Archive for August, 2023

BLEASS Announces Fusion Wavetable Distortion Plugin

BLEASS Fusion is the Swiss Army knife of distortion plugins. This versatile waveshaping tool promises to deliver “sumptuously smooth saturations and disgracefully dirty distortions”

BLEASS has announced the release of Fusion, a new distortion plugin. Fusion utilizes waveshaping to distort and saturate your sounds; the developers claim that this makes Fusion the “most versatile and adaptable” plugin of its kind.

Fusion waveshaper is equipped with 58 wavetables, each of which fine-tunes the character of the distortion or saturation being applied. The user can also import their own custom wavetables, meaning that Fusion is capable of producing a hugely diverse variety of sounds; everything from warm analogue-inspired saturation to abrasive digital clipping.

The plugin interface is divided into four tabs; Waveshaper houses the waveshaping controls, while Filter is home to a pair of resonant multi-mode filters; filter types include high-pass, low-pass, bell and notch, and each filter can be positioned before or after the waveshaper in the plugin’s signal chain.

The Modulation tab offers a ton of possibilities for creating evolving, dynamic distortion effects; there’s two highly tweakable LFOs onboard, along with an envelope follower, a useful addition that converts the dynamics of the audio being processed into a control signal to modulate any of Fusion’s parameters.

Fusion modulation capabilities are bolstered further by the inclusion of a sequencer, which can be used to program complex patterns of values that modulate two more of Fusion’s controls. There’s also a neat randomization function that lets you instantly randomize all of the plugin’s parameters, making for quick and easy experimentation.

Fusion is available for Mac, iOS and Windows in VST3/AU/AUv3 formats and is very reasonably priced at $19.99.

Find out more on BLEASS website.

Native Instruments introduces Traktor X1 MK3 USB DJ Controller

Native Instruments today introduced the new Traktor X1 MK3 USB DJ controller, a compact, modular controller that they say is designed for DJs who want portability, powerful effects control, and intuitive operation.

Building on the X1 MK1 and MK2 models, X1 MK3 adds innovative new features, based on feedback from the Traktor community:

  • A highly visual design allows DJs to focus on their performance instead of looking at a laptop. Five OLED displays reveal essential track and effect information, including track progress, track name, loop size, selected effects, and effect parameters.
  • An advanced lighting system notifies performers with key information, like when a track is about to run out or if it’s running in a loop. DJs can also choose from a spectrum of colors to customize the ambient lighting and button color, perfect for matching their unique style or brand. Accessibility enhancements include tactile dots across the controller and increased button sizes, making it easier for performers to orient themselves, even in low light environments.
  • The new “Mixer Mode” allows DJs to press a single button to switch from effects mode to mixer mode, instantly take control of EQs and channel levels, and transition tracks while monitoring all four channel levels on the displays.
  • X1 can be customized to meet your specific needs. Make adjustments to mapping with a customization page in Traktor Pro and color-code each button group to easily identify different functions.
  • A three-port powered USB hub extends connectivity, allowing you to connect to CDJs, your custom setups, or additional X1 units.

X1 MK3 comes bundled with the latest version of NI’s flagship DJ software, Traktor Pro 3. Traktor Pro 3 includes sonic sculpting tools, professional audio quality, and a clear and intuitive interface. Additional features include time-stretching, an improved limiter, a huge array of effects, and a wide range of options for customizing your mixing workflow.

Traktor X1 MK3 is available for pre-order with the following pricing:

€ 299 / $ 299 / JPY 42.900 / £ 259 / AUD 449 / CAD 389 / CHF 299 / CNY ¥ 2.399

Traktor X1 MK3 will be available online and in stores on September 20, 2023.

SP MIDI Converter corrects MIDI Issues with SP-12 & SP-1200 Samplers

Vegard Hella has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the SP MIDI, a reissue of the device, which corrects MIDI issues with the E-mu SP-12 and SP-1200 samplers.

“Back in 2014 I created this tool for a few friends and sold a few online,” explains Hella. “Over the years people have asked for more units, but I’ve not had the means to make them. This is an attempt to correct that.”

The SP MIDI converts non-standard MIDI messages from the SP-1200 to regular MIDI. One such message is note off, which is required to set the length or duration of sequenced notes. The SP MIDI also translates the pitches of bank D to a continuous range of notes to store and sequence external devices. When recording it is necessary to set rec mode.

Internal mode is used to select up to three samples which then have their 16 pitch levels mapped out over the keyboard. Now supporting note off you can play like you would normally expect, where the sample mutes when the key is released. Excellent for looped samples, i.e. bass lines.

External mode is used to sequence other instruments. It uses bank D1-D6 to record notes on one MIDI channel and D7-D8 on another channel. D1-D6 is mapped to a full note range by pad number and pitch, making it possible to play a melody using the pads. Also note off is sent as you hit the pads a second time, unless F1 oneshot is selected. D7-D8 is combined together to give a full range of note numbers and is best used with a keyboard.

The SP MIDI is available to project backers for €449.

*Note: Crowdfunded projects can involve risk. Details available on the project website.