More Novation XioSynth Details: Bargain Mono Synth/Controller

Updated: The XioSynth is, in fact, 8-voice polyphonic, says Rob Jones from Novation’s UK headquarters. Rob explains why we got the message that it was monophonic: “It’s monotimbral (i.e., one program at a time), but each patch has 8-note polyphony.” There you have it. Also, check out comments for plenty of discussion as people ponder what gear to buy. Novation has additional details for us on their new XioSynth, as profiled yesterday: Synth engine: Virtual analog subtractive synth. Novation says it is “essentially a new engine,” but related to the KS-Series and X-Station synths. Those synths are terrific-sounding and a …

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Frederic Chopin, The Video Game, Coming to Xbox 360

Here we are, a site that regularly follows unusual gaming – music crossovers, and I don’t think we could ever have imagined anything this odd: a video game in which you play as Frédéric Chopin (yes, the one you’re thinking of), fighting disease with magical powers in a dream world: Chopin’s Dream Screens at Kotaku Bungie, of course, is the developer and — ha, just kidding. No, this one is from Japan. (Pretend to be surprised.) Trusty Bell: Chopin no Yume is the official name (trusty bell?!), and other than that, you can really only look at the images, awestruck. …

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$15 Wavetable Collection for NI Absynth: Architecture

Preset libraries are rarely designed with the avid sound designer in mind. Usually what you get is overdesigned patches that don’t really work for your music. Andrew Souter sends an interesting collection today, however: a $15 library for Native Instruments’ Absynth synth with 1,000 wavetables (single-cycle waveforms, the building blocks of lots of classic digital and analog sounds). That sounds more my speed, and it should be just the thing to pair with Native’s incredibly-powerful synth. The categories sound useful, too: “Additive, AM, Classic, FM, Formants, LoFi, Serial, and UHF.” This library is a translation of an impressive MetaSynth library; …

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Kinetic 2: Inexpensive Windows Groovebox with Roland Sounds

Kinetic 2 is here for Windows, and it looks promising not only as a way of getting beginners into music making, but as a really good buy on soft synths for everyone else, as well — especially at US$80.

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13-inch Intel MacBooks Arrive, Starting at $1099; Pluses, Caveats

Apple has come through with Intel-based MacBook laptops (replacing the iBook), and the bottom line is, they’re a terrific bargain. As a portable music machine, unless you prefer bigger screens, it’s hard to go wrong with these computers. The only big downsides: black costs you extra, and like the mini before them, the integrated graphics are pretty limited for 3D. Here’s a quick look at what I think the big issues will be for musicians, though, of course, we’ll want to chat this one up in comments and on the forums.

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Lounge Lizard EP-3 Modeled Electric Piano Coming Soon

Updates to favorite keyboard soft synths — always a good thing. In addition to looking forward to Native Instruments’ sequel to their B4 organ synth, another modeled-instrument fave is getting a big upgrade soon: Lounge Lizard EP-3 The current Lounge Lizard is already a joy to play: Applied Acoustics nails the feel and sound of the classic Wurlitzer and Rhodes keyboards. EP-3 upgrades the already-generous preset selection, adds improved and expanded models of different pickups, forks, and dampers, (in addition to those already in EP-2), and adds support for Scala microtuning files. (For those of you wanting to play your …

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Super-Fast New Apple Desktops; Pro Music Heaven

Apple’s PowerBook announcement is a little disappointing for power-hungry mobile musicians (more pixels, but no more power), but their desktop news is drool-worthy. By next month, they’ll be shipping quad G5 systems (dual processor, dual core), and they’re shipping dual-core machines now, all with faster RAM and faster video. The Power Mac line, starting at $1999, is now expandable to 16GB DDR2 RAM, with up to 1 terabyte of hard disk. That’s huge for pro users: big performance, same price. Video options are beefed up, too, with the PCI Express Architecture featured on the iMac, and up to NVidia’s fastest …

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