Monthly Archives: December 2003

OmniStudio USB Drivers Ruined My Day

[UPDATE 1/5/2004 11:42PM PST]… Please see here for the latest.

I’ll have a lot more to say shortly but I have just spent the last three days proving to myself that the XP drivers for my new OmniStudio USB by M-Audio corrupted my system and I had to go to extreme measures to remove the problem.

I highly recommend that anybody considering buying this hardware learn about XP’s Restore points and use them judiciously when installing the drivers.

Repeat: the XP drivers for M-Audio’s OmniStudio USB corrupted my system. Badly.

[UPDATE 1/1/2004 2:22PM PST]

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FL Studio 4.51

The feature list for FL Studio (a.k.a. Fruity Loops) shows some nice improvements.

The Sytrus FM Synth is central to this release.

Too bad I’m not a big synth guy. Yesterday there was plenty of folks in the “private” FL forums for registered users that voiced a hope that I too had not-so-secretly harbored: the “ACID” feature. That is: the ability to stretch a sample without changing pitch (and the other way around).

Sigh. Next time.

There is also talk of a new ‘XXL’ package that is everything that Imagine-Line sells for a ‘deep discount.’ Everybody needs a big box eventually. I guess.

Here’s the list of components in the XXL package:

  • BeatSlicer (Fruity/Standalone)
  • Fruity DrumSynth Live (Fruity)
  • SimSynth Live (Fruity/VSti/Dxi)
  • WASP (Fruity/VSti/Dxi)
  • DreamStation DXi (DXi only)
  • DX10 Synth (Fruity/VSti/Dxi)
  • Fruity Sound Font Player (Fruity only)
  • Sytrus FM Synth (Fruity/VSti/Dxi)
  • FL Studio Producer Edition (Dwnld Only)

I think it’s $225, with %40 discount for current users, plus they subtract for component I already have (BeatSlicer and SoundFont player) which brings it down to $136 for ‘lil ol’ me.

I wish I tought I could use the stuff. We’ll see. In 2002 the rationale was “If I don’t do it the terrorists win,” then in 2003 it was “If I don’t do it then Sadaam wins” maybe in 2004 in can be “If I don’t do it then the Republicans win.” (That clanking sound you just heard was half of my readers falling off the VT bandwagon. I’ll miss both of ya…)

Meanwhile 4.51 and XXL have been posted to tucows but not reflected in their mirrors yet.

Beer in Your CD Spinner?

What to do when a beer falls into your top loading CDj? [This is good.]

I wish I had a snarky comment here but I actually feel for the guy and despite the rediculous situation, he actually kept a pretty cool head about the whole thing.

In case you’re wondering what this is even about, in the last few years DJing has been slowly evolving away from vinyl and toward specialized CD version of turntables. You can find a decent, objective discussion of the hardware here.

I recently inherited the CDN-88 from my son who graduated to vinyl (you read that correctly) and I’ll probably be putting it to use soon enough.

Ozone to the Test

I’ve been playing around with the iZotope’s Ozone and had some interesting results. You can click on Vincent to hear the clip of my recorded guitar over some loops and stuff. I turn on the Ozone effects at bar 5 (around 0:08 sec. ) into the song. The difference is stark, obvious and definitely “richer.”

Ozone has compression, reverb, stereo separation, all kinds of gizmos and knobs to turn. I’m not an expert in how to use this plugin and there are limitless variations to the settings so take this sound for what it’s worth. In fact, I pumped the slap-back reverb up a little more than I normally would have just to make sure it was audible — in other words: just for effect. I couldn’t get the reverb to sound as lush or subtle as Waves TrueVerb but then it’s a fraction of the price so it may never (although price is getting to be less and less of a valid gauge nowadays — more like an invalid gouge, I guess.)

The CPU usage is still an issue. When I used this plug-in before I got the external USB sound card it was taxing my system. Now, with the CPU getting diverted shoving bits down and back the USB pipe, it’s damn near impossible to run even one instance of Ozone in FL Studio in my hardware configuration. (Good thing I ordered more RAM as a Christmas present for myself.)

Still, if I turn off the UI and check ‘Smart Enable’ in FL I get the render you hear here.

[Update] Unfortunately due to bandwidth stealing I had to move the Ozone Trial MP3. If you are interesting in hearing this fine work please contact me and I will pass you the current URL.

Free PlugIn

dubsiren-th40.jpgThe Dub Discussion Board on the free VST plugin Dub Siren. Does it really matter what it sounds like when it’s this cool looking?

It’s a lot of fun. Highly recommended for fun.

FL users remember that while you can’t right click on the knobs to get hardware controller support you can still do it from the wrapper like this.


Free Soundfonts

Free soundfonts (and a whole bunch more stuff) at (Registration required).

I can tell you that wading through free soundfont libraries online is a very, very time consuming endeavor but can turn out to be very, very rewarding when you find a good one. The selection doesn’t seem that deep at sf2midi but we keep wading.

Hammersound is the classic free site. Their servers seem to fade out sometimes so keep trying.

[UPDATE]: Thanks Gagarin for pointing us back to sf2midi who has done a nifty redesign of the site and quite an uptake in SF2 files! As of this writing there over 2,200 sound fonts and it is now easier than ever to find what you may be looking for. Even though they are still missing some ‘classics’ (like the Campbell strings sections) they are an essential stop.

Free Samples

Search the Web for Sounds: FindSounds

When you perform a search using or the WebPalette feature of FindSounds Palette, you obtain links to audio files hosted by Web sites throughout the world. The sounds in these audio files may be copyrighted and their use governed by national and international copyright laws. We do not offer advice on the fair use of these files.

Blah blah blah you’re a criminal.