Korg teases new analogue-digital hybrid drum machine

The drumlogue prototype is the latest in a slew of announcements from the Japanese giants

Declan McGlynn

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 – 16:07

Korg has previewed a new analogue-digital hybrid drum machine called drumlogue. In a new video on their YouTube channel, product developers discuss the unit and preview its sound. While it’s very much still a prototype, they explain it features multiple assignable outputs, the ability to load your own samples, a “rich FX section” and a wealth of performance controls on top of the unit. Crucially, Etienne from Korg explains drumlogue will also feature a revamped SDK for the ‘logue range, allowing third parties to produce effects and more for the unit. 

Though not a lot is known about the new drum machine – and there’s no release date or price yet – it’s very much got an Elektron style about it. It makes sense for Korg to add a drum machine to its growing line of ‘logue and ‘wave synths. We’ll be watching this one closely as more info is revealed. Watch the video below for more info. 

[embedded content]

New music industry bursary programme, Rip It Up, launched for Black, Asian and diverse artists

A music industry bursary programme, Rip It Up, has been launched for young Black, Asian and diverse artists from the North West.

Brought to life by the likes of Sound City and Off The Record, Rip It Up is a a bespoke bursary programme designed to support 10 Black, Asian and diverse artists and aspiring industry professionals aged 18-25 “to make an impact on the music industry.”

Rip It Up will deliver an eight session education programme, covering topics such as campaign strategies, publicity, recording/production, music distribution, management and more, alongside a financial grant to assist their studies. As applicants continue on the course, there will be opportunities for the aspiring artists to spend time in the studio and learn about building a project from scratch, while industry applicants will be offered paid work placement opportunities.

Speaking about Rip It Up, course leader Yaw Owusu said: “Rip It Up is a solution based response to challenges in the music industry for emerging Black artists and creatives based in Merseyside. I am happy to be supporting this by working with the participants to learn, develop and share, in the hopes that their experiences, skills and opportunities improve in regards to their careers in the music industry.” 

There will also be speaker sessions on offer from the likes of seye adelekan (Gorillaz) and Nova Twins, as well as global partners from Facebook and the Managing Director of indepdent label Killing Moon.

Applications are now open and close on the 15th February 2021. Rip It Up is for Black, Asian and diverse young people from across the North West, aged 18-25. You can apply here.

Rip It Up is supported by Youth Music’s Incubator Fund, who are also currently accepting applications for a second round of grants. 

ATB x Topic x A7S – Your Love (9pm)

ATB x Topic x A7S – Your Love (9pm)ATB Topic A7S Your Love 9PM 1

ATB re-imagines his platinum-selling 1998 classic “9pm (Till I Come)” with the help of exciting young producer Topic and the vocal stylings of A7S. Now called “Your Love (9pm),” the first-ever official remake with ATB’s blessing, this modern spin on the 23-year-old hit keeps the iconic melody intact with a brand new top line and all the polish of modern production techniques. Now bigger and bolder than ever before, with an anthemic vocal, “Your Love” doesn’t just re-make the original — it improves upon it. Flexing two decades of refined production acumen, ATB’s sequel might be even better than the original — and for a hit as iconic as the original that’s really saying something.

Youth Music Incubator Fund applications open for UK music industry collectives and businesses

UK music and young people’s charity Youth Music has opened applications for its Incubator Fund grants.

After announcing the first recepients for its Incubator Fund, which included London station No Signal Radio, Bristol digital broadcaster Noods Radio, London jazz group Ezra Collective, labels Black Acre and Saffron Records, and the UK-based, rap-focused video channel Link Up TV, Youth Music has opened the applications for a second round of funding.

The fund provides grants of between £5,000 and £30,000 to businesses and not-for-profit collectives working within the music industry. Youth Music’s aim with the Incubator fund, they say, is “to help open up access to sustainable careers in music for people aged 18-25, particularly those who are underrepresented; and to support creative employers to innovate and incubate new and diverse talent”. The fund is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and boosted by new support from YouTube which will provide digital innovation and investment to successful applicants.

The application deadline for the second round of funding is the 5th February 2021. If you are considering making an application, Youth Music have we recommended you read this blog post on how to create a strong Incubator Fund proposal. 

All the KORG synth news: mini ARP modular, a reissued classic, more wavetables…

Let’s get KORGanized, because the Japanese maker dropped a whole lot of synth news at once. Wave-which now? Reissue? Here it is all in one place.

It’s great to see a glimpse of some of what’s in store here – and there is a lot to drool over. No amount of northern hemisphere Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a match for this; this would melt just about anyone’s heart.

These are all previews – some of them even still in development. KORG Germany is publishing prices; KORG in the USA is not. There’s not availability information for most yet, either, but – well we’ll be watching in the coming weeks.

KORG ARP2600M

Cute! M on the right, for size comparison.

Pricing: 1.799 € / no US/JP pricing or availability date yet

Product site:
https://www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/arp2600_m/

Quick pitch: It’s KORG’s ARP2600 remake, only smaller. Same circuits, smaller size, and now it has USB host so you can plug in any MIDI controller.

What’s special about it: Made in Japan, true of all KORG’s latest vintage remakes. And the remake, made in collaboration with ARP veterans, was great to begin with – including both generations of filters and an authentic design. So we’re just waiting on price, but hopefully, that’s significantly downsized, too.

Watch:

[embedded content]

KORG miniKORG700 FS

Price: 1.999 €

Japan availability: June [source: korg.co.jp]

Product site: https://www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/minikorg_700fs/

Quick pitch: Adding to the reissue mayhem in the world of synths, here’s a real rarity – the first mass-produced synth KORG ever made. They say it’s a faithful reissue of the original, with the addition of an arpeggiator, joystick, CV and gate inputs, spring reverb, and memory program buttons.

What makes it special: I mean, it’s just so pretty in that suitcase. This seems made for someone who somehow managed to survive getting through Tokyo’s amazing used synth boutiques, to finally do in their wallet. But the main thing is, even if the original was a big part of KORG history, it’s a little too esoteric to be much use. Adding all those control features makes it into a new hybrid, complete with the soul of the original – and that’s actually quite clever.

And this one is also made in Japan, with the direct collaboration of Fumio-Mieda, miniKORG’s original developer/engineer.

Watch:

[embedded content]

And that was adorable. But really watch this: the legendary KITARO. (English subtitles are available via YouTube.)

[embedded content]

KORG modwave

Click to embiggen.
Hardly.

Price: 799 €

Japan availability: June

Product site:
https://www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/modwave/

Quick pitch: There’s a lot of wavetable stuff out there generally, and now KORG wavetable synths are even competing with other KORG wavetable synths. But this is an all-new instrument built on the company’s original DW-8000. That’s the 1985 original that combined wavetables with analog filters, which is, you know, a terrific combo.

What makes it special: Well, how about 32 notes of polyphony, for starters? And there’s now the all-new Kaoss Physics-based modulation (this is a new concept from them), plus what they call Motion sequencing 2.0, so there are loads of ways to animate your sounds. And that fits perfectly with wavetable sounds.

KORG has a dual wavetable strategy here. wavestate is all about wave sequencing; modwave is all about revisiting the DW-8000 but imagining new modulation animation and … more sequencing. It is in fact a little confusing, but they come from different engineering teams. There’s just a lot of KORG to go around.

CDM contributor at large Francis Preve worked on sounds for this, so I’m publishing his in-depth guide separately.

Watch:

[embedded content]

Listen:

KORG wavestate SE

No product page / pricing yet

Quick pitch: “What a minute, am I dreaming? Wasn’t there already a wavetable synth that’s all about animating sounds with wavetables?” Well, yes. KORG just has so much engineering talent that two teams came up with two great wavetable synths. The wavestate has this novel concept of wave sequencing.

What makes it special: Now it has a 61-key keybed in the SE, aluminum panel and knobs, and you get aftertouch – with updated presets to match.

And yes, that means it’ll be tough to pick between this and the modwave. Plus there’s that opsix FM synth which is arriving.

Honestly, you should probably get all three and a big keyboard stand, reach out your arms Jan Hammer style, and just deafen everyone with all the wavetables and FM. Uh… barring that maybe we can offer some insight into which to choose later.

[embedded content]

One more thing – there’s a keytar

They also stuck the microKORGXL+ engine into a keytar, with a built-in vocoder. Yes, a keytar that has an onboard vocoder. (It’s also maybe not so clear in the image, but they have woodgrain with a clear finish to show it off, battery operation, and it comes with a soft case – plus a slim 37-note slim keyboard means this thing isn’t overly huge, which on some of those bigger Roland models made most people look… weird.)

It’s called the RK-100S, and will be available in all-black (2BK) and red two-tone as seen here (2RD).

[embedded content]

And what’s out now

Among other products, two new additions to the KORG line are arriving now that I’m especially excited by.

There’s the very hands-on, deep-looking SQ-64 polyphonic sequencer:

[embedded content]

And for FM fans, the opsix:

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Pendulum drummer KJ Sawka announces new project and forthcoming single

Pendulum drummer KJ Sawka announces new project and forthcoming singleThe Private Language E1611163918670

KJ Sawka, longtime member of fabled group Pendulum and Destroid, has announced a new project, The Private Language, with an unnamed collaborator. The duo’s first release is a remix of BT & Iraina Mancini’s “The War,” due January 22. The original track blends elements from dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass, but the first taste of the remix indicates that The Private Language’s remix will trend much heavier into DnB territory.

According to their website, The Private Language have several more tracks ready to be released this year. Snippets of songs from their upcoming project Secret Dialogue are also available, revealing that the duo is tackling a diverse array of genres, including an electro-pop cover of Tears For Fears’ classic “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

Korg Wavestate SE Offers 61-Note Keyboard With Aftertouch

[embedded content]

Ahead of the 2021 NAMM Show, Korg has shared a sneak preview of the Wavestate SE – a new edition of the Wavestate that offers a 61-note keyboard with aftertouch and a more premium build.

Features:

  • 61-key version of current 37-key wavestate now with aftertouch
  • New internal programs added, all sound programs optimized for aftertouch
  • Solid build, aluminum panel and knobs

Details on pricing are to be announced.

Korg Gadget VR (Sneak Preview)

[embedded content]

Ahead of the 2021 NAMM Show, Korg shared this sneak preview of its Gadget virtual studio running in virtual reality.

Gadget has previously been available for mobile devices, computers and Nintendo Switch. They system offers a collection of virtual instruments, which can be connected and arranged to create a custom virtual music studio.

As this preview demonstrates, Korg is now turning their virtual studio into a 3D virtual reality studio.

Details on pricing and availability are to be announced.

Eptic releases monstrous new dubstep cut, ‘Stop Pretending’

Eptic releases monstrous new dubstep cut, ‘Stop Pretending’Eptic 1

Eptic‘s first release of the new year is upon us. The talented Belgian producer has tapped powerhouse label Monstercat for his 2021 launch with a relentless dubstep original titled “Stop Pretending.” Eptic has long been regarded as a forward thinker and staple of the bass music scene, releasing hits on labels like Never Say Die and collaborating with icons such as Dillon Francis and DJ Snake for years now. As the scene becomes increasingly oversaturated, Eptic is a name that listeners can always count on to deliver something fresh, and “Stop Pretending” only extends this pattern.

The single opens with a repeating vocal that slowly builds tension for an aggressive buildup. Streamers will be ecstatic to find that the song’s first break features all the elements of a classic Eptic dubstep tune. Flexing his signature sound design centered around tight drums, Eptic evokes an earlier era of dubstep while still adding a welcome modern twist. Stream “Stop Pretending” below.

Featured image: Power House Apex

Korg Brings Back RK-100S Keytar (Sneak Preview)

[embedded content]

Ahead of the 2021 NAMM Show, Korg has announced the return of the RK-100S keytar.

The RK-100 is a keytar synth and MIDI controller that features dual ribbon controllers, a vocoder and the option to run it from batteries.

The wooden body of the original RK-100 is a hallmark of the 100S, which is now available in a finish that accentuates its wood grain. Numerous sounds ideal for solo performance have been added, tailoring the RK-100S to stage performance.

Features:

  • Clear finish shows the beautiful woodgrain
  • New programs that emanate powerful presence when soloing
  • 37-note slim keyboard for easy playability
  • Two ribbon controllers to broaden your performance potential
  • Battery operation allows long operation time
  • Vocoder function lets you accent your staging
  • Also a great choice as a master keyboard
  • A full range of included items such as a soft case

Details on pricing and availability are to be announced.