Camel Audio Alchemy 1.5 Update Offers New Browser, Polyphonic Pitch Bend, and More + $50 Bucks Off Till Oct 15

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My love affair with Alchemy continues. I spent a lot of time digging deep into granular synthesis with it this summer in preparation for my Electro-Music 2012 Festival talk in a New York a few weeks back. The deeper I go the more I like it and the more it gets used in my work and performances.

When I got back from EM, I loaded up the 1.5 beta  and now I'm happy to report that Camel Audio has officially  released this update which they’ve been working on for quite some time. I’ll offer some notes on what’s new then include Camel Audio’s official video and press release at the end of the post.

On Sale

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First off, Alchemy is $50 off till Oct. 15th making it $199. If you’ve been waiting for a price drop now is your chance to get a great deal.  FYI I don’t benefit financially if you buy copy of Alchemy, I’m just a big fan.

New Preset Browser

imageAs you can see from the screen shot above, there is a brand new preset browser that not only helps you find and discover sounds for your projects, but also allows you to create user tags and post comments and notes on patches for future reference. Simply hit the “Edit” button to open a window that lets you change and set attributes, add user tags, and comments.

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Polyphonic Pitch Bend FTW

Probably the coolest new integration feature with mobile app is the computer version of Alchemy now responds to polyphonic pitchbend!!! It’s fantastic.

Official Video

Watch embedded video.

Official Announcement

We're proud to announce Alchemy v1.5, a major update to our popular sample manipulation synthesizer. Alchemy v1.5 is designed to keep inspiration flowing with a fully-featured preset browser, over 1000* presets, faster loading times, improved remote control from the Alchemy iOS app, and many more enhancements. To celebrate the release, we're offering 20% off Alchemy till 15th October and even better value bundles.

Powerful New Browser

The new browser is probably the most fully-featured sound browser available anywhere, allowing users to find all their slow attack strings, glitchy dubstep basses, tempo-synched warm pads, or whatever they need in a matter of seconds. Over 4,000 previously-released Camel Audio presets have been carefully tagged by category, subcategory, genre, sound library, sound designer, articulation, and timbre. Finding favourites is a breeze — simply rate presets with a single click and then sort by rating. Users can add tags to make it easy to call up presets associated with a particular project or live set, and can also add comments to presets with playing tips or other notes. Track down the perfect sound in a host of different ways with this powerful browser.

Dedicated iOS Remote

Alchemy v1.5 with the latest update to Alchemy on iOS offers even smoother and more expressive remote control. Change preset, move the remix pad, and access performance controls — all without leaving the comfort of your controller keyboard. Previously the domain of multi-thousand dollar devices, polyphonic pitch bend is new to this update, and offers an amazingly expressive way of playing instruments — especially when combined with polyphonic aftertouch. Also users can now save desktop presets and all referenced WAVs in a single .CamelSounds file, making it easier to move sounds to the mobile version, or another PC.

Bigger and Better Bundles and 20% Off Alchemy

Alchemy Complete comprises Alchemy with all 24 sound libraries installed, including the newly-released Shlomo Beatbox. It now features over 14GB of samples and 4,000-plus presets, including 32,000 hand-crafted variations, all fully tagged for the new browser. Whether writing soundtracks, electronica, or dance music, users now have all the sounds they need at their fingertips for a newly-reduced price of $785.00 USD/€649.00 EURO/£529.00 GBP — a 50% saving on buying the products separately. The Alchemy Atmospheric and Electronic bundles have also been generously increased in size, each now offering 1,900 presets and over 6GB of samples for $399.00/€329.00/£269.00.

Alchemy itself is now bundled with 1,000 presets including a free sound library of choice, totalling a massive 5GB of exclusive samples. The v1.5 update is free to all existing users. New users can purchase Alchemy at 20% off till 15th October – just $199.00/€159.00/£143.00.

*Alchemy comes with 1,000 presets inclusive of 'Taste of Camel' and buyers choice of Sound Library.

Links

Electronic Musician, Boulder CO
http://www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com

My 2012 Go To Virtual Synthesizers

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I own a lot of virtual synths :^)  As part of a voluntary simplification exercise I started in January,  I’ve been limiting myself to a smaller number of instruments over the last year so I could go deeper and create more expressive and unique signature sounds for compositions and live performance. The image above (click to go to interactive map and then click branches learn more about these synths) shows a mindmap of synths I’ve been most drawn to over the last year. In other words, these are the instruments that consistantly make into my tracks like “And What do the Trees Hear When the Wind Blows”, “Orbiting Miranda”, and “Now is Now Remix”.

When narrowing down to this list, I worked to find a very complimentary set of instruments with great workflow. The instruments range in character from pure synthesis instruments (Zebra and Predator), to sample-based instruments (Sampler, Iris), to hybrids (Alchemy, ElextraX) to virtual drum machines (utonic). The instruments with green dots in front are ones I’ve been spending 100s of hours with working to create signature "patches” from scratch that I’ll use in future compositions, productions, and live performances. I should also note that I’m also using many of these synths as effects processors allowing me to capitalize on the investment I made learning the synth workflows (here is a post on this notion) .

Demos

For those not familiar with some of these synths checkout some audio samples from past sound design experiments. First is a clip with Alchemy (download MP3) where I use granular synthesis to repurpose the field recording of a fluorescent light bulb.

Here is a little behind-the-scenes video on the creation of this patch.

Here is another example where I use Alchemy (download mp3) to repurpose crowd noise from a CU bastkeball game, a morse code key, and add in something called factalized waveforms.

Next is a Zebrify patch where I slowly pitch up and then process this incoming signal of a Theremin with two comb filters with the pitch of filters being modualted by a step LFO (download mp3)?

Next Steps – Deeper with the Top 3

As I go into the fall I’m going to be spending a lot more time with Zebra and Alchemy. They are both extremely deep and very complimentary. They nicely cover the entire spectrum from pure synthesis to sample mangling. Absynth, which I bought in 2002, is the first virtual synth I ever owned so holds a special place in my rig. I’ll be doing some synth work with it as well but will focus heavily on using it as an effects processor.

Which Should You Pick?

If you have limited funds or time and just want to go deep with one synth, you can't go wrong if you pick one of the three mentioned in the previous paragraph. Again, Zebra is pure synthesis (no samples) and semi-modular. Alchemy is great at resynthesis and sample mangling so if you are into field recordings this is your best bet. Absynth is somewhere between the two and is a great pick if you want to work with extreme multi-segment envelopes and very interesting and unusually effects. I give them all 10/10 and the deeper you go, the more you’ll be rewarded.

If you are looking for a fantastic subtractive that can also be used as an effects processor Predator is fantastic choice. If you want a hybrid with subtractive workflow with visual feedbak, ElectraX is a good bet.

Controllerism with the Top 4

Now that I’ve further narrowed my list, I’m working on templates for various controllers to get even more expressive results with Zebra, Alchemy, Absynth and Predator. I’m using the Alchemy Mobile to control Alchemy on my computer, I’m working on a custom Lemur template for Zebra and Absynth. I’ll also be working on mappings for my Novation Remote SL and refining my AudioCube patches for these synths.

I’ll leave you with a video I did some time ago showing the use of one Percussa AudioCube face in sensor mode to play a note plus send MIDI CC info to control the XY of Alchemy.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

http://www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com

Camel Audio Alchemy Mobile Pro = Wireless iPad Controllerism For Alchemy Full Version

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I’ve been a fan of Camel Audio Alchemy for some time. If you are an Alchemy user and have an iPad or iPhpne/Touch I’m going to recommend you pick up Alchemy Mobile Pro. Note, you only have to buy the app and content once to use on both the iPad and iPhone.

Pro edition is not only a great mobile app on its own but is also a great multi-touch surface for controlling Alchemy wirelessly on you computer.  Here is the marketing blurb from Camel Audio on latest update:

Photo Jun 30, 9 03 56 AMPro allows you so wirelessly integrate your iOS device into you computer workflow. In other words you gain a multi-touch controller for Alchemy full.  The 1.27 update allows you to:

Alchemy Mobile v1.1.27 lets you move the remix pad using the new Tilt function to translate your physical hand movements into morphing sound changes, while Inertia lets these moves continue under their own steam while you carry on playing. Other new features include quantise to tighten up the timing of your recordings, as well as unlimited record, bounce and export times, further improvements to the keyboard and menu displays, more control over MIDI input and outputs, and iPad 3 retina display graphics.

The Pro Upgrade now lets you record remix pad movements to capture complex sound changes, bookmark your presets to make favourites easier to find, adds more complex quantise functions including triplets and a new 'Clear MIDI performance and loops' option. Upgrading to Pro is easy once you've installed the free version – just tap on the preset name in the upper left, switch to the Libraries page and select the Pro Upgrade to purchase for $14.99 / €11.99 / £10.49.

How To Connect Alchemy Mobile Wirelessly

STEP 1: On Alchemy on you computer select “FILE” then “Turn On iPad/iPhone” Control”

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STEP 2: On the iOS device click the Sound Library name. Scroll down to “Alchemy on..”.  You’ll see you computer there. Click the item and now your synced.

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At this point the iOS synth is disabled and the surface controls Alchemy full on you computer including patch browsing. Brilliant!

Not a “Shinny Object”

A lot of iOS music apps are like “shinny objects” to me. They are fun but don’t end up in my workflow. Alchemy mobile is exception to this. Nicely done Camel Audio!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com