Analog Solutions announces new desktop Synth

Analogue Solutions spreads synthBlocks series wings with tiny Treadstone true analogue mono synth
KINGSWINFORD, UK: hot on the heels of its inaugural Mr Hyde and Dr Strangelove so-called synthBlocks (launched late last year to widespread critical acclaim), British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to widen the self-explanatory series’ scope with Treadstone — taking the same smart, small, and affordable desktop design-driven analogue attributes of its similarly superior-sounding signal-processing siblings and applying them to a true analogue mono synth that packs a lot of (patchable) punch into a perfectly-matched, portable package — as of January 19…
Treadstone takes its intriguing name from a fictional highly-classified, heavily-guarded secret program that features in the series of books based on a fictional spy and associated feature films; it is shut down as the thrilling plot thickens, alas. As the latest addition to Analogue Solutions’ synthBlocks series — squarely aimed at laptop and audio plug-ins-focused digital musicians wishing to apply analogue, hands-on hardware sound-sculpting creativity to their sometimes sterile-sounding computer-based creations, the tiny Treadstone true analogue mono synth is far from fictional, however; hearing is believing, but it would, without question, make for a superior-sounding, space-saving desktop addition to any discerning film composer’s creative studio space — or anyone else’s, for that matter!
More meaningfully, maybe, Treadstone treads far from carefully, but boldly goes where few analogue synthesizers dare to win… with an all-analogue audio path and modulation circuits based on superior-sounding designs dating back to the mid-Seventies, so 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 ‘all-analogue’ affairs. Analogue as in really analogue — aside from the MIDI-to-CV circuit (which, by its very nature, must include a digital element) — in other words.
Winning analogue attributes apart (as attested to by its immediately apparent sonic strengths), this pocket-sized powerhouse packs a lot into its 134 x 125 x 52mm diminutive dimensions — including a serious single VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) with square and sawtooth waveforms plus noise and an associated sub-oscillator, a reissue of the classic SSM2044 4-Pole VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) chip (as used in many classic synths, such as the Korg Polysix and Monopoly, as well as E-mu’s Emulator and SP1200 sampling trailblazers), an analogue echo (REFLECT), and a unique LOOP SEQUENCER (to input, edit, and play up to 16 MIDI notes) — while weighing in at only 420g! Get this, though: Treadstone is designed, built, tested, and assembled in the UK using only high-quality components as is the Analogue Solutions way, with a full rugged steel/aluminium case combined with real ‘analogue’ wood side pieces perfectly reflecting its polished pedigree.
Put it this way: what’s within certainly counts in large amounts, albeit admittedly appearing at odds with those diminutive dimensions. Digging deeper, putting Treadstone through its musical and experimental paces can be as complex or uncomplicated an experience as deemed necessary; needless to say, Analogue Solutions has treated Treadstone to a diversity of creative controls and accompanying patch sockets, surely satisfying even the most ‘battle-hardened’ subtractive synthesists around — hardly surprising since Treadstone was designed by Analogue Solutions founder Tom Carpenter. As a fervent fan of electronic music and also an active electronic musician himself, he naturally knows a thing or two about programming synthesizers. So his latest creation clearly wasn’t the result of engineering design decisions alone — nor driven by a steering committee of men (or woman) in suits. So what else is ‘inside’ this small but perfectly formed box of subtractive synthesis tricks, then?
Thoughtfully, Treadstone is fully compatible with the ever-popular Eurorack small-format modular system and operates on the 1v/oct standard, so, armed with a fistful of 3.5mm mini-jacks, justifiably serious synthesists can interface it with their modular system or have it act as an exceptional external voice for another analogue synthesizer — after all, Oberheim’s Synthesizer Expander Module® (SEM) started life as an add-on synthesizer module for fattening up Minimoogs before becoming a sought-after sound in its own right (with up to eight embedded in Oberheim’s groundbreaking Seventies-vintage polysynths). Reality shows that Treadstone sounds a lot fatter than it looks!
Looks, of course, can be deceiving. Demonstrating design flare and flexibility, Treadstone can capably turn its hand — well… knobs, switches, and patching — to any number of applications. Any time anyone needs analogue sound effects, fat basses, screaming leads, bleeps, blurps, zaps, and all manner of other crazy sounds associated with subtractive synthesis… try Treadstone! Then consider that Treadstone has an AUDIO IN (input) socket, so users can feed external sounds through the onboard analogue filters for analogue processing. Producing electronic percussion sounds — such as kicks, snares, hi-hats, and cymbals — is perfectly possible in the hands of skilled synthesists. Speaking of which, while Treadstone is partially pre-patched, many of these patches can be cancelled using the switches and controls. Indeed, it has such wide-ranging modulation routing possibilities that it is almost as versatile as a full modular system and can create similar sounds — and all without the mess and confusion of cables! Cables, of course, can be used to re-patch Treadstone, thanks to an abundance of carefully chosen patch sockets, or connect externally elsewhere.
Either way, Treadstone makes for a fine addition to Analogue Solutions’ synthBlocks series, and a superior-sounding, space-saving addition to any studio or stage setup. Synth in pocket, indeed… Treadstone’s no pretender! 
UK purchase price for the Treadstone synthBlock is £499.00 GBP (including VAT), via dealers (http://analoguesolutions.com/global-distribution/) and Analogue Solutions directly.
North American availability of the Treadstone synthBlock is being handled via Voltage & Company (http://www.vcousa.com) — full-service reps of high-quality manufacturers from around the world — with a retail price of $599.00 USD, while (most) EU distribution is being handled by Sonic Sales (http://www.sonic-sales.de) — one of the largest full-service MI (Musical Instrument) distribution companies in Europe — priced at €589.00 EUR (including VAT).
For more in-depth info, visit the dedicated Treadstone webpage here: http://analoguesolutions.com/treadstone-synthblock/
Watch Analogue Solutions’ ear-tickling Treadstone teaser video here: https://youtu.be/CmLKV9_Y78g?list=PLq-KgzIcyyGFGRNp2SBlHy3YZdQq-9lb7 

Arturia announces minibrute 2 and more

ARTURIA MINIBRUTE 2 SEMI-MODULARn ANALOG SYNTHESIZER ANNOUNCED

Arturia are thrilled to announce the imminent release of a new synthesizer, one of three new products which will all be available at stores from late february 2018.

MiniBrute 2 is a 25-key analog monosynth with semi-modular architecture, bridging the gap between the traditional synthesizer instruments and the exciting world of modular. MiniBrute 2 shares many of the same iconic features that made its predecessor such a success, including mixable oscillators, the acidic Steiner-Parker filter, and the chaotic Brute Factor. While keeping many of its signature elements, the tone-shaping potential of MiniBrute 2 has been almost exponentially increased.

The reimagined MiniBrute now features semi-modular architecture, adding a comprehensive CV/Gate patch matrix that allows users to both rework its internal signal routing, but also expand into the blossoming world of modular. It also features the same high quality, aftertouch-enabled keybed found in their flagship MatrixBrute synth, making it a joy to play. Truly an instrument designed for musicians by musicians.

Arturia’s latest small-but-mighty monosynth is the successor to their debut analog instrument, the MiniBrute. The first incarnation was released in 2012, and turned the industry on its head, offering a unique, affordable analog synth experience with attitude.

MiniBrute 2 also features exciting new features that greatly expand its potential, both as the focal point of a creative studio, and as a road-ready performance platform. One of these features includes the new Arturia Link, an exciting innovation that will help unify and democratize your creative environment.

More information on the Link system and how it integrates with other devices will be released shortly. Stay tuned for more Arturia product announcements, and all of your questions shall be answered.

To get a good look at MiniBrute 2 in action, and to hear how it sounds, check out the official Arturia MiniBrute 2 announcement video, featuring London-based trip-hop act The Salvador Darlings.

To get hands on with all 3 of the new products, find Arturia at NAMM 2018. They’ll be at booth #11910.
Discover the MiniBrute 2 introduction movie shot in London to hear it in action!

It is not over! Tomorrow we will announce another product. Make sure to check the Arturia website to be part of the first to know!
https://www.arturia.com/minibrute-2-landing

Lab Lounging with the Vermona uniCYCLE VCO

 

The Vermona uniCycle is the new VCO from synth masterminds Vermona. Sharing its core with the ’14 synthesizer the uniCycle adds some tricks for the modular system.

From the vermona site 

Oscillator-circuits are used in our VERMONA synthesizers, we know how to design them. But instead of copy and paste, we reworked many aspects when adapting our circuits for modular purpose. What is great for closed systems might not always be perfect for modular systems.

All that development work resulted in uniCYCLE: compact, high-performant and stable.

Simple interface and quality without compromises

Continue reading

Keith McMillen Bop Pad Smart Sensor Controller is available NOW

Keith McMillen Instruments announce availability of BopPad smart sensor electronic drum pad controller
“For years we’ve been asked to make a drum pad with our patented Smart Fabric Sensor technology — a control surface that would integrate seamlessly into a standard drum kit or work perfectly on its own, so we made BopPad, the smart sensor electronic drum pad controller… time to give the drummer some!”
– Keith McMillen Instruments Founder & CEO Keith McMillen, 2017
BERKELEY, CA, USA: having successfully smashed its Kickstarter campaign goal several times over to help bring the thrilling project to life, innovative hardware and software developer Keith McMillen Instruments is proud to announce availability of the production version of BopPad — broadening the company’s considerable product appeal as a smart sensor electronic drum pad controller like no other with an appealing price point to match — as of September 26, 2017…
BopPad is a USB (Universal Serial Bus) powered expressive electronic pad controller for drummers, percussionists, and producers alike. As such, it advances accurate hit detection via velocity, continuous radius, and pressure sensitivity with a fast playing surface to die for. Faster than you can shake a stick at? Absolutely — as attested to by its incredible latency of under 3ms! BopPad’s advanced architecture allows for an innovative instrument that ‘sees’ every gesture, hit, or tap to truly respond to the nuances of any percussive performance, perfectly measuring strike velocity from the softest hand-drumming actions to the most brutal percussive assault.
At its core is a robust tuned elastomer surface covering a 10-inch circle of Keith McMillen Instruments’ patented Smart Fabric Sensor technology. Independently programmable Quadrants — helpfully highlighted by clearly visible guide lines on the production version — output MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) notes, velocity, pitch bend, pressure, and location CCs (Control Changes). Creatively, this serves to provide performers with a traditional feel and adds a dimension of expressivity, enabled further by BopPad Editor. Available as a desktop download and a web-based editor that uses new Web MIDI API technology to create and save presets from the browser, this allows each of those simultaneously-playable Quadrants to be assigned to play up to six simultaneous notes with six expressive timbre maps, meaning that BopPad can not only be played like a traditional drum by triggering a single sound from its entire surface but building out a drum kit by assigning a different sound to each of those Quadrants so that a single BopPad can comfortably handle several simultaneous percussive goals. Get this, though: smoothly varying radial sensing from centre to edge along with continuous pressure response can be mapped to any parameter, allowing for both traditional and experimental playing styles like no other! Once a preset has been saved to the BopPad there is no need to run the BopPad Editor software while using it.
It is easy to get started; simply plug and play via USB with any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. Critically, as a class- compliant MIDI device, BopPad works with all music software. Speaking of which, with the production version of BopPad, Keith McMillen Instruments has integrated full MIDI five-pin DIN hardware compatibility courtesy of its own MIDI Expander, enabling BopPad to be used in a standalone capacity with external drum machines, hardware synths, or rack effects by providing power and connectivity. No computer (necessarily) needed!
Whatever way users choose to work with BopPad, percussive performance is where its innovative heart is. It can comfortably operate as a conventional practice pad with realistic feel and a portable, lightweight design — robustness that has been made even more so, thanks to improvements in its production version such as an anodised aluminium USB guard with a finish that is as tough as the guard itself, so there is no chance of paint abrasion due to impact, never mind accidentally hitting the USB cable itself! In every sense, then, BopPad is rugged, ready to go anywhere and be played however hard the user sees fit.
For Keith McMillen Instruments, bringing BopPad to life in its final form is a proud moment — making something this sensitive, this rugged, and at such an appealing price point is very demanding. So who better to have his final say on what could conceivably be the last word in expressive electronic drum pad controller design than company Founder & CEO Keith McMillen, himself an acclaimed audio and music technology innovator of some 30 years standing: “For years we’ve been asked to make a drum pad with our patented Smart Fabric Sensor technology — a control surface that would integrate seamlessly into a standard drum kit or work perfectly on its own, so we made BopPad, the smart sensor electronic drum pad controller… time to give the drummer some!”
BopPad carries an MSRP of $199.00 USD and is available to purchase from any authorised Keith McMillen Instruments dealer or directly from Keith McMillen Instruments here: http://www.keithmcmillen.com/shop/
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated BopPad product webpage here: https://www.keithmcmillen.com/products/boppad/
Watch Keith McMillen Instruments’ intriguing BopPad overview video here: https://youtu.be/SqpISMt80hM