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New Free Pack Released – more to follow soon!

Toy Pig was released yesterday; a free fun Ableton instrument for sound effects and expressive animal noises and vocalisations… Including pig noises recorded in a fishbowl for a toilet-bowl style reverb for, eh, some reason… Check it out now!

More updates are on the way: the first of several new field recording packs, new premium sound packs and more free packs, all coming in the next few weeks!

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Tingling Tongue to Treat Tinnitus

Tingling Tongue image

Pertinent to so many in the audio industry, there is potential help on the horizon for tinnitus sufferers. A new study has used a combination of wideband noise and electrical stimulus to the tongue to treat tinnitus, with promising possibilities.

Maybe all that battery licking by audio engineers over the years and testing systems with pink noise has actually saved their hearing… I’m hoping researchers will find that listening to Merzbow while licking batteries is the ultimate tinnitus treatment.

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Roland 808 + 303 in your browser

Loving this browser emulation of Roland’s classic 808 and 303 machines. It’s so much fun to play with, and a great resource for learning old school sequencing and drum programming.

It’s a lot like Ableton’s Learning Synths and Learning Music sites, which are also great resources for learning. Combining all 3 would get you started from nothing and quickly progress. People spend too much time just watching YouTube videos, and not enough actually doing the things they want to learn!

Anyway, this 808/303 browser thing seems like a lot of effort went into it – Roland even got acid house legend A Guy Called Gerald to do a promo/tutorial:

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Return to (Ab)Normal

After months fighting problems caused by the pandemic, we’re finally able to return to working on this website in a committed fashion, and provide ever more sample packs. From this point on, we’re hoping to release something much more regularly; either a free or a premium pack or instrument. Ultimately, we’ll move to a weekly release schedule in 2021. There’s a lot of catching up to do for all of us who’ve been set back this year!

To keep up with our schedule, you can sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media.

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It’s Tricky

Fall to Pieces album cover

Tricky’s new album is great. Reminds me a bit of Pre-Millenial Tension with the overall vibe and the sparse piano backing on one track. Great to see such a talented and somehow still fairly underground artist is still creating such great work. But it’s so sad that both he and Nick Cave have created such brilliant albums recently in the aftermath of the death of one of their children.

I love how his albums veer from dark, slowed down Tom Waits and Kate Bush inspired smoky trip-hop to rougher, aggressive rap and bouncy pop. Still no-one has really copied his brilliant style of whispered background vocals behind a more upfront feminine voice.

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Live Side Project

KS Hand Logo

Sadly, a live side project we’d been working on has had to end due to the current pandemic. We have also had to rearrange some recording work due to this, like so many of our audio colleagues. However, we hope that this will give us more time to work on sample packs and programming. We appreciate how lucky we are to have something to work on; so many audio engineers and other colleagues in the live entertainment industry are really worried about the future.

The live project would have been cool – it was organising small local gigs in unused spaces around the country, basically trying to repopulate the high streets of the UK with music and live performances. Naturally, this isn’t even worth looking at given the current situation! However, we hope to look at it again when the world is given some kind of ‘all clear’…

In the mean time, we hope you’re all safe and well and using this time to make awesome music. We’ll add more free packs as soon as we’re able to.