By Rich Tozzoli
New York, NY (December 29, 2005)--London-based sound designers Lapjockey have released a very cool product called FlatPack 2. It's a 340 MB Refill for Propellerhead's Reason 3.0 packed with Machines and Instruments that are so good they made me late for a meeting when I couldn't stop composing. For those who are not familiar with Reason 3.0 yet, there is a new function called the Combinator environment, which creates grouped layers of instruments, effects, samplers and drum machines. It takes Reason to a whole new level, and FlatPack 2 is largely built around this concept.
Included in FP2 are Combinator, Malstrom, NN-19, NN-XT, Redrum, Rex, RV7000, Scream 4 and Subtractor folders. While there is a large assortment of fresh content, my favorite is the aforementioned Combinator folder. Boxmoor is a Combinator-based drum machine that is based on the Redrum instrument. Scope generates an amazing array of soundscapes, pads, textures and evolving sound beds. It's a self-contained film score waiting for a film. Rex Dex is a collection of Rex-based loop players that mangle, mash and transform loops into coolness. Kilburn re-creates classic synths using sampled waveforms but pushes them way beyond the norm. There's also an Outboard collection with many new Combinator effects.
I like the fact that I could quickly grab the rotary dials on my Oxygen 8 and adjust such parameters as X-Fade, Release, Reverb Levels and Master Filters with no setup involved--truly inspirational.
FlatPack 2 simply rocks, providing a high level of creativity that any composer would enjoy. Hats off to Lapjockey for taking technology to a new level, yet keeping it simple to use. Overall, it's highly recommended. Check out some free samples at www.lapjockey.com. For those who love software fx like me, SoundToys (www.soundtoys.com) is now shipping its new TDM effects bundle. It includes all nine of the company's plug-ins at a list of $1,195, which is pretty slamming considering the included Echoboy TDM (doing 96K) is $495 alone. There are now TDM versions of FilterFreak, PhaseMistress, Crystallizer and Tremolator, which had previously been RTAS HTDM. Also included are SoundBlender, PitchDoctor, PurePitch and Speed. They also tell me Pro Tools 7 support is on the way soon.
Solid State Logic has jumped into the software market with the release of its LMC-1 plug-in. Available as a free direct download at www.solid-state-logic.com, it's a re-creation of the Listen mic compressor from SSL's 1980's SL 4000 E Series console.
Apparently, engineer Hugh Padgham had the talkback mic on while Phil Collins was cutting tracks for Peter Gabriel's Intruder release. The heavily compressed sound coming out of the room blew him away, and since you couldn't record through that path at the time, he had the console modified that evening.
The mono LMC-1 simply features an In button, Less/More knob, I/O Gain Trim and metering. Its currently available for MAC only, in the AU and VST plug-in formats. For you Pro Tools users, try the FXpansion VST-RTAS wrapper. I can only hope this is just the beginning of what's to come from the SSL camp in the near future.
By Rich Tozzoli