I have been a fan of Loopers hard and soft since the days of the original Lexicon JamMan and the Oberheim EchoPlex Digital Pro. I recently fired up Augustus Loop on an Apple laptop and used it in a live concert. Augustus Loop and it's tape machine paradigm is simply put a ton of sonic fun! I am excited to get deeper into the MIDI.Lua scripting...without a doubt this will really open up the creative live looping potential of AL! Once I started to get the hang of AL I found it to be really smooth and silky sounding or quite edgy and quirky as well.
Augustus Loop is one of those must-have sleeper plugins that if it's not in your arsenal of looping and delay tools you owe it to your looping endeavors to cop it. I have had it since before version 1.5 and it is only recently that I have started to really tap into the wonderful possibilities it presents. I have been working with Augustus Loop controlling it with an FCB1010 with the UNO firmware and the FCBUnOControlCenter editor for OS X and this Laptop Live Looper dream of mine is starting to work as intended (after about 14 years or so)! Thanks to os and Expert Sleepers for Augustus Loop and their complete line of excellent software and hardware tools.
Little Spacey by Expert Sleepers is a delay effect based on a vintage piece of analogue hardware called, "The Bucket Brigade." In truth, I never heard or saw that old piece of gear, but if it's anything like Little Spacey, it must be silky smooth and warm. The first thing I noticed about Little Spacey, besides the insanely affordable price, was clear, simple, and pleasing GUI — I love the color scheme. The second thing I noticed was how natural the signal repeats sounded. With each cycle, the delayed/repeated sound came back slightly degraded, which is what happens in natural environments. As a result, it's much easier to accomplish a dreamy, hypnotic, trippy, ambient sound. Unlike its digital counterparts, Little Spacey sounds REAL. Somewhere along the line I read a quote claiming this plugin to be "creamy." I think that's a perfect word to describe the sound of this effect. I find myself becoming addicted to Little Spacey — I want to use it on everything and anything. In addition to delay, it also does a nice chorus, vibrato, and quivering little tremolo effect. The mod depth control is fantastic for creating wobbling sound. I created a nice shimmering drone. Very sweet, indeed.
Little Spacey is a diamond in the virtual rough. I'm bewildered! :-0. Why isn't this thing more popular? What I see and hear is amazing.
• Fabulous GUI. I love the cool blue graphics • Big knobs for easy tweaking • Nice level meter • Stereo • AU and VST • Fantastic developer support • Great value • Readable and usable manual.
MISSING FEATURES: 32-bit. I look forward to a 64-bit version.
I highly recommend Little Spacey to anyone making music electronically. If you need a little modulation warm — Little Spacey all the way! This is a great little plugin to have in your arsenal, and for the price it's hard to pass up. I pay twice as much to fill crappy car with gas. Tommy Zai gives Little Spacey two thumbs up. Thank you Expert Sleepers.
Crossfade Loop Synth by Expert Sleepers is a simple, yet powerful plugin that fills a HUGE void in electronic music production — basic sample playback! When I'm inspired, I like to work fast before my muse leaves me. Most of today's virtual samplers are so stuffed with features and menus that it's nearly impossible to load, tweak, and then play an audio file. Crossfade Loop Synth comes to the rescue. With this plugin, you can quickly load a WAV or AIFF, apply crossfade to the loop endpoints to smooth out the transitions, and then manipulate the sample with: overdrive, saturation, filtering, amplitude, filter, modulation, LFOs, reverse, etc.
• Re-sizable GUI — SWEET! • Low CPU hit • 64-bit operation • Bundled with Crossfade Loop Synth Effect, which turns Crossfade Loop Synth into a live sampler and looper. • 32 note polyphonic • MIDI controllers can control all parameters • Files can be saved as WAV or AIFF • AU and VST • Excellent support from developer • Underpriced, and Im not complaining.
MISSING FEATURES: The main point of this plugin is to provide a straightforward alternative. So, adding too many features would complicate things and destroy the concept, i.e., time stretching, granular synthesis, etc. Yet, audio file drag n' drop would be nicer than the browser.
I still remember being able to write and record an electronic song in one day. With Crossfade Loop Synth, those days might be here again! Tommy Zai gives Crossfade Loop Synth two thumbs up. Thank you Expert Sleepers for creating such a cool plugin.
I've had Minky Starshine for two weeks now, have incorporated it in multiple projects and now feel comfortable saying that it is probably the best introduction to additive synthesis you'll find for the price.
The UI does come off as archaic and even baffling perhaps at first, with no knobs labeled. Upon mouse-over though things begin to make sense and a quick look at the online manual -- recommended whether you know additive synthesis or now -- will quickly uncover much of the mystery. This approach to UI design does make for a cleaner, probably smaller overall footprint on your screen and does become intuitive after the first few hours. There is an option to have labels displayed immediately beneath the controls if you can't be arsed to look at the top of the UI, which when activated displays the specific value and name of each control as you mouse-over it.
As far as presets go, this is not a preset-user's paradise... the 32 presets that are included show just the basic capacity of this synth. Full disclosure: i first came to this page in hopes that someone had released another preset pack! But for $29 i don't expect the 1000's of presets you get with higher priced synths.
The sound quality of Minky Starshine was the true dealmaker for me. Although it has no modular capacity, the routing of the 4 lfos and the 3 selectable envelopes-per-partial are rather sophisticated and lend themselves to great experimentation. You can conjure all sorts of strange PWM, fm-like metallic whirring and swelling pulses to show up with just a basic understanding of how the envelopes and LFOs interact. The Filter is infinitely variable between LP, BP and HP, and this too can be modulated by an LFO. Even without a true modular matrix, the options that are hard wired make sense and give rise to some unique results. There is a basic modulation effect that can give your tones a chorusing, as well as delays and flanges (which all come from the basic circuitry template). I find myself using this only to create a spreading of the basic tone, which can feel a bit mono otherwise.
For those unfamiliar with Additive Synthesis, or get baffled by other additives that offer 512+ partials and a slew of jargon to sift through, Minky Starshine is for you. My only warning though is that like all additive synths, you should still expect to learn for an hour or two to grasp how additive synthesis and PWM work together. It won't hurt though, i promise.
Wishlist for future updates: Tempo-sync'd LFOs, 2 additive oscillators (or more!), higher/selectable number of partials to work with (up to at least 64 would be nice). Panning controls/LFO's.Read Review
Crossfade Loopsynth is a clever little vsti/AU that will let you load a single .wav or .aiff into its interface so you can play it like a pitched instrument, making it the ONLY Mac synth I know of that handles samples in such a straightforward/simple manner – a lifesaver if bloated, library playing juggernauts are not your thing.
it's equipped with a fully automatable loop point/sample start system with a customizable amount of crossfade (hence the name) and comes with a multimode filter, full envelope functionality, overdrive, coarse/fine pitch control, pwm modulation, LFOs, complete ADSR envelopes for amp and filter etc.
The possibilites of mangling a sample are endless. Basically, you can do everything from fake beat chopping to the most glitchy and scary effects by using extreme settings and automation.
Its more recent incarnations come bundled with an effect plugin by the same name that basically records the audio generated by Crossfade Loopsynth (or any other source!) applying Crossfade Loopsynth's whole range of loop effects, pitching and filter modulations to the signal.
At just about 50 Euros it's basically a steal and highly recommended for anyone interested in making music on a Mac.