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All reviews by Michael L

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Reviewed By Michael L [read all by] on October 13th, 2022
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Mac.
Last edited by Michael L on 13th October 2022.

If your DAW does not recognise one of your MIDI controllers so you need to route it to a standard port, or you want to split your controller keyboard into two different channels and transpose each half differently before the DAW (eg to include key switches), or you want to play a bunch of MIDI loops and pause for 5 seconds between to automatically save them to separate MIDI files, or you want to monitor MIDI before the DAW -- this is a useful 99-cent download from the Apple App Store.

Settings are automatically saved, so in Login Items you can set it to launch at login.

Easy-peasy.

Reviewed By Michael L [read all by] on July 4th, 2021
Version reviewed: 1.00 on Mac

A free Developer Challenge treat from Karoryfer x Versilian.

Something you don't see very often -- a very well-recorded jazz drum set with 5000 samples and 60 articulations, heavily key-mapped.

Just for snare, you get a stickshot, center, off-center, rim, hand-muted, half-hand muted, cross stick, flam, buzz and roll.

The full kit includes a kick, low/high tom, hihat, ride, crash... AND....tambourine, cowbell, bongo, conga, timbale, agogo bell, cabasa, shaker, whistle, guiro, claves, woodblock, cuica, triangle, shaker, sleighbell, and belltree.

You get six microphone positions and all the crazy Karoryfer Controls like kick and snare bleed, kick dampen, snare-off (!), snare roll dynamics, stereo width, both individual and master tuning, and more that you can read about in the 16-page manual.

And it sounds great, because it was recorded by Versilian Studios (home of the eclectic Versilian Chamber Orchestra for Kontakt, and the free Versilian Community Orchestra for sfz, vst, au and Kontakt.).

Reviewed By Michael L [read all by] on November 30th, 2020
Version reviewed: 1.0.0 on Mac

There's been such a long delay between new lines of development in this category that I am thrilled to give unfiltered feedback about a plugin that thinks totally outside the bucket. This category is saturated with plugins, but Jatin Chowdhury (from Stanford's CCRMA) tapped into an approach that starts by echoing network node/link models, and then crossfeeds that input with randomized parameters to drive some great effects. And it's free so ggget ittt.

Reviewed By Michael L [read all by] on April 13th, 2015
Version reviewed: 10.8 on Mac.
Last edited by Michael L on 13th April 2015.

In my experience, MuLab helps me stay focused on my musical ideas and keep in the flow. It is a DAW that responds quickly to ideas, like an instrument. For example, it takes only one second (true!) to click the MuLab program and begin making music using the pre-loaded Basic Synth. You can instantly sketch it out your idea, and then jump down the rabbit hole to do almost anything.

Today, I loaded one of my recorded samples, then picked the best LFOs to modulate its pitch and filter to bring it to life. I wanted to add echo but modulate 'only' the echo, with complex sine waves stacked in fifths, pitched down an octave, etc.... To do that, I just dragged an empty 'mux' module to one slot in a rack, connected the MuEcho to the Ring Mod Synth that contains an oscillator module with the above wave parameters, and mixed them with the Audio Balancer. This took only a minute to set up and I stay in the flowww.....

MuLab is full of Devices (subtractive, sample, granular, wavetable and drum synths, reverb and echo), with many instrument and effect Modules that you can easily modify, build and link. All the modules use the same design logic, so you can take a musical idea and make it happen quickly without losing track of your main idea. The user community (MuTools Forum) regularly designs and shares new synthesiser and effect modules, the most recent being a Triple Filter Trance Gate, and a Multi-Form (dual-oscillator/ wavetable/ granular/ sample) Synth. And the sound is very clear-- hugely important.

I switched to MuLab one year ago due to its great workflow and open design that doesn't constrain me to one way of working. MuLab includes entire demo projects in different musical styles that you can take apart to learn how others use MuLab. I found this a very useful way to learn! I use the OS X version, and it's quite stable as a program and as a VST host.

Reviewed By Michael L [read all by] on August 30th, 2014
Version reviewed: 10.8 on Mac

I started using Multiply at the beginning of the KVR-DC because I was looking for a chorus that produced clean results with complex sounds and included enough relevant parameters. Developers of other effects (EQ, compression, reverb, delay) now enable detailed tweaking, but chorus has not received the same love. Most have the same four knobs. Thus, when I opened Multiply for the first time and saw the GUI, I had high hopes. To my great relief, they were exceeded.

This is quite an imaginative app, which shows the developers took the time to understand the potential and problems of chorus, particularly the need to clearly separate the different voices. Because the app is free you can easily hear for yourself, but I will point out some details I like:

Simple high-contrast GUI with dark or light skins. The dry/effect sliders have a huge range (-48to+18db) with bypass buttons. You can modulate the chorus with pitch or amplitude with rate in Hz and depth in %, in 0.1 increments! You can increase voices from 1 to 6, with "phase randomization" to avoid comb filtering and muddiness. It includes stereo spread from mono to wide, and a delay from 1-500ms. It has a +/- 12db EQ with low/high cut and shelf. Undo/redo and A-B compare buttons.

Best of all, Multiply sounds very musical! There are only 18 presets, but each is quite different, and together they show the wide range. Of course, you can create your own library. If you want to clearly hear the differences between the presets, try putting Multiply after a simple waveform source like a monosynth or solo guitar and click through them. It has a manual, with the gist in two pages.

I did not know about Acon until the KVR-DC, but they sell some quite sophisticated DSP and audio editing products, so definitely have chops and it shows in this plugin. And... Windows/Mac, VST/AU/AAS.