As Two Moogerfoogers Are Discontinued, A Musical Ode

Two terrific Moogerfoogers have reached the end of their run. But that’s an excuse for more music, which sounds good to me. 2007’s FreqBox takes input signals and modulates an internal oscillator; the 2009 MIDI Murf is an animated filter sequencer. They’re both pretty great boxes, though now even before delving into modular, there are a lot more choices now than perhaps just those few short years ago. Koma Elektronik’s FT-201 runs further with the idea of sequencer-plus-filter. I can’t think of anything quite like the FreqBox, actually – I’d love to see Moog find a way to make a …

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Pyramid is High-End MIDI, Analog Sequencer Gear with Effects [Gallery]

Maybe it’s because people have started collecting lots of gear. Maybe it’s a shift in how people play live. Maybe it’s just that we’re getting more than enough mileage out of our laptop as the machine for mixing and tracking and recording and mastering and managing our tour and our social network. Whatever the reason, boy, are we seeing a lot of focus on dedicated hardware – especially for live performance. The Pyramid, from oddly-named Squarp (Squarepusher + arpeggio?), looks like what would happen if Elektron decided to make its own standalone step sequencer without the drum machine. Or at …


Numerology 4 is the Deep Modular Sequencer You Didn’t Know You Needed [Mac]

Numerology is a ray of hope, proof that there’s more than one way to build software for making music live and in the studio. Instead of locking you into yet another multitrack recorder, it’s an open canvas for combining sequencers into note-making machines. But maybe the idea of using some idiosyncratic modular step-sequencing environment just hadn’t quite won you over. Quietly working away in New Mexico, developer Jim Coker has been working away on a new Numerology to change your mind. What’s different about this fourth revision? Well, a whole lot of details, but here are the important new developments: …


Quick Jam: Digital Warrior, Open Source Step Sequencer, Plus KORG volca beats and Bitwig

Don’t call it a comeback. Hardware step sequencing is becoming the must-have accessory for even computer users. And the boutique Digital Warrior controller, which neatly combines knobs with colored pads, is a great solution. I’ve been messing about with the Arturia BeatStep, as well – review coming – but the Digital Warrior has some tricks of its own. It integrates nicely with Traktor, like the still-forthcoming MIDI Fighter Twist from DJ TechTools. But the reason I wouldn’t buy or recommend the DJTT piece is – no MIDI┬áDIN connector. And that spoils the fun. Here, the Digital Warrior is comfortable not …


Arturia MicroBrute: $349, Semi-Modular, Analog Keyboard Synth – Details, Full Gallery

If there was any doubt left, the analog monosynth keyboard has gone mainstream now. Fusing 70s electronic instrument design ideas with nerdy lust for sound with modern ideas about connectivity, accessibility, and timbre, a generation of instruments has made it a wonderful time for synth lovers to be alive. And the latest from Arturia is compact and inexpensive, while still managing to squeeze in some unique sound-shaping concepts and a tiny patch bay for modular use. Oh, before you ask, Eurorack fans – yes, it’s Eurorack-compatible. Alex Theakston from Source Distribution, who shot these beautiful photos and provided CDM with …


MixEmergency 2.2: Layer, Sequence, Step-Sequence Effects, in Beautiful Update

MixEmergency has been the “DVJ” tool of choice among many readers here, a surprisingly-powerful visual tool that integrates with Serato Scratch Live for hybrid vinyl/visual performance. It already gives Serato’s own visual offering, Serato Video, a run for its money. The latest update has a powerful effects tool that could be the envy of any visual software – not only in Serato-land. There are various updates, including UI improvements and reduced CPU usage and a variety of fixes and tweaks. But it’s the FX Sequencer that looks especially nice, and might have you wondering, “why doesn’t my VJ tool work …


Full-Featured Genome MIDI Sequencer for iPad, and a Chat with its Creator

The tablet – or at least the iPad – is beginning to look like a terrific accessory for lovers of MIDI and hardware. With its compact form factor, it coexists nicely with your MIDI gear and lets you focus on sequencing, perhaps moving to the traditional computer to finish up your track, mixing, and the like. And it’s spawning MIDI sequencer apps that imaginatively explore ideas for how to create sequencing, all with an immediate touchable interface. The latest entry: Genome MIDI Sequencer claims to be the “first true pattern-based MIDI sequencer for iPad.” The word “true” might be debateable, …


Otomata, A Generative Online Sequencer; Apps versus Web, Plus SuperCollider Goodies

Behold the power of the Web: composition ideas become a tool, a tool becomes a means for even casual users sharing musical sketches, and a browser toy can be a window into a Turkish sound artist breeding musical DNA like some people breed strains of flowers. Otomata is a simple generative online grid-based sequencer, owing to a number of step sequencers and Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-on, with some beautiful circular visualizations of the resulting sounds. I’m late in posting it, but in a way, that’s a good thing – in the time that this sequencer has spread around the Web, it’s …


Max Fuel, a Bundle of Max for Live Devices, Debuts

For those of you just joining us, Max for Live is an interactive environment that incorporates the full Max/MSP/Jitter inside Ableton Live, with the addition of hooks that allow it to integrate with and control Live, and to make Max creations look like Live devices. Individual artists have begun using Max for Live, and we’ve seen some free downloads, but less of its use as a development platform. The problem is, your target audience must own both a full version of Ableton Live 8.1x or later, as well as the paid Max for Live add-on. Max Fuel from Ableton soundhouse …


Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5.2 Update Packs a Lot in a Point

This would normally be a generic picture of an overview of the Track View or something, but… come on. Let’s just look at a step sequencer. (Yes, it looks similar to FL Studio’s step sequencer. But you get a decidedly SONAR-like workflow, which feels nothing like Fruity Loops. Whether that’s good news depends on how you feel about FL and SONAR.) The tricky thing about introducing a new feature is that you almost immediately hear from users about other features that would go well with that feature. (There’s a children’s story that goes this way.) The folks at Cakewalk have …