Regroover is the AI-powered loop unmixer, now with drag-and-drop clips

You’ve sampled. You’ve sliced. You’ve warped. So what’s left to do with loops? Accusonus have turned to machine learning for a new answer.

Software for years has been able to apply rhythmic analysis (like looking for transients or guessing at tempo), and frequency analysis (filtering by band). The more recent development involves training algorithms with big data sets using machine learning. That’s commonly called “A.I.,” though of course artificial intelligence makes most of us scifi fans start to think killer robots and Agent Smith and the like – and this isn’t really anything to do with that. Behind the flashy names, what you’re really dealing with is some heavy-duty mathematics. The “machine learning” element means the software that has been trained on pre-existing materials to give you results that are less brute-force, and more what you’d expect musically.

What is exciting about that is the results. With Regroover, what you get is a tool that analyzes audio into “layers” instead of just transients, slices, and bands. And now, it supports drag and drop into and out of the tool. So individual sounds and layers can now be dragged to your host, to an arrangement, or to a sampler – anything that also has drag-and-drop support.

Add Regroover to Ableton Live, for instance, and it’s a bit like having a new way to process sounds, on top of the warping techniques you’ve had for a few years. Instead of working with the whole stereo loop at once, you now are presented with various layers – which might separate out a melodic part, or even get as precise as specific pieces of percussion. It’s using time and frequency and that machine learning all at once.

Regroover joins a handful of tools providing this sort of “unmixing” capability, with a particular focus on percussive loops. If you didn’t get exactly the isolation you wanted, you can then adjust the density of the layers and run the algorithm again. Or for additional precision, you can select a portion and split the layers based on particular material.

Sometimes the “mistakes” are as interesting as the results you’re looking for: you get the chance to unearth portions of a loop you may not have even heard before.

Around this layers interface, the developers have wrapped various tools for mixing, processing, and slicing up the resulting materials. You’re given an interface that lets you then adjust the level and panning (both mid/side and left/right) of each layer, which lets you emphasize or de-emphasize parts of the loop. And you can route layers to effects, either in Regroover or by sending to external buses to your host.

You can just stop there, or you can take portions of a clip – individual layers, bits of time – and divide them up into pads. There’s a built in drum pad sampler, but now with version 1.7, you can also drag and drop out to your host. In Live or Maschine, to give two Berlin software examples, that means you can then use your favorite sampling tools to work with further.

This could mean everything from minor surgery on a clip to isolating individual parts of the groove or even individual percussion parts.

Sometimes, the simple tricks Regroover can pull are actually the most appealing. So while you could do some fancy sampling or kick drum replacement (takes one minute) or something like that, you can also just mess with polyrhythms inside a loop by dividing into layers, and changing length:

Production guru Thavius Beck has a great tutorial explaining the whole thing from a creative standpoint:

I’ve been playing with Regroover for a few weeks. It definitely takes a little getting into, because it is different – and you’re hearing different results than you would with other tools. Yes, there are other remixing and unmixing tools out there, too – and this isn’t quite that. It’s really geared for percussion and loops specifically, and the interface makes it a kind of AI-mad sampling drum machine loop re-processor.

The most important expectation to adjust is, this won’t sound quite like what you’ve heard before. Remember when you first played with warping in a tool like Live, ReCycle, or Acid? (Old timers, anyone?) It has that feeling.

There are some mathematical and perceptual realities of sound that you’re going to hit up against. You’re pulling out elements of a single audio file, which means because your ears are sensitive, you’ll start to hear the sound as less natural as you process it. The quality of the source material will matter – to the point that Accusonus are even producing their own libraries. On the other hand, that opens up some new possibilities. For one, some of the digital-sounding timbres that result have aesthetic potential all their own.

Or, you can look at this as a way not to just extract sound itself, but groove – because the results are very precise about rhythmic elements inside a loop.

CDM are teaming up with Accusonus to demonstrate how this works and give you some tips, so we’ll check in again with that.

As I see it, you get a few major use cases.

People who want to mess with loop libraries. If you’ve got loops that are stereo files, this lets you modify them in ways subtle or radical and make them your own – a bit more like what you can do with MIDI patterns.

A remix tool. Well, obviously. This gets really interesting, though, from a number of angles. There are some new options when someone says “oops, sorry, I have the stereo mix and no stems.” There are new ways of treating the stems you have. And there are new ways of treating additional materials outside the mix. (All of this holds whether it’s your music or someone else’s.)

A way to process your own materials. I’m fond of quoting something I overheard about French cooking once – that the kitchen was all about doing something to an ingredient, then doing something else. So if you’re in the middle of a project and want to take some of the material a different direction, this is a new way of doing that. And I think in electronic music, where we’re constantly getting away from the obvious solution, that’s compelling.

A groove extraction tool. Frankly, this works a whole lot better than the groove tools in conventional DAWs, because you can pull out elements of a loop, then use that either as a trigger or work with the audio directly.

An “alternative” sampling drum machine. Since you can pull out individual bits, you can make new drum kits out of sounds. And that includes —

Creative abuse. Regroover is really designed for drum loops – both in the interface and the way in which the machine learning algorithms were trained and adapted. But that doesn’t mean you have to follow the rules. Dropping any AIFF or WAV file will work, so you can take field recordings or whatever you can get your hands on and see what happens. There are some strange perceptions you may have of the results, but that’s the fun.

Next week, we’ll have a tutorial and a special giveaway so you can give this a try.

Regroover is available as a free trial, a US$99 Essentials version, or a $219 Pro version.

Here’s what’s new in 1.7:

A complete set of tutorials is available:

Product site:

Accusonus Regroover

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Diego Stocco – Sound Composing Fear from his DIY Nightmares

Covering both the subject of last month’s DIY and this month’s of Fear, we spoke with Diego Stocco about his work as a sound designer, composer and performer. Diego creates eclectic musical experiences with custom built instruments and experimental recording techniques. He loves discovering hidden sounds from organic sources, objects and materials, with an unorthodox musical curiosity that allows him […] Source: http://ift.tt/ZsssYX

Twenty Thousand Hertz Podcast: Spooky Sounds

Fitting our monthly theme “Fear”, a recent episode of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast explores how Hollywood crafts the sounds of horror and why these sounds trigger fear. Guests include Formosa Group Senior Sound Editor/Sound Designer Trevor Gates and Dan Blumstein, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. You can listen to the episode here. [image credit: 20k.org] Source: http://ift.tt/ZsssYX

Bram Bos brings us Odessa Sequencer Suite, possibly the first MIDI AUv3 released for iOS

Bram Bos have delivered their latest app Odessa Sequencer Suite. The app is a collection of MIDI sequencers and controllers that lets you explore a new, freeform approach to sequencing and controlling mobile music apps. In total the app contains 6 MIDI Audio Units (this is a totally new feature in iOS11 that doesn’t seem to have been well exploited so far) in a single package, which can be loaded in compatible MIDI AU hosts (Kymatica’s AUM is the first host to support it).

Here’s a list of what comes in the package with Odessa:

  1. 1) Odessa Bassline: a monosequencer based on the popular Troublemaker sequencer. Obviously comes with all the randomization and mutation features. Up to 8 patterns per sequence, with Follow Actions. Transpose using MIDI.
  2. 2) Odessa Rhythm: a euclidean drum sequencer with mutations per instrument and polyrhythms. Comes with configurable key mappings for many popular drum apps.
  3. 3) Odessa X0X: classic TR-styles step sequencer for drum machines. Supports triplets, polyrhythms and mutations per channel. Optionally emulates the exact timing jitter pattern of the legendary TR-808
  4. 4) Odessa LFO: a triple MIDI LFO generator lets you modulate CC parameters of your MIDI instruments. Apply amplitude modulation to each wave for more organic behavior. Optionally syncs to tempo.
  5. 5) Odessa XY: a double XY Controller Pad for generating 4 simultaneous configurable CC controller streams per instance. Also features MOD wheel and PitchBend sliders.
  6. 6) Odessa Arpeggio: adds a MIDI arpeggiator to any of your synths. Offers latch mode, shuffle and automatic tempo synchronization. Turn any incoming MIDI stream into an arpeggio on the fly.

Please Note:

  • these plugins do not run as a standalone app and require a compatible host to work
    MIDI is not sound. To make sound you’ll have to feed the MIDI into a synthesizer or instrument app. Bring your own synths!

Odessa Sequencer Suite costs $9.99 on the app store now:

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Amazing Noises updates GliderVerb with new features, fixes and more

Amazing noises make some interesting and fairly unusual apps and GliderVerb is certainly one of a kind. GliderVerb is a “Reverberator with Glissandos” simulating a room gradually changing its shape. It is an expanded version of an algorithm created by James McCartney for his Supercollider 2 programming language.

The original algorithm had no user-variable parameters: this device adds a series of parameters to create a wide palette of effects; from evolving reverberations to granular disintegration to smooth resonances.

You can get some seriously stunning effects out of this app so it’s good to see it get and update after a year. In the new version you’ll find:

  • Audiobus 3 New MIDI Receiver Port
  • New Sampling Rate Setting (up to 96 kHz)
  • Input Gain and Dry/Wet removed zip noise
  • New Quick View for the Presets Manager, simplify the Presets navigation while playing the Keyboard
  • New implementation for LFO which improve performance when you put app in background or switch app etc..
  • Midibus 1.39 SDK
  • Audiobus 3.0.3 SDK
  • Ableton LINK 2.1.2 SDK
  • Removed MIDI Clock Receiving
  • Disable Auto-Lock Screen
  • iPhone X compatibility

GliderVerb is available on the app store and is free to try with a $6.99 IAP for the full version:

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Yonac launch their latest iOS synth Kauldron with a unique AI, Spawn 2

Yonac are one of the original iOS developers. There from almost the very start of the app store, and I think that they were the first to bring a synth to iOS before it was even iOS (it was miniSynth if you’re interested, and is now miniSynth 2). Since then they’ve brough high quality apps to the store on a very regular basis and have developed some of the most innovative apps I’ve seen.

Today they bring us a new synth, Kauldron, which they describe as  “our warmest sounding, punchiest synth yet!” They go on to explain that this new iOS synth is based on a wholly new modeling technology, combined with carefully designed features help users create aggressive synth sounds full of rich analog textures with the fewest knob tweaks.

Kauldron pushes every available iOS technology to the max: it is not only fully universal (you can run it natively on your iPad and iPhone), but also an Audio Unit plugin. In fact, it is one of the first fullscreen AUv3 plugins for iOS: with iOS 11 and a compatible DAW, you can enjoy all the great Kauldron features on a nice, big spread.

Kauldron debuts the next generation of our Artificial Intelligence preset creation system, SPAWN². Completely reimagining the groundbreaking SPAWN algorithms in our hugely popular Magellan, the new SPAWN² gives you unprecedented control over generating presets. In the expert mode, you can accomplish anything from subtle ‘variations on a theme’ to bold new sounds. In the basic mode, where Kauldron does all the thinking, you get preset after usable preset with just a touch. This is not simple randomization: it is the power of machine learning put to benevolent use!

Kauldron is designed with modulation and fine dynamic control in mind. The two fully-featured LFOs and the mod envelope combine with a wide variety of MIDI learnable controls to manipulate multiple parameters. Everything is easily set up in a clearly laid out ‘mod matrix.’ The dual XY-pads can be used for controlling modulation or a wide range of synth parameters. MIDI aftertouch can be routed via the matrix for even greater control over expression and tonality.

Powerful arp with both live & program modes; comprehensive MIDI features with effortless MIDI learn; over 900 presets; recording, sharing, IAA, Audiobus 3, Ableton Link — these are just some of the features brewing inside Yonac’s Kauldron.

Kauldron Specs

THE SYNTH

  • 3 analog modeling oscillators w/ multiple waveforms & true PWM
  • FM via Osc 2
  • Maximizer module with drift, spread & voice count for huge, stereophonic all-synth sounds
  • New vAnalog filter design w/ ‘dirt’ overload for even warmer, harmonically complex tones
  • Dedicated filter ADSR envelope
  • Filter tracking, contour & more
  • Pink/white noise generator
  • Osc. phase reset & sync
  • Retro & modern glide algorithms
  • Virtual VCA envelope with 2 attack types
  • Poly/mono operation
  • Legato mode for buttery smooth passages
  • Extensive modulation options via the ‘mod matrix’
  • 2 LFOs w/ BPM sync, keytracking, trigger mode & more
  • Assignable mod envelope
  • 23 mod targets
  • 11 mod controllers, including aftertouch, velocity & keytracking
  • 2 XY-Pads for controlling mod targets or synth parameters
  • Arpeggiator with live & program modes, 11 algorithms, gate, swing, note value, octaving & more
  • Stereo mod effect with chorus & flanger modes
  • BPM-syncable stereo delay
  • Studio quality reverb w/ 7 room types, damping, time & mix
  • 900+ presets in a wide variety of styles & sounds

SPAWN²

Before going into what SPAWN is, I think it’s worth saying that this is one of the most interesting features here, and almost certainly one of the best uses of this kind of AI technology in the synth space, irrespective of whether it’s used in an iOS app or any other operating system for that matter. Here are the details:

  • Automatic preset generation via artificial intelligence
  • Generate infinite new, usable presets at the touch of a button
  • Expert mode lets specify Variation & Autonomy for each major synth module
  • 3 unique A.I. algorithms
  • Auto arp programming in any listed scale

PRO FEATURES

  • AUv3 – use as Audio Unit plugin on iPad & iPhone
  • Fullscreen AU mode in compatible DAWs & iOS versions
  • Extensive MIDI: MIDI learn, aftertouch, MIDI CC map save/share, KB mapping, program changes & more
  • Inter-App Audio
  • Audiobus 3
  • Ableton Link

Kauldron is supported on iOS 10.3 & newer, and on iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6, 6 Plus, & newer devices.

Kauldron costs just $3.99 on the app store now:

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Source: http://cdm.link

Reactable launch Snap a new free Drum Machine on iOS and Android

Reactable have consistently brought us innovation in the app world, and not restricted to iOS either. So in some ways it should come as no surprise that they bring us another very interesting app for both iOS and Android. Snap – Reactable Drum Machine is a free app on the app stores and looks like just the kind of thing you could play with for a long time without getting bored at all. I actually got a quick look at it with the developers as they were at the JUCE ADC today, and so was I.

Reactable thing that anyone from seasoned music producers to entirely casual users will get to grips with SNAP. According to their new app’s description, Snap “will help you create great drum patterns in any musical style, on the fly, with your fingertips”. We shall see.

They go on to say …

SNAP can also help you in the studio, by providing seamless variations of your patterns, under your complete interactive control. Program or load drum patterns, store your favorite variations, and export them to your DAW, all on a continuous and free-flowing loop/fashion.

SNAP is also a powerful tool for your live sessions, providing you with subtle or radical changes, from sudden drops to ecstatic crescendos, all fully and instantaneously controllable under your fingertips.

SNAP can communicate with your music apps, drum machines, DAWs and other musical equipment via MIDI OUT and Ableton Link. SNAP’s full integration with Native Instrument’s Maschine Jam, allows it to communicate bidirectionally to become its “drumming brain”. Compatibility with other control devices will be rolled-out progressively.

SNAP’s features:

  • 8 drum voices, each one with its own continuous density controller.
  • 4 different intelligent syncopation/reinforcement algorithms, independently selectable for each drum voice.
  • MIDI IN and OUT integration (Available as an In-App purchase).
  • Ableton Link synchronization support.
  • 8 snapshot slots for storing, recalling and updating drum patterns on the fly.
  • 16 specially designed drum kits
  • Sessions and patterns covering different styles to get you started right away.

For me, one of the most interesting features is it’s deep integration with NI’s Maschine Jam. As far as I’m aware, this is a first. What’s more Reactable say “Compatibility with other control devices will be rolled-out progressively”, and I’m very interested to see exactly what that roll out is going to look like.

Snap is on the app store now and is free, but with an IAP for MIDI:

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Korg’s Gadget adds new synths and more in 3.5, plus it’s half price right now

It isn’t unfair to say that Korg’s Gadget is one of the most popular iOS apps around. We all love it, and today it just get’s better and better. Korg have brought us an update with new synths, FX, better support for Allihoopa and more. This is why it’s amazing.

Here’s all that’s new in version 3.5:

  • Lisbon : A polyphonic synthesizer gadget to create the sound of the future.
  • Vancouver : A simple sampler gadget that allows you to play preloaded sounds using the keyboard.
  • DeeMax : Loudness Maximizer “DOTEC-AUDIO DeeMax” is now a gadget.
  • Supported iPhone X.
  • Project uploading and browsing for Allihoopa.
  • Added import and export of user programs.
  • Fixed the problem of the IFX knob being difficult to use.
  • Other enhancements to make Gadget easier to use.

What’s even better is that if you don’t already have Gadget then now is a great time to get it, as it’s on sale with 50% off at $19.99. That’s a bargain in my view.

Of course there’s more coming for Gadget as it’s set to arrive on the Switch Console in the not too distant future.

Long time friend Jakob Haq has already made a video showing the new Vancouver Gadget:

Get Gadget on the app store with 50% off now:

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Tour the goodies in Universal Audio 9.4 – including an Empirical Distressor

Universal Audio are here with their winter lineup – the latest processing tools for their hardware platform – now including a sought-after compressor.

I know we’ve got some pretty hard-core UAD fans in our readership. For those of you just joining us, the idea is, you buy plug-ins that operate on dedicated hardware – DSP chips in various rack-mount and portable gear. Most popular among producers I know are the Apollo line, particularly the Twin models small enough to fit in a rucksack, which connect via USB or Thunderbolt.

The value proposition is, you get real-time tracking and monitoring on the hardware, plus a selection of the highest-end models out there. UA have made their name in specializing in classics and sought-after studio sounds, especially with collaborations and authorized recreations.

Making that investment isn’t cheap, and because they’re tied to the DSP hardware, you do need the interface connected. So that definitely creates two “camps” – watch our comments selection for a taste.

I haven’t tried these particular recreations yet, though I do know and love the original Distressor hardware. Word is, this is the most-requested device UA have added yet. But let’s run down the whole lot, as a number are interesting. Then I’ll leave it to commenters to decide whether this is good news or not.

Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

The original: 1993, Empirical Labs. This is one of the compressors by which others are measured, and there’s a good chance there’s one in a recording studio near you. It’s based on a gain reduction circuit that uses transistor circuitry (FET, or field effect transistor) to control an analog amplifier (VCA).

The recreation: UA says they’ve built an “end-to-end” emulation of the circuitry. They have the exclusive endorsement of Dave Derr, the Empirical Labs founder who made the original circuit.

Cost: €/US$299 / £228

Softube Dytronics Tri-Stereo Chorus

The original: 1980s. Dytronics CS-5 “Tri-Stereo” Chorus. You know how chorus was … kinda overused in the 80s? This was what they were overusing on a lot of those recordings. The hint it in the name – you get three channels, so it’s thick. Clapton had one, plus… actually, Clapton’s enough, right?

Under the hood, it’s bucket-brigade delay lines that make the difference. That’s a distinctive sound – left, center, right, each independent and with its own delay response and feedback parameters. It wouldn’t be much of a chorus without some modulation, so the delays are swept by an LFO, with separate or parallel operation. The two modes are oddly named “preset” and “manual” – preset gives you a cool, “shimmery” sound.

(If you want to nerd out about this sort of stuff, I just bookmarked this article.)

Blame 80s guitar on this original.

The recreation: Here, UA are turning to Swedish DSP mavens Softube for the modeling, to recreate the sound of those three independent delay lines. It’s also an exclusive.

New in this version: stereo input, feedback (found only on rare MkII hardware), and a Rate knob for Preset mode modulation.

Cost: €/US$199 / £152

Gallien-Krueger 800RB Bass Amp

The original: 1982, 800RB. It’s legendary. Okay, I’d never heard of it – but I definitely have heard it, and so have you. Think Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, No Doubt, Guns n’ Roses, and more. Also, look at that nice panel.

Now, just because they don’t have their own line of consumer Bluetooth headphones (cough, Marshall), don’t overlook them. Who’s Gallien-Krueger? It may sound German, but it’s not – it’s a late 60s American company founded by an HP engineer (so it oddly shares that lineage with Apple Computer).

The sound is described as a “dry growl.” Like the chorus, there’s a distinctive 80s sound here, made possible by improved amplifier tech.

The original 800RB.

The recreation: Also a UAD exclusive, this time with Brainworx, another of the world’s top DSP developers (they’re in Germany). And this is also officially licensed, as Gallien-Krueger are still around.

New on the plug-in version, not on the original hardware: dedicated Recording Chains for each power amp, physical input impedance, and hands-on control of Gain staging (which in turn integrates with UA’s hardware via their Unison technology). There’s actually a lot in there: you get a bunch of included cabinet and mic options, and some 64 chains were recording with multiple speaker cabinets, so you have a little virtual studio in there.

Cost: €/$149 / £114.

Ocean Way Microphone Collection

The originals: There are different mics here – Neumann, Sony, RCA, AKG, and so on. (You probably guessed that from the pics.) They’re all from the collection of Allen Sides, the engineer/producer behind the Ocean Way Studios after which this series is named. Allen Sides produced… uh, kind of more stuff than there’s space to list.

Ocean Way Hollywood says their mics are so sensitive they’ll “pick up the sound of your soul.” That means you should let me absolutely nowhere near your recording session.

The recreations: This is actually really the bargain buy of the collection, as the idea is, you get a whole closet full of vintage microphones – albeit virtual ones. The Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone system is a set of models of those classic mics. Normally, you buy that as hardware, from Townsend. Now you get it on the UAD platform, exclusively.

Cost: €/$249 / £190

For more, check out UA’s site. Let us know if you want some reviews of these – or more history of the gear involved.

http://uaudio.com/

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Provenance, by Björn Meyer

There is a distinguished tradition of solo bass albums on ECM, but Provenance is the first to be devoted to the electric bass guitar. Björn Meyer, Swedish-born and Swiss-based, has shaped a unique voice for his instrument inside the most diverse contexts, working alongside Persian harpist and singer Asita Hamidi, Swedish nyckelharpa player Johan Hedin, and Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem.

For a decade he was a member of Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, in which his bass guitar was frequently the lead instrument. His solo work is concerned with the experience of sound in acoustic spaces: “Even though the instrument is technically non-acoustic, the music is deeply influenced by the properties of the space where it is played. The many different ways in which acoustics affect my compositions and improvisations have always been sources of surprise and inspiration.

There is definitely a second member in this solo project – the room!” The participating room on Provenance is the highly responsive Auditorio Stello Molo RSI in Lugano, its rich acoustics helping to bring out all the fine detail in Meyer’s subtle playing.


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