A short review of the LIRA 8 VSTi

While currently having the original SOMA Lyra-8 hardware here on my desk I was curious how the VST emulation created by Mike Moreno DSP might appear in comparison. The release is available in VST formats for Mac and PC under “Pay what you want or download for free”.

In case you never heard of the hardware Lyra, it’s basically a 8 voice drone synthesizer, providing some LFO and FM modulation capabilities plus a basic delay and distortion FX. It does not provide any Midi control but solely relies on manual interaction with it’s analog interface (plus some quite limited CV support). It also does not have any sort of filter, mod matrix or effect structure. However, it perfectly fits for different styles of experimental electronic and ambient music as well as all kinds of sound design e.g for film scoring and such.

The VST plugin resembles the overall appearance and usage concept almost identical to the hardware. All parameters are accessible via host automation in your DAW which indeed turns out to be really useful. To trigger the sensors, Midi notes C1 to G1 can also be used instead of clicking the interface. Since the original sensors are sensitiv to skin capacitance/resistance, I would have expected the plugin sensors to have some sort of velocity or aftertouch control accordingly but this is not the case.

Soundwise the plugin was a real surprise. While it might not stand an A/B test with its analog counterpart, it amazingly captures its overall sound aesthetic and gives instant gratification in this regard. Wobbling drones, shimmering soundscapes and fizzling FM weirdness – it can all do that and much more. But maybe even more important it is real fun to twiddle with and it appears to be very inspirational, exactly like the HW does.

What the plugin itself can’t give you of course is the tactile experience. Beside that there is an issue when it comes to tuning sounds. The oscillator tune parameters actually do have just very imprecise control given the huge frequency range across all octaves. This becomes even more of an issue if you try to finetune something in its FM sweetspot area.

Overall verdict: Highly recommended for all sorts of sound design or pure inspiration – if you can live with its constraints.

Johnnyrandom | Bespoken

Composer Johnnyrandom breaks new ground with musical compositions made exclusively from everyday objects.

(via)

portrait of a sound design artist

A man standing alone in a shed hitting a bath with a mallet could be seen as mad, but in the world of sound design, it’s the norm. Ali Lacey is an eccentric sound design artist, and this short portrait allows us a closer look into the world of sound design.

(via)

the sound of Gravity

In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection profile we talk with Director Alfonso Cuarón and Re-recording Mixer Skip Lievsay about the sound teams work to create a dramatic sound scape to a dark and vast outer space environment.

(via)

Beach Sampling

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/52369363 w=660&h=495]

Music made with sand, rocks & water

silence

The ultimate metaphoric sound is silence. If you can get the film to a place with no sound where there should be sound, the audience will crowd that silence with sounds and feelings of their own making, and they will, individually, answer the question of, “Why is it quiet?” If the slope to silence is at the right angle, you will get the audience to a strange and wonderful place where the film becomes their own creation in a way that is deeper than any other. – Walter Murch

(via designingsound.org)

Hans Zimmer documentary on arte tv


A great one hour documentary as found on youtube or directly on arte tv online. Narration is in german language.

short links, June 2010 edition

Soccer world cup 2010: Seems there is a solution for the maddening Vuvuzela horn – Prosoniq released a realtime freeware filtering plug, Mac only, though. Look here and here.

Techno: A great video documentary is available about Richie Hawtins contakt tour. Cool setup, all with Ableton, btw.

Sound design: Simply a great Blog about sound design.

Gear p*rn: This Blog is all about.

Music: Cinematic Orchestra – an awesome and timeless fusion of music, see also on myspace.

Music video: Sebastien Tellier – WTF?