Moog teases spectral shift invention for Moogfest

Moogfest is inbound, and that means some new, limited quantity creation of the engineers at Moog. This year it’s a fascinating looking spectral shift module.

The packed festival season is inbound, and whereas that once meant bands and crowd pleasers, now there’s a lot of advanced technology and electronic music – from SONAR to Superbooth to MUTEK to GAMMA to Moogfest, among others.

And Moogfest with a renowned synth builder in the name, of course some of the hardware is also “headlining.” Moog this year haven’t even named their creation yet, but it seems there’s some spectral/vocoder (check the carrier knob) processing going on. They describe it thusly:

This year’s design (shown here patched into synthesizers from previous years’ Engineer Workshops) explores how electronic instruments create an analog of the human experience, speaking directly to the way in which physical circuits resonate within one’s self to create a “Spectral Shift”…

Well, watch:

I’m in another country this Moogfest, but if you splurge on an Engineer Pass, you get to make this and take it home with Moog calibration included. The lineup is filling out, too, with the likes of Daniel Miller, nd_baumecker, Jlin, Martin Gore, GAS, Mor Elian, and others (just to name a few favorites).


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Reverb launches SolidGoldFX Athena vibra-phase in limited edition Electro Purple

Athena Vibra Phase

The Canadian effect masters SolidGoldFX just dropped their take on the Uni-Vibe with Athena vibra-phase, and Reverb is the only place you can find it in limited edition Electro Purple. Our Athena vibra-phase unit fittingly contains two of the four stages of the Apollo, giving you the juicy, chewy swoosh of our full-featured with a […]

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IK Multimedia’s iRig Micro Amp with integrated iOS/USB interface is now available

iRig Micro Amp iPhone

IK Multimedia has announced the availability of iRig Micro Amp, a battery-powered, ultra-compact combo amplifier with three on-board analogue channels plus a high-quality digital interface for direct connection to iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC. Introduced at last January’s NAMM Show , the iRig Micro Amp allows users to expand their tone palette by unlocking a […]

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Antelope Audio Orion 32+ | Gen 3 audio interface now available

Antelope Audio Orion32 Gen3

Antelope Audio has announced availability of the Orion 32+ | Gen 3, the third-generation improved audio interface. Announced earlier this year, the interface boasts brand-new AD/DA converters capable of achieving up to 129 dB dynamic range alongside Antelope Audio’s next-generation 64-bit AFC (Acoustically Focused Clocking) technology and jitter management algorithm and a rich collection of […]

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Solid State Logic launches SiX – The Ultimate Desktop Mixer


Solid State Logic has announced the SiX desktop mixer, a fully professional condensed console for use in the studio, in post-production, on stage, and for podcasting. SiX is a classic SSL design, with a carefully considered feature set that is driven by an obsessive desire for total flexibility, to encompass every creative eventuality. It carries […]

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Plankton Electronics launches Kickstarter for SPICE Modular Saturation Unit

Plankton Electronics Spice

Plankton Electronics has announced the launch of a Kickstarter project for its SPICE modular distortion desktop unit. SPICE is a saturator unit capable of a huge variety of sounds of colors. From subtle tube warmness to extreme fuzz distortion. SPICE features Rackable (38HP Eurorack) modular desktop unit. 8 CV inputs with led level indicators. 6 […]

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SSL SiX is a compact version of that legendary console goodness

Few studio consoles are coveted quite like the Solid State Logic. But SSL have had the clever idea of cutting this down to a compact, still pricey, but luxe desktop mixer. And SiX is a good indication the console is back.

Okay, this isn’t by any means going to be a cheap six-channel mixer. Think £999 +VAT, US$1499, €1199+”tax.” (Oh, yeah. I realize I have no idea what “tax” will mean for UK products in… nine days, possibly. Maybe you’ll just ship SSL some dry goods and penicillin in exchange for their mixer. Ack.)

But, you know, at that price we’re still talking something that’s in reach of a lot of independent producers. And it’s also in line with buying premium plug-ins, especially if you figure in the cost of hardware like UAD or a good audio interface. And instead of a picture on a screen of an SSL console, now you get the actual physical goods on your desk – with the actual circuitry, and no need to watch a DSP or CPU meter.

If you’re not tracking a whole lot of stuff at once, this might be perfect. It certainly makes more sense than renting a studio just to use a couple of channels on their desk.

And you get the full works of SSL stuff:

Two mic pres (SSL’s “SuperAnalogue” brand)
A one-knob version of the SSL channel compressor
Listen Mic compressor on the talkback (often used for creative effect)
Two-band channel EQ

I was skeptical at about the two-band EQ, but then SSL go into more detail – you can switch between shelf and bell curves with different center frequencies for each, so this two-band EQ is actually more versatile than a lot of three-band options. And SSL’s approach is basically, we’ll choose the EQ we think works musically for you, rather than you dialing it in.

There are also routing options borrowed from the larger consoles – two stereo cue buses so you can make independent artist mixes, main and alternate monitor outs (with a source matrix), and mono check, dim, and cut. The fader channels also have real PFL (pre-fade listen), and the Mute button routes to Bus B – which can also be a record send for your DAW, or can get routed into the monitor matrix.

And it’s really those routing options and details of the channels that might actually make this thing worthwhile in a project studio. Do I think some rich producers who have no idea how to mix will buy this thing for the brand alone? Of course!

But fitting intelligent routing options into a compact mixer and including SSL’s signature sounds – these are things I could imagine a mix engineer being happy to invest in.

See also the recent SSL Fusion, which costs about two and a half grand, but gives you SSL’s drive, EQ, compressor, stereo image, and Transformer in a handsome rack.

And there’s a message here: people are keen to buy hardware that lasts in place of software plug-ins.

So while this may not be the most sensible budget buy (uh… in case I need to state the obvious), it absolutely is an appealing design. And it’ll have quite a few people saying “mmmm, maybe I can get by with six channels and twelve-channel summing after all.”

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Joué launches re-Connect cable for native MIDI control

Joué re-Connect

Joué has introduced its new re-Connect MIDI cable, allowing you to send native MIDI Out messages with the Joué controller. re-Discover your iconic machines thanks to the re-Connect MIDI cable. No computer, no external box needed. Plug the re-Connect cable to your Joué and it will send native MIDI messages without latency. re-Connect features Connectors […]

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deton8 is a little drum machine with loads of soul

Twisted Electrons move on from acid and chip synths to drum machines. And the deton8, for around three hundred bucks, packs a ton of personality and sound possibility in a cute, playable package.

Twisted Electrons made a name for themselves in fun little boxes and boards packed with 8-bit, chip music, and acid sounds. Those instruments all stand out for lots of sequencing features and hands-on playable options. So a drum machine is of course a natural next step.

But what a next step the deton8 is. Mixing samples and synthesis, 8-bit sounds and wavetable synth, custom kits, and a ton of control and performance, it promises to be one of the more fun packages we may see this year. There’s even a simple NES-style synth in there, so even though a compact bassline synth would be an obvious combination with this, you could even do a lot with just the voices in this hardware.

I’m terrifically eager to get my hands on this one. It’s now much clearer what deton8 is about thanks to a new video – and some tantalizing new details:

For live performance, what’s especially appealing is the sound knob, which has different characteristics for different sounds. That’s a lot more fun than menu diving to change sounds, or being limited to tweaking pitch and duration alone.

Oh yeah, even that decay knob is more fun than usual, since decay doubles as glitchy repeat “delay.”

And in keeping with Twisted’s legacy, this thing is packed with downsampling and bit reduction, which is a perfect match for drums. (Again, that’s especially live – there’s a reason those Game Boy parties got so wild. There’s something about squashing dynamic range and making things screaming and digital that can make people go nuts. I guess partying is about reducing bit depth, anyway, right?)

Stutter, reverse, retriggering, granular algorithms – there’s a bunch there to play and record. I imagine you might make this a primary instrument, or some icing on your existing drum machine … that you could use it for relatively subtle stuff, or go totally nuts.

And it’s eminently affordable. The deton8 is 255 EUR (that’s under US$300), or around 300EUR with VAT.

Here’s the full list of features. The big development was, at the last minute, Alex at Electron responded to overwhelming user requests to load your own samples. So that means in addition to multiple kits included in the box, you’ll be able to use a software editor to slice up and upload your own samples, as both loops and 1-shots – see screenshot.

(Dear Roland, please, please add this to the TR-8S, too! And … yeah, I can imagine the TR and Twisted Electrons would make a wonderfully psycho combo.)


Hardware MIDI
16 patterns of 1-16 steps each
Chain up to 16 patterns in a row to make a song
8 Voices (Kick, Snare, Metal (hats), Clap, Can (tinny sounds), Tom, Nut (woody sounds), SYNTH (NES inspired triangle wavetable synthesizer, with arp that can be shaped to a square).
Two modes: Loop Mode (for breaks and melodic content, decay and tune is global) & Kit mode (individual tuning and decay per part)
Pitch and decay modulation per step on every voice
8 hands on Stutter modes: Beat repeat (with variable rate), Forward granular, Reverse granular, Pendulum granular (scratch), buzz/texture , random granular (noise generation), spin up, spin down
Forward & Reverse sample playback per track
Delay with variable delay time and pitch decay (upwards and downwards)
Ring mod effect with variable frequency
Global pitch shift
Copy/Paste patterns
Real time pattern recording with optional metronome
Tap tempo
Mute/Solo a track
Drive any voice into distortion
Sound variation knob for Kick (add sub), Snare (add noise/snappy), Hats (change texture) and Synth (arpeggiate)
Pump aka sidechain compression emulation (any track can “duck” the others for the pumping/breathing effect)
Pattern clean and randomize for accidental magical beats

It sounds like we should see a review unit in April. See you then.

Promo video for some more sounds:

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St. Patrick’s Day Sale: Get 15% OFF on selected gear at Reverb

Reverb St Patricks Day Sale has announced the launch of its St. Patrick’s Day Sale, an opportunity to grab a good deal on selected gear. What’s that at the end of the rainbow? A pot of gold coins? A stack of gold bars? A Les Paul Goldtop carved entirely out of gold? No, sadly, but it would sound terrible […]

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