SoundForce has introduced SFC-60 V3, is a boutique class-compliant USB-MIDI controller for Togu Audio Line’s TAL-U-NO-LX Juno-60 emulation.
While it was developed in collaboration with TAL, it’s usable with any MIDI-mappable software or hardware.
The SFC-60 V3 is designed to work with TAL-U-NO-LX to optimize the hardware/software integration. For example, all the LED-based physical switches can update their states when a preset is changed in the plugin.
When switching instances on different tracks, the plugin can sync the controller and update the switches as well.
For the sliders/faders, the pick-up or scaling modes (similar to the Takeover modes in Ableton Live) can help avoiding “jumping” parameters. These features require the latest version of the plugin.
The case is made of bent steel and powder coated in black. The front panel is aluminum, also powder coated and screen printed with scratch-proof white, blue and red inks. Walnut wood side panels of 8mm thickness are fitted to both sides of the controller.
Pricing and Availability
The SFC-60 V3 is available on the SoundForce webshop for 349 euros, incl VAT in the EU and 288 euros for customers outside the EU. In the US, Perfect Circuit is distributing the full SoundForce product line.
Symplesound has introduced Tonepaper, described as “the world’s first suite of sound design products for both consumers and producers”.
Tonepaper is available as a three-hour ambient album, a collection of Ableton Live presets used to create the album, a collection of cinematic Xfer Serum presets and an assortment of free ringtones and alerts for both iOS and Android.
The Tonepaper 1 album – available from Spotify, Apple, and Amazon – is equal parts design and composition. Consisting of eighteen tracks, each 10 minutes in length and optimized to flow into any other track on the album, Tonepaper 1 was created to enhance your live/work audio space in the same manner that custom home lighting provides balance to your visual environment.
Since every track is 10 minutes long, Tonepaper can be used for discreetly timed events, like meditation, studying, yoga, and introspection. If you need a single hour of ambience, use a six track playlist.
Supporting the album are two preset packs. The Ableton pack for Live 10 Suite (and higher) encompasses every channel used to create the Tonepaper album, while Serum Tonepaper goes beyond the album’s textures with 100 presets specifically crafted for soundtrack work, melodic techno, progressive, chill-out and ambient production.
Finally, the Tonepaper collection includes a free downloadable set of 50 ambient ringtones and alerts for both iOS and Android.
Pricing and Availability
Symplesound Tonepaper is available now, with intro pricing (through January 1, 2021 )of $34.99 for the Ableton library and $29.00 for the Xfer Serum pack.
It’s one of the all-time great chorus effects – and now you can bite off just the chorus of the Roland Juno and use it as an effect, for free, with this giveaway from Arturia. We’ve got that – and one competing free chorus, for good measure!
Let’s actually give you two free plug-ins here, as Arturia aren’t the first to think of this. Each does have different controls.
*There’s also an elaborate long-read write-up on all things Roland Juno from Attack, where they claim this is the greatest synthesizer of all time. Just translate that as ten reasons it’s cool and lose the “greatest” part and it all works.
The analog Bucket Brigade Delay chorus on the Roland Juno-6 / -106 and -60 is part of what gave Roland’s synth a distinctive sound. There’s a I button, a II button, and you can combine them for… a third variation that is both I and II, somehow. What do they do? I… don’t remember. They sound different. You don’t need to remember or understand, either.
Mac + Windows, VST2 + VST3 + AU + AAX (64-bit only), through December 29 (next Tuesday):
Somehow, Arturia has made a fifteen-minute tutorial about this but … honestly, just go grab the plug-in and slap it on some stuff and see how it sounds. The design here does give you what you need, with separate rate, depth, and phase controls if you want to adjust manually, plus variations I, II, and I+II as on the original, plus a MIX control to adjust to taste.
You don’t really need to know anything, which is the whole beauty of the thing. What is it? A chorus. What is that for? Literally, anything you want. If it is a sound, feel free to add chorus to it and see if it sounds better. Maybe I-ish, maybe II-ish, maybe something else-ish.
But wait, while we’re at it – let’s get a second chorus plug-in. I could do an elaborate A/B comparison, but you should see which you like better, as your ears are the ones that matter, right?
TAL also made a break-off chorus effect from their Roland emulation (the U-NO-LX) and release it for Mac and Windows. They even have an old version with 32-bit support – plus an experimental Linux build.
This also has a dry/wet control, but in lieu of the mono/stereo switch has a stereo width control. (It is available with stereo input only, not mono, but of course you can just route a mono input to both channels in your host.) It also doesn’t have the manual controls. I think I’ll use the Arturia on Mac and Windows and I’m grateful for the TAL on Linux, so there.
I’m risking people telling us there are ten more on comments, but… wait, that’s cool. Go ahead. Tell us. (Soundsmang has a
Funny enough, Roland Cloud does not have a separate chorus rendition for their own Juno recreation, but I do appreciate that the chorus has found its way onto their Boutique Series hardware and software, both, among other effects. Actually, Roland, it’s a shame you don’t allow the use of those instruments as effects with audio input.
Actually, while on the topic of chorus – if you want more than just the push-button Roland simplicity, I think you can’t go wrong with D16’s Syntorus2 (and you might have even got the original Syntorus for free):
There are a ton of reviews out there, but it’s D16 stuff. Is it good? Yes. Freakin’ good. Not to use a Polish stereotype, but I love this as much as I love pierogi. (That’s not really a stereotype so much as – the thought just popped into my head and I could go for some. Holidays and all.) There are other choruses out there, but this is a nice balance of analog modeling with loads of control and great presets.
Plus, for a totally different approach – 16-part multi-voice layered chorus – Sinevibes just dropped this Mac-only plug-in this week. It deserves its own write-up:
Now, go and enjoy chorus – the egg nog of the effects world! (Fine, yes, I’m just craving things.)
Oh, PS – I briefly wondered if Arturia had quietly worked on a Web implementation of the effect when I saw the preview in the story, but it just uses MP3s. That is the future, though – watch for developers to start to demo in-browser and use Web audio for documentation.
New Burial material doesn’t come often, but when it does, the occasion calls for celebration. The elusive electronic musician has surfaced twice in a matter of weeks—first with a surprise pair of singles with collaborators Four Tet and Thom Yorke, and now, in hand with a forthcoming EP, Chemz / Dolphinz.
Sharing the lead single from the two-tracker, Burial deploys a deep investigation into ravey derivations in the lengthy “Chemz.” Traversing 90s UK hardcore, jittery breaks, and light-headed vocal samples, the garage production consolidates familiar Burial qualities into a 12-minute excursion, distinctly marked by a dizzying two-part sonic identity. The solo endeavor follows 2019 released EP, Claustro / State Forest.
In 2009, well before Clarity and the Grammy nominations thereafter, Zedd could be found kickstarting his career by cinching victory in two respective Beatport remix contents, the “Armand Van Helden / StrictlyRhythm Remix Contest” and the “Fatboy Slim / Skint RemixContest.” Credits to Zedd’s early resume, then very much in the making, the titles helped propel the producer to his subsequent signing with OWSLA.
Years later, the value of a foundational opportunity such as a remix competition has hardly been lost on Zedd. After hosting a “Spectrum” remix competition on Beatport in 2012, the “Funny” hitmaker elected to run yet another, announcing on November 11 that aspiring acts could vie for a chance to be a part of “Inside Out’s” official remix pack by submitting a spin on the Griff-assisted original.
More than 600 submissions later, three champions, Maliboux, 3SCAPE DRM, and Dominuscreed, have been crowned, and their medal-securing spins issued via Interscope Records. The name-making takes present three flavorful perspectives on the October 23 original, all of which can be heard below.
A full decade after the release of Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, Kid Cudi continued the storyline with 2020’s Man On The Moon III: The Chosen. Featuring collaborations with the late Pop Smoke, Trippie Redd, and Skepta, the conclusion to the Man On The Moon series has surpassed fans’ expectations from the jump. Now, Cudi has unveiled his newest story-driven short film for Man On The Moon III track “Heaven On Earth.”
Picking up where previous short film “She Knows This” left off, which saw Cudi escape an intense police chase by crashing his car in a tremendous fall, “Heaven On Earth” sees the musician’s lifeless body rescued from its watery grave. Cudi’s ghost then proceeds to perform the song from the back of an ambulance. Ending with yet another devastating automobile crash, fans will have to watch the video to see how Cudi escapes. Watch “Heaven On Earth” below.
Modular Santa Claus is here, just in the Nick of time. Boutique Scottish Eurorack maker Instruo is dropping a big range of modules in virtual form on VCV Rack – for free. Here’s what’s inside and where to get started.
I’ve been messing with a final build here for a bit, and this collection is simply wonderful. It’s got just enough of the sorts of tools that let you get adventurous with sound design, while remaining accessible and balanced. But crucially, everything from your wishlist is there – Buchla-/West Coast-inspired necessities like a complex oscillator and waveshaper, harmonic shaping and filtering options for sculpting frequency spectrum, and plenty of patching and mixing and modulation options to tie it all together.
Now the only thing missing is the excellent granular audio and looping stuff from Instruo, but – well, now they get us hooked on their stuff. (This is free as in beer – it’s under a proprietary license. But it’s still a fantastic gift!)
I think a great way to work in VCV Rack is to indulge your “let’s play with new toys” impulse and stay focused all at once. So why not pick one collection of patches and mess with just those. Some line between reading the manual and understanding how things work and losing discipline and screwing with knobs – each with their own happy accidents – is healthy enough good-natured play. The range of Instruo stuff here is perfect for that.
What’s inside, module by module – with links to product pages so you have a quick reference as you learn:
Here’s the West Coast starting point – but with a broader, more modern array of options. So you get not only cross modulation, but also multiplication and amplitude modulation, there’s actually modulation routing on the module itself, a ton of different waveforms (“classic” and “contemporary”), and somehow it’s not too cluttered, especially with those nice big tuning knobs and wavefold sliders plus some clever patch point placement.
Also, while there are a handful of Rack modules that I really dearly love, the fact that this one is adapted from hardware means that those functions can’t be hidden in menus. And that may well give this an edge.
This oscillator maximizes features while minimizing space usage. So it also crams in a wavefolder, plus a complex Pulse Width Modulation waveshaper. You can also use it as a modulation source, which its size lends itself to nicely. I like the consistency with the other designs, too.
Quad oscillator with (Roland-style) super-saw – which you can use to layer thick parts or make whole chords/scales out of a single analog voltage source at pitch. That can be harmonic or very complex; see the associated controls. And there’s FM, too. I really like how this one is laid out; it’s really designed for easy paraphonic patching and you can pair or tune or arpeggiate in various ways with its mixing options.
This is about the most musical looking harmonizer I’ve seen, making chord progressions in various voicings really accessible. They’re quick to emphasize that you don’t need music theory, and I suppose you don’t, but… if you missed having some use for that music theory, this looks handy.
Again, you can work by harmony but also by mode.
What this is not is a tool for non-classical tunings – there are other microtonal/Scala tuning options for that for Rack, including VCV’s own Scalar. VCV also has the Chords module, which is worth checking out and really easy to use – though Instruo’s option has tons of extras.
Basically, 8 LFOs squeezed into a tiny space. They all have their own rate, but it’s relative to the master rate and it’s all “tuned by ear during development” so you get something with a personal character here. I love stuff like this, especially for rapid patching.
Lion is a 6×6 matrix mixer with pins – so if you have some matrix-patching envy a la EMS Synthi and whatnot, here’s your moment!
This time VCV’s own option is much deeper, in the Router, another paid add-on. But lion has simple pin settings and, well, it’s pretty in black and gold, so I could easily see using both. Matrix tools are also really important in making modular setups useful in live performance. So please, join my revolution of convincing the world that “laptop performance” doesn’t have to mean triggering a bunch of simple stems in Ableton Live, and can in fact be every bit as involved as hardware modular, if not more so.
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