Bob Moog’s Birthday – Fun Facts, How to Get the Moog Sound!

It seems like all you have to do is change the course of modern music forever, and Google will put one of their best ‘doodles’ on their homepage for you on your birthday. Continue Reading

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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
But:
  • No audio over USB
  • Utilitarian design
Specs:
  • 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…

Arturia Analog Experience

More Musikmesse!

So, today is the final day of Musikmesse, and it’s open to the public – are you down there? I’m safely home now, and sorting through the mountains of information and footage I have; things will start getting uploaded over the next few days. My Day One Highlights post has some of the things that really caught my eye, but it’s by no means everything!

I was very lucky to be able to run my hands over Native Instruments’ Komplete Audio 6

It was great to be able to get my hands on Apogee’s Duet 2 interface, I was very lucky to be able to run my hands over Native Instruments’ Komplete Audio 6, I got a nice preview of Arturia’s Spark and Analog Experience Laboratory ahead of my reviews,

I got a nice preview of Arturia’s Spark and Analog Experience Laboratory ahead of my reviews

a new monitor range from ESI featuring ribbon tweeters, Presonus’s 16 channel StudioLive, and Tascam’s new 8 track digital recorder. It’s all in the works, so keep checking back, subscribe to RSS, Like the Oh Drat Facebook page and Follow Oh Drat on Twitter!

Elektron Machinedrum

Musikmesse Highlights – Day 1

So, day one of Musikmesse is complete, and it’s time to give you a quick low down on some of the things that caught my eye.

 

Elektron’s little boxes both look and sound great, from the Machinedrum drum machine to the dual channel sampling audio mangler Octatrack. I’ll be interviewing the guys tomorrow, and getting samples in for review soon.

Elektron’s little boxes both look and sound great

Another thing with both looks and sounds going for it is the Synthlab SL1, a fully analogue mono synth.

the Synthlab SL1, a fully analogue mono synth

I’m serious, manufacturers, just put wood end plates on it and I’ll like it. Video demo is on the way, as is a review

model to give it a proper going over in

the Oh Drat studio.

 

Arturia’s Spark and Analogue Experience Laboratory made an appearance, and I got the lowdown on the them both, video’s on the way!

The pads feel really nice on the Spark

The pads feel really nice on the Spark, in fact it feels like a solid unit in general.

Rhizome is a totally standalone workstation

 

The Rhizome has been on the market for a few months but it’s not seen much action yet – it’s a totally standalone workstation, running on an embedded version of Windows XP meaning it can load all the VST plugins you’re used to and take advantage of their flexibility in its unique workflow. You know the drill – video soon, as is review…

Finally, these monitors from Monkey Banana caught my eye.

these monitors from Monkey Banana caught my eye

They’re available in black too, but if you’re considering hexagonal monitors in the first place (and I could definitely imagine these in the Oh Drat studio!) you may as well go all out! Perhaps not a video with these guys, but definitely a review.

More tomorrow, but for now make sure you let me know what you think….

Arturia Analog Experience The Laboratory

Arturia Analog Experience The Laboratory Announced

I’m beginning to get concerned that all it takes is wood ears on a piece of gear for me to want it. Arturia’s Analog Experience The Laboratory is their premium model in their Analog Experience product line.

licenced emulations of minimoog V, Moog Modular V, CS-80 V, ARP2600 V, Jupiter-8V, Prophet 5 and Prophet VS are all under the bonnet

A 49 key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch, pitch bend and mod wheels, ten rotary encoders, nine sliders, four velocity and pressure sensitive pads, transport, buttons for preset browsing and other functions, and a screen to keep your eyes on the instrument not the monitor… is only half the proposition of The Laboratory.

Arturia’s licenced emulations of minimoog V, Moog Modular V, CS-80 V, ARP2600 V, Jupiter-8V, Prophet 5 and Prophet VS are all under the bonnet of the included software, and provide 3500 tweakable presets mapped directly to the keyboard’s controls straight out of the box. What’s more, if you own the full version of any of the Arturia synths, The Laboratory links to the synth and unlocks total patch editing.

I/O on the keyboard includes DIN MIDI in and out as well as three pedal inputs. The software will run as a plugin and as standalone, and the keyboard can of course be used as a standard MIDI controller. At USD 399 / 349 EURO, this has the potential to be a great addition to a studio – I’m looking forward to running my fingers over those wooden ears and finding out. Even if it’s faux wood.

Arturia Spark

Arturia Spark Hybrid Drum Machine Announced

Integrated solutions are becoming popular with a number of manufacturers – Arturia’s announcement of Spark, a software drum machine with a dedicated hardware controller, immediately forces comparisons with Native Instruments’ Maschine.

Spark is focused on analogue emulation, physical modelling, and replicating the step sequencing feel of classic machines

Spark looks to be somewhat more dedicated to drums, though, and rather than phrase based sample slicing it is focused on analogue emulation, physical modelling, and replicating the step sequencing feel of classic machines. A few neat features such as an X/Y control, dedicated step editor, and an aluminium chassis give the Spark a potential edge, and with 480 instruments, 30 kits, and 9 onboard effects, it definitely has promise.

I look forward to getting my hands on one to see whether the 1:1 tactile control can genuinely create the illusion of using a standalone drum machine, but with the boundless quality of a high powered computer behind the sounds. And, of course, whether it lives up to its USD599/499Eur price tag. Until then you can take a look at Arturia’s Spark homepage for more…

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