MPC X, MPC Live & Force Updates Add Ableton Live Export & More

Available for immediate download, the updates feature multiple workflow enhancements and Ableton Live Set Export functionality, making it easy to move projects from the MPC and Force ecosystems to the Ableton Live platform.… Read More MPC X, MPC Live & Force Updates Add Ableton Live Export & More

Introducing the Delaydelus Sampler / Delay Instrument from Bleep Labs

Bleep Labs has introduced the Delaydelus 2  – a modular-friendly follow up to their original sampler/delay instrument, a collaboration between Daedelus and Dr. Bleep.… Read More Introducing the Delaydelus Sampler / Delay Instrument from Bleep Labs

Teenage Engineering Updates OP-Z With Sampling & More

Teenage Engineering has updated the OP-Z with sampling and more.… Read More Teenage Engineering Updates OP-Z With Sampling & More

The OP-Z now samples, too, in Teenage Engineering software update

The OP-Z is the aggressively minimalist, love it-or-hate-it compact synth. But now an update makes it make way more sense – with sampling available, this pint sized synth turns into the instrument it was meant to be.

Teenage Engineering have always said the OP-Z isn’t a replacement for the Teenagers’ original OP-1. Instead, it’s a … successor that comes after the OP-1, builds on the OP-1 features, and at first was available in place of the OP-1, which was initially not available and now is available but prohibitively expensive.

Okay, whatever. The OP-Z is totally a replacement for the OP-1, with some new ideas and form factor and no more screen. But that’s great, actually. To the extent the OP-Z pisses off and confuses some consumers, it does so even more than the OP-1 initially did.

And what’s the point of having a compact, candy bar-shaped synth that obviously resembles a Casio CZ-1 if it doesn’t sample?

Adding sampling to the OP-Z means you can really make it your own, mangling sounds through its grungy but expressive interface. All that minimalism may lessen the value of this device for some, but for those willing to throw themselves into the workflow, it’s liberating – the portability and lack of distraction or surface complexity propelling your musical imagination somewhere different.

Or not. Because I think the thing that’s lovely about Teenage Engineering is that their synths don’t have to please everyone – they’re willing to please some people more while pleasing other people less.

But the bottom line is, this is the update that brings the OP-Z in line with its initial promise and what the OP-1 could do. Once you learn the shortcuts and use the force, you might not even miss the display (though the iPhone/iPad app is there, at least while you memorize the layout).

Sampling also lets this double as an audio interface. I still think you’ll want the oplab module for I/O, and I wish they’d just make that standard. But if you’re willing to splurge on an idiosyncratic device, there’s nothing quite like the OP-Z.

In this update:

new sampling mode

2 channel audio interface

full OP-1 sample format support (pitch, gain, playmode, reverse)

improved stability

support importing raw samples to drum tracks

apply track gain before fx sends

don’t allow copying empty steps
restart arpeggio with TRACK + PLAY on arpeggio track
don’t trigger gate step component if track is muted
toggle headset input with SCREEN + SHIFT

send clock out if enabled even though midi out is disabled
don’t loose clock sync when switching project via pattern change
fix broken parameter spark random setting
fix force save not working on project 1
fix inverted headphone gain levels dep. on impedance

note!
this firmware adds support for the gain, play direction and playmode settings of the OP-1 sample format. in older firmwares, these settings were ignored. this might lead to your patterns sounding different if you are using custom samplepacks. the most likely culprit will be the playmode setting. the OP-1 defaults to GATE, while the OP-Z used to treat everything as RETRIG. Adjust your playmode setting on each sample to RETRIG, to get it sounding like before.
if your track levels change due to the gain setting, either adjust the track volume, or adjust the per sample gain value.

Here’s the original OP-1 sampling feature, explained:

The post The OP-Z now samples, too, in Teenage Engineering software update appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The OP-Z now samples, too, in Teenage Engineering software update

The OP-Z is the aggressively minimalist, love it-or-hate-it compact synth. But now an update makes it make way more sense – with sampling available, this pint sized synth turns into the instrument it was meant to be.

Teenage Engineering have always said the OP-Z isn’t a replacement for the Teenagers’ original OP-1. Instead, it’s a … successor that comes after the OP-1, builds on the OP-1 features, and at first was available in place of the OP-1, which was initially not available and now is available but prohibitively expensive.

Okay, whatever. The OP-Z is totally a replacement for the OP-1, with some new ideas and form factor and no more screen. But that’s great, actually. To the extent the OP-Z pisses off and confuses some consumers, it does so even more than the OP-1 initially did.

And what’s the point of having a compact, candy bar-shaped synth that obviously resembles a Casio CZ-1 if it doesn’t sample?

Adding sampling to the OP-Z means you can really make it your own, mangling sounds through its grungy but expressive interface. All that minimalism may lessen the value of this device for some, but for those willing to throw themselves into the workflow, it’s liberating – the portability and lack of distraction or surface complexity propelling your musical imagination somewhere different.

Or not. Because I think the thing that’s lovely about Teenage Engineering is that their synths don’t have to please everyone – they’re willing to please some people more while pleasing other people less.

But the bottom line is, this is the update that brings the OP-Z in line with its initial promise and what the OP-1 could do. Once you learn the shortcuts and use the force, you might not even miss the display (though the iPhone/iPad app is there, at least while you memorize the layout).

Sampling also lets this double as an audio interface. I still think you’ll want the oplab module for I/O, and I wish they’d just make that standard. But if you’re willing to splurge on an idiosyncratic device, there’s nothing quite like the OP-Z.

In this update:

new sampling mode

2 channel audio interface

full OP-1 sample format support (pitch, gain, playmode, reverse)

improved stability

support importing raw samples to drum tracks

apply track gain before fx sends

don’t allow copying empty steps
restart arpeggio with TRACK + PLAY on arpeggio track
don’t trigger gate step component if track is muted
toggle headset input with SCREEN + SHIFT

send clock out if enabled even though midi out is disabled
don’t loose clock sync when switching project via pattern change
fix broken parameter spark random setting
fix force save not working on project 1
fix inverted headphone gain levels dep. on impedance

note!
this firmware adds support for the gain, play direction and playmode settings of the OP-1 sample format. in older firmwares, these settings were ignored. this might lead to your patterns sounding different if you are using custom samplepacks. the most likely culprit will be the playmode setting. the OP-1 defaults to GATE, while the OP-Z used to treat everything as RETRIG. Adjust your playmode setting on each sample to RETRIG, to get it sounding like before.
if your track levels change due to the gain setting, either adjust the track volume, or adjust the per sample gain value.

Here’s the original OP-1 sampling feature, explained:

The post The OP-Z now samples, too, in Teenage Engineering software update appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Delaydelus 2 is a patchable sampler/delay from Daedelus, Dr. Bleep

Delaydelus 2 is a devilishly clever box that’s really two devices in one – it’s a sampler, and it’s a pitch-able delay with feedback. And the whole thing is patchable. Meet the latest from Daedelus and Dr. Bleep.

Daedelus is the southern California producer and artist who among other things has pioneered visual immersive shows and was one of the first champions for the monome. Dr. Bleep is John-Mike Reed, the imaginative engineer behind the likes of the Thingamagoop. The original Delaydelus certainly embodied their collective ideas. But it was more of a alligator-clipped art oddity. Delaydelus 2 looks like a serious pedalboard contender.

There’s a great demo video:

Check the specs:

Stereo 16bit 44kHz audio i/o
Banana plug patch bay allows you to play up to 4 samples at once triggered from the two arcade buttons or trigger inputs.
Control the speed and direction of the samples with the knobs as well as the CV FM (-5V to 10V) input
CV envelope follower out (0-8V) based on audio playback level
Trigger outs (10V) from each sampler button.
One shot mode, Gate (mpc style) mode, + Send external audio through the built in 1 second stereo delay.
Record into one of 10 banks. Each can hold up to 17 seconds of high quality audio.
Delay sync in and out with the ability to divide and multiply incoming sync rate.
Micro SD card slot allows loading and saving WAV files to and from the 10 banks.
Built-in new samples from Daedelus
Powered by a 12V DC adapter – included.

Gorgeous artwork on the top panel by Chicago’s Trek Matthews, too.

What I think makes this musical, as on any musical delay, is really making pitch and time open to control and modulation. Pairing the delay with a sampler means this instrument can do a whole lot – and it’s nice having removable SD storage.

This is available for preorder now, with the first units hitting production in August (if you get in on that preorder).

US$295.

https://bleeplabs.com/product/delaydelus-2-preorder/

By the way, as we wait on this preorder, I’m in the next days putting the wraps on my review of Snazzy FX pedals, including in particular their wonderful WOW AND FLUTTER. I could imagine this pairing with the Bleep offering nicely – like faking a whole tape studio in two compact pedals:

The post Delaydelus 2 is a patchable sampler/delay from Daedelus, Dr. Bleep appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Delaydelus 2 is a patchable sampler/delay from Daedelus, Dr. Bleep

Delaydelus 2 is a devilishly clever box that’s really two devices in one – it’s a sampler, and it’s a pitch-able delay with feedback. And the whole thing is patchable. Meet the latest from Daedelus and Dr. Bleep.

Daedelus is the southern California producer and artist who among other things has pioneered visual immersive shows and was one of the first champions for the monome. Dr. Bleep is John-Mike Reed, the imaginative engineer behind the likes of the Thingamagoop. The original Delaydelus certainly embodied their collective ideas. But it was more of a alligator-clipped art oddity. Delaydelus 2 looks like a serious pedalboard contender.

There’s a great demo video:

Check the specs:

Stereo 16bit 44kHz audio i/o
Banana plug patch bay allows you to play up to 4 samples at once triggered from the two arcade buttons or trigger inputs.
Control the speed and direction of the samples with the knobs as well as the CV FM (-5V to 10V) input
CV envelope follower out (0-8V) based on audio playback level
Trigger outs (10V) from each sampler button.
One shot mode, Gate (mpc style) mode, + Send external audio through the built in 1 second stereo delay.
Record into one of 10 banks. Each can hold up to 17 seconds of high quality audio.
Delay sync in and out with the ability to divide and multiply incoming sync rate.
Micro SD card slot allows loading and saving WAV files to and from the 10 banks.
Built-in new samples from Daedelus
Powered by a 12V DC adapter – included.

Gorgeous artwork on the top panel by Chicago’s Trek Matthews, too.

What I think makes this musical, as on any musical delay, is really making pitch and time open to control and modulation. Pairing the delay with a sampler means this instrument can do a whole lot – and it’s nice having removable SD storage.

This is available for preorder now, with the first units hitting production in August (if you get in on that preorder).

US$295.

https://bleeplabs.com/product/delaydelus-2-preorder/

By the way, as we wait on this preorder, I’m in the next days putting the wraps on my review of Snazzy FX pedals, including in particular their wonderful WOW AND FLUTTER. I could imagine this pairing with the Bleep offering nicely – like faking a whole tape studio in two compact pedals:

The post Delaydelus 2 is a patchable sampler/delay from Daedelus, Dr. Bleep appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The E-mu SP-1200 sampler is getting a reboot: SP 2400

It’s meant as a “spiritual successor,” say the creators – with both emulation of the classic E-mu sound and new features. But the SP 2400 in preorder still hope to bank off the renown of one of the most popular samplers ever, the genre-defining E-mu SP-1200.

All of this could be a test of the clone craze. Sure, 12-bit lo-fi sound has some real potential for music making. And the E-mu layout, with faders and pads, is accessible.

But at US$949, and only a preorder shipping some time in the winter, the SP 2400 isn’t the most practical choice. You’ve now got plenty of options from KORG, Elektron, Roland (including their wildly popular TR-8S), and even smaller makers like MFB for a grand or less – some of them a fraction of this cost. All of those can be had right now, without dropping hundreds of bucks in June to get something that could take until January or longer. Not to mention we may see a Behringer take on this idea shortly, knowing how that company follows social media.

In a way, then, these sorts of reboots are beginning to become like the remakes of classic cars – a sort of genre all their own. There’s a price premium and a practicality cost, but if you want something that looks like a classic with some upgraded innards beneath, you’ve got options.

That said, there’s a nice feature set here. I like the idea of the 12-bit/26k mode, though I wonder if they’ve recreated the signature filter sound of the E-mu. And while I’m a bit too skeptical to endorse dropping cash just for half a year of “bi-weekly progress reports … via this website, social media channels, and emails,” it could be worth a look when it arrives.

The real draw here is probably that this actually samples – including a looper mode. That’s a feature missing on a lot of current gear.

It’s the creation of ISLA Instruments, who also made the KordBot. I’m curious how people fared with that crowdfunding project and the final result, which would be a great indicator of how to take this one.

I just hope that new ideas get as much attention as reboots of old ones. Heck, I feel that way about TV and movies. It’s obviously summer.

But here are those admittedly rather appealing specs –

• Sturdy 4-piece Steel/Aluminium enclosure.
• Mains Powered 100-250V AC.
• Dual Audio Engine:
12-Bit/26.04khz Lo-Fi Engine (Classic SP Sound) and 24-Bit/48khz Hi-Fi Engine
• Stereo Recording/Playback.
• Channels 1-8 Pannable to Main out L/R Channels 7+8 can be ‘linked’ to support stereo audio content.
• Headphone Output (9-10) w/independant monitoring of channels.
• Dedicated Microphone Pre-Amp.
• Looper Pedal Mode (with full duplex recording/playback).
• Record and overdub live audio during playback.
• USB Host & Device Ports:
Connect usb thumb drives, keyboards, midi controllers directly into the SP2400.

The post The E-mu SP-1200 sampler is getting a reboot: SP 2400 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Recording Sequences With The 1010music Blackbox

The Blackbox is a standalone sampler and groovebox that lets you record, save/load, apply effects and edit one-shot samples and beat-sliced loops.… Read More Recording Sequences With The 1010music Blackbox

Panoptigon Sample Playback Instrument Now Available

The Panoptigon – a modern take on the Optigan and Vako Orchestron optical sample playback instruments of the 1970’s – is now available.… Read More Panoptigon Sample Playback Instrument Now Available