We can’t get no sleep

April 23, 2010

Well then, the Vandal VST & AudioUnit Plugin is out since almost a month. We’re again (or still?) busy here, refining the current state and including new stuff. We are doomed to 😉

Here’s a quick view on what can be expected next:

Nothing spectacular on the UI, but the small LED saying ‘yes, there’s MIDI coming in‘ shall also serve as an indicator that we take MIDI seriously. We got to finalize certain parts of the architecture somehow, but such things are naturally not that visual.


Another thing we included was having the virtual microphones selectable on & off (now, is THAT rocket science or what???).


And we also added ‘delay’ knobs to the ‘tweak’ view of the cabinet simulation. These let you shift each mic in time to up to 25ms and offers for a vast palette of new sound textures. That can range from slight phasing artifacts to a complete twist of the cab sound. And you can easily create convincing stereo effects this way (engineers call this the ‘Haas effect’). The old ‘mic phase +/-‘ switches were replaced by simple push buttons to flip either phase, as we needed to save space. What was of minor importance before (the phase), can now have a dramatic impact in conjunction with the added delays.

New stomp pedals under construction

December 2, 2009

We’re currently about to finalize the code for the upcoming VST version of the Vandal plugin and managed to include a couple of new stuff. Here’s a pic of what recently was added to our effect pedal collection:

New modulation effects, dynamics, filter stuff, delays, etc.

These stomps are as thoroughly modelled and programmed as every other part in the plugin, so not just a bunch of cheap off-the-shelf algorithms. Each of them is capable of recreating the naturalness and unique sound texture associated with stomp box fx as usual.

More news coming soon.

It’s all about the crunch tone

January 16, 2009

Since a few days, we’ve been tweaking Vandal’s guitar amp tube stages for the ability to deal much better with slight overdrive. That’s a tough one, but I think we’re close to getting that nailed. We’re aware of the fact that delicate, responsive crunch is what divides a good amp from a bad one.

Here’s the current status, a video by Dimi Nalbantov:

What we did is basically fine-tuning the biasing of all affected preamp tubes (2 in ‘classic’ mode, 3 in ‘british hybrid’, 4 in ‘modern high gain’) as well as changing the tube character in particular.
We now have different models of tubes stuffed into the virtual circuits. In some stages we got more or less 12au7 behaviour and 12ax7 tubes when more gain is needed. Apart from ‘mu’ (amplification factor) and characteristics, each tube got implanted its own tonal response. We now got even more degrees of freedom than before, yabbadabbadoo…

It should be audible that we progressed somehow. The whole amp is now more responsive to volume change on the input and reacts a lot nicer on slight overdrive settings. It ‘breathes’ more, hopefully.

We still got stuff to do soundwise… so check back often 🙂

New Vandal Guitar Amp videos

January 13, 2009

Our tester Dimi has published a few videos where he’s getting serious with our software. Have a look:

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Guitar amp circuit revision

January 12, 2009

Now, this might sound strange…:
Even when you’re developing a software guitar amplifier, you still have to get to know the beast yourself! Our model has gotten pretty complex and so close to the real deal that we have to play with it for longer than initially thought. Otherwise you’re tempted to stick to first-sight impressions and perhaps go on into false directions.

So we’ve done even more intensive listening tests at the beginning of January, after an ear-recalibrating Christmas break. This immediately led to some changes under the hood of VANDAL’s guitar amp: Read the rest of this entry »

Listening tests – part II

January 7, 2009

Of course, development went on in December. We almost had daily builds of the VANDAL plugin that went out to the test team. I’ve got a feeling the sound of the whole software is getting more mature recently… hopefully.

Here are a more audio snippets of VANDAL, once more played by Dimitar Nalbantov (http://www.nalbantov.com):

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VANDAL demo video

December 18, 2008

Sit back, grab some popcorn, and get familiar with VANDAL’s guitar preamp & power amp modes, stomps, post fx (delay, reverb) etc.

Our current development state, brought to you by Dimitar Nalbantov:

Listening tests – part I

December 15, 2008

We could have long and exhausting talks over guitar amplification and such. But that’s pretty pointless if one doesn’t hear how things do actually sound.

Here are a few snippets of ‘VANDAL in action’, played by the brilliant Dimitar Nalbantov (http://www.nalbantov.com):

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Simulating speakers & cabinets – part II

December 15, 2008

cabsim_spkbal_enclbalIn the VANDAL cabinet simulation, we divide the process into speaker and enclosure, and model both parts seperately. This is a flexible approach that lets the user choose even untypical combinations of both components.

But this calls for all kinds of interaction and is asking for trouble, as we will see.

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Simulating speakers & cabinets – part I

December 10, 2008

In this section, we’ll talk about ‘impulse responses’ as the hottest shit on the market. But we’ll also get our feet wet, wading through Physical Modelling Land, trying to understand what all this blahblah has got to do with recreating guitar tones. Roll up your sleeves…

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