Music Tech News Roundup: UVI, Isotonik, IRCAM, Vuo, and Yamaha

In this Music Tech News Roundup, we look at some new software that will rock the studio or the stage. Check out UVI’s Cameo phase distortion suite, Isotonik’s Modular Series Two Max for Live devices, IRCAM’s IRCAMAX 2 Max for Live devices, Vuo 1.2 visual software for VJs, and Yamaha’s VOCALOID4 Editor voice synthesis engine.

UVI Cameo | Phase Distortion Suite

UVI has released Cameo, a suite of three instruments inspired by the classic 80’s Casio CZ phase distortion synthesizers. Each instrument provides a unique synthesis approach, delivering a wealth of sounds, sampled patches, and a full ensemble of built-in effects from vintage synthesizers including the Casio CZ1, CZ101, CZ1000, CZ2300S, CZ3000, CZ5000 to modern phase distortion synthesis using the advanced oscillators and DSP algorithms from UVI Falcon. The three instruments include:

  • Cameo CZ incorporates a huge library of custom patches designed on the original hardware. Cameo CZ provides an deep sample library, including variations with and without the unique Chorus effect of the flagship CZ1.
  • Cameo CX is a dual-layer instrument with a large catalog of sounds and raw waveforms, captured directly from the hardware instruments. A hybrid methodology implores these raw waves as the basis for sound design within a modern digital environment.
  • Cameo CM is a modern inspiration of the phase distortion sound. Another dual-layer instrument, but this time utilizing the Wavetable oscillator and DSP shaping tools from Falcon. Cameo CM isn’t sample-based in the sense of the CZ and CX, rather it’s aimed at achieving wholly new and unique sounds using the capable architecture of the UVI Engine.

Pricing and Availability: Cameo is available for $129 from authorized dealers and the UVI website. Learn more here.


Isotonik Modular Series Two | Max for Live Devices

The Modular Series offers a wide range of Max for Live devices that can be utilized with any Midi Controller in conjunction with Ableton Live. The series of devices include:

  • FOLLOW allows you to set automatic Follow Actions for Clips and Scenes in Ableton Live. This device has the ability to set Follow Actions that occur at a Clip end rather than a predetermined time. In addition to setting standard Follow Actions at Clip end, you can also trigger them at Clip stop, define the Clip number to be played next or even switch the Clip Follow Action to become a Scene Follow action. The latest update includes an additional five alternative next Clips or Scenes per clip, designed primarily for use by a band to define options for each playing Clip.
  • SMART allows you to control eight parameters with one Smart Dial. Eight parameters can be mapped and controlled with a master dial to modulate them at different rates. The display shows the correct values for mapped parameters for ease of setting up and also displays correctly on the Ableton Push.
  • LOOPER gives you the ability to loop on -the-fly. Drop the device on any track to control the currently playing Clips looping properties via MIDI. You can set pre-determined length loops, move them, halve or double them, all without having to focus on the playing Clip first.

Pricing and Availability: The Modular Series is available for $36.34 from the Isotonik website. Learn more here.


IRCAM IRCAMAX 2 | Max for Live Devices

IRCAM has introduced IRCAMAX 2, their second collection of Max For Live devices. Through real-time audio analysis, their advanced physical modelling synthesis environment and other leading technologies, IRCAMAX 2 lets you manipulate, process, and reinvent sounds in ways you wouldn’t have imagined possible. Renowned for their explorations of musical expression and leading research in science and acoustics, the Paris-based IRCAM institute now offers up a second Pack for Live users that includes eight audio effects, two instruments, and one MIDI effect. This collection of unique and powerful tools give you the ability to explore advanced audio processing, expert sound design, and creative experimentation – all within the following Max for Live devices:

  • IM-PsychHarmonizer: Vocal harmonizer allowing separation and manipulation of monophonic vocal sounds.
  • IM-Freezer: Freezing effect that lets you create sound textures by freezing, scrolling and stretching live or pre-recorded sounds.
  • IM-Ianalyzer: A real time polyphonic Audio to MIDI converter that lets you manipulate and resynthesise a signal’s psychoacoustic properties – and capture and reuse the resulting data as MIDI.
  • IM-NoteTracker: A Real time Audio to MIDI converter that extracts a signal’s estimated pitch and amplitude and converts them to MIDI note components.
  • IM-Chromax: A spectral delay that converts chords into harmonics models, whose set of consisting frequencies can be further transformed, and used to define delay, feedback and filter shapes.
  • IM-ModalysFilter: Uses the revered IRCAM Modalys engine to filter the signal with physical modelling processes.
  • IM-GrainDelay: A grain delay effect that can be synchronized to Live’s tempo and used with the IRCAMAX MIDI Send/Receive device to receive MIDI notes that control transpositions of the grains.
  • IM-MultiFX: Four effects in one – delay, reverb, chorus and auto pan – that can be used as a simple FX box tool for all your synths.
  • IM-Midi Send/Receive: Whether coming from a MIDI clip or the result of audio analysis of an audio track, these devices let you send and receive MIDI data between any IRCAMAX device within a Live Se
  • IM-ModalysSynth: A polyphonic synthesizer based on IRCAMs flagship Modalys physical modeling engine – technology with over 20 years of research and refinement.
  • IM-MatrixSynth: A 3-oscillator, 3-envelope polyphonic synthesizer with a multimode filter and flexible modulation matrix.

Pricing and Availability: The Modular Series is available for $199 from the Ableton website. Learn more here.


Vuo 1.2 | Visual Software for VJs

Developed by Kosada, Vuo is a Mac OS X app that lets users create one-of-a-kind live performances, interactive exhibits, and professional-grade media projects. Vuo’s drag-and-drop interface of simple building blocks makes it possible to manipulate sound, images, videos, and graphics within one app. Media creators can include real-time interaction using audio input, MIDI, OSC, and Art-Net DMX integration, or Kinect and Leap Motion device input. In addition, Vuo 1.2 comes loaded with many new improvements and additions. There is now a fisheye camera, which can be used to warp 2D and 3D scenes that can be rendered on a dome. USB HID support for joysticks, game controllers, and other USB-HID-compliant devices have been added. The update includes timing nodes that trigger animations at a certain time of day, at certain times relative to the start of their performance, or relative to events such as a mouse click. Vuo’s other features include sharing visuals with other Mac apps through Syphon, spherical mirror projection mapping, an alternate dome projection method, high-quality video export and interactive recording, CPU and GPU performance optimizations, including automatic multi-threading, compilation to machine code, and shader-based OpenGL. You can also export compositions as Mac apps.

Pricing and Availability: Vuo 1.2 is available for $49 or $149 for Vuo Pro from the Vuo website (20% end-of-year discount. Enter code e5cVg4HL at checkout). Learn more here.


VOCALOID4 Editor | Voice Synthesis Engine

VOCALOID is a singing voice synthesis technology developed by Yamaha Corporation and is also the title of this software application. This software allows users to input melody and lyrics in order to synthesize a singing voice. In other words, a singing voice can be produced without a human singer by using this technology. Synthesized singing from this tool is produced from Singer Libraries, databases of fragments of voices and phonemes recorded from actual singers. Various voices can be used by changing the Singer Library. VOCALOID4 Editor is the latest version of Yamaha’s powerful voice synthesis engine with several new features for innovative music production. This editor is a stand-alone application that can be used with various DAW software. Cross-Synthesis lets users design nuanced voice tones by blending two different sound libraries–one to enhance power and attack, the other to emphasize expressiveness like the sustain and release of notes. Growl adds hard tremolo to the voice for a more realistic and versatile sound. Pitch Render allows for editing the smoothness of pitch linkage or the level of vibrato application by using a visual display to make the settings.

Pricing and Availability: The VOCALOID4 Editor is available for $99.99 from the Vocaloid website. Learn more here.


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Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

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