MIDI

Reveal Sound releases Trance Energy for Spire

Reveal Sound has launched Trance Energy, a soundset by Trance Euphoria for the Spire synthesizer instrument. Trance Euphoria are proud to present

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Toontrack releases Hip-Hop Grooves MIDI pack

Toontrack has announced the release of Hip-Hop Grooves, a collection of MIDI drum grooves for a wide range of hip-hop styles. This

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Loopmasters releases House & Tech Drums

Loopmasters has launched House & Tech Drums, a collection of royalty free drum one shot samples and MIDI beats. House & Tech Drums features 160 punchy drum one shot samples aimed at dance producers looking … read more

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The Loop Loft launches Spring Sale – 40% off packs

The Loop Loft has announced the launch of its Spring Sale, offering a 40% discount on its products for a limited time only. Save 40% on all loops, samples, MIDI and more with code: SPRING40 … read more

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Vince Clarke releases VCM20 / VCS20 Auto Tune System

Vince Clarke has launched the VCM20 & VCS20, a MIDI to CV converter/calibration system in Eurorack format. This self contained Eurorack expandable Midi to CV converter/calibration system offers an uncomplicated solution to the problems of … read more

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The Saw Bench is a 100€ Analog Synth; Here’s What Its Creators Say

The list of inexpensive electronic instruments you can have for a little bit of change continues to grow. The Saw Bench, now on Kickstarter, is a 100% analog monosynth. You get one voice, one oscillator with modulation, in a box with some hands-on control via knobs and MIDI input (for notes and control).

It’s so nice, and so cheap, that I had to go talk to its creators to find out the whole story. And that lead to a nice chap from the Netherlands by the way of Pieter van der Meer.

I was especially confused about the price – at 100€ assembled, they’re more or less putting it together for free and charging you not much beyond their cost. So I asked about that, too. (Spoiler: this box is a calling card for them as makers – and what a nice calling card it appears to be!)

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Pieter explains:

What would I want to say to CDM readers about the Saw Bench Synth:

We’re kind of proud of this thing ourselves. It feels great to play around with, the sound is fat. We try to convey this in the videos, but when you hold this thing in your own hands it adds a dimension. It feels very solid, robust, you can take it with you. It’s precise, but if you want, and overdrive some parameters, it can be made to sound very organic.. Just like we intended.

And what we want to say about Tasty Chips:

We’re a company makes affordable instruments of high character. We use digital for the precision and interfaces. And we use analog for the warm, organic sound, and the direct controls. We want to give musicians instruments that aid their creativity.

About the price:

Yeah, the price is very competitive for sure. The Saw Bench is our attempt to make a name for ourselves. We already made loads of prototypes, and one Arduino shield that actually got produced, but the Saw Bench is the first real synth that’s usable out-of-the-box. It’s our way of saying “Hello world”. Yes, we won’t make much money at this price point, and I guess some people suspect that it’s just a toy.. until they use it for themselves. Which I definitely hope they will.

Kickstarter and solid performance-to-price ratio are ways to put our company on the map. We really do rely a lot on the KS campaign.

You can choose whether you want to assemble it yourself and whether you want their case. Your options:

60€ Unassembled kit
80€ Assembled electronics, minus case
100€ Fully-assembled Saw Bench in a case

I’m still partial to having more than one oscillator for detuning and so on, but as with any one-oscillator synth, you can focus on a rawer sound and add modulation with an LFO.

The other (necessary) tradeoff for this compact design and low cost is that, while there is hands-on control of everything you’d want, you’ll need to make use of a shift key to make full advantage of the knobs.

But by giving it a sensible range of modulation, plus a beautiful-sounding four-pole diode ladder filter, I’d say this is a win. (The filter, as per usual, really makes it for me.)

You have just a couple of weeks left before the project is funded on Kickstarter.

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All the details:

Features:

Small and portable, yet very ergonomic. Focus on hands-on controls with good grouping and spacing.
A four-pole diode ladder VCF, with high resonance and self-oscillation.
Frequency Modulation for very deep growling bass sounds.
Separate ADSR envelopes for VCA and VCF.
LFO with 3 waveforms, plus a random (sample and hold alike), for VCF.
Manual controls such for Env and LFO enable, waveform selection, ADSR mode / LFO switching.
MIDI controls of all digital features (envelopes, VCF cutoff, LFO, etc).
Extremely durable metal casing, at a very low price point…

Specifications:

VCO (saw, 4 Hz – 4 kHz) (LFO range – around the highest piano note)
VCF (four-pole low-pass, diode ladder)
VCA (80 dB)
Frequency Modulation
LFO (four wave forms, 100 mHz – 20 Hz)
2 ADSR Envelopes
Direct control: 6 potentiometers, 2 buttons and 2 toggles

And it sounds very pretty indeed:

Previously, the same team made an analog synth as a shield (add-on) for Arduino:

Arduino Piggyback Synthesizer

They’re halfway there.

Our compact, affordable synth studios are filling out nicely. Congrats to more independent builders – looking forward to seeing what this is like in person and (hopefully) more work from y’all!

The Saw Bench Synthesizer, by Tasty Chips Electronics [Kickstarter]

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Toontrack releases Hip-Hop! EZX

Toontrack has announced the release of the Hip-Hop! EZX, the third EZX sound library expansion since the EZdrummer 2 launch in 2014. ”This is easily one of the most comprehensive products in the history of … read more

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Sample Tools by Cr2 releases Drum + Bass sample pack

Sample Tools by Cr2 has released Drum + Bass, a sample pack for drum and bass music production. Do you struggle to compete in one of the toughest genres to produce? Do you want access … read more

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MIDI and Audio Over iOS Cable: Here’s How, Available Now

audiomux-midimux

We’ve seen the future, and it’s … back to wires.

First, we saw midimux connect any MIDI app or hardware on your iOS device to any MIDI software or hardware connected to your Mac. Plus in a 30-pin or Lightning cable, run some software on each end, and connect anything. Then, we saw the promise of audiomux – doing the same thing for audio streams.

Now, audiomux is available on the App Store, not only individually, but as a bundle with midimux. (The developers initially asked midimux users to wait while that bundle became available, to avoid overspending.)

And, as all of this have unfolded, a number of videos and hands-on tests have demonstrated what it can do. Plus, there’s a new (competing) solution out for Windows users, too, so you don’t have to feel left out. Let’s get caught up.

Here’s a great video walkthrough of both midimux and audiomux by the folks at thesoundtestroom:

If you’re low on cash, they’ll actually reward you with a free license for a short “essay contest” – clever!

Midimux & Audiomux Essay Contest

For just a glimpse of what audiomux can do, here’s a one-minute video:

audiomux and midimux are powerful – maybe more powerful than some people need. If you just need one connection for MIDI between an app and your computer, MIDI LE will do the job free. (I think midimux is well worth the money, but sometimes people do prefer simpler solutions!)

MIDI LE also has one very significant advantage: it’s available now in beta on Windows, whereas midimux is OS X-only.

http://www.s-r-n.de/midile/

Windows beta FAQ

It’s the work of Matthias Frick, who originally made it for himself but was inspired – partly by your comments here on CDM – to go ahead and release it.

midilewindows

For more on audiomux/midimux, see our past coverage:

Soon Your iPad Will Be Wired Into Your Music Studio: Midimux

Now, Across iOS and Mac, Everything is Musically Connected [Video]

Here’s How To Connect the iPad’s Easiest Pattern Maker to Your Mac [Video Tutorial]

But regardless of which tool you choose, it’s great to see something simply work over a wire. Wireless can be a wonderful thing, but there’s no reason to be forced into it, or allow it to devolve into something that costs time and effort instead of saves it.

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Giveaway: Prime Loops Rainer + Grimm: Toronto House

Prime Loops has recently launched Rainer + Grimm: Toronto House, a Toneworxx sample pack featuring a collection of Deep & Tech House samples & MIDI files. Toneworxx is proud to present Rainer + Grimm and … read more

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