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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Mac

A free download turns Reaktor into a powerful Buchla modular emulation

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 14 Mar 2018 7:14 pm

West Coast synthesis is yours for a song, by combining a free/donationware download with Reaktor. And now Cloudlab 200t just got a major V2 upgrade.

First, okay – this is not an authorized Buchla product. The Buchla legacy is alive in hardware and software forms. The Buchla Easel got a full-blown remake from Arturia. The Twisted Waveform Generator module has an official remake from Softube – though it’s silly spendy, at US$99. (That’s the price of some actual hardware module kits, or halfway to getting Reaktor!) And of course Buchla the hardware company are back in action with some of the original engineers.

But that’s besides the point: this is in Reaktor. And because it’s in Reaktor, you can pick it apart from the outside in and see how it works. And you can combine it with other Reaktor stuff, and then run the result as a plug-in. That’s something unique – ever wondered what a granular patch would sound like routed through some Buchla effects, for instance?

Does it sound any good? Yes – enough so that colleagues who have spent considerable time on Buchla hardware say they appreciate it. It certainly replicates the control layout and basic ideas of the Buchla, even if it has its own unique sound.

There’s one major downside of Reaktor: all the patching is hidden in the structure. That’s pretty weird if you’re use to patching on the front panel, as on hardware (and software emulations). But it will be familiar to Reaktor users, and it means the control layout on the Buchla is clean – even if there’s some tension behind the way the Buchla was conceived and how it works here.

In version 2, you get some significant updates – starting most importantly with clock sync:

External clock. Any gate in or clock out can be synced to external input, and the 266t Chronikler gets a clock output. Now you can sync to DAWs – or, if you like, stuff like VCV Rack.

Lemur control works both ways. The popular iPad and Android controller app now gets parameters back from Cloudlab, so it responds in realtime.

More noise. Noise sources on the 266t Noise module now include -3 Pink, Flat, and +3 White noise. If this makes you swoon as it does me, then you’re definitely a synth nerd. (Flat is labeled “Buchlesque,” a word I hope to now apply in completely inappropriate situations…)

Easier on the CPU. You’ll still want a hefty processor, but this version promises to be more stable and efficient, says the developer.

More modules. 227t Output interface & 248t Multiple Sequential Generator.

Be sure to make a donation if you like this.

It’s also wonderful to see these ideas spreading. From efforts like this to the rising stardom of people like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, it’s now not uncommon to meet aspiring musicians on the street who know the name Buchla. That’s a sea change from a few short years ago, when people might know the name “Moog” (and pronounce in a way that rhymes with a sound a cow makes), and referred to all computer production simply by “Pro Tools.” Now, they’re very likely to start lecturing you on their thoughts on West Coast versus East Coast synthesis or tell you what oscillator module their favorite producer just started raving about.

And that’s relevant here, too. It means Reaktor can help spread the viral interest in esoteric synthesis. And that means Native Instruments customers are likely to want to do more than just dial up presets. And certainly as the Buchla brand and other lesser-known names catch up with the giants like Roland, Moog, and KORG, we’re seeing synth lovers willing to look to hardware and software from a greater variety of models.

I’d say this could be overwhelming, but – I think that ignores the possibilities of sound. Once you dive into the Buchla Way, you may just find yourself … really happy.

Let us know if you make some sounds with this.

Big thanks to the wonderful Synth Anatomy where I saw this first:

Cloudlab 200t V2 Released – A Stunning Buchla Based Modular Synthesizer For Reaktor 6

The gorgeous GUI comes from David Frappaz

Trevor Gavilan, who designed and programmed the ensemble, has also used it to make some of his own music. Here’s something entirely produced in just one instance:

More information and download at the NI Reaktor User Library:

Cloudlab 200t V2

The post A free download turns Reaktor into a powerful Buchla modular emulation appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Arturia now let you add classic filters and preamps to anything

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 8 Mar 2018 1:49 pm

Here’s a simple sales pitch: preamps and filters you’ll actually use. No, seriously – that’s the real product name. Here’s a look at what Arturia just unveiled.

It does seem these days we’re being offered recreations of the same gear in a slightly dizzying combination, but here’s another set. Arturia this time have come up with models of three preamps, plus three filters.

Of the two sets, the filters seem the most useful. (We’d have to do a proper shootout – maybe with blind A/B testing and the original gear – because the pres are everywhere.) The filters, for their part, are a unique take: the fact that you can just tear off these popular filters and insert them wherever you want.

Here’s what you’ve got, with those cheeky product names:

3 Preamps You’ll Actually Use
1073-Pre = Rupert Neve solid-state preamp, with different transformers selectable
TridA-Pre = Trident Studio A range
V76-Pre = Telefunken tube (hello “White Album”), now with shelf EQ

To be fair, some of these models are glued into something else (like a channel strip model), so it’s potentially useful to have dedicated models like this.

3 Filters You’ll Actually Use

SEM-Filter = Oberheim meets a sequencer
Mini-Filter = Moog ladder filter
M12-Filter = Tom Oberheim Matrix-12 multi-mode filters

Here’s where this all gets interesting – that M12. You get twin filters, random generators, a modulation matrix, and programmable envelopes. So these three filter tools essentially add modular filtering to anywhere you want it in a DAW – and that’s a big deal.

And the filters are the good deal, too – US$99 intro price. (After that, it’s $199 – but a hundred bucks for this could unlock a really powerful sound tool).

The pres are $199 intro, $299 after that. That’s in more competitive waters, as there are quite a few models you can get for those prices. Arturia do have an interesting take on the design and UI here, at least.

Existing Arturia users will find their pricing gets a whole lot cheaper… and that’s where I suspect these suddenly get more tempting.

Now, all that said, if you really want a bargain buy, consider investing in something like Reaktor, which is an entire, open modular environment for the price of what a lot of standalone tools are these days. (Or Max/MSP. Or VCV Rack or Pd, which get yo into this for free – if you’re willing to invest an amount of time – okay, to be fair, sometimes a considerable amount of time!)

But those filters look tasty. And it’s simply awesome being able to drop them anywhere you want in a DAW! (This pairs nicely with that sequenced filter that just got added to Apple’s Logic. I see a lot of filtering in our future.)

The best way to understand what’s here is in the pics, so have a look.


Here’s the best bit – getting the Matrix-12 anywhere you want it, complete with powerful modulation and envelope options.

SEM and still more sequencing.

Minimoog filter mania.

Telefunken pre.

Trident. (The preamp, not the missile.)

And of course, Yet Another Neve emulation.

The post Arturia now let you add classic filters and preamps to anything appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Mammut is free software that does completely insane things to sounds

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 27 Feb 2018 4:25 pm

From the darkest arts in auditory alchemy, you can find gems like Mammut, a free tool that will utterly mangle digital audio into forms beautiful and chaotic.

And I mean really weird. From producing eerie, smeared convolutions of files to manipulating the spectrum of a sound in ways that are actually unlistenable (as in, they cause excruciating pain), Mammut is delightfully un-commercial and totally unpredictable.

Here’s how this all started. Last week, I noticed that popular time stretching algorithm PaulStretch had found its way into a convenient plug-in form for Mac and Windows. That opened the floodgates to lots of discussion of where to find similar tools.

If you want PaulStretch, it’s worth checking out the original, or the version now baked into free sound editor Audacity:


More tools also came up with Soundhack. As creator Tom Erbe wrote me (after I mentioned I loved his software for doing convolution all the way back to the mid 90s), he mentioned:

“++spiralstretch does a pvoc stretch on realtime incoming sound with up to 8 overlapping “stretchers”. also does granular stretching for a less spectral sound. (shameless plug)”


Mammut represents a different path to strange noises. You know you’re in for something out of the ordinary from the moment you launch it, and are treated to a woodcut of a woolly mammoth and some braying animal noises and … wind … or something. Then, with that dizzying animation looping in the background, you load a sound. You’re then able to directly manipulate the spectrum of the sound, via a seemingly random assortment of tabs with different functions. These have descriptions that range from detailed and useful to glib to … tabs that have no explanation at all, or one that says “Rather useless.”

Okay, then!

There’s some beautiful stuff in there. In addition to being able to edit a spectrum directly, you can apply more beautiful time stretching and features like convolution, which combines audio waveforms by spectra.

And there’s undo/redo, too, accessed by up and down arrows in the middle of the interface, so you can back out of decisions that just screwed up the sound. (Those you’ll find pretty readily!)

As the creators describe it:

Mammut is a rather unpredictable program, and the user must get used to letting go of control over the time axis. The sounding results are often surprising and exciting. Mammut is also ideal for common operations such as filtering, spectrum shift and convolution and it provides an optimal performance.

Mammut is old software, from pre-2007, but thanks to being built in the free JUCE environment still compiles and runs nicely. It’s a project of Notam, the electronic art research center in Oslo, and developed by Øyvind Hammer, with a UI by Kjetil Matheussen.

The “mammoth” reference is because it takes the FFT of the whole sound file at once instead of using windows / chunks of the sound. While the results here are radical, similar techniques find more practical applications – like building a smooth waveform pad synth.

Anyway, I suspect you can from here go down either a link hole looking at that research and the engineering side, or get lost playing with sounds.


I wound up making sounds with it, including convolutions of other productions I was working on, and assembled a track:

In honor of Mammut, I think it’s also only appropriate to paste in this film – enjoy!

Thanks to Jhh Löwengard for the tip!

The post Mammut is free software that does completely insane things to sounds appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Serato DJ gets more modern features, no longer requires hardware

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 26 Feb 2018 9:15 pm

Serato’s new software gets support for 64-bit and high-resolution displays – and now you can run it in “practice mode” without having to plug in a controller. Hello, prepping on airplanes.

And in very big news, Serato Lite (formerly Serato Intro) now runs without any license or any controller at all. So you can get going for free – and plug in entry-level controllers if you like.

Some software releases you can just meet with “ah, finally.” And that’s the case here. Serato’s newest update isn’t exactly revolutionary, but it’s good news both to current Serato users and to people who found limitations on past versions were an obstacle.

You will have to get used to some (slightly annoying) name changes. Serato Intro is now Serato Lite. Serato DJ is now, for no good reason at all, Serato DJ Pro.

But let’s forgive them the nomenclature, because whatever they want to call it, this is good news. Got a Serato DJ license? You get Serato DJ Pro for free. Plug in a controller? Works as it always did.

What’s new is, you can now use Serato DJ in 2-deck “Practice Mode” and go ahead and mix without hardware. That’s a good thing, too, as those supported hardware controllers tend not to always fit in bus and coach airplane seats or comfortable while you lie in bed or on the couch. Now, you can mess around with new tracks in Serato, as you should.

Practice mode, in the new Serato DJ Pro.

This also means you can give Serato a try and see if you like it without going out and buying hardware. So it’s likely to help bring new users into the fold.

Yes, I know virtually every other DJ tool on the planet already works this way. But that’s why it’s nice to finally see this come to Serato.

Serato DJ Pro gets some other modernization. 64-bit support brings better performance and stability. Think increased access to memory, plus fewer crashes as a result of out of memory issues. And there’s improved support for high resolution screens – so this will look better on your nice new display or MacBook Pro or other laptop.

There are other UI enhancements (pictured here), and – also a big “finally!” here – there’s better help and support built into the tool.

All of this is worth mentioning, because frankly lots of areas of Serato are really better than rivals, yet they’ve been held back by these limitations. I’m going to hang on to a Roland DJ-202 controller as I really like mixing and remixing in Serato, and those decks are so responsive as to make mixing fun. (Yes, even with “sync” mode off.)

You can download the new software now.


Images of the new UI courtesy Serato.

Serato DJ Lite now looks like this – and also works without hardware.

In performance mode, with hardware attached, you get an expanded Serato DJ Lite interface.

Performance mode in Serato DJ Pro, now featuring an enhanced UI and high-res display support (such as Retina Display from Apple).

The post Serato DJ gets more modern features, no longer requires hardware appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

An online and mobile DAW called BandLab just acquired Cakewalk’s IP

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 23 Feb 2018 3:42 pm

Cakewalk may not be all dead. A developer of online and mobile music creation tools has snapped up the former PC DAW maker’s complete intellectual property.

As I wrote earlier this week, Gibson Brands, the guitar maker-turned-wannabe consumer electronics giant, is hard up for cash. So, while they discontinued operation of their Cakewalk division, apparently they had not found a buyer for one of pro audio’s biggest names.

That changes today. Signapore-based BandLab announced they’ve acquired the “complete” intellectual property and “certain assets” in a deal with Gibson. There’s no word on what those assets are, and BandLab say they’re not making any additional announcement about the specifics – so we don’t know how much cash Gibson got or what those assets were. If the Nashville Post numbers are correct, it seems this will make little difference to Gibson’s debts, but that’s another story.

So Cakewalk’s codebase, product line, trademarks, everything go to BandLab. BandLab also has confirmed to CDM that some former Cakewalk team members will join the new company. (That itself is big news.)

And there’s some relief here: all those thirty years of accumulated expertise in making music software may not go entirely to waste.

BandLab is a familiar idea. There’s a mobile app with multiple tracks, automatic pitch correction, guitar/bass/vocal effects, and cloud sync, plus a grid-style riff interface and more traditional track layout. And there’s a free online tool you can use to collaborate with other people on the Internet and DAW features.

BandLab’s browser-based DAW.

Of the two, it’s the online DAW that looks most interesting, at least in that it’s more ambitious about incorporating desktop tools than some rivals. There’s built-in time stretching, automation, a guitar amp, and virtual instruments, for instance. I’m impressed on paper at least – I hadn’t heard of BandLab before today, to be honest, though it’s easy to lose track of various competing online solutions out there, since they tend to be somewhat similar.

And that raises the question – what’s the Cakewalk angle for BandLab?

I presumed on first blush this would be limited to assets relevant to their existing mobile products, but it seems it’s more than that. From the official press statement, it sounds as though you’ll see Cakewalk’s line of software – possibly including the flagship DAW SONAR, virtual instruments, and other tools – continue under the BandLab name. That’s been the case with other acquisitions of media creation software, if with mixed results in terms of development pace. From the press statement:

The teams at both Gibson and BandLab felt that Cakewalk’s products deserved a new home where development could continue. We are pleased to be supporting Cakewalk’s passionate community of creators to ensure they have access to the best possible features and music products under the BandLab Technologies banner.

[emphasis mine]

Then there’s the product that was just seeing the light of day right when Gibson shuttered Cakewalk operations, the one with the unintentionally ironic name:


Momentum even looks quite a bit like BandLab’s mobile app. The mobile app and cloud sync solution runs on iOS and Android, with four-track recording, editing, looping and effects. And it cleverly captures ideas as recordings (via something with the dreadful name “Ideaspace”), then makes them available everywhere.

Momentum also has something that BandLab lacks – a VST/AU/AAX plug-in for Mac and Windows. Here’s the thing: it’s all fine and well to start talking about making music making easier, and reaching people with phone and browser apps. But even though big desktop DAWs don’t look terribly friendly, they’re still reasonably popular. Ableton Live alone has a user base the size of most major cities. Adding that plug-in could bridge Cakewalk’s product line and other desktop products with BandLab’s own mobile solutions.

And it’s not just the plug-in – Momentum also had an integrated cloud sync service and server-side infrastructure. (Plus don’t forget the ScratchPad iOS app. Well… maybe.)

BandLab’s mobile apps might be complemented either by Cakewalk’s mobile/cloud offerings or desktop products – or both.

So, we’ll see what BandLab are planning. Of course, the nostalgic part of me wants to see some of the soul of Cakewalk in what they do.

It seems from the way BandLab are handling the announcement that they share some of the same emotional attachment to Cakewalk that a lot of us do. For evidence, see what they’ve done to Cakewalk’s website, where there’s a headline reading:

“The news you’ve all been hoping for…”

Follow through to their own http://cakewalk.bandlab.com landing page for the acquisition, and there’s a charming ASCII art reading Cakewalk and a line reading “Cakewalk is dead. Long live Cakewalk!”

I’ve asked if any of the former Cakewalk team are joining the new effort. That would inspire more confidence than just selling these DAWs with minimal updates as-is. BandLab for their part promise a product roadmap and other details soon.


So yeah, Cakewalk? Dead?

The post An online and mobile DAW called BandLab just acquired Cakewalk’s IP appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Arturia AudioFuse Review: the tiny square that packs nearly everything

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 22 Feb 2018 2:54 am

There are some exceptional audio interfaces out there. But Arturia stands out by cramming an unusual amount of connectivity in an ultra-mobile package.

Look, when it comes to audio interfaces, compromise is the name of the game. The interface either never has every single port you want, or … it does, but it’s big. And computer operating systems remain an obstacle – especially once you’re beyond what theoretically should work, and into the realm of now something is popping and I better turn up the buffer size. Some of this is in the hands of manufacturers; some is decidedly not. (Computer and OS makers, I’m looking at you. Yes, you. Music – it’s kind of important to human civilization. Check it out some time.)

What’s impressive about Arturia’s AudioFuse is that they seem to have taken to heart a lot of the wishes of the mobile musician – and actually delivered.

I’ve had my hands on the AudioFuse for some time now, long enough to torture test it with both my Mac and PC in a variety of live and studio conditions. And I can share what I’ve been sharing with friends about it – this is easily on my short list of easy-to-recommend audio interfaces. (More on the others at the end.)

What the AudioFuse manages to pull off, and this isn’t easy, is maximizing flexibility in a variety of situations while still fitting into an enclosure small enough that you may always keep it in your backpack.

Plug-and-play, reliable performance

First, one feature that makes the AudioFuse essential to keep around is, it’s USB 2.0 class-compliant, driver free. With this amount of I/O, USB 2.0 makes this box far more flexible and compatible. Officially, that means Mac and Windows support that’s plug-and-play. But unofficially, that means Linux, Raspberry Pi, iOS, and Android, too.

You will need Mac or Windows to run the AudioFuse Control Center for additional configuration options. But I’ve happily dual-booted to Linux on my PC and gotten great results from the box. And there’s enough onboard control that I didn’t feel stranded without the software control panel, even though it’s useful in some situations. Meanwhile, the AudioFuse remembers all of its settings after you disconnect from the control panel.

You mileage may vary, but I got extremely reliable results with a 64 sample buffer size, which means well under 10 ms latency, on Mac, Windows, and Linux with a variety of tools. Remember that with latency the point isn’t just paper specs or whether the audio interface can run with a small buffer size; it’s whether you consistently remain without pops at that small buffer size. For me, the Arturia out-performed a number of USB devices laying around my studio.

If you have a single OS environment, and you don’t mind installing drivers, you may well best the AudioFuse’s performance. And I would consider Thunderbolt/USB3 if you want to use more I/O than the AudioFuse has onboard. But I find there’s some comfort in knowing I’m traveling with an interface I can plug into a different computer without worrying about driver installation, and I like owning at least one box like the AudioFuse that can work outside just Mac and Windows.

Connect nearly everything

Wow, did someone hear or intuit what I wanted in I/O (with one caveat below):

4 inputs: 2 XLR mic ins, 2 phono/line ins
2 RIAA phono preamps (seriously)
4 analog outputs
2 analog inserts
ADAT in/out
S/PDIF in/out
Word clock in/out
3-port USB hub
2(!) independent headphone jacks
MIDI in/out (via minijack adapters)


Including MIDI, the USB hub, and separate headphone jacks alone makes this a huge boon to the mobile musician. And everything works as advertised – plus it all runs via bus power if you like (adjusting automatically to allow it to do so). A bit on the power modes:

USB is via micro USB. That may sound fidgety, but structurally I’ve found these to be sound. The included cable has a second USB connection, but if you lose your cable, you can swap a phone cable – also critical, because it means again the interface will still function when you’re on the road and misplaced a cable or someone lifted it from you. Uh… not that those things ever happen.

Arturia advertises their own, built-from-scratch mic pres. They certainly sounded transparent to me, and I appreciate that they get their own signal path. And you’ve got onboard 48V phantom power plus a multi-level pad and auto-impedance matching. Basically, you can more or less plug anything into this and forget about it. 24-bit 192kHz may sound like overkill, but then – quite literally, friends and I have lately got interested in recording ultrasonic birdsong and bat noises, so there’s that.

There are also unique monitoring settings, like handy summing to mono. (Having once had my trusty mastering engineer yell at me when I accidentally sent something that had phase cancellation problems, thanks for this!)

The one thing I’m missing here is more than four outputs. With some serious multichannel output situations becoming more commonplace, that means the AudioFuse isn’t quite the last interface I’d ever need to own. (Someone somewhere is saying the same about the inputs.) But let’s not consider the fact that the whole thing is a tiny square. Speaking of which:

That form factor / UX

Arturia really nailed it here. This is the one audio interface with a decent selection of I/O I can comfortably drop in a backpack or suitcase without worry, thanks to its small size, low weight, and a cute and indispensable cover. That’s not just for looks – a lot of audio interfaces have some dangerously exposed controls. (It does look nice, too, of course.)

I’m also a fan of the top panel. There’s a big knob, certainly reminiscent of interfaces from Universal Audio and others, plus dedicated meters for input and output and gain and phone knobs, plus shortcut keys and a cleverly-positioned dial for adjusting whether you monitor from the computer source or direct through the interface.

Arturia were clearly inspired by Universal Audio both in those dials and the displays. (Not to be outdone, UA also have a slick new box called the Arrow. Upside: Thunderbolt, DSP processing. Downside: far less connectivity.)

Here, I’ll link directly to Sound on Sound and say everything Sam says about monitoring is absolutely true. (Sam, I’m not cribbing your review notes – I just definitely can say I can directly count myself with the opposite use case!)

I can be even less diplomatic than Sam and say, if you want an audio interface that doubles as a (sub)mixer, or if you want particular control over what goes to the monitor mix, forget the AudioFuse and go with something else.

But —

If you just want to quickly plug in some inputs and then reach one dial that’s either the computer or whatever input you’ve got, the AudioFuse makes sense. That is, if you literally aren’t thinking about what’s plugged in – and quite often in the heat of the moment onstage or on the road recording, you really aren’t – it’s great. Monitoring, like connectivity, are about instant plug and play. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to that; I’d say what this box does is suit this particular use case.


As a versatile all-around mobile interface, I love the AudioFuse. I’d still choose the Universal Audio Apollo Twin for audio quality, and the ability to add processing via UA’s effects without adding round-trip latency through the computer. I’d consider MOTU and RME for adding more I/O, too (especially if you don’t need or want the UAD effects), and certainly MOTU for its unique AV applications and mixer operation. Thunderbolt really does look like the future for more advanced applications.

MOTU is worth an additional mention for being universally compatible with their 828es, which has both Thunderbolt and USB. And that’s the box you want if you find the AudioFuse appealing but want more I/O and real standalone mixing operation, plus better performance.

But that also slightly misses the point. You wouldn’t throw an 828es into a backpack and take it with you everywhere. The AudioFuse, you would. And all musicians don’t always travel with road cases.

And that’s why one size doesn’t really fit all. But for under $/EUR600, in a small size that does fit everywhere, the AudioFuse is worth a look. Now, note to Arturia – if this is a big hit, a micro edition might make sense. Or an expanded box that’s a rectangle rather than a square for a little more I/O. In the meantime, I’ve got to go pack my backpack and get a move on.


Got another audio interface you’re using? One you prefer? Let us know in comments.

The post Arturia AudioFuse Review: the tiny square that packs nearly everything appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

A free plug-in brings extreme PaulStretch stretching to your DAW

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 20 Feb 2018 5:21 pm

You’ve heard Justin Bieber mangled into gorgeous ambient cascades of sound. Now, you can experience the magic of PaulStretch as a free plug-in.

It may give you that “A-ha” moment in ambient music. You know:

The developer has various warnings about using this plug-in, which for me make me want to use it even more. (Hey, no latency reporting to the DAW? Something weird in Cubase! No manual? Who cares! Let’s give it a go – first I’m going to run with scissors to grab a beer which I’ll drink at my laptop!)


The plugin is only suitable for radical transformation of sounds. It is not suitable at all for subtle time corrections and such. Ambient music and sound design are probably the most suitable use cases.

You had me at radical / not subtle.

Okay… yeah, this was probably meant for me:

You can use it two ways: either load an audio file, and just run PaulStretch in your DAW, or use it as a live processor on inputs. (That’s weird, given what it does – hey, there was some latency. Like… a whole lot of latency.)

It’s on Mac and Windows but code is available and Linux is “likely.”


If you want the original:



That does other nifty tricks, like binaural beats.

But the plug-in I think just became the easiest way to use it. Now go forth and make long sounds and chill to them.

The post A free plug-in brings extreme PaulStretch stretching to your DAW appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

A free plug-in brings extreme PaulStretch stretching to your DAW

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 20 Feb 2018 5:21 pm

You’ve heard Justin Bieber mangled into gorgeous ambient cascades of sound. Now, you can experience the magic of PaulStretch as a free plug-in.

It may give you that “A-ha” moment in ambient music. You know:

The developer has various warnings about using this plug-in, which for me make me want to use it even more. (Hey, no latency reporting to the DAW? Something weird in Cubase! No manual? Who cares! Let’s give it a go – first I’m going to run with scissors to grab a beer which I’ll drink at my laptop!)


The plugin is only suitable for radical transformation of sounds. It is not suitable at all for subtle time corrections and such. Ambient music and sound design are probably the most suitable use cases.

You had me at radical / not subtle.

Okay… yeah, this was probably meant for me:

You can use it two ways: either load an audio file, and just run PaulStretch in your DAW, or use it as a live processor on inputs. (That’s weird, given what it does – hey, there was some latency. Like… a whole lot of latency.)

It’s on Mac and Windows but code is available and Linux is “likely.”


If you want the original:



That does other nifty tricks, like binaural beats.

But the plug-in I think just became the easiest way to use it. Now go forth and make long sounds and chill to them.

The post A free plug-in brings extreme PaulStretch stretching to your DAW appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

BSOD simulates the sound your laptop makes when it crashes

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 14 Feb 2018 7:55 pm

Finally! Now you don’t have to wait for your computer to start glitching out – you can make it happen yourself, with this inexpensive Max for Live device.

Okay, so technically what we’re talking about is a “stockastic sample freezing effect.” Since it’s a Max for Live Device, you can drop its audio-munching powers on any track you want, making for glitched out percussion, vocals, or whatever you like. But if you’ve ever watched a computer melt down and listened to the resulting sounds and thought, “hey, actually, I could use that” – this is for you.

The reason it matches a BSOD is, computer stability issues cause the digital audio buffer to “freeze” on particular sounds rather than continue to process buffered audio normally. (Digital audio systems give the illusion of running in real time, without losing a continuous stream of audio, by dividing digital audio into chunks and feeding those chunks in sequence to the audio card… so that if the machine falls behind a few samples, you won’t notice.)

This creation is the second Max for Live invention from Isotonik Studios today – happy Valentine’s Day, y’all – and carries the price of €9.52. For that, you get some control over the effect – especially since it isn’t actually crashing your machine. The developers describe the parameters as follows:

Freeze: control the gate frequency in time signatures
Width: make the gating wider or tighter
Dry/Wet: master dry/wet control

And all of this is MIDI-controllable.

If you want to live more dangerously, the classic Smart Electronix effect Buffer Override actually does screw around with your machine. The work of developer Sophia Poirier, this is the opposite of what would normally constitute a stable plug-in. The idea: it “overcomes your host app’s audio processing buffer size and then (unsuccessfully) overrides that new buffer size to be a smaller buffer size.”

Beware, as that will actually cause some hosts to, you know, crash. But Buffer Override is free. (Well, it’d be a bit strange to charge for that!)


For safer, more playable operation, you should stick to Isotonik Studios’ creation. Have at it:


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This free Multi Analyzer shows why Live 10 multichannel Max is cool

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 14 Feb 2018 7:34 pm

The big Max for Live news in Live 10 isn’t actually “integration.” It’s finally having multichannel audio support. Here’s a free tool to get you started.

“Wait, wait… weren’t we supposed to be excited about Max for Live integration in Live 10?” Well, yes… kinda sorta. Basically, if you’ve got Live 10 Suite, you get a single installer, less version confusion, and you don’t see that silly Max splash screen the first time you launch a Device.

That’s all well and good, but it’s not a reason to upgrade to Live 10, or even something you’ll really notice in day to day use.

Now, multichannel support, on the other hand – that’s a big deal. And it’ll be a big deal even if you never touch Max yourself, because suddenly the little Max for Live toys you grab will get a whole lot more interesting.

What Live 10 adds to Max for Live is the ability to route any audio inputs you want into a Device, and to any outputs, including to arbitrary tracks. The implications for that are varied: wild sidechaining, panners, spatial audio, multichannel effects – think basically anything that goes beyond just having stereo inserts and sends from a single track. It’s something that really ought to have been in the first release of Max for Live, but now that it’s there, it opens the floodgates to neat new patches.

That also Live up to some of the original promise of Max for Live, which is finding creative applications beyond what’s covered by the usual plug-ins.

But to get us started, here’s a more utilitarian application – and a cool one.

The fine folks at Isotonik Studios have whipped up a “Multi Analyzer” – a spectral analyzer that lets you compare tracks and view them at once. And that, of course, is actually what you’d want to do with such a tool, when finding mixing issues and the like. (Hey, Ableton – take note. This should be built in.)

You can route in up to four tracks and view their spectrum visually.

Clever stuff, and the price is free. I got it up and running in about a minute with a track I was looking at today, and it’s really handy for mixing.

Now, if you’ve been paying attention, it should go without saying that you’re going to need a copy of Max for Live (that is, Live 10 Suite edition) and Live 10 as a minimum version, since Live 9 doesn’t have this feature.

Got it? Good. Here’s the download:


I’m very interested in the applications of this for Live users. And multichannel diffusion and spatial audio remain interesting, not only in Live but across electronic music. Hopefully more on all of this soon.

The post This free Multi Analyzer shows why Live 10 multichannel Max is cool appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland quietly made their DJ controllers into live-hybrid machines

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 9 Feb 2018 8:28 pm

Roland’s 1.10 DJ controller update adds a bunch of features – and plays to the machines’ strengths, drawn from the TR drum machine line, as live machines.

First, a recap:

Why Roland?

The DJ-202/505/808 line may look like bog-standard Serato controllers with Roland logos on. But they promise to be something else: DJ controllers made for people who also produce.

We already know that the “DJ” market involves a lot of producers dabbling in DJing and a lot of DJs dabbling in production. And anyone doing one or the other invariably finds they want to play a little, or do a remix, or finish a podcast, or practice mixing, or any of a number of things that might be served by DJ hardware.

So then the question is, what do you get? Two CDJs and a dedicated DJ mixer are expensive. Two turntables work, too, but that can be overkill if you want to play around with some digital files. So, then you’re back to a number of inexpensive DJ controllers, but they tend not to be much fun to play with, and they don’t have much utility in production.

That’s where the Roland/Serato line gets really appealing. The platters have extremely high precision and low latency drivers – meaning they work really well for beat-matching (including if you’re a producer learning to do that), and even some scratching. The 505 and 808 work well with turntables, too, meaning you can use a pair of decks with Serato for digital vinyl if you want. And, crucially, the 505 and 808 still function as mixers with the computer turned off.

I’d love to see other DJ gear that meets the above, but because of those jog wheels, there isn’t much.

What’s new in 1.10

It could have ended there, but it appears Roland is investing into making the DJ line better at the task. What Roland is calling their “1.10” firmware update is actually pretty hefty, particularly for the more full-featured 505 and 808.

Remember, the 505 and 808 really are AIRA drum machines as well as controllers. And even with a TR-909 sitting on my desk, they’re rather useful ones. So without plugging in a single cable, you’ve got these drum machines ready to play at a gig. They even work with the computer unplugged in standalone mode, so you don’t have a paperweight when your PC is off (like when a Windows 10 update is installing… grrrrr).

More sounds. [202, 505, 808] The DJ-808 adds low toms, rim shots, rides, and 606 crash and 808 cowbell to its 606/707/808/909 sounds. The DJ-202/505 add kits for 606 and 707 to their existing 808 and 909 – a total of twelve kits, up from eight. All round, you’ve got a lot of new kits and individual sounds – and you can swap those out live as you play for added variety.

These aren’t just samples, either – they feature the same component modeling approach you’ve heard in other Roland drum machines (and specifically the TR-8 AIRA), so they’re based on realistic digital models of the analog circuits. That’s why there are no “sound kits” to download or something like that.

TR-S master effects. [505, 808] The TR-S master effects include drive/distortion, a pretty punchy compressor, and new transient follower. All three let you drive your drum jams over a track.

Channel effects. [808] The DJ-808 also includes a new delay, phaser, a new noise effect, and bitcrusher. Since the DJ-808 also acts as a mixer/hub for gear, that’s… a lot of fun. The mic input also gets its own reverb, delay, and delay-reverb combo.

TR-S editing. [505, 808] The TR-S isn’t as full-featured as a dedicated sequencer/drum machine, but it already hides a lot of power. To that, you now have the ability to copy kits (DJ-505) and nudge and tap tempo (808).

TR-S step loop. [505] Also cool – now you can loop through just some steps instead of the whole loop on the TR-S sequencer, so handy both for Serato sequences and the drum machine.

Tweak settings. [202, 505, 808] My only slight frustration with the DJ-202/505 is that the jog wheel/platters are so sensitive, at first I was bumping the top surface of the platter while using the effects. (I’ve… learned not to do that.) There’s now a sensitivity adjustment buried in settings, which if decreased, seemed to me to have a negligible impact on accuracy but made it slightly harder to bump. It’s a “release” setting, so impacts when you let go of that jog. Your mileage may vary. All three models now also have a Backspin Length setting, which lets the wheel jog through more of the track than a single rotation normally would. I found that turning up this length let me jog through more of the track quickly.

And the DJ-808 is now a live hub

Look, if you’re going to splurge on DJ gear, most controllers leave you with big, unwieldy coffins that turn into paperweights when the computer is off and take up space when you want to remix or jam or produce.

So here’s what’s cool: the DJ-808 isn’t thatand it’s a vocal processor, and it’s a TR-8-style drum machine with 606/707/808/909 sounds onboard and effects. That gives you up to 11 stereo channels and one mic. And while this sounds a little – let’s say psycho – now we can compare space.

One table, plus two CDJs and a mixer and … uh, sorry, you’re pretty much out of space, and you’ve only got two decks.

One table, plus DJ-808, laptop, and some toys. Now you’ve got four decks, the mixer, a drum machine, and all your toys, and you can still plug in a mic and go to town.

Plus, bonus: all these inputs record to the recorder in Serato DJ. So, you don’t have the old problem of remembering a portable recorder / cables / flash memory card / the level was set wrong / the inputs weren’t all there / etc. etc.

Of course, the same is true if we’re talking at home.

Now, if you’re cringing because this might be a musical trainwreck with some DJs, hey, I didn’t say the thing would practice for you. But for people who are good at improvising on all this stuff, it’s a godsend.

The only bad news: the DJ-505 is crippled, in that the switches on the front let you choose either the external input or your laptop, but not both. I get that Roland may want to differentiate products here, but since the 808 does so much already, I hope the next firmware update lets us use its inputs all at once the way the DJ-808 did. The 505 is a lot more affordable and more portable than the 808, and it still packs the essentials.

You hear that, Japan? There’s my 1.20 firmware wishlist.

Anyway, 1.10 downloads are available for all the hardware. And the TR-S is so much fun on the DJ-505 that I’m finishing now a separate guide to using it as a performance tool, plus guides to mapping the whole range to VJ applications. Stay tuned.

New Version 1.10 Update for the Roland DJ Series Announced

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Ableton Shreds: This Live 10 video is … maybe more like your real life

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 8 Feb 2018 8:44 pm

Okay, so – someone has taken the Live 10 demo video, and made a “shreds” overdub, and … well, we all feel it, don’t we?


Thank you, Michael Chmst Snyder, whoever you are. This.

Can’t … stop … watching.

Ableton editorial, it’s your move. You could hire this guy, or… well, wait, is that really a question, even? Do it.

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Ableton Live 10 arrives: how you’ll use it, what it means for Max for Live

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 6 Feb 2018 5:26 pm

After weeks of watching Ableton’s trainers and testers have the fun, Live 10 is now the current version. Here’s what that means for you.

Live 10 is now the official release version of Ableton Live. If you didn’t jump on the discounted upgrade or preorder pricing, that’s done. Live reverts to its original pricing and retains the same editions Live 9 had (Suite, Standard, Intro).

What you get with Live 10: lots of new Devices including the Wavetable synth and Echo multi-engine delay, automatic Capture of your ideas before you hit record, improved editing of MIDI and audio especially in the Arrange view, lots of additional sounds, more Push integration, and a faster, more integrated Max for Live. It’s also much easier on the eyes, certainly on Retina displays, but across the board.

Now, in those intervening weeks, a lot of people have gotten their hands on the software. I’ve been using Live 10 betas since early fall. Here’s what I’ve found, comparing my own personal experience with other Live users, both advanced and novice.

Live 10’s highlights

Arrangement view finally feels fleshed out. Editing multiple MIDI clips in Arrange, being able to directly manipulate audio, and navigating Arrange more quickly is really essential. I really hope Ableton continue to develop this area – and that some day we even see the sort of hardware integration with Arrange that we do with Push and Session view.

You’re going to use Drum Buss a whole lot. Drum Buss sounds like a specific drum compressor. That’s even how Ableton markets it. In practice, its combination of dynamics processing and “crunch” turn out to be pretty useful all over the place, especially since its simplified controls can be used in a variety of ways to dial in very different results.

Echo and Wavetable are really beautiful. Do you need another delay and another synth? Well, maybe not. Do these add character to the release? Absolutely. Look, lots of DAWs use pack-in instruments and effects to try to earn your loyalty and upgrades. Ableton is arguably a little different in that some of these designs are so specific to the software maker as to make little sense elsewhere – think Operator or Simpler. For me, though – and your experience may be different – the new devices were an easy test. I had Live 9 on my MacBook and Live 10 on my Razer for quite a while. I was comfortable enough switching back to 9 to work on lots of projects. But it was the devices that often made me migrate over to 10 again.

Push is more useful for editing. The addition of the melodic step sequencing layout (which combines real-time entry and sequencing), the ability to work on MIDI patterns on Push, and new device support continue to make Push feel essential.

Groups inside Groups. There are a lot of usability improvements, but I think you could say this is the most important one. I can’t tell you why exactly subgroups make the whole use of groups more useful, but they do. I find myself using groups a lot more – and I know of all the usability improvements people asked for that appeared in Live 10, this was the most significant.

There are a lot of other improvement here that may require adapting a bit. Capture is something found in DAWs like Cubase, but oddly it’s easy to forget that you don’t have to hit record to grab ideas. The Arrange view’s new features require some investment of time learning shortcuts and the like – and that pays off. And you should invest some time in organizing your Library to exploit that nice new browser, for sure.

For a complete run-down of what’s new:

Ableton Live 10 in depth: hands-on impressions, what’s new

What does Max for Live integration do?

We’ve been talking to Ableton now for years about their ideas for better integrating the ideas of Cycling ’74, who make Max/MSP, and Ableton themselves, even before Ableton bought Cycling.

The big thing you’ll notice right away is that Max for Live is integrated with Live – that is, you won’t see a separate load screen. It’s “built in.”

But there’s more to it than just that, which CDM has confirmed with Ableton:

Max is better, faster, stronger, etc. Max itself has been optimized, improving device load time and CPU load, plus a lot of bug fixes.

Versions are in lockstep. Since Live and Max are integrated, you can’t accidentally run the “wrong” version of Max. This also means that a sound pack that supports a particular version of Live won’t run into a compatibility problem with an out-of-sync version of Max.

The future is surround. One easy-to-miss improvement is really an important one: Max for Live support for multichannel audio mixing opens up new possibilities for multichannel setups.

Max 8 is coming! When Max 8 ships, it’ll include the internal improvements found now in Max for Live, plus new Max 8 features for people making their own patches.

So, that’s the good news. Now, the bad news: while we’ve been promised more integration of Max and Live, they remain separate products. Standalone Max licenses may have features that don’t become available in Max for Live. And while eventually Max 8 features will come to Live 10, it sounds like there will be a lag while Ableton tests those features.

Ableton describe this as “lockstep” versions of Max and Live, but – if the versions come out at different times with different features and there’s a lag as they test integration, that’s obviously not lockstep in regards to Max. At least you have one installer and one version as far as Live and Max for Live.

We’ll keep talking to Ableton and Cycling as the Max 8 release gets closer to fully grasp how this is working, and how the closer partnership of the two companies would shape this over time. The reality here still seems to lag what we’ve been promised in terms of Max and Live being integrated and the two developers acting as one.

What might hold you back?

Live 10 doesn’t make any advances in allowing you to integrate custom hardware. As other software has added support for OSC and other protocols, or integrated native scripting, Ableton mostly keeps that kind of integration accessible to hardware vendors. (Hopefully with official support for polyphonic MIDI expression announced, Ableton will follow soon. That may be an edge case, but it’s an edge case that tends to use Live!)

That said, some quiet improvements to Max for Live regarding System Exclusive data support and custom control surface creation now became a lot more useful. MIDI-CI, a new technique for automatically configuring hardware, could combine with Max for Live in interesting ways. (My only concern there: native support would be better.)

Live is also at the pricier end of DAWs available today, for both new and existing users. Users are of course also weighing the price of this as they budget, and I know that’s been a disincentive for some of you for whom money is tight. I can’t personally say what software should cost, as unlike hardware, you can’t calculate what it costs to make. But if you don’t have the money for this, I feel your pain – been there.

By the way, if you preordered Live, you aren’t automatically charged. So you can still back out if you’re not in the financial state you thought you might be – check refund/return pricing and contact support if you need.

But I do think that Live 10 is among a handful of Live upgrades over the years that seem to make everyone happy once they take the plunge. If Live is what you use most of the time, if you’re productive in the Live workflow more than other DAWs, should you get the Live 10 upgrade? Yes. That’s an easy answer.

We’ll look a bit more at some of the devices in future and can discuss that – plus the state of other software. Stay tuned.


The post Ableton Live 10 arrives: how you’ll use it, what it means for Max for Live appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

TX Modular is a vast, free set of sound tools in SuperCollider

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 5 Feb 2018 6:10 pm

Granulators, drones, mixing, synths, effects, control, and on and on – TX Modular is an insanely huge set of tools, and the cost is zero.

SuperCollider, the free and open source sound creation environment for Mac, Windows, and Linux, is vast and powerful. The problem is, actually getting into it is … a little arcane. Talk to many frequent SuperCollider users, and what you’ll find is that they’ve assembled personal libraries of code snippets to work with it. So it can feel a bit like trying to talk your way into a secret society, if you’ve come from another sound creation environment.

Paul Miller writes to share his TX Modular System, which gives you the keys to a huge treasure trove of modules, and some easier ways of combining them.

All of this also means you don’t have to touch SuperCollider code if you don’t want to – though you can add that, too, if you like. (And you can run some code without having to build everything else you need from scratch.)

And it’s all just kind of mind boggling. Just to give a small overview, you get – among other things:

Synths and drones. In addition to the more conventional stuff you’d expect, there are a range of unique morphing synths, wave terrain instruments, drone and noise makers – rare, creative stuff. And there are polyphonic synths with a special emphasis on physical modeling and filter-based sound.

Samples and granulators. Grains are part of the appeal of SuperCollider – these instruments have lots of variations to experiment with sound, plus more conventional players, loopers, and sample-based synths.

Effects. There’s an insane amount here: delays, amp simulation and distortion, waveshapers, bitcrushers, extensive dynamic processing, EQ and flter, resonators, reverbs, and then extra stuff like spectral delays, harmonizers, and vocoders. From studio-style processing to weirder realms, it’s the full gamut, and within a modular paradigm.

Mixing and processing. Need a Mid-Side encoder? Faders? It’s there, too.

Control. Arguably, the rise of Eurorack modular has renewed the interest in actually getting creative and musical with patching itself. So, here you get clock dividers and a rich variety of envelopes and the like, in addition to basic LFOs and such. And at the same time, you get modulation that’s only possible in the digital realm, like random walks and Perlin Noise (a particular digital algorithm with nice, organic results), plus physics models of balls and springs.

Hardware input. Here, too, you get some of the advantages of the computer: work with OpenSoundControl natively, add Wiimotes, plenty of MIDI processors, and more.

Sequencers. Most modular environments break down when it comes to the sort of sequencing in DAWs – but not here. There are scale, chord, note processing, and piano roll sequencers, not just some limited step sequencers. You can even work with multiple tracks or use sequencers for modulation and actions.

UI. For building interfaces, you get various widgets for knobs and sliders.

And of course, you still have SuperCollider for extending all of this, with convenient modules for adding your code to the modular environment.

A mature release is out now as of last month, with a powerful new multitrack sequencer and note processing, FM granulator, a new reverb, and module improvements. (In case you were already up and running with TX, you’ll find what’s new in this release, entitled 087, included in the release notes.)

It’s almost ridiculous that Paul has created this for free. But it’s a beautiful, completely open source solution:


On Mac, you can download a standalone, but the whole environment works on Mac, Windows, and Linux so long as you install SuperCollider first.

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UAD for everybody: Arrow sound box is Thunderbolt, PC or Mac, $499

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 16 Jan 2018 9:00 pm

Universal Audio just brought their DSP platform – and top-notch audio interface tech – to a box that’s Thunderbolt, bus-powered, and under US$500.

Here’s the thing: if someone asks you the age-old question “which audio interface should I buy,” it’s actually pretty hard not to mention Universal Audio. While the company may have gotten started selling pricey high-end DSP cards for their platform of vintage gear emulations and sound tools, starting with Apollo, they also happened to make one of the best audio interfaces. The Apollo line boasts high-end converters and audio circuitry and rock-solid performance. And it’s been steadily reaching more and more people, with the smaller Twin bringing the price down, and Windows support following Mac.

The Apollo Twin is good enough, in fact, that you can almost recommend it just for its audio interface capabilities – not only as a gateway into the catalog of UAD studio effects and sound processors and the like.

But the Apollo Twin still represents some outlay of cash. And it’s portable, but not quite throw-it-in-a-laptop portable – especially once you figure in that power brick.

So, the Arrow starts to look really smart as an entry level device. Its estimated street is just US$499. It’s still 2×4 like the Apollo Twin – so you can have a separate monitor mix. And there are two mic preamps.

But it’s sleeker, prettier, more portable, and it runs on bus powered Thunderbolt 3 on both Mac and Windows. (Gone are the days of interface companies catering just to Apple – the press kit even came with shots both of a MacBook Pro and a Razer Blade, my respective favorite high-end Mac and Windows choices.)

Now, if you were just spending $500 on an interface alone, this might still not make sense. So then you have the value-add of the UAD DSP platform. While native processing is powerful these days – running VST and AU plug-ins and the like – it still means contending with some latency. So, you have to listen to the dry signal of your instrument or voice while you’re recording, and then add compressors and reverb and pitch correction and whatever else afterwards.

UA’s ongoing argument is that they can deliver their signal processors with near-zero latency, thanks to their onboard DSP (the “UAD SOLO” is what they call it). The mic preamps feature Unison technology, which models gain structure on the hardware for more accurate emulation of studio tools. And you can take your vocals and guitars and synths and keyboards and everything else and add their library of effects as if you’ve got the actual gear there, without hearing a delay as you track.

Those plug-ins don’t all come cheap, once you buy a lot of them. But the Arrow has newcomers to UAD in mind, bundling a full 14 full-featured “Realtime Analog Classics” in the box.

Ah, remember the days of expensive hourly studio time? Meet the bundled analog gear – software UAD form.

The bundle’s not too shabby, either. You don’t get the latest models of everything, but you do get the full UA 610-B channel strip for taking advantage of that Unison technology, ideal for recording. And there’s a nice selection of EQ, compression, and the like (from the still very decent previous generation), plus excellent Marshall Plexi and Softube Bass Amp room additions (great on instruments). You’ll want to budget more if you’re really in this for the UA stuff, but it’s not a bad start. UA of course hopes this gets you hooked so you buy more, so – here’s their explanation of their various hardware/software bundles:
UAD-2 / Apollo Plug-In Bundles Explained [scroll down]

Really, the only catch is that the Arrow has just one UAD SOLO processor. That means you can’t layer on a whole lot of those UAD effects at once – you’re limited by available processing power. I like the form factor of the Arrow enough that I hope UA will offer a DUO version with two DSP cores – my experience has been that on the Apollo Duo that’s more than enough horsepower for solo musician/producer needs. The single core, though, I suspect will feel a bit cramped for UAD addicts. (Those Legacy models in turn will be lighter on the SOLO, so there’s a certain wisdom to their inclusion.) Oh, and one other niggle – that extra x2 out is only on the stereo headphone jack, though – it’s missing the Twin’s separate rear channel jacks, useful for spatialization or other external outputs.

As a live device, though, and as an entry point to UAD, this one looks like a winner. UA keep iterating on their accessibility, and this one is sure to be a big breakthrough. That real-time functionality and library of plug-ins also makes it more fun to buy than competing audio interfaces, which only act as, you know, audio interfaces.

Arrow is shipping now. I’ll try to get one in to review.


and about those plug-ins:

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