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  • United Plugins releases JMG Sound Retronaut

    United Plugins puts past into present with JMG Sound Retronaut, realised as LoFi Nostalgia Machine multi-effect plug-in.



    I hate to overuse superlatives, but, it has to be said, within a minute of trying out the amazing features of the Retronaut plug-in, I was astounded. Its versatility will work across all manner of instruments, from guitars to drums; I even tried some of the effects on a piano piece, and the results were extraordinary. This is going to be a great asset for film and media compositions, as well as my commercial recordings.

    - Chris Payne, orchestral composer for film and television/synthpop pioneer (co-writer of Visage's 1981 hit single ‘Fade to Grey’/former Gary Numan backing band member), 2023.

    Explore the past
    History has it that mankind has not only travelled the world and the ‘Seven Seas’ but beyond that to take one giant leap to touch down on the Moon, meaning the sky is not the limit. Steps still need to be taken to literally leave future footprints further away from the natural satellite of Earth, yet reality reasons that humanity cannot physically step back in time to explore the past in person, however, rather relying on history to tell its story. Saying that, Retronaut, JMG Sound’s so-called LoFi Nostalgia Machine, musically transports those interested in exploring their magical (musical) memories from where they originated; after all, music has a miraculous ability to transport anyone back in time. Therefore, seatbelts should be securely fastened in readiness for an ‘analogue’ expedition through history!

    LoFi Nostalgia Machine
    Make sure, then, that those seatbelts are securely fastened, for an ‘analogue’ expedition through history awaits as Retronaut is assuredly announced as a multi-voice vibrato and chorus plug-in, pulsating with lo-fi effects. Indeed, it is inspired by old analogue gear with which wisened ears welcoming warmth will already be familiar — think bucket brigade chips, cassette tapes, VCFs, vintage choruses, and vinyl records... Retronaut revisits that nostalgic musical magic of the past, putting it into the (DAW-driven) present with multiple ways to age and DEGRADE the signal being processed, thanks to controls for FLUTTER (adds random fluctuations to the modulation shape, simulating tape flutter); DUST (adds noise to the modulation shape); FAIL (adds random glitches of pitch and level drops to simulate old failing gear); WARP (adds pitch drift and a little tremolo at half-rate to all the VOICES globally); DIRT (controls the amount of tape-style saturation); FEED (controls the amount of cross-feedback by taking the outputs of the VOICES and feeding them into each other); and MONO (switches the signal to mono, simulating old gear with only one speaker, such as radios).

    DIVERGE, MOD, MIX, and more
    Meanwhile, it is possible to offset the multi-voice engine — enabling users to MIX from a single vibrato voice up to 4 VOICES, resulting in a rich chorus — in various ways to create organic and evolving movements via the DIVERGE section: SPREAD (offsets the LFO phase in the left and right channels); LAG (introduces a time delay for each voice); PHASE (offsets the LFO phase for each voice); V2 SCALE (offsets the voice 2 modulation rate from the main modulation rate); V3 SCALE (offsets the voice 3 modulation rate from the main modulation rate); V4 SCALE (offsets the voice 4 modulation rate from the main modulation rate); and RESYNC (resets the LFO phases). But beating at the musical heart of Retronaut is its MOD (modulation) section with HP MOD (controls the modulation depth of the virtual analogue high-pass filter in both positive and negative polarity) and LP MOD (controls the modulation depth of the virtual analogue low-pass filter in both positive and negative polarity); dialling down the modulation depth for the vibrato effect with the associated VIBE control and then using other effects encourages that warm, woolly, and compressed tape sound.

    Shape the tone with the VCF section — anchored around those virtual analogue high-pass and low-pass filters, switchable between 2 (12dB per octave) and 4 (24dB per octave) POLE slopes, with RESO (resonance) control — and MIX to perfection. Possibilities are endless, almost: add lo-fi to drums, rich chorus to synths, and lush reverb to anything... ask orchestral composer for film and television/synthpop pioneer Chris Payne (Visage, Gary Numan), who was well versed in working with original analogue gear — of the kind that inspired Retronaut — on a number of historic hit records. “I particularly love the DEGRADE section, which can add a huge amount of expression to any sound you use,” he enthuses, ending on an equally high note: “I’ll certainly be building up a huge library of sounds using Retronaut over the coming months, and cannot wait to get started with it on my forthcoming projects.”

    See and hear Retronaut in action while watching United Plugins’ illuminating introductory video here:

    Key features:

    • Captures the vibe of old analogue gear, mixing bucket brigade chips, cassette tapes, vintage choruses, and more in one powerful multi- effect plug-in
    • Smoothly mix from a single vibrato voice up to four, resulting in a rich chorus
    • Add that nostalgic lo-fi (musical) magic with the DEGRADE section — age sound from gentle dust and warmth to old, broken gear
    • Control each voice independently with the DIVERGE section — offset them in various ways to create organic and evolving movements

    JMG Sound’s Retronaut is available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of only €24.00 EUR until March 19, 2023 — rising thereafter to its regular price of €89.00 EUR — as an AAX-,AU-,VST-, and VST3-compatible plug-in (using internal 64-bit audio processing capable of handling any sample rate) directly from its dedicated webpage, where a 15-day, fully-functional trial version for macOS 10.10 and newer and Windows 8/10/11 can also be downloaded for free. Read more >

    Note that no iLok, dongle, or internet access is required for Retronaut activation. (All United Plugins software uses license files for activation and owners can freely use purchased software – with free-for-life updates – on all their computers, as long as they are the user.

    Read more >

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