CamelSpace – Fun To Funky!
Quite often when working with rhythmic loops – pads – keys and guitar sounds, we are left searching for that certain effect that will breathe life into a track. Quite often it’s an effect that colours the tone while providing presence, stereo width and depth in the mix. Occasionally it’s an effect which morphs the sound through a periodic step sequence of timbral transformations, or, an effect that totally alters the groove of a musical phrase. Having a single multi-effect plugin capable of bringing all of these dimensions into the mix should not be overlooked. Available through Camel Audio is CamelSpace – their highly revered plugin and grand ‘OBi Wan Kenobi’ to many plugin designs since its introduction into our solar sound system several years ago.
CamelSpace: is a modular multi-effect VST plugin which brings several high quality Camel Audio effects in one reliable plugin. The user interface is divided into modules or sections that house each individual effect. The signal flow through each of CamelSpace’s effects is as follows: Trance Gate – Enhancer – AutoPan – MM(Multi Mode)Filter /Filter Modulator – Flanger – Delay – Reverb. Each separate effect can be bypassed or introduced into the signal chain by simply clicking the ‘On’ button present in each module and highlighted blue when active.
MMFilter: The MMFilter section is the colour pallette within CamelSpace and when combined with an independent LFO a sound is transformed into new tones and resonances. As a detailed filter module the multimode filter provides 10 different filter types each with a distinctive character and sound shaping capability. CamelSpace filters include: Low Pass – Band Pass – High Pass – *Low Pass Fat – Band Pass Fat – High Pass Fat* (a more distinctive filter sound with resonance turned up) – Peaking – Notch – Comb – Ring Mod. Other parameters in the MMFilter module are: Cutoff – Resonance – Mix. The Mix knob determines how the filter affects the Wet/Dry signal post-filter processing. When turned all the way to the right you hear only the filter sound 100% – all the way to the left is 100% dry.
CamelSpace also provides a considerable amount of interactive modulation as a powerful resource for effect variation and sound design. To begin with; there is the plugin’s X-Y pad which, when assigned, can simulteanously control the targeted parameters of a chosen effect creating endless variations of colour wash and resonances. The X-Y pad is a great tool and such a compliment in conjunction with the most important design feature within CamelSpace – the Step Sequencer. This is the key core element and the heart of the CamelSpace plugin.
The Step Sequencer: is a powerful feature providing all the necessary attributes to create inspirational rhythmic variations and syncopations up to the value of 128 steps. It syncs perfectly with the tempo of a host DAW . Adjusting the ‘Length’ knob determines the speed of the sequence creating short or longer patterns depending on the chosen value e.g. setting the Length knob to a full bar 1/1 will give you a 1 bar sequence of sixteenth notes. The output qualities of each Step/Gate within a pattern are determined by the Envelope controls: Attack – Sustain – Decay. The Sustain defines the length of each step with the Attack and Decay affecting the properties of the Gate On/Gate off during the period of the sequence. The Shuffle knob applies ‘swing’ to the sequence when required.
Steps within a sequence can be edited by clicking to add a new step, or by right clicking them off. Right clicking the small panel to the left hand side of the sequencer window will reveal starter options and a very handy – move pattern Left/Right command. Clicking on the Vol (volume) button allows the output levels of each step in a sequence pattern to be adjusted. Using the ‘tie’ feature by clicking the ‘tie’ buttons at the foot of the step sequencer window – will bind steps together to create legato values within a pattern.
Extended sequences are created using the Copy and Paste function. Copying and pasting patterns into the available pattern selector slots (1-8) will increase the total duration of a running sequence for how-ever many patterns are active in the sequence chain. Of paramount importance for sound designing using CamelSpace is understanding how the Filter – Pan & TGate buttons provide destinations for the step sequencer to modulate. Any of the pattern selectors (1-8) can be assigned to any of those 3 destinations e.g: You could have patterns 1 & 3 assigned to the TGate playing a 32 step sequence while the Filter and Pan parameters have patterns 2 & 4 modulating them at the same time. Exploiting the variations of this type of workflow in CamelSpace will never leave you strung out in heavens high. It is the key with which a celestial door will open and, through which, CamelSpace will wholly project.
Complete with MIDI compatible features, like MIDI Learn and MIDI automation – CamelSpace is an inspirational plugin. It is inviting. It is capable of delivering wild sweeps of LFO driven fury to moments of ambient restful calm. From complex animated rhythms to agitated Trance Gate patterns. CamelSpace delivers high quality effects processing and is packed with over 250 presets. Part of the fun of discovering how funky CamelSpace truly is – is by exploring the many different sound worlds each preset has to offer. Or, by pressing the large ‘Randomise’ at the top of the interface to hear random variations of CamelSpace presets. All worthy of a little time investment for that possible call into the future. . . .
Used by many high profiled professionals the world over including Grammy Award winners: Danny Elfman & Thomas Dolby.
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