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Omnisphere Review for Keyboard: Amidst Gigs of Sounds, Real Creative Sound Design, Too; Videos

I took a look at Omnisphere 1.5, the synth so big it’ll make your head hurt, for Keyboard in a story out now (and readable now). As I begin the story: Seeing its six DVDs of sound content, you might be tempted to duct-tape a key down and let Omnisphere finish your film scoring gig. While the director would probably love the results, you’d be missing out on the real fun. In other words, what I discovered in that review was that Omnisphere, particularly with additions in the new 1.5 update, is a powerful creative sound design tool, not just …

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Image-Line Unveils Additive Harmor Synth, Beta of Fruity Loops for Mac – via WINE

Didier Dambrin, FL Studio’s original creator, has a new synth entitled Harmor that looks like one to watch. There’s a beautiful crop of new synthesizers this season that could have you yearning for a winter spent with long nights somewhere deep in the Northern Hemisphere, producing new music – see also, to name just one, Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ 2. (Both Harmor and Z3TA+ 2 are Windows-only, so time to boot up the PC or, Mac users, update that Boot Camp partition.) VSTi and native FL Studio support; US$149 but on sale this month for $99. For some reason, releasing any synth …

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Ableton Adds Lion Support, Better MIDI Sync; For Some Music, Watch Nicolas Jaar Play Live

Ableton this week has released 8.2.5; it’s worth mentioning here primarily as it adds Lion support on Mac OS. I still strongly recommend against upgrading to 10.7 for the time being, until you’ve verified that your particular mix of plug-ins and hardware is also compatible, but it’s a promising sign. Other improvements are also worth a look; via the Ableton forum: – MIDI sync has been improved when Live is a MIDI clock slave – Imported tracks (from the Live Browser) now route to Master if their original output routing can’t be resolved, instead of “Sends Only.” – The default …

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SunVox, Production Tool That Runs Almost Everywhere, Gets Updates; Watch Videos

God Bless Russian engineering. As of this summer, it’s the only ticket to and from our space station, via a capsule that Just Works. It gaves us the very first electronic instrument (thanks, Professor Theremin). And it gives us an insane music tracker slash production tool slash soft synth selection slash modular hosting environment that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, Palm, Windows Mobile (yes, you’re reading this list right), and now iOS and iPad. Well, don’t just thank Russian engineering. Thank Alex Zolotov, who sends along his latest work. Highlights: Waveform drawing A drum synth Sample recording Side chain compression …

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Drawing Sounds with New Experimental Synths (iOS from SunVox Creator)

Developer Alex Zolotov has been producing fascinating experiments for the iPhone. Today, we’re covering updates to Alex’s SunVox production tool, on iOS and desktop alike, but this pair of iOS tools deserves its own post. I could try to describe them, but there’s little to say that can’t be clearly seen in the video: you draw sounds, in spectral form (bottom) and waveform view (top), in order to produce synths graphically. The idea isn’t new, of course, but it’s beautifully implemented here in a way that’s immediate and sonically rich. Below, one other recent iOS creation, SoundFields, which also takes …

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Plug-in Watch: New Urs Updates and Videos, Images, and an Aalto Update

From the wonderful world of plug-ins, we’ve got some good news for soft synth lovers. I covered the forthcoming Z3TA+ 2 release from Cakewalk last week, and a number of readers pointed to the brilliant work of Urs Heckmann. As it happens, Urs has a number of updates releasing this week, adding 64-bit support, compatibility fixes, and new tutorial videos. Check out the mapping generator and “tap map” LFOs for one terrific example in ACE (the modular Any Cable Everywhere). New features in the ACE modular and More Feedback Machine delay/multi-effect:

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Your iOS Device Gets MIDI with Thru and Power – and 1 GB of Samples – from IK

For connecting music hardware from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and today, you can’t beat MIDI and the standard MIDI connector (5-pin DIN). This week, both IK Multimedia and Line 6 announced adapters that support Core MIDI. Previously possible on iPad via the Camera Connection Kit, the new adapters support the 30-pin dock connector for the iPad (no additional adapter needed), iPhone, and iPod touch. IK’s iRig MIDI has a number of features that set it apart from previously-available iOS adapters: It’s got MIDI Thru. MIDI Thru means you can route MIDI into your iOS device, so an external keyboard can …

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Z3TA+ 2 Soft Synth for Windows Details, Pics from Cakewalk; Promise of Waveshaping Goodness

Cakewalk has shared some of the details of their upcoming Z3TA+ 2 soft synth. Z3TA has long been a favorite on Windows as a per-oscillator waveshaping synth with extensive modulation, filter, and envelope features – it’s just one of those nice, balanced soft synths to which you can return. But as the years have passed, it’s also faced a lot of competition. Z3TA+ 2 could put it back on the map. Cakewalk today made public some of the new features. I think it’s also important to note the design of the new UI. It’s nothing revolutionary, but what it is …

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Inbound: Z3TA+ Waveshaping Synth, The Next Generation

Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ has long been a favorite virtual analog / waveshaping soft synth, so much so that it consistently hits top 10 lists of software classics, even as it’s been (in past, at least) a Windows-only offering. Years, later, though, it’s most definitely due for an update. Cakewalk has released a video of what’s in store this week, with a redesigned UI, new effects, deeper editing options (which, incidentally, had been my disappointment with the first generation), and improved sound quality. Highlights: New sound content, many from original Z3TA+ sound designers New waveshaping functionality New filter types (check out the …

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For Lovers of Aalto, Semi-Modular Soft Synth, a Place to Share Patches

Producer Sam Greene was so in love with Aalto, the semi-modular, Mac and Windows soft synth whose developer we profiled last month, that he made his own place to share patches for it. Patches are free to download and use in your music, and you can upload your own; the only restriction is that the site asks that no one re-sell the patches themselves. Find the results: patchdump.com You can thank the synth for making it easy. While discussion of sharing features often turns to sophisticated cloud and social features, here’s one solution: just make exchanging files dead-simple. As the …

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