A “bargain” – if we may say so
But it sure is a beauty !!
When Hermann von Helmholtz designed what was essentially the world’s first electric keyboard, he didn’t do out of a need to lay down crunchy riffs on the shores of the Rhine. What he needed was a way to generate tones and mix timbres in a bid to better understand the musicality and substance of vowel sounds. He ultimately came up with a series of electrically activated tuning forks hooked up to brass resonators, and now you can try to own one of your every own… assuming you’ve got between at least $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket. This particular unit — hewn of wood and keys whittled from African ivory — wasn’t made by Helmholtz himself, but it is one of the few remaining examples of such 19th century tech still in existence. To hear auction brokerBonhams tell the tale, there’s just one other floating around the United States (another seems to be in safe hands at the University of Toronto). Intrigued? The Helmholtz synthesizer will go up for auction in New York come late October along with a slew of other scientific curios from back in the day.
Casio America has introduced two inexpensive digital sampling keyboards, the CTK-2090, and the LK-175V. They will be sold exclusively at Target.
According to Casio, build on the legacy of the SK-1, an inexpensive 8-bit sampler from nearly 30 years ago, that offered the ability to synthesize sounds from waveforms, envelopes, vibrato, portamento, rhythms, and sampling.
Both keyboards have two sampling modes: short and full.
- Short Sampling Mode allows users to create up to five sounds 0.4 seconds in length.
- Full Sampling Mode allows users to create one two-second sound. With a built-in sampling microphone, users can also sample their voice and other ambient sounds to create a variety of sampled tones and effects for later use.
Both the CTK-2090 and LK-175V are outfitted with Casio’s Step-up Lesson System, which lets beginners learn 152 built-in songs, phase-by-phase, at their own individual pace. With the LK-175V, users can practice with the help of the lighted 61-Key Piano Style Touch-Response keyboard.
Additional features include a 92mm X 40mm LCD display, 150 built-in rhythms, 400 built-in tones, 110 built-in songs, USB port, and more. Each model also comes with a music stand, song book and X stand.
The CTK-2090 for $169.99 and the LK-175V for $199.99 will be sold at Target locations nationwide, beginning in September.
Vintage gear demo featuring the Oberheim Xk
Oberheim Xk keyboard controller from the year 1986
The OB-Xk is a midi keyboard controller with a complex arpeggiator, chord memory functions and a lot more
used synth: Oberheim Matrix-1000 analog synthesizer module
The Oberheim OB-Xk is a MIDI keyboard controller from the mid-eighties. Originally designed to control the Matrix and Xpander modules, it uses MIDI and works fine as a controller for any MIDI gear. It’s got 61 keys that respond to velocity and aftertouch, two OB-style Pitch/Mod controllers, and one assignable continuous control slider. From the front panel you can directly access the first 100 single patches and/or 100 multi patches of your MIDI module. Any additional patches must be selected by another MIDI controller.
Other features include the ability to transpose up or down by up to 2 octaves or by half steps. The keyboard can be split into 3 zones. There are basic Hold and Chord memory functions and an Arpeggiator section with pretty decent features (it can use internal or external clock). The OB-Xk can also send a sequencer Song Select, Start and Stop commands. It’s built with Oberheim’s classic & vintage look: solid black metal case with wood end-cheeks. Definitely a unique controller to have around, although severely limited by today’s standards.
Arturia has announced the release of VOX Continental V, a vintage keyboard recreation, bringing back the classic sound of the famous VOX Continental 300.
As a high-end software recreation of the Sixties-vintage VOX Continental 300 transistor-based combo organ, VOX Continental-V is the latest addition to Arturia’s acclaimed Analog Classics lineup where it sits alongside an authentic recreation of another archetypal Sixties staple, Wurlitzer-V (based on the classic ‘Wurly’ electric piano). Introduced in 1962, the VOX Continental — or ‘Connie’ as affectionately it became known — was originally designed to address the needs of touring musicians, but became musically much-loved in its own right. As such, it prominently featured on many hit records of the time, including The Animals’ classic ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ in 1964 and, a little later, ‘Light My Fire’ by The Doors. Onstage, The Beatles performed a memorably frenzied version of ‘Help!’ B-side ‘I’m Down’ during their August 1965 performance at New York’s Shea Stadium with John Lennon playing a VOX Continental using his elbows at times!
Despite being phased out of production in the early-Seventies, the VOX Continental has stood the test of time, too, playing a pivotal part in generating many of the distinctive keyboard sounds supporting later musical genres, including almost everything ever recorded by British Ska revivalists Madness, as well as New Wavers like Elvis Costello and The Attractions and American counterparts Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. However, VOX organs have become increasingly difficult to acquire due to the high prices that they can command, compounded by the limited supply of working units. Today, VOX Continental-V gives contemporary, computer-based musicians instant access to those same hit-making sounds of yesteryear, and much more besides — and all without breaking the bank!
VOX Continental V features
- Physical Modeling of the VOX Continental 300.
- Added models of the ultra rare Jennings J70.
- Extended mode allows for more controls and more sound possibilities.
- Includes classic stompbox-type modeled effects.
- Modeled Guitar Tube Amp and Rotary Speaker outputs for vintage live sound.
- Extensive MIDI mapping of pedals, effects and sound engine parameters.
- Modeled amplifiers: Fender Deluxe Reverb Blackface, Fender Twin Reverb Blackface, Fender Bassman, Marshall Plexi, Leslie Speaker.
- Modeled microphones: Shure SM57, Sennheiser MD 421, Neumann U 87.
- Convolution reverb with custom classic spring reverbs.
The Vox Continental V is available for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/AAX/Standalone) for $99 USD/99 EUR (download) / $129 USD/119 EUR (boxed).
Binary Music has released LA-50, a new virtual instrument based on the classic Roland D-50 keyboard.
The upper and lower tones of each patch were sampled separately and their levels, pans and modulation can be adjusted independently. In total there are 100 instruments made from 2,486 samples – 2GB uncompressed.
The samples were recorded dry, then carefully matched reverb impulses were created using a Roland SRV3030. All samples were recorded in 24 bit at 44.1 kHz.
Released in 1987, the D50 was Roland’s answer to the Yamaha DX7. Although much easier to program, many of the presets found their way unedited straight onto hits during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Sounds such as Digital Native Dance, Soundtrack, Pizzagogo, Staccato Heaven and Fantasia, (all included in LA-50) became staples of many producers. The D50 features on albums by artists as diverse asMichael Jackson, Seal, 808 State, Duran Duran, Foreigner, Enya and Vangelis.
The D50 used a combination of PCM samples and a form of synthesis called Linear Arithmetic, which was actually quite analogue sounding. It was also the first synth to include an onboard digital reverb. On the D50 the reverb had to be switched off on a per patch basis, but on the rack mount D550 it could be switched off globally. By recording the tones dry, it’s possible to use a third party reverb instead of the included impulses.
Live looping musician, ANI jams with two prototype C.24 keyboards using the NanoStudio iOS app
Links to ANI
– Web: ani-web.com
– Twitter: twitter.com/animusicsf
– Facebook: facebook.com/animusicsf
“Success of a product strongly depends on how well the Product Design was elaborated before even starting to work on the first prototype. We help you by immediately turning your ideas into visual realistic sketches, like for example illustrated below.”
Here’s a presentation of the new Roland FA-08 at the NAMM Show 2014.
Alesis has introduced the new V Series and VI Series of full-size keyboard/pad controllers:
- The new Alesis V Series (V61, V49, V25) combine velocity-sensitive keys with eight drum/trigger pads. Blue LEDs illuminate the pads, as well as the four assignable knobs and buttons. Assignments may be made quickly via the MIDI Learn feature. Octave shift keys provide access to the entire note range. A single USB cable provides both a power and data connection to nearly any computer.
- The Alesis VI Series (VI61, VI49, VI25) add semi-weighted keys and aftertouch. The pad count has been increased to 16, with multi-color illumination. This layout provides intensive command over the clip trigger workflow of top DAW and compositional software. The internal clock offers drum roll, tempo, and sync capabilities. An optional power supply and a standard MIDI output allow for stand-alone use.
Alesis V Series Highlights:
- Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61)
- Pitch Bend and Modulation Wheels
- 8 Pads with blue LED illumination
- 4 Assignable knobs and buttons
- Sustain pedal input
- USB MIDI
Alesis VI Series Highlights:
- Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61)
- Semi-weighted keys with Aftertouch
- Pitch Bend & Modulation Wheels
- 16 Pads with Multi-color LED illumination
- VI25: 8 knobs, 24 buttons
- VI49: 12 knobs, 36 buttons
- VI61: 16 knobs, 48 buttons
- Transport and Present up/down buttons
- Sustain pedal input
- USD MIDI, MIDI Out
- Internal Clock for sync, tempo, rolls, etc.
The V and VI Series will have the following respective estimated street prices, V25 ($79.99 USD), V49 ($99.99 USD), V61 ($149.99 USD), VI25 ($169.99 USD), VI49 ($199.99 USD), and VI61 ($249.99 USD).
Dave Bryce checks out Roland’s first new workstation since the Fantom-G, the FA series.
Roland has announced two new workstation keyboards, the FA-08 and FA-06, which it says meet the needs of anyone who wants an instrument that they can use both on stage and in the studio.
Featuring a built-in audio interface, DAW integration, more than 2000 sounds from the Integra-7 sound module and an 88-note weighted action keyboard, the FA-08 weighs in at 16kg. It comes with a 16-track sequencer, and each of the 16 available parts can access its own effects engine, which sports 67 effect types. The UK price is £1529.
Full specs are below. The FA-06 boasts very similar specs but comes with a 61-note velocity-sensitive keyboard. It retails for £975. You can find out more about both models on the Roland website.
Featuring a huge selection of Roland’s best sounds, a 16-track sequencer, seamless DAW integration, an easy-to-use sampler, and much more, the new FA series completely reimagines the music workstation for effortless real-time power, ultra-fast workflow, and maximum versatility.