January 15, 2014

Good Times, Good Times...

by Chris Randall

Strange days are here. In no particular order...

1. The video above is me giving a little workout to a prototype reverb module; same DSP platform as our current products. It is, given the constraints of the platform, a mono 'verb very much in the style of the reverbs you find in the 90s IDM that comprises the majority of my listening habits. I kited the original algorithm from a Csound sketch that Sean Costello put out about 15 years ago, but it has been altered for context. I've been working on this on and off for about a year now, and I think it's to the point where it could be a commercial module. I'll keep you posted on that.

2. We have been updating our current product line at a punk rock clip, removing the DRM, updating the graphics, and generally tidying things up a bit. Dubstation, Replicant, and Eos have been done so far. Discord3 is next out the chute, probably early next week.

3. NAMM is upon us. Looks like Roland might give the people what they want, finally. I would prefer these companies with gigantic R&D departments spend time inventing new interesting tools than making permutations of old stuff, but I'm in the minority. In much the same way that 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 were "THE YEAR OF ANALOGZZZ!!!" we can expect the same in 2014. Just keep in mind that the vast, vast majority of NAMM announcements are workstation synths, MIDI accordions, and relic-finish Strat copies.

4. For reasons passing understanding, I have been hired by Phoenix College to teach their Electronic Music 3 class. Several students will get the joy of trying to keep up with my Catcher In The Rye level digressions ("SQUIRREL!!!") for the next few months. Wish them luck. That starts tomorrow.

All of these different things are occurring because Adam is building the hardware prototype for a new Euro module, and Eric is building the hardware prototype for another new module. So there's nothing for me to do but fuck with our existing IP, as is my wont when they're not wiggling strings to distract me. So, next week you'll get my usual NAMGLA posts. I'll be attending Friday and Saturday, if you'd like to meet for some reason. And then a return to our regularly scheduled zaniness.


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Jan.15.2014 @ 1:19 PM
I usually give zero fucks about NAMGLA, but this year I'm feeling like I give less than zero fucks. Since I've got more low- to mid-priced synth gear in my studio than I need, the only keyboard that really would help my setup out would be something like a Kurzweil PC3K. And, ain't nobody got money for that. Especially since I've been forced into the dark, money devouring, hell-world of modular synthesis recently. Speaking of which...

I'm glad that there is a reverb module on the way. I've messed with that code from Sean before. I like it, but I'll be damned if I've ever had the time to really get my head around CSound to capitalize on it in any way in my productions. I'm getting a decent modular set up going now that a friend sold me most of his rig at a ridiculously low price. My plan for the modular keeps growing, mainly because you and Adam keep dropping new modules. I still need to pick up Freqshift, and I'm STILL hoping that my constant nagging about a Karplus-Strong module will cause one to happen. But, reverb. Yeah. I'm going to be all over that module. I'll probably want two. Because, reverb into reverb equals reverbier. Or, something.

As far as the catalog updates go, I just did a complete system reinstall, and after three days of trying to get all of my Native Instruments software to both successfully consider itself registered, and to actually run (only to give up with about 80% of that goal achieved), it was real nice to get to the AD product. The stuff that hasn't had copy protection taken out of just works, and the updated DRM free plugs just work moreso. So, thanks.

- William

Jan.15.2014 @ 1:48 PM
> Just keep in mind that the vast, vast majority of NAMM announcements are
> workstation synths, MIDI accordions, and relic-finish Strat copies.

I've often wondered if the MIDI accordion market is as big as the NAMM coverage warrants.

Jan.15.2014 @ 1:55 PM
Chris Randall
If the NAMM show floor is an indicator of general musicianship, about 40% of musicians play guitars of various flavors, 20% play drums, 20% play some sort of orchestra instrument, and the other 20% are basically doing this:

link [youtu.be]


Jan.16.2014 @ 10:21 AM
dj empirical
that is a fine-ass reverb sound.

Jan.17.2014 @ 12:13 PM
beauty pill
It's remarkable how refreshing mono signals are in such a highly stereo-ized world.

I find myself drawn to mono a lot lately.

- c

Jan.17.2014 @ 4:18 PM
Space Monkey
" Looks like Roland might give the people what they want, finally." By which you mean a V-hurdy-gurdy, I assume?

I would love to have one of the Roland chromatic button accordions. link [www.roland.com]
They actually aren't that expensive when compared with a real one.

The electronic accordion market is huge in Europe and Latin America. Real accordions are a pain to mike, and for the diatonic accordions they mostly use in Mexico and South America, having a V-accordion means that you don't have to lug five accordions in different keys to a gig.

Jan.17.2014 @ 9:22 PM
Now you have to add "professor" to your tagline at the top of the page.

Jan.17.2014 @ 9:26 PM
@space monkey: Good to see Roland is in touch with what their customers want in Europe and Latin America. Now if they could just find themselves a clue re the US...

Jan.18.2014 @ 7:22 AM
Chris Randall
When I wrote that Roland bit, it hadn't yet come to light that the new stuff was digital, although I had a distinct feeling that would be the case.


Jan.20.2014 @ 12:31 PM
One quibble: I think Chris's proper title is 'Perfesser.'

Nice sounding reverb. I always fantasize about a Reverb with arbitrary voltage control, but I suspect it's a recipe for glitchiness, and not the fun glitchiness. It is fun thinking about a Cathedrial whose size varies at audio rate.

I've tried various VSTs with their parameters modified by Max4Live LFOs, and it's mostly not very useful.

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