Meet Martin Linda - Mind behind Linda RockStack and Linda IronVerb
Today, we bring you an interview with Martin Linda - skilled and experienced musician, programmer, and mixing and mastering engineer, the creator of Linda Audio, Linda RockStack, and our newest Linda IronVerb.
First of all, it's nice to meet you. How are doing Martin?
Nice to meet you too. I am doing great, a bit busy - you know how it is, working, playing, creating - always something to do. But I am doing great, really excited to talk!
That's great to hear! For those unaware of you, could you introduce yourself a bit - what do you do, and what is your connection with Audified?
My name is Martin Linda, I created Linda Audio - a blog focused on creating audio plugins and VSTs. My day-to-day job is programming, studied that at university, and now I work in the field full time. I am also an active musician and do music production, recording, mixing, and mastering on the side. I am friends with "Murky" (Marek Kvapil) who used to work at Audified. He connected me with Audified, who were interested and kind enough to take my ideas and make them into reality - starting with RockStack.
How did you start with creating plugins? Was it more of a curiosity thing or a career path you envisioned?
I started to dabble in music production and creating music on PC in the 90s, so pretty early on. I learned everything myself, tried a couple of early DAWs, working with audio, mixing, and mastering. Since I studied game development at university and loved music, I tried to combine the two - I used to write game soundtracks, did mixing and mastering in my home studio. All of these things were side projects, that I was just passionate about, but I wanted to do it, so I committed to doing it properly. So I would say it is curiosity and passion, and I am the kind of person that tries to figure out things as I go, so oftentimes it was lots of trials and errors.
You mentioned that all those projects were a bit of a side "hustle", are there any projects that stand out?
Yeah, there are a few. The first one is Rytmik, which is a custom-crafted DAW focused on the production and composition of electronic music. This project was created in collaboration with CINEMAX GAMES, a Czech game studio. First, it existed on the Nintendo platform, to be a creative, game-like DAW that combines the worlds of music and gaming. Later on, a PC version was created, which is available on Steam.
The second one, Rock Amp, was the basis for RockStack. It was essentially my own, custom-crafted three-channel amp sim. It wasn't meant to recreate any specific amp, but rather be my dream amp sim. As I mentioned, my approach is strictly musical and creative - if it moves me and sounds good, I am gonna follow through with it no matter the cost.
When you have a prototype you like, how does it go from a functional prototype to a fully-fledged product?
With Rock Amp, I gave Audified my fully functional prototype. Your software designers revisited my code, corrected and improved it. Then it received a new UI, proper testing, and compatibility support. When it comes to the whole process, I provide a prototype that I love and Audified makes it market-ready.
Speaking of fully-fledged products, last week we released the newest Linda Audio/Audified product, Linda IronVerb. How did that come to be?
Coming back to the Rytmik DAW, part of it was creating effects. I didn't want to copy or recreate anything, so all effects were handcrafted - including the reverb, which featured the algorithms that I made as I went along and learned about it. This reverb was the basis for IronVerb.
What makes IronVerb special and what was your idea when it started to shape as a standalone product?
As with everything I do, I try to make it sound inspiring to me. As I went further down the algorithm rabbit hole, the more stuff I wanted to add. All the algorithms are designed as a series of combinations of delays and filters, with controls and features added along the way. The controls can be tweaked to a wide variety of uses, my personal favorite is using it on guitars, synths, or 80s style drums. But it sounds great on vocals, bass, or anything else.
To answer what makes it special, there are a few things. In general, it has a less diffusive sound character, so it sits nicely in the mix and blends with the instruments, rather than sitting on top of them. It doesn't wash out as some other reverbs do, and you can get anything from traditional reverb sounds to crazy soundscape textures. Another great addition is the Ironize feature, which is a unique modulation that adds iron or glossy sound character to your reverb. You can use it to add more metallic character to more traditional reverb sound, or completely 'metalize' the sound and make crazy sounds perfect for synths and pad - and everything in-between of course. IronVerb is great even without Ironize, so think of it as a bonus feature, rather than the main thing.
You highlighted its wide variety of uses, could you specify who it is for?
IronVerb is great for anyone that likes a creative and musical approach to making music and using reverb. You have the right amount of parameters and controls, a very specific sound character that sounds great, over 60 presets, and unique Ironize modulation.
So whether you are a producer, composer, or mixing engineer, that works with synths, guitars, vocals, and drums, you can find inspiring sounds in IronVerb and make it work for you. IronVerb is a very musical and creative tool, perfect for people like me, who judge plugins on whether they sound good and inspiring, rather than diving into tons of parameters and tweaking them endlessly.
Can you tell us what is next for Linda Audio? Are there any more products on the way, any ideas you would like to realize?
Yes, there sure are! Later this year, there will be a Pro version of RockStack, with more features, more controls, more effects - it will be even more of a rock and metal ready machine! Also, I have ready-to-go prototypes of a shimmer reverb plugin and a flexible compressor plugin, so those will come out soon as well. And we will see, what else will I think of in the coming months :)