Snapshots of Knobs & Wires – June 2nd, 2018 / Creative Quarter / Munich, Southern Germany. Live concerts, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and trade fairs: All about synthesizers / modular systems / electronic music. This was a synthesizer festival in the best sense of the word. The weather was fine, the audience inquisitive and open-minded – no wonder the organizers were highly satisfied.
It was only a matter of time before Arturia reloaded on the DrumBrute and MicroBrute theme. Similar to the MicroBrute special colors, there’s now a special CREATION EDITION available. No new features, but AirBrush look instead. With a touch of Michelangelo – which makes no difference in terms of sound, but looks chic.
The KYRA is a collaboration between Waldorf Music and the British synthesizer developer Exodus Digital. Their Valkyrie Synthesizer, which was been shown at the Frankfurt Musikmesse 2018, will be relaunched and presented as Waldorf KYRA Synthesizer at NAMM 2019. The instrument will initially be available as rack version (1899 Euros) and finally, at the end of 2019, as keyboard version …
Audiowerkstatt trigger2midi2trigger v2 – honestly, spelling the name is not a child’s play. Anyway, this module converts analog clock signals to digital (MIDI) clock signals – and vice versa. Furthermore, it’s a multifunctional trigger device, useful in many ways. Need to convert S-Trigger to V-Trigger? No problem! The other way ’round? Ah, easy – that’s a piece of cake!
Oberheim OB-8 test report.
The OB-8 is a clear recommendation for all who are looking for that characteristic – and up to now nearly unachievable – analog sound of the late 70s and early 80s. Today, classic analog poly-synthesizers clearly indicate that a major chapter in synthesizer evolution is now closing – slowly, but surely.
The thing is: you can talk about classical vintage synthesizers, you can closely analyze their remarkable concepts and praise their unrivalled sound … but what’s that all good for if those objects of keen desire are no longer available? Most classic synthesizers have found a permanent home these days. Studios and collectors all around the globe are in the picture as to the musical and financial value of the instruments. No wonder classic synths are rarely sold nowadays!
In 2018 things really get going: NAMM, Frankfurt Music Fair, SynthFest France, SuperBooth, Moog Festival, currently Happy Knobbing. And soon also Munich. On June 2nd the KNOBS & WIRES Synthesizer Festival will take place – with exhibition, vintage exhibition, workshops and of course with live program. Place of the festival is the Kreativ Quartier München (Import Export & Mucca Halle), it starts on Saturday at 10 o’clock in the morning and ends Sunday at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Munich is not only a remarkable city, but also a historical place around synthesizers. “I Feel Love”, the first track recorded exclusively by electronic means, was produced here in 1977 by Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer. But 20 years earlier, electronic music pioneers such as Ligeti, Kagel, Boulez, Riedl, Pousseur, Cage, and Stockhausen had been exploring the basics of electronic sound synthesis in the Siemens Studio Munich.
Whether the loss of those ARP 2600 loudspeakers is aesthetically acceptable or not, is up to you. The truth is that the upgrades offered by Phil Cirocco are technically and musically outstanding.
Since the modifications have to be done in the USA (at CMS), customers from Europe / Asia / … need to send their ARP 2600 overseas. Which is not cheap, but still nothing compared to the 5000+ USD that a full-blown CMS upgrade costs. In other words: Classic vintage analog synthesizers are a costly affair in all respects.
Behringer plans for a new line of Eurorack synth modules, based on the classic Roland System-100M. The modules are intended to be in Eurorack format – nearly half the size of the original Roland modules.
Can anything good come out of this? Well – we hope so! Even if the Behringer modules were smaller, they’d be beneficial not only for the Eurorack community, but also for owners of the original System-100M.
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Malekko’s analog synthesizer Manther is a compact desktop groovebox with built-in 64-step sequencer and delay effect. The instrument is based on the Roland SH-101 synthesizer and retains – with exception of the traditional keyboard – all the essential features of the original synth. There’s even more: A comprehensive step sequencer, an array of CV connections and illuminated faders. That doesn’t sound bad.