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The latest news from the world of music technology, synthesizers, software and modular – this is the place to be! We’ve got a bunch of Eurorack, a synth or two, some cool software and an unexpected hardware sequencer. See the list of contents below for more info, or just watch the video!

Join me for a LiveStream and an Endlesss Jam on Sunday evening 8pm BST 28th April.

Here’s the link to invite yourself onto the official Molten Endlesss Jam – http://bit.ly/2Uz7b2x

Podcast version
 




Video version

Molten Music Monthly - April 2019 - YouTube

http://www.moltenmusictech.com
http://www.patreon.com/robinvincent

Intro – 0:14
Behringer Plastic-gate – 0:43
Panharmonium Mutation Spectral Resynthesizer – 6:02
Noise Engineering modules – 7:44
Analogue Solutions Impulse Command – 9:58
1010Music Blackbox Sampler – 15:15
SoundForce SFC-1 controller for Repro-1 – 16:47
4MS Spherical Wavetable Navigator – 19:07
Softube Modular Buchla 296e – 20:35
Berna 2 – 22:10
Brainworx bx_oberhausen – 24:08
Dove Audio Waveplane Oscillator – 25:59
Reaktor 6.3 Blocks – 27:16
Toraiz SQUID sequencer – 30:26
Erica Synths Black Double Bass – 35:43
RIP Mike McGrath – 37:07
Live Stream and Endlesss – 38:50




The post Molten Music Monthly – April 2019 appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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All the most interesting music technology news from the last month including Thomann Synth Reactor, SP-2400, RolandCloud TB-303, Deton8, Parallels, Doepfer polyphonic, Equinox, Dubler Studio Kit, Nanoloop, Moogfest, SPICE and Thunderbolt.

Podcast version




Video version

Molten Music Monthly - March 2019 - YouTube

Molten Music Tech – http://www.moltenmusictechnology.com
Patreon – http://patreon.com/robinvincent

Intro – 0:14
Thomann Synth Reaktor – 1:10
Isla Instruments SP-2400 – 5:43
Sampleson Reed200 – 7:44
Rare Waves Hydronium – 8:54
RolandCloud TB-303 – 9:35
Doepfer Poly – 11:10
Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4.0 – 14:52
Plankton Electronics SPICE – 17:21
Equinox Synthesizer – 18:39
Dubler Studio Kit – 19:54
Softube Parallels – 22:48
Twisted Electrons Deton8 – 24:34
Nanoloop – 25:32
Moogfest – 26:44
Coming soon – 29:29
Live Stream – 31:42



The post Molten Music Monthly – March 2019 appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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A bit later than advertised this is February’s music tech news including my favourite announced at NAMM and things since. Products released pre-NAMM will appear in the January edition. I also talk about the Thomann Synth Reactor event to which I appear to be invited. Check the timings below.
 
Podcast Version




 
Video Version

Molten Music Monthly - February 2019 (NAMM recap) - YouTube




 
http://www.moltenmusictechnology.com
http://patreon.com/robinvincent
Intro – 0:15
Thomann’s Synth Reactor – 2:15
Behringer Crave – 5:45
Arturia MicroFreak and Audiofuse Studio – 9:58
Make Noise QPAS – 15:26
Rossum Electro-Music Trident – 17:14
Steinberg AXR4 – 20:00
Native Instruments M32 and Audio 1 and 2 – 21:05
Stylophone GEN R8 – 23:50
Moog Sirin – 25:05
Qu-Bit Prism, Bloom and Chord 2 – 26:33
Waldorf Kyra – 28:49
Flame Maander – 31:23
Buchla Red Panel – 32:26
Tracktion Waveform 10 – 35:40
MOTU Digital Performer 10 – 38:06
MOK Waverazor dual oscillator module – 40:03
Mind Music Labs ELK and Rack Extensions – 42:01
Dreadbox Hypnosis and Komorebi – 46:19
Gamechanger Audio Motor Piano – 49:17
DivKid Mutes – 52:40
ZenAud.io ALK2 for Windows – 54:38
Teenage Engineering Shenanigans – 57:33
Coming up – 1:02:23
 
 




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As NAMM hots up I thought I’d get this in early and do a proper round-up next month. This month Korg pull out all the stops with two new Volcas, a new Minilogue and Gadget 2.0. Nektar get into the virtual instrument action with Bolt – Akai Force a new music production box on us – Casper’s Dark Matter module gets released – Erica Synths put plasma distortion into Eurorack, Mind Music Labs ELK still hasnt turned up in anything useful – Audient release a guitar focused audio interface and the so do IK Multimedia – Stylophone have another go – Bitwig Studio goes completely modular with version 3 – Gig Performer also hits version 3 – Nozori can give you 20 modules in 1 – Phase Plant has Hybrid synth – Expressive E gets all stringy and Teenage Engineering introduces some fabulous looking modular synths. But first Microsoft lifts the lid on DLL limits that we didn’t know existed.



http://www.moltenmusictechnology.com
http://www.patreon.com/robinvincent

Podcast version http://moltenmusictechnology.com/podcast/mmm-jan2019.mp3 Video version

Molten Music Monthly - January 2019 - YouTube





Intro – 0:15
Microsoft DLL limit lifted – 3:06
Korg Volca Modular, Drum, Gadget and Minilogue XD – 7:28
Nektar BOLT – 15:14
Akai Pro Force – 16:32
Casper Electronics Dark Matter – 19:20
Erica Synths Plasma Drive – 20:30
Mind Music Labs ELK and Rack Extensions – 22:29
Audient Sono – 25:29
IK Multimedia AXE I/O – 27:07
Stylophone GEN-R8 – 29:19
Bitwig Studio 3 – 31:51
Gig Performer 3 – 34:19
Nozori Eurorack – 36:40
Kilohearts Phase Plant Hybrid synth – 39:32
Expressive E Arché – 42:08
Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Modular – 44:50
Summing up – 50:13




The post Molten Music Monthly – January 2019 appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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A yummy selection box of new releases to talk about this month. Things like Chronoblob 2, Arturia Pigments, Prok Drums, Complex-1, Elephant and Chameleon, Mr Typo, CRAFTsynth, Voltage Modular, SampleTank 4, TRK-01 Play and Behringer.



Podcast version http://moltenmusictechnology.com/podcast/mmm-dec2018.mp3





 

Video version

Molten Music Monthly - December 2018 - YouTube




The post Molten Music Monthly – December 2018 appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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Coming up this month we have the Muton is probably the most useful module I’ve come across, Tracktion build a sampled instrument of the Behringer Model D, we get lost in the never ending grey of Alpha Forever, Grid has us snapping together MIDI controllers, Joué give us a rubber grand piano, Cubase hits version 10, Stagelight hits version 4, Lancinantes drones on and on, Birdkids give us the best synth called Raven since Quasimidi, Lots of FM action with WaslioFM and Flow Motion while Dtronics adds knobs to Yamaha Reface DX, Haken Audio ContinuuMini is a MPE solo strip, we climb into a virtual bedroom to play with someone’s synth, Tunnels routes us around our rack, and VCV Rack now supports VST plugins.




http://www.patreon.com/robinvincent

Podcast version http://moltenmusictechnology.com/podcast/mmm-nov2018.mp3




Video version

Molten Music Monthly - November 2018 - YouTube




The post Molten Music Monthly – November 2018 appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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Every month, after the Molten Music Monthly video I aim to do a live stream. It gives us the chance to chat about that months music technology. It works best when people bring questions and opinions to the party and sometimes I make a bit of music. I will endeavour to remember to post those videos here and also release a podcast version for people who like that kind of thing.

Podcast: http://moltenmusictechnology.com/podcast/MoltenLive07.mp3 Video:

Molten Live 07 - chat about Octobers music tech, modular and Surface testing - YouTube




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Lots of fascinating stuff to talk about this month. People go polysynth crazy over the Moog One, Akai fire up a controller for FL Studio, M-audio and Fluid Audio release audio interfaces with nice big knobs, Soundbrenner come up with the ultimate musicians utility watch, TouchAble Pro makes the leap to Windows, Riffer makes your DAW sequencing feel more analog, and Novation put analog style sequencing into a controller keyboard, MINI-MU lets you sew your own chiptune controller gloves, Pipes brings massive sample instruments to hardware, we have a super bunch of synths from AtomoSynth, GS Apollo, Analog Fusion and Future Sound Systems and 4MS come up with some very cool little pods to put the odd module in.



Podcast Version http://moltenmusictechnology.com/podcast/mmm-oct2018.mp3 Video version (text continues below)

Molten Music Monthly - October 2018 - YouTube




But first – Synthfest!

Yes, we just had another SynthFest. It was the place only 2 years ago that i first grasped the concept of Eurorack and fell headfirst down the modular rabbit hole. So it’s become a bit of a pilgrimage for me. It’s a synth show held up in Sheffield and hosted by Sound On Sound magzine. Everyone was there – the big names like Korg, Yamaha, Roland, Arturia and Moog but also the little names and individuals like Future Sound Systems, Soulsby, Expert Sleepers, Erica Synths and loads more. I wasn’t bowled over by anything new and exciting this year but I did get the opportunity to have a fiddle with a number of things. Tried the Modal Sculpt – it was a bit weird – made a fabulous drone on the Studio Electronics Boom Star – had a go on the Grandmother which was pretty sweet and the Erica Synths Techno system which does exactly what it says on the tin. Nina from Transistor Sound Labs gave me a demo of their cool new Stepper drums prototype, and i got a run through with the analogue solutions Generator. Turns out that when i said they were going to lend me one for review i completely imagined it. But it was a super day – it has such a great vibe, cool, relaxed, fun nothing like any other trade or gear show i’ve been to. Lots of lovely people came and said hello which was fabulous – thanks! The crowd is still overwhelmingly white male but there was a bit more diversity and a larger proportion of women running stands. I didn’t get to any of the seminars – i was just there for the gear and the people.

Moog One

Moog have finally revealed the successor to the MemoryMoog – the hugely polyphonic Moog One. The Moog One is a beautiful chunk of an instrument. All analogue in 8 or 16 voice versions and 3 part multitimbral. Each voice has 3 oscillators and then there’s filters and envelopes and modulation and all the usual stuff arranged across 200 knobs. They say there’s more power in a single voice of the Moog One than there is in the whole Moog Voyager – which will probably piss off a lot of Voyager owners. It’s capable of handling thousands of presets but loads them up in banks of 64 with each one being instantly selectable. It also has some digital effects at the end of the chain from Eventide. It’s an immense and expensive synthesizer that’s elegantly traditional and solid. The 8-voice will cost you £6000, the 16 voice £7799.

Moog has produced a wonderfully trippy promotional video with all these possibly stoned out synth players being enraptured by the sound – it’s awesomely other-worldly and demonstrates just how far away they are from the budget end of the market – and so they should be. This synth is not for the likes of you or me.

http://www.moogmusic.com

Akai Fire FL Studio

An unexpected controller from Akai designed for use with FL Studio. It’s laid out as a 16×4 matrix of control mirroring the infamous FL Studio channel rack step sequencer. You can wire 4 of these together for a massive 8×32 grid. The integration extends to the browser letting you load up samples, plugins and projects. You can select patterns, mute and solo tracks and move into other modes like Note mode, drum mode and performance mode making use of the pads velocity sensitivity. It’s a very natty thing and even comes with a pretty fully fledged version of FL Studio in the box. You kind of think it could so easily be a fabulous standalone MIDI step sequencer – but no it’s just for FL Studio and for that it’s awesome.

http://www.akaipro.com



M-Audio M-Track 8x4m

Following their flavour of desktop audio interfaces M-Audio has released the M-Track 8x4m. 8 inputs with 4 mic/line, 2 instrument and 2 line inputs and 4 outputs. There’s 2 independent headphone outputs, metering LEDs and a nice big knob in the middle. It’s a bit chunky but capable of 24bit and 192khz over USB. Seems all right – but what’s slightly interesting is that it’s on USB-C – is that interesting? Who knows. I confess to being a bit nervous of M-Audio since they were bought by Behringer – i mean i used to love M-Audio products but i cant help feeling that it’s not quite the same anymore. These do look quite good though, come with a huge bundle of software, low latency, probably worth a go.

http://www.m-audio.com

Fluid Audio SRI-2

Probably just as interesting is the SRI-2 2in 4out interface from Fluid Audio – not come across them before. Apparently they have been mostly making speakers and suffer from a slightly cheesy logo. But otherwise this is a good looking interface with another one of those knobs and a nice bit of metering. There’s not a whole lot to say about audio interfaces these days other than to point it out. But i thought it was pretty.

http://www.fluidaudio.com

Soundbrenner Core

A while ago Sounbrenner decided that we all needed to wear a metronome on our wrist. I wasn’t completely convinced by that and so they’re having another go and this time it does a few more things. It’s still a vibrating metronome which i guess can be a useful alternative to a click track when performing or recording – but it’s now also a loudness meter and if you snap the face off it becomes a magnetic guitar tuner and the last feature which i cant believe they missed off the first one is that it’s also a watch – it’ll even beep to tell you things. It also looks something resembling coolness. So perhaps it has enough features to make it a thumping, tuning, loudness indicating, time telling smart-ish watch. It also bluetooths to your DAW, syncs up with other Cores and gives you a much better experience than juggling apps and phones. At 200 dollars for the one with the nice strap it’s not cheap but it’s not iWatch prices either. Hmm… I’d quite like to try one out.

http://www.soundbrenner.com

TouchAble Pro

This is high on my list of things to do a review of at the moment. TouchAble Pro is or was an iPad app for controlling Ableton Live. Well now they’ve ported it to PC which means you can run it on a Surface or desktop touch screen alongside Live and have it all on one device. That’s supercool. I really liked Yeco who did something similar a while back but don’t seem to have moved forward since. TouchAble Pro might just have an edge in terms of looks, design and functionality and so that’s piqued my interest.

You get all the controls you’d imagine, clip launching, scene selection, mixing and so on, but you also get to play instruments with a virtual piano or grid layout. You can drag and drop samples and edit sequences directly in TouchAble which is where (i think) it starts to depart from Yeco. You can draw and edit automation and they have templates for all the Live modules for instant tweaking and you can build controllers for any other plug-ins. Zerodebug have sent me a copy to review and i hope to get onto this very soon.

http://www.zerodebug.com



Riffer

This is a beautiful little plug-in. It’s a cool little MIDI sequencer that runs inside your DAW and offers a whole slew of randomisation and creativity. Sequencers in DAWs are all a bit boring these days, especially in light of the way hardware has been working with probability and step sequencing. Riffer brings randomisation right into the centre of your recording platform. It can generate patterns and melodies, rhythms and modulations all from a familiar piano-roll interface. You can add an easy bit of chaos to your sequences or engage infinity mode and it will generate and variate forever. You can work in scales, chose levels of predictability and you’ll wonder why on earth your DAW doesnt have all this already.

http://www.audiomodern.com

Novation SL MK3

Novation has released a new version of their SL controller keyboard. The previous versions have all been a bit sort of funny looking but the Mk3 brings them bang up to date, gives them a bit of a Native Instruments flavour but more importantly they contain a new step sequencing super power. Basically they’ve pulled in an 8-track version of the sequencer from the Circuit and built 2 channels of CV/gate into the back. So now you create step-sequence patterns for your analog hardware as well as you MIDI or virtual instruments and run it all from the keyboard. Novation sent them out to all the cool hardware kids so there are loads of great demo videos out there.

http://www.novationmusic.com

Mini-Mu

Inspired by the Imogen Heap Mi-Mu super-high-tech performance controller gloves marvellously mad technologist Helen Leigh thought she could do something similar for kids at a fraction of the price but with all the same hand waving levels of embarrassment. And so she did. The Mini-Mu is a DIY project that uses the BBC designed Micro:Bit ARM-based microcontroller. It has motion sensors and an 8-bit sound engine and only costs a few quid. So with a scratch style programming app you can code in what you want it to do, then you cut out and sew together the gloves and off you go. It’s bloody marvellous this thing. There’s potential for MIDI and controlling other things but at about 40 quid it’s an awesome little project for you or your kids – put it on the xmas list.

http://shop.pimoroni.com/products/mini-mu-glove-kit



Pipes

Recently funded on Kickstarter is Pipes – it’s a hardware sample instrument player. The idea is to give instantly accessible access to massively sampled instruments in a box. All the instruments are always there, always loaded, always working. No juggling disk space or CPU or latency – it all just works like hardware does (usually). Synesthesia have developed their own compression format and audio engine to cope with the huge number of samples while keeping the latency tiny. It all runs on a touch screen interface with a slightly clunky looking interface. Along with the usual bunch of audio effects there are also MIDI effects run in Pure Data so you can tweak and add your own midi processing which is cool. It will run 64 voices with any combination or layering of instruments. Originally the box only had a stereo output so you had to mix everything through the little screen but one of the stretch goals now offers multiple outputs – although it’s a quite ambitious figure to reach. I like that this is still in development rather than being a completed project that is just after preorders – kickstarter should be about investing in the creation of something rather than just a preorder shop. For $399 for the 32gb version it’s not expensive and they hit their goal very quickly so they’ve definitely found a market but it’s not the sort of thing i’m into.

http://www.pipes.rocks

New synth time

Out of Peru we have the Atomosynth Asterion. It’s a surprisingly chunky analogue modular monosynth with a huge patch bay that looks compact and Eurorack until you realise those are full sized jacks. This is a Moog format synthesizer – there’s no background wiring so it’s all modular and requires patching to make any noise. There are 3 oscillators, 2 filters 2LFOs and envelopes and the ability to patch everything into everything. It’s all metal and bakelite – What a monster.

http://www.atomosynth.net

From Argentina comes the Apollo 1 analogue monosynth. It struck me as funny because of how normal, straight forward and traditional it is. It’s like if someone asked you to draw a keyboardless monosynth then this would probably be it. 2 oscillators, a filter, VCA, all the usual bits and pieces all cleanly laid out and instantly usable. One quirk is that this is a MIDI only device – there’s no CV in any direction and in fact there are a lot of additional controls that are only accessible via MIDI. So i guess ideally it sits next to your DAW as a decent MIDI addressable, hands-on monosynth. It’s just a bit square.

http://www.gsmusic.com.ar



From Italy we have Analog Fusion from Fingersonic which blends together two independent analog and digital synthesis engines. So it’s not a hybrid of mixed technologies it’s two things in one box. You can run them side by side – virtual analog and FM on the digital blended with 6 voice analog on the other. Sounds impressive, looks a bit weird and complex and could find itself called the Analog Confusion – hah! It’s a year away so anything could happen between here and then, but it could be interesting.

http://www.fingersonic.com

Out of the UK comes Brunswick, a cool, naked little DIY noise machine from Future Sound Systems. Named after the Brunswick club in Bristol it’s a 100 quid kit with a single oscillator with all that phase comparator and phase locked loop stuff Future likes. It has a dangerous filter and a load of other craziness – it’s like the exact opposite of the Apollo 1 and you build it yourself. Awesome.

http://www.futuresoundsystems.co.uk

And Behringer have approved the build of their Pro 1 Sequential clone and we should see it by Christmas – that’s pretty cool.

Surface Pro 6

And finally the Surface Pro 6 has arrived and I’ve already pumped out a couple of videos. The most important one showing how it can indeed handle real-time low latency audio and USB interfaces. I will be moving onto some performance testing soon and along with the Surface Go get into demonstrating different bits of software and plugins. Lots more to come on that.

Coming soon

I am in the middle of a huge storm of stuff that I’m trying to bring to the channel for you good people.
I’ve been lent a Joué controller to review, I’ve got the Tenderfoot Lattice sequencer to review. I’ve got a low pass gate and a sampleslicer to build. More Surface videos to make. And there’s an open mic electronic night in Norwich that i want to try to perform at in a couple of weeks. I’m sort of daring myself to do it and so i want to make a video about how i go about preparing for that. I’d love your input and so this Sunday’s live stream will start a discussion on what things i need to think about when performing with modular – that’ll be fun.

So yeah, live stream this Sunday – later than usual at 9pm GMT (summer time is over) as i have a fireworks thing to be at before it. But come along and we can discuss this months gear and help me work out how to perform with my modular. That would be awesome.

Dont forget to share and subscribe – patreon and all that. Lots more goodies to come.



The post Molten Music Monthly – October 2018 appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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It’s all been a bit suspiciously lively this month. The kids have gone back to school, autumn seems to be making it’s mark and we’re a month away from getting a heating system installed in our house. But no matter, what’s been going on in music technology, synthesis, software and hardware?

Podcast version:

http://moltenmusictechnology.com/podcast/mmm-sept2018.mp3

Erica Synths release their still not quite finished Techno System – Vladimir gives us a new version of the dazzling Euclidean Circles and we all pretend to know what that is – Audiophile Circuits League take on the awesome Sinfonion – Native Instruments release a whole bunch of stuff – Endorphin’s BLCK_NOIR ships – Noise Engineering goes all posh with 5U modules – System80 open preorders on their Eurorack 808 drum machine – Polyfusion is back – Make Noise add a third dimension to Rene – Expressive E gives us a a value edition Touche – Analogue Solutions Generator is ready to generate – Elephant hits version 1.3 with the ultimate Dial update – Voltage Modular gets released – and we try to remember why we cared about the OP-Z.



Text continues after the video.

Molten Music Monthly - September 2018 - YouTube

But first some more Surface Go news. It’s taken longer than I hoped but I am battling on through my Surface Go testing – I mean who wouldn’t want an iPad that can run desktop software? I did the first episode on running music apps in Windows 10 S – that’s a new mode of Windows that only lets you run Windows Store apps. I ran FL Studio Mobile and Stagelight plus a couple of MIDI controllers and an audio interface with pretty good results. So it can be done in S mode but the lack of plugin support and ASIO support means that it’s not ideal. Right now I’ve moved the Windows 10 proper and testing is continuing. It’s looking good at the moment – should have another video up shortly. I plan to do it in chunks rather than everything all at once, so the next video will feature Cubase, pro Tools and Live – then I’ll do some virtual instruments, a bit of Maschine, some more DAWs, guitar effects and so on until i run out of things to test.



Erica Synths Techno System

We’ve been quite excited about this since it appeared at Superbooth. Now I know modular is supposed to be all about the unlimited potential of bleeps and noises, the expanse of variety and neverending possibilities, but sometimes it’s nice to have something that’s intentional. It’s built to do Techno – it has an awesome drum machine, drum modules, mixer, effects and a bassline synth – and it flippin’ does the job. I love it. The only snag seems to be that they can’t quite get the Sample Drum to work to their satisfaction, so although it’s now out and available it will ship without the sample playing module. I hope they get that sorted out soon because it adds a lot of welcome variation and sound potential to the rig.

http://www.EricaSynths.lv

Euclidean Circles

Euclidean Circles is this dazzling three rings of blazing LEDS that you see on everybodies rigs. These are handmade by the awesome Vladimir Pantelic and it’s a trigger sequencer. It generates patterns based upon algorithms first described by Euklid about 300 years BC. There are 6 channels of output, 2 per wheel and you dial in rhythms and off you go – instant polyrhthmic triggers infecting your rack. The new version lets you manually edit the steps which takes it away from the algorithm for the first time. There’s a new F button that gives quick access to a favourite feature, like a variation, fill or next pattern. And there’s an optional switch panel for muting outputs. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable module that’s all over the place and V2 just seems to increase its usefulness.

http://www.vpme.de

Audiophile Circuits League Sinfonion

The Sinfonion is an amazingly musical module invented by Mathias Ketner. It’s like a massive quantizer, harmoniser and chord generator with which you could control your whole rack. It was to be built by Instruo and has that rather lovely Instruo aesthetic. Then it seemed to get lost somewhere and news on development stalled. We’ve recently heard that it’s been picked up by Audiophile Circuits League and is pushing forward into production – hooray! It just seems that it wasn’t working out with Instruo which is a real shame as it seemed a natural extension of their Harmonaig module. So it’s still very cool except that it’s adopted the ACL colour scheme which, for me at least, is just not as organic as the Instruo – but i’m sure we’ll get over it. Check out the Sinfonion first contact video on YouTube – this thing is amazing.

http://audiophilecircuitsleague.com/



Native Instruments

Native Instruments had a bumper release party this month. They announced Komplete 12, Kontakt 6, Massive X and a few bits of hardware. Komplete 12 is of course the usual bunch of pretty much everything including Kontakt 6 and any other products released since Komplete 11 – that’s not a whole lot but it’s some. It includes a load more content of course. Massive X is included but won’t actually be ready until the new year. The small amount of info we have on it suggests that it’s a radical departure from the original and it certainly looks different. Kontakt 6 on the other hand doesn’t look any different at all. Apparently it’s easier to build your own instruments…. That’s about it. As what’s become the industry standard for sampled instruments you’d think they’d pull something awesome out of the bag – not sure yet. But it Komplete Ultimate is not enough for you then consider the Collectors Edition which bumps up the expansions to 50 and goes pro on all the string library. You also get that very important €25 e-voucher to spend in the store.

The other device of note is the Machine Mikro Mk3 – the mini machine box MIDI controller to run with the Maschine software. No screens on this one, just pads and a few controls. NI have sent me one to check out so expect a video on that soon – might run nice with the Surface Go.

http://www.native-instruments.com

Endorphin BLCK_NOIR

The annoyingly named BLCK_NOIR has arrived. It’s a dark drum module that can solve all your percussion needs in a single, modulatable and effectable module. You’ve got 7 drum sounds feeding into 5 channels with 8 effects and some seriously filthy throttle and flap filtering. The manual is particularly entertaining with the usually colourful Endorphin embracing the dark side. It looks like a load of fun and a bit like squeezing the whole Erica Synths Techno System into a single badly behaved module.

http://www.endorphin.es

Noise Engineering 5U

Recently Noise Engineering ported some modules to Reason as Rack Extensions. Well now it’s gone the other way and has created some posh 5U modules that fit in with the Moog format of modular. They look really serious but i don’t imagine 5U users have had anything quite like them in their racks before. I don’t know any 5U users but you imagine them to be the seriously old boys of the modular world – wisened and deeply in thought about electrical signals. The modules in question are the Basimulus Iteritas Magnus and the Manis Iteritas Magnus – their nastiest parameterized digital drum synthesizers. I think it’s great that these old modular heads have something new to play with.

https://www.noiseengineering.us



System 80 – 880

System 80 have opened preorders on their 880 Eurorack drum machine. It’s based on the Roland TR-808 and looks completely gorgeous. They announced it a fair while ago but I get the impression that they were waiting to see if Behringer were going to release their TR-808 clone in Eurorack format. Thankfully Behringer went full desktop on the RD-808. System 80 make great stuff and i imagine this is no exception. It has 16 808 voices, 32 steps, 12 banks of 16 patterns, 11 outputs and all that jazz. At almost $1000 it’s not cheap but it’s beautiful and classy and it’s less than buying something like the BLCK-Noir and the Erica Synths Drum Computer.

http://system80.net

Polyfusion

Not come across them before but apparently back in the bad old days of modular Polyfusion was created 40 years ago by two blokes who used to work for Moog and wanted to do their own thing. The Polyfusion Series 2000 was the result and it’s a fabulous wall of large format modular synthesis. Ron Folkman who is now 74 can’t believe that modular is back and he’s doing all he can to revive the brand and start making them again. The biggest hurdle revolves around the use of the name – Polyfusion haven’t made synths since the 1980’s and apparently someone else is trying to revive the name as well. Anyway, they hope to begin by making the Series 2000 first in order to service existing users and then they’ll begin a new generation, more compact and futuristic but probably in their own format – so not Eurorack. There’s also talk of a monosynth and other bits of pieces. It’s very interesting – sounds expensive and if it’s anything like Oberheim may never actually get anywhere.

Make Noise Rene

Those lovely people at Make Noise have added a third dimension to their much loved Rene sequencer. It’s no longer restricted to moving up and down and side to side, it now slides in and out through the use of coloured LEDs. Apparently it’s named after Rene Descartes and is now a 3 dimensional music sequencer – unfortunately for me the word Rene just conjures up memories of the 80’s french resistance sitcom Allo Allo. But a cartesian system specifies each point uniquely in a plane by a pair of coordinates which are signed distances to the point from two fixed perpendicular directed lines, measured in the same unit of length. The third dimension means it does that while also snaking down through the knobs. I have no idea what it all means but it’s undoubtedly a lot of sequencing fun.

http://makenoisemusic.com/

Touche SE

Expressive E have taken pity on computer based musicians by offering a Touche wobbly block controller that only has USB. The original had MIDI and CV as well – something i honestly wasnt aware of. They’ve also gone for a plastic rather than a hardwood. It still does all the same stuff, the push and pull, scratch and tap, wobble wobble expressive controlling and includes the same software with specially designed sounds to go with it. It’s one of the more interesting peripheral MIDI controllers out there and this value version is very welcome for virtual instrument users.

https://www.expressivee.com



Analogue Solutions Generator

We saw this at Superbooth and decided that we liked it very much. 3 channels of CV sequencing with it all laid out on the board. 3 rows of 16 knobs, you can see what’s going on, lights in the top of the knobs – fabulous. No pages or using the same controls for everything – this is a proper hardware step sequencer. It’s also a gate sequencer and has a pattern generator to keep things flowing. The 6 weird triangles generate voltage to be used to trigger patterns or change key – they are also pressure sensitive so can be used to manipulate all sorts of things. It’s an impressive performance device and rumour has it that i might get hold of one for a review – very soon. That’s exciting!

http://www.analoguesolutions.com/

Tenderfoot Lattice

Talking of awesome sequencers i got sent a fabulous little 12 step sequencer from Tenderfoot. It’s creator Peter Young’s first commercial module and he was kind enough to send me one to try. 4 rows of 3 knobs and it kicks out voltage – oh my god that’s so wonderfully simple. That’s all the knobs do so you can always tell what sort of notes or CV you’re going to get out of it. Stick it through a quantizer for instant tunes. Pump some different clocks into the inputs and it starts to shift either horizontally or vertically to generate all sorts of variations. I have a BeatStep Pro, a Varigate 4+, a Mother 32 and a Hermod and this is by far the most instant and musical sequencer i’ve ever used. It’s what I’ve been missing since i started – it feels like an intentional Turing machine – in terms of how instantly usable it is. Anyway, i’ll have a full review of this little fella coming up soon.

https://tenderfootelectronics.com/

Voltage Modular

The new virtual Eurorack Voltage Modular has just been released. If you get it quick you’ll also get the Misifit drum pack for free including the 808 style drum machine – well worth it. It’s fruity and fun looking but it’s more compatible than VCV Rack with VST, AU and AAX versions, and bigger than Softube Modular, but it does have its work cut out if it’s going to attract third party developers. So far there are modules from PSP Audio – all effects – and that’s it. I think it sounds great and has potential to be a great virtual eurorack environment but i think it will live or die on the third party support. Users can also design, upload and sell modules which is pretty cool. I intend to have another play with it soon – worth checking out.

https://cherryaudio.com

Surface Dial Elephant 1.3

Quick one – that excellent Elephant software that lets you control virtual knobs with the Surface Dial – well the 1.3 update makes it even cooler. Now you no longer have to hold the mouse button down on the control – you can hover and the Dial picks it up. This means that with a touch screen you can tap any knob and simply control it – just the best thing ever! Video coming shortly.

http://hi.computer

OP-Z

And finally the OP-Z from Teenage Engineering is available for preorder and should be shipping next month. This has spent years in development and i’m sorry but i’ve grown a bit tired of it. It’s a tiny weeny box with fiddly buttons and weird cross head knobs and little clue as to what it’s supposed to be. Now i never like the OP-1 until i had a go on one and was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was and that very cool screen. Now they’ve taken the screen away and made it all horribly grey and blank. They say it has a 16 track sequencer inside – well it doesnt really, you have 8 music tracks fixed to kick, snare, percussion, lead, bass, chord and so on and the 8 other tracks for mixing, effects and visuals. The visual side is very interesting although you do have to connect it to an iPad to make it work. Teenage Engineering are very knowingly cool about it – they know its tiny and that people will hate the lack of screen but they just keep insisting it’s the coolest thing ever until we all agree. The visual aspect is interesting but most of the other features would have been awesome 2 years ago but now are pretty common place. Feel free to correct me in the comments.

https://teenageengineering.com/

Coming up….. Synthfest 2018

On the 6th October – that’s a week on Saturday we have the Synthfest at Sheffield university Octagon Centre. It runs from 10.30 to 6.30 and absolutely everyone will be there. My personal top things that i have to play with are – Analogue Solutions Generator, Erica Synths Techno system, Korg Prologue, Moog Grandmother, Studio Electronics Tonestar synths, IK Uno and loads and loads of modular. There’s also a bunch of fascinating seminars on very enlightening subjects but for me it’s the playing on the gear and hopefully talking to people that attracts me to the event. Plus it was at Synthfest 2 years that i first came into contact with Eurorack and kicked off my own modular journey. So i’ll be there, I’ll have a hopefully not too bored 11 year old with me and i’ll be more than happy to stand around awkwardly with people who want to say hello. Honestly i can be shy but i’m not scary.

http://www.synthfest.co.uk



Live stream

And as is customary now after a Molten Music Monthly is to follow it up with a livestream. I don’t think I’m clashing with anyone this time so please join me on Sunday at 8pm BST to chat about this months news, maybe do a demo on the Lattice, or the Surface Dial Elephant software, or just bring your questions and your comments and we’ll spend time drinking beer and chatting about it all. And failing all that I’ll make some music.

Next videos are going to be some Surface Go and some modular DIY – so stay tuned for those. Please subscribe, check out the Patreon if you want more insider information and in the meantime go and make some tunes.



The post Molten Music Monthly – September 2018 appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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Every month, after the Molten Music Monthly video I aim to do a live stream. It gives us the chance to chat about that months music technology. It works best when people bring questions and opinions to the party and sometimes I make a bit of music. I will endeavour to remember to post those videos here and also release a podcast version for people who like that kind of thing.

Podcast:

http://moltenmusictechnology.com/podcast/MoltenLive05.mp3




Molten Live 05 - chat about August's music tech, synths, modular and software - YouTube

The post Molten Live 05 – video and podcast appeared first on Molten Music Technology Blog.

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