Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Daily Roundup 31 Jan 2022: Philip Glass piano sample, CHORDS MIDI plugin, MU610 kit organ expansion, tiny house track on tiny synths…

Philip Glass’s baby grand piano sampled by Spitfire Audio

Spitfire Audio’s latest LABS free software instrument captures celebrated composer Philip Glass’s beloved baby grand piano as aptly titled Glass Piano.

It puts the sound of an instrument which was used in all his compositions for the past 30 years into anyone’s hands by recording it in the same room it has occupied since acquisition at the celebrated composer’s home in Manhattan, NYC, USA; making it available as the latest addition to Spitfire Audio’s infinite series of free software instruments in its award-winning, easy-to-use plug-in, presented in AAX, AU, VST2, and VST3 formats for use in any compatible DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) without needing Native Instruments’ KONTAKT sample playback engine.

Philip Glass himself hopes that this close collaboration with Spitfire Audio will open a small viewing window into his world of writing, practicing, and performing. “It’s not just the piano and its sound, it’s the room it’s in — the density of the walls and floorboards and the temperature,” said Glass, continuing, “It’s how young or old a piano is; it’s even how the keys are varnished. My piano has a heavy action. Just like people, pianos have personalities. If you look at all 88 keys, the piano is different in different places. The lower octaves of my piano are not meant to be bold and aggressive. They are meant to be beautiful and spiritual, and that’s how they sound.”

LABS Glass Piano is available as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible plug-in supporting Native Instruments’ NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) for Mac (OS X 10.10 or later) and Windows (7, 8, and 10 — latest Service Pack) that loads directly into any compatible DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for free from here:

CHORDS MIDI plugin from WA Productions

CHORDS is a plugin which can create sequences of chords with a minimum of direction from the user. Originally designed for the EDM genre, it can easily find a use in any musical situation particularly where some inspiration or creativity is required. Thanks to its intuitive interface, it is easy to try out new ideas for tracks as the must-have MIDI effect plug-in in question quickly takes the strain — suggesting single four-note chords to creating complete eight-chords riffs and much more besides — so users will soon be speeding along with a fresh hit of inspiration and creativity, their musical destination in plain sight.

Simply load the CHORDS MIDI effect plug-in in front of any MIDI-triggered audio-generating plug-in in a DAW, hit play and musically marvel at how the state-of-the-art software genius generates looped options for up to eight chords with full control over chord shape, INVERSION, VELOCITY, and more. It is then just a case of dragging the MIDI straight from the plug-in to the DAW project and letting creativity flow freely as CHORDS gently guides its users toward their musical destination with sensible suggestions.

Going global or granular, all is perfectly possible when working with CHORDS — global controls adjust inversions, length, speed, and root key of the entire playback, permitting users to make on-the-fly adjustments to their entire riff as a simple as possible process, while clicking on a coloured segment allows for more granular control over chord shapes, including MAJOR and MINOR variations, as well as individual INVERSION and VELOCITY.

Simple segments number up to eight, each containing a different chord type and allowing users to choose to trigger between one and four notes per chord. Choice notwithstanding, playback of all such segments sync to the host BPM of the DAW, duly remaining locked in time at all times. That said, users can easily add and subtract segments at any time, as well as independently changing a range of parameters for each segment.

Segments can be programmed with inversions from -6 to +6, transforming chord shapes and placing the root note inside the chord itself. Easily experiment by pushing the lowest notes up an octave or the highest notes down an octave to turn chords inside out!

Once chords are loaded and a segment chosen, there are 18 small black buttons in the centre of the interface with which users can choose S (Subdominant), T (Tonic), or D (Dominant) chord shapes — simple triads right through to more complex shapes, let CHORDS find the right notes for any related chord. Clearly, CHORDS users wishing to make use of an awkward G7sus4 or Bm7b5, say, can do just that — and all without worrying about the complicated chord shapes concerned.

CHORDS also makes it easy to get chord progressions into projects by simply dragging and dropping them from the plug-in itself into the DAW. It is just a case of editing thereafter to anyone’s heart’s content, chopping up the MIDI, and transposing and twisting CHORDS’ suggestions to suit the style of music being worked on.

CHORDS comes complete with a large library of factory preset progressions, helpfully labelled in detail. All act as useful musical motifs to get users up and running in next to no time, and all of which can ultimately form the basis for whole tracks. No need for EDM producers — or anyone else, for that matter — to stay stuck with writer’s block, but rather speed along with constantly fresh hits of inspiration and creativity, their musical destination always in plain sight.

CHORDS is available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of only $34.70 USD.

Expanding Josty Electronic MU610 kit organ

Last week we showed you the build of the Josty Electronic MU610 kit organ from various other components, and now we’re back to see organfairy expand the instrument.

“I decided to expand the 1970s kit organ I recreated in my last video. To make it more “authentic” I am only using technology and design principles that were available when the kit was originally made. It would have been much easier to just use integrated circuits for most of it but I took the old approach as a challenge – typical for engineers…..”

Türbofolk – A tiny house track on tiny synths

Made with Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators PO12 Rhythm and PO33 KO., and the Korg NTS-1.

5 LoFi Plugins You NEED In Your Life!

LoFi plugins are great to add character, warmth and texture to your synths, samples and tracks. In this video I present you 5 of my favorite LoFi-plugins and demonstrate them with a range of instruments.