I created a bank of presets for Arturia’s fantastic iSEM synthesizer. The presets are available in the latest update. I also did an interview for Arturia (link). iSEM is really one of if not the best iPAD synth app. I worked hard on making these sounds so please check them out and enjoy the preset names too.
“Discover The Horrorist, the artist behind the new iSEM presets, and what he thinks about the app.” – arturia.com
I really liked Arturia’s Minibrute a lot. I think it has a unique character. The new Microbrute is even more compelling. It’s smaller so it will fit on my desk and easier to take around. It has an interesting Mod Matrix that allows some Eurorack connection goodness. It has a cool sequencer that’s syncable with my Eurorack stuff. The price is great: $300.
“Packed with mixable waveforms, a new sub oscillator design, the famous Steiner-Parker multimode filter, super fast envelope, syncable LFO and the new step sequencer, not to mention the patchable mod matrix the MicroBrute is a landmark new synth at an incredible price.” – Arturia.com
Arturia has released iSEM for iPad. I only really post things if they seem interesting to me and well another iPad synth? Yes it’s based on the SEM but I have a Telemark and my modular so what gives? You see this iSEM has a nice killer feature! Watch the tutorial video above at about 3:25 in concerning the Voice Programmer. Here you can have the iSEM rotate each key press through 4 different voices. This is excellent as you can then set up each voice with a different filter setting or slight pitch variation. Setting up the voices like that gives you a really nice vintage sound. I also like that they implemented different keyboard scales. $9.99 available now.
“Set your key and choose from 26 scales, including Major, Minor, Pentatonic, Lydian and more. Inspired by the multitimbrality of the Oberheim two, four and eight Voice, the 8 Voice Programmer is a powerful module which lets you edit the parameters of 7 additional voices. Voice Programmer makes programming a breeze thanks to its visual layout. Select one of six directions for voice selection with modes including FWD, BWD, FWD-BWD and RANDOM. Whether you want to play spectral pads or complex sequences, this module will allow you to reach amazing sonic results.” – Arturia
Well it’s holiday time again. Everyone loves gifts and musicians are generally a needy bunch so here’s a few ideas. If you are lucky and get a musical gift don’t forget to return the kindness with a song!
1. Monoproce DJ Style Headphone and Behringer HA400 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amp
Musicians should have a few good pairs of monitors speakers and headphones around to check their mixes. Another advantage of a second pair of headphones is that when friends comes over they can both put them on and record some vocals together. You don’t have to break the bank for this gift because Monoproce is selling a headphone simply called DJ Style that is getting good reviews and it’s only $21. If your musician’s audio interface only has one headphone jack you can get them the Behringer HA400 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amp for about $22.
2. Tiptop Audio Happy Ending Kit
The Eurorack modular synthesizer format is becoming more and more popular. If you get a Happy Ending Kit for a friend who is a musician they may at first be bewildered. Once they release it’s the first step to a modular system and some of what the modules do and sound like he will thank you all year. About $150.
3. Gift Certificates to Control and Analogue Haven
If they already have a Eurorack modular case you can get them a gift certificate to one of the two best stores that sell modules… Control and Analogue Haven. Any price.
4. Hiss and Roar Sound Library
With names like TORTURED CYMBALS and Vegetable Violence you may think this isn’t very Christmas like. However your musician will be very pleased to have these Hiss and Roar sounds in his library. You will have fun choosing what insane library to gift. I use them all the time. $50 – $100.
5. Arturia Minibrute
So if your musician has been very very good this year you may want to reward him. Even though this is a luxurious gift this synth is a huge bargain. The Minibrute only plays one note at a time but it’s real analog for a powerful sound that will outshine his/her friend’s Microkorg. If you are going all out like this you may want to invest in the headphones above too because this thing makes some serious wild noise. $500.
“My name’s D.M.C. with the mic in my hand. And I’m chilling and coolin’ just like a snowman. So open your eyes, lend us an ear. We want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” – Run DMC
Nick from Sonic State got his hands on one of the first shipping Arturia Minibrutes. One thing is for sure is that this is the best sounding Arturia product. I think it sounds closest to the oldest Roland and Yamaha analog synths. It does have a great bass but it’s not a Moog bass (which is good for a change). It has full MIDI and CV for connecting to analog sequencers (Hallelujah!!). For $500 the only reason a synth lover shouldn’t get one is if you’re already sitting in a room of synths.
“Currently rare as Dodo eggs, the Minibrute is Arturia’s first forray into analog synths proper – we test and enjoy” – sonicstate.com
Well how about that? An all analog hardware synth from Arturia. The MiniBrute has some unique features including a Steiner Parker filter, supersaw ocillator, “metal” triangle oscillator, Brute factor (re-input staging) and an arpeggiator with tap tempo and 6 swing settings. CV, Midi… 499 Euro, $549 USD!
“MiniBrute is Arturia’s new analog synthesizer. With a pure analog signal path and several innovative features, it sets a new standard for what a hardware synthesizer should be. The pure analog, multi-wave oscillator combined with a huge sounding classic multi-mode filter, and wide range of modulation capabilities will bring new life into your recordings and stage performances. Add to that outstanding features like the Ultrasaw, Metalizer, Brute Factor™, Arpeggiator, LFO with sample & hold, full USB/MIDI/CV connectivity; all of which are housed in a rugged metal enclosure and it is almost too brutal to think about!” – Arturia
French company Arturia will release a software recreation of the Oberheim SEM on October 25th. The original SEM’s trick was a 2-pole multimode filter which along with low-pass had high-pass, band-pass and band-reject settings. This gave the unit some wicked sharp sounds. For a while the SEM sound could only be had if you hit eBay. Then Tom Oberheim followed in Bob Moog and Dave Smith’s footsteps and got things going again. I have to mention my favorite SEM sounding synth the Analogue Solutions Telemark which I had a chance to play with recently. It adds a few tricks to the mix including in my opinion a very important feature: noise. It’s good to see Arturia back in the game emulating classic synths because I think it’s what they do best. It’s going to be tough for them to get the sharp filters right on the SEM. That said, the plug-ins are a good stepping stone to get people into hardware or for when you need SEM on an airplane, beach, hotel room, etc… They sure look very pretty too!
“After years without any addition to their Synthesizer Anthology series, Arturia has announced that it will soon bring back to life in software format one of the world’s most sough-after synthesizers. The Oberheim SEM V accurately emulates the famous sound and interface of the original Synthesizer Expander Module introduced by Oberheim Electronics in 1974. Faithfully reproducing the tone, waveshapes, multi-mode 12dB/octave filter and other detailed characteristics, the Oberheim SEM V also brings the benefits of polyphony, MIDI control, arpeggiation and some innovative functionalities such as the 8-voice programmer, or the advanced keyboard follow.” –kvraudio.com
I will be speaking on a panel with Peter Kirn (Create Digital Music), Micah Frank aka Kamoni (Sound Designer & Founder of Puremagnetik), and Julie Covello aka DJ Shakey (DJ, Creator & Promoter of the Warper Party, Music Collector) on Saturday, September 25 at the SAE, 1293 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 10001.
The IMSTA FESTA is free and should be good fun and of great interest to anyone who reads this blog. It’s a pro-audio manufacturer get together and panel series. It’s from 11:00AM – 7:00PM. Some of the exhibitors include Ableton, Arturia, Bias, SSL, Celemony, IK Multimedia, Image Line, Native Instruments, Pianoteq, Propellerhead, Rob Papen, Steinberg and Waves.
UPDATE: Over 1,000 people are registered. Come on down!
“IMSTA FESTA, a celebration of music software is coming to the heart of New York City. The First IMSTA FESTA started in Japan where it was highly successful for technology companies, producers and hobbyists alike. IMSTA FESTA brings a collection of the top audio technology companies together in an environment where they can interact with music makers face-to-face. If you use music software you will benefit from this event in a number of ways.” – http://www.imsta.org