Jumat, 18 Desember 2009

Timemachine - Vintage sampler Emulator

I'm not new on using an old sampler as a distortion unit so this plugin got my attention when I discovered it.

Time machine vst

The sound obviously is totally different as a real old-school sampler really shakes the speakers but if taken as simple distortion unit it can be useful.

At very high gain values it's quite raw convincing, especially on percussive material.

TimeMachine is a VST plugin that provides accurate reproduction of the characteristic sound of vintage samplers, such as the Commodore 64, or older Akai samplers. The (virtual) sampling rate can be varied, as well as the number of bits used for digital representation. furthermore, aliasing distortion can be generated individually for AD and DA conversion.

Find it here

Minggu, 13 Desember 2009

Commodore 64 background noise synth

This kit is obtained by mapping on a Kontakt program a sampled background noise of a SID 6581, the sound chip of the mighty Commodore 64.

The result, quite surprising, is a harmonic sound that resembles a synthesizer.

Must be said that the pre-amp circuitry of the Commodore 64 is responsible for the fat sound but it's nice to obtain instruments from signals that weren't meant to produce useful sounds.


Sabtu, 12 Desember 2009

AKAI S900 as a Granular Synthesizer

The AKAI S900 is a wonderful machine for Industrial Music due to its harsh and powerful sounding 12bit AD-DA converters, so good I even run a BLOG about it!

During the last years I've been using it deeply in my productions and I've being experimenting the weirdest ways to employ it: from a distortion effect unit to a drum module.

Recently I've done an experiment with granular synthesis, small sampled waveforms looped to obtain a continuos sound.

Roland SH-09 Waveform

I chopped some waveforms from my Roland SH-09 samplekit and MIDI dumped them into the AKAI S900. Usually I care about samples dimension as the S900 has only 720kB of unexpandable memory but sample waveforms, or "grains", are so small in size there's really no worry.

The waveforms sound quite close to the real SH-09, even when layering together the squarewave + SUBOSC the result is similar. What starts to go crazy is when I hit two different keys, blending two sounds at different pitches: the AKAI poliphony starts to show its limits so the harshness is guaranteed.

Being the SH-09 a typical techno machine the resulting sounds are quite oldschoolish but the screaming effects are of course totally different: here it's the AKAI S900 character showing off.

Of course this kind of experiment can be done with any waveform or with any sampler.

Here's a downloadable archive with the floppy .IMG for the lucky friends that own an AKAI S900 and the waveforms in .WAV format for anyone who wants to experiment with SH-09 waveforms with Kontakt or whatever.


Jumat, 04 Desember 2009

DtBlkFx VST plug-in

Ok, now this IS weird!


I had this DtBlkFx plug-in since quite a long time but never used it properly. In a recent dig in my VST folder I found it and realize it was worth exploring a bit more its capabilities in the field of Industrial Music Production.

It's quite difficult to say what kind of effect it is...actually its a set of different effects (up to 8), combined to some unpredictable results. There are two FFT display for input and output and the sound is processed by these transforms, can't really understand in which way, anyway...

The output is a bit "empty" and doesn't really fulfill the mix, but for a noisy production it can be very interesting.

The signal can be set completely different from Left to Right, so it can be processed as two different tracks which are related one to each other. This is a feature I'm liking because with analog mixer I get two instruments out of one source.

  • Precision parametric equalizing with sharp-roll off, adjust individual harmonics of a sound.

  • Harmonic based (or comb) filtering, including active harmonic tracking.

  • Various types of noise control, change contrast between loud and soft frequencies, clip frequencies or apply sound smearing.

  • Frequency shifting, harmonic and non-harmonic shifting, including active harmonic repitch.

  • Various methods of mixing left and right channels, standard and harmonic vocoding, convolution like mixing and more.

  • Frequency masking, set harmonic or threshold masks for any effect.

  • Up to 8 effects in series.

  • GUI graphics can be customized.

Link to website with download (free)

Selasa, 01 Desember 2009

Bassdrum Murda Bit crusher / Distortion VST

This VST plug-in from hardcore producer Bula reaches the boundaries of insanity as it completely disintegrate any signal fed into it! The degree of distortion is something even hilarious to explain and if you don't get enough harshness yet there are two fader to add crackness and noise.

Bassdrum murda VST

Needless to say that it can be infinitely handy while carving industrial sounds...
- gain
- distortion
- crackness ( zeros samples under a given threshold value)
- add noise ( adds white-noise)
- low level quantization ( special quantization [for Bassdrums] between 1 Bit and 5 Bits)
- pre-/post Inversion (the old good FastTracker FX!)
- 24 dB LowPass: Cutoff and Resonance
- additional pre-quantisation (between 1 Bit and 7 Bits)

Quote from the author: "Please be careful - this Plug is fucking !Loud!"


Jumat, 27 November 2009

Two good reasons to use Vanguard VST in industrial music

Looking for some Vanguard Industrial presets?

When talking about "industrial sounds" it's very easy to talk about distorting effects and noisy samples while sound generators are much more rare topics so time to find out some of them.

We all well know Vanguard from ReFX, one of the best VST synthesizers around. But Vanguard is not only an instant Trance generator as it might be seen by most of its users.

Vanguard VST Plug-in

There are two good reasons one can use Vanguard in an industrial production.
First it develops some oldschool electro leads, a-la Front 242, that makes it suitable for classic Industrial/EBM tunes.
Second reason is it sounds thick and warm, a perfect signal to be heavily processed with the worst distortion chain!

This plug-in features an incredible amount of good presets to start with as well as more free and commercial banks. Its arpeggiator can be configured in a large variety of ways, from melodic leads to mechanical and monotonic noises.

The trance gate is another nice feature and its name shouldn't fool because if well configured it can give more spice to our beloved raw waveforms.

Kamis, 26 November 2009

Drumatic 3 sampled into AKAI S900

Courious to know what happens when you feed this Drumatic 3 VST

Drumatic 3 VST

into THIS AKAI S900 sampler

AKAI S900 Sampler

You get THIS crazy Kontakt Samplekit!


HARD LINE - Industrial Distortion VST

I like the idea of an "industrial" distorion plug-in, and I also like the reslults it gives: plain sound contortion.

Industrial Distortion VST

Custom noise based distortion effect (windows/vst) will take your sound from a clean 'natural' gain to extreme levels of distortion that simulates a white noise waveform at it's most extreme setting.

I advise to use it in via a send channel because at half distortion it completely remove any bottom end material (but adds nice distorted harmonics in the high end).

Link to webpage with download and more nice free VST plug-ins.

Minggu, 22 November 2009

MAM WARP 9 Midi Analog Filter

An analog filter is a Swiss knife in the studio. It's useful for anything beyond filtering. The best use for me, however, is as distortion and saturation unit.

I've chased the WARP 9 for quite a long time, with the Sherman Filterbank being not exactly affordable I needed a valid alternative, fully MIDI capable.

MAM WARP 9 Midi Analog Filter

The Warp 9 is completely 110% MIDI driven. Every single knob and function has its own Continuous Controller assigned and it's also possible to send information with note pitch and velocity. This it's possible to copy the score from a track and have the cutoff or other parameter dancing in sync with it. Not easy to explain, but the results are really interesting!

A Cubase MIDI panel for MAM WARP 9 is also available for free, letting the user manage the device nearly as if it was a VST plugin!

Cubase MIDI panel for MAM WARP 9

I'm quite loving this piece of hardware, it took a while before I was able to understand it fully but the results I'm getting now are satisfactory. The only disappointment is that it doesn't self-oscillate, so it cannot be used to produce percussions.

Kamis, 19 November 2009

Two Delay units used to make stereo a Spring Reverb

I'm the lucky owner of a vintage Eagle Products Spring Reverb. It must be quite a rare device as Google knows nothing about it. Its sound is very typical but the possible settings are nearly zero.

Eagle Products Spring Reverb

Another weakness is that it's mono and since reverbs are used to widen the stereo image this makes it unusable to mix a song.

In my rack two Digital Delays that I had for free from friends were collecting dust: a Roland SDE-1000 and a Roland GP-8. Same brand, so they should sound similar...this is perfect for what I had in mind...

Roland GP-8
Roland SDE 1000 Digital Delay

Phasers, Flangers, Reverbs, Echoes are always delays with different settings. In fact with about 20ms of delay and a bit of feedback a delay becomes a sort of reverb. With this in mind I ran a splitted cable out of the spring reverb so to feed the same mono signal into the two delay units configured as reverbs but with slightly different delay times. The resulting signals going back to the mixer were pan-potted to about 90%. Here I should have worried a little about phase correlation problems when processing low frequency material but I just didn't mind since I always center anything below 150hz when finalizing for vinyl.

Finally, I shaped the L+R return with a little EQ and the result is a lovely stereo effect!


  • Eagle Products Vintage Analog Spring Reverb

  • Roland SDE-1000 Digital Delay

  • Roland GP-8 Guitar Effect Processor

Sample kit made from a fedback Chorus

I like to force effects to output sound by themselves. Basically it's the principle of auto-oscillation, which applied to a filter lead to one of the most important instruments: the kickdrum.

One of the best way to obtain a sort of auto-oscillation is the feedback. A fedback effect would scream following given patterns that are dictated by its internal structure. By its soul, from a mystical side of view.

I owned this Viscount Gammaverb multieffect since years using it in my mixes as a reverberation unit but since when I build my Stereo Spring Reverb I started to think at some different ways to employ it. Feeding its signal back was the revelation as it produces some nice sound textures.

Viscorp Reverb Chorus

Sadly this is an effect and not an instrument so no MIDI, no CV/GATE, no control, no nothing... so I decided to sample a long clip out of it and organize it in a weird Kontakt program. This way it's possible to actually play it within a musical production.

the kontakt program


Rabu, 18 November 2009

Distortion ensemble for Reaktor

Here's a Reaktor Ensemble I made sometimes ago to test its possibilities.

Reaktor Distortion Ensemble

It consists in a crazy, fully automated distortion unit with a quite simple internal structure, however the sounds fed in it become insanely disrupted and raw. Industrial, in short!

Reaktor ensemble distortion

Make sure you browse all the presets as some are really nice.


Selasa, 17 November 2009

Space Echo VST

I always loved Tape Delays, from the time one has been used in the recording of my first record I was fascinated by the concept behind them and by the sound they produced.

I say "produced", because a thirty-years-old magnetic tape is not and effect anymore: it's a sound generator - triggered by an external signal.

Recently I had the chance to try this nice VST plug-in that emulates the mighty Roland RE-201:

Space Echo VST

I must admit the sound is very convincing for a plug-in. The reverberation is smooth and the delay flows. Good. The point is, I can't see any option to dirty up the sound. As usual, modern plugins emulate the machine as it was engineered originally but (of course) they can't simulate ALL the applications that the analog version may have, never ever the most crazy and unpredictable. They simulate the original but don't stimulate as the original.

I owned a real Space Echo for a while and I never used it as a delay or reverb. It's a crazy effect, it makes anything fed sound fatter and fedback. And yes...it sounds Industrial!

And again the score is: Digital 1 - Analog 2

I'm not saying you should get a real Space Echo...well...yes I'm saying that! And make sure the tape is not new :)

KORG Nano Key

I never thought I would have bought a MIDI keyboard: the total absence of melody in my music simply made me think it was totally unnecessary.

But when I first saw this small and sweet keyboard from KORG I started to desire one! Now I realize it's very useful even if I don't compose tonally, just to quickly trigger what's loaded in the sequencer track, without having to open the score editor and dumbly click on the piano-roll. Not to mention how easy it is to play notes inside the sampler, nearly forgetting to use the mice.

KORG Nano Key

Also, with its dark colors and extra slim shape it fits perfectly in the most messy studio environment.

KORG Nano Kontrollers

Muhmood "6200 miles of silence"

A full CD packed with eternal noise textures, recorded from the coldets places on earth! That can come useful as an intro/outro of a song, so I thougt to report it.

From the website:
6200 miles of silence is totally
based on field recordings.
Recorded in the Western
Siberia area which is crossed
by a few huge power lines going
from East to West and from South
to North. The idea was to render in
sound the trip of electric currency
flowing in huge masses across the
vast empty spaces of Russia.
The sound of the album follows
the topography.

sample of noises
01. wind in the cords
02. electrification of udmurtia
03. 8300 pillars of altai
04. 1000 kVolt line