Animoog, Moog’s First iPad Synth, in Videos and Instrumental Use

Something I always appreciated about classical music training was learning to appreciate the particulars of each instrument, whether or not you played them yourself. A French Horn, for instance, is not an instrument without challenges: everything from tuning to balancing dynamic range to how you look when you add and remove muting can be demanding. And in technology – whether acoustic instrumental or digital – every design is about tradeoffs. You very often can’t get one thing without giving up something else. So I stand by the questions I asked about iPad synths in general last week, particularly as I …

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IK Release iOS SampleTank, iRig; In Demo, Your Post-PC Future?

IK Multimedia this week is shipping both their SampleTank virtual instrument and iRig hardware MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s not the first software instrument for iThings, but it is arguably the first appearance of a major, conventional computer soft synth in mobile form. MIDI interfaces, likewise, would require a comparison of some competing gear, but it’s the combination of the two in IK’s demo video that I think might give someone pause. Music making tech has since the 1980s often involved some kind of computer. You might buy that computer in a piece of hardware that …

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Omnisphere Review for Keyboard: Amidst Gigs of Sounds, Real Creative Sound Design, Too; Videos

I took a look at Omnisphere 1.5, the synth so big it’ll make your head hurt, for Keyboard in a story out now (and readable now). As I begin the story: Seeing its six DVDs of sound content, you might be tempted to duct-tape a key down and let Omnisphere finish your film scoring gig. While the director would probably love the results, you’d be missing out on the real fun. In other words, what I discovered in that review was that Omnisphere, particularly with additions in the new 1.5 update, is a powerful creative sound design tool, not just …

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Image-Line Unveils Additive Harmor Synth, Beta of Fruity Loops for Mac – via WINE

Didier Dambrin, FL Studio’s original creator, has a new synth entitled Harmor that looks like one to watch. There’s a beautiful crop of new synthesizers this season that could have you yearning for a winter spent with long nights somewhere deep in the Northern Hemisphere, producing new music – see also, to name just one, Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ 2. (Both Harmor and Z3TA+ 2 are Windows-only, so time to boot up the PC or, Mac users, update that Boot Camp partition.) VSTi and native FL Studio support; US$149 but on sale this month for $99. For some reason, releasing any synth …

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Ableton Adds Lion Support, Better MIDI Sync; For Some Music, Watch Nicolas Jaar Play Live

Ableton this week has released 8.2.5; it’s worth mentioning here primarily as it adds Lion support on Mac OS. I still strongly recommend against upgrading to 10.7 for the time being, until you’ve verified that your particular mix of plug-ins and hardware is also compatible, but it’s a promising sign. Other improvements are also worth a look; via the Ableton forum: – MIDI sync has been improved when Live is a MIDI clock slave – Imported tracks (from the Live Browser) now route to Master if their original output routing can’t be resolved, instead of “Sends Only.” – The default …

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SunVox, Production Tool That Runs Almost Everywhere, Gets Updates; Watch Videos

God Bless Russian engineering. As of this summer, it’s the only ticket to and from our space station, via a capsule that Just Works. It gaves us the very first electronic instrument (thanks, Professor Theremin). And it gives us an insane music tracker slash production tool slash soft synth selection slash modular hosting environment that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, Palm, Windows Mobile (yes, you’re reading this list right), and now iOS and iPad. Well, don’t just thank Russian engineering. Thank Alex Zolotov, who sends along his latest work. Highlights: Waveform drawing A drum synth Sample recording Side chain compression …

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Drawing Sounds with New Experimental Synths (iOS from SunVox Creator)

Developer Alex Zolotov has been producing fascinating experiments for the iPhone. Today, we’re covering updates to Alex’s SunVox production tool, on iOS and desktop alike, but this pair of iOS tools deserves its own post. I could try to describe them, but there’s little to say that can’t be clearly seen in the video: you draw sounds, in spectral form (bottom) and waveform view (top), in order to produce synths graphically. The idea isn’t new, of course, but it’s beautifully implemented here in a way that’s immediate and sonically rich. Below, one other recent iOS creation, SoundFields, which also takes …

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Plug-in Watch: New Urs Updates and Videos, Images, and an Aalto Update

From the wonderful world of plug-ins, we’ve got some good news for soft synth lovers. I covered the forthcoming Z3TA+ 2 release from Cakewalk last week, and a number of readers pointed to the brilliant work of Urs Heckmann. As it happens, Urs has a number of updates releasing this week, adding 64-bit support, compatibility fixes, and new tutorial videos. Check out the mapping generator and “tap map” LFOs for one terrific example in ACE (the modular Any Cable Everywhere). New features in the ACE modular and More Feedback Machine delay/multi-effect:

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Your iOS Device Gets MIDI with Thru and Power – and 1 GB of Samples – from IK

For connecting music hardware from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and today, you can’t beat MIDI and the standard MIDI connector (5-pin DIN). This week, both IK Multimedia and Line 6 announced adapters that support Core MIDI. Previously possible on iPad via the Camera Connection Kit, the new adapters support the 30-pin dock connector for the iPad (no additional adapter needed), iPhone, and iPod touch. IK’s iRig MIDI has a number of features that set it apart from previously-available iOS adapters: It’s got MIDI Thru. MIDI Thru means you can route MIDI into your iOS device, so an external keyboard can …

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Z3TA+ 2 Soft Synth for Windows Details, Pics from Cakewalk; Promise of Waveshaping Goodness

Cakewalk has shared some of the details of their upcoming Z3TA+ 2 soft synth. Z3TA has long been a favorite on Windows as a per-oscillator waveshaping synth with extensive modulation, filter, and envelope features – it’s just one of those nice, balanced soft synths to which you can return. But as the years have passed, it’s also faced a lot of competition. Z3TA+ 2 could put it back on the map. Cakewalk today made public some of the new features. I think it’s also important to note the design of the new UI. It’s nothing revolutionary, but what it is …

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