HG Sounds Unveils Black Magic – Loop Workstation For Windows
HG Sounds has unveiled Black Magic, a unique loop workstation with the ability to generate diverse loops with a single mouse click. Created loops can instantly be output to WAV, and automatically named by BPM and timestamp.
Black Magic can also be used as a standard MIDI drum machine and also has the ability to jam with the individual sequences in real time. It has 10 Samplers each with its own sequencer and many adjustable parameters. It uses standard WAV files and ships with a large library of samples, but users can easily add their own. There is also a solid FX section which includes a Compressor/Limiter, Delay, SoundScaper, Flanger/Filter and Drive as well as many Modulation options including randomizers, a Modulation sequencer and an LFO.
Black Magic looks deceptively simple on the surface and can be used easily without delving into the details too much, but underneath there is a vast amount of tweakable parameters. Each sampler has its own settings for 14 parameters such as Cutoff, Resonance, Volume, Pan, Pitch, Release etc, but there are also a set of Master controls for these settings which are additive/subtractive. These knobs provide instant gratification and can change the sound dramatically as well as being automated (like most controls in BM). There is also an overview Mixer screen which allows seeing all levels for 12 of the Sampler parameters and allows a great way to randomize just the pitches or cutoff values for instance.
Each Sampler has its own 32 step sequencer which can be triggered via MIDI and has adjustable step size, which allows for complex overlapping rhythms to be constructed. There is also a useful alternative to randomizing the sequence which uses a pre-defined set of presets which is randomly selected. This allows much more usable rhythms to be created as opposed to the standard randomizers (which are also available). Another useful feature is that Octave 4 and 5 of the midi controller affects a selectable parameter such as Master Pitch or Master Cutoff in real time which adds a whole new world of creative possibilities, for example playing a tune with the current loop.
The FX Section has Soundscaper which is a diverse delay/reverb style effect, a Stereo BPM Delay, and a Flanger which can be switched to Filter instead, the LFO has a large amount of wave shapes available. Each sampler has its own set of sends for these effects. There is also a Compressor, Limiter and Noise Gate which happen just before the Master Volume Level, the compressor is great for a heavy compression sound that is popular these days.
HG Sounds’ Black Magic VSTi for Windows costs £130, but there’s a pre-order special for £65. More information on HG Sounds Black Magic.