Friday, 29 June 2018

Accusonus releases the ​ERA-BUNDLE​​: a collection of single-knob plugins for ​human-friendly audio repair

Accusonus Inc. developers of music software tools based on artificial intelligence technology, makers of critically-acclaimed software and plug-ins such as drumatom, Regroover and Beatformer announce the immediate release of the ERA-Bundle.

 The Enhancement and Repair of Audio (ERA) Bundle is a collection of multi-patented audio repair plugins that offer both fast and high-quality processing. With this release, accusonus update their critically-acclaimed ERA Noise Remover (former ERA-N) and Reverb Remover (former ERA-R) plugins. The updated ERA Product Line introduces various user experience improvements, including an auto-gain function for ERA Reverb Remover and a vector-based and Retina-ready UI with 3 zoom levels. In addition, accusonus release (1) the ERA De-Esser that automatically detects and reduces excessive sibilance with the turn of a simple dial and (2) the ERA Plosive Remover the single-knob tool that instantly fixes unnatural plosive thumps (such as "p", "t" and "b"). ERA-D, the joint de-noise and de-reverberation plugin for post-production professionals is also updated, offering unique features such as the dual microphone workflow and the spectral band processing.

“The importance of audio content is increasing and we are committed to make our audio repair tools fast, simple and accessible to everyone” says Alex Tsilfidis, CEO of accusonus. “With this new release, we are harnessing the power of modern algorithms to create products that can achieve exceptional results in a fraction of the time”.

The ERA Bundle Standard includes the following products:
  • ERA Noise Remover (formerly ERA-N - Updated)
  • ERA Reverb Remover (formerly ERA-R - Updated)
  • ERA De-Esser (New)
  • ERA Plosive Remover (New)

The ERA Bundle Pro includes the following products:

  • ERA Noise Remover (formerly ERA-N - Updated)
  • ERA Reverb Remover (formerly ERA-R - Updated)
  • ERA De-Esser (New)
  • ERA Plosive Remover (New)
  • ERA-D (Updated)

ERA Bundle Videos:

Grammy-Winning Post Production Engineer James Twomey on using the ERA Bundle

ERA Noise Remover Presentation

ERA Reverb Remover Presentation

ERA De-Esser Presentation

ERA Plosive Remover Presentation

Price and Availability

ERA Bundle Standard (Noise Remover, Reverb Remover,De-Esser, Plosive Remover)
AU, VST, AAX 64-bit Mac & VST, AAX 64-bit Win Intro price: $99 (Reg: $236) -until July 31st-
ERA Bundle Pro (Noise Remover, Reverb Remover, De-Esser, Plosive Remover, ERA-D)
AU, VST, AAX 64-bit Mac & VST, AAX 64-bit Win Intro price: $299 (Reg: $535) -until July 31st-
ERA Noise Remover  AU, VST, AAX 64-bit Mac & VST, AAX 64-bit Win $59
ERA Reverb Remover  AU, VST, AAX 64-bit Mac & VST, AAX 64-bit Win $59
ERA De-Esser  AU, VST, AAX 64-bit Mac & VST, AAX 64-bit Win $59
ERA Plosive Remover  AU, VST, AAX 64-bit Mac & VST, AAX 64-bit Win $59
ERA-D  AU, VST, AAX 64-bit Mac & VST, AAX 64-bit Win $299

Product page:

About Accusonus
Accusonus builds next generation audio repair and music creation software. We think that audio repair should be fast, simple and accessible to everyone. We believe that computers are ideal tools for jamming, inspiring and creating the sound of the future. We develop our own patented Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technology in order to enable previously unimaginable sound processing workflows. Accusonus is based in Massachusetts (USA) and in Athens/Patras Greece.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Avantone Pro brings ‘back’ to market much-loved nearfield studio monitoring mainstay with closely-matched CLA-10™

Affordable high-quality audio products producer Avantone Pro is proud to announce availability of its CLA-10™ classic studio reference monitor — manufactured as a full-range, two-way passive pair for fixed or remote locations while also accurately recreating an iconic studio monitoring mainstay, much loved in the music industry among pop and rock recording engineers to this day as a valuable mixing tool with which to reveal shortcomings in recordings .

Times change, as does technology. That being said, today’s newly developing age of high-definition audio does not necessarily negate recording shortcomings. Studios still primarily use two- or three-way large monitors designed to represent a wide range reference viewpoint at higher listening levels and there is still a need to hear what a mix will sound like when played back over small systems, such as car stereos, clock radios, computer speakers, and televisions. Indeed, it is important to make mixing judgements based on listening to reference monitors that will not impart tonal anomalies caused by crossovers or inferior full-range drivers. Paying particular attention to the critical midrange vocal/guitar/keyboard areas is always advised.

As such, over a year of R&D (Research & Development), comparative listening, and tweaking went into voicing Avantone Pro’s CLA-10™ while working in close collaboration with five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge — hence having his signature grace the finished, familiar-looking cabinet. The result is a very accurate recreation of an iconic studio monitoring mainstay, much loved in the music industry among pop and rock recording engineers to this day (despite discontinuation of the original product in question back in 2001). Much more recently, listening tests in studios show that recording engineers accept the CLA-10™ as a transparent replacement — just ask Chris Lord-Alge, an assuredly talented and incontrovertibly impressed individual, as evidenced by his following flattery: “I put my mixing reputation on these great speakers… I am mixing on them as I write this.”

The CLA-10™ clearly meets its engineering and performance objectives, attributed, in part, to a 10.4-litre sealed design cabinet constructed of non-layered, high-rigidity MDF (Medium-Density Fibreboard) — chosen for its natural low-resonance characteristics — finished with an outer layer of real wood veneer. Visually and tonally fusing the past with the present, Avantone Pro utilised the latest in FEA (Fine Element Analysis) modelling to achieve its custom-designed 180mm AV10-MLF low-frequency driver based on paper cone construction with ‘old-school’ speaker design artistry, thanks to the finest pulp material that performs as closely as possible to the original by being press formed rather than die cut for tonal consistency. Cloth surround material is made in Japan for added authenticity and has unique damping characteristics, enabling a predictable compliance over the lifespan of the driver. Avantone Pro’s custom-tooled frame supports the driver/cone combo to minimise mechanical transfers while the 35mm AV10-MHF high frequency silk dome-based tweeter is as close a match to the original as can be made, making for both a frequency (60Hz - 20kHz) and voicing match to the classic sound so admired by the likes of Chris Lord-Alge — hardly surprising since those aforesaid AV10-MLF and V10-MHF critical components have been extensively field-tested in top LA and NY studios to universal acclaim as drop-in replacements for both Avantone Pro’s own CLA-10™ and also the iconic studio monitoring mainstay it recreates so accurately.

 Watch five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge’s
compelling CLA-10™ introductory video 

Anyone seeking a transparent replacement for their much-loved nearfield studio monitoring mainstay as a valuable mixing tool with which to reveal shortcomings in recordings should seriously consider investing in Avantone Pro’s CLA-10™. Clearly its sound should be as familiar as the distinctive looks it also accurately recreates. Indeed, its (381.5mm x 215mm x 197.5mm) cabinet dimensions and (6.3kg) weight will make transitioning to the carefully crafted CLA-10™ when waving goodbye to the ‘dearly departed’ seem seamless. Some studio visitors may even do a double take when told that the same speaker stands or console bridge boast new classic studio reference monitors!

 The CLA-10™ arrives at Avantone Pro’s US Dealers ( in August 2018, priced at $699.00 USD per pair. (Worldwide Distributors are listed by country here: 

 For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated CLA-10™ webpage here:

About Avantone Pro (

 As a producer of affordable, high-quality microphones, studio monitors, and accessories, Avantone Pro is a different kind of audio company — a creative vehicle, in effect, enabling its core team to bring to market the things viewed as missing in the industry. Indeed, this could be anything as simple as meeting a particular price point to give excellent quality for reasonable pricing to a product that simply does not exist until built by that team. Far from using the shotgun approach to creating a product line, however, each and every product produced has passion and purpose driving it forward. Regardless of whether attracting a two- or four-figure price tag, attention to design is consistent throughout all Avantone Pro products. Performance comes first, of course, but a great deal of design time is spent creating visually attractive products. Put it this way: the company collectively enjoys classic, timeless designs itself; it is convinced, therefore, that others feel the same way! With its microphones and monitors used in studios around the world — whether within home-based project setups or world-renowned multi-million-dollar facilities, Avantone Pro is sensitive to the real-world operating budgets of bigger and smaller studios alike but also appreciates struggling songwriters/artists who are passionate about creating great music yet must adhere to budget limitations based on common sense spending. Since it strives to offer products that anyone would be proud to own and have long-term use of in the quest for creating great music, even those on a budget can comfortably access Avantone Pro’s world-class sound.
© 2018 Avantone Pro   

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

NUGEN Audio announces new website with new music production and post-production bundle launches

Modern tools for today’s production environments developer NUGEN Audio is proud to announce its new website ( with the launch of six new bundles — Focus, Modern Mastering, NUGEN Producer, Loudness Toolkit, NUGEN Post, and Surround Suite — specifically designed to deliver their respective proprietary algorithms in inspiring, workflow-enhancing combinations for music and post-production engineers.

In total, there are three new bundles aimed at music production: Focus features three award-winning plug-ins, proffering precise stereo positioning (Stereoplacer), reliable, full-frequency stereo widening and enhancement (Stereoizer), and essential bass management (Monofilter); Modern Mastering makes mastering with confidence and precision in today’s world of digital consumption through music streaming services an effortless experience, thanks to three perfectly positioned plug-ins, including an intelligent look-ahead brick-wall limiter that provides highly-transparent True Peak limiting (ISL), a streaming service auditioning and metering toolset (MasterCheck), and comprehensive audio analysis utility (Visualizer); NUGEN Producer delivers deeper control over full production workflow with eight plug-ins, including the previously-mentioned MasterCheck Pro, Monofilter, Stereoizer, and Stereoplacer, and Visualizer bolstered by a mono and stereo audio production version of ISL (ISL st), a modular signal modification utility plug-in (SigMod), and a linear phase spline ‘Match & Morph’ EQ for mono and stereo audio production (SEQ-ST).

Similarly, there are three new bundles aimed at post-production: Loudness Toolkit is the leading workstation solution for loudness compliant delivery with three products working in concert to deliver unsurpassed quality and workflow efficiency, comprising an automatic, quick-fix compliance plug-in (LM-Correct — now updated to include the DynApt dynamics extension) and an industry-standard loudness metering plug-in/standalone application (VisLM) alongside the aforesaid intelligent look-ahead brick-wall limiter (ISL); NUGEN Post is an uncompromising collection of 11 plug-ins for high-quality broadcast, film, and game audio production, including the previously-mentioned ISL, LM-Correct, Monofilter, SigMod, Stereoplacer, Stereoizer, VisLM, and Visualizer bolstered by a precise downmixing and surround rebalancing tool (Halo Downmix) and a stereo to 5.1, 7.1 and 3D upmixer (Halo Upmix) alongside a linear phase spline ‘Match & Morph’ EQ (SEQ-S); Surround Suite comprises four previously-mentioned plug-ins — Halo Downmix, Halo Upmix, ISL, and SEQ-S — to upmix, downmix, create, hone, and reshape the sound of its user(s) for mono, stereo, and surround audio.

The Focus, Modern Mastering, NUGEN Producer, Loudness Toolkit, Nugen Post, and Surround Suite bundles are available to purchase directly from NUGEN Audio for $199.00 USD, $299.00 USD, $499.00 USD, $899.00 USD, $899.00 USD, and $1,499.00 USD, respectively. (Upgrade pricing can be found in individual user’s NUGEN Audio account information.)

For more in-depth information, please visit NUGEN Audio's new Product webpage here:

About NUGEN Audio (
From content acquisition through to playout, NUGEN Audio provides the music, broadcast, and post-production industries’ most advanced solutions for mix, mastering, surround upmixing, end-to-end loudness management, metering, and correction. Reflecting the real-world production experience of the company’s design team, its products make it easier to deliver high-quality, compliant audio while saving time, reducing costs, and preserving the creative process. These audio analysis, loudness metering, mixing/mastering, and tracking tools are used by the world’s top names in broadcast, post-production, and music production.
© 2018 NUGEN Audio Ltd

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Spitfire Audio announces all-new solo accompaniment to namesake chamber and symphonic strings ranges with soon-to-be-released revisit

Spitfire Audio is proud to announce upcoming availability of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS — a soon-to-be-released revisit of the essential instruments it first released as SOLO STRINGS some six years ago as one of its first ever libraries, this time as an all-new accompaniment to its similarly self-explanatory SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS namesakes, featuring first-call London virtuoso single players performing in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, the acoustic luxury of which was captured on rich-sounding 2-inch tape to ultimately become the latest in a long line of outstanding sample-based virtual instruments for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform, also adhering to the NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) extended plug-in format for full compatibility with NI hardware.

It is six years since Spitfire Audio released SOLO STRINGS featuring virtuoso violinist Andrew Haveron, viola virtuoso Bruce White, and widely-recorded British cellist Caroline Dale — duly name-checked in its accompanying artwork. According to the age-old adage: time flies when you’re having fun. For Spitfire Audio has collectively clocked up over 2,500 hours of sampling time and associated awareness since then — time to revisit those essential instruments, in other words. With the resultant SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS, adding individuality and definition to big string writing as well as capturing soaring solos — whether for film, games, or pop music — is both an absolute joy to behold and actively engage with. With that in mind, think of the solo violin in John Williams’ wonderful score for Schindler’s List, Fratres by Arvo Pärt, John Corigliano’s Red Violin, or the cello carrying the Game of Thrones theme. Truly anything is possible… with the right combination of talent and technology.

That said, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS sees Spitfire Audio in the privileged position of working with a group of internationally-acclaimed musicians with a goldmine of experience as first-call soloists whose work can be heard all over major Hollywood feature films. Featuring the individual articulations of Jack Liebeck’s VIOLIN (VIRTUOSO), Clio Gould’s VIOLIN (1ST DESK), Thomas Gould’s VIOLIN (PROGRESSIVE), Max Baillie’s VIOLA, Richard Harwood’s CELLO, and Leon Bosch’s (double) BASS — all with an equal attention to detail and depth of sampling, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS serves up an exceptionally versatile toolset that can capably create anything from a single, searing cello line to multiple parts added to larger string sections, perfectly providing added definition and personality by bringing together an exceedingly unique sextet of players with unprecedented control and malleability.

Musically speaking, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is a no-compromise library in reality, recorded in an exceptionally resonant space. Spitfire Audio returned to the the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios to record SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS. Scores such as Dunkirk, Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, and Paddington 2 were recently recorded there, as well as classics like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Dark Knight, and Gladiator, so SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is in good company, clearly. Indeed, it was recorded by award-winning engineers, who capably captured each soloist using world-class equipment — namely, Neve ‘Montserrat’ preamps paired with priceless ribbon and valve mics through the world’s largest Neve 88R large-format console onto pristine 2-inch tape before being converted with top-of-their-class Prism A/D (Analogue-to-Digital) convertors at 96kHz (to ultimately have technology transform them into another extraordinary-sounding sample-based virtual instrument for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform). After all, there’s a reason why Lyndhurst Hall has been the recording venue of choice for Hollywood directors for so many years.

Watch Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson’s ‘traditional’ video walkthrough

Yet capturing all those supremely-talented soloists’ phenomenal performances on a recording duly destined to flexibly form the musical backbone of SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS presented unique challenges. This time Spitfire Audio needed to reach beyond expectation, making each instrument versatile enough to match the emotional temperature of its ultimate users’ music by offering a broad range of mic positions and articulations to blend perfectly with its SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS siblings. So in keeping with that, the new solo violin central to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS was created courtesy of working with three distinctly different players, presented in the finished product as three distinct modes, each containing not only their own range of articulations but also a range of recording locations within AIR Studios’ Lyndhurst Hall, as well as different performance styles: VIOLIN (VIRTUOSO), with a standing player, perfectly captures the sound of a sonata (or featured performance); VIOLIN (1ST DESK) was captured on the front desk of the first violins, perfectly placed for adding individuality and definition to a string line — while still able to blend in with the string section — with the performer playing ‘out’ to lead the orchestra; the VIOLIN (PROGRESSIVE) player was recorded further away from the conductor, designed to fit into larger string sections, or offer up solo passages in a more contemporary vernacular, opening the door to a modern, filmic sound of extended techniques, including Short Mandolin Pizzicato and Tremolo Whispers.

Watch Spitfire Audio’s artful trailer video for SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS

When all is said and done, quite simply, SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS is designed to stand out, but also fit in. Indeed, this all-new sample library sits perfectly alongside Spitfire Audio’s acclaimed orchestral ranges, utilising the same location, peerless signal chain, mic positions, and range of articulations that make up the DNA of its high-quality orchestral packages. Put this way: “They lock together nicely — within the stereo image field, as well as the sound of the instruments. So, when you’re using these to compose as one unit, they fit really well with each other, but also within the context of SPITFIRE CHAMBER STRINGS and SPITFIRE SYMPHONIC STRINGS as well — everything designed to work out of the box, exactly as you need it to work.” So says Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson. And as a working composer himself, he should surely know!

Spitfire Audio is already accepting pre-orders on SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS at a time-limited introductory promo price of £299.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$339.00 USD/€339.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until July 26, 2018 — rising thereafter to an RRP of £349.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$399.00 USD/€399.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: (Customers who purchased the original SOLO STRINGS before the fire sale started on March 15, 2018 are eligible to crossgrade to SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS by simply logging in to their Spitfire Audio account and adding it to their cart, which will intelligently calculate a discounted price.)

SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS needs Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8 or higher) — included in the purchase — to run as a fully NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) supporting plug-in instrument for Mac (OS X 10.10, 10.11, or macOS 10.12 — latest update) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

For more in-depth information, including some superb-sounding audio demos from Spitfire Audio Directors Paul Thomson and Christian Henson, please visit the dedicated SPITFIRE SOLO STRINGS webpage here:

About Spitfire Audio (
Spitfire Audio is a British music technology company producing high-quality virtual instruments and sample libraries. The company collaborates with the world’s best composers, producers, engineers, and studios to create detailed and realistic recordings of instruments and sounds for use in computer-based music production. Prominent collaborators include Hans Zimmer, AIR Studios, Eric Whitacre, and many more.
© 2018 Spitfire Audio Holdings Limited

Embertone works wonders with one-of-a-kind 9’ Steinway Model D concert grand to fashion flagship virtual piano

Virtual instrument sampling company Embertone is proud to announce availability of Walker 1955 Steinway D — its virtual piano flagship fashioned from sampling a truly one-of-a-kind 9’ Steinway Model D concert grand in insane detail for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT PLAYER platform to run as a fully NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) supporting plug-in instrument in any AU/AAX/RTAS/VST compatible host application or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

Today, the Steinway Model D is marketed by its prominent piano-manufacturing namesake as a majestic musical instrument — the pinnacle of concert grands. Glowing words apart, history has born this out; there’s no denying that the Steinway ‘D’ is a renowned model, one that an overwhelming number of professional pianists around the world prefer, its impressive reputation resting on its beautiful tone and highly-responsive action, allowing for a high level of musical expression.
Although all acoustic pianos are technically one-of-a-kind instruments, in the end Embertone’s Walker 1955 Steinway D virtual piano flagship owes its name and, indeed, its very existence to a truly one-of-a-kind 9’ Steinway Model D dating back to 1955. The instrument in question ultimately made its way to a beautiful rural private concert hall in Raleigh (in Embertone’s ‘native’ North Carolina), designed and owned by John Q. Walker, a brilliant software engineer who pioneered the concept of ‘re-performance’ with a company called Zenph, Inc. As the company’s founder, Walker worked with a team of specialists who, helped by Sony recording engineers, developed a way of analysing old recordings in order to create live re-performances — converting piano tracks into precise keystrokes and pedal motions for playback on computer-controlled grand pianos, in other words. This proprietary technology enabled them to capture and reproduce every nuance of performances by some of the greatest pianists in the world, including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, and Rachmaninoff.

While Walker is no longer involved in Zenph, he still maintains a collection of one-of-a-kind pianos in that 65-seat private concert hall — the dimensions of which were modelled on those used by composer Richard Wagner for the hall in his villa, Wahnfried, in Bayreuth, Germany — where he hosts regular recitals. That truly one-of-a-kind 9’ Steinway Model D housed there is equipped with a proprietary system for re-performance, so Embertone was able to precisely capture a staggering amount of sample content for fashioning its Walker 1955 Steinway D virtual piano flagship — 36 velocities for every note with every combination of pedals, totalling 12,672 samples! Saying that, Embertone also captured more than 10,000 discrete samples at various lengths, later implemented in two of its most exciting features: adaptive releases trigger authentic recordings upon note release based upon held length and note velocity; true shorts allow real staccato samples to be played in real-time without having to use any extra key switches or controls, so no matter how the end user ends a note, they will always hear an authentic sound. Above and beyond that, users have the option to play only the dedicated set of real staccato samples, with all of the subtle mechanical sounds and intricate instrument resonances built right in.

Interestingly, Embertone’s virtual piano flagship comes in two flavours — Walker 1955 Steinway D ($99.00 USD) and Walker 1955 Steinway D Lite ($39.00 USD). The former features every pedal combination at 36 velocities per note, together with the option to purchase five additional microphone positions à la carte for $15.00 USD apiece, while the latter offers only sustain and non-pedal samples at 12 velocities per note, without any additional microphone positions. Put it this way, though: those six available microphone positions really represent the piano itself in vastly different ways.

As implied by name, the DEFAULT position is the sample set that ships with both Walker 1955 Steinway D versions, with a stereo pair of AKG C414 XLS microphones placed about a foot above and away from the lip of the piano, pointed inward in an X/Y pattern using the ORTF stereo technique to create an intimate and close sound, so users can hear the subtle mechanical sounds of the instrument, but with plenty of space and air around the recording.
Again, as implied by name, the BINAURAL/PERSPECTIVE position is a perspective stereo recording. This time Embertone recorded with a dummy head — affectionately named Bruce, positioned two feet from the keyboard at the typical player position to create realistic spatialisation, which is especially effective when listening on headphones.
The CLOSE/PERSPECTIVE position is captured with a matched set of spaced omnidirectional Neumann U87 microphones, placed around six inches from the strings to capture the sound stage using the A/B stereo technique, resulting in a warm and detailed, stunning sound. Though the U87s lack the crystal clarity of the DEFAULT’s C414 microphones, they have an indescribable colouration to them that makes the Walker 1955 Steinway D virtual piano a joy to play.
The WIDE/PERSPECTIVE position uses a modified pair of small capsule Oktava MK-012 condenser microphones positioned as an A/B pair in front of/outside the piano, pointing in to capture a wide player perspective.
The HAMMER position was recorded with a matched pair of specialised Superlux S214/U3 cardioid condenser microphones from John Q. Walker’s personal collection. Using the A/B stereo technique, they were placed around a foot above the hammers, pointing down to capture the most intimate and detailed perspective. Embertone collectively considers this to be a favourite for achieving that quiet, cinematic sound sought after by so many in this day and age.

Last but not least, using the A/B stereo technique, the ROOM position was recorded with a pair of small diaphragm Schoeps MK012 microphones positioned six feet away from and eight feet above the piano, pointing at the open lid — the microphone position of choice for anyone seeking a ‘classical’ sound, so Walker 1955 Steinway D users get to hear the lovely room with a beautiful and resonant perspective of the instrument itself.

Watch Embertone’s enthralling Walker 1955 Steinway D teaser trailer video 

Another aspect that makes Walker 1955 Steinway D so unique is its depth of user control. Considering some users might not need 36 velocities per note — whether because of the musical style being worked with or RAM (Random Access Memory) limitations, Embertone's virtual piano flagship allows for full sample sets and specific velocities to be individually disabled and therefore purged from memory. It also offers a number of customised effects, such as an EQUALIZER (with low, mid, and high controls), SPATIALIZATION (spread), and REVERB (mix), as well as VELOCITY RESPONSE (DYNAMIC SCALING and VOLUME SCALING) settings, plus some custom COLOR (SWEETENING) settings for mastering, should anyone require it.

In a nutshell, Walker 1955 Steinway D definitively grants anyone license to bend it to their musical will with intuitive controls to easily walk between piano worlds — whether cinematic, classical, jazz, pop, or beyond — by virtue of a whole page of simple ways to alter the tone and feel of this majestic Steinway that’s literally like no other on earth! Embertone has worked wonders with that truly one-of-a-kind 9’ Steinway Model D concert grand to fashion its flagship virtual piano. Press to play. Play to win.

Walker 1955 Steinway D and Walker 1955 Steinway D Lite are available to purchase and digitally download as 30GB and 12GB fully NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) supporting plug-in instruments for any AAX-, AU-, RTAS-, and VST-compatible host application or DAW running on Mac (OS X 10.10, 10.11 or macOS 10.12 — latest update) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit) directly from Embertone for a one-week introductory promo price of $89.00 USD and $34.00 USD, respectively (rising thereafter to $99.00 USD and $39.00 USD, respectively). The former features the option to purchase five additional microphone positions à la carte for $15.00 USD apiece, each representing an additional 30GB download. Alternatively, Walker 1955 Steinway D is also available to purchase and digitally download as a complete bundle including all additional microphone positions — that’s 180 freakin’ GB in samples! — for a one-week introductory promo price of $149.00 USD (rising thereafter to $174.00 USD).

For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated Walker 1955 Steinway D webpage here:

About Embertone (
Embertone is a virtual instrument sampling company whose mission is simple: sample the heck out of great instruments, and bring them to the composing community to inspire and create awesome new music! As such, their goal is to capture the essence of an instrument and its performer, and program it into an intuitive, musical, and affordable package. This approach paved the way for a next-gen collaboration with Grammy® Award winner Joshua Bell, one of today’s most celebrated violinists.
© 2018 Embertone

Monday, 18 June 2018

Pearl Announces North American Distribution Deal with Keith McMillen Instruments Further Expanding KMI’s Reach

Pearl Corporation, a leading provider and manufacturer of acoustic and electronic drum and percussion products, together with Keith McMillen Instruments announce a distribution partnership to grow the availability and awareness of KMI products while expanding KMI’s reach into new markets.

This new distribution connection between Pearl and Keith McMillen Instruments will enhance the availability of KMI products and grow Pearl’s ever increasing footprint in the MI landscape. Pearl will also utilize its expertise in the School and Educational markets to introduce the many benefits of KMI instruments to music students and educators at all levels.
Pearl’s relationship with the Keith McMillen team began in 2015 as the two companies collaborated to develop Pearl’s MalletSTATION powered by KMI’s Smart Fabric Technology. MalletSTATION is a slim, modern, USB powered mallet controller that has been named the Best New Performance Tool for 2018 by School Band & Orchestra magazine and has received a 2018 Editor’s Choice Award from Music Inc. 
Developing MalletSTATION gave Pearl a great understanding of just how disruptive KMI’s groundbreaking Smart Fabric Technology can truly be in the musical instrument space, stated Terry West, Pearl Corporation President and C.E.O. After reviewing KMI’s current product line it became evident to us all that Pearl’s reach and marketing abilities could bring added awareness and availability to the KMI brand. We are honored to represent KMI’s innovative products and extremely excited to see where this collaboration and distribution partnership might lead us in the future.
"While working with Pearl on the design of the MalletSTATION we came to appreciate their commitment to the highest quality and playability of musical instruments. Pearl understands what it takes to make an electronic controller behave in a most musical manner. We share that commitment. KMI has always focused on producing these new instruments while Pearl has also created a world class sales and marketing team. It makes perfect sense to have our instruments distributed by people who understand what makes a professional tool and how to support these instruments in the field" said KMI Founder and C.E.O. Keith McMillen.
The KMI product portfolio includes such innovative products as the Bop Pad, K-Mix, QuNeo, and QuNexus. Pearl will begin accepting orders for KMI products effective June 18, 2018.
For more information about Pearl please visit and for more information about KMI.
Pearl Corporation is a division of Pearl Musical Instruments, a world-wide leading manufacturer of acoustic and electronic drums, concert and marching percussion instruments, hand percussion and flutes.  Pearl Corporation is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of Adams Musical Instruments and Keith McMillen Instruments. Pearl Corporation is based in Nashville, TN.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Waldorf Music makes world’s first fully FPGA powered synth fit to fly for full production launch at The 2019 NAMM Show

Hot on the heels of having turned heads and opened ears with its innovative flagship, Quantum, a high-class hybrid synthesizer showcased to widespread critical acclaim at The 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California earlier this year, high-quality synthesizer developer Waldorf Music is proud to announce a full production launch and general availability of Kyra — the world’s first fully FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) powered synthesizer featuring 128 voices (regardless of settings and effects), each with 10 oscillators per voice, and eight-part multitimbrality (with each part having its own dedicated nine-module effects unit) — at The 2019 NAMM Show, January 24-27, in Anaheim, California.

As an extremely powerful VA (Virtual Analogue) synthesizer literally like nothing else out there — thanks to leveraging the latest FPGA technology to significantly outperform legacy DSP (Digital Signal Processing) powered competition, Kyra’s crowning glory comes courtesy of its state-of-the-art audio quality: think 32x oversampled hardware with dual wavetables providing over 4,000 waveshapes! With 10 oscillators — that can be doubled to 20 by using two voices — each offering a wide range of features, including true stereo operation, hard sync, FM (Frequency Modulation), and ring modulation, Kyra starts shaping up as a serious sonic force to be reckoned with… without even factoring filtering into an already seriously impressive-sounding instrument! Indeed, Kyra’s resonant filters are accurate oversampled emulations of classic analogue ladder filters with 2- and 4-pole configurations (offering -12dB/oct and -24dB/oct of magnitude decrease, respectively). Saying that, two linked or independent filters can be used in Dual Voice mode, making for even more creative options. On top of that, there are three envelope generators, three stereo LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) with 64 shapes and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) clock sync, an arpeggiator, full keyboard microtuning, and true polyphonic portamento, as well as a comprehensive 18-channel modulation matrix to Kyra’s notable name.

Notably, Kyra comes highly specified for effects, each of its eight parts featuring a three-band EQ with sweepable mid, dual tube limiters, formant filter, distortion, six-stage phaser, stereo digital delay, comb/flanger/chorus/doubler unit, and a programmable reverb. All effects units on all parts can be used simultaneously and run at Kyra’s native 96kHz sample rate.

Kyra clearly delivers when it comes to connectivity by boasting four assignable, balanced 32-bit/96kHz stereo outputs, a headphone output, low-latency DIN MIDI, a fully class-compliant USB2 implementation for MIDI, and a stereo 24-bit/96kHz audio stream for each of its eight parts. Production-wise, there is also a USB (Universal Serial Bus) audio return feature, so Kyra can render final DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) audio under ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output). An ASIO driver is provided for Windows users while Mac support is out of the box.

But if any aspects of this impressive instrument already have a ring of familiarity about them then Musikmesse 2018 in Frankfurt am Main may have played its part. Put it this way: Waldorf Music CEO Joachim Flor found himself transfixed there. “It was more of a coincidence to have discovered Valkyrie during a tour of this year’s Frankfurt Music Fair, but I was immediately aware of the fact that this was probably one of the most exciting synthesizers of recent years,” he admirably admits. “I got into conversation with its independent UK developer, Manuel Caballero, and I’m now looking forward to working with this talented, innovative individual, who is also a great guy! Under the direction of Waldorf Music, Valkyrie flies forth into a joint production project called Kyra, which will be shown and delivered at NAMM in 2019.”

Fortunately for Manuel Caballero, the feeling was clearly mutual — Musikmesse mission accomplished. “After nearly four years in the making, I went to Musikmesse with the intention of finding an established partner for Valkyrie,” he reveals. “There's little doubt that Valkyrie's reveal at Musikmesse caused quite a stir in the synthesizer world and I had set the bar high for potential partners to bring the instrument to market. As a result of this, I'm pleased to announce a partnership with Waldorf Music. Few companies can match their track record of innovation and delivery spanning several decades. Working with Joachim Flor and his technical and design team to achieve this is an exciting and efficient partnership as we work together to launch the instrument at NAMM in 2019. Waldorf's proven heritage in product design, manufacturing, and distribution leaves me to do what I do best, which is applying the most advanced technologies to the art of music, and I look forward to a continued deep working relationship with the Waldorf team.”

Kyra is initially scheduled for full production launch at The 2019 NAMM Show, January 24-27, in Anaheim, California, competitively priced at €1,899.00 EUR as a desktop/rackmount model (with a keyboard version to follow later in 2019).

About Waldorf Music (
The well-known Waldorf name has been synonymous with high-quality synthesizers for almost 30 years; indeed, its innovative position in the electronic musical instruments marketplace dates back to 1989 with the release of the wavetable synthesis-based Microwave. This extraordinary reincarnation of the legendary PPG Wave series — arguably amongst the most coveted high-end synthesizers of the early Eighties — was instrumental in bringing the dominance of Japanese and American synthesizers to an end. Waldorf continued this unique technology tradition with successive synthesizer releases ranging from the mighty Wave — perhaps the most impressive, expressive, and user-friendly sound synthesis tool ever built — to raising the bar for VA (Virtual Analogue) synthesizers with the introduction of the popular Q series from 1999 onwards. The new millennium saw the trailblazing company making a timely move into the brave new world of music software with the release of its first VST Instrument, PPG Wave 2.V, a tradition it continues to this day with more recent software releases including its Nave advanced wavetable synthesizer. Subsequent successes in the high-quality hardware arena include the Blofeld synthesizer — forging sound and design into an unbeatable price/performance ratio in both desktop and keyboard versions — and Zarenbourg, a contemporary electric piano par excellence, as well as the cost-conscious Rocket (synthesizer), 2-Pole (analogue filter), and Streichfett (string synthesizer) desktop modules. Meanwhile, Waldorf broadened its appeal further still by introducing Nave to transform any iPad into an advanced wavetable synthesizer. 2018 (and beyond) sees a slew of new high-quality synthesizers set to take the Waldorf name to the hands-on musical masses, whether working with its recently-released Quantum high-class hybrid synthesizer flagship or other hardware (including a welcomed move into the popular Eurorack modular synth system format) or software (including iOS).
© 2018 Waldorf Music GmbH

Friday, 1 June 2018

Spitfire Audio launches LABS as an infinite series of free software instruments with Soft Piano and Strings

Spitfire Audio is proud to launch LABS — an infinite series of software instruments, free and easy to use; made by musicians in London for anyone, anywhere — with the popular Soft Piano and a new Strings library available.

Ever-expanding British business Spitfire Audio has become a formidable force in the wonderful world of sample libraries and virtual instruments by virtue of its dedication to the art of recording and musicality. Company collaborations with the likes of Hans Zimmer and Ólafur Arnalds offer detailed recordings used by composers and music producers alike — albeit with no expense spared in their creation. From full orchestras to synthesisers, pianos to percussion, Spitfire Audio has recorded, in depth, the best players and instruments in the world.

While the company continues its collaborations with the world’s best composers, producers, engineers, and studios to create detailed and realistic recordings of instruments and sounds for use in computer-based music production, LABS lets loose a new series of tools that retain that dedication to quality but altogether remove the barrier to entry by offering a simplistic solution to music-making — instantly-playable, great-sounding instruments, all at no cost!

Commencing with the popular Soft Piano — based around a felted piano (originally recorded in October 2008 by Nick Taylor at Air-Edel Recording Studios in Marylebone, central London using two Schoeps CMC 5/U microphones with MK4 capsules that are still there to this day) — and Strings — a new string ensemble (recorded in October 2017 at Spitfire Audio’s London HQ, where one of the microphones used was a BBC AXB1, an iconic 1940s-vintage ribbon microphone featuring balanced wiring produced by the BBC and Marconi that became an interface metaphor for sound recording), these software instruments are free to install and easy to use. Ultimately, both work within a dedicated (AU-, AAX-, and VST-compatible) plugin possessing a strikingly simple user interface, invented in collaboration with UsTwo, one of the world’s best design and user-experience agencies (also responsible for making Spitfire Audio’s award-winning HANS ZIMMER STRINGS spectacular string sample library so simple to use)… because creativity shouldn’t be complicated.
Watch the LABS trailer video for Strings

Creatively serving as the sonic exploratory arm of Spitfire Audio, new LABS libraries will be released every month. Music makers may expect key traditional instruments alongside more experimental discoveries along the way; made by musicians in London for anyone, anywhere.
Watch the LABS trailer video for Soft Piano

 As such, Spitfire Audio clearly continues to stay true to its ethos of using live performances where possible, but when up against time and/or budgetary constraints, its innovative virtual instruments and sample libraries — LABS included (in the latter scenario, obviously) — are always the next best thing. That said, by paying performers and collaborators royalties, Spitfire Audio admirably assists with sustaining a phenomenal part of our musical heritage while championing innovation within it. Indeed, the LABS tagline says it all: Let’s all become something.

Feel free to join the LABS programme — an infinite series of software instruments, free to install and easy to use, delivered straight to your inbox — by creating an account here:

About Spitfire Audio (
Spitfire Audio is a British music technology company producing high-quality virtual instruments and sample libraries. The company collaborates with the world’s best composers, producers, engineers, and studios to create detailed and realistic recordings of instruments and sounds for use in computer-based music production. Prominent collaborators include Hans Zimmer, Air Studios, Eric Whitacre, and many more.
© 2018 Spitfire Audio Holdings Limited