October 3, 2007

Three of 'em...

by Chris Randall

I'm working on a full-page ad for the upcoming Computer Music Special Issue which will feature all three of the mod effects. Here's a test render (obviously not the finished product; I'm working on the lighting right now) so you can get a little taste of Vapor.

As to what Vapor is, that probably requires a bit of explanation. What I need is a word that can describe the effect, since it's sort of a New Thing. Mentally, I use "psychosomatic frongulator," but obviously that sort of nonsense won't Increase Shareholder Value. It needs to be a word like "chorus" or something, a simple word that says what it does.

And what does it do? It has delay modulation, like a chorus, but it has diffusors, like a reverb. More or less. This is a semi-unstable network, and at extreme settings can make Intergalactic Robot Noises; it can also give a nice sheen to most any sound at more temperate settings, or knock the corners off pretty much anything. I'll put up some sound samples later today, but we're still touching up the code a bit, so these might not be 100% indicative of the finished product.

All that aside, this is really our first attempt at building something New, as most all of our products have been either clones of existing hardware or the logical continuation of well-liked effects. Coming up with new effects in 2007, when most common effects are half a century old or more, isn't the easiest thing in the world, so we look forward to your feedback and criticism viz. Vapor.

EDIT: Okay, here's a couple audio samples I bashed out quick-like:

Drums : Here's a simple mono drum loop. Dry, then I automate the "MIX" knob of Vapor up to 100% over 2 measures. This gives you a good idea of what the diffusors do. Very little mod in this one. If you don't use any mod, Vapor gets very metallic, so I've been tending to goose it a bit just to get the ringing out. However, we're going to leave the ability to ring in, in case it's something that may be useful.

Synth : Here's a simple pad-ish kind of thing from my MKS80 (Oh, how I love you, MKS80!) It starts out dry as a bone. Then I automate mix up to full, then rate from about .07Hz up to just under 1Hz, then I automate depth from about 10% up to 100%. You can plainly hear the top-end crystaline stuff that is added to the signal, and also the nice body the pad gets as mod is applied. Vapor has a tendency to accentuate the very top-end of the signal; this means that stuff like pads can become clear in a mix without having to add a ton of mod to them, or taking up too much of the soundstage with something like a big chorus.

Anyways, you get the general idea. This effect is meant to be quite subtle, as a way to give background synth, strings, or guitar some life, but as you can plainly hear on the drum sample, it can easily be used as a special effect. I'll put up some more samples once we get the DSP really dimed in.



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Oct.03.2007 @ 6:00 PM
beauty pill
Replica was new, right? Are there precedents for it? To me, that was some serious innovation.

- c


Oct.03.2007 @ 6:01 PM
beauty pill
I meant "Replicant."
- c

Oct.03.2007 @ 6:33 PM
I am seriously excited about Vapor.

Oct.03.2007 @ 6:42 PM
brandon daniel
It's a ModuVerb ;0)

Actually, judging by the mp3s, in practice it sounds more or less like an early reflection through a tremelo, or somesuch, with extra weird harmonic stuff going on.


Oct.03.2007 @ 6:50 PM
Chris Randall
That's not an inaccurate description, really. It does have parts of both a reverb and a chorus. In actual fact, with the rate low, mod high, and diffusion and size all the way up, it can be used as a reverb on a send, albeit a brash one with a short little tail.

As I say, we're still in the tuning stage, so don't hang your hat on the above samples.



Oct.03.2007 @ 7:40 PM
the casiotone
You had me at Intergalactic Robot Noises.
Anyway, i would call it a Boards-of-Canada-lizer or a backwardizer. Or an Emotionizer.

Oct.03.2007 @ 7:46 PM
Oh man. That looks sweet. I just taught a class on using Windows VSTs... I loaded an instance of Liquid and my professor (a guy who owns Waves Diamond, etc.) audibly said "Holy shit!" I also showed off Replicant, which captured some major attention.
You'll have a few new customers soon hahah. Great work, guys. Can't wait for this final beast to come out...

Oct.03.2007 @ 7:58 PM
mike kiraly
sounds great - sign me up!

Oct.03.2007 @ 8:28 PM
Hey that's a lovely effect, i like it a lot.

Oct.03.2007 @ 8:39 PM

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