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Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 | 8 comments

Whoosh Review

GUI3D_02In the last year, we’ve all been happy to see the slow emergence of software tools designed explicitly for sound design. The fine folks over at Tonsturm are the latest to release one such tool under the moniker Melted Sounds. Whoosh is a Reaktor based plug-in for designing, as implied by its name, complex and varied motion elements and pass-bys. The basic idea behind the tool is similar to a post here on Designing Sound by Charles Deenen, which was later built into a Kyma patch by Jean-Edouard Miclot. Whoosh simplifies the process of setting up this kind of processing chain yourself. If you’ve got Reaktor, you simply load the ensemble. The source material included with tool comes from some of the best independent sound effects libraries out there. Seriously, the list is hard to ignore. Sounds have been licensed from: Chuck Russom, Colin Hart, Tim Prebble, Jean-Edouard Miclot, Michael Raphael, Mikkel Nielsen, and Frank Bry…not to mention sounds from Tonsturm itself. It’s safe to assume that it sounds good…even if I weren’t about to tell you exactly that. Ultimately, deciding if it is a worthy addition to your toolbox is something we each have to decide individually. There are a lot of tools out there, and we all have our priorities. So, a review should be about its potential impact on workflow. Does it allow you a depth of control similar to Charles’ process at a comparable (or improved) speed?

Let’s take a look at what Whoosh can do.

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Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 | 2 comments

Soniccouture launch Geosonics ft. Chris Watson

Geosonics is a colloboration between legendary field recordist Chris Watson and Soniccouture.
Hundreds of hours of recording time, in some of the worlds most extreme and inhospitable environments, combine to form a library of rare sonic artefacts that cannot be found anywhere else.

Intro offer : €20 / $30 Off MSRP
Enter Code :YA6ARGHW
ends Midnight 24th August 2013

6 GB library (with Kontakt NCW compression)
Contains 4.7 GB original Chris Watson recordings
400 sound design presets by Ian Boddy, Biomechanoid, Martin Walker, Andy Wheddon, Soniccouture
140 sound design sample sets
Custom Convolution IRs
FOCUS mapping function
24 bit 48 khz stereo recording / sampling
Compatible with free Kontakt Player 5 – VST AU RTAS Standalone

Chris Watson recording equipment :
Transducers : C-ducer CP 2/8 stereo contact mikes DPA 8011 hydrophones as geophones DolphinEar Pro hydrophones DPA 4060 microphones
Recorders: Sound Devices 744T Nagra ARES Pll

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 | 0 comments

Tkapik from Inear Display


Inear Display have just released Tkapik, an amplitude controlled generative sampler. Add it to a track, then load a sound file and Tkapik will trigger the sample with random settings every time an amplitude peak is detected in the input signal. The sample can either be mixed with the input according to its amplitude envelope or completely replace the signal using the “solo” mode.

Features :

Sampler supporting wav and aiff audio files
Sample triggering based on input signal amplitude
Combine the sample and the input signal using the envelope follower
Replace the input signal using the solo mode
Random start offset, loop points and optionally pitch on every trigger
User defined range for pitch random
Sample reverse
MIDI learn
Vector based resizable user interface (Windows and Os X only)
Lifetime free updates for registered users

Tkapik is available for Windows, Mac Os X and Linux as VST and AU at the introductory price of 10€ until August 03 2013 (regular price : 20€).

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Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 | 0 comments

Iris Review

I guess you already heard of Iris, the most recent creation of the masterminds at iZotope. A spectral processing tool created specially for dealing with recorded material, being able to extract, combine and process all kinds of sounds based on visual representations of frequency, amplitude and time.

At this stage of the game, when we’ve clearly surpassed the limits of what we thought possible in terms of creating and manipulating sound digitally, it’s hard to find new tools that really worth to be purchased. Personally, I try to really question the need for a new tool before getting into it. Not only from the economic aspect, but from the sound palette already available to us, since more options also mean more things to have in mind when creating, and that’s not always great. It’s important to be simplistic in terms of the techniques, so you can be always focused on what’s really important: the emotion. With Iris, since it began to be announced, I was preparing for a pretty cool tool and that’s what I got.

I’d define it as pure magic. It’s something dedicated to the beauty of sculpting sound visually, being able not only to see the elements of field recordings and sound effects, but also being able to extract, isolate, combine, manipulate and control sonic material. Some musicians could find great value in this type of tool, but those deeply interested in sound design will completely love it. I’d say that I haven’t known anything like this before. I’ve been a true lover of the magic of iZotope RX spectral processing and before trying that piece of software, I worked with different kinds of noise removal tools, but the RX engine really impressed me. Every part of that application is a wonder, and their users will understand when I talk about being amazed with the spectral extraction tools specifically. These magical tools, capable of extracting material were very useful at the moment.

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When the Iris rumor started, I immediately thought: if they make a synth based on RX, would be a complete success. And indeed it was. Although the market already offers a good variety of synths and samplers, some of these also based on spectral analysis and so on, there wasn’t something like Iris available. There has been similar tools like MetaSynth, PhotoSounder or Alchemy, which have shown immense potential using spectral/re-synthesis techniques. But Iris is totally fresh, new, it’s something that did not exist before, and although it has similarities to the aforementioned and other products on the market, is not comparable.

Perhaps for a more traditional musician purposes Iris would be just another tool of the bunch, but for someone dedicated to process field recordings, design sound effects or do any kind of sample-based sound works, this is a gift. It’s really fun to see and listen to how Iris revolutionizes the way you work. Why? Because its visual approach to sound combined with the performance options, not previously found elsewhere, at least on the things I’ve used. And not only talking about the sonogram, but also the way layers are combined, how you can process them and the particular expression you get from the instrument. Actually there videos you can find on the web, its descriptions and even appearance of the instrument itself does not tell one bit of what I feel with it. Just spend some minutes processing field recordings, and you realize how exciting it really is.

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