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Sonic Faction releases Dope Matrix for Ableton Live

Sonic Faction has announced Dope Matrix, a virtual synthesizer instrument for Ableton Live 9.

Sonic Faction Dope Matrix

Dope Matrix brings the modular experience into a digital world by combining famous analog oscillators with custom made effects modules.

Create your own patches to explore vast new dimensions of sound and design evolving textures for experimental sonic science. The instrument also includes a new Max for Live step sequencer that features a realtime matrix for hands-on control of your patch.

Instantly access any oscillator or effects parameter with a touch of a button. Dope Matrix allows you to intuitively interface with your sounds like never before.

Dope Matrix features

  • Virtual Modular Synthesizer for Live 9.
  • 4 famous analog oscillators: A-110, Plan B, Cwejman & Piston Honda.
  • 12 custom Effects Modules – vast new dimensions of sound.
  • Design evolving textures for experimental sonic science.
  • 100+ Presets included, optimized for Live’s browser.
  • Includes Max for Live Step Sequencer that features a realtime control Matrix for hands on control of your patch.

Dope Matrix for Live 9.1 is available to purchase for $40 USD.

More information: Sonic Faction / Dope Matrix

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Particular releases Euro Munchies – Tonal Toppings

Particular Euro Munchies Tonal Toppings

Particular Audio has released Euro Munchies – Tonal Toppings, the first sample pack in a new series of Eurorack sequence loops.

Insert these unique “tonal” sounds into anything in need of something really out of the ordinary – be it four to the floor, downtempo, urban or cinematic.

Created through the exploration of rhythmic possibilities in analogue traditional and Cartesian sequencers, and rotating clock dividers in a Eurorack modular system, by feeding clock signals from a DAW and process the resulting sequences in the digital domain – retaining all the magic and weirdness coming from the analog circuits in sync and under control for maximum musical ability.

Instead of focusing on any specific genre or style of sound the goal here has been to squeeze out the unique, personal and odd from the hardware, and find emergent source sequences using high quality analogue oscillators combined with digital wave table ones, frequency modulation, low pass gates, filters, distortion, frequency shifter among others.

The modular system consists of selected modules from about 20 different brands: Makenoise, 4ms, Cwejman, Doepfer, TipTop audio, Plan B, Intellijel and a Roland system 100 Model 101. Digital real time processing mainly through Soundtoys and Fabfilter suites.

The sample pack costs £14.95 GBP.

More information: Particular / Euro Munchies – Tonal Toppings

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ALEX4 showcases slew of specialist products at Musikmesse 2013

Musikmesse 2013 sees ALEX4 Distribution proudly introducing several new brands to its European retail network, with notable new analogue synthesisers and innovative musical hardware products being showcased by big names like Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments and Haken Audio from the USA alongside emerging European manufacturers and already in place partners alike.

Doepfer is proudly previewing the MAQ 16/3 Dark Edition of its long-running, rack-mount MIDI Analog Sequencer with CV/Gate connections.

This limited-edition version celebrates the 20th anniversary of its development in close collaboration with techno pop pioneers Kraftwerk.

Doepfer MAQ 16/3 Dark Edition

Now that aptly-named Dark Edition features a black front panel and bigger knobs to match the recently redesigned desktop Dark Energy II Analog Synthesizer and accompanying desktop Dark Time Analog Sequencer in both look and feel.

Several significant additions coming to Doepfer’s diverse A-100 Modular System are also on show, including the A-127 Triple Voltage Controlled Resonance Filter; A-130 Linear Voltage Controlled Amplifier; A-131 Exponential Voltage Controlled Amplifier; A-135-1 Quad Linear VCA/Voltage Controlled Mixer; A-157 Trigger Sequencer Subsystem (based on the same 8×16 matrix central to the discontinued ‘full-size’ 8U rack-mount SCHALTWERK MIDI Trigger Sequencer); A-171-2 Voltage Controlled Slew Processor/Generator; A-180-2 Small Multiple; A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/MIDI to CV/Gate Interface; A-190-8 USB/MIDI to Sync Interface; and A-192-2 CV/Gate to MIDI/USB Interface — not forgetting the newly-designed, pocket-friendly A-100 Low Cost Base Frame to house all those modules… and many more besides.

Broken Silicon Gainsburg

ALEX4 also spearheads new additions to the ever-expanding Eurorack modular system format by boutique European manufacturers Endorphin.es from Austria — following up its Furthrrrr Generator dual oscillator module with a prototype of the Terminator analogue delay/low pass gate/reverb — and Frankfurt’s very own Broken Silicon, making its Eurorack debut at Musikmesse 2013 with Gainsburg, a dual VCA module with severe signal-boosting for some seriously nice-sounding distortion… interstellar overdrive, anyone?

CWEJMAN DP-2

Having given its RES-4 Quad VCA a cream-coloured facelift to match the recently relaunched MMF-2 Stereo Multi Mode Filter, high-standing Swedish synthesiser developer and manufacturer CWEJMAN is back with the DP-2.

With this brand-new complex modular compression tool CWEJMAN continues to play its part in ensuring that the Eurorack modular system format remains even more buoyant and musically vibrant than ever!

Reaching beyond Eurorack — and, indeed, Europe itself, ALEX4 is delighted to introduce Dr Lippold Haken and Edmund Eagan of Haken Audio fresh from the USA. Duly demonstrating the captivating Continuum Fingerboard realtime performance controller — running the latest firmware in its full-size glory (with greater pitch range than a traditional 88-note MIDI keyboard), they are also introducing the inbuilt EaganMatrix digital modular synthesiser, designed to take advantage of the controller’s delicate and dramatic musical performance possibilities!

Haken Audio EaganMatrix
EaganMatrix section of the Continuum Editor program.

Alongside that rolling workshop, ALEX4 proudly presents the wonderful world of Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments to the wider European musical community. A new incarnation of founding father Don Buchla’s classic Californian design from 1973, its Buchla Music Easel is a portable, performance-orientated instrument, comprising the 281e Touch Keyboard Controller (29-key chromatic touch keyboard with pitch, pressure, and pulse outputs) and 208a Stored Program Sound Source (primary sound generator with five-position sequencer, ADS-type envelope generator, pulser circuit, modulation oscillator, complex oscillator, dual lowpass gates, envelope detector/inverter/preamp, and output section) housed in a rugged carrying case.


The Music Easel remake, as introduced at the Winter NAMM 2013.

Seeing is believing, but you’d better believe it: standing in front of an actual Buchla electronic musical instrument is truly a sight (and sound) to behold!

Memotron Harry's Collection

Berlin-based Manikin Electronic is introducing Harry’s Collection for its Memotron, an acclaimed digital remake of the legendary Mellotron, much beloved by the likes of popular music landscape-changing Beatles — think ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ — and Moody Blues, classic prog-rock era Genesis and Pink Floyd, as well as electronic music pioneers Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream during their so-called ‘Berlin School’ days.

Complimenting already available Memotron sound library collections, this includes 12 sounds originally created by none other than Harry Chamberlin, famed for inventing his namesake electro-mechanical Mellotron forerunner, the 1950s-vintage Chamberlin. Available as a 35-note keyboard — now in charcoal grey or beautiful black lacquered finishes in addition to traditional white — or conveniently compact 1U rack-mountable module, Memotron sound library collections continue to heighten its status as a must-have ‘digital Mellotron’ for the modern-day discerning musician!

MFB Dominion 1

Also joining ALEX4 at the Musikmesse 2013 launchpad is fellow Berliner MFB, presenting a keyboard version of its Dominion X programmable analogue synth with onboard sequencer, alongside an all-new, mature MIDI-compatible drum machine: Tanzbär bristles with innovative functions from contemporary sequencers and workstations, together with high-quality sounds and six full-size output jacks. MSRP will be €840.00 EURO (including 19% VAT).

Having had to discontinue some earlier established products due to plastic casings no longer being available, MFB is rereleasing ‘MkII’ models of its Kraftzwerg and Microzwerg desktop analogue synths alongside the Urzwerg Pro step sequencer — all rehoused in more upmarket metal casings combined with eye-catching wooden end cheeks, while its popular TR-808 classic-cloning 552 Drumcomputer remains in production.

SubtleNoiseMaker Cacophonator Noir

SubtleNoiseMaker from Vienna is introducing its not-so-subtle-sounding Cacophonator Noir, a handmade electronic music synthesiser, effects pedal, and noise box. This extreme noise and drone machine is inspired by circuit-bending, but better suited to those who prefer music-making stability! MSRP: €369.00 EURO (including 19% VAT).

MacBeth Micromac-D

Thanks to ALEX4, Scottish ‘synthmeister’ Ken Macbeth’s namesake Macbeth Studiosystems is making its seriously-sought-after boutique synths available throughout Europe, starting with the upcoming Micromac-D, a full-scale integrated analogue desktop — small… but perfectly formed!

midiclock

Also new to the ALEX4 fold — and Musikmesse 2013 — is the midiclock from Berlin-based Erfindungsbüro Rest & Maier.

This simple but brilliant little tool can synchronise several software and/or hardware sequencers with the greatest of jitter-free ease and full BPM control via a dedicated knob. MSRP will be €195.00 EURO (including 19% VAT).

Last, but by no means least, Trautoniks from Germany is introducing its new Trautonium Manual with separate CV and Gate manuals in 70cm and 90cm lengths.

Traunotiks

Based on the Volkstrautonium, a pioneering monophonic electronic musical instrument mass-manufactured by Telefunken throughout 1933/34, those manuals are made of a resistor wire over a metal plate — playable just like an original, only when pressed produce a sound on any connected CV/Gate-equipped analogue synth with perfect velocity curves. Come see for yourselves… on Stand C54 in Hall 5.1!

ALEX4 Distribution GmbH is showcasing its unique product portfolio of analogue synthesisers and innovative musical hardware from smaller specialist manufacturers at Musikmesse 2013 on Stand C51 in Hall 5.1.

More information: ALEX4 Distribution

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Doepfer releases Dark Energy II analog synthesizer

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Doepfer has announced availability of its new Dark Energy II, a redesigned version of the monophonic analogue synthesizer with USB/MIDI interface and CV connectivity.

So why the need to redesign something so successful so soon? Simple. Needs must. And who better to explain this than company CEO Dieter Doepfer himself: “As the Dark Energy had to be discontinued, because an important electronic component (CEM3394) is no longer available, we decided to do a redesign. The new Dark Energy II looks like the Dark Energy at first glance, but the basic sound of the Dark Energy II is clearly different because of the new circuits for the VCO, VCF, and VCA.”

Doepfer Dark Energy II
Like the Dark Energy, the Dark Energy II is a standalone monophonic analogue synthesizer with inbuilt USB/MIDI interfacing and CV connectivity housed in a rugged black metal case with wooden end cheeks.

Given the absence of that rich-sounding, analogue ‘synthesizer-voice-on-a-chip’ (CEM3394) from Curtis Electromusic Specialities successor OnChip, how does the Dark Energy II sound? Still rich, still analogue — with 20 to 30 minutes tuning time needed for the VCO’s temperature-controlled pure analogue circuitry, but different… mainly because of the completely different filter type.

Notable differences in specification between the two — together with a number of functional additions to the Dark Energy II — are as follows: firstly, the Dark Energy II features a sawtooth-based VCO core (compared to the Dark Energy’s triangle-based one), which, as implied, outputs a sawtooth waveform, with a waveform Shape switch for selecting sawtooth, off, or clipped/inverted sawtooth; meanwhile, that all-important, sounding-defining VCF is centred around a 12dB multimode filter with lowpass, notch, highpass, and bandpass, together with an all-new filter Mode control for continuous transition from lowpass via notch and highpass around to bandpass (as opposed the 24dB lowpass variety with linear frequency modulation (LFM) control found on the Dark Energy); the VCF’s exponential frequency modulation (XFM) control also has a polarization function, whereby the modulation source (LFO2 or ADSR) selected by the Source switch can affect the filter frequency with a positive or negative behaviour (by rotating rightwards or leftwards, respectively); finally, the VCA has an exponential scale (unlike the Dark Energy’s combined linear/exponential scale).

Benefitting those with a modicum of electronics know-how, the Dark Energy II offers much more internal expansion possibilities than its ‘Mk I’ predecessor courtesy of pin header terminals for the following functions: rectangle and sawtooth VCO outputs, linear FM input for VCO, hard sync input for VCO, lowpass/bandpass/highpass VCF output, rectangle and triangle outputs for each LFO, and optional reset/direction features for each LFO — all conspiring to make this already flexible synthesizer even more flexible!

The upshot of those differences is that sounds created on a Dark Energy II of course cannot be replicated on a Dark Energy (and vise versa) — though there is nothing to stop the two distinctive synthesizers from being daisy-chained together to produce an even wider palette of sounds. Indeed, several units can be polyphonically or monophonically cascaded (via internal MIDI out/MIDI in connections) to create an ‘über-synth’ of sorts!

Dark Energy II is available to purchase online within Germany directly from Doepfer for 428 EUR incl. VAT, or from an authorised dealer. An optional Glide control option is also available for self-installation for 10 EUR incl. VAT.

More information: Doepfer

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Audiovapor releases Modular Percussion Reason ReFill

Audiovapor Modular Percussion

Audiovapor has announced the release of Modular Percussion, a ReFill for Propellerhead Reason.

Modular Percussion is a Reason Refill of unique sampled percussive sounds from a modular EuroRack synthesizer. Modular Percussion contains 581mb of content sampled at 24bit 96khz, 50 combinators, and 3 full Kong kits.

The percussive samples were created with the MakeNoise Optomix triggered by an MFB Uzewerg Pro. The sound sources were the WMD Phase Displacement Oscillator, Modcan Dual Wave, Moog Freqbox and Doepfer A-118. The Optomix is an analog, vactrol based voltage controlled Low Pass Gate. Low Pass Gates are commonly used for creating classic modular percussive timbres. The vactrol creates a natural, musical decay, perfect for percussive hits. The MFB Urzwerg Pro was used to trigger the Optomix with 5 different CV damping amounts, multisampled and layered within Kong. The result is a dynamic, unique percussion soundset simply unavailable anywhere else.

The 50 LPG combinators heavily feature the Echobode and Pulsar Reason Rack Extensions. You must own the Echobode and Pulsar Rack Extensions to use these combinators properly. The combinators feature arppegiators, sequences, effects and filters that create inspirational percussive loops. The 3 Kong kits are all of the multisamples mapped across the pads.

The ReFill is available to purchase for the introductory price of $9 USD.

More information: Audiovapor / Modular Percussion

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Synth-Project intros The Diva Controller – DIY Controller for u-he’s DIVA software synth

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Mario Jurisch of Synth-Project has introduced The Diva Controller, a custom controller for the DIVA virtual analog synthesizer by u-he.

Synth-Project The Diva Controller
The DIVA controller is ~90cm wide and has a height of ~30cm, weighing about 9kg.

The DIVA controller is special designed for Urs Heckmanns VST/AU Plugin. Inside the controller there are 2 Doepfer USB64 Midi interfaces. One special wheel electronic for pitch and mod wheel and the MKE Electronic for the 4 octave Fatar keyboard with velocity. The controller has about 90 knobs and 25 switches.

The difficulty was, how to realize the different modules of the oscillators, filters and envelopes. If the controller would have its own knob for each parameter then the controller would have the dimension of a Moog Modular. ;o)

More information: Synth-Project

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The Control Centre releases Dark Territory for Ableton

The Control Centre Dark Territory

The Control Centre has released Dark Territory, a sound library for Ableton Live.

An Instrument Rack for Ableton Live 8 featuring a collection of rhythmic LFO modulated samples created with a Doepfer Dark Energy analogue monosynth.

The samples are looped and mapped out across a single split keyboard (requires Live 8.3.2 or higher).

Dark Territory features

  • Ableton Live Instrument Rack with 50 samples, 24 bit WAV (46 MB content).
  • Recording equipment: Allen & Heath ZED14, NI Audio Kontrol 1, Ableton Live 8.

The sound library is available to purchase for $5 USD.

More information: The Control Centre / Dark Territory

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