Futuresonus announces Parva polyphonic analog synth

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Futuresonus has announced Parva, a revolutionary new polyphonic analog synthesizer that combines the classic warmth of an all-analog signal chain with the modern convenience of digital control in an elegantly designed tabletop package.

Futuresonus Parva

“I designed Parva from the ground up with the intention of producing a completely new synth while still maintaining the character of the classics from the ‘70s and ‘80s,” said Futuresonus founder Brad Ferguson.

Each of Parva’s eight voices features three digitally-controlled analog oscillators, producing sawtooth, triangle, and PWM waveforms with extremely accurate pitch and rock-solid tuning stability. A pair of two-pole state-variable filters can be configured for a 12dB or 24dB low-pass or high-pass response, or split for bandpass or notch filtering. Four four-stage envelope generators and four multi-waveform low-frequency oscillators feed a flexible modulation matrix, allowing for virtually limitless sound design options.

Parva is the first analog synthesizer to feature a USB Master port, which enables the user to connect any class-compliant USB MIDI keyboard — or other controller — directly, without the need for a computer. Analog potentiometers provide immediate access to the most commonly used parameters, while the high visibility OLED displays on the front panel show additional settings, making it simple to dial in the perfect patch.

From the aluminum enclosure to the custom-machined aluminum knobs on sturdy panel- mounted potentiometers, Parva was designed with working musicians in mind, and built to last. Each unit will be hand-assembled in Austin, TX.

Parva is expected to ship in Summer 2015. Pre-orders will begin in February, with the standard polyphonic Parva retailing for under $1,000 USD. An expandable monophonic version will also be available for under $500 USD.

More information: Futuresonus

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Primal Audio updates FM4 synth app to v1.1

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Primal Audio has released version 1.1 of FM4, a 4-operator synthesizer app for iOS.

Primal Audio FM4

Modelled on the popular DX series from the 1980s FM4 provides the same gritty sound, with a modern interface, and without being bound by the limitations of the original units.

Every aspect of the hardware — from envelope curves to sine-table sizes and quantisation errors to digital-to-analogue converters — has been meticulously analysed, in order to recreate the raw and dirty sound of the original units.

Changes in FM4 v1.1

  • Audiobus support.
  • iOS 7.0.x crash has been fixed.
  • Performance boost: the UI responsiveness has been drastically improved.
  • App-size has been reduced with more than 60%.
  • The manual is up.
  • Added a tempo popover with manual control of the tempo.
  • Added a waveform popover with an overview of waveforms.
  • Minor bug fixes.

FM4 is available for purchase for $9.99 USD.

A free FM4 Lite version is now also available.

The lite version is fully functional except for the following limitations:

  • MIDI is disabled.
  • Inter-app Audio is disabled.
  • Audiobus is disabled.
  • Saving is disabled.
  • Only 40 factory presets are included.

More information: Primal Audio

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Casio releases CZ App for iPad

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Casio has released CZ App for iPad, a virtual synthesizer app based on Casio’s best-selling CZ series of synthesizers, including the CZ-101 model released in 1984.

Casio CZ App for iPad

Along with its electronic musical instruments, Casio has been developing musical apps with the goal of providing the joy of playing music to more and more people. To date, Casio has released several apps that have become widely popular: Chordana Viewer and Chordana Tap, which automatically detect the chord progressions of songs; as well as Musical Practice Tool, a useful app for practicing a musical instrument or singing.

Now Casio has released the CZ App for iPad, an iPad app that recreates its best-selling CZ series of classic synthesizers and includes several all-new functions. CZ App for iPad allows up to four separate parts to be played using the original Phase Distortion sound source by Casio, and features 36 types of waveforms for producing a wide range of sounds.

The app is available for purchase for $19.99 USD.

More information: Casio / CZ App for iPad

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Korg intros MS-20M Kit + SQ-1, KAOSS DJ, kaossilator 2S & new Kronos at NAMM

Korg has introduced a number of new products at the Winter NAMM 2015.

SQ-1 step sequencer

Korg SQ-1

The SQ-1 is a compact step sequencer with 2 x 8 steps.

It’s wealth of connection jacks allows it to be connected to the MS-20 and a variety of other synthesizers. Vintage analog synths or the latest compact synths can be controlled from this single unit. You can also switch between a variety of synthesizer modes and use the step buttons to create performances overflowing with spontaneity, just as when using a volca unit.

Liberate yourself from the numerically-bound parameter editing that’s typical on a DAW; you’ll enjoy truly musical inspiration as you train your ears and concentrate on what your fingertips are doing. Don’t miss the experience of music that’s driven by your instinct.

MS-20M Kit + SQ-1 Monophonic synthesizer module kit

Korg MS-20M Kit + SQ-1

The MS-20M Kit is based on the MS-20 with additional improvements.

It’s an analog synthesizer module where you can choose your preferences and assemble yourself. In addition to greatly enhanced synthesis possibilities provided by oscillator sync, FM, two filters (pre and post), and PWM, there are jacks such as a CV IN that supports both Hz/V and V/Oct, making it play nicely with other equipment.

You’ll be able to immerse yourself in synthesis, and with the inclusion of the SQ-1 step sequencer you can also create and play sequences.

KAOSS DJ

Korg KAOSS DJ

The KAOSS DJ is a new DJ controller.

The KAOSS DJ is a USB and standalone DJ controller that features a built-in KAOSS PAD, KORG’s famous and inimitable touch pad effects unit. Using these effects, along with the generous assortment of control features provided, will take your DJ performances to a whole new level.

Use sweeping filters to accentuate or create your own drop; use time-based delays to manipulate the beat; employ isolators to accentuate frequencies for mashups; put a huge reverb on that snare hit… the possibilities are endless!

kaossilator 2S

The kaossilator 2S is a dynamic phrase synthesizer.

Korg kaossilator 2S

The palm-sized synthesizer, kaossilator 2, has now been intensified. Announcing the newly evolved kaossilator 2S (“S” stands for Sound on Sound), a great tool for serious music production.

Use the touchpad to perform intuitively, the loop recorder to keep overdubbing, then export your recorded phrases to Ableton Live and polish them into a song! With undo/redo functions and support for exporting as multi-track data or in Ableton Live format, the kaossilator 2S means that serendipitous phrases and sudden ideas can be seamlessly used in song production.

New Kronos

The new Kronos is the most powerful version of Korg’s flagship synthesizer.

Korg Kronos

“The new Kronos features the unrivaled 9-engine structure from previous versions, with numerous improvements to both sound capability and overall functionality. Truly, the most powerful synthesizer on the planet just got more powerful” James Sajeva, Brand Manager for Korg products.

“Our SGX piano engine, already revered for its German and Japanese grands, now also includes a 9GB Berlin grand with dedicated una corda (soft pedal) samples, plus sympathetic string resonance that works on all the SGX pianos” he continued. “It’s truly an amazing piano experience. There are new banks of sounds based on famous song titles for our cover players and those looking for ‘that’ sound for their recordings, plus a ‘best of’ bank from KaPro, who has created numerous libraries for the Kronos line.”

Other new features include system-wide Touch/Drag via the Kronos’ huge color TouchView™ screen; allowing the user to edit onscreen parameters faster and more naturally than ever.

An evolved Set List mode provides the capability to resize their custom text per set list entry, and enter text via either an onscreen QWERTY or external USB ASCII keyboard. Entries can also be color-coded for better organization and visibility, and users can even decide how many set list entries appear on the screen at time, allowing for more (and larger) onscreen text to remind you of lyrics, changes, or other notes.

An improved search function helps users to find the perfect sound faster than ever. Other improvements include onscreen metering in Combination and Sequencer modes, along with the ability to edit Programs within a Combination to hear the edits in context with other parts.

The improvements don’t end with the software, either; the new Kronos also boasts a new look, including natural wood side panels, easier-to-read silkscreened text, a sophisticated – and functional – vented back panel, and gold-plated audio I/O jacks.

More information: Korg

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Dave Smith Instruments intros Prophet-6 synthesizer

Dave Smith Instruments has introduced the Prophet-6, a 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer.

Sequential / Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-6

The Prophet-6 is Dave Smith’s tribute to the poly synth that started it all—the Sequential Prophet-5.

But it’s not simply a reissue of a classic. Rather, as Dave puts it, “It’s the result of our effort to build the most awesome-sounding, modern analog poly synth possible.” The Prophet-6 takes the best qualities of the original Prophet-5—true voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers—and adds enhancements such as studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more.

The result is pure, unadulterated analog tone with the stability and reliability of a state-of-the-art modern synth.

Prophet-6 features

  • Oscillators
    • Continuously variable wave shape (triangle, sawtooth, pulse, square) per oscillator.
    • Pulse width per oscillator.
    • Hard sync: oscillator 1 syncs to oscillator 2.
    • Triangle sub-octave generator (oscillator 1) per voice.
    • Low frequency mode (oscillator 2).
    • Keyboard tracking on/off (oscillator 2).
    • Oscillator slop amount for increased tuning instability, from subtle to extreme.
  • Mixer
    • Oscillator 1 amount.
    • Oscillator 1 sub-octave amount.
    • Oscillator 2 amount.
    • White noise amount.
  • High-pass filter
    • 2-pole, resonant, high-pass filter per voice.
    • Bi-polar filter envelope amount.
    • Velocity modulation of envelope amount.
    • Keyboard tracking: off, half, full.
  • Low-pass filter
    • Four-pole, resonant, low-pass filter per voice, inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter.
    • Filter can be driven into self-oscillation with the Resonance control.
    • Bi-polar filter envelope amount.
    • Velocity modulation of envelope amount.
    • Keyboard tracking: off, half, full.
  • Poly mod
    • Sources: filter envelope (bi-polar) and oscillator 2 (bi-polar).
    • Destinations: oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 1 shape, oscillator 1 pulse width, low-pass filter cutoff, high-pass filter cutoff.
  • Effects
    • Stereo analog distortion
    • Dual, 24-bit, 48 kHz digital effects, including: reverb (room, hall, plate, spring), delay (full bandwidth digital delay and emulated bucket brigade and tape delays), chorus, and phase shifter.
    • Delay sync.
    • True bypass maintains fully analog signal path when digital effects are off.
  • Sequencer
    • Polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps and rests.
  • Patch memory
    • 500 user and 500 factory programs in 10 banks of 100 programs each.
    • Direct program access, including Prophet-5 style single-button access to the current set of 10 programs.
  • Performance controls
    • Full-sized, semi-weighted, 4-octave keyboard with velocity and aftertouch.
    • Backlit pitch and mod wheels.
    • Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program (1 to 12 semitones up and down).
    • Transpose controls for an 8-octave range.
    • Hold switch latches held notes on.
    • Polyphonic glide (portamento).
    • Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count, from one to all six voices, and key modes.
    • Preset switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear.

More information: Sequential

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