Focal new Clear Mg Professional headphones get upgrade

Focal Releases New “Clear Mg Professional” HeadphonesNew updated model of popular Focal headphone now uses magnesium cone for even greater dynamics

Montreal, Canada – February 16, 2021 – Today Focal has announced that it is shipping the new Focal Clear Mg Professional headphones (“Clear Magnesium Professional”), a new model of their popular Clear Professional headphones but with the addition of a magnesium (Mg) cone for even greater dynamics with a remarkable tonal balance across the full audio spectrum. The new product is available at retailers in the US and Canada on February 16, 202,  and has a suggested retail price of $1,490. USD.

The global leader in acoustics, Focal continues to innovate and presents a new work tool for sound engineers and producers: Clear Mg Professional. The French brand has gone even further than it did for its first Clear Professional headphones, offering even more impressive performance. Clear Mg Professional has ambitions to become the leading professional headphones. 

Focal’s Innovation Makes All the Difference
The Clear Mg Professional circumaural, open-back headphones are designed for music creators looking for a reliable tool in terms of quality and transfer speed. While the first Clear Professional headphones incorporated 15/8” (40mm) full- range speaker drivers with Aluminum/Magnesium ‘M’-shaped inverted domes, Clear Mg Professional has these same speaker drivers, but in Magnesium. After four years of research and development, the engineers at Focal have designed this new material to obtain an even more optimized combination of the key criteria for speaker drivers of lightness, rigidity, and damping. The St. Étienne brand first positioned itself on the global market of Hi-Fi headphones in 2016. This unique expertise, combined with French manufacturing mastered in its own workshops, allows the brand to guarantee uncompromising quality. 

Precision, Dynamic, and Speed
Thanks to this new cone, combined with the frameless 1″ (25mm)-diameter and 1/4″ (5.5mm)- high copper voice coil, the sound experience is made even more precise, delivering impressive detail across the full spectrum while preserving excellent tonal balance. The flexibility of the surround offers lightness, therefore more dynamics and impact across the full frequency spectrum. The open grille inside the earcup extends the high frequencies and follows the ‘M’ profile of the cone more closely to further reduce adverse effects. With a 24kHz breakup, the high frequencies are extremely linear and the transient signals are respected. 

Comfortable Work and Luxury Finishes
Everything is designed for work comfort, as well as aesthetics. The design of the headband displays a constant curve and the weight of the headphones is distributed evenly across the head. The solid aluminum yoke is covered with a structured black paint, for sleek design and scratch resistance. Instead of the traditional vertically rotating mechanics, these have been moved within the headband for even greater comfort. This allows for excellent sealing, while the red & black blends classic and modern looks. The thermoformed carrying case shaped to fit the Clear Mg Professional, and with smaller dimensions, is woven in colors to match the headphones. Finally, two low-resistivity OFC 24 AWG copper cables are supplied. 

Key features of Clear Mg Professional: 
• A brand-new magnesium cone for even greater dynamics 
• A remarkable tonal balance across the full spectrum
• The bass is articulated right down to the low frequencies 
• The level of detail in the high frequencies 
• Comfortable and ergonomic
• Low impedance (55 Ohms)
• Two OFC 24 AWG copper cables supplied: 
       16.5ft (5m) spiral cable with 1/4″ – (6.35mm) TRS jack
         3.9ft (1.2m) cable with 1/8″ (3.5mm) stereo jack connector with 1/8″ (3.5mm) jack and 1/4″ (6.35mm) jack adapter 
• Rigid carrying case supplied 

The new Clear Mg Professional product is available at retailers in the US and Canada on February 16, 202, and has a suggested retail price of $1,490. USD.

Analog solutions now on fourth run of the Colossus synth

Analogue Solutions announces forthcoming fourth run of Colossus supersized synth that trips back to the future of analogue


KINGSWINFORD, UK: following a showstopping showcase during its introduction at SynthFest UK 2019 in Sheffield, British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce a forthcoming fourth run of Colossus — its supersized synth that trips back to the future of analogue, albeit symbolising so much more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ with no fewer than 12 VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators) beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best by taking its design cues from the colossal classic that is the EMS Synthi 100, although no Synthi circuit was cloned or copied in making the destined-to-be-classic Colossus fit for a new generation of high-flying owners — as of February 15…
Despite design cues harking back to the dawn of analogue synthesisers with a knowing nod of appreciation to one of the largest and — at almost £100K in today’s money! — most expensive examples ever built anywhere, let alone by British trailblazing entity EMS, encompassing no fewer than 12 VCOs and eight VCFs (Voltage- Controlled Filters) and much more besides in the colossal classic that is the Seventies-vintage Synthi 100, with the 30 or so units produced in its decade-long lifespan mainly ending up in university research departments or national broadcaster’s in-house composition studios (such as The BBC Radiophonic Workshop) before becoming lost in the sands of time to almost all but serious synth collectors and restorers (including, ironically, Analogue Solutions founder Tom Carpenter himself), British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions’ suitably-named Colossus — courtesy of its imposing 1700mm (W), 700mm (D), and 650mm (H) dimensions, while weighing in at… too big to fit on the scales! — symbolises so much more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ with no fewer than 12 VCOs beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best.
But better still, Synthi circuits were neither cloned nor copied in making Colossus fit for a new generation of high-flying owners while fortunately fitting through a standard-sized doorway — unlike a Synthi 100, of course; Colossus’ creator prefers to come up with designs of its own musical making. Moreover, Analogue Solutions has chosen to make use of original circuits tried and tested in favourites from its acclaimed analogue synthesiser products, past and present, including Polymath (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/polymath-paraphonic-modular-synth) — a self-contained four-VCO PARAPHONIC ANALOGUE SYNTHESISER with ANALOGUE SEQUENCER and SPRING REVERBTelemark (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/telemark-patchable-rack-synth) — a semi-modular analogue monosynth, much loved by bona fide synth pop pioneer Philip Oakey of Sheffield-based The Human League, a colossus connoisseur of synthesisers in his own right, thanks to owning one of the largest collections in the UK; and, more recently, Vostok2020 (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/vostok2020) — the latest (fourth) incarnation of Tom Carpenter’s semi-modular masterpiece taking some of the best parts of its iconic Vostok V2 and V3 Deluxe predecessors and bringing them together as an augmented ANALOGUE POWER SYNTH fit for a new decade. All are united by their ALL ANALOGUE VOICE & MODULATION CIRCUITS — as boldly blazoned across the former’s front panel. Analogue as in really analogue. After all, as implied by its apt appellation, Analogue Solutions truly trades on real transistors and op-amps — no CPU (Central Processing Unit) stabilised and quantised circuits, no DCOs (Digitally-Controlled Oscillators), and no digital EGs (Envelope Generators), as are often found on other so-called analogue synthesisers. Since such circuitry is based on designs dating back to the Seventies, all Analogue Solutions synthesisers proudly possess a truly vintage sound — as does, of course, Colossus, albeit taking things to a whole new level, literally so as an analogue heavyweight to be reckoned with.
With 12 VCOs and eight VCFs to its own notable name, Colossus musically matches the aforesaid extensive and expensive Synthi 100, yet comes complete with a whole lot more besides. Indeed, its oscillator panel is well specified in its own right. There, the FREQ (frequency) — pitch — range of OSCILLATOR 1 through toOSCILLATOR 12 is extremely wide, and each can also be used as an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator); each features four waveforms, plus pulse width, oscillator sync, and sub oscillator abilities. All are complimented by a SAMPLE AND HOLD generator, RANDOM VOLTAGE GENERATOR, and two pink/white noise generators — namely, NOISE GENERATOR 1 and NOISE GENERATOR 2.
The equally well-specified filter panel features four multi-mode (hi-, band-, and low-pass) 12dB filters — FILTER 1 through to FILTER 4, the circuit for which was originally based on the filter found in the classic dual-oscillator Oberheim SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module®) created by legendary American synth designer Tom Oberheim back in 1974, albeit Analogue Solutions skilfully applied some heavy-duty modifications of its own. On top of that, there are also four low-pass 24dB transistor ladder filters — FILTER 5 through to FILTER 8 — featuring a ‘Moog’ style sound. Saying that, all eight VCFs have serial VCAs (Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers), so there are actually eight VCF/VCA combinations in total! That’s not all as this panel also houses two mechanical spring reverbs — REVERBERATIONS 1 and REVERBERATIONS 2, each featuring a triple spring tank; two RING MODULATORS; two voltage SLEW LIMITERS; and four envelopes — ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4 — with ATTACKDECAYSUSTAIN, and RELEASE controls, alongside hold repeat and gated repeat trig (trigger) MODE functions.
Furthermore, the so-called ‘scope’ panel — so named as it includes an oscilloscope — pushes things to an even higher level, specification-wise, since it includes four VCAs — VCA 1 through to VCA 4 — in addition to those found in the filter panel, plus two LFOs — LFO 1 and LFO 2 — in addition to those found in the oscillator panel, as well as four A S D/R envelopes — ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4. So since the aforesaid VCOs can be used as LFOs, Colossus can, in fact, be potentially pressed into playing a total of 14 LFOs! Likewise, since each of the eight VCFs have VCAs hardwired inline, these plus the individual VCAs means that there is actually a total of 12 VCAs available to any adventurous user!
Ultimately, Colossus comes complete with yet more populated panels for setting the controls for the heart of the synth, as it were, with a ‘digital intervention’ of sorts showing through the touch panel housing two touch keyboards with digital note sequencers — TOUCH KEYBOARD CONTROL / SEQUENCERS, although analogue control readily resumes with the two JOYSTICK CONTROLLERS above and six-channel STEREO AUDIO MIXER above them. The sequencer panel is dominated by a SERIAL 1-64 SPLIT 2x 1-32 step SEQUENCER with CLOCK generator, GLIDEJUMPRESETCV OUTGATE OUT, and other control features. Four large 10V backlit SIGNAL METERS — CHANNEL 1 through to CHANNEL 4 — up the analogue ante alongside the SEQUENCER. Then there are two broadcast-quality CV and audio pin matrix panels — inspired in no small part by the British-built EMS VCS3, which made musical history upon its introduction in 1969 by being the first commercially portable synthesiser available anywhere in the world, thanks to its innovative modular matrix-based patchboard dispensing with the telephone exchange-like cabling of other (much larger) modular systems in favour of making space-saving connections with (removable) pins — and last, but by no means least, there are also four minijack patch panels providing I/O from all Colossus’ circuits.
Clearly an obvious question was raised at the outset: why? “Well, because I can,” countered Tom Carpenter at SynthFest UK 2019, before later adding: “I’ve sold way more than I expected.” On the strength of that, then, clearly Colossus has gone from strength to strength, as evidenced by Analogue Solutions’ spirited announcement of a forthcoming fourth run. Regretting missing out on previous builds becomes a thing of the past, obviously, though those collectively breathing a sigh of relief are advised to add themselves to the Colossus waiting list (here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/contact). And Analogue Solutions is already working on some upgrade options, which will be announced later this year and available to buy as add-ons — proof positive that this colossal synthesiser success story has clearly far from run its course! 

The fourth Colossus run is in production and available to order for purchase — priced at £25,000.00 GBP (excluding tax and delivery) directly from Analogue Solutions here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/buy — with shipment direct to the customer’s door, while wait time is around two to four weeks after Analogue Solutions’ receipt of a £6,500.00 GBP deposit (excluding tax and delivery), payable here: https://www.analoguesolutions.com/colossus-1 — with balance and shipping costs required shortly before despatch. (Please note that if shipping is required then the crate and packing is estimatedat £300.00 GBP, while shipping will range from around £300.00 GBP for Western Europe to around £1,500.00 GBP for the USA.)
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Colossus webpage here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/colossus
Watch Analogue Solutions’ aspirational and awe-inspiring trailer video for Colossus here: https://youtu.be/yp4Y3s9KJiY
See and hear Colossus in action while watching Analogue Solutions’ suggested video playlist from here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLq-KgzIcyyGFGY42EzrTWHsm2OO-8zIL9&v=Doa_O_FiZEY&feature=emb_logo 

Spitfire audio presents Cimbalom tuned percussion instrument

Spitfire Audio adds CIMBALOM to ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools as a shimmering, spine-tingling tuned percussion plug-in


LONDON, UK: sound-specialising British music technology company Spitfire Audio is proud to announce availability of CIMBALOM — an appropriately-named addition to its ongoing ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools with the same outstanding recording quality as the ‘full-blown’ flagship libraries with which it has built its reputation, simplified and presented in its free, easy-to-use plug-in, perfectly capturing its 19th century-originating shimmering, spine-tingling tuned percussion instrument namesake (nowadays familiar from being brought into play in innumerable Hollywood film scores, thanks to its mysterious, sinister sound with a distinctive metallic tone that cuts through an orchestra) by being performed by leading London cimbalom player Greg Knowles (known for his work therewith on The Hunger Games in 2012 and 2007’s The Golden Compass), carefully captured to the highest standard in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, supremely sampled and served up as a ~1.7GB-sized library with three signals, five presets, and three straightforward NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) compatible controls, creatively combining to create the sound of suspense — as of February 4…
As a distinctive-sounding instrument in its own right, the cimbalom is a large, late-19th century-originating Hungarian concert-hammered dulcimer — itself a type of chordophone comprising a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top, played by striking two beaters against the strings. Saying that, dulcimers are an ancestor of the piano, dating back to Babylonian times as a family of stringed instruments known for their Eastern European sound. Somewhat closer to today, they have become widely used as a Hollywood film scoring staple — spy thrillers in particular proving well suited to the tremolo technique, as evidenced by the likes of English composer John Barry’s thrilling title theme to The Ipcress File (1965). To name but a few more notable big screen appearances for the instrument in question: John Williams’ scintillating score to director Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); American composer, conductor, and orchestrator James Horner’s ‘Stealing the Enterprise’ cue from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984); several scenes featuring Gollum in the Peter Jackson-directed The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), courtesy of Canadian composer and conductor Howard Shore; The Golden Compass (2007); The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008); Sherlock Holmes (2009), for which Hollywood hotshot Hans Zimmer turned to a banjo, cimbalom, and other unconventional instruments for the musical accompaniment; and French film composer Alexandre Desplat’s score to The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). In the smaller screen world of television, of course, composer Lalo Shifrin made much use of the cimbalom in several scores he wrote for the original Mission: Impossible American series, from which consequential cues were regularly recycled throughout its 1966 to 1973 run, one of which — ‘The Danube Incident’ — was notably sampled by British trip-hop pioneers Portishead on their track ‘Sour Times’ (from the 1995 Mercury Music Prize-winning Dummy album), which reached number 13 on the UK Singles Chart upon its re-release.
But back in the supremely-sampled world of sound-specialising British music technology company Spitfire Audio, it is little wonder, then, that the cimbalom was deemed as a perfect fit for fronting the latest (namesake) addition to its ongoing ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools as essential cinematic ingredients. As a brief (musical) side note, according to Spitfire Audio co-founder and composer Christian Henson, the ORIGINALS name embodies the concept of original libraries of original sounds that make their users sound original, albeit by bringing back to life some dearly departed company classics in a revitalised form — hence ORIGINALS CIMBALOM presenting the existing content of a previously-released (no-longer-available) Spitfire Audio library (GRAND CIMBALOM) reprogrammed as an intuitive patch accompanied by all individual articulations to allow for complete control.
And who and what better to be able to completely control than perfect performances by leading London cimbalom player Greg Knowles (known for his work therewith on The Hunger Games and The Golden Compass), carefully captured to the highest standard in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios, supremely sampled and served up as a ~1.7GB-sized library with three signals, five presets, and three straightforward NKS compatible controls — CloseTree, and Pitched, the latter adding a rich, frozen atmosphere created by stretching and pitching down the ambient mic signal, complementing the vibrant close and tree mics by adding depth and otherworldliness. On top of that, control over the ATTACK and RELEASE times expands on this further, together with REVERB, allowing the realistic-sounding ORIGINALS CIMBALOM to morph into eerie textural elements on the fly. Five presets are at hand, allowing users to dive in and get going with minimum fuss: PerformanceShort DampedShort SustainedTremolo, and Warp (using the aforesaid ATTACK and RELEASE times plus Pitched signal to create a reversed-like textural pad).
Presented in Spitfire Audio’s free, easy-to-use plug-in, ORIGINALS CIMBALOM perfectly provides computer-based composers with ready-made variations of that Eastern European folk sound, but can also be used to elevate cues in a number of ways beyond that. The ninth product in the ongoing ORIGINALS series of instant writing tools is the perfect addition to the sound of any symphony orchestra, whether as an extra textural element or, indeed, its instrumental apex. Ask Greg Knowles — after all, he should surely know as a seriously sought-after cimbalom player par excellence! Entering the sound of suspense is as easy as installing ORIGINALS CIMBALOM

ORIGINALS CIMBALOM is available as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible plug-in supporting Native Instruments’ NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) for Mac (OS X 10.10 or later) and Windows (7, 8, and 10 — latest Service Pack) that loads directly into any compatible DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for an RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of only £29.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$29.00 USD/29.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/originals (Note that owners of the now-no-longer-available GRAND CIMBALOM library will automatically receive ORIGINALS CIMBALOM for free.)

Spitfire Audio’s namesake Spitfire Audio application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime, and is available for free from here: http://www.spitfireaudio.com/info/library-manager/
For more in-depth information, please visit Spitfire Audio’s ORIGINALS Frequently Asked Questions webpage here:https://www.spitfireaudio.com/info/faq/spitfire-originals/
Musically marvel at ORIGINALS CIMBALOM’s shimmering, spine-tingling tuned percussive sound while watching a walkthrough with Spitfire Audio here: https://youtu.be/nJ6LldwcyJA 

Icon audio new microphones are out of this world

iCON Pro Audio launches large-diaphragm Space series of professional studio microphones with Cocoon and Martian models boasting bold, intergalactic design


NASHVILLE, TN, USA: high-quality, professional-grade musical equipment provider iCON Pro Audio is proud to announce availability of Cocoon and Martian — making for an eye- and ear-opening fusion of vintage-sounding clarity with bold, intergalactic design as the two large-diaphragm condenser microphone launches with which it is inaugurating its Space series — as of January 21…
Cocoon could conceivably conjure up images of the namesake 1985 American science-fiction comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people rejuvenated by aliens — at least to those of a certain age, yet there is no denying the aptness of the name iCON Pro Audio applied to the cocoon-shaped intergalactic design of the first of two large-diaphragm professional studio microphone models making up its newly-launched Space series. Clearly, Cocoon is as eye opening in looks as it is ear opening in delivery, thanks to incorporating a true electrostatic Golden DropTM transducer within its space-age capsule architecture. A sputtering technique where a precisely engineered pattern of golden dots is distributed, this innovative technology allows Cocoon’s 33 mm (active) diameter diaphragm to move with laser-sharp precision for increased intelligibility while simultaneously reducing any colouration or distortion, which proves particularly effective given that the transducer is the part of the microphone that actually detects and converts the sound waves! With the thin, ultralight membrane being fabricated with pure 999 gold — considered the best purity of gold readily available since this refers to purity in parts per 1,000, meaning 999 parts are gold, Cocoon’s resultant extended upper clarity with smooth midrange suits any voice or instrument application.
Although on paper perhaps sounding out of this world, the ultra-rugged-constructed Cocoon’s Class-A discrete electronics housed within its metal die-cast body are built by hand in Latvia using only the highest-quality components for peak performance, superlative durability, and extremely low self noise. Outside of the microphone itself, iCON Pro Audio’s advanced shock-mount technology neutralises unwanted vibrations to preserve the integrity of the signal, aided still further by the inclusion of a durable metal pop-filter, thereby ensuring an optimum recording experience borne out by Cocoon’s professional performance specifications, including: 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range; unidirectional, cardioid polar pattern; 21 mV/Pa sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1000 Ω load; 50 Ω output impedance; 1000 Ω rated load impedance; 138 dB maximum SPL for 0,5% THD at 1000 Ω load; 85 dB-A S/N Ratio DIN/IEC 651 (A-weighted); 8dB-A equivalent noise level DIN/IEC (A-weighted); and 130 dB microphone preamplifier dynamic range.
Meanwhile, Martian sounds as warm and friendly as he looks — yes, iCON Pro Audio refers to the second entrant in its Space series of large- diaphragm condenser microphones as a ‘he’! Though the family resemblance to his cocoon-shaped sibling might not necessarily be physically obvious at first glance, enclosed inside the rotating head is a space-age shock-mounted capsule with an electrostatic Golden DropTM transducer made of pure 999 gold, allowing the 26mm (active) diameter diaphragm to move more quickly for rich detail and transparency. But below the shock-mounted capsule residing in his head, Martian rides in an advanced full-body shock-mount, complete with face shield pop filter, which neutralises unnecessary vibrations and minimises plosives, thereby ensuring the best recording experience possible. Perfect placement of his pop filter is perfectly possible, thanks to being able to rotate Martian’s head to just the right angle. And, no, he is not an extraterrestrial, but rather his Class-A discrete electronics housed within his durable metal die-cast body are also built by hand in Latvia using only the highest-quality components for peak performance, superlative durability, and extremely low self noise.
As a perfect microphone for voice and instrument applications, features well worth highlighting include Martian’s warm and classic sonic character; unidirectional, cardioid pickup pattern for outstanding sound source separation and feedback; professional hand-built large- diaphragm capsule for full, open-sound and unsurpassed audio quality; and pressure-gradient transducer with shock-mounted capsule, to name but a notable few. And a few performance specifications should be more than enough to seal the deal, as follows: 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range; 33 mV/Pa sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1000 Ω load; 50 Ω output impedance; 1000 Ω rated load impedance; 134 dB maximum SPL for 0,5% THD at 1000 Ω load; 83.2 dB-A S/N Ratio DIN/IEC 651 (A-weighted); 10.5 dB-A equivalent noise level DIN/IEC (A-weighted); and 123.5 dB microphone preamplifier dynamic range.
As an eye- and ear-opening fusion of vintage-sounding clarity with bold, intergalactic design as the two large-diaphragm condenser microphone launches with which iCON Pro Audio is inaugurating its Space series, serious recordists looking to make a bold statement in their studio spaces should surely consider making some space for the phantom-powered — +48V (+/-4V) — Cocoon and Martian models… space-age microphones for new-generation studios! 

Cocoon and Martian will begin shipping through iCON Pro Audio’s growing global network of dealers/distributors (https://iconproaudio.com/distributors/) in Q2 2021 with a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $499.00 USD and $699.00 USD, respectively.

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Cocoon webpage here: https://iconproaudio.com/product/cocoon/
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Martian webpage here: https://iconproaudio.com/product/martian/
Head into outer space to watch Cocoon and Martian’s arrival on earth in iCON Pro Audio’s Space series introductory video here:https://youtu.be/fU-hIX0qo6c
See and hear Cocoon and Martian in action here: https://youtu.be/gnnJHjsfiFI (Note that this video features the song ‘Giant’ by Steffanie Christ’ian: http://steffchris.com)
See and hear Cocoon and Martian in action again here: https://youtu.be/JvXlnKHJZws (Note that this video features the song ‘Fire’ by Josie Pace: https://www.josiepace.com

New Dual stage saturation plugin Neold Big Al announced

Plugin Alliance announces availability of one-off dual-stage tube saturator plugin as BIG AL arrives from NEOLD

“This is such a great tool to add glorious harmonic saturation, extra flavor, and vibe!”

– JUNO Award-winning mixer/recording engineer George Seara (James Bay, Drake, Shawn Mendes, Sting), 2021

SANTA CRUZ, CA, USA: Plugin Alliance, supporting all major plugin formats and uniting some of the best- known international audio companies under one virtual roof, is proud to announce availability of BIG AL — an emulation based on one-off analog hardware harvesting novel circuitry and authentic NOS (New Old Stock) components from the 1930s, exclusively designed for this dual-stage tube saturator from new pro audio plugin partner NEOLD offering a broad palette of stunning sound flavors flowing from the interactive network within its preamp and transformer-coupled power amp, where it generates gorgeous harmonics — as of February 2…
BIG AL’s frequency conditioning begins right in the EF9 preamp stage. Indeed, it is a filter freak at heart — hence the Low control being implemented as a Baxandall filter that allows for adjusting saturation intensity by around 100Hz in (optional) combination with boosting or cutting the bass at the same time. The High control is an additional EQ band placed in front of the preamp tube; its peaking filter boosts or cuts high-frequency content around 10kHz — essential for provoking or taming BIG AL’s potentially aggressive treble!
The straightforward user interface is spiced up with a jumper matrix, allowing access to BIG AL’s core circuitry: (Emphasis Shift), (Bass Compensator), and (Voltage Sag) provide powerful options with which to make complex changes to the distortion profile on the fly by simply inserting or pulling out a few (virtual) plugs. An AL4 power pentode and its output transformer act as the finishing spice, driven hot by the preamp stage.
And anyone wondering what this all adds up to need not trouble themselves any longer because BIG AL is a truly gorgeous kind of harmonic saturation that will always sound organic, musical, and bold! 

NEOLD BIG AL is available for purchase (as an AAX AudioSuite-, AAX Native-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting effect plugin for macOS 10.9 through 10.15 and Windows 7 through 10) at an attractive introductory price of $149.99 USD until March 4, 2021 — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $199.00 USD — from here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/neold_big_al.html

A fully-functional, 14-day trial of NEOLD BIG AL is available to anyone registering for a free Plugin Alliance account here: http://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/registration.html
NEOLD BIG AL is included in Plugin Alliance’s monthly MIX & MASTER Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mix-master-bundle-monthly.html) and annual MIX & MASTER Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mix-master-bundle-yearly.html) subscription services, and also its monthly MEGA Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mega-bundle-monthly.html) and annual MEGA Bundle (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mega-bundle.html) subscription services at no extra cost!
Note that the proprietary Plugin Alliance Installation Manager means users can select, download, and install only the products and formats needed for their system.
For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit Plugin Alliance’s dedicated NEOLD BIG AL webpage here:https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/neold_big_al.html
Watch Tom Van Den Heuvel formally introduce BIG AL in Plugin Alliance’s awesome-sounding trailer video here: https://youtu.be/e3sWXKHliSY
Take a NEOLD BIG AL walkthrough with Plugin Alliance’s additionally informative video here: https://youtu.be/sFCVunozUxE 

IK multimedia UNO PRO synths announced

New paraphonic dual-filter analog synthesizers elevate the UNO lineto new levels of sound design, flexibility and connectivity

UNO Synth Pro - Image

January 13, 2021 – IK Multimedia announces UNO Synth Pro and UNO Synth Pro Desktop. Developed in collaboration with Italian boutique synth-maker Soundmachines, both these new analog synthesizers take the groundbreaking UNO Synth monophonic synth and expand it in nearly every section: more oscillators, more filters, more sequencer memory, more effects, more presets, more connections and more programmability. UNO Synth Pro puts this amazing new sound engine in a rugged metal chassis with a 37-key synth-action Fatar keybed, while UNO Synth Pro Desktop provides a more portable form factor to travel anywhere.

Uno pro $649

The UNO Synth Pro’s unique dual-filter, 3-oscillator paraphonic design lets it create nearly any synth sound imaginable, and with 256 presets, a new 64-step sequencer and expanded CV/Gate and audio connections, users will quickly find it’s the ideal creation station for any outboard rig.

Huge, real analog sound
Three analog oscillators offer continuously variable waveshape, including pulse-width modulation. Oscillators can be hard-synced for more harmonically-complex tones, and oscillator FM (frequency modulation) lets users shape everything from bell-like sounds to screaming industrial tones. UNO Synth Pro even includes ring modulation for wobbly, sci-fi sound, and a white noise generator for a wide range of percussive sounds and epic rises.

Uno synth pro desktop $399

Dual-filter design with 24 available modes
In addition to the original UNO Synth’s 2-pole OTA multimode filter, UNO Synth Pro adds a new SSI 2/4-pole LP filter with self-oscillation. The dual filters can be used in series or parallel, with invertible phase, for a total of 24 possible filter modes. This unique design offers nearly limitless tonal possibilities, from recreating classic vintage sounds or forging completely new, experimental sounds.

Massive sonic flexibility
UNO Synth Pro offers two full ADSR envelopes, one dedicated to the filter and the other to amplitude, with both available as sources to modulate everything from oscillator pitch and waveshape to LFO speed or even other envelope stages. Two LFOs (low-frequency oscillators) can create classic synth vibrato, wah and tremolo as well as do more complex modulations including audio range FM.

A 16-slot modulation matrix makes routing all these a breeze. Users can quickly and easily design even the most sophisticated modulation scheme, with both internal and external sources, including MIDI controllers.

Deep onboard effects
UNO Synth Pro offers four effect blocks: an analog overdrive circuit from the original UNO Synth, plus three new, custom-designed digital effects: modulation, delay and reverb. External signals can also be routed through these effects, with pre-effects filtering for added flexibility.

Improved playability
UNO Synth Pro offers a premium 37-key synth action keybed made in Italy by Fatar, while UNO Synth Pro Desktop provides an enhanced version of the original’s long-lasting capacitance-sensing keys along with pitch and mod strips for enhanced expression. Both units add firm-touch rubber pads for the control sections, plus LED-backlit indicators and an LED display for key information, making it easier than ever to use live on stage or in deep programming sessions in the studio.

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  1. First-class analog sound
  2. Dual state variable filters
  3. Discrete morphing oscillators
  4. PWM, sync, FM and ring modulation
  5. Song mode
  6. 64-step sequencer
  7. 10-mode arpeggiator
  8. 12 studio-quality effects
  9. Analog drive
  10. Monophonic or 3-note paraphonic operation
  11. 256 user-editable presets
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  1. Power supply included. Desktop model powered by via USB or power bank
  2. USB MIDI and firmware update
  3. Programmable CV/Gate input/output
  4. Audio input to filters, FX or pass-through
  5. Balanced stereo outputs
  6. 5-pin MIDI DIN input/output and Soft Thru

Powerful presets, sequencer and arpeggiator
UNO Synth Pro offers 256 user-editable presets, each capturing the full state of the sound engine from oscillators to effects. An onboard 64-step sequencer offers both step and real-time recording, with automation of over 80 parameters, letting users create incredibly intricate and evolving soundscapes, and even write CV and gate automation.

And a 10-mode arpeggiator makes it easy to create intricate patterns and runs, while a new “chord mode” takes advantage of UNO Synth Pro’s paraphonic design, opening the door to triads and chord work.

Advanced connectivity
UNO Synth Pro offers two noiseless, balanced stereo outputs as well as headphone out, for superior audio quality in any situation. USB and 5-pin DIN MIDI In and Out make it easy to integrate with other synths, Mac/PC and mobile devices, and its assignable CV/Gate connections lets UNO Synth Pro interact effortlessly with a Eurorack or other modular system.

And now, an audio input allows access to the filter and FX section for external signals, in addition to the original pass-through for daisy-chaining multiple units together without using a mixer.

Options, pricing and availability
UNO Synth Pro and UNO Synth Pro Desktop will be arriving in Q1 2021 and are currently available for pre-order from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for $/€649.99* and $/€399.99 respectively.

Black lion audio releases affordable power conditioning

Black Lion Audio announces availability of affordable PG-XLM and PG-X as best-in-class power conditioning


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA: boutique audio company Black Lion Audio is proud to announce availability of the PG-XLM Power Conditioner and PG-X Power Conditioner — providing best-in-class professional power conditioning as affordable 1U rack- mounting must-haves with PG-90 Filtering technology providing an average of 90% of noise filtering — as of December 28…
Anyone actively involved in professional music-making — onstage or otherwise — knows that it takes more than a few rack-mounted power outlets to inspire true confidence in a power conditioner. Clearly, acquiring a must-have piece of gear only to find it noisier than expected or missing high-frequency detail — or, worse still, having it fried by an unwanted power surge — are all far from ideal scenarios! Such sorry setbacks need not happen, however; Black Lion Audio is here to help, having long since been trusted to modify the best gear and make it even better, which is what it took to create the PG-XLM and PG-X — taking industry-standard designs, and improving them to the point of peak performance.
Power conditioning comes naturally to Black Lion Audio. After creating its original PG-1 (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pg-1/) as a confidence- inspiring, rack-mountable power conditioner — also available as the PG-1 TYPE F (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pg-1-type-f/) variant with 230V Europlug connections, the company collectively realised that there are a lot of professionals out there working with a smaller budget who felt left out since some of its features could conceivably be viewed as overkill when seeking something appropriate at a more affordable price point. It is with this in mind that Black Lion Audio has built both the PG-XLM and PG-X, while still providing best-in-class professional power conditioning!
Clearly not all power conditioners are created equal, yet Black Lion Audio acknowledges that everyone’s hard-earned equipment purchases deserve the best power possible, which is why it took great care in making sure that the PG-XLM and PG-X both deliver just that — thanks to that best-in-class PG-90 Filtering technology providing an average of 90% of noise filtering, as opposed to the typical average of 76% found in other power conditioners at the same price point.
Putting this into practice, the PG-XLM features a back-panel-sited bank of eight switched, filtered, and surge-protected power outlets. On the front panel, there is a single SWITCHED OUTLET, an LED (Light Emitting Diode) display-based real-time VOLTAGE MONITOR, two pull-out lamps, and a (5V1AUSB CHARGER for device charging. As implied by its shortened nomenclature, the PG-X drops the lamps and metering from that specification, yet far from falls short of the mark by duly delivering the same core functionality to also provide confidence-inspiring power as an affordable 1U rack-mounting must-have.

The PG-XLM Power Conditioner is available to purchase through Black Lion Audio’s growing global network of dealers/distributors (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/dealers) with a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $199.00 USD and an SSP (Suggested Selling Price) of 199.00 EUR (excluding VAT). For more in-depth info, please visit its dedicated webpage here: https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pgxlm/

The PG-X Power Conditioner is available to purchase through Black Lion Audio’s growing global network of dealers/distributors (https://www.blacklionaudio.com/dealers) with a MAP of $119.00 USD and an SSP of 119.00 EUR (excluding VAT). For more in-depth information, please visit its dedicated webpage here: https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/products/pgx/


Erica synths announces new generation Black sequencer

A New Generation of Sequencing: Erica Synths Announces Black Sequencer
Erica Synths’ Black Sequencer takes classical modular sequencing to a new level by adding tons of features required for contemporary modular synthesizersNovember 20, 2020 — Erica Synths announces the arrival of its long-anticipated Black Sequencer Eurorack module, which is shipping at the beginning of December. 

Sequencing power for a new generation of synthesists
The Black Sequencer features four channels with CV, gate and modulation outputs, and up to 64 step sequences that can be chained into songs, independent track time divisions, multiplications and lengths. It ncludes a built-in quantizer, LFOs, envelope generators, parameter randomization, a MIDI in/out and many other features essential for composing and performing electronic and experimental music. Despite the Black Sequencer’s depth of features, it provides many programmable parameters per step. Further, it is intuitive, easy and straightforward to use, and can serve as a master controller for many modular setups. 

Features
4 CV/GATE/Modulation tracksMIDI IN and MIDI OUTClock and Reset In/Out16 encoders for easy sequence inputUp to 64 steps per patternSong mode – up to 64 patterns in chain, each pattern can be repeated up to 32 timesNote, Glide, Gate length and Modulation adjustment per stepProbability, repeats and ratcheting per stepMicrotonal tuningAdjustable shuffle per track, shuffle mode customizationTiming divisions/multiplications per trackBuilt-in quantizerRandom pattern generator16 banks of 16 pattern memorySD card slot for backup and firmware updates
Erica Synths Black Sequencer will begin shipping in early December at a cost of €510. For more information, please visit the Erica Synths website