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


LiveCore is a free low-level, live patching for Reaktor

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 20 Sep 2019 1:31 pm

Reaktor lovers no longer have to be jealous of live coders – now they get a performance-ready, free, low-level tool of their own. Sonic mayhem awaits you.

Okay, first – “live coding” doesn’t necessarily have to mean typing. Text is just one way to represent software logic, that is – and tools like Reaktor (and Pd, and Max, and TouchDesigner) simply use a “dataflow” visual representation for that same logic.

Reaktor Blocks now gives you a high-level, Eurorack hardware-style way to patch. But there hasn’t been anything that can exploit the low-level, high power DSP capabilities of Reaktor in real-time.

Enter LiveCore. The goal: “inreasing liveness” when you work with Reaktor, so you can actually patch live. It’s the work of co-creators David Alexander (@freeeco) and Jack Armitage (@jarmitage), and it’s all free and open source on GitHub (provided you have a Reaktor license, of course). And it’s capable of some seriously awesome musical madness:

You actually don’t need to know that much about Core, Reaktor’s low-level DSP objects, to use LiveCore. It effectively makes Core more powerful for existing users, and gives an entry point to people who may have avoided it.

LiveCore gives you a set of modules, each insanely optimized (just a few bytes compiled, and efficient on your machine’s processor). In the first release you’ll find the following – and the developers say more are on the way:

  • Phase Driver
  • Sequencer (quantizes phase Driver Output to make patterns)
  • Splitter
  • Gate
  • Mixer
  • Limiter (not like a traditional audio studio limiter – it’s actually more like a simple two-stage envelope)
  • Waveshaper
  • Reader (intended for sample playback, from a table)

And, like, holy s*** this idea is cool. Everything is built around the Phase Driver – you make one-shot triggers or ramps with that, and then do all your signal mangling and such with the other modules to create interesting patterns for sounds.

It’s also refreshing to have a modular environment that isn’t tied up in a whole bunch of idiosyncratic hardware modules. If you look at the display, it’s very nerdy in appearance, sure. But the actual use of this is so simple that it seems open to exploration, even for people who don’t normally think about patterns in terms of signal flow.

And this looks like a really unique way to approach patterns. That Waveshaper, for instance, can be used to create irregularities and interest in patterns. (There’s also nothing stopping you from routing this to a patch built in Reaktor Blocks, if you really want to.)

This project is brand new, so please don’t immediately bug the developers with too many questions. Documentation is mostly still forthcoming, so you’re pretty much on your own. It seems like they’re progressing quickly, though, and I think you’ll agree – this was too cool not to immediately share.

https://github.com/freeeco/livecore

The post LiveCore is a free low-level, live patching for Reaktor appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 is yet another tiny keyboard – so how does it stack up?

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 19 Sep 2019 8:49 pm

Mobile keyboards continue to be fruitful and multiply. But Novation’s latest includes standalone mode, so it isn’t just a computer accessory – so let’s see how this category looks now.

Novation is the company that brought you the workhorse Launchpad grid, so anyone wanting a keyboard with colored grids on it would do well to take notice. But the MK3 adds some features its predecessors lacked – starting with the ability to work with gear minus the computer. New on the MK3:

  • Standalone mode and MIDI. There’s just a 3.5mm MIDI out jack, but combined with functionality that works without a host, you can now use this little keyboard with gear and not just a computer.
  • Fixed chord mode. Even for those of us with keyboard chops, this is useful on a small keyboard or in dance music contexts. New on the MK3.
  • Arpeggiator. New on the MK3, and puts the Novation in contention with offerings labeled Akai and Arturia.
  • Pitch/mod wheel. MK3 adds these as touch strips; the Launchkey 25/49/61 have pitch and mod, but it’s new on the Mini line.
  • RGB backlight. Yes, yes, more disco lights – but this also shows more information, matching colors to clips you’re launching and indicating status. Also new on MK3.

There’s also a Capture MIDI button, which lets you grab ideas even if you haven’t hit record. That’s now in Ableton Live, too, but it’s great that with the keyboard, this works everywhere.

And existing standard features from the Launchkey mini are here too:

  • Scene/clip launch (for Ableton and Novation software – this is a Launchpad).
  • Velocity sensitive keys and pads. Also standard on the Launchkey line. Velocity is actually missing on the Launchpad mini, meaning if you want triggering and velocity, this is a better bet.
  • Bus power.

There’s additionally now a bunch of bundled stuff from AAS, Softube, Spitfire Audio, XLN Audio and Klevgrand, and Novation now does a free membership. No, that isn’t some elaborate “cloud/subscription” feature – they just send you stuff from partners “every couple of months,” which may be more what you want, anyway.

https://novationmusic.com/keys/launchkey-mini

This does make the Novation offering competitive, no doubt – not least because of Novation’s uniquely close relationship to Ableton Live, but likely just as useful with other DAWs (via Mackie HUI, which works with just about anything).

Here’s a hands-on review by loopop:

This also to me gives it a major edge over, say, Native Instruments’ keyboards, which work only when connected to a computer. That makes their Komplete Kontrol line desirable if you’re mainly interested in plug-in integration, but fairly useless if you want it to do double-duty with gear and not have to boot your laptop.

And that’s true of many other keyboards, too. Akai’s APC and MPK mini keyboards have some nice features and low prices, but they only work with a computer. (The MPK mini now has standalone sounds, but no MIDI out apart from USB.) And now Novation has added one of the features I like best on the MPK – the arpeggiator.

So this is really down to Arturia and Novation if you want something you can use on its own with your gear, as well as with a computer.

Arturia’s Keystep has a step sequencer and more dedicated arpeggiator functionality and controls. It lacks the pads and their accompanying trigger/DAW features.

So Novation gives you a still-usable arpeggiator but additional pad and trigger features.

Previously:

The post Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 is yet another tiny keyboard – so how does it stack up? appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Extreme dub delay, in the new Ninja Tune-Erica Zen Delay

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 18 Sep 2019 1:39 pm

We can talk a lot about engineering. But at some point, you pack vacuum tubes and DSP and chips together, and you get a delay that’s extreme enough to have Ninja Tune and Coldcut printed on it.

Yes, meet the Zen Delay, a new unique stereo delay from Erica Synths, but carrying the Ninja Tune label on it. So, yeah, the record industry is now so bad, we’re making analog delays. Wait – that’s kind of awesome. Stereo delays are more fun to some of us than records, anyway.

Now, I’ve known about this thing for quite a while, so if it seems like I’m raving, I’m not getting that from the press release. Dr. Walker, the underground acid master from Germany, first clued me in to this project with Matt Black, Ninja and Coldcut co-founder. Ninja’s logo is on it, but it’s really both the baby of Ingmar and Matt – part Air Liquide, part Coldcut – with all the sound elements from Riga’s Erica.

The idea is pretty simple: make a stereo delay that you can dial from gentle stereo warmth and space all the way up to extreme dub and screaming overdrive.

Erica sent me a late-stage prototype to test, and I spent a lot of time with it. The trick here is really the combination of analog and digital ingredients:

Stereo delay. You get a precise, full-ranging stereo dub delay, with as little as 1ms all the way up to 5 seconds, and it’s syncable.

And thanks to being digital, you can choose what that delay is – tape, tape pingpong, “digital” (sounding more or less like your basic digital delay), or a special fifth mode. (On mine, that fifth mode was something called “crossover,” which wasn’t terribly useful. Now, it’s a vintage delay with some nice lo-fi touches, I’m told, but I haven’t yet gotten to test it, as it’s actively in development.

Multi-mode filter. There’s a 24dB filter with resonance, which you can use in lowpass, highpass, or bandpass modes.

Valves! Valve saturation and overdrive are what really complete the package – you’ll spot that lovely tube popping out of the top.

Tempo controls. There’s CV in, plus MIDI in, plus tap tempo, so you can use external time, free time in milliseonds, or tap in a tempo.

There’s also clock division, in “beat” mode (which wasn’t available yet on the firmware I first tested). Push and hold the TAP button, and the delay time knob becomes clock divider/multiplier – down to an eighth of the beat, and up to 8 times the beat. (This will actually increase the potential length of the delay up to 50 seconds, so I guess fast bathroom breaks are now possible onstage!)

High-quality digital engine. High-spec ADC and DAC combine with a 24-bit, 48k digital engine.

Stereo (1/4″) jack ins, stereo jack outs, MIDI in, CV in (on full-sized jack, not minijack), plus 12V power.

So in other words, you get the precision and precise timing of the digital delay, plus the ability to choose different delay models in a single unit. But the overall impact is very, very dirty, when you want it to be – thanks to that analog overdrive. So when you want warmth or grime or total insanity, you can dial that in.

“Complete package” and “dialing” are also essential, because Erica have really leaned in to the heavy, vintage, metal feeling of the box. It’s 870 grams of metal here (almost two pounds), with one-knob-per control, and each knob is a big, smooth-feeling dial.

This is a box for your hands, not your feet – something that you do want to reach out and grab and adjust. That makes it ideal for studio and live production. I can absolutely see wanting this live.

Erica have been in this territory before, with their screaming Acidbox (based on the Polivoks filter, and sounding just as angry and Soviet), and the Fusionbox. The Acidbox is terrific, but it’s like having a giant bottle of hot sauce at the ready – it’s just this mental USSR-style filter. The Fusionbox is the nearer comparison, and it might still be the one you want, since it has flanger and ensemble stereo in addition to delay.

But make no mistake – as a dubby delay, the Zen Delay is just about perfect. Easy access to the Drive setting, the useful dubby delay modes, and that magical distortion make it something truly special. And it’s only something Erica could do – it combines their custom DSP, their lovely Latvian-made chips, and this analog into one box.

To anyone who says no one is “innovating,” maybe it’s just a misunderstanding of what musical innovation is. Erica’s creation here is a kind of new vintage. The starting point is some traditions, but constructed into something that you haven’t had before – which is basically what instrument design has always been about.

Pricing: pre-order at €499 + VAT, with the first 300 units with a limited edition Zen Delay t-shirt at a discounted €454 + VAT, from the Ninja Tune and Erica Synth websites.

Ships in December.

https://www.ericasynths.lv/shop/standalone-instruments-1/zen-delay/

Now, you may or may not have half a grand to spend on a delay that you won’t get until Christmas. But, if you do, this is clearly a nice way to go about it.

I’m editing some sounds and will post at the end of the day. But this short video with The Bug sums it up beautifully:

The press release claims this is the first effects unit to be produced by an electronic label, though I’m not entirely certain that’s correct. (Some CDM reader probably has a tiny label that ran off a few pedals, I’m guessing, before I jump out on a limb and go along with the claim!)

The post Extreme dub delay, in the new Ninja Tune-Erica Zen Delay appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

How focusing on one tool cured writers block, and made one sharp, chilly, ‘stoic’ EP

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 17 Sep 2019 5:04 pm

Tools and technology are often described as obstacles. But sometimes focusing on a tool can refine musical process and composition – as main(void) reveals.

And yes, the goal here is, as always, to cure writers’ block and finish something that you feel really happy with. Let’s first hear the finished item, as it’s got the kind of deliciously calculated, precise electronics that first drew me to Europe. It feels chilly, but still sensual – foreplay for cyborgs, you know, putting the tech in techno:

Working musicians all have to balance different gigs. An emerging role for us is working out how to take day jobs in designing tools and sound design, and use that experience to help us make our creative musical experience better.

In the case of main(void), aka Jan Ola Korte, it meant parlaying his work in 2018 designing sounds for Native Instruments’ TRK-01 into honing his music making process. He writes:

When I was working on the sound design for Native Instruments TRK-01 in 2018, I saved a few presets to use in my own music. These sounds and patterns ended up becoming the foundation of Stoicism, my first solo EP that was released Aug 21 on Spatial Cues. I had a little bit of a writer’s block situation, so I tried to resolve it by working within very restrictive parameters. All five original tracks on Stoicism use TRK-01 as the only sound source, processed through a number of effect plug-ins. Limiting myself in this way created a nicely coherent sound palette. Since I only used TRK-01’s internal sequencers, I arranged the tracks via automation in Ableton Live, which switched up my routine in an inspiring way. In the end, this workflow not only resolved the writer’s block but led to my most comprehensive release so far.

The basic idea of TRK-01 is to do just that – it puts some focused modules dedicated to dance production in a single place. There’s a kick module, bass, sequencer, and effects – but it’s not preset territory, as each module has a number of different engines. That is, the clever twist here is removing cognitive overhead (by simplifying and integrating the interface), without limiting your creative choices (since there is still a full spectrum of very different sounds you can get out of each module).

Even with that being said, you still might not be certain how to turn this into a completed track. Now, each person will find a different pathway there, but seeing how Jan works – a bit like working with a studio mate – can often give you that “ah ha, I could actually learn from this” feeling.

Jan asked if he should do a full narrated look at his working method. Answer: aber ja.

By the way, of course this also means that by keeping this focused, adapting the release to a live gig is far easier. You’ll be able to catch main(void) live at Griessmuhle, alongside some very special DJ friends like DJ Pete, Alinka, and Qzen, plus some great names, in late October in Berlin.

More music:

Site: http://www.spatialcues.com/

Oh and yeah, go grab the music on Bandcamp! This is the them problem with promo pools, I see some huge names are playing these tracks out but they got the music for free.

The post How focusing on one tool cured writers block, and made one sharp, chilly, ‘stoic’ EP appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Here’s the editor-plugin the underrated Elektron Model:Samples is missing

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 17 Sep 2019 3:12 pm

We’ve been following Momo Müller’s software add-ons for a while. But this latest addition for Elektron’s Model:Samples is special, because it unlocks some of the power of this budget box.

Part of what’s great about the Model:Samples is that it does surface a whole bunch of stuff on the main panel for hands-on control. But that doesn’t mean everything is there. Momo’s newest editor and plug-ins gets you at the rest:

  • Full parameter access across all six tracks
  • Easier access to those hidden LFO and FX settings
  • Direct selection of patterns
  • Solo for all six tracks
  • X/Y pads – which Momo suggests you might want to assign to faders for track levels/crossfading

And all of this is integrated with the DAW, which combines nicely with the Elektron’s audio interface functionality.

You get standalone and VST versions for the Mac and Windows, plus Mac AU. There are even 32-bit versions if you have an older system.

https://elektron-model-samples-editor.jimdofree.com

I bring this up because if it’s really a sampler you want, the Elektron may have an edge on the Roland MC-101 (finishing that review this week). It’s a unique box, and I think uniquely playable addition to rigs without blowing the bank. Check out our full review:

Plus the feature that might put it over the top for you:

Andreas Roman has another review for us this week – I’m finishing editing now – on the 1010 Blackbox. So you have three very different compact sample-based boxes to consider now, from Roland, 1010, and Elektron. Watch for our full round-up.

The post Here’s the editor-plugin the underrated Elektron Model:Samples is missing appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Erica’s Pico System III is a tiny, 450 EUR West Coast modular rig

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 16 Sep 2019 6:08 pm

The newest Erica system is an exercise in minimalism – analog, fit in a single unit. The price and size are absolutely as low as you can go – but with some deep sound capabilities.

Here’s divkid talking to our friend Girts about this one:

Erica Synths had been telling me this was what they were working on, integrating their analog circuitry and custom design onto a single PCB. That allows the cost savings that squeeze all this power into a 450EUR box, even with case (400 without the case; tax extra for us Europeans as per usual law).

But wow, even knowing this was coming, it’s better than I expected. You get West Coast-style experimentalism, complete with the snappy, percussive sound of LPG (Low Pass Gates) with resonance, and a unique waveshaper and signature Erica Bucket Brigade Delay. I can see why West Coast sounds are catching on – they’re distinctive, and can produce expressive rhythms and timbres both for experimental and dance contexts. And they’re fun – in a way that makes sense in a modular interface, specifically.

Plus all of this is somehow squeezed into something that still has enough mixing and modulation to work well for live performance. It’s no accident that Erica is populated by musicians and runs their own festival – they clearly love making instruments that work live.

All of this does require some insane miniaturization, so if you like spacious layouts for your stubby fingers and clear differentiation of what does what, this is very much the opposite of what you want.

For those of us who like creative systems, tiny things, and staying on a poor experimental artist’s budget, though, it could be a revelation.

Great writeup in German on sequencer.de (for DE speakers):

The post Erica’s Pico System III is a tiny, 450 EUR West Coast modular rig appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

iPad Eurorack: An unofficial port is bringing VCV Rack to iOS

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 16 Sep 2019 3:10 pm

Get ready for some tablet patching. A developer has revealed a port of popular open source modular environment VCV Rack to the iPad.

Synth Anatomy gets the scoop on this one. New Zealand-based developer Vitaly Pronkin has been working on a project that promises to put the free rack synthesizer platform on the iOS app store soon.

The most encouraging thing here is probably seeing an easy interface for adding modules from VCV and third parties. That would open up an additional platform for developers’ modules.

Don’t get too excited too fast – this is best seen as a proof of concept, especially since it forks an earlier version (0.x rather than 1.0). But it could be a good indication of performance on Apple’s tablets, and might well be the basis for a more polished, finished project.

VCV Rack 1.0 is licensed under the GPLv3, which generally is not allowed on Apple’s App Store. (There are some loopholes, as we discovered when licensing the iOS port of Pure Data, libpd – but that has to do with the fact that Pd itself is under a more permissive license, and patches, for instance, are not compiled.)

Another way to go if this is what you want – try running Rack on a Surface or similar Windows tablet. That also allows greater compatibility with your usual audio tools than you get from iOS, and without Apple’s App Store restrictions.

I’m still happy with Rack on a PC, where it can take advantage of some unique performance enhancements, and instead externalizing control. (Playing live, I don’t really want to be re-patching at all, but that’s me…)

Check out the full blog post – there is also an interesting note on an abortive port to the Web and JavaScript and some embedded hardware:

miRack is coming to iOS

The other ports: https://github.com/mi-rack/Rack

The post iPad Eurorack: An unofficial port is bringing VCV Rack to iOS appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

macOS Catalina will be incompatible with much of your music software; here’s what to know

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 11 Sep 2019 11:36 am

macOS Catalina, the next Mac release, dramatically tightens security and removes 32-bit compatibility. That will cause incompatibilities with music software, requiring updates. Here’s what you need to know.

Catalina compatibility checklist

macOS Catalina (10.15) is expected to ship in October, replacing Mojave (10.14).

What’s impacted:

DAWs and other software using plug-ins: Requires updates to work.

Drivers: Installation and operation requires update to work.

32-bit software, software that accesses 32-bit libraries: Incompatible. Cannot be used past macOS Mojave.

Software using legacy video libraries: Incompatible. Cannot be used past macOS Mojave.

Plug-ins: May require update for full compatibility – but may run inside updated DAWs, and will install if the user overrides OS’ installer requirements.

Hardware: If a driver is required for operation, you’ll need an updated driver and installer. Driverless (class-compliant) audio and MIDI gear is unaffected.

Tightened Mac security

It’s worth acknowledging that security concerns are justified, even for consumer operating systems. Malware tools targeting users may be designed to exploit your computer’s resources, steal data, and impersonate you or even steal your money. At best, they can at least make your system unstable.

It’s also not just “a Windows thing”; recent attacks have singled out the Mac, too. For instance, security researchers uncovered an insidious piece of code found in downloads from a piracy website called VST Crack, embedded in pirated versions of software including Ableton Live. The software would embed itself on your system and start mining cryptocurrency. These threats do not impact the legitimate copies of the same software, so yes, this is an added risk when you pirate software.

All OS vendors regularly patch security holes; the approach in macOS Catalina (10.15) is more proactive. Apple are making some changes to the way the OS itself notifies you of activity by software and asks for your approval, a bit more like you had seen previously in iOS or Android. They’re also implementing tougher defaults for installers. And since malware works by running additional code on top of other code or memory, Apple are adding protections against running that code.

The issue here is not that these changes are unwarranted or even entirely unexpected, but that they bring a lot of change at once that will require you to update software – especially music software – in order for it to work properly, or at all.

Let’s look at those two changes separately: one is the change for installers (called “notarization”), and the second is a new set of requirements for how software is granted access to vital information (the “hardened runtime”).

The two requirements are related, because Apple won’t approve installers unless they also comply with the hardened runtime standards. So let’s take a look at the hardened runtime and entitlement permissions first.

Entitlements and the hardened runtime

Let’s recall here how malware works: it runs additional code that you didn’t intend to run, then gives that code access to something vital on your system (like your data, or microphone). So obviously, what Apple is doing is attempting to prevent those two things.

The first thing you’ll notice on macOS Catalina is that the Mac starts asking you for permission a lot more often. So now, the first time you print a score from notation software or try to open a file dialog to browse the desktop, you’ll get a pop-up asking if you really want to do that. That’s a bit annoying, but it’ll only happen once, and then will remember your permissions. And the reason it’s there is, of course, malware might otherwise perform the same task without your consent. You’re already familiar with this behavior from phone apps on Android and iOS; this is effectively the same idea, now on your desktop computer.

With a common, monolithic app, providing these permissions (called “entitlements”) is fairly easy. But music software isn’t monolithic. Your DAW is running all sorts of libraries and plug-ins and so on. Unfortunately, the exploits Apple is targeting in malware – “code injection, dynamically linked library (DLL) hijacking, and process memory space tampering” – also look a lot like the behaviors your DAW performs normally. And your DAW also needs to handle entitlements for plug-ins. In addition to the DAW needing your permission to access certain folders, for example, it also needs to ask your permission if a sample instrument like KONTAKT wants to access files, as well.

Here’s the bit you’ll really need to care about – if you’re upgrade to macOS Catalina, you will need to be prepared to upgrade your DAW, too. Providing this compatibility is complicated, so it’s likely that most developers will be able to support only their latest release – meaning you may require a paid update to that first.

The good news is, theoretically this burden falls on the DAW, not individual plug-ins. (Plug-ins may still require an update, because of the removal of 32-bit code and other portions of the OS required for compatibility, and because of new installer requirements.) But you will need to update any software working with plug-ins, or you may find software won’t run properly or will fail to run altogether.

It’s also likely that even with updates, some software will not work properly immediately after Catalina’s launch. Developers are still learning how to use this new feature of the operating system, and Apple’s frequent OS updates mean they have little time to do so. Also, an additional side effect of the new security requirements is to break the ability of plug-in developers to debug their plug-ins in DAWs, meaning testing is – for now – more difficult. That may slow compatibility and testing.

If you plan to use an older version of a DAW, you’ll want to avoid updating past macOS Mojave (10.14). If you do intend to update – or to buy a new Apple machine once Catalina is pre-installed and required by default – you should plan to use the very latest version of your DAW, and double-check that Catalina is supported. And even with listed Catalina support, expect there could still be some wrinkles immediately after the OS ships.

Once those pieces are in place, though, you will be able to use DAWs and plug-ins as you always have – just with some more pop-ups the first time you do something like access the file system or connect audio hardware.

(One illustration of how entitlements requirements might surprise you – someone on Reddit noticed the Live “computer keyboard” setting, which passes QWERTY keys to MIDI notes, suddenly broke in the Catalina beta. That makes sense; it would require the entitlements provided by the coming Live 10 update. And obviously, malware would love to be able to take your computer keyboard input and route it somewhere else without asking.)

Installer requirements and drivers

The other change in macOS Catalina is to require installers to be “notarized” by default (whereas previously it was a non-mandatory option). This means developers will submit installers to Apple for verification, and that they fulfill certain requirements for how those installers are built. (These requirements largely have to do with how they link against the Mac SDK and following new guidelines like the hardened runtime.)

Here’s what you see now, on macOS Mojave. (See Apple’s support article on these safety restrictions.) Catalina introduces new requirements for the “identified developer” section – that is, how they require developers to build their installers and verify them with Apple. But as in the current macOS, you’ll be able to control what you run in a similar fashion, even with tougher defaults.

This is not the same as the App Store approval requirements on iOS (or similar stores from Google and Microsoft). Apple aren’t looking at the software itself, only verifying the installer is built according to their standards. The process takes something like an hour currently, not days or weeks as the stores can. And most importantly, Apple will allow users to override the installer requirement. As with Gatekeeper in current versions of macOS, you’ll get a dialog telling the installer or app was blocked, but you’ll still be able to choose to run something anyway. (Right-click, choose open, and you’ll be given option.)

Notarization is the “Apple checked it for malicious software” bit. It’s available in the current macOS, but in 10.15 it’s required by default. That is, Apple developers not only register their ID, but also submit the software for a check with Apple, too.

Apple developer documentation on the notarization feature:
Notarizing Your App Before Distribution

Unverified plug-ins may also continue to work inside DAWs – depending on the DAW you’re using. This means in theory, you’ll be able to install and attempt to use plug-ins, even if they haven’t been updated for Catalina. You would need to override plug-in notarization requirements for the installation from dmg (Disk Image) files, but once a file was installed, a DAW may be able to support it, theoretically. Your mileage may vary when it comes to actual use, however; the advantage of the installer requirement may be that it gives a clue that a developer has tested on Catalina.

PreSonus has just announced for their Studio One DAW that not only will you need to update Studio One itself, but many plug-ins will also need an update. In their case, plug-ins built before June 1, 2019 will still need to be signed (the earlier method of verification for Apple developers). Plug-ins built after that date will need to fulfill Catalina’s tougher requirements – notarization and the hardened runtime.

Drivers for hardware will hit a hard wall. Unverified drivers will not function on the new OS. This means if you have older hardware that doesn’t have updated drivers and installer, you won’t be able to use it. There’s no ability to override this requirement.

Here’s what happens if you try to use a plug-in in PreSonus Studio One if the developer has not fulfilled Apple’s security verification requirements for the software. You’ll need to acquire updates for all of your plug-ins, accordingly.

End of the road for 32-bit and legacy libraries

Just as significant as the security changes, Apple is ending support for 32-bit code starting with Catalina. This is a hard barrier – you won’t be able to use “bridge” tools for 32-bit plug-in compatibility, for instance. Any 32-bit app, library, or plug-in will simply refuse to run.

It may not be immediately obvious that software makes use of 32-bit code, either. A 64-bit application may still make use of a 32-bit library. For instance, Ableton tell CDM that they found their previous versions of Live would attempt to call a 32-bit library on startup. These apps may not fail gracefully; they may simply crash. This means even if you’re using a 64-bit and 64-bit plug-ins, you will want to verify compatibility with the vendor before upgrading.

If you have 32-bit plug-ins or older software you rely on, you will likely want to stay on macOS Mojave. Once you upgrade, this software will cease to work. This may also mean you want to retain an older Mac running Mojave or earlier, for backwards compatibility.

Apple has also ended long-deprecated libraries, including the older video library (called QTKit).

Case study: Ableton Live

Ableton provided CDM with access to their compatibility process. An update to Live 10 will support Catalina’s new requirements at launch. This involved a series of changes, which may be typical for DAW developers. In Ableton’s case, it meant the following updates:

·         Rebuilding the installer with notarization support and its requirements

·         Removing all 32-bit code and libraries (including one 32-bit library that will cause previous versions of Live to crash on launch)

·         Providing full compatibility with Max

·         Transitioning video code to the latest AVFoundation (from a now-unsupported version of QuickTime)

The move to AVFoundation is good news for anyone working with video – even if you use an older macOS version like Mojave. There’s improved video export performance and new codec options.

Ableton also say you should expect that these updates mean you can use Live with existing plug-ins under Catalina. Based on what plug-in developers tell me, though, you should still anticipate there may still be some issues to resolve with individual plug-ins if you upgarde, and DAW developers like Ableton may not be aware of all of these situations on internal testing alone.

Because of the number of changes to be made, Live 9 will not support Catalina. Conversely, as Apple deprecates older OSes, Live 10 won’t support some of the older versions of macOS. Here’s what will be compatible:

Live 9: macOS 10.7 – 10.13 officially supported; 10.14 unofficially supported

Live 10: macOS 10.11 – 10.15 supported (macOS 10.15 requires the Live 10.1.2 update for Catalina, minimum)

Ableton have also published a technical note. The headline is about Live 9, but it also includes useful resources for Live 10 users:

Live 9 is not compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina

Compatibility with other software

Many developers CDM contacted were not yet ready to make an official statement on Catalina. Off the record, a significant number of developers reported problems.

Native Instruments published a blanket statement saying simply none of their products are compatible:

macOS 10.15 (Catalina) – Compatibility with Native Instruments Products

PreSonus has published a technical note explaining that you’ll need not only an update to their Studio One DAW, but also to most (or all) of your plug-ins, as illustrated above:

Studio One 4 on Mojave and Catalina – Notarization, Hardened Runtime, and how it affects 3rd-party plug-ins

Apple has not necessarily had full support for a new OS even for its own pro software; I’ve contacted Apple to ask if Logic Pro will support Catalina at launch but have not yet gotten a response. (There is a precedent of Apple’s own pro apps sometimes lagging their OS, before you make the assumption that they two will be in sync.)

How should you upgrade, and when?

Here’s a simple piece of advice: don’t update to Catalina immediately. As with any major OS change, music installers, drivers, and DAWs will benefit from more time and testing. Since musicians have complex and diverse setups, odds are you rely on something that won’t be immediately compatible, or that interactions between tools could create unexpected results.

If you do update, you should absolutely make a full backup so you can easily roll back. Time Machine backups can also provide some ability to remove OS updates.

You can also create an external installation of the OS on any drive that is formatted to macOS extended Journaled. It’s probably worth buying an inexpensive drive to test first, especially with an update this significant.

If you’re a developer and want to share your compatibility information, please get in touch.

https://www.apple.com/macos/catalina/

The post macOS Catalina will be incompatible with much of your music software; here’s what to know appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Erica’s Black System II is a full-featured modular

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 9 Sep 2019 6:41 pm

Erica Synths have made a strength out of building a full catalog of modules – and their systems show off how complete that is, at a price that compares favorably.

The Black System is probably the most practical of these rigs, with a versatile selection that can cover a range of experimental or dance genres. (The Techno System I reviewed earlier tends more to the industrial techno sounds, indeed, focused on drums and biting synth sounds; the Dada Noise System for Liquid Sky was more to acquired tastes.)

The Black System II really is a reasonable buy, at least by Eurorack standards – that 2900EUR is nothing to sneeze at for musicians, but it could well save versus a bespoke modular system. And it’s also notable that it’s still less than some flagship keyboard instruments, with arguably a much deeper potential for exploration. (Well, depending on what you want – I mean, if I did have a magic fairy to make something appear, I would probably wish for this over some of those keyboards.)

But even if you never buy one of these Erica systems, I think it’s still a significant exercise for the company. Recall that the likes of Buchla, EMS, Roland, and Moog – not to mention later lower-cost options like PAiA and eventually Doepfer – all built complete systems.

Now, it’s marvelous that we have a marketplace in Eurorack of weird one-off modules or idiosyncratic grab bags of gear from small makers. But even if you plan to mix and match, it’s useful to have a module that came from a bigger picture. It adds to the value of assembling your own custom rig, that is, if you can add some modules that still had a pre-conceived idea of how they’d fit into a complete instrument, even if you then change what that complete instrument is.

And this particular lineup really is rather nice, from the joystick controller (also on the Dada Noise), to the Soviet-inspired Polivoks filter, to a stereo delay:

Black Wavetable VCO
Black VCO
Black Modulator
Black Mixer
Black Multimode VCF
Black Polivoks VCF
Black Quad VCA
Black Output
Black MIDI-CV
Black CV Tools
Black XFade
Black Dual EG/LFO
Black Octasource
Black EG
Black Stereo Delay
Black Joystick
2x84HP skiff case

There’s really all the basics you need for integrating MIDI and working with CV, shaping sounds, and mixing and output. Plus unique to this particular range, you can choose different flavors in different patches – both wavetable and simple analog VCO, both multimode and Polivoks filter, and so on.

Just remember, if this is too rich for your blood, you can also get the Polivoks System for 1400EUR or the adorable tiny Pico System II for 1120EUR. The latter you can even carry along with you on Ryanair for the truly cash-starved modular artist.

Check it out here:

https://www.ericasynths.lv/shop/eurorack-systems/black-system-ii/

And see our CDM review of the Techno System:

The post Erica’s Black System II is a full-featured modular appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

KORG are making Pokémon metronomes and tuners

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Sun 8 Sep 2019 11:30 pm

If there was any doubt that KORG wants to be the Nintendo of music brands, here’s yet another partnership with the iconic game maker – but it’s sadly only skin deep.

Yes, it’s true, you get insanely cute Pokémon metronomes and clip-on pitch tuners. But there’s a missed opportunity here – whereas Teenage Engineering recently made full-on Rick & Morty Pocket Operators, KORG are only changing the paint job on their hardware.

The mind reels at the possibilities. You could have a Tamagotchi-style creature on your metronome. Or you could use Pokémon Go-style real-world capture to find synths for KORG Gadget. (Hang around Kottbusser Tor, Berlin to snag a rare Eurorackosaur; get a Prophetee 5 in Berkeley, California.)

Okay, I guess this may not help you with violin practice. (Maybe some gamification element to music learning?)

The point is, KORG continue to play on their relationship with gaming. So even if it’s just a cute tuner or metronome for kids, I think they’ve been very clever continuing to associate fun with their music tech. And fun is supposed to be part of the point, right?

The tuners (Pitchclip 2)

The metronome (MA-2-PK/EV)

The post KORG are making Pokémon metronomes and tuners appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland brings back the MC groovebox: MC-707, pint-sized MC-101 [Deep Dive]

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 5 Sep 2019 3:41 pm

The move back to hardware jams is in full force. And what better sign than Roland re-introducing the MC groovebox line – with the full-sized MC-707 and pint-sized MC-101. The reason you know it’s not the 1990s? They advertise them as replacing your laptop.

MC-707: US$999.99
MC-101: US$499.99
Available this month.

Roland originated the term Groovebox when it introduced its MC-303 in 1996. But the idea is pretty simple – if for a lot of genres, you want something that does sequencing, makes sounds (pitched and drum), and plays back samples, maybe you might like all of those things in a single box.

So, for instance, you could right now fairly easily put together a TR-8S (for drums), a TB-03 (for bassline), and, say, a polysynth or sampler, but you’d then need a fair number of cables and a mixer. The groovebox ditches the cables and integrates the workflow.

Inside that generic template, it’s not totally clear what a groovebox should look like exactly. So let’s have a first look at the 2019 Rolands.

Full Dinner or Happy Meal

As per usual, the numbers (707 and 101) have nothing to do with previous Roland models, since the MC line have a more or less generic character. (So don’t confuse them with the TR-707 and SH-101.)

The idea now is, there’s a full-sized, 8-track model, the MC-707, which looks a lot like a TR-8S. And then there’s a baby sibling, the 4-track MC-101.

Roland gave me a choice of which I wanted, and me being me, I immediately said – send me the ones that’s cheaper, smaller, and battery-powered. I mean, obviously. (That kind of gets away from the all-in-one MC groovebox approach, but then that’s exactly what makes it interesting.)

You might think the MC-101 had a different engine inside. It apparently doesn’t. Both units share what Roland calls the “ZEN-Core” sound generator, which is capable of playing both tones (that is, it’s a synthesizer), and drum kits (so it’s doing sample playback.)

That means both MC models include a sampled drum machine, a simple synth, play back samples (as drum kits / one-shots), play back loops, and provide effects.

You get pads for playing melodies, triggering drums, and triggering loops/patterns, some faders for mixing, and knobs for effects and sample manipulation (time/pitch).

And you get those on both units – the most noticeable difference on the MC-707, aside from having more of everything, is a bigger screen and more dedicated buttons.

Roland have also kept the assumption from the ’90s and noughts MC models that you want a bunch of sample content preloaded. They’re so convinced of this, in fact, that they’ve screwed a protector over the SD card slot – but of course, that’s absurd, and you’ll take it off and use your own samples, too. (More on that in a bit.)

Hey, Roland, I want at that SD slot. (Yes, you’re allowed to screw off the cover; it doesn’t void the warranty.)

The result looks for all the world like a TR-8S had a love child with a Novation Circuit, then got into the same Kindergarten that trained the MC-505. But it’s got a workflow that feels most like the TR-8S than anything, down to similar menu navigation (and clearly shares some architecture, as well as elements of the mechanicals and form factor). This is a product that came out of someone taking the TR-8S and saying it needed to have pitched playback and looping and work as an MC.

By the numbers

Specs – which as you’ll see are weirdly almost the same on the MC-101, even in a fraction of the size and half the price:

MC-101 – so cute.

Tone, Drum Kit, Looper (Audio Loop) track types / sound generators

4 tracks (MC-101) or 8 tracks (MC-707)

16 clips per track (so 64 clips on the 101, 128 on the 707)

3000+ preset Tones

80+ preset Drum Kits

Effects: Chorus/Delay (9 types), Reverb (7 types), 90 Track Multi-Effects, Track EQ, 90 different Master Effects, Master Compressor, Master EQ

64-step Step Sequencer

SD card slot

256 x 80-dot backlit graphic LCD (MC-707), 16 characters, 2-line LCD with backlight (MC-101) – that 101 screen is the same as on the TR-8S

The TONE generator is not to be overlooked, in that this engine has tons of presets for classic Roland gear. I’m talking to Roland about how these are produced, since they seem not to be the ACB we know from the Boutiques, but they’re at least usable – even if you can’t tweak them so much.

Taking a page from the Circuit, you get four macro controls for tweaking. There are dedicated buttons that let you control sound parameters (for that TONE generator), filter, modulation, and effects. (The MC-707 misses the opportunity to do eight encoders instead of four so — basically, just get the 101, as I said!)

It’s not hard to see where the MC-707 and TR-8S fit in with one another.

Connectivity. The biggest difference between the MCs is actually I/O. On the MC-707, you get a 1/4″ headphone jack, mix out stereo, assignable out stereo, and dedicated stereo send/return, plus MIDI in and two outs, and USB (audio/MIDI.

The tiny MC-101 of course can’t fit that, so you get just a minijack headphone, 1/4″ stereo output, MIDI in, MIDI out, and USB (audio/MIDI).

I/O on the MC-101 (minus the headphone jack, round the front).
The MC-707 does a lot more – two MIDI outs, dedicated send and return, external input, and an assignable out. Nice! Overkill, maybe, but nice.

Sample power – or lack thereof. The Looper supports samples up to about 60 seconds. So, this isn’t a backing track machine or an Ableton Live killer, but that’s not the point – you’re supposed to be playing live, so the MC isn’t really about leaving anything going for longer than a minute, if that.

The trick is that internal sample memory is limited – irrespective of how spacious a sound card you use. That tops out at 6 minutes stereo, 12 minutes mono, at 44.1/16-bit WAV (which is the minimum format). Here’s where Roland is unpleasantly stuck in another decade. There’s no earthly reason a modern device couldn’t have more internal sample storage or support decoding lossless formats, or both.

But then I think the thing to do is ignore all this “replace your laptop” business and judge this as an MC.

More disappointing than the hardware limitations, there’s no live sampling. That’s a shame, because it would start to define the MC series more as a hardware instrument – and it has been a feature on an MC in the past.

Why you might want the 707

Roland PR didn’t really describe the MC-707 as I would. Yes, one is four track and one is eight track.

But apart from being eight track, the major difference in the MC-707 is that the workflow mirrors that of the TR-8S. Take a look at the panel:

Not only are there more dedicated controls generally, but you get the ability to control motion recording, and per-track parameters for effects/mod/filter. Just having a similar layout to the TR-8S means you can make use of some muscle memory acquired on the TR.

And the added display opens up real on-hardware sample editing.

The larger screen is accompanied by heads-up displays and more editing features.

If you don’t own a TR-8S, you might just opt for the MC-707 alone – and do everything on one unit. If you do, you might put the two side by side for lots of dedicated controls.

And this might give TR-8S owners some buyers’ remorse just as the TR-8S (with its better effects and custom samples) did for the original AIRA TR-8.

I am pretty happy keeping the TR-8S for its dedicated modeled drum controls. And I think there’s some appeal to the MC-101, in combination with another drum machine – partly because you can tuck it into an existing gear bag, and because while its workflow is pretty basic, it gets interesting as an instrument.

Hands on. And I have small hands. It’s really, really small.

First look: MC-101

I’ve already started learning and practicing the MC-101. And practicing is really what it’s about, because I think you want to play this thing like an instrument.

Unboxing the MC-101 is actually a treat. This thing is tiny. It makes even a Novation Circuit look large. That means it starts to take on a new role that its larger sibling and MCs of the past never had. It’s suddenly easy to add some pitched sample playback next to your drum machine, or just easily fire off loops and patterns.

In other words, it lets the groovebox have an entirely different role than the one for which it was first envisioned. The MC-101 fits in easily with your drum machine and bassline synth and whatever effects and pedals you’ve got for a live rig.

The size and form factor of the MC-101 also make it a logical add-on to my utterly beloved TR-8S – which should also silence any complaints about why the TR-8S didn’t add some of the features on the MC-707. Here, things make sense – looping and pitched sequencing and pattern triggering all get their own dedicated controls, which the TR-8S lacks anyway.

I also very much appreciate having faders instead of just encoders, unlike the Novation Circuit. Also, with all due respect to Novation, it’s a relief having something where the knobs are labeled and there’s a screen. Whatever charm you get from turning encoders without knowing what will happen, I do prefer… this way instead.

I’ll do a more complete review and video shortly, once I’ve really worked through this in detail.

But there are some impressions to have right away:

The lo-fi time/pitch stretch is awesome. Confession: part of why I like old jamming gear is, low fidelity is often more musical than high quality. You get grungy pitch and time stretching that is very, very satisfying to use. It’s s*** in a good way. Watch for those demos; hopefully I convey that.

Effects are nicely accessible. The effects engine is clearly related to what’s on the TR-8S. It’s nothing so special, but there’s lots of variety and it’s definitely good enough. (You have your computer for applying fancy stuff later when you finish tracks; this works live without question.) The main thing about it is, you have easily accessible knobs to get at all the time. Also, that SCATTER track is not the same SCATTER as on the early AIRA series – none of this horrible EDM nonsense. It’s really just a way of sequencing and triggering different effects, which actually is useful.

Workflows are accessible, mostly. Triggering patterns and playing the tone and drum modes is intuitive and easy. Some of the sequencing and menu diving gets more involved, and I’ll cover that in the full review accordingly (and with some feedback from Roland).

Sample loading is inexcusably bad. It’s bad enough that the TR-8S makes you put sounds on an SD card, then go through a manual menu-diving approach to load those sounds into kits. On the MC-101/707, it’s worse. The whole appeal of a box like this to many of us is being able to take bits and pieces of tracks and sound designs and load them into hardware so we can ditch the computer and jam or perform live. Roland doesn’t have to do something elaborate – just give us a way to connect the USB cable and load samples from the computer directly without touching the menu system.

The only slight upside is, you can edit kits and loops on the hardware itself. But then… that shouldn’t be your only avenue.

There’s no external sequencing – that I can find. It kind of makes sense that the TR-8S can’t sequence an external synth – it doesn’t really have the interface for it. It makes no sense that the MCs lack this. (How perverse is this? You can literally set one of the 4 or 8 tracks to ‘none,’ but you can’t use it to sequence external gear.)

I kind of think here that there’s missing documentation or a firmware update forthcoming – especially given the MC-707 has two MIDI outs. I’m waiting on confirmation from Roland now.

If we’re really lucky, I’ll have this working by next week, because then the MC-101 starts to look really invaluable in my rig, and probably yours, too.

The documentation is Roland documentation. Apologies. I would really like to see a more friendly approach to how to use this stuff.

All in all, this is a promising box. The absence of easy sample loading might have you considering waiting to see what Novation will do to follow up their cult favorite Circuit, since Novation at least do give you friendly Web interfaces for loading samples and storing patches. There is no reason whatsoever why Roland shouldn’t do the same – a Roland Cloud service for editing and backing up performances.

If you want to focus on sampling manipulation, I think you definitely want something like the Elektron Model:Samples we reviewed earlier this year. And even Roland can sell you something that’s better for sampling and sample manipulation.

But the MC series does look like a different beast – something that lets you trigger clips and loops alongside jamming with samples using pitch, all with multiple tracks.

And mainly I like that the MC-101 does the same things with four tracks and runs on batteries and takes up less space. (Sure, it lacks those sends/returns, but you’ve got loads of onboard effects anyway.)

More on how the MC-101 fits in and complements the TR-8S shortly.

Product pages:

https://www.roland.com/us/products/mc-707/

https://www.roland.com/us/products/mc-101/

I want my MC TV

Video roundup from the Internetz:

Follow through to their channel for performance, production, and sound content demos.

Oh yeah, so I better get my 101 video together next week, huh?

The post Roland brings back the MC groovebox: MC-707, pint-sized MC-101 [Deep Dive] appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland brings back the MC groovebox: MC-707, pint-sized MC-101 [Deep Dive]

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 5 Sep 2019 3:41 pm

The move back to hardware jams is in full force. And what better sign than Roland re-introducing the MC groovebox line – with the full-sized MC-707 and pint-sized MC-101. The reason you know it’s not the 1990s? They advertise them as replacing your laptop.

MC-707: US$999.99
MC-101: US$499.99
Available this month.

Roland originated the term Groovebox when it introduced its MC-303 in 1996. But the idea is pretty simple – if for a lot of genres, you want something that does sequencing, makes sounds (pitched and drum), and plays back samples, maybe you might like all of those things in a single box.

So, for instance, you could right now fairly easily put together a TR-8S (for drums), a TB-03 (for bassline), and, say, a polysynth or sampler, but you’d then need a fair number of cables and a mixer. The groovebox ditches the cables and integrates the workflow.

Inside that generic template, it’s not totally clear what a groovebox should look like exactly. So let’s have a first look at the 2019 Rolands.

Full Dinner or Happy Meal

As per usual, the numbers (707 and 101) have nothing to do with previous Roland models, since the MC line have a more or less generic character. (So don’t confuse them with the TR-707 and SH-101.)

The idea now is, there’s a full-sized, 8-track model, the MC-707, which looks a lot like a TR-8S. And then there’s a baby sibling, the 4-track MC-101.

Roland gave me a choice of which I wanted, and me being me, I immediately said – send me the ones that’s cheaper, smaller, and battery-powered. I mean, obviously. (That kind of gets away from the all-in-one MC groovebox approach, but then that’s exactly what makes it interesting.)

You might think the MC-101 had a different engine inside. It apparently doesn’t. Both units share what Roland calls the “ZEN-Core” sound generator, which is capable of playing both tones (that is, it’s a synthesizer), and drum kits (so it’s doing sample playback.)

That means both MC models include a sampled drum machine, a simple synth, play back samples (as drum kits / one-shots), play back loops, and provide effects.

You get pads for playing melodies, triggering drums, and triggering loops/patterns, some faders for mixing, and knobs for effects and sample manipulation (time/pitch).

And you get those on both units – the most noticeable difference on the MC-707, aside from having more of everything, is a bigger screen and more dedicated buttons.

Roland have also kept the assumption from the ’90s and noughts MC models that you want a bunch of sample content preloaded. They’re so convinced of this, in fact, that they’ve screwed a protector over the SD card slot – but of course, that’s absurd, and you’ll take it off and use your own samples, too. (More on that in a bit.)

Hey, Roland, I want at that SD slot. (Yes, you’re allowed to screw off the cover; it doesn’t void the warranty.)

The result looks for all the world like a TR-8S had a love child with a Novation Circuit, then got into the same Kindergarten that trained the MC-505. But it’s got a workflow that feels most like the TR-8S than anything, down to similar menu navigation (and clearly shares some architecture, as well as elements of the mechanicals and form factor). This is a product that came out of someone taking the TR-8S and saying it needed to have pitched playback and looping and work as an MC.

By the numbers

Specs – which as you’ll see are weirdly almost the same on the MC-101, even in a fraction of the size and half the price:

MC-101 – so cute.

Tone, Drum Kit, Looper (Audio Loop) track types / sound generators

4 tracks (MC-101) or 8 tracks (MC-707)

16 clips per track (so 64 clips on the 101, 128 on the 707)

3000+ preset Tones

80+ preset Drum Kits

Effects: Chorus/Delay (9 types), Reverb (7 types), 90 Track Multi-Effects, Track EQ, 90 different Master Effects, Master Compressor, Master EQ

64-step Step Sequencer

SD card slot

256 x 80-dot backlit graphic LCD (MC-707), 16 characters, 2-line LCD with backlight (MC-101) – that 101 screen is the same as on the TR-8S

The TONE generator is not to be overlooked, in that this engine has tons of presets for classic Roland gear. I’m talking to Roland about how these are produced, since they seem not to be the ACB we know from the Boutiques, but they’re at least usable – even if you can’t tweak them so much.

Taking a page from the Circuit, you get four macro controls for tweaking. There are dedicated buttons that let you control sound parameters (for that TONE generator), filter, modulation, and effects. (The MC-707 misses the opportunity to do eight encoders instead of four so — basically, just get the 101, as I said!)

It’s not hard to see where the MC-707 and TR-8S fit in with one another.

Connectivity. The biggest difference between the MCs is actually I/O. On the MC-707, you get a 1/4″ headphone jack, mix out stereo, assignable out stereo, and dedicated stereo send/return, plus MIDI in and two outs, and USB (audio/MIDI.

The tiny MC-101 of course can’t fit that, so you get just a minijack headphone, 1/4″ stereo output, MIDI in, MIDI out, and USB (audio/MIDI).

I/O on the MC-101 (minus the headphone jack, round the front).
The MC-707 does a lot more – two MIDI outs, dedicated send and return, external input, and an assignable out. Nice! Overkill, maybe, but nice.

Sample power – or lack thereof. The Looper supports samples up to about 60 seconds. So, this isn’t a backing track machine or an Ableton Live killer, but that’s not the point – you’re supposed to be playing live, so the MC isn’t really about leaving anything going for longer than a minute, if that.

The trick is that internal sample memory is limited – irrespective of how spacious a sound card you use. That tops out at 6 minutes stereo, 12 minutes mono, at 44.1/16-bit WAV (which is the minimum format). Here’s where Roland is unpleasantly stuck in another decade. There’s no earthly reason a modern device couldn’t have more internal sample storage or support decoding lossless formats, or both.

But then I think the thing to do is ignore all this “replace your laptop” business and judge this as an MC.

More disappointing than the hardware limitations, there’s no live sampling. That’s a shame, because it would start to define the MC series more as a hardware instrument – and it has been a feature on an MC in the past.

Why you might want the 707

Roland PR didn’t really describe the MC-707 as I would. Yes, one is four track and one is eight track.

But apart from being eight track, the major difference in the MC-707 is that the workflow mirrors that of the TR-8S. Take a look at the panel:

Not only are there more dedicated controls generally, but you get the ability to control motion recording, and per-track parameters for effects/mod/filter. Just having a similar layout to the TR-8S means you can make use of some muscle memory acquired on the TR.

And the added display opens up real on-hardware sample editing.

The larger screen is accompanied by heads-up displays and more editing features.

If you don’t own a TR-8S, you might just opt for the MC-707 alone – and do everything on one unit. If you do, you might put the two side by side for lots of dedicated controls.

And this might give TR-8S owners some buyers’ remorse just as the TR-8S (with its better effects and custom samples) did for the original AIRA TR-8.

I am pretty happy keeping the TR-8S for its dedicated modeled drum controls. And I think there’s some appeal to the MC-101, in combination with another drum machine – partly because you can tuck it into an existing gear bag, and because while its workflow is pretty basic, it gets interesting as an instrument.

Hands on. And I have small hands. It’s really, really small.

First look: MC-101

I’ve already started learning and practicing the MC-101. And practicing is really what it’s about, because I think you want to play this thing like an instrument.

Unboxing the MC-101 is actually a treat. This thing is tiny. It makes even a Novation Circuit look large. That means it starts to take on a new role that its larger sibling and MCs of the past never had. It’s suddenly easy to add some pitched sample playback next to your drum machine, or just easily fire off loops and patterns.

In other words, it lets the groovebox have an entirely different role than the one for which it was first envisioned. The MC-101 fits in easily with your drum machine and bassline synth and whatever effects and pedals you’ve got for a live rig.

The size and form factor of the MC-101 also make it a logical add-on to my utterly beloved TR-8S – which should also silence any complaints about why the TR-8S didn’t add some of the features on the MC-707. Here, things make sense – looping and pitched sequencing and pattern triggering all get their own dedicated controls, which the TR-8S lacks anyway.

I also very much appreciate having faders instead of just encoders, unlike the Novation Circuit. Also, with all due respect to Novation, it’s a relief having something where the knobs are labeled and there’s a screen. Whatever charm you get from turning encoders without knowing what will happen, I do prefer… this way instead.

I’ll do a more complete review and video shortly, once I’ve really worked through this in detail.

But there are some impressions to have right away:

The lo-fi time/pitch stretch is awesome. Confession: part of why I like old jamming gear is, low fidelity is often more musical than high quality. You get grungy pitch and time stretching that is very, very satisfying to use. It’s s*** in a good way. Watch for those demos; hopefully I convey that.

Effects are nicely accessible. The effects engine is clearly related to what’s on the TR-8S. It’s nothing so special, but there’s lots of variety and it’s definitely good enough. (You have your computer for applying fancy stuff later when you finish tracks; this works live without question.) The main thing about it is, you have easily accessible knobs to get at all the time. Also, that SCATTER track is not the same SCATTER as on the early AIRA series – none of this horrible EDM nonsense. It’s really just a way of sequencing and triggering different effects, which actually is useful.

Workflows are accessible, mostly. Triggering patterns and playing the tone and drum modes is intuitive and easy. Some of the sequencing and menu diving gets more involved, and I’ll cover that in the full review accordingly (and with some feedback from Roland).

Sample loading is inexcusably bad. It’s bad enough that the TR-8S makes you put sounds on an SD card, then go through a manual menu-diving approach to load those sounds into kits. On the MC-101/707, it’s worse. The whole appeal of a box like this to many of us is being able to take bits and pieces of tracks and sound designs and load them into hardware so we can ditch the computer and jam or perform live. Roland doesn’t have to do something elaborate – just give us a way to connect the USB cable and load samples from the computer directly without touching the menu system.

The only slight upside is, you can edit kits and loops on the hardware itself. But then… that shouldn’t be your only avenue.

There’s no external sequencing – that I can find. It kind of makes sense that the TR-8S can’t sequence an external synth – it doesn’t really have the interface for it. It makes no sense that the MCs lack this. (How perverse is this? You can literally set one of the 4 or 8 tracks to ‘none,’ but you can’t use it to sequence external gear.)

I kind of think here that there’s missing documentation or a firmware update forthcoming – especially given the MC-707 has two MIDI outs. I’m waiting on confirmation from Roland now.

If we’re really lucky, I’ll have this working by next week, because then the MC-101 starts to look really invaluable in my rig, and probably yours, too.

The documentation is Roland documentation. Apologies. I would really like to see a more friendly approach to how to use this stuff.

All in all, this is a promising box. The absence of easy sample loading might have you considering waiting to see what Novation will do to follow up their cult favorite Circuit, since Novation at least do give you friendly Web interfaces for loading samples and storing patches. There is no reason whatsoever why Roland shouldn’t do the same – a Roland Cloud service for editing and backing up performances.

If you want to focus on sampling manipulation, I think you definitely want something like the Elektron Model:Samples we reviewed earlier this year. And even Roland can sell you something that’s better for sampling and sample manipulation.

But the MC series does look like a different beast – something that lets you trigger clips and loops alongside jamming with samples using pitch, all with multiple tracks.

And mainly I like that the MC-101 does the same things with four tracks and runs on batteries and takes up less space. (Sure, it lacks those sends/returns, but you’ve got loads of onboard effects anyway.)

More on how the MC-101 fits in and complements the TR-8S shortly.

Product pages:

https://www.roland.com/us/products/mc-707/

https://www.roland.com/us/products/mc-101/

I want my MC TV

Video roundup from the Internetz:

Follow through to their channel for performance, production, and sound content demos.

Oh yeah, so I better get my 101 video together next week, huh?

The post Roland brings back the MC groovebox: MC-707, pint-sized MC-101 [Deep Dive] appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland’s Boutique JU-06A JUNO is insanely fun

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 5 Sep 2019 1:10 pm

It doesn’t look like much. The latest Roland Boutique might even give you a sense of deja vu – because Roland did a tiny JUNO before. The difference: this time they got it right.

I’m the last person to want endless remakes of old synths. But a JUNO is something special. I assume I’m not alone in this – if I’m in someone else’s studio and there’s a JUNO-106 or JUNO-60 lying around, I’ll usually say let’s plug in that. It’s not even necessarily that they’re my favorite analog polysynths; it’s that something about them has a unique ability to blend into a mix, and be versatile in a number of situations. It’s also a pleasant early 80s sound that seems to blend well with more contemporary timbres, too. (I’ve found plenty of other artists who seem to feel similarly, ones whose opinion you should probably value more than mine, so I don’t feel I’m going out on a limb.)

Okay, so a JUNO is something you just want handy. And you don’t want it to be a plug-in – that’s terrible for jam sessions and live. The full keyboard is now pricey on the used market, takes up a lot of space, and is now at an age when it starts to break down. (I’m a few years older than these Rolands, and I start to feel their pain. Literally. I look forward to the digital remake of me.)

So you do really want an inexpensive hardware remake.

You would then presumably want it to be small and portable, so you can always keep it around.

You’d want it to still sound like a JUNO.

You’d want it to be playable, so you could use it as a sketchpad or easily work it into jams and live sets.

You wouldn’t want it to be terribly expensive.

The JU-06 that launched this whole oddly-named Roland Boutique phenomenon almost got this right, but then mostly screwed it up. There’s a step sequencer, but no external clock in. (There’s MIDI clock in, just not analog clock in.) It’s overly authentic in that modulation isn’t tempo synced – even though it’s now a MIDI device. There’s a step sequencer, but it shares the same buttons as the patch controls, a guarantee that you’ll wind up accidentally changing patches at an inopportune moment.

It sounds good, like a JUNO-106. But lots of things sound good now – and the JU-06 was mediocre enough that you start to go back to the thought that maybe a plug-in isn’t such a bad idea.

Roland are now back with the JU-06A, and not only does it fix all the issues with the JU-06, but I think it’s just edged out the SH-01A as the Boutique synthesizer I would buy first.

Step sequencer, external clock in, and a little toggle switch to make this either a convincing JUNO-60 or JUNO-106.

Everything is fixed now

Courtesy Roland. Apologies to anyone wanting to sell your JU-06.

The JU-06A doesn’t look radical, but little differences make this something you want to keep rather than return.

JUNO-60, too. Inside, Roland have added a second sound engine to emulate the 1982 JUNO-60, as well as the 1984 JUNO-106. There’s a toggle switch on the front panel that lets you swap models – an advantage of going digital. As with the other Boutiques (apart from the Studio Electronics collaboration), this is circuit modeling (ACB). But it sounds terrific.

Adding the JUNO-60 adds some more idiosyncratic sound options. In addition, you can reproduce the noise of the vintage chorus (with parameters tucked in settings for off/half/full noise). There are lots of other details that give this tiny box some of the growl and warmth of the original and its filter without taking up much space. Someone I’m sure will do some obsessive comparison, but it’s uncanny enough to be fine in a mix.

In addition to the step sequencer, the arpeggiator and chord modes here replace the less-useful touch strips for pitch and mod. HOLD works with both arp and chords, and the arp works with chord mode, too. Unfortunately, you can’t program individual chords into the step sequencer.

Chord and arpeggiator modes. This makes a major difference in playability. There are now simple chord playback and arpeggiator controls on the left-hand side of the unit, replacing the mostly pointless touch strip pitch and mod. Chord mode is lovely on a poly, of course; you get just 16 slots for chords, but that’s about the amount I can remember, anyway. Each memory slot can be edited from the front panel.

The arp is similarly basic but useful – you get up, down, and up/down modes, a range (from 1-3 octaves), and a rate knob, which always divides the master clock. It’s pretty basic, but all the controls are dedicated, which is great live.

There’s also a dedicated HOLD button, and the arp will work with both the HOLD and CHORD modes.

On its own, that would still be too limiting, but fortunately there’s also —

A step sequencer. 16 steps times 16 patterns, all monophonic. And now this also works with external clock – there’s a little minijack next to the sequencer itself (odd positioning, but it works).

The step sequencer is surprisingly usable, with practice, on the front panel. You can switch steps on and off, TR x0x style, and also enter in steps one at a time from the onboard keyboard. You can also use an external keyboard for pitch entry – like the Roland Boutique keyboard dock, or something else via MIDI in.

What’s evidently missing, which was on the SH-01A, is the ability to add individual chords to steps. That’s too bad, though what you get instead is, the monophonic step sequencer becomes the root note of the chord when chord mode is on.

LFO and Delay Tempo Sync. Both the LFO and Delay effect can now be clocked free, or synced to the master tempo. That’s obvious, but for some reason the JU-06 lacked it.

There’s more user memory. You get both 64 dedicated slots for each mode – JUNO-60 and JUNO-106 – which doubles the slots on the JU-06, and lets you effectively keep a library for each instrument.

The Ribbon Controllers are gone. If you particularly desire touch strips for pitch and mod, you should pick up a used JU-06 and not this. I don’t miss them, though, and I think most people will vastly prefer the chord and arp.

Fun in use for fans of tiny things

If I had one gripe about the JU, it’s the ongoing Boutique form factor. These units are compact and lightweight, but there’s still this strange docking scheme. That lets you choose either a keyboard or a little box that lets you tilt up the unit. (That’s the DK-01 docking station and the K-25m keyboard dock.) They each run a little under $100 street, with the keyboard costing more.

Back panel I/O. A minijack affair, but you do get full-sized MIDI DIN.

The upside is, of course, if you buy multiple Boutiques they don’t all have to have keyboards. But they do make you feel like Roland is squeezing you for extra cash (well, because they are), and the impression of the actual design is sort of toylike. My JU-06A review unit came without either, and my delicate aesthetic sensibilities made me not want to dock it in the silver 303 or beige 909 docks I had around, so I found… okay, actually, the thing is even more portable and lightweight without it, is still usable, and just has some funny edges. In an ideal world, this would have USB host so you could plug in anything; in this world, I’d probably still use a different keyboard and not the keyboard dock.

Roland wants you to budget extra for a dock that folds up the unit, or this kinda-okay mini-keyboard.

But I got over it. I love tiny things. The JU is small enough to fit in your backpack, and since it’s battery powered, you can sprawl in bed and program nice step sequences for a gig the next day.

This thing is definitely Japanese in scale – the land that miniaturized electronics in the first place. So if your fingers fit comfortably on tiny controls, you’ll love it. If not, you’ll (justifiably) hate it.

Assuming you can handle it, though, I think the JU-06A is a total joy. I took it to a jam session with some studio neighbors and a live club gig (disguising the unreleased hardware’s identity), and it excelled in both cases – enough that people clearly responded to the sound.

The step sequencer would definitely benefit from parameter locks, but then maybe that isn’t the way to think of the JUNO. With the stupid-simple step sequencer, chords, and arp, you can just go wild with the (tiny) LFO and (tiny) envelope controls and (tiny) filter, and this thing is a performance beast.

I’m sure I’ll get some pushback from people who think it’s still a toy, who hate that it’s digital, who are interested in a certain clone manufacturer rather than the company that did the first JUNO. But no matter. This thing is still affordable, it’s got loads of controls, the sound engine is clearly good enough, and the digital aspect makes it practical, flexible, and power efficient.

It’s not the only compact remake poly in town – the Yamaha reface cs is now running about $300 street, with a keyboard. But the JU-06A to me is now an ideal addition.

So yeah, Roland I should… probably let you know I’m keeping this one.

The post Roland’s Boutique JU-06A JUNO is insanely fun appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland’s Boutique JU-06A JUNO is insanely fun

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 5 Sep 2019 1:10 pm

It doesn’t look like much. The latest Roland Boutique might even give you a sense of deja vu – because Roland did a tiny JUNO before. The difference: this time they got it right.

I’m the last person to want endless remakes of old synths. But a JUNO is something special. I assume I’m not alone in this – if I’m in someone else’s studio and there’s a JUNO-106 or JUNO-60 lying around, I’ll usually say let’s plug in that. It’s not even necessarily that they’re my favorite analog polysynths; it’s that something about them has a unique ability to blend into a mix, and be versatile in a number of situations. It’s also a pleasant early 80s sound that seems to blend well with more contemporary timbres, too. (I’ve found plenty of other artists who seem to feel similarly, ones whose opinion you should probably value more than mine, so I don’t feel I’m going out on a limb.)

Okay, so a JUNO is something you just want handy. And you don’t want it to be a plug-in – that’s terrible for jam sessions and live. The full keyboard is now pricey on the used market, takes up a lot of space, and is now at an age when it starts to break down. (I’m a few years older than these Rolands, and I start to feel their pain. Literally. I look forward to the digital remake of me.)

So you do really want an inexpensive hardware remake.

You would then presumably want it to be small and portable, so you can always keep it around.

You’d want it to still sound like a JUNO.

You’d want it to be playable, so you could use it as a sketchpad or easily work it into jams and live sets.

You wouldn’t want it to be terribly expensive.

The JU-06 that launched this whole oddly-named Roland Boutique phenomenon almost got this right, but then mostly screwed it up. There’s a step sequencer, but no external clock in. (There’s MIDI clock in, just not analog clock in.) It’s overly authentic in that modulation isn’t tempo synced – even though it’s now a MIDI device. There’s a step sequencer, but it shares the same buttons as the patch controls, a guarantee that you’ll wind up accidentally changing patches at an inopportune moment.

It sounds good, like a JUNO-106. But lots of things sound good now – and the JU-06 was mediocre enough that you start to go back to the thought that maybe a plug-in isn’t such a bad idea.

Roland are now back with the JU-06A, and not only does it fix all the issues with the JU-06, but I think it’s just edged out the SH-01A as the Boutique synthesizer I would buy first.

Step sequencer, external clock in, and a little toggle switch to make this either a convincing JUNO-60 or JUNO-106.

Everything is fixed now

Courtesy Roland. Apologies to anyone wanting to sell your JU-06.

The JU-06A doesn’t look radical, but little differences make this something you want to keep rather than return.

JUNO-60, too. Inside, Roland have added a second sound engine to emulate the 1982 JUNO-60, as well as the 1984 JUNO-106. There’s a toggle switch on the front panel that lets you swap models – an advantage of going digital. As with the other Boutiques (apart from the Studio Electronics collaboration), this is circuit modeling (ACB). But it sounds terrific.

Adding the JUNO-60 adds some more idiosyncratic sound options. In addition, you can reproduce the noise of the vintage chorus (with parameters tucked in settings for off/half/full noise). There are lots of other details that give this tiny box some of the growl and warmth of the original and its filter without taking up much space. Someone I’m sure will do some obsessive comparison, but it’s uncanny enough to be fine in a mix.

In addition to the step sequencer, the arpeggiator and chord modes here replace the less-useful touch strips for pitch and mod. HOLD works with both arp and chords, and the arp works with chord mode, too. Unfortunately, you can’t program individual chords into the step sequencer.

Chord and arpeggiator modes. This makes a major difference in playability. There are now simple chord playback and arpeggiator controls on the left-hand side of the unit, replacing the mostly pointless touch strip pitch and mod. Chord mode is lovely on a poly, of course; you get just 16 slots for chords, but that’s about the amount I can remember, anyway. Each memory slot can be edited from the front panel.

The arp is similarly basic but useful – you get up, down, and up/down modes, a range (from 1-3 octaves), and a rate knob, which always divides the master clock. It’s pretty basic, but all the controls are dedicated, which is great live.

There’s also a dedicated HOLD button, and the arp will work with both the HOLD and CHORD modes.

On its own, that would still be too limiting, but fortunately there’s also —

A step sequencer. 16 steps times 16 patterns, all monophonic. And now this also works with external clock – there’s a little minijack next to the sequencer itself (odd positioning, but it works).

The step sequencer is surprisingly usable, with practice, on the front panel. You can switch steps on and off, TR x0x style, and also enter in steps one at a time from the onboard keyboard. You can also use an external keyboard for pitch entry – like the Roland Boutique keyboard dock, or something else via MIDI in.

What’s evidently missing, which was on the SH-01A, is the ability to add individual chords to steps. That’s too bad, though what you get instead is, the monophonic step sequencer becomes the root note of the chord when chord mode is on.

LFO and Delay Tempo Sync. Both the LFO and Delay effect can now be clocked free, or synced to the master tempo. That’s obvious, but for some reason the JU-06 lacked it.

There’s more user memory. You get both 64 dedicated slots for each mode – JUNO-60 and JUNO-106 – which doubles the slots on the JU-06, and lets you effectively keep a library for each instrument.

The Ribbon Controllers are gone. If you particularly desire touch strips for pitch and mod, you should pick up a used JU-06 and not this. I don’t miss them, though, and I think most people will vastly prefer the chord and arp.

Fun in use for fans of tiny things

If I had one gripe about the JU, it’s the ongoing Boutique form factor. These units are compact and lightweight, but there’s still this strange docking scheme. That lets you choose either a keyboard or a little box that lets you tilt up the unit. (That’s the DK-01 docking station and the K-25m keyboard dock.) They each run a little under $100 street, with the keyboard costing more.

Back panel I/O. A minijack affair, but you do get full-sized MIDI DIN.

The upside is, of course, if you buy multiple Boutiques they don’t all have to have keyboards. But they do make you feel like Roland is squeezing you for extra cash (well, because they are), and the impression of the actual design is sort of toylike. My JU-06A review unit came without either, and my delicate aesthetic sensibilities made me not want to dock it in the silver 303 or beige 909 docks I had around, so I found… okay, actually, the thing is even more portable and lightweight without it, is still usable, and just has some funny edges. In an ideal world, this would have USB host so you could plug in anything; in this world, I’d probably still use a different keyboard and not the keyboard dock.

Roland wants you to budget extra for a dock that folds up the unit, or this kinda-okay mini-keyboard.

But I got over it. I love tiny things. The JU is small enough to fit in your backpack, and since it’s battery powered, you can sprawl in bed and program nice step sequences for a gig the next day.

This thing is definitely Japanese in scale – the land that miniaturized electronics in the first place. So if your fingers fit comfortably on tiny controls, you’ll love it. If not, you’ll (justifiably) hate it.

Assuming you can handle it, though, I think the JU-06A is a total joy. I took it to a jam session with some studio neighbors and a live club gig (disguising the unreleased hardware’s identity), and it excelled in both cases – enough that people clearly responded to the sound.

The step sequencer would definitely benefit from parameter locks, but then maybe that isn’t the way to think of the JUNO. With the stupid-simple step sequencer, chords, and arp, you can just go wild with the (tiny) LFO and (tiny) envelope controls and (tiny) filter, and this thing is a performance beast.

I’m sure I’ll get some pushback from people who think it’s still a toy, who hate that it’s digital, who are interested in a certain clone manufacturer rather than the company that did the first JUNO. But no matter. This thing is still affordable, it’s got loads of controls, the sound engine is clearly good enough, and the digital aspect makes it practical, flexible, and power efficient.

It’s not the only compact remake poly in town – the Yamaha reface cs is now running about $300 street, with a keyboard. But the JU-06A to me is now an ideal addition.

So yeah, Roland I should… probably let you know I’m keeping this one.

The post Roland’s Boutique JU-06A JUNO is insanely fun appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The Sega Genesis gets a bit-accurate, FM synth remake: chipsynth MD

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 4 Sep 2019 5:28 pm

The Sega Genesis, aka Mega Drive, was more than just a beloved game console. It was also a powerful FM synth – seriously. And now you get an accurate, powerful version as a plug-in, in chipsynth MD from Plogue.

If you’re a Sega fan, you know the sound of this instrument from the sunny, sparkling, high-energy game soundtracks of the era. So, for you, yes, there’s a bit-accurate emulation of the OPN2 YM2612 chip and SN76489-compatible square wave core (SPSG). There’s even a recreation of the crunchy lo-fi sample playback.

You get the authentic sounds of the Sega hardware, modeled with bit-for-bit accuracy – but a deep interface you’d expect from a modern plug-in. Or you know, just sit back and listen to some classic Sega game scores. (Also, you will have to account for some lost musical productivity when this makes you want to play Sega games again.)

If you want to hear those vintage soundtracks the way they were intended to be heard, there’s even a VGM player. For Sega game fans, this is your new iTunes.

Whoa – if none of that meant anything to you, think of it this way: this is a 6-part polyphonic recreation of the 4-voice FM synth with a stupid amount of sound controls and grungy retro sample playback as a separate feature.

Listen to the new sounds you can get out of it:

But it doesn’t sample the Sega. It’s a loving recreation from the folks at Plogue, who have gotten deep into this sort of hardware recreation.

Standalone, VST2 (Mac, Windows), VST3 (Mac, Windows), Mac AU, AAX, all 64-bit. NKS support, which means it’s all playable directly from Maschine and Kontrol S- Series keyboards.

https://plogue.com/products/chipsynth-md.html

It’s oddly entertaining just watching them work with their test rigs to make this happen:

And for a full tour, Cockoo takes the software for a test drive:

This is the second of the chipsynth line, following a recreation of the lo-fi Yamaha PortaSound line. Put the two together, and you have two unique takes on FM.

Top image:

“Happy 26th Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog!”by MKöpke is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The post The Sega Genesis gets a bit-accurate, FM synth remake: chipsynth MD appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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