I really recommend people grab a hardware synth if they make music. For the same price of a lot of plug-ins you can grab something like the new Waldorf Rocket. In the US it’s about $330. It reminds me a little of the Eurorack module from Synthesis Technology called the Cloud Generator in that it’s mostly based on 8 digital Saw waves. Don’t let the digital part get in your way because bringing hardware into a DAW sounds different then using a plug-in. I also like that this box is small and can run of USB power making it cool to have around a laptop on the go. Sure it isn’t going to give you a enormous range of sounds but I’m all about limitations these days. The Rocket also has an arpeggiator, pulse width modulation and some other niceties.
“Monophonic Synthesizer with Variable Oscillator,Variable Waveshaping, Analog Filter, Arpeggiator, LFO, Modulation Envelope, Boost Circuit, and USB/MIDI I/O” – Sweetwater
This old Archie comic got it right except that we are all grooving and having much fun!
“Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher headquartered in the Village of Mamaroneck, Town of Mamaroneck, New York, known for its many series featuring the fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Jughead Jones.” – Wikipedia
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
A Don Buchla documentary is in the works and soon there will be a Kickstarter to help fund the project. I’ve been really enjoying my Make Noise modules which have parts inspired by Buchla design. Recently Buchla, the company went through some changes and we may see some lower cost Buchla products. Another random Buchla thought is that the Buchla Skylab is in my top 5 most beautiful synths of all time. I’m looking forward to seeing this film and learning more about Don.
“A promotional video for a film we’re trying to make about Don Buchla. We’re going to be Kickstarting this film within a month or two. If you’re interested in helping us, please contact us at email@example.com, or check back here for details as they arrive! Make a tax deductible donation to help fund the film.” – clarityfilms.org/purchase
So you want a fully analog hardware synthesizer with a metal touch keyboard that costs a lot less than a Macbeth Nexus? Dubreq has created a new Stylophone call the S2. I have an original and they have been used by some big artists over the years. The new S2 has an 8 waveform LFO, 2 Sub Oscillators, Aux in and for me personally the most exciting addtion: CV in!
“The First British Made Stylophone For 30 Years: The New Dubreq Stylophone S2. Dubreq, the original creators of the Stylophone and Stylophone 350S, are proud to announce the new Stylophone S2. This fantastic new analogue synth, made in the UK, is now available worldwide!” – stylophone2.com
I think the Analogue Solutions Telemark is a really killer synth. It’s based off an Oberheim SEM them pumped up with some added features. It’s new and has MIDI yet has a vintage sound and has CV too. I own one and use it on most of my songs. There is now a V2.0 Telemark with a Ring Modulator and Sub Oscillator/Divider. Check out the video above to see the additions in action.
“Here’s a first look at the Analogue Solutions Telemark V2.0 synthesizer. The new release features the addition of a SUB OSC / DIVIDER as well as a RING MOD. The inclusion of these two sound sculpting elements have a vast and powerful effect on the overall sound of the TM.” – Rezfilter
Metrono.me has interviewed Anthony T. Rolando of Make Noise. Tony’s eurorack modules are considered to be some of if not the best and most interesting. There is some interesting stuff in the interview including news of a Make Noise Reverb module. Read the full interview here: metrono.me/makenoise.html
“The only thing I am seeking at the moment is a unique reverb algorithm to design a Make Noise reverberation module around. Tom Erbe and I are currently chatting about that one.” – Metrono.me
Ken Macbeth makes a third iteration of his new synth this time with a touchplate. This one is called the Nexus 1. Purely sexy no!?!
“This is the first demo of the complimentary synth to the micromac series. 4 Oscillators, Dual State Variable Filter and 4 Envelope generators should get you started, The touch keyboard rounds it up! See you at NAMM ’13!” – Ken Macbeth
Moog has released a limited edition Voyager, it’s Moogerfoogers and the Slim Phatty in white. They also released white wood sides for the Slim. Why didn’t the regular Phatty didn’t get the white treatment? I have a Slim and really like it a lot. With it’s overdrive and Moog heritage it has a sound all it’s own. In addition to the snow color job Moog has sent an email with a download link for 100 new presets to all registered Phatty owners. The presets are designed by Phil and Paul Hartnoll AKA Orbital, Chad Hugo of N.E.R.D./The Neptunes, and DJ/Sound Designer Dom Kane. I do think the Phatty is one of those synths where presets are useful so this is welcome. Don’t forget there is also a Little Phatty Editor Librarian plug-in available too.
“Today Moog Music announced the limited edition release of an all white series of its classic analog instruments. Moog has polarized the color of their traditionally black steel and natural wood instruments to a solid white finish.” – Moog