New Design for Moog’s Semi-Modular Keyboard Synthesizers Harkens Back to the Classics

TWIN DARK MOOG

Moog Music’s new Dark Series design for their popular Matriarch and Grandmother analog synthesizers pays tribute to the timeless aesthetic of legacy Moog modular systems. The instruments are now available worldwide. Plus, Moog debuts the first protective cases custom made for Matriarch and Grandmother.Asheville, NC, September 24, 2020 — 

Today, Moog Music announced a new addition to its line of semi-modular keyboard synthesizers. Dark Series for Matriarch and Grandmother strikes the perfect balance between classic and modern, featuring an all-black aesthetic that invokes the timeless look of early Moog modular systems—with all the functionality and versatility these two state-of-the-art sound design machines are known for.The new visual twist for Grandmother and Matriarch is a nod to the modular control panel designs that inspired their very creation. In 2018, when the first of these two patchable analog keyboard synthesizers was introduced, Moog explained that “Grandmother’s circuits, spirit, and spring reverb are inspired by the classic Moog modular synthesizers designed by Bob Moog during the 60s and 70s.” The instrument quickly became a staple in studio setups and live performance settings, a go-to first synthesizer for beginners, and a multifaceted creative tool for musicians of all skill levels to explore. Following Grandmother’s success, Moog developed an even more expansive, expressive semi-modular analog keyboard synthesizer: the four-note paraphonic Matriarch.A complement to the distinct multi-colored artwork of the original Matriarch and Grandmother synthesizers, Dark Series presents a style option that celebrates the intersection of tradition and innovation. To learn more about these instruments and locate a Moog authorized dealer, visit moogmusic.com.VIDEO: Lisa Bella Donna | The Mothership II: Night FlightAs a sequel to her mind-expanding video The Mothership, sonic sorceress Lisa Bella Donna modifies her setup to unleash the vast potential of the complete five-member Moog semi-modular family for the first time. Witness her first encounter with the new Dark Series Matriarch and Grandmother synthesizers alongside their keyless counterparts: Mother-32DFAM, and Subharmonicon.

WATCH VIDEO HERENew Patches & Firmware UpdateNew exploratory patches are now available to download for Matriarch and Grandmother registered owners. These 30 patches (16 for Grandmother and 14 for Matriarch) are designed to guide your eternal experimentation and open your mind to each instrument’s unparalleled analog sound. Visit moogmusic.com/register to access the latest patch sheets right in your account.Along with the inspiring new patch ideas, firmware v1.2.0 for Matriarch and v1.1.0 for Grandmother are now available for both versions of the instruments (original edition and Dark Series). The updates feature a new sync engine that keeps the internal arp/sequencer, analog clock, and MIDI all tightly locked in phase; a new easy method to reset global settings to defaults; a new Envelope Multi-Trig mode for Grandmother; and many other firmware enhancements, new features, and bug fixes based on customer feedback for both instruments.

Visit moogmusic.com/register to access the latest firmware and explore the added features for your Grandmother or Matriarch.Matriarch & Grandmother Protective SR Series CasesAlong with the new look for Matriarch and Grandmother, the Asheville-based synthesizer company unveiled Moog SR Series Cases, which are now available to pre-order for both instruments.See Moog SR Series Case for Matriarch here.See Moog SR Series Case for Grandmother here.Developed with artists for artists, Moog SR Series Cases were meticulously designed based on conversations with musicians to protect these two instruments better than any other offering on the market. These durable, weather-resistant protective cases ensure that your Moog Grandmother or Matriarch synthesizer (original colorway or Dark Series) are safeguarded at home, in the studio, and away. Featuring generous padding around a semi-rigid ABS shell, water-resistant zippers, non-slip straps, and ample storage, Moog SR Series Cases offer complete protection, comfort, and convenience—so that you can continue to create with your favorite synths for years to come.Moog SR Series Cases will begin shipping in October 2020.LEARN MORE HERE

The Creators of PATCH & TWEAK Team up with Moog Music for New 200-Page Book on Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizers

The Creators of PATCH & TWEAK Team up with Moog Music for New 200-Page Book on Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizers
PATCH & TWEAK with Moog is now available for pre-order worldwide.Asheville, NC, September 15, 2020 — PATCH & TWEAK with Moog is the ultimate resource for Moog synthesizer enthusiasts and musicians of all skill levels interested in an immersive modular synthesis experience. Author, designer, and electronic musician Kim Bjørn has inspired thousands to explore the world of modular synthesis with his 2018 release of PATCH & TWEAK. This fall, Bjørn and legendary synthesizer company Moog Music invite readers on a new journey of discovering a deeper understanding of electronic sound.The forthcoming release of PATCH & TWEAK with Moog is the result of more than a year of extensive collaboration with electronic music icons, established and emerging artists, and Moog employee-owners. Opening with a foreword from acclaimed film score composer and sound designer Hans Zimmer, this hardcover book features 200 pages full of synthesizer techniques, creative patch ideas, sound design tips, professional artist interviews, in-depth discussions with Moog engineers, and a glimpse into Moog’s remarkable history. Readers will get an inside look into the Moog factory in Asheville, North Carolina, where these iconic instruments are built by hand, and learn about the modular synthesis innovator who started it all: Dr. Bob Moog.


What Readers Can Expect to DiscoverThroughout PATCH & TWEAK with Moog’s 200 pages, readers will explore more than 100 tips, ideas, and patches to use as creative inspiration, ensuring artists of any skill level can experience the joy of analog synthesis.●      Introduction to modular synthesis concepts●      Specific overviews, tips, and techniques for each Moog semi-modular instrument●      Expanded options for more advanced modular users●      Ideas for integration with external gear and Eurorack modules●      Interviews, patches, and tips from artists and composers●      Insider interviews with Moog engineers●      The history of Bob Moog, Moog Music, and the many Moog synthesizers Click here for a sneak peek of PATCH & TWEAK with Moog.Meet the Moog Semi-Modular FamilyPATCH & TWEAK with Moog focuses exclusively on Moog’s well-loved line of semi-modular analog synthesizers: Mother-32, DFAM, Subharmonicon,Grandmother, and Matriarch. These modern electronic instruments, each unique in sonic character and functionality, are inspired by the original analog circuitry of the very first modular synthesizers developed by Bob Moog in the 1960s. The pioneering synth company’s introduction of the Eurorack-compatible Mother-32 in 2015 made it more accessible than ever to explore classic Moog modular sound, helping to spark the modular renaissance. In the five years since, the Moog semi-modular family has expanded to include an instrument designed for percussive pattern creation (DFAM), expressive monophonic and paraphonic keyboard synths (Grandmother and Matriarch), and the new polyrhythmic Subharmonicon. PATCH & TWEAK with Moog captures and celebrates exactly why this collection of instruments is renowned throughout the music industry as quality sound design and performance tools.All of these semi-modular synthesizers are 100% analog, offer users the option to explore with or without patching, and are equally suited for beginner and expert synthesists alike. 

Ordering & AvailabilityPATCH & TWEAK with Moog is now available for pre-order worldwide. Just in time for the holiday season, the book’s official release date is November 6th, 2020. Visit moogmusic.comyour favorite reseller, or bjooks.com to place your pre-order today.More about Kim Bjørn & BJOOKS
BJOOKS is known for the highly acclaimed industry-standard books PUSH TURN MOVEPATCH & TWEAK, and PEDAL CRUSH. All titles received five-star reviews and have become go-to books within the electronic music scene. Combining high-quality design with diverse artist interviews and overviews of gear, these books have earned their place in the hearts, hands, and studios of musicians and producers all over the world.BJOOKS is the boutique publishing company started and run by author, designer, and musician Kim Bjørn after the success of his first international book, PUSH TURN MOVE, in 2017. Following his passion for design, music, technology, and people, Kim created PATCH & TWEAK in 2018 with Chris Meyer of Learning Modular, and this book soon got the label “bible of modular synthesis.”Kim teamed up with brand manager Lars Juhl early on, and the dynamic duo from Denmark has decades of experience in design, publishing, sales, and music creation. Together with collaborators worldwide, the team follows its passion for making beautiful, highly usable, and tangible products in a digital world.The mission of BJOOKS is to continuously create exciting hardcover books about music technology, artists, and makers—to document, inspire, and explore the world of music creation. Learn more here.

CEntrance “PortCaster” Simplifies Call-in Podcasts

CEntrance “PortCaster” Simplifies Call-in PodcastsPortable broadcast device makes call-in “talk radio” shows a breeze

Chicago, IL – September 1, 2020 – CEntrance today announced the launch of PortCaster(tm), a portable live-streaming and recording tool. The new handheld device fills an important gap for podcasters and radio program hosts who need to add music, effects, and either a local or a remote call-in guest to their “talk radio”-style show. Based on the MixerFace, the company’s acclaimed mobile recording interface, the new product is designed for recording or live-streaming a broadcast to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms.

The original MixerFace(tm) featured a rechargeable battery and turned any smartphone into a portable live-streaming device with 24-bit/192 kHz audio quality.  It became popular for on-the-go content creation and is often called “The Swiss Army Knife of Audio”. As more customers began using MixerFace to create talk shows, they requested an easy way to add a live caller. With PortCaster, CEntrance added this ability, complete with the Mix-Minus feature used by radio stations to prevent annoying audio feedback for the caller. Remote guests can be on a cell phone or VOIP.

All PortCaster models make it easy to record a high-quality remote interview using any cell phone or tablet. The interview can be recorded onto the SD-card. The 24-bit/48kHz stereo SD-card recorder (optional) offers “One-Button Record” and captures the program locally while simultaneously streaming online, for an unmatched level of flexibility. An internal, rechargeable battery (optional) charges from any USB jack and sets PortCaster apart from other portable audio interfaces. Two built-in boutique mic preamps allow connecting up to two microphones or one mic plus a remote guest over the phone.

The updated Jasmine(tm) mic preamps feature 48V Phantom and 65dB of clean gain, making it easy to connect any microphone, including the acclaimed Shure SM7B. To help better control recording levels, PortCaster offers soft-knee, analog, optical limiters for both Host and the Guest, for a truly professional sound. The stereo Aux 3/4 input makes it easy to add background music or sound effects from another device, adding interest and raising the show’s production values. A unique feature of PortCaster is a MONO Blend control, which simplifies streaming to mono platforms such as Instagram. PortCaster is designed for live broadcasting and features easy and intuitive operation. It uses tactile analog controls, which are laid out logically and can be accessed without looking, which is important for a busy host who is running the show and managing the guest at the same time. To help survive the stress of a live show the PortCaster is made of tough aluminum and purposely avoids any distracting screens or complicated menus.

“We have a PortCaster version for every budget, from beginners to professional broadcasters,” said Michael Goodman, CEntrance CEO. “The entire model range is designed to dramatically improve the audio quality of remote broadcasts, especially for journalists, TV, and media personalities working remotely.”

PortCaster will be available for preorder in three models soon, starting at $199.99 USD. Offering a simple and robust way to improve the quality of online audio, PortCaster is ideal for podcasters, pastors, journalists, video bloggers, educators, and also – anyone looking to improve the audio in online conference calls.  PortCaster is compatible with Zoom, Webex, and other popular audio/video conferencing applications. PortCaster works with most smartphones and tablets running Android and Apple iOS, as well as MacOS and Windows-based computers. 

CEntrance has teamed up with musician and painter George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic to livestream his upcoming Art Show using PortCaster. Additional details at https://centrance.com/portcaster.

About CEntrance
For over two decades, the world’s most iconic brands in Pro Audio and Consumer Electronics turned to CEntrance for its digital audio technology. CEntrance know-how powers award-winning guitar pedals, recording interfaces, smart speakers, and DACs from an A-Z list of top brands, such as Alesis, Harman, KORG, and McIntosh. Today, with its passion for sound rooted in pro audio, CEntrance delights customers worldwide with its own line of innovative, award-winning products for audio recording and playback. Famous recording artists, producers, voice-over professionals, and sound designers endorse CEntrance audio solutions. Visit us at http://www.centrance.com

MixerFace(tm), PortCaster(tm), Mobile Recording Interface(tm), Jasmine Mic Pre(tm), are trademarks of CEntrance. All Trademarks are the property of their respective holders. All Rights Reserved.###The new CEntrance PortCaster with Mix-Minus call-in connection:

Mod Devices announce Mod duo X powerful desktop digital modular fx

BERLIN, GERMANY (August 18th, 2020) – Following a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign of the MOD Dwarf, funded in less than 24 hours, MOD Devices now releases the MOD Duo X audio processor to the global retail market. Its key development is the powerful Hexa-core 64 bit ARM CPU processor, a singular advantage in the audio processing landscape. The intuitively patchable standalone device sports solid user-friendly controls, including 8 new assignable potentiometer knobs, 4 freely-assignable push buttons, and 2 instant “snapshot” push buttons. The Duo X also comes with Control Voltage input and output, as well as new software features such as MIDI Slave Sync and Stereo Link. Featuring instant recall capabilities, the one of a kind box is geared towards hands-on use such as studio work, electronic music production & performance, and even DJing. 

“The MOD Duo X presents itself as the perfect audio processing hub a musician could want.  With its ability to connect to any musical equipment and its boundless internal patching capabilities, the Duo X fills a long-existing gap in the modern musicians’ rig.  

The powerful Hexa-core CPU and our ever-growing plugin universe result in a system that enables musicians to obtain practically any desired sound all with a highly durable build and pleasurable design experience.” Says Gianfranco Ceccolini, MOD Chief Executive Officer and Founder.

  • Hexa-core 64 bit ARM CPU
  • Commutable analog control inputs – 2 x Control Voltage / Expression Pedal
  • Commutable outputs – 2 x Control Voltage / Headphone
  • 2 freely-assignable rotary encoder
  • 8 freely-assignable potentiometers
  • 4 freely-assignable push-buttons
  • Controller pagination system for multiple controlling scenarios
  • 2 instant “snapshot” push-buttons for easy setting recall and alternation
  • MIDI Sync (Ableton Link compatible) in master and slave mode
  • Max compatible (any gen~ based Max tool will run on the Duo X)

The new features of the MOD Duo X include:

On August 18th, the Duo X will be made officially available globally, through international distribution and retail partners. These include Reverb, as well as the MOD Devices Webshop for the recommended price of 749.00 Euro or USD

Like the regular Duo stompbox, the MOD Duo X audio processor is made in Germany. It measures 180mm x 60mm x 160mm (W x H x D) and weighs 1.3 kg. 

Waldorf announces Iridium 16 voice digital desktop synth

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 1OSC 2, and OSC 3). As such, it can convincingly and comprehensively reproduce the sound spectra of the following five synthesis types: WavetableWaveformParticleResonator, 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 In1CV In2CV 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 1OSC 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!

4MS Ensemble Oscillator is ready to ship May 18th

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.

Features

  • 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
ensemble oscillator designed by Matthias Puech

The Ensemble Oscillator is designed by Matthias Puech and 4ms Company”

Always nice to get a quality shot of the back of these modules right!

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

Polyend launches limited edition Black Medusa hybrid synth


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 releases Quantum 2.0 update


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 (WavetableWaveformResonator, 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 LevelPanPitchFreq OffsetFeedbackWavetable — allowing for cross-wavetable modulations, Attack, and Decay); six pitch modes for each kernel (RatioSub-RatioRadio + OffsetSemitonesFixed, 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 — 3DWave, and Spectrum (with the latter two reflecting PhasePositionSteppedLimitSpectrum, 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 BackwardDirection 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 NormalFine, 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 NormalizeTrimCutFade In/OutReverse, and Silence); single-level Undo/RedoRecord Trigger (ManualNote, and Signal Threshold); Input VUInput Monitor Level, and Physical Recording Level. Patch management improvements include: a new feature filter for use with ArpSeqMono, 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