This week we have scouted through the net to find out what you need to spice up your digital studio. In other words a random selection of quirky, intriguing and must have’s for your set up.
Edinburgh based start-up Playable Technology has introduced BeatBlocks, an iOS app that lets you use LEGO bricks to make beats.
Founded by Scottish academics and technology entrepreneurs, David Skulina and Benjaman Schogler (creators of the Skoog accessible MIDI controller), Playable says that they’ve created BeatBlocks to give children the best of both digital and real-world environments.
Beatblocks uses your iOS device’s camera and its custom AI to scan for different bricks. When it sees a brick it plays a sound. The color of a brick defines the instrument: lead sounds, bass sounds, drums and percussion. Beatblocks can recognize 2×2 or 4×2 bricks in red, yellow, orange, blue, green and pink.
“BeatBlocks extends the scope of construction toys like LEGO , honouring the original spirit of the toys, and adding an entirely new layer of creativity,” said co-founder Benjaman Schogler, a developmental psychologist and expert in educational technology, learning and play. “The App is so easy to use there is no need for training or lessons. It really is child’s play.”
Pricing and Availability:
BeatBlocks is available now. It is free to download, and $3.99 to unlock the full version
Klevgrand has introduced Speldosa – Wintergatan Music Box, a virtual instrument for iOS, Mac & Windows that recreates the sound of the music box.
Speldosa is the result of a collaboration between Klevgrand and the Swedish artist Wintergatan/Martin Molin, who is probably best known as the creator of the Marble Machine.
The instrument itself has been meticulously recorded by Wintergatan and transformed into a playable digital instrument plugin. It features four different models (Modern, Vintage, Antique, and Eternal = Reversed), two different Room models, and an algorithmic reverb.
“I created the sound by sampling a music box, using an acoustic guitar as resonance box. I chose the best samples and it was instant magic,” says Molin. “There is a special quality to this exact music box sound that lifts it above the novelty feeling of a toy and turns it into a real music instrument. It just sounds so good, that’s really it.”
- Four different instrument models
- Two different room simulations
- Algorithmic reverb
- Simple UI
- Carefully recorded samples by Wintergatan
Speldosa is available now, with an intro price of $5.99 (normally $9.99)
Audiority has announced the release of an analog modeled simulation of the Memory Man EH7810, a late ’70s BBD echo and chorus pedal from Electro-Harmonix.
Darm Memory is an “economy” version of the original, featuring an under-clocked 1024-stages BBD chip with a very dark and characterful delay sound.
We went further and added their classic STEREO mode, where L/R output phases are 180° apart from each other, a DELAY EXTENSION that replaces the factory BBD chip with a 4096-stages one, increasing the delay time up to 4 seconds, and more.
Dark Memory features
- BBD Analog Delay/Chorus simulation.
- Authentic emulation with reduced bandwidth (according to delay time).
- Delay Time (MN3005 up to 310ms – RD5108A up to 4s).
- Feedback and Blend.
- Delay Extension.
- Tempo Sync.
- Vintage Stereo mode.
- Stereo Spread.
- Pre and Post effect gain.
- Mix control.
- Resizable interface.
Available in VST/VST3, AU, AAX and CLAP plugin formats for Windows and Mac, Dark Memory is on sale for the intro price of 29 USD/EUR until May 1st, 2023 (regular 49 USD/EUR).
Solid State Logic has introduced a new audio plugin developed around an advanced, natural-sounding bass synthesis algorithm which utilizes wave inversion to generate a bipolar waveform an octave lower than the source material.
The 4 configurable bands of SSL SubGen let users dial in bass with absolute precision. Whether the requirement is adding depth and weight to an instrument or rebuilding low frequency tracks that may have been poorly recorded, SubGen provides an intuitive interface to quickly bring the noise sub-bass in all the right places.
“SubGen delivers yet another sonic dimension to our SSL Complete portfolio of plug-ins.” commented Jon Sandman, Plug-ins Product Manager at SSL. “It can be used in a highly creative capacity as a generative sub-bass synthesizer to add depth to almost any instrument, it can also quickly remedy tracks suffering from a weak low-end, whilst being a great tool for generating LFE content for a film mix.”
SubGen provides an incredibly easy-to-use interactive interface for controlling parameters such as gain, width and frequency for each of its four synthesis bands, whilst offering workflow enhancements such as per-band solo-ing, mix lock, and built-in contextual help.
Three tailored saturation modes (“pre”, “kick” and “bass”) can be used in combination with a gain-compensated drive control to dial in harmonic character for different sources. Sub-bass dynamics can be controlled and ‘glued’ to the original source material using the built-in SSL Compressor module. The all-in-one mix allows blending any combination of wet and dry signals from a single parameter, as well as parallel compression and punch. Meantime, gentle low and high-pass filters can help tame any generated bass or cut unwanted high frequencies.
SubGen for Windows and Mac (VST/VST3, AU and AAX) is available as part of the SSL Complete subscription from $14.99 USD/month. Perpetual licenses are available for $79.99 USD at the SSL eStore and from distributor Plugin Boutique.
Softube have announced the release of Bus Processor, drawing on a classic, large-format console bus compressor from the 1980s. The dynamics section gives you control of clean or musically-colored sound and gain reduction behaviour. Control the behaviour of the gain reduction with the sidechain section, and glue things together with sustained clarity.
A saturation section that includes an emphasis filter, can be set pre- or post-compression. Spatialization with an air filter, stereo widening, a mono bass filter, is also available.
We’ve received a lot of requests for a bus compressor over the years. Whether we would make one wasn’t up for debate. To make one that offers something extra for the modern producer, one that we would want to use ourselves, was essential.
It took some time, but with ultramodern algorithmic compression in a classic compressor style, saturation, sidechain, spatialization, and more, we think you will agree that some things are worth the wait. This is Bus Processor.
- A modern bus compressor and saturator that glues your mix together.
- Takes sounds from clean to colorful without the loss of clarity.
- Provides finish and polish even with conservative settings.
- For use on all bus processing—from stem buses to the mix bus.
- Featuring compression, saturation, sidechain, spatialization with an air filter, stereo widening, a mono bass filter, and more.
- Total control of complex processes and advanced features with an intuitive, easy-to-use layout.
- In Console 1, use the compressor in the compressor section and the saturator in the output drive section.
Bus Processor is available from Softube for an intro offer of $99 ($149).
Developer Igor Vasiliev has introduced GlitchScaper, a rhythm machine with six sound generators, each controlled by a two-layer cycle sequencer, designed for making “glitchy patterns and scapes”.
The developers say that “GlitchScaper is great for creating simple beats with an interesting and unusual sound, but it was originally designed for digital distorted patterns with longer steps that blend perfectly with the rhythms of classic drum machines and sequencers.”
Each generator has separate options for making sequences and tones. The parameters of the new sequences and tones are set randomly, but are guided by several user-defined options, which in outline define the steps of the sequence and the type of tone or noise.
This allows you make a quick draft of a pattern and then simply tweak it to get the final sound. The advanced copy function gives you ability to quickly make a new preset by copying sequences and tones from existing ones.
The tone generator makes bright and rich sounds ,based on 12 complex waveforms or various types of noise, and can also use an external input as a signal source. Effects transform the tone from smoothly varying to full of squeaks and rattles. Each effect is modulated by a special envelope generator with different shapes that change throughout the sequencer step.
The sound generators have individual spatial effects, as well as a common reverb space for all generators that adds an ambient layer to the final mix. The final mix can be even brighter and heavy or pumping with the built-in harmonic exciter and bass enhancer.
GlitchScaper is a universal application for iOS and macOS. It can work on iPhone and iPad as well as Mac / MacBook with M1 chip (and later). GlitchScaper works on iPhone and iPad standalone, as an Audio Unit or Inter-App Audio module, and supports Audiobus and Ableton Link. On MacOS, GlitchScaper can works both as a standalone application and as an Audio unit (AUv3) with DAWs and audio unit hosts like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, GarageBand, MainStage, Cockos Reaper, Plogue Bidule, Hosting AU, and other hosts that support AUv3 plugins.
All application features are available on iOS and macOS, including MIDI support (with a MIDI learn option) and audio unit parameters. GlitchScaper has a built-in detailed description of all parameters also available as PDF file on the application site.
Pricing and Availability
GlitchScaper is available now for $15.99 USD.
Air Music Tech has announced the release of Air DrumSynth. Here’s what they say:
Based on the DrumSynth engine released for MPC Standalone, DrumSynth is a revolutionary synthesizer drum machine plugin instrument for powerful drum sound design. Enjoy the power to create and sculpt amazing drum sounds from the ground up, run them through a multitude of sound-shaping and audio effects processors then save to your collection of custom user presets, empowering you to quickly build your personal collection of customized percussive textures.
At the heart of the DrumSynth drum designer is its advanced multi-synth sound generator. This next-level architecture combines FM synthesis, analog modeling synthesis and physical modeling synthesis algorithms to power 8 individual sound engines; Kick, Snare, Clap, Hi-Hat, Tom, Percussion, Crash and Ride. The result is a versatile arsenal of adaptable sonic tools ready for any creative sound application you can think of. Simply create the sounds you want to hear.
Take your sonic ingenuity a step further with unparalleled sound manipulation and processing. DrumSynth includes a wide collection of audio effects including a transient shaper, tuning, EQ, compression, reverb and delay. Store your unique creations for easy recall to the onboard user preset slots.
- 52 preset kits from classics to new creations.
- Powerful sound generators driven by completely new FM synthesis, analog and physical modeling, and sample-based algorithms.
- 8 Individual Engines: Kick, Snare, Clap, Percussion, Tom, Crash, Hi Hat, and Ride.
- Sound-shaping FX including transient shaper, tuning, EQ, compression, delay, reverb and more.
- Dedicated mixer with independent controls.
- Classic ‘one-shot’ feature.
Price: $99 / £99 – Launch Price is $39 / £39 for a limited time only.
CHOMPI Club has announced a Kickstarter campaign for funding its quirky magical tape music instrument made for self-expression through sound design built on Daisy, Electrosmith’s powerful DSP platform.
The CHOMPI Sampler goes live with exclusive early bird specials, pre-order pricing, and limited-edition bundle packs, plus other options.
CHOMPI… a quirky, Tape Music instrument inviting you into the magical world of sound design. With its one of a kind sampling engine, unique multi-effects and tape style looper, CHOMPI is ready for immediate FUN.
We’re using our creative skillsets and experiences as teachers, musicians, community partners, graphic and sound designers to craft something special. So whether you’ve been playing music for years, or are just starting your sonic journey, this device will quickly become your new favorite buddy.
The CHOMPI Sampler is available at an early bird price of $499 USD, with an estimated delivery in November 2023.
More information: CHOMPI