As a music producer, I'm always trying to keep my eyes open for new ways I can approach making music. I love finding new plugins.
There's a certain child-at-Christmas feeling to discovering a new tool, and getting a wave of excitement about all of the musical possibilities this new tool can bring.
Well, it's in that vain that we will be talking about Noises by AudioThing today.
Noises is a really cool plugin, designed in collaboration between AudioThing and German composer Hainbach.
It's a Noise generator which puts the focus on exploring the sounds available and creating unique results. There's a lot of cool stuff going on behind the scenes.
From its really nice interface to the exciting range of sounds available, there's lots to cover, so let's get into it.
A Creative Texture Instrument
At its heart, Noises is an experimental instrument. If the name didn't give you a clue, it's a noise generator, bringing the sampled sounds of various types of analog gear, field recordings and rare vintage electronic test equipment.
If you're making electronic music that benefits from textural noise elements, then this is a great instrument to have in your arsenal.
It's meant to appeal to your sense of discovery and exploration, and the interface reflects this.
Having a play around with the demo version, I was able to see just how strange things could get if I just began to adjust settings and play with the big dial in the middle.
But it's not just a novelty instrument; there are possibilities for real subtle textures and tones to come out of Noises, which makes the possibilities even more expansive.
The main feature of Noises is the dial in the centre.
Load up a patch and you can adjust the position of the dial to explore the various sounds available. It's designed to be fast and inspiring to use, so you can get great results without having to menu dive or spend a long time clicking and adjusting settings.
Just load up a patch, mess with a few settings and listen.
Noises has 28 banks of noise recordings, and each of these is made up of a collection of 8 samples. The Bank dropdown menu allows you to change between these, giving you access to a different range of sounds to experiment with. You can also create your own soundbanks, loading in samples you want to use by going into the settings menu.
Using the Trip section, which acts as a sequencer, you can cycle through the eight noises like a pendulum, going back and forth according to the rate you set. Or, you can have it move randomly to get some more unusual grroves.
What's also cool is that you can use MIDI notes to affect the pitch of the samples, and the 8 buttons under the main dial are the on/off toggles for each of the samples. Using these, you can isolate ones you like, or remove ones that don't suit your purposes to tailor the noise to your exact needs.
You'll notice that each of the 8 points creates an indicator on the circular dial, not unlike a clockface, and muting sounds adjusts the amount of these. If you freely move the dial in between the sounds, you can hear two sounds blending together, which is reflected in the indicator lights above each of the 8 buttons. You can see in the image above the sound is a blend of samples 4 and 5, but leaning more towards 4. This is reflected both in the dial position and the respective brightness of the lights.
You've also got controls for adjusting the pitch and evnelope, in the Performance section, as well as a Filter and Crusher, a nice bit crusher effect which adds some really cool grainy downsampling to the sounds. You can also invert the signal flow between the Filter and Crusher, to decide which comes first in the chain.
It's all about Inspiration
This plugin is unlike anything else I've used. Built using samples from a huge wall of vintage electronic lab equipment, the sounds that Noises is capable of are truly one of a kind.
The idea behind it is to give you endless avenues for sonic exploration, and I found it delivered on this tenfold.
Even messing around with the demo, I found several little audio loops which I resampled to use in tracks later.
And that's why for me, this is one of the most exciting plugins I've come across in a while.
It's all about 'playful and inspiring interaction for sonic exploration, designed to give you more sound with fewer clicks'. My experience was exactly in line with what I imagine both AudioThing and Hainbach had in mind when creating it.
It's versatile, weird and just downright fun. Which is an important part of music making; it should always be something you enjoy, and being able to inject some new and exciting inspiration into your tunes is never a bad thing.
Noises is available from AudioThing's website which you can check out here.
It's €69, which is a really good price for what you're getting, and you can try the demo before deciding if it's for you or not.
It's available for both Mac (macOS 10.9 or higher) and Windows (Windows 7 or higher), and is 64-bit.
It comes with 130 presets and 1.54GB of hand crafted samples.
I can't recommend it enough!