Guitar Gadgets version 1.3.1

Hello guys ! I have just released a new version of Guitar Gadgets, including the following new features :

  • A new gadget, the Sideways, an auto-swell effect
  • An updated preset system
  • A lot of optimization in the Guitar Gadgets algorithms

Sideways

I’m still planning to add a few updates. I will talk about them later.

Have fun with Guitar Gadgets !

Version 1.2.0 of Guitar Gadgets and Inspiration

I have just updated both Guitar Gadgets and Inspiration. The later has now a function allowing users to scroll through pieces of advice in the editor using the keys up/down and page up/page down.

About Guitar Gadgets, I have added a new preset system which handles the ability to chain 4 effects from the previous updates, and also two new gadgets :

  • Marshallizer : a guitar amp tonestack simulation
  • Little Leslie : an emulation of a rotating Leslie speaker

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Enjoy all this new stuff !

PS. I will be at the Musikmesse from Wednesday to Friday, you might see me around the Two Notes stand😉

Happy New Year 2015 !

Hello guys ! I wish you all a happy new year 2015 !

2014 was a very important year for me, since I work as a freelancer since October 2013, especially for a UK company which will release the results of our work as soon as possible. It was very fun also to make Guitar Gadgets for the KVR Developer Challenge, which is almost ready for an update. And I’m very excited about the upcoming release of all the work I did these last months. 2015 will be a very good year too I hope ;)  I promise, I will talk about all this stuff very soon.

What I can say right now is that I have spent a lot of time on synthesizer analog filters modeling, and that gave me a lot of ideas.

Have fun in 2015 too😉

And the winner is…

The winner of the KVR Developer Challenge 2014 is Acon Digital Multiply ! Congratulations to the developers !

Guitar Gadgets finished in sixth-place, which is a lot better than what Inspiration did in 2012, and is very good knowing that the first ones are Multiply, Nova67P from vladg, Emissary from Ignite Amps, Flextron DC14 from AXP, and Lokomotiv by Archetype Instruments. All the details are available there and there.

I’m planning to do an update very soon for Guitar Gadgets which will include the following things :

  • The MIDI Learn, so it will be easier to control Guitar Gadgets with – say – an external MIDI controller such as a pedal !
  • Some fixes on the algorithms (mainly the Miaou Miaou pedal and the Larsenator)
  • the ability to chain up to 4 gadgets in the same Guitar Gadgets instance
  • one new effect (I still don’t know the one I will choose) since I did one more drawing for the KVR DC, but I didn’t have the time to use it

Thanks everybody for the support, and stayed tuned !

Easter egg unleashed !

Hello dear readers !

I’m going to talk about the easter egg in Guitar Gadgets. If you still don’t know how to make it appear, here is the trick : in the “about” tab (one click on the title), click 2 times on “-musicalentropy” (not a double click !), 2 times on “KVR”, 2 times again on “-musicalentropy”, and finally 2 times on “KVR”. This way, you are going to make a little game appear :

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The game is called 2048. The original is a hit on smartphones nowadays, and has been created by a teenager called Gabriele Cirulli in one week end ! The game objective is to get a score as high as possible by moving all the pieces at once in one direction. When two pieces with the same number are pushed one on the other, they fuse with a doubled number, which is added to the current score. If you can make a piece with the number 2048 appear, you may consider that you have won the game, but you can still improve your high score.

I had to precise that the game is more or less a steal from Asher Volmer, Greg Wohlwend and Jimmy Hinson, who did a commercial game called “Threes”, and which didn’t get the success it deserves because of the release of 2048 several days later. If you like 2048, I suggest you to try Threes, because this game is really better and to support the work of its authors.

Anyway, in Guitar Gadgets, you can win something if you get a score higher than 5000, which is easy to achieve when you know the trick to win the game. The trick is simply to try to use as much as possible only two directions in the game, say right and down, and to have the piece with the highest number in a corner. It will make the “HOT” switch appear on Guitar Gadgets interface.

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The HOT switch changes the sound of each gadgets, mainly because it adds a distortion section to each effect, which can be pushed very hard with the input knob.

At first, I wanted all the guitar gadgets not to be available when you launch the software for the first time. Some of them should have been “unlockable” with stupid achievements, such as “playing ten minutes with each gadget”, “using extreme parameters on the crusher” or “playing the intro of Smoke on the Water from Deep Purple”. But what I develop before the deadline wasn’t really satisfactory for me, so I decided to remove the challenge system I worked on, instead one thing : the easter egg. Moreover, I spend some time (more than a week end !) to develop my version of 2048, so it would have a waste not to put that in the plug-in. And I love easter eggs so…

I hope you have appreciated the easter egg, the HOT switch functionnality, and Guitar Gadgets in general ! I’m really happy that some people like it, mainly the Niagara Falls and Super Phazor effects apparently.

The making of Guitar Gadgets

Hello again !

I thought it would be a good idea if I tell you more things about Guitar Gadgets, and how I developed it.

In my new projects, leading me to open a business probably in 2015, I want to focus on serious issues that exist today with standard music production software. One of these issues is what I call the “Fun Factor”. For me, making music with computers should be more fun, and a lot of elements are preventing the musicians to enjoy the process. So, my idea with Guitar Gadgets, which was called “Fun Factory” before I decided to give it a better name, was to develop an effect which would be very fun to use for guitarists and say synth players, in various ways.

I’m a guitar player myself, and I know how much it is more amusing to “jam” with a guitar amp simulation when you use some effects such as reverberation, chorus, delay etc. The thing is that the “Fun Factor” is higher when what you play provides as much “feedback” as possible.

The feedback, defined this way, is what you hear when you play, and your ability to make a sound that you like while playing music. The worst feedbacks happen when you don’t hear very well your playing, because your monitoring speakers suck, because you have more than 20 ms of latency, because your guitar skills are not very good, your guitar itself is bad, or you use a very bad guitar amp / cabinet simulation… And the best feedbacks, on the other side, happen when you like the sound you get, because it inspires you, it gives you new ideas to jam, or because you enjoy playing with people or a backtrack, and your skills are good enough for your ears. Maybe you like the way the guitar cabinet make your whole body reacts to the sound with the volume knob put very hard. And you have a crowd reacting each time you touch one of the guitar strings !

So, in short, I wanted to develop a plug-in which may give you more of that feedback. And creating effects was one of the ways to do that. Obviously, when you play with richer sounds, improved thanks to reverberation, delay or phaser effects, you can “feel” a little more what you do. If you have a new effect which give you interesting sounds that you have not heard yet from your playing, or which react strongly according to what you digits are doing, you feel a new control from your hands, and some inspiration coming from the new sound territories you have put your feets on. If the sound you got from your playing make you smile or laugh, you will be able to play with a new effect or new gear for hours, just for pleasure. That’s where I wanted people who try Guitar Gadgets to go…

I planned to develop a lot more of these effects, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it on time because of the Developer Challenge deadline. Moreover, I had began to develop a “gamification” system, a few challenges you have to take up to unlock gradually all the gadgets from the software, such as “playing the first notes of Smoke on the Water”, or “playing for 10 minutes with one of the effects”. But I wasn’t satisfied enough with what I did to keep it. I have just left one of these challenges, and I will talk about it later !

The last thing I had an interest in with Guitar Gadgets is the Graphical User Interface (GUI). Everybody knows how much it is important nowadays to have a GUI in plug-ins which looks beautiful. I remember someone told me about a scientific experience where people had to decide between two plug-ins the one which sounded the best. They told that they prefered the most beautiful one, and they were surprised to learn at the end of the experiment that their DSP algorithms were exactly the same ! So I decided to improve a little my skills with Photoshop to be able to create user interfaces which look “not amateurish” at least.

Screenshot2

I got a Wacom graphic tablet for my birthday also, so I decided to try something new with Guitar Gadgets. I wanted funny and interesting pictures for each pedal, to improve the feel that you are using “false but real guitar effect pedals”. So I have retrieved a few nice real guitar pedals, and I tried to “draw” them with the graphic tablet, in a realistic but also “cartoonish” way. And to add something more, I wanted to put some animations, like in video games, or some smartphone applications. It’s not something that I used to see in music creation software, but I definitively think that can also improve the “feel” when you use a plug-in.

Well, I told you more things about Guitar Gadgets and my ideas for the Developer Challenge. Obviously, the result would have been better if I had more time, but I’m seriously thinking about improving it, by adding some features like MIDI Learn or 4+ effects chaining, and all the effects I have not been able to develop. It may be a new freeware plug-in, or a commercial one when I will be able to launch my new business. Would you be interested by that ?

In a next article,  I will talk about the only “gamification stuff” I have kept in Guitar Gadgets, how to unlock it, how to use it, and how I developed it🙂

Inspiration v1.1.0

Hello guys ! Just a little message to tell you that I have updated Inspiration, my software developed for the KVR Developer Challenge 2012, to the version 1.1.0. Here is the new changelog :

  • Added a link to copy and paste the current piece of advice.
  • Added a timer to pick a new piece of advice every N seconds.
  • Added a feature to mark a piece of advice as a favorite, and to access to all the favorite items only.
  • Fixed various bugs.

I did this update because I wanted to add these features a while ago, and some people are still using it nowadays. Enjoy !