Archives: February 2006
The long awaited moment has arrived. FuzzPlus2 is now available as an AudioUnit effect. Head on over to the FuzzPlus2.2 page at the Audio Damage site and grab yourself a copy. Both the VST and AU are Universal Binaries, and the only requirement is OSX 10.3.9 or later. The Windows VST is unchanged from the last update.
In other news, while Adam works on the forthcoming 914 upgrade to 907A, I'll be busy porting our various products to VST2.4 and Universal Binary, and AU if warranted. My next project is a complete rewrite of Ratshack Reverb. We have much better delay DSP now than we did when we first released that venerable item. It'll be getting the same delay engine that powers DubStation and Ronin, along with some touch-ups to the EQ of the tail. It will also finally be ported to AU in the process.
Quinto Sardo, the designer of the Sknote Realthing from a couple posts back, just wrote me to correct some things about my previous entry, and drop a bunch of information which makes this a much more exciting product. Now that I know all this, I want one, and you will too.
Basically, the Realthing has oscillators and filters on board, but no envelopes or LFOs. These are created in the VSTi itself.
The other main difference is that it is a polysynth, not a monosynth. It also has inserts on the back, so you can run hardware effects inline with the unit. There will possibly be an option for a tube stage as well, he says. You can access the oscillators, the filters, the tube, or all three in the VSTi, or as an insert effect.
The major thing is that it only needs MIDI in and out.
All the sound coming from the box is brought in to the DAW via MIDI ports; you must dedicate a MIDI in and out to the hardware, and you can then forget about it. You still have to connect the audio outputs in to an in on your DAW, but it will be treated as a VSTi in other respects.
The coolest thing about all this is that different kinds of synths can be written as VSTi to access the oscillators and filters. All in all, this sounds like a much better idea than what I had originally parsed out from the information on the Sknode site. The insert loop in the unit makes it really exciting if you own a modular synth. This is shaping up to be a really cool device. Quinto has also informed me that it is definitely not vapor. He has just received 8 completed units for final testing and software adjustment, and it will be on sale at some point in the not-too-distant future. More information as I get it, but this may be my pick for Most Baddest Ass Product of 2006, now that I have this new info.
I got (not including myself) 28 submissions, which is just a hair under 1% of the average unique daily readership of this blog. On the one hand, I thought more people would participate; on the other hand, I'm almost glad more didn't, because with dealing with the BigSeq release, this almost got away from me. I'm definitely going to have a submission form for next month's entries, to better organize everything so I can do it all in one sitting.
Without further ado, here is the MP3 of the whole mess, rendered straight from Nuendo. I used a pretty heavy dose of L3 to tame the levels, because the submissions were all over the map, so if you submitted, yours might sound a little more squished than when it left your computer. Including the original loop and mine, there are 30 in all, which ends up being slightly over 3 minutes long. It is a mind-bending collection that runs the gamut from nearly prog-rock to nearly ambient. The amazing thing you'll immediately notice is that they all blend together quite well. Using the common source material is the cause of that, I suppose.
No favorites were played, and I added all the files in the order they were received or put up on the site. Here is the list, in order, with websites where applicable:
1. Original Loop
2. Chris Randall
4. Peter Forret
5. Ruger Seeds
7. Wade Alin
12. X. Cerveau
13. James Douglas
15. Matt Giant
16. Jan Nemecek
17. Navs Abbanay
18. Niclas Markb?ck
20. Jason vanHelsdingen
21. Bjorn Vayner
22. Cain Torst
24. G?sta Wellmer
25. Georg Bosch
26. D' MacKinnon
27. Brandon Daniel
29. Justin Walgran
30. Chris Cortier
This is a cool idea, but I'm not too sure about the execution. The Italian company Sknote is apparently thinking about making a hybrid VSTi/analog synth. (Whack the "software" button when you get to their frame-a-thon of a site. Didn't they get the memo about frames back in, like, '97?)
Anyways, Realthing is (or rather "will be" assuming it gets out of its vaporous state) a 1U analog monosynth of the 2 OSC variety, which, if I'm reading this right, is entirely controlled via a VSTi interface. This is a most excellent idea, but if I'm parsing things out correctly, I don't believe the audio appears in the DAW via the VSTi itself. Rather, you have to pipe it in the old-fashioned way. The VSTi is just a mechanism for sending it MIDI CC messages, I believe, and is thus just front panel with delusions of grandeur.
I think a 1U rackmount analog synth with just a USB 2.0 interface on the back which could be addressed via a VSTi, or maybe use the filters as an insert effect, would be a much cooler (albeit more complicated) device. If anyone has the skinny on this, I'd be more than happy to be utterly wrong in my detective work. All that aside, I kind of want to hold it and pet it and put it in a rack and call it "George" anyways. (Or "Giorgio," as the case may be.)