Argh, and I can't even get along with the drummer in my trio!
Nucleus SoundLab has released their first Rack Extension for Reason and it is a must buy in my opinion! Beat Crush is a down sampling effects device that can take your tracks from the classic crunch of 12 bit samplers to 8 bit Chiptune and the absurdity of 1 bit. Being a Nucleus SoundLab product it can certainly do more than that though, the real fun comes in when you mix and match bits and invert them, creating sounds that were impossible beforehand! Beat Crush also comes with a pair of great sounding multi-mode Filters that can be set up in a multitude of ways in relation to the beat crush effect. Check out the demo video:
Pick up Beat Crush today for $49 USD in the Prop Shop!
I've been looking for a hardware reverb device for a few weeks and came across this fantastic video from earlier this year of Peter Dyer playing various keys thru the lush sounding Strymon Big Sky Reverberator pedal:
"Last week Peter Dyer (keyboardist for Aloe Blacc and Avicii) stopped by the Strymon shop and recorded several BigSky Reverberator / synth audio clips with us. He brought along some very cool synths to use alongside BigSky. Thanks Peter for hanging out with us for the day. :)"
Table of Contents:
00:14 -- Reflections -- Dave Smith Prophet 12
00:42 -- Bloom -- Dave Smith Prophet 12
01:11 -- Nonlinear -- Nord Stage 2
01:37 -- Reflections -- Nord Stage 2
02:06 -- Cloud -- Dave Smith Prophet 12
02:41 -- Magneto -- Dave Smith Prophet 12
03:27 -- Cloud -- Dave Smith Prophet 12
04:18 -- Spring -- Nord Stage 2
04:40 -- Bloom -- Nord Stage 2
05:10 -- Chorale -- Korg Volca Keys
06:08 -- Shimmer -- Korg Volca Keys
06:53 -- Hall -- Arturia Microbrute
07:44 -- Plate -- Arturia Microbrute
08:24 -- Cloud -- Therevox ET 4.3
09:14 -- Shimmer -- Therevox ET 4.3
09:46 -- Shimmer -- Nord Stage 2
10:24 -- Hall -- Nord Stage 2
More information on BigSky: http://strymon.net/bigsky
Follow Peter: http://twitter.com/peterkeys88
Peter's website: http://peterdyer.net
Rob Papen has a new RE coming soon to the Prop Shop and it's a beauty! Dubbed QUAD, this new synth features some deep modulation possibilities, cross modulation of the oscillators and two big old X / Y pads to get crazy with... Which of course are assignable! Check it:
"QUAD is the first Rack Extension synthesizer built from the ground up for Reason by the Rob Papen team. It features two oscillators with a seemingly simple arsenal of classic waveforms. The sonic palette is huge though, through the vast modulation possibilities that QUAD has to offer.
The oscillators can be combined through many cross modulation functions – generating a wide range of harmonics. The next steps in the sound sculpting are the Phase Distortion and Wave Shaper. These tools are brought to life by four XY-Pads, which can be moved through an extensive modulation matrix. The movements can be recorded as automation directly into Reason’s sequencer.
QUAD’s oscillators are complemented by two top notch analogue modelled filters, an arpeggiator and two high quality effects processors.
Welcome to the new refreshing synthesizer QUAD – only in Reason!"
Techno Empire is selling Stewart Copeland's Fairlight CMI Series III System on eBay for $11,999 USD! This system was made famous in Copeland's post Police work The Rhythmatist and can be heard all over the original The Equalizer series theme. Check it:
And here's an interview done shortly after Stewart's trip to Africa for The Rhythmatist:
Equalizer intro courtesy of maadmaestro and Universal Studios.
Mr. Rhythmatist video courtesy of Michael McFly.
Somewhere along the way Richard Devine became the IDM version of Jordan Rudess. Hawking everything from soft synths to hardware using textures of sound over keyboard technical proficiency. Here he is for Akai beautifully demonstrating the new Rhythm Wolf along with his monstrous modular set-up, that I for one would die for:
It seems like there's a new Rack Extension in the Prop Shop every day... From compressors to synthesizers to utility devices that'll leave you scratching your head as to their function. Well today I happened upon a new one called Euclid from Robotic Bean that has me pretty excited! Check it out:
"Euclid is rhythmical inspiration in a box. You can use it to spice up your existing songs, or to start building up new ones from scratch. It's a constant source of surprises and happy accidents for your productions. And there are plenty of presets included to help you get started or provide you with inspiration to build your own."
New from Nucleus SoundLab - Filter Research 4:
"Back in 2008, Nucleus SoundLab released the world's first effects Reason ReFill - Filter Research 1. Now, almost exactly six years later, we are continuing to evolve effects sound design with Filter Research 4! This ReFill is built to specifically take advantage of Propellerhead's new pattern-based effect Rack Extension - Synchronous. With the power of Synchronous available, a whole new range of creative effects patches is now possible."
New Max4Live tool by Mr.Ned Rush! Mashup is a bad ass glitcher/mangler and can be yours for £10.99 at NedRush.blogspot.co.uk
"Mashup is a chance based sound editor for beat based edits, mangles and mashups in pure Ned Rush style. Drop a loop, set some sliders, record what it does and use the best bits for your tracks. A useful tool for those creative blocks."
A few months back I reviewed Korg's Monopoly Rack Extension for Rack Extension Review.com, giving the Monopoly 4 out of 5 stars. One of the main reasons being it's lack of Combinator patches, "and with 4 CV inputs on the back this was a real missed opportunity to showcase what the Mono/Poly could do in the Reasonverse." Well, Nucleus SoundLab has filled that void today with the amazing Analog Theory ReFill for the Monopoly RE!
Nucleus SoundLab CEO Jeremy Janzen shares the backstory:
"Back at Winter NAMM 2014 I had the pleasure to meet Kazuhito Inoue, a talented synth designer that works for Korg Japan. He is responsible in part for the wonderful Korg Rack Extensions MonoPoly and Polysix, as well as the incredible Reason-esque iOS synth workstation Korg Gadget. What really struck me was how passionate Inoue-san was about synthesis, and about trying new approaches like Gadget.
That meeting inspired me to create a ReFill for Korg MonoPoly that we are releasing today - Analog Theory. MonoPoly is such an amazingly immediate synth to work with - it's actually somewhat hard to make a bad sound! But we didn't settle for quick, average sounds. Analog Theory is filled with Combinators that are very advanced and really show off the modular power of the Reason environment. Of course, it's much easier to hear this, than describe it in text, so be sure to check out the audio/video demos!
Well, there isn't much more to say on this topic. I hope you enjoy Analog Theory!"
The reFill comes with over 100 unique combinators designed by veteran Reason sound designers, including two of my favourites - Tom Pritchard and Adam Fielding! I also designed a number of patches for this project, one of which can be heard in the promo video at around 4:30:
Propellerhead have introduced a brand new iOS app today called Take! Dubbed a "creative vocal recorder" the app turns your portable Apple device into a three track recording studio with fx, built-in rhythm loops and one touch recording.
"Sing, rap, hum, strum. Take lets you capture your musical ideas - anytime, anywhere. Take combines the drop-dead simplicity of your voice memos with features custom-tailored to vocalists' needs. Record harmonies along with your voice, blend in effects to sweeten the sound and sing along to inspiring beats and rhythms."
Most of you have probably seen the new iPad Air commercials, but if you've been living in a bunker like me perhaps you missed this great one released a couple weeks ago featuring Finnish composer and conductor of London's Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen:
Dave Smith Instruments have introduced a brand new synthesizer called the Pro 2! Based on the Prophet 12 architecture this new 4 voice mono synth is a monster:
"The Pro 2 is a fusion of classic analog synthesizer design and cutting-edge digital technology. It boasts four high-resolution digital oscillators, plus a sub oscillator. The oscillators produce both classic and complex wave shapes and can frequency and amplitude modulate each other in any operator and modulator configurations you choose for harmonically-rich FM and AM sounds. A set of Character controls adds high and low frequency boost, bit and sample rate reduction, and tape saturation emulation to the Pro 2's sonic palette.
At the heart of the Pro 2's gutsy sound is its all-new dual filter design. Filter 1 is a 4-pole low-pass design inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter. Filter 2 is a state-variable design inspired by the Oberheim SEM and can be continuously varied between low-pass, notch, and high-pass operation, with an optional band-pass mode. The two filters function in either serial or parallel, or anywhere in between. Two of the four oscillators can be routed through Filter 1 with the other two routed through Filter 2 for a broad range of tonal possibilities."
Looks like my Prophet 12 might be getting a little brother!
Nucleus SoundLab has released another fantastic Reason ReFill for a Rack Extension device - Neo DX for the PX7! I personally had the pleasure of working on patches for this Refill, as well as Tom Pritchard, Adam Fielding, Robert Anselmi, James Miles, Navi Retlav and of course NSL CEO Jeremy Janzen. Danny Adler did his usual bang up job on the art work, this one inspired by Neo Tokyo the setting for the classic manga Akira! Check out the info:
"FM Synthesis defines the retro 80s sound. And with Propellerhead's PX7 Rack Extension, powerful FM is now available in the Reason rack. But Nucleus SoundLab believes FM in Reason is capable of far more than retro, throwback timbres. Today we are proving that with the first commercial ReFill for PX7 - Neo DX. Trust us, massive modern sounds are possible using PX7.
Neo DX isn't meant to compete with the millions of existing imported DX7 patches. Instead, our team of eight veteran sound designers has harnessed the power of the Reason Combinator to explore completely new sonic territory. Neo DX is populated by huge detuned leads, sparkling pad layers, modular FM drumkits, distorted basses, and heavily-filtered arpeggios.
You won't be disappointed with Neo DX's attention to detail. All the standard highlights of Nucleus SoundLab ReFills are still present: Unique Combinators with unique Combinator controls; PX7 patches that make up each Combinator are individually available; full categorization of both Combinators and device patches; careful volume-balancing for every single patch. Let's rediscover FM in 2014 with Neo DX!"
• 122 unique Combinators across ten categories.
• 210 PX7 device patches.
• 3 demo songs packed inside the ReFill.
• All Combinator rotaries/buttons/modwheel uniquely mapped.
• Patches designed by veteran Reason sound designers.
• Requires: PX7 Rack Extension.
iMaschine has been updated to version 1.1 in the Apple App Store! This new version includes iTunes importing, an updated GUI and X / Y performance controls on the mixer page. And speaking of Native Instruments, Reaktor is currently on sale for $99 USD!
A new Operating System is now available for download for the Elektron Analog Rytm! This new OS includes 2 new machines,"BDFM (Bass drum FM) and SDFM (Snare drum FM) are based on linear FM synthesis and endow the Analog Rytm with even more sonic possibilities. "
New from Propellerhead - Synchronous:
"Building on the latest Rack Extension technology, Synchronous is an inspiring modulation plug-in that offers rhythmically synced effects that bring your music to life. With the built-in waveform tools, you can easily draw and dial in Distortion, Filter, Reverb, Delay and Level for anything from side-chain pumping and tremolos to beat-repeating and tweaked out wobbles.
Synchronous is available for free for all Reason 7.1 users up until June 30, 2014."
"Synthesis and Samples are used in this demo. Wanted to focus on the Performance Mode during this composition. This mode allows you to assign parameters from any tracks to the pads and manipulate them with pressure!"
Now this is a jam:
"An epic drum battle (in 7/8) with Omar Hakim, Eric Harland & Mino Cinélu during The Loop Loft All-Stars performance in NYC. More here: loop loft.com
Omar Hakim - Drums
Eric Harland - Drums
Mino Cinélu - Percussion
Mark Kelley - Bass
Doug Wamble - Guitar
Bob Reynolds - Tenor Sax
Recorded live at Guitar Center, NYC on February 27th, 2014."
New from Native Instruments and Zynaptik - MOLEKULAR:
"MOLEKULAR is the modular effects system – inspiring effects, limitless routing, and electrifying performance possibilities.
• 35 effects deliver new ways to twist your sound
• Create effects systems and set them in motion
• Designed for inspiring, musical performances
MOLEKULAR features 16 modulation sources divided into four categories – each adds its own special morphing flavor. Use up to four LFOs, step sequencers, trigger sequencers, and logic modules in any combination or all at once. Frequency-based parameters can even be quantized to custom scales. From subtle effects to all-out mangling, your mind is the limit."
$149 USD for Reaktor and the free Reaktor Player!
Another great find courtesy of Dangerous Minds:
"VT&H are the Berlin-based Danish duo Camilla Sørensen and Greta Christensen. Their vinyl art incorporates innovations like multi-tiered turntables, upside-down tone arms and the use of precision cutting devices to make literal jigsaw puzzles out of records. They even deploy robotics."
9 days left to donate to Culprate's Indiegogo.com campaign! This campaign is raising money to help fund a new Culprate experimental album in the vein of his classic Colours album from 2011. Info below:
Coming later this year from OTO Machines, the makers of Biscuit, the Bim Bam Boum Effects Boxes:
"OTO Machines announces 3 new FX boxes:
BIM - Poetic Repeater
12-bit delay (up to 2 seconds in stereo) with modulation (several waveforms available), separate hipass & lowpass filters for the delay signal and the feedback path, extra FXs (Reverse, Flanger, Dual Head, Distortion,...).
True 12-bit converters, filters, compander & feedback paths are analog for a very warm and grainy sound.
TAP and FREEZE function. Delay can be synced to MIDI Clock.
BAM - Space Generator
Digital reverberator inspired by the early 80's 16-bit units (EMT250, Lexicon 224,...). Several algorithms including Halls, Rooms, Space, weirdos, springs, resonators...
Predelay is up to 1 second. A "Drive" pot let you distort the input of the reverb.
BOUM - Warming Unit
Analog Compressor with tube emulation, octave, soft and hard distortion, followed by a 3 mode-2 pole Biscuit filter.
The compressor have Mode, Attack and Release settings.
An envelope generator (normal or inverse) let's you create envelope filters or envelope levelers.
The distortion circuit is specially designed for synths, loops, drums,...and keeps the dynamic of the signal.
All units have stereo I/O, MIDI input (CCs for all parameters, Beat Clock, Pgm Change), true hardware relay bypass, 36 user presets.
Size is 145 x 145 x 60 mm. 2 lines of 8 white LEDS for displaying parameters, preset number, input vu-meter...
Price for each unit will be about 325 euros (excluding VAT).
Release is planned for 2014 Q4."
15 year old inventor Kelvin Doe builds radio station from discarded electronics in Sierra Leone:
"15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus.
Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the "Visiting Practitioner's Program" at MIT. THNKR had exclusive access to Kelvin and his life-changing journey - experiencing the US for the first time, exploring incredible opportunities, contending with homesickness, and mapping out his future."
Help empower Dj Focus and others like him: crowdrise.com/InovateSalone
Famed guitarist Paco de Lucia passed away yesterday of a heart attack in Mexico. Just 66 years old, Paco de Lucia had awed audiences with his lightning fast flamenco rhythms and finger dexterity since recording his first record at the age of 14 with his brother Pepe. Perhaps most famous in the United States for his album Friday Night in San Francisco with John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola, which sold over 1 million copies and generated a significant interest in flamenco music in America and Europe. R.I.P.
Video courtesy of KayoooS
Picture courtesy of paprikadefrance
Portion of information and text courtesy of Wikipedia.
"In all honesty, I was slightly nervous walking in to the Moog factory for our session. We had little planned besides what song we were going to play. With the unlimited options for sounds from the many instruments available and our limited knowledge of analog synths, I figured the session could have gone either way. The nervousness faded quickly with the guidance of the wonderful folks at Moog who taught me that it's really ok to just turn knobs until it sounds cool. Anyone listening to the first half hour of us trying to figure out the song might have thought we were completely over our heads, but then suddenly Past Life started to emerge. Before we knew it we had dialed in some magic and were really enjoying the beauty and uniqueness of the sounds and music we were making. We are obviously enjoying it so much that we cant seem to stop repeating the ending over and over again, like we are figuring out something new and wonderful we could play on our Moogs with each refrain." -Bassist Mark Daumen
Brent Kallmer from Bluewater VST has a new premium content Reaktor site! Deepwater dives deeper into Reaktor with monthly comprehensive guides to Reaktor ensembles and weekly members only videos. Check it out:
"Dear REAKTOR User,
Brand new Propellerhead Artist interview with Kool Kojak:
"Before he was Kool Kojak, Allan Grigg and his brother built their own drum set out of tape and pvc pipes and created their own recordings using their boombox. It was the start of a lifelong quest to make the hip hop sounds that inspired him from childhood. His tenacity led him to New York where he interned at legendary hip hop studios, saved for years to get his prized MPC drum machine, and made musical friendships that would lead to number one hit songs around the world.
Kool Kojak's success is no fluke. He works hard but he plays hard, not afraid to push himself into experimentation and find his own sound. His reputation and credits have led him to work with artists like Flo Rida, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, Ke$ha, and many many more."
New video from The Notwist!
"The official video for "Kong", directed by Yu Sato, from upcoming Notwist album 'Close To The Glass' out 24th February on City Slang in Europe, 25th February on Sub Pop in N. America, 12th February via Afterhours in Japan, and 21st February via Spunk in Australia."
Michael O'Hagan has a number of new Reaktor ensembles available for download in the Reaktor User Library, my favorite of which is the FM powerhouse Route 66 FM V.01! With 5000 available waveforms this 6x6 FM synth with FX and modulators is not your Mama's DX7. Check it:
Roland continues the Aira tease campaign with two new videos today and a couple of actual product photos! The second video describes the Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology Roland developed for these products which "faithfully captures the sound and feel of some our most revered classics. ACB is the technology behind the authentic sound and responsive behavior of the AIRA products. It utilizes original design specs, consultation with original engineers, and a detailed, part-by-part analysis of each analog circuit in Roland's own pristine units." It's good to finally know something about the technology used to make the Aira product line, and while I'm still not fully sold on it, I do so want one of the white Roland jumpsuits worn by the engineers in the second video!
"With roots in the very origins of electronic music, AIRA is the new series of products designed to meet the evolving needs of today's electronic musicians. In the studio or on the stage, AIRA brings genre-defining sound and modern performance features to a new generation."
"This patch focused on using the 4ms Quad clocking distributor (QCD) module as the main brain to trigger the drums and musical sequences. The source clocking generator was the delptronics triggerman running in pattern mode. I set up 8 stored sequences that had slightly different shifted gate positions, and then outputted these assignments to the 4 channels on the 4ms OCD, and then took those outputs into separate gate triggers for the drum/snare/high-hats. The Modcan QLFO was also being clocked from the delptronics trigger man. Running from LFO output 1 in random stepped mode causing ever changing CV changes to the CV Clock Divider/Multiplier inputs, which gave the sequencing this interesting pace. I kept the sound sources very simple and limited. Using just 3 different intellijel dixies as the main sound sources (sine waves and one square). All three being triggered and then CV controlled in slow stepped mode from the Modcan Quad LFO, then into the µScale intelligent quantizer and interval generator for the melodies. The output was running through a Strymon BigSky reverb pedal using the "Chorale" algorithm for the slow like choir pads swelling delicately from the summed VCO's. One intellijel running in low octave pitch down for added baseline effect. Drums courtesy of the Mutable Instruments Braids for the snare drum running in CLK mode, with the envelope set to "ping" short attack. The kick drum was from the JoMox Membrane II, and hi-hats from the 4-hp whitenoise output from the BlueLantern running into a intellijel HexVCA. Another direct whitenoise out from the HexVCA running into a cwejman MMF-1 filter for the slow delicate automating filter sweeps, being modulated by cwejman D-LFO. This output was then taken into the Strymon Timeline for added depth and space. This patch was specifically created as a lullaby to play at bedtime for my baby Eila. Enjoy :-)"
Damon Albarn's music has always been a favorite of mine. Whether it be with Blur, Gorillaz, Mali Music or The Good, The Bad and The Queen. So when I heard of his soon to be released solo record (coming at the end of April) I was intrigued! Here's the first single, Everyday Robots:
Another January and another NAMM event has been unleashed upon Anaheim. This year Roland teased us with a new Aria line that supposedly resurrects many old faves like the TR-808 and SH-101 in new gear. They didn't show this at NAMM, so we're left wondering if it's just another Jupiter-80 tease. Meanwhile Moog unveiled their new Sub 37 synthesizer, which is essentially the Sub Phatty with more knobs and the ability to play two notes at a time. Not sure why you'd want two notes though? All my favorite chords have at least four notes in them :-). What interested me most at NAMM this year is from Elektron, the Rytm Drum Machine, check out this performance courtesy of DJ Tech Tools:
And speaking of Aria, a new teaser video:
What excited you this year at NAMM?
This is awesome:
"Ladies and gentlemen - we are incredibly proud to present our latest machine. We give you: Analog Rytm.
It is an an eight voice analog drum machine with sample support. Distinguished by the power of analog drum sounds fused with samples. Perfected by the immediacy of drum pads coupled with the Elektron sequencing."
It appears as if Roland might just release an amazing product this year after all! Founder Ikutaro Kakehashi notoriously was adamant about not re-releasing classic products or computer software, but he's no longer head of the company. God let's hope it's not just another rebadge like the Jupiter 80:
Twisted Tools hinted at their awesome new ULTRALOOP, loop remixing tool back in 2013 and today it is finally available! Check it:
"ULTRALOOP is a first-of-its-kind loop remixing sampler with a fast and intuitive visual workflow for Native Instruments Reaktor. ULTRALOOP combines advanced loop layering, comping, effect processing and automation techniques to generate new grooves, riffs and song ideas. You can use ULTRALOOP with the included factory sample library or to remix your own samples, injecting new life into any existing loop library. In addition to the factory library, Ultraloop Expansions are available as part of our Loop Expansion series."
Brent Kallmer Tutorial:
Chris Carter Expansion Pack:
Peff has released a brand new Rack Extension for Reason - Alias8:
"Alias8 CV Controller Rack Extension features 16 rotaries, 9 faders, 8 toggle buttons, and 8 momentary buttons, each with dedicated CV output sockets that allow you to directly control other Reason Rack devices or device chains/groups. For those with complex configurations that require dynamic real-time changes, the Alias8 provides a central performance hub for controlling Reason Instruments, Effects, or any device groupings in the Rack. If it can be automated, you can control it with the Alias8."
Register at Peff.com for a special discount rate on Alias8 and Livid hardware products!