Mar 10

musikmesse-2014-new-products

Doesn’t it come around quickly – It is here again that great show at Frankfurt, Germany – Musikmesse 2014. Last year’s show with some really great sunshine may just be beaten by this show, which has already got everyone interested in new products two days before the show opens.

Today we have seen announcements from Waldorf, Akai, Nord and Waves and I am sure there will be more to come. Of course the eagerly awaited Roland Aira kit will be there.

My list of Musikmesse and new products is looking like this at present:-

Nord Lead A1R rack-mountable version of the Lead A1
Akai APC40 mkII Controller
Akai Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine & Bass Synth
Waves and Abbey Road – Real ADT Plug-In
Waldorf Streichfett – String Synth
Roland AIRA – System – 1 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer
Roland AIRA – VT-3 Voice Transformer
Roland AIRA – TB-3 Touch Bassline
Roland AIRA – TR-8 Rhythm Performer
Arturia Spark Version 2
Audient ASP880 New 8-channel mic pre with Digital I/O

Jan 24

Namm 2014 – Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter

waldorf-2-pole-analog-filter

Well, we did not have to wait long – The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter is here for Namm 2014. The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter is an interesting beast because it is simply that – an Analog Filter for you to manipulate your sound(s) whether they are from a raunchy guitar or a synth or used by a DJ. I suppose if you are going to have a filter it may as well be one of the best, and Waldorf make some great filters. Looking at it my first thoughts are it is just like the Waldorf Rocket as it has the same size metallic case. The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter has a completely analog signal path and its Filter can be modulated by LFO, envelope follower or an external signal.

You get quite a bit to play with as it has extensive controls which are an input Gain with level LED; Rectify pot for mixing-in the rectified input signal; Filter Cutoff pot; Filter Resonance pot; Bipolar Filter Env Mod pot; Filter Type switch; Overdrive pot; Activation switch; Output Level pot; LFO Range switch with 3 positions; LFO Rate pot with LED; LFO Mod Depth pot; Trigger Button with LED; Trigger Threshold pot; Trigger Hold pot; Envelope Follower Source switch with 3 positions; Envelope Follower Attack pot and an Envelope Follower Decay pot.

Connections around the back give you Audio In and Out, Cutoff CV In, Envelope Follower CV In, Trigger In and a 12V DC Power input.

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Jan 24

Best of Namm 2014

SONY DSC

The NAMM show is such a great event running from 23 January 2014 to 26 January 2014 in its usual location of Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, although I have seen there will also be a Namm show in Russia in September 2014.

Sometimes the companies build the hype to such an extent that you feel a little let down when you see the new products, but as you dig a little deeper, there is normally something for everyone. Whether it is precisely what you are after is another matter but you can easily get drawn in and dream of possibilities for you.

For me, I have my own selection of goodies from the show, so apart from the four that we have already looked at:- ROLAND FA-06 and FA-08 Synth Workstation, ROLAND RD-800 Stage Piano, ROLAND TM-2 Trigger Module and M-AUDIO Finger Trigger Pro, my favourites are:-

NORD AI
ARTURIA SPARK 2
IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER
ELEKTRON THE ANALOG RYTM
KORG TRITON TAKTIL
WAVES: ABBEY ROAD REEL ADT,
KORG GADGET SYNTH STUDIO FOR IPAD
KORG KEYTAR RK-100S

It looks like ROLAND VT-3 VOCAL TRANSFORMER and ROLAND ARIA will not be at NAMM 2014 and following Waldorf’s tease of possibly a new synth, nothing as materialised as yet.

I hope to look at the above in a little more detail, so stay tuned

Dec 14

I have a bit of a softspot for Waldorf Synths as they are always a little bit different from the rest.

waldorf_pulse_2_analogue_synth

The Waldorf Pulse 2 is an exciting analog subtractive mono synth with 500 Patches. It has three powerful oscillators and a filter. I found it quite heavy for its size but there again its solid metal chassis built like a tank will not be lightweight.

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Sep 26

waldorf-pulse-2-analogue-synthesizer

Its here at last – what a wait – the new Waldorf Pulse 2 Analogue Synthesizer. Do you remember my post from the NAMM show back in January 2012? Well I really didn’t think we would be waiting until September 2013 before the first of these became available. What have Waldorf been up to? I did however have a little go on this at Musikmesse this year – great fun especially the arpeggiator.

Sometimes you just have to wait if you want something good and the new Waldorf Pulse 2 Analogue Synthesizer certainly looks worth it. Waldorf have grown and grown and their products today are well liked and if you know of their previous products in the Pulse Range you will know they are legendary. With a newly designed Pulse 2 for 2013 (should have been 2012), Waldorf are about to give you all what you desire in this great, powerful and strong metal box of tricks.

It has for starters three analogue oscillators which seem to be right at home with my favourite – the VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter). This is no basic VCF and offers 12dB Highpass and Bandpass modes in addition to 24dB/12dB Lowpass for providing some real beef to the sound.

There is so much more to this synth, with a 128×64 character backlit LCD, a powerful arpeggiator, a Noise Generator, VCA, Ring Modulator, Analogue Filter FM, Pulsewidth Modulation, LFO, two Overdrive circuits and hard Sync, an Alternating Pulsewidth Modulation mode, an XOR Osc mode, CV Out, Gate Out, USB, Midi In and Out

If you want to create those sort-after sounds – you need a Pulse 2 which you can purchase direct from Waldorf €461.00 EUR/$610.00 USD (excluding tax). I have seen some UK prices as low as £406.

Apr 20

Well what a great time I had in Frankfurt, we have seen the keyboards and drums in a bit of detail but there was some other memories to keep of this visit such as the Rhine, the Bose lorry, the Light show, the girls, the buildings and the guitars. Oh I nearly forgot, I have a small clip of Monolith – what a great performance and sound with their fantastic talent with midi controllers. Read on to see the clip.

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Apr 19

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Apr 10

It is a great privilege to be attending Musikmesse in Frankfurt this weekend. Already there has been a surprising announcement of new products – Korg Kross Synth, Novation Bass Station II, Roland RC-505 Looper, Native Instruments Komplete 9 software package, Avid Pro Tools 11 DAW, Arturia KeyLab range of professional-grade MIDI keyboard controllers with all-new accompanying Analog Lab synthesizer software, Genelec M Series Monitors, Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 software synth, Softube Console 1 hardware/software music mixing solution, TC Helicon Harmony Singer, Novation Launchpad S, Universal Audio Apollo 16 Audio Interface, Nord Drum 2 and Nord Pad, Nord Lead 4, Korg Volca analogue groove boxes, Nord Piano 2 HP, RME MADiface XT – the world’s first USB 3.0 audio interface, SPL Crimson USB Audio Interface & Controller, and at long last the Waldorf Pulse 2 Synth.

I am sure there are many others that will capture my heart and interest and possibly my wallet. I hope to bring back some great pictures and useful information to share with you

Feb 22

Well here is a big surprise from Germany, after waiting for the release of the Waldorf Pulse 2 after months and months (they now say its going to be spring 2013), Waldorf have anounced a lovely little synth called ROCKET to be released in March 2013 and it is only 205 Euros.

It has a square shape case and sounds very powerful. Well I suppose a rocket is meant to. It has an analog multimode VCF with lowpass, bandpass, and highpass, resonance up to self oscillation and beyond, a powerful monophonic oscillator section with Ultra High Density Sawtooth and unison for chord play – sounds great fun – I want one. On top of this it has an Arp and a destructive Booster circuit – wow.


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Mar 29

New Synth App for the iPad desined by Waldorf and Rolf Wöhrmann

This has made my day – Waldorf who have made some great hardware synths like the Blofeld and the new Pulse 2 as well as Software Synths like the Largo and Lector have now joined up with Rolf Wöhrmann to make a fantastic App for Apple’s iPad, iPad 2 and now iPad3 that should be available to you this Summer.

The iPad is an ideal  platform for wavetable synthesis and will more than likely take it up a notch  to a new level. This will  make it possible to go deep into wavetables and show the sound in 3-D and offer completely new ways for sound creation and manipulation.

This new approach to wavetable synthesis allows for the transposition of the spectrum and the balance of periodic and sound spectra entirely independent from a wave’s position extending the wavetable technology  we have now by two new dimensions. It also allows for formant shifts as well as numerous other unheard sounds and as well as this the number and length of waves in a wavetable will no longer be restricted – Wow

Musicians are MIDI mad and this application will cater for many MIDI interfaces from IK Multimedia, iConnectMIDI, MIDI Mobilizer II by Line6, Alesis ioDock or the Camera Connection Kit by Apple and the SynthStation by Akai. App collaboration standards like Sonoma‘s Audio Copy/Paste, Intua‘s Audio Pasteboard and Virtual Core MIDI will also be supported like the upcoming AudioBus standard and KORG’s WIST synchronization technology.

I am really looking forward to trying this out as I am the Pulse 2 – keep an eye on http://www.waldorfmusic.de/for further information.

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