Much Work In Progress On A New Release!

Just to report than I’m now well underway preparing a very large sample set for a major new release based on a wonderful beast of a polyphonic analog I restored last year…

All will be revealed in due course…

Over 1100 raw samples were taken from the original 5.5 hour long sample session, topped and tailed, and loaded up into multis ready for auditioning prior to looping. The first few hundred samples have spun up very nicely and I’m quite excited about this one – doubly so – as I now am happy to announce that going forward I now have the services of an excellent graphic artist to hand who has done a great job in capturing the original look and feel of Steve’s GUIs.

It will be several weeks yet but making good progress…

Dan Wilson, Hideaway Studio.HideawayStudioLogo

The Hideaway Studio Store Is Back Online!

Sincere apologies to all for the disruption but after a significant amount of effort migrating to the EU VAT compliant intermediary FastSpring for digital downloads we’re finally open again for downloads!

During this period I also took the opportunity to make several modifications to the site in answer to numerous requests to ease navigation by introducing product pages available from the menu in the panel to the left.

Please note that a number of tweaks have been necessary for a number of reasons in direct consequence of the migration which are detailed as following:

– Although the main Blue Zone library is still very much a current product, the original incremental Blue Zone releases are no longer available for purchase.  For those wishing to complete their libraries please email me as I am happy to arrange solutions to this on an individual basis.

– All pricing shown on the Hideaway Studio site is now in USD and includes VAT/sales tax.  How the cost + VAT/sales tax is broken down for your country is shown during checkout.

– Please note that as an unfortunate consequence of the new EU directive I am no longer able to make libraries to non-VAT registered UK customers VAT free.  This is due to the intermediary service being VAT registered and beyond my control.

– You will notice that some prices have changed slightly and indeed some have been reduced fairly significantly such as the Blue Zone and the Orbitone Collections.    The price changes are universal and are not applied on a country specific basis.

– For all VAT registered customers you are given an option to enter your registration number.

– As before, you will be able to pay both by card or Paypal.  Once an order is completed, you will receive an email containing a download link.

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Reviews & Testimonials

Just received news of a nice review by David Baer on three of Hideaway Studio’s libraries at the Sound Bytes Magazine:

http://soundbytesmag.net/synergenesisandtwomorefromhideaway/

Some of the Many Kind Testimonials Received From Customers

“Dan, I finally had the chance to purchase Synergenesis …WOW, this is even better than expected. I’ve only been playing around with the presets for an hour or so, and BOOM, Immediate inspiration! The Synergy has been my long time favorite Vintage Synthesizer for many reasons. Thank you for bringing the Synergy back to life, especially for those who have dreamed of actually playing/programming one. You will always have my support …Long Live Hideaway Studio!”

Michael

“Wow, Dan! What a fantastic story. I cannot thank you enough for going through such enormous efforts for not only preserving these unique technological wonders for the world, but also make them available for us to play them and enjoy them for such an affordable price!! Simply awesome!”

Basspartout

“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.

“GREAT JOB!!   I love these new old sounds. Wobbly, retro, noisy as hell in some   cases, worn, distressed, evocative of a bakelite world…

Death to the Giant Silver Workstation…

Just great programming from an enviable source library. Unique. Saliva-prompting. Above all a profoundly musical collection of refreshingly flawed tones.”

Harvey Jones, Synth player with Sex and Sorrow, Nadia Ackerman, and Blow Up Hollywood.

“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

“Some jaw-droppingly beautiful sounds, and highly recommended!”  DavyAch, KVR

“This instrument is really made with the creative musician in mind , simple , efficient, reliable and inspiring…”   Claude Samard-PolikarMusical director, musician and arranger for Jean Michel Jarre and award winning film/video games composer. www.claudesamard.com

“I have Gforce VSM, K8U, Synth Magic, Tronsonic, etc. But after playing the demo song against a few of my fav’s, I feel like hideaway really has its own identity and spin on a familiar territory. I like the sound of its playability. It just works! Check it out.”  KK, Chronic Audio NYCwww.chronicaudionyc.com

“Just to let you know – I hate you.  I was really only going to look at your page and admire the work.  Suddenly my mouse started clicking away.  Now I have spent all my “play” money and part of my food allowance.  Expect me for dinner at some point if I can ever get away from my computer.  This stuff is just Gorgeous!”  hueynym, KVR Forum

“This is startlingly beautiful! Well done – it’s a privilege to own such a great collection of synths, and I’m happy you share them with the world. I love the sound of real orchestras, but there’s something about the synthetic voices of the 1960s and 1970s that really works well with modal and minor key pop music.”  Ray Savage

“Thanks so much for yet another great sounding, great looking and very cleverly programmed instrument! The price is equally great.  11 stars (of 10)…”  Tpot, KVR Forum

“I love the The Pentodian Resonator Choir library. I thought it would be good, but I seem to be reaching for it every time I need a choir-like sound at the moment.”   Shangsean, KVR Forum

“Pentodian Resonator Choir … Love it, absolute no brainer!!”  don1thedon, KVR Forum

“Love this thing, and not the first I bought from Hideaway and really clicked with it straight away. Keep up the good work!”  Vicshere, KVR

“The Bass Machine has an awesome analogue sound to it! Loving what you can do with a bit of tweaking. Congrats on a great product.”

Phil Meadley (aka Lucidity Lo-Fi)

“Sounds beautiful. If you keep makin’ them, I’ll keep buyin’ them.” bharris22, KVR Forum

“Quite pleased inventive and creative work still happens like this. Also pleased it happens to come at this price!” thisplace, KVR Forum

“a truly inspiring, deep and unique treasure trove of organic sound. In fact, I got stuck on preset #1, Apollo Strings, and time just flew…”   Joachim Smith

“I bought S-VX yesterday and am liking it a lot. I have only just scratched the surface but I can see lots of warm, moving tones and plenty of mangling opportunities. Well done. I look forward to more from you. And the Multis inspired me to try out a few of my own – there are loads of possibilities.”  DarkStar, KVR Forum

“just bought this (S-VX), and been playing around for a bit, and every single noise that comes out of this beast is warm, lush, and straight-up INSPIRATIONAL!  i have a suspicion i’ll probably be (over)using this beast for quite some time!”  Funky Lime, KVR Forum

“First, the Noble Horns would make any soundtrack maker very happy. It has exactly the right blend of “almost acoustic” and “ageless” and “epicness”. I really, really dig the “grrraaaawwwwrr” of the sound. Amalfi Strings… yum. I think you’re at something that speaks to me in the exact right words. I cannot describe it better.”  Petri Alanko, Game & Film Score Composer (Xbox 360 game, Alan Wake)

“Listened to the demo, concluded it was a bloody lovely sound library and bought it on the spot.  Great bargain!  I think it’s a lovely set of sounds.  Really.  Right in the zone for the work I am trying to do.  Gorgeous.  You have a very good ear.”  tropicalontour, KVR Forum

“Dan,  I saw your website on Rekkerd.org recently and checked out your demos. I got thru the first Orbitone example and immediately bought both of your sample sets. From earthy to epic, it’s all there. What really impresses me is the warmth of the samples.  I’ve had some real fun combining both the Orbitone and S-VX Hybrid patches. I think the best thing that can be said of your sample sets is that it inspires me to make music!  Great work!!! Keep them coming!”  Rick G.

“The sounds are so human and expressive and made me want to record something/anything immediately. I think that’s a rare skill you have, to be able to create sounds of such delicacy, detail and warmth that are also eminently playable and feel so right under the fingers.”  maestroeden.com

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Migration In Progress…

Just to reassure all that migration to the new EU VAT compliant intermediary service is underway and hopefully everything should be back up and running before the end of the month.

In the meantime, sorry to all for any inconvenience this is causing.

All the Best,

Dan Wilson, Hideaway Studio.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Due to fundamental changes in EU VAT legislation which come into play on 1 Jan 2015, all B2C digital download service providers selling direct into the EU must charge VAT at the customer’s local rate.  The new “place of supply” directive affects very many world-wide online businesses including most sample library developers who sell and supply direct to the public over the internet.  Frustratingly the new directive was very poorly publicised in the UK and left a tremendous number of smaller businesses unaware of the impending situation. To achieve direct compliance would require VAT registering in all 28 EU states posing a huge burden on small businesses due to a mountain of extra paperwork.   For this reason Hideaway Studio and several other independent sample library developers are in the process of migrating our payment and digital download facilities to fully compliant intermediary services.   The migration and subsequent testing is likely to take a number of weeks to undertake and I regret that during this period the current purchase and shopping cart functions will be disabled from 1 Jan for customers from all regions.   I apologise in advance for the inconvenience this causes.

It is worth noting that there will be two direct consequences of these changes.  Firstly, all very small or incremental downloads such as the individual Blue Zone releases will no longer be available as the VAT and commission on these products no longer makes them viable.  With this in light the blog entries covering the incremental TBZ releases will be moved to a separate area for reference with the original blog still covering all major releases.   For customers who wish to complete their Blue Zone library then please contact me for a solution.   On a positive front this will help to make the blog a little more concise and easier to navigate.   The second consequence is that in some EU countries (but not including the UK) the Hideaway Studio libraries will appear a little more expensive.  Customers must understand this is entirely out of my control and all VAT levied on EU customers will be collected by the intermediary and returned directly to the appropriate tax authorities.   For businesses that are currently VAT registered there should be a mechanism available to enter your registration number.

I will keep you all informed of progress during the migration period.

In the meantime, if you have any enquiries or are urgently in need of a product, then please contact me through the email address provided in my newsletters.

Wishing You all a Happy New Year & As Ever, Very Many Thanks for All Your Support!

Dan Wilson, Hideaway Studio.HideawayStudioLogo

Much Going On In The New Synth Workshop…

Dear all – firstly may I heartily apologize for the lack of recent postings on the blog.   I want to make it very clear that I am still very much committed to my sound design and that a considerable amount of raw sample material for new products is very much in the can awaiting attention.   As many of you know, there are two sides to my passion in electronic music both in my sound design and returning cherished vintage studio gear to its former glory.   What with there only being so many hours in the day, it is sometimes very difficult to strike a balance between these two obsessions in my life and I often end up feeling like I have let the other side down during times of particularly hard graft.

The last couple of months have been exceptional but more importantly represent a once in a lifetime opportunity…

KS GDS Refinished

Some of you may already be aware that I have practically lived with two extremely rare early groundbreaking digital synthesizers in my new synth workshop for several weeks now working very hard to return them to their former glory.   The two instruments in question represent literally two out of the three known complete existing examples in the world.  They are 1979 General Development Systems (aka GDS) originally costing $30,000 and designed in part by members of Bell Labs and MTI/Crumar.   The GDS is the instrument that became the direct basis for the wonderful DK Synergy which you have all recently heard in sampled form in Synergenesis.

One of the two examples shown here in the recent photo was owned by a very famous pioneering German EM composer and founder of a very influential EM group.  It was used extensively in number of well known recordings from the early 80s.    This is just the keyboard console – the system comprises of a very large 8-bit computer with twin 8″ floppy drives running CP/M and a large serial terminal.  Both systems are now back up and running for the first time in very many years and have been retrofitted with HxC disk emulators which is most definitely a first for this particular model of synthesizer.   This has resulted in all of the original software and the factory sound library on 8″ floppy disks being safely immortalized in a modern digital format.

For those who are interested I have blogged the progress of both restorations at the Vintage Synth Explorer forum:
http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=77037″

It is worth pointing out that such distractions on the hardware front are actually a great thing because all of my time spent working on such technical wonders of yesteryear serve much potential for capturing new sample material and subsequently lead to the basis of new releases. With this in mind the hope was to release such a major release for Christmas based on a significant amount of material captured from a wonderful old beast I restored earlier in the year. This library is still due for release but will now be expected in the New Year.

That said, I hope to have at least a little something to allow you all to have the opportunity to play some material captured directly from the KS GDS during testing along with a small offering with a festive edge in the next few days captured from a very rare vintage tube amplified electromechanical instrument. Also lookout for some festive offers on libraries from Hideaway Studio in the near future.

IMG_3746

May I also take this opportunity to give you all my sincere thank yous for being so supportive over the past year.   It has definitely been a year of highs and lows and the tragic loss of Stephen Howell has been extremely painful for myself and Mario and his family.    During the summer I channeled a lot of my energy into building a wonderful new synth workshop which really helped to take my mind off of things.   I even managed to finally construct an area dedicated to all of my vintage test gear which has since grown substantially.   A large chunk of these vintage wonders were used in the making of The Blue Zone series and are now very much cherished so its great to finally have a dry and warm place to store them for future use.

Hideaway Studio Proudly Presents: Synergenesis

Synergenesis Logo

Groundbreaking Pure Digital Synthesis Technology from the 1970s… in 16-bit Audio!

The 1970s were to be a magical time when a string of groundbreaking technology was conceived and developed at Bell Labs (BTL), Murray Hill, New Jersey. Many of the developments at Bell Labs have been pivotal and have subsequently played an extremely important part in shaping modern life. This includes the famous UNIX operating system (the grandfather of Linux and all its derivatives), the C Programming Language, fundamental parts of the technology that form the internet, digital telephony, satellite communications and audio/video compression techniques to name but a few.

During this time a very talented research scientist called Hal Alles was working on means to implement echo-cancellation in digital telephone systems. This led to the development of an advanced high speed digital oscillator system. On experimenting with the concept it became apparent that it might have some merit as the basis of an advanced music synthesizer using real time digital control techniques. Incredibly, Hal was permitted to setup a side project with funding to explore this notion and after very much toil and expense the Bell Labs Synthesizer or Alles Machine was born. This 300lb behemoth was nicknamed The Blue Monster or Alice for short.

At the heart of the Alles Machine was Hal’s high speed digital oscillator technology implementing 64 digital oscillators. The instrument was hosted by a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer (the same range of computers UNIX was developed on at Bell) and literally programmed in C to perform whatever task the operator wished to undertake. Needless to say without any form of dedicated controls, synth engine or patch programming interface very few musicians indeed were able to realise the true potential of Alles Machine!

Two musicians that were gifted with the necessary combination of skills to handle The Blue Monster were Laurie Spiegel and Roger Powell. Very sadly almost no recorded material has survived but the few recordings that have reveal a machine capable of generating huge evolving digital soundscapes – this is particularly apparent in Laurie’s Improvisation on a Concerto Generator from 1977.

Towards the late 1970s a number of synthesizer manufacturers became aware of the instrument including the MTI division of Crumar who saw the new technology as a means to leap ahead of the pack. A talented development team was assembled and it was agreed that Bell’s Hal Alles and Max Mathews were to offer technical advice on the best means of essentially commercialising the Alles Machine whilst making it much more accessible to every day musicians. The first instrument to be developed was the GDS (General Development System). Although the instrument was hardly inexpensive (it cost around $30,000 in 1979) an ambitious cost down exercise was undertaken to reduce the 1400 or so integrated circuits to only a few hundred. Amazingly, the design team was able to meet the stringent material cost target and the GDS was born.

Only 10 or so GDS systems were ever built but it became the sound development tool for its derivatives, the Synergy, Synergy II+ and Mulogix Slave 32. The GDS had a small number of influential owners who were able to work wonders with the new technology. This included Wendy Carlos and Klaus Schulze who released a number of albums and film scores in the very early 1980s heavily drawing on the GDS as a source of digital textures, pseudo realistic timbres and percussion.

Enter The DK Synergy…

Synergy 01 lr

Following the GDS was the Synergy (DK-1) which relied on the identical 32 high speed oscillator subsystem but coupled to a dedicated Z80 controller thus enabling the instrument to operate stand alone relying on voice cards plugged into the front panel to permit the user to select between or layer up to 4 combinations of 32 patches. A few years later a clever upgrade was offered to basically return the programming ability of the GDS to the Synergy through the use of an external host computer manipulating a special memory area known as VRAM. This variant was known as the Synergy II+ but was not sold in great numbers thanks in part to the release of the considerably more affordable DX7.

More Than Additive…

All variants were more than simply large banks of digital sine wave generators as found in more traditional additive synthesizers. They were unusual in that the oscillators could produce both sine and distorted triangular waveforms which could be combined in a very flexible manner ranging from straight additive synthesis, phase modulation or combinations of both. This meant that far more harmonically complex sounds could be generated without having to resort to a massive array of sine oscillators. Not only was the oscillator topology complex but the modulation abilities were truly groundbreaking. Each oscillator had its own envelope and a whole raft of real time modulation could be applied to each control parameter including the notion of switching between low and high velocity parameter sets.

Risen from Near Obscurity – Reviving Synergy #01205

Time has not been kind to the Synergy with many examples having perished years ago. Needless to say that very few have experienced a working Synergy let alone a full II+ system first hand in recent times.

Quite by chance earlier in the year I stumbled across a now very rare 1983 Synergy II+ in a rather burnt out state with a very interesting past. After a few days of intense research I was able return this poor beast to working order and I set about the soon to be arduous task of finding a suitable Kaypro II computer to be coupled to it to run the infamous synHCS host control application. The task of tracking down a working Kaypro was tricky enough in the UK but the task of running an OS, finding working application software, making a suitable serial cable to connect the two machines, configuring the link and locating the factory patches in the correct format proved to be a major headache.

Into the 21st Century…

As has been such an effective retrofit on other vintage instruments such as the Emulator II, with the invaluable help of its inventor, Jean-François DEL NERO, I successfully managed to install a superb HxC floppy disk emulation system in place of one of the 5.25” disk drives and embarked on the ludicrously tedious task of manually converting the disk images of the entire GDS/Synergy Factory Sound Library to virtual disks. This permitted me to audition several hundred patches in awe of this groundbreaking digital wonder…

Sampling the Beast

Synergenesis GUI

I decided to capture a broad selection some of the more impressive sounds. This turned out to be a bigger task that I had envisaged and after many tens of hours of run time the beast died in front of my eyes and after several hours of mild panic I determined that the very elderly and rather grizzly switch mode power supply had failed. To my great relief the beast was returned to operation the following day having retrofitted a modern high efficiency equivalent in its place (which was half the size of the original!).  During my time sampling the Synergy a curious feeling crept over me that I have very rarely experienced whilst sat in front of a vintage instrument – that of sheer wonder that a team of engineers had the vision and bravery to develop an instrument so very ahead of its time and so different from those of the day. In fact, despite the number of wonderful vintage synths I get work on these days, the last time I felt this way was when I was returning the infamous 1938 Novachord #346 to life.

 In short, I hope you enjoy playing the sampled instruments as much as I’ve enjoyed making this library…

Synergy Percussion

The GDS/Synergy II+ is surprisingly capable of synthesizing all manner of percussive sounds including many of a similar but not identical nature to their analog counterparts from drum machines of yesteryear.

As well as the main body of instruments Synergenesis features over 220 percussive samples capturing a significant proportion of the drum patches featured in the original factory instrument library which dates back to the early 1980s. They have been presented as two main drum kits and as a series of sets primarily intended to permit the user to preview them and experiment with filtering and dynamics on select sounds. Multiple instruments can then be used in this manner over a number of midi channels if required. More technically minded users can remap the drum sets as they wish in Kontakt.

WAV Samples

The drum sounds in this library are also presented in .wav format.

As well as the original 24-bit samples the percussion is also presented in 16 and 8-bit formats (all at 44.1KHz sample rate) in their respective folders for use on a wide range of software based sample players and applications as well as a number of hardware samplers such as the MPC series.

System Requirements:

This library requires the full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or higher.
Approximately 1GB of free hard disk space is required.

Download Contents:

952 24-bit Samples*
298 Drum Samples in 8, 16 & 24-bit .wav format
61 Example Instruments*
48 Example Layered Multis*
User Manual
Audio Demo
Live music demo “The Max Factor” – recorded directly from one of the recently restored ultra-rare G.D.S. instruments*

*All purchases from Jan 2015 to include a multi-sample from the recently restored 1979 Crumar GDS (see news section)

  $25.00 inc VAT (908MB download)

Credits

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

HS-4KL-A016 26/09/14HideawayStudioLogo