Gibson Hands Back Oberheim Brand To Its Creator

Gibson Hands Back Oberheim Brand To Its Creator
Naomi Bolton
Sun, 08/18/2019 – 14:46

Yamaha Started A New "Behind The Synth" Podcast

Yamaha Started A New “Behind The Synth” Podcast
Naomi Bolton
Sat, 08/17/2019 – 06:52

Ableton Steps Up To Help Educate People About Synths

Ableton Steps Up To Help Educate People About Synths
Naomi Bolton
Fri, 08/16/2019 – 07:37

MicroKorg XL

MicroKorg XL

Specifications
Polyphony –
8 voices
Multitimbral –
Two parts
Oscillators –
2
Waveforms –
White Noise, Sine, Triangle, Saw Down, ROM, Pulse
LFO –
2 LFOs with Key Sync, Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Square, and Triangle,
Control –
MIDI In/OUT, USB
Arpeggiator –
Up, Down, Random, Trigger, Alt 1, Alt 2,
Keyboard –
37 mini-keys

Naomi Bolton
Tue, 08/13/2019 – 13:18

Korg released their virtual analog synthesizer/vocoder, the microKORG, in 2002 and it quickly went on to become one of the most popular synths ever released by the company. Thanks to the very positive reception of the microKORG, it’s no surprise that it was followed by a successor called the microKORG XL in 2009. Although the name might make it sound like it is just a minor update to the microKORG, the microKORG XL actually features quite a few new additions. It is also not quite a replacement for the microKORG either as it sports fewer controls and actually opted for a more retro appearance. This is why Korg instead decided to call the microKORG XL the “big brother” of the original microKORG.

Korg clearly aimed to make one of the smallest self-contained synthesizers possible when they released the microKORG XL and they definitely succeeded in this regard. The XL weighs only 2kg, and while it does come with an external power supply unit, it can also be powered by just six AA batteries. The only drawback to the light weight of the XL is that it has a molded black-plastic body, which is not as quite as damage resistant as one would want from such a portable device. Another challenge for synthesizers of this size is the keyboard and this time Korg decided on a “natural touch” waterfall mini keyboard. It features 37 miniature keys and the white notes are much wider than the black notes. Adapting to the much lighter action of the keyboard can also be a challenge, but having access to three full octaves isn’t bad for such a compact synth keyboard. It also has a built-in step arpeggiator with six types of arpeggio.

The XL interface is straightforward and with just three knobs you are able to adjust all the parameters from filter cutoff to amp EG attack, and resonance. Don’t worry, there is also the “Full Edit” mode where you can really dive into all of the parameters and adjust them to your complete liking. The XL can also be connected to your computer via USB cable if you want to tweak parameters with the sound editor software. The XL also comes complete with a vocoder function that supports sixteen filter bands. In addition, it provides access to two banks of programs, with eight genres each and eight categories per genre, for a total of 128 programs.

Overall, the MicroKORG XL is an attractive option for anyone who values portability and simplicity. It has a powerful sound engine and the inclusion of the vocoder is also a nice touch. The build quality could have been better and the XL lacks reverb, but it other than that it is great.

Make

Year
2009

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Korg MicroKorg XL

Files
Korg microKORG XL/Owner’s ManualKorg microKORG XL/Owner’s Manual

Korg microKorg XL Synth DemoKorg microKorg XL Synth Demo

YouTube

Korg microKORG XL Official Product Introduction

by

Korg

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Synthesizers With Hidden Built-In Games

Synthesizers With Hidden Built-In Games
Naomi Bolton
Fri, 08/09/2019 – 13:38

N364

N364

Specifications
Polyphony –
64 voices
Multitimbral –
16 parts
Oscillators –
Two
LFO –
3 LFO with triangle, pulse, saw up-down, random,
VCA/Envelopes –
Two envelopes with attack, decay, sustain, release
Control –
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Sequencer –
32,000 event MIDI sequencer, 16 tracks,
Arpeggiator –
Up, Down, Alt1, Alt2, Random,
Patterns –
100 user patterns
Songs –
10 songs
Effects –
2 digital multi effects, 47 effects
Keyboard –
61 keys with velocity and touch sensitivity
Memory –
8MB

Naomi Bolton
Wed, 08/07/2019 – 13:01

Korg released the N364, along with its 76 key version the N264, in 1996. It is a music workstation synthesizer that is based on the proven Advanced Integrated System, or AI2, synthesis engine by Korg. It offers users eight megabytes of sample ROM and features 936 programs and combinations. These include 430 Multisounds, along with 215 drum sounds. The Korg N364 also has polyphony with 64 voices and it was the first keyboard ever from Korg to feature Real-time Pattern Play and Record. This allows users to record and save their musical phrases in the form of patterns that can then be triggered with an assigned key. Unfortunately, the Korg N364 lacks sampling features, but it does make use of a 16-track sequencer capable of a maximum event capacity of 32,000.

The Korg N364 has 61 keys and while they are semi-weighted, they do have a very plastic feel to them. To the left of the keyboard is a joystick that allows for real time-control of certain program parameters, such as pitch bend, VDF modulation intensity and more. Above the keyboard is a large, clear LCD screen, although it is unfortunately not back-lit. Cursor buttons and a number keypad can be found to the right of the screen, while the left side of the synth features the volume slider, function buttons, rec/write button, start/stop button and more. The rear panel of the N364 is dedicated to the ACV power socket, power switch, contrast knob to adjust the LCD screen, MIDI In/Out/Thru, stereo headphone socket and 1/4 inch phone jack connections for Output 1/L/Mono, 2/R,3,4. On the back you will also find space to connect an optional Korg Damper pedal or Korg PS-1 or Ps-2 foot switch. While the N364 allows for data storage on a floppy disk, you’ll find it on the side of the synth and not the front as with most workstations.

Korg N364 users generally like the sounds of the strings and pads of this instrument, but the piano sounds are commonly criticized. The operating system used with the N364 is also not the most intuitive. However, the 16-track sequencer makes it great for people who want to create complete songs without a DAW and the on-board arpeggiator is also a useful addition.

One notable user of this line of synths by Korg is Tuomas Holopain of the symphonic metal band, Nightwish.

Make

Year
1996

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Roland N364

Files
Korg N364 Sound TestKorg N364 Sound Test

N364/Basic GuideKorg N364/Basic Guide Download

YouTube

Korg N364 – My Favorite Combi Sounds part. 1

by

Musicman World

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Open Source Synth Projects

Open Source Synth Projects
Naomi Bolton
Mon, 08/05/2019 – 07:24

MC-808

MC-808

Specifications
Polyphony –
128 voices
Waveforms –
622 Waveforms, two waveforms can be assigned to a tone
LFO –
LFO with SIN, TRI, SAWU, SAWD, SQR, RND, BD-U, BD-D, TRP and more
Control –
MIDI In/Out
Sequencer –
16-track Sequencer
Arpeggiator –
UP, Down, UP&Down, Random, plus chord memory
Patterns –
683 preset patterns
Effects –
47 effects types such as equalizer, overdrive, and delay
Keyboard –
16 keys non-piano style mini key set
Memory –
16 MB of user memory, 4MB of sample memory
Sampler –
4 MB of internal RAM for up to 47 seconds of monaural sampling, can be expanded with DIMM modules for up to 102 minutes of sampling

Naomi Bolton
Sat, 08/03/2019 – 12:36

Roland produced the MC-808 to provide users with everything they need for song production to performance. It is a combination of synthesizer and sampler and also features a built-in sequencer. Roland already established themselves as a leader in the field when it comes to designing a great groovebox with their MC-909. Although the MC-808 was released after the MC-909, it is more of a scaled back version to make it more affordable. However, those expecting the 808 to be inferior to the 909 because of the lower price tag are in for a surprise.

The most striking thing about the 808 is that it actually has double the amount of polyphony of the 909 with 128 voices. It also has eight motorized faders, which was a first for a groovebox in its price range. This is great for live performers as the faders will snap to the proper position when you call up your pattern. These faders also make up for the fact that the 808 has far less switches and hardware knobs than what can be found on the 909. You’ll also find 16 drum pads on the 808, which can be used as keyboard keys for those who want to play synth patches. In addition, the 808 has a D-Beam, which is always fun to use. Although the 808 only has 4MB of onboard memory, it can be upgraded with DIMM modules to up to 512 MB. In terms of storage, you can save 50 songs and 256 patterns to memory, while using Compact Flash cards of up to 1GB can increase this number.

The 808 design consists of an aluminum front panel, although the actual housing is made from plastic. To help with live performances and to just make the synth look funky all the buttons are back-lit. You also get three LED displays that allow you to keep an eye on the tempo and other important info while playing. On the back of the 808 you’ll find the power switch, USB connector, MIDI connectors, phones jack and the input jack as well as output jacks. Since the 808 does not have an internal amp or speakers you will need to connect it to an external system or headphones to hear sound.

Although the Roland MC-808 wasn’t the best groovebox for its time, it is still a decent bit of hardware. It even drew the interest of Jean Michel Jarre who made use of some 808 preset patterns on his Téo & Téa album. It’s really interesting to see how the 808 outperforms the MC-909 in many areas, but fall behind in others, such as controllers. A PC is always going to be better for serious production, but if you just want to have some fun, then the MC-808 can definitely provide it.

Make

Year
2006

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Sound types

Price range

Image
Roland MC-808

Files
Roland MC-808 demo by David AhlundLost – Demo by David Ahlund with Roland MC-808

YouTube

Demo Roland MC-808

by

mrbela

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Plug-ins To Make Your Music Sound More Vintage

Plug-ins To Make Your Music Sound More Vintage
Naomi Bolton
Mon, 07/29/2019 – 07:35

MicroStation

MicroStation

Specifications
Polyphony –
120 voices max in single mode, 60 voices max in double mode
Multitimbral –
Up to sixteen timbres
Oscillators –
Two
Waveforms –
Triangle, Sine, Swuare, Guitar, Saw, ExpSawDwn, Rnd1 (S/H),
VCF –
Two multi-mode filters per voice, four types of filter routing
LFO –
2 LFO
Control –
In/Out
Sequencer –
16 MIDI Tracks and 1 Master Track
Arpeggiator –
Up, Down, Random, Alt1, Alt2
Patterns –
Five presets with 640 user arpeggio patterns
Songs –
128 songs, 16 preset/16 user template songs
Effects –
Delay, reverb, chorus, phaser, flanger, compressor, limiter and more
Keyboard –
61-key Natural Touch mini-keyboard that is velocity sensitive
Memory –
Up to 210,000 MIDI events

Naomi Bolton
Tue, 07/23/2019 – 21:11

Korg released their MicroStation in 2010 as a continuation of their “micro” series. The purpose of this music workstation was to offer users something that is feature packed, but also compact enough to make it very versatile. Whether for studio control, as a songwriting tool or even to to use during live performances, the MicroStation has a lot to offer. It is also combines the affordability of their micro series with the features of their pro workstations.

At first glance the MicroStation appears to have a lot in common with the Korg M50, but the reduction in price and size also means that some compromises had to be made. However, the MicroStation more than makes up for this with a few enhancements in other areas. Those who are used to the 256MB of wave ROM found in the M50 will notice that the MicroStation only packs 49MB. In addition, the two-line LCD display is not ideal for in-depth editing, but Korg has also released a full software editor to make this task a little easier. The keyboard for the MicroStation is a 61-key Natural Touch mini-keyboard and while it is velocity sensitive, it unfortunately does not support aftertouch. While the mini keys are less than ideal for serious musicians, especially as two-handed playing is not as easy as you might expect from a 61-key keyboard, they do help to keep the MicroStation portable.

Nitpicking aside, the MicroStation definitely delivers in terms of sound and features. In addition to being very portable, the MicroStation makes use of Korg’s EDS-i sound engine, which delivers a total of 480 presets, with room to go up to 512 if you add your own. The presets covers all the bases that you would expect, and offers a great mix of sounds. Like any good workstation, the MicroStation also has an internal sequencer. This one is able to play back up to 16 tracks of notes in addition to a master track containing temp and time signature data, so you have plenty of scope to play around with. Another area where the MicroStation is definitely not lacking is its effects section, which offers a total of 134 effects types.

Korg definitely aimed for versatility with the MicroStation and they definitely managed to pull it off. This is a workstation with something for everyone, provided you can learn to live with the mini keyboard. The two-line display is also not ideal for editing, so using the software is definitely the way to go.

Make

Year
2010

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
korgm

YouTube

KORG microSTATION Official Introduction Movie

by

KORGINC

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