Free Analogue Synth Samples, Free In-Browser Modular Synth, 33% Ableton Discount!

Two more freebies for your music making pleasure and a hefty discount off any Ableton product – if you’re quick! Continue Reading

Get a More Analogue Sound From Your Software Synths

Do you want your software to sound more like a classic analogue synth? Let’s look at a cool technique to help you achieve it…

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NAMM 2012: Interview with Dave Smith on Tempest

Over at NAMM we decided that we’d leave product demonstrations and the like to the million other sites that do them – especially seeing as we like to do our reviews in house where we can really get the best quality and a truly objective opinion (trade shows are loud!) – so instead I decided to interview a few of who we consider the key players in the electronic music manufacturing industry. Dave Smith is definitely one of those guys, so we had a chat with him about all things Tempest – the new drum machine from Dave Smith Instruments and Roger Linn Design. Take a look!


NAMM 2012: Arturia Minibrute

Arturia have surpised a lot of people with the Minibrute; after all, they’re one of the biggest advocates of analogue modelling in the game so turning up with an analogue synth is a little strange – they did raise the very valid point that having actually researched just about every analogue synth out there and exhaustively figured out why they sound like they do, they’re actually very well placed to  create an analogue synth.

Best Bits:
  • Sounds fantastic
  • Very easy to use
  • MIDI over USB
  • CV in and out, and the unit acts as a CV converter too
  • No audio over USB
  • Utilitarian design
  • Monophonic synthesizer
  • 100% Analog Audio Signal Path
  • Steiner-Parker Multimode Filter (LP, BP, HP and Notch)
  • Voltage Controlled Oscillator with Sub-Osc
  • Oscillator Mixer (Sub, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, White Noise, Audio In)
  • LFO1 with 6 waveforms and bi-polar modulation destinations
  • LFO2 with 3 vibrato modes
  • Brute Factor™ – saturation
  • Ultrasaw
  • Metalizer – harmonic increaser for triangle wave
  • Two ADSR Envelope Generators
  • 25 note Keyboard with Aftertouch
  • USD 549.00 / EURO 499.00
  • Available April


The wave mixer on the VCO allows you to mix saw, square, and triangle waveshapes, as well as the white noise generator, to taste. Arturia have added three extra controls to the signal: Brute introduces foldback distortion, ultrasaw stacks sawtooths, and Metaliser adjusts the angle of the triangle waveform to increase harmonics. All this goes towards the raw sound of Minibrute being fantastically rich and sweet. They all go through a Steiner-Parker designed filter that features notch, bandpass, lowpass, and highpass modes, and the calibre of the filter is bananas. It is unbelievably smooth and squeals so musically that it’s undeniably worth the price premium that it presumably added over using a stock filter design. In general the unit’s solid – it’s not the most beautiful design we’ve ever seen but its plain look means it’s also completely inoffensive – and the aftertouch keys are really responsive.

We’re not calling it until we’ve had one in the studio for a play, but I’m pretty excited about the Minibrute – Let us know how you feel!

Arturia Laboratory 61

Arturia Announce Laboratory 61 Keyboard and Oberheim SEM V Details

Arturia’s Laboratory keyboards, which combine hardware and software to combine into a pretty high value package, has thus far only had 25 and 49 key versions… until now. We’ve had our hands on the existing keyboards briefly, but not yet had time to do a full review.

software – particularly revivals – seems to be Arturia’s real expertise

Whilst admittedly first impressions weren’t great when it came to the build quality of the hardware, The Laboratory Experience software that’s bundled with every purchase is a really nice set of sounds to boost your collection, as software – particularly revivals – seems to be Arturia’s real expertise.

In the software revival vein, Arturia’s upcoming Oberheim SEM emulation has had screenshots and a couple of audio demos released for it too, ahead of its December launch. We’ll be interested to see how it performs and just how warm it sounds then; until December you can head over to Arturia’s site to to listen to a couple of demo audio files, and we also dug up a YouTube video of one of the real things to give you a better taste…

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