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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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Here’s What’s New in Universal Audio’s DSP Software and Hardware System

The line between pain and ecstasy on a computer for music making can often boil down to some key elements. One commonly on that short list is getting the sound you might from a studio. Another is making all your inputs and outputs work in your interface. Universal Audio is one of a handful of vendors that aims to bridge both of those gaps in a single product, with devices that are audio interfaces as well as DSP platforms for hosting high-quality effects. And UA are starting out 2015 with a fairly big benchmark for the company in that software/hardware …

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Minifooger, Affordable Analog For Your Feet: Details, Photos, Video

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never witnessed a hotcake sale. I can’t say how “selling like hotcakes” goes down. Now we’re seeing more details of the affordable analog stompboxes from Moog. Looking like the ideal stomp effects for both musicians on a budget and the guitarist/bass player, these Minifoogers should sell as fast as hotc– well, as Minifoogers. What they have in common: Analog signal path, with “true bypass” (so when they’re off, they’re off) Aluminum enclosures Optional battery power Single expression pedal input for hands-free control (badly missing on many other nice analog effects) Control voltage input, …

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Leaked: Moog Minifooger Stompboxes, $139-199 [Uninformed Analysis]

American retailer Sweetwater leaked news of Maschine Studio yesterday; today, it’s pocket-sized, affordable versions of Moog effects that seems to be out of the bag. Yes, it’s a rumor, non-official, unconfirmed, yadda yadda – but this one’s hard not to believe at face value, it makes so much sense. The units, many of which appear to be intended for combination with an expression pedal: Delay, US$199: bucket-brigade analog delay. Tremolo, $179: Tremolo pedal with sub. Boost, $139: Both volume pedal and “boost” functions, each with either a more Moog-like voltage-coltrolled amplifier or a classic-sounding operational transconductance amplifier for overdrive. Drive, …

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A Different Synthesis: Julianna Barwick, Colleen Fuse Folk Tradition with Electronics [Videos]

The essential quality of electronic music is, in some sense, collage: drawing from multi-track recording, it is defined by the ability to put things together in records or performances in new ways. The contents of that collage need not always be drum machine beats or synthesized alien sounds. And so, many artists draw from a different well. Mentioning Georgina Brett last week prompted more reader recommendations. Two artists – one from France, one from Louisiana – exemplify the fusion of minimalist and folk traditions with electronic practice. And these two, each with a different spin on aesthetics and composition, also …

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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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Tech for Guitarists: What’s New, What’s Changing in Digital Guitar Tools [NAMM Report]

Who says guitar technology isn’t advancing? Joe Gore is a guitarist who’s unafraid of the bleeding edge, so he was a natural to report back to us from the hallowed halls of new musical instruments, NAMM. He takes a look at what’s new and what’s evolving through a guitarist’s eyes. And this stuff is interesting, indeed, with effects and controllers that might inspire gear desires in instrumentalists of all stripes, not just guitarists. We guitarists tend to be a technologically conservative bunch, yet there was no shortage of forward-looking products at NAMM 2013. Not that everyone was looking in the …

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The Harder Side of St. Vincent’s Live Rig: Custom Rack, Eventide Stompboxes, MIDI

St. Vincent is doing some amazing live shows, so it’s little wonder that a look inside the software rig and approach to computer-enhanced performance got some attention Friday. Eagle-eyed readers, though, weren’t only satisfied hearing from the band about the role of Ableton Live and Reason. That expansive rack of stompboxes, including some of my personal favorites from New Jersey-based maker Eventide, clearly matters, too. In comments, there’s a full explanation of what you’re seeing. As Dan writes: Mike Vegas of Nice Rack Canada (formerly Nice Rack NYC) built that board for Annie. The MasterMind provides switching for the analog …

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Inside Koma Electronik, Boutique Maker: Studio Tour, Profile [Gallery, Audio]

Big or small, talk to many music gear makers, and you’ll find they’re in the business largely for love. But it’s still amazing just how many gear makers choose to go it alone. They build equipment in their flats and garages, hand-packing their creations and shipping it to a world of fellow musicians. Koma Electronik is just one of those in the worldwide scene of boutique hardware makers. We’re especially fond of their interfaces and the company of musicians they keep. So, following up on the video that showed what it’s like getting a demo in a van from Koma, …

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Hands-on with Koma’s Analog Filter/Sequencer, Gate/Delay, in a Van, with Champagne

Koma’s stuff is good. Really good. So good, you might even want to watch a hands-on video where I’m juggling a camera in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. Their stompable, playable analog effects show well even in the back of a van circling Musikmesse. How I came to see this hardware in the van is a story in itself. The trade show gig works like this: you pay an enormous amount of money for some sort of trade membership, then an enormous amount of money for a booth, an enormous amount of money to staff …

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