February Audio News 2011

Hi there !

Here are the February audio news, carefully selected just for you !

It is listed in the following categories :
- Music composition
- Music Production / Audio Post
- Sound Design
- Live stage application / Ipad / Iphone etc...
- Free stuff
- Nice videos of the month
- Articles

I've added an "articles" section in the month report to cover news from other blogs, so don't hesitate to submit cool articles via this link.

I've also opened a Facebook page a few days ago, you can now become a fan here or just click



Music Composition

RECEPTOR 2+ @ Museresearch

A dedicated hardware interface for your virtual instruments and effects using the innovative, dedicated performance muscle of the Muse Research RECEPTOR 2+.

Compatible / loaded with Vir2, Komplete, ProjectSAM, IK Multimedia, GForce, Rob Papen, MOTU virtual instruments / plugins should fit any composer's needs, don't you think ? It seems robust and accurate, I'd really like to try it once...

The world’s greatest keyboardists, guitarists, drummers, producers, engineers, film and TV composers, and music theater companies rely on RECEPTOR as their #1 solution for running virtual instruments and effects with unrivalled, road-worthy stability, speed and performance.


Steinberg Halion Sonic  Retail

Steinberg Halion Sonic Retail

Halion Sonic Update @ Steinberg

A free update for all Halion users (now in version 1.5) that fixes some bugs and issues, and improves performances... From the Steinberg website : " HALion Sonic is Steinberg's premier VST workstation, featuring the latest sampling and synthesis technologies, a world-class library and an intelligent user interface that excels in the studio as well as on stage. HALion Sonic is Steinberg’s premier VST workstation that breaks new ground in terms of performance, versatility and ease of use. Over a thousand instrument sounds created by top sound experts at Yamaha and Steinberg offer a staggering array of first class synths, hybrid and acoustic instruments, covering almost any conceivable style. HALion Sonic is the long-anticipated successor to the highly acclaimed Hypersonic 2 workstation, and allows you to work more productively than ever before. Exclusive and comprehensive world-class content, an intuitive interface for seamless handling and the sheer endless possibilities of creating entirely new landscapes deliver truly unlimited sonic dimensions."

Download update here


EastWest Symphonic Choirs - PLAY Edition Virtual Instrument Software

EastWest Symphonic Choirs - PLAY Edition Virtual Instrument Software

Symphonic Choirs Play Edition @ EastWest

I want it now ! I'm always delighted by EastWest new products, now, as usual, I'll be broke again... the wordbuilder feature in Symphonic Choirs is so practical and smart... the library is huge and covers almost everything you need when composing for classic choirs. The demos are brilliant. I don't know what to say !

Overview from EastWest site :
" Imagine typing words into your computer, in any language, and hearing a world class Symphonic Choir sing those words in any key(s) you play "live" on your keyboard controller! Well imagine no more, that's exactly what this revolutionary "award-winning" virtual instrument does. In addition, this is the first 24-bit Choir virtual instrument to include three simultaneous stereo mic setups (close, stage and hall), so users can mix any combination of mic positions to control ambience. The Choirs were recorded in the same concert hall, by the same team as the EastWest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra and blend perfectly with EWQLSO.

To achieve the feel of a live concert hall performance, each instrument and section was recorded with three mic positions: close, stage (conductor‘s position) and hall. By selecting different mic positions, users can mix these sounds together to create any kind of natural ambience their project requires. This eliminates the need for artificial reverb.

The Symphonic Choirs Expansion (Voices of the Apocalypse content) was recorded separately, at 24-bit resolution with a single mic position.

WordBuilder is the word building software for both MAC and PC that enables Symphonic Choirs and Symphonic Choirs Expansion users to type in words for the Choirs to sing. This revolutionary software also includes a pop-down menu that includes popular pre-built phrases that you can load instantly. This is a real time saver for those on a tight deadline. The phrases have been optimized for each Choir. The phrases menu is customizable so you can add your own phrases to WordBuilder for quick and easy access. This is the most powerful vocals solution available..."


Grand Piano @ UVI

Turn your Mac in a virtual Grand Piano... Not new but always needed. What's interesting besides the sound is the nice price ($ 29.99 / 23.99 €) for that quality of virtual instrument. Directtly available on the Mac App Store (Mac OS X 10.6 users only).

Give a try to the audio demos... they sound great !


Vienna Dimension Brass @ VSL

VSL launched Vienna Dimansion Brass, a new brass virtual instruments collection, it provides a trumpet ensemble (4 Trumpets in Bb) + a horn ensemble (4 French horns) + a trombone ensemble (4 Tenor trombones) + a low Brass ensemble (1 Tuba, 1 Bass trombone, 2 Trombones). For what I've heard for now, VSL keeps its reputation. It seems to be a very high quality virtual instruments, that certainly worth the introductory 625 $ (until feb 15th 2011).

"Vienna Dimension Brass gives an entirely new meaning to the term multi-samples. These instruments were recorded in a very unique way at Vienna’s famed Silent Stage. While every note was played by a well-rehearsed ensemble of four brass players, each instrument was recorded separately, which allows you to access each voice individually. Still, they sound like an ensemble and not like four soloists, whether playing in unison, divisi, or even in four-part harmony..."


Music Production / Audio post


A nice X-rack module (classic dynamic channel strip now in stereo) by SSL...

From the press release : "The new X-Rack Module delivers the same sonic signature as the channel strip processing of SSL’s large format Duality console and the mono X-Rack SuperAnalogue™ Dynamics Module in a stereo configuration. The module is intended for stereo tracking or stem mixing and further extends the availability of SSL’s sonic heritage to studios of all sizes..."


Bias PEAK PRO XT 6 Single

Bias PEAK PRO XT 6 Single

< New Peak Studio @ Bias

For me, one of the best editing / mastering / restoration suite for Mac. Peak is now in version 6, with a bunch of cool new features like declipper tool, DDP export or multichannel editing (yes!).


Waves Mercury - Native Digital Download

Waves Mercury - Native Digital Download

Waves Version 8 @ Waves

Do I need to talk about the Waves bundles plugins ? Simply one the best solution for audio postproduction / music. Now updated in version 8, with new interface design and bug fixes... I should make a complete review of the suite... needless to say that it's really a huge work - to come (be patient). For now take a look a Waves website for more infomation (and price :-( ) .

Important Notes from Waves website :
V6, V7, and V8 can all run concurrently on the same computer. However, V8 and Waves versions V4 and V5 cannot.

All previous versions of products that you update will be removed from your iLok and replaced by V8. After updating to V8, you will not be able to use these versions again.

V8 is not supported on Mac G5 and below. To ensure your system is compatible with Waves V8, check our Tech Specs page.


Omnisphere & Trillian updates (v1.3.1c) @ Spectrasonics

Directly from Spectrasonics website : "Available in the UPDATES area.This update adds the following features and enhancements :

• New ‘Latch’ performance features for Live Stack modes allow notes from any part to be “frozen”
• New ‘Trigger modes’ allow Omnisphere and Trilian parts to be synchronized and quantized in real-time performance
• New ‘Sustain2′ mode allows for much more realistic Rock-style Bass playing in Trilian
• All Envelopes now have Groove Lock™ feature. Envelope Patterns can be created via drag and drop of MIDI Files
• New Browser ‘Search Lock’ and ‘Search Clear’ features improve workflow
• Cross-platform support for Omni Live iPhone app on OSX and Windows
• Numerous compatibility, performance and support improvements..."


Santoor @ Precision Sound

A brand new Indian virtual instrument taylor made by Precision sound. I really like their audio demos and the price (69 $). Here's what they say about it : " The Santoor/Santur is a flat shaped instrument in the form of a trapezoid that means it is wider at one end and short at the other end. It is a wooden box that is broader in size low pitch notes and is tapered at the other side for the high pitched notes.

The Indian Santoor used in this SampleSet was carefully crafted in Delhi, India.
It has 31 notes in units of 3, resulting in a total of 93 strings.
You will surely appreciate the full resonance and the crystal clear character of the sound generated by this instrument.

The Indian Santoor is 3 octaves from C2 to C5, with four velocity layers and four round robin hits (Kontakt and EXS24 format only) for a very sensitive and natural playability.

The Indian Santoor contains 573 stereo 24bit wav samples
8 programs for HALion 1-3 and EXS24.
1 multi program for Kontakt 3 and 4 with KSP script and GUI
9 programs for Kontakt 1 and 2..."


Infinite Workstation Gold @ Sonic Reality

From their press release : "Sonic Reality sound development company is announcing the release of a powerful virtual instrument plug-in/Kontakt-based sample library bundle called “Infinite Workstation Gold”. It features a massive selection of multi-sampled instruments ranging from pianos, vintage keyboards, guitars and bass to a complete orchestra, vocal pads and world instruments. With 3,000 sounds and over 12 gigabytes of sample content “Infinite Workstation Gold” is designed with the songwriter/composer or producer in mind. It’s a ‘one-stop shop’ for all sound needs in any style of music from Hip Hop to Rock to Classical and more..."


EastWest Ministry of Rock Virtual Instruments Collection

EastWest Ministry of Rock Virtual Instruments Collection

Ministry Of Rock 2 @ EastWest

That's not my favorite EastWest virtual instrument but... it is quite interesting and sounds very good (as usual you know that I really like their products). See for yourself, if you're not a guitarist or drummer, or if you can't have access to a studio... It really can be a good solution for a lot of composers...

From the press release : "Ministry Of Rock 2 was put together with one goal in mind: to create a virtual (software) instrument capable of producing sounds that could actually produce a hit record or film score without any live drum, bass, or guitar overdubs. The articulations and programming were all reverse engineered from actual performances. The 57 gigabyte collection features LIVE technology that enables multi-sampled drums to sound like a live performance...

The drums for Ministry Of Rock 2 were recorded in EASTWEST Studio 1 on three large rock kits from DW, Gretsch, and Ludwig, along with 6 additional snares. Top vintage and modern gear from Neve, Neumann, Telefunken, AKG, Manley, Fairchild, Royer, Chandler and Meitner were employed for a legendary sound. Repetition samples were recorded for everything as well as extreme dynamics and three mic positions for drums (close + room, or close + compressed room) to dial in the desired sound and an ultra-realistic performance. Any drum from any kit can be selected to create a custom kit, plus there are 6 additional snare drums to choose from.

Ministry Of Rock 2 guitars were recorded on Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String, Baritone, Gibson Les Paul, and Schecter 7 String through Fender, Divided By Thirteen, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Bogner and Vox Amps. Samples feature round robin, hammer on and pull off legato, sliding legato and dozens of other techniques. Dual channel recordings let you pick a wicked real amp sound or use the direct signal with popular plug-ins.

Ministry Of Rock 2 also includes all of the remastered content from Hardcore Bass and Hardcore Bass XP plus an all-new 5 string Musicman Stingray bass with 7000 samples and true legato. Fender, Hofner, Gibson, Silvertone, Rickenbacker, Musicman and Lakland basses were recorded through large bass rigs..."

Seems cool, no ?


CineOrch @ Big Fish Audio

An intelligent virtual orchestral strings section ? That's what Cineorch seems to be regarding the developper's site description...

" CineOrch is an orchestral mockup enhancer for the professional composer.

We hired a world-class 70 piece orchestra in a gorgeous space and sampled an enormous variety of chords, in major, minor, augmented and in a variety of inversions and articulations across the spectrum. In addition, we grabbed full orchestral tutti octaves, and lush low muted warm chords.

Why record octaves and chords instead of the standard way of sampling?

Short answer: We think it offers an option that is much quicker to compose with, while yielding remarkably realistic results.

Long answer: One of the main things that makes a mockup sound fake is the layered sample number. For example, if you have a string patch that has 40 strings playing and you play a 5 note chord, that's the equivalent to the sound of 200 strings. Not exactly your typical string section.

To avoid this, you either need an intelligent scripting that splits up the notes of the chord into their respective sections (like the voice leading engine in VOXOS), or record a large variety of chordal possibilities and trigger them with single keys, thereby maintaining the natural instrument numbers and orchestral balance and panning.

We chose the latter, and the result is a composer's orchestral library supplement that fills a niche (in keeping with the Cinesamples philosophy)..."


Sound Design

Trailer Voice 2 @ Sonokinetic

Funny idea ! I didn't know about it but now I love it ... Here is their press release : "Sonokinetic proudly presents the amazing follow up to the original Trailer Voice. Trailer Voice 2 is a dedicated completely new collection of powerful, dramatic and authentic Voice-Over cues. Nowhere will you find a better selection of pre-recorded Movie Trailer style cues for your next project. Trailer Voice 2 was written by an award winning professional screenwriter and recorded by 4 amazingly talented, trained and highly experienced Voice-Over Artists. This is truly a one of a kind collection ! This one of a kind project deepens and expands on the original collection of Trailer Voice with this totally new collection called “The Scripts”. Trailer Voice “The Scripts” will expand your cinematic experience or any project you are working on. This production covers four dramatic themes that will provide you spine chilling and produced generic recordings with a variety of emotion and feeling.

Trailer Voice 2 has been performed by 4 voices, 3 male Actors and 1 female Actress, with each voice performing 3 distinct variations per script. Their performances cover a pallet of styles and genres. Starting with the authoritative, booming sound of the male Actors to the mystical, sensual beauty of the angelic female voice. This collection is so intense in it’s thematically and vocal sound it will open a doors for you that would have never been possible without a “Hollywood” budget..."


Live stage & Iphone, Ipod, Ipad applications

Numark iM1 2-Channel DJ Mixer with iPod Dock

Numark iM1 2-Channel DJ Mixer with iPod Dock

IM1 @ Numark

A DJ mixer interface with an Ipod dock. I guess that many DJs were looking for this. It's for real !

From the Numark press release : "Numark's iM1 packs a wide variety of input types into a compact package. You can plug in turntables, CD players, line-level music sources and a microphone to the iM1, which also includes a dock for iPod that allows you to play from, or record to, an iPod. Set the levels with trim and line faders, and tailor the high and low frequencies with the rotary EQs on each channel. Cue up tracks using the mini-crossfader and headphone output, and then perform the mix through the master outputs with the smooth, replaceable crossfader. Quickly create professional-quality mix-tapes to pass off to clubs and fans by recording your DJ performances directly to an iPod within the built-in dock. M1 has all the features you need to get maximum performance out of minimum space."

Numark also launched a bigger one in the same style, IM9...


IO Dock @ Alesis

Alesis is surfing the Ipad wave and launches the first (complete) audio interface for Apple Ipad. Let's see what's coming ! I guess it's gonna be a hit, at least, to me it's a very attractive small nomad audio workstation. Now waiting for the price...

from Alesis website, have a look at the key features :

"Connect microphones and instruments including guitar, studio monitors, PA speakers, headphones, and MIDI controllers
Universal device works with virtually every audio and MIDI app in the App Store; Core MIDI compliant
Perform, craft, create and play back music in virtually any conceivable manner or location
Video output for connection to TVs and projectors
Inputs: two combo XLR-1/4" for use with audio gear, instruments, and computer audio
Input channel gain controls and switchable phantom power for use with condenser microphones
Guitar-direct switch for use with amplifier- and effects-modeling app
Outputs: pair 1/4" and 1/4" headphone with separate volume controls
Control: MIDI In, MIDI Out, USB MIDI, and assignable 1/4-inch footswitch input "


Groovemaker Cool&Dre @ IK Multimedia

Description from the author's website : " GrooveMaker® is THE app for creating non-stop electronic, dance and hip-hop tracks in real-time, by anyone, like a professional DJ. Groove Out Loud! Millions of grooves at your fingertips. And YOU are the DJ. Over 300 hi-quality loops included!

GrooveMaker Cool & Dre provides the elements for making 'West Coast' and 'Dirty South' style hip-hop beats for today's radio and dance floor hit anthems and club-shakers. If you love the music from major hit record labels like Cash Money, Interscope and Def Jam, or the beats behind today's super stars like Lil' Wayne, Trey Songs, The Game, Mary J. Blige, and Nicki Minaj then you are going to love making beats with GrooveMaker Cool & Dre..."


Beatmaker 2 @ Intua

A brief description from the press release... " BeatMaker™ 2 : the most advanced mobile music workstation.
Combining music production tools that made the success of countless artists, BeatMaker 2 brings a powerful and easy-to-use composition interface for amateurs and professionals alike.

Build your own virtual home-studio creating multiple instruments, connecting them to a full-range of audio effects. Compose, record, arrange and transform your ideas into complete songs, ready to be shared with others.

Import your own sounds or use the included sound library: more than 170 high-quality instruments and drum presets from synthesizers to realistic orchestral sounds.
You can even import songs from your iPod library!"


Free stuff of the month

Free soundfonts @ Mojoelectro

A lot of free soundfonts in many different genres like Atmosphere, Basses, Brass, Drums, Guitars, Orchestral, Percussions, Strings etc...
Nicely done !

Nice video of the month

The Making of Ultimate Fire SFX from Frank Bry.

History of the Wilhelm Scream ;-)


What's new in Protools 9 ?

How to record electromagnetic fields with a $80 Seymour Duncan custom pickup ?
Clever and very interesting article by soundfield recordist Jean-Edouard Miclot

Return to Home ?

Go from February 2011 Audio News to Music Composition Blog ?

Go to Free Audio Plugins for Protools Mac OS X ?

Go to Free Kontakt Sounds ?

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