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XILS-lab has announced the release of R.A.M.S.E.S., an all-new Windows and Mac OS X multi-effect plug-in "with a difference".

Developed in close collaboration with Le Lotus Bleu (a.k.a. Laurent Bourgeon) to bring any audio signal to life with rhythm and motion, R.A.M.S.E.S. stands for Rhythm And Motion Stereo Engine System.

What does that mean?
Try imagining a multi-effect plug-in that adds (or removes) true stereo depth and space; reshapes, re-filters, and re-envelopes every sound source; creates hypnotic and robotic sequences, yet ably adapts to the most subtle or complex human rhythms; and makes digital synths sound analogue.

How does it do that?
R.A.M.S.E.S. takes the so-called mask concept first introduced in XILS-lab's Le Masque: Delay plug-in — whereby only masked parts of a time-based grid zone area are processed by the delay and associated controls to produce even more rhythmically flexible results — and effectively magnifies it threefold, thanks to dedicated grids based on masks for FILTER, PAN/LEV, and ADVANCED processing.

Think of masks as being like advanced step sequencers, only the length and position of each 'step' (or mask) is freely assignable. And thanks to their respective in-depth controls — total control of the multimode analogue FILTER with dedicated hard-wired envelope and LFOs; control PAN and volume (LEV) with dedicated envelope and multi-wave LFO; modulate any of 91 R.A.M.S.E.S parameters (ADVANCED) — each of those three grids are capable of producing some radically rhythmical effects, either independently or when applied altogether.

The R.I.T.A. (Realtime Interactive Transformation Area) performance module situated below the grid area(s) can control R.A.M.S.E.S. by playing live on a MIDI keyboard using M. WHEEL (modulation wheel), VELOCITY, KB TRACK (keyboard tracking), AFTERTCH (aftertouch), P. BEND (pitch bend), MIDI (note on, note pitch) data, and more besides.

Other dedicated controls include those found in the multimode FILTER main area, where users can select filter type from LP12 (two-pole lowpass), LP24 (four-pole lowpass), BP6 (two-pole bandpass), BP12 (four-pole bandpass), and HP12 (two-pole high-pass), as well as set the FREQ. (cutoff frequency) of the filter, RES. (resonance) — from no resonance to self-oscillation, and DRIVE, increasing the internal non-linearity response to add analogue-sounding distortion to the incoming signal.

The total audio path in R.A.M.S.E.S. is in true stereo, so users can control precisely the stereo balance point using another set of specific controls in the true stereo engine and VCA/volume main area:

  • BALANCE: by moving the red ball, the signal can be placed in the left, right, or centre of the stereo scene;
  • STEREO WIDTH: adjust the width of the bar to reduce or enlarge;
  • LEVEL: adjust the general output level at the end of the plug-in's signal path;
  • CRUSH: adjust a simple, yet efficient bit/sample rate reduction, adding more digital distortion to the sound.

R.A.M.S.E.S. comes complete with a healthy selection of professional presets to showcase its abilities and act as starting blocks for users' own creations. Presets are categorised as follows:

  • Hybrid: R.A.M.S.E.S. simultaneously controls filter, pan, volume, crusher, and spray delay, including added realtime modulation for complex modulations;
  • Filter Only: R.A.M.S.E.S. only controls the filter — sweeps, wah-wah, auto-wah, re-filter, and step sequences, etc.;
  • Level Only:R.A.M.S.E.S. only controls the volume (fade-in, fade-out, tremolo, and trance gate, etc.;
  • Pan Only: R.A.M.S.E.S. only controls the balance/pan — auto-pan, pan sequences, and narrow to large stereo;
  • Realtime Only: control R.A.M.S.E.S. with any keyboard or MIDI device using its R.I.T.A. engine.

R.A.M.S.E.S. is available to purchase for an introductory discounted price of €59.00 (rising to €79.00 on January 1, 2014) from the XILS-lab web store.

R.A.M.S.E.S. is a serial number protected-product — no dongle required — and can be directly downloaded as a 32-bit (Intel and PowerPC) and 64-bit (Intel) compatible multi-effect plug-in for Mac OS X and Windows in various formats (AAX/RTAS, AU, and VST2.4).

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