December 8, 2004
../ Spectrasonics Releases Stylus RMX
Spectrasonics, a ten year old California concern, has just released Stylus RMX, a highly specialized drum machine that works as a plug-in
on all the leading sequencers on both the Mac and PC platforms. Spectrasonics is the same company that came into prominence with the release
of the acclaimed "Atmosphere" sample library of lush ethereal pads, deep powerful drones, and complex ambient textures.
Spectrasonics' in-house development team developed the new version of Stylus from the ground up, with dozens of new features including
S. A. G. E., the ground-breaking Chaos Designer, a completely redesigned, multi-page user interface, a new core library of sounds, all
with a focus on real time loop creation and performance.
Spectrasonics has a propensity for acronyms, so bear with us. The new Stylus RMX has incorporated a brand new groove algorithm dubbed S. A. G. E.
- Spectrasonics Advanced Groove Engine. Although Spectrasonics never quite delves too deeply into exactly what S. A. G. E. is, you can just say
that it makes their loops sound, well, groovier.
In the past, Spectrasonics was really a sample library company that wrapped their quality sounds in a plug-in shell to protect themselves from
piracy. However, the new Stylus RMX makes some major improvements to that shell. RMX now allows real time manipulation of the loops and has an
extensive number of effects and filters to provide the user the ability to really tweak the sounds.
The massive new 7.4 gigabyte core-library in Stylus RMX has thousands of cutting-edge grooves and sounds that were created by Spectrasonics
international sound design team, and produced by founder Eric Persing. The new core library, with nearly triple the amount of sounds of the
original, offers a much wider range of modern musical genres.
Of the many new capabilities in Stylus RMX, the most innovative feature is the Chaos Designer. With simple controls, the user can introduce musical
variation into the groove, which allows it to be constantly evolving. This gives the listener the impression that the loops are actually being played
live. The results can be subtle or extreme by manipulating the Chaos controls. A Capture feature allows the spontaneous audio chaos patterns to be made
into a MIDI file, dragged and dropped into the host sequencer, and played back again for further editing by the user. Very cool.
"Chaos Designer opens up a new world of possibilities compared to standard loop software. The one thing everyone likes about loops is that they are
inspiring, but no one likes that the loop always sounds exactly the same every time it plays. Live musicians are always adding subtle variations in a
performance to make it breathe. With Chaos Designer, you get an inspiring, improvising loop that changes - a little or a lot. It will never sound the
same, unless you want it to. And now it's easy to achieve in Stylus RMX," states Persing.
Being that Spectrasonics is really a sample library, it's very difficult to directly import your own sounds right into the plug-in. There are some work
arounds, but you can't simply just add your own kits. Conveniently, Spectrasonics now offers five new expansion libraries called S.A.G.E. Xpanders.
The five Groove Control activated Xpanders are based on the company's award-winning Backbeat, Retro Funk, Liquid Grooves, Burning Grooves and Metamorphosis
collections. Each Xpander comes on a DVD-ROM and is priced at $99.
The highly acclaimed grooves on these Xpanders were produced by Persing and feature numerous top session drummers including Abe Laboriel Jr, Gregg Bissonette,
Bob Wilson, Eric Boseman and John Ferraro, and were recorded by Grammy-winning engineers at multiple legendary studios including the Enterprise, O'Henry's,
Music Grinder and Capitol Records. The large scope of this series provides the highest degree of authenticity and variety.
Stylus RMX is priced at $299 and upgrades are offered from classic Stylus for $99.
The Future: Eric Persing is a real innovator in the sound design business and has adroitly created a product that showcases his talents while
keeping most of the pirates land locked. Stylus RMX contains some real advances that make it a very compelling product, however Persing may have to
open up the architecture to really have Stylus hit full stride.
>>> Digihear? December 2004
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