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Free Magellan Presets and Preset Design Contest!

Big news today for fans of synthesis, sound design, and Halloween! I'm proud to announce the first discchord preset contest, sponsored by Sunsine Audio! Sunsine Audio have also released a Free Halloween Pack of 20 presets for Magellan!

For the contest, your goal is to make your own scary sound for Magellan. If you don't already have Magellan, watch this review to see why you should!

The top 3, picked by readers, will be win a free Sunsine Audio preset pack of their choice. Make any kind of sounds you like, but keep them spooky and get them in to me by the witching hour on Sunday, October 28th.

Entries will be played, recorded and put up for voting on October 29th. Winners will be announced on Halloween! All entries will be playing the same notes to keep the judging focused on the preset and not the tune. For this one we'll be doing C3, G#2, F2; with each note held for a bar, the last note holding for a bar and a half. All at 66.6 BPM, which turns out to be a tortuously slow rate to maximize the terror!

If you'd prefer for your recording to be in a different octave, or you're doing some interesting synth-coupling with 2 presets, just let me know. Also include any special instructions like tunings, panning and volume!

Submit your entry and any special notes to contest@discchord.com with the subject Preset Contest.

If you are submitting just one preset, use the usual export function. If you have two presets that are coupled then you should use the Song export function; go to Seq and then save and export from the menu on the left. This will include panning and volume information, but not tunings! Please be sure to include those details in the email, if you have changed them. I won't be fooling around with the X/Y or Mod Wheel, so make sure you save your preset with them in the position you like, before exporting them!

Here is a little demo of my own scary sound, synth-coupled with the AfterDark Pad from Sunsine Audio.

Special thanks to reader DSWO for the suggestion to do preset contests, and Fletcher from Sunsine Audio for working out the details with me!

Reader Comments 12

This will be fun. Feel like a spooky sounds contest might call for longer note holds though!

October 24, 2012  | person_outline Will

I tried to add these spooky sounds to Magellan but the instructions say to add them in to the "Documents" section of Magellan within iTunes but no such directory exists. I have bought several patch collections from Sunsine in the past and have been able to add them according to their instructions but this one has me baffled. Any help would be appreciated.

I'll post this in Sunsine's forum if no help can be achieved here.

Thanks for the all of the current news on iOS that you provide, Tim. Awesome website.

October 25, 2012  | person_outline Keebo

Thanks, Keebo!

I think I see your confusion. It is just a normal iTunes file import, don't worry about the all the folders in there. Just drag the Free Halloween Pack - Sunsine Audio.yban file into the main area when you have Magellan selected. Then in Magellan bring up the preset browser and hit the Share Button at the bottom. When you select iTunes: Import Files it'll pop right up!

Magellan does a really good job of managing banks of presets!

You say into the main area. Here are the folders I see in Magellan within iTunes:


Which folder would you suggest?

Thanks again for your support.

October 25, 2012  | person_outline Keebo

None of the folders! Just drag it anywhere in that whole box that isn't a folder.

Well, that made sense and worked perfectly. Thanks.

Good luck with the contest.

There are definitely some Halloweenish sounds in the pack but several patches will receive duty beyond October. Great job Sunsine Audio.

October 25, 2012  | person_outline Keebo

Just submitted two patches for my entry -- "Mwahahaha" and "Dead Man's Keys" -- and whether or not I rank in this contest, It was a really great excuse to jump in and start making patches with Magellan, which is quickly becoming my new favorite dedicated synth ('cept for the unstoppable Animoog, o'course). Can't wait to see what y'all think, and to see what the other creatures of the night conjure up for this contest!

October 27, 2012  | person_outline cXeGG

Is there a trick to get the sequencer to play notes for a measure? I tried messing with the tempo and the gate and the divisor but the longest note I could get was a half note by setting the div to 1 (1/4 note) and tempo to 33.

October 27, 2012  | person_outline Will

Genome to the rescue!

I'm with cxegg, this is fun. Magellan is magic. I've spent time in it creating sounds but having a focus other than what-I-need-for-a-song-right-this-second or this-is-neat-let-me-dick-around got me to dig a little deeper than I had. Do this with a different app every month, please.

Maybe sunsine could release all of the contributed sounds as a free pack? Participants should have a chance to opt out, natch, but I reckon most people wouldn't mind.

October 27, 2012  | person_outline Will

I'm really glad to hear this is getting the creative juices flowing in a fun way! This is fun for Fletcher and myself too, so even if response isn't great we'll probably keep doing it.

I had intended on releasing all submissions as a free pack when I announced the winners, but I forgot to mention that in the post. It seems like a good idea, so I'll email everyone back and ask for permissions.

Hey Tim, is it possible prior to judgement, ok after would be nice too but not that nice lol, to upload at soundcloud what anyone came up with?
Just out of curiosity, if you are out of time it's ok anyway.

October 28, 2012  | person_outline John smith

Good question! The plan is tomorrow I'll record all of the submitted presets, then upload them to SoundCloud for everyone to listen and vote. I'm doing it after the deadline so I can do them all as a batch.


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