Thursday, 14 December 2017

Eventide announces availability of Anthology XI as ‘everything’ bundle breakthrough

Recording technology trailblazer Eventide is proud to announce availability of its ‘everything’ plug-in bundle, Anthology XI.
Anthology XI includes all 17 plug-ins from Eventide’s acclaimed Anthology X bundle, but brings six of its latest and greatest hits to the creative collection. With the welcome addition of Blackhole, Fission, Tverb, UltraTap, MangledVerb, and 2016 Stereo Room, that’s 23 timeless tools that inspire, running the gamut from groundbreaking innovations like the TEC Award-nominated Fission — the first product to feature Eventide’s seminal STRUCTURAL EFFECTS method to split sound into its transient and tonal parts — to emulations of the trailblazing company’s legendary rack-mount effects. Everything.
 Anthology XI accesses all areas of Eventide’s evolution…

FX:

* Fission — split sound into transient and tonal parts
* UltraTap — rhythmic delays, glitchy reverbs, huge pad-like volume swells…
* H3000 Factory — load presets from the original H3000 or build your own
* H3000 Band Delays — eight, highly-customizable delays
* Octavox — eight voices of diatonic pitch shifting
* Quadravox — four voice, lower CPU footprint


Reverb:

* Blackhole — extraterrestrial reverb
* Tverb — Tony Visconti-inspired triple reverb
* MangledVerb — good reverb gone bad
* 2016 Stereo Room — classic SP2016 sound
* UltraReverb — DIY pro-reverb effects channel


Clockworks Legacy:

* H910 — original Harmonizer® and first digital effects processor
* H910 Dual — two H910s cunningly ganged
* H949 — deglitch, micro pitch, and randomized/reversed delays
* H949 Dual — two H949s cunningly ganged
* Omnipressor — comp/exp/limiter/reverse dynamics with side chain!
* Instant Phaser — world’s first studio phaser
* Instant Flanger — first faithful simulation of tape flanging


Utilities:

* UltraChannel — ultimate channel strip
* EChannel — simpler, lower CPU footprint
* Precision Time Align — precision sub-sample delay
* EQ45 — circuit model of the Urei 545 parametric EQ
* EQ65 — circuit model of the Urei 565 filter set


Anthology XI comes complete with more than 2,900 presets across the 23 plug-ins, many created by acclaimed artists and engineers like Dave Pensado, George Massenburg, Tony Visconti, Vernon Reid, Richard Devine, Joe Chiccarelli, Roy Hendrickson, Alessandro Cortini, Andrew Scheps, Erin Tonkin, Jonathan Schenke, Robin Finck, Chuck Zwicky, and Suzanne Ciani.

 Watch Eventide’s enticing Anthology XI video playlist here

Concludes Eventide Director of Marketing Communications Nalia Sanchez: “For over 45 years, audio pros have turned to Eventide for professional tools that inspire. Now everything — all of our effects — are in one big bundle that includes our latest and greatest hits. For example, there’s an authentic emulation of our H910, pro audio’s first digital effects box whose unique sound inspired all sorts of mischief. We meticulously modeled the analog subtleties, and the plug-in sounds like the original. And, while we’re committed to the authentic recreation of our legendary hardware, we’ll always strive to break new ground. Fission is the latest case in point. It’s nominated for a TEC Award, and, to quote one reviewer, ‘Eventide wants to change how you think about processing audio…’ True enough. Always have, always will.”

Anthology XI’s 23 plug-ins — available as AAX/AU/VST formats for Mac OS X 10.7+ and Windows 7+ (with no iLok dongle required) — represent a combined value of over $3,500.00 USD if purchased individually. The bundle can be purchased at an introductory price of $899.00 USD. Upgrades from Anthology X and from individual Eventide plug-ins are also available. Sale ends January 11, 2018. MSRP thereafter is $1,799.00 USD. For more in-depth info, upgrade pricing, and a fully-functional 30-day demo version, please visit: https://www.eventideaudio.com/promo/anthology_xi 
About Eventide (www.eventideaudio.com)
Since 1971, Eventide has remained at the forefront of recording technology. In 1975 it revolutionized the audio industry by creating the world’s first commercially available digital audio effects unit, the H910 Harmonizer®. Since then, its legendary studio processors, stompboxes, and plug-ins have been heard on countless hit records.
© 2017 Eventide Inc.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Saal Digital photobook - quick video overview

Hi, in the recent past I've used the printing service of Saal Digital, Europe based printing company, to realize the Dcsi Production insignia on a PVC panel. you can see in this video here.

Few weeks ago I needed to realize a photo book pretty quickly, containing some pictures of random paintings of my father (a more than 6 decades long painter, now in retirement) and as their online printing service is very good I got the chance to test again their products .

Of course I've been again totally satisfied and as a little token of my gratitude here's a short video overview.

Please consider at the moment I took the picture of the photo book and shot this little video I had around only a tablet therefore the clip "is what it is" image quality wise.
But I reassure you the product itself I personally tested is of very good quality, as well as the service provided by Saal Digital.

Thanks for watching.

Diego - DCSI Productions

 


related links:

http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/
http://www.saal-digital.com/

http://callegaripainter.altervista.org/


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

FabFilter releases FabFilter Pro-L 2 true peak limiter plug-in

FabFilter is proud to announce availability of FabFilter Pro-L 2, a major update to the Pro-L limiter plug-in. With four brand-new limiting algorithms, a new true peak limiting mode, extensive standards-compliant loudness metering, surround support, and many other new features, Pro-L 2 improves on its predecessor in every way while staying true to the original vision of unparalleled simplicity and effectiveness.

New limiting algorithms
 
FabFilter Pro-L 2 introduces four new limiting algorithms. Modern is the new ‘best for all’ algorithm that produces even better results than the Transparent and Allround algorithms from version 1. Aggressive is great for maximum loudness — well suited for EDM or rock music. Bus has been designed specifically for drums and limiting of individual tracks, while Safe’s goal is not maximum loudness, but to avoid distortion at all times.


True peak limiting and loudness metering

The new true peak limiting feature in FabFilter Pro-L 2 makes it extremely easy to hit a maximum true peak target. Just set the output level to the desired value, enable True Peak Limiting, and that’s it! Combined with improved true peak metering and extensive loudness metering that’s compliant with the EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-4, and ATSC A/85 standards, Pro-L 2 is the perfect fit for any loudness normalization job.

Advanced processing

Complete support for surround audio with flexible channel linking makes FabFilter Pro-L 2 much more versatile in multi-channel scenarios, while the sound quality is even higher than before with up to 32x linear-phase oversampling. New features like a DC offset filter, external side chain triggering for stem mastering, and a Unity Gain option ensure that Pro-L 2 is the solution to any mastering challenge.

Interface enhancements

The unique real-time level display is now even more effective with new innovative display modes, including an Infinite mode that shows all audio for an entire session. Moments of significant gain reduction are highlighted with peak labels to give additional insight in the limiting process. Last but not least, the interface has been carefully redesigned to be aesthetically pleasing with a perfectly optimized workflow.

Key features:

* Great transparent sound combined with maximum loudness.
* Eight sophisticated, carefully tuned limiting algorithms, all with their own character and purpose.
* True peak limiting.
* Up to 32x linear-phase oversampling to minimize aliasing and inter-sample peaks.
* Low CPU usage.
* Highly accurate output and gain reduction metering, including true peak metering.
* Extensive loudness metering with support for the EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-4, and ATSC A/85 standards.
* Various meter scale settings, including K-System support.
* Surround support, including Dolby Atmos 7.0.2 and 7.1.2 formats with flexible surround channel linking.
* Unique, highly-informative real-time level display, showing input, output, gain change, and loudness levels over time with key gain reduction readings and four different display modes.
* Optional DC offset filter.
* External side chain triggering for stem mastering.
* Unity Gain option to easily listen to the effect of the current limiting at unity gain level.
* Audition Limiting option to listen to the difference between the input and output signal.
* Adjustable Look-ahead, Attack, and Release settings to fine-tune the sound of the algorithms.
* Separate, freely-adjustable channel linking for both the transient and release stages.
* Professional dithering with three different noise shaping algorithms.
* Easy to set up for common limiting situations with the included factory presets.
* Adapts automatically to stereo, mono, and surround channel layouts.
* Full Screen mode for precise adjustments and insightful metering.
* Multiple interface sizes: Small, Medium, and Large, as well as a separate Compact mode.
* Retina support on OS X and High DPI support on Windows.
* GPU-powered graphics acceleration.
* Supports common Pro Tools hardware control surfaces.

FabFilter Pro-L 2 is now available for EUR 169, USD 199 or GBP 149, supporting both Windows and macOS in VST and VST 3, Audio Units, AAX, RTAS, and AudioSuite plug-in formats. Bundles with FabFilter Pro-L 2 and other FabFilter plug-ins are also available at: www.fabfilter.com/shop

Existing FabFilter customers can purchase or upgrade to FabFilter Pro-L 2 with very attractive discounts by logging in to their online user account at: www.fabfilter.com/myaccount

System requirements on Windows are either Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP and a VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools, or Mac OS X 10.6 or higher with Intel processor, and an Audio Units host, VST 2/3 host, or Pro Tools. Both 64-bit and 32-bit hosts are supported.


About FabFilter
Beautiful sound. Fantastic workflow. These are the foundations of FabFilter. Continually challenging and rethinking industry standards, FabFilter creates powerful audio plug-ins with superb sound quality and innovative interfaces. FabFilter was founded in 2002 by Frederik Slijkerman and Floris Klinkert, and is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

© 2016 FabFilter Software Instruments

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Impact Soundworks spreads VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS wings with deeply-sampled ocarinas VI experience

Audio software creator Impact Soundworks is proud to announce availability of VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS — the latest (fifth) release in its VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series of deeply-sampled solo ethnic woodwinds virtual instruments, this time representing the most deeply-sampled selection of (Costa Rican Pendant, Triple, and Chinese Xun) ocarinas yet seen and heard in Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT platform anywhere.
A typical dictionary definition of an ocarina is a small egg-shaped ceramic — especially terracotta — or metal wind instrument with holes for the fingers. While the word itself journeyed from Italy in the late 19th Century — from oca (goose) due to its waterbird-like shape, Costa Rican Pendant Ocarinas originate from the time of the Incas and were used as instruments for festivals, rituals, and ceremonies; they usually have eight or nine holes and are often shaped like animals — as evidenced by the toad-like one deeply sampled by Impact Soundworks for VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS. Continuing to travel — truly in keeping with the VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series’ design concept of transporting adventurous users on an exotic musical journey around the globe, capturing the tones of pleasingly performed solo instruments outside of the Western repertoire, the Triple Ocarina is a multi-chambered ocarina with a broad range of around two octaves plus a fifth, while the Chinese Xun is an ancient egg-shaped aerophone that dates back 7,000 years and was used primarily in the performance of palace music.
In the process of capturing those endearingly exotic instruments, Impact Soundworks explored the full range of playing techniques — tapping into the talents of New York-based composer, arranger, and saxophonist woodwind player par excellence Josh Plotner — to enable VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS users to make musical KONTAKT in many more ways than one… from expressive sustains, vibrato, flutters, and accents, to staccato notes and bends, pitched release articulations, and special extended techniques. The instruments involved feature either 11 or 13 articulations paired with a combined total of over 900 phrases, performed in a variety of unique and inspiring styles and lengths. These can be used within the KONTAKT instrument itself, or loaded as WAVs (Waveform Audio files) in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for further slicing, editing, and arrangement.

As is the case with its VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series siblings, each VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS instrument shares several key features, together with a common user interface, so that transitioning from working with, say, VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - PAN FLUTES first before moving on to VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS keeps creativity flowing… which is exactly as it should be.

 Watch Impact Soundworks Lead Developer Andrew Aversa’s adventurous
VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS video walkthrough

Better still, VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS boasts Impact Soundworks’ original Ornaments System, designed to automagically create decorative techniques in realtime without manually sequencing key switches or CC (Control Change) data. When enabled using the onscreen ORNAMENTS knob, they can be played back at random, ignoring normal articulation mapping, triggered separately from the Articulations tab. That being said, an articulation can be used as an ornament, and not triggered elsewhere, or vice versa.

Versatility and additional ease of use comes courtesy of Impact Soundworks’ proprietary TACT (Total Articulation Control Technology) to unify and simplify the process of creating personal mapping setups for each and every instrument. Indeed, inclusion of some serious phrase playback editing scripting alongside two mic positions and a whole host of controls to tweak things further still, such as Impact Soundworks’ simple-to-use FX rack — replete with an analogue-modelled parametric EQ, COMPRESSOR, DELAY, and convolution REVERB — reassure that VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS is a surefire source of infinite inspiration… just like its VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS series siblings that flew (off the sampling shelves) before it!

VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as a 7GB library totalling 5,500-plus 24-bit samples) directly from Impact Soundworks for $99.00 USD from here: https://impactsoundworks.com/product/ventus-ethnic-winds-ocarinas/#purchase (Different discounts are available to owners of other VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS libraries, depending on how many libraries are already owned.)

The first five VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS releases are available as a combined bundle for $349.00 USD — representing a 30% saving over purchasing each library individually — directly from Impact Soundworks here: https://impactsoundworks.com/product/ventus-1-5/#purchase
Note that VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS requires the full version of Native Instruments KONTAKT (5.5.2 or higher).

For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated VENTUS ETHNIC WINDS - OCARINAS webpage here: https://impactsoundworks.com/product/ventus-ethnic-winds-ocarinas/
About Impact Soundworks (www.impactsoundworks.com)
Impact Soundworks creates audio software designed with composers in mind: sample libraries, virtual instruments, and plug-ins. As passionate about creating music tools as its customers are about making music, the company was founded in 2008 by composers Andrew Aversa and Will Roget, II at a time when there were several large virtual instrument companies already around, but few developers creating affordable, flexible, and focused libraries featuring more unusual and unique sounds. Shrewdly, the dynamic duo noticed much in the way of in-depth orchestral offerings, but more unusual instruments were not being sampled with much detail at all. As such, the company’s first two releases were Impact Steel, a collection of found metal objects played as percussion, and Sitar Nation, a set of instruments from North India. It has since been collectively working hard to address the needs of modern composers, successfully striking the balance between depth and ease of use. Ultimately, Impact Soundworks is proud to call tens of thousands of musicians around the world its customers, intelligently investing time to study suggestions and review requests. After all, that is how a number of its best-loved libraries started… from the smallest seed!
© 2017 Impact Soundworks

Friday, 24 November 2017

Rob Papen produces bigger booms and shake-shake-shake the rooms with SubBoomBass 2

“I've loved SubBoomBass from the start — instant access over lots of great-sounding deep basses that immediately sit nicely in the mix! A must-have for every dance producer!” - Tom Holkenberg (a.k.a. Junkie XL), composer/producer (Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool), 2017 

Virtual instrument and effect plug-in developer Rob Papen Soundware is proud to announce availability of SubBoomBass 2 — succeeding the award-winning, self-explanatory floor-shaking SubBoomBass soft synth with the original (often) bass-heavy presets all present and accounted for alongside an abundance of new features and new sound colours to take things closer to the (cutting) edge.
It is immediately obvious to the naked eye that SubBoomBass 2’s GUI (Graphical User Interface) is on the receiving end of a musical makeover making for more comfortable control of all its fanciful features. Fortunately for fans of the original soft synth, SubBoomBass 2 retains its much-loved modelled analogue waveform-driven warmth, but brings into being a brave new world of new sound colours courtesy of supplemental spectrum waveforms, with high-quality thinking outside of the box-style samples sitting alongside a welcome inclusion of Karplus-Strong string synthesis — a method of physical modelling synthesis that loops a short waveform through a filtered delay line to simulate the sound of a hammered or plucked string or some types of percussion. Put it this way: with so much musical firepower placed at adventurous users’ fingertips, SubBoomBass 2 surely sets loose some seriously fresh-sounding and hitherto unheard sounds… above and beyond the (arguably) restrictive realms of dance production with which SubBoomBass first found its musical mark so beautifully.

 Watch Rob Papen’s riveting SubBoomBass 2 introductory video

But, Rob Papen being Rob Papen, there is so much more to SubBoomBass 2 than might first meet the eye… enter an X/Y screen (which will already be familiar to owners of the company’s critically-acclaimed BLUE-II and RAW soft synths both designed differently for different musical motivation in mind); access an all-new SEQUENCER (capable of running four patterns); plus an easy-to-use BANK MANAGER (with ‘star’ feature for speedily searching for favourites — whether user-created or one of the trademark Rob Papen professionally-programmed presets presented in their thousands). Speaking of which, all of the original SubBoomBass (sometimes) bass-heavy presets are all present and accounted for, so SubBoomBass 2 can capably boom and shake-shake-shake the room with the very best — bigger and better than its predecessor, possibly!

SubBoomBass 2 allows anyone to creatively compliment any style of contemporary music at any time — whether working on video game or film scores, or anything in between and beyond. After all, fellow high-flying Dutchman and original SubBoomBass supporter Tom Holkenberg (a.k.a. Junkie XL) started out on the dance floor, fraternising with worldwide chart positions, and ended up on the big screen as a hotshot Hollywood film scorer. Similarly, SubBoomBass 2 is surely set to become another success story for Rob Papen. Anything is possible… just ask Junkie XL!

SubBoomBass 2 can be purchased in a boxed edition — as an AAX (32-/64-bit), AU (32-/64-bit), VST (32-/64-bit) compatible audio software plug-in for Mac OS X (10.6 or higher) and Windows (Vista, 7, 8, and 10) — from authorised Rob Papen dealers worldwide or as a download directly from Rob Papen for €99.00 EUR/$99.00 USD from here: https://www.robpapen.com/buy-subboombass-2.html (Owners of SubBoomBass are eligible to upgrade to SubBoomBass 2 for €39.00 EUR/$39.00 USD, while SubBoomBass 2 is included in eXplorer4, the latest incarnation of Rob Papen’s all-encompassing software bundle, so owners of eXplorer4 can download the SubBoomBass 2 installer for free.)

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated SubBoomBass 2 product webpage here: https://www.robpapen.com/subboombass-2.html
About Rob Papen (www.robpapen.com)
Self-confessed synth freak and world-renowned sound designer Rob Papen started working with synthesizers at the tender age of 15 when purchasing an analogue Korg MS-20 semi-modular monosynth and accompanying analogue SQ-10 sequencer. Suitably inspired, he subsequently released several albums as part of Dutch electronic music groups Peru and Nova — the latter featuring the same members as Peru, but with a more commercial slant — with whom he enjoyed number one hit singles in The Netherlands (Nova) in 1982 and Austria (Peru) in 1988. Peru disbanded in 1993, by which time Rob had already established himself as a sought-after sound designer, creating presets for the likes of Waldorf, Access, Ensoniq, and E-mu, before going on to found his namesake company in pursuit of creating a sound designer’s dream synth. That software dream soon became reality when Rob formed the RPCX (Rob Papen ConcreteFX) partnership with music software developer Jon Ayres to develop new Rob Papen virtual instruments and effects plug-ins, starting with BLUE — an exciting-sounding, self-styled ‘Crossfusion Synthesis’ affair (combining FM, Phase Distortion, Wave Shaping, and Subtractive synthesis into one powerful dream synth) — in 2005. Today Rob Papen soundware defines cutting-edge contemporary music production: powerful virtual instruments and plug-ins that intermix innovative design, uncompromising sound quality, and musical, production-grade presets to make tracks truly shine, whatever the musical genre… Inspiration Soundware, indeed!

© 2017 Rob Papen Inspiration Software

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Touch Innovations brings back single-license purchase pricing for customisable multi-touch controller software

Physical hardware touch technology and cutting-edge software specialist Touch Innovations is proud to announce that it has brought back single-license purchase pricing for Emulator 2 — its critically-acclaimed customisable multi-touch controller software for any MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) application — having opted out of the unpopular subscription model by popular demand.

Not to be confused with E-mu Systems’ second trailblazing Eighties-era hardware sampler, Touch Innovations’ innovative Emulator 2 really represents a license to dream — albeit now no longer holding its users to the unpopular subscription pricing model, making it perfectly possible for them to create their dream controller for any MIDI application by bringing about a multi-touch experience with everything and anything available at their fingertips. For Emulator 2 includes all standard objects like sliders, knobs, modulation pads, encoders, buttons, and much more besides. But best of all, as each and every component is fully customisable, creativity is effectively only limited by the user’s imagination… and, of course, the software being controlled.

Fully redesigned and re-engineered for flexibility and ease, Emulator 2’s new, improved and intuitive editor for Mac (OS X 10.11 Yosemite or higher) and Windows (8, 8.1, or 10) allows anyone to create custom interfaces in a matter of minutes. Make one from scratch or choose from Touch Innovations’ inbuilt pre-made templates in the easy-to-use editor. Elsewhere, new capabilities abound, including full-colour palette; MIDI learn; OSC (Open Sound Control) — a protocol for networking sound synthesizers, computers, and other multimedia devices for purposes such as musical performance or show control; and standard keyboard commands. Create template images and full-colour backgrounds with user-friendly navigation and more. Masterpiece creation is now easier than ever — even adding logos, images, and animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format)!

Furthermore, Emulator 2 effectively places the software and any touch controller on the same interface using Touch Innovations’ patented technology to enable and merge the native interface of any software with the touch controller. Cleverly, by creating ‘holes’, it allows users to port and stream certain elements of the underlying software that they can then resize and move. That way, users can customise their touch template without affecting the performance of those elements, enabling them to access all the power of their performance tool at a glance in their own way.

Whatever way anyone chooses to work with Emulator 2, their dream interface awaits… as a single-license purchase for only $59.00 USD. Users who create their own touch template using Emulator 2 can even sell their creative works online via Touch Innovations’ Template Library!

Emulator 2 is available for online purchase — and also available as a free trial version —directly from Touch Innovations for $59.00 USD here: https://touchinnovations.com/emulator-2/

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Emulator 2 webpage here: https://touchinnovations.com/emulator-2/

About Touch Innovations (www.touchinnovations.com)
Touch Innovations is headquartered in the heart of Miami, FL, USA, where its expert team of specialists work with the latest touch technology in both physical hardware and cutting-edge software. The trailblazing company entered the electronic music industry in 2009 with one purpose: to give DJs and producers the tools needed to create, express, and explore new musical possibilities. Since then, the company’s products have become fixtures for DJs and producers wanting to set themselves apart in the studio and onstage. The refinement of digital touch screen technology has become the building block of today’s most popular consumer hardware. However, only Touch Innovations has successfully brought that technology to the performance/production artist. The uniqueness of its Emulator software has forever changed the way that modern music is created and performed by enabling ‘touch’ to become the basis for composition and performance. Touch Innovations stands at the forefront of touch technology and remains one of the most influential manufacturers of musical equipment of the last 10 years. It prides itself on creating unique experiences for multi-touch users and will continue to pave new roads for DJs, producers, and musicians while exploring new markets that touch technologies have yet to embrace.

© 2017 Touch Innovations

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Stenzel and Hicks afford ‘adaptation’ of optical disc-driven sound of Seventies OPTIGAN organ into iOptigan iOS app


Stefan Stenzel, co-founder/CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of German high-quality hardware and software synthesizer brand Waldorf Music, and Pea Hicks, self-styled custodian of all things OPTIGAN for the last 20-plus years, are proud to announce availability of iOptigan — an iOS app ‘adaptation’ of the OPTIGAN, an early-Seventies-vintage chord organ fondly remembered by a faithful few for its unique system of sound reproduction using optical discs.
 
The long and winding road to bringing iOptigan to today’s technologically-inspiring iOS platform — producing an app compatible with Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requiring iOS 8 or later) — effectively dates back to the early-Seventies when Optigan Corporation introduced its namesake OPTIGAN to the wider world. What on earth is an OPTIGAN, though? The OPTIGAN — or OPTIcal orGAN — was a kind of chord organ, as implied by (its full) name. Needless to say, it was set up like most home organs of the time — a small keyboard with buttons on the left for playing various chords, accompaniments, and rhythms. That being said, what truly set the OPTIGAN apart from the rest of its contemporaries was that its sounds were read off LP-sized celluloid discs containing the graphic waveforms of real instruments at a time when organs still produced sounds electrically or electronically with tubes or transistors. Therefore, like the Mellotron and Chamberlin before it, the OPTIGAN really represented an early form of sampling technology, though, unlike its tape-based predecessors, the OPTIGAN’s ‘software’ came in the form of those LP-sized celluloid discs, optically encoded with 57 concentric rings of film-style soundtrack — same technology as film soundtracks of old, in fact. For the benefit of those that remember the sequence in Walt Disney Pictures’ 1941 animated feature film Fantasia where the ‘Soundtrack’ makes a cameo appearance, those squiggly lines are actually pretty close to what the real thing looks like.
But back in the wonderful world of OPTIGAN technology, the sound loops on each of those discs represented actual studio recordings of musical combos playing chord patterns in different styles that could be triggered by the instrument’s chord buttons and keys. Each disc contained a specific style of music, such as bossa nova or big band, which the user could control. Changing discs was as simple, say, as putting a new record on a turntable. Think of it as 1971’s answer to GarageBand — somewhat ironic, perhaps, given its future ‘connection’ to those inspiring iOS products. Put it this way, though: the irony is not lost on Pea Hicks, self-styled custodian of all things OPTIGAN for the last 20-plus years, who readily admits, “The result was pretty crappy sounding and soon forgotten by the world at large.”

Indeed, its novel technology, and the lo-fi, scratchy sound quality of the OPTIGAN and the inherent unreliability of the hardware itself left a lot to be desired. By the late-Seventies, the digital writing was on the wall with the severe limitations of optical sound reproduction rendering the OPTIGAN — and its close cousins, the Vako Orchestron (put to good use by German electronic music icons Kraftwerk on their trailblazing Radio Activity and Trans-Europe Express albums) and Chilton Talentmaker — ‘obsolete’. Of course, what goes around comes around. As prophetic, pioneering ambient music pioneer Brian Eno eerily predicted way back when: “Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable, and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature.”
 Watch the informative introductory iOptigan video here:

Fast-forward to today, then, and those ‘long-lost’ early-Seventies signature — some might say cheesy — sounds of the OPTIGAN are available for all to experience and play in iOptigan, 45 years after the original OPTIGAN first saw the light of day. Indeed, iOptigan authentically recreates the lo-fi, scratchy sound that left so much to be desired all those years ago. All of which rather begs the question: why? Well, today the loop-based paradigm of the OPTIGAN surely seems more appropriate than ever.

Enter an individual who clearly needed no convincing — namely, Pea Hicks. Having acquired his first OPTIGAN in the mid-Nineties — just as the Internet was starting to take hold, he immediately began trying to find out everything he could about the instrument, managing to make contact with many of the people who worked for the company, even. Eventually he got in touch with Mike LeDoux, the individual in charge of making the discs for the OPTIGAN and final custodian of the audio material after the demise of the company, who still had all of the original studio master tapes, which he kindly passed on to Pea Hicks before he himself passed away.

 iOptigan can be purchased and directly downloaded from the App Store for $4.99 USD from here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ioptigan/id1143470101?ls=1

Fortunately for those faithful few, Pea Hicks has maintained the world’s premiere website about all things OPTIGAN (Optigan.com) for 20-plus years. In addition to documenting the history of the instrument, he has also brought it back to the future by providing sample libraries of OPTIGAN sounds, making a series of all-new discs for the original hardware (in collaboration with Robert Becker), and now, with the assistance and expertise of Stefan Stenzel, there is iOptigan!

Stefan Stenzel is better known as CTO of Waldorf Music, so iOptigan was realised as a side project of sorts. Saying that, he had already amassed some serious experience of iOS app development during his ‘day job’ with Waldorf’s Nave, its first synthesizer app for Apple’s all-conquering iPad in June 2013, as well as masterfully migrating its long-running Attack virtual drum and percussion soft synth that took the VST (Virtual Studio Technology) world by storm back in early 2001 to iOS in 2015. Upon reading about the OPTIGAN in 2016 he thought it was a perfect iOS ‘conversion’ candidate. Californian business with Waldorf led to Stefan Stenzel meeting Pea Hicks and the rest, as they say, is history.

Happily, iOptigan is an authentic recreation of the unique user interface and playback characteristics of the OPTIGAN. Unlike a typical sampling keyboard that triggers samples from the start each time a key is played, the OPTIGAN’s disc is in constant rotation, resulting in its keys and buttons simply gating the various sound loops on and off, wherever they happen to be in the one-bar cycle. Anyone wanting to trigger a loop on the downbeat has to watch a flashing metronome light and hit the right button at exactly the right point in time. iOptigan emulates this and all other OPTIGAN quirks perfectly, so an iPad can now serve as a substitute for the OPTIGAN’s left-hand control panel while an external MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller capably handles right-hand keyboard duties. At a pinch, it is also possible to play the keys via an onscreen keyboard.

Key to iOptigan’s authenticity is that all 40 of the original OPTIGAN disc titles are available — all recorded directly from the original discs and hardware, and all in their lo-fi glory. Indeed, iOptigan is not an app for those demanding crystal-clear digital sheen! Since this is 2017 — not 1971, however, iOptigan includes many modern enhancements, such as an onboard sequencer and a variety of MIDI triggering modes. Rounding out the app is a generous helping of original OPTIGAN disc jacket art, the groovy original owner’s manual, and copious quantities of historical/technical notes. Clearly, California proved to be a match made in heaven for Stefan Stenzel and Pea Hicks — history in the (musical) making for today’s technologically-inspiring iOS platform! Put it this way: 1971’s answer to GarageBand now plays perfectly with iOS in the here and now, so get out an iPad and get into the groove and party like it’s… 1971 with iOptigan!

Note that iOptigan comes complete with 25 of the 40 original OPTIGAN disc titles; the remaining 15 are available as In-App purchases, either individually (priced at $0.99 USD apiece) or as the self-explanatory Complete Disc Pak (priced at $5.99 USD).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated iOptigan webpage here: https://www.ioptigan.com

Visit the world’s premiere website about all things OPTIGAN here: http://optigan.com
About Stefan Stenzel
Stefan Stenzel is co-founder/CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of German high-quality hardware and software synthesizer brand Waldorf Music, masterminding Nave, the company’s first app, which has since set a new standard for iOS synths! Early in 2016, he read an article about the OPTIGAN and contacted Pea Hicks with the half-baked idea to make this innovative instrument available as an app. By coincidence they were both in California at the time, so soon met and decided to collaborate on iOptigan.

About Pea Hicks
San Diego-based composer/producer Pea Hicks has been the custodian of all things OPTIGAN for the past 20-plus years. In addition to holding a considerable archive of OPTIGAN materials and ephemera, he also plays in the band Optiganally Yours, featuring the OPTIGAN and related instruments in quirky original pop songs.

© 2017 Stefan Stenzel & Pea Hicks

Monday, 20 November 2017

Audified announces attractive discount deals during pricing promo across acclaimed software selection

Bolstered by the success of having recently released SYNERGY R1 — representing its first foray into hardware with a ‘remote-controlled’ software/hardware hybrid digital (REVERB)/analogue (SATURATOR) processing module for the 500-series modular rack frame format popularised by API (Automated Processes, Inc.), host application and audio effects developer Audified announces attractive discounts on several of its software titles during a one-week ‘Black Friday’ pricing promotion, starting on November 20.
 
Fresh out of Audified’s software starting gate (as of August 2017) is RZ062 Equalizer, a plug-in bundle based around authentic namesake models of the now-scarce and sought-after, Sixties-vintage Klangfilm RZ062a and RZ062b valve EQ modules made by German giant Siemens for installation in its film sound-centric Universal Mixing and Control Console (Klangfilm System), served up as AU-, AAX-, and VST-compatible RZ062A and RZ062B plug-ins that simply sound as stunning as they look when mixing and mastering with suitable DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) worldwide. While normally retailing with an MSRP of $199.00 USD, now it is possible to get it directly from Audified at a 20% discount — priced to tempt at $159.00 USD.
 
Audified’s U78 Saturator — saturation effects plug-in par excellence, utilising meticulous models of the amazing-sounding analogue circuitry central to the U73b, the treasured Sixties-vintage German broadcast compressor/limiter that found favour in European mastering circles well into the Eighties and beyond, but supplementing the tube saturation circuitry with high-pass and lowpass filters and a unique tone filter for some seriously satisfying saturation — first saw the light of day in December 2016, but benefits from an even bigger ‘Black Friday’ price reduction, temporarily weighing in at an attractive $59.00 USD. That’s a stupendous 60% off its regular MSRP of $149.00!

Speaking of U78 Saturator, Audified is all set to lead anyone interested further into temptation with Studio Bundle — an already attractively-priced plug-in bundle of its ‘latest and greatest’ (TNT Voice Executor, second-generation U73b Compressor, U78 Saturator, and MixChecker) hit releases, rendered as appealing to the eye as they are to the ear for a wide range of production purposes, priced at $225.00 USD instead of its regular MSRP of $449.00 USD. A 50%-discounted bargain if ever there was one — all the more so since buying the bundled software titles individually would normally cost $516.00 USD!
 
Last but by no means least — and arguably saving the biggest bargain until last… Live Guitar and Bass Bundle. As implied by name, this special set of applications and plug-ins contains everything anyone might possibly need to play and record guitar or bass — not forgetting keys and vocals, valued at $276.00 USD when purchased individually.
 
Includes ampLion Pro (precise simulation of nine guitar preamps, seven power amps, 12 speakers, eight microphones, and 30 effects to deliver a wide variety of unique guitar sounds); GK Amplification 2 Pro (plug-in and a standalone application including exact models of three Gallien-Krueger bass amps and several speakers);
 
inTone2 (multifaceted multichannel effects processor, software mixing console, virtual instruments host, and flexible multitrack zonal player);
 
and Pedals (complete set of virtual stomp-box effects in one package) — priced for ‘Black Friday’ at $59.00 USD, representing an attractive 60% discount against its regular MSRP of $149.00 USD.
 
RZ062 Equalizer, U78 Saturator, Studio Bundle, and Live Guitar and Bass Bundle are all available to purchase from Audified’s online shop (https://shop.audified.com/products) at their respective discounted ‘Black Friday’ promo pricing between November 20 and 28, 2017, following which they will all return to their respective MSRPs.

About Audified (www.audified.com)
Audified is the premier brand of privately-owned Boskovice-based DISK Multimedia, s.r.o. in the Czech Republic, created to develop specialised audio applications, as well as handling the company’s high-end hardware product portfolio. Pioneering the development of audio applications for live (realtime) performance, as well as developing the first audio effects plug-ins for Apple’s Mac OS X, the company created some of the first plug-ins for Power|Core, TC Electronic’s hardware-accelerated DSP platform, prompting the Danish developer’s then-PR Manager Thomas Valter to comment, “Our two companies have been working closely together on various projects, and we are very satisfied with the products that have been a result of our cooperation.” Consequently, the company returned to its host application and audio effects developmental roots in 2007 by branding itself with the Audiffex appellation to resourcefully reflect that directional change with an award-winning array of innovations, including MixChecker — a must-have mixing assistant plug-in that transforms studio monitors into classic reference monitors or one of several consumer devices to instantly improve mixes. Moreover, Audified is not just a for-profit business, however; its parental company clearly cares about the future of audio software/hardware development, developing partnerships with both Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno, Czech Republic — realising a research project to bring modern audio engineering technologies to music education, and also Brno University of Technology, one of the Czech Republic’s leading research and teaching institutions — working with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication Technologies on scientific projects. Participating in organizing entry exams and teaching at these highly-respected higher education establishments has helped establish the first specialized studies of audio engineering in the Czech Republic. In keeping with spreading the (audio engineering) word, Audified has helpfully seen fit to recently release a range of free plug-ins, available from here: http://shop.audified.com/collections/products/free#tags
© 2017 Audified

Friday, 17 November 2017

AS announces availability of Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove synthBlocks signal processors

British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce availability of Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove — introducing its synthBlocks series of small and affordable desktop signal processors with two tantalisingly-named new products squarely aimed at laptop and audio plug-ins-focused digital musicians wishing to apply analogue, hands-on hardware processing to their sometimes sterile-sounding computer-based creations.
 
The synthBlocks series represents an all-new range of small and affordable desktop signal processors produced by British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions, an acclaimed company with over 24 years of designing serious-sounding synthesizers featuring fully-analogue audio paths with analogue LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) and EGs (Envelope Generators) to its notable name. Similarly, synthBlocks are all-analogue affairs — albeit with some lo-fi digital effects thrown in for good (musical) measure. Menus and software are all eschewed in favour of a hardy hardware approach. As such, synthBlocks are squarely aimed at laptop and audio plug-ins-focused digital musicians wishing to apply analogue, hands-on hardware processing to their sometimes sterile-sounding computer-based creations. Cue simply plugging the synthBlocks in question into an audio interface’s I/O connections, then routing drums, synths, vocals, or whatever out of the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and through the transistors and op-amps of the synthBlocks and recording the results back into the DAW. Something similar can be achieved by connecting the synthBlocks to the auxiliary buss of a mixing console — just like any other effects processor. Whatever the workflow, turning the dials and flicking the switches by hand of course changes the sound in realtime — often with radical results. Results of course can be radically different — depending on which of the two available synthBlocks are applied to any given sound signal.
 Watch Analogue Solutions’ Mr Hyde audio demonstration video here:
Many might have heard of Mr Edward Hyde, an abominable alternative personality of Dr Henry Jekyll, a fictional character in Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde gothic novella first published in 1886. However, hearing Analogue Solutions’ Mr Hyde in the here and now is something else entirely! As announced, Mr Hyde was the first out of the starting blocks in its synthBlocks series as an analogue filter effects box bringing subtle to extreme filtering and modulation effects to the analogue processing production table. To further aid ease of use, Mr Hyde has quarter-inch input and output jacks on its rear, so can be connected straight to an audio interface or mixer without the need for adaptors. The topside of its distinctive blood-red panel features minijack sockets to patch with a semi-modular synth, such as Analogue Solutions’ relatively recently released Fusebox — an aptly-named, three-VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) true analogue monophonic synthesizer that favourably fuses the company’s characterful vintage sound with an advanced choice of modulation and melodic possibilities (in a beautifully-built box); ever-popular Eurorack small-format modular systems; or other modular systems.
Specification-wise, Mr Hyde doesn’t disappoint by boasting a two-pole 12db/octave analogue multimode filter (featuring lowpass, high-pass, band-pass, and notch filtering options); resonance with a Q BOOST feature to make it SCREAM (self oscillate); LFO with triangle and square wave signals; and a range switch (to bring the modulation speed into audio frequencies). Hands-on control comes quickly, thanks to a selection of switches and knobs — not least the largest knob of all: FREAQ (filter cutoff frequency). Furthermore, the smaller Q knob sets the resonance level, CHANGE changes the frequency range of the LFO from SLOW to FAST at the flick of a switch, SPEED sets the LFO modulator’s speed, and LEVEL controls the modulation level/depth that affects the filter cutoff. More meaningfully, Mr Hyde can change sounds subtly, such as satisfying sweeping filtering, right up to mangled FM (Frequency Modulation) mayhem — perfectly in keeping with its naughty name!

Dr Strangelove is an altogether different character, both literally and figuratively speaking — Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 political satire black comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, anyone? Actually, Analogue Solutions’ Dr Strangelove is a compact, high-quality analogue ring modulator (with two audio inputs) and an analogue LFO capable of going into audio range (with two waveforms), plus a lo-fi echo (giving an ‘analogue’ bucket brigade-style sound). The ring mod itself does not have any controls as such, since a ring mod does not have parameters that can be altered — other than input and output levels. Just plug in audio cables and it does its thing! Ring mods do need two audio sources, however — namely, the main signal to be processed (carrier) and the signal that will modulate the carrier (modulator).

 Watch Analogue Solutions’ Dr Strangelove audio demonstration video here:
In the strange case of Dr Strangelove, one of those sources, the MOD (modulation) input, can be audio or a low frequency signal (from, say, an LFO). Literally switching switches — HARD/SOFT (selects between square and triangle wave modulation signals — triangle resulting in softer modulation while square results in sudden, harder changes) — and turning knobs — CHANGE (sets the modulation depth or ‘loudness’ of the modulating signal fed into the ring mod’s modulation input), RATE (sets repeat rate), and MIX (sets the mix level between fully dry and a 50/50 balance between wet and dry) — makes music mangling child’s play. Other controls clearly allude to the aforesaid film: FALLOUT alters the speed of the analogue LFO modulator while HALF LIFE sets delay time. All told, then, Dr Strangelove is ideal for subtle or extreme modulation effects. Like its Mr Hyde synthBlocks sibling, Dr Strangelove includes minijack (Eurorack-accommodating) audio and CV (control voltage) I/O for direct connection to modulars.

Mangling music setups sonically while adding analogue warmth is a synthBlocks speciality, so why not consider adding one or more of them to your music setup today? And all without breaking the bank while fitting in the palm of your hand! Hand built, having been designed and engineered in England by Analogue Solutions, surely it’s time to wave goodbye to those sometimes sterile-sounding computer-based creations by saying hello to some synthBlocks?

UK pricing for the Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove synthBlocks is £255.00 GBP (including VAT) apiece, available from dealers (http://analoguesolutions.com/global-distribution/) and Analogue Solutions directly.

North American availability of the Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove synthBlocks is being handled via Voltage & Company (http://www.vcousa.com) — full-service reps of high-quality manufacturers from around the world — with a retail price of $279.00 USD, while (most) EU distribution is being handled by Sonic Sales (http://www.sonic-sales.de) — one of the largest full-service MI (Musical Instrument) distribution companies in Europe — priced at €279.00 EUR (including VAT).

For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated Mr Hyde webpage here: http://analoguesolutions.com/mr-hyde-synthblock/

For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated Dr Strangelove webpage here: http://analoguesolutions.com/dr-strangelove-synthblock/


About Analogue Solutions (www.analoguesolutions.com)
Analogue Solutions is a UK-based boutique instrument innovator that specialises in true analogue synthesizers, sequencers, and Eurorack modules. More than 24 years experience in the industry means that they were right there at the start of the Eurorack revolution — the third company to start producing modules, in fact. Furthermore, Analogue Solutions products are all hand built in England — many being tested by founder Tom Carpenter himself, who has hands-on involvement in all aspects of the company. Characterful to boot, Analogue Solutions innovative instruments are applauded for proudly possessing a truly vintage sound — synthesizers featuring fully-analogue audio paths with analogue LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) and EGs (Envelope Generators) are the order of the day here. Having no memories means that nothing is being made to sound sterile by CPU (Central Processing Unit) control; conversely, turning a knob directly changes the voltage or current in an actual synth circuit to audible affect. Analogue Solutions founder Tom Carpenter consistently constitutes proof of a genuine passion for analogue synths, drawing upon his years of owning and using vintage analogue synths and drum machines that he still uses in his own music productions — alongside Analogue Solutions products, predictably!

© 2017 Analogue Solutions (UK) Ltd

Eventide makes MangledVerb™ Eclipse-popularized fx available as new plug-in from H9 Signature Series

“MangledVerb is one of the most interesting reverbs I’ve ever heard; it’s like running an EMT plate or outboard reverb through a vintage tube amp or analog distortion, but with infinite control over all the parameters of both — and all in one plug-in!”- Lawson White, multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer (Ben Folds, Shakira), 2017

Recording technology trailblazer Eventide is proud to announce the immediate availability of its MangledVerb reverb plug-in as the newest in its H9 Signature Series.

MangledVerb combines reverb and distortion, providing power to create unique spaces full of beauty or drenched in mayhem, with complete control over all the elements. Eventide has repurposed MangledVerb for anyone working ‘in the box’ by following in the footsteps of the first H9 Signature Series plug-in, UltraTap, drawing from some of the most popular and powerful algorithms from its award-winning H9 Harmonizer® Effects Processor stompbox. Similarly, MangledVerb makes a signature effect first popularized in its rack mount Eclipse Harmonizer® Effects Processor available as a namesake new plug-in.
Designed for real-time manipulation, MangledVerb features The Ribbon, an innovative control that allows anyone to program two settings for any combination of the controls to transition between them. The programmable HOTSWITCH helps push creativity further still by enabling users to instantly jump to an alternative setting at the push of a button. Other controls include PRE DELAY, reverb DECAY time and enclosure SIZE, OVERDRIVE, and pre-distortion (post-reverb) equalization, as well as a proprietary WOBBLE parameter. This combination of controls is intended to make MangledVerb as close as possible to the experience of tweaking real hardware.

“I encourage everyone to check out the free demo of MangledVerb,” says Eventide Product Specialist Alan Chaput. “Frankly, it’s a challenge to find words to describe its sonic possibilities. The best I can do is to say that it creates sounds that range from the light friction of a bow scraping a cello string to the mayhem of a caged beast being poked with a red-hot flounder!”

Fortunately, MangledVerb comes complete with over 180 presets from acclaimed artists including Christian Cassan, Richard Devine, and Vernon Reid — enough to whet any appetite before delving deeper into this extraordinary effect.

MangledVerb is available — as an AAX/AU/VST plug-in for Mac OS X 10.7+ and Windows 7+ — at an introductory price of $49.00 USD until November 30, 2017 (rising to an MSRP of $79.00 USD thereafter) from Eventide dealers and its website: https://www.eventideaudio.com (A fully-functional 30-day demo version is available; MangledVerb is also available as part of Eventide’s Ensemble Subscription bundle here: https://www.eventideaudio.com/ensemble)

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated MangledVerb webpage here: https://www.eventideaudio.com/mangledverb
About Eventide (www.eventideaudio.com)
Since 1971, Eventide has remained at the forefront of recording technology. In 1975 it revolutionized the audio industry by creating the world’s first commercially available digital audio effects unit, the H910 Harmonizer®. Since then, its legendary studio processors, stompboxes, and plug-ins have been heard on countless hit records.

© 2017 Eventide Inc.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Mastering engineer extraordinaire Barry Grint gets ATC P2 PRO in on the Alchemy act

“I was very happy with my monitor speakers, but they seemed to lack bass extension; Matt Colton has active ATC SCM150 ASL PROs in his room, so I thought that an ATC amp might give me more bass... the difference wasn’t subtle with the P2 PRO.” - Alchemy Mastering Founder & Director Barry Grint, 2017



Specialist British loudspeaker drive unit and complete sound reproduction system manufacturer ATC is proud to announce that mastering engineer extraordinaire Barry ‘Bazza’ Grint has acquired a P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier — a true dual mono design delivering 300W of continuous power simultaneously from both channels to drive the most challenging loudspeaker loads with ATC’s signature virtues of wide bandwidth and ultra-low distortion — to enhance the full-range monitoring system in his room at Alchemy Mastering, one of the world’s leading lights in half-speed and pure analogue vinyl mastering…

Mastering engineer extraordinaire Barry Grint’s ‘lifelong’ love affair with The Dark Art Of Audio Mastering — to paraphrase the appropriate website wording for Alchemy Mastering (www.alchemymastering.com), the company he founded in 1998, having previously worked at Abbey Road, Porky’s Mastering, Tape One, and the legendary Trident Studios — led him to a life less ordinary that has been truly extraordinary. “I always wanted to work in a recording studio, but getting in has always been difficult,” he notes. “I had many jobs beforehand, but eventually I started as a tea boy at Trident Studios. Seeing first-hand what being a studio engineer actually entailed, I felt that it wasn’t quite right for me. On the third floor there was disc cutting — vinyl and cassette being the only formats at the time. I immediately felt at home, starting in the tape and cassette copy room, before moving up to vinyl mastering in 1984.”
 
The bright-eared Barry Grint was quick off the mark in making his mastering mark. 1984 alone saw his mastering mojo working wonderfully on classic vinyl singles for Duran Duran (‘The Wilds Boys’), Foreigner (‘I Want To Know What Love Is’), Madonna (‘Like A Virgin’), Van Halen (‘Jump’), and ZZ Top (‘Gimme All Your Lovin’’). Thereafter, things went seriously stratospheric as Barry Grint went on to work with a roll call of rock and pop greats such as Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Oasis, Prince, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, to list but a few notable names. Speaking of names, the master(ing) craftsman identified his vinyl work by etching ‘Bazza’ in the run out-groove with various incarnations including Bazza @ Abbey Road, Bazza @ Tape One, Bazza @ Porky’s putting in an appearance throughout the years.

Yet Barry Grint has witnessed a lot of industry changes — technological or otherwise — in a celebrated career spanning five distinctive decades. Given his mastering pedigree, perhaps it was inevitable that he would one day become a master of his own destiny at Alchemy Mastering in Soho, which went on to become one of the UK’s foremost mastering facilities before leasing issues at its ‘high-flying’ Centre Point office tower London location left its founder rethinking and, ultimately, relocating somewhat closer to terra firma. Its current location in an elegant West London mews houses three acoustically-tuned studios with natural daylight designed by the three ‘Alchemists’ — Barry Grint and fellow Directors Matt Colton and Phil Kinrade — themselves, each equipped with full-range monitoring systems and a wide range of vintage and cutting-edge high-end analogue and digital hardware and software processors, perfect for pursuing their sought-after craft. “We all react to what’s coming out of the speakers, and we make our judgements based on how that sounds in the room,” Matt Colton claimed, soon after receiving the coveted Music Producers Guild Mastering Engineer of the Year award in 2013.

As a full member, Barry Grint is no stranger to the MPG (Music Producers Guild) himself, representing them when working with the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) to create a standard for embedding the ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) within BWF (Broadcast Wave Format) audio, adopted by the main manufacturers of mastering software internationally. But back in the mastering hot seat within Mastering Two — Barry Grint’s mastering studio for digital, CD, and vinyl mastering at Alchemy Mastering — things get more personal. “The choice of equipment is a very personal thing,” its owner-occupier opines. “I was very happy with my monitor speakers, but they seemed to lack bass extension; Matt Colton has active ATC SCM150 ASL PROs in his room, so I thought that an ATC amp might give me more bass.”

Cue delivery of a P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier — a true dual mono design delivering 300W of continuous power simultaneously from both channels to drive the most challenging loudspeaker loads with ATC’s signature virtues of wide bandwidth and ultra-low distortion — on trial. The result? “The bass extension was great, but there was also a noticeable improvement overall — a smoothness that gave improved detail and clarity,” continues the seriously impressed Barry Grint. “The difference wasn’t subtle with the P2 PRO. I called Ben Lilly, Technical Sales Manager at ATC, and told him he couldn’t have the demo unit back until he had sent me the one I bought!”

Beneficiaries of this latest acquisition already encompasses a lengthening list of current and established artists alike, as Barry Grint reveals: “Remastering Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds, The Stranglers, Declan McKenna, Tom Odell, Sean Paul, Roger Waters; vinyl mastering for All Tvvins, Gorillaz, Laura Mvula, Little Mix, Radiohead, Rag’n’Bone Man, The Libertines, The Rolling Stones…”

So, yes, Barry Grint has witnessed a lot of industry changes in a celebrated career spanning five distinctive decades — not least the putative passing of vinyl into the annals of reproductive audio history only for it to triumphantly return relatively recently, as evidenced by Alchemy Mastering making a name for itself as one of the world’s leading lights in half-speed and pure analogue vinyl mastering: “When I started, people recorded in recording studios and mobile studios were big articulated lorries loaded with massive Neve, Cadac, or Trident desks and multitrack tape machines. Today, digital recording has made available amazing recording spaces. Sometimes this means that for some projects the mastering room is the only controlled listening environment, one where a good speaker/amp combination is vital. This is why we went with ATC.”

The British-built P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier carries a UK RRP of £2,833.00 GBP (plus VAT). For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated product webpage here: http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/professional/electronics/power/p2-pro/

For availability and pricing internationally, please visit the ATC website to find a distributor for your region here:
http://www.atcloudspeakers.co.uk/where-to-buy/

For availability, and pricing in the United States, please contact Brad Lunde at Transaudio Group here:
http://www.transaudiogroup.com
About ATC (www.atcloudspeakers.co.uk/professional)
ATC (Acoustic Transducer Company) is a specialist British manufacturer of loudspeaker drive units and complete sound reproduction systems, including all associated electronic equipment. All such systems and components are designed and built in-house to achieve levels of performance far in excess of the industry norm by adopting a thoroughly professional engineering approach to the issues of basic design, materials science, and production technology. Formed in 1974 to manufacture custom drive units for the professional sound industry, ATC’s groundbreaking ‘Soft Dome’ mid driver technology was originally developed in 1976 and is still featured in the company’s current SCM25A Pro, SCM45A Pro, SCM50ASL Pro, SCM100ASL Pro, SCM110ASL Pro, SCM150ASL Pro, SCM200ASL Pro, and top-of-the-range SCM300ASL Pro three-way active professional series loudspeakers. Constantly improved, it is still unique in innovation, and remains the only midrange device capable of delivering ultimate performance; flatteringly, it has been widely copied — without success. Similarly, the ‘Super Linear’ technology found in ATC’s professional series bass drive units is equally unique — not only in its ability to accurately reproduce piano, but also the precise manner in which male voices are articulated. All drive units in ATC active professional monitors are powered by their own ATC-designed amplifier, optimised for the relevant bandwidth, and all amplifiers — working substantially in Class A — feature even-order-filtered active crossovers that are individually aligned and phase-corrected to ensure unmatched stereo imaging.
© 2017 ATC Loudspeaker Technology Ltd