Wednesday, 30 December 2015

TAL-U-NO-LX V2 synth overview

Mr Patrick Kunz alias TOGU AUDIO LINE have been bringing to light wonderful pieces of virtual audio instruments and effects for a long time. And along with his commercial products many of them are available as free downloads too.
The list is huge and if you haven't already done so I strongly recommend you pay a visit to his website and check them out. They're all characterized by great sound quality and are easy to use. My production needs and tastes often lean towards his TAL REVERBS, TAL VOCODER and TAL DUB delays (especially the second version) and his Tal Noizemaker and Tal Elektro among the others synths are brilliant pieces of freeware vst.

Among the payware ones, thinking about its musical quality/value, the great TAL-U-NO-LX is available at a reasonable price.

Mr Kunz spent a huge amount of passion and energy in creating one of the most faithfully sonic and visual reproductions of some of Roland's synthesizers coming out of the 80's like the well known Juno 60, with the handy addition of midi sync and learn functions that this digital recreation allows.
This virtual analog synthesizer comes with a 32 and 64 bit installer for Windows and OSX platforms, working fine with all the most well known DAWs, its pdf manual and with about 300 well made factory presets, some of them recalling the original Juno sounds, plus a large number of other patches made by sound designers and users, demonstrates the sonic variety achievable with this vst. All banks are available as a free download from the official TAL U-NO-LX website page.


For those like me who had the chance to put their hands on the real Juno 60, this one brings on its characteristic sound and mojo, thanks to the accuracy spent on its ideation, audio construction and programming.
Furthermore the U-NO-LX's look, colors and the disposition of the various parameter controls recall that good old original interface style and makes you want to have a real midi controller/interface, stuffed with faders,knobs and buttons, to be able to control it with your fingers! And if you're a touch panel geek, it even makes you wonder how great it would be to have a parallel version available for touch pads to always keep with you.
The attractive dark grey, blue, red and yellow color palette lets your eyes focus without effort on the various sliders and large square buttons with their old fashion (ed) red leds.
Above all, right in the middle of its name, there's the dropdown menu where we can load, save, rename the presets and browse all the available U-NO-LX banks.
The gui is organized in three rows containing various sections and controls alligned in a logical order. The upper part shows the DCO (digitally controlled oscillator), the HPF (high pass filter) and the VCF (voltage controlled filter) described as the heart of the synth.
In the centre we find the MASTER section with the main parameters like volume, the tunining faders and the octave transpose switch, the VCA (voltage controlled amplifier), the ADSR (attack,sustain,decay,release), the LFO (low frequency oscillator) and the typical CHORUS effect. In the third row we find the latest sections: the white CONTROL one, the PORTAMENTO, the blue CONTROL one and the beloved ARPEGGIATOR. 

Both in the original version and this digital reproduction the trademark of this synthesizer is the DCO (digitally controlled oscillator) that gives more stable tuning. In this section the LFO slider controls the amount of the pitch oscillation where 10 as it's maximum value gives an excursion of 6 semitones, the PWM (pulse width modulation) slider controls the amount of modulation that can be given, via the selector, by the LFO rate, manually, or by the ADSR envelope allowing many interesting and catchy different results.
We can then activate and use in addition to or separately a SAW wave, a SUB oscillator (which adds a lower wave) and the NOISE generator.
In the filter section we have the HPF (high pass filter) to remove all the unwanted low frequencies and the VCF which is meant to be a true low pass filter with cut off and resonance sliders which can be used manually or controlled by the ADSR envelope, in a direct or inverted way set by the dedicated switch, where the ENV controls the intensity of the ADSR action, the MOD controls the LFO action depth in oscillating the cut-off and finally the KEYB, which at its maximum value gives the possibility to play the sounds generated by the U-NO-LX at full resonance, as mentioned in the nicely covered user manual.

In the centre of the gui the VCA switch allows us to choose if the volume of our sound will be affected by the following ADSR envelope parameters or not (if in GATE mode).

In the LFO section we can send the desired amount of oscillation RATE to influence, rhythmically, the correlated parameters of the synthesizer, its fade-in time is controlled with the DELAY TIME slider, and nature of the TRIGGER MODE. We have three options to control LFO rate, KEY following, the FREE mode and host tempo SYNCHRONIZED mode with several time quantizations.
The LFO has four waves to choose from: Triangle, Sine, Saw, Random and Rectangle and these can be set to direct or inverted states.
Then pops in the warm, wide and deep Chorus Fx with its three switchable modes: I, II and both.
At the beginning of the last row we are presented with other useful sound controls like the key transposition, the synth polyphony (from mono up to 12 voices), the midi learn available for every function, the Panic button (all notes off) and the LFO TRIGGER manual button that works coupled with the MAN option available in the LFO section described above.

In the CONTROL blue section we can set up what will be influenced by our pitch wheel, with the freedom to operate on the BENDER DCO affecting the pitch, and the BENDER FILTER affecting the cut off. We can also set what will be influenced by our key velocities operating on the VELOCITY ENVELOPE (which gives the amount of filtering) and the VELOCITY VOLUME (operating on our keys volume).
As with many other synths we can activate the PORTAMENTO with it's related options.
Last but not least we have the ARPEGGIATOR, finally able to be, in this digital version, midi synchronized.
It's features include, free or in sync, up to 3 octaves of range, up/down/up-down functions, host sync with several quantisation choices, the HOLD option that keeps our notes played as long as we're not playing a new key, and the useful KEEP which maintains our arpeggiator settings even when we switch between the UNO-LX patches.


Well,as always it sounds how our hands and ears want it to sound. Togu Audio Line created THE ANALOG VIRTUAL tool for all of us and now we can use it the way we wish. From imitating the classic 80's synth pop tunes, to designing new contemporary scapes and drones, from sculpting decent drum'n'bass leads, pads and basses, to preparing one shot glitchy fxs or carving neverending arp leads and groovy lines, the possibilities are endless.
As a true digital reproduction (even under a technical point of view concerning its programming and use of algorithms not mentioned in this review) it can reach all the sound possibilties owned by the Juno synthesizers, like fat wide pads, deep mono basses, squelchy leads, endless sci-fi effects, angelic breathy pads, lush strings and so on. As mentioned before browsing through its 300 or so available presets gives us a wide spectrum of use and comprehension of its possibilities.

The game gets deeper when we add our favourite audio plugins like reverbs, filters,loudness maximizers, any other modulation and distortion fx and surely whatever our production taste brings into the creative process. Personally I truly had fun matching UNO-LX with the other TOGU AUDIO LINE freeware effects, and it also work's great with the TAL VOCODER.
It's totally easy to play straight away "out of the box", without the need of knowing much about sound design and signal processing, but simply hearing the affect we have on it's sound when moving its sliders, and at the same time it's direct and easy to understand thanks to its clear construction and structure, even more if matched with an easy reading of the pdf manual, and it proves to be an affective excellent tool to dig into the comprehesion of this kind of synth based on the DCO and VCF, how they work and what we can achieve.

TAL U-NO-LX V2 will give you hours of fun, playing and designing your own patches. It is extremely satisfying in live situations too, as though we were playing a "real" synth not just a "plugin", realizing the fact that, at long last, the time has come when a instrument that depends upon the computer/laptop to process sounds is finally as mature as it's former analog relatives.


Saturday, 19 December 2015

IN KNOBS WE TRUST - DCSI T-shirts, mugs, pillows, stickers, iPad covers, bags and more!

Hi guys! I'm so happy to share I've launched the first series of


T-SHIRTS (any color/shape/size) STICKERS, PILLOWS, MUGS and more.
Could be a nice idea for a gift or a self gift :-)
Have a look if you're interested and synth geek as I am !
What about doing your next performance live or producing your next beat wearing one of these T-shirts? We are all a "In knobs we trust" big family outta here ;-)
(Sold and shipped worldwide through a well known platform - It's all safe, don't worry at all )
Thank you very much and have day !
DCSI - Diego Callegari

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Rotobam - Don't trick the hostile kid (quick demo for a synth contest done in less than 4 hours)

I entered a contest doing some pretty raw having only 4 hours left before deadline.
Granted is mentally and phisically not possible to produce and finish a track in a proper way having 3 and half hour left only, playing all the parts by hand on the keyboard, arranging it, editing it properly and doing the mastering, this is all I was able to do in such short time.
The track had to be done using a single synth only which in this case was SynthMaster by KV331 and its own presets, I used the iPad version as I have that one, only added a bunch of drum loops, playing each track with the masterkeyboard, so it's not sequenced or quantized, as there was no time or I would have been too late. Just some cuts to make it more regular.
Only 1 delay fx added on a single part, nothing else on any track
Only a multiband compressor on the master output.
All done within the synth itself. For these reasons is a raw demo.
Will re-open the track and finish this for my pleasure during the next days and post a definitive version. Was a challenge for myself to be able to do it in such little time however. So I am in peace with myself and feeling ok.
If you want guys have a listen to the demo and thanks. Cheers

Friday, 27 November 2015

Uvi Falcon overview with video and post

Finally here we are with the first overview so long delayed!!
As a surprise we're starting with a brand new software still not named before :-)
Nevertheless starting from the next one I'll proceed to review all the others as well.
I hope guys this is going to be useful for you.

Bear with me if my English pronunciation is kinda weird and I throwed in a bunch of errors maybe :-) it's surely meant to be improved with time,so thanks for understanding.

  Uvi Falcon  - hybrid instrument

Available for Mac and Windows computer  as stand-alone, VST, AU, AAX, it's mix of a powerful multi sample format playback engine and a brilliant virtual synthesizer bringing you several kind of audio synthesis, a terrific warehouse of high quality effects, a multipart mixer with up to 17 pairs of stereo outputs, a performance machine, all in one package and much more.
The audio quality of Falcon is awesome, fitting many kind of music and sound productions
Suits perfectly both the simple user, willing to play straight out of the box, just loading one of the many factory presets based on a large library of samples and synths patches included, and the creativity of professional sound designers which, once learned its interface, will surely find it's a real powerhouse, fun and challenging to use and experiment with.
It truly can blow the house down with its programs where synthesis and samples come together.
Being a UVI product is fully compatible with all the previously released UVI libraries for Uvi Workstation and UVI powered instruments.
Nevertheless Falcon has the ability to load and manipulate tons of other audio formats as Soundbanks (.ufs), AIFF, FLAC, MP3, MP4 , REX1, REX2, SDII (on Mac), WAV, WAV64, SFZ, SND, CA.

After a smooth installation process of the software and its factory library Falcon shows up with a minimal resizable interface divided in 3 main sections.
On the left side we find a TREE VIEW where if needed users and sound designers can get into details when it's needed to visually dig inside the structure of a program, looking for and select a specific option.
That's pretty handy when a specific part is made of several layers of sound engines, modulations, effects, envelopes, parameters connected to other parameters, sounds  assigned to specific part of the keyboard, and so on.
At the center the main edit window brings several tab:
The INFO area where we can find the simple interface with available, if any, some specific knobs and switches controlling sound parameters assigned by the sound designer or by ourselves.
With those we can tweak each patch in an easy way while performing, without being confused by looking at all the program knobs available at the same time.
The EDIT section with all our well known audio parameters, is where we are truly building a patch, adding oscillators and/or sample playing and mangling enginges, envelopes, lfo, filters, effects, additional modulations, arpeggiators, step sequencers and much more.
The EFFECTS section in which are visually duplicated the effects we may have added in the edit tab, showed here in a more accessible way for further editing.
The EVENT section, it's our workarea when using a midi player, arpeggiators, for working with tuning and micro tuning options, scales and microscales, loading prebuilt ones or editing custom tunings.
The MODS section gives easier access to program and edit all the modulations we're having active in the edit window on a give parameter.
Finally the BROWSER on the right side allows us  browsing our computer hard disks and folders to find and load sample libraries such the uvi ones. if we've already bought some of them, as well as quickly surf through the Falcon Factory library, selecting our patches or inside the factory resources what we need when building from scratch a program.
As a virtual synthesizer Falcon offers several kind of audio synthesis,  all available to be used even at the same time, even on a single patch.
The related oscillators are as many as 15 different ones  collected under different groups.
We're having available Virtual Analog, Phase Distortion, Frequency Modulation, Wavetable (with stereo spread across 8 voices maximum)
Analog Stack with up to 8 oscillators at the same time

Noise generators, Pluck Oscillators (which is a kind of phisically inspired string synthesys, obtained with a sample playing engine, plus a specific oscillator and a noise generator).
Finally there are tailored Drum synths oscillators and Organ sound oscillators.

As sample libraries editor and player the internal Falcon engines bring you high quality time stretching, scrub, granular and multigranular playback, based on the IRCAM first class audio algorythms.
Theres even a so called Slice oscillator useful for Drum Loops which when loaded will be split automatically in our selected keyboard range zone.
Besides that we're having all the other professional options available  in high end sample player such as round robin, keysplits, keyswitches and others.
Usually one can use only some of these ways of creating and manipulating sounds in other synths and sample players, rarely all at the same time and on a single preset while instead Falcon allows!

These in fact can be combined together to give birth to incredible and pretty deep creations making it a sound designer's heaven, right in the same patch and played in a single keyboard assigning them to single key or keyzones.
While building up things Falcon modularity aspect allows us to modulate and submodulate practically speaking anything available, as we said already.
For this purpouse you'll find on Falcon LFO and Envelopes of any kind, actually 8 modulators: AHD, Analog ADSR, Attack Decay, DAHDSR, a weird one called Drunk, an army of different Multi Envelopes and Step Envelopes with a huge list of pre-made ones
Plus a Step sequencer and a very deep Arpeggiator.

Adding, tweaking, moving things around is just one click away, simply dragging and dropping them from the browser on the right to the edit window.
Modulating and assigning things can be easily done also right clicking over a chosen parameter.
This scenario happens when we need to build up a front end user interface making chosen knobs and switches available over the info tab, our instrument user interface on Falcon, we're doing this thanks to macros.
Macros are assignable to whatever we want, just right clicking over something in the edit view and chosing "assign macro - add new macro". This will then show up in the user interface.

On Falcon we're having available 80 high quality audio effects too, of anykind, included the well known Uvi SPARKVERB and the REDUX effect too.
Each effect offers some presets as starting point which then can be absolutely customized for our needs and assigned to almost any sound or group of sounds.
The effects in fact can be added at a layer level and/or to a whole patch.
It's possible to chain and save a set of custom configurated effects. This means you can build your own multieffect rack which you can save and reload anytime anywhere.
Understand anyway Falcon is able to handle piling of oscillators, sound engines, modulations, effects and samples playback as much as your CPU power will allow you.
I guess you start to figure out which kind of sound design and music performance power it gives you.
You may then ask yourself how is possible to organize all these signal flows , such a large amount of sounds, in a single instance and performance? Being Falcon a multitimbral instrument has a dedicate internal MIXER with up to 17 pairs of outputs available, with as many channel as the number of parts you're going to add and build in a single instance, all at the same time, having each one its dedicated volume fader, pan knob, insert effects, aux send, plus the obvious master section with its insert effect slots too
This means that practically speaking you can build an entire song internally and route it to your daw in separate channels for futher editing and midi playback capabilities.
There's the performance tab left.
The PERFORMANCE tab is where we make choices regarding anything useful for setting up a performance like chosing and assigning midi channels,  keyboard zones, velocity splits, routing audio outputs. Important to note is the possibility of remoting and controlling Falcon using OSC compatible software and interfaces.
Finally using Falcon scripts and EVENT PROCESSING to manipulate sound and midi parameters or creating the user interface, thanks to its internal event processor with many prebuilt presets, its SCRIPT PROCESSOR, and the available LUA SCRIPTING LANGUAGE
will allow you to get deeper into sound processing and create any kind of instrument interface such as the Uvi libraries and powered instrument ones.
If you wonder which kind of music production and sound design Falcon suits better actually the answer is any.
Sky's the limit they say and I wonder why UVI was not using this line as slogan.
From loading and playing patches bringing you orchestral sample libraries to custom punk guitars sample, from ambient chill out, lounge, dirty electro, glitch polyrhythms , soundscapes, dubsteps, from jazzy night sessions to minimal electro or country music Falcon will be your friend for many years ahead.
Expect many brilliant sound designers  to join the party and produce tons of stunning sound libraries and instruments for Falcon as much as you will probably do.

I hope I gave you a glimpse of what this brilliant piece of software is able to do.
Thanks for your time and I hope you'll be back around here for the next audio software overview.
Have fun and take care.
DCSI - Diego

Monday, 9 November 2015

Dcsi audio software introduction/review series coming back very soon!

the series of audio instruments and libraries introductions-reviews that I should have published in the past (unluckily interrupted and longly postponed for personal reasons ) is now in the process and will be back soon with the first post and video, within a week.
Mostly about desktop software but with some mobile apps as well.
So far the list of incoming posts about both new and less recent productions (but still of great value) is this:

- MEMORYMOON, ME 80, MESSIAH vst synths.

Some others anyway will be addded with time as soon as these are done.
Please subscribe to the newsletter here above if you want to be informed when each incoming review is published and if you're social join me on Facebook too.

Thanks guys, be well and keep having fun enjoying yourself doing music!
Diego - DCSI

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Reaper 5 is out!

REAPER 5.0 !!
Today this awesome daw got a huge update! Windows (Xp to 10) and OS X (10.5* to 10.10) ready and works on Wine too if you're a Linux guy.
It is superlight, stable, full optional and its gui totally customizable, tons of free themes avilable to download.
You can try it for free up to 60 days and then if you like it and find it of good use, which I can bet will happen, its basic license is really cheap for low budget studio, as well as can completely suit the needs of big studio as well and worth the licenses price.
The only feature missed (still) you may want to consider is the lack of a score page, but there are some workarounds for exporting a score (check the forum and go see Lilypond related posts).
However its piano roll midi page does a great job.
Support this company! They're hard working committed guys and a lot users oriented, the community on the forum is pretty active and tons of already freely downloadable extensions are available online.
Check its related forum
They keep updating it and fix bugs on a regular basis when they occurs and add often new features.
I am not earning any cent telling this, I just love it and if we all can do lil effort to use legit and very good and cheap software this improves also the relationship about musician and committed honest developers.
And you're lifting up your karma ;)
Support first class affordable software, avoid piracy.
Try it and buy it if you need it and like it. Cheers

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Imperfektor by DCSI - dual band multifx for Reaktor

Hi, as promised here we go.
Today ready to be dowloaded free! 


Imperfektor is a dual band multi effect by DCSI, built within Reaktor environment. You need to previously own Reaktor and set Imperfektor as a Reaktor effect.
The main idea behind it is the concept of unpredictable audio variations, freely inspired by those analogue imperfections which in certain cases old hardware audio machines were producing when their internal components were not stable, old, or malfunctioning.
Its main use is therefore to add random audio imperfections to music performances based mostly on long synth pads sounds, drones and similar sources and let them act in an unpredictable, not time synced, neither repetitive way, making the sound more "alive and breathing".
You can anyway try it out experimenting on anything else you want.
After some headscratching and different kind of designs...

...I ended up to build it as a dual band effect, to be able to apply those variations differently to each chosen group of frequencies.
Parts of its chain are: light random volume and filters modifiers, resonators, random frequencies shifters, saturators, a clipper, random panners, mixers, and a limiter.
It's strongly recommeded to read the pdf manual included in the download zip before its use
to get a proper view and understanding of its functions and signal flow.
In the meantime here's the IMPERFEKTOR introductory youtube video.

Being totally free for your use I do hope you're going to have fun and let me know about it!

If you'll find it of useful and wants to contribute to keep the creative process going and support the release of other free DCSI productions and activities any donation is truly welcome ;)
Oh was almost forgetting ;- )'s the download link. It's a zip file in which you'll find both the ensemble and the instrument Reaktor versions, depending on your needs, and the pdf manual.
Probably a different "IMPERFEKTOR XT" version will be released too during this summer !!
So keep being around here, join me on Facebook if you're a social guy and subscribe to the newsletter here above as other cool stuff as the next "AVIO" Reaktor synth by DCSI is coming soon.
And not only said many things are going to happen here. Happy music making guys!
Bests - DCSI

I'd sincerely like to thank Salamander Anagram from ADSR tutorials to let available for free his CROSSOVER FILTER Reaktor's macro , which I used in IMPERFEKTOR.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

DCSI is ready and back on track !

finally after this huge break ;-) in a couple of days DCSI will be back on activity releasing as first thing, and to wecome back you all, a brand new and totally free DCSI Reaktor multieffect called "IMPERFEKTOR"....

Wanna know more and being updated about the next productions (yes there will be many others!;) ) ?
Subscribe to the newsletter form here on the upper right corner.
Don't worry, as usual no spam, and your email address will be safe and used only when new interesting things will happen.
Talks soon and thanks for hanging outta here!

If you were already subscribed to the old blog you can either erase that one or don't worry at all and in any case just subcribe again here, as from that website there will be no more posts in the future  except for a last "closing" announcement only.