Four Wind Controllers That Are Worth Owning

Four Wind Controllers That Are Worth Owning
Naomi Bolton
Mon, 09/16/2019 – 13:16

Velocity Press reissue State of Bass book

Electronic music and club culture book publisher Velocity Press have announced details of its second book, a revised reissue of the acclaimed first-ever book-length investigation into the origins of jungle and drum & bass music entitled State of Bass: The Origins of Jungle / Drum & Bass.

The book, which is written by veteran music critic Martin James (Melody Maker, Muzik, DJ, Mixmag, Electronic Sound and Urb, etc.), was originally published in 1997 as State of Bass: Jungle – The Story So Far. By 1998, it had sold out and has never been reprinted.

Drawing on interviews with some of the key figures in the early years, the book explores the scene’s social, cultural and musical roots via the sonic shifts that charted the journey from deep underground to global phenomenon.

The book was described by Select magazine as one of the 20 essential music books from the 20th Century and by FACT mag as one of the 10 electronic music books you need to read.

The updated version extends the original text to include the award of the Mercury Prize to Reprazent for the groundbreaking New Forms album and previously unpublished interviews with Roni Size, Goldie, LTJ Bukem, Fabio, Shy FX and other key players from the early years of the scene.

State of Bass isn’t out until April 2020 but if you pre-order it now via the Velocity Press website, you’ll receive it in March, signed by the author and with your name in the credits.

Velocity Press’s first title, Join The Future by Matt Anniss, is out in December 2019. It tells the previously untold story of British dance music’s first sub-bass revolution, tracing the origins, development, impact and influence of bleep techno, and the subsequent musical styles it inspired, on UK club culture.

The post Velocity Press reissue State of Bass book appeared first on Kmag.

Pulse 2

Pulse 2

Specifications
Polyphony –
Up to eight note polyphony
Oscillators –
3 Analog Oscillators
Waveforms –
Saw, Square, Triangle, PWM, APW,
Filter –
Multimode filter with a low-pass 24dB mode and 12db low-, band-, and high-pass modes
LFO –
Two
VCA/Envelopes –
Two ADSR Envelopes
Control –
MIDI In/Out
Arpeggiator –
Up, Down, ALT, RAND, #Up, #DWN, #Alt,

Naomi Bolton
Mon, 09/09/2019 – 12:15

Waldorf broke the mold in 1996 with the launch of their Pulse, which was one of the few analog synths of an era that was dominated by digital synths. Of course, since then a lot of things have changed and analog synths made a big comeback, which means there was a lot more competition when Waldorf released the Pulse 2 in 2013.

Pulse 1 owners will know that it had a powerful sound and came as a rack-mountable module. For the Pulse 2, Waldorf has decided to make it a little smaller and release it as a desktop unit. It still packs some weight, thanks to the metal casing that houses it, but the Pulse 2 is definitely more compact than its predecessor. Don’t let its size fool you though, the Pulse 2 is still a very competent synthesizer. This means that unlike the original Pulse, the Pulse 2 is perfect for people with limited space or anyone who regularly carry their gear around.

In terms of features, the Pulse 2 has three very flexible analog oscillators, while its multi-mode filter with a low-pass 24dB mode along with 12dB low-, band-, as well as high-pass modes gives it more versatility than the original Pulse. In addition, it has two ADSR envelopes and two LFOs with a wide frequency range.

When it comes to the design, the Pulse 2 has a sleek and stylish look, thanks to its case shape as well as the color scheme. The case feels very durable and it has eight steel knobs to use for the editing process. One slight issue with the design is the way in which the MIDI connections are so deeply recessed, making it tricky to connect wider ended cables. It’s also strange that while the display screen is very clear, it dedicates most of the screen space to the number of the current patch you are using, while the name and class is displayed in much smaller text below the number. An editor is also available that allows users to make use of their DAW to edit the Pulse 2 via USB.

Overall, the Pulse 2 has plenty of variety to offer and a large on-board patch pool to get you started with. The matrix method or programming is not quite as much fun as messing around with a full panel of knobs, but trimming things down did allow Waldorf to keep the size of the Pulse 2 compact. The Pulse 2 also sounds a lot better than its predecessors and it is still worth a look.

Make

Year
2013

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Sound types

Price range

Image
Waldorf Pulse 2

Files
Demosounds for the Waldorf Pulse 2 synthesizer.Demosounds for the Waldorf Pulse 2 synthesizer.

Type
File

Title
Waldorf Pulse 2 Manual

Description
Waldorf Pulse 2 Manual

YouTube

Waldorf Pulse 2 – demo

by

Alba Ecstasy

User Rating
Texture
Monophonic instruments

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Fenix

Fenix

Specifications
Polyphony –
1
Multitimbral –
1
Oscillators –
3
Waveforms –
Pulse, Pulse Variable, Saw Down, Sine, Square, Sub Oscillator, Triangle,
Filters –
3
LFO –
3
Controls –
CV IN, CV OUT

Naomi Bolton
Thu, 09/05/2019 – 14:30

Synton made a name for themselves in the Netherlands by manufacturing and distributing high-end electronic equipment. In addition to importing products from Fairlight, E-Mu, and Ensoniq in Europe, Synton tried their hand at producing their own synthesizers, in the form of the System 2000 and System 3000 as well as their monophonic analog synthesizer, the Synton Syrinx. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt in 1989 and nothing was heard from them again until 1997. This was when their product specialist, Marc Paping, and designer, Bert Vermeulen, who were behind the creation of the Syrinx, reunited to create the Synton Fenix. These two were not impressed with the synths taht were available at the time and decided that they could do better with the Fenix.

The Synton Fenix is basically an analogue synthesizer that features 31 differing modules. To create the Fenix, Paing and Vermeulen looked at the synthesizer that the have owned and incorporated all of the features that they liked about them. This meant that the Fenix had quite an esoteric range of features to say the least. Initially, only 25 of the Synton Fenix units were hand-built and these were mostly distributed amongst enthusiasts who were close friends or fans of the company. Thanks to word of mouth, the team had to create another 50 because of the high demand for them. However, these 75 units were the only ones that were ever created and production of this synthesizer came to an end in 2000, which makes them very rare. Those who were lucky enough to end up with one in their possession has praised it for the unique modules that it features as well as the distinctive sounds that were possible using the synth.

The Synton Fenix was very much a labor of love, which meant no corners were cut during the manufacturing process. This meant that a lot of effort went into every single component, such as the Bakelite knobs that were fabricated in Taipei instead of being bought locally. Despite featuring 31 modules, the Fenix is not really modular as the modules have predetermined architectures. However, you still have more freedom than what would be possible with pre-patched instruments. Other notable features of the Fenix include three VCOs, three low-frequency oscillators, three VCFs, three different envelope generators, two dedicated CV mixers, three general purpose mixers, and four VCAs.

Artists who have used the Synton Fenix in the past include Martin Gore and David Morley, as well as Aphex Twin and Chris Whitten.

Make

Year
1997

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Synton Fenix

Files
Type
Link

YouTube

Stekker 2015: 5 Minutes With The Synton Fénix

by

sonicstate

User Rating
Texture
Monophonic instruments

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Strangest Things Found Inside Old Synthesizers

Strangest Things Found Inside Old Synthesizers
Naomi Bolton
Tue, 09/03/2019 – 13:17

Deckard's Voice Will Be Joined By A Companion Module Called Rachael

Deckard’s Voice Will Be Joined By A Companion Module Called Rachael
Naomi Bolton
Thu, 08/29/2019 – 16:42

Crumar To Enter The Synthesizer Market Again

Crumar To Enter The Synthesizer Market Again
Naomi Bolton
Mon, 08/26/2019 – 20:55

MINIAK

MINIAK

Specifications
Polyphony –
Up to 8 voices
Multitimbral –
Up to 8 parts
Oscillators –
3 per voice
Filters –
2 multi-mode resonating filters per voice with 16 filter types
LFO –
2 LFOs with multiple wave shapes, sample and hold, tracking generator,
Controls –
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Sequencer –
Step sequencer, drum machine/rhythm sequencer
Arpeggiator –
Yes
Effects –
4 drive effects, 1 per part, master effects
Keyboard –
37-key, semi-weighted, velocity sensitive,
Memory –
Up to 1,000 programs and multi-timbral multis

Naomi Bolton
Fri, 08/23/2019 – 13:58

Anyone curious about the capabilities of the Akai MINIAK should check out the review for the Alesis Micron, as these two instruments share a lot of similarities. This is due to the fact that both companies are owned by Numark. What Akai has done with the MINIAK is basically take the Alesis Micron, update the design a bit and then attach a microphone to it.

The MINIAK is a bit larger than the Micron, which means that Akai was able to fit in full-sized keys for the three-octave keyboard. Although the 37-key semi-weighted keyboard does not feature aftertouch, it is velocity sensitive. One of the nice features of this keyboard is that it not only has a transpose range of eight octaves, but the brightness of the transpose buttons also increase to indicate that shifts have been made. Akai has incorporated three wheels, situated just above the keyboard, in contrast to the sliders of the Micron. Two of these are modulation wheels while the third is for pitch bending. Of course, the trade off for having a larger size is that the MINIAK also weighs a bit more than the Micron, but it is still a relatively portable synth.

The MINIAK offers eight notes of polyphony, with three oscillators per voice. Each voice also has two multi-mode filters and there are twenty different ones to choice from. In addition, the MINIAK has two LFOs along with three envelopes. The one-board storage is certainly not lacking either as it allows users to store up to 1000 patches. Thanks to a generous selection of patches, sequences and rhythms available from the start, it is easy to get started with the MINIAK right out of the box. The inclusion of a comprehensive sequencer, drum machine/rhythm sequencer and arpeggiator are also welcome. One area where the MINIAK does show its age a bit is with its lack of USB connection.

Overall, the MINIAK offered a ton of features for synth enthusiasts and managed to do so at a much lower cost than most of the competition. The inclusion of the three wheels on this synth also made a nice change from other modern synths that were covered in knobs instead. Akai also included a nice on-board gooseneck microphone with the MINIAK for vocoder fans to play around with. It would have been nice if the screen was a little larger and more readable, but at the end of the day, the Akai MINIAK is still a very fun synth.

Make

Year
2009

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Akai Miniak

Files
Type
Link

YouTube

Akai Miniak – Darkshadow Multi

by

KlaatuNinja

User Rating
Texture
Polyphonic instruments

Disqus comment

Television Shows or Movies Where Synthesizers Had Cameos

Television Shows or Movies Where Synthesizers Had Cameos
Naomi Bolton
Thu, 08/22/2019 – 12:16

Fantom-S

Fantom-S

Specifications
Polyphony –
64 voices
Multitimbral –
16 parts
Oscillators –
4
Waveforms –
ROM
Filter Modes –
12dB slope, 24dB slope, High Pass, Low Pass, Band Pass, Comb, Resonance,
LFO –
2 LFO with Sample & hold, Saw up, Saw Down, Sine, Square, and Triangle,
VCA/Envelopes –
2 envelopes with release, attack, decay, and sustain,
Controls –
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Sequencer –
16-track sequencer
Arpeggiator –
128 user and 128 Rhythm pattern presets, Chord memory,
Effects –
Multi-effects
Keyboard –
61 keys, with velocity and channel aftertouch
Memory –
64MB wave memory
Sampler –
44.1kHZ sampler with 32MB internal memory

Naomi Bolton
Mon, 08/19/2019 – 13:43

Roland released their Fantom-S workstation keyboards in 2003 as a complete solution for professional music production. The Fantom-S is the 61-note keyboard version of this synth, with the “S” standing for its advanced studio functionality and powerful sampling capabilities, according to Roland.

The Fantom-S offers seamless integration of both audio and MIDI by using ROM waves and sampling with realtime timestretch capability. It features 32MB of sample RAM, which can be expanded to a maximum of 288MB and it is compatible with the .WAV/AIFF format. It supports multisamples as well as functions, such as Chop and Normalize that were typically only found on dedicated samplers of that time. In addition, it also features 16MB of flash RAM along with optional SmartMedia storage. Even though it has a rich array of internal sounds, these can also be expanded by installing up to four wave expansion boards.

The Fantom-S earned a lot of praise at the time for offering the kind of warm and realistic sounds that people expect from a Roland product. While the 61 keys with velocity and channel aftertouch were very decent, the inclusion of 16 pads with velocity and aftertouch were also a big selling point for many people. Another feature of the Fantom-S is its V-LINK functionality, which allows you to use real-time controllers, such as the dynamic pads or D Beam controller to control images while performing music in order to create new forms of expression while playing.

On the front panel of the Fantom-S you’ll find a D Beam that is not just assignable, but can also function as a pad trigger or as a solo synth to play the S as a monophonic synthesizer. The left side of the instrument is dedicated to the expansion bay, which is where you can install a wave expansion board or additional memory. In the middle of the instrument is a large panel LCD with various knobs and buttons around it to adjust parameters or switch modes. The pads can be found on the right side of the front panel, while the pitch bend/modulation lever is to the left of the keyboard. Everything is laid out in a straightforward manner, with a controller section, sound generator section and sequencer section. On the rear panel is the power on switch, AC inlet, SmartMedia card slot, USB connector, MIDI connectors, outputs and phones jack. You’ll also find pedal jacks on the back panel for connecting optional expression pedals or a hold pedal.

Despite a few drawbacks, such as the lack of digital input, the Fantom-S is feature packed and easy to use synthesizer with plenty to offer.

Make

Year
2003

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Roland Fantom-S

Files
Roland Fantom-S/S88 – Original DemoOriginal Roland Demo 2003, features Fantom-S and S88 Synthesizer!

Roland Fantom-S OWNER’S MANUALSRoland Fantom-S OWNER’S MANUALS

YouTube

Roland fantom S

by

KEYBOARDS NOSTALGY

User Rating
Texture
Polyphonic instruments

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