I had the pleasure of using a Macbeth Studio System’s M5. Some people compare it to an ARP 2600. It does have a similar layout although I personally found the sound to be also Moog-ish. Have you used one? What are your thoughts?
I have checked out the M5 a couple of times now. I first saw it at MusikMesse in Frankfurt a couple of years ago, and after getting to play with it unfettered, I had the pleasure of meeting it’s creator Ken Macbeth. I found the instrument to be built of very high quality and the sound quality was exceptional, however, I felt the filter was not very similar to that of the ARP 2600. People may compare it to the 2600, and as far as the layout goes, it is somewhat similar making it easy for me to navigate, however, the sounds that the M5 produces are all it’s own IMHO.
I really like it.
I am looking forward to seeing the M5 and Ken again at the NAMM show.
What makes the TimewARP 2600 different from the Arturia ARP2600 V?
I believe that the TimewARP 2600 sounds much more like a real ARP 2600 than any other virtual synth on the market. This belief has been confirmed by many very notable users of ARP 2600s. Our emulation is sample accurate in all respects and models the original circuits of the ARP 2600 where ever possible. One area that TimewARP 2600 stands apart from other products is in the area of audio frequency modulation. You can take any audio source on the TimewARP 2600 and route it to an CV input and get the behavior that you would expect if you were to do that on a real ARP 2600 across the full frequency range of the component. I have not seen this in other virtual instruments. This feature is how many famous ARP 2600 sounds are created.
Will there be more features added to the TimewARP 2600? A sequencer for example?
I would love to expand the TimewARP 2600 to include a sequencer, however, I can’t say when that will be. We recently added a couple of small additions to the TimewARP 2600 including a “Master Volume” control and offset controls to the MIDI beat synch feature. As time permits, and market allows, we will continue to enhance the TimewARP 2600.
Let’s talk about kikAXXE. It’s a synth, drum machine and sequencer which sounds super yet it’s priced quite low. Was there a lot of special discussion of it’s price? I am surprised by it honestly.
We did not compromise on sound quality in KikAXXE. Our goal was to produce a cost friendly electronic music environment that was fun. We left out a few features in order to justify the price, but all in all I believe KikAXXE delivers the goods. Our hope is that by providing KikAXXE at such an attractive price, that it will open the door to a wider audience of users and allow more people to discover what analog synthesis is all about. At the same time, we have many pros excited about KikAXXE too.
The thing that has to be clear is that KikAXXE is inexpensive, but still sounds awesome and can produce very useable results quickly and easily.
Are you still in contact with Alan R. Pearlman? I know he has endorsed the timewARP 2600. Did you send him kikAXXE?
I try to stay in touch with Alan as often as I can. He has been very supportive of Way Out Ware, and we really appreciate that. He has told me that he believes in what we are doing regarding brining analog synthesis to a wider audience, and making it affordable. He said that he had considered producing a computer based synthesizer when ARP was still around, but the computers of the time were not powerful enough to get the job done. I believe that he feels that WOW products are bringing his legacy to a new generation of users.
Besides your own products have there been other audio software emulations have impressed you?
I like MiniMonsta and ImpOSCar by G-Media, both of those products are well done and sound great.
Can you tell us what your next release will be? Any hints?
We have been working on a project for eSession.com called VirtualGlass. It is not a synth but it is still very cool. It is a plugin that provides a high quality audio link between two computers over the Internet. It also has a video link, and a talk back channel. It also requires no network router configuration to work. It is pretty fun.
As for WOW products, we are working on updates to both products, and a bunch of sounds are in the works here too. As for the next big product, we have some ideas, but have not announced anything as of yet.
Do you make music yourself? If yes, how would you describe it? If you have a link to it online let us know!
I do make music. I play Violin, Guitar, Bass, and Piano. I have played in a lot of local groups of many types. I do compose, primarily for myself, but I have not put anything on the web as of yet.
Are you still located in Pismo Beach, California? I looked it up online and it seems like a beautiful beach community. Is that correct? Do you spend time swimming in the Ocean? Give the musicians sitting in their dark studios an idea what your town is like!
We are in Pismo Beach. The town is famous as the place Bugs Bunny was always trying to get to when he takes a left turn in Albuquerque and winds up in some desert somewhere. It is a cool little town. I Kayak in the ocean occasionally. We have sea caves that you can Kayak around here. My kids love to go to the beach, and dig holes in the sand and look for various creatures in the tide pools. When it is warm in the summer, I do swim in the ocean, but it is a bit cold for that now. There are several other towns in the close vicinity: San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Arroyo Grande, etc. This area is famous for Pinot Noir wine, and lots of good sea food. Clam Chowder is very popular here too.
Tell us a few of your favorite websites.
I like to check out KVRAudio.com. I really don’t spend too much time on the web however, I generally like to use my spare time making music. (smiles)
Anything else you would like to add or let people know?
If you are coming to the 2008 Winter NAMM show, come buy the M-Audio Booth #6700 and say hi. We will be demonstrating KikAXXE and TimewARP 2600, and generally having a good time talking to the gear heads there.