Making Noise – Smoke Fairies

Here at The Noise Room we’ve been enjoying Smoke Fairies’ self-titled new album which is set for release in North America on May 20th on Full Time Hobby. Above we have the video for Eclipse Them All.

In 2013 Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies of Smoke Fairies took themselves to a remote recording studio in Kent with producer Kristofer Harris. “It was on a very old industrial estate,” says Davies. “It was a really eccentric area – it used to be a council office, now there’s a bubble car garage, a tattoo parlour and a granite workshop. It just physically felt so distant from anything to do with the music industry.” It was there that they set about crafting their latest album, calling on their bandmates and old touring friends such as drummer Andy Newmark (Sly and the Family Stone, Roxy Music, John Lennon) to help out.

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Posted on 04/18/14 at 9:07 am Related Video 0 Comments

Hands On with WOW2 from Sugar Bytes

sugarbytes_wow2I’ve been meaning to check out WOW2 from Sugar Bytes for a few months but with the holidays and rebuilding my Pro Tools computer, it got put on the back burner. That is until I received an email from Groove 3 announcing a new video tutorial called WOW2 Explained. Laurence Holcombe is the presenter and instructor for this series of seven videos that have a total run-time of 43 minutes. I jumped on the opportunity and watched the videos to learn more about the WOW2 plug-in and how it could work with my recordings.

According to Sugar Bytes, WOW2 is a multi-mode filter plug-in offering 21 high quality filter types. Each filter type can be operated in vowel mode giving you the best vocal sounds available. Choose from three analog and four digital distortion types to beef up your audio. It works with Mac OS X as VST / AU / RTAS / AAX and Windows as VST / RTAS / AAX. Artists such as Skrillex, Boys Noise, SiriusMo, Modeselektor, and MouseOnMars use WOW2.

The interface for WOW2 is very clean and well organized. On the right you have five main buttons or knobs. The largest is the Cutoff control which determines what frequency to filter. There are a number of filters to choose from including Moog and MS Filter Models, along with some of Sugar Bytes’ own. The other knobs are Dry/Wet, Volume, Resonance, and Distortion. The Distortion can be placed before or after the Cutoff filter for more control over your sound sculpting. To the left there are a large number of presets to inspire you. Of course any settings you make can be saved as a user preset.

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Posted on 04/11/14 at 8:49 am Related Gear 0 Comments

Session Keys Grand Piano Instruments from e-instruments

Yesterday, e-instruments announced the immediate availability of Session Keys Grand S and Session Keys Grand Y, two Kontakt-based instruments with a new and innovative approach to creating the perfect piano sound. We hope to provide a hands on review of Session Keys in the near future but wanted to give you a little taste of the new release.

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Posted on 04/4/14 at 7:40 am Related Gear 0 Comments

Ear Trumpet Labs Introduces Mabel Multi-Pattern Studio Microphone

ear_trumpetThere are a number of performance videos where artists such as The Devil Makes Three, The Milk Carton Kids, and Haim are using Ear Trumpet Labs microphones. They use these mics not only because of their professional-quality electronics and sound, but because they are just absolutely beautiful to look at. Ear Trumpet Labs uses common hardware, everyday objects, and found things to create their hand made microphones. Today they introduces Mabel, their first multi-pattern studio microphone.

From Ear Trumpet Labs:

Mabel is a hand-built multi-pattern condenser microphone utilizing two cardioid medium-large diaphragm (26mm) capsules, designed primarily for capturing demanding sources like acoustic instruments, drum overheads, and vocals. Mabel features a unique copper-ringed head basket with brass grill work, held in a pivoting mount within a stainless-steel yoke, and a copper-and-brass body. The design is both visually stunning and extremely practical, as the pivoting head makes for easy positioning adjustments.

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Posted on 04/3/14 at 8:16 am Related Gear 0 Comments

Joseph Arthur and Lou Reed: Walk on the Wild Side

“It’s odd dancing around death, odder still if the death you are dancing around is that of a legend. You just never know what’s appropriate and what’s not, what to share and what to keep inside. There is no blueprint. I loved Lou and we were friends. The last thing I would want to do is turn his life into an opportunity, but at the same time, what better way to honor the man and his music than to celebrate it and sing it and record it?

Death, like life, works with your resistance and finally it wears you out and breaks you down and then you are too tired to do anything but face it. I was home alone and there was nowhere to go. I set up some mics. A Coles ribbon mic and a Wunder mic which is a version of a U47 (I used those two mics on the whole record). The ribbon gives it silk and warmth, the Wunder makes it hi-fi. The first song I tried was “Coney Island Baby.” And I liked how it came out. But I also liked getting to hang out with Lou again. This was the only way to get close. I did another song and another still. I made a rule: No drums or electricity. Lou was electric.” – Joseph Arthur

This excerpt taken from the liner notes of the upcoming album Lou embodies the spirit in which Arthur set about to record his own interpretations of his favorite Lou Reed songs. Lou, performed, recorded and produced by Joseph Arthur in his home studio, will be released on May 13th.

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Posted on 03/28/14 at 8:18 am Related Video 0 Comments