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Arturia BeatStep sequencer/controller now shipping

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Arturia has announced the availability of its BeatStep portable pad controller.

Arturia BeatStep

Chameleon-like in its many control options, BeatStep is designed to work with DAWs, loop triggering software, VST instruments or effects, MIDI hardware, or even CV/Gate-equipped analogue instruments like Arturia’s own award-winning MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer or other manufacturers’ models — vintage classics or more modern contemporaries alike.

Try triggering audio clips within powerful, flexible software environments such as Ableton Live or playing drum parts in conjunction with the likes of FXpansion BFD or Toontrack EZdrummer… it’s as easy as exercising your trigger fingers!

BeatStep features

  • MIDI controller Mode – RED LED MODE.
  • Step Sequencer mode – BLUE LED MODE.
  • 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads.
  • 16 encoders.
  • 16 MIDI Controller presets.
  • 16 Sequence presets.
  • Works with MIDI Control Center Editor.
  • Internal and External clocking.
  • CV outputs.
  • USB I/O.
  • MIDI output.
  • iPAD compatibility (using camera connection kit).
  • Transports can send MIDI CC or MMC.
  • Kensington Lock.
  • Standalone MIDI or CV operation when powered via standard USB power adaptor.
  • USB Class compliant (no drivers).

BeatStep is available to purchase for 99 EUR/$129 USD (MSRP).

More information: Arturia / BeatStep

Homegrown Sounds releases Spark Infekted + Easter Sale

Homegrown Sounds has announced the release of Spark Infekted, a sample library for Arturia’s Spark Creative Drum Machine, featuring 500+ Basses, Leads, Synths and Pads.

Homegrown Sounds Spark Infekted

The sounds are all designed with an Access Virus TI Synthesizer. The samples themselves are mostly musically useful as opposed to wild Sound Effects, and are categorized by Collection and type as Bass, Leads, Synths and Pads. By default the instruments have a short decay time although they are large samples and so can be played for a much longer time, and additionally moving the start position can change the character.

Inside Spark all instruments must be created within a project to be visible inside the instrument browser, and so the sounds are in the form of 53 Projects to house the instruments. Each Instrument has a parametric EQ inserted for ease of mixing when used in your own projects, and a template is also available which includes a standard drum kit for slots 1-9 followed by 2 Basses, 2 Leads, 2 Synths and 2 Pads taking up slots 9-16. This makes selecting instruments much easier as the categories are predefined and so the browser will automatically open in the correct category.

As well as Velocity based single instrument versions of each sound, there are also Dual versions which use Threshold Mode instead to use a different sample for High and Low Velocities. These pairs can be very useful and inspiring for creating more complex patterns from a single Pad.

The Template Project is available as a free download which includes 8 sounds from the collection to get an idea of what the instruments are like in usage. Extract to your Spark Library/User Folder to enable in Spark.

Spark Infekted is available for the introductory price of $40 USD (regular $65 USD).

Homegrown Sound has also announced an Easter Sale, offering 25% off all its products.

To celebrate Easter Homegrown Sounds is having a 25% off sale throughout April, use the code CART25% on the checkout page to apply the discount to everything added to the cart.

More information: Homegrown Sounds

Arturia announces KeyLab 88 MIDI controller keyboard

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Arturia has announced the KeyLab 88, an 88-note MIDI keyboard controller and hybrid synthesizer solution.

Arturia KeyLab 88

As implied by name, KeyLab 88 takes its rightful place at the top of Arturia’s acclaimed range of professional-grade MIDI keyboard controllers with a high-quality hammer-action Fatar keybed boasting 88 keys. Indeed, it’s all in the name.

For KeyLab 88 comes complete with Analog Lab — Arturia’s accomplished software synthesizer solution for Mac and PC with over 5,000 TAE® (True Analog Emulation) synthesis-powered professionally-programmed presets — to create a performance powerhouse par excellence.

KeyLab 88 will be available by the end of August, 2014. Pricing TBA.

More information: Arturia

Arturia launches MiniBrute SE analog synthesizer

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Arturia has announced the MiniBrute SE, a ‘special edition’ of its analogue mono synthesizer.

Arturia MiniBrute SE

Arturia’s red-hot MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer set the electronic musical instrument world alight immediately upon its introduction in 2012. Indeed, it rapidly reset the price/performance ratio benchmark when successfully soaring through the subtractive synthesis sound barrier while singlehandedly setting a new standard for what a hardware synthesizer should be.

Hot on its heels comes a ‘special edition’ that is very special indeed. MiniBrute SE shares the same physical footprint as the original MiniBrute, but builds upon this amazingly compact and bijou analogue monosynth in both looks and features.

Although a sturdy and stylish brushed aluminium casing with wooden sides surely make MiniBrute SE stand out from the analogue crowd, skin-deep good looks are not the be and end all here, however, as added functionality runs deeper still.

An all-new step SEQUENCER elegantly expands playing options with the MiniBrute SE — six Pattern sequences with up to 64 steps each to create multiple musical phrases, to be precise. Yet it is capable of so much more than simply replaying pre- programmed Pattern sequences ad infinitum. Users can create new musical phrases from existing ones by changing the playback Mode, Gate Len (timing), and Swing settings in realtime from the clearly labelled front panel — perfect for inspiring new musical ideas and creating exciting live performances on the fly.

MiniBrute SE is proof positive that the original MiniBrute was no fly-by-night success story. A pure analogue signal path and attractive features like a multi-wave OSCILLATOR and Sub Osc combined with a huge-sounding Steiner-Parker multimode FILTER (fittingly revised by Nyle Steiner himself) and wide-ranging modulation capabilities confirm that MiniBrute SE continues to innovate while breathing new life into recordings and stage performances.

Add fantastic features like Ultrasaw (generating shimmering sawtooth waveforms), Metalizer (adding extreme triangle waveform-induced harmonics), LFO (with sample and hold), and full USB/MIDI/CV connectivity into the musical mix, and what have you got? A killer-sounding, step sequencing-capable synth with looks to die for, that’s what!

MiniBrute SE will be available to purchase at the end of May, 2014, priced at 549 EUR / $599 USD.

More information: Arturia

Arturia intros VOX Continental-V virtual organ instrument

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Arturia has introduced VOX Continental-V, a virtual instrument emulation of the vintage Vox Continental 300 organ.

Arturia VOX Continental-V

As a high-end software recreation of the Sixties-vintage Vox Continental 300 transistor-based combo organ, VOX Continental-V is the latest addition to Arturia’s acclaimed Analog Classics lineup where it sits alongside an authentic recreation of another archetypal Sixties staple, Wurlitzer-V (based on the classic ‘Wurly’ electric piano).

Like the transcontinental history of the original Vox Continental, the road to creating VOX Continental-V was a long and winding affair. Arturia started its latest software developmental journey in the company of a rare Vox Continental 300 dual-manual model, capturing every nuance of the original right down to key contact timing and background noises — no elbows needed! Next, Arturia acquired a rare Jennings J70 — developer Tom Jennings’ Vox organ forerunner — and added a J70 Mode to the VOX Continental-V voice engine. End users have effectively ended up with two ultra-rare organs for the price of one as a result — with more tones to play with, which musically is a good thing to have!

The end result is surely the most authentic dual-manual Vox Continental 300 emulation that money can buy. Notable VOX Continental-V features include upper manual, lower manual, and bass pedal sections; multiple output effects processors; and independent channels per manual. Moreover, Expanded Mode adds a full compliment of drawbars for each harmonic; a new waveform drawbar on each section; several popular effects; Leslie™ and guitar amp simulator outputs; and an expanded percussion section. Similarly, Services Mode allows for individual tuning of each pitch — just like an original Vox; alterable key contact timing (to simulate older key contacts); and authentic background noise bleed control.

VOX Continental-V for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/AAX/Standalone) will be available in late April, priced at 119 EUR / $129 USD.

More information: Arturia

Mabelton Audio releases Arturia Collection for Ableton Push

Mabelton Audio has launched the Arturia Collection, a software package that allows you to browse, load and control the factory presets from Arturia virtual instruments from inside Ableton Push.

Mabelton Audio Arturia Collection

It’s taken over 3 weeks of painstaking (and quite boring) work, but now we’re very pleased to present our full package – including most of Arturia’s V collection (please see product description for details), Sylenth and Diva.

This is the quickest way to be able to browse, load and control the parameters of all these Vsts from within Push, instantly.

Arturia Collection features

  • 11,400 configured preset racks that will allow you to:
    • Browse the factory presets for each instrument from Push.
    • Load up the presets from Push.
    • Control the knobs and sliders on the Vsts from Push’s encoders.
  • Includes preset racks for Analog Lab (incl. 5,000 ‘sound’ presets, organized alphabetically, and ‘multi’ presets), Arp 2600, CS80V2, Jupiter V, Mini V, Modular V, Oberheim V, Prophet V, Wurlitzer V, and Spark VDM.

The Arturia Collection pack is available to purchase for £10.99 GBP. A pack without Mini V and Modular V is also offered for £7.50 GBP. A Full Collection pack (Arturia, Diva, Sylenth1) is £14.99 GBP. The packs require Ableton Live 9 and the corresponding Arturia instrument plugins.

More information: Mabelton Audio

Arturia announces Spark 2

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Arturia has introduced Spark 2, a new look, new feel version of the powerful software engine that drives its drum machine-redefining SPARK Creative Drum Machine and SparkLE Creative Drum Machine hybrid hardware/software instruments.

Spark 2
Spark 2 comes with extended REX support.

With the timely introduction of SPARK 2, Arturia has given its beat creation software a new look, new feel, and a whole host of new features fit to make it the premier sound-sculpting and live performance drum machine on the market when perfectly paired with the SPARK Creative Drum Machine and SparkLE Creative Drum Machine controllers. It’s a match made in hybrid heaven that’s more flexible than ever before!

While SPARK has always been built on a fully-modular VA (Virtual Analogue) sound engine, originally only developers had access to this wonderful-sounding rhythmical power source. Not now. With the all-new SPARK 2, users are free to add and subtract modules (including oscillators, multimode filters and Karplus-Strong filter, ADR envelopes, LFOs, mixers, ring modulator, Bode Frequency Shifter, spring mass, and CV processor); create their own patch routings; and assign up to six macro controls for immediate control. Clearly, it’s this truly modular, fully-accessible sound engine that makes SPARK 2 truly shine as the ultimate drum synthesizer!

Spark 2 features

  • All new graphics: Tabbed pages, Expanded Pattern edit screen, New mixer, Enhanced Library page for better data management.
  • Extended REX support: REX file playback per pad, Manipulation of REX File slices.
  • Modular Drum synth editor: Create your own patches, Edit existing patches.
  • Create custom instrument macro controls modules including: Oscillators, Multimode filters and Karplus strong filter, ADR envelopes, LFOs, Mixers, RingModulator, Bode Frequency Shifter, Spring mass, CV processor.
  • Song mode: NEW 16 song segments, Song segment triggering from hardware.

Spark 2 will be available to download for existing Spark and SparkLE Creative Drum Machine users in March, 2014.

Spark Creative Drum Machine and SparkLE Creative Drum Machine can be purchased for $399 USD/399 EUR and $299 USD/249 EUR respectively.

More information: Arturia / Spark 2

Arturia announces BeatStep controller/sequencer

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Arturia has announced BeatStep, an amazingly compact and bijou, space-saving tabletop pad controller-cum-step sequencer that is as powerful as it is portable.

Arturia BeatStep
Arturia will showcase BeatStep at the 2014 Winter NAMM Show, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

Arturia’s breakthrough BeatStep offers a new level of functionality and performance features in a powerful, portable pad- and encoder- laden USB Class-compliant controller at a hitherto unheard of price-to-performance ratio. Taken at face value, triggering audio clips within powerful, flexible software environments such as Ableton Live or playing drum parts in conjunction with the likes of FXpansion BFD or Toontrack EZdrummer is as easy as exercising your trigger fingers!

Users can comfortably use BeatStep’s 16 sensitively-spaced, velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads to create dynamic percussion performances. Performing onstage? Well, when working in CNTRL (controller) mode those pads backlit LEDs are brightly lit in red — perfect for overcoming far from ideal lighting conditions that are typically associated with onstage operation. Actually, this also assists with making studio-based beats easier on the eye, too.

But beyond that trigger-happy, percussion-friendly facade lies a wealth of flexible features for creating mind-blowing music. Switch to SEQ (sequencer) mode and those backlit LEDs become blue for instant visual confirmation of the mode change. The pads now perform a different function, too. Each one represents a step in a 16-step sequence while pitch adjustments for each step is available via BeatStep’s 16 encoders. Up to 16 sequence pattens can be conveniently stored for instant recall. Elsewhere, encoder-enabled scale modes, sequencer playback modes, and time division functions allow for realtime performance changes.

Whatever your connectivity preferences may be, Arturia has helped keep BeatStep one step ahead of the competition by thoughtfully providing MIDI, USB, and CV/GATE options. Users can comfortably drive anything from software instruments to suitably-equipped hardware, including instruments like Arturia’s own super-selling MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer and MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer. Supporting BeatStep’s super-slender form factor, a custom breakout cable can be used to drive standard MIDI gear. Freedom of choice is always a wonderful thing — even more so when it comes to step sequencing!

Speaking of connectivity, when used with an Apple iPad and Camera Connection Kit combo, BeatStep becomes one of the most flexible iPad app controllers around as well. Indeed, its relatively diminutive dimensions make these desirable devices the perfect production partnership. After all, freedom to travel is also a wonderful thing — especially when carrying around a production-ready BeatStep-carrying backpack that is far from backbreaking and also unlikely to break the bank!

Those wishing to use BeatStep as a general purpose control surface are also well and truly catered for since its pads can be configured to be MIDI CC buttons or assigned to send Program and Bank Change messages as well as note messages. The transport buttons can be MMC controls or MIDI CC to start and stop any connected DAW. With 16 encoders, 16 pads/buttons, and 16 preset memories at your command, you can come up with multiple ways to use BeatStep in any live or studio environment.

Put simply, your wish is BeatStep’s command. Controlling and step sequencing is fun and flexible — and all available at an amazing asking price with Arturia’s breakthrough BeatStep. To see one is to want one — which is exactly why Arturia has seen fit to include a Kensington Lock to keep your BeatStep secure from prying eyes (and hands)!

BeatStep will be available to purchase at the end of March, 2014, priced at $129 USD/99 EUR (MSRP).

More information: Arturia