OS X 10.11 El Capitan / Hugh on October 7th

El Capitan

Some El Capitan users have had an issue activating their copy of Circle². To fix this issue, El Capitan users please update to the latest version of Circle² - 2.0.2. The latest version can be downloaded from here.

Artist Focus: Soldado / Hugh on September 30th

This month we sat down for a chat with up and coming trap producer Soldado.

Soldado Logo

For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, please can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do musically?

Yea, I’m Soldado. 17 years old, born and raised in the UK. I’ve been producing for just over 2 years and have made songs / work with guys people such as Gucci Mane, iLoveMakonnen, OG Maco etc. Outside of music I’m in my second year of sixth form college.

Cool, so are you studying music / production or are you self taught?

Self taught. Never went to music college, just trial and error to be honest. Not that I’m knocking any institute like that - I just didn’t go through that myself.

Can you tell us a bit about your studio set up?

FL Studio for sure. It looks like a video game when you’re making music on it, all the lights and patterns. The visual side of it makes it that much better for me. Hardware wise I’m on an HP laptop and a pair of Sony overhead headphones. It helps me to keep things portable so I can make music anywhere.

Yea that makes sense.

Being portable helps with the inspiration. Same room you’ll get tired of ideas or start recycling. Being in different places is like adding a different flavour to your music, know what I mean?

It’s unusual to see a UK based producer so active in the US trap scene. Have you always been more drawn towards producing US rap music than the rap subgenres of the UK (grime, road rap etc)?

I would say so. I like some UK artists like Skepta, JME, etc., but I’ve always had US rap as a heavy influence. My dad gave me my first Wu Tang CD and from there it kinda just snowballed, having me check out old school and new school artists. I love both of them but the US has this vibe that I love.

I’ll always love the US scene, because of how it evolves, and the love I’ve been shown from it.

For such a young producer, it’s impressive that you’ve already worked with heavyweight artists such as iLoveMakonnen. Could you tell us a bit about how the collaboration came about?

I remember how Dodging 12 came about exactly. It was like 12AM in the UK and I couldn’t sleep. I got onto my laptop and on Twitter. I saw Makonnen had put up an email saying he needed beats. This was all before Tuesday, before Verification, OVO, all that. I sent him some packs and he followed me back, DM’d me like “send me more”.

We were talking through there casually, and I send the beat for Dodging 12 and he replies back on the email with that beat like “Yessss! Dodging 12!!!!! This is the one!”. The beat was actually originally called that.

From there we released it and it got such great feedback, so we dropped the remix with Yung Gleesh and Fredo Santana on Drink More Water 5. I remember Makonnen telling me he showed Drake the song and that Drake liked it. That was a good day.

Yea, I can imagine that must have been a great feeling.

It was motivational. It just made me want to work harder at getting better with everything I do on my beats. People still tell me they listen to that song to this day. I was talking with an artist the other day and he just found out I producing Dodging 12 and went crazy. It’s cool seeing the song still hold weight, even now.

It’s had a crazy amount of views on YouTube etc now.

It’s all a blessing. I keep it moving though. Gotta look to the next song, the next project etc.

If you experience a creative block in the studio, do you have any particular rituals that get the inspiration flowing again?

For me, I use other media. If you watch a good film, good show or do something like that, you are able to transfer it onto beats. Sample digging is also a good way to get through a block. To be honest, I’d just say things like playing PlayStation, going on Netflix, looking at different things can help.

Yea, I guess it can help to refresh the situation completely.

That’s my ritual anyway. If I can’t make a beat, I’ll relax away from the laptop for a bit - do something else and then go back, open a fresh session and be ready with some new ideas.

What would you give as a one sentence piece of mixdown advice for aspiring producers?

I’d say see each track as unique. Don’t look at numbers and levels like “oh I have to keep it between this number and that number”. Fuck that. Each song is individual - sometimes what works on one track will sound horrible on another. Don’t go about having a one mix fits all approach, take it one at a time and your work will be good.

What were your initial thoughts on Circle²? Are there any certain features you like in particular?

The visual side of things. The GUI, interface, whatever looks crazy. The presets that it comes with are great. The presets that come with it a great - tried a number out straight after I installed it and they were amazing.

I like the simplicity of changing the waveforms in each sound too - the blending between two of them to create a new waveform to drive the sound.

What’s next for you musically? Any releases coming that you can talk about?

I’ve been working. I have an EP coming soon with Larry June called “Route To UK”. That’s all I can really speak on but after a few conversations I’ve had over the phone these past few weeks…. I can’t wait to surprise you guys with the new work.

We’re looking forward to it. And finally, where can we keep up with you online?


My music is always up on Soundcloud. You can nearly always reach me through Twitter or IG. Twitter mainly though.

Thanks a lot for your time Soldado.

Any artists looking to collaborate with Soldado should contact him on Twitter at @SoldadoAudio

Free Circle² Preset Expansion: Future Sounds - Trap Vol. 1 / Hugh on September 30th

* All non percussive elements in this track are generated using the Circle² Future Sounds - Trap Vol.1 Expansion presets.

Our new free preset expansion is here and guaranteed to get your subs rumbling! This time we are focussing on the sounds of trap.

This powerful 8 preset expansion contains all the bass, lead, and pad sounds you need to create the next smasher!

Future Deep House Vol. 1

1. Accordion Lead
2. Choir Pad
3. Lead Disto
4. Orchestra Pad
5. Organic Tapper
6. Pumper Sub
7. Square Gliders
8. Tremor Lead

Download the expansion here

To install the presets, just unzip and paste the folder “Future Sounds - Trap Vol. 1″ in here:

OSX - Application Support > FAW > Circle-2 > Presets
Windows - Program Files > FAW > Circle2 > Presets

An Interview with ProducerTech / Hugh on September 14th

Whole introduction and article taken from producertech.me

Circle2 is the product of a collaboration between Future Audio Workshop and Maynooth University. The result is a four oscillator synth boasting a whole new synthesis method called Vector Phase Shaping (VPS), a unique approach to wavetable synthesis, virtual analog waveforms and a dedicated noise generator.

There are also pre and post filter effects, a feedback circuit, optional single and dual filters that can be run in series or parallel, a master effects section, up to four LFOs, envelopes and sequencers and even an arpeggiator.

Despite being packed with features, Circle2 manages to keep things simple. One of it’s greatest strengths is it’s easy to use, colour coded drag-and-drop interface.

Hugh, from Future Audio Workshop, is one of Circle2’s developers and has been good enough to answer some question for us:

PT Congratulations on a great release. Firstly, what exactly is VPS?

FAW Thanks! Vector Phaseshaping Synthesis is a cutting-edge synthesis technique that was recently introduced by researchers at The Aalto University School of Electrical Engineerings and The National University of Ireland (Maynooth). The method has been further developed for its implementation in Circle2 via an academic collaboration with FAW.

PT What kinds of sounds do you feel that VPS is best suited for?

FAW The horizontal and vertical parameters produce very interesting harmonic movement when modulated, so I’ve personally been using the VPS mostly for wet, moving pads, as well as morphing Reese style basses.

PT How can users import their own waveshapes in to the oscillator?

FAW Custom wavetables can be generated and imported into Circle2 using the Circle Wavetable Generator. Download it here: http://www.futureaudioworkshop.com/circle/downloads/

PT What kinds of sounds do you feel that wavetable oscillator is best suited for?

FAW Whereas the analog oscillator is best suited for replicating the signature sounds of yesteryear, The wavetable oscillator really comes into its own when crafting harmonically rich, interesting, digital tones.

PT Do you have any tips for users looking to make their own waveshapes?

FAW The Circle Wavetable Generator creates wave shapes from source audio, so I would recommend really experimenting with your source material when making custom waveshapes. The resultant harmonics can be so varied that it’s worth experimenting with a range of sources.

PT The interface is very well thought out. When creating a synth, it can be very easy to get carried away and this can lead to complexity. How do you go about striking a balance between adding in the advanced features that you want but keeping the interface simple?

FAW A great deal of time was spent designing the Circle2 interface with intuitiveness in mind, in order to enable the user to stay in flow. The aim has always been to keep interface as clear as possible, so if the addition of a non essential feature will compromise this, we won’t implement it. Feature creep is a problem for a lot of audio software – it’s something we consciously aim to avoid.

PT One of my favourite features is that the oscillators can also be used as modulation sources. The fact that they’re polyphonic lead me to some very expressive and wonky sounds. Are there any other areas of Circle2 that you can particularly recommend for experimentation?

FAW Circle2 can do some really cool, unexpected stuff. I recommend playing a held arpeggio, and inserting a delay effect with a mix slider setting of 100%. Then try modulating the delay time with an LFO, you can end up with some absolutely mind bending results.

PT Berlin is very much a global music hub – particularly for techno. How does what’s going on around you inspire the products you develop?

FAW We couldn’t be in a better place, the blend of technical and creative minds here is second to none. Being surrounded by so many motivated and likeminded individuals really energises us to keep pushing things forward, and of course it’s fantastic to have access to so many great clubs where we can hear Circle2 in action.

Circle² Back to School Discount Available Now! / Hugh on September 10th


We hope all you students have had a great summer break, and are looking forward to getting stuck into the next academic year.

Due to it’s visual approach to synthesis and intuitive design Circle² is an ideal synthesiser for gaining a comprehensive understanding of sound design and synthesis techniques, and is used in music production academies throughout the world.

Haven’t tried Circle² yet? Download the demo here!

If you study a music related course, or produce music in your time off from studying, then now is the time to grab a piece of the action, until the end of September we are extending a 50% discount to students of all ages.

Just send us a message to store@futureaudioworkshop.com with a photograph of your Student ID card, and we will arrange for your discounted copy to be sent over straight away!

Circle² Synthesis Tutorial Series, Vol. 2: Deep House / Hugh on August 27th

Following on from the release of our second free Circle² preset expansion pack this month, we would like to present the second volume of The Circle² Synthesis Tutorial Series on our YouTube channel. This time we are focussing on the typical sounds of modern deep house tracks, though these sounds will work within many different musical styles.

Over the course of these videos we guide you through the sound design process for each preset in the Future Deep House Vol. 1 expansion pack, and provide some extra tips and tricks along the way. The video series will give you all the tools required to sculpt your own unique, club ready deep house presets.

Check out the video series in the YouTube playlist below, and stay tuned for more tutorials! If you would like to request particular sound design tutorials let us know via Facebook or the comments section below.

6 Essential Sound Design Tips / Hugh on August 26th

Circle2 screen

We have collected some essential tips for creating amazing and professional sounds for your music! Follow these tutorials and take your sound design to the next level.

1. Deconstructing the lead synth from Wake Me Up by Avicii

2. Learn to program a versatile detuned square lead

3. Learn to program a powerful future house bass

4. Deconstructing the lead synth from Secrets by Tiesto

5. Deconstructing the lead synth from Animals by Martin Garrix

6. Learn to program a classic and versatile electronic pluck

Free Circle² Preset Expansion: Future Deep House / Hugh on August 26th

* All non percussive elements in this track are generated using the Circle² Future Deep House Vol. 1 Expansion presets.

Our new free preset expansion is here! This time we are focussing on the sounds of futuristic deep house, though these presets will work within many different musical styles. This powerful 6 preset expansion contains all the bass, lead, chord and pad sounds you need to create the next dancefloor smasher!

Future Deep House Vol. 1

1. 2015 Organ
2. Attack Bong Bass
3. Brass Lead
4. Flutter Pad
5. Long Bass
6. VPS Chord

Download the expansion here

To install the presets, just unzip and paste the folder “Future Deep House Vol.1″ in here:

OSX - Application Support > FAW > Circle-2 > Presets
Windows - Program Files > FAW > Circle2 > Presets

Artist Focus: Deadbeat UK / Hugh on August 25th

Deadbeat profile

For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, please can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Hello Im Deadbeat UK and Im a music producer, DJ and sound engineer from Sheffield, UK.

What inspired you to get into making electronic music? Is it something you’ve always known you wanted to do?

I started getting really into music around age 14/15 when I used to listen to tape packs like Sidewinder, old jungle / drum and bass and speed garage / niche tapes, although I have been interested in music from a young age. I remember a point where I thought, “How do these tunes get made?” I pretty much knew i wanted to make music since then.

In terms of genre, how would you define your music?

I dont stick to one genre or sound in my opinion but my music is usually around 130 to 140 bpm with a range of influences from garage, grime, hiphop, dnb and more so its hard to say for me.

Some people say i make bassline some say bass or garage, I’ll leave it up to the listener to decide.

Your tracks often seem to contain strong references the style and energy of tracks from the older Northern UK based niche / bassline scene, what was your relationship with these movements as they were unfolding?

It was the music a lot of people my age where listening to when we were growing up, you could hear it everywhere coming from cars, houses, people’s phones etc, so I’ve always been familiar with the sound and have loved the vibe and energy of it from when I first heard it. The original Niche club closed down before I was old enough to go (legally).

Niche reopened in a different venue a few years later but was only open for a few months before it was shut down by the authorities. You still cant advertise a night as playing bassline in Sheffield even to this day because the police / council will shut it down, but you can still hear the sound in its different forms in the city. There is a lively scene although its a bit different from the old days. I hear a lot of people saying bassline is coming back, i hope so!

To what extent has growing up in Sheffield shaped your musical direction?

Probably a lot to be honest as you cant escape the 4×4/bassline sound if you live here, and also it’s a musical city in general, and very diverse. Music is ingrained in the culture of the city.

When writing a track, what is your creative process? (Do you program drums first? Do you sit down at a set time and say “Now Iím making a track”, or spontaneously rush to your studio?)

It always depends. Sometimes Ill start with drums just to get a groove going, sometimes a bassline or melody kind of pops into my head and i get it down straight away and build around it, although that seems to happen most when I’m away from the studio. Other times ill hear something i want to sample and start from there.

Can you tell us about your studio setup?

It’s very basic. I have a PC which needs upgrading asap because its geting old and slow. I use Ableton Live 9 and have loads of plugins/vsts but currently no hardware.

What were your initial thoughts on Circle2? Are there any certain features you like in particular?

I love the layout and it’s easy to get to grips with. You can make some sick sounds with it, I rate it a lot! I like how you can preview what changing different parameters will sound like, and the dual filter is cool.

Follow Deadbeat UK




Circle² 2.0.2 (OS X 10.11 El Capitan Support) / Hugh on July 29th

After recieveing several support requests from users of the brand new OS X 10.11 El Capitan Beta, we’ve decided to roll out a Circle² update with full El Capitan support.

El Capitan

OS X users, grab the new installer from the link below if you plan on upgrading to 10.11!

Download Circle² 2.0.2

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