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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » March » 20

Universal Audio get two Neve preamps – in two knobs

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 20 Mar 2018 11:40 pm

Turn a knob, dial in a sound – that particular magic associated with specific hardware is showing up in software, too. Or such is the promise of the latest Universal Audio mic model.

Maybe that makes sense. As software gets better at modeling nonlinearity – the particular character of a sound, one that may lie a little outside rational, predictable behavior – it’s also possible to have fewer knobs.

Certainly, leading vendors keep upping the ante when it comes to believable models of classic gear. For Universal Audio’s part, the latest addition is a new set of models of classic Neve mic preamps. In UA’s case, they can tout not just their usual modeling prowess, but also the ability to integrate with their hardware – down to matching the model to the impedance of whatever you’re connecting, so it’s even more like plugging into real hardware.

And case in point: the press release sells you on “clarity,” “grit,” and “complexity” – even though those three things wouldn’t normally make sense together. (It’d be like describing lunch as “fresh,” “greasy,” and “subtle.” At the same time, I totally understand what they mean. There’s sound for you.)

Oh, and there’s a red knob, because who doesn’t like that?

The basic idea – start with a class-A Neve mic preamp, and combine both the 1037 and 1290 designs.

The original models.

Say what now? Well, the stock 1290 had just a mic input. Here, it gets combined with a padded input you can use with line ins, plus the 80 Hz cut filter from the 1073. That plus some additional signal modifications and impedance behavior borrowed from the 1073 have prompted the new moniker “1290A.” (UA confirmed some of those details to CDM.)

Or, for lay people, UA have cross-bred the best bits of two favorite Neve amps into a single model that never existed before.

Impedance matching with the hardware, though, is everything. A good mic preamp model is pretty meaningless if all you can do is feed it raw signal into your DAW. One place where UA unquestionably has an edge – at least technically speaking – is that they’re able to couple the impedance of their audio interfaces with behaviors of the software. On the Neve, that’s particularly important, because the character of the mic preamp will depend on what’s plugged into it.

Part of the UA pitch – their software is designed to emulate a mic preamp thanks to integration with hardware settings.

This is only meaningful in practice, though, so I’m interested to try it with UA’s new Arrow interface (as well as the other Apollos).

And while it’s meant to model historical gear, my feeling is, if it works, you should feel something even if you never used the originals.

This particular mic model also promises lower DSP hardware requirements than some other Unison plug-ins. So I’m curious to see if it’s a good match for the new Arrow, which has only one DSP chip – meaning it can’t normally run quite as many plug-ins at once.

The Neve is US$149, exclusively from UA for their UAD-2 DSP platform and Apollo interfaces.


The post Universal Audio get two Neve preamps – in two knobs appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Oi, Kant! is a raunchy, glitchy, out-of-control patchable groove machine

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 20 Mar 2018 4:56 pm

Artist Ewa Justka has built a drum/bass machine that’s as chaotic as our times – a dirty, feature-packed, mayhem generator. And you can buy or build one for yourself, too.

Ewa’s project is open source – warts and little mistakes and weird bits and all. And it makes one hell of a sequenced racket – the hardware embodiment of Ewa’s mind-scrambling live shows as well as her workshops. (Ewa’s frequently played Berlin, London, and around Europe, and at Unsound Festival – and co-hosted a MusicMakers Hacklab with me, too, at CTM Festival, where she spread just this sort of mischief and sonic ingenuity to a whole group of people.)

So what is it, exactly? Ewa calls it “a sort of drum machine” or “drum-ish machine.” Basic features:

3 voices: drum, bass line, cymbal
Sounds all based on CMOS chips (hence their glitch-y, aggressively digital timbres)
Multiple independent sequencers, synced to a master clock
External clock input (for pulse from other gear) – patchable to each of the four voices
Independent audio outputs for each voice (though no master out – BYO mixing)
Power via 9V battery or external source (sold separately)
Knobs and buttons and bright lights and photosensors (because D-BEAM!)

So patch it together, and what you get is four screaming voices, clipping along either to the internal clock or external sources. Make separate sequences, clock everything together – as you like.

Watch the madness:

All those separate ins and outs and independent triggers mean you can put this together with other analog, DIY, or modular gear, for effects processing or more complex rhythms. Or just plug those four outs into a mixer and use as-is.

But you can get pretty experimental or pretty groovy or pretty groovy-experimental sounds out of this thing. Excellent.

And, of course, apart from a product name featuring Kant, you get all of this in a unique, art-y looking package. There are also awesome parameter names, like “cantaloupe,” “Canterbury,” and “canteen,” and some … less family-friendly ones.

It’s a boutique creation, designed and built by Ewa herself, and sells to you for £205.00 plus shipping (from the UK), available on her Etsy shop.

Optotronics: Oi, Kant! [Etsy.co.uk]

That page also has links to the documentation and circuit files (on Dropbox). If you get one, do share the noises you make.

Note, there’s no specific open source hardware license on this at the moment, but that was evidently the intention — talking to Ewa about an explicit license.

The post Oi, Kant! is a raunchy, glitchy, out-of-control patchable groove machine appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Unmute the world: Soundwalk Collective

Delivered... Eckehard Pistrick | Scene | Tue 20 Mar 2018 7:00 am

The Soundwalk Collective are like Robin Hoods of the Sonic 21st Century. In their sound art they make audible the sounds and people who were long- muted or invisible, and through this create a sonic mapping of the world.

Killer Road live at Florence Gould Hall, NYC with Patti Smith and Jesse Paris Smith. Left to right: Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, Kamran Sadeghi (Photo by Darren Keith)

Sounds that were once thrilling, captivating, and wrapped into the aura of the unexplored seem to have lost their aura in a disenchanted post-modernity. However, there are a few enthusiasts and niche labels who work against the reductive view of sounds as a commercially exploitable resource. They are open to reappropriations, remixes, and different forms of recycling in the post-production studios of the new age. One of the spearheads is the Soundwalk Collective, a group of artists based in Berlin and New York working since 2000 towards the reconstitution of this sonic aura. Their mission is to reconnect natural or humanly made sounds – which belong, in the words of Max Peter Baumann, to those invisible and those muted in this world – to our media-saturated world. This mission is facilitated, apart from the multimedia aspect of many works, by the artistic enrichment of these sounds with grooves, loops, and procedures characteristic of contemporary DJ culture. Stephan Crasneancki, Simone Merli, and Kamran Sadeghi describe themselves as sound nomads travelling around the world in an attempt to create a sonic mapping of the world. They excavate sounds that are muffled, censored, or fluctuating in aesthetic and geographic in-between spaces: in the hidden corners of Albanian archives, Tibetan monasteries, or emptied Bessarabian village huts.

Bessarabia Ghost Tapes from Soundwalk Collective on Vimeo.

Ethnomusicology purists might criticize this melding of roots sounds with urbanized arrangements as a violation of sonic authenticity, and as a egocentric way of aestheticizing disappropriated sonic artifacts. However this aestheticization as post-modern polishing might be urgently needed to make these resilient sounds accessible to the urban ear. When performed in urban settings such as clubs, exhibition venues, or public spaces, these sounds regain importance and encounter new audiences. In the sound installation Jungle-ized in New York (2016), environmental sound recordings connect with film negatives of the rainforest projected onto eight blocks of New York’s Times Square. It makes us think about the common bonds between the concrete jungle of a modern metropolis and the rainforest, raising our awareness of the impact of climate change through listening.

The Soundwalk artists also tend to focus on the capacity of sounds to transcending spaces. This becomes audible in their sonic narrative of the Ulysses myth across the Mediterranean, in following the Antique traces of Medea at the edges of the Black Sea, as well as in the recordings of sound scanners installed on top of Bedouin cars crossing the Empty Quarter of the Rub’ al Khali desert. A newly issued 4 vinyl album set Transmission – co-edited by Dischi Fantom – is dedicated to these nowhere spaces, seemingly sonically immobile but in fact marked by a constant fluctuation of sounds.

Field recording in the Rub’ al Khali desert in UAE. Left to right: Simone Merli, Kamran Sadeghi, Stephan Crasneanscki. (Photo by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya)

Based on earlier yet unreleased works of the Soundwalk Collective issued between 2009-2011, these tracks have been broadcast internationally as part of the radio program of «Documenta 14». The album contains archetypal examples of the sonic heavy description, as practiced by artists with a preference for dark abysmal sounds embedded in a particular transitory temporality. Their compositions usually develop over long time spans commenting on time and timelessness. Each sound in a composition is given its time to develop-to unfold from silence and vanish into it again – such as the dissolving and disembodied «ghostly voices» of Jewish survivors of the Shoa from Bessarabia, made audible in the dissolving magnetism of the tapes and authentifying «wow- and-flutter» effects. The collective follows a contradictory aestheticizing process aimed at the gradual remystification and re-enchantment of sounds: it brings the marginal to our attention, it rehabilitates those who were forgotten, and reconnects our senses with the soundscapes of an endangered nature. With the help of technology, The Soundwalk Collective change something about how we sonically and socially understand our world.

Groove Rider GR-16 1.4 brings another huge batch of updates, changes and fixes

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Tue 20 Mar 2018 12:38 am

Groove Rider GR-16 has now had 11 updates (including this one) since it arrived on the app store back in December. That is, by any measure, really impressive. In this latest update there’s a wide range of relatively small and yet, important changes, improvements and fixes.

  • iPhone X display support added;
  • Midi Out & VIrtual Midi Out ports added (need to be enabled in Settings menu);
  • Pitch knob behavior changed: now it changes pitch by semitones; hold SHIFT for precise pitch adjustment;
  • added one-shot mode for user samples. Use “Sample Mode” parameter in Part settings menu to select One-Shot mode for specific part;
  • “Sample Loop” parameter is now renamed to “Sample Mode” and represents 3 states: Off, Loop and One-Shot;
  • new buttons on the sample view. These parameters are now accessible from the sample view screen as small buttons: Edit Controls Type (Dist / Smpl), Sample Mode (Loop / One-Shot), Sample Re-Pitch;
  • added new utility function: Empty Current Pattern. It clears all notes and automation data on all parts of current pattern, but leaves any sound settings intact. This is useful to quickly make blank-templates out of factory preset patterns from Bank A;
  • fixed: Midi Input port events jitter (inaccurate notes timing);
  • fixed: bug with “short C-1 note”, which sometimes could appear at empty steps in your patterns;
  • fixed issue, when, if used with AUM, the skin settings were always resetting to default skin;
  • new behavior in EDIT+SEQ mode: tapping any note in the Step Editor will remember it; you can then use Shift+Pad to insert remembered note to another steps. It can be used, for example, to copy individual steps/notes inside one Part track;
  • new behavior in SEQ mode: tapping pads (steps) now acts like muting/unmuting them, not entirely deleting like it was before. So, you can tap the step again to get it back. However, when you save your pattern, all currently muted steps will not be saved. Also, you can tap Shift+Pad to clear the step and place a note with default values;
  • fixed “Render Pattern Stems” issue: parts with Haas effect assigned are now exported in stereo;
  • new factory patterns added (6 patterns demo called “Transparency”);
  • for those brave people, who still dares to use GR-16 on iPhone 4S: user interface is slightly optimized to better fit the screen

Groove Rider GR-16 is on the app store and costs $18.99:

The post Groove Rider GR-16 1.4 brings another huge batch of updates, changes and fixes appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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