Für die *Logue Synthesizer von Korg mit Digital-Oszillator gibt es schon eine große Anzahl von Modellen. Das passiert jetzt auch für den kleinen NTS-1. Den Anfang macht ein Drum-Synthesizer von Ruismaker
Der NTS-1 kostet 115€ und für ihn wird es in Kürze ein Modell zum einladen geben, welches Drumsounds erzeugt. Damit ist eine Bassdrum, eine Hihat (offen und geschlossen) und eine Snare, die sich mit dem Mini-Synthesizer erzeugen lassen gemeint – also ein kleines komplettes Drumset. Das alles kann per MIDI gespielt werden. Für sowas hätte man früher zumindest mal teure Maschinen kaufen müssen. Der NTS-1 macht das quasi „nebenbei“ aber natürlich nur alternativ jeweils pro Modell.
Ruismaker wird das sicher auf der Website bereit stellen. Bekannt sind sie von einigen innovativen Apps wie dem Ripplemaker und dem Mononoke Synth aber eben auch dem Ruismaker Drumsynth, von dessen DNA der NTS-1 hier profitiert.
KORG’s ‘logue instruments let you run custom downloaded tools – now including recent additions like this excellent free delay.
Roll-log Sounds developed this free 8-bit, 2-tap modulated delay plug-in, which can be modulated for sounds ranging from slapback to drone effects and lots of areas in between.
It runs on the KORG instruments that support the ‘logue SDK – so that’s the Prologue, the Minilogue XD, and even the Nu:Tekt NTS-1. That last one runs just around $100 street, and it’s even smaller than a volca, so it’s a good budget and mobile solution. (It’s similar to the developer board KORG originally released with the ‘logue SDK, with some convenient extras.)
There are some really nice-looking features, including sync, automation, and the ability to do audio-rate modulation of both time and amplitude. You can save presets, too, and to get you started, there are examples for “flanged” mod FX, a delay FX “modulated slapback”, and “dub drone” for the reverb slot.
Features (from the developer’s description):
2.7 seconds 8-bit delay.
2x Delay Taps with independent Time / Feedback control.
2x audio-rate LFOs for stereo time and amplitude modulation of the delay taps.
Resonant pre-delay Highpass and post-delay Lowpass Filters.
Delay time sync-able to system BPM with custom time division.
Delay time, LFO rate and Filter cutoff can be mapped to accurate note for external Midi / CV automation.
All 16 internal parameters can be assigned to hardware knobs as macros with user-defined range.
16 preset patches can be packed into one user unit, scrollable through hardware knob.
Carefully optimized algorithm, lighter than the factory flanger.
This is all a good time to check out the graphical editor logueMill, from the same developer. For now, it only has an editor for this Del-8 delay, but it’s possible we’ll see more tools supported in future. Also pay-what-you-will, so throw some coffee money at Roll-log Sounds!
Okay, I know that this shouldn’t appeal to me, but it does. Never tell me not to do something:
Important notice for Nu:Tekt NTS-1: currently there’s a bug that allows you to use custom delay and reverb concurrently, this is NOT INTENTED and may cause the two custom fx to malfunction or worse; if you aren’t sure you wouldn’t accidentally enable both of them, it’s highly recommended to not install any custom reverb until a firmware patch fixes it. Prologue and Minilogue XD does not have this issue.
But wait, there’s more in ‘logue news:
Distortion and bitcrushing/decimate from Sinevibes
Our friend Sinevibes, aka Artemiy, continues his run of great stuff for the KORG platforms.
This time, you get a 5-algorithm multi-effect distortion (Corrosion), and a sample rate + bit depth reduction (DCM8 – “decimate,” get it?):
Corrosion features a total of 5 different distortion curves that enrich the input signal with new harmonics, each doing it in its own unique way. This algorithm is built with 2x oversampling to reduce aliasing, giving a cleaner high-frequency response, and also includes an input noise gate to eliminate static analog noise amplification.
DCM8 changes the input signal’s digital resolution in both time and amplitude domains, degrading its quality. This results in the typical digital distortion – frequency aliasing and quantization noise, reminiscent of vintage sampling machines. Just like Corrosion, DCM8 also includes an input noise gate.
Sound mangling oscillators
Developer Tim Shoebridge is also making custom user oscillators, all for $12. (Swap that overpriced panini for an instant ramen and go!)
FOLD, the newest addition from Tim, emulates analog wave folding circuitry. There’s a long demo video, with some beautiful, warm space-out … s…. oh dear… must … finish … article … must not just … watch ambient music and wavefolding explanations…
He’s got a ton of other nice stuff in there, like simulating analog string synths (nicely lo-fi stuff there), plus a unique approach to plucked string modeling. Tim has done a nice job of making something vaguely like things you’ve heard before, but with a particular, grungy-retro tilt that’s all his own.
All of this means, on even a fairly tight budget, you’ve got excellent choices both in the KORG stuff and in the Arturia MicroFreak with its custom oscillators. Either way, you get a range of wavetable and custom oscillators and effects. Heck, at these prices, you could pick up both. The workflow is totally different, but you would have at your disposal a lot of the same sonic range as a fairly pricey modular rig – and in form factors that might be more convenient for keyboardists, too.
I’m personally keen to try pairing our MeeBlip geode with a KORG NTS-1 (on effects, or adding voices) for an ultra-compact rig.
But this isn’t only about KORG, nice as the KORG stuff is. What we’re seeing is finally the commoditization of digital architectures are starting to make our hardware look as flexible as our software. I think that’s a very good thing, in that it takes a wide sonic palette and makes it eminently accessible and tweakable.
So happy new year, indeed. And here you can spend a few bucks on downloads and feel like you’ve got a new rig and get straight to playing it, even before we get to all the NAMM gear announcements next week.
Previously, Artemiy spoke about his developer experience and why he likes this approach:
KORG has already shown that opening up oscillators and effects to developers can expand their minilogue and prologue keyboards. But now they’re doing the same for the nutekt NTS-1 – a cute little volca-ish kit for synths and effects. Build it, make wild sounds, and … run future stuff on it, too.
Okay, first – even before you get to any of that, the NTS-1 is stupidly cool. It’s a little DIY kit you can snap together without any soldering. And it’s got a fun analog/digital architecture with oscillators, filter, envelope, arpeggiator, and effects.
Basically, if you imagine having a palm-sized, battery-powered synthesis studio, this is that.
Japan has already had access to the Nutekt brand from KORG, a DIY kit line. (Yeah, the rest of the world gets to be jealous of Japan again.) This is the first – and hopefully not the last – time KORG has opened up that brand name to the international scene.
And the NTS-1 is one we’re all going to want to get our hands on, I’ll bet. It’s full of features:
– 4 fixed oscillators (saw, triangle and square, loosely modeled around their analog counterpart in minilogue/prologue, and VPM, a simplified version of the multi-engine VPM oscillator)
– Multimode analog modeled filter with 2/4 pole modes (LP, BP, HP)
– Analog modeled amp. EG with ADSR (fixed DS), AHR, AR and looping AR
– modulation, delay and reverb effects on par with minilogue xd/prologue (subset of)
– arpeggiator with various modes: up, down, up-down, down-up, converge, diverge, conv-div, div-conv, random, stochastic (volca modular style). Chord selection: octaves, major triad, suspended triad, augmented triad, minor triad, diminished triad (since sensor only allows one note at a time). Pattern length: 1-24
– Also: pitch/Shape LFO, Cutoff sweeps, tremollo
– MIDI IN via 2.5mm adapter, USB-MIDI, SYNC in/out
– Audio input with multiple routing options and trim
– Internal speaker and headphone out
That would be fun enough, and we could stop here. But the NTS-1 is also built on the same developer board for the KORG minilogue and prologue keyboards. That SDK opens up developers’ powers to make their own oscillators, effects, and other ideas for KORG hardware. And it’s a big deal the cute little NTS-1 is now part of that picture, not just the (very nice) larger keyboards. I’d see it this way:
NTS-1 buyers can get access to the same custom effects and synths as if they bought the minilogue or prologue.
minilogue and prologue owners get another toy they can use – all three of them supporting new stuff.
Developers can use this inexpensive kit to start developing, and don’t have to buy a prologue or minilogue. (Hey, we’ve got to earn some cash first so we can go buy the other keyboard! Oh yeah I guess I have also rent and food and things to think about, too.)
And maybe most of all –
Developers have an even bigger market for the stuff they create.
This is still a prototype, so we’ll have to wait, and no definite details on pricing and availability.
Yep, still waiting.
Wow, I really want this thing, actually. Hope this wait isn’t long.
I’m in touch with KORG and the analog team’s extraordinary Etienne about the project, so stay tuned. For an understanding of the dev board itself (back when it was much less fun – just a board and no case or fun features):
And if you wondered what the Japanese kits are like – here you go:
Oh, and I’ll also say – the dev platform is working. Sinevibes‘ Artemiy Pavlov was on-hand to show off the amazing stuff he’s doing with oscillators for the KORG ‘logues. They sound the business, covering a rich range of wavetable and modeling goodness – and quickly made me want a ‘logue, which of course is the whole point. But he seems happy with this as a business, which demonstrates that we really are entering new eras of collaboration and creativity in hardware instruments. And that’s great. Artemiy, since I had almost zero time this month, I better come just hang out in Ukraine for extended nerd time minus distractions.
Artemiy is happily making sounds as colorful as that jacket. Check sinevibes.com.