Audio production plugins. Sometimes, they come in ones and twos. Sometimes, they come preloaded with your digital audio workstation. And other times, they come in bundles. These plugin bundles can be a handy way to get more bang for your plugin buck, as plugin developers will often offer a discount on bundled purchases.
Usually, these bundles are pre-made by plugin developers. So, if you only want one or two plugins from a specific bundle, you’ve still gotta buy the whole pack. Renowned plugin maker Waves is breaking that mold, if only temporarily, by holding a special build-your-own-bundle sale, featuring many of the company’s popular audio processing tools.
The sale works like this: You pay full price for the first plugin you buy, then you get 25% off the second plugin, 30% off the third, fourth, and fifth plugins, and 40% off the sixth plugin and beyond.
Waves boasts that this sale contains more than 180 plugins, which is way too much to try and list here. Just a few of the plugins included in this sale:
- CLA-2A Compressor/Limiter
- Bass Rider
- Codex Wavetable Synth
- NS1 Noise Suppressor
- L2 Ultramaximizer
- IR1 Convolution Reverb
- OneKnob Filter
- NLS Non-Linear Summer
The Waves build-your-own-bundle sale is on for a limited time. Be sure to check the fine print, as some restrictions apply.
If you’re into audio production (and we’re guessing that if you follow this blog, you probably are), then you love plugins. And the only thing better than the plugins you have now, is getting more plugins. Because then, you have more plugins. And as we covered above, you’re an audio producer. Who loves plugins.
The engineers at Germany’s HOFA software company understand this need for MOAR PLUGINS. That’s why they developed a plugin system called… System. Now, you know how plugins work. You add them one at a time to your tracks and then twiddle their various knobs and sliders for days at a time. And that works fine. But HOFA looked at that and thought, “Hey, Dawg. We heard you like plugins so we put more plugins in your plugins.” HOFA System itself is a plugin but it’s made up of a whole series of effects and processors that run inside System, thus giving you a plugin that’s essentially made up of other plugins.
HOFA began previewing System last year and plugin lovers cursed that they’d have to wait for an official release. But the wait is over, as System 1.5 is now officially on the street.
HOFA is offering introductory pricing for System 1.5 at $59.99 euros. This initial price point expires August 31, 2017.
You can never have enough digital audio workstations. But it can be expensive to buy more than one. That’s why it’s great when a new DAW hits the market for the super low price of FREE.
Open Labs, the makers of Stagelight, have partnered with musical equipment retailer Sam Ash to offer the digital audio workstation for free, for a limited time. Stagelight is a cross-platform application that runs on Windows, macOS, and Android (iOS version coming later this year). Open Labs describes Stagelight as:
With Stagelight, you can make beats, mix loops and create multi-track songs without ever having to leave the app. Stagelight comes with a complete sound library that includes a powerful drum machine, onscreen instruments and presets for your voice and other acoustic instruments.
Some features of Stagelight:
- Integrated drum machine with step sequencer, AutoFill function lets users swipe to create simple beats with a single gesture, import samples and build your own kits
- 3-voice synthesizer with 2 LFOs and built-in effects, realistic vintage keyboards and pianos, sampled electric basses, sampled acoustic and electric guitars, vintage organ sounds, 3-voice PWM synthesizer
- Equalizer, compressor, delay, flanger, bitcrusher, chorus, filter, limiter, reverb effects
- Works with built-in sound cards or external audio I/O, including MIDI controllers
You can get your free copy of Stagelight by clicking the above link and following the instructions there. All that’s required for the download is a promo code (available on the linked site), a name, and an e-mail address.
The rise of digital audio production tools has forever changed the landscape of the medium. It might be fun to wax nostalgic over the recording studios of the past, with their rooms of big, bulky gear that looked really cool on photographs inside of a record sleeve. But for all their glory, those studios weren’t accessible to most. You had to be well connected and flush with cash to gain entrance. And while today it’s easier than ever to produce high quality audio with nothing more than a laptop, one thing that many producers long for is that “warm valve” tone that came naturally with all of that big, bulky gear.
Audio engineering companies have worked for decades to try and replicate the richness of valve-based gear using only software algorithms. A recent entrant to this arena is Audified with its inValve Effects plugin. This plugin includes:
- inValve Preamp: A precise software emulation of a tube amplifier. Adds warmth and smoothness you’ll need for analog-sounding mixes.
- inValve Compressor: Emulation of a standard analog tube-based compressor.
- inValve Equalizer: A four-band parametric equalizer with additional hi-pass and lo-pass filters.
The inValve Effects plugin can be used natively on Windows and macOS-based DAWs that run AAX, AU, or VST plugins. inValve Effects normally retails for $49 but the plugin is on sale for a limited time for $19.
When it comes to the audio production process, it’s easy to get obsessed with things like sound treatments, microphones, processors, mixers, and monitors. While those can all be important components of any session, one thing that’s easy to overlook is the headphone amp.
Audio producers have debated for decades about whether it’s a good idea to mix or master audio over headphones. And while it’d be great to always have a fully furnished mastering suite at your fingertips, for many modern producers, that just isn’t possible. And that’s where having a product like NextDrive’s Spectra 32-bit DAC headphone amp can really come in handy:
The combination of a DAC and amplifier, Spectra’s ESS 9018Q2C DAC chip is best-in-class, delivering an unprecedented dynamic range and ultra low distortion for a true high-end Hi-Fi experience. With ultra-low power consumption, Spectra is then ideal for great mobile listening. And with its studio-grade performance, it’s … perfect for your working sound-card for composing and mastering tracks on-the-go.
Spectra is built to deliver not only portability, but performance. Integrating a DAC, headphone amplifier, and audio switch into one, the ESS 9018Q2C chip performs at a level of -110dB THD+N and +121dB DNR. With patented HyperStream Modulator, Revolver DEM, and patented jitter eliminator, it all adds up to better audio clarity, with improved noise reduction, fewer artifacts, and greater instrument separation.
NextDrive Spectra comes in USB Type A and Micro USB versions. It can be purchased directly from NextDrive for $149.
Audio producers usually have a large library of digital samples. But how many times can you hear that same set of sampled drum or bass loops before they start getting stale? One way to breathe new life into those old samples is to manipulate them into something that sounds entirely different. That’s exactly what Accusonus is doing with its new Regroover software:
Create new sounds from old or simply adjust the volume of individual elements inside a loop. Regroover uses Artificial-Intelligence to extract layers from within your previously recorded beats and samples. Once Regroover analyzes the file, you are able to make your own drum kits and combine them with external sounds to make new beats, loops and your own unique Expansion Kits.
Regroover allows you to:
- Unmix your loopes and create new beats and music
- Play or program the sounds from inside your loops to produce new rhythms and grooves
- Dial in volume, panning, and effects of individual layers of your mixed beats for better balance or more variety to your looped patterns
- Extract strange and new sonic elements for experimental grooves and soundscapes
Regroover from Accusonus comes in two versions. Regroover Essential has all of the core features you’ll need to get creative with your samples, while Regroover Pro allows you to experiment with layers, effects, and more.
Regroover Essential retails for $99. Regroover Pro is priced at $149. Both can be purchased from the Accusonus Store.
It’s easier than ever to work on complex audio projects from almost any location. But doing so may still require producers to have to haul around bulky accessories like hard drives, with all of their attendant parts and cables, in order to work in a remote location. At this point in history, we’ve grown accustomed to storing everything from spreadsheets to our personal photo libraries in the cloud. So why not also do the same thing with our audio projects?
That’s exactly what Amped Studio, a digital audio workstation released earlier this year by AmpTrack Technologies, is aiming to do:
Amped Studio is the first Hybrid Digital Audio Workstation that works in the cloud, giving you instant access to all the tools you need to make music like virtual instruments, effects and loops right from your web browser. You can also download Amped Studio to use as a native app that reads VSTs and can work online and off.
Amped Studio platform doesn’t lock you in on how and where you work and allows you to shift away from having to use a single computer. All your projects, instruments and effects are readiliy available for use anytime, anyplace.
Amped Studio has multiple tiers, beginning with a basic free version. If you’d like to try the DAW, you can learn how to get started as well as how to download the native versions of the application by reading the Amped Studio manual.
Apple has been under fire from professional-level users for some time. It’s been four years since the Cupertino-based tech giant refreshed its Mac Pro line, which may as well be a century in terms of modern computing. Many users have been wondering if Apple is abandoning the pro community for the more lucrative consumer smartphone/tablet market.
At last week’s Worldwide Developer Conference, most of Apple’s big announcements revolved around operating systems and other software updates. But there were a few hardware-related announcements, most notably, the upcoming iMac Pro. In some ways, the iMac Pro feels like a consolation prize for pro users. It’s overall a more up-to-date piece of hardware than the current Mac Pro tower. But it’s not the updated standalone upgradable CPU offering that most pro users are longing for.
Regardless of Apple’s intent in releasing a true pro-level iMac, the machine does have some decent specs at the base level. With a price tag of $4999, the iMac Pro is definitely not being aimed at typical college students or casual web surfers. And while that starting price tag might be worth it to some users, that is still the base model price. Which means it’s very likely it’ll be possible to spend much more on an iMac Pro.
Apple hasn’t released a price-based configurator yet for the iMac Pro. But one ZDNet writer decided to try and figure out just what a true tricked-out iMac Pro might cost. His conclusion: $17,324. That’s a pretty hefty price tag for a single computer. But it’d be an iMac Pro with all top-of-the line specs, which could be appealing to power users who need to do a lot of number crunching.
If you’d like to find out more about this theoretical maxed-out iMac, click the link in the paragraph above.
We’ve written before about the Podcaster Pro, a self-contained audio production device being created by Small Batch Audio with the help of pioneering podcaster Adam Curry. When we last covered the Podcaster Pro, the device was still being ramped up for launch. Since then, the Podcaster Pro has been officially launched via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
As a quick recap, the Podcaster Pro is a USB-based audio interface designed to make recording high-quality audio as easy as possible. Here are some of the device’s features:
- 2 XLR mic inputs with 48v phantom power
- 1 stereo Skype/VoIP USB input
- 1 stereo computer/soundboard USB input
- 1 stereo mix-minus for Skype/VoIP via USB
- 1 stereo main via USB
- 1 stereo main analog out
- 2 headphone outputs with independent volume controls
- 4 independent noise gates
- 5 compressors/limiters
- 2 A-class preamps
- 5 independent EQs
- 2 cough switches
Backers of the crowdfunding campaign can reserve a Podcaster Pro starting at the early-bird price of $497. Special Podcaster Pro bundles that include accessories like microphones and headphones are also available.
Special signature models of the Podcaster Pro that are etched with signatures from podcasting luminaries can be reserved thru the campaign. Signature models for Adam Curry, Todd Cochrane, Dan Benjamin, Brian Brushwood, and more are available.
The Podcaster Pro campaign has reached 16% of its $500,000 goal. The campaign has a month left before it expires.
iZotope is a maker of world-class audio plugins. It’s worth jumping on any chance you might have to pick up new iZotope plugins, and this month, there’s a great opportunity to do just that.
iZotope’s suite of Neutron plugins is focused on producing better audio mixes:
Achieve unprecedented focus and clarity in your mixes with Neutron. This new mixing plug-in combines the latest innovations in analysis and metering with award-winning audio processing.
With powerful new features like Track Assistant and Masking Meter, Neutron helps you quickly reach an optimal starting point, clearly identify perceptual frequency collisions, and fully wield creative control over all your mix decisions.
iZotope offers three tiers of this plugin: Neutron Elements, Neutron, and Neutron Advanced. Neutron Elements is currently on sale for a limited time. Here are some features that can be found in Neutron Elements:
- Channel-strip style workflow with over 200 professionally-designed presets
- Instrument detection for guitar, bass, drums, and vocals/dialogue
- Spectral shaping technology
- Equalizer with static and dynamic modes
- Compressor with clean modern or colorful vintage modes
- Exciter with four blendable saturation types and three global modules to fine-tune saturation color
- Transient shaper with three contour shapes and three global modes
iZotope Neutron Elements normally sells for $129 but is available now for $99 until June 30th.