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Plogue releases demo version of chipspeech vintage speech synthesizer

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

Plogue has released a free demo version of chipspeech, a vintage-style speech synthesizer which recreates the sound of famous 80′s voice synthesis chips. It features 7 different voices, each [Read More]
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Karoryfer Samples releases Ironface synth library for Sforzando

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

Karoryfer Samples has released Ironface, a free open-source sample library for Plogue Sforzando which combines samples of a bowed double bass with synthesizer-style controls. Instead of trying [Read More]
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The Unfinished releases “Massive Darkscore V” for NI Massive

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

The Unfinished has released Massive Darkscore V, a collection of 128 sounds for NI Massive, and the fifth and final soundset in the Darkscore series. Here’s what they say: “Dangerous and delicate, [Read More]
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AcustiX Digital Instruments releases AcustiX Steinway Piano III for Kontakt

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

AcustiX Digital Instruments has released the AcustiX Steinway Piano III in Kontakt format. Here’s what they say: “The AcustiX Steinway Piano is the result of the challenge to create a top-quality [Read More]
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Sound Radix Drum Leveler

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

Read more about Sound Radix Drum Leveler at MusicRadar.com


Drum Leveler is, as the name suggests, a plugin (VST/AU/AAX/RTAS) focused on the levelling of drum tracks. However, like Sound Radix’s previous plugins, this is no ordinary dynamics processor.

Drum Leveler employs beat detection to analyse the signal, then applies simultaneous upward and downward compression/expansion on a hit-by-hit basis.

Rather than offering traditional threshold and ratio settings, it combines two thresholds (Hi and Lo) with a Target level and Compression amount (+/-0 to 100%). Lo works much like a typical compressor threshold, while Hi acts as an upper level limit.

“Drum Leveler does a great job of levelling user-targeted beats and it’s surprisingly easy to get to grips with”

Together they define a signal level range within which beats can be targeted. The Compression amount sets the percentage by which any beat falling within this range will have gain individually applied to it to match the Target Level, 100% representing a 1:1 mapping. Further to that, negative Compression settings result in expansion.

For fine-tuning the process, there’s a fully adjustable sidechain filter with band-pass and band stop options, and separate high and low frequency settings.

Four further controls flank the Compression knob, too: Gain Range puts a cap on the gain applied (0-80dB), while Minimum Retrigger sets a minimum time (0-500ms) before the detection algorithm is allowed to detect the next discrete beat. Hold Time and Recovery Time both influence how long the gain change is applied for.

Drum Leveler includes Dual Mono, Stereo and M/S operation, and a zoomable, colour-coded waveform display which indicates gain changes.

Does it work?

Not only does Drum Leveler do a great job of levelling user-targeted beats, it’s also surprisingly easy to get to grips with. The adjustment of the three levelling parameters – Hi Threshold, Lo Threshold and Target Level – directly in the main waveform display makes pinpointing thresholds a doddle; and thanks to the colour coding, you can easily see any gain change and whether it’s positive or negative.

On a full drum kit mix, it’s quite possible to reduce or even totally notch out individual hits. At the other end of the usage scale, if you want to boost levels for specific beats, that’s an option, too.

The Hold and Recovery settings have a considerable influence on how Drum Leveler sounds, and much like the release stage on a regular compressor, with time spent here, you can achieve everything from heavy, gate-like pumping to smooth, transparent gain reduction.

There are times when Drum Leveler catches beats you don’t want it to, but we found that when their frequency content is specific enough, the sidechain filter can help.

We also tried the plugin on other transient-heavy sounds, such as picked electric bass and guitar, and found it surprisingly effective at sorting out tricky or problem transients.

Nevertheless, Drum Leveler’s forte is clearly ‘mixed’ material (ie, a mixed drum kit recording), with which other traditional dynamics processors struggle to isolate elements.

Sound Radix’s innovative new plugin does require you to rewire your brain a little, but that doesn’t take long, and once you’ve got used to its approach, it’s a really great tool that neatly sidesteps many of the frustrations of conventional level-based dynamics processing.

Read more about Sound Radix Drum Leveler at MusicRadar.com







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Sounds And Effects releases “Glitches And Zaps” for Kontakt & Reason with Intro Offer

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

Sounds And Effects has released Glitches And Zaps, a playable sound library for Kontakt or Reason intended for any modern style of electronic music. As an introductory offer, Glitches And Zaps [Read More]
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Art Vista announces “Virtual Grand Piano 3″ (Facelift + Lower Price)

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

At the NAMM Show in Anaheim last week Art Vista showed a new version of the Art Vista Virtual Grand Piano – a piano software based on recordings of a 1960 Hamburg Steinway Model “B” with presets [Read More]
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Native Instruments releases Prospect Haze Expansion for Maschine

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

Native Instruments has released Prospect Haze – a new Maschine Expansion for laid-back, melodic sounds of 90s East Coast hip-hop grooves. Prospect Haze is available now at the NI Online Shop [Read More]
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Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster ’60s

Written by Site Update on January 31st, 2015

Read more about Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster ’60s at MusicRadar.com


So what’s the difference between this and the recently reviewed Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Strat?

First, there are the finishes: the one you see here is Burgundy Mist, and were Prince a cash-strapped student, we could imagine him saving his purple pennies for this sexy number.

“If you find vintage-voiced Strats too spiky, this fits the bill”

There are a number of other subtle differences, too; most obvious is the rosewood fingerboard, but the two-ply Mint Green scratchplate and skunk-less maple neck are also faithful to Fender’s 60s tweaks.

The biggest tonal differences come via the rosewood ‘board; where the maple ’50s Strat carries a neutral mid character with extra treble, the ’60s Strat has a more scooped sound with a deeper low end and more high-end roll-off.

If you find vintage-voiced Strats too spiky, this fits the bill, while the rosewood will also suit players looking for a softer touch.

Adding overdrive accentuates the differences; it’s hardly night and day, but you could find it tougher to cut through with the ’60s model, although that’s nothing a good Tube Screamer won’t sort out.

It’s worth noting that build quality on our review Strat was nothing short of excellent, with tight neck joints, well-applied finishes and superbly fitted frets, while both vibratos were as smooth as butter, with top-notch tuning stability.

In this price range, you can land more versatile double-cuts from Yamaha, G&L and Fret-King, but few can top the Classic Vibe when it comes to nailing that authentic Strat mojo.

Read more about Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster ’60s at MusicRadar.com







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Loscil For Greta: an ambient fundraising

Written by Site Update on January 30th, 2015

loscilLoscil, the Vancouver-based ambient music artist (check out his latest album, Sea Island), has published a new three tracks EP on Bandcamp, For Greta, announcing a fundraiser for his friends Tim and Heather whose daughter Greta has been diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. All funds will go to support Tim and his family in this challenging time.
It’s a good chance to donate for a good cause and for some good music. Our best wishes to Greta and her family…

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