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.

presets for TDR Nova GE

Nova

Below you’ll find two general purpose presets for the excellent TDR Nova GE PlugIn. If you did not tried it yet, check out the free “standard edition” over there at TDR. It’s based on Vlad’s Nova 67P freeware and Vlad and Fabien really did some magic with the Nova – a sort of Nova 67P reloaded. [Read more…]

that’s why they call me slick

teaser2

UI artwork and render done by Patrick.

what I’m currently working on – Vol. 11

I’m currently assembling all the UI components designed by Patrick for our brand new SlickHDR processor. Afterwards, a manual has to be written and the usual final polishing needs to be done: Include some presets, double-check and sort all parameter names and so on. The beta testing was already closed some time ago. To sum it up, a release seems to be possible in the not too far future.

what I’m currently working on – Vol. 10

Right now, I’m extending my “compressor aficionados” interview series by a couple of outstanding developers I’ve always was interested in and wanted to talk with. Beside that, I’m pretty much delved in research and development plus testing some brand new prototypes. If/when another mkII version will appear is currently not clear – but me thinks that there will be one or another surprise during Q4, though.

In recent history, I’ve constantly extended and improved my Stateful Saturation approach and within ThrillseekerVBL I’ve managed to introduce authentic analog style sounding distortion right into VST land, which is what I’ve always had in my mind and dreamed of. And there’s so much and overwhelming feedback on that – thank you very much!

And since quite a while, I’m dreaming about a brand new series of plug-ins which will combine the strength of both worlds: analog modelling on the one side but pure digital techniques on the other – incorporating techniques such as look-ahead, FIR filtering or even stuff that comes from the digital image processing domain, such as HDR (High Definition Range) imaging.

Expect an exciting announcement quite soon …

running VST plug-ins under OS X

There are plenty of nice free and commercial VST plugins available only for Win. As probably most of you already know, they might be used in your OS X DAW …

Great article written by diaphone.blogspot.de – thanks for sharing!

which Rescue version are you using?

To the users of the Rescue plug-in: Which version are you using – the standard or the AE one?

what I’m currently working on – Vol. 7

Updates, basically. I’m still struggling with a preFIX update due to some technical issues I just can’t get, errrm, fixed (some VST hosts still do not respond to reported delay changes). Well, lets see how many month or years this will gonna take to work around or maybe then those hosts are just obsolete 😉 At least, I’m pretty much sure that we will see two other updates here during Q2: First, there will be a smaller update for the BaxterEQ where small  is indeed the proper wording because it’s mainly about an additional but just smaller GUI version. [Read more…]

freeware tip: Phazor VST audio effect by Adam Szabo

Phazor is a free effect plugin, which emulates the phaser effect found in the Virus synthesizers, which helped make its characteristic sound. A lot of time was devoted to make it sound very close to the original and every control has been carefully adjusted to behave just like the phaser from the Virus. […]

Read more detailed info about it on his website www.adamszabo.com – there is a nice audio comparison as well. The download is available there for Win32 only.

what I’m currently working on – Vol. 5

The constant lasting heat and humidity in the Rhein-Main area are driving me nuts atm and everything seems to be slowed down a little bit. Anyhow I’ve just managed to update the VST effects page with the missing preFIX entry including tips&tricks which might be extended over time. As a reminder, if you want to contribute some of your very own usage tips then please don’t hesitate and post here or eMail me and I will include them over there.

Beside that, some bugfixing efforts still takes their time for the preFIX plug-in. [Read more…]