Moog’s new monophonic synthesizer – Moog Sub Phatty.
If you want to know a bit more about its features and how it sounds, please click the following link (© Sweetwater).
Find a link to an interview that might be of interest here.
As part of Korg’s 50th anniversary, they will launch their new KingKORG analog modeling synthesizer.
No doubt! Our Moog Trivia Quiz was not an easy one.
The correct answer is:
Although no one answered all four correct and due to the fact that this trivia quiz was not an easy one, we decided to give books to those participants who had at least two correct answers.
The winners of a single English copy of our GreatSynthesizers.com book are:
The winners of a single German copy of our GreatSynthesizers.com book are:
We want to thank all of you who contributed to our quiz. Well…. and there is probably another chance to win a book in the next weeks or month. Stay tuned!
Doepfer announces availability of Dark Energy II Analog Synthesizer
GRAEFELFING, GERMANY: audio hardware developer Doepfer is proud to announce availability of its new Dark Energy II Analog Synthesizer, a redesigned version of the original Dark Energy, a standalone monophonic analogue synthesizer with inbuilt USB/MIDI interfacing and CV connectivity released to much critical acclaim in 2010…
So why the need to redesign something so successful so soon? Simple. Needs must. And who better to explain this than company CEO Dieter Doepfer himself: “As the Dark Energy had to be discontinued, because an important electronic component (CEM3394) is no longer available, we decided to do a redesign. The new Dark Energy II looks like the Dark Energy at first glance, but the basic sound of the Dark Energy II is clearly different because of the new circuits for the VCO, VCF, and VCA.”
Given the absence of that rich-sounding, analogue ‘synthesizer-voice-on-a-chip’ (CEM3394) from Curtis Electromusic Specialities successor OnChip, how does the Dark Energy II sound? Still rich, still analogue — with 20 to 30 minutes tuning time needed for the VCO’s temperature-controlled pure analogue circuitry, but different… mainly because of the completely different filter type.
Notable differences in specification between the two — together with a number of functional additions to the Dark Energy II — are as follows: firstly, the Dark Energy II features a sawtooth-based VCO core (compared to the Dark Energy’s triangle-based one), which, as implied, outputs a sawtooth waveform, with a waveform Shape switch for selecting sawtooth, off, or clipped/inverted sawtooth; meanwhile, that all-important, sounding-defining VCF is centred around a 12dB multimode filter with lowpass, notch, highpass, and bandpass, together with an all-new filter Mode control for continuous transition from lowpass via notch and highpass around to bandpass (as opposed the 24dB lowpass variety with linear frequency modulation (LFM) control found on the Dark Energy); the VCF’s exponential frequency modulation (XFM) control also has a polarization function, whereby the modulation source (LFO2 or ADSR) selected by the Source switch can affect the filter frequency with a positive or negative behaviour (by rotating rightwards or leftwards, respectively); finally, the VCA has an exponential scale (unlike the Dark Energy’s combined linear/exponential scale).
Benefitting those with a modicum of electronics know-how, the Dark Energy II offers much more internal expansion possibilities than its ‘Mk I’ predecessor courtesy of pin header terminals for the following functions: rectangle and sawtooth VCO outputs, linear FM input for VCO, hard sync input for VCO, lowpass/bandpass/highpass VCF output, rectangle and triangle outputs for each LFO, and optional reset/direction features for each LFO — all conspiring to make this already flexible synthesizer even more flexible!
The upshot of those differences is that sounds created on a Dark Energy II of course cannot be replicated on a Dark Energy (and vise versa) — though there is nothing to stop the two distinctive synthesizers from being daisy-chained together to produce an even wider palette of sounds. Indeed, several units can be polyphonically or monophonically cascaded (via internal MIDI out/MIDI in connections) to create an ‘über-synth’ of sorts!
Like the Dark Energy, the Dark Energy II is a standalone monophonic analogue synthesizer with inbuilt USB/MIDI interfacing and CV connectivity housed in a rugged black metal case with wooden end cheeks; likewise, sound generation and all modulation sources are 100 percent analogue, appealing to purists — only the USB/MIDI interface includes digital components, naturally! Again, vintage-looking, high-quality potentiometers with metal shafts are used throughout, and all are fixed to the casing — except for that all-new filter Mode control — to ensure stability. Spacing between them is generous (in comparison to the necessarily smaller A-100 Analog Modular System modules like the A-111-5 Mini Synthesizer Voice equivalent of the original Dark Energy) to ease sound-shaping manipulation.
In truth, then, the Dark Energy II is — to all intents and purposes — an all-new synthesizer from Doepfer! Why not plug in and play?
Find here a list of differences between Dark Energy I and the new Dark Energy II:
12dB multimode filter with lowpass, notch, highpass and bandpass (instead of 24dB lowpass of Dark Energy I)
the previous LM control of the filter becomes the filter type control Mode (continuous crossfade lowpass – notch – highpass – bandpass)
the modulation level control of the filter “XFM” has so-called “polarizer” function. The modulation source (LFO2 or ADSR) selected by the Source switch may affect the filter frequency in a positive (right half of the control range) or negative way (left half of the control range)
the waveform switch is used to select between saw and clipped, inverted saw (in the center position the saw is off)
the basic waveform of the VCO is saw (not triangle like the Dark Energy I).
the VCA has a exponential scale (not the combined linear/exponential scale of Dark Energy I)
because of the pure analog circuit and the temperature control it may take up to 20-30 minutes until the VCO is in tune.
The sound of the Dark Energy II differs clearly from the Dark Energy I (mainly because of the completely different filter type). If you already own a Dark Energy I the Dark Energy II can be used as an expansion. But you will not be able to copy sounds of the Dark Energy I with the Dark Energy II (and vice versa) !
For users with electronic knowledge the Dark Energy II offers much more internal expansion features than the Dark Energy I. For example terminals (pin headers) for these features are available: VCO Hard Sync, linear VCO FM, rectangle and sawtoooth output of the VCO, lowpass/bandpass/highpass output of the VC, Reset/Sync/Direction for each LFO, rectangle and triangle output for each LFO. In addition an improved version of the glide option is is the planning stage that allows to turn on/off the glide function via Midi control change messages.
[Source: Doepfer website]
Knifonium – Tube Synthesizer made in Finland
Five pieces of the first batch are already sold. Delivery will most likely be in May/June of next year. Another piece of the Knifonium is available (price = € 9.000.-, excl VAT). Probably there will be another batch produded, price per unit for the second batch might be increased.
Currently their website is under construction. However, if you want to follow them, their Knifonium Facebook site might be helpful.
Will the real-time vocal synthesis be the continuation of Yamaha’s tradition in developing new technologies? Will the Yamaha Vocaloid Keyboard be the first within a series that becomes a successor of the CS-series, SK-series, CP-series, GS-series, DX/TX-series, VP/VL-series and the Motif?
Audio Cubes – more than a performance tool
What are audiocubes, what can you use them for and what technology is inside the audiocubes?
Bert Schiettecatte of Percussa:
“The audiocubes consist of 2 parts: hardware and software, and can be used for many different tasks depending on what software you use with the hardware. Professionals are using the cubes for algorithmic composition and generative music, but also for sound design and music education. And of course we have people who use the cubes in their live shows, to control effects or instruments, or to trigger loops or sounds. We also have installation artists who integrate the cubes in their own interactive sound installations.
The AudioCubes work on Mac and PC without drivers. They communicate over USB HID and transmit data at a rate of 1kHz, which means there is very little latency involved. Each cube is like a small computer, processing and generating infrared signals and sensing distance to your fingers and hands or other objects, as well as detecting other cubes nearby, including orientation. One cube stays connected to the PC or Mac while the other cubes can be wireless. To learn more about the electronics of audiocubes see http://www.percussa.com/2012/06/29/featured-question-what-is-the-technology-behind-the-audiocubes/
The data from the cubes is sent to the computer which can translate it into MIDI or OSC or use it to generate sound, music, visuals, … depending on the software you run. You can make your own software using our free development kit for Max/MSP, PD, C++, Supercollider, … or you can use our ready to use free applications, for composition (improvisor), sound design (evolvor), live performance(midibridge), …. see http://land.percussa.com/software/.
The cubes are charged over USB and have a built in battery which lasts about 4 hours. Each cube also has built in RGB LED lighting which can be mixed and controlled via USB (and via MIDI and OSC). The audiocubes are truly hot-pluggable, you can plug them in and out while software is running without having to reboot or restart software.”
If you want to connect your harware synthesizer this information might be of interest:
Learn more about what AudioCubes are at Percussa – Audiocubes.
Designed for Urs Heckmann`s DIVA Plug-In – comes with four octave Fatar Keyboard, two Doepfer USB64 MIDI Interfaces, 90 knobs and 25 switches!
Here you find more information about the Synth-Project’s DIVA Controller.
Mutable Instruments recently announced a new polyphonic synthesizer – the Ambika
Xplorer is a real-time and bi-directional software editor for Oberheim’s Matrix-12 & Xpander running under Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista or Windows 7. Find more here.