Spitfire Audio offers apt alternative take on solo strings sample library with ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS

LONDON, UK: Spitfire Audio is proud to announce availability of ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS — an aptly-titled, alternative take on a sampled solo strings library for Native Instruments’ industry-standard KONTAKT platform, putting performances of four of the most interesting and progressive string soloists in London into an easy-to- use tool to access Violin (Warren Zielinski), Viola (Joel Hunter), Cello (Chris Worsey), and Double Bass (Mary Scully) for detailed compositional work while offering anyone an instant, out-of-the-box virtual collaborative experience steeped in personality, quality, and distinction — as of February 15…

The musicians that Spitfire Audio collectively chose to work with when creatively crafting ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS really represent some of the most exciting and in-demand players on the London orchestral session circuit. Collaborating with many of the biggest recording artists in the world to Oscar award-winning movie score performances, there can’t be many major British recordings in existence that haven’t featured these major players in some shape or form!

Frankly speaking, top violinist and musician Warren Zielinski, award-winning viola player Joel Hunter, professional cellist Chris Worsey, and leading UK double-bass player Mary Scully take some surpassing, having amassed an amazing collection of ‘onscreen’ collective credits between them, including: Captain America (Henry Jackman), Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (James Newton Howard), Victoria & Abdul (Thomas Newman), Jason Bourne (David Buckley/John Powell), Interstellar (Hans Zimmer), Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (Hans Zimmer), Inception (Hans Zimmer), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alberto Iglesias), The Twilight Saga (Carter Burwell), Batman Begins (Hans Zimmer/ James Newton Howard), Gladiator (Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard), Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Rings (Howard Shore). Meanwhile, musically Nick Cave, Daft Punk, Mark Ronson, UNKLE, Badly Drawn Boy, U2, Goldfrapp, Joni Mitchell, Max Richter, The Divine Comedy, and Christine and the Queens have all benefitted from the aforesaid players’ perfect performance touch(es).

That all being said, the resulting ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS collaboration creates and adds Double Bass and Viola to Spitfire Audio’s previously-released PP015 ARTISAN CELLO and PP016 ARTISAN VIOLIN libraries, all rewrapped with a new interface and KONTAKT PLAYER compatible — and also Spitfire Audio’s first double-bass library to boot!

Better still, all of these instruments carry with them the signature sound of Spitfire Audio — all artfully designed to provide not only that initial spark of inspiration but also broaden understanding of this particular group of instruments. Indeed, Spitfire Audio always prides itself on making precision tools for composers that deliver effectively on the current demands of the industry alongside a deeply-held belief that creating a series of raw, edgy tools that behave with a certain amount of realistic unpredictability leads to the most exciting results.

Recorded at the Spitfire Audio HQ’s ultra-high-spec in-house recording studio and tracked there through the finest equipment, as a result, ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS provides perfect accompaniment to Spitfire Audio’s popular LONDON CONTEMPORARY ORCHESTRA STRINGS, which was recorded in the same location. Let it be said, then, that whilst the spirited and sometimes unpredictable recordings may well pleasantly lead its user into unexpected territory, the sonics of Spitfire Audio’s dry stage provide ultimate control — whether that be an upfront Warren Ellis-style approach, a hyper-produced Hans Zimmer-style overdub on top of a large orchestral bed, or, indeed, a virtuoso performance within the section of a chamber work.

With access to each instrument performing spirited longs and shorts as well as a series of ‘artisan’ articulations, who better to provide a fitting closing comment on ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS’ ability to offer anyone an instant, out-of-the-box virtual collaborative experience steeped in personality, quality, and distinction, then, than Spitfire Audio co-founder and active composer Paul Thomson? “You’ve got quite a large variety of sound in there to play with,” he begins, before giving credit where credit’s due: “Obviously one of the most important elements of this is the players… Warren Zielinski on violin, Joel Hunter on viola, Chris Worsey on cello, and Mary Scully on bass — four incredible performers with beautiful instruments. They’ve played on so many film scores and records that you would lose count. You’ve heard their playing, and they really are an essential element in making this a successful and inspirational tool. So it’s a huge privilege for us to have worked with them. This is not a polite string library; it’s very definitely alternative, gritty, inspiring, and different.” 

 

ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as 53,146 samples needing 29.64 GB disk space) for a time-limited introductory promo price of £169.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$199.00 USD/€199.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until March 1, 2018 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of £249.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$299.00 USD/€299 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/alternative-solo-strings/

ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS needs Native Instruments’ free KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8) — included in the purchase — to run as a fully NKSTM (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD) supporting plug-in instrument for Mac (OS X 10.10, 10.11, or macOS 10.12 — latest update) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), while Spitfire Audio’s free Download Manager application allows anyone to buy now and download anytime.

 

For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS webpage here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/alternative-solo-strings/

 

Watch Spitfire Audio Director Paul Thomson’s ‘traditional’ video walkthrough of ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS here: https://youtu.be/j1WHHaS4X2k

Watch Spitfire Audio ‘composer in residence’ Oliver Patrice Weder’s ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS ‘In Action’ video here: https://youtu.be/9zg0m1mw7d4

Watch Spitfire Audio’s informative introductory video for ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS here: https://youtu.be/JiaNL8lKkDU 

Pittsburgh pens love letter to the analogue monosynth with Microvolt 3900 desktop delight

PITTSBURGH, PA, USA: having turned heads and opened ears at The 2018 NAMM Show last month in Anaheim, CA, electronic instruments-maker Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers is proud to announce that it is taking preorders on its Microvolt 3900 — duly destined to delight desktop synthesizer supporters anywhere as a modern, semi-modular synthesizer inspired by the instruments designed by the company’s heroes, though taking a new approach to building a contemporary analogue monosynth with a host of innovative and unconventional features that makes it stand out from the sound of the crowd — as of February 14…

Thanks to Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ new temperature-stabilised, dual-VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) oscillator core, the analogue audio engine of the Microvolt 3900 feeds a set of timbral wave-shapers carefully crafted for deep harmonic shaping, allowing a layer of additive synthesis alongside the classic synthesis waveforms.

Waveforms are fed into the binary filter, a custom state-variable filter architecture allowing for near-infinite resonance — with or without self- oscillation. Sonically speaking, this creates a juicy, fluid filter, adding depth and energy to the oscillator that can capably scream on demand!

Deeper still, Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ new dynamic vca lies at the heart of the Microvolt 3900’s sound world. Whereas a standard VCA works in two dimensions, the dynamic vca technology adds a third dimension — duly welcomed. When the dynamic vca closes, decreasing the amplitude, harmonics are removed from the source; whereas when the dynamic vca opens, the harmonics are restored. Reality dictates that this mimics the behaviour of sounds in nature. Needless to say, the result is a lively, organic-sounding synthesizer, full of energy. The design of the dynamic vca also allows the instrument to be plucked or struck, so-to-speak, opening up another set of musically percussive possibilities.

Putting more sonic architecture into its intrepid users hands, the semi-modular Microvolt 3900 includes a 39-point Eurorack format-friendly 1/8-inch jack patchbay for complete signal routing control over a full complement of audio and modulation options with several self-explanatory sections clearly categorised: clock, external, midi, output, waveform generator, envelope, filter, vca, modulation, function, and inverting mixer / splitter / offset.

On top of that, a highly-tuned, four-stage (attack, decay, sustain, and release) envelope generator; multitasking function generator (which works as a voltage-controlled envelope, LFO, and oscillator); wide-ranging lfo (Low Frequency Oscillator); chaotic random source (random complexity); multi-mode sequencing arpeggiator; and MIDI-to-CV (Musical Instrument Digital Interface to Control Voltage) control are also available to create dynamic sounds unique to the Microvolt 3900.

With concluding crowning additional achievements including a voltage-controlled, West Coast-style wavefolder (fold timbre); switchable harmonic sine wave; external preamp with 30 independent gain and output level controls; classic Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers lowpass filter with extended resonance; dynamic vca with standard vca and lpg (Low Pass Gate) modes; variable overdrive on output; chaotic (random) rnd cv and rnd gate generator; and that 39-point Eurorack format-friendly patchbay… put it this way: with the feature-packed Microvolt 3900 Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers is definitely destined to delight desktop synthesizer supporters anywhere as a modern, semi-modular synthesizer inspired by the instruments designed by the company’s heroes, though taking a new approach to building a contemporary analogue monosynth with a host of innovative and unconventional features that makes it stand out from the sound of the crowd!

The Microvolt 3900 is scheduled to ship to Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ growing global network of authorised dealers and resellers (https://pittsburghmodular.com/dealers) on April 27, 2018, when it will become available to purchase with an RRP of $629.00 USD.

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Microvolt 3900 webpage here: https://pittsburghmodular.com/microvolt

Watch Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ inviting introductory video for the Microvolt 3900 here: https://youtu.be/rJZAKcVsDAg

IK Multimedia iRig Stomp I/O… this pedal looks cool af

IK Multimedia. Musicians First.

NAMM 2018 – For immediate release

IK Multimedia announces iRig Stomp I/O – the ultimate
tone control rig, ready to rock, ready to record


Revolutionary USB pedalboard controller for Mac/PC and iOS with built-in high-definition audio and MIDI interface plus a massive software bundle

January 25, 2018 – IK Multimedia is proud to introduce iRig Stomp I/O, an all-new generation of USB pedalboard controller for live and studio use, featuring a built-in audio interface. It is expected to be available in March 2018 and is now open for pre-order. iRig Stomp I/O is a sturdy, portable pedalboard controller that has 4 built-in switches along with an expression pedal and features a professional high-definition audio interface with 24-bit audio and up to 96kHz sampling rate, a combo input jack for line, instrument or mic input with phantom power, balanced stereo output and high quality ¼” headphone output ideal for use with the latest Apple® devices like the iPhone® X.

Ultimate tone
With its combination ¼”/XLR input, iRig Stomp I/O lets you easily record with a guitar, bass, synth, keyboard or microphone – including studio condenser mics requiring 48V phantom power using its 96kHz/24-bit audio interface on iPhone/iPad, Mac and PC. It has a Class A preamp with gain control and an output level control with VU metering for both input and output levels. The integrated ¼” headphone output allows for monitoring the signal during tracking or when practicing, while the balanced stereo output can be used to send the signal to an amplifier, a mixer, a PA or powered speakers.

At home in the studio or on stage
With its robust metal construction, iRig Stomp I/O features an onboard expression pedal with optical switch and four stomp switches allowing control over effects and presets for hands-free performance. The two ¼” control inputs can connect additional external pedals or switches. To further extend the control possibilities there is a MIDI input and output allowing the unit to operate as a stand-alone controller (even without a host device).

Plug and play
As an MFi certified audio interface, it is designed to work right out of the box with an iPhone or iPad using the included Lightning cable as well as with Mac® and PC via USB. It is the only floor controller to feature a convenient device bay, where you can safely position your iOS device – charging it during use – for an immediate and clear view of the interface along with other tablets like the Microsoft® Surface, taking advantage of the touch screen interface for speed and flexibility in creating and tweaking guitar tones.

Full suite of software included
With over $/€800 worth of IK software and apps, iRig Stomp I/O puts all the power of the world’s best sounding guitar amp, FX modeling and vocal processing software right at the feet of users with a collection of over 160 gear models for Mac/PC and 70 for iOS. Electric guitarists and bass players can unleash the full power of AmpliTube on Mac/PC as well as on iPhone and iPad, while acoustic guitarists can shape their tone with AmpliTube Acoustic for iOS and singers can get creative with VocaLive and Mic Room. The seamless integration with AmpliTube and VocaLive makes it as easy as plug-and-play to record on multiple devices using IK’s powerful, state-of-the-art, 64-bit software.

Plus, recordings can be taken to the next level on Mac and PC using four select processors from IK’s flagship T-RackS mixing and mastering suite (the White-2A, Black 76 and VC-670 compressors, and the EQP-1A equaliser, for authentic analog studio sound).

iRig Stomp I/O is designed to give electric and acoustic guitarists, bass players, vocalists, and songwriters a new way to have full control over their tone in any situation. Furthermore, iRig Stomp I/O offers the unique advantage of getting the same sound on stage as in the studio with a solution that is easily updatable as new software and features are released, making it a future-proof system.

Pricing and availability
iRig Stomp I/O is expected to ship in March 2018 and can be pre-ordered now from the IK Multimedia online store with free shipping and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for the remarkably affordable price of only $/€299.99*.

* All prices excluding taxes

For more information, please visit:
www.irigstomp.io

To see iRig Stomp I/O in action:
www.irigstomp.io/video

Ik Multimedia announces Amplitude Leslie and the Leslie collection

IK Multimedia, Hammond USA and Suzuki Music Corp. of Japan
announce Leslie for AmpliTube and T-RackS on Mac/PC

Breakthrough technology offers ultra-realistic modeling to provide players and producers the best-sounding digital Leslie amps and cabs ever

January 25, 2018 – IK Multimedia is proud to announce a new collaboration with the product designers and R&D Team at Hammond USA and Suzuki Music Corp. of Japan, bringing the truly authentic sound of the legendary Leslie® amps and cabinets to the leading guitar amp and effects software, AmpliTube, and to the world class mixing and mastering processors in T-RackS.

 

AmpliTube Leslie and T-RackS Leslie offer the authentic sounds of 5 Leslie amps and 6 Leslie rotary-speaker cabinets that can be used for recording or playing live. Microphone distance and position control, precise level balancing, different amp and cab combinations, circuit overdriving, width, acceleration and deceleration control of the rotary speaker, horn/drum balance and more are included to give tracks the shimmer, charm, growl and character that are an unmistakable part of the Leslie sound.

Hammond USA Executive Vice President Peter Nguyen: “We are pleased to work with IK Multimedia in bringing the authentic Leslie sound to their AmpliTube and T-RackS software suites. We believe they are the right company to accurately and faithfully deliver the timeless and classic Leslie tone on a digital platform.”

There are many rotary speaker emulations. There’s just one Leslie®

With the powerful combination of IK’s breakthrough technologies of Dynamic Interaction Modeling™, which can reproduce the subtlest interactions of an electronic circuit down to its tiniest component, together with Volumetric Response Modeling™, which recreates the real acoustic behavior of rotary-speaker cabinets, the IK and Hammond teams succeeded in delivering the true Leslie speaker sound without compromise.

AmpliTube Leslie and T-RackS Leslie have the distinct advantage over others with circuit-modeled amplifiers which are critical to recreating the signature tone of these incredible units, especially when overdriving the amp circuit, typical of genres like rock and blues. There are 5 amp models included: Leslie Type 147, Leslie Type 122 – vintage tube model; Leslie Type 122A – new tube model; Leslie 3300w – new hybrid amp and the Leslie G-37/Studio 12 – new hybrid amp.

All the speaker cabinets are faithfully reproduced using IK’s exclusive Volumetric Response Modeling™ technology, which is a combination of a new approach to impulse response recording, and the best modeling technology currently available. There are 6 rotary speaker models included: Leslie Type 147, 122, 122A; Leslie 3300w, Leslie G-37, Leslie Studio 12.

Everything under control

The virtual microphones in AmpliTube Leslie and T-RackS Leslie can be repositioned. This affects the perception the listener will have of the rotation, or “doppler effect”. Users can choose between a 90° mic position, which is the most common, giving a non-symmetric perception of the rotation, to the 180° mic position, which is less common, but heard on many famous recordings, and gives a more symmetric perception of the rotation. It is also possible to move the virtual microphones closer or further from the cabinet for even greater realism when recording. There is a full parametric EQ to further shape the sound to fit a variety of musical ideas even better.

Changing the rotation speed of the horn and drum is also possible allowing users to adjust the range of speed from slowest to fastest for their ideal performance settings. It is also possible to change the acceleration and deceleration speeds to control how quickly the speaker goes from “chorale” (slow) to “tremolo” (fast).

Pricing and availability

AmpliTube Leslie and T-RackS Leslie are expected to ship in March, 2018 and will be priced at $/€129.99* each. The Leslie Collection, which combines the AmpliTube and T-RackS versions, will be priced at $/€179.99. Upon release, the individual amps will also be available separately for $/€24.99 each and the cabinets will be available for $/€34.99 each. A single amp and cabinet purchased together will be priced at $/€49.99.

AmpliTube Leslie and T-RackS Leslie are available for preorder at a special introductory price of only $/€99.99 and the Leslie Collection can be pre-ordered for only $/€149.99.

* All prices excluding taxes

For more information about AmpliTube Leslie, please visit:
www.ikmultimedia.com/atleslie
www.ikmultimedia.com/atleslie/video

For more information about T-RackS Leslie, please visit:
www.ikmultimedia.com/trleslie
www.ikmultimedia.com/trleslie/video

For more information about the Leslie Collection, please visit:
www.ikmultimedia.com/lesliecollection

Bitwig Studio 2.3 Beta available NOW

BITWIG PRESS RELEASE

BITWIG STUDIO 2.3 BETA IS AVAILABLE NOW

Berlin, Germany | January 24, 2018We’re pleased to announce, the beta testing of Bitwig Studio 2.3 has just started.
Anyone with a Bitwig Studio 2 license can download, install and activate the new beta* version, and try out the new features of Bitwig Studio 2.3:

  • Phase-4: A new phase manipulation synthesizer
  • Time Signature Changes
  • New and Improved Time-stretching Algorithms
  • Expanded View for Devices
  • Instrument & Effect Selector
  • Voice Stacking
  • and more…

The Bitwig Studio 2.3 Beta installer is available from our download page. Once installed you can download 50 Phase-4 presets from the Package Manager to get started.

Download now…

A note on beta software:

  • Do not use the beta to work on important projects!
  • Project files created with the beta can not be opened in previous versions of Bitwig Studio
  • The software is not final, please don’t use it to make tutorials or videos

ABOUT BITWIG

Bitwig is an international music software company based in Berlin with 13 employees. The company was founded in 2009 by four music enthusiasts with extensive experience in the music technology industry and a strong vision about new cutting-edge methods of music production, performance and collaboration. Bitwig Studio 2 won awards for Best Software of NAMM show 2017 by MusicRadar and Sonic State and was awarded ‘DAW of the Year 2017’ by Computer Music Magazine.

Native Instruments acquires Loop Loft!

Native Instruments acquires loops & samples producer, The Loop Loft

 

Leading content library to bolster Sounds.com offering

 

Berlin 24th Jan – Native Instruments today announces its acquisition of The Loop Loft, a leading content library specialised in recording top musicians to make the highest quality digital content available to all music creators.

The move coincides with the launch of Sounds.com, Native Instruments’ new online platform for loops, samples, and sound packs for music creators of all genres with over 500,000 sounds at launch, from more than 200 partners.

Sounds.com subscribers can access loops and samples from high calibre drumming and acoustic artists like Nate Smith, Matt Chamberlain and Omar Hakim, further diversifying the platform’s content offering.

The move also sees The Loop Loft Founder, CEO and accomplished musician Ryan Gruss joining Native Instruments as Director of Products – Content, based in Los Angeles. In the new role, Ryan will create content for Sounds.com as well managing a specialized development team focused on creating new content across the NI portfolio.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ryan Gruss added: “When we learned of Native Instruments plans for Sounds.com we immediately saw an opportunity to amplify our offering to new audiences. Native Instruments’ rich heritage of sound design is a musicians dream and I’m excited to get hands on and steer the development of new instruments and content in 2018.”
 
Daniel Haver, CEO and Co-founder at Native Instruments commented: “We’ve always admired the authenticity and ambition of The Loop Loft; we could tell it’s a service built by passionate musicians with a bold online vision. We’re excited to welcome Ryan and his team to NI and anticipate increased volume, quality and diversification of content and instruments across our brands.”

The Sounds.com beta launched on January 17 in the U.S. Customers can try it now with a free selection of loops and samples, or go Pro and subscribe to the full library at a special introductory price of $9.99 per month.
 
Simplicity and ease-of-use are central to the Sounds.com experience: All loops and samples are available to browse and preview, with no sign-up required; sounds are tagged and easily sortable by genre, key, BPM, and other attributes; and search functionality is powered by Native Instruments’ own MIR (Music Information Retrieval) algorithms, which helps users find exactly what they need, when they need it.
 
More details about the platform’s vision and progress will be shared with media and industry peers at the ‘Native Summit’ partner conference, held at this year’s NAMM event in Anaheim, CA, from January 25-26. If you are interested in attending, please get in touch with the Native Instruments PR team.

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 

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