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

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

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


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

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

Waldorf announces Iridium 16 voice digital desktop synth

REMAGEN, GERMANY: having opened eyes and ears when introducing its forward-looking flagship Quantum Synthesizer keyboard to widespread critical acclaim in 2018, Waldorf Music is proud to introduce its Iridium Synthesizer ‘sibling’ — sharing futuristic functionality and advanced tonality and applying those traits with welcomed added extras to a compact desktop form factor living up to the high-quality synthesizer developer’s demanding design standards — as of June 12…

Following in the Quantum Synthesizer’s trailblazing footsteps, the Iridium Synthesizer features a generous high-resolution multitouch display working — with haptic help — in perfect harmony with an adroitly arranged control panel positioning all functions for speedy operation. Noticeably new to the demonstrably differentIridium Synthesizer is its integrated 4 x 4 pad matrix, used to call up sequences, chords, scales, and arpeggios. A quick glance under the hood, however, reveals that the Iridium Synthesizer still shares the same selectable sound generation processes per oscillator (OSC 1OSC 2, and OSC 3). As such, it can convincingly and comprehensively reproduce the sound spectra of the following five synthesis types: WavetableWaveformParticleResonator, and Kernels.
As a direct descendant of the legendary PPG Wave hybrid digital/analogue synthesizer series that made their mark throughout the Eighties by bringing the distinctive sound of wavetable synthesis to the musical masses, the well-known Waldorf Music marque is synonymous with top-tier wavetable sounds. Subsequently refining and expanding this sound generation process’ potential, the sound of Waldorf wavetable oscillators span subtlety to brutality — animated, digital, and diverse, yet easy to control. Classic wavetables from well-known wavetable synthesizers hailing from the PPG and Waldorf stables, spectral analysis, speech synthesis, wavetable generation from audio material, and more besides are all available to Iridium Synthesizer users when selecting Wavetable.
With early wavetable synthesizers, even, typical waveforms familiar from analogue synthesizers were always available at the end of a wavetable. Waveform selection on the Iridium Synthesizer goes far beyond this, though, by offering up to eight simultaneously selectable waveforms per oscillator, enabling infinitely dense, fat analogue-sounding tones, with detuned modes, tuneable noise, and hard sync.
2GB internal sample flash memory is available to the Iridium Synthesizer’s Particle oscillator, opening up exciting new possibilities of traditional stereo sampling with granular synthesis functionality — also available when processing a live input signal — for extensive manipulation of sample-based sounds. So the Iridium Synthesizer comes complete with 2GB sample content, while sample material can be reloaded or backed up by the user via USB drives or MicroSD Card connections.
Creativity abounds further still when selecting the Resonator sound generation process to manipulate multi-samples from the internal sample flash memory or noise via an exciter and various modulate-able spectral parameters — perfect for generating awe-inspiring animated sounds and drones, which can, for example, easily be integrated into a Eurorack modular synthesizer environment via the Iridium Synthesizer’s integrated control voltage connections (CV In1CV In2CV In3, and CV In4)… another added extra that should surely be welcomed in this day and age of anything goes!
Get this, though: thanks to its innovative implementation of six Kernal operators, the Iridium Synthesizer can capably generate familiar FM (Frequency Modulation) tones of the type that revolutionised the entire synthesizer market in the early Eighties, as well as spectacularly different-sounding ones — and all without the notorious complexity associated with those once-revolutionary early-Eighties efforts ending up so overused on numerous hit records of the time. Thankfully, the Iridium Synthesizer’s deftly-designed multitouch display supports the processing and visualisation of sonic relationships of its Kernels, considerably easing the process of creating spectacularly different-sounding tones with more than a touch of originality thrown in for good measure!
But better still, OSC 1OSC 2, and OSC 3 can each play one of those sound generators, so spectacular-sounding sound design can come quickly to Iridium Synthesizer users of all levels — before being balanced by the OSC MIX (mixer). Thereafter, the signal from the three oscillators makes its way to the DUAL FILTER section where fully stereo multi-mode filters convincingly cover all conceivable classic filter variants. Various filter modes are additionally offered by the Digital Former, such as Comb, classic Waldorf high- and band-pass, and notch filters from Waldorf Music’s Largo and Nave software synthesizers, plus PPG models, alongside signal enhancer effects, such as Drive and Bit Crusher, and more.
Moreover, an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) section with no fewer than six LFOs works with six loop-able ENVELOPES, all of which can be linked and smoothly operated within the 40-slot modulation matrix, thanks to the Iridium Synthesizer’s integrated high-resolution multitouch display.
With up to 16-voice polyphony in full stereo and an ability to overlay two sounds or play them simultaneously via the split function, the functional desktop design of Waldorf Music’s Iridium Synthesizer allows for sound design opportunities that are often out of this world with up to 7,000 patches internally saveable. Speaking of which, since Iridium Synthesizer patches are compatible with Waldorf Music’s flagship Quantum Synthesizer (running recently-released version 2.0 firmware), they can be transferred to and from the Quantum Synthesizer. Such cross-compatibility means that the Iridium Synthesizer comes complete with an extremely extensive sound set from the get-go… get going with inspirational sounds programmed by some of the best sound designers in the world, or work with the inspirational Iridium Synthesizer’s fanciful features to sound highly original, off the cuff or otherwise.
On the face of it, then, Waldorf Music has named its Iridium Synthesizer appropriately. After all, iridium dates back to the early 19th Century and the chemical element of atomic number 77 — named from the modern Latin word for rainbow (irid), since it forms compounds of various colours. Clearly, the range of sound colours available to Iridium Synthesizer users are almost limitless. Letting rip with that generous high-resolution multitouch display working — with haptic help — in perfect harmony with an adroitly arranged control panel positioning all functions for speedy operation is a joy to behold… both for eyes and ears!

4MS Ensemble Oscillator is ready to ship May 18th

A new Oscillator from 4ms seems ready to hit the streets with a ship date of May 18th.

The oscillator is the latest in a string of powerful oscillators from the Modular synth company that brought us the spectral wavetable navigator.

here is what their site has to say about it.

“The Ensemble Oscillator is a unified polyphonic voice of sixteen complex oscillators combining additive, FM, phase-distortion and wavefolding synthesis techniques in new unorthodox ways. By quantizing the oscillators to scales or series of harmonics, the Ensemble Oscillator allows you to explore the sonic boundary between musical chords and rich evolving textures. Easily create a wide variety of sounds ranging from aggregates of pure sine waves to pulsar synthesis or pristine harmonic tones and lush wide chords to rich dirty drones and rumbling glitches. Custom scales can quickly be “learned” and saved using a CV keyboard or by manually entering notes with the controls.

Features

  • 16 sine-based oscillators bound to intervals of a selected Scale
  • 30 factory-programmed, user-writeable scales organized in three groups:
    • 12TET: all notes quantized to equal temperament, repeating over octaves
    • Octave: unquantized notes, repeating over octaves
    • Free: unquantized notes, repeating over the interval between the lowest and highest note
  • A simple method to program (“Learn”) your own scales manually or with a CV/Gate keyboard
  • Three Twist phase distortion effects
  • Three Warp wave distortion effects
  • Three algorithms of Cross FM for modulating the oscillators with each other
  • Mono or stereo output with selectable panning algorithm
  • Freeze button and jack to freeze the frequency of some of the oscillators, with selectable algorithm
  • Two 1V/oct inputs: Pitch (non-quantized), and Root (quantized)
  • High-accuracy, temperature-stable, eight octave range (-2V to +6V), can be calibrated to any keyboard
  • Six bi-polar CV inputs (-5V to +5V)
  • Two gate inputs for automated Learning and Freezing
ensemble oscillator designed by Matthias Puech

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

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

The price point is $299

Electrical and Mechanical Specifications

  • 16HP Eurorack format module
  • 0.98” (25mm) maximum depth (including power cable)
  • 10-pin to 16-pin Eurorack power header
  • Power consumption
    • +12V: 114mA maximum
    • -12V: 45mA maximum
    • +5V: 0mA (not used)
  • Audio outputs
    • Frequency range: 0Hz (DC) – 20kHz
    • Typical amplitude: 10Vpp
    • Maximum amplitude: 18.5Vpp
  • 1V/oct inputs (Root and Pitch)
    • Voltage range: -2V to +6V (8 octave range)
    • Factory calibrated to 1.00V/oct
    • Per-jack user-calibration allows from 0.7V/oct to 1.3V/oct
  • CV inputs (other than 1V/oct)
    • Voltage range: -5V to +5V
  • Gate inputs
    • Trigger threshold: 2.5V
  • User memory (non-volatile)
    • Scale slots: 30
    • Shift feature settings
    • 1V/oct calibration settings

Polyend launches limited edition Black Medusa hybrid synth


OLSZTYN, POLAND: 
famed for bringing new technologies to creative musicians by building innovative and unique musical instruments, Polyend is proud to announce availability of its aptly- named Limited Edition Black Medusa — a (literally) limited-edition of the Medusa hybrid synthesizer jointly released to widespread critical acclaim in 2018 but bettered by a minimalistic front panel facelift and major firmware update at a reduced price — as of May 1…
As acknowledged by the tasteful Dreadbox & Polyend Hybrid Synthesizer ‘subtitle’ set across the Limited Edition Black Medusa’s matt black anodised aluminium front panel — perfectly matching all previous Polyend products — as part of a minimalistic graphic layout letting the Polish company’s distinctive design aesthetics mature, Medusa was originally developed in close collaboration with Greek boutique analogue synthesizers and effects manufacturer Dreadbox as a symbiosis of classic synthesis characteristics and a unique digital controller. Creatively including six oscillators — three (voltage-controlled) Analog and three Digital (with Wave Table) option — and a multimode analogue FILTER with L2 (2-pole low-pass), L4 (four-pole low-pass), and HP (one-pole high-pass) settings (based on Dreadbox’s Erebus duophonic analogue synthesizer) alongside a 64-step sequencer (inheriting the DNA of Polyend’s Seq) and an 8 x 8 grid of pressure-sensitive pads to play the synthesizer and program the sequencer was — and remains — a beautiful combination.
Changes to the Limited Edition Black Medusa extend beyond its clear-cut looks, however. Indeed, it also benefits from a major (v3.0) firmware update — also available to owners of the original Medusa for direct download (https://polyend.com/medusa_downloads/) — with the following additions: LFO random Wave (selectable via the last position); MIDI Local Off (as a MIDI configuration option) — allows Medusa’s MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) pads to be used to play an external instrument while simultaneously playing its internal synth engine using an external controller; and updated LFO(s) and ENVELOPE(s) — able to send out their native values as CC (Control Change) messages, so all synth parameters are now displayed with the assigned CC number. Note that the v3.0 firmware update also includes additional presets by Kenny Rakentine — a.k.a. Angel Dust, an abstract sound/art/drone/noise project from Pittsburgh, PA, USA — as an added bonus.
Creative collaborations and combinations continue to come into play; Polyend is teaming up with Expressive E to offer the French next-generation musical instruments manufacturer’s upcoming Carbon virtual synthesizer — soon set to become part of its MPE Collection, combining banks of exclusive sounds into a versatile suite, ready to play with any MPE-supporting instrument — to owners of the Limited Edition Black Medusa and the original Medusa for free via a download weblink on the dedicated webpage (https://polyend.com/medusa/) when available.
But better still, would-be owners of the original Medusa should surely be tempted by the Limited Edition Black Medusa’s pocket-friendlier price of €699 EUR/$799 USD — all the more so as an even more potent proposition when bundled with Poly 2 (https://polyend.com/poly2-midi-to-cv-converter/), Polyend’s polyphonic MIDI-to-CV Eurorack module boasting a multitude of connectivity options to play nicely with all manner of sequencers, DAWs, keyboards, apps, and more! 

The Limited Edition Black Medusa comes complete with an alternative set of coloured knobs (with which users can optionally replace the standard black ones as an added visual aid), and is available to purchase through Polyend’s growing global network of authorised dealers (https://polyend.com/where-to-buy/) at an MSRP of 699 EUR/$799 USD. Or order online directly from Polyend itself via the dedicated webpage (https://polyend.com/medusa/), which also includes more in-depth information. 




Erica synths preorder for syntrx analog synthesizer now open!

Erica Synths Opens Pre-Ordering for SYNTRX analog synthesizerCollaboration between Erica Synths and engineers from Riga Technical University results in a new kind of user interface that inspires users to explore the sonic universeRiga, Latvia, February 20, 2020 — Erica Synths announces that it has opened pre-ordering for its new SYNTRX all analog synthesizer.  SYNTRX, which features three highly accurate VCOs and a inspiring new digitally controlled analog patch/mixer matrix, will begin shipping to customers in April on a first-come, first served basis. Since the very beginning of the company, Erica Synths has promoted experimental electronic music, developing instruments that enable musicians to unleash their creativity. When it comes to standalone instruments, one of most encouraging instruments in experimental music was the Synthi AKS. In the spirit of innovative collaboration, Erica Synths teamed up with engineers from Riga Technical University to develop a synthesizer with a user interface that challenges conventional wisdom in a sound design. The result is an instrument that will inspire users to explore the sonic universe and travel to previously undiscovered audible realms. SYNTRX is an all analog synthesizer developed from scratch. Following are features and specifications: 3 highly accurate VCOs that track great over 8 octavesOctave switch for the VCO1Sync option for the VCO2Noise generator with “color” filterResonant VCFRing modulatorSpring reverbASR/AD looping envelope generatorJoystick controllerInput amplifier with adjustable gain3 VCAsSample & Hold circuit with an individual clockOutput signal filterMechanical CV/audio signal level indicatorMIDI In and MIDI ThruBuilt in speakersDimensions: 309mm x 457mm x 115mm (with the joystick in centre position)Weight: 4.05 kg
Erica Synths will make a user manual available on April 25th. To learn more about pre-orders on SYNTRX, which is priced at € 2,500.00, please visit the Erica Synths product page

ABOUT ERICA SYNTHS
Erica Synths team of visionaries, engineers and musicians have been working hard to bring you modules and instruments that will set your modular system apart from mass in terms of how it sounds, looks and functions

Rossum Electro-music Assimil8or updates to v2.0

Rossum Electro-Music has announced the release of Software Version 2.0 for their Assimil8or Phase Modulation Sampler Eurorack module.
Designed to provide a powerful, flexible sampling engine for modular synthesis, the Assimil8or Multi-Timbral Phase Modulation Sampler module is the latest incarnation of Dave Rossum’s decades-long pioneering of affordable professional sampling technology. Assimil8or 2.0 software brings a host powerful new features and major workflow enhancements. Taken together, they result in Assimil8or’s evolution into an even more powerful and easy-to-use sampling module. 
Assimil8or 2.0 software is a free download for current Assimil8or owners. It can be downloaded at http://www.rossum-electro.com/products/assimil8or.

Key new Assimil8or 2.0 features includeNew Sound-on-Sound sampling modes: (100% feedback for limitless layering and -3dB feedback for gradual decaying).
Explode Sample (at both the channel and zone level) to divide a sample into 2 to 8 equal regions and automatically assign them to sequential channels or zones.
Chop Sample: Similar to Explode sample, but uses transients to determine the chop points.
CV Control of Mix Levels: The ability to voltage control a channel’s level in the mix output without affecting its individual output. There are two control modes: Normal for regular modulation, and Fader for mix control.
New Zone Selection types:
– Advance – Each new trigger causes the next zone in numerical order to be selected.
– Random – Each new trigger causes a random zone in numerical order to be selected.
NewZone Voltage Balancing Options: 5V, 10V, Chromatic Keyboard, and Major Scale
Zone Lock to temporarily lock a single zone for auditioning and editing
Manual and Auto-Audition of card WAV files to streamline import operations.
Gate Delay to compensate for sequencer gate/trigger/CV timing anomalies.
Stereo Awareness: Graphic interface and editor improvements to make working with stereo channel pairs virtually automatic.
Preset Selection via CV: The ability to use assignable CV inputs to step forward and backward through a folder’s preset list.
Zone handling and editing improvements, especially with stereo samples
Variable horizontal zoom on the Sample Start/End Page and Loop Start/Length/End Page.
Sync Editing of sample and loop points (i.e, simultaneously set identical Loop Start and Sample Start or Loop End/Length and Sample End points).
Selection of Sampling Destination Channel by pressing and holding the Sampling Setup button and then one of the eight channel buttons.
New Sampling Setup Zone Destination parameter ”Empty Zone” assigns the new sample to the next empty zone on the destination channel.
Load Folder Warning: The option to trigger a warning popup when loading a new folder to help avoid accidental overwriting of unsaved preset edits. 
The ability to cancel a folder load in progress.
Sampling Pre-roll of 10 msec (to avoid the possibility of cutting off the very beginning of a sample) 
Data Compatibility: Assimil8or V2.0 data is fully forward and backward compatible with Assimil8or V1.XX. (With the exception that the new zone selection types, if used, will load into V1.XX as type “Continuous’).
More Assimil8or information can be found at the Rossum Electro-Music web site: http://www.rossum-electro.com/products/assimil8or