Tag Archives: Synth

Arturia Analog Factory Experience

Arturia Analog Factory ExperienceIf you are trying to decide between hardware and software synth solutions, you should take a look at the Arturia’s new product. The Arturia Analog Factory Experience, based on the Analog Factory 2.0, combines both solutions (hardware + software) in an integrated system that can be used as a stand-alone program or as a plugin.

The Arturia Analog Factory Experience features a synth software that includes 3500 high-quality analog synth sounds (like minimoog V, Moog Modular V or Prophet V), a preset manager for quick finding them and built-in effects like filters, LFO, chorus or delay; and a hardware controller that features 32 keys with velocity sensitivity, 11 encoders (1 of them clickable), 4 sliders, 11 switches, 1 modulation wheel and 1 pitch bend wheel controls, hold, sustain and expression pedal inputs, USB port (the device is USB powered, although you can use a DC adapter) and MIDI connections.

This package works with Windows (2000, XP and Vista) and Mac OS X (version 10.3.9 or higher) and is available in VST, RTAS or AU plugin formats. The price of the Arturia Analog Factory Experience will be $349 but its availability has to be announced yet.

M-Audio KeyRig 25 MIDI Controller

M-Audio KeyRig 25

M-Audio has expanded its MIDI controller product line with a new compact keyboard, the M-Audio KeyRig 25. This MIDI controller is a very good tool for those who want to keep it simple while recording or composing, plug-and-play and USB-power while make easier to use in your home studio.

The M-Audio KeyRig 25 features ultra-slim design, 25 keys, level slider, modulation and pitch bend controls, 8 assignable knobs and buttons, octave up and down button, MIDI connections and sustain pedal input. The keyboard includes Ableton Live Lite and M-Audio Key Rig software, this last one allows you to adjust the controller settings and includes 4 high-quality sound modules (piano, synth, organ and MIDI sounds) and 2 effects processors (for chorus, delay, reverb, …), works as a stand-alone program or as a plug-in but is only available in PC.

You can use M-Audio’s sustain pedal or professional piano pedal with this controller. The M-Audio KeyRig 25 MIDI Controller is now available and its price is $99.

Korg Kaossilator

Korg KaossilatorOne of the most unexpected and cool releases is the new pocket-sized instrument from Korg, the Korg Kaossilator. This device is in the same line of products than the Mini-KP effects unit, combines the Korg synth sounds, featured in the Korg products, with the effects of the Mini-KP and is controlled via the touch pad that include all the Kaoss line products.

The Korg Kaossilator features 100 sounds programs, including traditional synth sounds, simulated intruments sounds (piano, guitar and wind instruments) and effects, the gate arpeggiator (that allows you to create patterns with different layers to create overdubs or multi-voice phrases), 24-bit digital-to-analog conversion processing, 48 kHz sampling rate, RCA line and headphones outputs, 31 scale patterns, program/value knob and key, loop and tap buttons. The touch pad controls the note/pitch parameters touching it in horizontal direction and other parameters like cut-off, feedback or modulation depth touching it in vertical direction.

This pocket-size synth is powered by 4 AA batteries with life-time of 5 hours (with alkaline batteries) or by a DC adapter. The price and availability of the Korg Kaossilator has to be announced yet.

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet ’08

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet ‘08

There were rumors around and finally they have been confirmed, last month Dave Smith released the Prophet ’08, a vintage reissue of the legendary 100% analog synth that has a lot of new features that were not possible when the previous synth was released.

The Dave Smith Instruments Prophet ’08 is an eight-voice synthesizer that features 2 analog oscillators per voice, 5-octave keyboard with semi-weighted action, velocity and aftertouch, arpeggiator, gated step sequencer, four-on-four split and layers (with a stereo output per layer), 256 user programs, analog Curtis low-pass filter, filter, VCA, and assignable envelope generators, 4 LFO, MIDI port, unbalanced and headphones outputs and pedal input.

There is also a Special Edition of the Prophet ’08 that features red lighted wheels, exotic leopardwood, editor/librarian software and the “Dave Smith: Synthesizer Pioneer” DVD. The Dave Smith Instruments Prophet ’08 is now available and its price is $2,000.

Yamaha Tenori-On

Yamaha Tenori-On

If an August release has become the most famous gadget of the moment, this is the Yamaha Tenori-On. Everybody is talking about this device created by Yamaha and Toshio Iwai that is able to work as an instrument, an input controller, a synth, a sampler, … and even as a LED paint surface.

The Yamaha Tenori-On has six operation modes: score mode, you can play notes pushing the buttons briefly and if you push one, or more, of them longer the note will be played every time the loop indicator (that goes from the left to the right of the LED display) coincides with the note selected; random mode, this mode allows you to play a note, or a note sequence, and they will be played repeatedly on the order you have played them; draw mode, you can play notes by drawing a line or a curve in the LED display that will be played and repeated endlessly, until you stop it, of course; bounce mode, this is a somehow special mode, you select one note and the Tenori-On will create a loop with the light bouncing like a ball, the sound will be played when the light reaches the bottom of the display; push mode, this mode is similar to the delay effect, if the button is pushed shortly the sound will stop quick, but if the button is pushed for a longer time the sound and flashing will continue after you released it; and the solo mode, that plays a note only while you are pushing the button.

The functions buttons of the Tenori-On allows you to do some operations like changing layers (modes), changing octaves, changing voices, adjusting the layer volume, transpose notes, …

The Yamaha Tenori-On features 256 LED buttons, 10 function buttons (5 at the left and 5 at the right), clear, ok and cancel buttons, 256 included studio-quality sounds (organized by categories, from real instruments like drums, bass or guitar to the most strange and cool synth sounds), 10 built-in effects (reverbs and delays), monochrome backlit LCD display, 1-watt built-in speaker, MIDI connections (the MIDI IN connection allows you to play with 2 Tenori-On at the same time), SD card lot reader and works with 6 AA batteries or with a AC adapter.

Toshio Iwai with the Tenori-On

It will probably be available during this month at the official Tenori-On on-line shop and its MSRP is $1,200. It reminds me to some Apple gadgets, even if you’re not a musician you’ll like this gadget.

Arturia V Collection

Arturia V CollectionThere are some musicians that only need one sound coming out of its instrument, but there are also a lot that want to experiment different sounds, try to get the best for their own compositions. If you usually work with synths you will find this new software very interesting, the Arturia V Collection compiles the six virtual synths from its V series at an affordable price.

The Arturia V Collection includes ARP 2600V, CS-80V, Jupiter 8-V, Moog Modular V, minimoog V and Prophet V virtual synths as stand-alone software or VSTi, AU and RTAS plug-in formats. The collection of virtual versions of some of the best synths comes with 400 presets and upgraded features from the previous versions.

This collection is compatible with Windows XP or Vista and Mac OS X operating systems and if you owned one, two or three of this virtual instruments there will be a special price for you. The Arturia V Collection is available since July 4th and its price is $699. This price compared to the $1,500 that you had to spend to buy the six instruments, is a good price.

Ztar Z7-S MIDI Guitar Controller

Ztar Z7-S MIDI Guitar Controller

Although it looks like one of those 80’s keyboard-shaped guitars the Ztar Z7-S is a MIDI controller for guitar players that is very useful to play synths. It has a close look to a guitar, it has 6 strings, 24 frets and, even, the “inlays”.

The Ztar Z7-S features a touch sensitive and programmable keyboard (24 frets) with 32 separate zones with its own settings, polyphonic strings (more than one note at the same time), 6 fast and sensitive string triggers, position-sensing ribbon controller, programmable volume pot, programmable display, no delay, sustain and volume pedal ports.

It also has additional options like USB port, sound card, PC patch editor, custom paint, etc. The price of the Ztar Z7-S MIDI Guitar Controller is $1,495 and is now available.

Flame MIDI-Talking-Synth

Flame MIDI-Talking-SynthFlame, a MIDI Controller & Electronic Music company released in MusikMesse a new synth that uses the analog Speakjet chip that was produced by the Magnevation LLC company to provide automatically generated speech with robot voices and sounds like that. The synth is the Flame MIDI-Talking-Synth.

The Flame MIDI-Talking-Synth features 5 channels, MIDI sequencer, loop and tremolo functions, 72 speech elements, 43 sound effects, 2 joystick, 4 potentiometers, 2 rotary switches, 17 rocker switches, 1 slide switch, MIDI input and output and audio output.

The price and availability of the Flame MIDI-Talking-Synth has to be announced yet.

Roland SonicCell Synth

Roland SonicCellThe number of computer-based musicians is increasing a lot lately and companies are releasing lots of products and accessories for them. Roland at MusikMesse has released a professional sound module for studio or live shows, the Roland SonicCell.

The Roland SonicCell is a ultra-compact synth module with high-quality Roland synth hardware that features 128 voices, USB audio interface and 2 SRX slots.

The SonicCell is capable of playing SMF, WAV, AIFF and MP3 files via USB, compatible with PC and Mac OS X and comes with Sonar LE. No word on the price nor availability.

Arturia Origin Keyboard

Arturia Origin Keyboard

On of the today’s most interesting releases from MusikMesse is the Arturia Origin Keyboard. With this synth you can create your own patches mixing more than 80 sound modules from Minimoog, CS-80, ARP 2600, Moog Modular and Prophet VS.

The Arturia Origin Keyboard features 61 keys with aftertouch and velocity sensivity, ultra sensitive 40cm ribbon controller, joystick, pitch and mod controls, 55 potentiometers, 46 encoders, 64 switches, 32 voices of polyphony, 500 professional presets, 24 bits/96 kHz audio quality, 2 analog and 1 MIDI inputs, 10 analog, 1 SPDIF and 1 MIDI outputs, 1 MIDI Thru connection, USB 2.0 port (that can be used for MIDI), built-in effects (phaser, reverb, chorus, delay, … ) and 5.2″ TFT display.

The Arturia Origin Keyboard has a very cool white, useful and ergonomic design. This Arturia’s new release will be available in December 2007 and its price will be $3,500.