Those who up till now were discouraged by complexity or price point of Elektron’s products, have no excuses left. New Model:Samples groovebox is affordable and simple to use yet powerful and full of sound shaping capabilities. Model:Samples is a six-track groovebox with 6 velocity sensitive pads and one function per knob control panel. It can’t sample (no audio input connections), but it comes with 300 sounds provided by Splice.com. Any other samples can be imported via USB and saved on it’s internal 1GB storage. Compact, lightweight and potent - Elektron Model:Samples will find its place in the studio or on the stage.
As Obi-Wan Kenobi would say, “May the Force be with you”. Now Akai would tell you the same thing. Almost 10 years ago they introduced APC MIDI controller for Ableton Live. Then they helped Ableton to build the first Push device. Now they are coming back with the beast of their own - standalone music production and performance workstation Force.
Force, like a swiss knife, has everything you need to produce your tracks and perform them live in the single unit with no computer required. 64 pad matrix, 7-inch multi-touch display, 8 knobs and a crossfader - such hands-on control in one device has not been seen before. Sampling like on MPC, synchronised clip and loop launching similar to Ableton’s Live, 4 fully-editable synth engines and many other cool functions - there’s no exaggeration in calling this device Force.
Beware - this is not your average synth. It‘s small, it‘s weird and it‘s amazing! A true “touch of Madness”, as creators introduce it themselves.
MicroFreak‘s digital sound engine combines digital and wavetable synthesis with physical modelling and and runs everything through an analog filter which can even auto-oscillate. Almost every modern synth nowadays has an LFO, Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer, but MicroFreak, in addition, has a 5x7 Modulation Matrix with 3 user-assignable destinations and Spice and Dice function to randomize your programed sequences.
However the most eye-catching MicroFreak feature is the keyboard. No mechanic, moving keys are present in this device. Instead, a super expressive, pressure sensitive PCB touch-keyboard with poly-aftertouch was introduced for the note input, and, according to Arturia people, it even allows you to play faster than on a regular keyboard.
Native Instruments drops a whole bunch of budget-friendly devices and products just to prove that it shouldn‘t be difficult nor expensive to start making music.
Komplete Kontrol M32 - it‘s a compact yet almost three-octave size MIDI keyboard, that allows you to have hands-on control over your virtual instruments and DAW. It comes with Ableton Live 10 Lite licence and a pack of NI instruments and sounds.
Komplete Audio 1 and 2: audio interface is one of the first and most important pieces of equipment to get when starting to make music on the computer. NI offers Audio 1 and 2 as the solution for those who want to have high quality sound but do not want to overpay for extra features they don‘t even need yet. Audio 1 has one XLR mic input with 48v phantom power alongside a jack input, while the Audio 2 has two combined XLR jack inputs with 48v phantom power. Audio 1 and 2 includes everything you need for a smooth start - Ableton Live 10 Lite licence and a pack of NI
Arturia AudioFuse family is growing. Couple of years ago, after the first AudioFuse came out, it seemed that this audio interface has everything you could ever wish for... Everything, except maybe few extra audio ins and outs. That’s why this year Arturia releases not one but two larger interfaces in order to fill this gap.
AudioFuse Studio - is a true production studio hub. Less portable than its smaller sibling, but it has 4 combo XLR/jack inputs for microphones and instruments in the front, 4 line inputs - in the back of the device, as well as phono input for turntable, ADAT, S/PDIF and Word Clock connections and a possibility to hook up two pairs of studio monitors. Build design is slightly inspired by analog consoles and all the control elements are cleverly placed for the sake of fast and intuitive workflow.
AudioFuse 8Pre is the two-in-one device that can operate as your regular audio interface and become ADAT expander with 8 mic channels when needed. This i
After couple of successfully released replicas of classic keyboards, Behringer continues on the same path. This time the iconic 80’s Roland VP-330 vocoder is in the company’s focus, as over the years the original device became quite rare and expensive. A more affordable but just as good alternative seems to be on its way - Behringer Vocoder VC340.
VC340 - it’s an analog vocoder and synthesizer generating human voice and strings sounds. Plugging your microphone via XLR input allows you to modulate your voice and create that well known retro sci-fi robotic tembre. In order to achieve the authentic sound quality, VP-330 original analog circuitry was recreated in this keyboard. While 32 switches and sliders ensure a full control over all the sound parameters, USB and MIDI connections allow the easy use of this vocoder with any other synthesizer or sequencer.
Poor man’s modular – this is how the company describes their new line of products. It consists of three different chassis and 15 sound modules.
The biggest of the series is Pocket Operator Modular 400 which does not fit into your pocket anymore, but is an amazing analogue synth anyway. It offers three oscillators, noise, random generator, two envelopes, two VCAs ,filter, mixer, speaker and 16-step sequencer. Along with the yellow chassis, you also receive 15 patch cables.
Pocket Operator Modular 170 is an analogue monophonic synth with an integrated sequencer: the chassis, 9 different modules and 8 patch cables all come as a set for a very friendly price.
Pocket Operator Modular 16 is a control keyboard with a programmable step sequencer. You can use it
The most recent, third version of Bitwig Studio reminds us of a modular synths workflow. This is actually the company’s vision from the very beginning – to offer a fully modular sound design option to digital music production. This means that when you use a hardware modular synth, you work with patch cables, and in Bitwig Studio 3 the chance to modulate is everywhere, as well as anything can be dragged anywhere.
The Grid, an open modular environment, is the biggest new feature of Studio 3. It consists of Poly, FX and Mono devices and contains 120+ modules that can be connected together as synths, processsors and effect, connected with other Bitwig’s plug-ins or layered. The Grid is also capable of receiving and sending CV signal, which you can use to control hardware synths from your computer and vice versa.
Bitwig Studio 3 should reach computers in the second quarter of 2019, and in the meantime, beta testers are working with the software.
Posted: January 14, 2019|
As this festive season has come to an end but it’s still cold outside - Korg is here to help you overcome that post-holiday blues. Here are 3 new products that should make your life a little bit brighter.
Volca Modular is your gateway to a modular synthesis. No need to choose among thousands of existing modules or rob a bank - everything you need to start your modular odyssey is in this one little box. Volca Modular comes with 6 analog modules that has 50 patch points - it allows you to explore pretty much unlimited sound design possibilities by patching using the included pin patch cables.
Volca Drum has been made by having all the rhythm-nerds in mind - those who were not fully satisfied with possibilities of Volca Beats and Sample. Drum is a new digital percussion synthesizer will allow you to create unheard drum sounds, sound effects and unexpected rhythms and grooves. This little beast is equipped with a flexible DSP digital synthesis engine controlled by j