Roland Emulated on Commodore Emulated on Mac

Tom at Musicthing is stunned by this as I am. Follow the chronology: 1982: Roland creates the TB-303 mono synth and TR-606 drum sequencer, a cheezy device in itself but one that becomes the cornerstone for electronic dance music. 1982: Commodore introduces the C64 computer, with an enviable synth built-in. 2004: Prophet 64 is released, […]

Flash Drum Machines Redux, Soviet Synth Sample CD

Ah, old Acme and his disappearing, reappearing link. For those of you who were dismayed that Monday's link to vintage drum machines recreated as downloadable Flash files went down, that server appears to be back. In other news, for fans of Soviet Synths still not sated by an online museum of instruments, Scott Peer from […]

Vintage Synths: Report from Analogue Heaven

Digital?! Where? Tubes rock, dude. Eric Barbour, Metasonix owner and senior editor of Vacuum Tube Valley writes us to tell us about Analogue Heaven, a Bay Area California convergence of vintage synth lovers. Highlights for Barbour included the Wiard modular, Gino Robair's custom system and "Demoing my new effect box to Josh from XLR8R magazine […]

[Updated] Bargain-Basement Reason

Many are disappointed by the announcement of Reason 3.0; it's an evolutionary release that still lacks key features like audio recording in an otherwise fantastic program. But on the upside, Propellerhead is pricing Reason and upgrade low enough that it's a great time to pick up the program or upgrade. According to Propellerhead's 3.0 FAQ, […]

Frontier Tranzport: A Remote Control for your DAW

Pro audio has been slow to go wireless, which is why the Tranzport, the first-ever wireless remote for DAWs, is very good news. The device from Frontier Electronics is due early in 2005 and will work out-of-the-box with your DAW software of choice, including SONAR, DP, Cubase, Logic, and Pro Tools. (I'm holding out for […]

TimeToy (OS X): Free/Cheap Real-Time Time Stretching

Typical time stretching: Expensive software, rigid controls, wait for calculations. TimeToy: Free or US$17 'Pro' version, flexible controls, real-time, mic input. Now you're talking. TimeToy can be fun as an improvisatory sound-warping tool or used live in performance; use rubber band-style controls to plot time manipulations, or (with the Pro version) even scrub and warp […]

Filterscape (OS X) Sound-Bending Filter in Preview

Imagine if a parametric equalizer were sexy. Urs Heckmann's new Filterscape plugin sure ain't your father's parametric EQ. It's an EQ, plus analog filters, plus tempo-synced LFOs, step sequencers, and envelope followers, with extensive routing and effects. Even that sounds more traditional than this looks: think crazy routing and ring mod/FM stuff bent in a […]

Soviet Synth Archive

Sure you know the synths you can buy in the US — your Yamaha DX-7, your MiniMoog, your Buchla. But the one country in the world that kidnapped an audio pioneer (Leon Theremin) from his Manhattan apartment and hauled him around the world in order to learn his secrets for espionage also produced a rich […]

[Updated] Vintage Rhythm Machines, Free in Flash Form

Having witnessed a Flash-based, circuit-bent Speak & Spell, what's next but a few dozen vintage drum machines recreated as downloadable Flash files? The Keyboard Museum has a healthy supply, from classic to obscure. Boss DR-55? Check. Wurlitzer Swing Rhythm 5020? Check. Oberheim DX? Check. Some other thingy you've never heard of? It's there. Have I […]

Sequencing with Architecture: Instant City

First colored blocks, now city blocks: Swiss-based collective Rosen & Spademan has constructed a "music building game table" for creating modular compositions with transparent blocks, converting improvised architecture into sound. (thanks, near near future) Their biggest goal, they say: getting people to grab the objects and play. You can explore this and other projects on […]