minimoog-v

Get Arturia minimoog-V, Free, Today Only [CET]

If you love that original Minimoog sound, but you’ve run out of space in your flat and money for used bank accounts and don’t like the notion of maintaining pots and oscillators and lifting heavy vintage gear, the Arturia minimoog-V remains a lovely, economical, liftable alternative. It’s the one software plug-in to receive the endorsement of the Moog Music company. (Bob Moog himself got involved when the software was developed.) And for one day, it’s completely free. You’ll want to grab it right away – that day, today June 21, ends when it does as the clock strikes midnight in …

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The new Jupiter-50, little sibling to the big JP-80 introduced last year.

Roland Returns to Synth Roots on Jupiter; New JP-50, iPad Integration [Video]

The name “Jupiter” evokes some strong feelings among synth aficionados. Little wonder, than, that when Roland introduced a modern successor, the response was impassioned. CDM was one of the first to look in detail at the Jupiter-80, and I was surprised – given the tendency of this readership away from massive flagship keyboards – to see it become one of our biggest stories of the year. Roland faced some serious criticism when the story it told about the new Jupiter was less about synthesis and more about the instrument-emulating Supernatural engine. After all, since the days of the original Jupiter’s …

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meebook2

MeeBlip Synth in a Cookbook, MeeBlip with Lemur, MeeBlip micro In Stock

There are times when something happens that reminds you why you make the sacrifices to do what you do. A real highlight of 2011 for me was Gwydion ap Dafydd appearing with the MeeBlip, our open source synthesizer, baked into a cookbook. I knew Gwydion had gotten creative in making a housing for his MeeBlip kit, and I knew that it was a book. But then, he opened it up to reveal the MeeBlip’s controls popping out of a cookbook page, with I/O ports conveniently located on the side, and even the ability to remove the panel to get at …

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Animoog, Moog’s First iPad Synth, in Videos and Instrumental Use

Something I always appreciated about classical music training was learning to appreciate the particulars of each instrument, whether or not you played them yourself. A French Horn, for instance, is not an instrument without challenges: everything from tuning to balancing dynamic range to how you look when you add and remove muting can be demanding. And in technology – whether acoustic instrumental or digital – every design is about tradeoffs. You very often can’t get one thing without giving up something else. So I stand by the questions I asked about iPad synths in general last week, particularly as I …

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omnisphere_granular_zoom

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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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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halion4

HALion 4, Steinberg’s Sampler + Synth Soft Workstation, Gets Deeper

Sampler? Synth? Workstation? Or just big bucket of sound? There are some impressive rabbit holes for sound designers out there, and Steinberg’s offering just got a big refresh. While looking at the latest flagship from a music hardware giant (Roland’s Jupiter-80), it’s revealing to compare the software side of the fence. Computer software instruments may not be directly equivalent to all-in-one keyboards, but they do each embody the latest thinking in how to build expressive instruments and new sounds. German maker Steinberg is at home at this week’s giant Messe trade show, and they’ve taken the wraps off the upcoming …

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With Korg iMS-20 for iPad, Patch Cords Meet Multi-Touch; Sounds + Videos

Love patching. Hate running out of patch cords. For all the quantity and inventiveness of iOS music-making software, only a few titles have become contenders as must-have apps. KORG’s iElectribe often tops those lists. What makes the iMS-20 especially interesting news is that it may have a bit of an edge even on hardware. Touch is a natural interface for patching sounds with virtual patch cords. We got to see a small taste of that with the stylus-driven, MS-20 inspired Korg DS-10 for Nintendo DS. With the iMS-20 for iPad, you can take advantage of the tablets far more-sophisticated sonic …

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Novation Returns to Virtual Analog Hardware Legacy with $699 UltraNova

UK-based Novation are known these days mainly for making MIDI controller keyboards for computers, but the company first made its name in synths. Novation’s virtual analog synths were beloved for their distinctive sound, accessibility – both in price and ease, and compact design. And some of that legacy, frankly, has been missing in recent years, even with the fun Xio keyboard. UltraNova could be the hardware that brings back Novation’s soul. And the timing couldn’t be better, with a rekindled love for hardware synths even among dedicated computer users. As the name implies, the UltraNova recalls Novation’s best-loved synths, the …

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EMS Synthi, Recreated in Max, then Controlled with a Webcam

The headline says it all. Oh, sure, as if it isn’t enough to recreate the legendary EMS Synthi synth – one of the most creative vintage analog instruments ever devised – this artist takes it one step further, controlling parameters with a piece of colored paper tracked by a webcam. It’s an achievement of sheer patching genius, taken one step wackier. The patch is entitled Le Synthé V5; the creator is Pierre Couprie. And yes, you can download this for Windows and Mac – even Mac PowerPC. Cost: US$15/EUR10, which is, I must say, insanely cheap. Video in French with …

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