NI Traktor Kontrol S8: Big Screens, Remix Controls – and Why Killing Jog Wheels is Good

Numark may have announced this week that it’s shipping the Numark NV controller, adding two displays with a window on Serato. But Native Instruments, for their part, appear no longer to be satisfied letting you hear about their upcoming Traktor Kontrol S8 via leaks on forums and social media. (Yes, uh… some of you noticed that.) No, this time, we get to see the Kontrol S8 in an official Native Instruments video. And right away, you’ll notice a big difference between Numark’s and Native Instruments’ perspective on the future of the controller: the S8 ditches the big jog wheels. Frankly, …

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Native Instruments Teases New Komplete Hardware

Native Instruments today releases a teaser video which it says is “A glimpse of the future” of Komplete, the production suite that includes Reaktor, Kontakt, and various synths and the like. That video clearly shows some kind of hardware. Now, the degree to which I can speculate about an unreleased product is inversely proportional to the amount I know about such a product. So, with that in mind, let me objectively describe what you see in the video in ways that are truly obviously discernible, for those of you who can’t be bothered to squint at the video yourself. I’d …

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Surprise: A New British Boutique Polysynth is Coming – Modulus Music 002

We have mono synths galore, but true polyphonic instruments are rarer. And while the images are blurry and details are vague, an upcoming English instrument has just the kind of pedigree to grab our attention. SonicState broke the story yesterday, but additional details have been dripping out on social media. It’s called the modulus.002. What we know: it’s a polysynth. It comes from Bristol. It’s got a rather large keyboard with loads of controls. We know it makes rather thick sounds – listen below. And we know that driving that polyphony is a hybrid analog / digital design. (Sorry, it’s …

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Elektron’s Analog Rytm, Revealed: 8-Voice Analog Drum Machine, with Sample Support

Apparently, this year is the Year of The New Drum Machine. But enough teasing. Elektron now has some actual details for us of their entry. Better still, they sound promising. You get an architecture worthy of the creators of the Machinedrum – with the requisite step sequencer and performance options – but in an instrument that combines both an 8-voice analog drum machine with sample playback. It’s not clear yet how those samples work, but that’s good news. And the 4×3 (cough) pads we saw earlier are both velocity- and pressure-sensitive. Other than that, we’re still short of some other …

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It's a cutoff knob - for a quantum singularity. Photo courtesy Waldorf.

New Waldorf Synth Teaser Proves No One Will Make a Crazier Knob Label

This week is likely to be bursting with new synths. And one of the prolific makers of such instruments comes from Remagen, Germany, in the form of Waldorf. Their latest teaser doesn’t tell us much other than there’s a new synth coming. But oh, my — that’s a crazy looking label for a filter cut-off knob. There’s really only one way to respond to this: For reference, here’s the last wild knob label from Waldorf, on their (wonderful, by the way) Rocket synth:

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Elektron Opens Mystery Box, Revealing – An Analog Drum Machine with Maschine-Style Pads?

What’s in the box? Starting at an event in Berlin in the fall, the folks at Elektron have been teasing new hardware, hiding it inside a padlocked, frosted-plexiglass case. Today, they opened the case. Inside is what appears to be an anticipated new Elektron drum machine – though various readers tell us this latest drum machine from the company will use analog drum synthesis. (That’s unconfirmed.) The obvious addition is given away instantly: you get a colored 4×3 grid of pads, looking a bit like Maschine and Machinedrum had a love child. (Then again, that love child doesn’t sound like …

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NI Teases New Synth: Video, SoundCloud Samples

Native Instruments has something new coming, revealed today in a teaser video. And as you’ll see, it’s something new that isn’t a DJ app for iPad. I expect you’ll even see some speculation about it online. I can’t speculate about it, as … I’ve seen it. So you can instead expect full coverage once this becomes public. I did clear with NI the ability to say what it isn’t, just in case this video is unclear. This does not involve hardware. It’s a new software instrument. Beyond that, I’ll leave you to watch the video, which I must say includes …

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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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4voiceanalog

Seems Like Elektron Might Have a 4-Voice Analog Synth Coming, Actually

Let’s enhance! So, it seems a bit like Elektron might be working on a 4-voice analog synth. That is, especially since that’s what’s in the image found on the teaser site. Wonder what we can learn from the other corners of the image. I think the most interesting question here is whether Elektron does something clever with the sequencing portion – that is, obviously, another analog 4-voice synth isn’t news, but if it fits the Monomachine mold, it might be. Thank you to Jakob Penca for tipping us off via Twitter, and to the Elektron Users forum. Sorry, I’m late …

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Tradition, at least. Elektron's team isn't the same one that produced the Machinedrum, but the legacy leaves on. (CC-BY) Acid Pix.

Elektron Teases Its New Machine; In Music, Any Machine Will Do (Plus The Field’s Kitchen)

I hesitate to give teaser/hype campaigns extra words, but there’s simply too much anticipation about whatever Swedish hardware maker Elektron is doing to ignore it. The makers of Machinedrum, Monomachine, and Octatrack have a minisite through which they’re gradually trickling out teasers for whatever they’re doing next. The safest bet – particularly given the samples, the background image, and “tradition & future” moniker – is some kind of hardware combining the Octatrack and older drum machine design threads in some new gear. And given the Octatrack’s focus on sampling, a new generation on the synthesis side seems a no-brainer. Update: …

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