Free 606 Koncept drum plug-in for Windows – with extras

The free stuff keeps coming. Now for PC users on any 64-bit VST host, you get a banging remake of the TR-606 drum machine – with some interesting twists.

The completely-not-rare sound of the TR-606 get some useful additions here. (And that 64-bit VST support also means you can drop this into Reason or Bitwig or VCV Rack and use some 606 sounds with your experimental sequencer patch, too.)

There’s a dry 606 kit to begin with – now that you probably have or can easily find access to. But there are some clever additions:

  • Room. As with the other stuff we’ve seen from Sample Science, 606 Koncept includes a nice room reverb in the package.
  • Extra layers. You can trigger vinyl, tape, and sub sound layers – on their own or with the 606 sounds. Those also have their own A/R envelope controls and panning.
  • Built-in multi-LFO. You can target parameters with an LFO for some wilder sounds.
  • Multiple voice modes. This is also a bit interesting – polyphonic and monophonic and legato modes.
  • Independent outs. You can route each part – even including those three additional layers – as separate channels to the host, in any arrangement you choose. (By default, everything is sent to stereo out.) Check the numbers under each part.

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There’s also a filter switchable between high- and low-pass modes, mix/pan for each part, and triggers in the UI.

But here’s the twist that I wouldn’t have seen coming: there are pitch controls on each part, -2 / -1 / 0 / +1 / +2. These are each toggles, so you can create repitched, summed versions of each part. That creates some rich layered sounds and peculiar timbres. I found it nice for some dark background percussion.

So there’s your basic approach – you can layer up sounds here and repitched 606 sounds, then route those as separate outputs to your host with other effects. I find that a really great go-to bread-and-butter drum source with modular environments.

Free – gumroad, email only required.

Subtronics deploys inaugural ‘Boot Camp’ compilation via freshly formed Cyclops Recordings

Subtronics deploys inaugural ‘Boot Camp’ compilation via freshly formed Cyclops RecordingsSubtronics Rukes

In commemorative fashion, Subtronics has christened the official launch of his label, Cyclops Recordings, with the unveiling of its inaugural 19-track compilation Boot Camp. Featuring an onslaught of electronic contributions from LEVEL UP, Leotrix, Al Ross, Akeos, Syzy, and the head honcho himself, the debut observes more than 20 artists come together under the umbrella of forward-thinking bass music.

Citing the label’s creation as “the next step after Cyclops Army,” Subtronics first teased the arrival of Bootcamp through revealing three sonic subsets of the album, categorizing releases into either “High Knees Headquarters,” “Psychedelic Division,” or “Heavy Artillery.” Spanning a formidable range of bass, trap, and dubstep constructions, Bootcamp amalgamates the corners of experimental, attracting otherworldly sound design in its highest mind-bending capacities to the forefront. In his mission for Cyclops Recordings, Subtronics states,

“The label will be a platform for the most cutting edge sounds we find across the globe and beyond.  We intend to promote unconditional kindness to those around us, a principle that also functions as the cornerstone of Cyclops Army, while shining a spotlight on artists that work every day to push the creative boundaries of what we all thought possible.”

New photobook Quarantune documents clubbing memories

Quarantune features photos and stories from Lena Willikens, Anastasia Kristensen, Sunil Sharpe and more

Declan McGlynn

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 – 17:14

Music and photoblog Quarantune – started in March as a response to global club closures – has released a new photo book documenting DJ and nightlife memories, based around individual photos. The book features hi-res and memory-res club pics chosen by DJs like Anastasia Kristensen, Sally C, Volvox and Lena Willikens with stories about the parties, festivals and events in each photo, as a celebration of clubbing culture. Photos from photographers like Ceren Saner, Seana Gavin, Bastien Réau, Emily Kerr are included in the book. 

50% of the purchase price will also go to The Scoop Foundation, a charity that houses the vulnerable and marginalised in Ireland and the Middle East. 

You can buy the book here.

Lane 8 takes 2020 Artist of the Year victory lap with seamless winter mixtape [Stream]

Lane 8 takes 2020 Artist of the Year victory lap with seamless winter mixtape [Stream]EVqzrrYAI8COt

Not even a complete 24-hour turn from Lane 8‘s assignation to Dancing Astronaut‘s 2020 Artist of the Year throne, the This Never Happened label head has bestowed the grand finale to his championship round with a fitting victory lap: his “Winter 2020 Mixtape.” It of course goes without saying that while the rest of the world might consider December 21 to be winter’s formal entrance, for electronic enthusiasts, winter has only arrived when Lane 8 assumes his seasonal initiation responsibilities to officially introduce the coldest months of the year, this year on December 15.

Lane 8’s fifth and final addition to his mix footprint this year, succeeding the seasonal series’ three counterparts and an unprecedented Groundhog Day celebration, is a proper conclusion to his 2020 crusade, which might be his single greatest when all is said and done. The nearly two-and-a-half-hour delivery completes all of the frontline checkpoints that one would expect from his winter prelude, strolling through Lane 8’s own congenial releases from across the year, forthcoming This Never Happened music, and everything in between.

Stream Lane 8’s “Winter 2020 Mixtape” in full below.

Featured image: Fixation Photography

Tycho to welcome the new year with Solo Ascent sunrise stream

Tycho to welcome the new year with Solo Ascent sunrise stream25024578 253204448546074 3037004514969255936 N

Tycho is preparing to celebrate the new year in the most 2021 way possible—alone in the woods, where the American DJ will serenade fans with a live sunrise stream that’s being billed as a “Solo Ascent.”

Tycho teased the event in a recent tweet, sharing his excitement for the event:

“Dawn has always been a special moment for me and an integral part of the Tycho live experience having found inspiration from my many sunrise sets at Burning Man.”

While it’s often considered “club music,” the bright, organic, and effortless nature of Tycho’s sound more often than not soothes and replenishes listeners, much like balmy rays of sunshine piercing the dewey haze of a brisk January morning.

Solo Ascent is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST on January 1. Set in the sprawling hills of Northern California, it will be available to stream for the following 48 hours. More information and tickets for Tycho’s Solo Ascent are available here.

Featured image: Tycho/Instagram

Vinyl sales in U.S. hit all-time high with almost 1.3 million records sold in one week

Vinyl album sales in the US reached a new peak with almost 1.3 million records sold in the week ending 3rd December.

According to a report from Billboard, which was based on data from Nielsen Music/MRC Data, 1.253 million vinyl albums were sold in one week in the US – surpassing the 1.243 million sold a year earlier in the week ending 26th December 2019 and marking the largest sales week in recorded history since electronic tracking began in 1991. 

Record Store Day limited-editions and Black Friday promotions at independent record stores helped to bolster the sales week, with independent physical store sales accounting for 542,000 vinyl LPs sold.

The report also states that the sale of vinyl LPs at mass merchants including Walmart and Target, as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, contributed to the new high for the week ending 3rd December. 

Vinyl sales in the UK are also on track to hit a three-decade high this year, with projections for sales of the format to rake in £100 million by the end of 2020.

Read DJ Mag’s feature on eco-vinyl, where we spoke with Deep Grooves vinyl pressing plant in Holland about their mission to become fully sustainable.

Check our feature asking if vinyl-only culture is encouraging elitism in electronic music here.

Four Tet and Madlib deliver first single from upcoming joint project, ‘Sound Ancestors’

Four Tet and Madlib deliver first single from upcoming joint project, ‘Sound Ancestors’FOURTET MADLIB Credit Crack Magazine

Four Tet and Madlib on a joint album wasn’t on many of our 2020 bingo cards, yet here we are. The pair have formally announced a collaborative effort called Sound Ancestors, due in January on Madlib’s Invazion imprint. Leading the project is the duo’s debut single, “The Road of the Lonely Ones.”

According to Four Tet, the album has been a long work-in-progress, with Madlib and the Sixteen Oceans producer collaborating digitally over a lengthy stretch of time, passing track concepts, loops, vocal cuts, and more to each other for several years. Sound Ancestors will be credited under Madlib’s name with Four Tet determining the project’s arrangement. Says Four Tet,

“I was sent hundreds of pieces of music over a couple of years stretch and during that time I put together this album with all the parts that fitted with my vision.”

“The Road of the Lonely Ones” closely follows Four Tet’s double-sided link with Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke and Burial on “His Rope” and “Her Revolution.” Furthermore, Four Tet’s new Madlib cut comes after one of the year’s most enticing full-length LPs and handful of high profile remixes including numbers for Caribou, Tame Impala, and Krust. Listen below.

Featured image: Crack Magazine

The gorgeous boutique Roland Juno hardware recreation meant to work only with a plug-in

When arguing merits of vintage synth reproduction, invoking a “plug-in” is often a derogatory slur. Not here – this high-end boutique hardware is made to work with software alone.

The SFC-60 V3 looks like a standalone synth piece, but it’s USB-MIDI controller hardware – driverless, class-compliant. It’s lovingly produced in the Netherlands with custom sheet metal machined in Poland, powder-coated and screenprinted in classic Roland livery, with walnut side panels crafted in Holland.

In other words, this is hardware for people who also love software. Dubbed the SFC-60 V3, this device is tightly integrated with just one plug-in the TAL-U-NO-LX emulation of the Roland Juno-60.

And yes, it’s proof positive that just as vintage gear aficionados will debate just which variation or even individual synth is best, there’s a whole other niche of people who dream about different plug-ins.

Dutch maker SoundForce started with this concept of working with TAL Software. The V3 edition of the SFC-60 means they’ve come full circle, with hardware that is better made (more sheet metal!) and better integrated.

Don’t worry – this isn’t a unitasker; if you really delight in it, you are free to map it to everything else you use. But when used with the TAL, there’s now tons of bidirectional feedback – now with the added benefit of LEDs squeezed into the faders. SoundForce shares those new details:

All the LED-based physical switches can update their states when a preset is changed in the plugin. Also when switching instances on different tracks, the plugin can sync the controller and update the switches as well. It works a bit differently in each DAW, more details and videos on that coming soon. For the sliders/faders, the pick-up or scaling modes (similar to the Takeover modes in Ableton Live) can help avoiding “jumping” parameters. Those features require the latest version of the plugin. I would like to thank Patrick for his time and his contribution on this project.

For their part, TAL have been busy making their own Roland recreations – even as Arturia expanded the ones included in their V Collection – amidst other updates. Newly refreshed:

Their whole range has M1 Apple Silicon support inbound, too, they say.

And there’s an iPad version of TAL-U-NO-LX that’s just launched. iOS isn’t tested with this hardware yet, so I’m curious if all the integration works.

Plus if it’s the Jupiter-8 you covet, they’ve added a new recreation there – complete with presets from the masterful Kiwi sound sculptor Empty ⓞ Vessel.

So there you have it – for every niche, there is an audience, and it seems the Roland electronic instrument legacy just winds up everywhere.

The SFC-60 V3 is 349 euros incl VAT in the EU and 288 euros for customers outside the EU and … I have no idea how the UK works now, y’all are on your own for a bit.

I’m going against the grain and dragging my JU-06A boutique hardware out again tonight as a result of writing this, for added confusion.

New Vocal Synthesis Plugin, Pipa, For iOS, Mac & Windows

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Klevgränd has introduced Pipa, a new vocal synthesis plugin for MacOS & Windows.

The synth engine is a crossover between a wavetable- and a granulating synthesizer, which they say results in an expressive and playable instrument.

Instead of using ordinary samples or processing oscillators with formant filters, Pipa uses a large database of thousands of wavetables extracted from real vocal samples. The advantage of the technique is that it’s possible to seamlessly morph between wavetables, with proper phase alignment. This enables Pipa to continuously make transitions between pitch, formants and dynamics, which is very useful in a musical context.


  • Unique crossover between a wavetable- and a granulating synthesizer.
  • Continuous morphing between formants, dynamics and pitch
  • Features both male and female voices
  • Separate envelopes (with linked release time) and LFOs for formant, dynamics, gain and pitch
  • Two MIDI Assignable controllers (Ctrl1 and Ctrl2) for controlling formants, dynamics, pitch and gain
  • Legato mode with control over both pitch glide time and velocity glide time
  • Voice spatialization
  • Plenty of factory presets
  • Room simulation + Reverb algorithm

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

Pipa is available now for Windows and macOS, with an intro price of $24.99 USD for desktop and $9.99 for iOS through January 5th, 2021.

Brownies & Lemonade, IHEARTCOMIX to present LA Gives Back telethon benefit featuring sets from A-Trak, Madeon, and more

Brownies & Lemonade, IHEARTCOMIX to present LA Gives Back telethon benefit featuring sets from A-Trak, Madeon, and moreA Trak Holy Ship Hip Hop

On December 17, Brownies & Lemonade and IHEARTCOMIX will partner for LA Gives Back, a 24-hour global telethon, all proceeds from which will help the homeless. Broadcasting exclusively from Twitch, the benefit features a diverse roster of artists who will either appear or perform at the virtual event. Notably, A-Trak, Madeon, Mija, Manila Killa, and Party Favor are among the artists slated to perform.

From 2016 to 2019, LA Gives Back raised more than $200,000 for Los Angeles local charities such as the Downtown Women’s Center and My Friend’s Place. Now, the fundraiser is going national, adding SchoolHouse Connection to its list of philanthropic focuses.

For this iteration of LA Gives Back, Brownies & Lemonade and IHEARTCOMIX will also team up with Fandiem, a digital sweepstakes marketplace, to award exclusive experiences and prizes to fans. Participants can donate for a chance to win prizes such as an Ariana Grande mega merch pack, a case of ranch dressing signed by comedian Eric Andre, a limited edition Sofi Tukker x Solé bicycle, and more. Donate for a chance to win these items, among others, here, and tune in to LA Gives Back at 3:00 p.m. EST / 5:00 p.m. PST on December 17.

Featured image: Holy Ship!/Twitter