iPhone Gets New Groove Boxes: Is it Live Synthesis, or is it Canned?

The iPhone has become an almost absurdly-popular platform for music apps this year, even given more capable, more plentiful PCs. But to those who don’t yet “get” the appeal, talk to a mobile music addict: having the ability to be creatively musically in corners of time that would otherwise go unused, like a cramped bus ride, can be a beautiful thing. (Now, you start talking about taking away my PC/Mac experience, and I will start screaming in agony – but that’s a topic for a separate post.) The question is, what form should that app take? Today, I’ve got an …

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New Teasers: Urs Heckmann Modular Soft Synth, and the Fairlight CMI Returns

In some of the news I’ve missed in the last couple of days are some unusual announcements. Urs Heckmann can be fairly considered one of the great soft synth designers, with accomplishments like Zebra. His latest, Bazille, like many recent soft synths, is a hybrid: FM synthesis plus phase distortion plus the obligatory subtractive synthesis. In an early teaser video (he apologizes for audio quality), he shows off its modular design. Now, modular routing is something we’ve seen in some form in other recent synths, from Maschine to Future Audio’s Circle. But for Bazille, the layout of the whole synth …

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megaSynth: Tasty iPhone, iPod touch App Continues Mobile Synth Deluge

Remember, oh, about a year ago when most new synths were coming out for desktop/laptop computers? Now it seems like you could start an entirely new KVR Audio-style site just to keep tabs on mobile synths on handhelds – okay, on the iPhone. Nonetheless, megaSynth looks pretty delicious. On the synth side: 3 oscillators, 7 waveforms Triad arpeggiator and “Chordmatic” chordmaker with 23 scales 24-bucket step sequencer LFOs: filter, pitch, volume, plus an audible LFO Reverb and modulation effects 209 factory presets, or save your own Also, it’s nice to see the megaSynth developers thinking about the unique features of …

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Arturia Origin, Guest Review: From Soft Synth to Hard Synth, at a Price

Ever wished you could pack the sonic goodness and programming power of a soft synth into a hardware box? Dreamed of software that lived in a road case and had the stability and power-on capability of your outboard gear? You’re certainly not alone. That meant many of us were intrigued when soft synth emulator house Arturia showed off the Origin, a DSP-based hardware box that put their emulations in a box that wasn’t a PC. There’s plenty to recommend this device, with an onboard step sequencer and terrific sounds. And then you hit the US$2500 street price – hardly recession-friendly, …

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Korg microKORG XL: Little Keys, with Purtier Looks, Vocoder, and Sounds

The microKORG is one of the great music instrument product hits of recent years. It’s a product that has managed to reach out of the claustrophobic, aging niche of traditional keyboard buyers to a wider audience of rockers and music enthusiasts. It’s not the only keyboard to be “cool” – hello, Moog – but it’s the rare keyboard that’s both cool and cheap, not to mention small. The cheap plastic-y mic and army beige color only added to the appeal, and encouraged people to write on it with metallic pens and apply stickers and make it theirs. And the sound …

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Stylophone Coming; iPhone “Pocket Calculator” Covers Expected

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kraftwerk. December 1, you should be able to look forward to a simulated Stylophone app for iPhone and iPod touch. The Stylophone, for those of you unfamiliar with this classic, was a wonderful late-60s invention and a high-water mark for electronic instrument simplicity. Run a stylus across a simple metal keyboard, get sound. It’s a no-brainer to bring this to Apple mobiles, with their touch and sonic capabilities. And while the Stylophone was used on many, many songs, I anticipate quite a few “Pocket Calculator” covers showing up on YouTube in the days …

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DS News and Videos: Korg DS-10 Arrives 10/14; GrooveStep Set Free Soon

At your desk, you want another few moments with FL Studio or Live or Pd or Pro Tools or (your app here). Then, you kick back on the couch or on the bus to play with … more music software. Yep, you’re one of us. Here’s the latest from the world of Nintendo DS music apps. First off, a couple of you write to say your preorders for the Korg DS-10 cartridge have been delayed until October 14 for the US. (The cartridge was released in Japan over the summer, and we had previously heard September 30.) This does line …

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Metablog: Universal Audio UAD-2 Updates Sound Platform; Why People Want It

Universal Audio’s UAD-1, a sound processing platform built on DSP hardware add-ons for your computer, has gotten a much-anticipated sequel this week. The UAD-1 was always a favorite choice for sound production, delivering tasty analog-emulating sound tools on a PCI card platform. The UAD-2, on PCI-express cards, offer up to “ten times” the processing power of the original — supposedly even the single-processor model delivers a greater-than-twofold performance gain. The DSP hardware is just the platform, though, and Universal’s main push here is its plug-in developers. Sure, these days your CPU is a plenty-powerful sonic number cruncher, so I think …

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Sonic Core Unveils Insanely Powerful New Scope DSP Platform

The old CreamWare Scope DSP platform has been given new life… yet again. Things had been suspiciously quiet since Sonic Core acquired CreamWare’s assets early last year, and many long-time users were worried the end was near. It turns out the team was simply hard at work. The company will unveil powerful new Scope hardware and significantly upgraded software at the 2008 Frankfurt Musikmesse (March 12-15). The big news is the € 2698 ($4200) Scope XITE-1 DSP hardware system. It’s based on Analog Devices SHARC DSP chips, offering 10x more processing power than their previous high-end Scope Professional card. The …

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