BAFTA Nominations 2018 Announced

BAFTA Nominations 2018 Announced

The British Film Academy of Film and Television has just announced the nominees for 2018’s BAFTA Awards.

Among the nominees in the category “Sound” are:

  • BABY DRIVER Tim Cavagin, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater
  • BLADE RUNNER 2049 Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mark Mangini, Mac Ruth, Theo Green
  • DUNKIRK Richard King, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo, Mark Weingarten
  • THE SHAPE OF WATER Christian Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Nathan Robitaille, Brad Zoern
  • STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood

The full list of nominations can be found here.

Source: http://ift.tt/ZsssYX

Watson Wu: Hearing is Believing

Watson Wu: Hearing is Believing

A Mercedes-Benz shines its lights in complete darkness.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e3UfSEY0uQ

Recently, Watson Wu helped Mercedes-Benz Canada put sound at the forefront in the company’s new commercial. The 30-second spot, mixed in 9.1-channel Dolby Atmos for theaters, gives moviegoers the chance to feel surrounded by a Mercedes-AMG Sedan as it whips around in the darkness, squealing tires and all. With a good pair of headphones (and if you don’t mind a little YouTube compression), you can listen for yourself.

Source: http://ift.tt/ZsssYX

KORG just released a bunch of new stuff – here’s what’s what

Call it KORGmas. Okay, probably don’t call it that. But KORG just released a mess of gear for musicians. Here’s all of it in one place – and what to know.

KORG Gadget for Nintendo Switch
Available: Spring 2018
Price: Unknown

What’s it for: Get a production studio on your Nintendo Gadget – which means You’ll be able to download from Nintendo’s eShop. 16 synth and drum machine gadgets. Running on Nintendo’s game console means you can go from handheld to couch and TV screen easily (a trick even your iPad can’t pull off), using the JoyCon.

Source: http://cdm.link

KORG just released a bunch of new stuff – here’s what’s what

Call it KORGmas. Okay, probably don’t call it that. But KORG just released a mess of gear for musicians. Here’s all of it in one place – and what to know.

KORG Gadget for Nintendo Switch
Available: Spring 2018
Price: Unknown

What’s it for: Get a production studio on your Nintendo Gadget – which means You’ll be able to download from Nintendo’s eShop. 16 synth and drum machine gadgets. Running on Nintendo’s game console means you can go from handheld to couch and TV screen easily (a trick even your iPad can’t pull off), using the JoyCon.

Source: http://cdm.link

KORG’s Volca Mix is the little mixer your compact gear was missing

You’ve got the inexpensive, compact gear, like the volcas that started it all. Now you need a mixer. KORG finally responds.

Volca Mix is the hardware everyone’s been predicting for about as long as we’ve had Volcas, only now, it’s real. And it also reveals KORG’s answers to some questions that weren’t so obvious. How many channels should this thing have? Mono or stereo? What would make it special?

Well, here you are:

4-channel analog – two mono, and one stereo pair.

Three faders: so mono, mono, stereo

Low/high-cut filter on each channel

Analog stereo expander/compressor with sidechaining

Master clock with sync out – so you can clock all your other KORG gear (or other stuff that takes that signal, like the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators)

Patchable power: you get one DC power in, three out

Dedicated stereo send out

Stereo line out (phono)

Stereo speakers! And a switch so you don’t have to hear them if you don’t want.

All the cables / power are in the box: AC adapter, DC-DC cables, and audio cables. That’s a huge change; in the past, those volcas were actually priced deceptively cheaply by not including a power adapter in the box. (AA batteries don’t grow on trees, that is!)

We’re of course really keen to use this with our own MeeBlip, too. (Heck, we should make new stuff to plug into it, huh?)

But there’s your winning answer, I think: it’s just enough channels, and the effects are built-in. So it’s not just a utilitarian solution to this problem – it’s really a performance tool. You had me at sidechaining compressor.

The stereo send is useful, too, though there’s a bit of a problem there, in that if you want the return in the mixer, you now have two input channels instead of four.

That said, it’s really the effects I’m interested in testing – and noise floor and overall sound performance – to determine whether this is the Mixer We Really Want.

US$169.99, available this month.

korg.com

The post KORG’s Volca Mix is the little mixer your compact gear was missing appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Source: http://cdm.link

KORG has a polyphonic Prologue synth – and it’s programmable

This one isn’t a remake or reboot: KORG’s new generation of analog synths is growing, with 8- and 16-voice polyphonic Prologue keyboards.

And whereas the Minilogue and Monologue are all about affordable, new synthesis, the Prologue is something else: it’s really a new analog flagship, something KORG haven’t had in decades.

Case in point: the keyboards, in 49- and 61-key variants, come with the action shared on the KRONOS. You get 8-voice / 49-key, or 16-voice / 61-key – all with discrete analog circuitry.

There’s another departure here, too: an open source multi engine, which will feature an SDK for developers.

But the basic argument for the Prologue is this: maybe you want a different architecture that lets you mix up sounds and voices in interesting ways. So you get the ability to play two timbres at once, layering and splitting, or playing in Poly, Mono, Unison, and Chord modes. (New, indeed, but that also shares some of the kind of musical thinking that made the KORG Mono/Poly great.)

To that, you can add a deeper multi-effects unit – making this more of an all-in-one sound creation workstation than the entry level units. Two effects slots give you Mod and Delay/Reverb.

But I think it’s the openness that could be most interesting. You can actually program your own oscillators and effects or download community-contributed code.

That’s up our alley, of course, so naturally I’ll be finding more about that soon for y’all.

Available this month:

8-voice, 49-key US$1499
16-voice, 61-key US$1999

http://ift.tt/2mMNTrD

Aw, I still wanted Polylogue, even though that’s not a word. 😉

The post KORG has a polyphonic Prologue synth – and it’s programmable appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Source: http://cdm.link

FS FreezeVerb isn’t your ordinary reverb app, it has a couple of features you need to check out

Bang Means Do it software have brought us another FX app to add to their portfolio. FS FreezeVerb is a lush sounding stereo reverb, useful for both subtle ambience and cavernous reverberation. The app features a clear and simple design, FS FreezeVerb aims to make it easy for users to dial in their ideal reverb settings – complete with a visualisation of the virtual room, which is one of the most interesting features from my perspective.

The Dampen function lets users vary the damping within their virtual room – lower settings mean less damping, making the room’s walls more reflective.

The other feature that has really caught my attention is the Freeze Mode. When this mode is turned on, the reverb signal at that particular moment is ‘frozen’ and continues indefinitely, which sounds like something that could be used in some really creative ways.

FS FreezeVerb can be used as standalone application or can be used as an Audio Unit.

Main Features:

  • Stereo Width control
  • Room Size slider with room size visualisation
  • Freeze Mode
  • Dampen control to alter the reverb’s tonal characteristic
  • Wet/dry mix control
  • Clean and simple design
  • Runs on both iPad and iPhone
  • Selection of factory presets (when used as an Audio Unit)

FS FreezeVerb costs $3.99 on the app store:

The post FS FreezeVerb isn’t your ordinary reverb app, it has a couple of features you need to check out appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Source: http://cdm.link

Sounds.com is a new cloud tool for loops and samples from NI

Sounds.com is a subscription-based loop and sample site – but it’s also a glimpse into Native Instruments’ future strategy for digital services for musicians.

Today, NI are revealing Sounds.com – a product in 2018 that sounds like someone registered a domain in 1996. That domain name pretty much covers it: it’s a place to go get sounds, in the form of loops and samples. It’s only available as a beta in the United States now, but will roll out to the rest of the world over the course of this year.

You can check out the beta now. I’ve had the chance to talk to Matthew Adell (NI’s new digital services chief) and Sunny Lee (Product Owner) about the product, and poked around the beta and sounds a bit in advance. Here’s a sense of what this might mean as a product itself, but also some of the potential to sound designers and future NI products – if the service and its underlying infrastructure are fully exploited.

What’s the pitch for Sounds.com?

There are, of course, a lot of purveyors of loops and sound content. But what NI’s tool here promises is a deeper, broader catalog of sounds from multiple sources, combined with better tools for searching them.

You won’t see much of Native Instruments’ name on the site, and even their own products are in the background. So Maschine Expansions are there, if that’s your thing – but NI is just one of 200 providers. The Loop Loft, MVP, and Symphonic Distribution sit alongside lots of smaller shops. NI also says they’ve got a lot of exclusive content, and are launching with half a million sounds.

You can navigate by genre, covering not just dance genres, but things like “cinematic,” too. You’ll see bundled releases, but also individual sounds.

That could broaden the appeal here. Maybe you don’t want some massive set of Deep House or EDM loops. Fine – search for a single perfect clap one-shot. Maybe you want to explore some weird Reaktor-produced noises made by Applewhite on left-field label Detroit Underground. Or you’re on a tight TV or film scoring deadline and want to grab some unique sounding percussion. Or you just want some sounds to mangle quickly.
Because it’s easy to find one-shots, and because there’s tons of sound material that isn’t genre specific, it seems likely that Sounds.com will appeal to some people who haven’t bothered with loop or sample content before.

Native Instruments have talked a lot lately about reaching more customers. Here, they offer a fair amount of tools in a completely free, unpaid tier. You don’t even need an account to start poking around and previewing. But a free account nets you some selected free downloads.
US$9.99 a month gets you an all-you-can-eat diet of unlimited downloads of whatever you want. (This is the US-specific one for now; the free tier already works worldwide.) Even if you cancel and re-up, those downloads reappear… just in case you have a habit of not backing up and dropping beers on your hard drives.

There’s an underlying technical competency story here, though. In addition to investing over the past year in the cloud and products team, NI has been quietly over time developing in-house expertise in what’s called Music Information Retrieval. Basically, that’s the somewhat arcane research field of developing algorithms that identify sounds and metadata more clearly. This stuff has been bouncing around Europe for years, but it tends to involve stuffy academic contexts and music industry.

The twist here is, some of that “MIR” business can turn out to be, well, fun and useful to you and me. NI tells CDM these algorithms are sharp enough to analyze the difference between a closed and an open high hat. With a bunch of other built-in intelligence about metadata and tagging and the like, this could mean you actually find the sounds you want. We’ll need some time to test that, and because an online service like this both develop over time and can learn from additional data, it’s something that may well evolve.

But yeah, instead of training Facebook how to serve you ads, you might soon instead be training Native Instruments how to identify and find sounds. (It’s fitting we’re exploring machine learning as a topic this year with our hacklab for CTM Festival Berlin.)

And honing in on individual sounds is part of the mission. Thanks to better search tools, you’ll quickly find you can even ignore genre classification and search however you want – including key, BPM, and other sonic characteristics. There are also tools for grouping by artist/producer and label. (Some of those appear to be set to develop over time.)

With its direct access to one-shots and more left-field options, plus a visual waveform preview and lots of metadata, Sounds.com resembles nothing if not long-running platform https://freesound.org/ – more than something like the Beatport Sounds section. (As far as content, I can’t imagine freesound stacking up to this any more than I can imagine Sounds.com replacing freesound. Case in point: as I write this, freesound has as its sound of the day “procesión de la borriquita” –the procession of the donkey – from the first week of Easter in Tarifa, Spain. Still, the interface and some of the appeal do overlap.)

Lots of familiar sound design houses and artists are there – here’s the legendary Hank Shocklee, who’s been a continuous inspiration in technology for us.

Sounds.com is quick and easy enough that I imagine this could be a huge amount of fun. I’m not a huge fan of soundware, and even I started thinking of how to use this. Hello, Maschine Audio device.

What does this mean for sound creators?

Native Instruments, particularly through their flagship sampler KONTAKT and more recently their NKS format, have always been a platform and reseller for independent sound designers. Now, they actually have a working online platform to do that. NI are promising creators a fluid means to upload and manage their content, as well as a potential commercial opportunity.

The subscription model I imagine could also be disruptive if your business model was based on the à la carte release approach, but we’ll also have to see if these two models reach different customers (and accordingly supply different kinds of content). Consuming sound content for production also isn’t quite the same as consuming albums for listening, even if the buy/subscribe model here is a parallel.

Also, NI say their longer range plan is to provide an open API, also suggesting new developer integrations in music products not made by NI – first to select partners later this year, and then more broadly as they collect user and developer feedback.

What’s the bigger picture at Native Instruments?

Sounds.com has developed over the past year under the leadership of NI’s new “Chief Digital Officer,” Matthew Adell. Adell has experience at Napster and Amazon – and at Beatport. During his tenure, Beatport launched their Sounds section, which then saw explosive growth.

Now, the important thing here is, yes, there’s the specific product Sounds.com – but there’s also the team that built it and the plumbing they created to make it work. Adell confirmed to CDM that this is just a beginning.

More left-field and independent creations show up here, too. Here’s Detroit Underground with Marshall Applewhite. That’s an important story, as well, as it means this service is about NI’s ecosystem of sound creators, not just the sounds from NI themselves (though those are there, of course).

In addition to releases, you can find sounds individually, by collection, or here – again with label Detroit Underground – by provider. There’s no navigation to find them directly apart from search yet.

It’s a no-brainer that we’ll see Sounds.com integration in NI products in some form. But NI says their new, integrated digital services team can make these kinds of tools available across the whole NI product range – and even possibly on future hardware. Sounds.com represents the first product built atop a new cloud platform. (They’re using React JavaScript library on the front end, among other things, in case you’re interested.)

I hope that’s the case, because it could make the experience of using NI software significantly better.

Let’s back up and consider the user. We’re already essentially using NI as an online service provider, it’s just that they don’t behave much like one.

You’re a producer, and you’re using Maschine and Komplete. Right now, not even all upgrades and sound content are available in Native Update. Buying and upgrading is … well, complicated. And then storing and accessing your own sounds is often a chore.

Could this MIR stuff help you find and tag your own sounds and snapshots? Well, heck yes – especially because my guess is you’re even less likely to be organized about tagging and organizing your own files. (I’ve seen musicians’ hard drives. A lot of you are … let’s say right brain dominant. “Messy as #$*&” also fits.)

Cue points in Traktor that show up everywhere? Well, now there’s plumbing to make that happen (this appeared briefly in an iPad app, then disappeared right as we said we liked it).

Synchronized Reaktor Blocks ensembles and snapshots? Why not? (The free VCV Rack is already working on that.)

I’d love to use sophisticated sync and MIR technologies to locate and share my sounds and parameters. But it remains to be seen whether this modern approach from the online team in Los Angeles will be able to wrangle the complex web of different products and code that a lot of us use in Komplete and the like.

Sounds.com is recipient of some of the recent funding NI acquired, but its gestation started before that funding, NI say – so we’ll see how this unfolds later this year. Pro software and especially hardware products have much longer development cycles, so expect some of these fruits to appear later.

In the meanwhile, this is an encouraging step – and you’ve got some sounds to play with.

http://sounds.com [public beta; login available only from the USA but preview features available to all]

The post Sounds.com is a new cloud tool for loops and samples from NI appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Source: http://cdm.link

Arturia’s new easy, affordable modular cases also mount to MiniBrute 2

The beauty of Eurorack is its modularity. The problem is, that means your first investment has to be a case. Arturia’s RackBrute might be your solution.

It’s portable. It’s not hugely expensive – this is at last a mass market offering. And it seems full of eminently practical features – including, if you want, the ability to attach this to Arturia’s new MiniBrute 2 and 2S.

For those of you just joining us, Arturia have been teasing out three related products over the course of as may days. So on Monday, the news was the MiniBrute 2, a reboot of their signature monosynth with modularity added via a dense patch bay wedged in the upper-right hand corner of the hardware. Day two: maybe you want that same MiniBrute 2 without the keyboard, but with pads and a more extensive sequencer.

In case you didn’t catch some leaked photos or spot some funny looking pixels on either side of the keyboard, now part three turns out to be a set of Eurorack cases. And yes, that mysterious mention of “Arturia Link” is in fact the ability to attach the RackBrute to the MiniBrute 2/2S, so you have a handy complement of modules right above your synth (and can connect cables easily between the rack and the instrument).

This being modular, you get a choice of two sizes. For those of you new to this, both are the width of the MiniBrute 2 – so roughly the width of a 2t-key keyboard – and one is one row, while one is two rows.

To get more specific (hey, I was never the best with, like, quantities and scale):

3U / 88HP / 20 modules – $/EUR 249
6U / 176HP / 32 modules – $/EUR 279

Shipping in March.

Yeah, anyone who’s priced these out probably doesn’t have to read far beyond those costs. Sure, if you’re splurging on some beautiful handcrafted wood, maybe you want to spend more. But if you just need a way to solve where do I put my modules, this is a godsend – and just as Arturia solved the step sequencer problem for loads of musicians with BeatStep, so too it may have just solved the case problem for people curious to dip their toes in modular.

More features:
+12V / -12V / +5V power onboard
(Power supply with 1600mA +12V output, 1600mA -12V output and 900mA +5V output. 5HP width)
Comes with a carry handle – a bit like rollaway luggage
Spacers to protect your gear from collision
Arturia Link gives you lockable attachments of all this range of gear
Anti slip strips
Screw holes for attaching gear – and note they did include rails on there

Arturia Link is this elegantly designed widget that attaches the new MiniBrute and RackBrute hardware in various combinations – and doubles as a stand, and a carry handle.

The onboard power unit has dedicated dual circuitry set up for covering a range of gear.

Speaking of luggage, there’s a soft RackBrute Travel Bag (for scratch / splash / dust protection they say – note this isn’t a hard flight case, though, so I’d be a little nervous about it in an overhead locker on an airplane)

This, a toothbrush, and a deodorant might be all you need.

More info:
http://ift.tt/2Dgoh1c

The post Arturia’s new easy, affordable modular cases also mount to MiniBrute 2 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Source: http://cdm.link

Arturia’s MicroBrute 2S with step sequencer, not keys, might be your pick

Now we know the whole story: Arturia’s new synths come with a choice of keys or pads+more step sequencing – and there’s are companion RackBrute cases.

So, if you like the ‘Brute synths, now you can choose.

Prefer a keyboard? The MicroBrute 2 (without the letter ‘s’) now has 25 full-sized keys. And it’s got the new patch bay for modular routing, plus a competent step sequencer and arpeggiator.

But prefer pads to a keyboard, or want deeper step sequencing? That’s the MicroBrute 2S.

To either, you can then add two cases for expanding with modular, making the MicroBrute the center of a patchable sound workstation. That’s what “Arturia Link” is – not some proprietary new sync format or something like that, but actually a physical connector attaching the accessories. (It’s a fancy name for some fancy holes, basically!)

Let’s talk about the 2S, because it’s already upstaging the MicroBrute 2 for some people. Little surprise: a lot of people aren’t keyboardists, people who are keyboardists generally already own keyboards, and most importantly, Arturia’s BeatStep line of sequencers were already beloved. Cross-breed that step sequencing goodness with the MicroBrute, and we may have a winner.

The pads on there reduce the overall footprint, and provide velocity and continuous pressure sensitivity.

The step sequencer is three parts – so, since this is a monosynth, that means in addition to making on layer for your melodies, you have two additional layers for automating parameters.

Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

1. Melody:
Sequence pitch, gate, and velocity – as per usual, and as on the BeatStep Pro – with ratcheting on gates if you so choose.

You can also set per-step glide.

2. Modulation:

There’s both a Mod 1 and Mod 2 tracks for adding layers of … other goodness.

So, Arturia tells CDM, you can use that track to generate envelopes and LFOs. Or you can make another Pitch track. Or a Gate track. Or an unquantized track of control voltages.

And naturally, this also is then patchable from the patch bay … or you can use this as a sequencer for external gear (including if you mount one of their new racks for your own modules).

The 2S combined with RackBrute, for a complete little modular setup.

It’s all very cool, indeed. Of course, you can still put a BeatStep Pro alongside a modular if you don’t care much for the MicroBrute synth. And indeed, I’ve noticed that Arturia piece glowing alongside modulars in many, many techno and experimental live acts lately – nice to see this inexpensive piece of gear next to racks of thousands of Euros/dollars worth of kit.

But this is also a powerful synthesizer meeting a powerful sequencer in one piece of gear, even without adding anything else. And if you do like the ‘Brute sound, then you get the usual edgy metallic timbres and filters, aggressive and wild knobs and modulation, and now the ability to expand your possibilities by patching. Having the sequencer built-in makes sequencing modulation and per-step settings easier, beyond just melodies – and you don’t have to pack an extra sequencer and cable.

So I suspect the MicroBrute 2S is going to find a lot of homes, whether it’s as a gateway to modular as Arturia are pushing, or as an equally strong choice for standing on its own or with other desktop gear.

Keyboardists will no doubt still like the arpeggiator and 101-style step sequencer of the MicroBrute 2, but the 2S stands out for programming patterns. Tough choice for those of us who do both – but Arturia’s done a nice job of focusing on what musicians want this round and gotten our gear year off to a rollicking start.

Pricing is $649 / EURO 649. Also shipping in February.

http://ift.tt/2mxU5DP

The post Arturia’s MicroBrute 2S with step sequencer, not keys, might be your pick appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Source: http://cdm.link