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Synthesizer

MIDI 2.0: A New Generation

MIDI is the technology standard hidden in most music technology. It’s an acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It’s a way to communicate between devices to make and control sound. Your synthesizer speaks it, your sampler for sure knows the language, your laptop definitely speaks it, even your DJ controller might. So why are we talking about it now? Well with the release of Ableton Live 10.1 we want to explore the possibilities the future holds, plus MIDI 2.0 Prototyping was just announced at NAMM. In this article, we’ll give you a history lesson about MIDI, what you’ve been able to do with it, and inform you of the newest parts coming up in MIDI 2.0. Scroll down if you only want to read about the news regarding MIDI 2.0. History Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, the world had begun experimenting with computer and electronic music. But …

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The Missing Link – Bringing Ableton Link to Hardware Devices

The Missing Link – Bringing Ableton Link to Hardware Devices Knobcon 2018 just happened recently in Chicago, Illinois where people gathered to share their latest and greatest in the world of hardware synthesis and experimental music-making tools. Ed Guild of Happy Circuit shared his incredible creation – The Missing Link which is a box that lets you connect your analog gear to other Ableton Link compatible devices. What’s especially useful about this device is that it operates over Wi-Fi so you no longer have to worry about all those cables clunking up your workflow. We were fortunate enough to get some questions answered by Ed, our interview is below! 1. Your website notes that you’ve DJ’d, VJ’d and been involved with bands since 2001, has any of that time been dedicated to working in Ableton Live? _ I started out VJing in a live electronic dance music band called Psylab. There …

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Speektra – Retro Chipspeak Synthesizer

Speektra – Retro Chipspeak Synthesizer PureMagnetik recently released Speektra, “a speech simulation synthesizer based on the VOSIM method developed by Kaegi and Tempelaars in the 1970s. It uses bursts of pulses with formant characteristics to synthesize robotic vowel sounds.” VOSIM stands for Voice Simulation and is based on the idea that by employing repeating tone-burst signals of variable pulse duration and variable delay, a sound output of high linguistic and musical expressive power can be obtained according to the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, June, 1978.  The user interface is very clean and quite easy to get started with right away. The controls are simply allowing for synthesis shaping through Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release. We are also given a knob for each vocal wave. Puremagnetik implements VOSIM in a more elaborate way by allowing you to modulate the shapes of your sounds between vowels and waveshapes. You can also choose your voice register (Bass to …

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SKULPT – New Synth from Modal Electronics

SKULPT – New Synth from Modal Electronics Modal Electronics recently announced the release of their brand new synthesizer SKULPT. This beast has been making major waves for its size and punches it packs, see below the list of features this bad boy comes with: Features 4 voice – 32 oscillator virtual analogue synthesiser 8 oscillators per voice with 2 selectable morphable waveforms Mixer stage for osc levels along with FM, PWM, tuning and Ring Modulation options Monophonic, Duophonic and Polyphonic modes available Multi option Unison / spread to detune the 32 oscillators for a huge sound 8 slot modulation matrix with 8 sources and 37 destinations 3 x envelope generators for Filter, Amplitude and Modulation 2 x audio rate LFOs, one global and one polyphonic Realtime sequencer that will record up to 128 notes and up to 4 parameters. Fully featured arpeggiator with division, direction, octave, swing and sustain controls. …

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Arcade – A Loop Synthesizer by Output

Arcade – A Loop Synthesizer by Output Output has established itself as one of the top companies to go to when looking for forward-thinking and high-quality tools for music production. Their array of instruments are as unique as they are beautiful sounding. Most recently they introduced a plugin called Arcade to their lineup which is a loop synthesizer connected to the cloud. What does that mean exactly? It means that the instrument is one part sampler, one part loop library, and one part effects unit that gets updated with new samples every single day. If that doesn’t immediately short-circuit your brain while considering the possibilities then let us dive deeper as we review the plugin below. There’s so much you can do with this plugin that we’ll break it down to the basics and dive into the more advanced features within, you’ll be able to follow along and then test it out for …

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RECAP – BEAT LAB & OUTPUT PRESENT: MUMUKSHU

RECAP – BEAT LAB & OUTPUT PRESENT: MUMUKSHU This past weekend we had another awesome workshop, this time we had a software developer and producer, Mumukshu lead us through the features of Output’s newest plugin – Arcade. Arcade is a loop based synthesizer that is connected to the cloud so it has an ever-expanding library of sound categories you can choose from. Mumukshu gave us an awesome rundown of the plugin and its core features. Output is currently offering a 100 trial period which is insanely cool, what other plugin company do you know lets you try out a plugin like a mattress? After the trial period, Arcade is available for a monthly subscription of $10 and you can cancel anytime without losing access to your prior work. That’s right. Any session you’ve made with Arcade will still work even if your subscription is canceled. What are you waiting for? …

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Wavepeek – FREE Max4Live Synthesizer

Wavepeek – FREE Max4Live Synthesizer Today we’re sharing a FREE Max4Live device with Y’all made by the developer Dirk de Bruin. We’ve included the video of the beta version of the synth in action so you could an idea of what it sounds like before you download, but take it from us – this synth is dope. In an era where waveshaping plugins like Massive and Serum rule the studios, Wavepeek is an amazing contender provider FOR FREE PEOPLE. It’s FREE. The interface is colourful and pretty but not at the cost of simplicity. It’s pretty easy to follow with 4 oscillators that you can shape and mix together. After playing around with it for a few minutes I could already tell I would be returning to this device A LOT. It has character without the need for further processing, but if you choose to then it will easily stand above other plugins you’ve …

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Lazerwave – FREE Waveshaping Synth

Lazerwave – FREE Waveshaping Synth Ldaysynths has just released Lazerwave, a FREE waveshaping synthesizer for 32-bit Windows platform. Lazerwave is a polyphonic synth based on using triangle waves in its three oscillators. This plugin can make some pretty decent sounds and has a unique interface to offer with its visual waveshaper. The visual editor has 8 bars that can be adjusted to shape the sound, it acts similar to an envelope. Then there are 2 internal LFOs that can modulate the pitch of the oscillators. The filter section includes a resonant low-pass filter and high-pass filter, unfortunately, that resonance cannot be adjusted. The LPF can be modulated by the internal step-sequencer and can be set to synchronise with the DAW tempo or in a freely adjustable mode. Lazerwave includes an internal delay effect that can be set to mono, stereo, and ping pong delay modes. Lazerwave brings forth a simple …

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