Sweet 12-Pack of Polyphony: Dave Smith Unveils All-New Prophet 12 [Video, Images]

Dave Smith has reason to celebrate this year. He’s been creating synths for 35 years. The MIDI protocol he helped create turned 30. And now, amidst a wave of new analog monosynths, he’s got a monster keyboard with – gasp – polyphony, and lots of it. Dave sent CDM some pics of his baby earlier this week. The Prophet 12 looks like a real titan, with 12-voice polyphony (of course) and what Dave says is an all-new design. That’s the surprise: whereas previous Dave Smith models have tended to build on the voice architecture of previous outings, Dave says that …

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A Dirtier Moog: Inside Moog’s New Sub Phatty Synth; Gallery, Behind-the-Scenes Interview

Forget clean: we want things dirtier. What can you do with a two-oscillator synth to retain the classic design, but give creative sound makers a twist? This is looking like yet another week of new analog synths, as California celebates the biggest American music trade show, NAMM. Moog this week unveiled the Sub Phatty analog synth as their answer to the question. It’s still a very Moog approach to what a synth should be, but adds an aggressive edge thanks to the addition of the new Multidrive circuit, a filter-stage distortion and overdrive. We saw the guts of the Sub …

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Animation: Watch Moog Sub Phatty, Flying Lotus in Psychedelic, Fluid Color

The best music videos don’t just flow well with the pacing and feeling of music. They enhance it. And that’s certainly the case with the work of regular FlyLo collaborator and Adult Swim animator Adam ‘lilfuchs’ Fuchs of Atlanta, Georgia. Add in Moog, and things get seriously trippy for lovers of synthesizers. The resulting short, “Such a Square,” features Flying Lotus-produced sounds, made on a prototype of Moog’s new Sub Phatty synth. The liquid-smooth animation takes us on a psychedelic journey via Bob Moog’s mind, tracing circuitry and patch cords in acid-glowing washes of electric color. It feels like a …

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meeblipkoma2

Hands-On Jam: MeeBlip SE with Koma Elektronik Delay, Filter [Gallery, Video]

A wintry afternoon sometimes calls for putting the work on hold and spending some time jamming. So, this week (in approximate celebration of Sinterklaas), I headed around the corner to the offices of Koma Elektronik, the boutique all-analog gear producer. Here’s a few minutes of combining digital with analog, each with its own timbres and applications. In the digital corner: the iOS step sequencer Phaedra (watch for an update on that soon), and our open source MeeBlip SE synth. On the analog side: Koma’s BD101 delay/gate and FT201 filter/sequencer. In the digital world, we get the flexibility of MIDI sequencing …

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MeeBlip SE's new limited edition features retro color scheme and knobs, plus 30 patch memores - and now ships fully-assembled worldwide.

An Open Synth for Anyone: MeeBlip SE, €/$150, Making Music and Shipping – Fall Limited Edition

“Open source hardware” has generally come to mean something for hobbyists, something involving soldering irons and code. MeeBlip is about something different: it’s about making a musical instrument anyone can play, right away – with or without soldering. It’s about making music. And that’s why I’ve been glad to have CDM involved in this project: we get to build something that embodies what we believe in. Now, you can get a Limited Edition, retro-styled MeeBlip SE for US$149.95 / €149.95 (incl VAT) / £119.95 (incl VAT), shipped just about anywhere worldwide, fully-assembled. Order page | International info | SE Limited …

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Dear Elektron: Do You Need Some More Natural Sunlight?

Jeez. Maybe you should just pick up a Monomachine from Craigslist, because it seems like life with the Analog Four might be a bit … uh … apocalyptic. Other thoughts: 1. Winter in Sweden: it’s dark. Not a lot of sunlight. Your synth teasers can start to get a bit … odd. 2. First Aid kits. Keep them around the house. (Alternatively, speaking of Sweden, keep First Aid Kit around to sing you something cheery.) 3. “ATTENTION!!! POLICE ARE WATCHING! IS THERE A VIRUS? IS THIS THE SOURCE? 3 BILLION DIE?” Sorry… I may have just confused Elektron’s analog synth …

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If Your Body Were a Moog: Experimental Voyager Sounds + Contemporary Dance Portraits

six short stories about… from Vlaicu Golcea on Vimeo. The ubiquity of the classic subtractive synthesizer could make you think that its sounds are limited to familiar sounds. But it simply ain’t so. Part of why I think these designs endure is that it remains possible to coax new musical gestures, to voyage through new timbres. And so, with a small dose of Reaktor, Romanian composer/musician Vlaicu Golcea coaxes beautiful and surprising sounds from the Moog Voyager. In a strangely synesthetic experience, these sounds match perfectly the choreography. I’m often a fan of creating musical spaces that don’t touch each …

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What you need to know: Ceephax Acid Crew is one of the few people who can carry the burden of an all-hardware live performance - literally.

Ceephax Acid Crew, Like Taking a Fun Pill Made Out of Synthesizer

It’s summer. Are you on vacation? You’re reading CDM, so my guess is, either, a) yes, and you’ve snuck your iPad into the resort hotel bathroom, or b) no. No, you’re not. Let’s go on vacation, the kind of vacation that only Ceephax Acid Crew, aka Andy Jenkinson, can piece together from tourist videos and lots and lots of synthesizers. Now, that last name “Jenkinson” may ring a bell. Jenkinson … Jenkinson … P.G. Wodehouse character, no, that’s not it … ah, yes, this is the point at which we are obligated to mention Andy’s brother is Squarepusher. (Note to …

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The new Jupiter-50, little sibling to the big JP-80 introduced last year.

Roland Returns to Synth Roots on Jupiter; New JP-50, iPad Integration [Video]

The name “Jupiter” evokes some strong feelings among synth aficionados. Little wonder, than, that when Roland introduced a modern successor, the response was impassioned. CDM was one of the first to look in detail at the Jupiter-80, and I was surprised – given the tendency of this readership away from massive flagship keyboards – to see it become one of our biggest stories of the year. Roland faced some serious criticism when the story it told about the new Jupiter was less about synthesis and more about the instrument-emulating Supernatural engine. After all, since the days of the original Jupiter’s …

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Lemur on iPad Teaser Video, Complete with MeeBlip

I was actually pleasantly surprised to see our MeeBlip open source synthesizer make a cameo in the latest teaser video for Lemur on iPad, the app I saw in action at Berlin’s Watergate. I expect we’ll have full details soon – and I hope to visit the MeeBlip-in-a-book again soon; even apart from being flattered and gratified to see it use our synth, it’s one of my favorite synthesizer housings ever. But, really, truly, I had nothing to do with this video – that’s not me being coy; I didn’t expect to see it. Yes, it’s jerky teaser vision, but …

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