Marshall Amp Finally Gets Its Official Plug-in – And a Virtual Recording Studio, Too

The Marshall “Plexi” Super Lead plug-in is the first amp to bear the name Marshall that isn’t actually an amp – the first authorized plug-in. It’s been built by Softube for the Universal Audio plug-in of DSP, arriving in May. This is a reference 1959 Super Lead borrowed from Marshall themselves. The model number is 1959, built in the year 1967. Now, it’s nice to have in UAD format, because you can mix and “reamp” and track and add effects and the lot in real-time on UA’s Apollo hardware. It’s also nice to see Softube doing the development; to my …


Angry Bees! Swarms and Flocks of Sound in a New iPad Synth

Now, your iPad can go from sweet-sounding pads to hordes of angry bees and back again, all by modeling physical behaviors of flocking. It’s called the Photophore, and it’s a “flock synthesis” instrument. You may have seen synths that produce lush sounds by combining oscillators – the eight-oscillator Swarmatron springs to mind. Well, this synth puts the “swarm” in “Swarmatron.” With up to one hundred oscillators per patch, it uses physical modeling to transform sound by simulating flocking behaviors. I’ve seen experiments that have done things like this with flocking algorithms and particle systems, but this must be the first …


Virtual Reality: Guitar Notation, Amps, and Effects Appear on Apple Mobiles

Competing solutions from IK Multimedia and Peavey extend the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad with custom hardware for connecting a guitar. Here, the AmpKit LiNK, by Peavey and Agile Partners. All images courtesy the vendors. Ah, amplifiers and stompboxes. We hardly knew ye. Once exclusively the stuff of tubes, wires, cabinets, aluminum, and electronics, guitar amps and pedals have for years been available in growingly-sophisticated software models. Once the electronics of sound become software, there’s nothing stopping them from running on any computer – which now includes computers disguised as mobile phones, like the iPhone. (In fact, I expect that …


Augustus Loop Tape Delay: Now with 64-bit, OpenSoundControl Support

Augustus Loop is a tape delay effect with some out-there features – try a one-hour maximum delay setting, tap-in length, virtual tape features, the ability to sync multiple instances, and lots of unusual sound design features. It can do things that even tape wouldn’t imagine. Version 2.2.0 has some nice new features. It incorporates 64-bit support, although unfortunately that 64-bit support is Mac-only for now. Also new in version 2.0 (2.2 is the 64-bit bump): A skinnable, scriptable GUI OSC support for full control with OSC (grab your iPhone, folks) MIDI and OSC scripting in Lua, for customizing control Those …


“Music Simulation” Patent Unsuccessful, Gibson Mucks Up Own Case

Simulated guitar? Gibson gets carried away, but the law wins. Photo/bento creation (CC) Sakurako Kitsa.(Yup, this is a Fender Strat, but this is my kind of simulation of a musical instrument – in cheese form!) Gibson, the guitar company, has been on an utterly absurd campaign against music games, bringing lawsuits against the developers of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band and even against retailers. In the latest illustration of how screwed up patent law is, and just how over-litigious it has made technology in this country, the patent was based on a Gibson patent for a “System and method …


Compression Lovers: Free Audio Damage Plug-in, Ableton+Reaktor Trick

Sure, we may live deep into the future. High in our Blade Runner apartment studios, we use androids for all of the vocals. Yet we still have that occasional need for good, old-fashioned compression. Like the soy-based dinners we microwave and the synthehol beer we wash it down with, it has to be simulated. Audio Damage has earned its cult following thanks to inexpensive plug-ins with no-nonsense controls that just seem to fit into projects. So it’s nice to see his new, free Rough Rider compressor. Simple controls, a slight vintage tint, and crankable parameters – not the “careful with …