Category Archives: Plugins

Giga is Dead, Love Live Giga

TASCAM, a division of TEAC and the makers of GigaStudio has announced they are killing the product Giga product line. I can’t find any official word of this but it seems TASCAM has notified their vendors. GigaStudio is a high-end sampling suite of tools and virtual instruments as well as a file format for those instruments. I always thought it was popular amongst soundtrack scorers but to be honest, I’m having a hard time confirming any hard numbers of their users through Google searches. (It seems only one producer on ccMixter claims to use it.)

According to the forum post I linked to above there are five developers out of work and product line has been eschewed to the TASCAM product dead zone (aka “legacy“) area of the site.

I’ll admit that I’m having a hard time following all details of the these developments as my personal life is in a bit of turmoil right now (the good kind) but almost everywhere I go there is tons of speculation and hard-to-pin-down facts because TASCAM isn’t actually saying anything publicly to, you know, their customers.

Piling speculation on top of speculation I guess they were losing a lot of money on the products, they shopped it around and couldn’t get any takers and they have chosen to bury the software into some propriety vault.

The answer seems obvious to me that they should open the damn thing up. Peter at CDM makes a good case why this is unlikely but you know, if they had just an iota of imagination they could make it work. It doesn’t have to be as tortured as the ccMixter RFP but it could be done if there was a will to do so.

Of course there’s already a “petition web site” called OpenGigaStudio already out there.

The bottom line, this just sucks.

Oxford Goes Native (VST & AU)

This is very interesting, the Oxford plugins have been one of the biggest advantages to using ProTools but now comes word that KVR: Sony will release native versions of the Oxford Plug-ins with VST and AU on deck at about $250 per plugin.

The ProTools+Oxford combination is a very well known amongst in recording studios and this could give Waves a good run for their money at the prosumer level.

At this point I would make a nasty snark about Sony and DRM and rootkits but Waves’ copy protection has been such a nightmare to deal with over the years there’s not much to celebrate either way.

Stylus RMX: The Horse Beaten

The hot beat maker plugin is Stylus RMX. Professional gurus claim it to be among their favorite synths of all time and the KVR user reviews don’t get much better.

I picked up my copy a few days ago (yes on extended financing — and no, this won’t be the last entry I will post from that shopping spree) and I’ve been playing around with it in a few hosts.

Stylus RMX is a VSTi/AU plugin instrument that you call up in your host to handle the beats and percussion. The best thing RMX does is consolidate a world of stuff under one roof into a very productive environment. A very, very, very productive environment. I want to emphasize that because in the rest of this article it will be easy to forget why to get this plugin in the first place.

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Calling Sound Shapers…

Mixter-meister teru wants to know a good synth VSTi to use in FL Studio. I’m told Sytrus is better than ice cream and the demo included in FL looks like it should make someone who knows an oscillator from an alligator very happy — every sound I try to make sounds like a cross between a dial tone and electronic door bell. I’ve played with Native Instruments type synths that made me feel like maybe I should have stayed to the end of 10th grade and decided I’d rather start a new mix with an Archie Bell sample.

Two of my indie favs, Brad and Lisa regularly drop in synthy parts into their pop songs and I’ve always been curious what tools they’re using..

Cut-ups with SupaTrigga

Scott Andrew and Brad Sucks have been having a conversation about text cut-ups ala William Burroughs.

Trigga Sample

[ listen ]
[ download ]

Coincidentally I’ve been playing with the free VST plugin SupaTrigga which constantly comes up as a favorite cut-up/repeater in forums ranging from Traktion to FL Studio to Live. I’m not sure I know how to use it exactly but it’s pretty wild in that it works by setting several values to a degree of randomness such as repeat, slow down and reverse. It follows the tempo of your project and then, depending on the degree (0-100%) of randomness you select it will apply each of those effects.

Again, I’m not sure how to use it but “out of the box” it does great effects. It seems like a wonder for automating drums fills — a process which always drives me bonkers with dread since I’m not a drummer. The weirdest part is is that you never know what it’s going to do, so when you render your project it’s anyone’s guess what it did to the track you applied it to. I found myself re-rendering a lot until I finally figured I need to render just that track and do a proper mixdown. Click on Vincent to hear a quick example of using supatrigger in combination with Fruity’s ZeroX beatslicer. For a full blown cut download “Decent Poetry” which I threw together tonight applying SupaTrigga to the electric piano and drums.

[UPDATE] Here’s a link to the “dry” piano and drums used for “Decent Poetry” featuring my very own now legendary ‘two-fingered’ piano style.

Free DirectX/VST Bridge

I finally find one: For the few hosts out there that are VST-only (like Ableton Live) there is now a free virtual plug-in rack that hosts DirectX plug-ins. When I initially downloaded this plug-in it had troubles in Live but after I contacted the developer at vb-audio he was quick to fix it.

The completely free, unrestricted version hosts 4 plug-ins but you can assign as many racks as you want to any number of Live tracks. You can load and re-order simply by dragging them around and you can persist racks across multiple projects. (Automation is a natural next step and if a wink-wink-nudge-nudge from the development staff is worth anything then it’s coming soon.)

The plug-in goes the other way as well allowing Direct-X only hosts to load VSTs although that is something easier to find n the market place, including ones that handle virtual instruments (VSTi) which ffx4/16 don’t cover.

There’s also a free WinAMP version of the 4-rack.

The mega-16-rack version is available for 100 EU at the link above but the version that works in Live hasn’t been uploaded so you might as well test things out with the freebie version and if you love it, upgrade.

Knockout (Vocals) VST

UPDATE (9/19/04) St3pan0va tells me there is a new version of this plugin with bugfixes and other goodies. Pick the latest version at the URL below…

St3pan0va has release a beta VST that helps in isolating vocals. He is very open to iterating on feedback so make sure to give him a shout and let him know how it works for you.