‘Vocal King’ VST plugin, a free vocal processor to perfect your vocals

Vocal King is a plugin built to bring out the presence and clarity in your recorded vocals, and best of all it’s free!

Vocal King is a new, free VST plugin for Windows. Created by JHudStudio, the VST works as a simple yet effective way to tune the sound of your vocals.

The creator said: “It’s been my dream to make a vocal plugin. This VST is the exact mimic of how I process vocals using a few different VST’s.” The plugin features a primary knob that acts as a compressor/limiter. It uses red and green colours as a visual aid to perfecting your levels.

There are also controls for DB output to match your other tracks, a final compression dial as well as some basic EQ controls. It’s simple but does a great job of cleaning up your vocals and guiding you towards the best sound, even for amateurs. Just in case, however, Vocal King as is isn’t easy enough for you there’s an even simpler version: Vocal King 2Knob.

Vocal King VST plugin

Vocal King 2Knob has the same essential function but uses only 2 knobs for the main compressor and the DB output. To simplify it even further both of those knobs are placed into one (you can see how this works above).

Vocal King is available for Windows in 32bit and 64bit and is entirely free. Download it here.

Roland look for the ‘future of piano’ with unique designs in award competition

Roland held a digital piano design awards to get some of the world’s unheard minds to create unique new designs that could inspire future Roland pianos.

Roland are synonymous with some of the most high quality pianos and keyboards in the world, but their ‘Roland Digital Piano Design Awards’ sought to show off the creative minds outside of their talented in-house teams.

The theme for the designs was ‘Unleash’, setting out to find a digital piano concept that breaks with tradition and creates a new style and sensibility for the instrument. Now the results are in Roland said, on their official awards page:

For almost 300 years, the piano has enriched our lives with its expressive sounds and played a central role in our musical culture. Roland has been at the forefront of piano innovation since the release of our first all-electronic piano in 1973. In the summer of 2015, raising the bar once again, our next-generation high-end Roland digital pianos debuted with modern digital features housed inside luxurious cabinets. With the Roland Digital Piano Design Awards, we took another leap forward in digital piano design and technology, breaking free from traditional forms and sounds. In collaboration with the planet’s most forward-thinking designers and artists, we set out to push the boundaries and explore the future of digital pianos. The results are in…

The grand prize went to Jong Chan Kim for his ‘Facet Grand Piano’

The Facet Grand Piano is designed with two keyboards in mind: “unique” and “elegance”. All of the speakers are placed within the base sound chamber not only to boost the sound quality, but also to introduce a new design that challenges current perceptions. The solid base produces accurate and excellent sound quality that will be sure to astound audiences, while the absence of a soundboard completes the instrument’s modern expression.

The lid’s function is also critical, serving as the canvas for audio reproduction, with sound waves bouncing off it towards the audience. Unlike other digital pianos, it has a full touchscreen for interfacing with other digital enhancements. The Facet is a true vision of the future, breaking with traditional styles and methods of piano construction.

electric digital piano awards competitionSouth Korean born and raised Jong Chan Kim said on his design: “First of all I did not expect to win the Grand Prize, and I really appreciate Roland for giving me this great design prize. In my initial design concepts, I focused on how to translate an iconic grand piano’s design to a piano of the future. I was thinking through many different perspectives of the piano.

“Then I decided that putting a speaker at the bottom of the piano would allow me to maintain the design essence of the piano while also enabling me to give it a futuristic look. I give thanks to my mentor, Tim Tan, who gave me good advice, and to everyone who decided to choose me for the Grand Prize.”

Roland also commented on Kim’s design, saying: “The basic structure of this piano cabinet is truly striking, seemingly “floating” on the base unit, which is equipped with the sound system. The sound is generated from the base unit through the outer frame and reflects on the piano’s top board. This audio process is a unique concept that takes full advantage of a digital piano’s potential and enhances it.

This design offers a fresh, innovative appearance while keeping the logical structure of the piano. Its attractive form, realised through polyhedron styling, is visually stunning and well deserving of the Grand Prize. The design idea leaves room for further development with the projection of lighting and visual elements on the top board in addition to the sound.”

The Excellence Award went to Nicola Russo for his futuristic ‘SONUS’

piano Roland competition awards

Sound waves, harmonic fusion, infinity – the Roland SONUS makes visible what sound waves generate, from vibrations to shape; a piano design as elegant, fluent, continuous, and eternal as the infinite movement of the music. The keyboard appears from under the glossy surface of the black or white top, while the integrated piano seat flows from this dynamic shape naturally. The Roland SONUS reflects a constant state of motion, embodying the infinite waves of music.

Designer, Italian Nicola Russo said: “I want to thank Roland for this amazing opportunity. I read that four-and-a-half out of every five graphic designers work while listening to music, so both music and design share a lot in common, especially in terms of creativity. Both seek to establish some kind of connection, imparting a carefully crafted message into everyone’s psyches where, hopefully, it will resonate for hours, days, and months to come. It’s a magical balance.”

You can see all the other finalists under “Incentive Awards” from Roland’s official page for the Digital Piano Design Awards.

Adele stops concert to tell fan “Stop Filming Me”

At a recent concert British popstar Adele interrupted her performance to ask a fan to stop filming her. She followed the dramatic outburst by saying: “I’m really here, in real life. You can enjoy it in real life rather than through your camera.”

We can agree that it’s incredibly annoying when you’re enjoying a gig and the person in front of you has their smartphone light glaring as they watch the fuzzy pixels present them what’s actually happening in front of them. But at the same time it’s not really something that should concern the performer, especially one as high-profile as Adele whose tickets are so rare that they can go up to £24,000. If I paid £24,000 to see Adele sing for a couple hours I’d probably want to record a memory or two as well.

What do you think? Is it justified of Adele to tell her fan to stop recording and watch her on the stage, or is this another case of an arrogant artist feeling a little too self-important in a public arena?

Google Offer Free Chromecasts and discounted YouTube Red subscriptions

Google really want you to give YouTube Red a go, and with their new deals you’d be crazy not to.

Last week Google announced a ridiculously cheap deal for their new monthly subscription service, YouTube Red. Until June 17th anyone can sign up for a YouTube Red subscription for three months at just 99¢ for the entire 3 months.

As if saving $29 wasn’t enough YouTube Red comes bundled with Google Play Music meaning for just 99¢ you can get 3 months of ad-free music streaming, offline music, ad-free videos, exclusive content and more. As if Google couldn’t get more appealing existing subscribers have reported an exciting email offer from Google.

Google are offering free Chromecast’s to subscribers. Until June 19th existing YouTube Red/Google Play Music users can claim their very own Chromecast, worth $35. Google Chromecasts plug into your TV via HDMI and allow you to stream video and music from your devices to your TV, so you can watch YouTube, Netflix, listen to Spotify and much more.

It doesn’t seem clear whether if you sign up now you’ll receive the offer, though 99¢ for 3 months of Red and Play Music as well as a free Chromecast seems too good to be true. Either way you can sign up at: www.youtube.com/red.

Dato DUO is a synth for two people anywhere between 3-99

Dato DUO is half synth, half sequencer that’s made to be played by 2 people of any age.

Have you ever wanted to play the same instrument as someone else, at the same time? With Dato DUO you can do just that as it’s a customisable synth with a sequencer that’s unique sound is built upon collaboration.

Dato DUO has been designed to be used by 2 people but it’s also been created to be simple enough for anyone to use, hence it’s age tag of 3-99. DUO’s developers, Dato, wrote: “We believe synthesizers are too much fun to be left to grown-ups alone. But existing synthesizers are often too complicated or precious to be used by kids. Also, jamming with each other is better than making music alone.”

Creator’s Dato have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funding required to build the DUO. They began building it last December and have been perfecting and user-testing it ever since. So how does DUO work?

The DUO’s main side features it’s sequencer where users can create melodies with it’s pentatonic buttons. The circular sequencer will loop the last 8 notes played, which you can edit the sound and melody of with controls for speed, note length & velocity, pitch, and turn notes on and off.

music tech kickstarter

The other side features the synthesizer where the other person can control two sliders that control DUO’s 2 digital oscillators and the filter-cutoff frequency. There’s also a release and resonance slider to more affect the sound. There are then two buttons, ‘CRUSH’ and ‘POW!’ each of which produce their own sound, one a percussive burst of noise and the other an ‘aggressive bit crusher effect’.

music tech synth kickstarter

Dato DUO’s awesome features don’t end there as you can also hook it up to external effects, like guitar pedals, and use it’s sync input and output to work with devices like the Korg Volca and pocket operators.

DUO has been designed to be intuitive and easy to pick up, no matter what age you are. There’s no screen to complicate things with a UI, and playing it doesn’t require any musical knowledge – it’s all about experimentation and the sounds you can create with it. And there are few instruments that give you the opportunity to play at the same time as a friend.

You can get a Dato DUO from their Kickstarter right now at a limited, early bird price of €269. (Planned to ship next April)

synthesizer kickstarter sequencer music synth