Circle² 2.0.1 is Here! / Hugh on May 26th

C2.0.1

This is the first Circle² update, and fixes several minor bugs that had been flagged by you. A big thanks for all your feedback so far, and don’t forget if you come across any issues then don’t hesitate to drop us a line at support@futureaudioworkshop.com, and we will get it fixed up as soon as possible.

Change log:

  • Modulation amount popup positioning on bottom rising panels.
  • “VCA” title changed to “output”.
  • Keyboard tracking assigned to feedback tuning in default preset.
  • Mixer levels made uniform in default preset.
  • Fixed occasional spotlight browser freeze in 32bit FL Studio.

Windows Installer
OS X Installer

Circle² - First Reviews and Feedback / Hugh on May 21st

Ask Audio Magazine

“Despite how high FAW had already set the bar for themselves with the first version of Circle, it’s hard not to be impressed with the enhancements on offer in Circle². Whether building patches from scratch, modifying the growing library of factory presets, or using the handy randomisation controls to chance it, Circle² painlessly delivers high-quality sounds with style. Their commitment to elegant design in service of a fluid user experience make Circle² a joy to use, while the astonishingly flawless, full-bodied sound quality makes the majority of plug-ins pale in comparison. It’s no surprise their team boasts leading mathematicians working alongside innovative designers and clever programmers – the result of their collaboration is an essential piece of virtual kit.”

Read the review

Multiplier

“It allows you to lay ideas down really quickly, really efficiently… I’m just a fan of the workflow the plugin enables, and the visual feedback, that’s what has won me over. You can make some really cool sounds with this. Circle² - I’m a big fan!”

Attack Magazine

Ten Of The Best: New Synth Plugins (Feature)

“The visual aspect of Circle² is so telling because it sums up the synth’s main selling point: this is a complex, powerful synth that still manages to be user-friendly, a feat that should be high up any developer’s list of priorities but all too often gets overlooked in favour of cramming in as many features as possible.

A complete beginner could fire up Circle² and get started making sounds without too much difficulty. The synth engine is based on a combination of wavetable oscillators and FAW’s new VPS (“vector phase shaping”) synthesis engine, developed in conjunction with the audio research group at Maynooth University. It’s a powerful setup that avoids becoming overly complex thanks to the graphically driven approach; the name of the synth comes from the small circles underneath parameters, which can be dragged around the interface to set up modulation routings.

Circle² looks great and sounds even better.”

Read the review

Learning to Design Sounds with Circle² / Hugh on May 20th

Some of you may have followed the Circle sound design tutorials that have been on our website for the past few years. We’ve now updated these tutorials for Circle² and are presenting them in the form of a video series (just over an hour and fifteen minutes in total length). The tutorial playlist can now be found on our YouTube channel.

This video series will be useful both for beginners to gain an understanding of sound design fundamentals, and for advanced users to learn some extra Circle² hints and tips. We recommend watching the videos consecutively, as the complexity level increases with each tutorial. The tutorial patches are available to download via a link in the description of each video, or you can download the whole pack together as a zip from here.

We will be making more tutorial videos in future, so keep an eye on our YouTube / Twitter / Facebook for live updates. Do you want a tutorial on a specific sound design topic or how to make a particular sound?

Let us know via our social media or in the comments below!

Tutorials included in the series:

1. Creating a classic brass sound

  • Get acquainted with Circle²’s main components.
  • Connect modulation paths.
  • Utilize subtractive synthesis techniques.

2. Creating an electro synth bass

  • Use similar techniques used to those in tutorial one, but leading to drastically different results.
  • Use Circle²’s main synthesis modules.
  • Apply effects to make a sound more interesting and effective.

3. Creating a classic synth lead

  • Apply more interesting modulation paths and effects.
  • Use vibrato, filter modulation and multi effects to create more dynamic sounds.
  • Use Circle²’s intuitive modulation system to help make a patch playable and dynamic.

4. Creating a noise based sweep effect

  • An introduction to the building of effects patches.
  • Construct a classic synth sound effect.
  • Shape noise through filtering and EQ.

5. Creating a high passed riser effect

  • An introduction to high pass filtering.
  • Use multiple LFO modulation to create interesting movement in a sound over time.

6. Creating a rising scifi effect

  • Construct a more complex rising effects patch with a tonal laser / sci fi quality.
  • Understand Circle²’s sound design capabilities for non musical applications.

7. Creating sample and hold synth effects

  • Use Circle²’s analogue modelled filter as a sound source through self oscillation.
  • Create “sample and hold” synth effects as made prominent by Underworld in their seminal track “Rez”.

8. Creating an evolving ambient pad sound

  • Create delicate and moving pads.
  • Use layered wavetable oscillators to create harmonically rich patches.

9. Creating an analogue underwater pad

  • Use LFO filter modulation to create an “underwater” effect.
  • Design of sounds for building an ambience that evolves and changes over time.

10. Creating a synced arpeggiated lead sound

  • Use the Circle² arpeggiator.
  • Use analogue sync to add an aggressive, metallic tone to a sound.

Circle² User Reviews & Walk-Thrus On Youtube / Gavin Burke on April 2nd

Already people are uploading user reviews of Circle², check out some below.

Thanks guys!

Upgrading to Circle² from Circle / Gavin Burke on April 2nd

It couldn’t be easier to upgrade to Circle² from Circle.

All you need to do is find your original Circle Activation Code and enter it in the same way as you did with Circle. You’ll have three empty activation slots ready to be associated with your new install of Circle².

Our Japanese distributor, Media Integration, have kindly translated to Japanese instructions on upgrading:
http://second.minet.jp/support/content/view/316/60/

If you need any more info, please feel free to contact support@futureaudioworkshop.com

Gavin.

Circle² is here! / Gavin Burke on March 27th

Circle² is now available for download.

Circle² is a free upgrade for existing Circle users. You can simply use your existing Activation code and Circle² will move from demo mode to fully featured.

Circle²’s price for new users is €99.00/$129.00.

Facebook page or Twitter feed for more info.

Get ready to say hello to Circle².

Artist Focus: Chymera / BronFAW on March 17th

To coincide with the release of Circle² (which is now in the last stage of beta testing), we’re reigniting our Artist Focus series to chat with producers who work with Circle. This month, we spoke with Irish-bred, Berlin-based artist Chymera.

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

I’m a music maker, live performer and DJ originally from Cork, Ireland. I’ve spent time in various different places and now I’ve been living in Berlin for the last five years. Melodies are a huge part of my music and I generally make music across the house and techno spectrum on such labels as Ovum, Cocoon, Dirt Crew, Connnaiseur, Delsin and many more. I like long walks on the beach and my favourite colour is green.

What inspired you to get into making electronic music? How did you arrive at where you are?

I started DJing around the year 2000 and music making was just a natural extension of that. I had always written guitar based music since my early teens, electronic music was the way that I could make a finished piece of music from start to finish without having to rely on other musicians. I kind of stumbled into it as a career though, I never envisaged myself as being able to make a living from it, but here I am eight years after quitting full time work and I’ve enjoyed almost every moment.

Originally from Cork, you’ve also lived in Dublin and Barcelona before landing in Berlin. Do you see one of these homes as the most significant influence on your music? How does the scene in Ireland and Spain compare to your current one?

I would say the scene that influenced me the most was the Irish one, in particular Dublin. Dublin was where I bought all my physical record collection, it was where I attended my first gigs and started playing myself. It is the place that has shaped my outlook the most. My music has evolved slowly over the years but this would have happened regardless of where I lived. Most of the music I buy and hear, and the vast majority of the connections I’ve made, have been over the internet. So in that sense, living abroad has not had any profound influence on my music, but in a personal sense it has.

Also playing music in different countries and continents has definitely had an influence on how I play. In Ireland everything shuts down at 3 AM. So we’re used to playing short sets of usually maximum two hours. And if you’re playing last then it’s a short, intense workout. This still holds for my live sets, but for DJ sets I adapted and got used to playing for much longer. The clubbing scene is quite different in all those places. I just noticed this especially as I’ve played two gigs in Ireland this weekend. Dance music is a young person’s game in Ireland. There literally were about five people over 30 at the gigs including myself. It’s kind of sad but it seems to be culturally engrained in Irish people that dancing/clubbing is something you do in your youth, and once you have kids or settle down then you don’t go out any more. At the same time, it’s great to see young people getting into underground music and supporting it so voraciously. Berlin is another story, people of all ages and walks of life go out clubbing every weekend. Even in Barcelona it’s not strictly youth dominated, there are plenty of mature music connoisseurs at the gigs.

When writing a track, what is your process?

I make music every day, unless I am too busy with administrational stuff or if I’m just really not feeling up to it. I’ve even started making tracks when I travel now as well, at least just getting ideas down as I often have great ideas when I’m sat on a plane or a train. My process is always to start with the melody. I use one of my synths and just start throwing in chords or notes, sometimes with the mouse, sometimes played in or other times with a Step sequencer. Often the experiment will go nowhere, but sometimes it just locks in and I can quickly get something I like. Once I have a melody down then I start to add the other elements around that. The style of track is shaped as I make it. I can start out making what I think will be a stomping techno track and it gradually mutates into a deep house track or ambient track and vice versa.

Can you tell us about your studio setup? Is it quite static or is it prone to change?

My studio setup is very static but slowly evolving. I have a few pieces of hardware which are all at arm’s length, and I have a few trusted VST’s. The hardware is as follows: Vermona Mono Lancet, Moog Minitaur, Nord Lead 2, DSI Tetra, Oberheim Matrix 1000 and Juno 106. Every piece of hardware that I own gets used on a weekly basis, with the exception of my Access Virus which was responsible for all my music between 2005 and 2009 but now is sitting in a drawer. I would never sell it but I don’t have a need for its sound these days. As I only acquire new hardware very slowly, I have plenty of time to get to know each piece. As for VST’s I have a small amount that I use a lot. I love the TAL line of VST’s, in particular the Juno clone and the sh101 clone. I also use the Korg Legacy Suite a lot and of course, Circle. As far as effects go, I mainly use Ableton’s own effects in addition to the Waves H-delay and Valhalla reverbs. I also just bought a hardware delay - the Strymon Timeline and I’ve been slowly incorporating this into my music. I’ve got a wishlist as long as my arm when it comes to hardware, but I’ll just have to make do with acquiring a piece of equipment once every year or so. Right now I’m cautiously putting pieces in place to eventually experiment with a non-computer sequenced setup, but that’s going to take a lot more work to come to fruition.

What are your thoughts on Circle? Are there any certain features you like in particular?

I especially love the envelopes and modulation capabilities of Circle. I like the visual displays of the envelopes and the wide range of options available to really sculpt a sound and take it in different directions. Also the way the GUI is laid out is a little different to normal synths or VSTs but very easy to adapt to - I especially like how you drag the coloured dots to modulate parameters. I like that I can use the standard analog modelled waveforms and also blend in many different digital waveforms. In short, it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

We’d love to know how Circle has been used in your productions. Are you able to describe an example?

I used Circle on several tracks on a new album I have coming out under a new alias, Merrin Karras. It’s an ambient album and I found Circle particularly useful due to its very long attacks and releases in creating the kinds of lush slowly evolving pads I was looking for on some of the tracks. I finished the album already a year ago. I made it over the course of the previous two winters. The cold was just what I needed to get me in the mindset to make the music. The album is called Apex and will be coming out on John Beltran’s Dado Records in a couple of months.

To keep up to date with Chymera’s latest news follow him on Facebook, SoundCloud and Twitter.

Circle² Q & A / Gavin Burke on January 16th

Circle 2 Coming Soon

We’re happy to announce that Circle² is in the final stages of beta testing and release day is just around the corner. With this in mind, we sat down with Hugh from our development team to answer a few questions that Circle users have sent our way and to delve further into what to expect from version 2. We hope that this gets you as excited about Circle² as we are, and if there’s something else you’d love to know, feel free to add your own question to the comments below. Thanks to our Circle community for hanging tight - we can’t wait for you to experience Circle²!

How will the envelopes differ in Circle² ?

In keeping with Circle²’s updated, minimalistic design approach, each ADSR curve is now displayed in flat, block colour. Overlaid on each curve, the ADSR points have been squared off, and show their title. This aids clarity and distinguishes ADSR points from circular module knobs (which usually relate to modulation assignment). Attack, decay, sustain and release now also have their own modulation input holes, so their values can be changed over time via modulation assignment. A firm favourite of Circle users, the realtime envelope display, has been preserved.

I’d like to be able to search through my presets - how will presets be managed in Circle²? Will a search function be incorporated?

We wanted to separate preset browsing and preset management in Circle², therefore we have implemented a new dedicated preset browser, which enables sounds to be located very easily. Within the new browser, presets can be searched via text, and/or browsed using a characteristics tag cloud. All bank management and editing of preset characteristics is now delegated to the bottom bar preset manager, as was seen in Circle.

How is the VPS oscillator sounding?

A wide variety of interesting and harmonically rich tones can be made from the VPS oscillator. We’ve had quite a play around now and have ended up with a range of results: dirty reese style bass patches, ethereal pads, and gritty lead lines. Applying modulation to the horizontal and vertical parameters can give some really interesting results, either used subtly to give gentle movement, or used harshly to twist and contort a synth into oblivion. We’re excited to hear what you come up with!

Will this new release feature an activation system which can be deactivated from a computer to free the license slot so that it can be used on another computer?

While Circle² will retain the existing activation system, if you already own Circle, you will get a new allocation of three activation slots. Circle users are also always welcome to reach out to our customer support team (support@futureaudioworkshop.com) when wishing to transfer an activation slot to another computer.

What other new features can we expect?

In Circle²’s effects pane we have introduced two brand new modules, bucket delay and tube distortion. This gives Circle² a total of four individual modules for both distortion and delay.

When is Circle2 coming out?

Circle² will be released in early February, 2015. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter for more details!

Circle & OSX Yosemite / Gavin Burke on December 31st

Those who updated to OS X Yosemite may have found themselves unable to authorise Circle following re-installation. Fortunately our development team were able to make a quick fix and a beta version of Circle 1.2.0 is now available.The full version will be made available next week. To all users who were affected - thanks for sending feedback our way and for your patience!

Circle 1.2.0 Download link:
http://www.futureaudioworkshop.com/downloads/Circle-1.2.0-Beta1-setup.dmg

For development updates, please follow us on our social media channels:
http://www.facebook.com/futureaudioworkshop
http://www.twitter.com/_FAW

Gavin.

Meet our newest team member: Hugh! / BronFAW on November 28th

We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our Future Audio Workshop team, Hugh. Joining us in Berlin from Bristol, UK, Hugh is currently helping with the final stages of getting Circle² ready for the wider world. We got to know more about Hugh below.

How long have you been in Berlin? What brought you here?
I’ve been in Berlin for a few weeks now, I came out here to work with the guys at FAW.

What did you study? What got you interested in studying computers?
I graduated from Bristol UWE earlier this year, where I studied Audio & Music Technology. My initial interest in audio software came from making electronic music. From listening, then DJing, then producing, audio software development was the next logical step.

What will you be doing at Future Audio Workshop?
I’ll be working on plugin development for the moment. Right now we’re working towards the Circle² release. It’s looking and sounding amazing.

We’d love to learn about your taste in music. What have you been listening to lately?
I tend to listen to a wide range of styles, and my musical interests are constantly changing. I can get down with cheesy music as much as deep music, and old music as much as new music. However, in a club environment I’d rather hear techno or UK house at the moment.

What can we find you doing in your spare time?
In most of my spare time I’m in the studio making music, I don’t think there’s a better form of escapism. I work under a couple of aliases and run a label. I established the label as a platform to push a strain of house that’s been growing in the UK underground over the last couple of years.

Welcome Hugh!

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