A Stompbox That Can Become Whatever You Like, in Crowd-funded OWL

There are stompboxes. They are — for lack of a better word — foot worthy. You can step on them, in a way that is less possible with a computer. (Well, sure, somewhere amidst an endless spinning color pinwheel you may have wanted to step on your MacBook Air, but then thought better of it – financial investment and whatnot.) Then, there are computers. They can do everything. That stompbox is one particular distortion effect. And it is always just that one distortion. But what if you could have both? As embedded technology continues its march toward greater user friendliness, …

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Deckadance 2 Hits Beta; FL’s DJ Cousin is Packed With FX and Envelopes, VST Support

What would happen if Traktor DJ and a KAOSS Pad had a love child, who went to school at Ableton and came home full of automation envelopes and triggers? Well, maybe something like this. Certainly, the results would be a DJ tool the likes of which only FL “Fruity Loops” Studio maker Image Line would dream up, in a demo video only they would make. It’s beta 2 of Deckadance, the underdog Mac/Windows DJ app that’s surprisingly full of functionality. And while this isn’t the first DJ software to do sampling and effects, those features are now tied to some …

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clusterflux1

Moogerfooger Cluster Flux Analog FX: Hands-on with Moog’s Chief Engineer; Sound Samples

There’s a new analog Moog effect in town. So who better to tell us about it and get us some hands-on time than Moog Music’s Chief Engineer? Moog’s next Moogerfooger, the Cluster Flux or “MF-108M” if you want to sound more serious, promises to be a versatile analog effect processor. It’s a flanger / chorus / vibrato unit with loads of modulation, meaning you can either go the classic chorus/flange route or go further out with your sound sculpting. Mono in, stereo out, all-analog signal path, coming soon at US$599 list (street should be lower). That’s the unit. But I …

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kaossquad

Korg’s Kaoss Pad Quad is a Touchable Multi-Effects Box for Under $350

In what is proving to be a NAMM week bonanza for lovers of hardware effects, Korg’s Kaoss Pad Quad may be the best bang-for-the-buck. You can control up to four effects simultaneously, all via the trademark KAOSS-style touchpad, triggering effects you want via single-button toggles. (In fact, this device reminds me in a good way of the superb but sadly now-defunct Entrancer KPE-1 video device, in that everything is neatly accessible.) Plug in your input from an external source or use the onboard mic input, then control effects from the touchpad with multi-color LED effects for visual feedback. There are …

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microtonic3matrix

New MicroTonic 3 Drum Machine-Synth; Bitspeek Effect

Swedish developer Magnus Lidström is something of a virtuoso of music software, having worked with Propellerhead (Malström, etc.) and releasing his own unique µTonic (MicroTonic) and Synplant instruments. It’s been a bit since we’ve gotten new work from him – little matter, as I find his instruments tend to stand the test of time – but that changes now. MicroTonic, a well-loved drum machine cum drum synth, gets a major update this week, a 2011 New Year’s present to the producer community. (It is indeed a gift if you own a previous version; upgrades are free.) And one more thing …

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fx

Moog’s Filtatron for iPhone Indispensable in Pocket; 1.1 New Features

What good is a sound app on a phone or iPod, really? Just ask a Filtatron user. As with plug-ins and desktop software doodads, I find out of the sea of apps on iOS, a tiny handful are genuinely useful. But those select few can prove indispensable. I would count the Moog Filtatron in that category. Sure, in case there was any doubt, the app contains a subtle link to the Moog hardware catalog, an effort to upsell you to the company’s sound gear. And sure, owners of said gear might turn up their nose at the idea of something …

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Kflux, an Editable Granulator for Max for Live

Kflux looks like a killer patch for Max for Live, a granulator you can drop in for sound-bending effects and, if you’re decent with Max, open up to learn more about how it works or edit to customize for your own purposes. At EUR9,99, seems like a must-buy if you’ve got a copy of Max for Live. Features: Automate parameters on the Live timeline, envelopes thanks to M4L’s functionality Make streams of grains, big clouds, textures, and the like Multimode filter Transposition Static, sequenced, and MIDI-triggered modes Freeze or bounce tracks Unlocked; open, edit, and reuse. GPL-licensed, so you explicitly …

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Garage Sale Audio: Digital Reverb/Delay from Floppy Drives

With May fast approaching, garage sale season is kicking off in the US. For the DIY crowd, that means a lot of digging through piles of obsolete technology in the hopes of finding something useable, then bargaining with the seller to pay as little for it as possible. This year, you can add 3.5″ floppy drives and disks to your shopping list, courtesy of Daniel McAnulty’s project Floppy Audio Effects. Dan figured out a couple of neat tricks to create delay/reverb effects by writing audio to the disks directly, then reading that information back using a tape head.

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Reimagined DIY Thumb Pianos, Amplified, Electrified, and with Faux Fur

Sometimes an instrument you know can become something else altogether. Bob Collier has been constructing his own thumb pianos, adding amplification, effects, self-sampling features, and novel cases involving recycled camera bodies and faux fur. As Bob says, “Sometimes the crudest and roughest looking kalimbas can sound surprisingly good especially with the right context of fx and amplification.” I find kalimbas beautiful and delicate to begin with. Throw in some faux fur and Korg KAOSS Pad effects, and they take on a whole new life: Other designs add all-new functionality, like the Sampimer, a “self-sampling” thumb piano with integrated 20-second voice …

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Korg’s New DJ Mixers with FX + KAOSS Pads: Perfect Dead-Simple Live Mixer/FX?

For many living in the age of the computer, a performance mixer has gotten more useful, not less. It’s a no-brainer for DJs mixing records with digital, but it can be useful for other electronic musicians, as well. (For some of the readers of this site, that might mean mixing in hardware synths, multiple laptops, circuit-bent toys, Game Boys, and … well, you tell me.) What’s interesting is that, along with this change, the mixer itself is starting to evolve, integrating audio interfaces, control functionality for use with software, and other features. Gimmicks — or features that transform what a …

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