All Kontakt Instruments by Hideaway Studio are now available via LootAudio…
A few days ago, and with some intrepidation, I decided to have a go firing up Novachord 346 for the first time in what turns out to be 8 years having partially restored her back in 2008/9.
To my great relief, this now 82 year old quarter ton 163 tube beast came out of slumber with all 12 of her master oscillators in action and pretty much in the same order she was in last time!…
After some initial tests I made this recording consisting of one overdub of a plucked sustain over some sustained pads whilst occasionally moving some of her formant resonator controls. The recording was made directly from the line output of the pre-amplifier into delay and reverb but with no form of added modulation processing such as chorus or flanger.
It still truly astounds me that an all electronic instrument originally on the drawing board in the mid 1930s can sound like this.. and even moreso over 80 years after she left the factory!!
We are so used to hearing muffled scratchy recordings from the 1930s – but that is not to say its what it sounded like on the day of the recording – the HF the NC produces is amazing for its era.
Composition & Recording Copyright D.A.Wilson, Hideaway Studio, 2020.
Cory Pelizzari has very kindly featured the Hideaway Studio Kontakt libraries in a recent addition to his Synth Sample Gems video series:
Welcome to the 1980s: A Major New Era in Affordable Digital Technologies….
MICRO-5K is in some ways a celebration of a new era in which two increasingly affordable technologies came together to form something quite special – namely computer controlled digital synthesis…
The early 1980s were a time where most professional computers and electronic instruments were well out of the financial reach of the man on the street, or indeed of most educational institutions, and yet some very clever individuals managed to find a way to deliver sometimes surprisingly usable systems with affordable price tags…
In the UK two companies famously went on to dominate the race to produce affordable home and educational computing systems namely Sinclair Research and Acorn Computers. The head to head battle to gain market dominance for home computer supremacy in the 1980s was dramatised in the 2009 film Micro Men (BBC Four) documenting the sometimes intense rivalry between Sir Clive Sinclair (played by Alexander Armstrong) and Chris Curry (Martin Freeman).
The BBC Micro eventually won out as being the educational computer of choice in the UK with over 1.5 million sold into schools, colleges and university research labs. Both the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the BBC Micro spawned what became a whole generation of home computer “bedroom coders” who went on to form the very foundation of the modern computer game industry. The UK’s contribution to what is now one of the biggest industries in the world cannot be underestimated.
What also cannot be ignored is that one of the BBC Micro’s key designers was Sophie Wilson, the very same legendary genius who co-designed the ARM Processor (originally standing for Acorn RISC Machine), which went on from its humble yet ground breaking roots in the 1987 32-bit Acorn Archimedes desktop computer to eventually finding its way into almost every mobile phone on the planet!
The BBC Micro was unusually well endowed with expansion ports and turned out to be the perfect host for a plethora of add-on peripherals. This included Hybrid Technology Ltd’s Music 500 system which was initially branded as an Acorn product but eventually became the Hybrid Music 5000 system following a major update to the software supporting the synth module.
Enter MUSIC 5000…
In a market largely dominated by analog synthesizers the MUSIC 5000 was in many ways not just affordable but actually rather ahead of its time. Originally designed by Chris Jordan it was somewhat close to being an inexpensive variant of Hal Alles’ proposed “Digital High Speed Oscillator System”. Detailed by Alles in 1979 in a paper called “An Inexpensive Digital Sound Synthesizer”, it originally formed the basis of the huge Bell Labs “Alles Machine”, the eye-wateringly expensive 1979 Crumar G.D.S. and the Digital Keyboards Synergy. All of these systems used a bank of wave-tables which were played back using the digital “phase-accumulation” method.
Having accurate high-speed phase control over the wave-tables allowed mathematical operations to be applied between pairs of oscillators in hardware in real-time. In the case of the MUSIC 5000 this permitted amplitude, phase and ring-modulation and osc-sync, all in the digital domain. Up to 8 stereo channels with 24-bit frequency control accuracy clocked at 47KHz could be utilised in a single sound or a number of different sounds played concurrently (multi-timbral). This was pretty impressive for an affordable digital music synthesizer module which was first released in 1983. Even more impressive is that the whole thing was implemented in a handful of stock logic and RAM chips!
Unlike its more expensive 16-bit counterparts the MUSIC 5000 produced its output at 8-bit resolution but it used companding u-Law converters which sounded more like 12-bit audio thanks to their improved low signal level accuracy. Obviously by today’s standards the MUSIC 5000 is very much outdated and pretty primitive but, like so many early offerings, it has a unique character all of its own.
All Controlled by a Computer Language called AMPLE?
Unusually the MUSIC 5000 low-level control method was more akin to something found in a research lab ie. all of its synthesis and music production functions were programmed at the command line in a language called AMPLE. Although there were later front ends offering basic user interfaces to make things a little more friendly, the programming language still interfaced with the hardware itself.
No MIDI Input?
Nope.. not originally – the user had to hand code his music compositions into the computer. Later a keyboard was produced… and very much later I designed a custom MIDI interface which was put to great use to produce this library!
All sample material captured from a 1986 Hybrid Technology Ltd MUSIC 5000 synth module controlled by a 1983 Acorn BBC Micro Model B running the AMPLE music programming language. Sample capture in 24-bit audio using an RME Fireface fed via a 1969 Fairchild model 662 germanium pre-amp and model 664 transformer-coupled passive-EQ. MIDI control offered by Hideaway Studio’s M5KMIDI a custom MUSIC 5000 MIDI interface for the BBC Micro.
This library requires the full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or higher.
Approximately 700MB of free hard disk space is required.
595 24-bit Samples
100 Example Instruments
24 Example Layered-Multis
D.A.Wilson MUSIC5000 Install/Overhaul,Sound Design,Sample Set&Instruments.
Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP) Original Quad Layering Engine Concept.
Mario Krušelj Synth Engine Script.
Anders Hedström (Flavours of Lime) GUI Design & Graphics.
Simon Power (MEON) for very kindly helping with the alpha testing.
A very big thank you to Mark Haysman at RetroClinic for supplying the MUSIC 5000 synth module and helping me to upgrade the Acorn BBC Micro with a Gotek HxC floppy emulator.
As with all of my Kontakt instruments, the ethos behind them is not so much an attempt to capture and recreate the past but an opportunity to present the original source material as textures, elements and building blocks in order to create something new. At the same time, hopefully some of the original beauty and character of these rare and vintage instruments and equipment will shine through.
A long time in the making, I have been wanting to release for some time now a sequel to one of my most popular Kontakt instruments to date which has been a personal favourite of mine since the beginning. As I’m sure many are aware, I have always had a bit of a soft spot for evocative cinematic synth strings, and especially pseudo realistic string ensembles. It has been very exciting for me that some of these string ensembles and textures have found their way into a number of major music productions around the world.
My original String Collection was largely based on early string synths such as the ARP Omni and the Eminent 310U. I wanted to add several new offerings from several other families of synthesizer. The reasoning behind this was an attempt to broaden the sonic territory in what has proven to be a remarkably effective and easy to use layering engine. Some extra elements from my beloved 1938 Novachord #346 have been introduced including a very “warts & all” string timbre straight from the beast. Such elements may sound a little too antique to some in isolation but can form a remarkable secret element when layered with others in the layering engine. It is hard to believe this quarter ton 163 tube monster is 80 years old this year!
Around 30 instruments were captured and I’ve tried to draw upon a number of basic synthesis methods including divide down/formant, classic subtractive, DCO, digital FM and additive as well as capturing some tube synth textures from three vintage synths. Synths included the DK Synergy and ultra rare Mulogix Slave-32, Rhodes Chroma, Octave Cat Voyetra-Eight, Farfisa Syntorchestra, ProphetVS, Elka Synthex, Oberheim OB-X and Matrix 1000, Korg PS-3100. Tube synths included the Hammond Novachord, a Jennings Univox J6 and a heavily modified Cordovox CG-1.
I have also tried to introduce a number of unique processing methods to add tonal colour, character and movement to various sounds. This included a rather bizarre idea I had to play raw material through a speaker and record it using an old carbon granule GPO telephone mic. This imparted a wonderful crunchy antique character which when layered with the original source produced a rather beautiful effect. Other methods involved recording on and off of rather worn ¼” tape on a wonderful 1969 Revox G36 tube reel to reel. An original 1969 Dolby A-301 (the world’s first Dolby dynamic noise reduction system) and a DBX II 128 compander along with a gorgeous Binson tube Pre-Mixer were also used to good effect. A number of triple ensembles were used to process single string timbres from various synths into something much more akin to the original Solina strings. This included the often overlooked Korg SDD-3300 triple modulated delay and retasking the triple BBD chorus ensemble in the little Böhm Dynamic 12/24 as well as the wonderful “Orbitone” generator in the Eminent 310U. Truly uniquely, I used the latter to process some of the string timbres from the Novachord to produce some very special ensembles!
A number of layers and blends were brought together to form the basic 36 instruments loaded into the layering engine to form String Collection II.
Novachord #346 is now 80 years old & has proven to be a truly unique sonic ingredient!
1938 Novachord #346, Eminent 310U, Minimoog T2798E, ORLA DSE-24,
Böhm Dynamic 4×9, Oberheim OB-X, Jennings Univox J6 tube monosynth,
Studio Electronics Omega 8,Sequential Prophet 600, Sequential Prophet VS,
Octave Cat Voyetra Eight, Sequential Six-Trak, Rhodes Chroma, Korg PE-1000,
Korg PS-3100, Waldorf microWave I, Yamaha TX802, Yamaha TX81Z,
Custom Cordovox CG-1 tube polysynth, Oberheim Matrix 1000, DK Synergy II+,
Mulogix Slave 32, Evolution EVS-1, Roland D-110, Roland JX-8P, Roland JUNO-106,
Roland VP-330, Roland alpha-Juno II, Elka Synthex, Farfisa Syntorchestra,
Crumar Performer, Crumar Bit One…
Passive formant resonator circuit, GPO Carbon Microphone, Revox G36 tube half-track,
1969 Dolby A-301, DBX II 128 Compander, Binson tube Pre-Mixer, Korg SSD-3300…
This library requires the full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or higher.
Approximately 1.2GB of free hard disk space is required.
786 24-bit Samples
64 Example Instruments
* INTRODUCTORY OFFER EXCLUSIVELY VIA KONTAKT HUB *
Till the end of December The String Collection II will come with Collection I for free:
D.A.Wilson (Hideaway Studio) Sound Design, Sample Capture, Patches & Demo.
Mario Krušelj Synth Engine Script.
Anders Hedström (Flavours of Lime) GUI Design & Graphics.
Huge thanks to _BT for his enthusiastic support during alpha testing.
Its hard to believe its 5 years almost to the day that Hideaway Studio officially opened its doors and its a proud moment. Over the past 5 years I have captured tens of thousands of raw samples from hundreds of hours of recordings resulting in 23 releases for NI Kontakt. Tens of thousands of copies have been sold and I have been blown away by the kind response from so many customers and clients. I have also been extremely excited that my libraries have been immortalised in everything from major film scores and commercial albums to TV scores and computer games around the world.
Its also remarkable that over that period I have had over 350 pieces of cherished vintage studio kit in for TLC in The Lab much of which requiring major overhaul and including several major restorations. Several of these amazing beasts have provided the raw sample material for my libraries!
Rest assured there is indeed more in the pipeline and my passion for trying to present some of the magic captured from these wonderful old beasts for the modern world to enjoy is something that never fades…
Thank you to all of you for your kind support over the years – it is hugely appreciated and helps to keep me going.
D.A.Wilson, Hideaway Studio.
Groundbreaking Pure Digital Synthesis Technology from the 1970s… in 16-bit Audio!
The 1970s were to be a magical time when a string of groundbreaking technology was conceived and developed at Bell Labs (BTL), Murray Hill, New Jersey. Many of the developments at Bell Labs have been pivotal and have subsequently played an extremely important part in shaping modern life. This includes the famous UNIX operating system (the grandfather of Linux and all its derivatives), the C Programming Language, fundamental parts of the technology that form the internet, digital telephony, satellite communications and audio/video compression techniques to name but a few.
During this time a very talented research scientist called Hal Alles was working on means to implement echo-cancellation in digital telephone systems. This led to the development of an advanced high speed digital oscillator system. On experimenting with the concept it became apparent that it might have some merit as the basis of an advanced music synthesizer using real time digital control techniques. Incredibly, Hal was permitted to setup a side project with funding to explore this notion and after very much toil and expense the Bell Labs Synthesizer or Alles Machine was born. This 300lb behemoth was nicknamed The Blue Monster or Alice for short.
At the heart of the Alles Machine was Hal’s high speed digital oscillator technology implementing 64 digital oscillators. The instrument was hosted by a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer (the same range of computers UNIX was developed on at Bell) and literally programmed in C to perform whatever task the operator wished to undertake. Needless to say without any form of dedicated controls, synth engine or patch programming interface very few musicians indeed were able to realise the true potential of Alles Machine!
Two musicians that were gifted with the necessary combination of skills to handle The Blue Monster were Laurie Spiegel and Roger Powell. Very sadly almost no recorded material has survived but the few recordings that have reveal a machine capable of generating huge evolving digital soundscapes – this is particularly apparent in Laurie’s Improvisation on a Concerto Generator from 1977.
Towards the late 1970s a number of synthesizer manufacturers became aware of the instrument including the MTI division of Crumar who saw the new technology as a means to leap ahead of the pack. A talented development team was assembled and it was agreed that Bell’s Hal Alles and Max Mathews were to offer technical advice on the best means of essentially commercialising the Alles Machine whilst making it much more accessible to every day musicians. The first instrument to be developed was the GDS (General Development System). Although the instrument was hardly inexpensive (it cost around $30,000 in 1979) an ambitious cost down exercise was undertaken to reduce the 1400 or so integrated circuits to only a few hundred. Amazingly, the design team was able to meet the stringent material cost target and the GDS was born.
Only 10 or so GDS systems were ever built but it became the sound development tool for its derivatives, the Synergy, Synergy II+ and Mulogix Slave 32. The GDS had a small number of influential owners who were able to work wonders with the new technology. This included Wendy Carlos and Klaus Schulze who released a number of albums and film scores in the very early 1980s heavily drawing on the GDS as a source of digital textures, pseudo realistic timbres and percussion.
Enter The DK Synergy…
Following the GDS was the Synergy (DK-1) which relied on the identical 32 high speed oscillator subsystem but coupled to a dedicated Z80 controller thus enabling the instrument to operate stand alone relying on voice cards plugged into the front panel to permit the user to select between or layer up to 4 combinations of 32 patches. A few years later a clever upgrade was offered to basically return the programming ability of the GDS to the Synergy through the use of an external host computer manipulating a special memory area known as VRAM. This variant was known as the Synergy II+ but was not sold in great numbers thanks in part to the release of the considerably more affordable DX7.
More Than Additive…
All variants were more than simply large banks of digital sine wave generators as found in more traditional additive synthesizers. They were unusual in that the oscillators could produce both sine and distorted triangular waveforms which could be combined in a very flexible manner ranging from straight additive synthesis, phase modulation or combinations of both. This meant that far more harmonically complex sounds could be generated without having to resort to a massive array of sine oscillators. Not only was the oscillator topology complex but the modulation abilities were truly groundbreaking. Each oscillator had its own envelope and a whole raft of real time modulation could be applied to each control parameter including the notion of switching between low and high velocity parameter sets.
Risen from Near Obscurity – Reviving Synergy #01205
Time has not been kind to the Synergy with many examples having perished years ago. Needless to say that very few have experienced a working Synergy let alone a full II+ system first hand in recent times.
Quite by chance earlier in the year I stumbled across a now very rare 1983 Synergy II+ in a rather burnt out state with a very interesting past. After a few days of intense research I was able return this poor beast to working order and I set about the soon to be arduous task of finding a suitable Kaypro II computer to be coupled to it to run the infamous synHCS host control application. The task of tracking down a working Kaypro was tricky enough in the UK but the task of running an OS, finding working application software, making a suitable serial cable to connect the two machines, configuring the link and locating the factory patches in the correct format proved to be a major headache.
Into the 21st Century…
As has been such an effective retrofit on other vintage instruments such as the Emulator II, with the invaluable help of its inventor, Jean-François DEL NERO, I successfully managed to install a superb HxC floppy disk emulation system in place of one of the 5.25” disk drives and embarked on the ludicrously tedious task of manually converting the disk images of the entire GDS/Synergy Factory Sound Library to virtual disks. This permitted me to audition several hundred patches in awe of this groundbreaking digital wonder…
Sampling the Beast
I decided to capture a broad selection some of the more impressive sounds. This turned out to be a bigger task that I had envisaged and after many tens of hours of run time the beast died in front of my eyes and after several hours of mild panic I determined that the very elderly and rather grizzly switch mode power supply had failed. To my great relief the beast was returned to operation the following day having retrofitted a modern high efficiency equivalent in its place (which was half the size of the original!). During my time sampling the Synergy a curious feeling crept over me that I have very rarely experienced whilst sat in front of a vintage instrument – that of sheer wonder that a team of engineers had the vision and bravery to develop an instrument so very ahead of its time and so different from those of the day. In fact, despite the number of wonderful vintage synths I get work on these days, the last time I felt this way was when I was returning the infamous 1938 Novachord #346 to life.
In short, I hope you enjoy playing the sampled instruments as much as I’ve enjoyed making this library…
The GDS/Synergy II+ is surprisingly capable of synthesizing all manner of percussive sounds including many of a similar but not identical nature to their analog counterparts from drum machines of yesteryear.
As well as the main body of instruments Synergenesis features over 220 percussive samples capturing a significant proportion of the drum patches featured in the original factory instrument library which dates back to the early 1980s. They have been presented as two main drum kits and as a series of sets primarily intended to permit the user to preview them and experiment with filtering and dynamics on select sounds. Multiple instruments can then be used in this manner over a number of midi channels if required. More technically minded users can remap the drum sets as they wish in Kontakt.
The drum sounds in this library are also presented in .wav format.
As well as the original 24-bit samples the percussion is also presented in 16 and 8-bit formats (all at 44.1KHz sample rate) in their respective folders for use on a wide range of software based sample players and applications as well as a number of hardware samplers such as the MPC series.
This library requires the full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or higher.
Approximately 1GB of free hard disk space is required.
952 24-bit Samples*
298 Drum Samples in 8, 16 & 24-bit .wav format
61 Example Instruments*
48 Example Layered Multis*
Live music demo “The Max Factor” – recorded directly from one of the recently restored ultra-rare G.D.S. instruments*
*includes a multi-sample from the recently restored 1979 Crumar GDS (see news section)
D.A.Wilson (Hideaway Studio) Synergy Restoration & Patch Design, Sample Capture, Example Patches & Demos. Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP) UI Concept, GUI Design & Graphics. Mario Krušelj Synth Engine Script
The Little Synth That Could…
In 1984 Dave Smith and his team at Sequential Circuits released the Six-trak which was one of the first instruments not only to feature the then new MIDI control system but was an early multitimbral offering. This was quite a technically advanced feature to be seen on what was a relatively affordable synthesizer in those days. Although we all know Dave Smith as a master of analog synthesizer design, whilst working on his designs, I am often left thinking that in fact he really should be better praised for his programming skills! Fitting a whole multi-timbral synth control system with patch recall, an arpeggiator, a sequencer, a stack facility and an extremely full midi CC implementation into a humble Z80 microcontroller running at 4MHz with its code residing on one tiny 16Kbyte EPROM is really quite an accomplishment!
Although very much overshadowed by the infamous Prophet 5, the Six-trak offers 6 real VCOs and analog filters courtesy of Curtis (CEM3394) which much to my delight self-oscillate in such a controlled manner that they can easily double up as second oscillators with a bit of careful programming.
As is so often with my ever growing collection of vintage synths at Hideaway, Six-trak number 1551 came in dead and was singing sweetly again after a few days of attention on the slab armed with the oscilloscope and soldering iron.
Having rescued this little beasty from the grave I was confronted with an empty patch memory so I set about programming up 100 new patches which resulted in a mammoth sampling session rendering over 4Gbytes of material that was auditioned in Kontakt. Having cherry picked some 70 or so of my favorites I set about looping some 870 or so samples and programming up 100 new instruments in Kontakt.
I have to say I was quite surprised by what I managed to get out of what on paper is quite a humble 1-OSC per voice polysynth. I think there are a few reasons for this – firstly I found the Six-trak to have quite a dark nature to its sound and the filters are great with the whole self oscillation thing launching it into sometimes complete instability but on other occasions rendering bells and percussive sounds aplenty. The way the VCAs are also setup permits the filter to be somewhat overdriven which adds another dimension to its sound.
The decision was made to capture almost all of the material directly from the Six-Trak as the instrument has quite a warm nature right out of the box. A small handful of the patches were post processed by feeding the audio through the wonderful triple chorus stage of the 1972 Eminent 310U to impart an extremely rich texture.
It is worth noting, as with all of my sampled vintage synth collection, that although the raw captured material is totally authentic many of the instruments in the library explore many new avenues. That said, I think many would be quite surprised what I managed to conjure out of this little wonder.
It has indeed been a fair while since my last release. Behind the scenes I have been extremely busy overhauling and restoring a whole raft of vintage synths including two rare and very special old beasts. These and others will form the basis of several planned major releases over the next few months…
This library requires the full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or higher.
Approximately 650MB of free hard disk space is required.
871 24-bit Samples
69 Example Instruments
31 Example Layered Multis
“Some jaw-droppingly beautiful sounds, and highly recommended!” DavyAch, KVR
D.A.Wilson (Hideaway Studio) Six-Trak Restoration & Patch Design, Sample Capture, Example Patches & Demos. Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP) UI Concept, GUI Design & Graphics. Mario Krušelj Synth Engine Script
Most should realise by now that I have a fascination for rediscovering old technologies and combining the best of them in a constant attempt to create something new and unusual. Some of you will also know that I’m a big fan of the retro computing scene and especially the demo music scene that grew up around it during the mid ‘80s and into the ‘90s. Almost all of the time my technological foraging involves trawling up some physical lump of hardware but on recently rekindling my love of ProTracker on the Amiga I got curious one day and wondered if perhaps someone had attempted to not just play back samples as in Karsten Obarski’s pioneering Ultimate Soundtracker (that came close to bringing Fairlight Series II functionality to the unwashed masses on two floppy disks in 1987!) but rather to synthesize them from scratch…
What I was expecting to find was some sort of crude utility that took some basic settings and then went off and slowly processed a few waveforms to load into a sampler. To my amazement what I actually found was a relatively unknown program called Aegis Sonix released circa 1989 that managed to implement a full 4 voice subtractive soft synthesizer with a digitally modeled low pass filter and realtime dynamics control running purely in software.. on a 30 year old Amiga 500!! This predates even Dave Smith’s first soft synth for the PC by several years and surely must be one of the earliest ever examples of a purely software based real time subtractive synthesizer running on a home computer. It even has some pretty nifty features such as hand drawn oscillator waveforms and LFOs and a cool feature to add 2nd and 3rd order harmonics to any waveform.
So what does it sound like? Having finally tracked down a working copy of this relatively rare software my expectations were not that high but to my surprise what transpired was so primitive in nature that it imparted significant character in its gloriously aliased 8-bit audio. The filters really worked but in an odd way, the dynamics control and phaser effects full of steppy artefacts and most excitingly of all – it sampled beautifully rendering two octaves of MC68000 generated goodness.
I ended up programming up some 40 or so patches and set about capturing 630 samples in 24-bits directly from the line outputs of a recently acquired Amiga A1200.
It must be noted that Aliasonix is entirely based on waveforms captured from a low sample rate 8-bit source and therefore noise, glitches, stepping and aliasing are very much part of the intended charm and character of this library.
But what about combining technologies old and new?.. Feeding the raw aliased nature of the original 8-bit waveforms into smooth filters in a modern synth engine results in something more similar in nature to early digital/analog hybrid instruments such as the PPG Wave, µWave I and Mirage.
Introducing a Powerful New Synth Engine
Aliasonix is the first release from Hideaway Studio to feature a powerful new synth engine developed by Stephen Howell at Hollow Sun and his scripting guru, Mario Krušelj. Dubbed “Solo” the new engine is particularly well suited to serving lead and solo instruments with powerful real time modulation in a highly intuitive user interface.
630 24-bit Samples, 70 Instruments with edit and save ability, 31 Layered Multis, New feature rich synth engine, Audio demo & Manual.
D.A.Wilson (Hideaway Studio) Sonix Patch Design, Sample Capture, Example Patches & Demos. Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP) UI Concept, GUI Design & Graphics. Mario Krušelj Synth Engine Script.
“These Blue Zone sound libraries are some of my favorites. Shimmering, murky, distant, distressed, and very evocative. I love sounds that feel like they’ve been through hell on their way to the speakers, and these are right on the money. Highly recommended, and such a bargain!”
Charlie Clouser, Film & TV Composer.
“when I first came across them, I spent a whole afternoon listening through in absolute wonder. They are without a doubt, some of the best tones I have ever heard & so meticulous in their detail. I’ll look forward to using them on up coming film & media production cues and in a variety of other projects, too.”
Simon Power, Composer & Sound Designer for BBC’s Doctor Who audiobooks
The Blue Zone, was originally incrementally released as an on-going series of one-off experimental electronic textures and instruments which grew over a year to form a unique sound library. It proved to be extremely popular with well over 4000 releases sold to date and now being used in TV, Film and Media studios across the world.
Since release The Blue Zone Series instruments found their way into a number of high profile projects…
Most of the sounds in the series have been created from scratch using unusual combinations of custom tube hybrid equipment, experimental analog circuits, tape delays, ring modulators, vintage analog gear and test equipment. These sounds and textures in this series are mostly but not exclusively aimed at Ambient, New Age and Sound Score genres. Each instrument is presented with a basic subtractive synthesizer interface permitting the user to further tweak the sound to suit his needs.
In celebration of the first year of the series a Special Edition release of the first 25 incremental releases are presented as one library along with their original audio demos. The instrument names have been prefixed to indicate their release number. 44 bonus layered multis have been included that span across the library – these have been prefixed with TBZxx and include several complex arpeggiated offerings. A “rogues gallery” of much of the equipment used to make TBZ01-25 can also be found in the documentation folder along with some production notes giving clues on what gear was used for each sound.
The Blue Zone 01-25 Special Edition presents all of the original incremental releases in the series and some extras…
A full pre-installed download of all 22 instruments officially released to date along with the following extras is now available:
• 1GB of 24-bit samples
• TBZ13 Area_13 “The One That Got Away”
• TBZ24 Crystallum Modus
• TBZ25 Snow Flakes
• 44 New Layered Multis blending cross library textures with TBZxx prefix
• Original 78 .nkis & 56 .nkms now prefixed for easy identification of release
• Original demos for the first 25 releases (in mp3 format)
• 28 minute long compilation of select demos from the series (mp3 format)
• “Rogues Gallery” of much of the equipment used in the making of the series
• Production release note summary for clues on how each sound was made
• List of instruments and layered multis along with original release dates
• Approximately 1.2GB of free hard disk space is required (full library)
• Kontakt 4.2.4 (full version)
• A Velocity Sensitive Keyboard is Highly Recommended
• A Sustain Pedal will prove very effective in many instances
• D.A.Wilson Custom Equipment, Sound Design and Audio Demos
• Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP) Conceptual GUI Design & Graphics
• Mario Krušelj GUI Script
HS-4KL-BZ99 (SE) & HS-4KL-BZ98 (BP) (25/11/13)