SOFTWARE REVIEWS of things which caught our eye.

PLUGIN UPDATE


Originally, there were physical instruments, analog tape machines, and outboard effects processing gear. Then, with the advent of hard disk based digital recording, VSTi and virtual outboard gear appeared in the form of plugins. Then, with the transition from boxed software and toward online distribution, many software companies began to make plugins. Plugins quickly replaced physical equipment and software companies increasingly began to produce newer / better versions of plugins. To notify users of updates, email lists were maintained. However, owing to the amount of spam people receive, plugin companies still need to advertise on the web and in print. ' PluginUpdate' makes the process of updating your plug-ins to the very latest versions so much easier by providing a free, easy-to-use, cross platform app for keeping plugins at their latest version. It's FREE so you've nothing to lose. At the time of writing, it is still in BETA - so, grab a bargain whilst you can.

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SAMPLE MAGIC - 'MAGIC AB'
Magic AB 1
Any software that makes it easier for us to compare the sound of our mixed masters with commercially released tracks has got to be a good thing. And doubly so, if the software in focus is relatively cheap. 'Magic AB' sells for just under £25 - so even if you use it rarely (and using it rarely will in itself be rare!) - it's a great deal at £24.90.I know by now you might be asking how is it any different to loading a couple of WAV files into 'Wavelab' or 'Audition' or 'Sound Forge' or whatever your favourite audio editor happens to be. Well, it's ostensibly simple UI makes your A/B comparison much smoother and more convenient than filipping files in your audio editor. And, Sample Magic's 'Magic AB' plug-in allows you to load your mix with up to 9 comparison files. In operation, it's simple to implement in that you load it as an insert on your master output in a DAW and then any minor adjustments or tweaks you make can be easily compared to your reference files.

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ANDY PRINZ: Halion Sample Collection - Andy has recently launched his own sound design label APP Sounds & Samples, a new sub label of his company Andy Prinz Publishing. His first release is the AP HALion4 Sample Library One, a massive VST3 sound set with fat basses, beautiful pads, sweet strings, pumping drums, crazy loops and effects and much more. If you’re tired of the usual VST synth sounds, then this is the library you need. The library is exclusively available via the new Beatport company SoundsToSample.com or on Beatport directly!

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SOUND RADIX: Auto Align - If you find yourself recording instruments or vocalists in stereo with mis-matched microphones you'll invariably encounter phase issues that ruin the resulting stereo sound. This is because sound reaches each microphone at a slightly different time (even though this difference can be in very small millisecond increments). Consequently, this will cause some frequencies to cancel each other while other frequencies can build up unnaturally. Until recently, this could only be combatted (in terms of software) with plugins made by WAVES and MELDA. However, SOUND RADIX have released their version of solving the problem with AUTO-ALIGN. Auto-Align 'listens' to your multi-mic recording and automatically measures and compensates for the delay between the microphones, or alternatively between a DI box and a microphone. It works a treat.

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VARIETY OF SOUND: If you're looking for inexpensive but great quality VST effects, by heading to the 'Variety of Sound' website will put you in raptures because they're better than cheap - they're free. With around 20 different effects to choose from, you'll easily find something to use within your mix. And the quality of the effects is staggering (even if they weren't free). Nice work VOS!

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It's not often you find a really informative website that is run by someone who clearly cares about what they are doing and is more than willing to offer help to others. well, even though it's not often you find a site like that, it's not impossible. And, of course, that leads me on to the site called 'FINISH YOUR SONG'. You'll find some good 'Cubase' tutorials there too to help you further understand various aspects of Steinberg's flagship DAW. Well worth a look.

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