Orchestra Hit! – History of the Infamous Sample Today we wanted to share a video with you produced by Vox that features a history of the infamous sample, the Orchestra Hit. This sample can be found in songs spanning across decades since its origin in a composition written by Igor Stravinsky in 1909 – Firebird. It was originally sampled by the creator of the Fairlight CMI, one of the most influential and innovative pieces of music technology to be created in the last century. The Fairlight was the first synthesizer that could digitally sample, digitally synthesize, and have a visual (touch)display to sequence music on. Stevie Wonder was the first professional musician in the United States to gain access to and use it. Peter Gabriel was using it across the pond. The synthesizer deserves its own post so we won’t drag on too much about it, but it was integral to the widespread …Read More
DRC Synth – Plugin Review and Interview with Imaginado Today we are sharing with you a short review of the softsynth DRC by company Imaginado (whom we recently posted about their free DLYM plugin). This synth just passed its second anniversary of being released so we thought it to be a fine time to do a review and talk to some of the developers of the plugin. DRC is a lovely synthesizer all around and it is one of the more heavily equipped plugins we have seen in terms of modulation capability. In the upper left, you’ll find two oscillators, a suboscillator, a modulation matrix for them and a performance matrix. The first oscillator has an octave transposition knob, pulse width control, and a dedicated pulse-width modulation LFO. The second oscillator doesn’t have the pulse-width control but it makes up for with a semitone transposition option. In …Read More
VSTSID – FREE Commodore 64 Synth Igorski recently announced the release of a free VST plugin that emulates the sounds of the original Commodore 64 system – VSTSID. The plugin is designed to resemble the web-based plugin WebSID which is a fun experiment by the same developers built for Google Chrome. VSTSID is exactly the same as WebSID except it is designed for use in your DAW as a VST or VST3 plugin; VSTSID features a Ring Modulator in place of the Delay effect seen on the Web version. VSTSID emulates the sound of the Commodore 64 which is known for its infamous 8-bit arpeggiator. Aside from the ring modulator the adjustments that are possible to make to the timbre of the sound are quite limited. Despite the filter effect not being true to the original, the sound of the pulse-width modulation found on the Commodore 64 computers is quite accurately emulated here in the plugin …Read More
Arturia Product Demo Recap: The New Gear is Phenomenal February 24th Arturia hosted a workshop here at Beat Lab Academy and showed us a few of their new products from their lineup, with a heavy focus on the Minibrute 2 and Minibrute 2S. What we saw was AWESOME. They built both of these to deliver power, and when used together they become exponentially cooler. The Minibrute 2 is an update of the original Minibrute, one of the most renowned analog monosynths of the 21st century. The Minibrute was famous for its size, price, and punch that it packed for the whole package. The Minibrute 2 delivers on the hype of its predecessor’s legacy and does so in style. This time around Arturia opted for the same looking dark plastic as the original but added wooden side panels, the result is a well-built synth that feels solid without feeling too heavy. Also new to this …Read More
Marie Ork – Free Voicebank for Alter/Ego Synthesizer Karoryfer Samples has released an updated version of their Marie Ork voicebank for Alter/Ego, the free vocal synthesizer VST plugin by Plogue. For those of you unfamiliar with Alter/Ego you should definitely check it out, it’s an awesome FREE plugin capable of reproducing human vocal melodies. You can type in the words for it to sing and then the synth will sing pitches based on your MIDI notes. Marie Ork was released last year as the first available voice for Alter/Ego and was only capable of a metal growl but now has been updated to feature two more voices: clean female vocals and spoken word vocals. These additions make the Marie Ork bank of presets a versatile vocal tool for any production; presets include Latin and Japanese phonemes. Adding new soundbanks to Alter/Ego is easy – download the voicebank here (and the plugin if you don’t already …Read More
The makers of VCV Rack have released the most recent update to the beta version of the open-source virtual synthesizer. VCV Rack was released earlier this year and has been receiving frequent additions to its lineup of modules. There are 14 modules that are included with the download as a group referred to as 'Fundamental'. These modules are, naturally, fundamental to creating a basic modular synthesizer and allow you to create increasingly complex routings for crazier sounds.Read More
Max for Cats just released their newest soft-synth and it is jam-packed with some powerful features. The system includes an individual synth module, "the Quad" which is 4 of the synths stacked into one instrument, and the SEQ8 step sequencer.Read More
This week we took a look at a FREE plugin by Socalabs called 'PAPU' which emulates the Game Boy Sound System (or GBS) found in the OG Nintendo Gameboy.
The synth has 2 square-wave oscillators that each can be modulated by Attack and Release, Tune and Finetune, and Pulse Width knobs. The first oscillator offers a pitchshift knob which you modulate by negative or positive milliseconds. A Noise Oscillator is available with A/R knobs, and includes a Shift, Steps button (7 or 15 steps) and Ratio knob to adjust the timbre of the oscillator. All three oscillators have stereo outputs that can be individually switched on and off which allows for some interesting sound design, you could use any combination of. The sounds are absolutely reminiscent of old Nintendo so we thought it would be fun to show you how to achieve a chiptune sound to really spark those memories.