Vandal v1.104 VST / AU online!

July 21, 2010

Here’s a quick shout that we’ve just put the new version (including the long-awaited Mac demo) online:

Win & Mac Demo (scroll down to the bottom left)
Win & Mac Update

Some stuff added to this version:

Presence control for the class A/B power amp
Presence control for the class A/B power amp

We got a presence knob on the guitar amp, finally. Of course, it only makes sense for the A/B power amp, due to the principle (presence is the output wired backĀ  (phase-inverted & filtered) to the input of the power amp). Just like the real thing, it’s also dependent on the power amp’s overall amplification factor, thereby interacting with the ‘sag’ control. It’s good we designed the amp to be that dynamic, as ‘presence’ enhances that even more :)

New 'Vintage Plate Reverb' in the Rack FX section
New ‘Vintage Plate Reverb’ in the Rack FX section.

We then considered adding a plate reverb from algorithms we already had, but we ended up designing one from scratch, while getting lost somewhere in time. We finally came up with the ‘Vintage Plate Reverb’ as a convincing emulation of that tone we all know from the past decades. It somewhat reminds one of those legendary hardware reverbs that weren’t ‘perfect’ at all, in terms of naturalness, but offered a great deal of ‘character’. Now, this one is thick, lush, dense and ‘glues’ greatly with the input signal.
And it’s very light on the CPU (which normally is a contradiction).

Now, download the update (or the demo), have fun & make some rock :)


Oh, for those with a tech fetish, here’s the changelog’s blahblah:

————————————————-

v1.104, 2010/07/07

- guitar amp: added presence control to config panel (class A/B mode)
- post-fx: added new effect ‘vintage plate reverb’
- post-fx: units are now on by default when selecting an effect type
- GUI: added global option to switch dynamic window resize off (some hosts have problems here)
- GUI: stomp menus stay visible now in the ‘minimised’ view (all modules collapsed)
- GUI: guitar amp’s config view now stays open when switching scenes or presets
- stomps: improved delay modulation on TimeTunnel
- fixed: some Mac hosts showed wrong window size when re-opening the GUI
- fixed: missing update of selected entries in the cab sim’s menus
- fixed: guitar power amp sometimes turned silent upon scene switching
- Mac VST/AU: drastic CPU load reduction (runs 40-50% faster now)

v1.103, 2010/05/27 (included in Samplitude 11.1 update)

- cabinet sim: added mic 1/2 delay knob (allows for new sound textures and stereo effects)
- cabinet sim: added mic 1/2 on/off button
- added ‘console’ params (in/out/gate/tuner on/tuner mute) to the midi/remote mechanism
- added MIDI activity LED to console
- added UI update when updating params from outside (remote automation or MIDI)
- improved behaviour upon preset switching or host (auto-)save
- improved distortion texture of LaCrema, Halvar, Hellfire, Fuzz stomp
- improved phaser/tremolo stomp
- fixed: various MIDI issues (broken load/save, lost remote assignments)
- fixed: crashes when tweaking stomps (knobs or buttons) in some hosts (Reaper)
- fixed: crashes upon switching scenes via midi
- fixed: broken ‘multiply/blend’ method for remote params
- fixed: LFO on post-fx chorus & flanger wasn’t properly working at fast ‘rate’ settings
- fixed: missing window redraw when changing GUI size in some hosts
- fixed: missing thread safety upon fast post-fx configuration changes

————————————————-

v1.102, 2010/03/31

- fixed: tuner didn’t show cents as numbers below main display
- fixed: loud ‘pop’ with LaCrema stomp

————————————————-

————————————————-

v1.104, 2010/07/07

- guitar amp: added presence control to config panel (class A/B mode)

- post-fx: added new effect ‘vintage plate reverb’

- post-fx: units are now on by default when selecting an effect type

- GUI: added global option to switch dynamic window resize off (some hosts have problems here)

- GUI: stomp menus stay visible now in the ‘minimised’ view (all modules collapsed)

- GUI: guitar amp’s config view now stays open when switching scenes or presets

- stomps: improved delay modulation on TimeTunnel

- fixed: some Mac hosts showed wrong window size when re-opening the GUI

- fixed: missing update of selected entries in the cab sim’s menus

- fixed: guitar power amp sometimes turned silent upon scene switching

- Mac VST/AU: drastic CPU load reduction (runs 40-50% faster now)

v1.103, 2010/05/27 (included in Samplitude 11.1 update)

- cabinet sim: added mic 1/2 delay knob (allows for new sound textures and stereo effects)

- cabinet sim: added mic 1/2 on/off button

- added ‘console’ params (in/out/gate/tuner on/tuner mute) to the midi/remote mechanism

- added MIDI activity LED to console

- added UI update when updating params from outside (remote automation or MIDI)

- improved behaviour upon preset switching or host (auto-)save

- improved distortion texture of LaCrema, Halvar, Hellfire, Fuzz stomp

- improved phaser/tremolo stomp

- fixed: various MIDI issues (broken load/save, lost remote assignments)

- fixed: crashes when tweaking stomps (knobs or buttons) in some hosts (Reaper)

- fixed: crashes upon switching scenes via midi

- fixed: broken ‘multiply/blend’ method for remote params

- fixed: LFO on post-fx chorus & flanger wasn’t properly working at fast ‘rate’ settings

- fixed: missing window redraw when changing GUI size in some hosts

- fixed: missing thread safety upon fast post-fx configuration changes

————————————————-

v1.102, 2010/03/31

- fixed: tuner didn’t show cents as numbers below main display

- fixed: loud ‘pop’ with LaCrema stomp

————————————————-


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.


Vandal VST / AU: Official website launched

March 31, 2010

We’ve finally managed to launch the new Vandal VST & AU plugin website! :)

www.vandalamps.com

While this blog will be kept updated with any non-marketing stuff, such as ongoing development details, vandalamps.com will probably your first point of interest concerning product orders, demo downloads, updates, additional presets and such.

We also have a bunch of audio & video files ready for you to listen to and watch. Within the next weeks/months, we’ll set up more content, providing more presets, additional videos etc.

We’d like to encourage everybody to get in contact with us, especially if you’re using the Vandal plugin and made cool presets or audio/video demos that we could post. If we can find you & Vandal on myspace or youtube, let us know as well. We want vandalamps to be as alive and vital as the plugin itself.
See ya! :)


Vandal PC & Mac Release facts

March 14, 2010

Okay, it’s been a while since we left any info here. We’re almost through with development (still some last-minute tasks left). So here’s just some quick frequently-asked-over-and-over-again info:

  • Vandal will be a boxed product (but download version is also planned)
  • Regular retail price (boxed) will be 169 EUR / 199 USD
  • Contains Windows (VST) & Mac (VST & AU) plugin
  • Also contains Samplitude 11 Silver (Windows)
  • Release on March 24 (Day 1 of Frankfurt Musikmesse)

The official release date will also be the start of www.vandalamps.com. Gonna be cool as well :)


VANDAL survey (win a Samplitude 11 Pro copy!)

September 7, 2009

Preparing the coming VST version of Vandal here currently (and perhaps Mac AU if we got resources), we’d like to gather more feedback and information from potential users on what they expect from a good amp-simulation product.

Samplitude11pro_Int Help us to make Vandal the best native amp sim! Just answer a couple of questions (which popped up during development), send them in and – with a bit of luck – win 1 out of 3 copies of the new Samplitude 11 Pro (the current Vandal version already included ;))!

These links take you to the survey (choose your language):

English

German

Don’t hesitate. Even if luck isn’t on your side, there’s at least the chance to apply for beta testing through the survey, so that we perhaps get back to you sooner than you think :)


VANDAL starts shipping (partly)

July 6, 2009

The VANDAL Guitar & Bass Software is currently bundled exclusively with Magix Samplitude 11 Pro & Sequoia 11, which were released in Germany a couple of days ago. International versions of these products will appear in late summer / early autumn (TBA).

A seperate/standalone product release is being evaluated at the moment. At this time, we can’t precisely say when or whether it’s VST, AU, or both, a boxed product or download-only. But we’ll let you know ASAP. As this blog is development-only, decisions are up to teams other than ours.

In the meantime, we continue developing the software further. We’ve recently refined the amp & cabinet parts, tweaked the stomps and fx, and we’ve also concentrated on gathering presets and templates (the latter serving as a starting point for new amp & cab endeavours on the users’ side).

Here’s how VANDAL sounds in its current state (courtesy of Dimi Nalbantov):



Small snippets of audio fed through various parts of the plugin:


Some of the stomps:


Some rack-unit FX (behind the CabSim):


VANDAL AMPS at Musikmesse Frankfurt

March 31, 2009

For those of you visiting the Musikmesse 2009 (April 1 – 4), there’ll be an opportunity to see & hear the coming Vandal software in action.

Come on over at hall 5.1, booth D41.
We’ll supply stuff (axe, 4 string, Midi pedalboard) so that you can test the plugin for yourself. While we won’t have everything up & running at that time, you can freely get your hands on the current development state and have a personal chat with us. We’ll be happy to explain in detail what else can be expected from the finished product and look forward to all kinds of feedback.

See ya :)


Bass Amp Redesign & Sound Clips

March 26, 2009

We’ve made some slight changes to Vandal’s bass amplifier recently.
It’s still an all-tube design, coming with 3 tube gain stages in the preamp section and delivering a fat tone through the push/pull pentode power amp stage.
Here’s the new pot layout:

bass_amp02So, we’ve changed the preamp a bit: Now, the signal first enters the first gain stage, then can be shaped via the ‘contour’ knob (kind of loudness / lower mid dip; an interactive / passive filter network), then gets some compression.
The compressor is a FET-based feed-back model, similar to some stomp designs or vintage studio rack gear. It’s ultra-transparent and musical; you can kick it hard and it still doesn’t do strange things.

The ‘drive’ control feeds an extra tube stage for extra harmonics and extra oomph :)

The EQ section is a split design: a passive low/high baxandall network followed by an active 2-band mid control. All filter slopes are 6dB/oct, which in our opinion is the best compromise between being versatile and retaining the character of your bass guitar.

Here are some audio clips:

basstest_dry (VANDAL completely disabled. A bit of silly & aimlessly fingered playing)

basstest_vandal (the amp setting from the picture above)

basstest_vandal_chorus (VANDAL’s stomp guitar chorus in front of the amp)

basstest_vandal_tubedrive

Here’s a clip by Dimi, certainly in a more sensible context: ;)

vandalbass


Coming next: Vandal Bass Amp

March 4, 2009

This morning was the birth of Vandal’s 2nd amplifier. The bass amp is currently being added to the plugin’s main architecture. This is how it will look like:

bass_amp01Although it already pops up on the screen (upon choosing it from the ‘amps’ list), there’s currently not much coming out of it. It’s work in progress. Soldering lots of wires here… :D

The architecture we’ve set up the last couple of weeks allows for ‘amplifier mainframes’, which means a generalized architecture of amps that have to be specified in detail. That was quite a bunch of code lines, lots of coffee and headaches… but now we’re prepared for a new beast :)

The bass amp is designed to serve a broad range of players and music styles. It’s an all-tube design, btw., housing a highly-interactive passive filter circuitry. The amount of knobs might appear limited at first sight, but we’re certain this baby becomes at least as versatile as the guitar amp. ;)

We’ll see within the next couple of days. Stay tuned.


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 :)


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