Akai AX60 – VCO Modulating the VCF

October 14, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

One unique feature on the Akai AX60 that is not commonly found on synthesizers is VCO Mod to VCF. You can create some FM-like timbres with this feature when the VCF Resonance is turned up.

The creator of this video ‘zibbybone’ has added a tiny bit of reverb with his Roland Fantom X6.

The AX60 is among some of the last true analog polysynths of the mid-eighties. It was Akai’s answer to the hugely successful Roland Juno series and Yamaha’s new digital DX-series. The AX60 is a programmable six-voice synth with a nice LFO, lowpass (VCF) filter, envelope sections, and more. An eight-voice version, the AX80, was already available. Programming this synth is easy using dedicated sliders, knobs and/or buttons for its parameters. It also has a useful noise generator and some other cool functions that include auto-tuning, chorus, a multi-mode arpeggiator and a keyboard that can be split into two key-zones, making it somewhat bi-timbral. All six voices can be stacked in unison mode for a powerful and thick lead sound. Its features and sound make the AX60 a worthy alternative to Roland’s Juno 106.

Dave Smith Instruments: TETRA — Sweet Ambient Sync Sound

September 13, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

  • Affordable, fully programmable poly synth with a 100% analog signal path.
  • Classic, real analog sound—including legendary Curtis analog low-pass filter.
  • Four-part multitimbral capability with four separate outputs.
  • Combo Mode for huge unison patches, stacked sequences, and “modular-style” poly sounds.
  • Expandable: poly chain with other Tetras, Prophet ’08, and Mopho for expanded polyphony
  • Just 7.9″ x 5″ (20.07 cm x 12.7 cm).
  • Free editor for Mac OS and Windows.

Tetra Product description:

Tetra is our next-generation analog poly synth. Tetra takes the award-winning sound and features of Mopho, multiplies them by four, and packs them in a box less than half an inch larger!

Tetra has multiple personalities. It is a four-voice, analog poly synth, a sort of “mini Prophet.” It’s a four-part, multitimbral synth with separate outputs, essentially four Mophos in one very compact box. And it’s a voice expander for other Tetras or the Prophet ’08.

Outside the Box
Physically, Tetra is similar to Mopho, with four assignable parameter controls per program and a row of controls dedicated to the most commonly used performance parameters. All of the parameters can be accessed from the front panel and Tetra is fully programmable. A free, downloadable editor is available for Mac OS and Windows to facilitate more comprehensive tweaking.

Most of the rotary controls are detented encoders, but Cutoff and Resonance are potentiometers, allowing full sweeps with a single turn. The Push It button is a manual trigger to play notes and latch sequences on without the need for a MIDI controller.

Audio is output in mono, stereo, or per voice, via the four audio output jacks. There is also a headphone out. MIDI communication is by standard MIDI in and out jacks or USB. Poly Chain Out is a special, dedicated MIDI output to chain multiple instruments for increased polyphony.

Under the Hood
The voice architecture is based on the Prophet ’08, but with the addition of a sub-octave generator for each oscillator and a fully programmable feedback loop for each voice. That breaks down to two DCOs, a resonant low-pass filter, three DADSR envelope generators, four LFOS, deep modulation routing, an arpeggiator, and a 16 x 4 analog-style step sequencer per voice. Feedback is capable of producing effects ranging from mild distortion to fairly extreme harmonic instability. (That’s a good thing.) The possibilities are nearly endless. And the audio signal path is 100% analog.

Tetra a la Mode
In Program Mode, Tetra is a four-voice, polyphonic synthesizer with four banks of 128 programs. As with the Prophet ’08, each program contains two layers—each layer is essentially a separate patch—that can be used to create keyboard splits or stacked sounds. Banks 1 and 2 are the Prophet ’08 factory programs; banks 3 and 4 are a combination of Mopho and new programs.

In Combo Mode, a different program can be assigned to each of the four voices. Combos can be used for mammoth unison patches or for triggering up to four different 16 x 4 sequences—each with its own program—simultaneously. Combos can also be used to create “modular-style” polyphonic patches, where each voice plays a different program, with a slight variation on the same sound or even a drastically different sound.

In Multi Mode, Tetra becomes a multitimbral sound module capable of playing four monophonic parts on four MIDI channels, with separate outputs for each voice. Coupled with a MIDI sequencer and DAW, Tetra can play complex arrangements or analog drum parts with each part individually processed and recorded to its own track.

This One Goes to 12…and 16
Up to four Tetras can be poly chained for eight, twelve, or sixteen voices total. When used with a Prophet ’08, up to two Tetras can be poly chained for a maximum of sixteen voices. In addition, the Prophet’s front panel controls map directly to almost all of Tetra’s parameters, so the Prophet acts as a programmer and control surface. And a Mopho can be connected to Tetra’s Poly Chain Out for five-voice operation.

Time machine: KORG DELTA DEMO

September 11, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Demo from the Korg Delta Vintage analog synthesizer/string machine.

Korg’s Delta is an analog semi-poly synth/string machine, basically a slimmed down version of the Korg Trident. Though limited in the range of sounds compared with other synths of the same genre, the sheer quality of the sound from this little beastie really does make it something of a marvel. It can be found used for cheap and is worth it for the retro synth strings and fat bass synth tones.

delta_01

The synth is split into two sections, Strings and Synth, for which there are separate audio outputs along with a combined output for headphones or mixing. Each section has its own controls. The String section has two pitch sliders (16′ and 8′) along with two tone controls (Bass and Treble) and variable Attack and Release controls to modify the sound. The Synth section has four pitch sliders (16′, 8′, 4′ and 2′). There is also a white noise generator along with a very effective 24dB/oct low pass filter (high pass and band pass options are included too) and full ADSR controls. The synth has no memory storage or MIDI, however it does has voltage control and gate ins and outs.

The string sounds are very basic but with its separate outputs and when mixed together with the polysynth you do get that classic ‘layered’ sound which is useful enough on this synth; and it’s fully polyphonic, so you wont be running out of notes! There is a handy joystick to the left of the 49-note keyboard for pitch bending and modulation capabilities. The construction is solid and heavy partly due to the implementation of a wooden base but also because it was designed for heavy usage on the road. Added bonuses: noise modulation, stereo out (strings/synth split), and the ability to combine synth and strings or turn off oscillators in the mixer section.

Roland MKS 80 Super Jupiter – Overview

July 27, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The MKS-80 is basically a refined Jupiter 8 in a module. It is called the Super Jupiter and it is very fat and very analog!

RolandMKS80

Its great sound is due in part to the classic analog Roland technology in its filters, modulation capabilities and a thick cluster of 16 analog oscillators at 2 per voice. It comes in a 2 space rack-module – no keyboard here. Tons of editing capabilities, although editing is tedious. It’s got all the classic sounds of the Jupiter synths and so much more. An excellent choice for ambient drones, pads, blips, buzzes and leads.!

The Jupiter-8 is an 8-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer. Each voice features two VCOs with cross-modulation and sync, pulse-width modulation, a non-resonant high-pass filter, a resonant Low-pass filter with 2-pole (12 dB/octave) and 4-pole (24 dB/octave) settings, an LFO with variable waveforms and routings, and two envelope generators (one invertible).

Features include adjustable polyphonic portamento and a Hold function for infinite sustain of notes and arpeggios. A versatile arpeggiator can be synchronized with external equipment by using the proprietary Roland DCB interface, clock input via CV jacks on the rear panel, or one of the aftermarket MIDI kits from Encore or Kenton. An assignable bender can be used to control pitch or filter frequency.

From the factory, the JP-8 could store 64 patches. Patches could be stored to, or loaded from, a standard analog tape/cassette. The Encore JP8MK MIDI kit doubles the patch memory to 128 and enables the JP-8 to store and recall patches over a MIDI connection, using a computer with sysex utility software.

Time machine: Demo song featuring the Roland Juno-106

July 7, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Vintage synthesizer demo track by RetroSound
“Analog Days”

all synthesizer sounds: Roland Juno-106 Analog Synthesizer (1984)
drums: Roland TR-707
recording: multi-tracking without midi
fx: a bit reverb

more info: http://www.retrosound.de

Info about the synth:

The Juno-106 is a very common and widely used analog polysynth. It continues to be one of the most popular analog synths due to its great sound and easy programmability. It was the next major incarnation of the Juno-series, following the Juno-60. While it has virtually the same synth engine as the Juno-60, the 106 added extensive MIDI control making it one of Roland’s first MIDI-equipped synthesizers. There was also increased patch memory storage, up to 128 patches instead of the 56 patches available in the Juno-60. However, the Juno-60 is often said to have a slight sonic edge over the more advanced 106. The 60 had the ability to modulate oscillator pulse from its envelope and has a “punchier” sound quality.

The Juno-106 is a six-voice polyphonic and programable analog synth with one digitally controlled oscillator (DCO) per voice. While classic monophonic synths used two or three oscillators to create a fatter sound, the Juno-106 uses built-in Chorus to fatten up its sound to dramatic effect. The nature of its DCO meant it was stable and always in perfect tune but still warm and analog. There is an excellent 24dB/oct analog lowpass filter with plenty of resonance and self-oscillating possibilities and a non-resonant highpass filter. The programable pitch/mod bender can be assigned to control the DCO pitch, VCF cutoff, and LFO amount all at once or individually.

The Juno-106 was the first MIDI equipped Juno and its implementation is quite good. There are 16 MIDI channels available and MIDI SysEx data can be transmitted/received from all the sliders and buttons for total remote control and sequencing capability. A switch on the back of the keyboard, next to the MIDI ports allows the user to switch between three types of MIDI modes: Keyboard and Hold data only; Keyboard, Hold, Bender, Patch selection data; or All data (including SysEx). Most users simply set it to MIDI Function mode 3 and forget it.

This synth is incredibly straightforward and very powerful. It’s SH-series derived panel layout is easy to understand and very hands-on. Use it to generate lush pads, filter sweeps, and funky bass lines and leads. The Juno-106 is an awesome learning tool for anyone new to analog synthesis, as well as an electronic musician’s dream for its warm analog sounds coupled with modern features like MIDI and memory – all at a very reasonable price. And still the Juno-106 has an even cheaper alter-ego in the form of the HS-60 – a hobbyist version with built-in speakers.

Checking out the new polyphonic synth Thor for iPad

June 22, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

A quick run through of some of the 1000 presets that come with this stunning synth from Propellerhead

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer (on the iPad) with Elektron Octatrack, Analog Four, Waldorf Rocket

Propellerhead has brought their massive Thor synth to the iPad! Although there are lots of Thor tutorials out there, this one focuses specifically on the app and its uses in an iPad environment, while figuring out what the fuck “Polysonic” actually means.

Video: Thor Polysonic Synthesizer – Available for iPad

June 21, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

After yesterdays announcement on Thor coming to iPad we are complementing that article with a video:

More info about Thor can be found here:
http://www.propellerheads.se/products

Key Features:
- 1000+ expertly crafted synth patches, or create your own
- Multiple Filter and Oscillator Types
- Audiobus Support
- MIDI In allows for control from other apps or hardware controllers
- Collapse the keyboard to a scale and key of your choice, just like Figure
- Move patches back and forth between Thor on iPad and Thor in Reason
- Expressive touch interface with aftertouch and strumming

Thor is a comprehensive synth app for the iPad. Designed for mobile music making, it features a responsive interface optimized for hands on control, an innovative keyboard and the same massive synthesis engine as its desktop cousin. It’s the same semi-modular synth with the same set of selectable oscillator and filter types and the same advanced routing of audio and modulation.

Aside from a regular piano style keyboard, Thor features a keyboard that can be locked to specific keys and scales, making it impossible to hit a wrong note. This is particularly useful on a mobile device when playing directly on the screen. More than just helping the player to stay in key, this musically aware keyboard is a source of endless inspiration and experimentation.

The Reason Thor Polyphonic synth now on iPad

June 20, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

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Propellerhead Software has launched Thor for iPad, a synthesizer app based on the flagship synthesizer in Reason. Here’s all the detail:

Thor for iPad puts the mighty Thor synthesizer at your fingertips. Reason’s legendary flagship synth delivers a thunderous sound, god-like sound sculpting capabilities and an innovative, lighting-fast keyboard designed for iPad. Thor is a synthesis playground, a flexible sonic workhorse, but above all, an expressive musical instrument for the iPad.

Thor highlights

  • Play Reason’s Thor Polysonic Synthesizer on the iPad.
  • Load any of the 1000+ expertly crafted synth patches, or create your own from scratch.
  • Create your sounds using a palette of multiple oscillator and filter types.
  • Play Thor using an expressive touch interface keyboard with aftertouch and strumming.
  • Collapse the keyboard to a key and scale of your choice, just like in Figure.
  • Move your favourite patches from the iPad to your computer and use them with Thor in Reason

Thor sounds like no synthesizer you’ve ever heard before – and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilizes synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.

On the iPad, Thor comes with a specially designed interface that’s optimized for touch control and the iPad screen. Cleverly designed panels expand and fold at the touch of a button to hide or reveal oscillators, filters, envelopes and more.

The app is divided into three main screens: Keyboard, Knobs and Routing.

Keyboard mode features:

  • Piano keyboard with transpose and range control
  • Modulation and pitch bend controls
  • Assist function lets you select key and scale to highlight chord notes or to collapse the keyboard to only show the chord notes of the selected scale.
  • Strum function lets you play arpeggios by holding a chord while strumming across the strum control.
  • Two assignable knobs and buttons acts like performance controls
  • Settings for polyphony and portamento

Knobs mode features:

  • Access to all of Thor’s synthesis features
  • Three oscillator slots for Thor’s six oscillator types: Analog, Wavetable, FM Pair, PhaseMod, Multi Osc and Noise
  • Three filter slots for for Thor’s four filter types: Low Pass Ladder, State Variable, Comb and Formant
  • Three envelopes
  • Dual LFOs
  • Delay and Chorus
  • The Knobs screen is divided into panels that expand and collapse at the touch of a button
  • Miniature keyboard to audition your sounds as you are working on them

Routing features

  • Comprehensive but easy to use routing matrix lets you create complex modulation and signal flow setups
  • Step sequencer with 16-steps and six channels: Note, Velocity, Gate length, Step duration, Curve 1, Curve 2

General App features:

  • Patch compatible with Thor in Reason on your computer
  • Move patches to and from your iPad using iTunes or Dropbox
  • Sound bank with more than 1000 Thor patches from leading artists & sound designers (Kill the Noise, Richard Devine, Chris Petti and many more)
  • Gorgeous retina display interface
  • MIDI in – play Thor from an external MIDI source or from another app on the same iPad
  • Audiobus compatible – stream audio from Thor to another audio app on the same iPad
  • Audio in background option lets Thor keep playing in the background when working with other apps.

Note: We recommend using Thor for iPad with iPad 2 or later.

Thor is priced at $14.99.

Get it here >>

Polyphonic Frequency Divider Switch Board

June 17, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

3 Channels. Each channel has a pitch adjustment knob and a 4 octave momentary switch section. Each channel also has an LFO with Rate control and an on / off switch. Mixer section for each channel + master volume knob. There is also a Power Starve knob. Super fun to play!!

Free polyphonic synth for iPad – LH Rubbing

May 31, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

lh-rubbing

Here’s a nice Friday morning treat for you all iPad synth guys out there :-)

Liu Hao has released LH Rubbing – a free polyphonic software synthesizer app for iPad.

Here’s what Hao has to say about LH Rubbing:

  • There are three wave oscillators, one noise oscillator, two LFOs and one three type embedded filter (low-pass, hi-pass and bandpass).
  • Each wave oscillator can generate three kinds of waveform which are triangle, square and saw wave.
  • LFO can be attached to different modul for different modulation or control such as OSC Pitch, PW, Filter Cutoff Frequency, Filter Resonance and OSC Output Mixing.
  • The frequency and amplitude of the 1st LFO can be modified by the 2nd LFO.
  • Pitch, Filter Cutoff Frequency and Resonance can be controlled by the ADSR envelope generator.
  • The Keyboard Rubbing brings up vibrato while control the vibrato rate and depth.

Get it here >>

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