Whilst enjoying my daily saunter through the jolly old Internet, I came across a few software things that I thought would be great for the GTK Studio Computer.
First up three excellent drum machine sample libraries from U.K. software house, Forgotten Keys. The libraries are the Maestro Rhythm King and the Roland CR-78 and TR-77 drum machines - I have to tell you, they are simply marvellous. The two Roland libraries are rich and punchy, the sampling is of a very high quality and included are the factory preset patterns, so it's probably as close as I will get to having the real things. That said, I missed a Roland TR-77 the other day on eBay which I was a tad gutted about, even more so as it was in Norwich!!! However, I think I have the better deal as the software TR-77 can be synced easily to Reaper, so no need for modifications etc. The Maestro Rhythm King is a little beauty and a wonderfully warm analogue sound, perfect for drifty dreamy pieces of music. As with the Roland libraries, the Rhythm King also has factory preset patterns.
I've mentioned before a great little software house called Hideaway Studios. Well, Dan Wilson has come up with some rather lovely modules to add to his Blue Zone series of sound libraries. The idea is similar to Stephen Howell's (Hollow Sun) concept of different libraries under a kind of concept umbrella - in the case of Hollow Sun, you have the fabulous "Music Laboratory Machines" and the equally fabulous "Alien Devices". Today I added a couple of modules called "Panoramic Tones" and "Radio_TBZ". They are gorgeous sounding and really compliment Hollow Sun's products perfectly. No surprise as Stephen and his co-hort Mario do the user interfaces and scripting for Dan's products.
Lastly, I needed an ambient reverb. When I say ambient reverb, I mean one that can be set to VERY long decay times, perfect for those Eno/Lanois moments or perhaps getting lost in a sea of audio washes. And I found what I was looking for: Valhalla DSP's "Shimmer". It's really quite lovely and sends pianos out into the cosmos and wraps synths pads up in gooey sticky reverberated loveliness. Yep, I'm a fan, can you tell?
This reverb is without doubt a marvellous piece of programming, and I cannot wait to get going with it. Just a listen to the following track. A piece of Erik Satie piano music is being played through four instances of "Shimmer" - the effect is mind-blowing: