What do you call your company if it gives it’s users what they want? Korg. For years everyone has been yelling “real analog” “inexpensive” “analog poly” “303 reissue” and at Frankfurt’s Musikmesse Korg announced the Korg Volca series which pretty much covers all those wants. All the boxes have MIDI and Sync (like on the Monotribe). The Beats has some analog voices and a few samples. The analog voices can be edited via knobs and the length of the samples can also be adjusted. There’s a digital stutter effect for the samples. The Volca Bass is similar to a 303 albeit with a Korg 700s filter and the Volca Keys has a Polyphonic mode. They come out this summer and will be $150.
“Following in the footsteps of the monotron, monotribe, and MS-20 Mini analog synthesizers, Korg announces the volca series. volca is a new lineup of EDM production tools comprised of three distinct models: the volca Keys lead synthesizer, the volca Bass synthesizer, and the volca Beats rhythm machine. These powerful and fun-to-use true-analog devices deliver a diverse array of fat sounds that can be obtained only from an analog synthesizer. Each is also equipped with sequencing/recording capabilities for intuitively generating performances. Multiple volcas can be used in tandem via the vintage-style sync in/out, and with your favorite DAW software or MIDI keyboard via MIDI In. Battery operation and built-in speakers mean that you can conveniently play anywhere and anytime. These are the next-generation analog synthesizers, bringing you the ultimate sounds and grooves with ease and depth. Whether used together or by themselves, the volca series is poised to inject true analog power into any performance or studio setup!” – korg.com
For more info: korg.com/volcaseries
This entry was written by drum machine, hardware, synthesizer and tagged Korg, Korg Volca, Volca Bass, Volca Beats, Volca Keys. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
When I saw the new Korg MS20 Mini I should have out $600 aside for it. There was one problem though. My heart now belongs to my Eurorack modular. But wait The Harvestman has come to the rescue! Scott has announced the English Tear which is an attenuverter and Eurorack interface for the Korg. He says it will be available in April and be inexpensive. Spend. Spend more now!
“I announce with great satisfaction ENGLISH TEAR, the first in a line of small utility modules. This module features the expected “voltage processor” attenuverter and big offset knobs, but also includes a full set of functions for interfacing to an MS-20. Easy conversion from exponential volt-per-octave to linear hertz-per-volt and back, as well as V-trigger to S-trigger conversion. Jack normalling fixes the voltage processors to these converter circuits, so you may scale the input voltages as desired. The log/expo converter ciruits also have many other uses in your modular system beyond the conversion of pitched voltages.” – The Harvestman
For more info: https://www.facebook.com…6344336&type=1&theater
This entry was written by hardware, modular, synthesizer and tagged English Tear, Korg, Korg MS20, MS20, NAMM, Namm 2013, The Harvestman. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Korg is about to release an all analog reproduction of the MS-20. It’s a little smaller but some of the same engineers that worked on the original are taking part of this project. When I was living in Berlin the 80s new wave band Camouflage had the studio next door to me and owned a MS20. I had the chance one day to play with it and it was real wild, basy and raspy. While the software Legacy version is cool and useful it didn’t come close to the original I used. I suspect that part of it’s wild and dirty nature was that it was old so we will see if the new Mini really has what it takes. It’s expected to be about $800 USD.
UPDATE: $600 USD!! Available in April.
“We can confirm now that the Korg Mini MS-20 is for real, that it’s a new analog mini-synth and that Korg’s engineers have tried to faithfully recreate the circuitry and sound of the original synth classic.” – Synthtopia
For more info: korgusa.com
Korg has released iPolysix an iPad version of it’s classic Polysix synthesizer. Unlike the original there is a step sequencer, drum machine, chordal mode, Soundcloud sharing and Kaoss type effects pads. About $15 USD.
“iPolysix is an analog polyphonic synthesizer that’s been carefully designed to take full advantage of the 7.9-inch display of the new iPad mini as well as the iPad. Bringing together a sequencer, drum machine, and even a mixer, it transforms your iPad or iPad mini into the ultimate analog synth studio. Pack an amazing set of early-’80s analog equipment into your iPad, and time-travel back to the dawn of polyphonic synthesizers!” – Korg
For more info: korg.com/iPad_Apps
This entry was written by apple, iPad, synthesizer and tagged iPolysix, Korg, Korg iPolysix. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
James Spadavecchia contacted me about his product USBtribe. It’s an interface you install into a Korg Monotribe. Once installed the Monotribe shows up as a controller. You have tempo and transport sync, synth MIDI in on Channel 1 and drum MIDI in Channel 10. The modified Monotribe also now has MIDI out so you can record the MIDI of what the Monotribe is doing. Installation was mostly easy. It took me a little fiddling to get the tiny plugs into the terminal block. To file a hole required for the wire’s out I had to buy a round file. Check out the demo video I created above to see it’s features.
“Introducing the USBtribe, a USB MIDI interface modification designed specifically for use with the Korg Monotribe analog ribbon station. This mod adds a USB socket to the Monotribe synthesizer, providing USB MIDI IO and DC power supply over a single USB cable.” – usbtri.be
For more info: usbtri.be
I decided to stay home this weekend. I stopped by Control in Williamsburg and picked up a new module for my Eurorack system. I bought a Toppobrillo Multifilter. You can hear it in the above videos filtering a Wiard Oscillator, Make Noise Echophon and a iPad Police Scanner. The clock and drums are from a Korg Rhythm 55. An Analog Solutions Telemark is providing some LFO modulated white noise snares and a Korg Monotribe is joining in with some resonant rides and a synth line. Both the Telemark and Monotribe are being pinged by an Intellijel uStep. There’s also an Intellijel uVCA and Pittsburgh Modular ASDR doing some utility work. There’s won’t end up as songs as sometimes it good to just play around.
“The so-called state-variable filter has a long history in electronic music- traditionally the most versatile voltage-controlled filter at any analog synthesist’s disposal. there were several classic design examples and variants produced throughout the heyday of analog synthesis, such as those implemented in the Oberheim SEM, the EDP Wasp, and the fabled,albeit lesser known filters such as the famous Serge filters and Arp 1047; the classic SVF configuration is simple and versatile- with several different filter responses available simultaneously ‘for free’ by nature of it’s design with no elaborate mixing schemes. traditionally there have been some considerations when designing a wide-range filter with variable Q using this topology, for instance, relative instability/ generally poor sound and behaviour at very high Q, many designs get around this by limiting the maximum Q available, among other things. those that are designed to allow for self-oscillation will often become unstable at the threshold and have inconsistencies initiating or mantaining oscillation across the entire audio range. The Toppobrillo Multifilter is a new/ traditional state-variable design based on a great modern quad VCA chip, the SSM2164. this, in part, helps make the Multiflter what it is, a clean, quiet, stable and very controllable filter at it’s core, without limiting its palette, well suited for processing anything you can run through it.” – toppobrillo.com
This entry was written by iPad, modular, synthesizer and tagged Analog Solutions, Echophon, Eurorack, intellijel, Korg, Make Noise, modular, Monotribe, Pittsburgh Modular, Telemark, Toppobrillo. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
A new Analogue Monologues video has been posted by Vince. This time he takes on really one of the all time best synths the Korg MS-20. I played with a real one a few times. The last time was the band Camouflage’s in Berlin. It blew me away. It’s much more loud and raw than any MS-20 plug-in version you may have used. By the way yesterday Korg released something called Krome and a MicroKorg Xl. While those new products will be useful to some they are not MS20s. They aren’t even close.
“The Analogue Monologues is a series of mini video-documentaries made by Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode/Yazoo/Erasure). In each webisode Vince talks about one of his analogue synths and explains where the on/off switch is. This series proves, once and for all, that he really doesn’t know much about anything (a must see!).” – erasureinfo
For more info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korg_MS-20
Today I thought I would give you a quick look at some of my workflow. Here’s how I often start creating an EBM (Electronic Body Music) style track. I’ve started a Eurorack modular system and you can see my first two pieces in action here. I have recorded a 5V Pulse into Ableton from the Korg SyncKontrol iOS app. I loaded the click into Simpler and use MIDI to create a pattern. In this example it’s a straight 16th note. I use Ableton Live to route the 5V click out of my Motu 828 MKIII into a Doepfer Dark Time analog sequencer. The Dark Time is not in sync with my Ableton MIDI set up. The Dark Time controls an Analog Solutions Telemark (SEM clone). 8 steps of CV variation and CV filter variation loop the bassline. I also have the Dark Time send a clock out to a Korg Monotribe. On the Monotribe I have muted the drums and just have it playing some lazer zap type sounds typically where you would find a snare drum. Using MIDI I have a Vermona DRM1 MKIII playing a kick and snare. The Monotribe’s clock out goes into an Intellijel uStep which sends a 16th note clock to a Make Noise Echophone. I have a MFB-522 drum machine in sync with Ableton via MIDI playing a clap. This clap is sent into the Echophon where it’s delay shimmers in 16 synced steps because of the uStep control. I can play with the Echophon’s pitch knob for a wicked nice analog clap delay effect. Is it worth all this effort? In my opinion yes. You can’t really get a sound like this without going analog. This part would make a good verse. Because I can pitch the bassline on a MIDI keyboard the next step is to make a Chorus, maybe change the Dark Time sequence length or patter slightly, add some pads from an Ensoniq ESQ-1 and add vocals. I hope you enjoyed the peek into a world where control is everything.
“CV/Gate (an abbreviation of Control Voltage/Gate) is an analog method of controlling synthesizers, drum machines and other similar equipment with external sequencers. The Control Voltage typically controls pitch and the Gate signal controls note on/off. This method was widely used in the epoch of analog modular synthesizers, beginning in the 1960s and up to the early 1980s. It was mostly superseded by the MIDI protocol, which is more feature-rich, easier to configure reliably, and more easily supports polyphony.” – wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_voltage
For more info: thehorrorist.com
This entry was written by effects, modular, synthesizer and tagged ableton, Ableton Live, Analog Solutions, Dark Time, Doepfer, drum machine, Echophone, Korg, Make Noise, MFB, Monotribe, synthesizer, Telemark, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Engadget has coverage of Google’s I/O conference. Did you know that Google is showcasing a “Net-enabled social music device with a musical keyboard and a wide multi-touch display, and a variety of musical apps and cloud services.” called the Miselu Neiro? Retronyms, Korg and Yamaha are showing off software on the device. Check out the Polysix, a touch screen Theremin and more in the video above. It’s interesting but the iPad has such a huge lead in music apps this will have to be very inexpensive or get some exclusive content. I do like the idea!
“Yamaha is providing the upcoming “neiro” with the Yamaha AudioEngine (TM) Series Sound Chip NSX-1. This powerful synthesizer engine delivers a quality that almost matches the sound of real musical instruments. The DSP chip offers a larger variety of sound effects such as reverb, chorus and EQs that create a rich sound experience.” – miselu.com
For more info: miselu.com
This entry was written by hardware, synthesizer and tagged Korg, Miselu Neiro, Polysix, Retronyms, Theremin, Yamaha. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
For no other reason than it’s Tuesday here is a Monotron on a bicycle!
“Recorded on 6th December 2010 in Hyde Park.” – Mathew Ingram
For more info: korg.com/monotrons