Thursday, February 28, 2013

Update to Akai MPK mini Remote Codec

(image sourced from
SCF kindly informed me that the Sustain button stops working after loading my Akai MPK mini Remote codec. I have confirmed this bug and fixed it in the latest version - 0.0.3.

If you've arrived here looking for the codec, head over here and read all about it.

If you're already using a previous version of the codec, you don't have to upgrade unless you want the Sustain button to be usable. If you do upgrade, please read the updated post carefully, as you will also need to re-upload the controller's Preset.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Selig Leveler, by Selig Audio & Pitchblende

Note: as of May 2013, The Curve is now known as the Selig Leveler. Videos remain as "The Curve".

In late 2011, Propellerhead Software announced that they would permit third-party plugins to be developed for the Reason environment. They dubbed these plugins Rack Extensions, or "REs".

The first set of new REs hit the online Propellerhead Shop in mid-2012, from the likes of Korg, Peff, Softube, u-he, iZotope and Propellerhead themselves. With the exception of a few, most were initially ports of popular VST plugins to the RE format. These helped get the ball rolling, however before long developers had created new and unique devices that really add a lot of value to the Reason platform. To date there are over fifty REs available, and the number is growing every week.

And as of approximately a week ago, there's now also one developed by my company Pitchblende and Giles Reaves of Selig Audio. It's called the Selig Leveler and you can see it for yourself here.

It is a brand new device that implements a novel technique for solving many dynamics problems. Giles neatly describes the function of the Selig Leveler here:
The Selig Leveler utilizes a unique approach to dynamics control, by applying upwards compression across a user specified range of the dynamic spectrum. This allows the Selig Leveler to target your compression like no other device, meaning the Selig Leveler can compress everything within a user specified range while leaving the loudest and softest signals almost completely alone. 

There's an introductory video that gives a good overview of what the Selig Leveler can do:

The device was designed primarily for assisting with the task of leveling vocal performances, a task that can be quite time-consuming using traditional compressors:

We put a lot of work into the Selig Leveler. Our focus is always on quality and bug-free operation, and I think we met that goal. Now that it has been released I'm happy to say that the reception has been very favourable. Several Propellerhead User Forum posts sprung up, with some neat demonstrations of how the Selig Leveler can be used on various source material, including this great video by DJStarski on drums:

If you are interested in dynamics processing, vocal leveling, or even fattening up your percussion tracks, I recommend taking a look at the Selig Leveler for yourself. Remember that you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial through the Propellerhead Shop.

You can follow my company Pitchblende's announcements on Twitter via @PitchblendeLtd or check out our Facebook page. Look out for new Rack Extensions in the near future...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Improved Rotaries for the Akai MPK49 & MPK61

User bobseekone from the Propellerhead Forums has generously contributed a great new patch (which he calls ReasonEx) for the Akai MPK49 and MPK61 MIDI controller keyboards that turns the rotary encoders from absolute to relative positions. This means that you can switch to another device in Reason, move the knobs, and when you return to the original device moving the knobs does not cause them to 'jump' away from where they were. Another way to think of it is that Reason can remember where your controller knobs were for each and every device. Very useful - thanks Bob.

His patch also changes the buttons from toggle to momentary so that they can be used between devices more sensibly too. See Bob's blog for overview and details.

Disclaimer: I was involved in the creation and testing of this patch for the MPK49.