There are many reasons why I am in love with this video: clear plastic, chrome spheres, multi-color LEDs, laser scanner and Roland TR-808 sounds. I am really happy things like this and other unique sequencers such as the Monome and Tenori-on are being produced. I’m on the verge of either building one myself of buying one.
A tangible rhythm sequencer. Ball bearings are used to trigger drum sounds. Visual feedback is displayed from underneath to indicate the current time and the state of each ball bearing.
Do you want one too?
This entry was written by hardware, live performance and tagged drum machine, hardware, Monome, Roland TR-808, sequencer, Tenori-on. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
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? (more…)
This entry was written by interviews, plug-ins, sounds, synthesizer and tagged Alan R. Pearlman, Arp, Arp 2600, Jim Heintz, Ken Macbeth, KikAXXE, M-Audio, sequencer, timewARP 2600, Way Out Ware. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
The company Way Out Ware created my favorite software synth the TimewARP 2600. It’s a re-creation of an Arp 2600 semi-modular analog synthesizer. They have just released their new toy the KikAXXE and it’s a huge amout of fun!
It’s based around a re-creation the Arp Axxe and therefore it has only a single Oscillator. However like the original Axxe there is a noise generator and sample & hold which increases it’s flexibility. But the fun really starts when your eyes focus on the top part of the plug-in. Here you find a drum machine and an analog sequencer! The final joy can be found on the bottom right: an analog tape delay. Watch this video to see all these sections in action. The video is nicely sized so be sure to click the TV icon under the player to view the show in full screen mode.
As with the TimewARP this plug-in really does “Kik AXXE”! I had a blast using the fully working 30 day demo and I know in a month I will have to whip out the credit card. Luckily this noise machine is only about $70! Have fun watching the video but do yourself a favor and download it and make your bleeps and beats.
photo credit: geirarne
This entry was written by plug-ins, synthesizer, video and tagged Arp, drum machine, KikAXXE, plug-ins, sequencer, synthesizer, Way Out Ware. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Upstream.tv is a site where you can watch people doing all sorts of things live. Chris Pirillo who is a uber tech geek can be found there chatting with people, demoing software and hardware. Upstream.tv also lets you record the interesting pieces of your live stream and leave them online. Well to my surprise I found this clip of Chris and his new toy a Tenori-on! You can read my thoughts on the Tenori on my top 10 Christmas Gifts post.
LinnDrum II. Originally called the BoomChick the new MPC killer from Dave Smith and Roger Linn is already making a ton of noise on pro-audio blogs around the world. All drum machines are cool and this one looks meaty! Did I say one? Actually there will be two! The “Analog” edition will sport 4 voice analog synthesis and an extra 27 knobs. link
Future Retro XS. They said it was coming in 2007 but they missed the mark. But the delay doesn’t dampen the excitement. Why not? It’s a real analog monophonic synth with 64 knobs and a MS20 style filter that can self oscillate. It’s semi-modular allowing you to use cables to patch and re-route the signal path. It has Midi and CV. The audio demos and videos sound awesome. $1299 is the right price too. link
Gforce S.O.B. The fine UK software house Gforce that’s responsible for software synths Oddity, impOSCar, Minimonsta and the new VSM have been teasing us with an Oberheim OB8 emulation for some time now. The screenshot below is from a Sonic State video in which Gforce was demoing another product and just so happened to flash the SOB! If it doesn’t appear in 2008 then it never will. link
Ableton meets Cycling ’74. One of the things Pluggo makes is a plug-in called VTheremin. This lets you use your computer’s iSight or chat camera as a virtual Theremin. This is one of the many creative things they do and the reason I am thrilled they have partnered with Ableton. I can’t wait to see what the partnership brings. link
Touch Screen Madness. When I installed the new Mac OS “Leopard” on my computers I was a little bewildered as to why anyone would want Cover Flow in the finder. Then I thought to myself, “This would be cool if I could use my finger and flick through these documents like on an iPhone”. Duh! I had the same thought when using Quickview. People: these are sure signs a Mac “Touch” is coming. I can’t think of another industry that will benefit more than musicians from this technology. On screen controllers, keyboards and mixers and going to be super enjoyable! Invest in Kimberly-Clark now (they make Kleenex): KMB (NYSE) link
Chimera SM16. Everyone should own a real analog sequencer. Everyone! Expect Chimera’s new sequencer to be (more…)
This entry was written by Ableton Live, apple, plug-ins, synthesizer, Uncategorized and tagged apple, Chimera, Cognitone, Dave Smith Instruments, Gforce, Macbeth, sequencer, Waldorf. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
The first software I ever used to create music was Dr. T’s KCS. I used it on an Atari 1040ST. The software was strictly to control external hardware midi devices. Hard disc recording and virtual instruments were years away from hitting the mainstream. A guy named Emile Tobenfeld (see photo) was the man behind Dr. T’s and KCS and he created this software in 1984.
Take a look at the screen shot above of the “Track Mode”. You see those 48 “clip slots”? Each one would play back a midi part. You could mute and un-mute parts to try different musical ideas. You could also record midi into any part. Sound familiar? It’s an early version of Ableton Live’s session view! Amazing no?
KCS also had an “Edit Mode” where you could transform parts. You could do quiet a lot with your midi data including change the pitch, velocity, controllers, pitch bends, compress and expand length, reverse, and much more. I have strong memories of using the “Step Time Track” feature to make drum patterns.
The “Step-Time Track” is used to enter notes one at a time. You specify the value of the note, (half-note, quarter note, etc.) and its length, and then play the note on your MIDI keyboard. Velocity can be recorded from the keyboard, or it can be preset. Step-time tracks can be appended to existing tracks. – myatari.net
We have come an amazingly long way from those days. Yet we were still able to create some good music. It’s really not what you use but how you use it!
Native Instruments from Berlin are one of the top plug-in manufacturers. One of their early smash hits was a recreation of the FM synthesizer the Yamaha DX7 called FM7. It could load original DX7 patches but was far easier to use. Many people finally unplugged there old DX and TX’s and put them on eBay.
This year they released the FM8. They added many new features but one component is the bees knees: the appeggiator. I probably would not have upgraded my FM7 but when I saw how much fun this thing was my credit card was out. Something tells me Native Instruments always had plans to release their own sequencer but the market was too saturated. Most of their new plug-ins are loaded with mini arps and sequencers. All of them are great. “NI” should not have a case of sequencer envy.
There is a complete working demo on the Native Instruments website.
Open the plug-in and pick a nice synth patch in the browser. Click on arpeggiator. In the global section click “on”. See the little yellow square stepping though the pattern editor? Hold down a key on your controller and you will hear whatever notes you play being effected stepping along. You can slide the little black triangle in the pattern editor to shorten or lengthen the loop.
Now here’s where all the fun is. See next to each lane on the pattern editor there is a little black dice icon? It’s a random button. Do it! Click them all! Do you hear what I hear? Thats the sound of fun. Thats the sound of… “Oh yeah cool idea I can use in this song!”.
Next try out the shuffle. It’s very strong which in my book means its very good. Lastly, take a look in the global section where you turned the arp on and find the drop down menu. There you can find some pre-programmed sequences. You can also save your own which is handy when you want to try out different sounds with a cool sequence you created.
This entry was written by plug-ins and tagged arpeggiator, FM synthesises, native instruments, plug-ins, sequencer. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
A new version of my favorite sequencer Ableton Live has been announced today! It will be available “sometime in 2007″. Looking at all the new features on the Ableton website it’s clear this is a major upgrade. Once again they have listened to it’s users and addressed many of the feature requests I have been hearing. I’m actually very surprised at all these additions. Here are some of the standout new features:
Ableton also announced new Ableton Instruments called Analog, Tension and Electric. These were created with various partners and is available separately or in a new product called Ableton Suite.
I love Ableton Live and use it as my main DAW. I simply can’t work on a sequencer without something like Ableton’s “session view” to spark ideas and get the basic concepts for the song sorted out. Did you know that in session view if you name a scene with a number followed by “bpm” that scene will launch at the speed specified?
Sometimes I use this trick to launch into half speed mode for a breakdown. Another idea is to make the first scene launch at something like 40bpm and use the rolling slow sounds as an intro to the song. Give it a try!