I finally had the chance to download and install my awesome winning prize …Collision FX, created by Sound Yeti, and wow, it is everything they say it is. This instrument is a major cinematic tool! To learn the interface, I decided to of course load presets, and delve within the many parameters available. I read the manual, as I always do, as not to miss any details because this is not your average synthesizer interface. This instrument seems to LIVE AND BREATH on FX processed side-chains. Now I finally understand the “innovation” I was listening to within the demo material.
It came like clockwork, I loaded and individually “tweeked” one instrument after the next until I finally made my first “Multi” instrument. I dub this sound, “LocoMotion 2“. It’s an Ambient Cinematic Soundtrack within itself. All synced up, although I can hear that I need to adjust a few attack parameters for good measure, and better “timing play-ability“. The next soundtrack I compose will include this, and Lunaris, as I believe we have a perfect combination at this point Enjoy a new sound creation I call LocoMotion 2, using Collision FX, with no processing, and played Improvisational of course 😉
What an exciting last few days. Fire season officially ended here in Oregon, and to celebrate, some much needed outdoor rest and relaxation was in order. I loaded up my truck with the necessary gear, and sweet Miss Bonnie, my beautiful German Shepard happily accompanied me to the great outdoors to share some time around the campfire, and to blaze a few forest trails. After two days out, we decided to head back down the mountain, and make our way back into the world once again.
Sweet Miss Bonnie
Upon my return, I checked my e-mail first thing to catch up on missed messages, only to find I was one of the selected prize winners of Sound Yeti’s brand new Kontakt instrument: Collision FX – Cinematic Scoring Tool! I was ecstatic! How lucky this week has been …wandering in the forest with my Sweet Bonnie, then coming home to an awesome new addition to my sonic arsenal. Wow!
Winners Announced, click to enlarge image.
I’ve listened to the demo’s and studied the instruments architecture, and this is an amazing and innovative instrument. I am still in the process of downloading Collision FX at the time of this writing, as it is a whopping 14.72 GB. But I can hardly wait to delve into this beauties sonic abilities. Being an Ambient Sound Designer, you can expect new patches from AmbieticA for Collision FX in the future for sure.
I just got a big “thumbs up” from one of the greatest sound designers on Earth for my latest release ApolloniA! Søren of Luftrum Sound design posted:
“If you own Lunaris then go ahead and download ApolloniA, a free set of 20 new presets plus 10 multi instruments created by Michael Lyon. I have tested them this morning and they are very well programmed and absolutely worth the download containing fantasy lead pads, glittering, bright, 90’s inspired, D-50’ish pads and rhythmic atmospheres, plus a little how-to-install manual.”
Thank you Søren! And thank you for creating Lunaris, a Kontakt instrument worthy of taking the time to program! For those just catching up, you can get Lunaris here:
StarBurst HT is a rather unique sound expansion set for the HT6000 sample library, produced by Rhythmic Robot Audio. What makes StarBurst HT so unique is that this sound set uses Rhythmic Robot’s Casio HT6000 sampled content, and transforms the basic HT sounds provided into a lush sounding ambient instrument using advanced Kontakt parameters, and impulse response based
There is a backstory that led me to this challenge; In 1988, I purchased the Casio HT700 brand new. Before that I had only used Yamaha FM based synthesizers, and wanted to learn how to program synthesizers using a more conventional subtractive method, unlike the FM Operator techniques I had previously used. My budget being tight at the time, the HT700 had both the subtractive synthesis architecture, and a price that fit my budget.
The Casio HT-700
The Casio HT series employed Digital Spectrum Dynamic Synthesis using PCM waveforms combined with a parpaphonic analog filter. It took a lot to create professional sounding patches, but it was indeed possible. If you are lucky enough to own one of these forgotten gems, I actually have a few of my custom patches available on sound sheets for everyone here.
So I was reading Sample Library Review, browsing the latest releases, and came across an article; “Rhythmic Robot release HT6000 – with Bastille Day Special“. Nostalgia filled my mind as I reminisced over the beginnings of my sound programming glory days. And as before, the price was right with an intro price of $4.12! I immediately purchased the PatchVault HT6000 sample library, and loaded it up. PatchVault HT6000 comes with all 20 of the Upper Register factory presets from Casio’s HT6000. And as I played each and every preset one after the other, I can truly attest that it sounds exactly like it’s younger brother, the Casio HT700.
The Casio HT-6000
As my sound programming skills have advanced quite a bit since that fine day roughly 30 years ago, my nostalgic mood quickly turned into a self challenge …What if I could transform the HT into a more advanced sounding modern ambient instrument using my skills, and modern technology? Challenge accepted! And after 2 days I present to you …StarBurst HT!
StarBurst HT Interface
StarBurst HT is a sound expansion pack for Rhythmic Robot Audio’s PatchVault HT6000. To experience this expansion, you will need both PatchVault HT6000, and Kontakt version 5.6.8. This expansion pack includes 10 single patches and 10 multi patches, a GUI that resembles the color and look of HT series synthesizers, and impulse response WAV files. I used 8 of the 20 PatchVault HT6000 samples to create the 10 single patches as follows:
Ambient Pad I (Hi ) = String Ensemble
Ambient Pad II (Low) = String Ensemble
Astral Ambience = Cathedral
Celestial Harp = Harp
Cosmic Brass = Brass Ensemble
Event Horizon = Synth Ensemble
Spirit Cave = Cosmic Dance
StarBurst = Synth Bells
Solina = Synth Ensemble 2
Vocodian = Synth Ensemble 2
The 10 Multi patches combine single patches, but sound nothing like their single counterparts, as I did a lot of re-programming of the initial singles within the multipatches to create an entirely different result. The 10 multi patches and their counterparts are as follows:
Astral Traveller = StarBurst, Astral Ambience
Cosmic Ensemble = Ambient Pad I, Cosmic Brass
Enchanted = Celestial Harp, Ambient Pad I, Solina
Ethereal = Vocodian x2, Solina, Ambient Pad I, Celestial Harp
Fantasynth = Ambient Pad II, Spirit Cave
Galactic Pad = Astral Ambience x2, Solina, Ambient Pad I
Multiverse = Event Horizon, StarBurst, Ambient Pad II
Requiem = Solina, Vocodian
Solid-State Symphony = Cosmic Brass, Solina
String Machine = Solina X2
8/15/2017: Although the expansion set is complete, I still have to create documentation, a listening preview, and a download area before release, but thought I would let everyone know what to expect within the next few days, so if you already havent had the chance to purchase Rhythmic Robot’s PatchVault HT6000 collection, now is a great time to add this nostalgic sample library to your instrument collection! Expect a release within the week
After 3 days of restoring my Windows based PC due to a badly corrupted Operating System caused by a cyclic redundancy with the inability to end any process, leading me to manually shut down, thus corrupting more than one OS System file, I am restored and
running once again …Thank goodness for backups!
Anyway, before the disaster recovery, I was working on a project which I can finally present and continue. As mentioned within my previous post here, I mentioned that I was in the process of creating a custom sound set for Luftrum’s awesome Lunaris Synth Engine-Sample Library. So far I’ve completed 6 of the no less than 20 patches, (possibly more, as I really love this synth engine/sample combination).
Upon system restore, I decided to create a sound demo of the 6 sounds to give everyone a rough idea of what to expect. It is my honor to announce ApolloniA for Luftrum Lunaris (Greek meaning: “From Apollo, Sunlight”). I recorded each sound in order from first to last with no external effects, just Lunaris in all of it’s raw glory, including use of the Mod Wheel settings.
Deep Space Voyager
At this pace, it shouldn’t take too much longer to release this new sound set of no less than 20+ patches, and as for the price, how about free! In the meantime, have a listen, and enjoy
Upon your travels through the Forest of emerald hue, your trek has finally come to days end. As you relax on the cliff-side of a great mountain top to rest, the lush beauty of a distant star we call Sun, glimmers a golden luminosity that touches your innermost being. And the sonic vibrations of life emanate around you, as the wind brushes up against your being, you effortlessly become one with life, and fade into the Realm of Dreams …Until Tomorrow.
“Lunaris has those great sounding pads from the Analog era, and combines Modern Soundscapes, making this an Ageless Ambient Instrument.”
Luftrum has released their first Kontakt instrument, and I am very impressed. Finally having the chance to go through each and every factory patch that comes with this awesome sample library, I can honestly say, not only is Lunaris worth every penny, but unlike a lot of other sample libraries I have used, there are absolutely NO unusable factory patches! This in itself is pretty rare, as I usually find at the very minimum at least 1 or 2 patches within a sample library that are unusable. I was also fortunate enough to receive the $20 off introductory price, but still think that at the regular price of $159, that Lunaris is still worth the purchase.
Lunaris is compatible with the Kontakt player, and even has samples from Dave Smith’s highly acclaimed Prophet 6! If your looking for Orchestral Timbre, or realistic instrumental sounds, Lunaris probably won’t be for you. But if your looking for great Synthetic Sounscapes, Analog/Digital Hybrid Elements, and Natural Field Recordings to add to your mix, Lunaris won’t dissapoint. Lunaris has those great sounding pads from the Analog era, and combines Modern Soundscapes, making this an “Ageless Ambient Instrument”.
For sound designers, Lunaris has a 4 Oscillator sound engine, complete with “ADSR”, as well as Lowpass, Highpass, and Bandpass Filter sections. The filter uses a new Filter Split Function, based on smart filter algorithms, that sort all the active filters in different bands, preventing low rumble and any clashing of frequencies between layers. The four Oscillators have 200 sampled sound sources to choose from as follows:
Multisampled Synth Pads: 30 of them are original Luftrum pads from the Prophet-6.
Field Recordings: of mother nature, ranging from calm ocean waves to radio fallouts from the ionosphere to forest drones, binaural rain, quiet mountain gusts, hydrophone recordings, airport atmosphere to cracking ice cape experiments with contact mics.
Synth Transients: are transients adding harmonics to the initial start of the sound and can range from bell-like timbres to short synth plucks over softer fading synth leads.
Synth Soundscapes: are synthesizer based textures, soundscapes and sustained mellow beds of synthscapes.
New Experiment: Ambient Trance. Very hard to Master this one (EQ Limiting Compression Madness). Trying to bring the deep analog stereo flanging lows out without blowing your speakers, (cheap speakers are NOT recommended for optimal results), whilst maintaining the bright digital additive evolutionary soundscapes, (I peaked it at -6 Db). So you might have to adjust your volume to determine just how much “Woof” they can handle for this sonic journey 😉 Still need to work on the sonics of this genre
Out of every Digital Synthesizer I’ve ever played, or thought about, the Roland D-50 has always held some kind of “Mystical Aura” in my mind. “What is this crazy LA Synthesis, and why does it sound So Good!” I would think. I have always dreamed of owning one, along with the PG-1000 programming module that complimented this beautiful digital legend. 1987 is when I started my “Synthetic” Musical Journey, and was the exact year this Legend was released. Unable to afford the D-50 during that time, I settled for an affordable alternative, the Kawai K1, which of course I still have to this very day, and will never part with.
My 30 year wait has finally come to an end! Roland’s Cloud has finally released what so many have been anticipating, the Software equivalent of the Roland D-50, and after so many comparisons I have researched online, this is as close to the “real deal” as it gets. Complete with a built in PG-1000 programming console!
I was hesitant to join Roland’s Cloud, but after news of this release, I took the dive. I’m not a fan of subscription based services, as the basic introductory price of $19.95 per month just to play this instrument is a bit daunting, but considering the first 30 days is free, I had nothing to lose, well, for at least 30 days 😉 I have actually witnessed a Roland D-50 along with a PG-1000 in pristine condition go for upwards of $900.00, and $500.00 respectively on eBay. The first year including a free month on Roland’s Cloud would be $219.45, just a thought.
Beside the financial aspects, I have had the chance to spend 3 days learning Linear Arithmetic Synthesis, the internal engine that drives the D-50. After years of Synthesis Programming, it became second nature within an hour of “Tweaking” presets to gain familiarity. I’m especially impressed with the “TVA/TVF” Envelope Generators. Not your normal “ADSR” and more akin to Casio CZ, 8 Stage Generators than anything I’ve encountered, but with much more flexibility.
I must state, this isn’t a review, this is more of a celebration. For anyone reading this who hasn’t done so already, I encourage you to hop on over to Roland’s Cloud based service, and claim your free month to delve into not only the D-50, but they have much much more! Available as of this writing: The Roland System-8, System-1, Jupiter-8, SH-101, Juno-106, System 100, Promars, SH-2, Sound Canvas, as well as sample based Rompler’s like: Anthology 1985, 1987, 1990, Guitars, Piano, and much more …All for a FREE MONTH! Thank You Roland, you finally came through, and one of the check marks on my bucket-list is filled! 😀
Roland D-50 VS Control Panels:
As an add to this post, and delving into the Roland D-50 learning curve, I found a great resource for those who ever get stuck programming this legend. I highly recommend the “Roland D50 Creative Book” available there: The Cult of D-50. Now available within the “Sound & Instrument Resources” link list to your right 😉
Delving Deep into “LA” Synthesis, and finally understanding the Roland D50 Architecture, a few sounds have emerged. Think I’ll finish a bank at this point 😉 All sounds “Raw” using only on board effects. Sounds in Sequence:
Galactic Pad I > U:Saw String L:Airy String – Modulation:Pressure
Galactic Pad II > U:Tibetan L:Hi Q – Modulation:Pressure
Crystal Tines > U:Cathedral L:Chime Pad – Modulation:Pressure (My Version of Fantasia)
Synergy Pad > U:DK Synergy L:DK Synergy – Modulation:Pressure
For those who need assistance programming your own sounds with the Roland D50 VS, a great video tutorial has been created here: