Hear the MFB Dominion 1 Synth in an Epic, Triumphant Demo Song

Some demo songs say “I’m cheesy, please buy me.” “I’m trying desperately to sound like the current genre of the moment.” This one says something different. It shouts: “Greetings. I’m the Dominion 1. You might not know me – but you should. I am awesome. I am your new best friend. I am what you covet – I am what you shall have, because I will be yours. Together, we will triumph. We will quest together through the party times, and the world will go our way in ways that surprise even us. People will gather around us, and love …

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ay3

The Intellivision Synthesizer: Twisted Electrons’ AY3 is a Chiptunes Desktop Synth

8-bit, lo-fi digital, and chip music-influenced sounds have become interwoven with the sounds of modern synthesis. But make no mistake: the AY3 is what you get when you build a desktop synth with the soul of a vintage 80s game console. Made by Twisted Electrons, who make iPad apps and a Eurorack module, as well, the AY3 is synth hardware powered by a music hip of yore. Inside are two 8912 chips, combined for 6-voice polyphony, which give this instrument the same distinctive sound as classic game scores and other music made on the hardware. The 8912, you see, is …

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A Trio of Unique, Colorful Effects Boxes from OTO Machines, Coming Soon

It’s not enough to just release sound hardware. You want something different, something with character. French builder OTO Machines did that with their Biscuit, a gorgeous combination of 8-bit crunch and analog filtering, then later turned it into a synth and step sequencer with nothing but firmware. But now it’s time for a follow-up, and instead of one sequel, we get three. There’s a 12-bit delay unit, a digital reverb inspired by some 80s classics that never get old, and an analog compressor/”warmer”. That neatly covers three bases of things many people want, and seem to target a nice space …

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So Many Wires and Knobs: Enjoy Synth pr0n Goodness in Our NAMM Gallery I

Now, we get to transport you to the toy store of sound-making gadgets that is the NAMM show in Anaheim, California. James Grahame, the engineer behind MeeBlip, gets to show off his love of synthesizers in his photolog. And we see some of the big winners at the show for electronic instrument lovers: Boutique makers are doing more wonderful stuff than ever. It starts with modular, yes, but look for products in other areas, as well. We were thrilled to get to insert MeeBlip anode at Pittsburgh Modular and Studio Electronics, as they already had some of my favorite stuff …

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Critter & Guitari Cartoon Time: A Fanciful Animated Trip to Japan to Discover New Sounds

Amidst the drab gray-suit reality of the musical instruments industry, the tacked-on dubstep promotional music, here’s a rainbow-colored breath of fresh air. Critter & Guitari, the handmade American electronic instrument builder, are here featured in an adorable video that uses acid-bright, trippy animations to explore sound design comments. It’s like what sound lovers would watch, breakfast cereal in hand, all Saturday morning – young or old – given that chance. Even if you don’t own C&G gear (and this will certainly tempt you), you might find some fun ideas and you will absolutely be entertained.

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aleph, from monome: Programmable Sound Computer That Does Anything

monome, the iconic grid controller that launched them all, has always been a device tethered to a computer. Without a USB connection to your machine, it is an attractive but functionless box. The latest monome project, the result of a collaboration between Brian Crabtree and musician Ezra Buchla (yes, there’s a relation) is different. It is a computer, with all the functions that entails, but in a box designed for sound. It has: A brain: Two of them, in fact – a DSP chip (BF533 blackfin, 533 mHz with 64 MB SDRAM) and an AVR32 for control. Audio connections: 4 …

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Inside Strange Sounds, Gear, Made in America: Richard Devine, Make Noise [Videos]

The lust for new sounds can take many forms. It leads some to reduce, forcing themselves to stick to minimal choices to channel their creativity. It leads some to reuse and recycle, repurposing old gear. But it leads some into a quest for arcane racks of gear, spaghetti tangles of wires and flashing screens alike, a buzzing laboratory of choices and possibilities. For this chapter in the story, we take a peek at the modular obsessed and toy-packed studios, with Richard Devine, Make Noise, and friends. The southeastern USA is a pretty summery place now, the day before the Fourth …

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Bolsa Bass: Critter and Guitari Bass, in Trippy-Cute Animation

Bass makes boys and girls happy, like sugar-y cereals and adorable cute animations. So, it seems only natural to round up the kids, pour yourself a bowl of Honey Smacks, and sit on the beanbag in front of the television set to watch the goodness of the boutique Critter & Guitari Bolsa Bass in an adorable psychedelic cell animation. We’ve got the animation, the photos, the sounds, and the specs all here. The basic notion here: six synthesis modes switch between different sounds, while a sequencer (with MIDI in, out, and sync for integration with hardware and software) handles all …

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komakontrol

Koma Kontrol Surface: Touch Surface Hardware, CV + MIDI [Preview]

Sometimes, an idea is so beautifully elegant, it just seems obvious. That’s the feeling I get from Koma’s newest prototype. The Kontrol Surface is a touch controller device. In its Light version, it’s an X/Y touch controller with CV output. The Pro version adds MIDI so it works with both analog and digital gear, and ups the ante to three-axis X/Y/Z capacitive touch. Folks with MIDI gear will wait for the Pro version, but the Light edition already appears like it’ll become a must-have for analog/modular owners. Specs: 1 x CV output 1 x inverted CV output Manual gate output …

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Codanova, Visual MIDI Controller Maker, Closes Shop, Too

Stay with us here. So, yesterday, I reported a French boutique manufacturer of custom visual hardware unexpectedly closed shop and ceased all operations, and will shortly discontinue support of its products. Okay, you can now insert into the sentence above “Vixid, maker of hardware mixers,” or “Codanova, maker of hardware controllers.” That’s two boutique French VJ-fused gear makers shuttering at nearly the same moment. As far as we know, the timing of the two of them is coincidental. (If someone can explain why this happened at the same time, please do. It seems hard to believe there wasn’t some common …

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