Native Instruments launches charity sound pack to raise money for COVID-19 relief

NI Expansion Community Drive

Nine-time Grammy nominee Sia, hitmaking production duo Take A Daytrip (Lil Nas X, Travis Scott & Kid Cudi) and hip-hop legend Just Blaze (Jay-Z, Eminem) are three of the 14 genre-defining artists across the musical spectrum who’ve contributed exclusive audio stems, samples and production kits to the music community via Community Drive. The free charity […]

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Native Instruments launches Infinite Escape Expansion by Alexkid

NI Infinite Escape

Native Instruments has announced its new Expansion series pack Infinite Escape, a collection of sounds that brings the elusive, nuanced, and intricate sound of minimal. Created in collaboration with pioneering producer Alexkid, Infinite Escape includes pared-back beats, hybrid analog and acoustic percussion, warm subs, deep pads, and trippy synths. INFINITE ESCAPE captures the sound of […]

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Native Instruments releases Anima Ascent Expansion by Ivory Bull

NI Anima Ascent

Native Instruments has announced its new Expansion series pack Anima Ascent, a collection of ultra-modern pop sounds with a genre-defying blend of trap, R&B, and soul. Popped percussion kits meet multisampled vintage synths, hybrid keys, and video game sounds in this expansion by Ivory Bull, whose collaborators include Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Charli XCX, and […]

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Get 70% OFF 11 packs with Industrial Stength’s Bass Music Production Bundle

Industrial Strength Bass Music Production Bundle

Industrial Strength Samples has launched its new handpicked Bass Music Bundle, a collection of 11 sample packs at over 70% off the regular price. The bundle includes a huge archive of samples and loops, Massive presets, Battery kits, and more. All the packs are geared up for Bass Music styles. Fuse this pack into your […]

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DJ Khalil shares new Artist Expansion with Native Instruments

Artist Expansion DJ Khalil artwork logo

Native Instruments has released a collection of hand-crafted sounds from an LA mastermind who has worked with the likes of 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Logic, Nipsey Hussle, and many more. Artist Expansion: DJ Khalil brings smooth funk, vintage synth tones, and hard-hitting live drums from a master of the craft. Following The Stereotypes, this […]

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Native Instruments releases Faded Reels Expansion & Play Series: Lo-Fi Glow

NI Faded Reels and LoFi Glow

Native Instruments has launched its latest expansion pack Faded Reels, a collection of chilled-out lo-fi beats that captures the hazy aesthetics of lo-fi Hip Hop. A collaboration with MSXII, the pack includes 50 Maschine kits and 59 Battery kits, including live bass, guitars, synths, and keys, processed using tape and hardware samplers. The lo-fi takeover […]

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Native Instruments delivers a vibrant blend of hip hop and electronic beats with Magnetic Coast

NI Magnetic Coast

Native Instruments has announced availability of its new Expansion pack Magnetic Coast, a collection of Jazz-infused chords, kaleidoscopic synths, and laid-back drums that bring a vibrant blend of hip hop and electronic beats. The pack includes kits for Maschine and Battery, loops, synth presets, and more. Inspired by the polychromatic productions of Flying Lotus, NxWorries, […]

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SH-101, the next generation? Superlative Instruments launch the svelte SB01

There’s an all-new keyboard instrument, born in the USA. It’s got the spirit of the Roland SH-101, but with modern design features. And CDM is getting an exclusive first look.

It’s analog for the 21st century – rechargeable and thin, like a smartphone, but with analog circuitry and instrumental interaction, like the classics that inspired it.

Superlative Instruments showed a non-final version of this instrument back at the Superbooth show in Berlin, but the company tells us they’ve been hard at work developing the design through the summer.

What’s new? They’ve changed materials, including upgrading to an all-aluminum chassis. It’s rechargeable, with up to 16 hours of battery life. And they’ve updated the design.

We’re seeing some new keyboards these days, but generally with big manufacturers behind them. SI is a real indie hardware label, and they tell us they have some ambitious progressive ideas about keeping the design open and supporting good causes (we got talking about bee health, for one). There will even be open-source firmware.

Of course, the irony of this is that, wonderful an instrument as it may be, the engineering on the SH-101 was anything but luxurious. So curiously what you get on the SB01 is like a deluxe remake, retaining the workflow and basic layout but re-imagining the 101 in a much more attractive “space bee” look.

If original synth designs is what you want, this isn’t it – it is intentionally a clone of the analog essentials, which on some level puts it in contention with the likes of Behringer. But rather than cloning being a race to the bottom, here you get more of the equivalent of what happens in boutique sports cars – recreations that modernize the form and engineering while retaining basic function.

What’s actually inside?

  • Analog circuitry, inspired by the original Roland (in collaboration with Open Music Labs)
  • 3340 voltage controller oscillator + 4-pole OTA filter (that’s what makes this sound like a 101)
  • USB-C connector for both power and data (MIDI)
  • MIDI in and out (on minijack)
  • Pedal input
  • Full CV inputs, too – CV (1v/octave) for pitch, gate, trigger, and mod CV input for the VCO/VCF
  • And CV output – 1v/oct, gate, trigger
  • Phone and line audio outputs
  • 32-key keyboard with octave transposition, portamento
  • A new “performance” bender – 360 degree joystick for pitch bend, filter, and vibrato
  • Keytar grip (as on the Roland) 3-axis accelerometer control (that’ll be new)

There’s also a new step sequencer. This basically expands the original, with 256 notes x 64 different locations. It’s got the signature SH sequencing (LOAD, PLAY buttons, rest, slide), but also an arpeggiator and chord mode/hold. There’s also a CHAIN mode and JUMP for immediately triggering sequences, so you get deeper sequencing possibilities but still oriented around live performance.

Sequencer specs:

  • Dual sequencer / arpeggiator
  • Arpeggiator modes: up, down, up&down, random
  • Sequencer: play directions, live editing
  • Key transpose, latch, hold
  • Bi-color LED layer indicators
  • 256 steps per sequence
  • 2 banks x 32 pattern memory locations

The keys are actually full size, but fit into a slim casing – so they say this is carry-on friendly (and they’re offering a tote bag as accessory). The action is a quiet rubber dome switch to allow that slim shape.

The whole package is 491mm x 249mm x an incredible 24 mm (that’s 19.3″ x 9.8″ x 1″)!

No pricing details yet, but Kickstarter is launching shortly. 200 “Early Bee” units will be available in the preorder.

Waiting on updated videos on this one – I’ll post an update soon – but here’s a slightly outdated look at what they had going earlier this year:

More info:

https://playsuperlative.com/

Kickstarter campaign (pre-notification)

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NI’s Pure Drip Expansion offers chart-topping modern Hip Hop from Snipe Young

Native Instruments Pure Drip

Native Instruments has launched its new Expansion series pack Pure Drip, featuring fluorescent and melodic chart-dominating beats for a diverse blend of atmospheric trap, anthemic hip hop, and forward-thinking pop. The pack by Snipe Young includes samples and loops, drum kits for Battery and Maschine, synth presets for Massive, Monark and Reaktor Prism, and more. […]

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Native Instruments launches Indigo Dust, vibrant melodic Techno by Torsten Fassbender

NI Indigo Dust

Native Instruments has released the new Indigo Dust Expansion pack in collaboration with Torsten Fassbender, a collection of polished, festival-ready Techno sounds. The expansion includes 47 Battery kits and 37 Maschine kits packed with pitch-perfect drums and percussion, synth presets, samples, and loops full of deep basses, moody chords, and emotive pads. Embody the spirit […]

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