Much Work In Progress…

Just to reassure everyone that all is well at Hideaway Studio and its business as usual.  Very much is going on in the background at the moment busily returning several recently rescued vintage wonders back to good health to give their all in the creation of a series of new releases due during the course of the year…

DW Project Wall Q1 2014

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“Like many guitarists, I love the retro-analog world, but can’t always reside there. But thanks to Hideaway Studio’s Dan Wilson those ‘primitivo’ tones can flourish in my digital domains. Dan is easily one of my two or three favorite sound-mongers. He doesn’t just have access to the “right” gear — his recording, processing, mixing, mastering coupled with great GUI designs by Hollow Sun’s Stephen Howell are unfailingly hip and musical. At this point I don’t even audition Hideaway’s audio demos — I just buy everything Dan makes the instant he announces it. How convenient that his products are as affordable as they are awesome!”

Joe Gore [Tom Waits,Tracy Chapman, PJ Harvey, Eels, Courtney Love, DJ Shadow, etc.]

“These Blue Zone sound libraries are some of my favorites. Shimmering, murky, distant, distressed, and very evocative. I love sounds that feel like they’ve been through hell on their way to the speakers, and these are right on the money. Highly recommended, and such a bargain!”

Charlie Clouser, Film & TV Composer.

“when I first came across them, I spent a whole afternoon listening through in absolute wonder. They are without a doubt, some of the best tones I have ever heard & so meticulous in their detail. I’ll look forward to using them on up coming film & media production cues and in a variety of other projects, too.”

Simon Power, Composer & Sound Designer for BBC’s Doctor Who audiobooks

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Hideaway Studio Presents: Aliasonix…

Aliasonix Promo Pic 04An Early Soft Synth… Running on a 25 Year Old Home Computer!?

Most should realise by now that I have a fascination for rediscovering old technologies and combining the best of them in a constant attempt to create something new and unusual. Some of you will also know that I’m a big fan of the retro computing scene and especially the demo music scene that grew up around it during the mid ‘80s and into the ‘90s. Almost all of the time my technological foraging involves trawling up some physical lump of hardware but on recently rekindling my love of ProTracker on the Amiga I got curious one day and wondered if perhaps someone had attempted to not just play back samples as in Karsten Obarski’s pioneering Ultimate Soundtracker (that came close to bringing Fairlight Series II functionality to the unwashed masses on two floppy disks in 1987!) but rather to synthesize them from scratch…

What I was expecting to find was some sort of crude utility that took some basic settings and then went off and slowly processed a few waveforms to load into a sampler. To my amazement what I actually found was a relatively unknown program called Aegis Sonix released circa 1989 that managed to implement a full 4 voice subtractive soft synthesizer with a digitally modeled low pass filter and realtime dynamics control running purely in software.. on a 25 year old Amiga 500!! This predates even Dave Smith’s first soft synth for the PC by several years and surely must be one of the earliest ever examples of a purely software based real time subtractive synthesizer running on a home computer. It even has some pretty nifty features such as hand drawn oscillator waveforms and LFOs and a cool feature to add 2nd and 3rd order harmonics to any waveform.

So what does it sound like? Having finally tracked down a working copy of this relatively rare software my expectations were not that high but to my surprise what transpired was so primitive in nature that it imparted significant character in its gloriously aliased 8-bit audio. The filters really worked but in an odd way, the dynamics control and phaser effects full of steppy artefacts and most excitingly of all – it sampled beautifully rendering two octaves of MC68000 generated goodness.

I ended up programming up some 40 or so patches and set about capturing 630 samples in 24-bits directly from the line outputs of a recently acquired Amiga A1200.

It must be noted that Aliasonix is entirely based on waveforms captured from a low sample rate 8-bit source and therefore noise, glitches, stepping and aliasing are very much part of the intended charm and character of this library.

But what about combining technologies old and new?.. Feeding the raw aliased nature of the original 8-bit waveforms into smooth filters in a modern synth engine results in something more similar in nature to early digital/analog hybrid instruments such as the PPG Wave, µWave I and Mirage.

Introducing a Powerful New Synth Engine

Aliasonix GUIAliasonix is the first release from Hideaway Studio to feature a powerful new synth engine developed by Stephen Howell at Hollow Sun and his scripting guru, Mario Krušelj. Dubbed “Solo” the new engine is particularly well suited to serving lead and solo instruments with powerful real time modulation in a highly intuitive user interface.

 £10 (300MB download for Kontakt 4.2.4 and above)

Download Contents

630 24-bit Samples, 70 Instruments with edit and save ability, 31 Layered Multis, New feature rich synth engine, Audio demo & Manual.

Credits

Dan Wilson (Hideaway Studio) Sonix Patch Design, Sample Capture, Example Patches & Demos, Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun) UI Concept, GUI Design & Graphics, Mario Krušelj Synth Engine Script

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PRODUCT DOWNLOAD SUMMARY:

In response to several requests to make multiple purchases a little easier, here is a product summary. All downloads are for Kontakt 4.2.4 and above. Audio demos, project background and user feedback can be found for each library in the blog below…

Major Releases:
HS-K4L-A001 £10.00 S-VX Hybrid
HS-K4L-A002 £10.00 The Orbitone Collection
HS-K4L-A003 £5.00 The Zero-1 Synth
HS-4KL-A004 £10.00 The Pentodian Resonator Choir
HS-4KL-A005 £10.00 Monopolyphonix
HS-4KL-A006 £10.00 The String Collection
HS-4KL-A007 £3.50 The Cosmic Music Box
HS-4KL-A008 £10.00 Constellation: Apollo 203A
HS-4KL-A009 £10.00 Bass Machine
HS-4KL-A010 £8.00 Orbitone I to II Upgrade
HS-4KL-A011 £18.00 Orbitone I & II Bundle
HS-4KL-A012 £4.50  e-Grand

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Hideaway Studio Proudly Presents: The Blue Zone 01-25 Special Edition

“These Blue Zone sound libraries are some of my favorites. Shimmering, murky, distant, distressed, and very evocative. I love sounds that feel like they’ve been through hell on their way to the speakers, and these are right on the money. Highly recommended, and such a bargain!”

Charlie Clouser, Film & TV Composer.

“when I first came across them, I spent a whole afternoon listening through in absolute wonder. They are without a doubt, some of the best tones I have ever heard & so meticulous in their detail. I’ll look forward to using them on up coming film & media production cues and in a variety of other projects, too.”

Simon Power, Composer & Sound Designer for BBC’s Doctor Who audiobooks

TBZ0125_Promo ImageThe Blue Zone, an ongoing series of one-off experimental electronic textures and instruments, has been growing through incremental releases over the past year. It has proven to be extremely popular with just over 3000 copies sold to date and now being used in TV, Film and Media studios across the world.

2014 is looking now set for some exciting use of The Blue Zone Series instruments in a number of high profile projects!…

Most of the sounds in the series have been created from scratch using unusual combinations of custom tube hybrid equipment, experimental analog circuits, tape delays, ring modulators, vintage analog gear and test equipment. These sounds and textures in this series are mostly but not exclusively aimed at Ambient, New Age and Sound Score genres. Each instrument is presented with a basic subtractive synthesizer interface permitting the user to further tweak the sound to suit his needs.

In celebration of the first year of the series a Special Edition release of the first 25 incremental releases are presented as one library along with their original audio demos. The instrument names have been prefixed to indicate their release number. 44 bonus layered multis have been included that span across the library – these have been prefixed with TBZxx and include several complex arpeggiated offerings. A “rogues gallery” of much of the equipment used to make TBZ01-25 can also be found in the documentation folder along with some production notes giving clues on what gear was used for each sound.

The Blue Zone 01-25 Special Edition is available in two forms permitting new customers and existing customers to take the most cost effective route:

New Customers  ..or those currently with very few TBZ offerings

A full pre-installed download of all 22 instruments officially released to date along with the following extras is now available:

• 1GB of 24-bit samples
• TBZ13 Area_13 “The One That Got Away”
• TBZ24 Crystallum Modus
• TBZ25 Snow Flakes
• 44 New Layered Multis blending cross library textures with TBZxx prefix
• Original 78 .nkis & 56 .nkms now prefixed for easy identification of release
• Original demos for the first 25 releases (in mp3 format)
• 28 minute long compilation of select demos from the series (mp3 format)
• “Rogues Gallery” of much of the equipment used in the making of the series
• Production release note summary for clues on how each sound was made
• List of instruments and layered multis along with original release dates

£35 (Full Bundle of Blue Zone Releases 01 thru 25:  1.2GB d/l Kontakt 4.2.4 and above)

System Requirements

• Approximately 1.2GB of free hard disk space is required (full library)
• Kontakt 4.2.4 (full version)
• A Velocity Sensitive Keyboard is Highly Recommended
• A Sustain Pedal will prove very effective in many intances

Existing Customers

To existing customers who have all the TBZ releases to date (or only require a few to catch up) a very attractively priced Booster Pack is available containing all of the above extras but not the original sample data which must be copied over from your existing library.

NB: The booster pack contains the sample data for TBZ13,24 & 25 only.

PLEASE READ INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO APPLY THE BOOSTER PACK.

Once the booster pack has been applied the specification of both installations will be identical.

  £4.50 (380MB d/l Kontakt 4.2.4 and above)

Credits

D.A.Wilson  Custom Equipment, Sound Design and Audio Demos
Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun)  Conceptual GUI Design & Graphics
Mario Krušelj  GUI Script

HS-4KL-BZ99 (SE) & HS-4KL-BZ98 (BP) (25/11/13)

The Blue Zone Series Instrument Release Summary:

HS-4KL-BZ01 £1.50 The Blue Zone: The Blue Zone
HS-4KL-BZ02 £1.50 The Blue Zone: The Electron Forest
HS-4KL-BZ03 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Anthem Keys
HS-4KL-BZ04 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Flux Reversal
HS-4KL-BZ05 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Choppersphere
HS-4KL-BZ06 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Water Strings
HS-4KL-BZ07 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Tri-Phased Intervals
HS-4KL-BZ08 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Sustained Infinity
HS-4KL-BZ09 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Cyclic Resonance
HS-4KL-BZ10 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Tape Dreams
HS-4KL-BZ11 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Heavenly One
HS-4KL-BZ12 £1.50 The Blue Zone: After Dark
HS-4KL-BZ14 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Triple Phased Halo
HS-4KL-BZ15 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Tubed Electrostatic Sustain
HS-4KL-BZ16 £1.50 The Blue Zone: PM3211 AirVox
HS-4KL-BZ17 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Oil Can Overdrive
HS-4KL-BZ18 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Chopped Chymes
HS-4KL-BZ19 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Quantum Entropy
HS-4KL-BZ20 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Electron Clouds
HS-4KL-BZ21 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Radio_TBZ
HS-4KL-BZ22 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Panoramic Tones
HS-4KL-BZ23 £1.50 The Blue Zone: Alien Waterscape

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Introducing The Hideaway e-Grand…

e-Grand GUIThe Hideaway e-Grand…

The 1938 Hammond Novachord, 1974 Farfisa Syntorchestra  and 1976 Polymoog 203A are all examples of three early polysynths capable of producing piano like timbres. The Novachord was without question the world’s first commercial all electronic polyphonic instrument designed to emulate the piano amongst other timbres.  To design something that electronically synthesized anything even remotely sounding like a piano in 1938 is nothing short of miraculous and a huge credit to the incredible ingenuity of Laurens Hammond and his fellow engineers!!  If you think I ever overstate this then look up his patents from the era - one of which is pretty much the definition of the basis of the modern analog synthesizer.  All have one thing in common in that they rely on formant synthesis to produce these tones. As is often the case, such instruments tend to exhibit sweet spots over relatively narrow registers. For while now I thought it might be interesting to try and carefully blend the best of these registers captured from the three instruments in an attempt to try and create something where an evocative, expressive and playable nature was more the end goal than realism. As it turned out the grainy organic nature of Hideaway’s very own and rather infamously “vintage calibrated” Novachord #346 provided a special ingredient in the lower registers, the Polymoog added much of the mid-range warmth and the really quite beautiful highs were thanks to the Syntorchestra with the help of the Omega 8. After much play testing the samples were carefully layered and tube equalised.

Hideaway e-Grand Wall

After bringing together such a rare combination of instruments I thought it might be quite fitting to introduce some equally unusual signal processing technology. I recently rescued a 1960’s Baldwin all tube “Panoramic” stereo spring reverb. After building a high voltage power supply and modifying the spring to be centrally excited with a piezo ceramic transducer a pseudo stereo signal could be picked up from the two ends. What is particularly unusual about Baldwin’s patented design is that the signal is AM modulated at 20KHz and passed over the spring as an ultrasonic wave. The signal at the end of the spring is then received and demodulated back to audio.

The advantage of this technology is that the spring, rather bizarrely, is nothing like as sensitive to vibration as a normal spring reverb tank. It is also much less prone to the usual ricochet effects caused by high energy transients. The frequency response is a little flatter too. Although I found the reverb was a little noisy, it sounded surprisingly dense and complex so I created a series of impulse responses and was very excited to hear they worked remarkably well as a convolution reverb.

Almost by luck it turned out that the reverb worked nicely not only on vocals but also with piano. In Kontakt some careful velocity to filter and attack mapping was applied along with sustain damper emulation. All in all, an unusual combination of instruments resulting in a nique electronic piano with quite a lot of heart.

Please note this instrument ideally requires the use of a sustain pedal.

Equipment Used

1938 Hammond Novachord #346
1974 Farfisa Syntorchestra
1976 Moog Polymoog 203A #3211
Studio Electronics Omega 8
1960′s Baldwin “Panoramic” stereo ultrasonic tube spring reverb
Two Hideaway Studio TEQ-9B Rackmount Active 9 Band Tube EQs

Sampled in 24-bits and presented in a simple but effective GUI along with 8 example patches which the user may edit and save.

Download includes a user manual and demo mp3.

System Requirements

Kontakt 4.2.4 or above
Sustain Pedal (not essential but strongly recommended)
62MB free hard drive space

  £4.50 (55MB d/l Kontakt 4.2.4 and above)

D.A.Wilson Synth Restoration  Equipment & Sound Design
Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun)  Conceptual GUI Design & Graphics
 Mario Krušelj  GUI Script

HS-4KL-A012 (11/11/13)

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A New Addition to The Blue Zone: Alien Waterscape…

Alien Waterscape GUIAlien Waterscape is the latest atmospheric addition to The Blue Zone for Kontakt 4.2.4 and above. A series of tube processed mostly white noise based SFX made with the Hideaway Studio Triple Tube Hybrid Phaser, a gorgeous 1966 Krohn-Hite 310-C all tube swept BPF, a White Noise Generator, TL Audio Tube EQ, an old 78 on a 1955 Garrard RC80M (well why not!), a very mangled bit of Blofeld and a recent very wet Atlantic Front!!

Tubed White Noise Setup

This 140MB download consists of 14 sonic landscapes / effects presented as 16 example patches and 5 layered multis.

 £1.50 (140MB d/l)

Dan Wilson Equipment, Sound & Patch Design, Stephen Howell GUI Design & Graphics, Mario Krušelj TBZ Engine Script.

HS-4KL-BZ23 (07/11/13)

A New Addition to The Blue Zone: Panoramic Tones…

Panoramic Tones GUIPanoramic Tones was the first opportunity to try out a new (old!) piece of kit I’ve been working on – a 1960′s Baldwin all tube “Panoramic Stereo Tone Converter“.  The PTC  is an extremely unusual spring reverb in that the audio is passed over the spring as a 20KHz ultrasonic AM modulated carrier using piezo ceramic transducers.  As a result it is much more complex than the usual offerings and has a considerably more tortuous signal path.  Having built a high voltage power supply to drive the chassis I modified the spring tank itself to add a transmit transducer in the middle of the spring with receivers at the ends to impart a pseudo stereo effect.  This very clever and almost forgotten technology has a number of advantages… firstly the spring is almost totally immune to vibration and it’s quite unnerving how the occasional accidental knock doesn’t result in the usual cacophony of clangs.   Secondly the frequency response appears to be flatter and the results somehow more musical.   I have had other success with this unit but that’s for later…

Hideaway Baldwin Panoramic Tone Convertor

Panoramic Tones was made by feeding patches I dialled up in the SE Omega 8 and Supernova blended and fed hot via a tube EQ into the ultrasonic reverb.

This 60MB download comes with 5 example instrument patches and 8 layered multis including some examples that respond to the mod wheel and a handful of arpeggiated offerings too.

As with all additions to The Blue Zone series, the downloaded binary may be uncompressed into the main Blue Zone library.

Dan Wilson Sound & Patch Design, Stephen Howell GUI Design & Graphics, Mario Krušelj TBZ Engine Script.

HS-4KL-BZ22 (03/11/13)

 £1.50 (Kontakt 4.2.4 and above)

A New Addition to The Blue Zone Series: Radio_TBZ…

Radio_TBZ_GUIRadio_TBZ was made with a gorgeous 1950 Pye P35 all tube short wave radio set to the 31M and 19M bands and capturing a long sample of a data carrier tone submerged in DX radio noise along with some heavily distorted distant Morse code.  Several loops were made and a number of random round robins setup.

1950 Pye P35 ChromeThe download includes The Blue Zone GUI with editable save feature, 5 example instruments and 5 layered multis along with a copy of the demo and the user manual.

 £1.50 (29MB d/l Kontakt 4.2.4 and above)

As with all additions to The Blue Zone series, the downloaded binary may be uncompressed into the main Blue Zone library.

Dan Wilson Sound & Patch Design, Stephen Howell GUI Design & Graphics, Mario Krušelj TBZ Engine Script.

HS-4KL-BZ21 (14/10/13)

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