Archive for November, 2012

Among Black Friday’s specials we can find most Native Instruments samples libraries at half price, also most EastWest ones half price  – through December 31, including HL Strings, HL Brass, Ministry of Rock 2, however not HL Woodwinds -, SynthMaster at 40 percent discount (that is $78 for the standard version – includes 150 additional presets besides the factory’s 500 ones).

Also amplesound is providing 55 percent discount on its Guitar series (that is $99 each) and UVI offers 25 percent discounts on its samples libraries.

OrangeTree still provides Evolution Electric Guitar Strawberry at $107 (40 percent discount from $179 price).

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AmpKit for mac

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Audio
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AmpKit is now available for mac (49,99$ through Mac App Store). It includes 22 amps, 28 cabs, 28 pedals and 8 mics. A demo version is also downloadable here (112 MB). It however isn’t provided as a plugin (standalone only).

UVI The Beast : Synclavier

Posted: November 10, 2012 in Audio
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Following Emulation One, Emulation II and Darklight IIx, UVI presents The Beast, that features Synclavier sounds. It includes an FM sounds plugin, a sampler sounds plugin and a drumbox plugin. The new UVI player also brings the SparkReverb.

Audio demos at Best Service feature few of its sounds, however we can find nice synth bass, drums, lushy strings and keys/leads (we can also listen to additional demos here). It is priced 199$/175 euros and is also available through download (4 GB). The presets lists can be found here, as well as links to rewiews.

Prominy SR5 Rock Bass review

Posted: November 10, 2012 in Audio
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Prominy’s SR5 Rock Bass is a 8,8GB direct bass sound for Kontakt (16 GB as it uses the compression feature), that features automatic legato, quick runs and string selection (with slides). It uses a multi instrument to switch between strings, alternate when detecting repetitions playing, and add noises. It plays like with sustain always on (can however be switched off and back using sustain pedal), and assists in playing quick repetitions (added note when releasing a key).

Moreover it displays used sting and position (and slides) in real time, providing a feeling we are playing a real bass.

As the sound is direct input, it doesn’t sound as fat as some other bass libraries or synth expansions cards, however it reacts more realistically and can be shaped using Amp plugins like Amplitube. For example as it provides only one Kontakt multi preset (also a lite one), we have to use a slap simulation amp preset (available in Amplitube) to achieve such playing style.

The sustain is great, however it can lead to memory overruns in Logic, that doesn’t free used memory when closing a song (and doesn’t use the previous one). Also as it uses streaming (400 MB initial preload memory) and sustain  mode it should be installed on an SSD. It was priced 89 euros (including VAT and shipping) during Best Service’s Guitar special.

The midfiles for the demo video can be downloaded here. Also MIDI files including AmpegSVX presets for the video demos has been posted to the registered users section on Prominy’s website. To download these we have to register SR5 product before.  Then an email containing login/password will be received.

 

Total studio 3 bundle includes all effects plugins and instrument libraries/players from IK Multimedia (that is 47 GB).

After having used Roland COSM effects from XV5050 for 12 years (great at that time -not very usable sounds, few amps and cab models, however nice distorsion), then Logic’s AmpDesigner/Guitar AmpPro/pedalboard and free Podfarm (both digital sounding), and reaching nice custom presets with Rammfire (far more greater than base free Guitar Rig amps, that also sounded digital – except nice delays), I tried Amplitube 3 demo and trial gears from Custom Shop (2 days trial), and finally got Amplitube 3 full, Amplitube Metal and Amplitube Jimi Hendrix from Total Studio 3 bundle :

Amplitube 3 sounded analog/warm and real/various, and it also provides a great sounding digital reverb (Guitar Rig’s delays seemed better). Only routing and switching between editing screens (one for each element – pedals, amps, cabs, mix effects for both channels of the routing path) was less practical than with Guitar Rig (single screen with scrolling through gears), despite displaying clear channels paths.
It was still cheaper through the 200 euros (plus added 40 euros VAT for EU) special price for Total Studio Bundle than by having to buy elements from IK’s Custom Shop. However thanks to the 4 for 1 credits packs group buy we could select best amps, cabs and pedals from Amplitube Metal, then the remaining amps and cabs from other brands and/or collections (Fender, Marshall, Ampeg, Soldano, etc.). I then added a 45 credit pack (30 euros), that is 180 credits at that time.
I also tried Peavey’s Revalver plugin, whose I didn’t like the tone/color, while providing a somewhat more real sound (nice for lower range however thinner overall).

IK’s Classik Reverb (also included in the bundle) is stunning (and only 79 euros without the bundle) : the reverb succeeds in keeping the original signal’s strength at early stage (early reflections) – while enhancing the sound -, and reverb trails are very natural (editable modulation parameters). Moreover as it doesn’t use hybrid solution (convolution for early reflections – to provide space sense – and algorithm for reverb trails in order to produce natural space modulation), it requires less processor resources. There are 4 distinct units (hall, room, plate, reverse), that sound all great (and distinct) in their area. The cathedral hall preset is even better than Independance’s Origami convolution reverbs or still great Kontakt’s convolution ones.

TRackS Deluxe also provided great mastering effects (compressors, limiters).

IK Sample libraries however didn’reach quality (details and strength) found in Kontakt’s factory library or EastWest’s Colossus. There are many presets however they didn’t stand out. The SampleTank XL base factory however provides a stunning Full cathedral organ preset, that is complementary to Kontakt factory’s and Independance’s ones by adding Classik Studio Reverb. Electric organs also sounded great.

Expansion libraries add some usable electric bass and guitars (use IK’s amp technology, however they may sound better using Amplitube from a clean  preset). Drums sounds are reported to be great, however can’t compete with Toontrak’s Superior Drummer 2 or NI’s Studio Drummer. Overall it doesn’t reach YellowTools Independance’s sound quality (larger library however).

Miroslav Philarmonik also sounded thin compared with EastWest and VSL libraries. However, through its only 8 GB samples (then not one sample per note) woodwinds sounded interesting, also some portato brass and strings presets, strings and brass ensembles (using sligth vibrato for strings). The cathedral organ presets weren’t better than SampleTank ones.

SampleTron and SampleMoog sounds didn’t bring an interesting sound color, then requiring more editing/additional effects. However they may simply sound right relative to the originals.

Sonic Synth provides nice layered pads, however sample based presets don’t sound better than SampleTank libraries ones, being then redundant.

Since Total Studio 3 bundle special price ended, the effects bundle (not available) may be more interesting. IK is really better at effects modeling.

When installing SampleTank’s libraries (or Sonic Synth ones), first installer part installs sounds folder in Library/Application Support/IK Multimedia/Instruments, however the installation preferences files get then corrupted, leading to a generic kernel error when launching the players (crashes) :
Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGBUS)
Exception Codes: KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE at 0x0000000000000000

In fact when installing following sounds parts, the installers get the modified/wrong installation location preference (the path contains “/” as separator instead “:” initially), leading to the part not being installed, and an empty file being created at the root of the filesystem (file named /Library/Application Support/IK Multimedia/Instruments/SampleTank XL Sounds for example).

The installation preferences files are located in /Library/Application Support/IK Multimedia/<softwareName>/Preferences/<softwarePrefix>.txt, for example /Library/Application Support/IK Multimedia/SampleTank 2.x/Preferences/ST2Pref.txt.
The instrumentPah property should be

InstrumentPath=Macintosh HD:Library:Application Support:IK Multimedia:Instruments:

InstrumentPath=Macintosh HD:Library:Application Support:IK Multimedia:Instruments:Sonik Synth 2 Sounds:

Moreover it allows all libraries to be available from SampleTank XL (including Sonic Synth, SampleMoog, SampleTron and Miroslav Philarmonik ones).

IK Multimedia’s Gear credits group buy, extended until November, 11, gives 3 additional credits packs (of the same size) per purchased credits pack. That is for 30 euros (added 6 euros VAT  for EU residents) we get 180 gear credits (45 initially).