|Electronic Musician and Modular Synth Maestro Richard Devine Pushes the Boundaries of Live Performance and Studio Recording with Solid State Logic SiXDevine achieves ‘brutally beautiful, polished sounds’ with his modular system, along with SSL SiX mixer, 500-series Bus Compressor and E Series EQ modulesAtlanta, GA, June 2020 — Modular synthesist Richard Devine is a modern-day pioneer in the world of electronic music. As a musical artist, he has six albums under his belt and has headlined international tours; as a sound designer, he has created patches for legendary musical instrument brands such as Moog Music and Native Instruments; as a composer he has scored advertisements for Nike, Touchstone Pictures and others; and as a futurist and thought leader, he has coded his own applications in SuperCollider, a programming language for real-time audio synthesis. Recently, Solid State Logic has become an integral part of his creative workflow — both live and in the studio.|
“I was fascinated with SSL for a long time,” says Devine. “Down here in Atlanta, you go to any of the top studios and there will be SSL mixing desks. It is an industry standard and I wanted to understand why. So I invested in a few key pieces including SSL’s 500-Series format G Series Bus Compressor and a pair of E-Series (611) EQs. Once I ran my mix through the master bus, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is the real deal.’ It just made such a huge difference.” Devine subsequently acquired a SSL SiX mixer, which features two SuperAnalogue™ recording channels equipped console grade mic pres, two-band EQ and channel dynamics, in addition to two stereo inputs, inserts and 100mm faders and a two knob version of the legendary SSL Bus Compressor. After trying SiX in the studio, he took it out on the road and never looked back: “I’m now using it for all my live shows,” he states. “The main thing that I noticed immediately is that you can feed the SiX a super-hot signal and it just eats it up — there is a massive amount of headroom. Now my entire modular rig hits the SiX as its last stop before I hit the PA.” Love at first patch
In the studio, Devine’s Eurorack-based modular system consists of several ‘floater’ cases he uses to help him navigate through the different parts of each composition, before ultimately going through the SSL SiX. “Generally, I like to start with rhythms and tempos with sequencers, and then I move to more tonal based modules using oscillators and envelopes. And then I have racks that are just effects. I link all these cases together so they share the same clock — between five and seven cases — and play the entire patch, working my way through each ‘movement’ in my composition.Devine used to compose directly in the DAW, but he says working directly in his modular system was more conducive to his creative output. “It felt natural and organic compared to how I was used to working in a DAW on a timeline. When you are working with the modular, the system is always running. You are deciding in real time when things are going to change, when things are going to get less complex or more subtle. This way of working is based on emotion and on what you are hearing and seeing. Working in the DAW you are getting a lot of visual feedback, but with modular, I feel like I am using my ears and responding to the music more.” SSL G Series compressor and E Series EQ: The dynamic duo
When multi-tracking, Devine will send up to 32 outputs from his system via nw2s I/O modules which are connected by four DB 25 snakes. These are then sent into a pair of 16 channel interfaces before hitting the DAW, whose primary function is as a ‘tape machine.’ Drums and sequences are often the foundational element in Devine’s compositions — these are all sub-mixed together before finding their way through a pair of 500-series format SSL E-Series (611) EQs: “I use the E Series EQs to shape the dynamics for all my drums. They impart an expensive hi-fi sound that I like — completely different from a 1073. They are good for snares and midrangey stuff that I want to poke through the mix a bit more. I also use them to reshape my kick drums and bring out the transients.”Along with the E Series EQ, Devine had been using his G Series Bus Compressor across the drum bus. More recently however, the G Series compressor has been promoted to handling final mix duties across the master bus: “I use it a lot for drum buss processing — particularly on kick and snare. But lately I’ve been using it as the final ‘polish’ of my master output, because it just does such a nice job. I prefer the SSL for ‘my sound’ over other compressors – I’ve done shoot outs with all of them and the SSL just works better for my music.” Devine describes the G Series compressor as imparting a ‘final polishing’ effect: “Everything I put through this compressor just has this very beautiful rounded weight to it, but is also very direct and forward. It is a brilliant design and I can see why countless hit records have used this compressor at the final end game.” Richard Devine and ‘Days of future patched’
Despite having achieved fame in the modular world as a futurist and thought leader, Devine considers himself a student: “I always tell people I am just a student in a class, constantly learning new things all the time, and I still feel that way today.” Devine’s most recent extra-curricular learnings include live coding, programming and AI: “The live coding thing is really interesting to be because there are no rules. You can create what I call these impossible scenarios that would be really difficult to do with a conventional DAW or Eurorack system. At the same time, I’ve been researching AI generative machine learning systems that develop and make sound. You tell the machine learning algorithm ‘Hey, these are my favorite eight patches,’ and it will analyze these and give you more than 1024 new variations based on the ones you picked. Then you can trajectory map over these regions and snapshot them.
It’s a great way to create new sounds to generate new content as a sound designer.”Summing up his experience with the SSL SiX, Devine says that the SiX has been one of the best investments he’s made in the last year. “It’s crazy how well engineered SSL’s equipment is, and the SiX is now my permanent live mixer. It has been a revelation for me.”
REMAGEN, GERMANY: having opened eyes and ears when introducing its forward-looking flagship Quantum Synthesizer keyboard to widespread critical acclaim in 2018, Waldorf Music is proud to introduce its Iridium Synthesizer ‘sibling’ — sharing futuristic functionality and advanced tonality and applying those traits with welcomed added extras to a compact desktop form factor living up to the high-quality synthesizer developer’s demanding design standards — as of June 12…
Following in the Quantum Synthesizer’s trailblazing footsteps, the Iridium Synthesizer features a generous high-resolution multitouch display working — with haptic help — in perfect harmony with an adroitly arranged control panel positioning all functions for speedy operation. Noticeably new to the demonstrably differentIridium Synthesizer is its integrated 4 x 4 pad matrix, used to call up sequences, chords, scales, and arpeggios. A quick glance under the hood, however, reveals that the Iridium Synthesizer still shares the same selectable sound generation processes per oscillator (OSC 1, OSC 2, and OSC 3). As such, it can convincingly and comprehensively reproduce the sound spectra of the following five synthesis types: Wavetable, Waveform, Particle, Resonator, and Kernels.
As a direct descendant of the legendary PPG Wave hybrid digital/analogue synthesizer series that made their mark throughout the Eighties by bringing the distinctive sound of wavetable synthesis to the musical masses, the well-known Waldorf Music marque is synonymous with top-tier wavetable sounds. Subsequently refining and expanding this sound generation process’ potential, the sound of Waldorf wavetable oscillators span subtlety to brutality — animated, digital, and diverse, yet easy to control. Classic wavetables from well-known wavetable synthesizers hailing from the PPG and Waldorf stables, spectral analysis, speech synthesis, wavetable generation from audio material, and more besides are all available to Iridium Synthesizer users when selecting Wavetable.
With early wavetable synthesizers, even, typical waveforms familiar from analogue synthesizers were always available at the end of a wavetable. Waveform selection on the Iridium Synthesizer goes far beyond this, though, by offering up to eight simultaneously selectable waveforms per oscillator, enabling infinitely dense, fat analogue-sounding tones, with detuned modes, tuneable noise, and hard sync.
2GB internal sample flash memory is available to the Iridium Synthesizer’s Particle oscillator, opening up exciting new possibilities of traditional stereo sampling with granular synthesis functionality — also available when processing a live input signal — for extensive manipulation of sample-based sounds. So the Iridium Synthesizer comes complete with 2GB sample content, while sample material can be reloaded or backed up by the user via USB drives or MicroSD Card connections.
Creativity abounds further still when selecting the Resonator sound generation process to manipulate multi-samples from the internal sample flash memory or noise via an exciter and various modulate-able spectral parameters — perfect for generating awe-inspiring animated sounds and drones, which can, for example, easily be integrated into a Eurorack modular synthesizer environment via the Iridium Synthesizer’s integrated control voltage connections (CV In1, CV In2, CV In3, and CV In4)… another added extra that should surely be welcomed in this day and age of anything goes!
Get this, though: thanks to its innovative implementation of six Kernal operators, the Iridium Synthesizer can capably generate familiar FM (Frequency Modulation) tones of the type that revolutionised the entire synthesizer market in the early Eighties, as well as spectacularly different-sounding ones — and all without the notorious complexity associated with those once-revolutionary early-Eighties efforts ending up so overused on numerous hit records of the time. Thankfully, the Iridium Synthesizer’s deftly-designed multitouch display supports the processing and visualisation of sonic relationships of its Kernels, considerably easing the process of creating spectacularly different-sounding tones with more than a touch of originality thrown in for good measure!
But better still, OSC 1, OSC 2, and OSC 3 can each play one of those sound generators, so spectacular-sounding sound design can come quickly to Iridium Synthesizer users of all levels — before being balanced by the OSC MIX (mixer). Thereafter, the signal from the three oscillators makes its way to the DUAL FILTER section where fully stereo multi-mode filters convincingly cover all conceivable classic filter variants. Various filter modes are additionally offered by the Digital Former, such as Comb, classic Waldorf high- and band-pass, and notch filters from Waldorf Music’s Largo and Nave software synthesizers, plus PPG models, alongside signal enhancer effects, such as Drive and Bit Crusher, and more.
Moreover, an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) section with no fewer than six LFOs works with six loop-able ENVELOPES, all of which can be linked and smoothly operated within the 40-slot modulation matrix, thanks to the Iridium Synthesizer’s integrated high-resolution multitouch display.
With up to 16-voice polyphony in full stereo and an ability to overlay two sounds or play them simultaneously via the split function, the functional desktop design of Waldorf Music’s Iridium Synthesizer allows for sound design opportunities that are often out of this world with up to 7,000 patches internally saveable. Speaking of which, since Iridium Synthesizer patches are compatible with Waldorf Music’s flagship Quantum Synthesizer (running recently-released version 2.0 firmware), they can be transferred to and from the Quantum Synthesizer. Such cross-compatibility means that the Iridium Synthesizer comes complete with an extremely extensive sound set from the get-go… get going with inspirational sounds programmed by some of the best sound designers in the world, or work with the inspirational Iridium Synthesizer’s fanciful features to sound highly original, off the cuff or otherwise.
On the face of it, then, Waldorf Music has named its Iridium Synthesizer appropriately. After all, iridium dates back to the early 19th Century and the chemical element of atomic number 77 — named from the modern Latin word for rainbow (irid), since it forms compounds of various colours. Clearly, the range of sound colours available to Iridium Synthesizer users are almost limitless. Letting rip with that generous high-resolution multitouch display working — with haptic help — in perfect harmony with an adroitly arranged control panel positioning all functions for speedy operation is a joy to behold… both for eyes and ears!
A new Oscillator from 4ms seems ready to hit the streets with a ship date of May 18th.
The oscillator is the latest in a string of powerful oscillators from the Modular synth company that brought us the spectral wavetable navigator.
here is what their site has to say about it.
“The Ensemble Oscillator is a unified polyphonic voice of sixteen complex oscillators combining additive, FM, phase-distortion and wavefolding synthesis techniques in new unorthodox ways. By quantizing the oscillators to scales or series of harmonics, the Ensemble Oscillator allows you to explore the sonic boundary between musical chords and rich evolving textures. Easily create a wide variety of sounds ranging from aggregates of pure sine waves to pulsar synthesis or pristine harmonic tones and lush wide chords to rich dirty drones and rumbling glitches. Custom scales can quickly be “learned” and saved using a CV keyboard or by manually entering notes with the controls.
- 16 sine-based oscillators bound to intervals of a selected Scale
- 30 factory-programmed, user-writeable scales organized in three groups:
- 12TET: all notes quantized to equal temperament, repeating over octaves
- Octave: unquantized notes, repeating over octaves
- Free: unquantized notes, repeating over the interval between the lowest and highest note
- A simple method to program (“Learn”) your own scales manually or with a CV/Gate keyboard
- Three Twist phase distortion effects
- Three Warp wave distortion effects
- Three algorithms of Cross FM for modulating the oscillators with each other
- Mono or stereo output with selectable panning algorithm
- Freeze button and jack to freeze the frequency of some of the oscillators, with selectable algorithm
- Two 1V/oct inputs: Pitch (non-quantized), and Root (quantized)
- High-accuracy, temperature-stable, eight octave range (-2V to +6V), can be calibrated to any keyboard
- Six bi-polar CV inputs (-5V to +5V)
- Two gate inputs for automated Learning and Freezing
The Ensemble Oscillator is designed by Matthias Puech and 4ms Company”
The price point is $299
Electrical and Mechanical Specifications
- 16HP Eurorack format module
- 0.98” (25mm) maximum depth (including power cable)
- 10-pin to 16-pin Eurorack power header
- Power consumption
- +12V: 114mA maximum
- -12V: 45mA maximum
- +5V: 0mA (not used)
- Audio outputs
- Frequency range: 0Hz (DC) – 20kHz
- Typical amplitude: 10Vpp
- Maximum amplitude: 18.5Vpp
- 1V/oct inputs (Root and Pitch)
- Voltage range: -2V to +6V (8 octave range)
- Factory calibrated to 1.00V/oct
- Per-jack user-calibration allows from 0.7V/oct to 1.3V/oct
- CV inputs (other than 1V/oct)
- Voltage range: -5V to +5V
- Gate inputs
- Trigger threshold: 2.5V
- User memory (non-volatile)
- Scale slots: 30
- Shift feature settings
- 1V/oct calibration settings
OLSZTYN, POLAND: famed for bringing new technologies to creative musicians by building innovative and unique musical instruments, Polyend is proud to announce availability of its aptly- named Limited Edition Black Medusa — a (literally) limited-edition of the Medusa hybrid synthesizer jointly released to widespread critical acclaim in 2018 but bettered by a minimalistic front panel facelift and major firmware update at a reduced price — as of May 1…
As acknowledged by the tasteful Dreadbox & Polyend Hybrid Synthesizer ‘subtitle’ set across the Limited Edition Black Medusa’s matt black anodised aluminium front panel — perfectly matching all previous Polyend products — as part of a minimalistic graphic layout letting the Polish company’s distinctive design aesthetics mature, Medusa was originally developed in close collaboration with Greek boutique analogue synthesizers and effects manufacturer Dreadbox as a symbiosis of classic synthesis characteristics and a unique digital controller. Creatively including six oscillators — three (voltage-controlled) Analog and three Digital (with Wave Table) option — and a multimode analogue FILTER with L2 (2-pole low-pass), L4 (four-pole low-pass), and HP (one-pole high-pass) settings (based on Dreadbox’s Erebus duophonic analogue synthesizer) alongside a 64-step sequencer (inheriting the DNA of Polyend’s Seq) and an 8 x 8 grid of pressure-sensitive pads to play the synthesizer and program the sequencer was — and remains — a beautiful combination.
Changes to the Limited Edition Black Medusa extend beyond its clear-cut looks, however. Indeed, it also benefits from a major (v3.0) firmware update — also available to owners of the original Medusa for direct download (https://polyend.com/medusa_downloads/) — with the following additions: LFO random Wave (selectable via the last position); MIDI Local Off (as a MIDI configuration option) — allows Medusa’s MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) pads to be used to play an external instrument while simultaneously playing its internal synth engine using an external controller; and updated LFO(s) and ENVELOPE(s) — able to send out their native values as CC (Control Change) messages, so all synth parameters are now displayed with the assigned CC number. Note that the v3.0 firmware update also includes additional presets by Kenny Rakentine — a.k.a. Angel Dust, an abstract sound/art/drone/noise project from Pittsburgh, PA, USA — as an added bonus.
Creative collaborations and combinations continue to come into play; Polyend is teaming up with Expressive E to offer the French next-generation musical instruments manufacturer’s upcoming Carbon virtual synthesizer — soon set to become part of its MPE Collection, combining banks of exclusive sounds into a versatile suite, ready to play with any MPE-supporting instrument — to owners of the Limited Edition Black Medusa and the original Medusa for free via a download weblink on the dedicated webpage (https://polyend.com/medusa/) when available.
But better still, would-be owners of the original Medusa should surely be tempted by the Limited Edition Black Medusa’s pocket-friendlier price of €699 EUR/$799 USD — all the more so as an even more potent proposition when bundled with Poly 2 (https://polyend.com/poly2-midi-to-cv-converter/), Polyend’s polyphonic MIDI-to-CV Eurorack module boasting a multitude of connectivity options to play nicely with all manner of sequencers, DAWs, keyboards, apps, and more!
The Limited Edition Black Medusa comes complete with an alternative set of coloured knobs (with which users can optionally replace the standard black ones as an added visual aid), and is available to purchase through Polyend’s growing global network of authorised dealers (https://polyend.com/where-to-buy/) at an MSRP of €699 EUR/$799 USD. Or order online directly from Polyend itself via the dedicated webpage (https://polyend.com/medusa/), which also includes more in-depth information.
Waldorf Music announces availability of feature-packed firmware update for flagship Quantum Synthesizer
REMAGEN, GERMANY: having began beta-testing last year, high-quality synthesizer developer Waldorf Music is proud to announce availability of the highly-anticipated version 2.0 firmware for its flagship Quantum Synthesizer — a major, feature-packed update centred around a new Kernel oscillator type alongside an array of other additions and improvements in keeping with the innovative instrument’s apt appellation — as of March 27…
Dictionaries define quantum as a discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents — or words to that effect in terms of physics, that is. Or, alternatively, an analogous discrete amount of any other physical quantity, such as momentum or electric charge. Certainly Waldorf Music’s Quantum Synthesizer flagship fits the bill by taking another quantum leap in terms of its already superlative sound synthesis capabilities courtesy of its version 2.0 firmware update, ultimately centred around a new Kernel oscillator type to complement the four (Wavetable, Waveform, Resonator, and Particle) synthesis algorithms already available to each of its three oscillators, opening up additional avenues of serious sonic exploration to those passionate performers or seasoned sound designers determined to tweak or dive deeper still.
So what is this newfangled Kernel ‘oscillation’ thing all about? Simply speaking, it is a modular approach in which up to six so-called Kernel Operators can be freely combined into a single oscillator. Effectively, each is an oscillator in its own right, realising a diversity of timbres. These range from using sine and classic waveforms via wavetables through to noise. Needless to say, users could combine, for example, three wavetables with a sine wave and noise within a single Quantum Synthesizer oscillator. On the face of it, anything goes with anything.
Access to those clearly creative Kernel Operators comes in two flavours. For intuitive sound design, without the need to dive into FM (Frequency Modulation) intervals, there is an innovative Template Mode featuring 14 factory templates to create classic FM sounds through to forward-looking inharmonic textures and abstract tones. Those templates feature five individual meaningful sound parameters each, and a further five macro parameters are available in the Quantum Synthesizer’s main Modulation Matrix. Moreover, creation and exchange of user templates is perfectly possible.
For full scale editing of kernels — where each could conceivably be an individual wavetable, classic waveform, or noise — and all of their parameters, Full Edit Mode means business with the following features: individual audio rate modulations between kernels — classic Phase FM, true FM, wavetable position (allowing for strange structures in audio rate), amplitude modulation, and ring modulation; kernel self-feedback; free patching of kernels into algorithms with up to three modulation inputs for each kernel; classic FM algorithm presets; individual dual decay stage envelope for each kernel; three-segment individual level scaling over key range for each kernel; five macro parameters for each kernel oscillator; six-slot modulation matrix control of macro parameters within each kernel oscillator (with modulation destinations for each kernel including Level, Pan, Pitch, Freq Offset, Feedback, Wavetable — allowing for cross-wavetable modulations, Attack, and Decay); six pitch modes for each kernel (Ratio, Sub-Ratio, Radio + Offset, Semitones, Fixed, and LFO); individual phase control for each kernel; and import of legacy FM format.
It is perfectly possible, then, to view the Quantum Synthesizer’s Kernel synthesis abilities as an oscillator construction kit, allowing for traditional approaches like a six-operator FM synth, as well as providing an experimental space for future-facing synthesis techniques.
That’s not all, though. The highly-anticipated version 2.0 firmware for Waldorf Music’s flagship Quantum Synthesizer also adds an array of other additions and improvements in keeping with the innovative instrument’s apt appellation. As such, Wavetable synthesis engine enhancement comes courtesy of three new user interface display modes — 3D, Wave, and Spectrum (with the latter two reflecting Phase, Position, Stepped, Limit, Spectrum, and Brilliance parameters). Particle, meanwhile, maximises its grain length to one second. Sampling (in Particle’s non-granular mode and Resonator) features new (Forward and Backward) Direction parameters and also respects Loop modes (including the newly-added PingPong) while there is also crossfade functionality for loops; sample start position can be used as a modulation destination in the Modulation Matrix; a new Edit screen for Particle and Resonator shows all individual settings for each sample entry in the Sample Map; various zooming and selection options are now available; and there is a fine-grained control for sample start and end points as well as loop start and end points. There are also new Output Level and Pan parameters for the analogue filter and digital former. The Routing display now shows effect type names and state. An auto-scaling Envelope curve is now shown. The Destination encoder can now be pushed for flipping through groups of Modulation Matrix destinations. There is a new Parameter-only Sequencer mode with up to eight parameter tracks, and Arp (arpeggiator) and Seq (sequencer) screens are now merged into a common screen. Sync now shows musical values for sync ratios. Enhanced editing is enabled by pushing the Display encoder to toggle between Normal, Fine, and Super modes, and if a parameter from the bottom row is edited and in focus then that parameter can also be changed with the main encoder while in focus. File browsing now reacts to the main encoder for scrolling and when performing open/save routines, while pushing the main encoder also selects options when scrolling through menus. USB storage devices are now supported. Expanded AudioFile Editor functions include zooming, scrolling, selection, and editing (Various Normalize, Trim, Cut, Fade In/Out, Reverse, and Silence); single-level Undo/Redo; Record Trigger (Manual, Note, and Signal Threshold); Input VU, Input Monitor Level, and Physical Recording Level. Patch management improvements include: a new feature filter for use with Arp, Seq, Mono, and Layered sounds, and more; a new bulk delete action Load screen action menu; an ability to export patches with samples — all related samples will be put into a Samples subdirectory within the export directory; samples matching patches in the Samples subdirectory will be imported, and if a sample already exists in the internal flash memory then it will not be copied. A screen saver can be set to run after a selected number of minutes to protect the main display from burn-in if the Quantum Synthesizer is left running for hours on end without anything being touched.
When Waldorf Music launched its flagship Quantum Synthesizer to widespread critical acclaim, it sonically signalled an exciting new chapter in its longstanding tradition of designing groundbreaking high-end synthesizers. Introducing its highly-anticipated version 2.0 firmware with so many additions and improvements indicates that this exciting-sounding synthesizer story is far from finished. For now, there are already more than enough fanciful features available to keep both tweakers and deep divers seriously sonically satisfied for some time to come!
The Quantum Synthesizer is already available through Waldorf Music’s growing global network of distributors (https://www.waldorfmusic.com/en/international-distributors) at an SRP (Suggested Reseller Price) of €3,550.00 EUR (excluding tax).
Owners of the Quantum Synthesizer can download the version 2.0 firmware update for free from their myWaldorf account (https://waldorfmusic.com/en/user-login) where they can also download a sound set with over 250 new Quantum Synthesizer patches for free.
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Quantum Synthesizer webpage here:https://www.waldorfmusic.com/en/quantum
Watch Waldorf Music’s music-see teaser video for the Quantum Synthesizer’s highly-anticipated version 2.0 firmware update here:https://youtu.be/23BTqj0SSa8
Plugin Alliance announces acquisition of Wolfgang Palm’s prestigious PPG synthesizer brand by Brainworx Audio
“I am very glad to have found Brainworx and Plugin Alliance, who appreciate my work from the past and want to continue my legacy.”– Wolfgang Palm, originator of wavetable synthesis and founder/owner of PPG, 2020
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 founding partner Brainworx Audio’s acquisition of the assets of Wolfgang Palm’s prestigious PPG synthesizer brand. The trailblazing Hamburg-based company founded by Wolfgang Palm first found fame and fortune in its initial incarnation throughout the Eighties and beyond by bringing the distinctive sound of wavetable synthesis to the musical masses and also impacting the MI industry with its innovative PPG Wave hybrid digital/ analogue synthesizer series and associated advances. These included the unique (unreleased) Realizer — quite possibly the world’s first virtual instrument (in 1986), albeit as a proprietary hardware hybrid! Software seriously came calling from 2012 onwards when Wolfgang Palm returned to prominence, producing new PPG products.
What a legacy. PPG synthesizers have musically made their mark onstage and in the studio with an array of notable artists such as a-Ha, Alphaville, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Thomas Dolby, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike & The Mechanics, Gary Numan, Pet Shop Boys, Rush, Talk Talk, Tangerine Dream, Tears For Fears, Ultravox, Stevie Wonder, and many more. Thanks to Brainworx Audio’s acquisition of the assets of Wolfgang Palm’s prestigious PPG synthesizer brand, that legacy is all set to thrive.
Plans are already afoot by Brainworx Audio to update Wolfgang Palm’s PPG products in close collaboration with the man himself, universally recognized as the originator of wavetable synthesis! Together they will take the PPG brand and advance its digital products into the future, following Wolfgang Palm’s planned retirement at the end of March 2020 — after 50 years in the creative field of sound synthesis! Signing an agreement with Plugin Alliance and Brainworx Audio owner Dirk Ulrich ultimately lets Wolfgang Palm put his (well- deserved) retirement plan into action, happy in the knowledge that his ‘baby’ will be in good hands.
Wolfgang Palm puts it this way: “I am very glad to have found Brainworx and Plugin Alliance, who appreciate my work from the past and want to continue my legacy. They have a great team of competent developers, product specialists, marketing, and all that is needed to make a company successful. I support their work to make the transition as smooth as possible, and it will be exciting to see how this evolves. Also, I think that this collaboration will result in a much wider audience than before.”
Indeed, it is a great honor for Brainworx Audio to be joining forces with Wolfgang Palm — truly a legend in his own right, and continue to break boundaries in the world of virtual instruments. “We are proud that Wolfgang Palm put his brand and product into our hands,” declares Dirk Ulrich, ending on a high note: “We will make sure to carry on his legacy with the respect it deserves and we are looking forward to evolving the brand and products for years to come.”
For more in-depth information about the trailblazing work of Wolfgang Palm and the prestigious PPG’s past, present, and future, feel free to check out Plugin Alliance’s interview with the man himself here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/blog/blogpost/items/wolfgang-palm-interview.html
Polyend Tracker reboots retro form factor of software past with forward-looking functionality as world’s first hardware tracker
OLSZTYN, POLAND: famed for bringing new technologies to creative musicians by building innovative and unique musical instruments, Polyend is proud to announce availability of Tracker — effectively extracting the best bits of yesteryear’s tricky tracker software classics and rebooting them with forward-looking functionality as the world’s first hardware tracker, deftly designed as an easy-to-use compact standalone workstation with immediacy and simplicity at its creative core, and aiding artists with forging unique avenues of sonic construction to boot — as of March 18…
For the benefit of the uninitiated, a music tracker — tracker, for short — is a type of sequencing software. Speaking historically, the tracker term itself is derived from the first tracker software, Ultimate Soundtracker, starting life as a game sound development tool released for the Commodore Amiga personal computer back in 1987. The first trackers supported four pitch and volume modulated channels of 8-bit PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) samples, a limitation imposed by the Amiga’s audio chipset. Classic trackers represented music as discrete notes positioned in individual channels at discrete positions on a vertical timeline with a number-based user interface. Indeed, notes, parameter changes, effects, and other commands were entered via computer keyboard into a grid of fixed time slots as codes comprising letters, numbers, and hexadecimal digits — the latter being a positional system representing numbers using 16 distinct symbols. Saying that, those in the know appreciated the immediacy and simplicity of classic tracker software, if not necessarily those hexadecimal digits! One thing’s for sure, though: tracker software has exerted its influence on modern electronic music with influential IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) artists like (Aphex Twin alias) AFX, (Polish-American) Bogdan Raczyński, Brothomstates (a.k.a. Lassi Nikk, Finnish composer), Machinedrum (a.k.a. Travis Stewart, American electronic music producer), and Venetian Snares (a.k.a. Aaron Funk, Canadian electronic musician), to namecheck but several so-called ‘demo scene’ movers and shakers skilfully orbiting around those tricky trackers. That said, some might say that trackers need not be so tricky in this day and age. And it is this thinking that led toPolyend’s trailblazing Tracker.
The timely arrival of the aptly-named Tracker puts Polyend in pole position for blazing a new trail, tooled to take the tracker concept to a new level of innovative, inspirational, and immediate music-making by effectively extracting the best bits of yesteryear’s tricky tracker software classics and rebooting them with forward-looking functionality as the world’s first hardware tracker. Thankfully, Tracker waves goodbye to hexadecimal hysterics — not only did those entering the brave new world of classic trackers not necessarily know what those values actually represented, they could not see what was affected by them. Thinking inside its beautifully-engineered box, Tracker instead implements a simplified system of readable decimals that also shows the effects parameters when those decimals are entered in a frenzied fast track to creativity.
Tracker takes the quintessential characteristics of a classic tracker — the vertical timeline, powerful sequencer, and mechanical keyboard — and cleverly combines them with a newly-designed input interface, divided into several sections: a (high resolution, crisp, and bright) big screen and associated screen keys — mechanical controls that always correspond to what is displayed on the screen directly above them; the grid — featuring 48 backlit multifunctional silicon pads for quick note and pattern value entry and visual feedback (while also acting as a highly-customisable keyboard controller with editable scales); function keys — for fast and responsive control over all functions and options; plus navigation keys and associated (metal-manufactured) jog-wheel (with haptic feedback for fast scrolling or precise adjustments) — for facilitating transport control alongside arrow keys for navigation control, as well as dedicated Insert, Copy/Paste, Delete/Backspace, and Shift keys. All are at hand, helping to streamline making and performing music in a new and innovative way — without having to leave the world’s first hardware tracker, deftly designed as an easy-to-use compact standalone workstation with immediacy and simplicity at its creative core, and aiding artists with forging unique avenues of sonic construction to boot.
Better still, the classic tracker look of that dominating (default) screen — showing (up to) 48 instruments and 256 patterns with a maximum of 128 steps per pattern per project — belies an infinite source of inspiration. Indeed, Tracker comes complete with a wide variety of onboard sound design tools to enhance creativity still further for those wishing to take it to the limit. Let loose with Instrument — a chain of tools (Volume, Tuning, Panning, Filters, Reverb Send, and ADSRs) to make an instrument from any sample; Sampler — choose from different (1-shot, Forward, Backward, and Ping-Pong) play modes; Slicer — slice samples manually, or let Tracker take care of it ‘automagically’ at any time; Wavetable — full-blown wavetable synthesis with variable table length to make it compatible with the most popular (Ableton Wave and Serum) standards; Granular — single grain yet very powerful granular synthesis to create crazy and futuristic sounds from old and boring samples; Sample Editor — built-in precise offline rendering sample editor with multiple effects; and Sample Recorder — records up to two minutes of 16-bit/44.1kHz samples using built-in Radio, Pattern selection, Mic or Line In inputs, all of which can be saved to the included (16GB) MicroSD card for later use or loaded directly into a project. Put it this way: with Tracker, users can quickly and easily use existing sample libraries, record new ones, or use the built-in FM (Frequency Modulation) radio. Record samples, play them, slice them, mash them, or even make a synth out of them!
Tracker also plays nicely with other instruments. Thanks to its bidirectional MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) implementation, it can be used to sequence and control external gear or be controlled as a sound module by any external MIDI software or hardware devices. Whatever way anyone chooses to use it, armed as it is with an impressive arsenal of sonic weaponry — including automatic filling, randomiser, probability, selection rendering, effects per step, live recording, batch parameter editing, micro-tuning, micro-timing, rolls, and much more besides — it has what it takes to be a surefire hit, harbouring endless creativity. Compatibility with MOD files — a computer file format primarily used to represent music, made up of a set of instruments (in the form of samples), a number of patterns (indicating how and when the samples are to be played), and a list of what patterns to play in what order — allows users to import and finish tracks from way back when or export and finish their Tracker creations in modern-day software trackers.
The world’s first hardware tracker is slick, light, and portable. It is also energy efficient, so will work with any USB (Universal Serial Bus) power source. Sturdy and compact, the retro form factor of software past with forward-looking functionality makes for a great music creation companion — in the studio, on the run, or on stage. Simply put, Polyend’s Tracker puts everything right on track as a ‘back to the roots’ experience like no other!
Tracker comes complete with a USB-A power adapter, 2m USB-C cable, 3.5mm to 2x 6.3mm adapter, Minijack to MIDI DIN adapter, 16GB MicroSD card, and MicroSD to USB-A adapter, and is available to purchase through Polyend’s growing global network of authorised dealers (https://polyend.com/where-to-buy/) at an MSRP of €499 EUR/$599 USD. Or order online directly from Polyend itself via the dedicated Tracker webpage (https://polyend.com/tracker/), which also includes more in-depth information.
Watch Polyend’s intriguing introduction to Tracker here: https://youtu.be/Pl4Kiwjwkh4
Just writing this as a reminder that pre-orders end 3/15/2020 at midnight. this is the final weekend to grab the E520 on pre-order.
Why does this matter? Well you will save $20, but you will also be able to take delivery 4-8 weeks before dealers!
also if you grab the 4ms pod bundle you save there too.
here is the direct info.
E520 HYPERION STEREO AUDIO EFFECTS PROCESSOR PRE-ORDER ($629 USA SHIPPING, $659 FOREIGN)
This is a pre-order for people that missed the Kickstarter campaign, and will end on March 15, 2020.
The E520 Hyperion is a 48HP wide Euro stereo effects processor. Using a 480MHz ARM processor and 64MB of SDRAM, the E520 offers effects in both the time-domain (delays/chorus/flangers/frequency shifters) and the spectral/frequency-domain (chromatic pitch shifting, spectral ‘freezing’, and others). Each effect has 4 assignable CVs, feedback, wet/dry mixing and a Bypass.
Please read these terms and conditions CAREFULLY before placing your order.
- The module will ship when the regular KickStarter modules have all shipped. This is ESTIMATED to be late July 2020
- I will refund your money upon request ONLY BEFORE April 1st, and then only 50% because parts will been ordered which cannot be returned.
- There are 4 selections below: silver USA or foreign ship, and black USA or foreign ship. The price will includes all PayPal fees and shipping.
- USA orders, black or silver panel: $629
- Foreign orders, black or silver panel: $659
- If you use someone else’s PayPal account, this is OK as I will email you to verify the shipping address before I mail it. Just CHECK THE EMAIL on the PayPal form and edit if not up to date.
Please note: you will receive a single email, from the PayPal site, that your order is accepted. You will NOT receive anything from this site. You can always email if you are unsure.BUY: USA BLACK PANEL OPTION $629BUY: USA SILVER PANEL OPTION $629BUY: FOREIGN BLACK PANEL OPTION $659BUY: FOREIGN SILVER PANEL OPTION $659
E520 HYPERION STEREO AUDIO EFFECTS PROCESSOR & 4MS PODX 48HP BUNDLE PRE-ORDER ($749, SHIPS ANYWHERE)
This is a pre-order for people that missed the Kickstarter campaign, and will end on March 15, 2020.
This is a bunble of the E520 Hyperion and a 4ms PODx powered, 48HP desktop skiff.
Please read these terms and conditions CAREFULLY before placing your order.
- The module will ship when the regular KickStarter modules have all shipped. This is ESTIMATED to be late July 2020
- I will refund your money upon request ONLY BEFORE April 1st, and then only 50% because parts will been ordered which cannot be returned.
- There are 2 selections below: silver or black front panel. The PODX is black only. The price will includes all PayPal fees and shipping.
- All orders, black or silver panel: $749, ships worldwide
- The AC power cord is NOT INCLUDED for orders outside the USA. It is a standard 3-prong IEC Type C5.
Please note: you will receive a single email, from the PayPal site, that your order is accepted. You will NOT receive anything from this site. You can always email if you are unsure.BUY: BLACK PANEL + PODX BUNDLE $749BUY: SILVER PANEL + PODX BUNDLE $749