lfo_0

Modulation in All Things: New LFOs for Ableton Live, iOS, Software, and Analog Gear

The LFO – Low Frequency Oscillator – is one of the most fundamental of electronic music elements. Creating a signal that modulates the sound of something else, the LFO has a history that’s roughly as old as sound-making electronic circuits themselves. And yet, there’s still more that can be done with them. Two new LFOs blur the lines between analog and digital, hardware and software, and pack clever features into their interface and function. A Handheld LFO for Analog Gear Justus Kandzi’s Brute LFO puts hardware modulation in the palm of your hand. Brute LFO runs on any iPhone, iPad, …

READ MORE →
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 …

READ MORE →

EMS Synthi, Recreated in Max, then Controlled with a Webcam

The headline says it all. Oh, sure, as if it isn’t enough to recreate the legendary EMS Synthi synth – one of the most creative vintage analog instruments ever devised – this artist takes it one step further, controlling parameters with a piece of colored paper tracked by a webcam. It’s an achievement of sheer patching genius, taken one step wackier. The patch is entitled Le Synthé V5; the creator is Pierre Couprie. And yes, you can download this for Windows and Mac – even Mac PowerPC. Cost: US$15/EUR10, which is, I must say, insanely cheap. Video in French with …

READ MORE →

Back to the Future: Save an Old Laptop, Make it a Music Workstation

Computers can have longevity as musical instruments, but it takes a little extra effort. (CC-BY-NC-SA) Bill Van Loo. Computers and computer software can have as much or even more longevity than traditional music hardware – that is, if elements like copy protection don’t intervene first. As a postscript to the discussion last week, prompted by a new software release for the Apple II, here’s a report from our friend Bill Van Loo. He was able to make a productive little workstation out of an old iBook (500Mhz), with access to Reaktor Session instruments and an Apple electric piano now gone. …

READ MORE →

DAW Day – Pro Tools 8.0.1: No Windows 7 or 10.6 Support, End of the Road for Legacy

Pro Tools got an update at the end of August. A number of readers have pointed out that this is a milestone for what it includes, what it doesn’t include, and what it represents. What’s in 8.0.1 If you’re an existing Pro Tools 8 owner, you’ll want 8.0.1: Improved interface performance (“snappiness”!) Improved selection drawing in audio Workflow improvements, fixes Those of you who grabbed the update in the last week or two, I’ll be curious to hear what you’ve found in some of those subtler improvements. Avid, to their credit, does do a lot of work on these point …

READ MORE →