Superbooth 2020: In this set of videos, Stijn Kuipers of This Is Not Rocket Science demos the latest prototype of their upcoming Fenix IV modular synthesizer.
Here’s what they have to say about the Fenix IV:
“The first Fenix was born and bred to satisfy one artist’ wishes for an all in-one system. Our Fenix IV is also born out of this desire with ourselves as the artists.
The density of Fenix I,II and III meant it provided loads of sound in one box. Before Eurorack boomed, most modular synthesizers required half a wall of space. Fenix provided all your options in a relatively small container.
When Fenix II was released, it packed the most punch for its size anywhere on the market.
With Fenix IV, we think we continue this tradition. We’ve extended the sounds by adding our best from the digital world. The intention is to provide a toolbox for you to make sound with, and not put too much of our flavor in the sounds themselves. Choices are made for maximum sonic variety.”
Pricing and Availability
The Fenix IV is currently under development. You can find out more or get on the waiting list at the TINRS site.
Sugar Bytes has introduced Looperator for iPad, a port of its 16-step sample slicer and creative multi-fX sequencer, previously available for macOS & Windows.
Looperator chops up your audio and turns it into something new. In the process, you can dispose of the classics like Filters and Reverbs, but also trippy Loop and Vinyl manipulations. Looperator makes you sound as if you worked on your track for hours and hours and really all it took was a click of a button.
16-Step Sample Slicer
Looper with Reverse Mode
Time Stretch & Talkbox Filter
Recall presets with MIDI notes
Independent Control for left/right Channel
5 Parameters per effect and step
Pricing and Availability
Looperator for iPad (standalone and AUv3, iOS 12 or later) is available now as a free download, but it is $17.99 to unlock the full features.
Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic—to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery—DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.
Boris Brejcha fans have long awaited the German producer’s Thunderstorm EP, which finally released in full on Ultra Records on April 24. Included on the four-track EP is a recognizable one from his recent live sets, “The Awakening.” Clocking in at more than eight minutes long, “The Awakening” is a dark and mysterious venture into Brejcha’s entrancing production.
Drum ‘n’ bass gurus Sub Focus and Wilkinson have crossed paths more than a few times over the length of their careers, bringing the world recognizable pieces like “Illuminate” last year and 2018’s “Take It Up.” Earlier this week, the pair made an announcement that they’d been working on something big—much bigger than here-and-there collaborations.
“This is the second single from an album project we have been working on for a little while together called Portals, taking our styles in a more expansive and experimental direction,” Sub Focus wrote on Twitter.
“Just Hold On” is an intriguing blend of their styles, incorporating an overarching melody and moody instrumentation to accompany it. The forthcoming LP is sure to be one of epic proportions.
LEFTI once again brings his lighthearted nu-disco touch to a heavy-hitting house tune in a remix of Ferdinand Weber‘s “All On You.” The New York-based artist takes the focus away from the wavy synths and hefty pulsing of the bass in the original tune and introduces a groovy, disco-based beat to lift the track and prep it for carefree summer days. A plucky guitar in the second half of the tune complements the feel-good vocals and builds blissfully back into funky goodness.
Phil Collins‘ “In The Air” is perhaps one of the most recognizable (and air-drum-able) songs of the past half-century. It’s been covered and remixed countless times, but its age doesn’t seem to dissuade artists from putting their own spin on the iconic drum sequence and vocals. Two of the latest to take on “In The Air” are Nora En Pure and Lika Morgan, who covered the song in fine fashion at the end of March. Now, the time has come for the remixes of their rendition, with Sons of Maria giving the pop iteration the dance floor-ready rework it was begging for.
In a time when many of the world’s residents are confined to the walls of their homes, artists like Break Science offer some much-needed respite with their breezy, toes-in-the-sand creations. The duo’s new tune, “Take You There,” transports its listener to the relaxed spring and summer days we were all counting on, no matter how far away they might be.
Polyend’s Tracker may be getting all the attention, but the company’s Medusa – an expressive controller and synth combo – just got another batch of improvements. And that builds on one of the more unique and versatile pieces of electronic instrumental hardware around now.
To entice would-be Medusa owners, the latest edition is nire affordable ( 699€ / US$799) and has attractive, minimalistic new letter.
To add to what the Medusa does, it’s got a new firmware with some big features.
It’s not just about finding the new shiny; there’s reward in instruments that grow and evolve with you over time. It’s a two way street; smart makers add depth and respond to users, too.
Medusa was interesting from the start in that it is multi-dimensional. It’s a collaboration between makers (Polyend and Dreadbox), it’s a controller and a synth, and it has analog circuitry (noise and oscillators and filter) but also digital innards (wavetable sounds and digital control and modulation). Of course, it has to then add up to more than those, or you get the dreaded “shampoo plus conditioner in one / shampoo and body wash” effect where it’s trying to be too much at once.
That’s where the digital side comes in. There’s no question the analog sounds are edgy and rich, but with firmware upgrades, you’ve gotten more wavetables, more control, and – crucially, a better and better controller.
Since this thing is long and made of metal, it’s most useful when it also works as a controller for other instruments. And that’s what this firmware 3.0 is all about.
More modulation: as has been often requested (including by me, for instance!), now the Medusa has a random wave LFO.
More controller features:
MIDI Local Off option lets you use the MPE pads to play another instrument while an external controller (or sequencer) play the internal sound set.
That is actually a big deal – because it is pretty common that you might start building sounds on the Medusa, but then want to have a live performance where you use it with something else (like a software or hardware modular rig). Now you can do that and still trigger/sequence/tweak the internal sound engine.
Use envelopes and modulation for control. The Medusa’s grid is expressive and sends MPE, it’s true. But now the powerful LFO and envelope system onboard also spits out MIDI CCs for other gear.
CCs are displayed on-screen. If you are sequencing some elaborate control, you’ll appreciate that there are CC numbers shown on the crisp Medusa screen.
As Jacek from Polyend points out, “With all the LFOs and ENVs being sent out as MIDI CC communicates and the Grid controller working in the MIDI Local off, Medusa becomes a much more potent modulation source/external sequencer/MPE controller. Especially bundled with our Poly2 for Eurorack systems “
It’s also a powerful system for use with VCV Rack, for people like me, I might add.
These are renders of the new hardware, matte black anodized aluminum.
But the firmware is for everyone – including new preset packs. You won’t get the nice new lettering, but all existing Medusa owners can use the new firmware.
The Tracker is really cool, but there are reasons to pay attention to its lesser-known sibling. Medusa is still the box you want if you want a deep synth – and its analog + wavetable + rich hands-on modulation and envelope system is still like nothing else out there. Plus, it remains one of the most unique MPE polyphonic expressive controllers available – and one of the few under a grand that has differentiated pads.
I am literally off to spend some days with this now.
Dutch producer MARLYFOX debuts “Power in Your Soul.” Trained as a pianist from a young age, she brings a classical training into the production and the performance of her work. Her latest single is a standout club cut driven by crunchy kicks, shimmering ride cymbals and a brood chord progression. Her keen ear for creating dynamic compositions can be found in every nook and cranny of the production from the subtle synths to the vocal distortions. The track’s bright melodic touches are haunted over by her own vocals, threading the needle between indie dance and deep house.
“‘Power In Your Soul’ is a very playful track that came together pretty quickly. I like straight to the point dance music and I wanted it to be simple yet energetic at the same time. I often choose classical synths because it reminds me of nostalgic ‘dance’ tracks and with this vocal, I feel like I am bringing back that old school feeling that I love so much.“
With each successive single, Whethan‘s forthcoming debut album—unlike its name—becomes less of a FANTASY, and more of a reality. After releasing a trifecta of previews from the LP, “Stay Forever,” “All In My Head,” and “Upside Down,” Whethan tops streamers’ playlists off with the fourth snippet of FANTASY a la “So Good.” Whethan recruited Canadian songstress, bülow, for the number, who, in the past year, has increasingly become a vocal fixture in electronic circles.
In an interview with Dancing Astronaut on FANTASY, Whethan described each album inclusion as “an entirely different world,” but noted that all track listings “come together to create the whole picture.” The sonic collage that is FANTASY expands with “So Good,” a cut that makes use of reverberating bass and synths with a metallic crunch, casting bülow’s vocal in a textured electronic mold.
Although the release date for FANTASY continues to remain temporarily out of reach, the steady stream of singles indicate that the project is nearing its full debut.
Recently, the Cleveland-born rapper released his first solo material since 2016 with “Leader of the Delinquents,” that lands as the lead single from his upcoming studio album, Entergalactic. Cemeting the comeback campaign a little further, Cudi has joined forces with Travis Scott for “THE SCOTTS.”
In an age where everyone is home and online, THE SCOTTS—the duo’s group name tagged on all platformstook advantage of the concentrated attention to premiere their song during Travis Scott’s record-setting performance within the global video game sensation, Fortnite. The Texas-native rapper made headlines on earlier this week as he attracted over 12 million concurrent players to his virtual concert, “Astronomical,” where he debuted, “THE SCOTTS.”
“THE SCOTTS” is a gritty-yet-seamless fusion of the two superstars’ styles as Travis Scott’s bouncing cadence plays off Cudi’s silky smooth flow over thumping 808s. The two previously collaborated on Cudi’s album Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin‘ with “Baptized In Fire.” Listen to the new collaboration below and watch a full recap of Travis Scott’s Fortnite event below.
Oh hey… just another week in quarantine. So once again, we are back for the sixth edition of our “lockdown livestream” roundup guide to provide a buffet of musical entertainment options for the weekend and a review of some highlights from this past week.
Last weekend, Couch Lands made headlines as Excision‘s re-broadcast of last year’s festival sets was mistaken to be happening in real-time by a number of Internet onlookers. Beatport’s ReConnect came back for an even bigger second weekend with Kaskade, Boys Noize, Tiesto, and more. Finally, French favorite David Guetta raised over $700,000 for coronavirus relief during his enormous set in Miami.
Warner Music has also put together a star-studded cast featuring a huge slate of artists on their various labels including Coldplay, Rufus Du Sol, alt-J, Twenty One Pilots, and more. Finally, other major festivals include DJs for Climate change with A-Trak and 100 more DJs as well as the return of Middlelands with its first virtual Rave-a-Thon. Finally, check out the schedule below for upcoming streams and a roundup of the other virtual events that you may have missed this past week. Happy streaming!
Room Service Festival
When: Friday, April 24 – Sunday, April 26 @ 12 pm PST / 3 pm EST
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