An online Reason to be cheerful
April 7, 2010 2:37 PM   Subscribe

A sexy online flash-based virtual studio rack.
posted by urbanwhaleshark (38 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dude, sweet.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:40 PM on April 7, 2010


Hmm. Interesting. The domains are different, and the interfaces are a bit different, but I think this counts as a double.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:46 PM on April 7, 2010


Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......!
posted by swift at 2:49 PM on April 7, 2010


Oh, it appears this is the 1.0 release of the same software. It's been rebranded and polished a bit, but it's by the same people.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:51 PM on April 7, 2010


that is one sexy rack.
posted by gman at 3:01 PM on April 7, 2010


I don't care if this is a double. This thing is freakin sweet. Thanks urbanwhaleshark, you've made my day.
posted by no_moniker at 3:02 PM on April 7, 2010


Wow I built up this little minimalist thing that kept layering and layering and layering and getting more complex and polyrhythmic and it was awesome and then my browser crashed.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:08 PM on April 7, 2010


Oh my god. This is incredible.
posted by One Thousand and One at 3:11 PM on April 7, 2010


This is awesome. It makes me a little sad, though. My actual studio rack is nowhere near as sexy, though it is easier to use.
posted by The World Famous at 3:27 PM on April 7, 2010


Hmm. I know I'm doing something wrong, but I can't get the drum machines to run more than one rhythm at once (most folks probably don't just run multiple drum machines).
posted by klangklangston at 3:35 PM on April 7, 2010


OK, now I just gotta figure out that analog synth…
posted by klangklangston at 3:54 PM on April 7, 2010


I saw this many months ago and forgot about it . . glad to see the devs are still updating it. It seems to have gone from "sweet" to "totally frickin' sweet".
posted by chaff at 5:01 PM on April 7, 2010


This is not the sexy rack I was looking for.
posted by Simon Barclay at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2010


Subtractive synthesis isn't exactly easy to just jump into and make good sounds.

The basic idea though, is that you use the 3 oscillators (oscs) to generate the basic sound wave. That's going to be first modified by the 'envelope'. Attack is how long it takes for the sound to reach full volume, 'sustain' is the volume that it stays at if you hold the note, 'decay' is how long it takes to get from max volume to sustain volume, and 'release' is how long it takes to drop to 0 after you let go of the key.

In addition to that, your filter is going to be used to filter out either high or low frequencies. The filter is also affected by its own envelope. For example, if your filter attack is set higher than the main attack, the note will start off unfiltered and then the filter will start in.

The LFO is a Low Frequency Oscillator which makes changes to the sound at frequencies below audible range -- it'll be used to add a bit of wobble to the sound, for example, or you can use it to control the filter, so, for example you can use it to turn the filter on and off every 8th note or something like that.

It's really, really easy to make a mess of it, though. My advice is to just turn everything off except for 1 oscillator, play around with that, then play around with the envelope settings, then play around with the filter, then play around with the LFO.

Once you get a cool sound, some good effects to add to your synth are 'reverb', 'delay' and 'phaser'.

For your bassline, I highly recommend using sidechain compression. Take the BD output from your drum machine and connect it to the 'sidechain' input on the compressor. Then run your bassline into the input on the compressor. Play around with the threshold and ratio dials on your compression until you get a pulsing sound from your bassline. Then you can max out the volume of your kick and bassline without worrying about them stepping over each other.
posted by empath at 5:49 PM on April 7, 2010 [17 favorites]


Very cool.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:07 PM on April 7, 2010


If you just want a 'big' sound, try setting all 3 oscs to 'saw tooth' waves (it looks like a sawtooth on the dial below). Set them all to different octaves and you can also 'detune' them a little bit so they're all very slightly off key from each other. That's basically the synth equivalent of a string section. Set your Attack low and your sustain fairly high. Then you want to use a HP filter to filter out some of the low end. Slap a reverb and either flanger or phaser on it. You can probably use the stereo dtune effect instead of the detune on the oscs themselves.
posted by empath at 6:18 PM on April 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is amazing. Yet having no musical knowledge I have no idea what to do with it. Impressive though.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 7:10 PM on April 7, 2010


Do you have to plug something into the pulverisateur to make it send a sound back out? Is there a basic set up involving just the output master and the synth? I've tried setting just one oscillator to output, and ran the "out" straight into the output master but no matter how I turn the dials I'm not getting any sound.
posted by puppy kuddles at 8:35 PM on April 7, 2010


1. it's not a double, it's the evolution of his (andre michelle's) previous experiments and products, the older one was much rougher and linear (what chaff said)

2. the guy is a total legend in flash development. absolutely amazing. while i'm anti-flash in 99.999% of it's common usage, he's done something truly amazing and my jaw drops every time i see where he's taking this stuff. but at this point i'd be kicking myself for spending my time writing it in actionscript and not obj-c & c to run on an ipad...because holy shit, that would be the top selling audio production app of all time.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 9:14 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Puppy Kuddles: try adding the tonematrix by linking via the notes input/output.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:01 PM on April 7, 2010


This needs audio in.
posted by cronholio at 3:41 AM on April 8, 2010


And it's a great pity that you can save your track but can't reload it. But apart from that it's pretty brilliant.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:26 AM on April 8, 2010


I can never remember the name of this thing, so I usually wind up Googling "online flash 808." Maybe I ought to bookmark it this time. It's pretty sweet.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:11 AM on April 8, 2010


This is amazing. Yet having no musical knowledge I have no idea what to do with it. Impressive though.

Start with the analog drum machine, run the master to the in on the output device

Select BD (bass drum) Then on the bottom, turn on the 1,5,9 and 13 lights.

Select SD (snare drum), then turn on the 5 and 13 lights

Select OH (open high hat): then turn on the 3, 7, 11, and 15 lights.

Congratulations, you now have a techno beat.

Next step, add a mixer, take the master out from the mixer and run it to the output device, then take your drum machine and run it to channel 1 on the mixer.

Now add a synthesizer and the tonematrix. Run the note out to the note in on the analog synth. start drawing in notes on the tone matrix. Congrats, you have a song.

Everything after that is just fiddling with knobs and dials.
posted by empath at 7:21 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Imagine how much this would have cost in 2000 as software.
posted by codacorolla at 8:43 AM on April 8, 2010


It's still software, I guess, but on a disc in a store software.
posted by codacorolla at 8:43 AM on April 8, 2010


Don't have to imagine:

This is basically a clone of Reason, which originally sold for a couple of hundred dollars, I believe.

The really jaw dropping comparison is the equivalent hardware.
posted by empath at 9:05 AM on April 8, 2010


Can you run anything other than the tonematrix through the pretend Moog? I haven't been able to get a signal through the audio in.

One of my favorite things on the old one was to run the tonematrix through a very slow, wide phaser and then into two delays at different settings. The phaser makes different notes "pop" at different times, and the delays repeat them in somewhat unpredictable ways.
posted by anazgnos at 9:15 AM on April 8, 2010


Fan-freakin'-tastic.

I just sent it to a bunch of friends in the hope that it'd keep *me* from playing with it all day.

(Of course, I now want to reinstall Reason and play with that.)
posted by lothar at 9:52 AM on April 8, 2010


I feel dense, but is there supposed to be a way to save/download your mixed-down tracks?
posted by anazgnos at 1:10 PM on April 8, 2010


You need to sign up to save tracks and mixdowns.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:13 PM on April 8, 2010


Awesome. Awesome.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 4:05 AM on April 9, 2010


You need to sign up to save tracks and mixdowns.

Right, I did, and I've "saved" a couple tracks, but it appears that I can only stream them off the site, not download them.
posted by anazgnos at 9:38 AM on April 9, 2010


"It's really, really easy to make a mess of it, though. My advice is to just turn everything off except for 1 oscillator, play around with that, then play around with the envelope settings, then play around with the filter, then play around with the LFO."

Still can't get anything to come out of it, even after checking all the cables (the usual place I fuck up).

Next question—I can get a good beat and bassline. Can I feed those into the sampler to loop them somehow, so that I can have the track be dynamic? I can't figure out how to change things as the song goes on without manually fiddling with dials, and I don't want to have to do that every measure, and I'd like to be able to transition into other beats.
posted by klangklangston at 12:05 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next question—I can get a good beat and bassline. Can I feed those into the sampler to loop them somehow, so that I can have the track be dynamic? I can't figure out how to change things as the song goes on without manually fiddling with dials, and I don't want to have to do that every measure, and I'd like to be able to transition into other beats.

That seems to be what the timeline function at the bottom of the window is for. I haven't played around with it that much though.
posted by anazgnos at 1:59 PM on April 9, 2010


An amazing tool indeed.

You people may also be interested in ReBirth RB-338, a software simulation of a handful of classic Roland devices. Made by Propellerhead, the guys behind Reason. This is old software, now freely downloadable (you have to register for that).

The Mac version only works with OS 9, not OS X. I'll see about installing this on some older hardware. Can't say anything about the requirements of the Windows version.
posted by _Lasar at 7:28 AM on April 15, 2010


It's been rebranded and polished a bit, but it's by the same people.
posted by Taylor1976 at 8:04 AM on April 17, 2010


Still can't get the tracks thing to work right (nor the analogue synth). Still, got a nice Konono #1 sound going with the tone matrix through the tube (wish there was a way to step the tone matrix down) and a simple chord patter going through the bassline.
posted by klangklangston at 11:26 AM on April 20, 2010


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