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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » July » 06


Modal goes from craft and boutique to sub-$300 SKULPT power synth

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 6 Jul 2018 9:26 pm

Modal Electronics have done ultra high-end boutique, and they’ve done cute, cheap craft synths. But now they’re gunning for a sub-$300 instrument that looks consumer-friendly – and packs some 32 oscillators and more.

If it’s successful, it looks like the first portable power polysynth that has an entry-level price tag – no exposed circuit boards, no cutesy features, no stripped-down sound sources. And it also has some parallels to IK Multimedia’s UNO, introduced at Superbooth Berlin in May. It even has a membrane keyboard like the IK piece. But whereas IK chose to go analog – and thus have just two VCOs – Modal have beefed up the architecture with by opting instead for virtual analog guts.

What you get, then, is a monosynth, paraphonic, or polyphonic instrument. You can route modulation into elaborate combinations. You get FM, PWM, tuning, and ring mod. And it has a built-in sequencer plus arpeggiator, which seems to be fast becoming a standard feature these days – but a lot of extras for each that definitely are anything but standard.

And with all that complexity, of course you’ll also be glad for the included patch storage and recall.

But it’s the pricing – projected under US$300 – that make this so aggressive. You can buy an iPad and load it with a powerful polysynth for that price, but there’s not anything I can think of that does this.

Full specs:

4 voice – 32 oscillator virtual analogue synthesiser
8 oscillators per voice with 2 selectable morphable waveforms
Mixer stage for osc levels along with FM, PWM, tuning and Ring Modulation options
Monophonic, Duophonic and Polyphonic modes available
Multi option Unison / spread to detune the 32 oscillators for a huge sound
8 slot modulation matrix with 8 sources and 37 destinations
3 x envelope generators for Filter, Amplitude and Modulation
2 x audio rate LFOs, one global and one polyphonic
Realtime sequencer that will record up to 128 notes and up to 4 parameters.
Fully featured arpeggiator with division, direction, octave, swing and sustain controls.
Resonant filter that can be morphed from low pass, through band pass, to high pass
Delay and distortion (wavehsaping overdrive, not bitcrushing) effects
Optional MIDI clock sync for LFOs and Delay
128 patch and 64 sequence storage locations
16 key touch MIDI keyboard
MIDI DIN In and Out – Analogue clock sync In and Out connections
Class compliant MIDI provided over USB connection to host computer or tablet
Headphone and line output
Power by USB or 6 x AA batteries
Optional software editor available for MacOS, Windows, IOS and Android
Portable and compact design

The design looks contemporary and stylish, too, if perhaps recalling 80s Frogdesign for Apple. And you might expect some compromises on I/O or something like that, but … there aren’t.

Sounds:

I’ll be curious to see how it’s received – while slick looking, the membrane keyboard and that diagonally oriented control panel may not be for everyone. But it’s hard to argue with the price and all that power underneath.

It certainly means Modal Electronics are game for any market segment. I can’t think of another maker that’s gone quite this quickly from “sell your compact car to buy our high-end synth” to “actually, maybe just fold it together yourself” to “let’s crowd-fund a slick, inexpensive design object.” (Okay, maybe Moog Music counts – but it took them some years to span from theremin kits to rockstar-priced modular reissues.)

The Kickstarter launches next week.

http://www.modalelectronics.com/skulpt/

The post Modal goes from craft and boutique to sub-$300 SKULPT power synth appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Punctuate, saturate, EQ, and elevate with the latest Eventide plugins

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 6 Jul 2018 5:41 pm

Sound processing machines have always tread a line between necessary tool and creative effect. The latest mixing and mastering bundle from Eventide promises on both those fronts.

It’s called the Elevate 1.5 bundle, with two new plug-ins, and two major updates to existing plug-ins (including the titular Elevate). And it’s made for mixing and mastering, though there’s clearly appeal for production, too.

Kudos to Eventide for coming up at least with clever titles for the stuff in their most recent bundle, in an industry that, like carmakers, so often resorted to unintelligible combinations of letters and numbers. (BMW 325i? UA 1776 LN revision H? Who knows?)

So, you get the Punctuate, the Saturate, the Elevate … which are at least descriptive, if slightly sounding like EDM festival stages or energy drink flavors. (I’ll meet you at Saturate! E!-vent1d3 is on in 30! PLUR, bro!) And the … EQuivocate. Okay, that one earns extra points on pun factor, minus a few by sounding like what happens when you get yelled at by your mixing and mastering engineer.

But it’s what the Eventide processors do that’s very cool. Rather than simply emulate vintage gear – since you’ve got plenty of options for that – these are modern processors that focus on redesigning processing in a way that’s closer to how your human hearing works.

And appropriately enough, then, they’re part of a collaboration between Eventide and Newfangled Audio, a sort of boutique DSP algorithm house founded by veteran Eventide engineer Dan Gillespie. (Science!)

EQuivocate is a “human ear” EQ – so a graphic equalizer that’s designed not around a set of theoretical frequency bands, but around frequencies that you actually hear.

Elevate is a combination of multi-band limiter (so you get frequency-specific dynamics if you want), that “human ear” EQ, and audio maximizer. The idea, then, is to control both dynamics and frequency domain to max out your sound in a way that’s human-focused, bringing those integrated tools to bear on the mastering process.

New to those tools, EQuivocate has more controls and range adjustments, and Elevate adds a true peak limiter – so you get the futuristic features but without clipping or becoming broadcast unsafe in the process.

Added in this release, while the new bundle is only dubbed “1.5,” are two fascinating all-new creations. And they’re both all about driving the sound, in a day and age that calls for louder sounds, without squashing.

Saturate is a spectral clipper – so in addition to the 24dB drive, you can continuously control the way the sound curves and distorts. (Hey, I said some of this stuff could be fun to abuse in the production phase.)

Punctuate is a transient emphasis plug-in – so you take 26 bands, again shaped around the human ear, and emphasize or suppress attacks. And that seems really appealing – the idea that you dig into shaping the envelopes of elements in a mix, beyond just applying conventional dynamics processing or compression with some blanket controls over everything. It’s less “big hammer,” more precision tool. (I think it’ll also be interesting to compare this to Accusonus’ Beatformer which – while not the same thing has some related ideas. DSP zeitgeist, basically.)

I always get a little nervous when magic tools for mixing and mastering are unleashed on producers who don’t entirely know what they’re doing. I should know – I’m one of those people. But on the other hand, the hearing-focused design of these tools and the ways they let you work with dynamics and frequency domain make them interesting to the creative process, too, when it’s actually okay that you’re messing around and breaking the rules.

I wanted to go ahead and write up this news in advance of a review, because I’m going to take a look with a couple of other producers/engineers so we can go 360-degrees on how you might use this. Let us know if this raises any questions you’d like answered (and anything else you’d like to see us review).

AU/VST/AAX, macOS 10.7 and later, Windows 7 and later.

US$139 promo, $199 after that; upgrade from EQuivocate US$99 intro, $149 after. (It’s a free upgrade if you have the original Elevate.)

https://www.eventideaudio.com/products/third-party-plug-ins/mastering/elevate-bundle

For you Eventide devotees, here’s the full list of what’s new in the existing two plug-ins in the bundle:

Elevate 1.5 Release Notes:
1. Added True Peak Limiting mode to Elevate as well as True Peak output metering
2. Added new Saturate Spectral Clipper plug-in
3. Added new Punctuate Auditory Transient Emphasis plug-in
4. Alt click now sets sliders to default in both DRAW CURVE on and off modes.
5. Updated some graphics
6. New UPDATE button will inform user when further updates are available

EQuivocate 1.5 Release Notes:
1. Added Range Parameter which will allow you to scale and invert the EQ curve, even after MATCH EQ is locked in.
2. Added Band Activate/Deactivate switches to allow you to hear the effect of each band in context.
3. Alt click now sets sliders to default in both DRAW CURVE on and off modes.
4. Updated some graphics
5. New UPDATE button will inform user when further updates are available

The post Punctuate, saturate, EQ, and elevate with the latest Eventide plugins appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

St. Petersburg’s 13 Best Clubs, Eateries And Off-Beat Cultural Hangouts

Delivered... By Present Perfect Festival | Scene | Fri 6 Jul 2018 3:02 pm

The post St. Petersburg’s 13 Best Clubs, Eateries And Off-Beat Cultural Hangouts appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

RP Boo: I’ll Tell You What! review – footwork original steps it up

Delivered... Lauren Martin | Scene | Fri 6 Jul 2018 10:30 am

Planet Mu

Chicago footwork pioneer RP Boo bought his first Roland R70 drum machine in the late-90s from the window of a budget equipment store. With no instruction manual, he didn’t know how to stretch out the bars, so worked exclusively in a one-bar pattern – formulating his frantic, multi-layered sound, crushing hyped-up dance floor commands into percussive rhythms and rumbling low end. Years later, after playing on a different R70, he didn’t recognise the sounds and had a revelation – the presets on his own had been mangled by everyone who tested out the model in-store. Imbued with the trials and errors of fellow Chicago drum machine enthusiasts, his sound was unique from the off.

RP Boo’s third album for the Planet Mu label, I’ll Tell You What!, sees this originality in full force: teasing out soulful vocal melodies (executed brilliantly on closing track Deep Sole, reminiscent of the late, great DJ Rashad) into skeletal, high-impact beats; skittering between paranoia and euphoria with rapid flicks of the wrist, and directing footwork dance battles on At War: “We are at war in the street, watch and witness!” RP Boo’s skill extends to feeding genuine personality into his tracks. U-Don’t No, a highlight, was made in the days following the death of his mother. If there’s one word to describe RP Boo’s revolutionary sound, it’s “legit”.

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