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Now you can plug a guitar or stompbox into your Eurorack

At last, the world of modular meets the world of stompboxes. It’s a no brainer: after all, a modular rack already has a lot in common with a crowded pedalboard. I expected that our friends at Bastl Instruments from Czech would come up with something for this week’s Superbooth synth gathering here in Berlin, and sure enough, they’ve got three new modules, with one stompbox-friendly standout.

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Video Explains Why Difference Between Analog, Digital Isn’t What Most People Think

“Analog versus digital” – the discussion, it seems, is everywhere. The problem is, many people simply don’t understand what these terms mean. In one 25-minute video – engaging and entertaining to watch straight to the end – the biggest myths all get busted. In short: 1. 16-bit, 44.1 kHz really is okay for many tasks. (You’re saving that data for the computer and processing rather than your own ears. Hope to talk about this question in more detail soon.) 2. Digital audio doesn’t involve stairstepping. 3. Digital signals can store and be used to reproduce sound that’s identical to what’s …

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More Than Ever: Tour Dave Smith’s Monster Synth, the Prophet 12

The Prophet 12 from Dave Smith Instruments is a landmark synth: packed with polyphony and sound features, it’s the latest demonstration that “new” and “synth keyboard” can go together. So, for our first-look tour through the new Prophet, we get a special treat – writer, electronic musician, and mathematician Gina Collecchia got a hands-on look with the engineers who designed the instrument. Gina, who demystifies signal processing for all the rest of us in her book Numbers and Notes, get to talk with Chris, one technologist to another. -Ed. Meet the newest member of the Dave Smith Instruments family: the …

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Quick Routing Effect Trick: Stereo Ring Modulation, in Video

Chris Stack (formerly of Moog) inaugurates a series of experimental synthesis sounds with a stereo modulation effect, using two of the terrific Moog MF-102 ring modulators as the canvas. It’s a dead-simple combination of cables – you connect the carrier output of the first MF-102 into the input of the second, and the LFO out to the frequency – but once interconnected, the double ring mod effect is capable of a wide range of sounds. (“Double ring mod … oh my God.” Yeah, I know.) In fact, for the impatient among you, you might here the experimental synthy sounds at …

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Interview: Sound Legend Paul Frindle, and a Story Behind the Digital Audio Revolution

Photo (CC-BY) Liz Bustamante. Ed.: Make no mistake about it: digital sound tech, from mixing to processing, has evolved to a fidelity on par with its analog predecessors and opening possibilities well beyond what they offered. But the making of that evolution wasn’t easy, and it was more than a technical challenge. You can thank the creative spirit of people like Paul Frindle. As contributor Primus Luta explains to CDM, his work is about more than just engineering or tools – it’s driven by creative, musical energy. -PK Author’s note: I wanted to bring this piece to the CDM audience …

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Digi Didgeridoo: Augmented Wireless Digital Instrument with Aboriginal Roots

The Didgeridoo is one of the human race’s great triumphs in instrument design, simple but capable of producing profound sound – thanks, indigenous Australians. Kyle Evans sends us his project to extend the instrument with powerful digitally-augmented sound-making capabilities. The ingredients: Bluetooth wireless data transmission, connecting to a wireless mic Additional controls, including pots, push buttons, and toggles. (One limitation of the original relative to other blown instruments is its lack of any kind of keys or finger holes – an issue if you want to play with more than one note or modify the sound with something other than …

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mda Plug-in Collection for Mac, Windows Now Open Source

Yeah, I know, not the same VST. But I know a lot of you feel the VST spirit, so it works. (Just look at your rants on the Propellerhead Record post.) Photo (CC) Phil Baum. The mda-vst collection of effects has been a long-time favorite for me. It’s a set of no-nonsense, unique, simple effects, just useful stuff that doesn’t have any unnecessary bells and whistles. Oh, yeah – and it’s free, making an easy way to fill out your effect arsenal. But until recently, the collection was proprietary freeware. Now, it’s GPL-licensed open source for Mac and Windows. Included: …

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