NEWS: RØDE Microphones recently announced the appointment of legendary audio innovator Chris Woolf as a Senior Innovation Engineer, exclusive to RØDE. Formerly a Senior Engineer for the windshield and microphone accessories company Rycote®, Chris Woolf is the inventor of, amongst many other patented noise-reduction solutions, the ‘Rycote Lyre®’ shock-mount and the ‘Rycote Cyclone®’ Windshield system.
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NEWS: In case you missed the recent launch, Stratum, a virtual instrument by Sonivox, is a rock-solid layering of a classic Supersaw synthesizer and a 4 operator FM synthesizer. Originally made famous by the Roland JP-8000, the Supersaw waveform has made a strong comeback in the trance and hardcore genres due to its edgy sound, particularly in synth leads and synth basses.
ScottWorks 2018: Inaugural Raymond Scott Festival in L.A. Celebrates Achievements of 1960s Electronic Music Pioneer
NEWS: The 2018 ScottWorks festival on Sept. 8 will include a symposium on Raymond Scott’s 1930s jazz compositions, and 1960s electronic music inventions. There will be presentations, panels, gallery displays, and interactive exhibits during the day, followed by a concert at night featuring live performances to celebrate Scott’s multi-dimensional music.
NEWS: IK Multimedia’s new analog synth module, the UNO, is now shipping, the company announced today. UNO Synth, IK’s first hardware synthesizer is a true analog synthesizer which brings all the warmth, depth and fatness you’d expect from a real analog synth. Ideal for notebook and “bed top” synth musicians.
NEWS: ARTURIA have announced their latest analog drum machine, the newest member of the “Brute” analog hardware family, DrumBrute Impact. In the sound department, DrumBrute Impact features 10 fantastic sounds accessible through 8 responsive performance pads.
MUSIC NEWS: The 12th edition of San Fermin in Nueva Orleans runs July 13-15, 2018, features live music including The Crystal Method. Nola Bulls, LLC steps up to the big leagues for the 12th edition of the ever-growing San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) presented by The Advocate, a.k.a. The Running of the Bulls in New Orleans.
NEWS: RØDE Microphones has announced that two of its team members recently received U.S. patents through their ingenious work at RØDE. Technical Engineering Manager Luke Hamilton was awarded the patent for the gamechanging Hamilton Condenser Microphone Backplate and Lead Industrial Designer Samuel Trewartha for the innovative housing on the award-winning Stereo VideoMic X.
The innovative ElectroSpit Mobile Talkbox ESX-1 has been fully funded on Kickstarter. It’s a “tubeless talkbox reimagined for the future” for musicians which allows you to do classic formant talkbox effects without a portable amp and plastic tube, as made famous on songs like Frampton’s “‘Do You Feel Like We Do” (among many others!).
Waldorf Music has announced a full production launch and general availability of Kyra – the world’s first fully FPGA powered synthesizer featuring 128 voices (regardless of settings and effects), each with 10 oscillators per voice, and 8-part multitimbrality, based on the Exodus Digital Valkyrie previewed at Musicmesse.
SYNTH NEWS: Haken Audio has announced an addition to their multi-dimensional music instrument line-up, the ContinuumMini. A smaller version of the Continuum Fingerboard instrument was revealed at ContinuuCon 2018 in Paris. This version is far more affordable, and still has EagenMatrix virtual instrument on board. A Kickstarter will launch July/Aug. 2018.
NEWS: Summer is a great time to pick-up some awesome deals on music tech, much like the annual holiday sales. This is an ongoing “round up” of some of the best deals to be had during Spring/Summer 2018 including music software, plugins, virtual instruments, and more. (Updated 6.6.18)
NEWS: ModeAudio has announced a new sample library, “Dark Mass – Ambient Drone Samples” which according to the company, “surges forth, enveloping all it touches in quietly undulating intensity, sweeping through the landscape of your music with 706MB of caustic drones and meditative textures.”
SYNTH NEWS: Spitfire Audio has announced the roll out of their new LABS Program, which “is an infinite series of software instruments, free and easy to use; made by musicians in London for anyone, anywhere” according to the company. The first releases, SOFT PIANO and STRINGS are both completely free, with much more to come.
NEWS: Softube has released “Tube Delay” for MODULAR the software Eurorack synth for everyone. Modular synthesis is all about options; defining options by building a system one way or another, and exploring the sonic possibilities those options afford you.
SYNTH NEWS: The newly released TRK-01 REAKTOR instrument from Native Instruments (NI) marries classic mixing techniques with innovative sound design, sequencing, and modulation. It is designed to inspire creative and exciting kick-bass combinations, offering solid, powerful sound whilst also addressing some of the most common problems encountered when mixing kick and bass, such as clashing frequencies.
SYNTH NEWS: UVI Updates Retro Organ Suite to v1.5. The new version adds the “Yammy C10,” a new combo organ based on a fully-restored and reinvigorated 1970 Yamaha machine, and new rotary speaker effect improvements from the latest generation of the UVI Rotary plugin. The update is free for existing users.
EastWest Sounds Online announces Voices of the Empire cinematic vocal instrument featuring Uyanga Bold
NEWS: EastWest Sounds Online announces Voices of the Empire, a cinematic and ethnic vocal tour de force, featuring the raw, primal vocals of Uyanga Bold. Produced by Doug Rogers and Nick Phoenix, Voices of the Empire is a must-have virtual instrument for composers and musicians looking for that epic vocal sound for their next project.
NEWS: TC Electronic announce TC2290-DT plugin based on their classic 2290 Digital Delay, with included USB-powered control surface. Adopted by producers, FOH engineers and musicians such as David Gilmour, The Edge and Robben Ford, it set the benchmark for delay units.
NEWS: Spitfire Audio has announced its new Spitfire Symphonic Woodwinds Expansion Pack that strengthens and enhances the core Symphonic Woodwinds library, Seminal Orchestral Woodwinds, with over 167GB of additional content.
NEWS: UVI today announced enhanced versions of its UVI Workstation instrument and class-leading FALCON virtual instrument. Both now allow for scaling of instrument interfaces (finally!). Falcon 1.5 adds a Frequency Shifter, as well as new Event modules using the Script Processor such as MIDI Delay, Velocity Remapper, while the Wavetable oscillator now offers FM.
Celtic ERA by Eduardo Tarilonte announced by Best Service with Celtic Brass, String and Percussion Instruments
NEWS: Best Service has announced a new sample library, “Celtic ERA” by Eduardo Tarilonte. According to the company, “Tarilonte once again takes you to a fascinating journey through time. This time, he travels far north to the roots of the Celtic culture.” For Celtic ERA, Tarilonte has recorded 23 brass-, string- and percussion-instruments in full detail and with immaculate quality.
Eventide Blackhole Reverb Plugin now NI NKS Compatible for use with MASCHINE and KOMPLETE KONTROL keyboards and software
NEWS: Eventide has announced that its popular Blackhole reverb plug-in is now NKS-ready — reconfigured to support Native Instruments’ Native Kontrol Standard extended plug-in format for use with MASCHINE and KOMPLETE KONTROL keyboards and software — as of April 18, 2018.
NEWS: Q Up Arts recently announced Benny Rietveld Bass Latin Fusion Vol. One for Apple Garageband and Logic Pro. Accorsding to the company, “Benny ignites Latin fusion and pop/rock basslines with his unique spin.” Offered in Apple Loops, wavs and arranged in Logic ProX session files, these smoking basslines provide creative spark for song starters, jamming or just getting new bass ideas.
SYNTH NEWS: UVI Augmented Piano is a new one-of-a-kind piano workshop including 24 configurations recorded on a 1909 Pleyel Grand Piano. Full 88-key preparations cover brushed, finger-plucked and muted preparations to haunting eBow resonances and brilliant metallic sounds by way of tacked hammers.
SYNTH NEWS: Tracktion has announced their latest DAW release, Waveform 9 Music Production Software, which adds a Multi Sampler Instrument and Modular Mixing Tool. The expanded capabilities of the popular MIDI pattern generator include a global chord track, a custom plug-in faceplate designer, macro parameters and track loops / presets.
SYNTH NEWS: UVI has announced a new add-on for their flagship FALCON virtual instrument, sampler, workstation: Digital Motion explores FM synthesis from vintage digital to visionary hybrid tones. According to UVI, when utilized within the modular architecture of Falcon, “Digital Motion” delivers a focused set of hyper-detailed and expressive FM patches offering vivid, evolving and highly-musical visions.
ContinuuCon 2018 touches down and up in Paris at IRCAM for users and fans of Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression
SYNTH NEWS: ContinuuCon 2018 comes to Paris at IRCAM for users and fans of the Haken Continuum and Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE). The event will explore the uniquely expressive instrument through music, workshops, lectures and more. Dr. Lippold Haken, inventor of the Continuum, and Edmund Eagan, developer of the Continuum’s synthesis engine EaganMatrix, share their knowledge, history and musical talents.
SYNTH NEWS: Spitfire Audio recently announced their new virtual instrument and scoring library ALTERNATIVE SOLO STRINGS — an “alternative take on a sampled solo strings library” putting performances of four of the most interesting and progressive string soloists in London into an easy-to-use tool to access Violin (Warren Zielinski), Viola (Joel Hunter), Cello (Chris Worsey), and Double Bass (Mary Scully).
SYNTH NEWS: The non-profit Bob Moog Foundation today announced launch of new raffle for 2018, of a vintage Minimoog Model D synthesizer keyboard, signed by Rick Wakeman, the legendary progressive rock keyboardist whose 50-year career has inspired people worldwide. The raffle supports the music education efforts of the Foundation.
IK Multimedia Announces Syntronik J-60 new bonus content available with 1.2GB of new oscillator samples
SYNTH NEWS: IK Multimedia today announced that registered users of the Syntronik J-60 synth can download a free update from their User Area and enjoy 42 all-new instrument sounds and an additional 1.2GB of new oscillator samples. The J-60 is based on the Roland® Juno-60, one of the most popular polyphonic synths of all time, used by artists like The Cure, Howard Jones, Eurythmics, Billy Idol, INXS, Ultravox and many others.
SYNTH NEWS: Chadwick Wood over at iPad software developer Coffeeshopped recently announced that the latest update to the awesome PATCH BASE synth editor, now includes the somewhat rare FM synth, the FS1R from Yamaha. According to Chad, “Patch Base 2.10 adds an editor for the most complex FM synthesizer I’ve ever encountered: the Yamaha FS1R. This thing is a beast. First of all, it has 8 operators for FM synthesis! Imagine the possible chaos.”
SYNTH NEWS: Native Instruments today announced release of “Expansions.” Based on the acclaimed MASCHINE Expansions series, these 50+ genre-based sound packs contain everything a musician needs to create a full track in a specific style. From preloaded drum kits to specially-designed synth presets, construction kits, samples, and song patterns, Expansions have been designed to fully integrate with a range of popular NI products.
Output Releases ANALOG BRASS & WINDS – Blurs Line from Powerful Orchestral Sounds and Legendary Synths
SYNTH NEWS: Output Inc. has announced ANALOG BRASS & WINDS, “a virtual instrument for those who dare.” The new “Next Level Air” instrument “blurs the line between powerful orchestral sounds and legendary synths.” The company sampled an 18-piece brass section, 18-piece wind section, and hand-selected soloists at the stunning BMC Hall in Budapest. The meticulously sampled recordings range from traditional techniques to wildly unusual ones.
SYNTH NEWS: UVI has announced release of “Meteor,” a swell and impact designer for creating rich and immersive cinematic sound effects for film, games, music and more. Meteor includes a comprehensive library of exclusive sounds and recordings that can be near-endlessly combined and edited through a featured and ergonomic user interface.
NAMM 2018: Native Instruments today announced availability of the first NKS-ready effects at the annual NAMM trade show in Anaheim, Calif.. As of Q2 2018, key effects manufacturers, including Waves, Softube, Eventide, and Sugar Bytes will adopt the Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) format, with dozens more planned for 2018.
SYNTH NEWS: After many years of user requests (and whole forums filled with workarounds) Spectrasonics has released new Mac and Windows standalone applications of the company’s award-winning Keyscape, Omnisphere 2, Trilian and Stylus RMX virtual instruments. Perfect timing for NAMM 2018. A new smart updater feature makes it far simpler to know if there are version updates/fixes.
NAMM 2018: High-end professional audio equipment manufacturer Antelope Audio is proud to announce its EDGE Strip — a breakthrough bundle comprising its DISCRETE MP Discrete Dual Ultra-Linear Microphone Preamp and already-available, trailblazing EDGE modelling microphone.
MUSIC NEWS: Music Expo Miami, the conference to inspire music makers, announced today its second Miami edition to be held March 24, 2018 at SAE Institute. Hosted in association with Sound On Sound Magazine, the all-day conference will feature production and mixing workshops, music business panels, product demos as well as a beat battle.
MUSIC NEWS: Apple has announced a new update to its class-leading DAW for MacOS, LOGIC PRO X, to 10.4 with new virtual drummer profiles, smart tempo features and a host of new useful effects plug-ins for both tracking and mastering. Free for existing users.
SYNTH NEWS: UVI has announced SubCulture expansion pack for Falcon with 110 dark and hard-hitting patches made for producers of modern bass, post-EDM, DnB, garage and more. The second collaboration from sound designers Richard Gale and Carlo de Gregorio, SubCulture dives into the underground with a shadowy collection of snarling basses, dark ambiances, rhythmic tempo-synced patches, emotive cinematic textures and more.
MUSIC NEWS: It’s with great sadness that I learned today that an original member of one of my all time favorite bands, The Moody Blues, Ray Thomas, has passed away on Jan. 4, 2018 at his home in Surrey. His passing was confirmed today by his record label (Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings).
SYNTH GEAR: ResonanceCircuits has launched its latest one-off bespoke drone synth, the GEIGER LAB, for January 2018. Described as a “bespoke sound generator capable of producing dense, rich dronescapes, haunting evolves, ghostly atmospheric echoes and swelling atmospheres.” The Geiger Lab can also be used for ambient, tranquil sound creation and ethereal backdrops.
SYNTH NEWS: It’s that time of the year again, when some outrageous deals on synths – both hardware and software – plugins, FX, and music tech spin up for both “Black Friday” and the Holidays. For 2017, I’ve collected some great ‘early bird’ buys on synth gear for electronic musicians and other folk, too! (UPDATED 11.22.17)
SYNTH NEWS: Spitfire Audio has announced their latest orchestral instrument library, ORCHESTRAL SWARM, the direct result of a creative collaboration with Bleeding Fingers, a next-generation composer collective who wanted to create a new Swarm library in pursuit of composing a perfect soundtrack to the oceanic goings-on featured on the groundbreaking BBC “Blue Planet II” natural history television series.
For Toontrack’s annual “Metal Month” 2018, they have announced their first SDX for Superior Drummer 3, “The Rock Foundry” SDX by Bob Rock. According to the company, The Rock Foundry SDX features a staggering 65 GB of raw, unprocessed drum sounds recorded by arguably the most notable, influential and sought-after engineer/producer of our time: Bob Rock.
SYNTH NEWS: Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS) has announced PIVOTAL, a new soundbank (soundset) for its Ultra Analog VA-2 “virtual analog” synth, as well as free AAS Player. For this library, sound designer Daniel Stawczyk created a hefty 158-preset collection of focused and upfront sounds covering all the classic categories—arpeggios, basses, leads, synths, and effects are all there.
SYNTH NEWS: Impact Soundworks announces “Super Audio Cart PC” retro PC sampled instrument for KONTAKT, with NKS support. The most complete set of retro computer samples ever produced. Building on the success of Super Audio Cart this NEW instrument features EIGHT legendary sound sets from 80s and 90s hardware. Includes standalone SNESVerb plugin for FREE.
SYNTH NEWS: UVI today announced two new products; first a superb virtual synth instrument, OB Legacy, covering the classic sounds of Tom Oberheim’s synthesizers, as well as an updated and expanded edition of their flagship Vintage Vault instrument plug-in collection, now at version 2 with 15 new elements added.
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS releases MASCHINE 2.6.8, introduces monophonic bass synth and isomorphic keyboard
SYNTH NEWS: Native Instruments has released MASCHINE 2.6.8 software update, available free for all MASCHINE 2 customers. The update introduces a monophonic bass synth and an isomorphic keyboard. The new MASCHINE bass synth lets users design and shape rich bass tones with intuitive, fun, and fully-automatable controls directly from the hardware.
SYNTH DEALS: In a return to form, I’ve brought back my monthly round-up of great deals on synth gear, such as virtual synths, plug-ins, samples, iOS apps, and more. This list is updated all during August, until the next month when a new list is started. Remember everything has an expiration date, and some offers are for existing users with an account from the respective brand / company / product.