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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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!
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!
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 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).
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!
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.
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.
Continuing the proven Jomox analog drum desktop modules, we have decided to expand into the 19” euro rack market while keeping the tradition of our storeable analog sound production. To achieve this, we had to develop a complete new analog control system for our circuitries inside these modules.
We’d like to make these euro rack products interesting for both live drummers and modular people. Therefore, a CV/Gate control and trigger inputs for drumpad pickups are available.
For regular modular use, analog routable CV inputs and an analog output are accessible via 3.5mm jacks. The Gate can be configured as 0-5V, 0-15V, inversed or s-trigger.
The ModBase 09 Bass Drum and Mod.Brane 11 Percussion modules are scheduled for release in Summer 2013. More modules are to be announced.
Delptronics has announced the release of its LDB-1 analog drum machine.
The LDB-1 “Little Drummer Boy” is a modern recreation of the classic analog drum machines of the 80′s, like the Roland TR-606 and TR-808.
Our goal was to recreate the warm sounds of the classics, using all analog circuitry – not samples. The brain of the LDB-1 is a powerful digital microcontroller that triggers the analog drum sounds and provides the sequencer, programmability and connectivity features.
Easily interfaces with other instruments, synthesizers, DAWs, etc. through analog connections, MIDI, and DINsync.
Introduction of the LDB-1 analog drum machine from Delptronics.
Eight Analog Drum Sounds: Bass Drum, Low Tom, High Tom, Snare Drum, Wood Block, Hand Clap, Closed Hi-hat, Open Hi-hat
Eight voice polyphony. All drums can be played simultaneously, including open and closed hi-hat for a super punchy cymbal
Play Individual Drums.
Play Patterns, including chaining up to 8 patterns.
Livid Instruments has announced Elements, its new modular controller platform.
Introducing Livid Elements, the completely modular MIDI controller platform.
Elements is based on the popular eurorack modular format and provides endless possibilities for creating your own MIDI controller. Finally: DJs, VJs, and musicians can create their own controllers without any soldering, engineering, or complicated assembly required.
“We’ve been dreaming up a modular controller since the very first days of Livid”, states Travis Redding, Livid’s Director of Hardware. Redding, who is responsible for the design of Elements has been working over two years on the layout, configuration, and module integration of this system. Redding explains “We knew we didn’t want a proprietary modular product. We wanted to create a simple, open system that can be used by anyone wanting to assemble their own controller, and make it easy for others to make controller modules. Our vision was that this should be larger than just a Livid product, an easily adoptable format for the growing modular movement”.
Inspired by analog modular synths, Element modules come in many different configurations and layouts so you can easily remix the modules to create your own MIDI controller. Each module connects to the Elements Brain for easy plug-and-play configuration and setup. Modules are housed in Eurorack cases and result in a plug-and-play MIDI controller. The Elements configuration software makes it simple to configure your very own system. The standardized modular format allows for an incredible amount of flexibility and expansion, and Livid is has a variety of cases and modules available from their online store.
With a USB port, MIDI in and out jacks, and an optional 5v power supply, Elements is a massively flexible controller solution. Whether performing with Ableton Live, mixing visuals with Cell DNA, DJing with Traktor, or controlling your favorite analog gear, Elements provides a wide range of control possibilities.
In addition to their own Elements modules, Livid has created a Hardware Development Kit (HDK) for other companies, artists, and designers looking to create and share their own modules. The Elements system allows buttons, rotary potentiometers, faders, pressure sensitive pads, accelerometers, LEDs, encoders, sensors, and other analog devices to be connected through Livid and third-party modules.
The Elements modules are currently available starting at the introductory price of $100 USD each. Bundles including modules and case with elements Brain are available to pre-order. Shipping July, 1st 2012.
Expert Sleepers has announced the ES-5, an “ES-3 Expander” Eurorack module.
We’re pleased to announce the ES-5, an expansion module for the Expert Sleepers ES-3 Lightpipe/CV Interface.
It piggybacks on one of the ES-3′s stereo channels to provide eight sample accurate, jitter-free gate/clock/sync/MIDI outputs on the ES-5 itself, plus further expansion headers to connect up to five ES-4 Gate Expanders.
The ES-5 is expected to be available late March 2012.
Expert Sleepers has announced the release of the ES-3 mk2, a new version of its popular ES-3 Lightpipe/CV Interface Eurorack module.
The ES-3 is a Eurorack format module which converts eight channels of ADAT Lightpipe input to DC coupled outputs on 3.5mm jacks, for the ultimate convenience in connection of a DAW directly to analogue synthesizers.
The outputs can be used as control voltages (CVs), for example with software such as Expert Sleepers Silent Way, and can also be used as audio outputs at high, modular synth-compatible levels.
With the ES-3, a single optical cable is all that is need to bring direct CV control from your DAW right into the heart of a modular system.
The ES-3 mk2 adds two headers to the PCB for connection to as yet unannounced expansion modules.
ES-3 mk2 modules are available to purchase for MSRP £159 GBP + VAT.
AudioThing has introduced Soundscapes Vol.1, a collection of soundscapes, textures and ambiences ready to use as Kontakt instruments or WAV loops.
These sounds are divided in two main categories as the source materials: concrete and gear. The raw concrete samples were recorded in different places across Europe (Paris, Dublin, London and Naples) using studio or handy equipment. The raw gear samples were recorded from hardware synthesizers like a Custom Eurorack Modular Synth, guitar pedals and noisy toys like a Thingamagoop 2.
Everything was then processed and boxed inside a Kontakt instrument with a custom performance view. The pitch bend is assigned to a ±24 pitch transpose, good for glitch effects. All samples are perfect loops, so if you don’t have Kontakt you can load them directly.
Soundscapes Vol.1 features
30 Kontakt Instruments (.nki).
10 Kontakt Multis (.nkm).
33 Samples (48Khz / 24Bit).
Size: 117 MB installed.
Formats: Kontakt and WAV (loops).
Custom performance view.
Native Instruments Kontakt 3.5+ full retail version is required.
Soundscapes Vol.1 is available to purchase for the introductory price of $8 USD until January 19th, 2012 (regular $10 USD).