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SIR Audio tools updates StandardEQ to v1.0.039/40 and qwertyGO to v1.5.051/52

Written by Site Update on October 22nd, 2014

SIR Audio Tools (Christian Knufinke) has released version 1.0.039/40 of StandardEQ and version 1.5.051/52 of qwertyGO!. Changes in StandardEQ 1.0.039/40: Improved analyzer settings. Fixed ctrl-drag [Read More]
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Epiphone Slash ‘AFD’ Les Paul Special-II

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

Read more about Epiphone Slash ‘AFD’ Les Paul Special-II at MusicRadar.com


The AFD Les Paul also comes as part of Epiphone’s excellent AFD Performance Pack, but here we’re focussing on the guitar itself, which is aimed at guitarists taking their first steps in rock.

“Loaded into the guitar are two of Epiphone’s new – and exceedingly powerful – Ceramic Plus humbuckers”

The differences in spec between this and a classic Les Paul include a bolt-on neck, reduced control panel and the resitting of the three-way toggle to between the two pots.

The mahogany body, resplendent in a flamed maple veneer finished in Appetite Amber, is thinner than on a Gibson LP, too.

Loaded into the guitar are two of Epiphone’s new – and exceedingly powerful – Ceramic Plus humbuckers; plus, built into the bridge pickup ring is a Shadow E-Tuner, activated via a small push- button on the ring – handy.

The action’s a little too low and the rosewood fingerboard is overly dry straight out of the box; but that doesn’t take long to rectify, and our first impressions of the rock tone were positive.

Although it’s not especially dynamic and doesn’t react well to bending two or three of the higher strings at a time, the bridge pickup sounds fine; the neck pickup, however, is a little dark and underwhelming.

It’s unfair to compare its performance with the other Slash-endorsed instruments higher up the range, and any misgivings we have are more than washed away by the great price.

Read more about Epiphone Slash ‘AFD’ Les Paul Special-II at MusicRadar.com







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Gear4Music WHD517-DX

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

Read more about Gear4Music WHD517-DX at MusicRadar.com


Gear4Music continues to expand its premium brand with the very latest in affordable electronic drums.

Build

This five-piece e-kit boasts ‘micro-weave’ pads for the toms, snare and kick. With the kit comes a robust but lightweight rack, the ever-essential wiring snake (fitted with 1⁄4″ jacks), DD517 drum module, power supply, drum key (for rack assembly and mesh tensioning), and a pair of sticks.

“Curved rack tubes create an ergonomic platform where a sweeping circular motion helps us blast around the kit”

Each of the toms and snare pads are dual-zoned and capable of rim-shots and cross-sticking. Both the crash and ride will allow chokes, while the triple-zone ride will trigger on the edge, bow and bell.

Chokes are even possible on the hi-hat pad, and the hi-hat pedal controller allows half-open hi-hat techniques with the 18 hi-hat sound combinations.

The DD517 module is packed with around 700 drum and percussion sounds, 120 preset songs and space for 100 user songs. Connectivity includes midi in/out, USB, flash memory card socket (for saving user kits and song data), and an auxiliary input.

There is also room for expansion with the two spare sockets of ‘TOM 4′ and ‘CRASH 2′ – as these are dual inputs, it’s feasible to connect up to four separate triggers.

Hands On

Curved rack tubes create an ergonomic platform where a sweeping circular motion helps us blast around the kit. Performance with the module proves conveniently rapid, and mostly with one hand, thanks to the many single-function buttons.

The dot matrix display is basic but clear, with prominence given to performance parameters such as tempo, measure of sequence etc, getting lost in mid-flow is not an option.

The flash memory is great for storing kit/midi data and the module will play any standard midi file stored on the card – the USB port is only used for Midi. With 120 songs there are plenty of styles and song types to keep anyone amused.

One of the great advantages of this kit is undoubtedly the mesh pads – these have stick-uplifting qualities as they readily springboard and bounce and thankfully the module keeps up at an impressive pace.

Read more about Gear4Music WHD517-DX at MusicRadar.com







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CodeFN42 updates free “Kontakt LibOrganizer” for Windows

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

CodeFN42 has updated Kontakt LibOrganizer, a free utility for Windows that lets you easily change the order of all your libraries on the Libraries tab in Kontakt, to version 1.01. Changes: Added [Read More]
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The Zaquencer Turns Behringer’s Encoders Into a Killer Step Sequencer

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014
What if those encoders had a new life? Photo (CC-BY-SA)  Shunichi kouroki.

What if those encoders had a new life? Photo (CC-BY-SA)
Shunichi kouroki
.

Dear Gods of step sequencing, we beseech thee.

Give unto us first a lot of knobs. We pray for a bounty of encoders, ideally built into hardware everyone kind of forgotten about.

And shine upon us with lights round those encoders.

Next, let us breaketh our warranty together, so that we may onto thine encoders map parameters.

And set my people free from the chains that bind them to their computers, so that they may roam free across the land and sequenceth hardware free from the tyranny of the folding metal fruit books and boxy Compy.

Amen.

Yes, your prayers have been answered – maybe prayers you didn’t know you had. Like, wouldn’t it be great if someone came along and turned the inexpensive Behringer BCR2000 encoder box into a badass step sequencer.

It’s amazing sometimes what comes from individual developers and doesn’t come from big makers. Of course, the developer here – Christian Stöcklmeier – had the advantage of starting with finished hardware and focusing on firmware. But it’s an impressive project, nonetheless. (And it makes me want to see Christian work on firmware for new hardware, too.)

Whatever the future might hold, ZAQ Audio’s Zaquencer is available now. So, at the risk of driving BCR prices up, let’s have a look.

32 steps
Sequence length (8 steps, 16 steps, 32 steps…)
Chord function (with a pool of chords from which you can choose)
4 tracks with mute function, per-track shuffle, sync with reset button
Individual drum mutes
TR-style drum programming (x0x it up!)
Modify individual steps, or hold to change everything at once
Note pitch
Change direction (forward, backward, ping-pong, random)
Clock divider
192 patterns, 12 pages stored in flash
(and more)

It does all of this by entirely replacing the BCR’s usual firmware. Instead of being a controller for MIDI and computers, the hardware becomes a standalone device with an entirely new set of features. And yes, this voids the warranty – though in this case that almost makes it seem more awesome. Void away.

Here’s a brilliant jam on the system by Jacob Korn:

https://zaqaudio.com

I remain excited by the Digital Warrior, too, which has recently been adding features (and is in fact original hardware). There’s lots happening in this space. It’s an exciting time to be a lover of hardware sequencing. The more, the better.

http://digitalwarrior.co

zaq

The post The Zaquencer Turns Behringer’s Encoders Into a Killer Step Sequencer appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Positive Grid releases BIAS Desktop Amp Matching Modeler for Mac & Win VST, AU, RTAS & AAX

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

Positive Grid has announced the launch of BIAS Desktop, a guitar amp modeler with Amp Matching technology that they say offers a new concept of putting any tube amplifier tone and feel [Read More]
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Propellerhead A-List Electric Guitarist Power Chords

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

Read more about Propellerhead A-List Electric Guitarist Power Chords at MusicRadar.com


Propellerhead’s ongoing recruitment drive for ‘live’ (as opposed to electronic) musicians continues with the second instrument in their A-List series of Rack Extensions. Electric Guitarist Power Chords is an ‘auto-playing’ electric guitar ROMpler (715MB) designed to make adding rhythm guitar parts to your Reason projects effortless.

The guitar sound is defined in the Source panel, which offers four pickup-based variations (Twang, Bite, Soft and Fat), four optional amp types (Crunch, Cream, Brit and Metal), a Drive control and a switch for Drop D tuning. Although EQ controls wouldn’t go amiss, there’s enough here to enable a decent range of core tones.

“Impressive-sounding rhythm guitar tracks come together as fluidly and easily as advertised”

Onto the rhythms, then, which are arranged in banks and selected by MIDI note input. Notes C4 to C9 trigger their corresponding power chords, while key combinations can be used to play six variations – sus4, augmented, +5, etc.

46 genre-specific Styles (largely rock-orientated but straying into funk, reggae and pop territory, too) are each subdivided into 11 Phrases of increasing complexity, selected using notes C3 to B 4, while C1 to B 3 switch between 23 standard Phrases common to all Styles.

You can control the strength of palm muting using the mod wheel, dial in humanisation and swing, and activate a double-tracking mode. By combining chords and Phrases, either live or through MIDI sequencing, impressive-sounding (albeit only power chord-based) rhythm guitar tracks come together as fluidly and easily as advertised. Four effects (Slapback and Echo delays, Chorus and Reverb) are then on-hand in the Mix section.

In order to keep things simple, EGPC gives you no front panel control at all over the notes within the Phrases, although you can feed into the CV Note input (from the Matrix Pattern Sequencer, say) to trigger their component slices individually.

This opens the instrument up to more adventurous producers, breaking it out of its otherwise realistic, rather conservative niche and into the wider world of rhythm design.

Read more about Propellerhead A-List Electric Guitarist Power Chords at MusicRadar.com







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DamyFx releases “Doctor BASS Tube Amp and Cabinet” for Windows VST

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

DamyFx has released Doctor BASS Tube Amp and Cabinet, a Tube Amp and Cabinet simulator VST plugin for Windows, inspired by an American bass amp tube. Price: 5€. [Read More]
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Epic SoundLab releases The Forge for Kontakt

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

Epic SoundLab has released The Forge, a hybrid scoring instrument for Native Instruments Kontakt, aimed at Film, TV and Games composers. Specifications: Advanced User Interface. Arpeggiator. [Read More]
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Alan ViSTa releases BellsEbuth – Free Orchestral Bells Plug-in for Mac & Win VST & AU

Written by Site Update on October 21st, 2014

Alan ViSTa has released BellsEbuth, a free Audio Unit / VST plug-in featuring sampled Orchestral Bells for Windows and Mac OS X. It contains 40 stereo samples from the University of Iowa Electronic [Read More]
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