Equipment

Bitwig Studio Released Today

The long anticipated Ableton Live rival arrives today and the specifications and possibilities are quite impressive.

The new features that are most working for us music hackers here are:

  • Full Linux Support
  • Advanced containers for combining system integuments, fx & vsts with custom control setups.
  • The modulations system that is completely customisable to a users needs
  • Audio note expression events
  • Algorithm based value editing
  • Open controller scripting API

All in all its a hackers wet dream and unlike many previous tools with a VERY nice basic interface. We cant wait to see how this DAW & Production environment develops.


Dave Smith Instruments Announces the Tempest Analog Drum Machine

Whoa… its not often a piece of gear makes me salivate and immediately want one (Native instruments maschine was the last one:) ) but Dave Smith instruments (Dave smith is the guy whop created the legendary Prophet 5 analogue synth) just released at NAMM 2011 the details of his new analogue drum machine, the Tempest, this piece of kit looks truly amazing.

A collaboration with Roger Linn, the tempest has 16 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads and two pressure- and position-sensitive Note FX slide controllers.

The following is a video of Roger and Dave demonstrating the Tempest:

Doesn’t that sound amazing?

The tempest features:

• Each of the 6 analog voices has 2 analog oscillators plus 2 digital oscillators (with a large bank of included samples), Dave’s classic analog low-pass filter with audio-rate modulation, an additional high-pass filter, analog VCA with feedback, 5 envelopes, 2 LFOs, an extraordinary variety of analog modulation routings, and stunning sonic quality, warmth and punch. Although optimized for drum sounds, it excels at tuned sounds as well, and even doubles as a 6-voice analog synth. In addition to the 6 direct voice outputs, there are stereo mix outputs and phones outputs, plus 2 inputs for foot switches or expression pedals, MIDI in/out and USB.

• The performance-oriented operating system, 90 panel controls, and bright 256 x 64 OLED display work together to provide a tightly integrated, non-stop workflow: record a drumbeat in real-time, switch to another drumbeat and use the lit pads to record it using step programming, switch to another drumbeat and record tuned keyboard parts, use the 2 touch controllers to to record real-time note or beat-wide parameter animations, use the generous sound controls to edit any of the drum sounds, tweak the analog effects or drum mix, arrange beats in real time and record the live arrangement into a song, enter/exit Song mode and much more, all without ever stopping play.

• 16 pressure- and velocity-sensitive lit pads are arranged in a 2×8 configuration, providing intuitive access to all your fingers and providing the ideal compromise between the popular 4×4 pad arrangement (popular for real time programming ) and 1×16 arrangement (popular for step programming) because Tempest does both. The pads can be used to play 32 drum sounds (2 banks), mute/unmute the 32 sounds on playback, play and arrange 16 beats in real time, play one sound at 16 tunings (in a variety of scales) or 16 velocities, or as 16 time steps for step programming. The ROLL button permits creating drum rolls or repeated groove patterns by varying pad pressure as the beat records, and doubles as a momemtary “stutter” effect when the pads are assigned to play beats. Use the Sustain button on tuned parts like a keyboard’s Sustain pedal, or to choke drum sounds or drumbeats when the pad is released.

• Two pressure- and position-sensitive Note FX slide controllers permit real-time recording of note or beat-wide sound parameter changes into the drumbeat as you play. For example, record simultaneous filter frequency, tuning, envelope decay and pan changes for each note, or control similar parameters affecting the entire beat.

• A variety of unique effects are provided while maintaining a pure analog signal path: 1) Stereo analog compressor and distortion circuits affect the stereo output mix, 2) beat-synced delay is achieved by generating additional delayed note events within the sequencer, and 3) a beat-synced “stutter” effect is created entirely within the sequencer by looping short portions of the drumbeat on demand.

• The degree of swing timing can be adjusted in real time during playback. Roger used his entire bag of tricks to make the swing sound very human and natural.

The Tempest is expected to be available by June 2011 with a projected RRP of $1,999.00.


Native Instruments Announce Traktor Kontrol S4 Digital DJ System

Native Instruments announced Monday the release of their new Traktor Kontrol S4, an integrated hardware and software Digital DJ solution based around a custom version of their Traktor Pro Software. The package includes a dual turntable control surface along with a dedicated version of Traktor Pro called Traktor Pro S4.

This has been extremely anticipated since a cryptic Dubfire demonstration video last month that had the NI DJ forums going wild. The software will support mapping of other controllers through MIDI but connects directly to the S4 hardware via HID, allowing for higher resolution of the jog wheels and other control elements, other than a somewhat simplified Master Section and visual make-over, the software is essentially the Traktor Pro we have all come to know and love excepting the following updates:

8 Loop sections that can replace decks C and D for the playback of 8 loops and samples. Each loop has a filter, volume knob and will sync to the master clock so you don’t have to beat match you samples just punch them in on the fly.

Loop recording lets you to record loops of up to 32 bars on each loop deck the source for the loop recorder can be anything you like including the master out for live performance looping.

The S4 unit is designed to match the Traktor interface as much as possible with 4 full channels in the mixer and 2 decks that are switchable from A/C and B/D. To help those who need to take it on the road

Windows® XP (latest SP, 32 Bit), Vista®/Windows 7® (latest SP, 32/64 Bit), Pentium®/Athlon® XP @ 1.8 GHz OR Core™2/AMD X2, 2 GB RAM Mac OS X® 10.5 or higher, Intel® Core™Duo 1.66 GHz, 2 GB RAM USB 2.0 port, DVD drive, 6 GB free disk space for complete installation

Traktor Kontrol S4 will be priced at US$999 and €899 and NI will also release a matching flight case for the S4 that will be $189.


Propellerheads Announce Reason 5

Propellerheads have announced their long awaited upgrade to reason and also the newer record product.

Reason 5 includes several upgrades to devices and ways of working that are being announced over the next few days.

Firstly the DRRex Loop Player is being upgraded to the DrOctoRex loop player. This should be a boon to techno and minimal artists that use Reason.

Secondly they have announced anew block feature wherein the sequencer gets a second more powerful loop based edit mode.

Third update but sadly only for Record 1.5 is the Neptune Vocal Tuner and Voice Synthesizer, this looks like a lot of fun.

Next is the ability for all of reasons samplers to live sample and edit directly without need for an external tool or sample editor, a much needed feature and time saver I think.

and finally propellerheads announce the Kong Drum Module, with synthesis, sampling and FX in one very controllable MPC style package its a great addition to Reason.

These upgrades should make Reason even more useful for the Techno and Minimal Producer. More upgrade news to follow.


Past = Future: ReBirth for the iPad. Nasty Acid Techno demo

Great Acid techno demo (Future, future, Phuture 🙂 )  as VJFranzK makes out like a crazy on Rebirth for the iPad.

Now I want to see a full version of Propellerheads Reason for the iPad too. Well we can dream can’t we?


Native Instruments Massive Threat Review

soundsandgear.com checking out 200 new sounds created with the MASSIVE synth from native instruments.

NI Tend to make very hard and aggressive sounding synth patches, this sound collection for KORE takes it even further, still very useful for the more aggressive styles of techno music production.


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