XILS-Lab debutes new FM and VA synth plug in


XILS-lab creates KaoX as virtual instrument inspired by legendary FM synthesizer bolstered by virtual analogue and chaotic algorithms


GRENOBLE, FRANCE: 
virtual instrument- and effect plug-in-specialising software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of KaoX — a virtual instrument inspired by a legendary FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesizer, albeit bolstered by virtual analogue sound synthesis and additional chaotic algorithms in an advanced two-layer architecture allowing for a powerful sound creation tool to fuel DAW-driven synthesizer dreams with a much more easily understood signal path than its iconic FM forefather — as of April 12…


To appreciate its iconic inspiration is to truly appreciate the power of KaoXXILS-lab’s latest virtual instrument. Indeed, the early-Eighties synthesizer market was dominated by analogue synthesizers using analogue circuits and analogue signals to generate sounds electronically, which, when made available as programmable polysynths with patch storage, were costly with limited polyphony. Putting paid to that dominance, an Eighties-dominating 16-voice FM synthesizer changed course — changing the course of musical history in the process — by generating sounds via frequency modulation, a form of sound synthesis whereby the frequency of a waveform is changed by modulating its frequency with a modulator. Mass manufactured using very-large- scale integration chips by a Japanese giant of a company who had licensed the technology from Stanford University, California — composer, musician, and professor John Chowning developed the digital implementation of FM synthesis while there, the world’s first commercially-successful digital synthesizer subsequently sold over 200,000 units within three years — around 20 times more than the most iconic analogue synthesizer of all time sold in its impressive decade-long lifespan — and its preset sounds soon became staples of the Eighties pop pantheon with E PIANO 1 purportedly ending up on 40% of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart toppers throughout 1986. Therein lay the rub. Really complex menus and a lack of conventional controls meant that few learned to program the comparatively keenly-priced instrument in depth — despite FM synthesis lending itself to creating brighter, glassier sounds, as well as imitative acoustic sounds so much better than its instantly unfashionable analogue adversaries, programmable polyphonic or otherwise. Of course, fashions change with time and technology; the instrument in question has long since fallen out of favour. Although analogue synthesizers — somewhat ironically — are now more commonplace than they ever were with a perceived warmth of sound and appealing hands-on control working in their favour, the convenience of an ITB (in the box) workflow with DAW-driven virtual instruments and effect plug-ins has far from lost its appeal for today’s music-making masses. Time to revisit the wonderful world of FM synthesis with a modern-day twist? Knowingly, KaoX does just that. After all, as a virtual instrument- and effect plug-in-specialising software company, XILS-lab loves to create tools that inspire its users to create more imaginative music than they ever dreamed possible!
Put it this way: with KaoXXILS-lab has created a virtual instrument inspired by that legendary FM synthesizer, albeit bolstered by virtual analogue sound synthesis and additional chaotic algorithms in an advanced two-layer architecture allowing for a powerful sound creation tool to fuel DAW-driven synthesizer dreams with a much more easily understood signal path than its iconic FM forefather since said signal path is easily understood through the use of illuminated modules in a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that is equally easy on the eye. KaoX’s knowing nod towards the preset-powered popularity of its iconic FM forefather is immediately obvious for all to see and hear in an easy-to-tweak simplified view allowing its UP (upper) and LO (lower) synthesizer layers — each with independent synthesis modules — to be combined in three different ways. Working in single mode, only the selected layer is active and heard, while both layers are active and heard in SPLIT and DOUBLE modes — the lower part of the keyboard playing the LO layer and the upper part of the keyboard playing the UP layer in the case of the former, while both the UP and LO layers are simultaneously played across the keyboard in the case of the latter. Limited controls are available in this simplified view, including TUNEDRIFTGLIDEVIBRATOFREQ (vibrato frequency), DEPTH (vibrato), (wheel), TREMOLOFREQ (tremolo frequency), and DEPTH (tremolo), plus CHORUSDELAYPHASER, and REVERB effects, enabling users to easily play presets and to tweak them accordingly — adding vibrato and tremolo or switching effects on and off, for instance.
Alternatively, activating an advanced settings view brings the wonderful world of KaoX into full view, allowing more adventurous users access to the virtual instrument’s internal modules to tweak or change any parameter therein, aided by contextual help windows, while active modules are helpfully illuminated. FM synthesis options are available on each of the two available layers with eight operators grouped in two banks with independent pitch — perfect for creating chorus-like FM sounds or punchy stereo patches — and two outputs (O1 and O2). Each FM OPERATOR features one LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), one envelope, WHEEL and VEL (velocity aftertouch) access, two user-definable external modulators (assignable to any KaoX modulation source), KEYB (keyboard follower) 2D pad, RATIO or FIXED frequency selection, and a lowpass filter. Furthermore, virtual analogue synthesis options are also available on each of the two available layers with two continuous waveform analogue oscillators (ANALOG OSCILLATOR 1 and ANALOG OSCILLATOR 2), two zero-delay-like analogue filters (FILTER 1 and FILTER 2), four D-ADSR envelopes, and four VCA outputs for bringing a depth and warmth to the sound creation table. That said, KaoX also allows its users to create sounds that they had never thought possible, thanks to two chaotic oscillators (CHAOS OSCILLATOR 1 and CHAOS OSCILLATOR 2) and two chaotic ring modulators (CHAOX 1 and CHAOX 2). And as if that was not enough to keep committed sound creators seriously satisfied, KaoX comes complete with a flexible four-track step SEQUENCER, where each track can be assigned to the UP or LO layer with independent sustain and gating or used as a modulation source.
Sound-wise, KaoX comes packed with 500-plus presets programmed by world-class sound designers Mikael Adle, Soundsdivine, Status, Nori Ubukata, Tom Wolfe, Xenos, Yuli-Yolo, Zensound, and many more — more than enough to point anyone of any ability in the general direction of where they might musically want to go. Getting there is made much easier with its integrated single-window preset manager making finding the right patch for the task, managing presets and sound banks, as well as creating custom tags, an efficient easy-going experience that could barely be dreamt of back in the early Eighties. Today the time has clearly come to revisit the wonderful world of FM synthesis with a modern-day twist and appreciate the power of KaoXXILS- lab’s latest virtual instrument par excellence — from France with love… and all without the need for very-large-scale integration chip mass manufacture! 



KaoX 
is available to purchase as an iLok (2 and 3 dongle hardware or software) protected plug-in priced at an introductory promo price of €99.00 EUR until May 15, 2021 — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of €179.00 EUR — directly from XILS-lab via the dedicated KaoX webpage (https://www.xils-lab.com/products/kaox-p-168.html), which also includes more in-depth information. 


KaoX can be directly downloaded as a multi-format AAX, AU, and VST (Mac OS X 10.8 and later) and AAX and VST (Windows 7, 8, and 10) plug-in from here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/kaox-p-168/download.html

Listen to several KaoS-showcasing demo tracks providing the soundtrack to XILS-labs’ latest teaser video here: https://youtu.be/qeZJvGe6a4Y 

Analog Solutions Leipzig v3 gets a facelift for desktop

Analogue Solutions stylishly reshapes discontinued design to release redesigned Leipzig v3 as advanced Analogue Synthesiser




KINGSWINFORD, UK: 
British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce availability of Leipzig v3 — an advanced Analogue Synthesiser stylishly reshaped as a desktop design drawing deeply from the DNA of the rack-mountable Leipzig-S analogue synth/sequencer, a discontinued design dating back to 2011 and effectively now made better by redesign to improve reliability, quality, and other manufacturing considerations, as well as adding several notable new features — as of April 5…


As a desktop device duly delivering a better fit, format-wise, for present-day production preference, Leipzig v3 takes its (re)design cues from Analogue Solutions’ 2019-introduced Impulse Command — critically acclaimed as a true stereo, semi-modular analogue synthesiser/sonic realiser conceivably capable of sounding like several synthesisers simultaneously playing, perfectly-packaged as a desktop device — yet readily retains the same angry, analogue sound as its rack-mountable (Leipzig-S) predecessor, popularised itself by bona fide synth-pop pioneer Vince Clarke, long-standing Gary Numan producer Ade Fenton, and Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor, all appreciative of the pure analogue voice and modulation circuitry — circuits based on superlative-sounding Seventies-vintage designs, so no quantisation for CPU (Central Processing Unit) reading required, in other words — with extensive routing possibilities, fat-sounding Moog-style filter, two VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators), and analogue step sequencer on offer to discerning disciples, distinguished or otherwise.
Obvious change of form factor duly dealt with, several notable features new to the resulting (non-rack-mountable) Leipzig v3 desktop design are well worth highlighting here from the get-go. Firstly, flexibility is increased when accessing a healthy number of self-explanatory CV (Control Voltage) patch points positioned directly on the top panel as Eurorack patch cable-compatible 3.5mm mini (mono) jack sockets, so Leipzig v3 can be both cross patched within itself and also to external Eurorack modular synthesisers.

Increased INPUT connectivity comes courtesy of MASTER PITCH MOD — modulates the pitch of both VCOs; VCO 2 PITCH MOD — modulates the pitch of VCO 2 only; CUTOFF MOD — modulates the VC LPF (Voltage-Controlled Low-Pass Filter) CUTOFF frequency; EG TRIG — triggers both (ENV 1 and ENV 2) envelope generators (upon receiving a trigger or gate signal); and EXT SIG (external signal) — an audio signal (routed to the MIXER via an associated EXT switch) or clock signal (used to clock the CV SEQUENCER from an external device when the SYNC SOURCE selector is turned to EXT). Equally accessible are the following OUTPUT-dedicated patch points: SEQ SYNC — similar to a through clock, copying the clock signal selected to clock the CV SEQUENCER, so it can be ‘thru-d’ to another device to synchronise them together; LFO triangle and square signal outputs; envelope generator and signal outputs; and SEQ CV — control voltage output from the CV SEQUENCER.


Speaking of the latter, the capabilities of an already-capable eight-step analogue sequencer — surely wasted when only used to create simple- sounding (MIDI-transposable) melodies or percussive loops when it can also act as a musical modulation source to step through striking sound changes (courtesy of the output CV being routed to VCO 1 pitch, VCO 2 pitch, and VCF cutoff with associated adjustable DESTINATION levels) — have helpfully been extended to turn off VCO 2 (square wave only) on selected steps by activating the RHY(thm) toggle switch and manually stepping through the CV SEQUENCER using the STEP push button, then toggling VCO 2 on or off using the RHYTHM push button; consequently, VCO 2 will only sound when the RHYTHM button LED (Light Emitting Diode) is lit, which, when used in conjunction with VCO 1 still sounding on every step, creates the illusion of more than one synthesiser playing! But briefly stepping out of the wonderful world of analogue, Leipzig v3 also has a ‘hidden’ dynamic (digital) 16-step sequencer that constantly stores every note played in via MIDI into volatile memory as a 16-step loop. It is always locked in sync with the analogue sequencer and new notes can be entered into the 16-step loop while the sequencers are running, permitting patterns to be constantly changed on the fly. Straightforward synchronisation of the sequencer to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is perfectly possible by simply sending it MIDI Note 000; as such, it can be clocked at any tempo (and also divided down relative to the DAW’s tempo), stopped, started, and muted from the DAW itself — impossible with MIDI Sync, so something of an added bonus in itself for Leipzig v3 owners.
Other tweaks to the contemporary desktop design implemented in Leipzig v3 are comparatively subtle, such as a top panel-positioned (3.5mm mini jack) headphone output and rear panel-positioned power switch that is illuminated.
Illuminating additions aside, although Leipzig v3 clearly comprises some special features, fortunately its general architecture, signal flow — VC OSCILLATORS MIXER VC LPF MODULATION ENV 1 ENV 2 VCA, et al — and control nomenclature is still fairly standard, so the synthesiser itself is fairly straightforward to use.


Ultimately, Leipzig v3 sounds huge — especially evident when pressed into playing bass parts, at which it really reigns supreme. Sonic enrichments further abound as the MIXER and VC LPF sections can both be really overdriven, lending Leipzig v3 a really hard sound. Saying that, this of course can be toned down and softer synth sounds are also achievable — as, indeed, is everything in-between. Besides bass sounds, Leipzig v3 equally excels at creating electronic percussion — not just sounds, but also percussive loops, thanks to the flexibility of that onboard step sequencer. Percussive patterns can be quickly created and synchronised to — or recorded directly into — a DAW. As a semi-modular mainstay, Leipzig v3 can capably create leads, effects, modular-style sounds, and more, making it an ideal investment for anyone budgeting for only one analogue synthesiser since it covers so many basses… and bass sounds! 

Leipzig v3 is available to purchase — priced at £1,018.80 GBP (including VAT) — directly from Analogue Solutions via the dedicated Leipzig v3 webpage (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/leipzigv3), which also includes more in-depth information.


Please note that Analogue Solutions cannot ship to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, or the United States since those countries are serviced by dedicated distributors, but outside of those countries it is possible to order directly from Analogue Solutions’ growing global network of authorised dealers (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/dealers) with whom Leipzig v3 will be available at a European SSP (Suggested Selling Price) of €1,179.00 EUR (including VAT) and an a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $1,199.00 USD.
See and hear Leipzig v3 being put through its impressive paces in Analogue Solutions’ sonically-diverse demonstration video here:https://youtu.be/ktsfxTF5jx8 

Analog solutions now on fourth run of the Colossus synth

Analogue Solutions announces forthcoming fourth run of Colossus supersized synth that trips back to the future of analogue


KINGSWINFORD, UK: following a showstopping showcase during its introduction at SynthFest UK 2019 in Sheffield, British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce a forthcoming fourth run of Colossus — its supersized synth that trips back to the future of analogue, albeit symbolising so much more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ with no fewer than 12 VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators) beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best by taking its design cues from the colossal classic that is the EMS Synthi 100, although no Synthi circuit was cloned or copied in making the destined-to-be-classic Colossus fit for a new generation of high-flying owners — as of February 15…
Despite design cues harking back to the dawn of analogue synthesisers with a knowing nod of appreciation to one of the largest and — at almost £100K in today’s money! — most expensive examples ever built anywhere, let alone by British trailblazing entity EMS, encompassing no fewer than 12 VCOs and eight VCFs (Voltage- Controlled Filters) and much more besides in the colossal classic that is the Seventies-vintage Synthi 100, with the 30 or so units produced in its decade-long lifespan mainly ending up in university research departments or national broadcaster’s in-house composition studios (such as The BBC Radiophonic Workshop) before becoming lost in the sands of time to almost all but serious synth collectors and restorers (including, ironically, Analogue Solutions founder Tom Carpenter himself), British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions’ suitably-named Colossus — courtesy of its imposing 1700mm (W), 700mm (D), and 650mm (H) dimensions, while weighing in at… too big to fit on the scales! — symbolises so much more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ with no fewer than 12 VCOs beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best.
But better still, Synthi circuits were neither cloned nor copied in making Colossus fit for a new generation of high-flying owners while fortunately fitting through a standard-sized doorway — unlike a Synthi 100, of course; Colossus’ creator prefers to come up with designs of its own musical making. Moreover, Analogue Solutions has chosen to make use of original circuits tried and tested in favourites from its acclaimed analogue synthesiser products, past and present, including Polymath (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/polymath-paraphonic-modular-synth) — a self-contained four-VCO PARAPHONIC ANALOGUE SYNTHESISER with ANALOGUE SEQUENCER and SPRING REVERBTelemark (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/telemark-patchable-rack-synth) — a semi-modular analogue monosynth, much loved by bona fide synth pop pioneer Philip Oakey of Sheffield-based The Human League, a colossus connoisseur of synthesisers in his own right, thanks to owning one of the largest collections in the UK; and, more recently, Vostok2020 (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/vostok2020) — the latest (fourth) incarnation of Tom Carpenter’s semi-modular masterpiece taking some of the best parts of its iconic Vostok V2 and V3 Deluxe predecessors and bringing them together as an augmented ANALOGUE POWER SYNTH fit for a new decade. All are united by their ALL ANALOGUE VOICE & MODULATION CIRCUITS — as boldly blazoned across the former’s front panel. Analogue as in really analogue. After all, as implied by its apt appellation, Analogue Solutions truly trades on real transistors and op-amps — 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 so-called analogue synthesisers. Since such circuitry is based on designs dating back to the Seventies, all Analogue Solutions synthesisers proudly possess a truly vintage sound — as does, of course, Colossus, albeit taking things to a whole new level, literally so as an analogue heavyweight to be reckoned with.
With 12 VCOs and eight VCFs to its own notable name, Colossus musically matches the aforesaid extensive and expensive Synthi 100, yet comes complete with a whole lot more besides. Indeed, its oscillator panel is well specified in its own right. There, the FREQ (frequency) — pitch — range of OSCILLATOR 1 through toOSCILLATOR 12 is extremely wide, and each can also be used as an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator); each features four waveforms, plus pulse width, oscillator sync, and sub oscillator abilities. All are complimented by a SAMPLE AND HOLD generator, RANDOM VOLTAGE GENERATOR, and two pink/white noise generators — namely, NOISE GENERATOR 1 and NOISE GENERATOR 2.
The equally well-specified filter panel features four multi-mode (hi-, band-, and low-pass) 12dB filters — FILTER 1 through to FILTER 4, the circuit for which was originally based on the filter found in the classic dual-oscillator Oberheim SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module®) created by legendary American synth designer Tom Oberheim back in 1974, albeit Analogue Solutions skilfully applied some heavy-duty modifications of its own. On top of that, there are also four low-pass 24dB transistor ladder filters — FILTER 5 through to FILTER 8 — featuring a ‘Moog’ style sound. Saying that, all eight VCFs have serial VCAs (Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers), so there are actually eight VCF/VCA combinations in total! That’s not all as this panel also houses two mechanical spring reverbs — REVERBERATIONS 1 and REVERBERATIONS 2, each featuring a triple spring tank; two RING MODULATORS; two voltage SLEW LIMITERS; and four envelopes — ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4 — with ATTACKDECAYSUSTAIN, and RELEASE controls, alongside hold repeat and gated repeat trig (trigger) MODE functions.
Furthermore, the so-called ‘scope’ panel — so named as it includes an oscilloscope — pushes things to an even higher level, specification-wise, since it includes four VCAs — VCA 1 through to VCA 4 — in addition to those found in the filter panel, plus two LFOs — LFO 1 and LFO 2 — in addition to those found in the oscillator panel, as well as four A S D/R envelopes — ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4. So since the aforesaid VCOs can be used as LFOs, Colossus can, in fact, be potentially pressed into playing a total of 14 LFOs! Likewise, since each of the eight VCFs have VCAs hardwired inline, these plus the individual VCAs means that there is actually a total of 12 VCAs available to any adventurous user!
Ultimately, Colossus comes complete with yet more populated panels for setting the controls for the heart of the synth, as it were, with a ‘digital intervention’ of sorts showing through the touch panel housing two touch keyboards with digital note sequencers — TOUCH KEYBOARD CONTROL / SEQUENCERS, although analogue control readily resumes with the two JOYSTICK CONTROLLERS above and six-channel STEREO AUDIO MIXER above them. The sequencer panel is dominated by a SERIAL 1-64 SPLIT 2x 1-32 step SEQUENCER with CLOCK generator, GLIDEJUMPRESETCV OUTGATE OUT, and other control features. Four large 10V backlit SIGNAL METERS — CHANNEL 1 through to CHANNEL 4 — up the analogue ante alongside the SEQUENCER. Then there are two broadcast-quality CV and audio pin matrix panels — inspired in no small part by the British-built EMS VCS3, which made musical history upon its introduction in 1969 by being the first commercially portable synthesiser available anywhere in the world, thanks to its innovative modular matrix-based patchboard dispensing with the telephone exchange-like cabling of other (much larger) modular systems in favour of making space-saving connections with (removable) pins — and last, but by no means least, there are also four minijack patch panels providing I/O from all Colossus’ circuits.
Clearly an obvious question was raised at the outset: why? “Well, because I can,” countered Tom Carpenter at SynthFest UK 2019, before later adding: “I’ve sold way more than I expected.” On the strength of that, then, clearly Colossus has gone from strength to strength, as evidenced by Analogue Solutions’ spirited announcement of a forthcoming fourth run. Regretting missing out on previous builds becomes a thing of the past, obviously, though those collectively breathing a sigh of relief are advised to add themselves to the Colossus waiting list (here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/contact). And Analogue Solutions is already working on some upgrade options, which will be announced later this year and available to buy as add-ons — proof positive that this colossal synthesiser success story has clearly far from run its course! 

The fourth Colossus run is in production and available to order for purchase — priced at £25,000.00 GBP (excluding tax and delivery) directly from Analogue Solutions here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/buy — with shipment direct to the customer’s door, while wait time is around two to four weeks after Analogue Solutions’ receipt of a £6,500.00 GBP deposit (excluding tax and delivery), payable here: https://www.analoguesolutions.com/colossus-1 — with balance and shipping costs required shortly before despatch. (Please note that if shipping is required then the crate and packing is estimatedat £300.00 GBP, while shipping will range from around £300.00 GBP for Western Europe to around £1,500.00 GBP for the USA.)
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Colossus webpage here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/colossus
Watch Analogue Solutions’ aspirational and awe-inspiring trailer video for Colossus here: https://youtu.be/yp4Y3s9KJiY
See and hear Colossus in action while watching Analogue Solutions’ suggested video playlist from here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLq-KgzIcyyGFGY42EzrTWHsm2OO-8zIL9&v=Doa_O_FiZEY&feature=emb_logo 

IK multimedia UNO PRO synths announced

New paraphonic dual-filter analog synthesizers elevate the UNO lineto new levels of sound design, flexibility and connectivity

UNO Synth Pro - Image

January 13, 2021 – IK Multimedia announces UNO Synth Pro and UNO Synth Pro Desktop. Developed in collaboration with Italian boutique synth-maker Soundmachines, both these new analog synthesizers take the groundbreaking UNO Synth monophonic synth and expand it in nearly every section: more oscillators, more filters, more sequencer memory, more effects, more presets, more connections and more programmability. UNO Synth Pro puts this amazing new sound engine in a rugged metal chassis with a 37-key synth-action Fatar keybed, while UNO Synth Pro Desktop provides a more portable form factor to travel anywhere.

Uno pro $649

The UNO Synth Pro’s unique dual-filter, 3-oscillator paraphonic design lets it create nearly any synth sound imaginable, and with 256 presets, a new 64-step sequencer and expanded CV/Gate and audio connections, users will quickly find it’s the ideal creation station for any outboard rig.

Huge, real analog sound
Three analog oscillators offer continuously variable waveshape, including pulse-width modulation. Oscillators can be hard-synced for more harmonically-complex tones, and oscillator FM (frequency modulation) lets users shape everything from bell-like sounds to screaming industrial tones. UNO Synth Pro even includes ring modulation for wobbly, sci-fi sound, and a white noise generator for a wide range of percussive sounds and epic rises.

Uno synth pro desktop $399

Dual-filter design with 24 available modes
In addition to the original UNO Synth’s 2-pole OTA multimode filter, UNO Synth Pro adds a new SSI 2/4-pole LP filter with self-oscillation. The dual filters can be used in series or parallel, with invertible phase, for a total of 24 possible filter modes. This unique design offers nearly limitless tonal possibilities, from recreating classic vintage sounds or forging completely new, experimental sounds.

Massive sonic flexibility
UNO Synth Pro offers two full ADSR envelopes, one dedicated to the filter and the other to amplitude, with both available as sources to modulate everything from oscillator pitch and waveshape to LFO speed or even other envelope stages. Two LFOs (low-frequency oscillators) can create classic synth vibrato, wah and tremolo as well as do more complex modulations including audio range FM.

A 16-slot modulation matrix makes routing all these a breeze. Users can quickly and easily design even the most sophisticated modulation scheme, with both internal and external sources, including MIDI controllers.

Deep onboard effects
UNO Synth Pro offers four effect blocks: an analog overdrive circuit from the original UNO Synth, plus three new, custom-designed digital effects: modulation, delay and reverb. External signals can also be routed through these effects, with pre-effects filtering for added flexibility.

Improved playability
UNO Synth Pro offers a premium 37-key synth action keybed made in Italy by Fatar, while UNO Synth Pro Desktop provides an enhanced version of the original’s long-lasting capacitance-sensing keys along with pitch and mod strips for enhanced expression. Both units add firm-touch rubber pads for the control sections, plus LED-backlit indicators and an LED display for key information, making it easier than ever to use live on stage or in deep programming sessions in the studio.

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  1. First-class analog sound
  2. Dual state variable filters
  3. Discrete morphing oscillators
  4. PWM, sync, FM and ring modulation
  5. Song mode
  6. 64-step sequencer
  7. 10-mode arpeggiator
  8. 12 studio-quality effects
  9. Analog drive
  10. Monophonic or 3-note paraphonic operation
  11. 256 user-editable presets
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  1. Power supply included. Desktop model powered by via USB or power bank
  2. USB MIDI and firmware update
  3. Programmable CV/Gate input/output
  4. Audio input to filters, FX or pass-through
  5. Balanced stereo outputs
  6. 5-pin MIDI DIN input/output and Soft Thru

Powerful presets, sequencer and arpeggiator
UNO Synth Pro offers 256 user-editable presets, each capturing the full state of the sound engine from oscillators to effects. An onboard 64-step sequencer offers both step and real-time recording, with automation of over 80 parameters, letting users create incredibly intricate and evolving soundscapes, and even write CV and gate automation.

And a 10-mode arpeggiator makes it easy to create intricate patterns and runs, while a new “chord mode” takes advantage of UNO Synth Pro’s paraphonic design, opening the door to triads and chord work.

Advanced connectivity
UNO Synth Pro offers two noiseless, balanced stereo outputs as well as headphone out, for superior audio quality in any situation. USB and 5-pin DIN MIDI In and Out make it easy to integrate with other synths, Mac/PC and mobile devices, and its assignable CV/Gate connections lets UNO Synth Pro interact effortlessly with a Eurorack or other modular system.

And now, an audio input allows access to the filter and FX section for external signals, in addition to the original pass-through for daisy-chaining multiple units together without using a mixer.

Options, pricing and availability
UNO Synth Pro and UNO Synth Pro Desktop will be arriving in Q1 2021 and are currently available for pre-order from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for $/€649.99* and $/€399.99 respectively.

Modal announces new Cobalt8 8 voice virtual analog synthesizer

Bristol, UK: leading British synthesiser manufacturer Modal Electronics is proud to announce availability of COBALT8 — an immensely powerful, eight-voice extended VA (Virtual-Analogue) synthesiser that brings traditional and entirely new analogue-style sound textures to modern music creation and production as an innovative, sophisticated synthesis concept comprising two oscillator groups with selectable algorithms in self-contained elements enabling multiple oscillator modulations, an all-new 4-pole morphable ladder filter with switchable configurations, an unparalleled modulation engine, and much more besides, extending far beyond the limits of its analogue forefathers — as of October 29…
Creatively kickstarting a new synthesiser series by building on the tradition of warm and punchy analogue-style synth sounds seeded by bygone legendary synthesisers, COBALT8 creatively unlocks the full potential of analogue waveforms with up to 64 high-resolution VA oscillators with extended drift — up to eight for each of its eight true polyphonic voices. The two independent and self-contained Osc (oscillator) groups include sine, pulse, triangle, and sawtooth waveforms alongside 34 unique algorithms allowing for complex analogue synthesis techniques, built-in cross-modulation (sync, ring modulation, and more), PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), smooth morphing between VA waves, bit crushing, and filtered noise — unlike any other VA synthesiser before it, increasing creative options for new-generation synth sounds. Speaking of which, Algorithm1 and Algorithm2 each have an associated simple-to- use pair of controls — A1 and B1, A2 and B2 — chosen to suit the particular algorithm or character, providing musicians with the power of traditionally complex oscillator modulations or processes spontaneously.
But beyond COBALT8’s innovative oscillator engine an all-new 4-pole morphable ladder Filter — with Cutoff (frequency), Res (resonance), and Morph controls — has been added by Modal Electronics to inject more warmth and bite into the creative proceedings. Put it this way: with four switchable filter modes to play with, getting creative with the Notch filter or forming unusual synth textures with the Phasor, for instance, is only part of the story since two different characteristics are also available to instil a more subtle behaviour or process the sound with sheer raw power.
Pushing onwards and upwards to tap into its unparalleled Mod (modulation) engine, COBALT8’s three dedicated envelope generators for filter (FEG), amplitude (AEG), and modulation (MEG) are all accessible independently or simultaneously, with negative (reverse) versions for the modulation and filter envelopes, enabling extensive control over dynamics and expression. Switchable envelope types provide greater options for tailoring them to suit specific sound purposes. The three — two polyphonic — audio-rate LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) can be routed to a multitude of destinations using the sophisticated modulation matrix with eight assignable modulation slots and four additional fixed modulation routings with 12 modulation sources and 55 modulation destinations, duly supporting easy assignments of complex routings to keep the sound evolving.


Elsewhere, the integrated 512-note realtime/step sequencer (Seq) features four powerful animation lanes — Anim1, Anim2, Anim3, and Amin4, letting users compose and create complex melodic patterns with ease. Indeed, its polyphonic 64-note step mode (with eight notes per step) enables easy step input for note and animation values. Meanwhile, multiple sequencer trigger modes coupled with the powerful onboard arpeggiator (Arp) — programmable up to 32 steps with rest capability (and up to 2,048 steps before repeating) — alongside other fanciful features (such as chord hold, inversions, transpose, sustain, and latch) all serve to further enhance COBALT8 playability.


Performance-wise, professional keyboard players will, of course, cherish COBALT8’s rugged, road-ready steel and aluminium chassis and premium FATAR TP/9S 37-note full-size key bed. Better still, the velocity-sensitive keys themselves support aftertouch and deliver smooth action with which to express powerful performances, while COBALT8 itself supports MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) for next-generation expressive creativity. COBALT8’s 29 endless encoders (enabling realtime CC), 24 buttons, and a virtually ‘lockable’ four-axis joystick (assignable to a wide range of modulation destinations) provide direct tactile control over all crucial parameters for instant sound adjustments and changes, ably aided by a large 1.54-inch OLED display for instant visual feedback at all times. And all attractively presented in a compact — 55.5 cm/21.9” (L) x 30 cm/11.8” (W) x 10 cm/3.9” — form factor, flexibility and portability guaranteed. Glide/portamento (with both legato and staccato mode), and multiple — Mono, Poly, Unison (2, 4, and 8), and Stack (2 and 4) — keyboard modes are also at hand, as is stereo Width voice control.
Readily reshaping sounds is also achievable using COBALT8’s three phenomenally powerful, independent, and user- configurable DSP-driven effects engines (FX1, FX2, and FX3), in-depth programming provided. Polish to suit with 11 available algorithms adding character and depth — namely, Chorus, Flanger (Pos), Flanger (Neg), LoFi, Ping-Pong Delay, Phaser, Reverb, Rotary, Stereo Delay, Tremolo, and X-Over Delay.
COBALT8’s capacity for storing patches, sequences, and effects creations is outstanding. Out of the box, 300 of the total 500 patches are filled with factory creations, carefully programmed by some of the most accomplished sound designers in the world, with eight ‘Quick Recall’ slots always accessible from the front panel for fast loading of favourite patches. Performance enhancements continue with 100 sequences that can be linked to any patch for fast loading of arrangements alongside 100 customised effects configurations.
Thanks to two (Right and Left Mono) unbalanced 6.3 mm (1/4”) TS audio outputs, a 6.3 mm (1/4”) stereo Headphones output, a 3.5 mm (1/8”) stereo Audio In (with an ability to route incoming audio through the effects), 6.3 mm (1/4”) Expression and Sustain pedal connections, 3.5 mm (1/8”) analogue clock Sync In and Sync Out connections (configured to the Teenage Engineering/Korg specification), MIDI In and MIDI Out DIN connections, and also a class-compliant USB MIDI connection to a host tablet or computer, COBALT8 is a perfect fit for any live performance or studio setup.
Saying that, the free MODALapp brings the comfort of screen-based editing on a computer or mobile device to COBALT8 (and all other Modal Electronics hardware). Available as a standalone app for macOS (10.10 or above), Windows (8 or above), iOS (12 or above), iPadOS (13 or above), and Android (6 or above), and also in VST3/AU macOS (10.10 or above) and VST3 Windows (8 or above) plug-in formats for keeping users in the flow while producing music with any compatible DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software, it is the perfect companion for synth enthusiasts looking to dive deep into all sound forming and performance parameters to create their own signature sounds, and to backup and manage patches and sequences.
Musically meeting the requirements of next-generation electronic musicians, synth aficionados, and producers alike, COBALT8 is, indeed, an immensely powerful, eight-voice extended VA synthesiser with which Modal Electronics has creatively kickstarted a new synthesiser series.

COBALT8 will soon be shipping and available through selected Modal Electronics dealers worldwide in November 2020 with an RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of £579.99 GBP (including VAT), MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of €649.99 EUR (including 20% VAT), and a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $749.99 USD.

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

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