Native Instruments presents Stems with an informative website and a discussion panel at Sónar Barcelona 2015
Native Instruments presents Stems with an informative website and a discussion panel at Sónar Barcelona 2015
Berlin, June 22, 2015 – Native Instruments today announced the public launch of www.stems-music.com – an informative website for the new multi-channel audio format for creative DJing and live performance.
Native Instruments chose to mark the occasion with Stems-focused on-site events at Sónar 2015 in Barcelona.
Already in the run-up to this event, the Stems format has been gathering considerable momentum. The music community responded highly enthusiastically to the original Stems announcement in May 2015, and since then, the list of industry partners who have committed to supporting Stems – including hundreds of artists and music labels, five online music stores and seven worldwide digital distributors – has grown rapidly and constantly. See the attached list of Stems partners for names and quotes.
The Stems website launch coincided with the pioneering music festival Sónar 2015 in Barcelona – the ideal setting to showcase the new format.
Moderated by CDR’s Tony Nwachukwu, a Stems roundtable discussion panel featuring international electronic music figures Carl Craig, Luciano, and Kerri Chandler, and Infiné label founder Alexander Cazac, explored the full potential of the new Stems format. Speaking at the event, Kerri Chandler commented: “Playing with Stems blew my mind. If you can imagine taking some of your favorite artists and breaking their songs down into different parts – that is how it works.” Techno stalwart Carl Craig, a leading supporter of the new Stems format, added: “Not only is Stems technologically incredible but also it presents an opportunity to energize music industry revenues.” Speaking on the topic of how Stems could transform live performances possibilities, Luciano added: “With Stems, you can start creating things that are out of everyone’s expectations – and that is when the magic happens.”
Developed by Native Instruments, Stems is an open, multi-channel audio file format designed for creative DJing and live performance. The new format introduces the ability to freely interact with a track’s different musical elements. Each ‘stem’ can be controlled independently to create instant new mixes, mashups, instrumentals, a cappellas, and more.
A full list of labels, retailers, and distributors, as well as some of the initial music to be released in the Stems format are attached as additional press material.
Additional information on Stems is available at:
GRENOBLE, FRANCE: music software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of Syn'X 2 — a multi- format (AAX, AU, RTAS, VST), 32- and 64-bit polytimbral virtual analogue synthesizer plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.5 and later) and PC (Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7/8) that not only continues to pay perfect homage to the legendary Elka Synthex Eighties-vintage Italian instrument from an original-sounding sonic standpoint, but balances that musicality against a multilayer card-based architecture that is inspired by similarly sophisticated hardware analogue synthesizers, such as Oberheim’s mighty Matrix 12, to create one of the most powerful and complex virtual analogue synthesizers of the modern era.
Syn’X 2 is available to purchase as a USB eLicenser or iLok (1 and 2) protected plug-in for an introductory discounted price of €127.00 EUR until July 21, 2015 (rising to €169.00 EUR thereafter) on the XILS-lab web store here:
Syn’X 2 can also be purchased as a bundle together with the miniWork’X sound library — featuring 268 miniSyn’Xsounds for Syn’X 2
programmed by Lotuzia — for an introductory discounted price of €148.00 EUR until July 21, 2015 (rising to €198.00 EUR thereafter).
**Note that owners of the original Syn’X can upgrade to Syn’X 2 for free while owners of miniSyn’X can upgrade to ‘full-blown’ Syn’X 2 status for an introductory discounted price of €93.00 EUR until July 21, 2015 (rising to €124.00 EUR thereafter).Syn’X 2 can be directly downloaded as a multi-format (AAX, AU, RTAS, VST), 32- and 64-bit polytimbral
virtual analogue synthesizer plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.5 and later) and Windows (XP, Vista, and 7/8) from here: https://www.xils-lab.com/pages/Syn%27X_Download.html
Several superb audio demos showcasing Syn’X 2 can be heard here:
At the time of its 1982 launch the eight-voice polyphonic Elka Synthex sounded like no other synthesizer around — analogue or otherwise, and brought with it high hopes of being instrumental in ending the dominance of oversized (and overpriced) Japanese and American analogue programmable polysynths,
thanks to the eight monophonic synthesizer circuits central to its innovative 16-DCO (Digitally Controlled Oscillator) driven design by independent Italian synth-master Mario Maggi. Many — meaning 1,000! — ICs (Integrated Circuits) were used in that design, however, meaning that it was not necessarily the most reliable around and did not come cheap. Consequently, not that many — not much more than the number of ICs in each instrument, in fact — were sold before being discontinued in 1985 (with one last production unit being made especially for legendary American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder) as a
‘new wave’ of considerably cheaper and more reliable digital synthesizers boasting better MIDI (Musical Instrument Interface) implementation brought about its untimely demise. Not that this mattered much to French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, who has three to his not insignificant name to this day, with well-known Laser Harp performances still emanating exclusively from an amazing-sounding Synthex patch produced by one-time UK demonstrator/programmer Paul Wiffen (and audible in isolation in ‘Second Rendez-Vous’ on Jarre’s super-selling Rendez-Vouzalbum of 1986).
Today the Elka Synthex is one of the most sought-after synthesizers around. As a result of its superlative sound design and avant-garde architecture, it’s a true musical instrument that’s truly stood the test of time. Today it sounds as fresh as it did back in 1982. Just ask Jean-Michel Jarre, who is on record as saying, “The Synthex allowed me to also develop something I had in mind with electronic music — epic, symphonic type of sounds that you probably had with the modular Moog before, such as those that Walter/Wendy Carlos used for Switched On Bachor A Clockwork Orange — a deep, mad, classical approach to a polyphonic synthesizer.” Truly, madly, deeply, indeed.
Indeed, given that finding an Elka Synthex in fine working order has become such a pricey (and patient) proposition, is it any wonder that in 2011 XILS-lab decided to effectively emulate it in software, even going so far as to enlist the eager ears of Paul Wiffen himself. “The sonic results are uncannily close to the original,” he promptly pronounced. Surprisingly, Syn’X has already been available to purchase and download from the XILS-labweb store for longer than the production lifespan of the original hardware synthesizer from which it drew so much musical inspiration. It’s time, therefore, for a serious update, and with it some fanciful features that look beyond merely modelling the Elka Synthex…
So what, exactly, is it, then, that makes Syn’X 2 so different and so much better than its predecessor? Well, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could create a synthesizer with the sophisticated multilayer architecture of Oberheim’s mighty Matrix 12 analogue polysynth, say, with an abundance of
modulation matrixes per layer — effectively enabling flexible routing to rival the monstrous modular systems that preceded it in decades gone by, but then musically married that to the expansive Elka Synthex sound? Well, with Syn’X 2 that’s no longer a dream synth, but rather reality! Roll up your
sleeves and delve deeper into sound design than was previously dreamed possible, thanks to the talented teamwork of XILS-lab.
Lest we forget, Syn’X 2 offers a unique combination of clear and punchy DCOs with cutting-edge analogue-modelled multimode filters to faithfully reproduce the superlative sound that so clearly defined the Eighties era, but, because it’s polytimbral, users can access up to eight individual synthesizers
simultaneously with 16 oscillators, eight 0DF (Zero-Delay Feedback) analogue-modelled filters, 32 D-ADSR (Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) envelopes, and modulation matrixes addressing any of 132 possible destinations when creating their own patches — truly a sound designer’s dream come true!
This being a XILS-labproduct, predictably, perhaps, there are many more features to make a serious song and dance about. All-important additions to Syn’X 2 include: oscillators with (up to 40) cumulative waveforms (per patch); new 0DF PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)/hard sync oscillator algorithms; unique CHAO (2D space movement) and (five rhythmic effects) RTHM LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) with (up to 50) cumulative waveforms (per patch); two arpeggiators; two keyboard zones — Upper and Lower, suitable for split and layered instruments; guitar multitimbral mode — whereby all layers can be assigned to independent MIDI channels, so playing different sounds with each guitar string, for instance, is possible; polyphonic SEQUENCER (that also acts as a modulation source); vintage-sounding CHORUS, DELAY, PHASER, an d EQeffects (with proprietary True Stereo Technology); and 300 phenomenal presets programmed by professional sound designers, to name but few. Fortunately for some, a helpful Easymode provides programmers with an intuitive and powerful yet streamlined environment, similar to XILS-lab’s recently released miniSyn’X polyphonic, duo-timbral virtual analogue synthesizer plug-in, but with additional envelopes and LFOs, etc, easily accessible.
Alternatively, the Advanced mode makes all aspects of Syn’X 2 available, allowing users to create complex, thick, and never-heard-before patches with a radically reworked workflow, which, it turn, makes it one of the most powerful and complex virtual analogue synthesizers of the modern era!
With Strum GS‑2, creating guitar tracks in a DAW environment becomes a straightforward endeavour as it reproduces the sound of a huge range of guitars, but also the playing technique of a guitar player. To achieve this, "Strum GS‑2" uses modeling to reproduce the various parts of the guitar chain—strings, bridge, soundboard, pickups, amplifier, and speaker cabinet.
Strum GS‑2 also embeds an elaborate chord recognition and voicing module which automatically voices chords played on the keyboard as a guitar player would on the fretboard. Strumming and picking swings into action with an autostrum function and special strumming keys. Elaborate rhythm figures available from a large collection of MIDI loops are on hand to supplement chord progressions.
Strum GS‑2 is a complete redesign of its predecessor. In addition to the synthesis and strumming engines which have been completely reviewed, "Strum GS‑2" ships with a new streamlined interface, a new equalizer and compressor module, a new multi-effect processor, brings native 64-bit operation on Mac OS X and Windows, and much more.
Strum GS‑2 also features an all-new factory library comprising an impressive number of acoustic and electric guitars, both in natural and production-ready configurations.
“We have completely reviewed the modeling of the complete chain behind Strum—including the strings, bridge, body, pickups, amplifier, speaker cabinet, and effects—and reconsidered how the different elements interact with each other. We have also re-examined how strumming is performed, now giving us a whole new level of realism, tone control, and
expressivity,” said Marc-Pierre Verge, CEO of AAS.
“With its extensive collection of acoustic and electric guitars in a single package and the ability to tweak them as required, Strum GS‑2 represents exceptional value. Strum more than ever allows
you to experience the genuine feel of playing guitar on a keyboard!”
Pricing and Availability
Strum GS‑2 is available now at a suggested retail price of US $199, but until June 30th, 2015, it is offered at the introductory price of US $149.
Upgrades are available for "Strum Acoustic GS-1", "Strum Electric GS-1", and "Strum Acoustic Session" users starting at $39.
Strum GS‑2 runs on both Mac OS X and Windows in 32- and 64-bit host sequencers supporting the VST, Audio Units, RTAS, andAAX Native plug-in formats.
Strum GS‑2– Acoustic and Electric Guitars
About Applied Acoustics Systems
Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS) was founded in 1998 and is based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As a privately-held company, it specializes in software-based synthesis tools for professional musicians and sound designers. Since releasing "Tassman", the first virtual instrument based on physical modelling, AAS has come to be recognized as the industry leader in this exciting new field of synthesis.
We are happy to announce the release of Blue Cat's Dynamics 4.0. This new version is a complete rebuild of the plug-in, with a brand new user interface and fully redesigned algorithms.
If the plug-in is not part of your collection yet, please check our overview video or download and try the demo: you can purchase Blue Cat's Dynamics 4.0 with 33% discount until July 15th!
Optimizations and Performance Improvements:
** Note: this new version can be installed side by side with the previous version for backward compatibility reasons. Installing this new version won't break your previous projects.