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


Celebrate the birthday of an amazing resource with free stuff for Ableton Live

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 20 Oct 2017 3:02 pm

It’s perhaps the most useful Ableton Live-focused resource on the Web. And we’re celebrating its fifth birthday with exclusive freebies for CDM readers.

To put it plainly, I think this whole music tech business is at its best when it supports those people willing to share their skills and knowledge. And I can think of few better examples of individuals who I’d want to support than Madeleine Bloom. A veteran of Ableton support, she’s an inexhaustible source of wisdom for how to use that tool precisely and creatively.

Sonic Bloom is full of free tips and inspiration, so it’s a great place to start if you’re just stuck and want to feel more comfortable and effective with this ubiquitous tool. From there, you can then go shopping for more advanced courseware, and packs for Live and Max for Live.

Talk about a personal story – Madeleine was able to solve health issues by using revenue from the site.

Five years ago, on October 19, I released the first Ableton Live tutorial on Sonic Bloom. I started it as a resource hub after realising there was a need while working in tech support at Ableton. Since then it has grown into the biggest Ableton related website on the net, with close to 600 articles available in English and German each. And that, even though I was very ill for about half of Sonic Bloom’s existence (I used my troubleshooting skills to figure out my health issues). I often just about managed to keep it going, the positive feedback I keep receiving from Sonic Bloom readers has helped a lot. I’m now looking forward to the next five years and creating more things I’ve dreamt up. I feel like I’m still just getting started.

I can relate to that struggle to make things work independently, and I’m really hugely happy Madeleine stuck it out. So, let’s celebrate a little.

We have a bunch of stuff to give away – including additional creations by Ableton’s Christian Kleine (like the modular Oscillot):

5 Max for Cats Complete Collection (6 packs, 9 devices)
5 Ableton Live & Push Video Course Bundles
5 House Operators Vol. 1
5 Oscillots
5 Pallas
5 Bengal

Feeling unlucky? Hate leaving things to chance? (Ooh, I hear you… I have a tendency to lose such contests!) Fret not – I asked Madeleine to provide one free download for everyone. So everyone who signs up gets a nice House Operator Device. I demonstrate how not to use it (but hey, I was having fun) here, and prove it’s not limited to house music:

And you can go shopping, because through the 25th of October, everything is half off.

Sign up for our giveaway here. By the way, I’d dragged my feet and had some false starts with the email list. I’ve now got a format I think should work perfectly – we’ll get all the big headlines to you in your inbox, plus some of the music I’m listening and tools I’m using, and the latest on our new video streams, so you don’t lose track. That’ll just be once a week, plus the occasional promo deal and giveaway (for more stuff free).

I’m actually rather enjoying email again as alternative to social media, so maybe the time is right.

Good luck with the giveaway. We’ll announce winners on Monday.


http://sonicbloom.net/

The post Celebrate the birthday of an amazing resource with free stuff for Ableton Live appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Check out some loving synth images and inspiration from Moscow

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Events,Scene | Fri 6 Oct 2017 4:13 pm

Even as rave culture faces new hurdles in Russia, nerd culture thrives. That was the feeling at August’s Synthposium in Moscow; here’s another look.

For an impressionistic feeling of the space station adoration of electronic sound production, here’s a montage shot inside the Expo, which somehow captures the milieu of the event and passion of its attendees.

Apart from space exploration, Russia has its roots in rigor both engineering and compositional, as nicely embodied by Synthposium artist Alex Pleninger. An interview (English subtitled) takes you inside his world, and an adeptness for machines then led him to the classic Buchla modular from … a Nintendo Game Boy. (Love that lofi camera.)

Lest you think Russia is all synth noodling, freestyling (seriously) was a lot of what I heard. Hip hop seems to be resurgent in the Russian capital. (Fight the powers that be?)

We also get fresh views of the gear.

Builder Vyacheslav Grigoriev was there representing VG-Line; here’s a look inside his workshop:

Vyacheslav Grigoriev, the founder of the VG-Line workshop and production, is Moscow’s chief man when it comes to repairing and modifying synthesizers. An expert in Soviet electronics, Vyacheslav is known for his modified and upgraded version of the cult RITM-2 synthesizer, as well as the TR-909-inspired desktop bass drum module, that goes far beyond the original. His workshop is a unique enterprise with a DIY attitude, that denies any corporate classification, where he repairs and manufactures synthesizers of different designs and basically lives. Grigoriev will join the Expo section and present his newly-engineered products at the Vintage Hall on August 26 and 27.

As we were wandering the expo floor, manufacturers were queued up to demo their gear in a convenient light box a series called Things had set up. Here’s a look at the (mostly) Russian entries – starting with VG-Line:

https://thngs.co/things/10267

The VG Line bass drum BD 9Q9. Totally analogue clone of legendary Roland TR-909 kick with wide range of settings, which original TR 909 doesn’t have — a switcher to extend decay and the pitch.

https://thngs.co/things/10257

https://thngs.co/things/10256

35 years after the release of the first model, the creator of Polivoks, Vladimir Kuzmin, decided to release an updated version, which already fell into the hands of many lucky people and, judging by the existing reviews, the legend has already returned. In the work on a modern embodiment, engineers Alex Pleninger and Alexey Taber took part. At the moment there are only 100 copies of the new Polivox and each of them is collected manually.

https://thngs.co/things/10279

You’ve seen Roland’s kit a lot lately, but for one international input, let’s add a Czech input – especially as Bastl’s Thyme just became available for preoder:

The Thyme is an effects processor that is best described as a sequenceable robot operated digital tape machine. With a lot of parameters at hand it enables the exploration of all the time based effects and the vast space in between their classical multi-effects categories (delay, phaser, reverb, chorus, pitch shifter, multi-tap delay, tape delay, tremolo, vibrato, compressor) and in stereo! Each of the 9 different parameters (Tape Speed, Delay Coarse & Fine, Feedback, Filter, extra heads Spacing and Levels, Dry Wet Mix and Volume) has a dedicated, very flexible modulation source – called the Robot – which can be phased out differently for left and right channel to create psychedelic new sound effects.

https://thngs.co/things/10260

and SoftPop, for that matter:

SoftPop is a playfully organic, semi-modular light and sound synthesizer with wide variety of sounds: from random dripping water pops to heavy subtractive basslines. Its fully analog core consisting of a heavily feedbacked system of dual triangle-core oscillators, state variable filter and sample and hold is played through an intuitive interface of 6 faders that provide countless combinations which can be explored by anyone.

https://thngs.co/things/10262

The Pribore MDP101 Baby connects to a computer or a phone via bluetooth, defined as a MIDI device. It has 2 assignable control knobs (Rotary Knob CC), 2 assignable keys (Button CC), 5 transport keys (Rewind, Stop, Play, Record, Loop), 1 angular acceleration sensor (accelerometer), for capturing emotions and expression (Motion Sensor), 1 battery for stand-alone operation, and a USB port for charging and connecting as a usb-midi device.

https://thngs.co/things/10263

From Playtronica came some of the more experimental, DIY / physical computing-tilted entries:

https://thngs.co/things/10205

Touch Me is a HCI device that turns human touch into music.
When the surface area or intensity of skin contact between two or more people changes Touch Me modifies sound output according to selected scale and tone parameters.

https://thngs.co/things/9879

And yes, for when you win the lottery / sell your startup / swap bodies with Trent Reznor or deadmau5 or Hans Zimmer (Freaky Friday!), it’s the Deckard’s Dream! That beats Blade Runner tickets:

The post Check out some loving synth images and inspiration from Moscow appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Reason 10 is a return to form: all about the instruments

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 29 Sep 2017 7:46 pm

Remember when the main draw of Reason was adding a whole bunch of toys to your computer and playing until you couldn’t play any more? Those days are back.

The last few years have seen lots of workflow refinements and maturity in music production software. And that’s all fine and well. We’ve even seen new DAWs entirely, new combinations of hardware controllers and software (Maschine, Push), standalone production tools that work without a computer (the new MPC). And we’ve seen a whole lot of music production software evolution, gradually working through the elaborate wish lists we foist on the developers – and with good reason. Heck, maybe you begin to think that adding new sounds is about buying fancy modular rigs, and the computer will quietly disappear into the background.

But since the beginning, Reason was always about something different. Reason users didn’t just get a whole bunch of effects and synths as a bonus, icing to sweeten the deal. Reason was those effects and synths. And you’d be forgiven if you assumed that era had come to a close. After all, most Reason upgrades focused on adding in the openness and multifunctional capabilities of rivals – audio recording, Rack Extensions and a store to buy add-ons, even VST plug-in compatibility. Once you have VST support in Reason, maybe Reason isn’t really about the stuff Propellerheads put in the box.

Think again, because – Reason 10.

Now, there’s some chatter at Propellerhead about this being the “biggest content upgrade” ever, but let’s talk specifically about which instruments are getting added. And it’s a big ‘ol Swedish smörgåsbord of the kind of synths that made us notice Reason in the first place.

So, to answer Thor, there’s Europa – a wavetable synth.

To those granular goodies in Reaktor and Max for Live, there’s The Grain.

And in the tradition of Reason, they look, well, Reason-y. Functions are encapsulated, simplified, hardware-like, but without sacrificing deep modulation. The Grain, for its part, looks like the native granular synth Ableton never quite got (outside Max add-ons). Europa has its own biggie-sized instrumental quality.

For more acoustic timbres, you get new sampled instruments: Klang for tuned percussion, Pangea for a potpourri of “world” instruments, Humana for choir and vocal sounds. (Even if Humana makes those of us in Germany think of retro DDR fashion…)

Happily, these aren’t just ROMplers or sets of presets – you still get the control panels that mimic vintage hardware, and CV routing for patching monster hybrids and strange sound designs.

Propellerhead took a similar approach with their aptly-named Radical Piano, which allows the construction of hybrid, physically-modeled piano instruments, and it’s nice to see that instrument now included in the box.

And there’s one really killer effect, too: Synchronous, which brings modulated signal processing, with sidechaining and LFOs, even with the ability to draw your own curves to route into filter, delay, reverb, distortion. That alone could fill albums of material, and with a lot of different takes recently on how to do this, the Props’ take looks genuinely unique.

There are a lot of samples, too – Drum Supply and Loop Supply get a refresh. Now, that would normally bore me, except — oh yeah, that granular thing. Interested again.

In beta now, out 25 October.

I think it’s going to be a good winter.

They’ve worked hard; let’s embed their video. They earned it.

https://www.propellerheads.se/en/reason/new

The post Reason 10 is a return to form: all about the instruments appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

If you don’t know IceGear’s iOS synths, now is a great time to try them

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Wed 27 Sep 2017 4:14 pm

IceGear have been making great synths for iOS since the very early days of the platform. One of their first apps was Argon, an excellent iPhone synth. From their they’ve continued to make excellent iOS apps for music makers, and right now they have a good selection of those on sale up until the 8th of October.

Here are the iOS synths on offer right now are:

Laplace:

Laplace is a physical-modeling synthesizer based on resonator synthesis that makes it easy to create bowed string, plucked string, blown pipe and metallic sounds. But it is designed not to reproduce real acoustic instruments but to create new synthesizer sounds in different new ways.

Laplace is on sale at $5.99 (usually $7.99)

Mersenne:
Mersenne is quite unusual in my opinion and, I have to warn you, you can lose a lot of time messing around with this app. I have.

Mersenne is a melodic percussion synthesizer that combines two FM synthesis modules, a noise generator and a resonator. With simple operation, you can easily create a clear bell sound with complex attack sound.

Mersenne is on sale for $5.99 (usually $7.99)

Lorentz:

Lorentz is not only a live-oriented analog modeling synthesizer, but also has a resonator that makes metallic and aggressive sounds. This makes it easy to create a new synthesizer sound with a resonator added to the sound like an analog synthesizer.

Lorentz is a universal app and is on sale for $5.99 (usually $7.99)

Redshrike:

Redshrike is a polyphonic synthesizer that combines a resonator designed to make more complicated sound creation and subtraction synthesis with an FM oscillator that creates violent distortion.

Redshrike is also a universal app and is on sale for $5.99 (usually $7.99)

The post If you don’t know IceGear’s iOS synths, now is a great time to try them appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Legowelt takes a tour of Roland’s D-05, and more for D-50 fans

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 13 Sep 2017 9:00 pm

Now Roland’s got it right: who better to give a hands-on of that new D-50 reboot (the D-05) than Legowelt, marvelous Dutch musical madman?

I’ll say this: the D-50 had way more fans than I realized. Sure, the thing is a synth classic, and birthed a lot of absurdly well known presets, but it doesn’t have the ubiquity of an 808 or 303, which seem to stand more on the line of the invention of the flute or violin. (Okay, maybe piccolo or bassoon – depending on your point of view.)

But from looking around CDM’s own stats and social media, y’all love your D-50.

Roland also did a good job of explaining what the history of this was. (Wait… but I want that Oberheim and Yamaha, too.) It’s worth reflecting on how influential and clever those sound designs were, overused now as they have been.

RA are making some pretty pads with it. Okay, RA, I guess me and Nick de Friez and Roland had better practice and answer this beautiful lushness:

Also, presets … they’re presumably what a lot of you came for. I’m sorry, I’m having some serious late 80s flashbacks, and not sure entirely how I feel about it:

Oddest of all, people are doing comparisons between the D-50 and D-05. The thing is, while emulating analog circuits introduces differences, emulating digital is … well, going to sound exactly the same, if you have access to all the original specs as Roland does. But yes, the D-05 is smaller, more battery powered, more not-a-keyboard, and has that arpeggiator and step sequencer and USB and MIDI. If you need to get what I just said in a video – a nice video, to be fair – go nuts with this:

I actually do like the D-50 as a synth. I’m really curious to get hands on the D-05 and make it sound unlike the usual D-50, though (see that nice RA video above, even as YouTubers complain that it’s out of sync).

The post Legowelt takes a tour of Roland’s D-05, and more for D-50 fans appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Here’s how MeeBlip can get you started with hardware synths

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 12 Sep 2017 12:12 am

We made MeeBlip because we love getting our hands on sound and playing with synth hardware. But for people not totally used to working with this kind of gear, there can be lots of questions.

So, here’s a guide to adding MeeBlip triode to your setup. If you’re thinking of getting ‘out of the box’ and away from your computer for the first time, or you’re just curious about some details of the hardware, we can share some answers without you having to even ask.

And, of course, if you’re thinking we’re doing this now while there’s a $99.95 supersale on, you’re totally right. But hey, that’s another way for us to get synthesis into your hands – and keep making new instruments.

You folks in the MeeBlip community have done an amazing job shooting hands-on video, so we’re able to illustrate this story with your contributions. (Feel free to add tips or questions; we can build this over time.)

Why would you want to do this?

Okay, apart from having some extra toys, why would you want a dedicated synth in the first place? MeeBlip for us is about having sound with a particular personality. It’s there when you want a unique bassline, or as an extra voice for other synths. It lets you get hands on with some knobs, without the usual decision overload of a computer. It’s a chance to learn about synthesis and MIDI.

Oh, and it’s open source hardware, so if you are curious about how synth code and circuits work, everything that makes the triode function is available online, and can be shared and modified free.

Of course, now there’s a lot of cool and inexpensive hardware that does this. But we think MeeBlip sounds different, it’s a simple and compact way of getting huge bass sounds, and it’s about as inexpensive as anything you can find – even from much bigger manufacturers. And the fact that it’s open source means you’re helping contribute to an open hardware ecosystem.

Okay, so you’re sold, but want some more information on how to get going. Here’s what you need to know:

Get a MeeBlip and power

MeeBlip ships with a universal power supply (some budget synths charge extra for this or make you buy batteries). That can be plugged in anywhere, provided you have a physical adapter for the region you’re in.

Get connected

MeeBlip triode is a MIDI device, meaning it receives messages from a computer or music hardware, for notes and parameter control.

You’ll need a standard MIDI cable to make that happen, plus an appropriate interface if you want to connect to a computer, iPad, or other device. (We use the iConnectivity mio for USB MIDI connections on iOS and desktop.)

Get something to generate notes

Since the triode is ultra-compact and lacks a keyboard or touch input, you need something to send it notes.

You can use any keyboard (or drum trigger, or other controlled), provided it has a MIDI output. Then just play in what you want.

You can use other hardware. Novation’s Circuit, Roland’s TB-03, and Arturia’s BeatStep Pro are all convenient MIDI step sequencers, useful for programming melodic lines. (Using MeeBlip with the TB-03 makes it easy to add extra bass and dirt to the 303 sound, by doubling its line on the MeeBlip. Circuit + MeeBlip gives you some crisp synths and drums, combined with the MeeBlip’s bass.)

Using that USB MIDI interface, you can also use computer software, of course. But with the addition of Apple’s USB Lightning adapter, which now also supports power passthrough so you can charge your device at the same time, you can use an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. (This adapter was introduced with the iPad Pro, but it works with any Lightning-equipped iOS device. What you’re looking for is specifically termed the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter, pictured here – see our hands-on test.)

With cool sequencers like Modstep, you don’t even need a computer. (Modstep even works out of the box with all the MeeBlip’s parameters, so you can, for instance, draw in filter and modulation changes.)

What you need for sound

MeeBlip triode has a stereo minijack connection for audio. This means you can plug in a pair of headphones and immediately hear sound in both ears.

You can use the same connection to output to a mixer, PA, recorder, computer, whatever. Just make sure you have a stereo cable, not the mono cables often used on modular synths. These stereo cables are y-shaped at the opposite end – with jacks for left and right. Since the signal is on both jacks, you can leave one hanging and just plug in the other.

You’ll need some sort of audio interface in order to record. Behringer makes a mixer with a built-in USB interface, for one dirt-cheap solution – that way, you can plug in a couple of pieces of gear, mix the outputs, and record via USB back to your computer.

Play

Okay, now you’ve got it all connected – give it a play! (Our manual covers the process, but you just need to make sure whatever is sending notes is transmitting on channels 1-8, and set the appropriate channel on the MeeBlip.)

Jam, twist knobs, and enjoy.

Try automating parameters with MIDI CC

MIDI Control Changes (CC) are special messages for adjusting sound parameters, not just notes. All of the MeeBlips knobs and switches (and a few not on the panel) are controllable in this way. So instead of twisting knobs around, you can automate those changes externally.

What else?

It’s easy to dial in a lot of sounds right away. But when you’re ready to go deeper, triode also offers extras like wavetable mode, for various edgy sounds. Extreme parameters can also make more experimental sounds – and that’s before you add effects.

There’s even a Web-based editor-librarian that you can use to try, store, and share sounds – and it’s free. (It surprised even us, coming from another fan of open source tools.)

The fun is really combining MeeBlip with other stuff. And because it’s open, if you want to get really deep, you can learn how it works.

We hope you’ll pick up one of this manufacturing run before it runs out. What else would you like to know or explore? Let us know, and we’ll try to help you out.

MeeBlip triode is shipping worldwide for US$99.95 through Tuesday night.

https://meeblip.com/

MeeBlip triode [shop]

The post Here’s how MeeBlip can get you started with hardware synths appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland’s D-50 is the latest 80s creation to get Boutique treatment

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Sat 9 Sep 2017 2:14 pm

No one can fault the D-50 — erm, “D-05” — for authenticity. Roland’s latest Boutique Series basically is a shrunk-down version of the original.

First, the D-50. The 1987 creation is about as mainstream as any synth, ever – a mainstay of pop and soundtracks, friendly and easy to please both in interface and sounds. And it’s fully digital, the epitome of the 80s digital keyboard. The actual sound generation method, though, is a tradeoff, one Roland confusing called “Linear Arithmetic synthesis.” Translation: “we use some maths, and make sounds by sticking things together.” (Not to be confused with “non-linear arithmetic,” which is how I tried to fail out of physics and calculus in high school. Doh!)

Basically, the D-50 uses a combination of small digital samples, which can either be on the attack or looped, and subtractive synthesis (which is now digital, not analog). So you get the bite of a sample, then something that sounds more like an analog synth. So you can’t complain about Roland going digital with this Boutique – the original was, too.

But Roland is offering some new jargon, in the tradition of Roland jargon: 2017’s D-05 has “Digital Circuit Behavior.”

That’s obviously meant as the corresponding term to the other Boutique’s “Analog Circuit Behavior.” But that’s a term used to describe modeling component-by-component variability of analog electronics. These components don’t always behave exactly the same way. Digital circuits and code is another animal. You can still do what Roland did with the analog originals, by going back to original specifications and even talking to original engineers. But you’re not modeling the behavior of circuits in that case, in the same way; you’re actually reproducing digital sounds, code, and exact specifications. (Digital circuits do vary, but the state of that variation at some point is what we call “broken.” It’s binary, literally.)

Anyway, we can translate “linear arithmetic” as “it’s digital and it uses samples and synthesis,” so we can say “Digital Circuit Behavior” translates to “it’s basically 1987 in a smaller box.”

So what is this thing, actually – and why would you want it?

Since there are lots of ways to get D-50 sounds, Roland weirdly has a high bar for authenticity – that is, there has to be a reason you’d go buy this as dedicated hardware. The answer to that: exact copies of physical controls, exact copies of sounds, and then enough extras to make it fun.

The D-05 appears to be as close to the D-50 as you can get, from the physical hardware to the engine beneath. So you get a joystick for navigation and morphing and the original D-50 controls. Underneath, the engine appears to be exactly the same as the original. Roland says they’ve included the original D-50 exact PCM samples and parameters.

As on the original, you also get chorus, reverb/delay, and EQ – presumably also the same as the original, though I need to check that. So while digital circuit “behavior” doesn’t really describe this, it looks as though the D-05 should be essentially the D-50’s original digital guts, repackaged.

A/B sound checks of D-50 to D-05 are probably a waste of time, in other words.

What’s new on the D-05? Well, apart from the smaller form factor, of course, you get some usual Boutique extras. There’s a 64-step polyphonic step sequencer with shuffle and gate, plus tempo and patch changes. And there’s a built-in arpeggiator. For people wanting late 80s sounds, then, this might actually be the Boutique to get, leaving vintage acid and synthesis to someone else.

As usual, Boutique also means USB bus power or battery operation, plus integrated USB audio and MIDI.

Would anyone want a D-50? Well, maybe. The D-50 is the sound of a lot of late 80s TV, film, and pop. And it wasn’t a bad idea – sample the attack, then synthesize the rest, for a particular sound.

I just doubt that the D-05 will see anywhere near the popularity of the Juno and Jupiter remakes, let alone the wildly popular 909, 808, 303, and now 101. If I had to buy two boxes write away, I’d opt TR-08 and SH-01A, no question, for playability, sonic distinctiveness, and interesting step sequencing possibilities. And I’ve been surprised at the utility I’ve gotten from my TB-03 in particular, starting with its step sequencer and delay.

Anyway, a few people guessed this was coming.

Now the challenge to Roland: use that convenient form factor to make something new, the way KORG did with the volca. (Case in point: finally got my hands on a volca kick, which repurposes the MS-20 filter to make a playable bass synth and kick drum instrument. Roland tried this with the A-01 and missed – and this is partly dependent not just on the manufacturer, but on us consumers to reward them for originality. So this is on all of us. But I do hope, uh, together we can make something happen.)

I’m keen, meanwhile, to get hands on the TR-08 and SH-01A. Vintage models can still be a great way of finding new sounds. Stay tuned.

https://www.roland.com/us/

The post Roland’s D-50 is the latest 80s creation to get Boutique treatment appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

What to know about NI’s new Maschine, Komplete Kontrol hardware

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 7 Sep 2017 3:21 pm

Native Instruments just revised their Maschine and Komplete Kontrol hardware. Here are some early impressions of what’s new, in advance of our review.

It’s funny to think that back in 2009, the first release of Maschine really set the bar for integrating production software with a hardware controller. This was the year the APC40 and Launchpad had just hit the market – without a screen, and at that point with only limited control capabilities. Maschine was built with software and hardware designed in parallel.

Since then, few pieces of hardware have had quite the impact that Maschine MKI did. The MKII, with color, better pads, and better workflow certainly had some people selling their MKIs. And for hard-core Komplete users, Komplete Kontrol saw some popularity, though perhaps didn’t radically transform workflows.

My guess is the Maschine MK3 and Komplete Kontrol MKII will make a splash, precisely because they seem focused on how these two users bases work.

We will have a review unit in next week, and you know I like to get in depth with how machines work. But here are some important things to know – having at least met with the teams that developed the gear and gotten a quick hands-on.

In short, Maschine Mk3 is now the only hardware you need, thanks to built-in audio. It requires looking at your computer screen less, thanks to the displays found on Studio. And it packs the best pads and control layout yet.

Komplete Kontrol, while a subtler update, goes from being a keyboard with some extras on it to something you’d actually want to use for finding sounds, editing sounds, recording takes, and even working with your DAW or Maschine.

No major new software revisions (though more minor stuff to cover separately) – this is mainly about the hardware. Here’s what’s changed:

Both have terrific new industrial designs. It’s tough to overstate how much more refined these two instruments look and feel. It’s really a class act, even as some big rivals in this field leapfrog one another.

Both get big, color, high-definition displays. These look gorgeous, clear, and bright, and they have incredible viewing angles (like you can practically lay on the floor while you play). The screens are great news, especially on Maschine. I love Maschine Studio – the high-res color screens make sample slicing and production far easier. I also hate it – it’s too big. Too big to fit on my studio desk, too big to fit on a bag. So, the big thing here is, now you get all the workflow power of the Maschine Studio, all that ability to focus on the hardware and not look at the computer screen, but in the MKII footprint. And as if that weren’t enough —

Maschine Mk3 has an audio interface. Finally. 24-bit / 96kHz, though of course we’ll need to test the actual quality. If the Ableton Live template is as good as the one on Jam, my Ableton Push may cease to leave the studio. (Ableton, Push 3 – with audio, please?)

Forget all that shifting around. More dedicated buttons on Maschine and a thoughtful new layout mean less of the shift+pressing you had to do – and less hunting around for features. Given that’s the whole point of Maschine, that’s welcome news. Komplete Kontrol gets a similar overhaul.

Both have USB bus power. No. Power. Dongle. Needed. Yes.

Both have nice new navigation. The 4-directional push encoder makes it really easy to browse through sounds and parameters, and it feels lovely.

The pads on Maschine Mk3 are incredible. This is a first impression, not a full review, but — yeah, basically, wow. Sensitivity across the pad is fantastic and they’re eminently playable, perhaps finally besting Akai. This could also be a reason to choose a 4×4 grid over 8×8 (as on Push).

Maschine also gets a “Smart Strip.” Touch control of effects and parameters, as seen on Jam, are now on the MK3 – but unlike the Jam, you also get more controls, displays(!), and velocity sensitivity(!). Jam remains interesting mainly for its use as a fader or controlling multiple parameters.

Komplete Kontrol now generally makes more sense. The first Komplete Kontrol showed potential, but I could never quite justify its existence. What you got was a premium keyboard, this colored lighting and touch strip business, the displays and … not much else. The sum of all those parts would be almost hard to describe. The Mk2 keyboard, though, is another story, all thanks to some small additions. With a DAW, the keyboard has dedicated controls for transport, undo, and the like, so you can quickly add takes. With Komplete software (and NKS-compatible instruments), you get more hands-on controls and easier ways of finding and editing sounds. With Maschine, Komplete Kontrol integration finally works the way you’d expect – so if you’re a keyboardist but not a finger drummer, this keyboard at last gets you around your Maschine workflow, too.

And there’s popular DAW support. Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, and GarageBand support ships immediately, with Cubase and Nuendo to follow.

Preview sounds without loading. This is a big one. Now you can (optionally) hear pre-recorded sounds of presets in Komplete without loading the whole sound (which is slow).

Komplete Kontrol doesn’t have audio. Well, okay, I get that a keyboard is more of a studio machine, but for gigging musicians, it’s still a little disappointing. Then again, a great-looking keyboard with aftertouch and control features to me may move this from “who buys this?” to “yeah, buy this.”

Komplete Kontrol is mostly the same keyboard, physically. That’s not a bad thing – the Fatar keybeds on the NI are the best of breed.

Komplete with wheels. At last, you get a conventional wheels on the Komplete Kontrol for pitch bend and modulation, and not only touch strips. There’s still a touch strip when you want one – useful for its interactive quality, and the ability to “jump” to particular parameters. But now, you can choose the right control tool for the job.

The two share designs and hardware. Actually, this for me may be the biggest story. Previously, even on the Maschine line itself, there wasn’t a lot of consistency from model to model – Studio, Jam, Mikro, MKII, all seemed to introduce different ways of working. Now, Komplete Kontrol and Maschine share a lot of controls and layout directly. I expect that helped optimize production and cost – they certainly feel more premium without lifting the price. But more than that, your muscle memory and concepts can transfer between keyboard and Maschine. As a keyboardist who also likes the beat production workflow, I love this. And even if you only get one, it seems more thought has gone into the control layout.

One Maschine to rule them all. There’s only one Maschine Mk3. It seems Mikro and Studio are being relegated to the dust bin and … well, quite frankly, good.

S-Series still has the same options. 49- and 61-key synth action keyboards, or an 88-key hammer action, though only the first two appear to be available at launch.

Prices are the same. The new corresponding models have the same pricing as the old.
MASCHINE EUR 599, USD 599, JPY 72800, GBP 479, AUD 899
KOMPLETE KONTROL S49 EUR 599, USD 599, JPY 69800, GBP 479, AUD 899
KOMPLETE KONTROL S61 EUR 699, USD 699, JPY 79800, GBP 559, AUD 1049

No word on hackability yet. One final note. NI are quick to talk about their “open,” expanding ecosystem. But if it’s expanding, it’s still closed. Maschine Mk3 is one I’d really like to hack, as it seems an ideal general purpose controller, but there’s no word on that yet. That said:

Both pieces of kit work with other stuff, not just NI stuff. Apart from supporting NI’s own NKS format, which is used by a number of software and soundware makers, the Komplete Kontrol keyboard now fully supports VST plug-ins. It’s really just a matter of how hackable/accessible the displays and controls on these two devices are from other pieces of software.

There’s a new editor. Burying the lede for those of you who use MIDI extensively. The NI Controller Editor gets a badly needed replacement, which hopefully will address some of the quirks and limitations of the original. And you can do all the editing directly from Komplete Kontrol. Quick picture, but I’ll be looking at this:

For Maschine users and Komplete users, I already feel pretty confident these hit the mark. My main interest in testing will be how to really get to the bottom of Maschine workflows, how adaptable Komplete is if you have a mix of software (that may or may not support NKS), and how well these work with software like Ableton Live. And my deeper question is really to do with how hackable and flexible these controllers are in the long run outside of the particular one vendor ecosystem – because it’d be a shame if we invested in hardware but were restricted to one vendor’s ecosystem. We’ll do a review by the 19th, and answer some of those deeper questions in the marketplace at large hopefully over the coming weeks.

Also worth investigating, if a niche note, is how well this hardware supports people with different physical abilities; Komplete Kontrol’s product owner showed us that keyboard range as used by blind customers. (A screen reader announces parameters.)

For now, more information:

Maschine (MK3)

Komplete Kontrol S-Series (MK2)

NKS information, for more on the protocol by which other plug-in makers can take advantage of control features on the keyboard

The post What to know about NI’s new Maschine, Komplete Kontrol hardware appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The big little MeeBlip triode synth is $99.95 for just a few days

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 7 Sep 2017 12:57 am

Sometimes big sounds come in small packages. And so if you’ve been waiting on picking up our open source MeeBlip triode hardware – don’t wait past Tuesday.

We’re down to final stock on the MeeBlip triode. Now through Tuesday night midnight, you get the latest MeeBlip triode for a preorder price of US$99.95, plus shipping.

(Ships in 3-5 weeks, direct from our Canada, Calgary workshop.)

MeeBlip’s small size, easy controls (via MIDI or your hands), and grimy-good bass sounds mean it’s built to be added to other rigs. We’ve seen it making live bass lines, augmenting a KORG minilogue, doubling a 303.

Here’s the incomparable Lisa (Noncompliant) trying it with Elektron’s Digitakt for the first time, showing how you might build up a track with the two:

And here it is doubling Roland’s TB-03 and TR-09:

So get yours now.

We ship to most locations worldwide. That’s what allows us to offer pricing like this – shipping directly from where we make and test the synths to you. Shipping and taxes / import duty may apply.

About MeeBlip

Shop

Support and documentation

MeeBlip at GitHub (code and hardware)

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New Russian music electronics you’ve never heard of, from Synthposium

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 1 Sep 2017 8:04 pm

Moscow’s Synthposium was more than a runaway, hyper-nerdy festival. It also brought together Russia’s fledgling boutique music gear maker scene.

Avid modular enthusiasts will know some of these builders – or, in the case of Polivoks, the storied Soviet brand they resurrect. But some one-person electronics builders were in public for the very first time, in advance of even stock to sell. Tucked beneath the vaults of a former wine factory, the project had a show-and-tell feeling. Framed by conventional instruments (balalaikas, even) in one corner and big-name electronics along one wall, tables were bestrewn with crazy modulars.

Alongside the likes of Roland and Czech boutique Bastl, it was the Russian builders that will surely be of most interest to international audiences. A lot of these makers just couldn’t afford the trip even to Berlin’s SuperBooth, instead coming from round the corner in the Russian capital or perhaps by high-speed Sapsan train from St. Petersburg.

Here are some favorites.

Make: ПРИБОР [Russian-only VKontake page]
Home: St. Petersburg
Owner: Vladimir Kabanov

So my personal two favorites each come from St. Petersburg. The first is ПРИБОР (Pribor – translates basically as “device” or “appliance”).

Vlad’s little boxes add gnarly processing, drawn from a pile of post-Soviet chips, from filters to phasers. In fact, you could almost skip the Eurorack entirely and just make chains of these for your favorite guitar or synth. With our MeeBlip, this was pure gold. I’m literally planning a trip to St. Petersburg just to grab some of this.

There’s a video on YouTube:

Vladimir told me he’s actually opposed to the idea of posting demos, preferring to give people a bespoke taste of what to hear, but you can catch some sounds on his site above… or wait until I sell enough MeeBlips to buy a few.

Make: Zvukofor Sound Labs
Home: St. Petersburg
Owner: Valentin “Zvukofor” Victorovich

Experienced engineer/musician/jack of all trades Valentin “Zvukofor” Victorovich is full of new engineering ideas.

The Color Amps are beautiful sounding DI box / amps for instruments and synths. They don’t just amplify: they add natural compression, warmth, character, dirt, and in a wonderfully particular way. It’s like having the ability to fatten up sounds with a precise dial that says “get dirtier this way” – particularly since there are several variants from which to choose. Again, we tried it with the MeeBlip (as referenced in his report below), and I must say, the results were so thick and lovely I was almost frightened.

Reaper seems to be the unofficial crown champion of the DAW scene here, so little wonder that one of his other creations is a clever OSC-powered template for Liine Lemur. (Sorry, translation: you get iPad control of Reaper that’s arguably better than even the combination of Apple’s own Logic with the iPad.) I can’t wait to get my hands on this one, as I’ve been using Reaper more lately.

Binder

See his report:

Small report from Synthposium

Oh, also — a vintage typewriter and telephone as MIDI controllers. Nice.

Make: Polivoks Pro
Home: Moscow
Owner: Alexey Taber, Alex Pleninger

Fans of Soviet era synths, this is one you’ve heard of. But it was great at Synthposium to see the Polivoks reissue as a cornerstone of a revitalized synth scene in the former USSR, centered in Moscow. The one and only Vladimir Kuzmin, creator of the original, worked on this spectacular recreation – which, now with more consistently reliable parts, finally really gives that original genius its due.

I hadn’t gotten much chance to talk in person at Superbooth, so it was really an honor to be in the presence of this team in their home city. I have gotten a chance to hear this instrument, and frankly, it’s one of the coolest synthesis machines I’ve ever gotten to use, packed with possibilities.

Make: Soma Synths
Home: Moscow
Owner: Vlad Kreimer

The LYRA-8 and LYRA-4 “organismic synthesizers” are spectacular, alien-sounding analog synths, 8-voice and 4-voice, respectively. These oscillators combine with FM modulation and synthesis algorithms for eerie, science fiction-y goodness. They’ve been available since last year, but it was wonderful getting into their soundscapes – and I think this goes nicely with the futuristic-but-dirty-but-futuristic sounds of this Russian synth landscape.

Make: SSSR Labs
Home: Mytischi, Russia (near Moscow)
Owner: Dmitry Shtatnov

Shtatnov is a musician and engineer alike, and his SSSR Labs are a don’t-miss line of Eurorack and other goodies (even VSTi). The new Matrixarchate module won the show’s Eurorack competition for its magical routing powers.

https://somasynths.com/

Make: Black Corporation [Deckard’s Dream], Sputnik Modular
Home: Tokyo
Owner: Roman Filippov

Roman is another of the geniuses of the synth world – once based in Moscow, now off in Tokyo. (That “Sputnik” name still keeps Brand Russia in the electronics.) And if he’s gone far to the east of Moscow, his creations for Sputnik Modular are more like what would happen if the West Coast modular scene kept going west – with a fresh take on Buchla’s creations.

But it wasn’t the Sputnik stuff that was the main feature of Synthposium, but his other dreamy creation, as the ominous Black Corporation.

Black has one main product here. Deckard’s Dream is an 8-voice analog polysynth capable of making, among other things, nice Blade Runner sounds for you. It’s loosely inspired by the Yamaha CS-80 but a nice enough invention of its own. At US$1,199.00 (US$349 kit), it’s a dazzling display of luscious sonic texture, and after a few minutes playing with it, I’m totally hooked.

http://www.deckardsdream.com/

http://sputnik-modular.com/

Make: VG-Line [find them via SSSR Labs or Facebook
Home: Moscow
Owner: Vyacheslav Grigoriev

VG-Line is a prolific one-handyman sonic electronics shop. When owner Vyacheslav Grigoriev isn’t repairing and modernizing gear, he’s making new stuff – including parts like his own MIDI equipment and DACs, or products like 909 and 303 clones (including a very nice variant on the x0xb0x 303 clone).

At Synthposium, the 12bitcrusher stole the show for sound processing, with some delightfully glitchy and grimy effects.

But I think for most of us, we’ll recall Vyacheslav’s answer to the question “what would an iMac full of synth modules be like?” See, pictured.

Some old videos of his work:

And that crusher:

Plus, have a look inside at the chip with that beautiful red “CCCP” chip:

Make: Synthfox [site on VK, Russian only]
Home: Moscow
Owner: Nick [actually don’t know his last name!]

I want to describe the goodness of these modules, but I think this image does it best:

There’s loads of smart stuff here – including a vertical sequencer – in the works. And I love this DIY attitude.

@playtronica hands on at @synthposium

A post shared by CDM (@cdmblogs) on

Make: Playtronica
Home: Moscow
Owner: Various

Playtronica is Russia’s answer to DIY boards like Makey Makey – but with a much more musical bent. Their Playtron lets you add MIDI-friendly touch to anything, among other accessories – and they had a clever DIY relay board for lighting in prototype form, too. (Plus Jekka, one of the collective, had a fantastic performance at the start of their festival.)

Bonus round – Pribore

Talked to this crew, and I’m intrigued. Basically, it’s a not-yet-available Russian ultra-compact Bluetooth MIDI controller. Charge (or use) via micro USB, and then use it wirelessly if you choose. They showed it mapped to Reason. You get transport controls, plus assignable encoders and a couple of assignable triggers. It seems like the kind of thing I might keep in my laptop bag at all times.

Sorry, no other information – will get that when it’s ready. (Doesn’t quite fit with the other stuff here, but worth mentioning.)

More:

http://synthposium.ru/

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Here’s a closer look at Moog’s new Subsequent 37

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 29 Aug 2017 5:24 pm

The folks at Moog are nothing if not persistently obsessive. They’ve upgraded the original Sub 37 for improved sound and playability. Meet the Subsequent 37.

Basically, the Subsequent 37 isn’t a new synth – it is a Sub 37, only what Moog say is a better Sub 37. (And someone must have given themselves a well-deserved pat on the back when they thought of the name.) So, it’s the same two-note paraphonic (erm, duophonic… actually, let’s not get into that debate) … two-note synth that you know from before.

Only now it sounds better, and you get some extras.

What’s updated:

Double the mixer. Moog tell us that you get twice the headroom of the mixer from the original, which they say “allows you to create a wider range of classic clean tones in both mono and duo performance modes. It also allows for greater distinction between notes in duo mode.”

Ladder filter gain staging. Moog tell CDM: “Because of the changes to the mixer, we were able to hit the filter harder. The Ladder filter was reshaped to boost harmonic saturation and analog compression, resulting in an overall richer low end.”

A newly-tuned multidrive circuit. Moog: “Because of the clean headroom in the mixer and the changes to the filter, we had to make changes to Multidrive. In the process, we found that increasing its range was extremely useful and musical. In the end, you are now able to get far more overdriven sounds than in the past.”

A new keybed. “The new keybed is faster, smoother and more balanced in feel overall.”

A new software plugin/editor for easily creating and managing sounds. Right of the gate, this supports the Subsequent 37, but Sub 37 owners won’t be left out. Moog tell CDM a new version is coming soon. They tell usL “In the interim, owners “can” use the Sub 37 editor, however, the included Sub 37 presets are not optimized for use in the Subsequent 37 and will not perform optimally.”

Here’s an audio comparison, starring musician Cory Henry (of Snarky Puppy), Chief Engineer Cyril Lance, and … an oscilloscope:

The Subsequent 37 is at US$1499 – and as such, if you want a Moog synth and you’ve got that budget, this is probably the one to get. Also, I think it’s telling that while others chase the storied Minimoog, Moog themselves have moved on to new things. There are a lot of playing options to explore on these two-note instruments that produce possibilities and sounds that may be a bit fresher. It’s funny to think that price was once considered the affordable end of the spectrum – but you know what you’re getting. Not only do the Moog instruments sound great, their build quality is unlike just about anything in the industry.

Perhaps with that in mind, Moog shared a look inside the build process and factory. That factory is a special place; a huge part of this instrument really is made in Asheville, North Carolina, right where the Moog engineers are.

The post Here’s a closer look at Moog’s new Subsequent 37 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Granular lovers are about to get a Kickstarter-funded hardware synth

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 25 Aug 2017 12:56 pm

Bored with vintage-style synth hardware? How about an instrument that does the sort of audio mangling – as standalone hardware, not an iPad app?

That’s the promise of the GR-1 Granular Synthesizer, teased by Tasty Chips Electronics via Facebook and launching soon as a Kickstarter project.

In renders, at least, it looks – well, tasty. The simulated hardware as pictured by artist Marco Galtarossa looks like what would happen if the display of an iPad app or plug-in met up with conventional faders and knobs. (I always wondered if I should build some hardware around some of my Pd patches … some of them actually were arranged in this very fashion, so I can imagine this would work quite well!)

Here’s what it sounds like:

And here are some details we’ve gleaned from the Facebook chatter…

Specs:

Hardware, polyphonic synthesizer with high quality (32 bit, 44.1kHz) audio
Internal and external memory (USB)
The GR-1 can be controlled via MIDI (USB/DIN) or be used standalone.
Update firmware, load samples or save (and load) patches/performances to your USB disk or internal memory.
CV and gate options to connect easily with your (eurorack) modular setup.
4 banks of 8 overwritable preset buttons, within a performance. This means you can save 32 presets, each with different samples, in a single performance. You can save as many performances as your USB disk can store.

Quick push-button access to presets is especially nice, as is MIDI and CV support.

There’s more.

In comments, we find out the price is anticipated for backers at EUR800. That’s likely a deal-killer for some. It’s not bad on the surface of it – but then, as this is a Kickstarter project, you won’t actually get the hardware right away. And you could whip up some embedded DIY project for a fraction of that (well, if you value your own time at around zero, but then, that project might also be fun)

That said, the builder explains why the price:
“the quality of the components is high : a lot of CPU processing power, a big screen, metal pots, metal sliders, hifi dac, and hence costs us..”

Early bird pricing may be lower, too – let’s watch.

Also, this is a granular playback device more than a sampler.

Someone asked about real-time sampling, playback, and sync. They didn’t answer the sync question directly, either (which makes me think it isn’t there):

It is not in the planning. Samples can be load/imported from USB disk, there is no realtime recording on the GR-1, it does realtime sound generation and processing.

I’ll still wait and see – this could be lovely. And the response suggests just how badly people want granular features. I think this is win/win – you might happily end up with this hardware or (uh, well for me) you might be motivated to finish that DIY project you were dreaming of, the one that does exactly what you want.

Follow the post here:

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Why the iMono/Poly from KORG is the synth remake we were waiting for

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 24 Aug 2017 10:32 am

The latest app from KORG brings the 1981 vintage synth to iOS – and there’s reason this particular remake is interesting in 2017.

The KORG original is really three synths in one. Playing one voice at a time with its four oscillators, it’s a fat monosynth. Using those four oscillators separately for chords, it’s a near-perfect polysynth. And then, most interesting, you can use paraphonic mode, where the four oscillators use a single filter and amplitude.

Sending pitches separately, you also get unique sequencing effects, generating melodic ideas that dance across those four oscillators. And then there’s modulation.

KORG has remade its Mono/Poly before. (I’m still holding out for a hardware remake, but I mean in software.) The Legacy Collection plug-in version is a nice enough recreation of the original for the desktop, and it seems if you were a user of that plug-in, you can exchange presets with the new iOS app. (That also opens up the usual possibilities of making an iPad or iPhone a satellite to your desktop studio rig.)

But on iOS, there’s particular reason to rejoice. Let’s review:

All those modes. It could be called the Mono/Poly/Para – you get all three modes in the app.

That arpeggiator. This is actually my favorite feature of the Mono/Poly, partly because you can arpeggiate across voices. And Duran Duran fans, yes, there’s a random mode.

Massive modulation. This might be a 1981 synth, but it still offers advanced sound possibilities today. (Hey, the ballpoint pen hasn’t evolved much since 1981, either – so work on your drawing skills.) Route loads of envelopes and inputs to loads more sound and envelope features.

MIDI control. In addition to routing modulation, you get MIDI Control Change for almost everything. Couple this with something like the Modstep app and you can sequence complex transformations of sound, live.

Deep effects. Formant shaping, multi-tap spatialization delay with chorus, and more. That of course may also lead you to new sounds.

You can make templates. No excuses for not creating your own presets with basic sounds …why the heck doesn’t every darned soft synth in the world have this feature?!

It works with KORG Gadget. Integration with KORG’s own DAW/synth environment should appeal to lovers of that tool. (Though, of course, you’re just as free to use whatever MIDI hardware and apps you want.)

The iPad is uniquely suited to vintage software remakes. Fake knobs on a screen, with a mouse – not the best. But with touch, they create the illusion of being able to really use the interface. And KORG have here thrown in their usual KAOSS-style X/Y pad, which works even better. Plus, because apps are portable, you can sketch ideas to bring back to finish later in the studio or at home.

Twenty bucks. Sold.

Thanks for Francis Preve for consulting on this story.

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TĀLĀ is right – Teenage Engineering OP-1 is a great desert island synth

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Wed 23 Aug 2017 1:02 am

It could have easily been a cute design toy. But the compact, crazy-fun OP-1 synth has stood the test of time.

FACT have added to their roster of clever video ideas with a series asking artists which instrument they’d take with them on a desert island. But maybe the most convincing of these comes from London artist TĀLĀ, who chooses the sweet, surprisingly powerful OP-1 from Teenage Engineering.

And the thing is, I’ve heard similar sentiments from other OP-1 owners. The OP-1 has had a strange life – the center of attention at its launch, then falling out of favor almost immediately, but then becoming beloved to those who hung onto them, particularly as the Teenage Engineers piled on smart updates.

Watch TĀLĀ sum up why it’s cool:

Now we just need to check in on their upcoming OP-Z.

More music:

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In Moscow, a major convergence of synth makers and lovers

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Events,Scene | Tue 15 Aug 2017 3:20 pm

One of the year’s biggest events on the synthesizer calendar isn’t in the US or Germany or the UK. It’s an event called Synthposium, in Moscow next week.

And where better? The city is dotted with monuments to cosmonauts; the country gave birth to Theremin and Polivoks, to ANS and optical synthesis, and spun fantastic science fiction tales that inspired the invention of the laser and dreamed of futuristic utopias.

Now, a younger, post-Communist generation is taking up the task of generating new futuristic musical energies. They’re mixing an enthusiasm for the avant-garde of the past and its heroes with a the latest technologies, patching connections between their countries and the world.

Well, the world seems to be taking notice. Synthposium, a packed art festival cum expo/conference next week, balances Russia’s own industrious community of artists and builders with counterparts from around the world. Alongside Berlin’s SuperBooth and Anaheim’s NAMM show, it might just be one of the big events on this year’s calendar in adventurous music technology.

The annual event hits next week, 24-27 August, at WINZAVOD Contemporary Art Center and Moscow Film School.

East coast and west coast synthesis? Try Eastern Bloc. On the hardware side, you get makers like the reborn Polivoks, the former brand reborn as a coveted 21st century brand, one that retains its original character but can be breathed in the same sentence with Moog and Buchla. But you also get an introduction to other makes, like Sputnik Modular, SSSR Labs, or Latvia’s Erica Synths (which inherits some of Polivoks’ former Riga legacy). There’s America’s TipTop Audio, too, plus MDR.modular, VG-Line, L-1 Synthesizer, Pribore Electronics, DNGR:TECH, Svarog Audio, and Uoki-Toki. Experimentalists and educators Playtronica join in, too.

Engineer Roman Filippov of Sputnik Modular will premiere his “Deckard’s Dream,” a Blade Runner-esque 8-voice polyphonic analog synth. Talks and workshops from the likes of BBC’s Matthew Sweet and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens) and former KORG analog maven Tatsuya Takahashi will add to the discussion.

There are also a whole lot of artists, mixing local and international personalities. The lineup looks like headliners from a major electronic festival, if that electronic festival were, well, sort of hyper-nerdy. Ulrich Schnauss and Thomas P. Heckmann join Max Cooper and Richard Devine and many others. (Yes, that also includes me – and of course expect plenty of CDM coverage of the event.)

See the full list below, plus some images of what’s coming.

Music — Expo — Conference — Interactive — Art — Festival
Tickets — https://goo.gl/0aLc9M

Line-up:

101 — LT
Alden Tyrell — NL
Ave Eva aka Ghostape — CH
Barker — DE
Baseck — US
Biodread — FIN
Conforce — NL
Denis Kaznacheev & Fake Electronics — RU/DE
Denny Kay — UK
Ekke Västrik — EST
Frank Muller aka Beroshima — DE
Felix K — DE
Interval — US
Jacek Sienkiewicz — PL
Kadaver — CZ
Karsten Pflum — DK
Konakov — UA
London Modular — UK
Max Cooper — UK
Mehmet Aslan — CH
Morgan Fisher — JP/UK
Morphology — FIN
Mustelide — BLR
Opuswerk — CH
OGJ — CZ
Peter Kirn — DE
Plast — CZ
PRCDRL aka Procedural — DE
Richard Devine — US
Richard Fearless of Death in Vegas — UK
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe — US
Solar X — UK
Synxron — UA
Taeji Sawai — JP
Thomas P Heckmann — DE
Throwing Shade — UK
Todd Sines — US
Ulrich Schnauss — DE
Vertical Silence — US

Abjective
ADIL
Alex Pleninger
Alexander Ivanov
Alexey Yepishev
Algo
Ambidextrous
Amnfx
Analog Sound
Andrei Orlov
Anton Lanski
Art Crime
Artemiy
Bad Zu
Black Lenin
BMB Spacekid
Boorane aka Boora & Krane
Boris Belenki aka C-Rob
Caprithy
Celebrine
Chizh
Compass-Vrubell
Corell
Dasha Redkina
DBaldokhin
Defaultman
Dessin & Peterkan
dHET
Dmitri Mazurov
Dyad and the Sleepers Club
DZA
Egor Sukharev aka Khz
Eldar
Eye Que
Estafet
Fedor Vetkalov
Fizzarum
Fung Bui Lao
Gamayun
Gestalt
Grisha Nelyubin
HMOT
Hombao
Honealome
Id303 & FMSAO
Igor Starshinov
Iiilljj
Indeepend
Interchain
Jekka
Karina Ratiani
Karolina Bnv
Kovyazin D
Kubrakov
Kurvenschreiber
Laiva
Lapti
Lazyfish
Leafage
Linja
Lubish
Magnetic Poetry
Maria Teriaeva
Maksim Panfilov
Meow Moon
Midimode aka MDMD
Misha Alexeev
Mr. Pepper
Nairi Simonian
Nevospitanii
Nord City
Normality Restored
Odopt
OID
OL
OTRO
Operator Uno
Perfect Human
Phayah
Pinkshinyultrablast
Places and Stuff
Playtronica
Prisheletz
PTU
Rewired
Redeuce
Rhizome aka Nikita Zabelin
Roma Zuckerman
Roman Filippov aka Filq
Rozet
Saburov
Sasha Prana
SCSI-9
Secrets of the Third Planet
Sestrica
Shadowax aka Ishome
Sickdisco aka Cross
Sil
Sirius C
Slow Life Program
Sofist
Suokas
Symphocat
Timur Omar
Tripmastaz
Unbalance
Unbroken Dub
Valya Kan
Vanya Limb
Vlad Dobrovolski
Vladislav Interesniy
Vtgnike
Wolfstream
Yu

Expo — music tech interactive exhibition and showcase:

ПРИБОР
Alex Nadzharov
Alexey Taber
AllforDJ
ASD — Analog Sound Devices
Bastl Instruments — CZ
Compositor Software
Deckard’s Dream
DNGR:TECH
Erica Synths — LV
Eternal Engine EMI
Eugene Yakshin
Evgeny Yakshin
ezhi&aka
Gieskes — NL
Igor Varshavets
Keen Association Moscow
L-1 Synthesizer — BLR
Leonid Vasilyev
Logich Synth Service
MDR.modular
Motovilo Audio Lab
Peter Kirn
Pioneer DJ
Playtronica
Polivoks
Popobawa Sound
Pribore Electronics
Roland
SOMA Laboratory
Sputnik Modular
SSSR Labs
Steampunk WSG synth
Stone Voices
Sur Modular
Svarog Audio
Synthfox
Synthman
SYNTHMECHANIC
Synthstrom Audible — NZ
Uoki-Toki
VG Line
Zll Modular
Zvukofor Sound Labs

On Air — lectures, workshops, public talks, various educational events:

Alex Pleninger
Alexander Grigoriev (Pribore Electronics)
Alexander Serechenko (Solo Operator)
Andrey Orlov
Andrey Smirnov
Baseck
Beroshima (Frank Muller)
Biodred
Danila Plee
Dmitry Churikov
Dmitry Morozov (::vtol::)
Ekke Västrik
Gijs Gieskes
Gleb Glonti
Ildar Yakubov
London Modular
Matthew Sweet
Maxim Zaharchenko (Svarog Audio)
Misha Alekseev
Morphology
Nick Zavriev (Ambidextrous)
Oleg Makarov
Opuswerk
Peter Kirn
Philipp Alexandrov (Bad Zu)
Richard Devine
Richard Fearless
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Roman Filippov
Sergey Kasich
SILA SVETA
Stain
Stanislav Charifoulline (HMOT)
Taeji Sawai
Tatsuya Takahashi
Thomas P Heckmann
Ulrich Schnauss
Vadim Epstein
Valentin Zvukofor Victorovich (Zvukofor Sound Labs)
Vladimir Kuzmin

Art — installations, a/v performances & experiments, objects:

√1
Abram Rebrov
Alexey Rudenko aka arhew0
Anastasya Alekhina
Andrey Guryanov
Ekaterina Danilova
Formic Acid
Ildar Yakubov
Galina Leonova
Grigoriev Misha
Misak Samokatyan
Noa Ivanova
Pasha Seldemirov
Stain
Vahram Akimyan — ARM
XYZ

Venues:

Winzavod Contemporary Art Center
Moscow Film School
— more TBA

Initiative – Main In Main

https://synthposium.ru/ [in Russian]

Facebook event

The post In Moscow, a major convergence of synth makers and lovers appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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