio developers UVI have announced the immediate availability of Mello, a free software recreation of the iconic tape-based Mellotron.
The Mellotron was made famous by John Lennon, and in the spirit of the Lennons’ ongoing humanitarian effort, UVI are pledging to match donations made by its customers to the Japanese Red Cross to help survivors of the Fukushima earthquake over the next three months, during which time Mello (normally $99) will be available for free.
For those unfamiliar with the Mellotron, it was one of the earliest samplers and used tape to capture the desired sounds. When a key was pressed, the Mellotron would pull a section of tape through a magnetic play head to produce a sound. Originally built in 1963, the Mellotron became popular throughout the ’60s and 70s with bands and artists such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and David Bowie, and although they fell out of fashion for a time, they have been used more recently in big tracks from Radiohead and Vampire Weekend.
UVI have multisampled dozens of original tapes to create the most faithful recreation of the original intstrument. Being a sampler, the Mellotron had a whole range of available sounds and Mello provides 28. These are: Brass, CelestaAndVoice, Cello1, Cello2, ChoirFemale, ChoirMale, ChoirTron, ChurchOrgan1, ChurchOrgan2, ChurchOrgan3, Clarinet, Flute1, Flute2, Guit12Str, GuitElectricA, GuitElectricB, GuitSpanish, Harp, Oboe, Piano, Sax, Strings1, Strings2, Strings3, Strings4, Vibraphone1, Vibraphone2, and Viola.
Free iLok from UVIUVI’s Mello requires an iLok, which UVI are also doing a great deal on. If you buy an iLok from their web site you’ll receive a coupon for the value of the iLok plus shipping ($78), which can then be redeemed against any future purchase from the UVI store.
For more information on the iLok deal, go here: http://www.uvi.net/en/store/ilok-smart-key.html
For more about Mello, go here: http://www.uvi.net/en/vintage-corner/mello.html
Background video description:
made Vocaloid sing “The Great Gig in the Sky ”
Tone2 Audiosoftware has released its FireBird 2 software synthesizer instrument for Windows as a free download.
Here’s what they have to say about the free soft synth:
After seven years of faithful service, the time has come to set the bird free. Firebird itself has become vintage and even though it’s no longer profitable to remain a commercial product, we feel that more people should deserve an opportunity to enjoy this sometimes heavily underestimated synthesizer.
Which is why we decided to release one last update and turn the product into freeware (previously $79). We want to say a big THANK YOU to all customers who supported the development of Firebird and other Tone2 products, by purchasing our software.
FireBird 2 for Windows is a free download here >>
Very easy to program and easy to use
A unique sounding synthesis: Harmonic content morphing (HCM)
High sound quality: Warm, transparent
437 hand picked presets included, over 1000 sounds available
84 oscillator types containing 18,000 morphable waveforms
38 different filter types
True stereo mode, 4x unison mode, and up to 8 oscillators per voice
Can sound like other synthesis methods – additive, subtractive, AM, FM, phase distortion, supersaw, vocoder, sync
Can sound like natural instruments like piano, brass, organs…
23 spectral manipulations or “modifiers” can be applied to the oscillators
21 arpeggiator types
13 effect types
Skinable user interface
All sounds made with microtape 18 – Dromeda Strains, for Native Instruments Kontakt 5.1.0 (full version)
Tritone digital API560 eq used on master bus.
135 different sci-fi synth effects mapped to every key, made with the Korg Polysix – in WAV format.
Inspired by the soundtrack by Gil Mellé to the 1971 cult sci-fi classic ‘The Andromeda Strain’,
much sonic mileage can be attained from these
samples through experimentation with the various microtape controls and effects.
Contains 24 presets (both looped and un-looped
versions of the sounds).
Recorded to vintage tape at 7ips .
KONTAKT 5.1.0 ONLY (FULL VERSION)