So it’s just about a week to go before Frankfurt Musikmesse, and we’re starting to get down to the wire on the stage demos. Looks like we’re going to have a lot of demos of a lot of different facets of Studio One, with (as usual) some really great musicians. This time I’ll be working with at least three different sets of musicians, which means a lot of preparation and figuring out how to best play to the strengths of each one. And what features we really have concentrate on, because with a program this size there’s no way you can cover even 10% of it properly in a half hour demo.
But most importantly, getting the music right. Because at the end of the day, it’s about all about the music. That’s the end result, and something I have to keep in my mind all the time: the technology is only a means to that end, and no matter how cool the tech may be, the music is what counts. Luckily I think we’ll have some pretty good music for you next week… 🙂
Well, it appears that one of my previous posts caused a bit of a storm in the media. While it’s nice to get attention I guess, I’ve taken down the post because it got perceived as being some kind of marketing blurb, when it wasn’t supposed to be. Yeah it’s true that I do marketing for PreSonus, but this isn’t the place for it. This is really just me talking about what I personally get up to with Studio One, not some kind of advertising spam. That’s why I started doing the Freebie Friday posts for example – those are plugins that I actually personally like and use to make music with – PreSonus doesn’t get anything out of me telling people about free stuff. My posts here are just me talking about the things I do and like, and that I think might be interesting for you guys too.
So my apologies to anyone that I might have offended with a previous post, but don’t blame PreSonus for it. Anything appearing in this blog under my name is my personal opinion only (that’s why it’s got my name on it) and certainly not some kind of company policy. So blame me, not them.
I got into this business because I love to make music, and I love technology, and even after many many years of doing it I still love it and get very enthusiastic about it. And I guess most of the people reading this feel the same way, so if I sometimes go a little overboard, I hope you guys can understand. I’m a musician first, and a marketing guy second, and it should stay that way. Thanks for listening.
The man behind Toneboosters is the remarkably talented and knowledgeable Jeroen Breebaart who is a scientist and engineer working in the field of audio processing, and who moonlights making incredible VST plugins in his spare time.
Most of the Toneboosters plugins are commercial, but Jeroen offers them at great prices, and they are well worth investing in. But some of them are free, and very much worth the download. My favourite of the freebies is TB IsoneSurround which allows virtual room monitoring even when using headphones! If you are living in a house with other people and you can only mix late a night in headphones, then you absolutely need this plugin. The virtual room simulation is much better than most commercial offerings costing three figur
e sums! The big brother version TB Isone is even better, so if you like the free one, I definitely recommend upgrading.
TB OmniSone also uses some of Jeroen’s spatial processing tricks, this time to play with the perceived stereo placement and width of a sound signal – it’s pretty wacky, but I think you should try it, you can do some amazing things with it.
And for those who find seven band parametric EQs a little bit daunting, I have to recommend TB EZQ. Want your track to sound brighter? Well… make it sound brighter 🙂
It’s a lovely Spring morning in Paris, but I’m not seeing much of it because I’m currently in the rather fabulous SAE Paris building setting up for an afternoon introducing the students to the wonderful world of PreSonus. That’s one of the great contradictions of my job – I get to travel all over the world, but I rarely get the chance to see much of it 🙁 On the upside, I love teaching, and I really love teaching about this great technology we make, so I’m not too unhappy.
Ooops, students are turning up at the door, time to go talk to them…
OK, let me get this straight: a 64-bit plugin that comes with a great playback engine, 1 GB of top-quality sounds, has a killer editing interface, and it’s free as well? Yes, it’s Alchemy Player, the free version of the excellent Alchemy virtual instrument. I seriously couldn’t believe this plugin when I tried it. But since I’ve gotten it I’ve been using it all the damn time, it’s that good. The only catch is that you have to register with Camel Audio in order to get it, but seriously, for this kind of quality that’s not much of an inconvenience… Just don’t even think about it – get this killer plugin now.
Oh, and while you are at it, pick up the free CamelCrusher plugin as well. It’s a combo Distortion/Filter/Compressor that can add some serious nastiness to your mixes. And that’s always good by me.
This week’s Freebie Friday features the amazing Togu Audio Line. I’ve been using these plugs for forever and a day, and they really are blisteringly good. TAL have been making FX and virtual synths for quite some time, with great solid basic sounds, and remarkable stability and features for free plugins – they were even fully 64-bit far in advance of most of their commercial competitors, so if you are running the 64-bit version of Studio One these will all still work flawlessly without requiring a bit-bridge.
The first TAL plugin that attracted my attention was the TAL Bassline – a fairly perfect emulation of the classic Roland SH-101 analog monosynth. I used to have one of these back in the day, and it was damn fine bass synth; I wasn’t disappointed when I downloaded the TAL version, it pretty much nailed it right there.
Also really noteworthy in the analog emulation stakes is the TAL-U-No-62. This is another great analog emulation, this time of the Roland Juno 60 – including the original’s famous Chorus section. It’s a great little synth, and there are tons of cool presets to download. Highly recommended.
But the big daddy TAL has to be the TAL Noisemaker. Unlike the other synths, this isn’t an emulation of older hardware, it’s a completely new synth, and it’s the bomb. It follows the classic analog subtractive synthesis route, no flashy modern stuff, so it’s really easy to understand and program; and it sounds really good. It’s become one of my first go-to synths when I just want a good solid sound quick & easy.
There are a ton more great plugins on the TAL site, including Vocoder, Reverb etc. so check them out. They are all free, but the author is asking for donations via PayPal – so if you like them, do show your appreciation, even if it’s only a couple of bucks!
Yes, I know it’s been a long time since my last update, but in my defence we were broadcasting live from NAMM in California so you got to see lots of me instead of just reading my thoughts during that. And since then I’ve been sort of busy moving to Ireland to help found the new PreSonus Europe Limited, so I didn’t even have Internet for a while there 🙁
But now I’m back online, in a new office, and life is grand, as they say here in Ireland. So on to this week’s Freebie Friday!
I know I mentioned Plugin Alliance before, but I am going to mention them again, because they have some great free plugins: Elysia Filter, SPL Free Ranger, Bx Cleansweep and Bx Solo. These are highly simplified versions of some of the most outstanding plugins available at any price, but even though they are simple, they sound great. so everyone should have them. And they have 64-bit versions now too, which as far as I concerned is a 100% necessity these days. I strongly recommend that you grab them from the PA website now. Would love to hear what other people think about them…
I think I got up this morning at something like 3.45 am. That’s 3.45 am. Otherwise known as “Holy ****, it’s what time in the morning?” Ah, the wonder of jet-lag…
Got to the booth reasonably early, but Jonathan and a few of the others still beat me to it, since I’d been spending some time working on stuff for Exchange. Yep, if you’ve already updated to Studio One 2.0.4 you already have this, and damn it is mighty fine. We originally wanted this in the 2.0 release but it’s a pretty complex ecosystem, so in the end we held it back until it was ready. Am very happy it’s finally here, because I’ve been dying to tell you guys all about it. I think this thing is going to be a monster, it means the software now has basically unlimited content available.
If you’ve looked in Exchange already you’ll see a couple of things I put together in my studio a while back and that I’ve been dying to release. Hopefully you guys will like them – if so, please do rate & review them on the Exchange web page, that’s going to become really important when there are thousands of things up there.
Not sure if I’ll manage to do a Freebie Friday this week, considering I will be on stage something like five times a day every day for the rest of this week. That’s rock & role… But if not, at least you guys will have your entire S1 browser full of free new soundsets and presets, and that should keep you going for a while. 🙂
I’ve noticed that during the week I often pick up a very cool new plugin or impulse response and end up playing with it all week, and then blogging about it on Friday (see several previous posts) so I think I may make this a regular “Freebie Friday” slot…
This week it’s the turn of VST Classics. Some of you may know that myself and several other members of the Studio One team used to work at Steinberg back in the day, and helped develop and define the original shape of digital audio recording. I still remember being on stage at Frankfurt MusikMesse 15 years ago showing off the very first VST plugins – the Neon and Model-E synths, VB-1 virtual bass guitar, and the Karlette tape delay (named after Karl “Charlie” Steinberg). These plugins were pretty bleeding edge back then, and I still look back at them fondly. So imagine my surprise when Steinberg announced they were re-releasing new versions of them as free downloads! Yeah, they won’t win any awards for innovation now, but they still have a unique sound, so if you fancy a trip back to the dawn of digital audio to hear what we had to play with back then, now is your chance.
The Model-E is still a decent emulation of the classic MiniMoog sound (the filter programming was done by industry veteran Marc Lindahl, who is also now at PreSonus working on some groovy new products as we speak), and it has a ton of great presets, including a bank from Wolfram Franke of Waldorf, one of my favourite synth programmers. Unfortunately in this re-released version for some reason I can only access the Hubertus Maas bank from the Model-E, although I can see all the preset banks listed in the Studio One browser. Not sure what’s happening there. If anyone can figure out a workaround let me know.
Trivia: Kraftwerk were one of the first users of this plugin, after seeing me use it to cover one of their songs at a show. They even came backstage afterwards to say how much they liked my cover version. One of the best compliments I have ever received
The Karlette is also a fun little multi-tap tape delay emulation that has quite a cool old-skool sound to it – worth playing with if that 70’s Zeppelin analog tape delay sound is what you are looking for. As regards Neon and VB-1, they are really showing their age, but somebody somewhere will love them I’m sure 🙂
It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at PreSonus Central in Baton Rouge. We’ve got some really exciting things to show at NAMM next week, including an extremely cool new Studio One feature that I think people are going to love. I’ve been playing with it all week, working with Jonathan in Colorado and Thomas in Hamburg (Skype conferencing is a wonderful thing) to help scrape off the rough edges in time for release, and it’s been a ton of fun. So today I think I’m going to try to shoot a short video or two introducing it – hopefully we’ll have that edited in time for next week so you guys can check it out yourselves…