Saturday 18 June 2011

Loomer String 1.3.0 released

Another update has been released into the wild: Loomer String, our ensemble synthesizer, rich in analogue authenticity, turns 1.3.0. Grab the download here, and go make some beautiful solina ensemble tones.

String 1.3.0 improves on the previous versions with the following fixes and features:
  • Native 64-bit VST plug-in for Mac OS X (64-bit VST support requires Mac OS X 10.6 or greater; 64-bit Audio Unit requires Mac OS X 10.5 or greater; all other formats require Mac OS X 10.4 or greater.)
  • Integrated undo and redo, with unlimited history size.
  • Preset Browser is now maximized to fill the entire plug-in window.
  • Windows RTAS plug-in is now installed to the correct location on 64-bit Windows operating systems.
  • MIDI Program Changes are now multi-threaded, and so will no longer potentially stall the audio synthesis.
  • Fix for crash (on both Windows and Linux) that could occur when 'space' is pressed when confirming the overwrite preset dialog.
  • VU meters now automatically reset their overload status after a few seconds.
  • For Windows VST (32-bit and 64-bit), the preferences file can be placed alongside the DLL file to facilitate USB or portable installs.
  • Clearer font in PDF documentation.
  • Fix for rare issue that stopped presets from loading in Linux Renoise when LADSPA plug-in support is enabled.
  • Factory presets now load significantly faster.
  • Various host compatibility fixes.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

A short guide to Echo Shift

The most common support questions asked of Shift - our diatonic granular pitch shifter, now in its second iteration - are: "Can you move the pitch shifter into the delay's feedback path?"; and "What does Echo Shift do?". To which we answer: "Yes, it's called Echo Shift"; and "It moves the Pitch Shifter into the delay's feedback path."

It's probably easier to hear this effect in action than it is to describe it, so here are some audio snippets with annotations for clarification. It may also help to refer to the signal flow diagram from the manual, reproduced below for your convenience.
Loomer Shift v2 audio signal flowshort

Echo Shift Off
Echo Shift disabled

With Echo Shift switched off, the pitch shifter comes before the delay, and the delay feeds back into itself. The key point here is that incoming audio is pitch shifted only the once. The following audio file demonstrates a short orchestral stab shifted two semitones by the pitch shifter. You hear the dry signal first, followed by the shifted echoes.

Echo Shift On
Echo Shift enabled

With Echo Shift turned on, the pitch shifter is inserted into the delay feedback path. Each echo will be transposed again as it passes through the pitch shifter. The following audio file demonstrates the same orchestral stab, again shifted two semitones, but this time with Echo Shift on. You hear the dry signal first, followed by the shifted echoes. Notice that the first echo is transposed by two semitones, the second by four (two semitones from the first pass through the pitch shifter, another two from this pass), the third by six semitones, etc...

Diatonic Mode and Echo Shift
When Diatonic Mode is enabled, Echo Shift is automatically disabled. Diatonic mode requires a monophonic signal to track and harmonize, and so an Echo Shifted signal, effectively polyphonic due to the echoes feeding back, is not an appropriate source.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Windows and Linux Beta Testers Wanted

We're shortly going to be entering beta with a new product, and are looking to find some enthusiastic people who would like to get early access. In exchange for a free licence: you would put the product through its paces; report any bugs you find; and offer suggestions for improvements.

If you've tested beta software before, and if you're familiar with our current product line, all the better, but it's certainly not necessary.

We're doing fine in terms of Mac OS X testers, so it is really Windows or Linux - both 32-bit and 64-bit users - who we are looking to recruit.

If you'd like to help us build a better product: contact me via the support email address at the bottom of the page, letting me know what platforms and hosts you can test on, any beta testing you've done before, and any additional information we may find relevant. I apologize in advance because I won't be able to individually reply to each submission; from past experience I know that opening up a beta to the public results in a huge influx of correspondence. So thanks in advance all who apply, and sorry to those who didn't get a place this time.

(Existing beta team need not apply again: you're still on the beta list and will be receiving your copies when beta testing officially starts in a few weeks.)

And sorry for the lack of concrete information regarding the product; unfortunately, and for the near future, it needs to be kept tightly under wraps. All I can say is, it'll be worth the wait!