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Softube’s Modular is on sale – here’s why you might want to grab it

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 5:29 pm

Software modulars are the new hardware modulars. And a steeply discounted summer sale from Softube might mean it’s time to reconsider their offering.

Softube Modular is a beautiful, complete emulation of modular tools on a computer screen. It’s demanding – you’ll want a recent computer with decent specs and updated software – but stable. The problem is, even though it’s a lot cheaper than buying “Eurocrack” hardware, I suspect the price turned some off. A hundred bucks is actually a great deal for a bunch of modules in software, but then some add-on modules cost nearly as much as just the base platform. And a lot of users may already have something like Reaktor already installed, with its free user library, or the free VCV Rack and its free and inexpensive add-ons.

But wait a minute – now all those prices are slashed for summer, presumably because normal people in the northern hemisphere are out, like, at the beach or something.

And now it’s worth giving Modular a second look. US$89 is great; $45 is must-buy. And some of those lavish modules you might have thought were out of reach start to look tempting, too.

So here’s why you might want to think about Modular, even with other offerings available.

All those modules are available virtually, via a friendly selector.

It’s the most stable, polished software, coming closest to the hardware experience. Nothing comes this close to hardware, down to the Doepfer modules that defined the Eurorack format. And while Reaktor is also stable and mature, it doesn’t have front panel patching or other expected modular features. VCV Rack is wonderful, but it’s also a bit of a Wild West of weird developer modules, constant updates, and frequent development. (In some sense, maybe it should be that way, as the open source and experimental offering – but then Softube is worth investigating when you need something stable and reliable.) And tools like Pd and SuperCollider are just, well, geekier and more DIY. (Also nice, but a different experience.)

It’s got all the basics. This isn’t in Reaktor or VCV. Doepfer’s modules are vanilla, but by design – they’re ideal for learning synthesis and getting creative with your actual patch rather than the module designer doing it for you. In addition to Softube’s built in utility modules for dealing with clock and control signal and MIDI and the like, you also get the full range of Doepfer essentials. (A-110-1 VCO, A-108 VCF, A-132-3 Dual VCA, A-140 ADSR, A-118 Noise/Random, A-147 VCLFO, A-114 Ring Modulator)

There’s full plug-in support. VST, VST3, Audio Unit, and AAX Native formats for Mac and Windows mean you can drop it in your existing DAW.

You can set it up for live performance. There are a lot of interface details that make this, bar none, the easiest-to-use computer implementation of modular environment – and arguably far easier and more convenient than actual hardware. (Ducks) But one of the most important is the ability to design your own performance panels and consolidate lots of parameters into a few – essentially combining the performance friendliness of desktop synths with the patchability of modular.

It might be worth splurging on deluxe add-ons. It’s a bit funny to buy a software module for the price of a decent, say, guitar pedal in the real world. But if Softube wanted our money, they sure picked some nice ones – Mutable Instruments Clouds, the Buchla 259e Twisted Waveform Generator, and the gorgeous 4ms Spectral Multiband Resonator (SMR) are on a lot of our “if I only had money” hardware wishlist. So whereas the prices might have stopped you before, now at $29, $69, and $35, respectively, you might change your mind. (There are some fine Intellijel offerings, too.)

There’s integrated hardware control with NI and ROLI gear. Support for Native Instruments’ NKS format means you can dial up presets and parameter controls – with on-screen text labels – on both the Komplete Kontrol and Maschine. (Maschine might be ideal, actually, because it also includes handy scene and pattern support, making Softube viable live.) ROLI’s Seaboard RISE – the squishy futuristic keyboard – might seem bonkers when you just want to play a grand piano solo, but out-of-box support here with modulars totally makes sense, too.

Softube have equipped some of their other tools to run inside Modular. Buy Softube’s EQ tools or their lovely Heartbeat drum synth, and you can use them in the Modular environment, too.

All in all, it’s a lovely package; I hope to spend more time in the rest of summer and fall diving in myself, so I’ll try to write y’all back if I can tear myself away from the patches. (Uh oh.)

Just make sure you have a computer rig that’s capable – see Softube’s note about why it’s CPU intensive, plus the minimum system requirements.

Check out the sale here:

https://www.softube.com/buy.php

Product page:

https://www.softube.com/index.php?id=modular

The post Softube’s Modular is on sale – here’s why you might want to grab it appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Get your Marbles: VCV adds free Mutable Instruments module

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 4:28 pm

Out of a huge landscape of modules, Mutable Instruments stands alone with some of the best options. And those Mutable tools continue to make their appearance, for free, in VCV rack in software.

As we reported previously, VCV Rack are porting the open source, digital module line from hardware to software form once they’ve been shipping for a while.

The latest is another special addition: Marbles is a random voltage generator, reborn in the onscreen Rack software as Random Sampler. (That term also describes me, at a buffet.)

Random what?

Well, basically, Marbles is both a source of randomness and a sampler that can reproduce patterns. On the randomness side, you can generate clock or control signals – or modify external inputs – and add variation, from subtle to chaotic, slight fuzziness to branching patterns. That keeps things from getting too repetitive.

And then, in case you actually want some repetition or a recognizable phrase, you also have a sampler that stores and recalls patterns of voltages, cleverly dubbed “deja vu.”

That’s to me is a beautiful model of how you might want to control chance and variation, giving ears new and recognizable sounds, compositionally. Of course, this being a Mutable module, that power is consolidated in a few knobs, which can also be a delight to play with.

To try these in VCV’s Rack application, first install Rack, then look to the Audible Instruments preview plug-in:

https://vcvrack.com/AudibleInstruments.html#preview

And a lot of us are now installing multiple modulars on our computers and choosing to use a particular one when the use arises. So if the constantly-under-construction, wild and woolly developer side of VCV Rack makes you long for a more stable solution, it’s worth mentioning that Softube’s excellent Modular and all the paid add-ons are now steeply discounted. That includes an implementation of Mutable’s superb Clouds:

https://www.softube.com/index.php?id=mi_clouds

Kudos to Mutable and creator Olivier Gillet. He’s proven that software can be open source but sustainable commercially, and that it can be successful across multiple platforms at once – hardware and software. For anyone bold enough to follow, that could be a compelling direction for musical tools to take.

Previously:

A life cycle for open modules, as Mutable Instruments joins VCV Rack

The post Get your Marbles: VCV adds free Mutable Instruments module appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Hey, Alexa, How Are Your Affecting My Podcasting Music Royalty Obligations?

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 4:26 pm

Next Wednesday, July 25, I will be speaking at the Podcast Movement Conference in Philadelphia, as part of the Broadcasters Meet Podcasters Track, discussing legal issues that broadcasters need to consider as they move some of their content into podcasts. One of the topics that I will be discussing will be the music royalty obligations of podcasters who use music in their programs. A month ago, we wrote about how broadcasters’ streaming royalties are affected by smart speakers like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home, as these speakers play the digital streams of a radio station’s programs where SoundExchange royalties must be paid, as opposed to the over-the-air signal of the station, where no such royalties are owed. These smart speakers may have an impact on podcasters royalties, affecting who needs to be paid in connection with the use of music in podcasts.

When I initially started to write about issues of music use in podcasts, my emphasis was on the need to secure direct licenses from performers and composers (or their record companies and publishing companies) for the rights to make reproductions and distributions of music in podcasts. When digital content is downloaded, it triggers rights under copyright law implicating the reproduction and distribution rights of copyright holders (see our article here), as opposed to their public performance rights – the rights with which broadcasters are most familiar as those are the rights that they obtain when paying Performing Rights Organizations ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR in connection with their over-the-air broadcasts and those PROs plus SoundExchange in connection with noninteractive digital streaming. When podcasts were something that were downloaded, just like the purchase of a download of a song from the iTunes music store, it was the reproduction and distribution rights that were triggered, and conventional wisdom was that the PROs had no role to play in the licensing of downloaded media. As technology has changed, the analysis of what rights you need to use music in podcasts may well be changing too. The direct licensing of music for your podcast is still needed – but a public performance right may well also be necessary.

Alexa, Google Home and similar devices are accelerating a trend that was already evident over the last few years – a larger and larger percentage of podcasts are not being downloaded to a smartphone or other digital audio listening device for later consumption, but are instead being streamed for immediate listening. In connection with digital music services like Spotify, it has become accepted that an on-demand stream triggers both a public performance and a reproduction. The conclusion that there is a reproduction in an on-demand stream is a driving premise of the pending Music Modernization Act (see our article here). And, when the Copyright Royalty Board decides royalties for the reproduction of the musical works (the musical composition, i.e. the words and notes of a song), which are subject to the Section 115 compulsory royalty for the “mechanical right,” the Copyright Royalty Judges usually express that royalty as an “all-in” number – the digital music services pay a mechanical royalty that is a percentage of its revenue minus the amount paid to the PROs for the performance rights (see our article here on the latest CRB decision).

Does the fact that performance rights are now part of the equation for podcasts impose any new costs on the podcaster, if that podcaster is already getting a direct license for the music that it uses? Perhaps not, but a broadcaster needs to carefully assess the rights that it has to all music that it plans to use in its podcasts. For a podcaster who is commissioning music from a composer and performer for use in the podcast, hopefully the agreement with the musician covers all rights necessary to podcast, including both the public performance and reproduction rights. Some services that have recently begun to crop up to license music or other sound effects for podcasting (so far, mostly independent music and some background and production music, but hopefully expanding to major labels in the future), have cleared all these rights too.

But if you are, for instance, importing production music that has been licensed solely for broadcast use into your podcast, the provider of that music may well not have cleared the public performance rights for podcasting (as the “composers” of production music often retain the public performance rights – the broadcaster never noticing because these rights are covered by the broadcaster’s blanket licenses with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR, but the composers retaining another source of revenue from their works as they collect from the PROs when their creations are heard over-the-air). Broadcasters need to be careful to assess exactly what rights they have to the music and other sound elements that they are importing into their podcasts, to avoid having rights obligations to the PROs that may not be covered by any rights fees that they have already paid.

That will be a big part of my message in my talk at Podcast Movement – when a broadcaster moves any content obtained from its broadcast platform to a podcast, it needs to make sure that it has all the rights necessary to do so. None of these royalty questions are easy and straightforward, and the laws are about as clear as mud. The Music Modernization Act, while looking to simplify some payment processes for on-demand music services, does not specifically address podcasting, nor does it come close to making copyright obligations understandable to the lay person (even if that person wants to dissect the 169 pages of legislative language in the amended Music Modernization Act approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago). So consult your lawyer about these issues. And, if you are in Philadelphia next week stop by and say hi, and we can have an exciting discussion of podcasting music rights in person!

Ministry of Sound’s Love Island compilation

Delivered... Gavin Haynes | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 1:00 pm

As we ponder the difference between a compilation and a playlist, can MoS’s latest offering mug off the threat of streaming?

Have you heard Love Island: The Pool Party yet? You really shouldn’t. The compilation album features Little Mix and Cheat Codes’ Only You, and various other bangers in that modern vernacular where “summer” is a PC plugin, and DJ Khaled is only ever seconds away from shouting his own name. True to the tag, this is an album you’d love if you’d spent your childhood locked in a darkened room with just ITVBe for company, so that you could only communicate in clucking emotional cliches. Regardless of if you were that Kaspar Hauser of electro-schlock or not, you’d still be left with a very big question: “Why am I buying a compilation album in 2018?”

Besides the still surprisingly big Now That’s What I Call ... series, the streaming world has bulldozed the genre. What’s the difference between a compilation and a playlist? About six minutes in the Spotify search bar. It is no coincidence that the next Fabric album, Fabric 100, will be the label’s last. Upmarket comps such as Back to Mine, AnotherLateNight and Under the Influence petered out nearly a decade ago. But what about the behemoth of them all, Ministry of Sound? Well, it’s putting out Love Island: The Pool Party, as it happens.

Continue reading...

Techno star Helena Hauff: ‘Every woman who DJs and is visible helps to make a change’

Delivered... Joe Muggs | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 9:00 am

The German musician’s only ambition was to play her local bar, but the noisy, neo-gothic sound of her new album, Qualm, has put her on the cusp of clubland’s big league

‘When I wear a lot of black, it’s probably not a conscious decision: it’s more that you can’t see the tomato sauce stains.” This is a perfect moment of German deadpanning from Helena Hauff, a musician and DJ not inclined to take things seriously, even as she is treated with reverence by the club world.

In the five years since she started releasing tracks, she has become a figurehead for a noisy, neo-gothic imperative in techno, delivering live and DJ sets of sometimes terrifying strobe-lit intensity that triangulate perfectly between acid house energy and industrial harshness. The almost entirely live jams of her new album, Qualm, are the best attempt yet to bottle that lightning; they are likely to push her into clubland’s big league.

I can’t think of one thing that is new, really new – that isn’t in any way something that's been done before

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Ebony Bones: Nephilim review – jittery post-punk seething at racist violence

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 9:00 am

(1984 Records)

This album of jittery post-punk and sweeping trip-hop is so ambitious, it’s little wonder one-time soap actor Ebony Bones has only made three of them in 10 years. Not only does she write and produce all of the tracks, there is orchestral input from the Beijing Philharmonic and a searing lyric sheet that addresses injustice against black people across the diaspora. It starts ponderously – the four-note theme of the two opening tracks is reminiscent of a Bernard Herrmann or Clint Mansell score, but this basic, undercooked melody is too weak to prop anything up. The true overture is Ghrelin Games, an Army of Me-esque industrial monster; its latent juke energy is teased out further on the even more impressive Kids of Coltan, an interrogation of mineral mining in the DRC.

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Contemporary album of the month: Walton: Black Lotus

Delivered... John Lewis | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 7:15 am

The electronic minimalist composer takes apart the sonic signatures of grime music and reassembles them with clockwork precision

The writer Albert Goldman once observed that every dance craze – from ragtime to rumba to rave – tends to go through a similar life cycle. Each starts as slightly scandalous underground scene that is painted as a symptom of decadence and criminality. It then goes overground, reaching out beyond its core demographic. It then fades from the mainstream and starts a gradual process of gentrification, to be curated by ethnomusicologists and rare-groove archivists.

It’s a cycle we’ve seen repeated for more than a century: from tango to techno, from habanera to hip-hop. Weirdly, with grime – a music that’s been a part of the British musical landscape for nearly 20 years – all of these stages are still happening simultaneously. Grime is still scandalous (and parochial) enough to attract massive police attention, mainstream enough to spawn such huge stars as Stormzy and Skepta, yet gentrified enough to attract the attention of highbrow bloggers who’ll archive pirate radio recordings and rhapsodise about grime’s references to gamelan and Steve Reich.

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FIREFLY MUSIC FESTIVAL DATES FOR 2019 HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 19 Jul 2018 7:00 pm
AEG has bought the festival and announced the Firefly dates for 2019!⠀

Novation Circuit 1.7 adds song mode and more, in yet another update

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 19 Jul 2018 5:55 pm

Every time you think, okay, that’s the last update for Novation’s Circuit – there’s another one. What started as a simply entry-level groove box continues to evolve.

Version 1.7 is out now. As with past updates, you can get it by connecting your Circuit and heading to Novation’s Web hub for content, updates, and managing your own creations, Novation Components.

Find it here:
https://components.novationmusic.com/circuit/new-pack

New in this build:

Chain patterns, make songs. It’s called “Pattern Chain Sequence,: and it lets you chain together up to 32 patterns into a chain… or even chain chains into more chains, for 16 chains of patterns, then select any order you want. You can also use this live as you play by appending patterns.

Tied/drone notes. Each step can be tied to another, all the way into long drones.

Nudge off the grid: Each step gets 1-5 ticks delay, or use Synth Micro-Nudge “create new, more complex rhythms like triplets across the beat.”

Novation Circuit updates … they just keep going … and going … and going …

The post Novation Circuit 1.7 adds song mode and more, in yet another update appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Arturia DrumBrute Impact: smaller size, bigger sound, $349

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 19 Jul 2018 4:28 pm

Talk about less is more. The Arturia DrumBrute impact is sure to be a hit at US$349 for a packed analog drum machine – but its newfound focus and re-built sounds also make it more fun to play.

Fitting a drum machine into a smaller size and cutting the price this low does mean taking some things out. But it’s what’s left in that may make people find the DrumBrute Impact appealing.

Arturia has been trying their hand at drum machines for a while. It began on the software side, with the Spark series, but the workflow and functionality of that line never seemed to grab users quite like with Native Instruments’ Maschine or Ableton Live combined with Push, to say nothing of people who want to get away from the computer and use some hardware. The DrumBrute was promising, packing some novel analog sound circuitry together with workflow features from Spark and BeatStep Pro, but its sound felt like a work in progress. (Case in point: my studio neighbor has one and loves it, but he mutes the kick and replaces it with something else. Making drum machines is hard.

So, that’s the surprise of DrumBrute Impact. The “impact” which I thought was just smart marketing for it being small and cheap actually is a clue to the fact that the Impact has all new circuitry inside. It’s the Arturia brain here, but the soul has been upgraded.

Finally, Arturia have made something that doesn’t just feel like another Roland TR drum machine. And that’s good, because much as I love the TR, having only that color is a bit like having a Wurlitzer but no Rhodes. But simultaneously, it also sounds like a new set of sounds you want to use, without requiring you to invest a huge amount of money in those sounds. The original DrumBrute sounds pretty good – don’t get me wrong – but this sounds better, which is …better.)

The result: this thing hits really hard. That matters. We’re humans. We like things that go thud. We can feel it. This isn’t theory; it’s visceral.

The sound engine:

You get a full complement of parts, each analog and with controllable parts. “Analog” remains something of a marketing hook, but the important thing about these parts is you get a set of sounds you can manipulate directly. That means:

KICK: pitch and decay
SNARE 1: snap and decay.
SNARE 2: tone and decay.
TOM: pitch, switch between high/low.
CYMBAL: decay.
COWBELL
CLOSED HAT: tone
OPEN HAT: decay (mute linked to the open hat)
FM DRUM: carrier pitch, decay, FM amount, and mod pitch.

I’ll work on some videos and music in the coming days. Drum machines are all about taste, so you may differ, but I liked each one of these sounds – which is really hard to get on a new machine. (The TR has a huge advantage based on familiarity, too. None of us can really say what we’d think of it if someone brainwiped us and we hadn’t heard any the music made with Rolands over the years.)

More importantly, you get a huge range as you twist the encoders on these, with a sense of power across that range rather than that usual feeling of … okay, this is the sweet spot and the rest is shite.

Snare 2, for instance, can sound like a rimshot or a clap, even, depending on where you adjust it, and lots of things in between. Tom Low easily doubles as a kick with a darker color. The cowbell is an exception, but it’s a nice grown-up homage to Roland.

It’s really the FM voice that’s the big winner, though. And it’s clear you could not only cook up some unexpected percussion with it, but also hack it into a usable, potentially weird if you want, FM bass synth.

Features:

If you want lots of I/O, well… come on, this thing is $349. But you still do manage a mono mix out, four separate outs for parts, and dedicated clock in/out, MIDI in/out, and USB.

Arturia could have made this a fairly dumb box that’s just a sound engine, but they crammed a whole lot of powerful features for playing into it, as you might expect from some of their past outings. So you get:

Step sequencing with 64 patterns (64 steps each)
Song mode for chaining patterns
Polyrhythms (set each track to its own length)
Swing, either global or per-instrument
Random pattern variations
Pattern looper, beat repeat
Real-time rolls (with that touch strip again)
Multiple sync options: Internal / MIDI / Clock, including 1PPS, 2PPQ, DIN24, and DIN48
Per-drum accents

There’s even a metronome that automatically overrides itself on the main out when you plug in headphones.

You don’t have easy MPC-style note repeat, which I personally prefer to those touch rolls, and the drum pads are basic (though you get one for each part, unlike the more expensive Roland TR-8S). Other than that, it’s hard to complain.

One surprise is the distortion circuit. It’s nice, and adds some dirt, but I almost expected something raunchier. Anyway, it’s useful to have, and you can always run those outs through some distortion pedals and really go nuts. I did run it through some light effects and delays, and it sounds unreal.

I mean, what’s to say? This thing is going to sell like crazy. $349 / 299 €. Preorder now, full availability in August.

It’s turning out to be quite a summer for hardware drum machines, with the ongoing success of the Elektrons (and some updates), the breakout hit Roland TR-8S, the coming boutique MFB TanzBar II, and now this as your cost-effective choice. If you’re still failing to play drum machines live or writing dull drum parts, you have no excuse.

https://www.arturia.com/products/hardware-synths/drumbrute-impact/overview

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ATSC 3.0, Next Gen TV, Inches Closer to Reality with FCC Simulcasting Rules Becoming Effective

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 19 Jul 2018 4:21 pm

This week, the approval of the Office of Management and Budget of FCC rules imposing new paperwork burdens relating to simulcasting of a TV station’s primary signal on a host station when it converts to the new ATSC 3.0 next generation TV transmission system was announced in the Federal Register. The primary rules for ATSC 3.0 were adopted last year, and became effective in March 2018 (see our post here). But the rules requiring an FCC application before commencing the simulcast of the primary signal on the host station as well as over the new ATSC 3.0 signal, the notifications necessary to TV viewers and MVPDs, and other filing obligations required OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act before they could become effective, and that approval has now been obtained. But this does not mean that Next Gen TV stations will be popping up everywhere immediately.

The FCC this week issued a Public Notice announcing the approval of these paperwork requirements, but indicating that it is not yet accepting applications for stations proposing to operate with the ATSC 3.0 standard. The FCC is still preparing a new form for ATSC 3.0 stations to file, and getting its LMS filing system ready to accept all of the newly required FCC filings associated with the conversion. A subsequent public notice will be released when the FCC is ready to accept ATSC 3.0 applications – at some undetermined time in the future, likely at some point in 2019. The Public Notice does offer the option for stations ready to operate with the new system to request experimental authority to do so (several such requests have been filed and granted for tests by commercial and noncommercial stations). But, until the new forms are ready, and until more ATSC 3.0-capable receivers are available to consumers, a mass conversion of stations to the new transmission standard will have to wait.

Get your head around generative music creation in 30-60 seconds thanks to Intermorphic

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Thu 19 Jul 2018 6:18 am

Intermorphic have been pioneering win generative music for years. Bringing us amazing apps across multiple platforms way before we had iOS. But generative isn’t always the easiest thing to understand, and I know that lots of people struggle with it. However, Intermorphic have brought us a series of excellent, and remarkably short, videos as an introduction to generative and their flagship app Wotja.

Wotja for iOS

Wotja for macOS

The post Get your head around generative music creation in 30-60 seconds thanks to Intermorphic appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Star Shepard is Legowelt’s insane hacked-together DIY synth

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 18 Jul 2018 11:37 pm

This is a serious Frankenstein’s monster: a DIY synth made of a 1981 Casio keyboard, an AM radio, stompboxes, and more – and held together with glue and tape.

Legowelt is somewhere between modding, circuit bending, and instrument design here, concocting a kind of wonky workstation of weirdness from the cannibalized bits of other stuff.

Essentially, it’s a Casio keyboard fed through a series of effects and circuit-bent circuitry, with a looper pedal thrown in and an AM radio as noise source. Maestro Legowelt explains:

Enter the STAR SHEPHERD a synth I Build/bent/hacked/modified from old guitar pedals FX and EQ boxes, a small AM radio and a 1981 Casio 403 keyboard. The oscillator section is made out of Pitchshifter/Harmonizers/Sub Octavers and a graphic EQ pedal to create complex harmonic tones – transmorphed from the simple keyboard sounds fed by the Casio. The sound then goes through a bunch of circuitbend Analog delays, reverbs, Tremolos & Vibratos (figuring as makeshift LFO sources) and Wahwah pedals as filters. The AM radio is figuring as a random noise source. There is also a very simple keyboard style ‘sequencer’ made from a looper pedal.

The case is made out of cheap plywood and everything is held together with screws, glue and tape. There are also some LED strips pulsating from the inside for some extra intense magic.

It is very noisey, crackly and sometimes starts doing its own thing like some sentient synthesizer being that is alive. This makes it quite an adventurous experience.

It has all the spirit of electronics pioneer Reed Ghazala’s original notion of circuit bending: it’s modification of equipment as a way to “evolve” it into some organic machine life. But that AM radio alone gives it some unique and scifi sounds. It sounds like a whole studio for some rich communist-era space epic. And the formants on the filters give you the impression it’s singing to you.

Listen/watch:

Oh yeah, and there’s a painting, entitled “The Star Shepherd guiding his flock through Palm Springs”. Of course:

Your store-bought synth is now way too new, too generic, and involves too little taped-together assembly.

More of this on the official site, which has an impressive 1996 Web design:

http://www.legowelt.org/

The post Star Shepard is Legowelt’s insane hacked-together DIY synth appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Audio Damage brings their new desktop power granular synth Quanta to iOS

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Wed 18 Jul 2018 10:57 pm

Since beginning to port apps to iOS Audio Damage has brought us some really stunning apps. A couple that I’ve found incredibly useful are Replicant and Axon. Now, Audio Damage brings us something new entirely, a fully fledged iOS granular synth.

Quanta is a six-voice granular for iPads running iOS11+ in both standalone (with Inter-App Audio) and AudioUnit V3 formats. The iPad app is fully compatible with the full version of Quanta for macOS and Windows.

Basically Quanta works on any iPad that can run iOS11. However, keep in mind that it is in fact a feature-heavy desktop quality synthesizer, and on the whole it would probably prefer a 2017/2018 iPad, or indeed an iPad Pro.

Audio Damage suggests that if you’re experiencing CPU issues on lower-end machines with the standalone, try changing the main display to FEG or FLFO, which don’t require redrawing and which will be significantly lower in CPU usage.

Here’s more detail on the features of Quanta:

Multi-Format Sample Loader
Quanta can load AIFF, WAV, Broadcast WAV, FLAC, MP3, and Ogg in any sample rate, bit depth, and channel configuration.

Grain Engine
Up to 100 simultaneous grains per voice, of up to 1 second long, with control over grain rate, pitch, direction, shape, length, panning, source position, and level.

Sidecar Oscillator
Continuously variable wave shape, with pulse width modulation, and independent control over pitch (separate from grain engine.) Can be injected directly into grain engine.

Noise Source
Noise source features a “color” control that affects tonal characteristics of the noise. Can be injected directly into grain engine.

Dual Multi-Mode Filters
Filters can be used in serial or parallel modes, and include lowpass, highpass, bandpass, and notch in 2-pole and 4-pole configurations.

Flexible Envelope Generator (FEG) x 4
The four FEGs are arbitrary function generators, with up to 99 steps, curve and step level control, arbitrary loop points, and host tempo sync.

Flexible Low-Frequency Oscillator (FLFO) x 2
The pair of FLFOs utilize four controls (phase, shape, skew, and warp) to access a virtually limitless palette of waveforms, and feature host tempo sync and retrigger.

Sample And Hold
The S&H mod source can sample noise (random) or any of the other mod sources, at either a user-defined rate or a musical division.

Modulation Matrix
Every mod and MIDI source can be easily and simply assigned to any destination using the quick-access bi-polar modulation matrix. Touch a destination on the UI and the matrix automatically scrolls to the correct row.

Tuning Tables And Global Tuning Offset
Re-tune Quanta to new intonations and temperaments using the open-source and easy-to-use TUN file format. A global tuning offset (default to A=440) allows you to easily retune the entire synth to match a different A frequency without using a tuning table.

MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression)
Quanta understands both “legacy” MIDI and MPE. Use your Linnstrument, Roli controller, Haken Continuum, or Madrona Labs Soundplane (among others) to directly access per-note pressure, pitch bend, and modulation.

Per-Instance Settings
Quanta utilizes a per-instance customization method: set MPE mode, aftertouch smoothing, pitch bend range override, tuning table, and global tuning offset for each instance in your AUv3 host.

Factory Presets
Quanta comes with a substantial collection of factory content, including Designer Presets from Marcus Fisher, Joseph Fraioli, Chris Carter, and Richard Devine.

Cross-Platform Preset Format
Quanta utilizes an XML-based preset manager, and stores the sample within the preset for easy asset management. Work between multiple systems without troubles, make a preset on your desktop machine and paste it to the iOS version with Handoff or vice-versa, easily share your creations with your friends, or make a preset bundle to sell, no asset management required.

Fully Resizable Retina GUI
Quanta’s vector-based GUI is resolution-agnostic, and displays the same on every system and resolution. Easily resize the UI (per instance) to match your visual needs, from postage stamp to poster-sized.

Quanta costs $7.99 on the app store:

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