THIS THING RULES: Gahrn Audio Expansion Packs

Sometimes when I do these THIS THING RULES blog posts, the new music software gets sent to me (if you make music software and you’re reading this, get in touch!), and sometimes I have to go out looking for it. Today’s installment is a case of the latter and I’m so glad I found Gahrn Audio and their new expansions packs Symbiosis (for Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere) and Illusions (for Native Instruments’ Massive). I’m always on the look out for new Omnisphere expansions because as many of you know, it is my favorite synth, so to see a company like Gahrn come out and nail it with their first pack is very exciting… And it’s nice to have a reminder to go back and look at Massive again after I hadn’t touched it in a while…

Before getting into the bulk of this write-up, make sure you listen to the new track, “Seeing Is Believing,” made entirely with these two new expansion packs (except for the drum beat that comes in about 45 seconds in).

This track was especially exciting because it was the first non-score piece of music I’ve done in quite a while. I’ve been so busy with promoting the new album (see what I did there… haha), life, and well, scoring films, that I hadn’t made much stand-alone music. I think it came out pretty great. So what’s going on in that music?

The answer is some killer synths, beautiful pads and awesome arps. These packs aren’t huge by any means (80 patches in Symbiosis and 64 patches in Illusions), but what is there is all top notch usable sounds. Like I said, the bulk of what’s here falls under the synths, pads and arps categories of each respective program, although there are other sounds as well like great Impacts & Hits in Symbiosis.

In this particular song, I’m using about five Omnisphere Symbiosis patches and four from Massive Illusions.  Starting with the Omnisphere pack, two of the arps I used called Outrun (which provides that sick funky rhythm that comes in towards the end) and Still Visible sounded great right at loading, but I decided to play around with the arp patterns to get what I got out of them. The main keys in the song are a sound called Finger Painting which provides beautiful, echoing keyboards, and White Air is a very pretty backing synth pad. I really wanted to use some of the Texture patches in this track, but at that point I felt the song was already busy enough. They’re great additions to this package though and will definitely get used in the future.

Over in Massive, the Illusions patches were also perfect fits for this kind of ambient / electronica song. The big echoing synth you hear is called Dyerm, while another synth called All Transparent was incredibly playable and provides a secondary lead for the track. The main bass line is provided by two alternating versions of the End of Line patch with slightly different parameters that I tweaked at different points in the song. Like I said earlier in this write-up, it’s been quite a while since I’ve touched Massive, but I think I’m going to have to start digging in again because not only do I have these great new sounds for it, but it’s just a really cool program with lots of great content.

So overall as you can see, I really liked what Gahrn Audio has come up with in their first packs, and their inspiration led the way to this awesome new track. I’d love to see a new pack from them that takes advantage of some of Omnisphere 2’s new features, and I’d love to see some more keyboard sounds and maybe some percussion. But for what they are, these are great packs and definitely highly recommended.

Each of these packs are available now in Gahrn Audio’s website store priced very competitively at $23 for Symbiosis and $20 for Illusions. There are also FREE demos available of each pack, as well as more demo tracks and a full walk through of the Omnisphere pack.

Gahrn Audio is run by fellow composer and sound designer Claus Gahrn, so it’s no surprise that he knows what other composers could use. Hopefully he makes some more packs in the future. I’ll definitely be watching for them.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

THIS THING RULES: u-He Hive

Once again it’s been a long time since I’ve posted an entry in my THIS THING RULES series, but what with finishing my new album An Unseen Sky and composing jobs and trips out of town (am I starting to sound like a broken record? and is that a bad music-pun?), well, I’ve just been busy. But I’m glad to be back with a really cool new synth from u-He, the makers of the also amazing Zebra2 (which I used a lot on my new album). Lets dive right in…

I’m of course talking about Hive, the brand new synth from u-He. You knew this coming into this blog not only because it’s in the title, but because I did a little preview blog post a month ago (if you haven’t read that one, you might as well check it out too). According to u-He, Hive was made to be “fast and simple.” That’s absolutely true, but that doesn’t mean it’s not deep. Man is this thing deep. And wow does it sound good. It’s kind of amazing that such a plugin that uses so little CPU could sound so big and full. This is no thin, lightweight synth…

If you haven’t already, give a listen to the demo track “Infiltrate” above. I wanted to go for a really synthy piece of music with this demo since, well, that’s what people are going to mainly be using something like Hive for. Everything in the song “Infiltrate” is coming out of 10 instances of Hive, except for the main drum beat which is coming out of a different drum program (I just wanted to get a beat going really quickly so I could build around it). I could have just kept adding layers and layers of synths but I felt like it was at a really good point for the purposes of this review.

Some of the sounds I’m using include “HS Gitanoid B fast” which is that cool hypnotic arpeggio synth and “BA Blue Tone” which is the main bass line. The crazy, funky, filthy breakdown that comes in half way through is called “AZ HIVE in GOA II Dirty.” The names on these things can be all over the place, but there’s a reason for that… Hive has an absolutely insane user base already, even though the program is only in beta. I have more presets just from downloading collections from the official forums than most synths have on the purchased disc. Of course having a ton of presets means having a lot of stuff to browse through. Luckily the browser is nice and snappy.

The fun really starts though when you start digging in and making your own sounds. Two Oscillators, two Filters, two LFOs, two Amps, and two Mods are all available. It’s laid out in a way that shows you everything all in one screen so you can dive right in and start messing with the sounds. It’s definitely a little overwhelming if you’re not a huge synth fiend, but most likely if you’re interested in Hive and u-He’s other plugins, you know what you’re looking for already. And those controls are just the beginning. There’s a full FX section with Distortion, Chorus, Reverb, Delay and more, and you can save and load presets from one to another. Then the ARP & SEQ is where Hive really shines for me, personally.

I already have tons of great synth sounds in some of my other plugins, so it’s not like I really need another synth… But this is where things get set apart. I think the Sequencer is the best I’ve seen in any plugin. First of all, it’s all laid out really clearly as to how to make a sequence work the way you want it to. This feels like one of those easy to learn difficult to master situations as there’s a lot of power behind this thing. My favorite part of the arp sequencer is the Record feature that lets you play out a pattern of notes on your keyboard to simply create the pattern and then go from there. Some of the sounds I used that feature an arpeggiated sequence were kept with their default patterns, but some of them I definitely took advantage of this feature and made new patterns myself. It’s really cool and something I could definitely see myself using a lot in the future.

I actually managed to sneak a little bit of Hive into one of the last tracks I finished on my new album An Unseen Sky (which is available now at http://davidrosen.bandcamp.com). The song “Into The Black” features two instances of Hive and it sounds awesome (if it sounds like I’m being redundant here, I am… this paragraph was covered in the preview, but I had actually started writing this review way before the preview, back before I got all crazy busy, but I figured I’d leave this paragraph in since it has a plug for my new album haha). I am sure that this program will be used a lot on my future releases.

u-He Hive comes out June 2nd for $149 but is available for purchase now for a special introductory price of $99! If you like synths, you seriously can’t go wrong with this purchase.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

THIS THING RULES: u-He Hive PREVIEW

This is something that hopefully will be a rarity for me, but welcome to a mini-preview edition of THIS THING RULES!

As you know, in THIS THING RULES I review a new piece of software and post a brand new piece of original music that I composed either exclusively with or heavily featuring that software. Well I have a brand new entry written about the excellent new synth Hive from u-He, the makers of the amazing Zebra2.

Unfortunately, my computer died. Dead. I am computerless. And the piece of music I made, while backed up and safe, can’t be exported until I have a computer  to export it with. I should hopefully have the computer back this week, but since I planned on this review and track being posted last week already, I decided to post this special preview, because a song from my recently released album An Unseen Sky also features a whole bunch of Hive on it.

The song is called “Into The Black” and was actually the last song I made for the album. There are 4 instruments in the song that come from Hive, and it will give you a pretty cool idea of what this amazing synth sounds like in a track. Check out the song above, and check out the album, An Unseen Sky at: https://www.bydavidrosen.com/albums/unseen-sky

As soon as I’m back up and running, I’ll post the full THIS THING RULES segment with my review of u-He Hive and a track that is made up almost exclusively of Hive sounds. And if you’re a composer, make sure to check out u-He.com for a public beta of Hive that is available to try now!

– David

THIS THING RULES: Sonic Zest Collection

Welcome to another edition of THIS THING RULES. You may remember from my “The Past & The Future” Blog Post that I placed 8th in a composing contest sponsored by music software news site rekkerd.org. My prize was the entire collection of Sonic Zest Instruments for Native Instruments’ Kontakt. I’ve spent the last couple weeks playing with some of the instruments, and so far, I am extremely happy with my prize.

This collection features 22 instruments that are all beautifully sampled. The kinds of sounds that will easily find their way into my music. First of all, the list of included instruments:

  • Acoustic Autumn
  • Cinematic Soundscape
  • Ambient Cinematic Guitar 2
  • Chinese Dragon Bells
  • Glass Hand Drums
  • Indonesian Thunder Drum
  • Vietnamese Lithophone
  • African Tube Percussion
  • Himalayan Water Bowl
  • Tenor Recorder
  • The Glass Absolute Quintet
  • eBow Mandolin
  • Acoustic eBow
  • Maple Mandolin
  • Percussive Guitar
  • Apricot Duduk
  • Moroccan Drums
  • Typewriter of Prince George
  • Bronze Percussion
  • Paper Percussion
  • Lighter Percussion

My reviews here aren’t meant to always be an entirely comprehensive look at all the features and sounds included in any given product, so I didn’t fully explore all of these sounds, In the piece of music I made above, I used Acoustic E-Bow, Acoustic Autumn, Moroccan Drums, Ambient Cinematic Guitar 1, Ambient Cinematic Guitar 2, The Typewriter of Prince George and Cinematic Soundscape. As you can hear, the music is full and lush and of a top shelf quality. When considering that most of these go for $16 right now (or the complete collection at an amazing $125), the sound quality is actually kind of surprising. Everything is also wonderfully playable and natural.

The Moroccan Drums are the first thing that will probably grab your attention in this track. They’re so easy to play and come up with a rhythmic background. The Acoustic eBow creates a gorgeous bed for the various guitar melodies that I then brought in. I obviously really love the guitars that Sonic Zest has sampled here, and use almost all of them in this one piece.  To bring up the rhythm at the end, I used the Typewriter of Prince George which has some great clacking key type sounds that work great when mixed in with the traditional percussion sounds.

Sonic Zest has created a great collection of instruments here. At $125, it’s a ridiculous steal. Get it. You won’t be sorry.

UPDATE: I’m glad I posted this in time for Black Friday, because this collection is available THIS WEEK ONLY for the insanely low price of $89. Seriously. If you make music and use Kontakt (which if you do make music, you probably have Kontakt), get this. You’ll love it.

 

THIS THING RULES: Omnipulse

Welcome to a This Thing Rules edition a LONG TIME in the making. Truth is this track was done almost a year ago, but first of all, I was thinking of using it for my upcoming album, so I was holding it off. Then I got really busy with work and films and film festivals… But then a funny thing happened…

There was a contest to create a piece of music for the trailer to the excellent looking film “LFO,” and right away when I watched the trailer, I knew that this piece of music would be perfect for it. So I entered it, got a lot of great feedback, and since I’d hate to skip a review on a piece of software I received and loved, I decided to finally go back and get this thing up.

This is also a different kind of entry for This Thing Rules in that it wasn’t entirely created with just PlugIn Guru’s Omnipulse, the software I’ll be talking about today. I probably could make something only with Omnipulse… But it wouldn’t really go anywhere since the point of this package is sounds that pulsate rhythmically to help create tension and motion. As it is, you’ll notice once you listen to the track, it is a very tense piece of music, but I brought in sounds from other software to help mold it into a full track. This is also a different kind of edition of This Thing Rules because I’m embedding the track in the form of the trailer for “LFO.” I figured since it works so good in the context of the trailer, I might as well do it that way rather than a stand alone track. So here it is:

 

As you just heard… It’s a pretty tense and synth heavy track. The main two presets that I used from Omnipulse are “BPM BASS – Heavy Weight Offender” and “BPM GUITAR – 12 Stringer M.” The Bass sound creates that insane, heavy synth bass line while the Guitar sound adds a loop of tension to the track. I’m also using sounds from another of PlugInGuru’s Omnisphere Expansions, Omniverse, as well as some other sources.

While I wouldn’t use the sounds in Omnipulse alone to create a full piece of music, the presets that it does come with are absolutely essential for tense, dramatic underscore, as well as electronica music. The presets themselves are amazing as is, but they all have wildly variable results when played with the Mod Wheel… So much so that it’s seriously become my go-to for getting a score started. These sounds can provide the bed that any dark, atmospheric film needs. Then you can just build on top of it from there. Also, since they are arpeggiated based on Omnisphere’s built in Arpeggiator, they work with projects of any tempo. It couldn’t be easier to use.

The funny thing about this write-up taking so long, is that during these past months that I’ve been so busy, I was pretty much constantly using Omnipulse in everything I did! I really couldn’t recommend it more, and I really hope that they come out with a sequel. Omnipulse can be purchased at PlugInGuru.com for $30, and of course, requires a full copy of Omnipshere. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an item to cross off my to-do list that’s been sitting there for way too long…

This Thing Rules: The Coil

Before I get started on this edition of This Thing Rules I just wanted to say sorry for taking so long to get back to this series! I had a constant string of composing work, promoting my “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Video and Fundraiser, and just lots of other stuff that kept me incredibly busy. I’ve got a backlog of about 6 This Thing Rules posts to finish up, but I wanted to get started getting back into it with something brand-new… The amazing new Omnisphere expansion pack The Coil by Plughugger. Let’s give the song “Fallen Angels” a listen.

The first thing you’ll notice in the track are those sinister, dark drone sounds at the beginning. That’s a preset in The Coil called “The Day After” and it’s just so… EVIL sounding haha. I love it (update: I realized just as I was getting ready to post this that it’s also used in the opening of their promo video)! The Coil is an expansion based all around one sample of electricity.  That’s right… the  people at Plughugger took one basic sample of raw electricity from a Tesla Coil and using the power of Omnisphere, transformed it into 150 new presets including atmospheres, arpeggios, pads, leads and basses. These things aren’t just overly similar sounds either… Everything is completely different and completely playable and usable.  Plughugger claims that the sounds are “set in a zone between the normal and the weird” and that’s a perfect description.

Aside from the drums, every single other track within “Fallen Angels” comes from The Coil. The bass line is a combination of a bass preset called “Distorted Menace” and a very dirty arp called “Quantum Heap.” The main echoing synth line is created with a sound called “Ambiano” which is a lot of fun to play with. I didn’t want to get too crazy on this simple demo track, but I can already tell you that I’ve used “Ambiano” for a solo-like piece on one of the songs on my next album. There’s about 4 or 5 more tracks mixed in there with more sounds from the collection as well and I could have easily continued to layer without running out of ideas.

The Coil

Is there anything missing from this collection? Not really. It’s pretty much perfect, especially for the price of $18.87 (or $12.54 if you get in before October 12th!). Please note that those US prices are roughly converted from the Euro price listing on their website. I’d love to hear these guys make a companion drum kit using electricity based sounds… Although Omnisphere wouldn’t really be the right place for it… Maybe make it for Native Instrument’s Battery or something.

If you already have Omnisphere, there’s really no reason not to pick up The Coil. The included sounds are highly usable in any kind of composition, and the price is absolutely killer.

 

 

 

This Thing Rules: BreakTweaker

Before we start this edition of This Thing Rules I just want to say thank you to everyone in the music forums who have been giving me feedback on this series. I’m really enjoying doing them and I’m glad you’re all digging it. Eventually I’m going to get into a groove and make it a weekly thing, and I’m also toying with the idea of adding some videos to the segments as well, but for now, a couple times a month, each with a new song…

This time I’m digging into probably the biggest piece of software I’ve done yet, iZotope’s brand new “is-it-a-drum-machine-or-is-it-an-effect” BreakTweaker. Co-created with electronic musician BT (who also helped design the excellent iZotope StutterEdit which I use all the time), this is a piece of software that will definitely be working its way into my regular songwriting process.

Before I get into what makes it special, let me give you a little bit of back story about me. For the past 15 years of making music, I’ve stayed away from drum machines, drum patterns, loops, breaks and drum sequencers. It’s just not the way I do things. I will occasionally add a loop into the chorus section to beef up the percussion for a couple bars, but very rarely, and even when I do, it’s only to augment the drum beat I played out on my keyboard. It’s not that I have anything against that way of doing things… The industrial music I got into this stuff because of was all done with sequencers and drum machines, and most of my favorite hip-hop beats all use breaks and loops. Maybe it’s a control freak type of thing, I don’t know, but I just like knowing I hit all the notes (even if it’s on a keyboard and not an actual drum set).

But with all that said, BreakTweaker is just different and for my purposes, worth using. It’s not just taking your kicks snares and hi-hats and making patterns, although you could certainly just use it to do that. The sequencer module is extremely powerful and easy to use. But it’s the other 2 modules, the Generator and MicroEdit Engine that set this thing apart.

BreakTweaker

 

With the Generator you have built in tools to create your own drum sounds. You can combine and tweak until you find exactly the right kind of sound for each piece of your digital kit. The built in kits are already a great place to start though, and for the purposes of my review track up above (you did listen, right?) I didn’t dig into the Generator module too much. Where I had the most fun was in the Sequencer and most improtantly, the MicroEdit Engine.

Playing with the MicroEdit Engine feels like you’re using an instrument that someone brought back from the future. iZotope says you can “manipulate audio at a molecular level” and they’re not kidding. You can take any clip from the sequencer and adjust its pitch, rhythm and texture by adjusting the easy to use knobs. You can take a normal snare drum and pretty much just destroy it… in a good way. Make it stutter, make those stutters pitch shift, transform the changes mid-change. It’s simply insane the amount of room you have to experiment. The Randomizer button adds crazy ideas to your selection which you can then learn from, figuring out how each setting actually effects your sound.

For the sample track, “Broken Glass,” I started out with two instances of BreakTweaker, each with a different but fittingly similar presets (Sin Bass & Tweak Woofer). Each preset loads an already made kit and 12 patterns, with 12 extra empty spaces to add and save your own patterns.  I used a mixture of preset patterns and my own created ones. These are spread across the keyboard so you can trigger them easily, and below the patterns are each of the 6 pieces of your drum kit individually so you can add some custom playing to the mix as well. You can also start completely from scratch creating every piece of your kit and totally new patterns. Of course since this software is mainly for drums I added some other synths into the song as well, but everything percussion you hear is from BreakTweaker.

So as you can imagine I’m absolutely recommending BreakTweaker. The drum tracks you can make with this thing are simply insane and if you even could make them without it (and that’s a big IF), it would take you hours of tweaking to do what takes seconds here. It’s a very specific kind of program and not for every kind of composer, but if you make any form of electronic or hip-hop music, you absolutely will not be disappointed. It’s currently on sale from iZotope’s website for $199 (regularly $249) or an expanded version with extra Expansion Packs for $249 (regularly $299).

 

This Thing Rules: Lounge Lizard & Ultra Analog

Welcome to another edition of This Thing Rules… I should call this one These Things Rule because I’m doubling up this time and reviewing 2 excellent pieces of software from Applied Accoustics Systems (the makers of the also excellent Chromaphone which I reviewed last year): Lounge Lizard EP-4 and Ultra Analog VA-2. As always, make sure you listen to the music sample up above. To be honest I had a little trouble coming up with a way to combine just these two into a piece of music, so I decided that this time around I’d just use them as the main instruments and allow a little extra sources to complete the song. In this case it’s the drums that didn’t come from either of these pieces of software. Everything else, however, is done with either Lounge Lizard or Ultra Analog. Also, since these are very different sound sources, I figured something kind of hip-hop would be the right way to combine them, since when it comes to hip-hop, there are kind of no rules as long as you can bob your head to it and it sounds good. I think I did a pretty good job…

As for the software itself, lets tackle them one at a time. Lounge Lizard EP-4 is kind of exactly what it sounds like… a virtual electric piano with lots of cool authentic Rhodes & Wurlitzer keys, as well as uniquely different sounding presets that provide a twist on these classic sounds. As far as sound quality goes, this thing could easily be used in a live atmosphere. The sounds are rich, and it uses a surprisingly small amount of memory, allowing for greater flexibility when you start layering the keys. And in the studio, the presets are categorized in a way that makes finding sounds very easy. Another plus is that everything loads super snappy making sound selection a quick, smooth process. Most of the track up above is made of Lounge Lizard sounds.

 

Lounge Lizard

Lounge Lizard

The other piece of software is Ultra Analog VA-2, which is a beautifully powerful software synthesizer. It offers all the features and options you would hope for in a classic synthesizer, with tons of presets and effects to play with to get the sound you’re looking for. The sounds range from keys, pads and synth leads to rhythmic percussion loops and and beautiful ambient tones. It also shares Lounge Lizard’s super fast and efficient interface. Another great advantage of these two are their options for expansion. There are many official expansion packs available for them at dirt cheap prices, and a community of members that share new presets. I actually picked up a couple of the expansions during the Xmas sales and there is some great stuff to choose from. Loading the expansions and presets is dead simple, and with this smooth interface, everything is super quick.

These are both great packages and I can definitely recommend either one to anyone looking to expand their virtual instrument arsenal. I would say though, that while Ultra Analog is a really cool synth, most likely you already have some great software synthesizers, so if you’re just going to check out one, I’d definitely make it Lounge Lizard. The quality of the more traditional sounds are excellent and the ability to dial in new versions of the classics really give it an edge. Ultra Analog and Lounge Lizard are both available for $199 each at the time of this blog post, so if you’re making music, go check them out!

– David

This Thing Rules: PLUGINGURU Omniverse 1 & 2

So my weekly This Thing Rules segments got pretty messed up by the holidays, BUT I am back with a brand new installment and a couple more already lined up. Time to get this thing back on track! This time I am writing about PlugInGuru’s Omniverse 1 & 2. What a beautiful collection of sounds! Before you continue reading, make sure you listen to the sample track above, which was created completely with sounds from these two volumes. Omniverse 1 & 2 are Expansion Packs for Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere, which is probably my favorite piece of music software, so I’m always excited to get some new presets to mess with, but it’s especially a treat when the presets are so ME. PluginGuru says that “it’s called Omniverse because of its versatility” and it’s absolutely right. You’ve got hard electronic sounds, beautiful lush strings and pads for film scores, as well as great keyboard sounds and tons of other patches. As a bonus they include special Envelope and Arpeggiator Presets for messing with any of the included or existing sounds and creating even more unique possibilities.

Omniverse

Omniverse

In the demo track above, I start off with the “Obsessiv Pluk” Lead and then begin to add multiple layers of Guitar sounds including the “Classical and High Voices” and the “Sad Baritone.” From there I include various keys, plucks, percussive elements and big beautiful pads. The overall effect is very cinematic and pretty, but with some definitely electronic edge. It’s too early to start talking about my second album, a follow-up to Echoes In The Dark, but I definitely think this track is something I could continue building off of to create a new killer song.

So there you have it. If you’re making music and you have Omnisphere, Omniverse 1 & 2 are a great collection. At $30 each, they’re an absolute steal, and PlugInGuru recently released a 3rd collection, OmniPulse which I’m dying to check out. I definitely recommend these guys and will be using their sounds in a lot of my upcoming productions.

– David

This Thing Rules: Chromaphone

Welcome to another edition of THIS THING RULES where I try out some new music software and share my thoughts. This time I’m checking out  Applied Acoustics System’s CHROMAPHONE.

Chromaphone is a really awesome piece of software that I’ve been playing with for a couple months now. I would have written this post sooner, but I was busy finishing up, releasing, and promoting my album (which you can of course check out on the album page). The track you listened to at the top was created COMPLETELY with sounds from Chromaphone. Yes the drums, the keyboards, the bass, the synths, the pads… All of it. Pretty cool, right?

I’m not going to go into my whole process of composing music in these posts (although I may let you in on that in a future blog series). This is more about the specific software and what it’s like using it. Chromaphone is really cool in that you’re essentially starting off with percussion sounds and bending and tweaking them to sound like all different kinds of instruments. Woods, metals and other materials can be adjusted in all kinds of ways for really interesting results. Of course there are tons of presets too. These little reviews aren’t meant to be big, long in depth articles, so I’d like to specifically talk about my favorite feature of Chromaphone… Coupling.

 

Chromaphone

What this does is adjust the amount that two objects would interact. In a real life example, imagine your hand and the desk. Some of the sound you hear when you slap the desk is coming from the desk, and some from your hand. Adjusting the coupling not only allows you to choose which you’re hearing more of, but how the one effects the other. You can use this to make instruments sound more realistic… Or more weird and unique.

In this specific demo track I created up above, you can hear examples of drums and percussive elements, keyboards, strings, bass and pads, all created with Chromaphone. In fact between the included presets and the awesome expansion packs available you can really have fun without even having to dig into the powerful sound creating abilities of the software. I did plenty of messing around with the sounds though in composing this piece of music and it’s a really cool process. AAS has laid out the VST software in a way that is really smart and easy. As you can see from the above screenshot, there are tons of effects and settings to play with right there on the main screen. And where in some pieces of software, you can sometimes adjust things all over the place and not really notice or understand what you’ve changed, tweaks within Chromaphone are instantly noticeable making for a remarkably hands on feel.

If you’re a composer like me, I hope you check out Chromaphone. It’s regularly $199 but they have deals pretty often (until January 15th its $99.50 or half off!). It’s a great piece of software and the possibilities with it are really endless. It definitely digs into your CPU usage, so make sure you’ve got a good, powerful machine if you’re going to give it a try… I had to freeze a couple tracks to stop some crackling that was occurring… but what do you expect with 9 instances of the software going at once. And if you’re not a composer and just enjoy the music, well I hope you enjoyed this track, and I hope you enjoyed reading a little about how it is that I do what I do.

– David

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