Beautiful New Music from tehn, the Maker of the monome [Interview]

Brian Crabtree, alongside partner Kelli Cain, nicely exemplifies a lot of this site’s raison d’ĂȘtre over the the past ten years. Artmaker and toolmaker are indistinct roles; they’re both flipsides of the act of making. The monome, the invention for which Brian is best known, is at first blush nothing more than a box of buttons. It’s even lifeless until connected to a computer. But in its design is a statement that draws a thread from the design of tools to the design of music. Ideas about compositional technique are embodied in the software; notions of aesthetics are evident in …

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The Riser Synth Makes it Easy to Make Ridiculous EDM Rises, Drops; Try it Free

The Riser, the new synth from German developer AIR, isn’t shy about what it’s for. This is a synth to make rises and drops aimed squarely at EDM fans. Dial up presets, turn some knobs, and sync up absurd rhythmic builds, like pumping chart-topping performance-enhancing drugs into your music. What makes it interesting is, it’s a synth. It isn’t another sample library, so you can actually control the results and make something original. And if that’s what you want to do, you can do it right now for free – sort of. There’s a 2-week unlimited demo version – but …

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K2

Pianoteq 5 Improves Piano Modeling, Without Eating Up Your Hard Drive

If you want a fake piano, you can have a fake piano. You can have increasingly-good models and samples in hardware, but you can really get a fake piano on your computer. You can buy entire hard drives just to store the gigabytes of samples. You can load massive instances of Kontakt with different recorded sounds for every note, every articulation. You can have new pianos, old pianos, countless Steinway samples. You can even have a ridiculously-tall upright. Or, you can have Pianoteq. Whereas others gobble hard drive space, Pianoteq uses sophisticated modeling techniques that skip the samples, meaning it …

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Resy’s Unique Sound Tools: Morphing Triangle Software, Hardware in a Can

If you’re looking to give yourself sonic inspiration in a new shape, a musical marketplace has some deals for you now. Resy is a recently-launched curated shop for “indie” instruments, both hardware and software. It’s worth mentioning them now because they have a lovely deal through end of day tomorrow Monday the 23rd, and also because these two tools are unique and quirky stories themselves. And Resy has the clever idea of making twee music videos showing off the instruments, rather than the usual dry promos. First up, there’s einKLANG, the morphing software instrument that’s all about the triangle.

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FireBird 2, “Harmonic Content Morphing” Synth Plug-in, Now Free [Windows]

With so many choices, some beautiful software synths simply fall through the cracks – or fail to keep up with tastes and attentions. TONE2, maker of a number of nice soft synths, has therefore decided to put its FireBird synth out to pasture, releasing an update and marking down the price from $79 to free (as in beer – no source). Of course, part of the reason people’s eyes glaze over with soft synths is the sheer number of two-oscillator, Virtual Analog, subtractive synths out there. But there are a few details that set FireBird 2 apart and ought to …

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Propellerhead’s Thor Synth on iPad, Redesigned for Touch (And Why That’d Be Nice on PC)

Propellerhead Reason, imagining a virtual rack of gear inside the computer, wouldn’t be successful if the instruments it contained were lacking in personality. Producers like this package partly because of the feeling of using something distinctive. Thor is one of the favorite instruments from that package. Now, it’s more mobile and a lot more touchable. Thor already shows signs the Swedish developer has been learning from its past iOS outings. ReBirth, the techno studio-in-a-box that made the company famous, initially had a shaky launch on the iPhone. The tool, ported almost directly from desktop PCs, was cramped and uncomfortable to …

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Surprise! Animoog from Moog Shows Up on … BlackBerry Z10

In the exciting world of Things That Aren’t An iPhone, Moog Music have announced, out of the blue, a version of their popular Animoog synth for BlackBerry Z10. Animoog for BlackBerry Z10 In a tweet to CDM, Moog Music reflected, “The more creative tools artists have the more music the world will have.” I couldn’t agree more. But platforms have posed some serious hurdles to making development pay off for independent music software makers, with technical hurdles that can make performance a challenge. If BB10 is something different, that’s good news.

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Reason 7 Arrives: Slicing, External MIDI, More – And All Rack Extensions Work [Details, Videos]

Reason 7 is available now, in the full version, upgrades, and entry-level Essentials editions. You can download the new release right away – including, intelligently enough, as a torrent for downloads even if Reason users get overexcited. (Cough, Ableton. Hope you’re paying attention.) There are lots of improvements, but the banner features are clearly integrated slicing and external MIDI sequencing. Those features have been a long time coming. The ability to sequence external MIDI gear seems a no-brainer for a tool with so many great sequencing tools and robust MIDI input control support. And integrated audio slicing is, oddly enough, …

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Android Users Get Some Love: FL Studio Mobile Now on Android, Too (And PC)

FL Studio on iOS is one of the nicer, more full-featured production suites out there. And iOS users now get Universal support (so yo don’t have to buy iPhone and iPad apps separately), iPhone 5 display support, Audiobus input and output, multitrack recording, Dropbox import and export and enhanced zipped-up exports of whole projects, and waveform editing – wow. FL Studio Mobile But a bigger surprise is Android support. There’s not complete feature parity support yet, but that’s coming (and most of the functionality is there.) Generally, Image Line claims you can run on any 2.3 or later device. http://www.image-line.com/documents/android.html …

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What NI Was Teasing: Monark Minimoog-Modeling Synth, Remade Battery, in New Komplete

Native Instruments has been teasing new instrument software in recent days, and now we get to see what they were previewing: a new virtual-analog monosynth and a remade version of their drum sampler. But, hold on, before everyone yawns and leaves the building – there’s reason to pay attention to this news. First, yes, there is something notably absent in today’s announcement. While NI is making Komplete, their bundle of their extensive stable of software instruments, available for preorder, there’s still no sign of a big upgrade to Reaktor. The fact that the Monark video showed Reaktor patching may have …

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