X-Mas Tree Synth

Is everyone in a good mood for X-mas? AfroDJMac surely is and he’s created an Ableton Live Pack created out of a Charlie Brown Christmas Globe. It’s a proper X-mas gift meaning its free.

“Saturday I was a Christmas party where I found a beautiful Charlie Brown Christmas snow globe. I snuck off to a quiet portion of the house and sampled it on my iPhone. From there, I created the 3 Ableton Live instrument racks I am now sharing with you. I think they all have a lot of character and organic movement to them, with the combination of the plucked notes mixed with the cranking mechanism inside the globe.” – afrodjmac.com

For more info: afrodjmac.com/charlie-brown-x-mas-tree-synths

Wire to the Ear’s 2012 X-Mas Gift Guide

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

For more info: youtube.com/watch?v=OR07r0ZMFb8

Drink until New Year’s Morning

Here’s a wonderful Christmas song especially if you plan on drinking a lot. Happy holidays everyone!!!

“It’s Christmas morning. Mama drink your drinking… It’s an invitation for us to conduct this occasion. You can just imagine we drink until New Year’s Morning. Drink a Rum….” – Lord Kitchener

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Kitchener_(calypsonian)

PPG Wave Xmas

Let’s get this Christmas weekend started in 1982. The PPG Wave is such a pretty blue Wavetable joy. Imagine finding one under your tree? Thanks to Retrosound for posting so many wonderful old synth videos!

“merry christmas and a happy 2012 ! all sounds: PPG wave 2.2 Synthesizer from the year 1982.recording: multi-track (internal sequencer/arpeggiator & software)” – Retrosound

For more info: vintagesynth.com/misc/wave

photo credit: Nigel Bates

Native Instruments SKANNER

Well Merry Christmas from Native Instruments! Stephan Schmitt the “father” of Reaktor put together SKANNER which combines a sampler and synth. Two oscillators ‘scan’ a sample to sort of scratch it. It’s free and will work with Reaktor or the free Reaktor Player. It comes with samples but you can also load in your own. Thanks NI! Go download.

“SKANNER ingeniously mixes sampler and synthesizer. The two oscillators ‘scan’ a sample; at low frequencies you get the ‘scratch’ sound of the sample being read back and forth, while at higher frequencies the dominant force is the oscillators being shaped by the sample waveform. The resulting sounds are raw, dirty and highly unpredictable – from simple sine waves to walls of noise. Two views offer different levels of interaction: The ‘A’ view features four macro controls that are mapped to multiple parameters – even subtle tweaks can create dramatic changes.” – Native Instruments

For more info: native-instruments.com/powered-by-reaktor/skanner…

Linplug and Sugar Bytes X-Mas Bundles

Christmas is around the bend and a theme this year is pro-audio software bundles. Linplug and Sugar Bytes are two companies that make goodies worth making noise with so they get some space here. The LinPlug offer gives you CronoX 3 Sample Synthesizer, MorphoX Synthesizer, Rob Papen Albino 3, Octopus FM Synth, Alpha Classic Synth, ElementP Percussion Synth, Ian Boddy Soundset for the Alpha, Summa Soundset for the Octopus (altogether more than 5500 preset sounds) for $399 which is less than half of what you would buy them for seperately. Sugar-Bytes is selling their Sugar Bundle which consists of Guitarist, Thesys, Consequence, Effectrix, Artillery2, Unique, WOW, Vogue and Robotronic for $499.

“This year we celebrate the most insane christmas deal we ever had!” – Sugar Bytes

For more info: Linplug and Sugar Bytes

photo credit: Steve Rhodes