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:

The post deton8 is a little drum machine with loads of soul appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Two twisted desktop grooveboxes: hapiNES L, Acid8 MKIII

Now the Nintendo NES inspires a new groovebox, with the desktop hapiNES. And not to be outdone, Twisted Electrons’ acid line is back with a MKIII model, too.

Twisted Electrons have been making acid- and chip music-flavored groovemakers of various sorts. That started with enclosed desktop boxes like the Acid8. But lately, we’d gotten some tiny models on exposed circuit boards, inspired by the Pocket Operator line from Teenage Engineering (and combining well with those Swedish devices, too).

Well, if you liked that Nintendo-flavored chip music sound but longer for a finished case and finger-friendly proper knobs and buttons, you’re in luck. The hapiNES L is here in preorder now, and shipping next month. It’s a groovebox with a 303-style sequencer and tons of parameter controls, but with a sound engine inspired by the RP2A07 chip.

“RP2A07” is not something that likely brings you back to your childhood (uh, unless you spent your childhood on a Famicom assembly line in Japan for some reason – very cool). Think to the Nintendo Entertainment System and that unique, strident sound from the video games of the era – here with controls you can sequence and tweak rather than having to hard-code.

You get a huge range of features here:

Hardware MIDI input (sync, notes and parameter modulation)
Analog trigger sync in and out
USB-MIDI input (sync, notes and parameter modulation)
Dedicated VST/AU plugin for full DAW integration
4 tracks for real-time composing
Authentic triangle bass
2 squares with variable pulsewidth
59 synthesized preset drum sounds + 1 self-evolving drum sound
16 arpeggiator modes with variable speed
Vibrato with variable depth and speed
18 Buttons
32 Leds
6 high quality potentiometers
16 pattern memory
3 levels of LED brightness (Beach, Studio, Club)
Live recording, key change and pattern chaining (up to 16 patterns/ 256 steps)
Pattern copy/pasting
Ratcheting (up to 4 hits per step)
Reset on any step (1-16 step patterns)

If you want to revisit the bare board version, here you go:

255EUR before VAT.

Okay, so that’s all well and good. But if you want an original 8-bit synth, the Acid8 is still worth a look. It’s got plenty of sound features all its own, and the MKIII release loads in a ton of new digital goodies – very possibly enough to break the Nintendo spell and woo you away from the NES device.

In the MKIII, there’s a new digital filter, new real-time effects (transposition automation, filter wobble, stutter, vinyl spin-down, and more), and dual oscillators.

Dual oscillators alone are interesting, and the digital filter gives this some of the edge you presumably crave if drawn to this device.

And if you are upgrading from the baby uAcid8 board, you add hardware MIDI, analog sync in and out, and of course proper controls and a metal case.


USB-MIDI input (sync, notes and parameter modulation)
Hardware MIDI input (sync, notes and parameter modulation)
Analog sync trigger input and output
Dedicated VST/AU plugin for full DAW integration
18 Buttons
32 Leds
6 high quality potentiometers
Arp Fx with variable depth and decay time
Filter Wobble with variable speed and depth
Crush Fx with variable depth
Pattern Copy/Pasting
Variable VCA decay (note length)
Tap tempo, variable Swing
Patterns can reset at any step (1-16 step pattern lengths)
Variable pulse-width (for square waveforms)
12 sounds: Square, Saw and Triangle each in 4 flavors (Normal, Distorted, Fat/Detuned, Harmonized/Techno).
3 levels of LED brightness (Beach, Studio, Club)
Live recording, key change and pattern chaining

Again, we have just the video of the board, but it gives you idea. Quite clever, really, putting out these devices first as the inexpensive bare boards and then offering the full desktop releases.

More; also shipping next month with preorders now:

The post Two twisted desktop grooveboxes: hapiNES L, Acid8 MKIII appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Jetzt in „richtig“ – sehr klein, niedlich aber dennoch „mehr Pro“ – HaPiNes Desktop von Twisted Electrons

Twisted Electrons hapines-desktopTwisted Electrons hapines-desktop

Es gab einst eine Platine mit dem Namen HaPiNes, was ein Wortspiel mit NES andeutete, also dem Nintendo Entertainment System und damit Chiptunes, jedoch mit Sequencer und ein paar Sound-Einstellern.

Das alte Gerät war eigentlich kein Gerät, sondern ein Platine. So wie die Taschenrechner-Serie von Teenage Engineering war sie nackt und wirkte etwas unscheinbar. Das hat Twisted Electron bemerkt und eingesehen. Daher gibt es nun den Twisted Electrons HaPiNes Desktop.

Die Möglichkeiten des NES sind 5 Sound-„Kanäle“. Das sind genauer: 2 Rechteck-Wellenformen mit variabler Pulsbreite, eine Dreieck-Wellenform, ein Rauschgenerator und eigentlich noch ein 6-Bit PCM-Sampling-Bereich. HaPiNess kommt auch von Raspberry Pi und es gibt hier MIDI-In, Trigger-Sync für Eingang und Ausgang, ein Plug-in zu Steuerung der Parameter, 4 „Kanäle“ Echtzeit-Sound (nicht 5), also ohne Sampling, und 59 synthetische Drumsounds sowie einen speziellen weiteren, den der Hersteller mit „evolving“ beschreibt.

Bühnen-Action mit dem HaPiNes Desktop

Als Performance-Elemente sind 16 Arpeggio-Modes vorgesehen und ein Vibrato-LFO. Alles zusammen wird über 6 Knöpfe gesteuert, die über Controller oder das Plug-in noch etwas erweitert gesteuert werden können. Das kleine Gerät kann sogar Ratcheting, also das schnellere Spielen von Noten, die die Raster-Auflösung übersteigen (Roll-Funktion). Es gibt 256 Steps in 16 Patterns im Gerät und 3 Helligkeitsstufen für verschiedene Zwecke (Draußen, Drinnen und „normal). Ja, Hapines wird genau so geschrieben! Es ist ein doppeltes Wortspiel! Und ganz nebenbei auch vom Hersteller in allen Varianten, was Groß- und Kleinschreibung der einzelnen Buchstaben betrifft.

Mehr Information

Das alles soll es für 255 Euro plus Steuer ab März 2019 zu kaufen geben. Die Quelle ist direkt bei und auf der Website von Twisted Electrons zu finden.


Twisted Electrons – 2 kleine Synthesizer mit DAW Steuerung (Total Integration)

Twisted Electrons Acid8:NES daw-integrationTwisted Electrons Acid8:NES daw-integration

Wirklich superklein sind die beiden Synthesizer von Twisted Electrons hapiNES & μacid8, sie können in die DAW eingebunden werden.

Ziemlich neu und speziell ist die Tatsache, dass sie faktisch in Platinenform ähnlich der Pocket Operatoren von Teenage Engineering angeboten werden und daher auch sehr günstig sein werden.

Twisted Electrons hapiNES & μacid8 – mit DAW-Einbindung

Seit der Superbooth hat man noch so lange daran gearbeitet, dass man sie per Plug-in steuern kann von der DAW aus. Es handelt sich also um eine USB-MIDI-Lösung mit vollständiger Automation im Rechner. Das bedeutet, dass alle Parameter und Noten am Rechner hergestellt werden können und MIDI-Daten über USB fließen.

Die beiden Geräte sind jeweils mit Acid und NES im Namen vermutlich für Nerds schon ausreichend erklärt: der Sound von 8-Bit Chiptune-Musik im (hapi)NES und 303-Style Acid mit dem µAcid8. Sie sollen jeweils 99 Euro kosten und im Oktober dann tatsächlich auch erhältlich sein.

Die beiden Geräte selbst sind Minisynthesizer mit Knöpfen, die auch ohne Rechner funktionieren. Mit ihren 12 bzw. 13 Potis in der Software haben sie sogar vergleichsweise viele Bedienelemente für ihre geringe Größe und passen quasi in die Hosentasche. Die Geräte selbst haben 6 Knöpfe und eine Art kleine Miniklaviatur mit 2 Oktaven. So sind sie auch sonst gut bedienbar. Die Klaviatur bietet Möglichkeiten der Eingabe, weshalb keiner Angst haben muss, dass man einige Parameter nicht erreicht. Es geht nur etwas anders.


Ein paar erste Demos:

Cute little €99 NES, acid music toys: coming soon, totally connected

Twisted Electrons’ small, fun-looking boards with acid and Nintendo chip sounds are one of the sound toys we’re most eagerly anticipating this year. And now they’re adding some connectivity: clock, USB MIDI, and an editor.

Here’s the story so far: Twisted Electrons have already been making some pretty powerful desktop synths and sequencers. But then they were inspired by Teenage Engineering’s dirt-cheap, impulse-buy tiny boards, the Pocket Operators. (It’s okay to say that; they’re open about the inspiration and it sounds like those crazy kids up in Sweden are more than happy about it.) So, they took the 8-bit acid bass wavetable sounds and step sequencer out of their acid8 synth, and added a new synth inspired by the chip from the classic Nintendo Entertainment System console.

We saw these boards first at Superbooth in Berlin. They look like fun little gadgets, especially if you’re after some chip sounds.

And oh wow does the NES board sound great. Plus, I like that this takes a hands-on approach to sound and step sequencing – nothing against trackers and the program-the-sound approach, but it’s nice to have the same sound set with a different approach:

The “acid” uacid8 instrument is sexy, too – love child of a TB-303’s squelch and the grittier sounds of chip music:

If you were already waiting for them, there was a manufacturing delay as they moved manufacturing into Europe. But now we get extra features:

1. MIDI clock compatibility

2. USB MIDI support

3. VST editor for desktop

Ah-ha! So now, instead of having some fun toys you play around with for an evening that then collect dust, you can be sure you’ll be able to wire these into your existing setup, sync them up, and be productive actually adding them to projects and make some finished songs.

DAW integration looks like so:

The soundtrack for that video game you dreamed of as a kid can now be a reality. Get making and become the chip composer legend you never were.

Or, at least, get ready to do that around October when these ship. We’ll be waiting. That’s €99 for the world that isn’t in the Eurozone, plus a little more with VAT if you’re on the inside of the Fortress Europe walls.

Preorder product pages:

The post Cute little €99 NES, acid music toys: coming soon, totally connected appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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