Waldorf Nave Tricks

Here’s two neat things you can do with Waldorf’s Nave iPad synthesizer. The first video show how to use Nave to create some very early sounding computer voices. The second video shows you how to create a sample from another iOS app and bring it into Nave.

“The Nave sound engine includes two novel wavetable oscillators with sonic possibilities way beyond the scope of conventional wavetable synthesis. While the spectrum of a sound can be transposed independently of its pitch, the waves can be rendered from perfectly periodic to very noisy and anywhere in between. Especially sounds with an accent on formants can be produced easily, which made us integrate a speech synthesizer for the easy creation of wavetables, enabling Nave to talk and sing.” – waldorf-music.info

For more info: waldorf-music.info/en/products/nave

UVI WaveRunner

I keep mentioning UVI’s sample libraries on this blog. The German French company doesn’t pay me or give them to me free they are simply really good. You can sample an instrument different ways but these guys must like the same type of music as I do as I’m consistently reaching for their sounds. I haven’t yet tried their latest library called WaveRunner which covers wavetable synthesis ala PPG and Waldorf. At $299 you could buy a Eurorack module or two Volca’s but when you’re writing songs on a laptop away from the studio you want some good sample libraries.

“A multitude of synths, drum machines and rare prototypes of esteemed German heritage come together in this massive and unparalleled retrospective. WaveRunner presents you with a wondrous collection of authentic and fascinating sounds from over 30 years of wavetable synthesis. Everything from the raw and strident origins to the wild evolving tones of more modern, full-featured machines. Each system addressed was serviced, meticulously multi-sampled and artfully designed into 7 unique hybrid instruments driven by over 30,000 samples. Both a historical archive of sound and a collection of new and unique instruments with hundreds of presets and limitless sound design potential, WaveRunner is a suite not to be missed.” – uvi.net

For more info: uvi.net/en/vintage-corner/waverunner

Waldorf Rocket

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

For more info: waldorf-music.info/en/rocket-synthesizer

Waldorf Pulse 2

It’s now hard to imagine that not too long ago you couldn’t buy a new small inexpensive analog synth from a major manufacturer. Today you have many options. I use to have a Waldorf Pulse+. I used it on many of my releases in the late 90s including the song Can You Hear the Sound?. I always regretted selling it. Well here’s my chance to fix that error. Waldorf is about to release the Pulse 2. Like the the original number 2 has 3 oscillators and a cascading filter. Now Waldorf have added Highpass and Bandpass modes, analog Filter FM and Ring Modulation.

“Sometimes they do come back, and this time, it’s with even more brute-strength power onboard. You are looking at a completely analog synthesizer that accurately delivers what synthesizer enthusiasts around the world truly crave. Pulse 2 is the reincarnation of it’s legendary ancestor, the Waldorf Pulse, that dominated the electronic music of the 90s.” – Waldorfmusic.de

For more info: waldorfmusic.de/pulse-2-overview

PPG Wave 3.V

Waldorf is preparing the latest version of it’s soft PPG… version 3.V. They have added sample playback from the awesome looking and named Waveterm. I really liked the previous versions of the plug-in because they definetly sounded different. I admit though I never ended up using the PPG in a song. That’s not going to stop me from trying again.

“Besides the well-known features of the PPG Wave 2.V our new plug-in offers sample playback based on the classic PPG Waveterm technology. We have added some nice stuff like an opulent effects section, filter drive as well as an extensive sound browser. Not enough? Well, what would you say if we added the complete Waveterm B sample library and more than 130 wavetables (a lot of new stuff created by Wolfgang Palm).” – waldorfmusic.de

For more info: waldorfmusic.de

A great demo of the Waldorf Blofeld


http://www.youtube.com/v/jdXWsv41lx8?hl=en_US&fs=1

“Demo of 2007 Waldorf Blofeld. All sounds & arpeggio lines programmed by WC Olo Garb. Video editing by WC Olo Garb. Stuff going on: M – Notes triggered by external midi device. S – At least one oscillator uses a factory sample, so this sound cannot be achieved on the desktop version without the license. The patches do not comprise any external/custom samples.” – Jexus

I love Jexus’s synth demo videos. I’m all in when it comes to Eastern European style. I’d even like to live in one of those warn out commie blocks. Weird I know but what can I say? Back to the Blofeld… I didn’t know it could sound that cool did you?

For more info on Jexus: syntezatory.prv.pl
Grab a Blofeld keyboard for $1200. For more info: waldorfmusic.de

Wire to the Ear’s Winter NAMM 2009 picks.

Ableton Live 8

Ableton Live 8. My passion Ableton Live has reached number 8. Once again the Berlin coding masters give us new features that fit nicely into the Live interface and workflow. So what’s new? Add grooves to clips using the new Groove Engine. Adjust grooves in the new Groove pool. Extract grooves from existing clips with simple drag & drop. Enhanced warp modes and a new warp engine that auto-assignes handles to transients. A new plug-in called Looper: Create endless layers of loops in a live performance jam with auto tempo recognition. Five new effects: Vocoder, Multiband Dynamics, Overdrive, Frequency Shifter, Limiter. Workflow enhancements: Crossfades, Enhanced Midi Editor, Collapsable and easy to create Group Tracks, Multi Parameter Manipulation (adjust several volume faders at once, etc.. (yay!)), Screen Magnifier, Audio & Midi Browser Previews now have a waveform display and scrubbing. Share: Built into Live 8 is a new way to share and collaborate over the internet. A new option in Live’s file menu called Share Live Set will send your song to Ableton’s servers. The song gets it’s own webpage and link. You can set the privacy settings. Songs files can be shared anywhere such as MySpace or Facebook. Suite 8 also got an upgrade: All new Library, new version of Ableton’s FM Synth Operator, Collision a creative percusion synth that uses physical modeling. link

Max for Live

Max for Live. Full integration with Cycling 74’s Max. Create your own audio and midi effects inside the LIve interface. Building and editing of new effects and instruments takes place in real time. Check out the video on the Ableton website of the step sequencer created with Max for Live. I can’t wait to see what people come up with! Luckily there are built in tutorials. link

Akai APC40

Akai APC40 Ableton Live Controller. An official hardware controller for Ableton Live from Akai. Clip launch section with buttons that change color to show if a clip is playing or not. Dedicated clip stop and stop all buttons. Dedicated scene launch buttons. Multiple banks and bank selection methods help you quickly and intuitively jump around a large session view. Mixer section with faders, mute, solo buttons, cue and arm track buttons. A track control section of 8 knobs for pans and sends. Tap tempo and sync buttons to match external turntables or devices. Assignable Crossfader. Transport and record controls for studio work. Make this an extension of your arm and your live show will be a lot better.  link

Waldorf Largo

Waldorf Largo. I’m going to quote the Waldorf press release on this one because it says it all, “Many producers and synthesizer enthusiasts asked for a full-blown Waldorf Synthesizer for their virtual rack. We listened, and now we proudly present Largo. Largo mirrors the technology used in Blofeld and Q hardware synthesizers.” If it has the sound of the Q it’s a great win. link

Native Instruments Maschine

Native Instruments Maschine. A controller built by Berlin’s NI with a companion software instrument perfectly matched to it. It can run stand alone or in your DAW. Maschine can also be a standard midi controller. link

Motu BPM

Motu BPM. Don’t let the Groovebox look fool you because the new BPM from MOTU is purely software. 15 gigs of sounds, multi-effects including convolution reverb, Step and Note Sequencers an internal mixer and more. I bet some producers will make their full songs all in this software. Could it gain a cult following? Just like Propellerheads Reason I can see this on my laptop for an alternative view every now and then. AU, MAS, TRAS, VST, MAC/PC, in your DAW or Stand Alone.   link

Roland AX-Synth

Roland AX-Synth. Finally, the return of the “Keytar” from Roland. You get keys, you get a Ribbon, D-Beam and modulation bar. The new AX-Synth also touts 6 hour battery life and MIDI over USB. I like it but why isn’t this wireless? link

All the above I want in my possession. Some other interesting things that peaked my interest at this year’s NAMM included the Celemony’s Melodyne Editor with DNA, Arturia’s Minimoog V 2.0 and the Moog Etherwave Plus Controller Theremin.  Some of you maybe happy about Cubase 5, Novation Automap 3 and the newest Virus TI synth? The weekend is just getting started so I will update this post when I find more goodies that peak my interest. What’s getting your goat going?

Matthew Davidson’s free Total Harmonic Distortion

The artist known as Stretta aka Matthew Davidson has released a free 3GB sound library. He works with Wendy Carlos and is a regular music contributor to NPR (public radio). He also make a living as a graphic designer.

The sound library was created using his modular synth, a Dave Smith Evolver, Waldorf Microwave and Roland R8 drum machine. The sounds are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. This means your free to use them in your work as long as you state where the samples came from.

Fragments of the Total Harmonic Distortion sample library have popped up in various places, like the recent OLPC Sample Library Set… This stuff isn’t doing anyone any good sitting on my hard drive. I’d like to make it available to the public. – stretta.blogspot.com

You can download the library from legaltorrents.com. The direct link is:
http://beta.legaltorrents.com/torrents/71

via synthtopia

10 cool music toys to look forward to in 2008.

Happy New Year

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

Linndrum II

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

Future Retro XS

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

Gforce SOB

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

Vtheremin

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

Mac Touch

Chimera SM16. Everyone should own a real analog sequencer. Everyone! Expect Chimera’s new sequencer to be Continue reading →