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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » MIDI


Endorphin.es go live-friendly with new sequencer, multiband processor

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 30 Mar 2021 9:58 pm

The crew in Spain have come up with devilishly clever new tools this week - the Ground Control sequencer and Golden Master multiband processor, both ideal for playing live.

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MIDI 2.0 in a DAW – MultitrackStudio adds MPE and new MIDI standard

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 22 Mar 2021 8:01 pm

Here's another great underground DAW. The elegant, tape-inspired MultitrackStudio runs on desktop and iPad - and now not only does it to polyphonic expression, but it breaks ground in supporting MIDI 2.0, as well.

The post MIDI 2.0 in a DAW – MultitrackStudio adds MPE and new MIDI standard appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

OSC to MIDI conversion and MIDI over network, with a free, open source tool

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 15 Mar 2021 5:43 pm

Music gear and software supports MIDI. Visual software supports OSC. You have a network and want to easily run MIDI over it. Sound familiar? Here's a clever free tool (with open code you can also learn from) that acts as an essential tool.

The post OSC to MIDI conversion and MIDI over network, with a free, open source tool appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

What’s in Novation’s new Circuit Tracks: polysynths, drums, sequencing, samples, $399

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 9 Feb 2021 4:22 pm

Okay, everybody's been seeing their computer too much lately. So Novation's Circuit Tracks does stuff with no screen, no menus, even no power plug - and squeezes tons of musical power for the money, at US$399 (about 399 EUR with VAT).

The post What’s in Novation’s new Circuit Tracks: polysynths, drums, sequencing, samples, $399 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Here’s a free pack to get MIDI Polyphonic Expression under your fingertips

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 21 Jan 2021 7:21 pm

MIDI Polyphonic Expression, once considered exotic, is now in favorite tools like Ableton Live 11, Xfer Serum, and Arturia Pigments. So where to get started? Our friends at Sensel just made a handy free preset pack.

The post Here’s a free pack to get MIDI Polyphonic Expression under your fingertips appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

MIDI has a slick new brand identity, courtesy Pentagram, in time for 2.0

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 18 Jan 2021 7:29 pm

"MIDI" the word has become almost part of culture at large. But with MIDI 2.0 arriving, the MIDI Association decided it needs a new look - and sound.

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Strum is a mesmerizing new take on arpeggiators and performance – Max for Live

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 11 Jan 2021 11:07 pm

Able to roll through chords, make organic arpeggiations, and spin out hypnotic melodies, Strum looks like the most addictive Max for Live device in recent memory.

The post Strum is a mesmerizing new take on arpeggiators and performance – Max for Live appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

How MPE can work on hardware synths: a look at Sequential OB-6, Prophet 6 updates

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 8 Jan 2021 8:22 pm

Chicken and egg problem, no more. MIDI Polyphonic Expression is now in commonly available controller hardware and software like Ableton Live 11. So let's check in at the synth maker of the father of MIDI - Dave Smith's house Sequential and see what happens when you add it to classic synthesizers.

The post How MPE can work on hardware synths: a look at Sequential OB-6, Prophet 6 updates appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Your body is a resistor – so it’s an instrument, too – in Collin’s Lab

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 8 Oct 2020 4:36 pm

Each part of your body - tongue, finger, arm - has its own electrical resistance. Our friend Collin Cunningham puts this to use, and then turns all of that into musical instrument controller.

The post Your body is a resistor – so it’s an instrument, too – in Collin’s Lab appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Akai Force 3.0.5 is huge: new macros, MIDI multis, linear arrangement, Ableton import, more

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 6 Oct 2020 6:32 pm

There’s nothing like a good, healthy rivalry. And Akai are back in a big way with Force 3.0.5, which transforms how their standalone hardware works as a hub for gear, arrangement tool, and hands-on creation device. 3.0.5 is a point-release firmware update, but the changes here aren’t just small tweaks or improvements. Think more like […]

The post Akai Force 3.0.5 is huge: new macros, MIDI multis, linear arrangement, Ableton import, more appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Start making sense: just use ‘in’ and ‘out’ for MIDI clock, if in doubt

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 23 Jun 2020 5:24 pm

To agree on a change, it's helpful not just to agree on what you're removing, but also its replacement. So, here's an easy solution: in, out.

The post Start making sense: just use ‘in’ and ‘out’ for MIDI clock, if in doubt appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Your guide to the 3 best new underground synths from NAMM – not a clone in sight

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 21 Jan 2020 5:22 pm

Nothing new under the sun? Think again. Independent manufacturers are still creating novel designs for music making – and last week brought a lot of news.

Just as acoustic instruments often start with simple building blocks – blow on something, hit something, pluck something – these creations do work with existing known synth methods. (Think FM, wavetable, whatever.) But let’s dump the notion that “everything” is a clone now, just because one manufacturer starting with the letter B has been pulling its product news from a 1981 Roland product catalog.

In fact, there’s so much new stuff, it’s easy to get lost. So here’s your quick guide.

MEGAfm

The pitch: It’s a powerful synth with the heart of a SEGA. Imagine a hands-on, polyphonic instrument built around the same chip that powered the SEGA Megadrive and Genesis game consoles.

Who makes it: Indie French builder Twisted Electrons, who already has a great track record with handheld and desktop acid and chip music synths, plus a Eurorack modular collaboration with Crea8audio.

Specs in a nutshell: 12 voice polyphony (and various voicing modes), two of the YM2612FM chips already onboard, 8 algorithms, presets, tons and tons of controls, 3 LFOs, full MIDI I/O, and an arpeggiator and sequencer, all in an aluminum case.

How much, and when: 474EUR before VAT, apparently available now.

Buzz factor: This thing looks like a beast – an all-in-one, deep polyphonic chip music composition machine in a box, either with that onboard sequencer/arp or if you prefer using MIDI from the outside.

And oh yeah, prediction for 2020: the world will have a collective realization that we don’t always want to hear someone playing on a modular synth who sent over a four page rider and needs a three hour sound check, and chip music will come back. Nintendo Switch battles backstage, go!

Look/listen:

Learn more:

Erica Synths Bassline DB-01

The pitch: This is the bass from the luxury-priced Techno System, in a desktop box the rest of us can afford. So you get the distinctive Erica BBD delay-based detune on the oscillators, a swarming delicious sound, plus an aggressive Acidbox-derived filter, extras for modulation and dirt and noise, and an onboard sequencer.

Who makes it: Erica Synths, the Riga-based boutique superbrand who have turned ex-Soviet spaces and manufacturing into an assembly line for Latvian awesomeness – enough so that they hold their own festival every year. Look out, Ableton Loop.

Specs in a nutshell: DRIVE and DETUNE knob on the left. CUTOFF and RESONANCE on the right. There’s a reason the knobs are oversized for those. So it’s a transistor-based sub oscillator + overdrive + BBD-based detuned oscillators + noise source + syncable LFO + FM and VCF modulation + independent envelopes… well, you know that dessert menu item called “Chocolate Overload Deathwish”? This is what happens when that person specs out a bassline synth. Then add in CV + MIDI I/O, aluminum case, presets, and play either externally from analog or MIDI or with a simple onboard sequencer / arpeggiator.

How much, and when: Spring, 460 EUR.

Buzz factor: Sorry, 303. This thing is thicker / dirtier / nastier. I love the 303, but it’ll give you a daily fix of “wow, acid is my favorite thing ever,” before you get bored a few minutes later and switch it off. A DB-01, if you fall for it, will make you run away from home, assume a new identity, and live in a warehouse you squat in rural Latvia where you go feral and make nothing but experimental industrial music all day. Yes, Erica, you can quote me on that – if for no other reason than to warn the unwise.

Look/listen:

Sonicware LIVEN 8bit warps [Kickstarter]

The pitch: A lo-fi, grungy 8-bit synth with loads of voices plus onboard audio looping and lots of performance features (and warping) around the keyboard.

Who makes it: Sonicware, who created the portable ELZ_1 via Kickstarter – and which also shared a candy-bar keyboard design that recalls instruments from Casio and Teenage Engineering. It’s all the work of Yu Endo from Tokyo – part of a new generation of innovation in Tokyo’s synth scene.

Specs in a nutshell: Sequencer with chaining and real-time and step recordings and parameter locks per-step, sync and MIDI I/O, runs on batteries and has an internal speaker. Multiple synth engines (WARP, ATTACK, MORPH, FM) meet powerful envelopes and modulation and filtering, plus a bunch of FX (chorus, flanger, delay, hall, plate).

How much, and when: Well, delayed gratification as it’s Kickstarter, but estimated for June 2020. But amazingly, early bird starts at … EUR148.

Buzz factor: Come on, at this price, how can you say no to this 4-engine synth + looper + sequencer? One indie Japanese developer might just outdo the fun factor of a KORG volca for the same price, with a more flexible housing and more powerful features. Sure, a 16-bit engine might have made the different modes more varied, but – sounds like Yu-san has programmed this so you can exploit the 8-bit grime.

Look/listen:

Learn more

Save up your pennies?

Honestly, I think any of one these three tops the other product reveals from this month. Sure, the KORG Wavestate looks powerful, but … the freak factor of that new Twisted box might well outdo the KORG offerings. It promises to build on everything designer Alex from Twisted has been working toward over the years.

The DB-01 meanwhile might quietly be the most indispensable thing Erica have done yet – it’s got some of the best bits of the Techno System, but in a form factor you can both a) actually afford and b) carry with you in an airBaltic carry-on allowance. Now if Erica just does a TR-01 drum machine to go with it, I’m completely sold.

And Sonicware have nailed the amount where you’d impulse-buy yourself a Kickstarter present for June.

So, dear Santa Claus… uh, wait, it’s the end of January… dear Saint Patrick, are you listening?

And with each of these priced under 500 bucks, can we collectively admit that the idea that independent synths are expensive or everything has to be a clone is just objectively not true? Thanks.

The post Your guide to the 3 best new underground synths from NAMM – not a clone in sight appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Return of full-sized KORG MS-20, as retro trend continues

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 14 Jan 2020 3:56 pm

It’s badly upstaged by the ARP 2600, but for those who want it, KORG are again making full-sized MS-20 synths. That caps a long string of MS-20s from KORG.

The KORG MS-20 was one of the products that helped launch the current wave of big-name remakes. And KORG has done versions of the MS-20 every way imaginable. Let’s review just a few:

Nintendo DS game – KORG DS-10 (loosely based on the original)

iPad app – iMS-20 (plus KORG Gadget, too, if you want to be completionist)

MS-20 Legacy Collection plug-in, which briefly had available an external controller for the computer that supported patching:

A mini version – the MS-20 mini (hey, Japan does seem to appreciate things being small and – I’m totally with them on this, so like Japan and me)

The best of all of these, perhaps, is the full-sized MS-20 kit. I made one; and it’s brilliant – because of its reliability and flexibility, maybe even a little better than having the original around.

But the MS-20 kit was a limited edition. And so now we have the MS-20FS (for Full-Sized). It appears to be identical to the kit in every way – USB and MIDI, switchable filter, and even the original 1978 manual included in the box. But apart from the switchable filter and new I/O, it’s indistinguishable from the original – enough so that once it’s got some dust on it, these are regularly mistaken for the original.

The only news in the reissue is colors – four powder-coat options, in an attractive green, white, blue, and black.

No word yet on pricing, but this is coming this year.

White looks fresh. Note to self – idea for new stage persona, Colonel Sanders suit — new note to self, delete previous note.
Built like a tank, looks like a …
In blue, it’s obvious, but in black, these ports on the back are the only way to easily tell the FS isn’t an original MS-20.

That’s all fine and well, but am I alone in wishing for a new semi-modular, patchable thing from KORG? The MS-20 is great, but the more we live with it, the more I wonder what a new instrument catering to modern tastes might be.

Then again, I celebrated my birthday yesterday and I was also introduced in 1978 so — never mind. Things from 1978 are for more relevant than anything younger and cooler and all of you should really just throw money at us. Good, there, done. Oh wait – I should work on some color options for myself.

For more MS action – here’s a minisite dedicated to the MS-10 synth:

And sorry, 1978, but this NAMM is all about 1970, because of this:

The post Return of full-sized KORG MS-20, as retro trend continues appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland has a new 88-key keyboard, and it means MIDI 2.0 has arrived

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 7 Jan 2020 6:45 am

Roland has a new high-end keyboard with weighted action and lots of extras. The real news, though: this is the first MIDI 2.0 instrument from Roland.

Roland was part of the birth of MIDI 1.0, connecting their product in the first public demonstration with partner Sequential (and “father of MIDI” Dave Smith). So it’s fitting that they’ve got something with MIDI 2.0 support, even if the product itself might not be so radical.

As a piano controller, the new A-88MKII looks solid – and it’s a strong alternative to something like Native Instruments’ popular 88-keyboard, in that the Roland here isn’t locked to particular software and doesn’t require a computer to use. (Cough.)

Features:

  • USB-C connectivity
  • RGB-lit controls
  • PHA-4 keyboard action, fully weighted 88-keys (it isn’t just marketing speak – Roland do have a good record on response time, etc.)
  • Three zones for defining your own layers and splits
  • Arpeggiator onboard
  • Roland’s “famous pitch/mod lever” – yeah, it’s a Roland paddle, which you’ll love or hate
  • Full MIDI and USB compliance, so you can use this with anything, with or without a computer
  • Dedicated sustain, plus two additional control inputs (for expression or footswitches, as you define)
  • Chord memory
  • Pad triggers (assignable)
  • Assignable controls (also look handy with MIDI 2.0, and ideal for synthesists, for instance)
  • Wooden construction
MIDI 2.0 means easier automatic assignment between devices, and greater resolution, among other features.
Less future shock, more future proof? This is what we’d hope for in 2020: full backwards compatibility with 1983 MIDI, full forward compatibility with USB-C and MIDI 2.0, end result being compatibility with basically everything. We hope.

But really, this is the important part: the A-88MKII is “ready” for high-resolution control and all the extra features in MIDI 2.0. This should mean that you can take full advantage of the sensors, instead of mapping them only to 0-127 quantized values, and map more easily to software and hardware as MIDI 2.0 support rolls out. I really hope that includes full resolution for the key sensors, as that would make this worth the investment.

In the meantime, you can still use it with everything you’ve got now via that USB and MIDI support.

US$999.99 street, but will definitely be high on my list looking for an 88-key controller. Coming in March.

Obviously there are lots of questions here – even on something as similar as a piano controller – and there’s more to say about MIDI 2.0, so stay tuned. But while I hope MIDI 2.0 has some more far-out applications for its launch, it’s also good to see a bread and butter keyboard example there, too.

https://www.roland.com/global/products/a-88mk2/

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CHORDimist is an insane Max for Live chord-generating MIDI effect

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 3 Jan 2020 7:11 pm

Chordmaker, arpeggiator on steroids, harmonic processor – CHORDimist is another of the powerful Max for Live tools for composition.

I figured yesterday’s blitz of Max for Live news would bring out something I missed. Chris Hahn pointed us to this one, by South Korean-based developer Leestrument.

It’s a chord generator, but it’s also really an advanced arpeggiator / MIDI harmonizer, with modes for firing off, sustaining, or arpeggiating harmonies. Add in lots of parameters for direction and variation – both of the chords themselves and how they’re played – and you have a sophisticated MIDI effect.

CHORDimist is US$49 and requires the latest Max for Live, meaning you want Live Suite 10.1 or greater (or an equivalent Max for Live license).

https://gumroad.com/l/chordimist

Ha, also – I love that the filename for the screenshot on Lee’s site is _E1_84_89_E1_85_B3_E1_84_8F_E1_85_B3_E1_84_85_E1_85_B5_E1_86_AB_E1_84_89_E1_85_A3_E1_86_BA_202019-10-02_20_E1_84_8B_E1_85_A9_E1_84_8C_E1_85_A5_E1_86_AB_204.13.04.png.

That’s… specific.

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