SOUND.TOOLS Matchering mastering service folds, now open source

STUDIO.TOOLS MatcheringSOUND.TOOLS has announced that it has made available the source code of the Matchering online mastering service at GitHub. Previously in open beta, the service has now closed due to lack of interest and a cost of operation that was not sustainable. Matchtering uses an automatic flexible processing algorithm to apply the same RMS, FR, […]

Powerful SURGE synth for Mac and Windows is now free

Vember Audio’s Surge synth could be an ideal choice for an older machine or a tight budget – with deep modulation and loads of wavetables, now free and open source.

And that really means open source: Surge gets a GPL v3 license, which could also make this the basis of other projects.

People are asking for this a lot – “just open source it.” But that can be a lot of work, often prohibitively so. So it’s impressive to see source code dumped on GitHub.

And Surge is a deep synth, even if last updated in 2008. You get an intensive modulation architecture, nearly 200 wavetables, and a bunch of effects (including vocoder and rotary speaker). Plus it’s already 64-bit, so even though it’s a decade old, it’ll play reasonably nicely on newer machines.

Inside the modulation engine.



Synthesis method: Subtractive hybrid
Each patch contain two ‘scenes’ which are separate instances of the entire synthesis engine (except effects) that can be used for layering or split patches.
Quick category-based patch-browser
Future proof, comes as both a 32 & 64-bit VST plugin (Windows PC)
Universal Binary for both VST and AU (Mac)

Factory sounds

1010 patches
183 wavetables


3 oscillators/voice
8 versatile oscillator algorithms: Classic, Sine, Wavetable, Window, FM2, FM3, S/H Noise and Audio-input
The classic oscillator is a morphable pulse/saw/dualsaw oscillator with a sub-oscillator and self-sync.
The FM2/FM3 oscillators consists of a 1 carrier with 2/3 modulators and various options.
Most algorithms (except FM2, FM3, Sine and Audio-input) offer up to 16-voice unison at the oscillator level.
Oscillator FM/ringmodulation
Most oscillator algorithms (except FM2/FM3) are strictly band-limited yet still cover the entire audible spectrum, delivering a clear punchy yet clean sound.
Noise generator with variable spectrum.


Two filter-units with arrangeable in 8 different configurations
Feedback loop (number of variations inside the parenthesis)
Available filter-algorithms: LP12 (3), LP24 (3), LP24L (1-4 poles), HP12 (3), HP24 (3), BP (4), Notch (2), Comb (4), S&H
Filters can self-oscillate (with excitation) and respond amazingly fast to cutoff frequency changes.
Waveshaper (5 shapes)


12 LFO-units available to each voice (6 are running on each voice and 6 are shared for the scene)
DAHDSR envelope generators on every LFO-unit
7 deformable LFO-waveforms + 1 drawable/stepsequencer waveform
LFO1 allows envelope retriggering when used as stepsequencer
Extremely fast and flexible modulation routing. Almost every continuous parameter can be modulated.


8 effect units arranged as 2 inserts/scene, 2 sends and 2 master effects
10 top-quality algorithms: Delay, Reverb, Chorus, Phaser, EQ, Distortion, Conditioner (EQ, stereo-image control & limiter), Rotary speaker, Frequency shifter, Vocoder

Via Synthtopia.

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Vember Audio’s Surge synthesizer plugin going open-source

Vember Audio SurgeVember Audio has announced the Surge virtual synthesizer instrument is now open-source. The hybrid subtractive synth comes with 8 versatile oscillator algorithms, two filter units, plenty of modulation options and various effects. Architecturally speaking, Surge is a rather complex synthesizer. But because of how it’s put together it’s still easy to learn. Once you do, […]

KnobCon 7 (2018) part 16 – Detroit Underground & the DU-INO: The Ultimate Eurorack Arduino Shield

Published on Sep 11, 2018 SynthMania

“Aaron shows their latest Arduino based diy module “shield”, the DUIno”

Details via Kickstarter:

“What is DU-INO?

In a nutshell? It’s whatever you want it to be, in 14 HP.

If you’re feeling verbose, call DU-INO a compact programmable digital-analog function platform. With 14 total configurable I/O, using precision ADC and DAC circuits and an analog

Hack a Launchpad Pro into a 16-channel step sequencer, free

Novation’s Launchpad Pro is unique among controller hardware: not only does it operate in standalone mode, but it has an easy-to-modify, open source firmware. This mod lets you exploit that to transform it into a 32-step sequencer.

French musician and engineer Quentin Lamerand writes us to share his mod for Novation’s firmware. And you don’t have to be a coder to use this – you can easily install it without any coding background, which was part of the idea of opening up the firmware in the first place.

The project looks really useful. You get 16 channels (for controlling multiple sound parts or devices), plus 32-steps for longer phrases. And since the Launchpad Pro works as standalone hardware, you could use all of this without a computer. (You can output notes on either the USB port – even in standalone mode – or the MIDI DIN out port.)

You’ll need something else to supply clock – the sequencer only works in slave mode – but once you do that (hihi, drum machine), you’re good to go.

Bonus features:

  • Note input with velocity (adjustable using aftertouch on the pads)
  • Repeat notes
  • Adjustable octave
  • Setup mode with track selection, parameters, mute, clear, and MIDI thru toggle
  • Tap steps to select track length
  • Adjust step length (to 32nd, 16th, 16th note triplet, 8th, 8th note triplet, quarter, quarter note triplet, half note)
  • Rotate steps

On one hand, this is what I think most of us believe Novation should have shipped in the first place. On the other hand, look at some of those power-user features – by opening up the firmware, we get some extras the manufacturer probably wouldn’t have added. And if you are handy with some simple code, you can modify this further to get it exactly how you want.

It’s a shame, actually, that we haven’t seen more hackable tools like this. But that’s all the more reason to go grab this – especially as Launchpads Pro can be had on the cheap. (Time to dust mine off, which was the other beauty of this project!)

Go try Quentin’s work and let us know what you think:

Got some hacks of your own, or inspired by this to give it a try? Definitely give a shout.

The open firmware project you’ll find on Novation’s GitHub:


Hack a Grid: Novation Makes Launchpad Pro Firmware Open Source

Launchpad Pro Grid Controller: Hands-on Comprehensive Guide

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via where you can enter:

“What: Install one or several of the Open Source FM Synthesizers we selected, make an awesome track using only these synthesizers as sound sources, upload it to under a Creative Commons license and submit it into the competition.

When: The competition starts on September 15th, 2018 and runs for one month until the end of October 14th,

Hacking and 3D printing the future of violins, in a growing community

Violins: they’re often the first example people site when talking about traditional acoustic instruments. But using new pickup techniques and rapid prototyping, that could be about to change. is a community for this new kind of digital age luthier – a place to discuss 3D printing and magnetic pickup possibilities and electric violin fabrication, rather than gut strings and wood carving.

Community member Guy Sheffer spoke recently about why this matters. All that legacy of instrument building has perfected acoustic violins, but electric violins remain crude. As Guy writes: “The challenge is, that while modern instruments have been developing effects and new sounds, acoustic violins have been acoustic for the past 400 years.”

Post about why I set up this community

While exploring new frontiers, then, these hacker-luthiers need a place to discuss their experimental craft. Enter violinmakers:

There’s already some cool stuff there: open source, 3D-printable electric violins and files for Thingiverse, the repository of 3D printing files. (This is way better than 3D printing guns, obviously.)

Post your designs here

Guy has also shared his own spaced-out, trippy first build, logging the whole process. Yeah, you might as well combine your 3D printed electric violin with some airbrush work, no?

Guy’s own first build. 3D printing + custom paint job. (Now you just need a tour van to match… maybe some custom-built electric, not just an old Ford.)

It’s also worth checking out the open synth platform Guy is using, the Raspberry Pi-based Zynthian. That’s suggestive of a new potential sound source to match the new physical instrument:

Open sourcing in this case has important implications: it allows this new generation of builders to do what the acoustic makers did generations before, constantly improving and adjusting features like the chin rest or bridge.

There’s clearly a lot of innovation that could happen in acoustic instruments and derivatives – innovation that has often failed to happen because designs are not only conservative, but stuck in very specific modes, and because markets and technologies haven’t developed to serve potential evolution. But it could be that now is the moment. For a past look at my own instrument of choice, the piano, see the separate stories I’ve done on that (including an interview with David Klavins, who will talk passionately about why he wants to see the grand piano evolve past the Steinway Model D):

These piano breakthroughs changed music forever

Acoustic Revelation: Inside the Una Corda, the 100kg, 21st Century Piano Built for Nils Frahm

I’d love to hear more. Got experience with 3D printing, pickups … on violins or other instruments? Do let us know.

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Creative Technologies Sample Modul Beagle Boom – Lernprojekt

Creative Technologies Beagle Boom

Sampler im Eurorack, so was gibt es natürlich bereits. Aber hier ist ein einfaches Teil mit Lademöglichkeit übers Netz. Und frei für alle: Beagle Boom.

Die FH Kiel ist aktiv und bringt immer wieder kleine Projekte für alle, die sich mit Musikelektronik beschäftigen, vor allem sicher die dortigen Studenten. Natürlich werden die Projekte nicht aus kommerziellen Gründen primär aufgebaut, sondern können von jedem, der mag, auf Github angeschaut werden.

Beagle Boom – (nicht nur) technisch interessant

Das System besteht aus einer kleinen Hardware, die CV-Eingänge und Audioausgänge bereitstellt, und der Software, um das Ganze dann auch mit Leben zu füllen. Das sind natürlich Samples, die man sich quasi automatisch von, einer Plattform für kostenlose Sounds, lädt. Das ist und war die Hauptaufgabe hinter dem Modul, die sicher ziemlich speziell auch technisch nicht uninteressant ist.

Man bekommt einen simplen Screen mit den Namen und sieht, was im Speicher ist. Es gibt auch eine IP-Adresse. Man kann MIDI oder CV/Gate zur Steuerung nutzen, wobei MIDI in einem Modul definitiv eine besondere Sache ist. Jeder Browser kann zweiter Bildschirm für die Bedienung des Moduls sein, was ebenfalls eine schöne Erweiterung ist und vielleicht eine Basis, um dem ganzen System noch etwas hinzuzufügen, da der Code ja offenliegt.

Der Aufbau der Software ist modular, sodass die einzelnen Elemente intern auch schon „austauschbar“ sind. Das Projekt ist primär zum Lernen da und enthält eine Menge interessanter Ansätze, die man für kommerzielle Zwecke durchaus weiter verwenden könnte. Oder um zu lernen, wie man heute eine interessante, sinnvolle und nutzbare Hardware aufbaut, die neuen Ideen und Anforderungen genügen kann, beispielsweise netzbasiertes Hochladen von Sounds und Editor/Browser-Steuerung. Das sind Dinge, die aktuell nur spezielle Synths wie Modal so erfüllen und eine Reihe von Pulten, deren Steuerung über den Browser laufen.

Die Macher des Projekts sind Torben Hartmann, Lasse Kathke and Friedemann Stoffregen.


Mehr über das Projekt und Links zu den einzelnen Komponenten findet man hier.


Watch this $30 kit turn into all these other synthesizers

DIY guru Mitch Altman has been busy expanding ArduTouch, the $30 kit board he designed to teach synthesis and coding. And now you can turn it into a bunch of other synths – with some new videos to who you how that works.

You’ll need to do a little bit of tinkering to get this working – though for many, of course, that’ll be part of the fun. So you solder together the kit, which includes a capacitive touch keyboard (as found on instruments like the Stylophone) and speaker. That means once the soldering is done, you can make sounds. To upload different synth code, you need a programmer cable and some additional steps.

Where this gets interesting is that the ArduTouch is really an embedded computer – and what’s wonderful about computers is, they transform based on whatever code they’re running.

ArduTouch is descended from the Arduino project, which in turn was the embedded hardware coding answer to desktop creative coding environment Processing. And from Processing, there’s the idea of a “sketch” – a bit of code that represents a single idea. “Sketching” was vital as a concept to these projects as it implies doing something simpler and more elegant.

For synthesis, ArduTouch is collecting a set of its own sketches – simple, fun digital signal processing creations that can be uploaded to the board. You get a whole collection of these, including sketches that are meant to serve mainly as examples, so that over time you can learn DSP coding. (The sketches are mostly the creation of Mitch’s friend, Bill Alessi.) Because the ArduTouch itself is cloned from the Arduino UNO, it’s also fully compatible both with UNO boards and the Arduino coding environment.

Mitch has been uploading videos and descriptions (and adding new synths over time), so let’s check them out:

Thick is a Minimoog-like, playable monosynth.

Arpology is an “Eno-influenced” arpeggiator/synth combo with patterns, speed, major/minor key, pitch, and attack/decay controls, plus a J.S. Bach-style generative auto-play mode.

Beatitude is a drum machine with multiple parts and rhythm track creation, plus a live playable bass synth.

Mantra is a weird, exotic-sounding sequenced drone synth with pre-mapped scales. The description claims “it is almost impossible to play something that doesn’t sound good.” (I initially read that backwards!)

Xoid is raucous synth with frequency modulation, ratio, and XOR controls. Actually, this very example demonstrates just why ArduTouch is different – like, you’d probably not want to ship Xoid as a product or project on its own. But as a sketch – and something strange to play with – it’s totally great.

DuoPoly is also glitchy and weird, but represents more of a complete synth workstation – and it’s a grab-bag demo of all the platform can do. So you get Tremelo, Vibrato, Pitch Bend, Distortion Effects, Low Pass Filter, High Pass Filter, Preset songs/patches, LFOs, and other goodies, all crammed onto this little board.

There, they’ve made some different oddball preset songs, too:

Platinum hit, this one:

This one, it sounds like we hit a really tough cave level in Metroid:

Open source hardware, kits available for sale:

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The StrumPad Is An Open-Source MIDI Controller That Lets You ‘Strum’ Your Synthesizer Like A Guitar

The device is an open source DIY project, based on the Arduino ATMEGA328. … Read More The StrumPad Is An Open-Source MIDI Controller That Lets You ‘Strum’ Your Synthesizer Like A Guitar