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12 January 2013


Newton's 9th Law of Dynamics states that a body travelling backwards inside an rhomboidal universe gets squishy before it, inevitably, pops.

Well, it would if Isaac had ever got that far. But no; after the 3rd Law, he frittered away all that genius trying to turn base metals into gold. And if a smart lad like him can get lost in alchemy, coincidentally the name of mega-synth Alchemy, favoured sonic weapon of such groove-meisters as BT, Sasha and Alchemy soundbank contrib, the human beatbox and World Loopstation Champion Shlomo, what hope for the rest of us?

This is the question that's been bothering me with Camel Audio's Alchemy for the past two years. It's my go-to synth for anything beyond standard synthesis.

I love the presets and expansions, and can throw audio files together to come up with happy accidents. But my problems come when I want to understand why it sounds a certain way and how I can tweak it to create the sound I have in my head.

When I heard of Groove 3's video series Alchemy Explained, I moved faster than a duchess boarding the last lifeboat leaving the Titanic. Captain of our rescue vessel is Laurence Holcombe, member of high-octane AV assault squad Rebel Sonix and noted for his work with breakbeat duo DEF inc.

01 January 2013

LOUDNESS METER 1.2.1 | €159/$199 & €449/$599

There are few third-party DAW plugins that could be considered absolutely necessary. The big-gun developers of digital-audio workstations typically bundle all you really need. Sure, a GAS-driven list of desires may fill many pages, but a list of absolute, honest-guv'nor essentials will be short. The DAW's virtual-desk equalization may well be adequate to the task of sculpting frequencies. And bundled plug-ins offer dynamics, ambience and SFX control compliant with the bog standard.

However, there is one plug that could make the difference between having a global audience for your mixes and having no audience at all. It's neither a fashionable audio-mangler currently appearing on every track that makes the top 100, nor is it an old secret weapon known only to a star chamber of producers.