Top sound designers have added their flavour, creating all the classic presets you’ll need from a synthesizer, with the addition of the unusual and crazy.
It’s time to pass the MicroFreak from our hands to yours – switch it on and see why it lives up to its name.
What is MicroFreak?
A 4-part paraphonic synthesizer with a twist, mixing wavetable and digital oscillators with a characteristic analog filter. There’s the unique poly-aftertouch flat keyboard, sequencers and arpeggiator, the matrix, and a host of connectivity options.
It’s been designed to be fun, naughty, easy-to-use, and a blank canvas for the sound designers. MicroFreak is here to break all the rules. It’s fun, inspirational, different, yet affordable enough to find a home in any studio.
It’s been designed to be fun, naughty, easy-to-use, and a blank canvas for the sound designers. MicroFreak is here to break all the rules. It’s fun, inspirational, different, yet affordable enough to find a home in any studio.
Musicians can receive this stand-alone instrument from IK’s popular Syntronik series via newsletter sign-up
May 14, 2019 – From now through May 23, 2019, anyone who subscribes to the IK Multimedia newsletter mailing list can receive the Syntronik Bully bass synth virtual instrument for free, with no purchase necessary.
A $/€49.99 value, the Bully is part of IK Multimedia’s Syntronik and Syntronik Deluxe versions for Mac/PC. To receive Syntronik Bully at no charge, new users can simply download and install Syntronik Free, which is a free plug-in from the IK Multimedia site. A pop-up will prompt users to sign up for the mailing list to register and unlock Bully. Existing customers can simply access their IK Multimedia account and follow the same steps.
Gamechanger | Audio unveils revolutionary electro-mechanical Motor Synth at SUPERBOOTH19 RIGA, LATVIA: having presented an initial proof-of-concept prototype product at The 2019 NAMM Show in Southern California, January 24-27, uncharted music electronics territories explorer Gamechanger | Audio is proud to unveil the revolutionary Motor Synth — a digitally-controlled analogue electro-mechanical synthesizer that uses a system of electromotors (to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy) as its main sound source — in its finished desktop design at SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9-11… Motor Synth really represents a new method of analogue audio signal synthesis since digitally-controlled electromotors have never been used as the principal sound source for a commercial musical instrument — indeed, nothing like it has ever been built before! But actions always speak louder than words. So how, exactly, does the revolutionary Motor Synth work? Well, simply speaking, Motor Synth produces sounds by accelerating and decelerating eight electromotors to precise rpm (revolutions per minute) that correspond with specific musical notes. Needless to say, the instrument in question’s eight-electromotor configuration means that it is a four- note true polyphonic synth with two voices per key played. Digging deeper, Motor Synth takes a two-pronged approach to producing its core sound, starting with magnetic pickups placed on each of its eight electromotors; those electromotors’ spinning coils result in a very industrial-sounding, ridiculously over-the-top analogue tone — think eight harmonious revving engines pumping out an intimidating noise! Next, specially-designed reflective optical disks have been attached to the shafts of each electromotor. Each disk contains a graphical representation of some standard audio wave-shapes. As the electromotors spin, the disks are set into circular motion, and each wave-shape is read by a dedicated set of UV (ultraviolet) sensors, then converted into an audio signal. So the wave-shapes on the reflective optical disks become precise musical notes, corresponding to the speed of the electromotors. Elsewhere, Motor Synth still features familiar analogue audio processing circuits — filters, envelopes, et al — alongside arpeggiation, cross- modulation sequencing, and multiple polyphonic mode facilities, as well as an innovative looping system that allows adventurous users to layer rhythm and melodies, just like when using a loop station. Manifestly, Motor Synth is a desktop design — unlike its initial proof-of-concept prototype predecessor, but it can still be played out of the box via eight built-in control keys and four floating tuning pots. Performers and composers can, of course, connect any standard MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller, like a keyboard or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), while Motor Synth is also capable of tracking a monophonic audio signal, such as guitar or bass, via its 1/4-inch mono input. Interestingly, Motor Synth can be configured to act as a harmonizer for electric guitars or other melodic instruments, recognising the pitch of a musical tone and instantly generating a complimentary tone by operating an electromotor at a matching frequency. Furthermore, users can create intervals and chords based on the frequency of the incoming signal with no need (necessarily) for a MIDI controller or inputting preprogrammed musical information. Whatever way anyone chooses to play Motor Synth, a stunning visual experience is guaranteed. Get this: Motor Synth’s see-through protective glass cover above its core sound system of eight electromotors enables users to receive visual feedback from the instrument itself by being able to see those spinning electromotors in action. But better still, the visual experience is enhanced still further by the also-visible set of reflective optical disks attached to the electromotors’ shafts being coupled to a set of eight mini strobe lights, so those spinning disks themselves turn into a hypnotic light show, courtesy of the strobe effect! As an instrument that uses electromotors as its main sound source, Motor Synth inherently possesses many unique sound traits that will surely appeal to many musicians that favour analogue electronic instruments and synthesizers in particular. Put it this way: with its unusual tonal and timbral qualities, unlimited microtonal pitch adjustment and modulation abilities, and note attack and decay properties influenced by the acceleration and deceleration curves of electromotors, Motor Synth works well across a wide range of musical styles. Showcasing its third revolutionary product, Gamechanger | Audio will be proudly unveiling Motor Synth on booth (H320) at SUPERBOOTH19 — Europe’s first and largest trade fair for electronic musical instruments — in Berlin, May 9-11. Thereafter, it will be following in the super-successful crowdfunding footsteps of Gamechanger | Audio’s PLASMA Pedal, perfectly realising a revolutionary approach within the realm of overdrive and distortion by transforming the connected instrument’s live signal into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges within a xenon-filled tube, thanks to achieving 921% funding on Indiegogo in April 2018 (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/plasma-pedal-high-voltage-distortion-unit–3#/). No doubt the equally- revolutionary electro-mechanical Motor Synth will follow suit, successfully realising a new method of analogue audio signal synthesis.
Rossum Electro-Music Announces Linnaeus Thru-Zero State-Variable Filter (Scotts Valley, CA, May 8, 2019) — Rossum Electro-Music has announced that they will be previewing their new Linnaeus Thru-Zero State-Variable Filter Eurorack module at Superbooth in Berlin, Germany from May 9th through the 11th.
Following in the tradition of Evolution and Morpheus, Linnaeus represents yet another Dave Rossum innovation in filter technology.
Linnaeus is a stereo state-variable filter that provides the unique ability to linearly modulate its resonant frequency through zero into negative frequency, while maintaining stability. With extensive voltage control of nearly every parameter, Linnaeus lets users manipulate the filter’s natural response curve in new ways, to create both subtle and dramatic timbral effects. And with a “one-knob-per-parameter” interface, LINNAEUS inspires sonic creativity that invites (and rewards) real-time interaction.
Linnaeus’s cutoff/resonant frequency is exponentially voltage controllable from sub-audio to ultrasonic frequencies, while its resonant gain (Q) is exponentially voltage controllable from 0dB to greater than 60dB.
Linnaeus’s channel output response characteristics are independently and continuously variable from Lowpass, through Bandpass, Highpass and Notch, to Low and High Shelving characteristics. Voltage control of the response characteristics are independently selectable for each of the two channels.
The linear thru-zero modulation is provided by an integrated modulation oscillator and/or an External Linear FM modulation input.
The voltage-controllable modulation oscillator can track the filter’s exponential frequency or operate independently. The modulation oscillator’s output waveform is continuously variable from Off through Sine, Triangle, and Sawtooth, to Square. The modulation oscillator output is summed with the external linear FM input and applied to the modulation index VCA, which controls the linear thru-zero modulation index from zero to 8X. The modulation index is, of course, also voltage controllable.
Linnaeus features include:
– Ultra-wide frequency range, exponentially voltage-controllable from sub-audio to ultrasonic via precise 1V/OCT and attenuverted CV inputs.
– Thru-zero linear frequency modulation via an internal modulation oscillator and/or an external linear FM input.
– Variable linear modulation index, voltage-controllable via an attenuverted CV input.
– Resonance (Q) exponentially voltage-controllable from 0dB to greater than 60dB via 6dB/V and attenuverted CV inputs.
– Continuously variable response characteristics independently selectable for each of the two channels via individual Enable controls. Characteristics include Lowpass (12db/oct and 6db/oct), Bandpass, Highpass (12db/oct and 6db/oct), Notch, and Low and High Shelving.
– Voltage control of response characteristics via an attenuverted CV input. Individual Enable controls let you independently enable or disable CV control of response for each channel.
– An integrated modulation oscillator with continuously variable waveform from Off through Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth and Square. Its frequency can be exponentially voltage controlled via an attenuverted CV input.
– A Track control that lets the modulation oscillator precisely track the filter’s exponential frequency.
– Stereo inputs and outputs. Linnaeus can process a stereo signal or two independent mono signals. While the two channels share the filter’s cutoff/resonant frequency, the filter response characteristics can be independently controlled for each channel.
– The solid, high-quality construction expected from Rossum Electro-Music.
Linnaeus is 16HP wide and 25mm deep.
Power requirements (max): 140mA +12V, 25mA -12V. Reverse polarity protected.
Linnaeus will be available in this summer from Rossum Electro-Music dealers worldwide at a suggested retail price in the US of $399.00.
MIND Music Labs showcases seminal ELK MusicOS at SUPERBOOTH19 with prototype products and announcements STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: Swedish startup MIND Music Labs lets loose by showcasing several super-cool applications of its award- winning ELK MusicOS — the world’s first ultra-low-latency music operating system developed specifically for audio applications, ushering in a new era where the power, flexibility, and selection of audio and music software can be run in real time on embedded hardware with full MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) support — at SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9-11… Further fulfilling its ambition of creating new ways to bridge the gap between musicians and technology, changing how to learn, create, record, and share music, MIND Music Labs will be demonstrating the potential and flexibility of its seminal ELK MusicOS by showcasing a number of hardware product prototypes based on existing VST (Virtual Instrument Technology) and RE (Rack Extension) releases from world-class developers at SUPERBOOTH19, Europe’s first and largest trade fair for electronic musical instruments. First stop: media production products provider Steinberg’s stand on owner Yamaha’s booth (H310). Here the German giant continues its partnership with MIND Music Labs in making VST a standard for hardware by showcasing the co-developed ‘Powered by ELK’ Retrologue 2, a proof-of-concept prototype desktop synth running Retrologue 2, Steinberg’s VST Virtual Analog Synthesizer — successfully emulating the warmth and fatness of classic analog synthesizers — on hardware. However, ELK MusicOS is not only VST compatible but also runs RE plug-ins from fellow Swedish company Propellerhead, creators of innovative and affordable music software. Supporting the Propellerhead partnership, MIND Music Labs will be showcasing a Eurorack format synth module running the RE-compatible Polysix for Reason — utilising Korg’s proprietary CMT (Component Modeling Technology) to precisely model the circuitry of an analog polysynth classic from 1982 — on booth (O504). Other must-see SUPERBOOTH19 showcases scheduled to take place at MIND Music Labs’ location there include several contrasting conceptual collaborative projects with the likes of plug-in developer Stefano D’Angelo, former DSP engineer at Arturia; Italian music and audio software company Audio Modeling, creators of the SWAM (Synchronous Waves Acoustic Modeling) engine; HISE, an open source framework for sample-based instruments; and Igor Nembrini of Nembrini Audio, creator of some of the most revered guitar amp plug-ins under the Brainworx brand for Universal Audio’s UAD (Universal Audio Digital) platform. Concludes MIND Music Labs CEO Michele Benincaso: “The different hardware prototypes we will be showcasing at SUPERBOOTH19 are all great examples of what ELK MusicOS is capable of. With ELK MusicOS you add the feel of playing an actual physical instrument — without losing the benefits and qualities of desktop plug-ins. I am very excited to show everyone at SUPERBOOTH19 what we have been working on.”
IK Multimedia unveils UNO Drum analog/PCM drum machine
Ultra-portable, easily programmable drum machine expands the UNO line
May 8, 2019 – IK Multimedia unveils UNO® Drum, the newest member of its UNO series. Designed in collaboration with Italian analog specialist Soundmachines – the same team behind IK’s acclaimed UNO® Synth – UNO Drum offers a wide sonic palette combining fat, punchy analog sounds with digital flexibility and convenience. A robust selection of programming and live performance features and controls makes it easy for musicians, producers and DJs to add massive drum grooves to their music. UNO Drum’s compact form, battery power and affordable price make it ideal for on-the-go music creation and performance.
True analog tone and PCM flexibility Six warm, rich, true analog drum sounds – two different kick drums plus snares, claps, and hi-hats – form the essential core kit for creating fat analog beats. Additional PCM elements (with 54 samples to choose from) provide deeper sonic flavors. They include toms, rims, cowbells, rides and crash cymbals for creating complex, unique and full rhythm tracks. Up to 12 elements can be used in total between analog and digital sounds, with 11-voice polyphony available. The analog and digital elements can be freely swapped, for sonic possibilities that go beyond the pre-set combinations. Together, these analog and PCM sounds suit the widest genres of music and musicians, and a variety of live scenarios.
A wide range of drum elements is organized in UNO Drum’s 100 pre-programmed and fully editable drum kit presets, a first in its class. This makes it easier and faster for users to find an inspiring kit they can experiment with or tweak to create the perfect groove. All sounds can be stored and recalled on the fly.
Top panel editing controls allow for adjustment of key parameters of each sound element. Users can tweak the Tuning of their kicks for sub-shaking hip-hop, adjust the Snap for punchy EDM drums, push the Decay for thundering industrial sounds, and much more. UNO Drum’s in-depth controls encourage experimentation to take drum tracks far beyond the norm.
Analog audio effects with character For added punch and sound character that stands out in a mix, UNO Drum also offers two analog master audio effects: Drive and Compressor. Increasing the drive will make grooves hit harder, with an aggressive edge. Adding compression will result in tracks that are tighter, fatter, and more powerful. User settings can be saved along with drum kits for instant recall.
Easy to play and program UNO Drum offers 12 touch-sensitive pads with two velocity zones, for more expressive live playing and easier programming. They can be used to play entire beats live with a pad-style feel, or to easily add live flare on top of pre-programmed rhythms.
These pads are also used to select individual drum pattern elements. Each element’s pad can be used to edit parameters for that specific drum sound, in real-time, as patterns play. This enables users to evolve tracks, build tension towards a drop, go lo-fi for a break, and more. For added performance convenience, a dedicated Tap Tempo pad is also included.
Flexible programming options UNO Drum offers easy programming options to suit any style. The 64-step sequencer allows users to program in patterns one step at a time, using the 16 buttons across the bottom of the panel, or record a pattern in real-time. Up to eight parameters can be automated per step, to add even more variation and feel to their grooves. The Song mode lets users chain up to 64 patterns together to create extended grooves. Any of the stored sequences can be triggered live on the fly, in any order desired.
Additionally, for quick inspiration out of the box, UNO Drum also comes pre-loaded with 100 drum patterns (in addition to the 100 drum kits). Users can quickly scroll through choices and find a pattern that adds the perfect flavor to their genre, or experiment with new styles. Sounds can be swapped out or adjusted, and patterns can be instantly saved and revisited at a later time.
Head-turning performance effects For even more performance impact, UNO Drum offers a generous set of five performance effects on the programmed patterns: Stutter (from subtle repetitions to DJ style loops), Roll, Humanize (slight randomization of velocity, timing and volume to emulate a live drummer), Swing (timing and accent adjustments) and Random (brand new pattern creations).
Integrate into any live, studio, or mobile set-up For use at home, in the studio, in a DJ booth, and beyond, UNO Drum can perfectly integrate into regular live set-ups, computer DAW-based studios, or mobile rigs centered around an iOS device. It offers USB and traditional MIDI via 2.5mm jacks (cables included) for use with Mac/PC, iOS devices or traditional outboard MIDI gear, for a perfect pairing in any rig. UNO Drum also offers an audio input to daisy chain directly with IK’s UNO Synth or any other gear, routed through its internal compressor, with no need for an additional mixer.
On-the-go music made easy Weighing only 400g, UNO Drum is super lightweight and small enough to fit in a backpack, yet sturdy enough to hit the road for gigging. It can also be used as a portable sketchpad to create grooves and songs that can be saved and recalled whenever and wherever they’re needed. UNO Drum can be powered by 4 AA batteries or via the USB port, either from a computer or a battery pack.
UNO Drum is proudly made in IK’s own Italian manufacturing facility using a combination of state-of-the-art, automated mounting machines and test systems, and fine, renowned Italian craftsmanship. Shipping is scheduled for June 2019.
* Free shipping valid for pre-orders from the IK Multimedia online store only ** All prices excluding taxes
MIND Music Labs lets ‘Powered by ELK’ Retrologue 2 desktop synth prototype fly for Steinberg at SUPERBOOTH19 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: Mind Music Labs is proud to announce a continuation of its official partnership with music and media production products provider Steinberg — initially resulting in the German giant’s VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plug-in format natively supporting the integration of the Swedish startup’s ELK MusicOS, allowing VST- based plug-ins to run seamlessly in ‘Powered by ELK’ musical instruments and audio processors — by bringing a brand-new, co-developed desktop synth prototype with full MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) support to SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9-11… “Plug-ins and software synths have brought amazing power and flexibility to computer-based recording, but now musicians want to harness all that power without the computer; there are times when you want to twist real knobs, rather than wiggle a mouse.” So says MIND Music Labs CEO Michele Benincaso, before adding: “It’s really exciting to be empowering those users with ELK MusicOS.” This sentiment is clearly shared by Florian Haack, Senior Marketing Manager at Steinberg: “We immediately saw the potential of ELK MusicOS, and that’s why we added it to the official VST SDK [Software Development Kit]. The development of the ‘Powered by ELK’ Retrologue 2 hardware prototype has further strengthened our belief that, with the help of ELK MusicOS, VST can become a standard for not only software, as it is today, but also for hardware.” Having said that, then, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. The proof-of-concept ‘Powered by ELK’ Retrologue 2 desktop synth prototype — running Steinberg’s Retrologue 2 VST Virtual Analog Synthesizer, successfully emulating the warmth and fatness of classic analog synthesizers — will be being showcased for all to see and hear on Steinberg-owner Yamaha’s booth (H310) at SUPERBOOTH19 in Berlin, May 9-11.
Fusion VCO V2 is designed to deliver earthshaking basslines and drones, along with flexible, distinct featuresRiga, Latvia, May 6, 2019 — Erica Synths announces the latest addition to its Fusion series lineup of Eurorack modules, the Fusion VCO V2. The Fusion VCO V2 functions as a full analogue sound source, packing a lot of distinct features. The core of the module centers on a highly stable AS3340-based VCO with three simultaneously available waveforms, transistor-based suboscillator and detune function. There are two BBD delay lines which can function as a frequency shifter, which can be mixed back to the principal oscillator in order to emulate two detuned VCOs. Meanwhile, tube crunch, a distinct tube overdrive, is added on the top of the mix. Furthermore, the Audio input feature enables users to mix an external audio signal with the principal oscillator — resulting in a crazy sonic experience. If you are looking to get really low frequencies and have a sound that sets your modular system apart from mass, Fusion VCO V2 is exactly what you need!Features: Full analogue designGreat tracking over 8 octave rangeDetune function for thickening the sound-1 oct transistor based suboscillatorTube overdrive circuitExternal audio inputVCO synchronizationSimultaneous waveform outputs To learn more about the Fusion VCO V2, please visit the Erica Synths product page.