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Review of Noises experimental instrument by Audiothing

Introduction

Noises is an experimental instrument designed to bring a vast world of noise into your music and audio production. It’s the fourth plugin developed with German composer Hainbach who crafted hundreds of recordings of rare vintage equipment, analog synths, strange field recordings, electro-acoustic and magnetic field experiments and more in his lab to create this instrument.  It is designed to be fast and inspiring to use with a big dial at its centre inviting you to search for sounds and a sequencer to make them music.

It is available for Mac, PC and Linux (VST, VST3, AU, AAX, CLAP, 64 bit only) from Audiothing’s website typically priced at 69  Euros.  Activation can be done online or offline, note that Audiothing do not use iLok.  It is also available as an AUv3 and standalone for iPhone / iPad on the app store.

Background

Noises came about from the need to have a solid noise source always at hand for testing plugins but in the course of talking to Hainbach, he turned on his wall of rare electronic lab equipment.  His glowing noise generators hidden behind countless cables started howling, screaming and singing.  Listening to the absurd tones of this obsolete yet treasured equipment, Audiothing knew they had to make this more than a simple noise source and Noises became an instrument.

Overview

Noises is all about playful and inspiring interaction for sonic exploration, designed to give you more sound with fewer clicks.  At its heart is a big knob.  This acts as a precision cross-fader between the eight sounds of each bank which have been carefully selected and designed by Hainbach.  Inspired by motor controls of test equipment and vintage multiplexers, Audiothing added a sequencer to control the knob.  You mute sounds, play sequences, randomise them and make it jitter like one coffee too many with the fuzzy control.

There are 31 banks with analogue synths, road drone noise, synths, drum drones, bleeps, test equipment, tape hiss and many more. Note that not all of them are installed but are very easily downloaded. You can also easily create your own banks and add a handy description and image.

GUI

Noises looks like a piece of test equipment and has a very clean interface.

At the top you have the preset bar where you can load, save and delete presets.  There’s also a really handy randomise option.  You also have a parameter lock, effect on/off and access to more options including downloading banks, global settings and crossfade time.

The top left of the display has performance parameters – level, pitch, output gain, trigger, sync and attack release settings.

The bottom left has trip (modulation)  settings – speed, fuzzy (randomness), to filter cutoff, to filter resonance and waveform mode.

The middle section has the big knob cross-fader and switches to turn the individual sounds in the bank on and off.

The right hand side has the filter with 2 and 4 pole low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and notch settings and bitcrusher effect and option to select their routing.

In-Use

Noises is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. I really like how it has so many uses from producing static, noise, drones and ambience to a performance instrument.

It can be free running, turned on and off by the trigger button or it can be set to start / stop and the host transport controls.

There’s options to control and shape your sound with the gain, pitch and envelope controls along with further shaping options from the filter and bitcrusher.

The sequencer appears fairly simple but is deceptively much deeper.  It can be run in random or pendulum mode (sequentially 1 to 8 and then back again) and you can turn individual sounds in the bank on or off. 

The trip settings are great for adding subtle or more extreme modulation.  The speed and fuzzy settings can give anything from drone to more rhythmic and glitchy sounds and the filter and cutoff modulation can similarly be quite subtle or more extreme.  When the dial is at the 12 o’clock position there’s no modulation, settings below this are negative and settings above this are positive relative to the starting position.

Sound demos

The first demo is an experimental / noise jam featuring two instances of Noises;  Things-texture and Things-motor automated with mLFO; Wires; FAC Alteza and finalized with Grand Finale.  It was arranged and recorded on iPad using AUM.

The second demo is an ambient jam featuring mostly Audiothing apps – Noises, Minibit, Philicordia, Reels, Wires, Mantis, Things-texture; also FAC Alteza, Zoa and finalised with Grand Finale.

Loopcloud Sounds

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