Groovy, Moody Songs, Flea Market Sound Design Finds: Meet Sofia Kourtesis

Half Greek, half Peruvian, born in Lima but raised between Germany and New York, Sofia Kourtesis is a fresh, emerging voice. Her music interweaves shadows and introspection with smart grooves – seductive melancholy. Her mixes, too, cross similar territory, aided by her broad knowledge of music as a globe-trotting DJ and booker. So, it’s a perfect start to our week this week, with some listening and a peek inside a studio. This is what’s so exciting about being in music now: we get to hear those new artists find original paths. Apart from being a sci-fi movie addict and teenage …

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KORG’s Latest volca sample Sequences Sounds – But You Need an iOS App to Add Your Own Sounds

The KORG volca sample is a fun-looking sample “sequencer” – it can play back, modify, and mangle pre-recorded samples in a step sequencer. But it requires a dedicated iOS app to do the actual sampling. That makes for a mixed bag, straight out of the gate. As KORG says: “The new volca lets you recapture the excitement of the first generation of samplers, in which any sound — vocals, spoken words, ambient sound, or glitches — becomes material for your creations!” — right, but then it leaves out one of the best things about those hardware samplers, namely – sampling. …

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Goodies: Free Sounds from Prophet 12, volca beats, Moog Minitaur, and More, Ableton and Beyond

Hardware is beautiful. But until we buy that private 747 and outfit it with an in-flight lounge, for instance, portability still matters. And that means for some of us even keeping both hardware and samples. Let’s get down to it: it’s time for another installment of the CDM “goodies” series, where we point you to free downloads to keep your hard drive happy. And this time, we get some of your favorite gear in the act: Prophet 12, volca, Minitaur. (Also, most come from Austin, Texas.) Many of these are already assembled into Ableton Live kits, but if you prefer …

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volca Goodies: Free volca beats Sample Library, $8 Editor-Control Panel, MIDI Out

The love of all things volca continues, as enthusiastic owners of KORG’s boxes create their own accessories. The latest: a sample library (meaning you don’t even need to own the volca), a fantastic editor/control panel package that works standalone or in Ableton Live, and a MIDI output mod. Free volca beats Sounds: First, let’s have a listen to a dark, dirty, free sample library from Dark Side of the Tune, aptly named Volca Beats. The Volca Beats was put through multiple gain stages and frequency modulation to create even more depth and range. From quick thumpy sounds for techno and …

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Quick Fix: QuNexus is a Great Way to Do MIDI and CV, Cheap and Mobile

Here’s a really quick tip, but it demonstrates something in one illustrative video: Keith McMillen’s QuNexus is a brilliant, mobile solution for MIDI and analog control voltage. Of course, time was when the mention of control voltage would say to people either eccentric vintage gear collectors or expensive racks of modular. But CV’s appeal is fast spreading. On the modular side, prices are tumbling, and compact suitcase rigs can easily cost less than some pricey plug-in bundles (cough). On the used/vintage side, there’s just a lot of gear you might want to connect. And now, there are affordable units like …

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Ableton Goodies: Free volca beats Drum Rack, Drums Smash Effects Rack

We give you news of the thing. Then we give you a virtual thing that helps you with the thing. Then we give you a virtual thing for when you don’t have the thing with you or want a taste of the thing before you get the real thing. Or something. And we’ll keep this Ableton Goodies series going as long as people keep sending nice freebies and treats for Ableton users in our inbox. In our last volca-related episode, we shared some free control patches built in Max for Live that make automating and manipulating the volca series from …

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Ableton Goodies: Control Every KORG volca Free, with Max for Live

Tweaking with physical knobs is part of the joy of gear like the KORG volca series. But when you’re ready to automate parameters, try new sound design, recall presets, or simply work simultaneously to experiment with volca parameters alongside software tools, it can be handy to have a remote control. It’s the producer’s equivalent of not having to get off the couch. Benjamin Weiss, the other half of experimental techno duo NERKKIRN with myself, has been busily making volca presets. He’s found these to be timesavers in producing with the volcas; we’ll be using them in the studio this weekend, …

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The KORG volca bass is Not a TB-303 Replacement – Great Video Compares, Adds Tips

Discchord has an insightful video that pits the KORG volca bass – that beautiful, affordable wonder – against a 303 bass (in this case, a Cyclone clone). It’s in my view a completely fair comparison, just because the Roland TB-303 has become such a template for basslines, particularly in acid music. And understanding what the KORG isn’t is also a key to understand what it is. And yes, that silver cover can give people the wrong idea. (Where’s KORG doing pink or green army camouflage when you need them?) My own takeaways:

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A Brilliant 199€ Hardware Sequencer with Jog Wheel: MTRX-8 Preview [Photos, Video, Interview]

Sleek and black, sporting a high-resolution jog wheel, the MTRX-8 is a futuristic sequencer the likes of which you probably haven’t seen in hardware before. Even though it’s the product of a boutique DIY maker – France’s Fyrd Instruments, aka designer Julien Fayard – it’s eschews the usual homebrewed, retro aesthetics. And it’s not expensive, either; the launch price has been lowered to 199€ based on early demand. It’s a MIDI sequencer, it’s a drum sequencer, it’s a performance-geared machine with quick access to presets, and it’s covered with quick access controls rather than confusing menus. At last, it’s sequencer …

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Crazy Awesome volca keys Kraftwerk Cover, The Robots

We’re not worthy. Japanese site Digiland has published a review of KORG volca keys. And when they do sound demos for their review, they go a little crazy. This video is the result: it’s a cover of Die Roboter (“The Robots”) by Kraftwerk that’s spookily-good. (Actually, it almost improves upon the original.) The synth sounds all come from volca keys, apart from a vocal line using the Togu Audio Line TAL-Vocoder, and some beats from – what else? – volca beats. Significantly, they’ve also posted a MIDI implementation chart. We’re really not giving volca bass much love this week, now …

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