Squarp Instruments introduces Hapax high-end professional standalone sequencer as authentic setup centrepiece
PARIS, FRANCE: having originally designed and released Pyramid almost a decade ago as a compact, standalone 64-track hardware sequencer packed with creative tools that its music-making creators could not commercially find available elsewhere, subsequently applying that same thinking to their Hermod followup by bringing the power of MIDI to the ever- widening Eurorack modular world while inheriting some creative elements from its Pyramid precursor, Squarp Instruments is proud to introduce Hapax — duly designed from the ground up with dual-ARM processing architecture upping the computational power ante as a high-end professional standalone sequencer in a rugged, minimalist housing that deconstructs everything that the avant-garde machines-creating company already knew about sequencing to offer everything needed to compose songs in the studio and perform them onstage as an authentic centrepiece of any setup, sequencing and synchronising vintage to modern synths and modular systems, and even DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), while maximising creativity with carefully crafted tools as the first hardware sequencer that fully supports MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) — as of March 4…
Billed by its creators as a polychronic performance sequencer since it can clearly do many things at once, Hapax’s dual-processor architecture allows it to record and transform tremendous amounts of data in next to no time — and all without breaking into a sweat. As an around the clock performer, it can handle two separate and independent projects — each with 16 tracks and eight patterns per track — that can be played simultaneously, so users can compose or load another project while the first one is already playing, enabling endless sets and seamless transitions. The fact that Hapax is also the first hardware sequencer that fully supports MPE speaks volumes about Squarp Instruments’ intentions; it is perfectly possible to record the finest gestures, slides, and articulations of anything played, after all — and all without compromising quality.
Quality also shines forth for all to see and feel when it comes to the construction of the Hapax housing, manufactured from 2 mm machined aluminum, with a unibody ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) back panel. Put it this way: with connections for multiple midi in (DIN and TRS), midi out (3x DIN and TRS), cv in (2x -5V to +5V/16-bit), cv out (4x -5V to +5V/16-bit), gate out (4x +5V), switch (stereo pedal footswitch), USB Host (for linking to a MIDI USB controller), and USB Device (for linking to a DAW-hosting computer and associated virtual instruments), it quickly becomes apparent just how well thought through that back panel actually is in terms of conceivably communicating with everything that the music technology world might make available at this moment in time — hence Hapax ably acting as an authentic centerpiece of any setup, sequencing and synchronizing vintage to modern synths and modular systems, and even DAWs.
Digging deeper, Hapax’s adaptive workflow — with the top panel proffering hands-on access to no fewer than 128 RGB (Red Green Blue) matrix pads, 52 click pads, nine sturdy clickable encoders, and two OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) greyscale displays — is designed around four main modes: live uses those 128 pads as an isomorphic keyboard or chord generator, giving rise to harmonic capabilities aimed at anyone — regardless of their theoretical knowledge — as a synaesthetic sensory blend of hearing, vision, and touch, thanks to its colorful interface; step uses them to add or fine-tune notes (or drum events) with surgical precision; autom uses them to create MIDI (or effects) automation; and pattern enables performing in sync by using the 128 pads to set the playing pattern of each track — create sections (or groups of patterns) and chain sections to build a song. Making music might involve using a polyphonic or MPE track to take advantage of the advanced step sequencer and quickly lay down notes or edit live recordings when writing melodies, or control up to eight different instruments with a single track when creating beats using the drum sequencer that is tailored to ease rhythm writing and jamming, for instance.
It is also possible to effectively bring those connected synths to life since Hapax embeds multiple real-time, polyphonic, non-destructive MIDI effects, as well as project-wide assignable LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators). On top of that, each parameter of those effects can be automated in the dedicated mode, and processed in the mod matrix, which provides even more ways of routing and modulating.
Hapax has so much more to offer discerning devotees of hardware sequencers, with powerful tools for offline note transformation and generation always at hand — harmonically inverting a musical motif, generating a controlled random counter-melody, slowly ramping up the velocities, emphasizing every fifth eighth note… almost anything is possible! Hitting Hapax’s red button enables recording using the encoders and matrix pads, external MIDI instruments (including MPE controllers), or any incoming analogue signal at a high resolution of 192 PPQN (Pulses Per Quarter Note). Needless to say, looper-style recording, countdown and metronome options, and punch-in mode means that there are options to suit any workflow, while each track has an elasticity value that changes its playback speed, expressed as a percentage of BPM (Beats Per Minute) — quickly double or halve the speed of a track, for example, or create subtly shifted tracks that slowly drift out of phase with each other.
Of course, hardware usage should not — in a perfect world — curb creative flow. For this reason, Hapax has a dedicated undo REDO button with extensive history to enable its users to go back in time as deemed necessary; thankfully, the button-activated snapshot function allows users to save the state of a pattern for instant recall with a single press; and dedicated copy, paste, and delete buttons help Hapax on its way towards offering a complete toolbox for promptly editing tracks.
Music-making should always remain an enjoyable experience, though, which is why Squarp Instruments favored dedicated buttons over key combinations when realizing a clear-cut interface and simple architecture for Hapax. Having striven to minimize the importance of screens when performing live, however, the dual greyscale displays implemented in Hapax help with keeping track of things in a studio context.
Clearly, then, deconstructing everything that they already knew about sequencing to offer everything needed to compose songs in the studio and perform them onstage as an authentic centerpiece of any setup has paid off for Squarp Instruments, with the Hapax high-end professional standalone sequencer surely set to make its mark in the music technology world while literally living up to its polychronic performance sequencer billing when expected for delivery in June 2022.
Hapax is available on backorder for expected delivery in June 2022 — priced at €864.00 EUR (plus VAT for individual customers in the European Union)/$979.00 USD — directly from Squarp Instruments’ online Store here: https://store.squarp.net
|Arturia reveal KeyStep Pro at NAMM 2020|
|The newest, and most hotly anticipated member of the Arturia Step family is to be revealed at NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, California. |
The sequencer the world has been waiting for. KeyStep Pro gives keyboard players incredible sequencing and performance power in a compact, versatile controller.
KeyStep Pro is a 37-key MIDI controller and multi-channel polyphonic sequencer all in one. It will allow musicians to take full control of their modular rigs, outboard synths, and software studio all at the same time. The 4 independent polyphonic sequencer tracks give you full control over your instruments, and Track 1 can also function as a 16-part integrated drum sequencer. It’s incredibly intuitive, has unparalleled connectivity, and promises to make even complex performances a breeze.
If you prefer keys to pads, you’ll love KeyStep Pro. It sports a great-feeling 3 octave keyboard with velocity sensitivity and aftertouch. Letting you fully articulate your musical ideas, this expressive little sequencer truly puts your whole music-making ecosystem at your fingertips. Arturia’s designers studied the way musicians actually used their Step controllers, and created KeyStep Pro to remove the barriers between you and the music you want to create.
|TRACKS4 independent sequencers, controlling whatever synth, module, or drum machine you want.PATTERNS16 patterns per track. Each sequencer pattern can be up to 64 steps long, and contain 16 notes per step.CHAINSLink up to 16 patterns together to create whole songs or sections of your set.SCENESSnapshots of all the sequences within a pattern, letting you instantly switch between sets of sequences.PROJECTSEverything in one place. Load, duplicate, tweak, edit, and save for later in its onboard memory.|
|To get hands on with KeyStep Pro, look out for Arturia at NAMM 2020. |
Meet the Arturia team in Hall A, booth 11910. This new member of the Step family will begin shipping worldwide in Spring 2020.
ADDAC System 805 Eurorack Module Offers Four-Quadrant Mixing
Inspired by its renowned 701 VCO waveform mixing section, the 805 VC Signal Router employs three X-faders for advanced morphing and sweeping of signals
Lisbon, Portugal, December 20, 2019 — ADDAC System has announced availability of its new 805 VC Signal Router. While taking up just 8hp of space and priced at €160, the VC Signal Router is an economical way to add significant dimension and new signal flow options to just about any modular set up.
Inspired by ADDAC System’s 701 VCO waveform mixing section, the new VC Signal Router also updates the company’s legacy X-Fade/Panner to a stereo configuration that also allows four quadrant mixing. This feature is achieved by using the stereo Master knob as an X-fader between the left and right channels. By plugging in the four audio sources and sweep/crossfade between any of them using the three combined X-faders, users can plug any four sources (for instance, four waveforms of a VCO, four LFOs, four envelopes) — then sweep, morph or mix them to their heart’s content.
“Our VC Signal Router builds on some basic mixing principles derived from our 701 VCO waveform mixing section, while bringing in a new dimension of sound placement possibilities,” said André Gonçalves, founder of ADDAC System. “Even though the 805 requires a relatively small investment. four quadrant mixing can add a glacial effect to just about any soundscape.”
A peculiar signal flow meant to inspire
The VC Signal Router features two dedicated X-faders and a stereo VCA that can also be used as a third X-Fader. All controls have their own CV inputs and dedicated Attenuverters for precision control. Left and Right X-fader channels can also be routed through the Master stereo VCA or sent directly to the outputs. Further, a stereo Direct input can also be routed through the Master VCA or sent straight to the outputs.
The Mono Sum output always mixes Left and Right outputs together, allowing users with the possibility of using the module as a peculiar six channel mono mixer. It can be used for both Audio or CV Signals.
- 6 mono inputs
- 2 dedicated X-faders with Control knob + CV Input and Attenuverter Each X-fader can be routed through the Master mix or straight into the outputs.
- Master channel can be used as a stereo VCA or an X-fader Stereo direct inputs can be routed through the Master mix or straight into the outputs.
- Fully analog audio path with high quality/low noise VCAs.
To learn more about the ADDAC System 805 Eurorack module, please visit the ADDAC System website.
About ADDAC System
ADDAC System develops advanced instruments for sonic expression. The company began in 2009 with an ambition to explore the potential crossover between analog synthesizers and computers. Today, ADDAC System’s product line is focused on a new breed of hybrid synths that utilize the best of both the digital and analog worlds. We’ve grown to be able to reach thousands of enthusiastic clients, friends and collaborators. ADDAC System’s solutions — which are used in many musical genres — can be found in many personal studio throughout the world and routinely used by musicians in several planes of stardom.
TA Programming announces availability of Studio MIDI And CV Interface full synthesizer control system debut
LONDON, UK: following a successful showcase in October at Sheffield’s Synthfest UK 2019, billed as being the UK’s biggest synthesizer event, advanced creative technology designer TA Programming is proud to announce availability of its inaugural Studio MIDI And CV Interface full synthesizer control system — capable of controlling multiple synthesizers simultaneously via voltage control outputs and MIDI/USB with extra-low latency while keeping analogue instruments, vintage or otherwise, perfectly in tune with each other — as of December 20…
According to TA Programming CEO/CTO Tim Aviss, “We designed this interface to be not just a solution to problems that we’d encountered when controlling synthesizers in the past, but to unlock a whole new world of creativity with synthesizers from one interface.”
Indeed, TA Programming’s debut design does just that, thanks to its innovative implementation of complimentary connections, comprising MIDI In and MIDI Out alongside USB I/O for MIDI and serial bus connectivity, together with four universal CV CONTROL outputs. On the face of it, then, the Studio MIDI And CV Interface full synthesizer control system is creatively kitted out to target the hotly-contested competition out there already. After all, those four universal CV CONTROL outputs can perform any function regardless of whether it is for producing Pitch, Gate, or Aux signals. Saying that, an unlimited number of universal CV CONTROL outputs can quickly be created by daisy-chaining multiple interfaces via the MIDI ports. Also, any source — such as Pitch, Note On/Off, Velocity, Aftertouch, any MIDI CC number, signals from a DAW, and more besides — can be selected via USB or MIDI.
Fortunately for anyone putting the Studio MIDI And CV Interface to the test, the voltage of the configured output is completely user definable between -9V and +10V, providing plenty of range to satisfy the requirements of almost all synthesizers, past and present. Put it this way: with this level of versatility, the Studio MIDI And CV Interface provides its users with complete control over note range scale — from microtonality all the way through to the limits of the connected synthesizer. Thankfully, TA Programming’s proprietary tuning technology is capable of handling even the most stubborn scaling issues, effectively eliminating scaling and tuning issues on any analogue synthesizer, including non-linearities. This technology is built upon a six-point multi-mapping system that uses advanced interpolation and modelling algorithms all within a floating-point mathematical model before conversion to control voltages are applied in real time. In other words, once a tuning profile has been configured for the synthesizer concerned, TA Programming’s proprietary tuning technology works out the control voltages said synthesizer needs, regardless of tempco (temperature compensating) resistor variation, in order to produce pitch-perfect notes in real time — a must-have for owners of vintage or more modern analogue synthesizers alike!
Additionally, the Studio MIDI And CV Interface is MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) compatible, capable of sending out full MPE via MIDI DIN or mapping single channel/polyphonic MPE out of the universal CV CONTROL outputs. As all five control dimensions are natively supported, users can be sure that their synthesizers will be as musically expressive as allowed by the MPE method.
Meanwhile, the interface itself has internal circuitry powered by USB. Ultimately, however, TA Programming pushed itself hard to ensure that the power supply can tolerate variances in input voltage so that the resulting supply is always as clean as possible, providing the highest control voltage accuracy, as well as preserving tuning and configuration regardless of the USB host.
Having said all that, TA Programming’s powerful control software allows anyone to completely configure their Studio MIDI And CV Interface. In addition to this, they can host USB MIDI controllers in the software itself, thereby bypassing their DAW, if desired. Said software also provides plentiful MIDI processing features — from LFOs to BPM-locked arpeggiators, keyboard splitting over MIDI, and much more. TA Programming plans to regularly update the interface’s firmware and control software so that its users can always access the latest features following their initial purchase.
Last, but by no means least, the Studio MIDI And CV Interface always automatically stores its user’s current configuration with no need to click save. So feel free to travel between recording studio and performance venue safe in the knowledge that their current configuration will automatically load when the interface is powered back up. Upon connection to their computer, the control software will automatically pull the current configuration from the interface itself to allow for easy editing. And as if this was not exciting enough, an unlimited number of presets and profiles for all the synthesizers in anyone’s setup can be saved to the computer and reloaded into the interface at any time.
TA Programming looks all set to play to win with its inaugural Studio MIDI And CV Interface. Owners of vintage and more modern synthesizers simply owe it to themselves and their treasured instruments to test TA Programming’s debut design. It is no ordinary MIDI-to-CV convertor, clearly!
The Studio MIDI And CV Interface is initially available for purchase — priced at £249.00 GBP — directly through TA Programming here:https://taprogramming.com/product/midi-cv-interface/
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Studio MIDI And CV Interface webpage here:https://taprogramming.com/product/midi-cv-interface/
Watch TA Programming’s Studio MIDI And CV Interface introductory video here: https://youtu.be/X0Vrqw3NESE
Watch musician and producer Lawrence Hart putting the Studio MIDI And CV Interface through its MPE-compatible musical paces here:https://youtu.be/fYqsuc-2iS0
I have had the Strymon Magneto for some time now and I decided to shoot a short video discussing some of my thoughts.
spoiler it is a very musical module. I really enjoy the hands on control. While admittedly I was concerned about the price point. Considering I recently had purchases a Rainmaker delay module which did not last in my rack. The Magneto was met with a bit of caution. I must say however I am left quite impressed. it is deceptively deep and quite controlled and full of “sweet spots”. The ability to reverse delays and freeze moments in time is great. Check out the video and let me know what you think.
for more info check out https://www.strymon.net/products/magneto/
Barton Musical Circuits
The writeable Quantizer(WQ) is an interesting module in that while it can function like a traditional sequencer, it is anything but traditional. What sets the WQ apart is that this quantizer doesn’t come with preset 1/12v divided scales like most quantizers do. Instead the WQ allows users to store voltages into a user defined “scale” and then quantize incoming voltages to those stored voltages. You can use traditional scale values and write those voltages to a traditional scale but what is the fun in that? Continue reading