Friday, May 31, 2013

Free Sample Friday: Mangled Detergent Drums

Two weeks ago, I posted some samples of various laundry detergent bottles being struck with a drum stick.  I invited readers to use these as starting points and mangle the samples however they saw fit, so we could share them here later.  Meant to get these up last Friday, but had some weirdness to deal with here, so here you go!

First, I'll give you my set.  I used the sounds as the basis for a sort of lofi/industrial drum kit (including a pretty good imitation of the famous Fairlight gated kick if I do say so myself).  13 stereo WAV files.  [2.2 MB]


Next up, we have an extremely creative set courtesy of Hans from the project Oddliction.  You'll find everything from drones, to glitches, and all manner of bizarre sonic madness. 36 mono WAV files. [7 MB]


Bobby from Life in Digital contributed this set which consists of some hits, glitches, and unusual rhythmic loops.  13 mono WAV files.  [9.3 MB]


Finally, we have a single sample contributed by reader Jerry who converted the first Detergent Drum sample into a sort of weird, alien klaxon. [256 k]


Yamaha SY-85 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Sequential Circuits Prophet VS on eBay

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: Black Octopus Siren by Veela and Corey Friesenhan Vocal Sessions Vol. 01

Developer: Black Octopus
Distributed by: Resonance Sound
Format: Downloadable 24-bit WAVs
Price: £31.05
Demo: Audio demos and free samples available on the product pages.  (Veela / Corey Friesenhan)

So you've been working on a brilliant, floor-smashing trance tune.  The beat is punchy, the bassline is throbbing, and there's enough ear-candy in your mix to cause diabetic shock - yet, something is missing.  What you really need is a killer vocal to tie everything together and make it hooky.  Unfortunately, maybe you don't happen to know any world-class vocalists with the required amount of polish.  That's where these 2 new libraries from Black Octopus come in to play.

Both of these libraries consist of vocals by two professional singers impeccably recorded through an impressive signal chain.  Each library contains a number of "construction kit" type full songs (15 for Veela and 12 for Cory Friesenhan).  All of the tempo and key information is included, as well as the intended chord progression for the vocal (although most will work with other progressions as well). You also get manipulated rhythmic vocal loops, ad libs, swells, tones, and more that can be great for adding variety and spice to your tracks even if the construction kits aren't to your tastes.

Describing a vocalist in words can be a bit difficult, but I will try my best.  Veela, the female vocalist has a lovely, breathy, but strong vocal tone with the slightest hint of an Irish accent.  To my ears, her voice is perfect mainly for mainstream trance or downtempo.  Sweet, beautiful and ethereal.  Corey Friesenhan has a very smooth tenor voice with a bit of soul that would be perfect for R&B, dance, and house.  Of course, your ears are your best judges of which is right for your production, so check out the audio demos for yourself.

The sound quality of both libraries is pretty much perfect.  Great-sounding recordings and professional performances all captured with top notch gear.  As you would expect, the vocals are mostly dry, allowing you to process them as you see fit.  I really appreciated all the extras included in these libraries.  The processed vocal loops are great for adding a bit of interest, and even seemingly innocuous things like breaths and sighs can be the basis for rhythmic loops or time-stretched into ambient textures.  

Lyrically, there's not much to write home about.  Fairly generic sentiments, nothing mind-blowing, but would  you really expect that from this type of music?  This is aimed at the mainstream and everything here is pretty representative of what you'd expect genre-wise.  In addition to actual lyrics, there are tons of oohs, ahhs, uhhs, and other non-verbal riffs.

I'll admit, I am not a user of construction kits, but I can certainly see their value, especially for up and coming musicians who might not have the resources or desire to write and record custom vocals.  For cases like this, I think these libraries will be much appreciated.  They put professional-sounding vocals from world-class vocalists within reach for even the noobiest of noobs.  Of course, this will appeal to many professionals as well, and the quality of the performance and recordings will fit right in.  [Both libraries: 9/10]

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Arp Axxe with Little Brother Sequencer on eBay

Info at the listing...

Roland MC-202 on eBay

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Korg Polysix on eBay

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Very Cool Visualization of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

Stephen Malinowski is a programmer and musician who has spent the past 40 years working on a "music animation engine" to help visually represent the structure of pieces of music in a way that makes sense even to those who might not necessarily understand music theory.  The above piece is his latest, a visualization of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring", which, as it happens, celebrates its 100th anniversary today.

[via NPR]

Free Sample... Wednesday? Cicada Orgy

So first of all, apologies for not getting a Free Sample Friday up last week.  Thursday night we had a unusually late visit from a solicitor that seemed to be casing our house.  Sure enough, later that night, the neighborhood was swarming with cops looking for a bunch of guys who fit the description of our visitor who had stolen a car.  So, needless to say, my attention was elsewhere.

Anyway, frequent Free Sample Friday contributor Adam sent me a nice, long  recording of cicadas, an insect that hibernates for 17 years at a time until it emerges to mate.  I suppose that makes this sort of a rare sound.  Thanks to Adam for sharing it!  If anyone does anything especially creative with it, I'd love to hear it!

The processed "Detergent Drums" samples will be up on Friday!

Moog Sub Phatty on eBay

Info at the listing...

Roland Juno-106S on eBay

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Doepfer Dark Energy Mk 1 on eBay

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hartmann NeuronVS Now Free for Mac Users

Wow!  I didn't see this one coming.  Hartmann's NeuronVS, the software version of the infamous Neuron hardware synth, has been re-released as freeware.  Considering how expensive this software was when it was released, this is pretty amazing news.

NeuronVS is only available in VST format (an old version of the standard, at that), and only for OSX.

Here is the statement Hartmann has made:

  1.      In 2000, Axel Hartmann and I, Stephan Bernsee, set out to designing a novel synthesizer based on artificial neural networks used for sound synthesis, the synthesizer. We were able to get support from a lot of people, including well known artists such as Hans Zimmer, and Hartmann Music as a company won several awards for innovation in synthesis technology.
  2. Unfortunately and despite the huge interest in our products, due to some issues with distribution and our hardware manufacturer Hartmann was driven out of business in 2004. With the company dead there was no chance for owners to get tech support or updates.
  3. Just recently, a Facebook group came into existence that managed to attract many knowledgeable and skilled Neuron owners who provide support and advice to each other in their spare time. To aid them in the process of keeping the Neuron alive I have dusted off the old NeuronVS sources in order to revive the NeuronVS VST plug-in, a software-only version of the Neuron synth that came with a powerful hardware controller, the . Thanks to the generosity of former Hartmann CEO Stefan Rapp and Neuron designer Axel Hartmann I am now able to provide an updated version of the original software here free of charge, (hopefully) free of bugs - and with no warranties of any kind.

Sample Magic Releases Magic AB Plug-in

Have you ever read about a new plug-in and thought, "Why didn't I think of that?!"  Sample Magic's new Magic AB plug-in sounds like one of those plug-ins to me.

When mixing and mastering tracks, it can be especially useful to compare the track you are currently working on with a different track you consider to be a good representation of "professional sound".    Magic AB allows you to compare the mix you are working on in your DAW with up to nine other sound files of mixes you want to use to reference to.

Magic AB is available at the special price of £19.90 (regularly £24.90) for a limited time. Available for Windows (VST, RTAS, AAX) and OSX (VST, AU, RTAS, AAX).

Limited Edition Black and Red Korg Microkorg

Info at the listing...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cakewalk Rapture On Sale for $19.99

Cakewalk is having a sale right now which includes their excellent Rapture synth for only $19.99.  Rapture is a six-oscillator sample-based synth with extensive modulation options and a ton of really nice sounds.  Mac users note that Lion and Mountain Lion are not supported.

Roland Jupiter-6 on eBay

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Roland JP-8000 on eBay

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Bluegrass Cover of Daft Punk? Why Not?

[via CBSnews]

Free Sampling Instrument for NI Reaktor

Peter Dines who runs the Reaktortips blog has released Frame 3, a freeware sampling instrument for Native Instruments Reaktor 5.8 or greater.  Frame 3 takes a sample and then defines a moveable playback "window" that allows you to scan throughout the waveform without clicks, pops, or the usual artifacts you'd normally encounter by doing so.


[via BedroomProducers]

Schneider TM's "The Light 3000"

This is one from many years ago I had forgotten about until tonight - a lovely IDM cover of the Smith's  "There is a Light That Never Goes Out".

[via schneidervm on YouTube]

Modified Paia Fatman on eBay

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Ensoniq VFX on eBay

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Sequential Circuits Prophet 10 on eBay

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Free u-he Tyrell Nexus 6 Bank

KVR user Filter303 uploaded a bank of free patches for u-he's cool (and also free)  Tyrell Nexus 6 synth:

"I produce simple EDM myself and this bank reflects my taste. The sounds consist mostly of fast and aggressive bass and leads, some tempo synced sounds and even some pads and fx. It's mostly simple stuff so don't expect anything groundbreaking Smile 

A word of warning for people with older computers is that I used unison mode quite heavily when making these presets. So don't look all that surprised if your computer can't handle it. N6 is quite a CPU intensive synth compared to some others. You have been warned! "

Sequential Circuits Prophet 2000 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Monday, May 20, 2013

RIP Ray Manzarek

Legendary Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek has passed away at the age of 74.

[via the Doors Facebook]

Ju-X Designs Releases Free "Gimmick Mini" Synth for OS-X

Ju-x Designs has released Gimmick Mini, a free AU format synth for OS 10.7 or later.  Gimmick Mini generates sound using an unusual method they describe thusly:

"Gimmick’s oscillator draws waveform by setting how many times to twist it in a cycle and then divides it by scanning up and down direction, finally player can also determine ratios of each turning points."


[via Matrixsynth]

Sonic Charge Releases Microtonic v3.1

Sonic Charge has released version 3.1 of their Microtonic drum synth, a free update to registered users. The new version adds a new, cleaner GUI, 64-bit compatibility, new MIDI controlling possibilities,  a new online registration tool called Authenticator, and more.

Roland JD-800 on eBay

Info at the listing...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Free Sample Friday: Detergent Drums (and a Contest... Sort of...)

So, I thought I'd try something a little different for today's Free Sample Friday.  Today's selection of samples consist of 12 different samples of detergent containers being struck with a drum stick.  They don't make bad percussion sounds on their own, but I want to see how creative you all can get.

Let's use these samples as the starting point for new sounds... pitch shift them, layer them, filter them, effect them, distort them, stretch them - just twist them into something new an unrecognizable.  It could be more percussive type sounds, ambient soundscapes, or even a synth sound.  Now, there is no prize other than the mutual admiration of your peers, but I thought I could then share the resulting samples with everyone for next Friday.  So we get to mess around with sample mangling AND (hopefully) get a whole new mess of sounds out of it!

1.) The sounds you submit cannot contain source material from another sample library.  It's fine if you want to make your own samples and layer them, but the material you submit must be free of copyright. Likewise, you allow Waveformless to distribute the samples you submit to the public for free without any compensation due to you.

2.) Please give each sample a different, unique name to help distinguish eveyrone's samples from one another.

3.) Sounds must be in 24-bit/44.1k WAV format and be fully edited (no dead space at the beginning, etc.)

4.)  Try to keep the sample sizes reasonable.

5.  When you've got stuff you want to submit, you may send it to me directly.  Make sure the subject header reads something like Waveformless Contest or something similar.

I think this should be a fun experiment.  Hope we get lots of submissions!  Now, without further delay, here are the samples:


Oberheim SEM Reissue on eBay

Sometime Waveformless contributor Adam is selling his spiffy new Oberheim SEM reissue.  Mention you're a Waveformless reader and he'll ship it for free!

Info at the listing...