FeelYourSound has announced the release of The Big Chords Guide for Electronic Musicians, a free 40 page resource on chords and chord progressions. The guide also includes a free software based ear training to help you get a feeling for the different chord types. Welcome to the big free chords guide for electronic musicians. You […]
Liqube Audio has released a new beta version of its Resonic Player and Resonic Pro audio player and sample manager for Windows. Resonic Player is a fast audio and music player, directory player, and sample browser, built around a big waveform view, a frequency analyzer, and a musical spectrum. Resonic Pro is a powerful sample […]
n-Track Software has released updates for the mobile versions of n-Track Studio for Android and iOS. The n-Track Studio mobile apps turn your device into a full-fledged music recording studio. Record audio or MIDI, add effects, edit your recordings and share your tracks with others. Export your project in .sng multitrack format and transfer it […]
Tracktion and ROLI have announced that Waveform, the newest and most advanced digital audio workstation from Tracktion, will be bundled with every ROLI Seaboard instrument including the new Seaboard Block. The hardware-software combination will allow more musicians to easily create and edit projects with the full expressivity of MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE). Waveform offers a […]
If your computer and a stompbox had a love child, MOD Duo would be it – a virtual effects environment that can load anything. And now, it does Max/MSP, too.
MOD Devices’ MOD Duo began its life as a Kickstarter campaign. The idea – turn computer software into a robust piece of hardware – wasn’t itself so new. Past dedicated audio computer efforts have come and gone. But it is genuinely possible in this industry to succeed where others have failed, by getting your timing right, and executing better. And the MOD Duo is starting to look like it does just that.
What the MOD Duo gives you is essentially a virtualized pedalboard where you can add effects at will. Set up the effects you want on your computer screen (in a Web browser), and even add new ones by shopping for sounds in a store. But then, get the reliability and physical form factor of hardware, by uploading them to the MOD Duo hardware. You can add additional footswitches and pedals if you want additional control.
Watch how that works:
For end users, it can stop there. But DIYers can go deeper with this as an open box. Under the hood, it’s running LV2 plug-ins, an open, Linux-centered plug-in format. If you’re a developer, you can create your own effects. If you like tinkering with hardware, you can build your own controllers, using an Arduino shield they made especially for the job.
And then, this week, the folks at Cycling ’74 take us on a special tour of integration with Max/MSP. It represents something many software patchers have dreamed of for a long time. In short, you can “export” your patches to the hardware, and run them standalone without your computer.
This says a lot about the future, beyond just the MOD Duo. The technology that allows Max/MSP to support the MOD Duo is gen~ code, a more platform-agnostic, portable core inside Max. This hints at a future when Max runs in all sorts of places – not just mobile, but other hardware, too. And that future was of interest both to Cycling ’74 and the CEO of Ableton, as revealed in our interview with the two of them.
Even broader than that, though, this could be a way of looking at what electronic music looks like after the computer. A lot of people assume that ditching laptops means going backwards. And sure enough, there has been a renewed interest in instruments and interfaces that recall tech from the 70s and 80s. That’s great, but – it doesn’t have to stop there.
The truth is, form factors and physical interactions that worked well on dedicated hardware may start to have more of the openness, flexibility, intelligence, and broad sonic canvas that computers did. It means, basically, it’s not that you’re ditching your computer for a modular, a stompbox, or a keyboard. It’s that those things start to act more like your computer.
Anyway, why wait for that to happen? Here’s one way it can happen now.
Darwin Grosse has a great walk-through of the MOD Duo and how it works, followed by how to get started with
Over the weekend, PPG mastermind Wolfgang Palm let slip his latest creation: PPG Infinite. In previews for iPad, we see an innovative touch synth full of morphing and wave shaping tools.
There are two videos. The first one … uh … well, mainly involves hearing some sounds and staring into the void of space. (True fact: this is what normally happens inside my brain when I look at my to-do list on a Monday.)
But the second video actually reveals plenty – way more than just a teaser. And even from these screenshots, the “Infinite” name suggests that PPG took basically everything they’ve ever done and built a fresh synth around it.
There’s vocal synthesis (à la their Phonem app and plug-in).
There’s wavetable synthesis, with fingers gliding through representation of waveforms, as per the original PPG Wave synths and PPG’s first app, WaveMapper. (Palm is the inventor of wavetable synthesis.)
There’s also the new functions of their follow-up synth WaveGenerator, with more ways of generating and navigating and shaping waves.
And then it seems there’s more.
If you blinked, you may have missed something, so let’s get some frame-by-frame replay. Infinite sees synth wizard Palm teaming up again with designer Cornel Hecht (who also provides the spacey background music for these videos).
Here, we get a unique-looking synth architecture, one that adds loads of touch-accessible morphing modes for combining sounds, as well as something called the “noiser” – which appears to be a spectrally-shaped noise source.
And at its heart, there’s the functionality that made the first PPG app such a breakthrough on the iPad, the ability to “touch the sound” by scanning and morphing wavetables with 3D and 2D views. That visual seems now greatly expanded as a central user paradigm, and it seems to me that it could be reason to see iPads running this app alongside beloved hardware synths in the studio or onstage.
Of course, the other Palm apps have also now been available as VST/AU plug-in, so I hope we’ll see that for this, too. (No reason to choose, either – you might use your iPad to shape presets, then loads those into the plug-in when it comes time to track and arrange and finish tracks. I need to research whether multi-touch computers on Windows can support touch gestures for plug-ins – not sure on that – but even with a mouse, this looks fun.)
Let’s have a look:
Touch is central to the UI. These morphing options look especially nice and accessible, even if you aren’t ready to delve into every nitpicky detail of the architecture and sound design:
A glimpse of the architecture, including simplified oscillator controls and these morphing and noiser options:
The oscillator interface really appears to shine via touch interaction:
A closer look at those controls:
The presets are suggestive of the combination of two or three of the previous instruments from PPG – and indicate some diversity of possibilities with this one, from vocal-ish presets to percussion to pads, bass, leads, and all that business:
For those so inclined, it appears you can get really deep with mapping by key range and matrix-style modulation:
I love the LFO interface, both for its advanced parameters (for going deep) and clever touch adjustment (for quick play):
Stills don’t do it justice, but as in the other PPG apps, it’s really getting your grubby fingers on the 3D waveform view that looks like fun. Combine that with some new vocal synth options, and … sold.
It’s about time for an exciting new soft synth, especially with Alchemy having disappeared into Logic and most of the headlines covering hardware. And for all the depth and diversity on the iPad, this could be one that stands out on that platform – not least if it’s paired with desktop plug-ins so you don’t disrupt your workflow.
Ready, Wolfgang. Watching for this one.
Stay tuned to CDM for this one, with team coverage by myself and Ashley (Palm Sounds).