maclaunch

Here’s the story of how the Mac and Atari found their voice

There’s something magical about the moments in history when computers were able to speak (and sing) like a human. That’s certainly true of Bell’s famous “Daisy Bell” performance (the real-life moment echoed in 2001). But it’s also true of the Mac, which first spoke to uproarious applause.

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tsispeech

The Original Speech Chip Is Coming To A New Plug-In

While everyone else worries about emulating the same synthesizers for the umpteenth time, Plogue have been lovingly recreating the greatest chip sounds of all time. They’ve done Chipsounds, the instrument, and Chipcrusher, the effect. And now, finally, your computer will sing to you – not just with any voice, but with the speech chip that launched them all. From computing to arcades to classic tracks, this legendary voice has echoed through the decades with an unmistakable sound. This is the first-ever commercially-available chip to include speech synthesis.

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Abbey Road at Home? Waves Emulates Double Tracking Made Famous by Beatles, $99 Sale

It all started in 1966 as a way to fake multiple takes – and it works pretty well for any vocals. And now, in one of the more ambitious emulation efforts undertaken recently, software engineers are hoping to recreate a sound you know quite well from artists like The Beatles. And oh, yeah, even if you don’t want to sound like Paul or John or George, this turns out to be a pretty easy way to double up vocal recordings. That is, if they’ve done a convincing emulation. Plug-in giant Waves Audio has partnered with Abbey Road Studios themselves, and …

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Fake a Modular Rig inside Ableton Live with DopeMatrix, Then Play it from a Controller

Are modular rigs too pricey for your budget? Hate the thought of all those patch cords, and wish you could just have everything at the ready on your laptop? DopeMatrix might just be for you. That’s “Dope” as in “Doepfer,” and they aren’t just making something modular-ish here. They’re actually giving you a set of sounds from popular Eurorack synth modules – think A-110, Plan B, Cwejman, and Piston Honda. Those four oscillator modules are coupled with twelve effects modules and a step sequencer with matrix controls. Built in Max for Live, you can add the modules (and dozens of …

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Get a Multi-Sampled Mellotron, Free [Mac, Windows]

At 350 pounds (159 kg), the original Mellotron is not an easy instrument to acquire … or lift. But its 8-second tapes helped define a classic sound – Strawberry Fields, forever. Sample house UVI have been doing a lot of nice work lately – including some real rarities like the prepared piano at Paris research center IRCAM. They’re giving away their multi-sampled Mello emulation. It’s always tough to know how to best capture as a digital instrument something as idiosyncratic as the Mellotron; in this case, they’ve multi-sampled dozens of tapes on three different machines for the 28 sounds. It’s …

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clapbox

Vintage Clap Trap Synth, Now a Unitasker iOS App; I Love the 80s

Here’s an iOS app antidote to those desktop plug-ins that do everything, to elaborate virtual synths with eighteen separate modulation envelopes. It’s an app that just … makes clap sounds. And it brings your iPhone or iPad boldly into the 1980s. The handclap sound you hear in so much electronic music, particularly that originating from the 1980s, is none other than the Simmons Clap Trap. And soundware boutique / developer Puremagnetik, the folks who have built a reputation sampling classic instruments for the likes of Ableton, has emulated that tool on iOS. It’s certainly … specific. But that could make …

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Image-Line Unveils Additive Harmor Synth, Beta of Fruity Loops for Mac – via WINE

Didier Dambrin, FL Studio’s original creator, has a new synth entitled Harmor that looks like one to watch. There’s a beautiful crop of new synthesizers this season that could have you yearning for a winter spent with long nights somewhere deep in the Northern Hemisphere, producing new music – see also, to name just one, Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ 2. (Both Harmor and Z3TA+ 2 are Windows-only, so time to boot up the PC or, Mac users, update that Boot Camp partition.) VSTi and native FL Studio support; US$149 but on sale this month for $99. For some reason, releasing any synth …

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devil-loc

SoundToys’ Distorting Compressor Free for Two More Days, Plus Some Great Production Reading

Through Thursday, March 31 at midnight, you can grab SoundToys’ Devil-Loc plug-in for free, concluding a giveaway that began at the TapeOp party at South by Southwest. Devil-Loc is a nice-sounding emulation of the Shure M62. Chris Conover, in thanks for a Record beta I sent his way, points to the offer, a code (which I’ll share with readers), and mentions some ways he likes to use it – particularly, he says, on drum room mics: It is inspired by the Shure M62 Level-Loc, which was designed to be a leveling amplifier for microphones to avoid spikes and fades. Users …

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First Look: An iPad, Transformed into an Expressive Guitar, in OMGuitar

Speaking of tablets, can the flat surface of a touchscreen really emulate guitar expression? One developer thinks so. Toyo Bunko of Amidio, makers of soft synths for iOS, writes to share their latest project. OMGuitar is a “guitar synth.” While it’s entirely touch-based, they’ve found ways of adjusting the tone, including using the speed of a strum to impact timbre and techniques for bends and mutes. You choose chords via an interface of their own design (rather than on conventional frets), and onboard effects make this an all-in-one solution. 300 chords are available, and there’s a dedicated arpeggio interface. It’s …

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iPhone Beats and Bass, Free This Week, More Fun with Mic Input on iOS

Ah, Mondays. If you’re looking for a way to brighten your work week and you’ve got an iPod touch or iPhone you can drop into your pocket, iOS music and audio developer Pulse Code tells us they’ve made four of its apps free for this week only, through August 8. That includes BtBx [iTunes], a simple and fun drum machine, DB-303, a simulation of the Roland TB-303 bass line synth and a particular favorite of pocket iPhone musicians, as well as a couple of fun toys – a robot tone synth and sound effects maker called Android FX and a …

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