Free Channel Strip Plugin From Eventide – Until Jul 08
Jun10

Free Channel Strip Plugin From Eventide – Until Jul 08

UltraChannel™ is Eventide’s new 64-bit native channel strip plug-in for AU, VST, and AAX64 for Mac and PC featuring micro pitch functionality from our flagship H8000, stereo delays with variable feedback paths, plus two stages of compression, gating, and five bands of parametric EQ. UltraChannel is available as a free download through midnight July 8, 2014, after which it will cost $249. The plugin requires an iLok account to manage the software license, but it is free and there are no hardware dongles required. The video below showcases some of the presets, and it looks like something you might load on every channel, processing power permitting. UltraChannel features a pair of dynamics processors: the O-Pressor™, capable of extreme compression (this is the compressor section of the Omnipressor®) and a conventional compressor with de-essing and side-chain capability. UltraChannel™ also offers Soft-Saturation, and Transformer emulation which recreates transformer core saturation. This feature adds harmonics to low frequency material while remaining relatively transparent to the rest of signal. While relatively subtle, in aggregate, Transformer can bring life to otherwise dull mixes and help glue disparate sound sources together. FlexiPath™ routing allows drag and drop for reordering the signal path of the top level components (O-Pressor, compressor/de-esser, EQ, Gate). UltraChannel includes a variety of factory presets tailored to signal sources such as guitar, bass, kick drum, snare, piano, strings, synths and vocals. A number of the presets were created by Eventide...

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IK Multimedia T-RackS CS
Mar16

IK Multimedia T-RackS CS

Mastering is seen as an arcane act by most music professionals not working as mastering engineers. A good mastering engineer can rescue an indifferent mix and sprinkle fairy dust on a good mix to make it outstanding. Mastering on the computer is still a relatively recent development. If you think about it, computer recording didn’t really achieve maturity until the mid 90s, when DAW software finally got the ability to run 50+ tracks of audio with a bunch of plugins and 24bit/96KHz sound quality. Mastering software took a few more years to gain wide acceptance, and T-RackS was surely the software that brought computer mastering to the masses. That’s not to say that you should necessarily master your own music. If you’ve already recorded and mixed it, you may very well have lost perspective, and need an outsider to conduct this final critical stage. Recording is the process of getting an optimal signal recorded. Mixing is the process of balancing all the distinct elements of a mix in a stereo field. I look on mastering as a process conducted on a collection of stereo mixes (usually), to optimise the stereo mixes and keep them in the same sonic space as the other songs in the collection. With modern DAWs, the temptation exists to do mastering and mixing in parallel, and it’s a very bad idea. Mastering should begin only when the mix is finished, and there are some prerequisites for making a mix ready for mastering, Your mastering engineer will need a number of dBs of headroom to work with. Furthermore, if you’ve squashed the life out of your mixes with a compressor, the best mastering engineer on earth won’t be able to put the dynamics back for you. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for the mastering engineer to send mixes back for rework, before the mastering process can begin. If you’re mastering your own material, bounce it to a stereo track before you begin, otherwise the temptation to tweak a track level or effect will creep in, and if you have to do that – the mix isn’t really finished, is it? The mastering software space is pretty busy these days. T-RackS shares a stage with iZotope’s Ozone, amongst other software. Indeed, some DAWs supply their own mastering software. I really like the concept of T-RackS CS however. The CS stands for Custom Shop and the idea is that you can purchase extra modules through the shop. The cool thing about the software is that the basic T-RackS CS software is free, and allows you to demo all the modules. Modules are available to demo before you buy them, although...

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Guitar Center Takeover
Mar04

Guitar Center Takeover

In the Wall Street Journal recently, an article appeared about the imminent takeover of Guitar Center (the main US music store chain) by a management company. The management company owns the GC debt, and it’s likely that they will do whatever they can to reduce costs, resulting in a worse experience for shoppers. Another possibility is that the company will be asset stripped and closed. This is a scary prospect for musicians and music stores. Back in the 00’s, the same fate befell the huge MARRS chain, but the Guitar Center was an institution, and the place many musicians went to to buy their first instrument. Now, it seems we’re heading for a future where we have to buy our instrument online, without being able to play it first. This is the price we pay for the convenience and lower costs of online shopping. If ever there was a time to support our local music shop, this is it. I’m thinking Waltons and X-Music in Dublin, Pro Musica in Cork, Savins in Limerick, etc. Cork has lost Crowleys, Russells and Jeffers in recent years, and the same thing is happening all over Ireland, and right around the...

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No-Brainer Deal – DAW Software and 12Gb Sample Library for $20
Feb26

No-Brainer Deal – DAW Software and 12Gb Sample Library for $20

Be quick with this one folks. Until March 6th, you can buy Samplitude Music Studio 2013 digital audio workstation software with the Independence Basic Sound Library for $20 (usually $225). The Music Studio software seems very well appointed, with a decent collection of built in effects and instruments, as well as the ability to use VST plugins. here’s what they have to say about the Independence Basic Sound Library: This Premium Sample Library has all the instruments you need to get started with professional music production: pianos, electric and acoustic drums, electric and acoustic guitars, electric and acoustic bass guitars, world, ethno, orchestral and industrial percussion, wind instruments, synthesizers and lots more. Fill yer boots and buy it...

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IK Multimedia announces new T-RackS Custom Shop
Feb20

IK Multimedia announces new T-RackS Custom Shop

T-RackS was the first mastering software that generated a buzz on the web. In the days when Wavers plugings were far more expensive, TRackS was seen as an affordable mastering suite that was capable of producing results as good as the high-end mastering hardware of the day. The software has continued to improve, and this latest release contains some worthy additions. Here’s what IK Multimedia had to say about it: “IK Multimedia, a world leader in music technology, announced today T-RackS CS 4.5, the newest release of the ubiquitous T-RackS® CS (Custom Shop) mixing and mastering plug-in. The new version includes, for the first time in software, the accurate model of what can be considered the “holy grail” of mastering EQs plus multiple enhancements of the T-RackS Custom Shop environment aimed at streamlining its usability for both previous and new users. T-RackS Custom Shop 4.5 offers a unique mixing and mastering shell system that allows the user to have up to 26 of the world’s most sought-after outboard processors all available in one product for your DAW or desktop, both singularly or together, for the highest-end sonic experience. New Master EQ 432 The Master EQ 432 is the first and only digital recreation available in software of the first parametric design EQ that became the basis for all subsequent parametric equalizers in music recording history. It is based on the true “gold standard” of mastering EQs and features an unrivaled level of sonic transparency, high-end magic and intuitive ease-of-use. The original 432 is the go-to mastering EQ in studios around the world because of its inherent musicality, pristine audio quality and transparency that all come from its no-compromise build quality and transformerless signal path. The T-RackS Master EQ 432 duplicates the original sonic character, functionality and familiar look, plus it adds extended features found in this model only. The Master EQ 432 is a stereo 5-band parametric EQ featuring 2 bands of shelving EQ plus 3 bands of peaking EQ. One Installation, All Available Processors New users of T-RackS CS 4.5 will experience a single installation process for all of the available modules that installs every available T-RackS processor into the DAW at the same time. This provides immediate access to all the individual T-RackS processors from the plug-in selection area in DAW channel strips plus immediate access in the T-RackS Mastering chain plug-in. 14-Day Demos Users can also now demo each processor for a much longer time period – a full 14 days – allowing them time to completely evaluate the intricate workings, subtle nuances and sonic characteristics of the unit. Improved Purchasing: Credits or Currency Because the processors are immediately...

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Pi L2 Minimal Hardware Synth
Dec14

Pi L2 Minimal Hardware Synth

It’s about 2 inches cubed, has a midi in port, a USB connection, and an audio out. That’s your lot – not a knob, button or lcd to be seen anywhere. On the other hand, it’s a 2-oscillator hardware synth with 64 presets (32 user programable) for $99 RRP, indicating a likely street price of €80 or so. Everything is programmed via midi, but luckily there’s a free midi editor program for windows. We’ve seen a number of baby synths in recent years – the new stylophone, and Korg’s Little Bits modular synth being notable for what they achieve at a low price point. For me, the Pi L2 is a little pointless – I can make any sound I want using software. The only thing that draws me to hardware is the interaction – knobs, sliders, buttons and wheels are a better user interface that a screen and mouse any day, and the L2 doesn’t even have a power button. If Ploytec, the makers, can build a bigger module with controls on it, for $150 or so, they could well be onto a...

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