Elektron’s Analog Heat is a new distortion, filter, computer accessory

Surprise: Elektron’s latest isn’t a drum machine or sampler or sequencer. Analog Heat is instead a box you use with other stuff. And it has two missions. Mission one: add character to other sounds, via distortion, EQ, a filter, and modulation. Mission two: work with your computer, as an audio interface and as a way of adding that same analog business to software signals.


The Saw Bench is a 100€ Analog Synth; Here’s What Its Creators Say

The list of inexpensive electronic instruments you can have for a little bit of change continues to grow. The Saw Bench, now on Kickstarter, is a 100% analog monosynth. You get one voice, one oscillator with modulation, in a box with some hands-on control via knobs and MIDI input (for notes and control). It’s so nice, and so cheap, that I had to go talk to its creators to find out the whole story. And that lead to a nice chap from the Netherlands by the way of Pieter van der Meer. I was especially confused about the price – …


Mods Make The Moog’s Werkstatt Synth More Educational, More Fun

It began as an exclusive for a limited-edition workshop. But it’s turned into more. Moog’s Werkstatt synth is a lovely little analog synthesizer in its own right. But, driven by its educational mission, it’s also become a means of learning electronics. This is a synth you want to hot-rod.


An Analog Filter That’s Playable for Producers, Guitarists Alike: Waldorf 2-pole Video

Synth maker Waldorf revealed the 2-pole Analog Filter in the USA at the NAMM show. Now, they’re coming home to Germany with more details. The emphasis here is making a filter for everyone: producers and synthesists, yes, but also DJs and guitarists. We already know guitarists like having access to this stuff if it can be playable (see KOMA, Moog), and if Waldorf can sell DJs a buttery filter instead of the awful stuff you get on many DJ mixers, they may be doing the world a public service. The hardware has an all-analog filter path, which makes sense for …


Modulation in All Things: New LFOs for Ableton Live, iOS, Software, and Analog Gear

The LFO – Low Frequency Oscillator – is one of the most fundamental of electronic music elements. Creating a signal that modulates the sound of something else, the LFO has a history that’s roughly as old as sound-making electronic circuits themselves. And yet, there’s still more that can be done with them. Two new LFOs blur the lines between analog and digital, hardware and software, and pack clever features into their interface and function. A Handheld LFO for Analog Gear Justus Kandzi’s Brute LFO puts hardware modulation in the palm of your hand. Brute LFO runs on any iPhone, iPad, …

Minimoog Voyager. Photo courtesy Moog Music.

Moogist’s Tips For Making Insane, Atonal Voyager Music In a Kitchen Pantry [Video]

Why is The Moogist playing in a pantry? It’s … unclear. (mmmm… Vanilla Almond Clusters.) But this performer, aka Tim Tsang, demonstrates that with some modulation, you can turn you keyboard shredding into something much wilder. Expect explosive flurries of atonal melodic flourishes and timbral mayhem. Using a Moog Voyager, he modulates those pitches into some musical insanity. In short: Shred. Add pitch randomization with sample and hold (a lot of it). Filter the result. Hold that key trigger so you can use your fingers for something else. (Here, the Voyager’s X/Y pad. Route mod wheel to LFO. Route LFO …


MIDI Control Platform: One Open Box, Any Notes, Harmonies, and Rhythms [Gallery]

What if you just had a box that crunched MIDI data? In the realm of DIY hardware, ideas tossed aside by the bigger music tech market thrive. And so, we have the MIDI Control Platform, a poplar wood and lasercut-aluminum box with basic controls and a graphic display. It’s a box that does … well, stuff. Via software modules and that screen, it can turn into any MIDI-processing tool you desire. This idea has been seen in boutique hardware before – I loved the Ruin & Wesen MiniCommand, but sadly that device and its MidiDuino library never caught on. The …


Moogerfooger Cluster Flux: Flanger + Chorus + Vibrato + LFO; Pricing and Availability Details

Moog Music has made official the launch of the Moogerfooger MF-108M Cluster Flux. Leaked specs went out yesterday. I was editing a book; hopefully you were doing something less work-like, such as sipping beers aside the beach with your iPhones completely powered down and stowed. But now that it’s official, we know full specifications on the hardware (below), and pricing and availability. The Cluster Flux will list for US$599; expect lower prices street. You’ll be able to get it third quarter of this year. Why is the Cluster Flux worth leaking? Moog already has a lovely line of analog Moogerfooger …


Give Ableton Live its Missing LFO: Max for Live Device Modulates Everything

(Note – please see update at the end of this story regarding controversy over this device in the Live community.) Ableton Live users have wanted an LFO for a long time. Using basic wave shapes, you’d be able to modulate anything in a set, from clip parameters to instruments and effects, producing shifting timbres or rhythmic patterns or anything you’d like. Julien Bayle, the Marseilles-based (certified) Live guru, ambient musician (as protofuse), and builder of the protodeck controller, has built a solution. “LFO Everything in Live” is a Max for Live device that allows you to control any parameter anywhere …


Exclusive Leak: Moog Music Make Filtatron, an iPhone Filtering, Effects, and Sampling App

The Moog app sits on my iPod touch, next to its analog predecessor Moogerfooger. Yeah, okay, I still like the knobs better, but it is fun, and the Moogerfooger doesn’t fit in my pocket unless I wear really silly-looking overalls. Moog Music, they of the normally analog-only gear, have built their first iOS application. We’ve acquired exclusive details of the innards of the app, and I’ve been testing it today on my (second-generation) iPod touch. Blasphemy? Perhaps, but it’s a nicely-designed little application, and with audio input capability, could turn your Apple handheld into a tiny recording and effects-processing unit …