Xaoc Moskwa

There are many great analog sequencers in the Eurorack modular format. Once you start a system you realize you can use more than one at a time for various reasons. The Xaoc Moskwa is a nicely made, compact, pretty module full of useful features. The Moskwa is $340 USD. I already own a Doepfer Dark Time and 4MS RCD. I have my eye on a Make Noise Rene and the upcoming Intellijel Metropolis too.

“Moskwa is a compact, fully self-contained step sequencer with a handy set of features: 8 steps of control voltage and trigger/gate impulse generation. Unipolar and bipolar voltages. Adjustable overall gate width. Mutable gates (per step). 3 play modes: standard, pendulum & random. Built–in slew limiter (linear). Built–in adjustable clock source. External clock sync. Adjustable sequence lenght. Voltage controlled reset, pause and play direction. Expandability via the upcoming ostankino 1966 sequence commander module.” – analoguehaven.com

For more info: facebook.com/xaocdevices and xaocdevices.com

Gestrument

Here is another great addition to the iPad’s music making app library. Gestrument puts music on a grid with pulses increasing in speed as you swiped left and right. Add a second finger and the pulse, volume and other parameters increase the further away your two fingers are places. Now imaging multiple instruments under your finger each playing notes according to a set of user definable parameters. Watch this video to see all this in action.

“Improvise or compose within the scales and rhythms you choose. Use parameters like pulse density, scale morphing, rhythm randomness or pitch fluctuation to find new paths for your musical expression and creativity. Use the tutorials or define your own settings to fit the musical style you want to play and compose in. Play on up to eight instruments at once – all with different individual settings.” – gestrument.com

For more info: gestrument.com

via Matrixsynth

Ableton Live Lion Ready

Now I can upgrade to Lion.

“We’re pleased to announce the release of Live 8.2.5, the latest Ableton Live 8 version. Live 8.2.5 now officially supports Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – please make sure to check that all of your third-party plug-ins and audio/MIDI hardware are Lion-compatible before upgrading your OS.” – ableton.com

For more info: ableton.com/osx-10-7-lion…

Acidlab Autobot

Acidlab is releasing a new hardware sequencer. It’s the sequencer section from their Roland TB-303 clone. I think it would be pretty interesting to use with assorted synths. If you like this type of thing also check out the Analogue Solutions Europa and read my interview with Klaus Suessmuth of Acidlab. Coming soon for 280 Euros.

“The Sequencer of the Bassline3 as a rack-mounted device.” – acidlab.de

For more info: acidlab.de

OscilloScoop

OscilloScoop is another music creation App for iOS that shows off a unique and interesting interface. I really like it when he changes the view by switching to landscape mode.

“The interface consists of a single pane and three rotating (or oscillating) “crowns.” To interact with these, simply touch them as they spin to carve (or scoop) out the surfaces, modifying the generated sound. The top crown controls the pitch of the melody, while the middle and bottom units control filter-application and volume, respectively.” – appadvice.com

Download on the App store: itunes.apple.com/us/app/oscilloscoop…

Fairlight CMI30A iPad

The original Fairlight CMI is heading to the iPad soon. In the past I’ve mentioned the great sounds which are definitely associated with the 1980s the CMI produces. My first sampler, a Roland S-50 had a very nice set heavily inspired by the CMI. You can read that blog post which also talks about my father buying me the S-50 here: My father and my Roland S-50 sampler. You can also get a faithfully recreated CMI Reason Refill from PowerFX. If you’re unsure of the type of sounds I am talking about the best example is the song Close to the Edit from Art of Noise (video above). Lastly, if you don’t actually want to make some noise but still want some black and green screen nostalgia there are some nice Fairlight CMI iPad cases, T-Shirts, coffee mugs and more on Cafepress: cafepress.com/fairlight. The iPad CMI should be in the App store soon with a price of 50 Australian dollars.

“In early 1983, two of Trevor Horn’s production team, programmer JJ Jeczalik and engineer Gary Langan were working on a scrapped drum riff from a session from Yes’s 90125. They sampled it into a Fairlight CMI, using the then new Page R sequencer. This was the first time an entire drum pattern had been sampled into the machine. They then added non-musical sounds on top of it, before playing the track to producer Trevor Horn… The technological impetus for the Art of Noise was the advent of the Fairlight CMI sampler, an electronic musical instrument invented in Australia that Horn was reportedly among the first to purchase.” – Wikipedia (Art of Noise)

For more info: http://au.fairlight.com.au

Quad Sequential Voltage Source

Jason Duerr the Director of Engineering at the Aimtron Corporation contacted me. His company build circuit boards for many of the companies on display at this year’s Namm. He let me know about a modular synthesizer module he thought was full of fun stuff. His choice was the Lunar Experience 569 Quad Sequential Voltage Source. I’m very much of the opinion that if you create electronic music you should own at least one hardware sequencer. Lunar has a YouTube channel here: youtube.com/moonmodular. Do you guy agree? Anyone know of Lunar Experience and used their modules?

“This was a lot of fun to use: Switch up, note on, turn the knob for your CV. Switch middle, note off Switch down, now it’s the loop point for all the steps before it!” – Jason Duerr

For more info: lunar-experience.com

Doepfer Dark Time Sequencer Video

Here’s a great video showcasing the newly released Doepfer Dark Time analog sequencer. To get close to the specs you can read the operation manual here: Dark_Time_Manual.pdf. Deopfer has possibly the best resume when it comes to making analog sequencers and their new release may look simple but it has a lot of advanced features.

“The brandnew DARK TIME is a fantastic analog sequencer. It has MIDI, CV / Gate and also TRIGGER IN / OUT for vintage sequencers or rhythm machines. In my opinion, it is much more comfortable than the Korg SQ-10, which I had. The steps run not just forwards – they also can run backwards or in random. Also a great feature is the quantizer – like on the ARP sequencer. In MIDI mode, the two rows can send at two different MIDI channels.” – AnalogAudio1

Are you guys planning on getting one? Or do you already own an analog sequencer?

For more info: doepfer.de

The Early Days of Software Sequencers

KVR Audio has an interesting article from Chris Halaby where takes us back and shows us the very early days of software sequencers. The story is written from his point of view and I am sure the German companies would slant things differently. I also think Atari’s were rock solid and I never knew anyone who needed to keep a spare around. That said, it’s a great read and I appreciate some of the new info there. Check it out: click here

“Dave’s idea was to use the Mac to replace the dedicated hardware that people like me were using in recording sessions. In November of 1984, he bought a Macintosh, and after learning to program in a GUI environment, wrote the first version of ‘Sequencer’ (a software version of the aforementioned box) in six months. I loaned him my DSX for a couple of weeks so he could make sure that his software would be able to everything the DSX could do. In order to connect to the Mac he designed a simple MIDI interface that could be connected to the printer and modem ports (RS-422) and in a stroke of brilliance made the package narrow enough so that one could screw two separate interfaces to the ports on back of their Mac and get a total of 32 MIDI channels.” – Chris Halaby

Read: The Early Days of Software Sequencers

photo credit: Marco Raaphorst

Im Rhythmus Bleiben

There’s a classic Front 242 track called Im Rhythmus Bleiben in which the Belgian EBM group scream for you to stay on the rhythm. To do so properly I highly suggest an analog sequencer. Therefore check out the photo of the upcoming (late 2010) Doepfer Dark Time. Doepfer has loaded it up with features and it will run about 450 EURO. This is very high on my acquisition list.

“Dark Time is an analog sequencer that is planned in the first place as an add-on for the Dark Energy. But it may be used even in combination with other Midi, USB or CV/Gate equipment too.” – doepfer.de

For more info: doepfer.de