Posts categorized "Synths & Instruments (Virtual)" Feed

What's New in Camel Audio Alchemy v1.10


Article Update 7-21-2009: Just got this from Camel Audio. “IMPORTANT: An update to the original v1.10.6 release has been issued to correct a problem with some presets being too loud. If you have previously installed v1.10.6 of Alchemy, or the release candidate, you are strongly advised to update to v1.10.10 to avoid any issues. Registered users can download the latest update for free by logging in on the support page, and going to the Product Downloads section.”

200 New Sounds 
In addition to new features and bug-fixes, they’ve released over 200 free sounds. They describe these sounds as “purer and less experimental sounds, the Electronic bank now has an additional 35 dance sounds and the Atmospheric bank has 30 extra smooth pads and soundscapes.”

Context Sensitive Help 
Simply right-click on an interface element to bring up a corresponding help page in a browser.


Sample Import Improvements
1.10 adds ability to “analyze files up to 5 mins in length, an easier to use file import dialog including scroll wheel support”.

Miscellaneous New Features

  • New additive pitch setting
  • Easier to use import file dialog including scroll wheel support
  • File browser recognises alias's (OSX) and shortcuts (Win)
  • Reduced GUI opening time
  • Improved auto assign and remix pad variations
  • Choose whether Alchemy should start in simple or advanced mode
  • Option to invert performance knobs on right click menu
  • Effects rack scrollbar shrinks/expands depending on number of effects loaded
  • Mod depth snaps to semitone values when applied to tune
  • Additive editor shows active partials
  • Snap additive partials to semitone/dB
  • Copy/paste commands in additive file menu update depending on view
  • New snapshot volume control
  • Extra 6dB of volume
  • User details displayed in about box and at startup
  • Sampler now supports forward/back loop mode
  • Right click option to assign single knob


Mark Mosher

Microsoft Campaign "PC Hookup" Shot At University of Colorado in Boulder With FL Studio and Toxic Bio Hazard Cameos

Even though these days I mostly use Ableton Live, I still keep up with free FL Studio updates and do use it from time to time. Like Ableton, FL’s workflow sometimes yields very interesting results for me.

FL Studio fans might find this YouTube video of interest as there are cameo appearances of FL Studio and Image Line’s virtual Synthesizer Toxic Biohazard. It’s a Microsoft YouTube promotion called PC Hook-up. Watch on YouTube.

I also find the video interesting because it was shot in my back yard on campus at  the University of Colorado in Boulder.


Mark Mosher

My Studio Setup: 1 Laptop/3 Configurations + Akai APC40 Eye Candy


Revised 7-3-2009, changes are in red.

For over two years I've been completely laptop based and loving it. Here are some notes on the three configurations I run with my latpop.

First, I'm running an HP DV6500T running Vista, Ableton Live 8 Suite, and various vsts (Alchemy,Sylenth1,NI Massive/Absynth 4,Gladiator 2,Dimension Pro, Morphine...)

I run in one of the following states:

1 - Laptop Only - Laptop alone with Ableton Live +  VSTs. I use the qwerty keyboard and touch pad and do composition and sound-design on the go (or from the couch).

2 - Laptop + Korg Nano - Sometimes I want more control or want to user velocity sensitive keys when I'm on the go. I then add a Korg nanoKey or nanoKontrol to config #1.

3 - Laptop Docked - Last year, my awesome wife and kids re-vamped my studio space as a birthday gift. Besides painting and swanky new furniture, they created stand to hold all my gear by cleverly using the old Ultimate Support Apex column I used to gig with and attached two permanent shelves (painted black and attached with brackets). Shelves are  15 3/4"x 47 3/4" and I believe were from home depot. The footprint for this rig is 26" wide from the wall to the outside edge of the bottom shelf, and 47 3/4" wide. Underneath all this is a dock with tons of USB ports that all the gear plugs in to. The laptop is sitting on a mesh filing box turned upside-down that I picked up from Target (see last picture in post). This setup is pictured below. All I have to do is plug the laptop into the doc and the following comes online:

  • HP Notebook Quickdock
  • External Monitor - Samsung SyncMaster 930b
  • Novation Nio USB sound card
  • M-Audio Studiophile SP-5B reference monitors
  • Bamboo Touch Pad
  • Wireless Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard with built-in touch pad
  • Akai APC40
  • Novation Remote SL 25
  • M-Audio Trigger Finger (Still lovin it after all these years. After touch on drum pads and seamless integration with Ableton drum racks are great).
  • Rode NT-1A on an a broadcaster's boom which is fed into Behringer UB802 Eurorack which is routed to the Nio. I mostly use this for voice overs, recording voice related samples, and vocoding. I also record video tutorials through this mic.
  • Sometimes a Korg TR via USB is added to the mix when I want that "triton" sound or want to play a controller with more keys on it.

For me this strategy is simple, elegant, has a small footprint yet is extremely powerful and flexible. With Ableton Live and VSTs accessible in every configuration I can jump in and out of projects in any configuration. I find the combination of the APC40, Remote SL and Trigger Finger to be perfect for just about everything I do.

The APC40 has made this a dream setup really and has almost completely eliminated mousing for me. I'll close with a few photos of the APC40  in my studio setup.

Just a fun shot in a dark room.


The  APC40, Remote SL 25, and a Trigger Finger fit perfectly on the bottom tier.


Using the APC40 as a Lite Brite - "M" plus pretty colors :^).


Picture of laptop docked.

Mark Mosher

Modulate This! Gladiator Discount + Gladiator 2.1 Update + Gladiator Electronic Expansion


If you follow Modulate This!, you know I’m a fan of Tone2’s Gladiator Virtual Synthesizer. My recent video Sound Design with Gladiator 2: HCM Synthesis Explained is already close to 3,000 views. As a result of the popularity of this video I’ve met Markus Feil, the developer or Gladiator 2. Markus was kind enough to extend a $30 off discount for Modulate This! readers – so you get this great synth for $169 instead of $199. You can see the link in the right hand column of the blog. Please don't post this link on other sites and instead direct people to This will help me bring more offers like this to you in the future.

Two other items of interest for Gladiator users are listed below. I pulled the info from the most recent Tone2 newsletter.

Gladiator v2.1 (free for all Gladiator 2 users)
Improvements in sound quality:
- Drastically improved low notes oscillator sound
- Improved reverb sound: Softer and more diffuse reverb tails
- Improved psychoacustical processing
- Improved spectral slope of low frequencies to reduce gibbs effect for more 'analog' sound
- Improved sound quality of intelligent microtuning (IQM): Warmer sound for long release times
- Extended dB range of master volume knob
- Reworked existing factory presets: Warmer sound

New features:
- 3 new phase modulators for analog sounding pulsewidth modulation: PWM, PWM alt, phase shift
- Added song position sync support for LFO 1/2 ('bpm' has to be set to 'on' and 'retrigger' to 'off')
- Added split keyboard support; new modulation sources: Low keys, High keys
- Added new 'split' arp mode which applies ARP on high keys only and leaves low keys for basses
- 18 new factory sounds

Changes, fixes and improvements:
- Faster loading time of PC full version
- Demoversion: Nag Voice only every 9 minutes instead of every minute
- Improved host compatibility: Cubase 4 & 5, Orion, Fruity Loops, Logic
- Fixed (PC): Wrong version number was displayed in Cubase
- Fixed: Microglitch in volume envelope
- Fixed (Full version, Mac): 'Demoversion' instead of user name was displayed for 2 seconds after loading
- Fixed (PPC Mac): 'Spec format' and 'Spec clean' modifier could output silence
- Fixed (FUll version, Mac): 'save all' could crash Gladiator2
- Changed (Mac): Focus of mouseover when 'show editor' was set to 'off'

- Over 300 handpicked sounds
- Additional stereo trancegate effect with 22 patterns
- Additional reverb type: Reverb ultra
- 3 additional early reflection effects
- Additional aliaser lofi effect
- Additional stereo enhancer effect
- The expansion is directly integrated to the interface of Gladiator 2.1
- 3 additonal skins as bonus content: Gold, red and black
Impressive arpeggiator sequences, resonant basses, groovy drumlines, vocaloid sounds, cutting leads, chiptune sounds, techno stabs, rhythmic trancegates, deep housechords, atmospheric pads and ambient textures are among the many types of electronic sounds featured inside this expansion. A must have if you're looking for new sounds or if you want to expand Gladiator with more features.


Mark Mosher

FAW Circle Synthesizer Sound Design Tip: Hidden Tab Parameters + Modulating Filter with Keyboard Tracking


I’ve been doing some sound design work with Future Audio Workshop Circle Virtual Synthesizer.

While most of the parameters are visible on the main page of the user interface, some are only accessible via tabs along the bottom of the interface. So to search for sounds, access keyboard and arpeggiator controls, global settings, effects, and midi modulation routines use the tabs at the bottom.

For example, if you ant to modulate the filter so that it tracks the keyboard (the higher the note the brighter the sound):

  1. Click the “Keyboard Tab”
  2. Drag the grey modulation output dot on the bottom pane marked “keyb1 and…
  3. Drop it on the modulation input hole for “Filter Frequency”

That’s all there is to it. Note this same modulator is mapped by default to oscillator “Course” tuning. If you remove this modulator from “Course” tuning the pitch for the oscillator will be static and not track with the keyboard.

In my previous post, I talked about the using the Wacom Tablet with Ableton Live. This same posts mentions how to configure Ableton Live to "-_EnsureKeyMessagesForPlugins". You'll need to follow the instructions in this post if you want to enter keyboard data into Circle - such as patch info. It's worth mentioning that the Wacom also works really well with Circle interface and is extremely well suited to the drag-and-drop modulation interface.


Mark Mosher

Sound Design with Gladiator 2: HCM Synthesis Explained

Update: checkout the discount link on the right side of the blog.

I started using Tone 2 Gladiator 1 a year ago and recently upgraded to Gladiator 2. Gladiator 1 & 2 are based on a new type of synthesis called Harmonic Content Morphing (HCM). HCM offers a clever way to generate wavetables with a massive variety of harmonic content that can be modified over time. Tone2’s approach with HCM is quite unique so I put together this video which offers a step-by-step explanation of what HCM synthesis is and how to use it. These techniques apply to both Gladiator 1 & 2.

Watch Video on YouTube:

If you like the sound of Gladiator 2 but find it too expensive, you should check out Firebird+. Firebird+ only has a fraction of the the editing capabilities but is still quite a capable instrument for the price.


Mark Mosher

Video Tutorial: How To Use Ableton Live Racks To Create Multi-Sampled Instruments

Watch Video: How To Use Ableton Live Racks to Create Multi-Sampled Instruments

I’ve seen questions recently in Modulate This comments, and on the Ableton Live forum regarding the creation of multi-sampled instruments in Ableton Live. This video tutorial is  step-by-step how-to video that walks you through the creation of a velocity switched multi-sampled instrument using Ableton Live, Ableton Simpler, Instrument Racks, and Drum Racks.

Mark Mosher

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