INTERVIEW – RON D ROCK
#1 – How and when did you and Toni get started?
Myself and Toni met while we were at Film School in Finland around 2012 or so. We were both big music fans and loved making music so we had a pretty natural click from the get go. Some years later I had made some drum samples (which would later on become KVLT Drums) and Toni approached me about programming a VST sampler out of the samples. This is 2016 or so.
We both felt that the VST scene was missing some sort of Lo-Fi grit thing back then (and still do) and we decided to show a middle-finger to the scene by releasing KVLT Drums. Took a lot of guts to imprint your name with a sampler that sounds like garbage, but I’m glad we did it.
#2 – What product do you feel really started to show people what you guys bring to the table as far as the market goes?
KVLT Drums laid the foundation for the whole thing and I think it has served as a statement to the scene that not everyone’s after the polished mix-ready tone.
Around Riot/Anarchy Drums we realized a whole lot more about sampling and how an engine for a drum sampler should be built and those two were a huge leap forward from KVLT Drums.
I think we nailed the big picture with Assault Drums. I’m satisfied with how it came out and how much fun we had while recording it. I think we could always do better with well-kept drums and brand new drum heads, having a professional recording space and so on but what we’ve done so far with whatever tools we’ve had – I think we’ve done well.
#3 – IMGL was incredibly productive in 2018, it seemed like a truly huge year for you guys. How do you feel looking back on the year in review?
2018 was our “kill or be killed” -year for sure. We put in a lot of hours and were determined to kick in the next gear. It was also a year of lots of lost sleep haha.
In a nutshell I think we truly connected with our audience in 2018.
#4 – Part of your successful year was your 1989Reverb plugin. It seemed to get top marks from everyone (including Fleshgod Apocalypse producer Stefano Morabito). How would you sell this reverb plugin to guitarists specifically?
For guitarists I’d say it’s a wonderful tool to thicken up single guitar tracks and give them more width and weight. Lot of the times I get sessions to mix where there’s only 2 guitar tracks and sometimes it’s hard to make ‘em real thick (especially if you don’t quad-track). 1989Verb expands the guitar bus real nicely up to a level where you don’t miss that much if you don’t quad-track. Big words I know, but then again you asked me to sell haha.
If you’re into 80’s Thrash Metal tone, you slap the Thickener on your guitar signal chain and you’ll have that Nuclear Assault/Ride the Lightning tone in no time. 3 clicks to be exact.
There’s a pretty cool 15 Second Reverb which is fantastic for some sort of Goth Rock/Post Rock, dial the wet/dry settings and go enjoy your swim with the whales, haha.
#5 – It’s huge news for amp sim enthusiasts to hear IMGL is collaborating with Vadim Taranov on an amp sim. How did this take shape?
It was a very classic story of supply & demand haha. We both were able to fill each others blanks and had a very similar vision for an amp sim so it made sense to start working on something together.
#6 – Regarding the plugin itself, how many details can you share at this point?
It’s gonna rule, what else do you need to know? Haha just kidding.
Just like we did with KVLT Drums, we’ll be filling in some of the blanks that other developers haven’t touched.
It’s not going to be the an authentic 1:1 replica of each amp, but it’ll be a very user-friendly, no bullshit software amp solution for those who don’t feel like chasing the tone for hours. Lots of rare amps coming up!
#7 – With the way amp sim technology seems to be improving almost daily, does it put pressure on IMGL to come out with something perfect and groundbreaking or do the next gen level sims popping up inspire and light the fires?
Yes and no. Technology sure has advanced a lot and when you compare Amp Sims of 2019 between the ones in 2009 the difference is quite massive. So in terms of technical aspects the bar’s set pretty damn high which will certainly put a healthy amount of pressure on us to get the best out of it.
Then again I gotta say no, because majority of amp sims have more or less focused on ‘round 8 different amps in the past 15 years. Which I feel gives us a tremendous upper hand cause we won’t be building ours around the “most authentic Dual Rectifier/5150/JCM800” frame. We’ll be digging up some old skeletons that others have overlooked and I feel that people will get the sensation of fresh air in the amp sim circuit when our baby lands (Early Access hopefully August 2019).
#8 – Walking into a fresh year, what’s the plan for 2019 at IMGL?
Lot of things are cooking right now. We’re currently waiting for the final touches on our Northern Artillery Drums which we’ve worked on for over a year now. It’s a nice kit that I’ve used on pretty much all of our recent MIDI pack demos. Also going through a name change. With IMGL we never truly owned our brand name (thanks to a brilliant movie with the same title) so IMGL will be known as Ugritone in 2019. Lot of people disliked the name when we first announced it but I think it’s a perfect name to sum up our Finnish neanderthal-like mission to bring somewhat primitive tools to the people.
KVLT Drums 2 is scheduled to be recorded in the Summer, few more drum libraries are currently being planned, lot more MIDI to come (hopefully played by some actual drummers this time, haha!). Koji will maybe see an upgrade at some point. Then there’s the amp sim too. Hoping to become the one-stop shop for all the guys who are after Classic Metal tones.
We want to thank Ron and Toni for their support from day one. IMGL/UGRITONE offer some of the most affordable and unique plugins in the industry. NES sounding samplers, drum samplers for heavier genres and so much more. Check them out HERE!!