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Behringer BCR2000 remote mapping for the Volt SL1

Front panel of the Volt SL-1

Russel James Dionne, one of our Volt SL-1 users has kindly shared with the community his remote mapping file for the Behringer BCR2000 desktop controller.

Download the file in the Support section!

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Black Friday sale on LeSpace

Black Friday 2017

Zvork participates in the Black Friday sales at the Propellerhead Software Shop by offering a 60% discount on its rhythmic spatialised multi-delay Rack Extension, LeSpace:

  • 6 independent delay lines.
  • feedback matrix.
  • echo sequencing for each line.

Originally priced at 39$ / €, the plugin is offered at 15 $ / € until november 28. The plugin is exclusively available for Propellerhead Software’s Reason DAW and on both Windows and MacOS.

Jump to the LeSpace shop page for more product information.

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Noxious price drops to 39 $ / €

Noxious

Following the success of our Noxious end of summer sales 2017, we decided to permanently drop its price to only 39 $/€! And remember, if you haven’t done so, you can get a free 30 day trial of the Noxious Rack Extension at the Propellerhead Shop.

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Oberon 2 is out!

Oberon Synthesizer

We’re very happy to announce that the new major release for Oberon 2 is now available in the Propellerhead Shop.

Based on an optimized additive engine, Oberon 2 now builds on the recent 2.5 version of Propellerhead’s Rack Extension SDK to add new powerful sound design features. The synthesizer still features an architecture of two editable filters fed by two additive spectrum sequence oscillators, with bend and morph capabilities, modulated by two LFO’s and three multi-point editable envelopes through a six entry modulation matrix.

Sample loading

Now, users can import up to two simultaneous audio samples of any format supported by Reason into one of the two user wave sequences. Audio samples are analyzed into a sequence of evolving partial spectrums which can then be played by the oscillators. Play complete samples, single cycle wave forms or freeze onto a specific time. Either way, this opens up new possibilities combined with Oberon’s morph and filtering capabilities.

Wave modifiers

Even without audio samples, Oberon’s sound design process has been greatly improved. The introduction of two modifiers on top of the existing user drawable wave form sequences lets you modulate these wave forms in a non destructive way. Each modifier shares the same list of possible operators such as FM, sync, clipping, bit reduction or analog sounding filtering. Since each wave form of the original two step sequence has its unique two modifiers, morphing between a FM wave form and an analog sounding synced wave is now possible.

Enhanced envelopes

Oberon’s 16 point curve based envelopes where already powerful but their loop section was constrained to begin at the first point. With version 2, the start of the sustain loop can be anywhere on the envelope curve. Even the release section now has a separate loop option. Combined with an improved user interface for envelope editing, such as quantize on all four sections, giving movement to your sound is easier than ever.

Workflow enhancements

The latest Rack Extension SDK features let us improve the user interface, especially the main editing display. Each curve type features more templates, quicker functions, sorted menus in a more compact form, leaving more space for the curve display. The modulation matrix has migrated to this central display, giving the interface a less cluttered feel. The two LFO’s now gained a delay and rise parameter for more subtle modulations. For those of you who wish to integrate Oberon inside Blamsof’s Polymodular system, we’ve added a new audio output mode for more compatibility.

Available for Reason 9.2 and above

This version is available only for owners of Reason 9.2 and above at 99$ / 99€ or as a paid upgrade for existing Oberon license owners at 20$ / 20€. Oberon is also available as a bundle with the Noxious additive synthesizer and LeSpace multi-delay at a lower combined price.

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Oberon 2 is coming!

We are officially announcing that a major upgrade to Oberon is in the pipeline. This will be a paid upgrade and will benefit from the new Reason SDK. This implies it will be available only to Reason 9.2+ owners but offers a number of new features:

  • Sample loading,
  • Wave modifiers with FM,
  • LFO delay & rise,
  • Numerous GUI improvements,
  • PolyCV audio output mode

In the meantime, you can still buy Oberon at a lower price of 79$/€ before the upgrade comes out!

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End of Summer Sales 2016

End Of Summer Sales 2016

End Of Summer Sales 2016

Back to work after some refreshing and inspiring summer vacations? Now’s the time to get back composing and be creative. To help you out, we’ve dropped the prices of our audio rack extension lineup for Propellerhead Software’s Reason by up to 60% until september 5th!!

  • Oberon is at 49 €/$ instead of the usual 99 €/$
  • Noxious is at 25 €/$ instead of 59 €/$
  • LeSpace is at only 19 €/$ instead of 39 €/$

Jump to the Propellerhead Shop until it’s too late.

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How to map the Volt SL-1 to physical controllers?

A number of you have had the issue of trying to map physical controllers either through MIDI or Remote to the Volt SL-1 control knobs only to discover that this has to be done for every control of every set. Each time, the current set is changed, the controls are no longer mapped. How frustrating, and we understand. Now why is this necessary? How more illogical can this be? Why the heck have we made it so complicated?

Well, it is due to how remote / MIDI mapping works in Reason and / or how rack extension GUI works. The mapping of knobs to MIDI controllers (or remote controllers) is in fact a misunderstanding. You are in fact mapping device properties to MIDI controllers, not the physical UI knob. A RE knob (button, fader, etc.) is itself mapped to that same property. The Volt SL-1 works by switching the properties mapped to each control knob when you switch sets. But the MIDI mapping still remains linked to the same property, which is no longer mapped to the control knob.

Why do we do this, that is, change the properties linked to each knob, instead of keeping the same properties for each control knob and just change the value of that property when we change sets? Well, that’s because the RE SDK doesn’t allow us to do this. A RE engine cannot change the values of its properties, unless they are purely visual feedbacks like meters or blinking lights. In a nutshell, the RE engine can’t modify properties that the user can modify at the same time. I can’t really go into much detail as this would break the NDA every RE developer has signed with the Props.

Another point to understand is that for a certain number of physical MIDI controllers, what you are asking won’t be perfect too because if we changed sets on the Volt SL-1, in some way, your physical MIDI knobs should rotate to the correct position. Unless you have alpha dials with a LCD display, this won’t be practical.

Transition and Offset SL-1's with CV merge
Transition and Offset SL-1’s with CV merge

The besk workaround we’ve found, is to use 2 Volt SL-1s. The first one is used for the basic set transitions, and can be considered like your usual SL-1. The second one is an “offset” controller that will remain on the same set all the time. This one you can map to your MIDI Controllers. Then, on the back panels, you just have to merge the CV control outputs of the first SL-1 with the second one in bipolar mode, for each controls you are using, and then use that signal as usual. Your MIDI controller can then be used to offset the control values (not replace them). It creates a whole lot of cable clutter, but it works.

Since we don’t want you to loose time on this, a ready-made combinator is available to download with this particular setup.

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Oberon & Noxious support PolyCV

Three possible user wave interpolation modes
Three possible user wave interpolation modes
Three possible user wave interpolation modes

Oberon and Noxious have just been updated to respectively version 1.1 and 1.6 with full support for Blamsoft’s PolyCV polyphonic CV protocol. Now you can control Oberon or Noxious with external Rack Extension devices that support this protocol and send polyphonic note commands across CV cables.

If you have a doubt on what version you are working with and need support for PolyCV, just check the back panels and a visible “PolyCV” logo should be just under the gate and CV outputs in the “Sequencer Control” sections.

Noxious back panel with PolyCV
Noxious back panel with PolyCV
Oberon back panel with PolyCV
Oberon back panel with PolyCV

Oberon users will also be treated with a new user wave interpolation mode that enhances the possibilities of the user drawable wave forms by providing two different new interpolation methods between the start and end waves for both Wave 1 and Wave 2. Some new cool patches are also included that demonstrate this. You should also check out this video tutorial that also gives a small presentation of the feature.

On top of that 8 new Pitch CV outputs for each 8 separate audio outputs have been added to help out those of you who use Oberon in a modular setup.

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Version 2.1 of the Volt SL-1 with user enhancements

Front panel of the Volt SL-1

Version 2.1 of the Volt SL-1 Rack Extension for Propellerhead Software’s Reason DAW adds a small number of features that enhance your user experience:

  • Three new stepped transition curves for rhythmic transitions,
  • Trigger buttons for each set to transition to a set while keeping the active set for edition. This can also be used to map remote controls to each individual set activation, something that has been requested for some time,
  • Unipolar or bipolar CV control output,
  • And finally, the ability to synchronize the end of a transition and not just the start as with previous versions.

The update is totally free for current owners of version 2.0 and is already available in the Propellerhead Shop.

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Oberon – Tutorial 6 : Separate Outputs

8x separate stereo outputs.
8x separate stereo outputs.
8x separate stereo outputs.

After exploring the front panel of the Oberon Synthesizer, now is the time to have a look at the back panel. There lies a feature that can enable some creative sound construction and some interesting combinations between Oberon and other rack devices.

Apart from the classic CV inputs and outputs for modulation and CV note control, you should notice right at the center a great number of audio outputs.

Audio Outputs

Lets start with a new song. Create an Oberon device and select the “Blip Bass” patch in the “- By Category / Bass” folder of the Oberon Synthesizer patches. Now switch to the back panel with the TAB key. When an instrument is created in Reason, the device’s main output is automatically connected to the device’s channel mix audio input. As you can notice, Oberon’s “Mixed” audio output is connected. This is the stereo output with all the voices mixed into one single stereo stream, which is what we need 99% of the time.

Mixed Audio Output

To the right of this mixed stereo output lie 8 stereo audio output pairs numbered from 1 to 8. Lets disconnect the mixed audio output from the canal mix and connect it back to the stereo separate output 1.

Separate Output 1

If you play the patch, you can notice that there is absolutely no difference in output. You can try switching to output 1, 2, 3 or any other of the 8 separate outputs, it will make no difference. So are those separate outputs only replicates of the main mixed output?

No, of course. Things get more interesting once you use more than one. Lets create a Line Mixer 6:2 device and delete the Channel Mix device that was automatically created with it. We won’t need it as we will use the one created with Oberon. Now connect Oberon’s separate output 1 to the first channel of the mixer and separate output 2 to the second channel. Now connect the mixer output to the Oberon channel mix input:

With two separate outputsAgain, if you play the patch, you shouldn’t hear a difference. But switch back to the front panel and look at the VU meters of the channel mixer’s first two channels. Notice how each time you press a different note it is a different channel that receives audio? In fact, at each key press, even if it is the same note, it alternates from one channel to another.

Alternate OutputsThis gets even more apparent if you connect a third separate output to the channel mixer. For instance, connect separate output 5 to the third channel mixer input. This time the output of each voice cycles through all three connected outputs.

Output Modes

This behavior of “cycling” through the different connected separate outputs is the default output mode, but this can be changed. To the right of all the separate stereo output pairs is a vertical fader switch with four different states. By default, it is on “Cycle” which exactly what we are experiencing. Switch that to “Note” and play. Be generous and use the entire keyboard span.

This time, the voices played are sent to the outputs depending on the note pressed. Low notes are sent to output 1, mid notes to output 2 and high notes to output 5.

Now switch to output mode “Vel.”, for velocity and play. As the term coins, this time the voices are sent to the outputs based on their key velocity. Low velocity voices are sent to output 1, mid velocity ones are sent to output 2 and high velocity ones are sent to output 5.

As you can imagine (and you can try it out for yourself), using output mode “Pan” distributes the voices to the connected separate outputs based on the stereo pan value of the notes.

Lets switch back to “Cycle” mode and see what we can do with all this.

Varying effects

With all these separate outputs we can apply effects to the Oberon Synthesizer differently for each note. Lets connect a fourth separate output to the channel mixer, for instance separate output 8. As you should understand by now, the exact separate output number doesn’t really matter as Oberon only considers the connected outputs. In between each separate Oberon audio outputs and the mixer channels, we will insert an effect device, different for each output.

We used the Softube Amp and Bass Amp device patches for that and created four instances with these patches:

  1. Distortion – Amp Fuzz 3
  2. Distortion – Amp Distortion 1
  3. Filter – Amp Wah 2
  4. Brit Sound Bass

Now connect separate output 1 to the first effect input, separate output 2 to the second effect, separate output 5 to the third effect and separate output 8 to the fourth effect. Finally connect the output of the first effect to the mixer channel 1 input and repeat the process for the remaining three effects. You should have something like this (mind the spaghetti):

Multi effect connections

To test if this is working, press a single key multiple times. You should here the Blip Bass patch being played in cycle through all four effects for something that sounds like this on a C2:

To put this into context, we’ve created a Matrix sequence that we have connected to Oberon.

Matrix loop

Here is the raw loop without effects followed by the same loop with the cycling effects:

And here’s that same loop with effects but this time with the separate output mode set on “Vel.”:

Separate Note Gates

There is another feature we can use to spice up our loop. Oberon has separate audio outputs but it can also output a CV gate signal each time a note is sent to each connected separate output. This of course reacts to the current separate output mode.

We can use this to our effect by applying a time varying filter that will trigger each time a note is sent to one of our separate outputs. For instance we can decide that each time a voice is sent to separate output 2, an envelope controlled filter ECF-42 is triggered on our Mixer output.

To do this create an ECF-42 device and connect its input to the output of the Mixer device, then the output of the ECF-42 to the  Oberon Channel Mix input, like this:

Connecting an ECF-42

Then, connect the separate output 2 gate signal (the socket is just above the audio stereo pair) to the ECF-42 “Env. Gate” input socket. The filter should trigger every four notes played.

Here we’ve configured our ECF-42 with very dynamic settings and a slow attack:ECF-42 ConfigurationAnd this what our loop sounds like in “Cycle” mode, followed by the same loop in “Vel.” mode: