“Non Biological Entities is a sample pack created using an Ieaskul F. Mobenthey eurorack synthesizer as the only sound source. It features a highly unique selection of percussion, noise, texture, and abstract sounds. 300 samples in total. 96k sample rate, 24 bit wav files.
Available for purchase at www.outsidersounddesign.com
“Synth pack created with the PPG Wave 2.2 recorded through high end studio gear. http://www.goldbaby.co.nz/bluewave.html Lovely fizzy, warm synth sounds that only an 8 bit wavetable through analog filter could make! With patches for Ableton Live, EXS-24, Kontakt (with GUI) and TAL-Sampler.”
It was the stuff of legends – a richly capable polysynth from the mind of Dave Smith, with only 800 units making it into the world. But now as makers chase the same clones on repeat, the T8 finds its way onto another innovative and overlooked flagship, today’s Sequential Prophet X and XL.
I wouldn’t normally write about sample packs, let alone add-ons for particular hardware. But Sequential’s Prophet X and XL are already uniquely sophisticated instruments – monster polysynths combining dozens of gigs of “deep sampling” sample content with analog synthesis, in a hybrid giant. The sample shop that assembled the sounds for that Prophet, 8dio, have gone back to painstakingly recreate the T8 as an add-on to the new Prophets.
The resulting combo could be the best modern Prophet available at the moment. The T8 had the soul of a Prophet-5 architecture, but was decades head of its time by unveiling polyphonic aftertouch keys (take that, MPE). Those T8 sounds, sampled here in detail, are a natural pairing with the Prophet X’s stereo analog filters, deep modulation, dual digital effects, and polyphonic step sequencer, plus its own superb keyboard.
8dio worked with Dave’s own, immaculately maintained T8 for the samples.
8dio has also made add-ons featuring the ARP 2600 and OBX.
The pack is just US$48, so while picking up a Prophet X or XL is hardly cheap, what you do get here for your investment is a serious alternative to assembling a bunch of software plug-ins for this sort of sound design depth.
The bad news here is really about a limitation of the new Prophets – Sequential doesn’t do polyphonic aftertouch or MPE on their new keyboards (though there is polyphonic glide). I’m rather hopeful that the reemergence of the T8 prods Dave and team to consider doing that, following Bay Area leaders like Roger Linn who helped drive the adoption of polyphonic expression in MIDI. These sounds deserve some control from more than one of your fingers at a time. (You get just mono aftertouch on the Prophet X/XL.)
But whether you’re a Sequential owner or not, it’s worth spending some time revisiting the T8 in all its 1983 glory – this is an early 80s synth that seems more like something you’d get now.
You absolutely should check out this copious review / history from greatsynthesizers.com for everything you could hope to want to know about this axe:
Elektron’s Model:Samples was always appealing – some of the best bits of an Elektron groovebox, but with a smaller size and price tag. But one limitation might hold you back: six tracks, and only six samples? That changes with an update: now you can change samples inside a pattern. Sample locks are here.
1.02 shipped quietly on the 29th of last month; Andreas, our reviewer, got an early build. There’s not much in the way of documentation:
Sample locks functionality has been added. It lets you assign a specific sample on any step of the sequencer. It is possible to sample lock up to 26 different samples in each pattern.
But this is a big deal. Six parts with only one sample per part is pretty restrictive. Now, instead, you could take a sample, slice it into 26 bits, and then play the various slices. Or you could slice up melodies. Or you could add more complex percussion parts. The thing is, this is more or less exactly what you want – restricting to six parts can be genuinely musically useful (as more can get overly dense), but now each of those parts need not be quite so, you know, repetitive.
This release also includes a number of bug fixes. But sample locks might just be the thing that tempts us over to this device.
Keep in mind the 1.01 OS (as we tested) included some other improvements, including separate MIDI channel configuration (ideal for use with other gear) and simplified LFO locks.
I also like that the Model:Samples has a transfer utility for custom samples. Roland. Cough. TR-8S. Like any day now. Thanks! (and let’s not even start in on the volca sample’s awful sample loading mechanism… just no.)
Sure, it’s still not a sampler – no record capability. And yes, there are boxes that do more. And… well, if you’re on a budget, you should also check out used KORG machines. But this is still something unlike anything else at the price, with Elektron workflows and serious polyrhythmic capabilities plus lots of hands-on fun and great sound.
And definitely check our hands-on review. It’d be easy to dismiss this hardware, but I think Andreas really explains why it’s cool. (And yeah, I personally like it more than even the more-capable Digitakt.)
“Excited to release my very own Sounds.com by NATIVE INSTRUMENTS pack to you all!
Get it here: http://bit.ly/JXLsounds
Whether you’re assembling a new dance track or scoring the next Hollywood blockbuster, you need inspiration. I’m always looking for new ways to share my process in hopes of reaching someone who is trying to dig deeper; someone who wants to elevate
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 — Following the success of its Berlin and Metropolis Ark series, German sample library developer Orchestral Tools has joined forces with leading Dutch producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Holkenborg to create a brand-new brass collection, Junkie XL Brass.
Holkenborg, better known in the music business as Junkie XL
What if you could take the deep powers of an Elektron groove box, but bring them to the surface? And what if that box were small and cheap? That’s the first impression of the Model:Samples – and it could add up to a big hit.
Elektron has always been about giving us powerful, inventive music machines as standalone hardware. They still reign supreme in live dance music sets – certainly in Europe, if you see “live” on the bill at a club, you can expect the appearance of an Elektron machine or two as the most likely interpretation. But the price of those machines is learning your way around menus and shortcuts. Some people take to it right away, and some just don’t. And then there’s the monetary price – well into four digit sticker shock, which can be intimidating to new users.
That changed with the Digitakt and Digitone – compact boxes with more focused feature sets and more of a focus on hands-on control. And the Model:Samples goes further: one-to-one physical controls for most features, and an even lower price.
So make no mistake: the Model:Samples is probably aimed first at newcomers to the Elektron brand. (Though I can bet we’ll see Elektron lovers augment their rig with these for extra hands-on control.) Online commenters are comparing this to the used price of other Elektron machines, but that ignores the angle here: simplicity and hands-on control.
Model:Samples looks like a powerful groove-based tool with tons of immediacy. It’s also a real shot across the bow of KORG – entering the price range of the electribe sampler, but with some Swedish sequencing workflows. Spännande!
Take that, East Coast / West Coast – Elektron even reference their “ragged Swedish shoreline.” So let’s dive in like we’re taking a brisk swim in the Kattegatt!
It’s six tracks, sample playback based. (You can load your own sounds, but there’s no live sampling capability.)
Blah blah, 300 samples from Splice, yadda yadda, yes there’s a kick and snare drum and “never-before-heard alternatives.” (Uh, okay. “I’ve heard things you people wouldn’t believe. Castanets sampled from attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. A cowbell glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.” Sorry, lost my train of thought.)
But everything else is about tons of control – and that’s where this gets interesting, once you start manipulating those tracks:
Control All to manipulate multiple sounds at once, with Reload to get back where you started
Chromatic mode for melodic control
Parameter Locks – per-step automation, and even per-step sounds (depending on how much mayhem you want to make)
Six samples at once – which they’ve cleverly limited to the number of things you have in a kit
Swap multiple samples, a kit at a time
Chance parameter (which you can combine with Control All)
Per-track step length
Per-track tempo multiplier
Record with or without quantization – both parameters and notes
There are other drum machines and grooveboxes out there, but this looks like a real winner in the price range, at least when it comes to rhythmic flexibility and hands-on parameter control.
There’s also a flexible architecture. You get 6 audio tracks – each of which can also be MIDI tracks, making this an effective sequencing box for gear, too. 96 projects, with 96 patterns per project.
Each of the six tracks gets its own sample engine, resonant multimode filter, and assignable LFO.
Then you can route via sends to delay and reverb.
There’s 64MB of sample memory, but you can store up to 1GB of samples, which you load over USB. Everything connects via class-compliant USB audio 2.0, and you get a dedicated headphone out and 2x balanced main outputs. MIDI is delivered via in and out/thru minijacks – now manufacturers are fast adopting that minijack standard for MIDI.
They also promise a battery pack at a later date so you can use this on the go.
W270 × D180 × H40 mm (10.63 × 7.09 × 1.58″) (including knobs and rubber feet)
Weight: approximately 0.814 kg
Price here in Europe is 460EUR, $449 USD list. I think that means we could see a US street under $400 – which is a big winner, I think. Heck, this with the Digitone as a synth could be a complete studio. And having just praised the potential of the Akai Force, that could also mean people stick to à la carte gear for playing and go back to the more flexible computer for production. It’ll be fun to shake out these different combinations, though.
But that’s beside the point. Cheap, compact, lets you mangle samples with one-to-one knobs and has flexible rhythmic options that let you make polyrhythms and get off the grid – that’s a compelling combo. Add this to the must-watch list for the year.