The avalanche of sales can be overwhelming, and Cyber Monday sounds like a weird themed costume night, but here are some top picks to grab musical tools and toys. And it’s great to be able to support folks making business around music making, so I’ve highlighted some small and independent makers where I can, plus the shops where their stuff is sold.
That invaluable reverb/delay we’d probably buy if it cost money, except it’s free, has gotten yet another landmark update. Leo and Virgo rising: it’s the densest yet and the sparsest yet.
“High” and “low” pitch are universal, right? Wrong. Try large and small, thick and thin, and among Zimbabwe’s Shona people, even crocodile and … those who follow crocodile. A newly updated online resource is collecting variants.
Dicksmasher, the upcoming “weaponized distortion technology” from Freakshow Industries, can’t be preordered and you’ll have to “wait 1000 years” or something. Also, sadly, Freakshow Industries seems not to be doing their usual Black Friday sale where they make everything more expensive. But we do have teasers.
We already found 1010music’s bluebox a musically inspiring combination of mixer, multitrack recorder/player, and effects. The leap to Eurorack has opened up even greater potential, producing this $699 multitasker.
Mixer madness in Eurorack continues. ALM’s MFD features 2-channel stereo mixing with crossfader (on a knob), preview cue, and voltage control, so it’s also a stereo VCA.
Ableton Live 12 will ship with new integrated tuning support — but there’s more. An interactive website will explore the context and musical traditions behind some of those tunings, along with interactive tools for working with tuning and modes. Here’s a preview.
Finally, Teenage Engineering looks set to hit the sweet spot we want. Their new box has the stylish Braun-like industrial design of their high-end gear – but it’s $299 and builds on the fun of the Pocket Operator line.
There’s new groove machine hardware out this week, but Elektron has an update for the gear you might already own. Both MKI and MKII editions of Analog Rytm now get an update with a Euclidean sequencer, scales, improved tuning, and more.
Noise Engineering’s Xer Mixa is a tour de force – an expansive all-analog bank of VCAs for stereo mixing and creative applications in Eurorack, paired with deep control and customization.