The Sound Guy News & Reviews in Olde English


6/17/16: In case you're wondering, Spectral Machine is sold out. We aren't planning to do another manufacturing run.


4/1/16: We're pleased to announce our latest fake product, SFX Machine Pro HD. This is exactly the same as our real product, SFX Machine Pro, but adding "HD" is a clever marketing gimmick that seems to work well for other items, such as Crest Pro-Health HD toothpaste, IT Cosmetics HD Micro-Powder, MuscleTech HD Testosterone Booster, Cellucor Super HD Thermogenic Fat Burner, Dixie HD Paper Plates, HD Night Vision Wraparound Glasses, SuperSensation HD condoms, etc.

We're also hardly working on Turd Polisher Pro PRO, the professional version of Turd Polisher Pro. It makes Turd Polisher Pro look like Turd Polisher Amateur.

Finally, we're starting development on The Sound Guy, Inc. Self-Driving Car Pro HD, to be released in 2050.


4/1/14: We're pleased to announce the release of Dereverberationizer, the ultimate dereverberationizing software.


1/19/14: We've just released a 64-bit version of SFX Machine Pro for Mac OS X! Finally! And a 64-bit version of Backwards Machine for Windows.

1/4/14: We've released a 64-bit version of SFX Machine Pro for Windows, and we're expecting the Mac version in Q1 2014. Also, GeneralPlus will be demoing the new SFX Machine Voice-changer Toy in their suite during the CES show in Las Vegas.


3/12/12: There's a full-page review of Spectral Machine in the April issue of Keys magazine. My German's not very good, since I don't speak German, but I'm pretty sure the conclusion says "While the general algorithms of Spectral Machine turn genre cross over to lovers of sound experiments, the monophonic effects convince the editing of solo instruments and vocals in particular. For little money obtains a package with pitch correction, pitch-shifted voices and sound shaper, whose quality can be seen."


11/1/11: A few months ago, the Australian transvestite band Mechanical Black invited me to lip sync to a remake of the 1988 song "Electric Dreams", along with early video game & computer luminaries such as Steve Wozniak, John Draper (Captain Crunch), Steve Jackson, Eric Allman (developer of sendmail), George Sanger (The Fat Man), Guido Van Rossum (Python), James Gosling (Java), and John Resig (Javascript). Not quite sure why I was included with these guys, but the resulting video is pretty cool!


8/7/11: We finally released Spectral Machine!


6/23/11: My article, "The Loudness War: Do Louder, Hypercompressed Recordings Sell Better?" was published in the May Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. (Not a free download, but author's copy available on request.)
More information, including a video presentation, is available at http://www.sfxmachine.com/docs/loudnesswar/ .

6/16/11: Hugh Robbins has posted a video of Lissajous patterns created in SFX Machine:

He uses a sine wave linked to the frequency setting of a high-Q highpass filter to achieve a circle, then mixes and modulates with other waveforms. He used to use an analog modular synth, but now he can lock frequency intervals to make a pattern stand absolutely still without oscillator drift.

4/1/11: The Sound Guy, Inc. has announced that they will not be issuing a new April 1 press release. Instead, they've decided to rehash highlights from previous years.


11/10: Earl Vickers gave two presentations at the 129th Audio Engineering Society Convention in San Francisco, including "The Loudness War: Background, Speculation and Recommendations ," which gives evidence questioning the assumption that louder, hypercompressed music sells better. A 20-minute video based on this presentation is available at
http://www.sfxmachine.com/docs/loudnesswar/ .

The freeSFX site posted a detailed review of SFX Machine Pro.

4/1/10: Finally released Turd Polisher Pro. Make your music shine!


10/09: We've released the following updates for Windows versions of our plug-ins: SFX Machine Pro 1.1.3, SFX Machine RT 1.09, and Backwards Machine 1.0.3. Each of these fixes a bug that could cause a crash in Cubase 5.

Earl Vickers gave two presentations on October 11th at the 127th Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York City: "Fixing the Phantom Center: Diffusing Acoustical Crosstalk" and "Frequency-Domain Two- to Three-Channel Upmix for Center Channel Derivation and Speech Enhancement."


5/09: SFX Machine Pro was mentioned in MusicTech magazine (special edition on Pro Tools), in an interview article with Pete Martin.


2/09: I've posted demos of some of my songs at http://www.museumofconceptualart.com/songs/ . I would love to find a band that's looking for this kind of material (folk/rock/pop/whatever), and/or someone who would be interested in making better quality demos.


12/08: We've released SFX Machine Pro for RTAS, for Digidesign Pro Tools systems!

James Sanger used SFX Machine Pro on his protest music video, "The Bling Kings," http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RIaOTAYuY1E&fmt=18 . The song is about "the psychopathic ego-mania of our modern day kings and queens." It's already up to #2 in the UK news and politics chart on YouTube. It's anti-fascist and catchy as hell! I love it — check it out!


10/08: Joey Stuckey posted an endorsement of SFX Machine RT and Backwards Machine at JoeyStuckey.com. (Click on "Endorsements", then "SFX Machine".)

8/08: Backwards Machine is reviewed in the latest issue of Electronic Musician magazine. They say "This little plug-in can add a ghostly background sheen to loops, pads, and leads, or it can mangle them beyond recognition."


6/08: Voice-over expert Pat Fraley discusses how he uses SFX Machine for podcasts.


4/08: We've released version 1.1.0 of ReSpatializer.


3/08:
We released our annual 4/1 press release early this year.

SFX Machine Pro is featured on page 375 of Producing Great Sound for Film and Video by Jay Rose, which is available from Amazon and other bookstores.

We're still making progress on Spectral Machine, scheduled for release later this year.

1/08: We've released the following updates to the Mac OS X versions: SFX Machine Pro 1.1.2, SFX Machine RT 1.0.9, and Backwards Machine 1.0.4. These updates fix a bug that prevented the software from working with Pro Tools on Intel Macs using the FXpansion VST-to-RTAS Adapter.


11/07:
We've released Backwards Machine 1.0.2, which fixed a bug where VST programs did not save state from parameter changes.


8/07: We've released the long-awaited ReSpatializer, an advanced panner / surround / spatialization plug-in.


7/07: We would like to introduce our customers to vielklang logo, the impressive new harmonization plug-in by our friends at zplane.development. We were knocked out when we saw the pre-release version at NAMM, and the latest update does some of the best automatic harmonization we've ever seen.

Technically, vielklang is an instrument, not an effect. It starts by analyzing the input sound file, and then it generates the harmonies. You can view the results as a piano roll display. It's easy to make any desired changes.

While vielklang is not a real-time plug-in, the ability to look at the entire melody at once provides some major benefits. The main advantage is that instead of playing all the harmonies more-or-less in parallel (everything moves up, everything moves down), vielklang figures out the proper voice leading using sophisticated artificial intelligence techniques. (I just made up the A.I. part — I don't really know how they do it.)

The result: more natural-sounding harmonies.  vielklang thinks in harmony progressions instead of intervals. The software supports you musically: you don't even need to configure the key. You can also use vielklang as a full-fledged sample player instrument by triggering different harmonizations with different MIDI notes.

Go to the vielklang website and try out the demo.


7/07: We have released updates of SFX Machine Pro, SFX Machine RT, and Backwards Machine.

For SFX Machine Pro, we have greatly reduced the latency of a number of the Pitch Shift and Vibrato presets. There are also some minor fixes to improve the authorization experience. If you're interested in the details, view the SFX Machine Pro History Log, the SFX Machine RT History Log, or the Backwards Machine History Log.


4/07: The April 2007 issue of Electronic Musician includes a sound design workshop, "Machine Tools: How to customize SFX Machine Pro presets," by Len Sasso.


4/07: DontCrack.com is now an authorized dealer of products by The Sound Guy, Inc.
We don't steal your music; please don't steal our software.


3/07: We've just released Backwards Machine 1.0, a new plug-in that reverses continuous audio in real-time.

 

 

3/ 07: Earl Vickers's wedding photos and videos!


3/07: SFX Machine Pro is a Staff Pick and Featured Download at apple.com/downloads.

 

3/07: SFX Machine Pro won an "Awesome" rating and an Editor's Choice award from Mac Life magazine. They say:

"Excellent variety of effects. Easy to use. Low processor overhead. Great sound... SFX Machine Pro could be the most important tool in your audio arsenal."

Read the full review!

 

 1/07: SFX Machine Pro is a proud winner of Electronic Musician's 2007 Editor's Choice Award for Best Signal Processing Software! They say "SFX Machine Pro has something for just about everyone."

 

 


1/07: We gave demos of SFX Machine Pro on the Receptor platform in the Muse Research booth at the NAMM convention. Honestly, though, the Muse Research guys give much better demos than we do, so we mostly just stood aside and watched. Anyway, it's great that SFX Machine Pro will be included on Receptor!


1/15/07: We've released SFX Machine Pro 1.1.0. This is a major new update, featuring:

The separate Wet Mix and Dry Mix controls are a long overdue improvement, frequently requested by our customers. It will now be much easier to mix in just the right amount of wet (processed) signal.

We've also released the 1.07 update of SFX Machine RT. If you're interested in the details, view the SFX Machine Pro History Log or the SFX Machine RT History Log.


10/28/06: We published The Sound Guy, Inc. Newsletter #1, including information on upcoming products, etc. Contact us if you would like to be added to the mailing list. We would like future editions of the newsletter to include techniques and tips from other users, so let us know if you would like to contribute tips, techniques, tutorials or presets. We would also love to publish a paragraph about you, your studio and your projects on our upcoming "SFX Machine Users" page.


10/10/06: The French magazine "Sono Achat" reviewed SFX Machine Pro. They said: "SFX Machine Pro 1.0 is thus an extremely simple plug to use... and reveals treasures of FX applicable to all your jingles, productions, assemblies, one shot for radio or TV, etc." (but in French). They also said: "The presets are precise, effective, sometimes surprising, but always of very good quality."


10/7/06: Earl Vickers delivered a paper at the AES Convention in San Francisco. The subject was "Frequency Domain Artificial Reverberation using Spectral Magnitude Decay."


9/5/06: Podsqod.com featured SFX Machine RT and SFX Machine Pro in this excerpt from their recent podcast (11 MB .mp3, about 11 minutes). They especially liked SFX Machine's capabilities for voice-over work. Their web site says:

"SFX Machine packs the features of a hardware effects generator, but goes far beyond that. We’ll take the SFX Machine through a few of its presets to give you an idea of what this great little plug-in can do... Once you’ve dazzled your ears with the presets, it’s quite easy to tailor each effect with the user interface... I’m having a blast with this plug-in. For the price, it’s hard to beat."


8/06: Some recent reviews and previews of SFX Machine Pro have appeared in Electronic Musician ("What's New," August '06), Future Music magazine (August '06), EQ Magazine ("Tool Box," July '06) and Sound & Recording (June '06, in German).

Future Music calls SFX Machine Pro:

"A great sound-mangling proposition for musicians, sound designers, foley artists, soundtrack composers and anyone else looking for interesting new vibes as well as fresh takes on many old favourites.... 300 highly usable effects units and a highly flexible modular environment for 200 bucks has got to be a winner in anyone's book."


7/12/06:SFX Machine Pro 1.01 for Windows has been released. This version adds VST SDK 2.4 support, for compatibility with VST SDK 2.4 (required by some apps for use with 64-bit machines).


6/16/06: SFX Machine RT 1.06 and SFX Machine Pro 1.01 for Macintosh have been released. This version adds Mac OS X Universal compatibility — they run natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macintosh computers. They also add VST SDK 2.4 support, and the new release of SFX Machine Pro fixes a bug when running under Digital Performer.


6/8/06: We're looking for beta testers for some upcoming products. Contact us for more info.


4/28/06: SFX Machine Pro 1.0 has been released.


4/1/06: Following is an excerpt from My Totally Excellent Life, the "chick lit" novel that was recently withdrawn by the publisher due to extensive plagiarism. SFX Machine is mentioned repeatedly throughout the book! (At one point, a character quotes an entire paragraph verbatim from the SFX Machine manual!)

Excerpt from My Totally Excellent Life, featuring SFX Machine: the Goodwill on Mission. All eyes were on her, not me, as we got on the bus. I was used to it. Jamie was a genius at choosing things that so did not go together and making them totally work.

We sat in the back. Remember that first night? she asked.

OMFG, lamest party ever.

I know! Jamie practically sprayed me with her Diet Coke. But I was having such a great time! I remember being so confused about that...

You and no one else.

Really?

You were totally into him! You got lost three times on your way home. Honestly, I donít know what you see in these nerdy types.


BLAME SFX MACHINE

Heís just so passionate about everything he does... ≠ I could tell she was pausing for comic effect ≠ and I do mean everything.

The guys across the aisle turned around and started checking us out.

Well, I said, if he does everything else like he dances...

This time she did spray me, all over my new top. 

Dammit, Jamie! I took the Diet Coke from her hand and dared her to say something funny.

She thought for a second, then announced, I blame SFX 

Machine!

Wow, I said, momentarily stunned. Thatís not funny ≠ well, it is, but itís deep. Profound.

I know! she smiled, proud of herself. Itís at the center of everything. None of this wouldíve happened if I hadnít heard those sounds coming out of his room.

I didnít even think you were into that kind of music.

Well, itís not just that kind of music. People use it for everything: soundtracks, radio shows, post-production ≠ OMG, Iím lapsing into booth bimbo speak.

Hey, I know, you should make up some buttons that say ĎBlame SFX Machine.í People will be like, wha?

Thatís such a great idea! Jamie said. We have to do it!

There was a print shop on the corner, so we got off to see if they made buttons.

Heís not a bad guy, you know, I told her.

I know. Like I said, I blame SFX Machine.

Yeah. But SFX Machine didnít knock you up.

The store didnít make buttons, so we decided to do them ourselves. Jamie rented time at the computer station.

What font? she asked.

When in doubt, use Stencil.

Jamie nodded. Always good advice.

Excerpt from "My Totally Excellent Life"


5/28/05: The SFX Machine RT 1.05 update has been released. (If interested, see the update change history.) We've also added the SFX Machine Simulator, as well as a site search function (at the bottom of the home page).


SFX Machine LT (the "lite" version of SFX Machine RT) is bundled with BIAS Peak 4.1 for Macintosh and E-MU's 1212M, 1820 and 1820M Digital Audio Systems for Windows.


The SFX Machine RT-compatible Apple Soundtrack 1.10 update is now available.


Some reviews of SFX Machine RT:


cover
SFX Machine is featured in the new book by Jay Rose, Audio Postproduction for Digital Video (pages 235, 346, 352, 358 and 362).

It's also featured in the following books:


Some new presets are available for download.


The January 2003 issue of MacAddict includes an interview with the band The Crystal Method: "To finish off the track, [Scott] Kirkland whipped out the big gun..." — you guessed it, SFX Machine. The article says "the band used quite a few of this plug-in's delay effects on its 'Tough Guy' track (from the Tweekend album)." The screenshot reveals some interestingly named preset categories...

 

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