It all started with “a mixture of river, wind in the trees, and Autobahn,” the sounds Hainbach heard where he grew up, he tells us. And the new AudioThing plug-in grew from there, into something deep enough for you to explore, too.

Noises is a textural instrument so full of rich ambient sounds that you can just trigger it and sit back and listen to take a break in the studio – as well as use it as a textural instrumental source. It’s meant as an inspiration and discovery source, says creator Hainbach.

The Autobahn and environment sounds of native German gave way to “a bit of a personal lexicon of noise,” Hainbach says. Electro-acoustic experiments, scoring (including a new film score) – this is both an inward-facing autobiographical sound treasure and an outward-facing instrument designed to let you shape something that’s your own.

Composer and creative sound personality Hainbach gives a lovely narrative introduction to his latest collaboration with AudioThing, so I’ll leave that side to him:

What actually is it, though? Let’s break it down:

The concept began with the notion of making a noise source or noise instrument. But now at its core is a set of field and equipment recordings – “rare vintage measurement and tape equipment, analog synths, strange field recordings, electro-acoustic and magnetic field experiments, and more in his lab.”

From there:

  • 21 banks, 8 sounds each
  • Crossfader knob
  • 1.18GB sample library, plus 118 presets
  • A Trigger button that will start the sound bed (basically in “hold” function), with host sync and automation
  • Envelope controls
  • Pitch control
  • Multimode filter with resonance
  • Bit crusher effect (both bit depth reduction and frequency downsampling)
  • Routing and mix controls
  • Trip modulation (a feature we saw on Gong Amp – basically a set of modulation to get lost in)
  • Randomizer
  • VST2, VST3, AAX, AU support on macOS (10.9+) and Windows (7+), 64-bit, Universal 2 Binary support included on Mac (so Apple Silicon + Intel)
  • Demo available

And the sound sources, in short:

  • Synths with different… noise. (Minimoog, the Roland SH-2, Juno60, Polivoks, and Crumar DS-2… basically a bunch of noise samples)
  • The Autobahn, or technically, wait, a Schnellstraße, let’s get it right!
  • HP 8006a word generator (that generates some clicky rhythms)
  • Bandpass pulses from Hainbach’s wall of gear
  • “Cosmic chords” is a Juno 60 playing some chords through test equipment
  • “Cosmic root” is test tone generators + ring mod + vintage synths + phaser
  • “Cosmic waves” is tape line harmonics
  • “Drum drones” is made of pulses blurred into consistent tones, on the Soviet Formanta UDS machine
  • Macumbista Sound Box making feedback with line and mic signals, in an instrument designed by Derek Holzer
  • EMF stuff recorded with the Soma Ether
  • EMS B-1-II filterbank
  • The ultra-rare Bontempi M.A.R.S. DSP workstation (which I missed Hainbach even had, must have skipped a video!)
  • East German military wire recorder (see also their Wires instrument)
  • Noise fed through denoise filters (funny!)
  • Peter Blasser’s Mobenthy modular + Gijs Gieskes fan oscillator + Pan Sonic
  • Bi-phase phaser
  • Soviet tape machine
  • Tape hiss of the Telefunken M15, Nagra 4-S, Nagra SNN, Uher Report Monitor 4000, Sony 367, and a Lomo Rytym Reporter
  • Test voltages from Wavetek Model 132 + Brüel & Kjaer 2107 bandpass filter
  • HP Wave Analyzer

I mean so… yeah, they got seriously carried away. Brilliant.

You can create your own banks, too – so load your own samples and make up your own instant inspiration generator. I’m not sure what my bank would be like in comparison to this, but I might have to go find out.

Demo + manual are freely downloadable; paid license is € 45 intro, then € 69 after that.