Ableton Push 2 meets modular; here’s how it works

Digital, analog – whatever. Let’s see what happens when Ableton’s latest digital hardware, the new Push, meets Eurorack, for a sort of convergence of the stuff electronic musicians are talking about right now. (Don’t worry; we aren’t going to a round-the-clock all-Ableton format – the Berlin developer is notoriously conservative about spreading out releases, so let’s give them this week as a special occasion. And, anyway, there are some tips here relevant to Eurorack users with or without any Ableton products. Plus, you might just like the music.) We stopped by the studio of Berlin-based musician Kaan Bulak. He’s an …


Native Instruments Updates Make 64-bit Macs Happier

MacBook Pros, 64-bit, all. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Benjamin Nagel. I’m not one to post every single minor software update, but with the latest handful of free upgrades for Native Instruments software, I think it’s safe to say the 64-bit age has come to the Mac musician. Windows developer Cakewalk heralded just this sort of advance for years on the PC side, with largely little company (even beyond the music world), but today, the technology is finally a reality for average users. 64-bit computing means a marginal performance boost on capable machines and more flexible memory usage. The 32-bit Mac has had …


Black Friday: $99 Each for Reaktor, Absynth, Massive, FM8

A Thanksgiving cornucopia of sound, made cheap. Photo (CC) Lawrence OP. Winter is coming. If you had to hole up with just one instrument, getting deep into programming sounds while venturing out of your abode only for essential supplies, any one of these instruments would easily fit the bill. Yes, Native Instruments bundles (nearly) everything they make into the Komplete bundle. But truly, any one of these creations would be a sonic rabbit hole into which you could climb. In ascending order of rabbit-hole-ness: Massive: Drag-and-drop modulation, rich wavetables, and an emphasis on bass and leads make this a sonic …


Native Instruments Updates: New Absynth, Kontakt, Guitar Rig, Cheaper Komplete

I’m sure Native Instruments wants me to open with discussion of realistic-sounding strings in Kontakt 4, but instead, I offer a loose visual representation of Absynth’s sound engine. Photo (CC) Joe Penniston. Native Instruments released a slew of soft synth updates today – thanks to everyone who sent this in. The big news is that Absynth, the alien-sounding synth that has become a darling of sound designers, gets a big update. But with so much to cover, here’s the in-a-nutshell version so you can grok it all in one place. The other big news – Komplete’s price is down to …


Native Instruments Komplete $399 Fire Sale; NI Noisepages Networking

Reaktor… you know, for kids! Oli, age 7. Photo (CC) Laura Whitehead. Normally, pricing announcements and sales press releases bore me to tears, but this is actually news – Native Instruments is selling Komplete for July only at just US$/EUR 399, instead of $1139/EUR999. That means if you were looking for Reaktor alone – about as good a desert island music software choice as you can find – this would be a good deal. You also get Absynth, the absurdly deep (if sometimes baffling) synth with surround sound envelopes and a workflow that could change how you think about sound, …