Future Audio Workshop Circle

Dear reader,

Just recently I bought a nice new VSTi software synthesizer called Circle by Future Audio Workshop that I would like my readers to know about.

I’ve now meddled with the synth a few evenings and think that so far it has one of the most user friendly GUIs I’ve ever seen in a VSTi software synth! (actually, to be precise, it also comes as standalone, AU, RTAS versions.)

Assigning LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillator) or envelopes to affect practically anything is made easy with a drag and drop function of colour coded circles around the interface.

Each LFO, envelope, sequencer etc. has its own colour coded circle that you can drag on almost any function. This makes e.g. morphing from one waveform to another extremely easy, especially so as Circle comes with a good number of oven-ready waveforms, even exotic ones.

Some of the key features are:

  • 4 Oscillators (Analog / Wavetable)
  • 1 Noise Oscillator, 1 Feedback Oscillator
  • Other modules can be changed and include different modulators and effects
  • A Native Instruments like sound ‘tagging’ function
  • An excellent sound bank folder function to keep the sounds in order
  • ‘Drag and drop’ assign different modulators to different targets
  • Vista enabled

There are a couple of things they could have done better or that I’d hope to see in a future update:

  • No ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ buttons for quickly going through presets (with this synth even the usually default FL Studio next/prev buttons aren’t present)
  • Either I’m just plain stupid or there seems to be a small bug in the sequencer. If I assign it to affect the coarse knob of the oscillators, it seems to raise the tune by one step at the end of the sequencer steps even if the sequencer is playing a flat note line. If I make changes to the sequencer steps, they seem to be in tune
  • I’d love the interface to float so that I could drag and drop different ‘modules’ (LFO’s, Oscillators, etc) and change their place
  • I’d also love to be able to alter the order of different effects and modulators

Future Audio Workshop Circle comes packed with a big bunch of preset sounds. For $199 / 149 € it is definitely worth the money.



FL Studio 8

FL Studio 8Dear Reader,

Two important news from Image-Line were published last week. The long-awaited new version, FL Studio 8, was released, and the sequencer also reached its 10th anniversary. I’ve had the chance to meddle with the new version a bit (although not nearly as much as I would like), and must say there are some quite nice improvements.

For me the two biggest changes in the software must be the new modular software synthesizer, SynthMaker, and finally a good native limiter/maximizer, which I have anticipated for too long. The SynthMaker seems to be a bit buggy, but how could I not forgive, since it all comes with the free lifetime updates included in the online version of FL Studio XXL package. The FL Limiter is one of the best software limiter/maximizers I’ve seen so far and I am really happy it has at last been included. It seems to be an infernal marketing decision from Image-Line to include the limiter’s big brother, Maximus demo version, as immediately after testing, I’m thinking about when I’ll be able to buy it.

One thing, though, that I’m still missing from FL is the ability to select and edit multiple parameters at once, especially in the mixer. It will be the number one update whenever this feature becomes part of FL.

» New features

Sequencers and Windows Vista

Dear reader,

As it isn’t a long time since I bought my very first laptop with pre-installed Windows Vista Premium and wanted to turn it into a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), I thought I’d open this can of worms.

To be honest, I was still under the impression that most (semi-)professional sequencer software and music production tools did not support Vista at all but it seems this has changed since the last time I checked. In my setup, Vista had to make room for the good ol’ XP, partially because I was unaware of which programs would support Vista (I was especially concerned with the VSTi’s), and more so because Vista consumes more CPU and RAM than XP. Then again, I’ve always lagged behind in the platform contest – my old computer still has Windows 2K Pro installed, although now that I have my new notebook, the old computer has become a web browser instead of the wannabe-DAW it once used to be. 🙂

Anyway, now that I’ve seen the light and know that the most common sequencers at least partially support Vista – here’s a short list:

Support for both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows Vista

Support for only the 32 bit Vista

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