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, was originally incrementally released as an on-going series of one-off experimental electronic textures and instruments which grew over a year to form a unique sound library. It proved to be extremely popular with well over 4000 releases sold to date and now being used in TV, Film and Media studios across the world.

Since release The Blue Zone Series instruments found their way into 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 presents all of the original incremental releases in the series and some extras…

Download Contents:

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

$40 inc VAT (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 instances

Credits

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

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

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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

  $8 inc VAT (55MB d/l Kontakt 4.2.4 and above)

D.A.Wilson Synth Restoration  Equipment & Sound Design
Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP)  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

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.

Credits

Dan Wilson Sound & Patch Design

Stephen Howell GUI Design & Graphics

Mario Krušelj TBZ Engine Script

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

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 ChromeCredits

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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Hideaway Studio Presents – Orbitone Collection II

Orbitone II GUIOrbitone Collection II was conceived very much as an extension to the original release of complex warm electronic textures made with unusual combinations of vintage technologies…

Featuring The Worlds Oldest String Synth That Never Was!…

The 1972 Eminent 310 Unique was a very unusual mix of combo organ and string synthesizer in its own right but what was particularly special about it was the triple parallel analog chorus processor with 6 free running clock modulating LFOs better known as the Orbitone. It is this complex multi-path analog effect that makes the famous strings on the 310U so very special and slightly simplified technology was later used to good effect in the Solina and ARP Omni string synthesizers. It was originally developed to effectively make one rank of sawtooths become three with a high degree of movement without resorting to the very significant expense and complexity of three full divide down chains with independent master oscillators.

Being a self confessed boffin it suddenly occurred to me one day that I had a fantastically rare opportunity on my hands to attempt to feed 1938 Novachord 346  through the Orbitone stages on the Eminent. After consulting the 310U’s sea of schematics for some time I determined a potentially suitable point to inject an external audio signal. To my delight this resulted in quite simply some of the most organic synth strings I’ve ever heard..

All those lumps bumps and imperfections are thrown into a rich soup of analog processing and the result is truly delicious!

Now armed with this monstrous analog effects processor I got curious and fed a number of other sources through it including one instrument that is known to be a little weedy in isolation namely the little CS-01 monosynth. As well as the Novachord I sampled offerings from new patches I dialled up via the 310U Orbitone stages from the Juno-106, CS-01, Crumar Bit One and Omega 8. In addition to this some new sampled material was taken from the instruments via an analog chorus unit including a series of brass and guitar timbres.   Some of the guitar sounds were also created by passing Minimoog 7751 and the Bit One through a 1960’s Echo-Reverb featuring a tube buffered electrostatic Tel-ray “Oil Can” delay unit. A further resonator choir was made by feeding the Juno-106 through the rehoused Polymoog Formant Resonator. In addition, a combination of organ stops were sampled directly from the Eminent and a further harpsichord patch was dialled into Polymoog 203A 3211 courtesy of Will Gregory of the electronic music duo Goldfrapp.

NC346 into OrbitoneOrbitone Collection II utilises the same proven 4-voice layering engine as the original release but operating on a brand new sample set constructed using a different combination of source instruments and techniques.

Combined Libraries…

As well as the new library featuring 40 example patches and 40 layered multis, a further 40 combined layers have been created that combine patches from both libraries together to form new layered instruments and textures. The new sounds have been presented as a merged installation thus permitting the user to access and walk through patches from both libraries as one.

*Equipment Used:  1972 Eminent 310U, 1976 Minimoog, 1938 Novachord, rehoused 1978 Polymoog Formant Resonator Section, 1960’s Echo-Reverb tube “Oil Can” Delay, Polymoog 3211, Juno-106, Crumar Bit One, Studio Electronics Omega 8, CE-300 chorus, CS-01.

The Orbitone Collection requires Kontakt version 4.2.2 or higher.

Both collections are now available as a single *merged product.     $25 inc VAT (1019MB d/l)

*NB: For existing Orbitone Collection customers still wishing to upgrade please contact me.

“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.

Download Contents: 

  • The Orbitone Collection I & II consisting of 607 generously long 24-bit samples
  • 4-Voice Layering Engine with ability to save user patches
  • 48 multi-sampled instruments acting as voices/partials in the layering engine
  • 80 editable example instrument patches (in .nki format)
  • 40 editable example layered multis (20 combining Orbitone II and 20 combining both libraries)
  • User Manual

System Requirements:

  • Both Orbitone Collections require Kontakt version 4.2.4 or higher
  • Around 1GB Free Hard Disk Space for the combined library

Orbitone I-II Patch List

Credits

Dan Wilson (Hideaway Studio) – Equipment modification, Sound Design, Sample Set, Example Instruments & Demos. Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP) – Layering Engine Concept, GUI Design & Graphics. Mario KrušeljLayering Engine Script.

Demos and background on the original Orbitone Collection

Orbitone_Layering_Engine

 A selection of complex warm electronic textures made with an unusual combination of 1972 Eminent 310U, a rehoused 1978 Polymoog Resonator Section, 1976 Minimoog Model D and 1938 Novachord all processed with vintage classic analog and tube technology and brought together in the same proven 4-voice layering engine as the S-VX library….

Please Note: The Orbitone Collection has since merged with Orbitone II as a combined product.

“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

Download Contents:
  • The Orbitone Collection consisting of 226 generously long 24-bit samples
  • 28 multi-sampled instruments acting as voices/partials in the layering engine
  • 4-Voice Layering Engine with ability to save user patches
  • 40 editable example instrument patches (in .nki format)
  • User Manual

System Requirements:

  • The Orbitone Collection requires Kontakt version 4.2.4 or higher
  • Around 500Mb Free Hard Disk Space

 Equipment Used:

Orbitone_Pinboard II


1972 Eminent 310U (strings, pads, resonator choir, e-piano, organ), 1976 Minimoog (brass, pads, bells, chimes), 1938 Novachord (strings, e-piano), rehoused 1978 Polymoog Formant Resonator Section (choir), 1976 Revox G36 tube half track tape machine (g36 choir), Panoramic tube Dual Tone Generator (chimes, e-piano), two 1967 Heathkit EUW-27 tube signal generators (chimes, e-piano), ARP Omni Chorus section (strings), Hideaway Studio Triple Tube Hybrid Phaser (evolving pads, phased chimes) and Dual Tube Hybrid Filter (underwurlde sweep), Tube Ring Modulator (bell ratios), Discrete Dual Exponential Sawtooth Generator (french horns), Tube Overdrive and Passive Triple L/C Resonator buffered with Y-amplifiers from a 1968 Tektronix tube scope! (deep resonator vox), All sound sources captured via two Hideaway Studio Type TEQ-9B Active Tube EQs in 24-bits with the RME Fireface.

A Quick Demonstration

Here are a few examples made using only instruments from The Orbitone Collection:

Played live directly from the library in Kontakt with no additional EQ or FX….

 Warm Textures In the Making….

EUW27_Glow

 Rather than simply making yet another virtual instrument, the arrival of a recently restored 310U was the perfect excuse to bring together a taster of a number of combined sound sources and techniques I’ve been working on to create rich, warm and complex textures.  In particular I’ve fallen in love with the sheer musicality and magic of tube oscillators and wave shaping coupled with rediscovering classic analog synthesis and effects.

 This has formed the basis of a new follow on to the recently released S-VX library and created very much with the idea of the two libraries being used in tandem to offer a very significant degree of opportunity for layering and blending new sounds.

 The Orbitone Collection features the same proven 4-voice layering engine but operating on a brand new sample set made using a very different set of techniques to S-VX but with the similar timbres and textures in mind.

 Like S-VX, Minimoog 7751 was both sampled directly and also washed through the Triple Tube Hybrid Phaser to form a number of looped textures with movement.  Similarly, although the 310U was sampled in isolation, it was also passed through the rehoused resonator section of a Polymoog to magically turn brass formants into a choir!

 Several tube wave shaping circuits, an L/C resonator based on the Novachord and vintage signal generators were utilised to produce deep vocal formant drones.   The Tube Strings and were a blend of Novachord, ARP Omni and Discrete Tube Synthesis.  The e-Piano was created by layering piano like timbres from the Novachord, the 310U and three tube oscillators mixed and tube wave shaped.

The Arrival of 91-0071750…

 Over the past few months a dedicated chap from Holland called Albert Steenbergen has been doing a wonderful restoration job for me painstakingly cleaning and recapping a monster.  Albert is best known for keeping Jean Michel Jarre’s infamous fleet of 310’s alive and well for use on tour and simply must win the title of World’s Best and Most Patient 310U Guru!

 The beast recently safely arrived in the UK in a large crate in the pouring rain which resulted in a manic struggle with a friend to drag her inside through a hastily unhinged doorway – disaster narrowly averted when the 240lb crate very nearly toppled over backwards off the door ledge!

 Some Background on the Eminent 310U

E310U LogoThe Eminent 310 “Unique” is largely considered to feature the world’s first commercial string synthesizer section (although that title really ought to go to Laurens Hammond’s incredible 1938 Novachord!).

 The 310U was designed and manufactured in Holland by Eminent and released in 1972.  This boldly unusual combination of electronic organ and polyphonic synthesizer probably would have probably slipped into historical oblivion if it wasn’t for Jean Michel Jarre discovering its potential and using it to great effect in 1976 on his hugely successful and pioneering album, Oxygene.   Although this is common knowledge, what is less understood is that far more than simply the infamous string section was put to use in the making of this landmark release.

 Although the instrument itself didn’t become hugely popular outside of Holland, Eminent licensed out their string synth technology to ARP to become the successful Solina and Omni range. The 310U boasts really quite an unusual architecture permitting a mixture of sustained and percussive envelopes to be applied to combinations of all of the timbres which can be layered together.  There is also a gorgeous swirly six-stage analog stereo chorus “Orbitone” section and built in spring reverb.   The instrument was significantly more complex than most combo organs of the era due to in the main to the polyphonic percussive and sustain controls using discrete analog technology throughout.

 1938 Novachord #346In fact, having studied the workings of both instruments in detail, I’d have to say the 310U is in many ways the closest successor in ethos, character and architecture to the 1938 Novachord and marks an historically important crossover between electronic organ and polyphonic synthesizer technologies.

Credits

Dan Wilson (Hideaway Studio) – Equipment Design, Sound Design, Sample Set, Example Instruments & Demos

Stephen Howell (Hollow Sun, RIP) – Layering Engine Concept, GUI Design & Graphics

Mario KrušeljLayering Engine Script

A big thank you also goes to Petri Alanko & Claude Samard-Polikar for kindly offering to beta test the library.

HS-4KL-A002  (Originally released 29/12/12, now superseded by HS-4KL-A011)

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A New Addition to The Blue Zone: Electron Clouds

310C Tube BPF WatercolourElectron Clouds is the latest addition to The Blue Zone.   It was made by feeding an xmod’d dual oscillator source from Minimoog 7751 into a gorgeous 1966 Krohn-Hite model 310-C all tube Band Pass Filter which I recently fixed up.   An external regen path was connected to the tube BPF using a tube preamp to impart strong resonance to the point of near self oscillation.  The result was remarkably effective and the cutoffs were controlled to gently sweep the harmonic resonance points.  Several loops were setup and presented as random round robins.

This download features 4 example patches and 1 multi.   The basic sound is presented as keys, a pad and an arpeggio.  As usual, all of the patches are quite sensitive to velocity.

 

HideawayStudioLogoDan Wilson Sound, Patch Design & Equipment Restoration, Stephen Howell GUI Design & Graphics, Mario Krušelj TBZ Engine Script.     HS-4KL-BZ20 (22/09/13)