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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Thesys sequencer by Sugar Bytes gets Audio Unit v3 and iCloud Drive support

Sugar Bytes Thesys for iOS

Sugar Bytes has announced that its Thesys MIDI sequencing app for iOS now supports the Audio Unit extension and iCloud Drive with the new 1.3.0 update. Users can now sequence instruments in their mobile DAWs or use the Standalone to directly trigger their favourite AUv3 plugin. Through iCloud, you’ll be able to share your saved […]

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Save 25% on AutoTheory 4 Music Composition Tool by Mozaic Beats

Autotheory 25 OFF PluginBoutique

Plugin Boutique has announced an exclusive 25% discount on the AutoTheory 4 music composition tool by Mozaic Beats that offers industry standard MIDI effects in a synchronized environment. AutoTheory 4 takes industry standard midi effects and synchronizes them into the most expansive and easy to use composition software available. Our patented improvements upon traditional Scale, […]

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Ghosthack launches Ultimate Techno Essentials sample pack

Ghosthack Ultimate Techno Essentials

Ghosthack has launched a new sound library for Techno and Tech-House called Ultimate Techno Essentials, a collection of 540 one-shots, loops, MIDI files, synth presets and construction kits. This royalty free sound library includes a full set of handcrafted tools for professional Techno and Tech-House productions. Expect booming kicks and claps, melodic arps, heavy bass […]

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Toontrack releases Urban Jazz Grooves & Urban Jazz EZkeys MIDI packs

Toontrack Urban Jazz MIDI packs

Toontrack has announced the release of the Urban Jazz Grooves MIDI pack and the Urban Jazz EZkeys MIDI pack, two individual collections of MIDI for drums and EZkeys. Urban Jazz Grooves Urban jazz is probably best described as a less busy, more pocket-oriented and backbeat-driven derivate of fusion. Basically, it’s a seamless blend that merges […]

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W.A. Production releases What About: Jazz & Blues for Instachord

WA Production What About Jazz & Blues for InstaChord

W.A. Production has released a new presets pack for the InstaChord MIDI processing plugin that helps you play chords and chord progressions faster and easier. The What About: Jazz & Blues pack includes a collection of 50 presets for Blues, Disco, Funk and Jazz. We received so many requests for more presets for Instachord that […]

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Novation Circuit crams still more features: 1.8 update

There’s yet another firmware update for Novation’s Circuit, the inexpensive synth/drum groovebox. 1.8 adds new internal expression features like non-quantized recording, plus custom MIDI channels for use with external gear.

Firmware updates are not normally worth making front-page news, but there’s something unique about the unstoppable force of the Circuit.

It’s small. It’s cheap – still around US$350 new, and used for a lot less. It’s simple – the big surprise has been that what first appeared as a basic entry-level instrument has become a sleeper hit packing unexpected powers. And it just keeps adding firmware updates, at this point seeming more like the sort of thing we’d get from hacker users than from the manufacturer.

New in this build:

Record without quantizing. This one’s long overdue – sure, it’s nice that Circuit automatically quantizes for anyone who’s finger drumming skills suck, but it also takes the soul out of the music. Now you can choose.

Per-note velocity. This was another sort of oversight – because Circuit can have more than one note on the same step, but didn’t track the velocity for each note, you had multiple notes that were all stuck with the same velocity. Now each note has its own velocity.

Synth microsteps. Each step has up to six microsteps for still more rhythmic division.

Assignable MIDI channels. Synth 1, Synth 2, and Drums let you choose MIDI channel 1 to 15, useful if your outboard gear doesn’t let you select.

Also a new 1.8 feature (not sure when it was introduced) – CALC has grown a mustache. Erm, 1.8 video:

I think we’re now probably really mostly at the end of the life of Circuit in terms of what the hardware will even run, but it’s still worth noting this longer journey. And actually, just having these additional features might be reason to bring a unit out again, especially with outboard MIDI sequencing.

And there’s a lesson for more long-ter life for gear. MPC die-hards will likely have fond memories of JJ OS, an unofficial alternative firmware for the Akai MPC1000 and MPC2500. Now it’s time for that sort of mindset to apply to official releases.

And why not? Musicians love buying gear. If they got the sense that their hardware would get long-term support rather than being abandoned, they might actually buy more gear. And it’s clear the attention Novation lavished on Circuit has had a halo effect on the whole brand. So manufacturers, take note: musicians invest more in long-term love than they do in planned obsolescence.

So you do hope more manufacturers devote this kind of effort into updates. Novation have been a model for browser-based updates and editing, one you’d hope others follow. And it’d be great where manufacturers don’t devote resources themselves, that they find ways of leaving architectures open for users to modify and extend their gear – whether large manufacturers or small shops.

If it sounds like I may be leading up to discussions of that elsewhere, you bet I am. So other manufacturers working on updates and extensibility, or who would like to talk about those ideas generally, we’d love to hear from you.

More on Circuit:

Grab the update:

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InstaScale MIDI plugin on sale for $9.90 USD + InstaSeries Bundle Upgrade for $30 USD!

WA Production InstaScale MIDI processing plugin

Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on Instascale, offering 86% off on the MIDI processor plugin that allows you to explore the world of scales and expand your creativity in a way that you never have before. Instascale is a newly invented, scale oriented instrument with only 16 keys to play with. But wait, is […]

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It Might Get Loud Productions Spring Sale: Save up to 75% + New MIDI Packs

It Might Get Loud Spring Sale

It Might Get Loud Productions has launched a Spring Sale, offering discounts of up to 75% on its drum instruments, plugins and MIDI packs, including three new titles. All MIDI Packs are on sale for $10 USD each (regular $15 USD), including these new collections: Progressive Death Metal Essentials, grooves inspired by 1990’s Florida Death […]

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