Impulse command from analog solutions announced


Analogue Solutions ships compact true stereo analogue monosynth/sonic realiser as perfectly-packaged desktop device


KINGSWINFORD, UK: British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce availability of Impulse Command — creatively crafting a true stereo, semi-modular analogue monosynth/sonic realiser, replete with fanciful features likeDUAL DYNAMIC ANALOGUE OSCILLATORSDUAL ANALOGUE FILTERS; stereo digital EFFECTS; 16-step MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER and STEP SEQ (with radical REORDER!function); and more, meaning it can conceivably sound like several simultaneously-playing synthesizers as a perfectly-packaged desktop device — as of April 2…
As is, indeed, the case with all Analogue Solutions’ innovative instruments,Impulse Command is a ‘real’ analogue affair… as in its audio signal path — post effects apart — and all modulation routings really are analogue through and through. The chosen company name gives the genuine game away. After all,Analogue Solutions’ circuitry capitalises on superlative-sounding designs dating back to the Seventies, so no quantisation for CPU (Central Processing Unit) reading required. The VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators), VCFs (Voltage Controlled Filters), EGs (Envelope Generators), and LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) are all truly analogue in the Seventies sense of the word, with transistors, op-amps, and resistors. Reality dictates, therefore, that — apart from the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) conversion, sequencer control, and digital delay/reverb essential elements — Impulse Command is reallyanalogue. As such, sound benefits become apparent as soon as anyone feasts their ears on the remarkable result. Is it any wonder, then, that there is so much favourable commentary about how good Analogue Solutions’ synthesizers sound!
So potential purchasers can clearly take it as ‘red’ — pun intended, given its eye-catching colour scheme! — that Impulse Command sounds as good as analogue gets. Given that Impulse Command is designed by Analogue Solutions founderTom Carpenter, this surely shouldn’t come as as surprise. 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 current creation clearly wasn’t the result of engineering design decisions driven by a steering committee of men (or women) in suits, compulsorily constrained to maximise profit for faceless shareholders. Far from it, in fact. Fortunately for all, the fanciful features available and resultant range of tones they can capably produce have all been carefully thought through to impart Impulse Commandwith what’s required to speedily bring about a wide range of sounds that true analogue admirers could conceivably call for — from huge basses, synth leads, percussion, and effects through to modular system-like stylings.
So what makes this superlative-sounding, Seventies-inspired innovative instrument truly tick? The subtractive synthesis signal path in Impulse Command creatively gets going with two VCOs, producing the raw audio sound source for later processing. Providing a wealth of features and modulation choices in and of themselves, VCO1 boasts a white noise generator alongside sawtooth and triangle waveforms, while VCO2 DETUNE does just that — detuning VCO2 to thicken up the resulting synth sound. Thereafter, things start to take a turn towards the fanciful with AMOUNT applying the amount of MIDIVEL (velocity) or EG2 signal that will be applied to modulate VCO2’s volume, selected via a toggle switch, while I.L. manually sets the initial level of VCO2volume, and allows that level to be dynamically controlled when set to zero; speaking of oscillators, the VELOCITY control sets the amount of MIDI velocity that will be applied to the square wave-equipped SUB (sub-oscillator) volume, while I.L. manually sets the initial level of SUB volume, so also allows that level to be dynamically controlled when set to zero — hence the DUAL DYNAMIC ANALOGUE OSCILLATORS wording boldly blazoned across Impulse Command’s easy-to-follow front panel!
Pitch modulation, meanwhile, such as vibrato or a pitch sweep, can be obtained by patching with cables using the mini-jack sockets sited along the top of the front panel. Put it this way: while Impulse Command is mostly pre-patched, it has such a wide range of modulation routing possibilities that it is almost as versatile as a full modular system and is capable of producing the same types of sounds — albeit without the mess and confusion of cables. It does, however, have a sizeable selection of patch sockets that allow adventurous users to re-patch it or connect it to an external modular system.
So what about that DUAL ANALOGUE FILTERING wording? Well, as implied,Impulse Command comes complete with two CEM chip-style filters — the same type as those used in classic synths such as the Elka Synthex, Fairlight CMI, Oberheim OB8, and Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, to name but a notable few. Despite sharing the same core circuitry as those vintage classics, Impulse Command is imbued with its own sonic character, rather than simply sounding like them. Many of the controls are duplicated for each of those 24dB/octave filters. The upper VCF is called VCF-L (left) and the signal — following its own dedicated VCA — is routed to the left output jack. It stands to reason, then, that the lower VCF is called VCF-R (right) and the signal — following its own dedicated VCA — is routed to the right output jack. Commonly, CUTOFF sets the master frequency cutoff for both filters, while PEAK sets the resonance/feedback level of both filters. Further left field, perhaps, VCF-R DETUNE offsets the second filter’s frequency cutoff, while VELOCITY sets the amount of MIDI velocity that will modulate the cutoff of both filters, andAGGRO adds cross modulation from VCO2 to the filter CUTOFF, creating a more edgy sound — increasing PEAK to higher levels emphasises this effect. Elsewhere, there are no fewer than four modulation sources — namely, EG1, EG2, LFO1, and LFO2, while LEVEL sets the level of modulation applied to the filter CUTOFF. Creatively, MOD INVERT inverts the modulation for VCF-L, which, as an example, enables pseudo-auto-pan effects. External sound sources, such as vocals, guitars, mixer sends, and samplers, etc, can be sent through the filters for further treatment by simply plugging the sound source into the rearside IN (input) socket. All in all, a flexible filtering section that belies this relatively diminutive desktop device’s space-saving (322 x 270mm) footprint.
Following on from filtering, Impulse Command’s signal path arrives at two separate analogue ADSR envelopes. EG2 is hardwired to control the VCAs that follow the VCFs, but both EGs are available for modulation of various circuits and have trigger and signal output jacks for further patching.
Processing plays a part in Impulse Command’s musical makeup. Primarily designed as a powerful analogue synthesizer, some essential effects — bit crush, delay, flanger, and reverb — have been included to give the resulting sound some ambience. The latter three effects can even be modulated to a degree by the STEP SEQ (sequencer), so they can be dynamically controlled! Control-wise, turning EFFECT selects the eight presets, while ASPECT1 and ASPECT2 are used to make some adjustments to the sound space preset selected. Sequencing is where the sounding-like-several-synthesizers-simultaneously-playing-Impulse Command can come into its own like no other, though. There are two sequencers — an analogue STEP SEQ (that produces voltages) and a MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER (that produces MIDI note loops). Both are clocked from the same signal source, selected using the SEQUENCER SYNCHRO switch, though theMIDI LOOP SEQUENCER can be independently stopped and started. As implied by name, the MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER is used to record melodic loops and will always run in time with the analogue STEP SEQ, which is primarily used for modulation. But both benefit from the radical REORDER! function that affects the sequencer stepping order — forwards, backwards, and all sorts of strange yet wonderful variations! It’s a lot like life, even.
Ending on a high note, Tom Carpenter concludes — somewhat thoughtfully — thus: “This synth is a journey of discovery. You’ll take the occasional wrong turn, but you’ll also make many exhilarating turns, and each destination will be nirvana-like. Life is all about the journey. So experience and play.” 

Impulse Command is now available for purchase — priced at an RRP of £849.00 GBP (ex. VAT)/1,179.00 EUR (inc. tax)/ $1,199.00 USD (inc. tax) — through Analogue Solutions’ growing global network of authorised dealers (http://www.analoguesolutions.com/dealers/) or order online directly from Analogue Solutions via the dedicated Impulse Command webpage (http://www.analoguesolutions.com/impulse-command), which also includes more in-depth information.

Watch Analogue Solutions’ introductory Impulse Command video here:https://youtu.be/3vW6NXIwOy0 

Synclavier goes ios!


Synclavier Digital delves into iconic past to bring seminal Synclavier® II sound engine back to the future as awe-inspiring iOS apps


NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA: having turned heads and opened ears with a show-stopping showcase at The 2019 NAMM Show in Southern California, January 24-27, newly-formedSynclavier Digital is proud to announce availability ofSynclavier Go! and Synclavier Pocket! — placing a re-creation of the seminal Synclavier® II Digital Synthesizer’s sound engine from which they take their names into the respective hands of iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch owners as awe-inspiring iOS apps, allowing all the famed FM (Frequency Modulation) and Additive (harmonic) synthesis capabilities to be brought forward forty years for all to musically marvel, at a fraction of the original’s prohibitive pricing thanks to today’s technology, while also effectively emulating the iconic instrument’s intuitive panels of easy-to-touch red backlit buttons and iconic control knob in easy-to-use user interfaces — as of March 5…
Put it this way: while the still-highly-coveted brand of Synclavier® — synonymous with high-end audio production technology that blazed a trail through the Seventies and Eighties before stalling in the Nineties — is in the midst of a galactic reboot, thanks to Nova Scotia-registered Canadian Corporation Synclavier Digital, established in 2018 to re-create a modern iOS-based version of the Synclavier® Digital Audio System, Synclavier Go!, its inaugural iPad offering, is far from being a clone, however… to all intents and purposes, it is a Synclavier®!
So how, exactly, did yesteryear’s trailblazing technology that commanded a princely six-figure sum end up available on Apple’s pocket-friendly iOS platform in true needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few style? Simply speaking, when New England Digital (NED) went bankrupt in the Nineties, technology finally having caught up with the cutting-edge company concerned, co-founder Cameron Jones — co-inventor of the Synclavier® — bought the intellectual propriety rights to the trailblazing series of synthesizers and digital audio systems sharing the notable name. 
Having held on to those rights and trademarks, Cameron Jones subsequently relocated to Cape Breton, Canada, keeping a comparatively small number of devoted Synclavier® owners happy with minor maintenance and upgrades in the intervening years, before being approached by French music software and hardware developer Arturia about the possibility of a VST (Virtual Studio Technology) instrument for its V Collection of authentic-sounding virtual instruments. Convinced that the time was right, he subsequently spent many long days porting the existing code and firmware for the seminal Synclavier® II DSP (Digital Signal Processing) engine to C Code capable of running on Windows and MacOS. Moreover, side-by-side testing was carried out with original equipment to ensure the systems sounded identical. Arturia’s Synclavier V was released in its own right to widespread critical acclaim in May 2016. People palpably put those striking Synclavier® sounds on a pedestal — not necessarily nostalgia-driven, but rather because they had stood the test of time. The DSP engine involved is clearly capable of producing phenomenal digital FM and Additive synthesis sounds like no other; on the face of it, Arturia had helpfully proved that there was a healthy market to be tapped.
That said, though the Synclavier V’s GUI (Graphical User Interface) worked well for a mouse-driven VST instrument, it remained removed from the tactile experience enjoyed by users when working with the Synclavier® II Digital Synthesizer. After all, the original instrument’s intuitive panels of easy-to-touch red backlit buttons and iconic control knob are the real reason why the Synclavier® was tailor-made for speedy sound and music-making. Whereas the computer GUI seemed to be placing an additional barrier between being creative and the machine itself. Indeed, upon discussing this very issue with a group of techie friends at a Cape Breton bar, the penny dropped for Cameron Jones… NED had always been about creating the very best devices — not only world-class synthesizers, but also world-class interfaces. Therefore, those intuitive panels were tantamount to a touchscreen way before touchscreen technology had been invented, since users could slide a finger across several buttons at once to activate them, while receiving instant feedback as they lit up accordingly.
According to 20-year software veteran Craig Phillips, a friend from the aforesaid techie group, it was clear that the aim of creating easy-to-use interfaces so users could creatively focus their efforts on sound was part ofCameron Jones’ DNA, so should surely be central to any new products that could well be on the cards. Consequently, Cameron Jones formed a new company called Synclavier Digital Corporation Limited, working with Craig Phillips to pursue next-generation Synclavier creation… cue Synclavier Go!and Synclavier Pocket!
Synclavier Go! is an authentic re-creation of the Synclavier® II’s FM Digital Additive synthesizer for Apple’s ubiquitous iPad, so its users can take their sound design studio anywhere. As a pedagogical tool it includes an inbuilt tour that describes how all of the features work on a panel by panel basis. Better still, the intuitive touchscreen is a joy to use. Ultimately, transforming simple sine waves into grungy brass attacks, swishy FM chimes, or charismatic string sounds has never been easier. The original Synclavier’s signature combination of FM and Additive synthesis capabilities that really represented its industry-shaking calling card are all present and correct here, housed in the same red-button-driven panels, only this time those panels can effectively be flipped for rear-side functions. Fortunately, there’s no need to buy more memory modules for more voices — super-efficient DSP code, coupled with the modern processing power of an iPad, means that voices are now theoretically limitless! Luckily, all of the ear-opening original FM and Additive synthesis Timbres(presets)— over 900 of them — are included in Synclavier Go!’s generous preset library with every conceivable parameter being user-tweak-able.Synclavier Go! supports 12 Partials, allowing users to layer luscious sounds with unlimited Frames, so sounds can evolve over time. Those adventurous users who end up creating something that they like the sound of can simply save it to one of their custom libraries.
Last but not least, Synclavier Pocket! is effectively a pocket-sized version ofSynclavier Go! — as implied by name. Needless to say, Synclavier Digital is collectively keen to train a new generation of synthesists in the creative art of sound design, which is why this iPhone-based Synclavier is free. Synclavier Pocket! has the same panels and tour information as its bigger brother, but users cannot save their own Timbres in a custom library — unless opting for the in-app purchase that enables this. That said, it is still possible to listen to the sounds from the original System Disk, as well as two additional authentic libraries. By offering an entry-level Synclavier® on the iPhone (or iPod Touch) for free, Synclavier Digital is maximising the chances of creating the next Suzanne Ciani, Mark Knopfler, Sting, or Frank Zappa, to name but a few die-hard Synclavier® II owners.
Who better to provide a fitting conclusion to this lengthy musical journey, then, than Cameron Jones himself. “Forty years ago, Sydney Alonso and I invented a musical instrument that revolutionised the music industry,” he begins, before adding: “Artists of Frank Zappa’s generation spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studio equipment to help them realise their musical ideas. Today we are witnessing another landmark in the release of iOS versions of the much-loved, much-coveted hardware. What happens when anyone with a modest budget can buy a Synclavier? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out what the new breed of creative people do with our invention.” 

Synclavier Go! can be purchased and directly downloaded from the App Store priced at Tier 30 (US $29.99, UK £28.99, EC 32.99, CN ¥198.00, JP ¥3,600.00) from here: bit.ly/synclaviergo

Synclavier Go! supports three libraries of authentic Synclavier® sounds; 12 Partials; theoretically unlimited voices — depending on iPad processing speed; MIDI — 16 input tracks; Audiobus; IAA (Inter-app audio); IDA (Inter-device audio), allowing DAW interoperability; Ableton Link; audio out — up two 24-bit stereo at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz — tracks mixed — through headphone jack/lightning or USB; built-in three-octave touch keyboard; Repeat, Arpeggiate, and Portamento (legato) functions can be set per timbre; supports Polyphonic and Monophonic modes with Retriggering settings… for more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Synclavier Go! webpage here: https://www.synclavier.com/synclaviergo/
Synclavier Pocket! can be directly downloaded for free from the App Store — but requires an in-app purchase called Timbre Design Pro to save Timbres, priced at Tier 5 (US $4.99, UK £4.99, EC 5.49, CN ¥30.00, JP ¥600.00) — from here: bit.ly/synpocket
Synclavier Pocket! supports three ‘Disks’ of authentic Synclavier® sounds; up to four Partial Timbres; theoretically unlimited voices — depending on iPhone/iPod Touch processing speed; mono-timbral MIDI in — for keyboard, pitch bend wheel, and other interfaces; Audiobus and Ableton Link support; audio out — up two 24-bit stereo at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz — tracks mixed — through headphone jack/lightning or USB; built-in two- octave touch keyboard… for more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Synclavier Pocket! webpage here: https://www.synclavier.com/synclavierpocket/


Moog announces Sirin synthesizer

MOOG MUSIC DEBUTS LIMITED EDITION SYNTHESIZER AT LA POP UP
Sound has the power to evoke feelings and images, translating energy from one level of reality to another. Musical experience brings us into contact with these transpersonal realities through the intelligent organization of sound waves. Artistry is in fact the art of translation.ABOUT SIRIN
Sirin is a limited-edition synthesizer module created in celebration of the Moog House of Electronicus Pop-up experience. Based on the legendary Moog Taurus sound engine, and presented in the familiar compact form of the Moog Minitaur–Sirin is the first instrument in Moog’s Taurus family of bass synthesizers designed to generate pitches far above above middle C, with an extended frequency range that reaches notes up to D8. Connect Sirin directly to any MIDI-note controller and immediately access a portable world of powerful analog sound, or hook up to a computer via USB to explore even deeper layers of sound design, where every parameter can be manipulated, automated, and recalled using Sirin’s dedicated Editor Librarian Software (free download for PC and Mac).Secured in a brushed stainless steel enclosure with a retro-inspired color palette, Sirin is an intoxicating conjuror of both quintessential leads and menacing Moog bass. Sirin’s fully-recallable analog sound engine originates with two analog Taurus Bass oscillators that have been re-engineered to soar octaves beyond the traditional boundaries of its mythical ancestors. Sirin’s harmonic transmissions are dynamically shaped and sculpted by a classic Moog Ladder filter operating in consummate harmony with two lightning-fast ADSR envelopes and a multi-wave LFO, offering a wide spectrum of expressive timbral variety and versatility.Sirin integrates seamlessly with modern computer-based production environments via its dedicated Editor Librarian software (available as a free download for registered Sirin owners)–manage patches, automate parameters, unlock 6 additional LFO waveforms, engage Hard Sync, load up to 128 presets into Sirin, access full ADSR envelopes and more as you explore the vast magical realms of analog synthesis.A limited production run of 2500 Sirin are being produced by the employee-owners at the Moog Factory in Asheville, NC–after which no more will be available.Sirin will officially debut at the Moog House of Electronicus Pop-Up in LA’s historic Chinatown. During the week of Jan 24 – 30, Sirin will be available for purchase exclusively at www.mooghouseofelectronicus.com (US only) and on site at the Moog House Of Electronicus Pop-up (712 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 1/24/19-1/30/19), after which, the remaining synthesizers will be distributed world-wide.SIGHT & SOUND
In this video from Moog Music, Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso, Made Of Oak) explores the power of sound using Sirin and DFAM analog synthesizers. Sanborn weaves multiplexed patterns of sound waves–translating the thoughts and feelings of the collective individual into a shared musical experience.With the exception of the DFAM’s percussive analog backbeat, all sounds in this video come from Sirin. Nick Sanborn uses the free downloadable Sirin Editor Librarian software to automate and recall parameter settings as he layers multiple monophonic tracks from Sirin.Sirin is now shipping and all orders placed through the House of Electronicus website will ship within 5-7 business days of order.ABOUT THE MOOG HOUSE OF ELECTRONICUS
The Moog House of Electronicus is a synth-guided exploration of the power of sound, inspired by the Moog Island Of Electronicus; an experimental gathering that took place on the barrier island of Tierre Verde during the 1970s. After Moog missionary David Van Koevering was presented with a vision in a dream, the Island of Electronicus became manifest–a synthesized celebration of peace and love; an electronic happening designed to unite mind, body, and soul in a creative explosion of thought and feeling. Today, the Moog House Of Electronicus continues this legacy by inviting all to trust their curiosity, express their innermost selves, and share in the vast creative force of the collective individual.The Moog House of Electronicus Pop-up is open to the public daily from 12pm – 8pm, Thursday, January 24th – Wednesday, January 30th. Visitors will have the opportunity to get hands on with Moog synths (including Sirin and the new polyphonic Moog One synthesizer), as well as explore the deeper dimensions of sonic experience through interactive sculptural synthesis installations, an immersive audio visualization system, and daily synthesizer workshops led by synthesist Bana Haffar. Workshop space is limited–those in the LA area can sign up at here to reserve a space.

Vermona announces fourMative Contours eurorack module

VERMONA unleashes ultra-versatile generator for voltage curves and more as fourMative CONTOURS module
     Electronic sound tools creator VERMONA is proud to announce availability of fourMative CONTOURS — its first ‘envelope’ entry to the ever-expanding Eurorack small-format modular system world without resorting to type, far exceeding the functionality of a traditional envelope generator and typically following the company’s naming scheme for its Eurorack modules to reflect the fact that it delivers up to four single-phase envelopes that can be combined to achieve much more complex voltage-controlled curves — as of November 9…
      VERMONA makes no secret of its admiration for the classic ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) envelope generator; indeed, it is well versed in its strengths, having implemented various versions into its desktop devices over the years. Yet the company collectively decided that its first Eurorack-compatible envelope generator should not resort to type, instead rising to the challenge of realising a unique and flexible concept without compromises being made.
Mission accomplished? Actually, the prototype presented its erstwhile ecstatic creators with an unforeseen headache: how to name a module which was planned as an envelope generator but ended up exceeding expectations by so far? Fortunately for VERMONA, various proposals were supportively submitted to Twitter in response to a small survey. Settling upon fourMative CONTOURS, the company collectively felt that this does not pin down the module’s function to being that of just another envelope generator, but rather reflected its purpose while typically followingVERMONA’s Eurorack module naming scheme.
      So what warranted the fourMative CONTOURS name, and what, exactly, does this module do differently? First and foremost, fourMative CONTOURS delivers up to four single-phase envelopes that can be combined to achieve much more complex voltage- controlled curves. Therefore, the module itself features four individual channels (or units in ‘VERMONA-speak’), numbered accordingly on its front facia. Flexibly, each unit can be switched into A (attack), D(decay), or H (hold) MODE — with the attack and decay phases switchable between operating with a LIN (linear) orEXP (exponential) response SHAPE — and can be used individually or in any combination. Those tasty features alone are enough to set fourMative CONTOURS apart from the Eurorack envelope generator pack, putting it in prime position for handling many modulation tasks.
       The envelopes themselves are seriously snappy; each unit can run within a TIME range of 0.5 milliseconds through to 30 seconds, switchable between perfectly balanced fast andSLOW speed settings to ensure smooth adjustments, with the former geared towards creating crisp and percussive sounds. Saying that, that’s only half the story here, however, since those fourMative CONTOURS units are each equipped with a CV IN (control voltage input) that not only allows the times to be modulated but also extends them in both directions — down to 25 μs and up to 10,000 seconds, so if a two-hour-long envelope is needed then fourMative CONTOURS can handle it!
        Individual units can be looped or combined with other units using simple internal patching connections to create more complex envelopes. Thanks to those extended frequency ranges, fourMative CONTOURS can creatively also function as an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) or even an audio oscillator.
        On the face of it, fourMative CONTOURS clearly goes far beyond the capabilities of standard envelope generators, and anyone looking for a versatile modulation source should surely consider giving it a try. The creators themselves are quietly confident that there are many more scenarios where fourMative CONTOURS can be pressed into play, filling in some equally exotic Eurorack small- format modular system blanks, so-to-speak — not just the 24HP/3U rack space the module itself obviously occupies!
   Shipping now, fourMative CONTOURS is available to purchase through VERMONA’s growing global network of dealers (http://www.vermona.com/en/dealer/) with an RRP of €399.00 EUR (Europe) and $489.00 USD (USA).
   For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated fourMative CONTOURS webpage here: https://www.vermona.com/en/products/modules/product/fourmative-contours/

XILS-lab updates PolyM to 1.1.0

XILS-lab pushes polysynth hommage beyond the pleasure principal with welcomed PolyM 1.1.0 update additions
GRENOBLE, FRANCE: audio software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of PolyM 1.1.0 — updating its critically-acclaimed, authentic-sounding software recreation of a pioneering polyphonic analogue synthesizer manufactured between 1975 and 1980 (based on divide-down oscillator technology similar to electronic organs and string synthesizers of the time), and arguably made most famous by British ‘new waver’ Gary Numan, notably seen as well as heard when ‘driving’ over an endless ‘synthscape’ in the trailblazing promo video for his 1979 chart-topping ‘Cars’ single; someone since observed that career-defining song’s parent album, The Pleasure Principal, “…is almost an album-length advert for the Polymoog…” — with welcomed additions including a new preset manager and an ability to run as an effects plug-in, plus compatibility with Native Instruments’ Native Kontrol Standard (NKS®), as of October 2…
PolyM first put in an appearance last year, when XILS-lab clearly considered those oft-overlooked Polymoog presets to be well worth revisiting, recreating an ‘unlimited’ polyphony polysynth that was recognisably revolutionary upon its initial release and making it fit for today’s creative computer-based music-makers with a state-of-the-art software makeover. Making that happen took two years — such was the complexity of its inspirational hardware predecessor. PolyM palpably didn’t disappoint, deftly reproducing yesteryear’s divide-down technology with two TOD (Top Octave Divider) oscillators — one for the sawtooth wave and another for the square, slightly detuned for a phenomenal phasing effect (when running independently in FREE mode), yet taking the concept further forward by adding polyphonic pulse width modulation. Meanwhile, in LOCK mode, those two TOD oscillators are almost locked in phase, producing PM (Phase Modulation) instead of FM (Frequency Modulation) when the square wave oscillator is modulated in pitch. The two TODs can also be modulated — tempo-sync-able — in pitch by an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), while the square wave oscillator has it own pulse width modulation by a tempo-sync-able LFO. Alongside a distinctive envelope generator, this represents the musical heart and soul of PolyM, pushing that revolutionary polysynth sound kicking and screaming into the future!
Further features of note include: 71 emulated chips, offering mixer, VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier), envelope, 12dB filter, and pulse width modulation for each of the available notes; stunning-sounding 24dB ladder filter (using XILS-lab’s critically-acclaimed zero-delay algorithm); nine dedicated acoustic filters — STRING, PIANO, ORGAN, HARPS, FUNK, CLAV, VIBES, BRASS, and VOX — carefully recreated from the original (model 203a); RESONATORS filter bank with three parametric (6dB and 12dB) filters matching the original; three vintage — DEL. (delay), PHAS. (phaser), and REV. (reverb) — effects (with adjustable settings from within an Advanced Settings Panel alongside nine modulation slots for furthering sound design possibilities well beyond the scope of the original hardware); and more.
Today, thanks to the PolyM 1.1.0 update, there’s even more to (literally) make a song and dance about. As such, the NPM (New Preset Manager), a newly-integrated, single-window affair allowing users to easily and speedily perform different tasks with welcomed visual feedback — for example, locate and load the best fitting preset in seconds courtesy of a multi-criteria search engine, save/save as presets with (user-generated) tags, batch-tag multiple selections of presets, export/import multiple selections of presets, and select view (such as showing only favourite presets) — represents a major step in PolyM’s evolution; by that same token, those acoustic filters and RESONATORS, as well as the three vintage-sounding effects, are also available to work with other sound sources when running PolyM purely as an effects plug- in proffering plentiful possibilities for modulation; meanwhile, support for Native Instruments’ NKS® extended plug-in format for all virtual instrument developers delivers intuitive and seamless interaction with the German giant’s cutting-edge KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE hardware.
Helpfully, there are now over 300 professionally-programmed presets available as creative kickstarters in PolyM; parameters are all MIDI- controllable, combining to musically position this soft synth par excellence as an innovative instrument of its time while retaining a certain pioneering polyphonic analogue synthesizer’s coveted performance properties of the past. Put it this way: while what the deceased Austrian neurologist (and founder of psychoanalysis) Sigmund Freud would have made of this polysynth hommage is obviously open to speculation, surely the still active Gary Numan should approve… as will anyone’s bank balance by paying (comparatively) so little for so much playing pleasure. Thanks to its welcomed 1.1.0 additions, PolyM pushes beyond the pleasure principal in both senses, so anyone wishing to sonically travel back to the future should seriously consider adding it to their soft synth arsenal — all the more so at an attractive (albeit time-limited) introductory promo price representing a welcomed 40% saving. Best be quick, though — time waits for no man… or woman (or child)!
PolyM 1.1.0 is available to purchase as a USB eLicenser or iLok (1 and 2 dongle hardware or software) protected plug-in at an introductory promo price of €89.00 EUR until October 31, 2018 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of €149.00 EUR — from XILS-lab here: http://www.xils-lab.com/products/polym-p-160.html
PolyM 1.1.0 can be directly downloaded as a multi-format (AAX, AU, RTAS, VST), 32- and 64-bit soft synth and virtual effects plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.7 and later) and Windows (XP, 7, 8, 10) from here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/polym-p-160/download.html
About XILS-lab (www.xils-lab.com)
Based in Grenoble, France, XILS-lab is an audio software company, created and managed by Xavier Oudin. Having created some of the best known virtual instruments and effects plug-ins on the market for various companies over the last 20 years, today he focuses on bringing his passion for audio, instruments, and music to bear on his own company.Working with highly-skilled professional musicians and sound designers, the company collectively believes that a virtual instrument or effect is not simply a series of mind-boggling mathematical algorithms designed and scrutinised over by bookish PhD engineers but rather a useful and useable musical tool made for musicians. Moreover, XILS-lab loves to create virtual instruments and effects that inspire its users to create more imaginative music than they ever dreamed possible!

4ms announce 4MS PODS compact eurorack cases

4ms Pods are a new line of eurorack cases with an emphasis on slim design primarily for the desktop. basically it lets you treat your modules like stand alone desktop FX units which can be really great.  the sizes come in 20,26and 32 hp sizes and can come either powered or unpowered. the case power can also be daisy chained so your desk doesn’t end up being a mess of wall wart wires.  All enclosures have 1hp spaced mounting holes The powered version will come with a newly designed, daisy-chainable supply from 4ms. Standard 2.1mm connectors will enable the user to chain Pod enclosures much like the Row Power system. Plastic plugs will be used to cover these mounting holes if the user would like to supply power themselves.

Pricing (no wall wart included):

20HP: $55/$99
26HP: $60/$109
32HP: $65/$119

Dark Energy III from Doepfer announced

Doepfer harnesses dark energy for third time with effectively enhanced monophonic analogue standalone synth namesake
GRAEFELFING, GERMANY: having wowed North American audiences with a preproduction prototype at The 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, then turned heads and opened European ears with a must-see showstopper closer to home at SUPERBOOTH18 in Berlin, Germany, esteemed electronic musical device designers Doepfer Musikelektronik is proud to announce availability of the Dark Energy III Analog Synthesizer — a worthy successor to its critically-acclaimed desktop Dark Energy II monophonic analogue standalone synthesizer with wide- reaching CV (Control Voltage)/Gate, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), and USB (Universal Serial Bus) connectivity that it effectively enhances — as of July 4…
Like its Dark Energy II predecessor, released to widespread critical acclaim back in 2012, Dark Energy III is a desktop monophonic analogue standalone synthesizer with wide-reaching CV/Gate, MIDI, and USB connectivity. Continuing that intriguingly-named lineage, likewise, Dark Energy III’s sound generation and all modulation sources are 100% analogue, with only its inbuilt MIDI/USB components entering the digital arena (as is obviously necessary, naturally). Needless to say, everything is built into a rugged black metal case with wooden side plates, while high-quality potentiometers with metal shafts are used; ultimately, each potentiometer is mounted firmly to the chassis, so no wobbly shafts and knobs — unlike some cheaply-constructed competing (non-Doepfer) designs. Dark Energy III is, indeed, essentially an enhanced version of Doepfer’s desktop standalone synthesizer so central to the company’s product line for so long, but boasts several notable differences.
Notably — not least audibly, although also apparent from the front panel’s waveform Shape switch labelling, a triangle Shape waveform is now central to the VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator) core, which now no longer requires a warmup period for optimal operation over a 10-octave frequency range (with 1V/Oct tracking over at least eight octaves).
On top of that, there are now separate Reset LFO1 and Reset LFO 2 Inputs for the two resettable LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators). These sockets synchronise both LFOs to external gate signals, so when a gate signal of +5V (or higher) is applied at a socket then its positive ramp sets the corresponding LFO wave shape to zero and the LFO restarts with a rising ramp.
All analogue synthesizers use a VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier) to dynamically control loudness (or volume); Doepfer’s Dark Energy III design differs from its predecessor — and also many other analogue synthesizers — by virtue of its VCA having a linear control scale, so lends itself to scaling control voltages.
Several signal routings and functions are additionally available to any adventurous ‘Doepfer DIY’er’ willing and able to modify Dark Energy III’s front panel sockets by removing jumpers and rewiring the pin-headers for the VCO PW, Reset LFO1, Reset LFO2, and VCA Inputs. For example, the VCO PW input can be converted into a linear FM input, or LFO/ADSR signals can be used as outputs instead of one of the resettable LFO inputs. Indeed, (almost) anything is possible, including various VCO outputs (triangle, sawtooth, rectangle); VCO hard sync input; VCO soft sync input; various VCF outputs (lowpass, highpass, bandpass); various LFO outputs (triangle, rectangle); ADSR output; and two inverters with input/output (to invert any signal, such as ADSR or LFO).
Effective enhancements notwithstanding, the favoured filter found in Dark Energy II remains unchanged in Dark Energy III. Indeed, its sound- defining VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter) is centred around a 12dB multimode filter with lowpass, notch, highpass, and bandpass settings, together with a filter Mode control for continuous transition from lowpass via notch and highpass around to bandpass; its XFM (Exponential Frequency Modulation) control also has a polarization function, whereby the modulation source (LFO2 or ADSR) selected by the Source switch can affect the filter frequency with a positive or negative behaviour (by rotating rightwards or leftwards, respectively).
Meanwhile, mounting of two or more Dark Energy — original, II, and III — units is possible, with or without wooden side plates between them. Though there is still not sufficient space to accommodate a dedicated MIDI output socket on the Dark Energy III rear panel, it is still possible for those adventurous ‘Doepfer DIY’ers’ to link two or more Dark Energy — original, II, and III — units via MIDI out/MIDI in using the two pin-headers available at the supply/interface board mounted at the rear panel. (Fortunately for them, Doepfer has helpfully posted a downloadable document with additional technical information here: http://www.doepfer.de/pdf/Dark_Energy_III_technical_information.pdf.)
Put it this way: with Dark Energy III, Doepfer delivers another effective enhancement of a highly-capable monophonic analogue standalone synthesizer, continuing to make its musical mark with a compact desktop design dating back to 2010 (when wowing audiences around the world with its original Dark Energy entry).
Ending on a high note, who better to tender tasty food for thought, then, than Doepfer Musikelektronik CEO Dieter Doepfer, the esteemed electronic musical devices designer who lends his notable name to the renowned company and has been known to look beyond our world for inspiration: “Dark Energy III is not a tool for space research, neither is it suitable for studies in astrophysics. Yet, we find these topics as fascinating as music technology — reason enough to celebrate ‘Hubble & Co.’s amazing discoveries a bit and call our brand-new synthesizer Dark Energy III.”
In Germany, Dark Energy III can be ordered online from Doepfer Musikelektronic GmbH (http://www.doepfer.de/form_e.htm) or via one of its German dealers (https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/dealer-germany/) for €479.00 EUR. (An optional user-installable Glide control kit — containing a prewired potentiometer with two nuts and a Dark Energy-style rotary knob — is available for €10.00 EUR.)
Outside Germany, Dark Energy III can only be ordered from Doepfer dealers in territories listed here: https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/ (That said, residents in countries without representation can order directly from Doepfer Musikelektronic GmbH.)
For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated Dark Energy III webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/Dark_Energy_III_e.htm