Super MIDI Pak Turns Your SNES Into A MIDI Synthesizer

Super MIDI Pak Turns Your SNES Into A MIDI Synthesizer
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Super MIDI Pak is a new ROM cartridge for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) that turns it into a MIDI synthesizer.

The Pak gives your SNES MIDI In/Out connectors, so you can play it or sequence it using standard MIDI keyboards, sequencers and software.

Features:

  • Compatible with Super Famicom, NTSC/PAL Super Nintendo, and Super NT
  • 16 polyphonic midi channels with independent settings multiplexing over 8 voices
  • Standard MIDI sustain, sostenuto, legato switch, portamento (glide), pitch bend, vibrato, pan, volume
  • MIDI mono mode (mode 4) with legato operation
  • All SPC700 DSP registers are directly writable via CC messages, including echo registers
  • Comes with Square Wave, Sine Wave, Triangle Wave, and Sawtooth samples. New samples can be uploaded via WebMidi application, automatically converts from SPC/WAV/SF2 formats.
  • USB Micro-B and 3.5″ TRS Type A MIDI interfaces, cables not included
  • USB interface is galvanically isolated to prevent ground loop noise
  • Save / restore device state across power off and reset
  • Play existing SPC files
  • Companion web application can convert samples from WAV and SPC files and upload them to the synth
  • Firmware upgradeable

Pricing and Availability

Super MIDI Pak is available to pre-order for $99.99 USD.

Swedish House Mafia posters appear teasing something this Friday

Sources close to the EDM heavyweights have apparently also confirmed a new track is inbound 

Martin Guttridge-Hewitt

Monday, July 12, 2021 – 13:02

Swedish House Mafia posters have appeared at locations around the world apparently teasing something that will be revealed this Friday 17th July. 

Details are scarce, but social media posts show a new poster campaign has launched, comprising three white dots on a black background, alongside the aforementioned date — which coincides with the second drop of Record Store Day 2021 releases. 

Back in February reports came in that the trio — Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello — had returned to the studio to work on a new project together. According to social media channels run by EDM distributor Proximity, sources close to the group have confirmed that a new track will arrive at the end of this week. 

MOTU’s DP11 is more expressive, controllable, new Mac-ready, adds stuff users wanted

In DAW news, MOTU is continuing to cater to their loyal user base with more stuff they want, Apple Silicon and Big Sur support, plus a ton of new abilities to get expressive and hands-on.

Per-note expression – and a uniquely MOTU implementation. Click to embiggen.

MPE, MIDI Polyphonic Expression, continues to have a great run as a standard with growing support. In DP, those multiple channels of expression now map to the software’s existing paradigm for editing. That means your performance data can be superimposed on notes in the piano roll, or you can open them up in a separate lane. For anyone already comfortable with DP’s MIDI editing tools – going back now decades – it looks like a godsend.

This does also mean per-note Control Change messages, too – so controllers (like Ableton’s Push) that send per-note data but not all of MPE benefit, too.

Articulation maps.

Articulation Maps are here, too, and represent an enormous amount of work mapping articulations to advanced sample libraries from the likes of East West and Spitfire. For composers and producers working with those libraries, it means you can go into both the Graphic Editor and the notation view (QuickScribe) and instantly add and edit articulations out of the box, without having to dig deep into manuals and MIDI implementation and whatnot.

So, as usual DP retains unique features for people doing scoring. It’s still on that short list for “you’ve got a scoring deadline.”

This is all starting to sound like MIDI 2.0 groundwork, too, though for now you shouldn’t worry about that since there’s nothing out there to support it – better to take advantage of these features right now and not have to wait.

Now, those are all individual features. Maybe the better picture here is that MOTU has done a lot to make the whole DAW more playable and expressive and controllable. So add Articulation Maps and MPE to all those other features, and there are just more ways to get literally hands-on with the tool:

  • Audio Retrospective Record now captures MIDI and audio inputs at all times, so if you hit a moment of inspiration and didn’t already hit record, you don’t lose it
  • Live Performance Mode does real-time audio effects for responsiveness (instead of pre-generated)
  • Novation and Akai pad controllers trigger Clips (yes, in the new world where both Logic and DP have taken on their own way of doing clip-launching, a la Ableton Live…)
  • Native Instruments and Icon control surface plug-ins – for Komplete Kontrol, iCON Control, QCon, Platform M/X – the lot
  • Enhanced Avid EuCon support
  • Enhanced MCU and HUI control surface support (which gets a lot of the rest)
  • Scale Tool for expression – and a nice implementation, too; you can drag vertically across notes to scale per-note expression (that was not, as I first read it, scales like Dorian – scaling as in by percent)
  • Multi-channel MIDI tracks – obviously needed for MPE, but now with some potential for other use cases, too
  • Track and Clip transpose and quantize, as a non-destructive setting (possible in some other DAWs, but certainly welcome in DP now). You can also Transpose Exclude tracks to lock them while you transpose other stuff – whew.

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There’s also new support for both Windows and Mac users.

On the macOS side, of course the big story here is native compatibility with Apple Silicon Macs – no Rosetta 2 translation. Other DAWs are certainly lagging a bit here, maybe partly because Rosetta 2 works so well, but I’m really curious to see native performance from DP and not just Logic.

There’s also requisite Big Sur (11.x) support.

For Windows, you get new optimization for the Windows 10 text rendering engine to make text look clearer, and improved resizing of dialogs and menus based on resolution. That coincides with Reason Studios shipping their own high-res support on Windows, at last, so I look forward to a less-squinty Windows experience for music all around. Ahem.

And there’s a new Nanosampler 2.0:

  • Drop in a sample and stretch, slice, randomize, transform
  • Classic, 1-shot, and slice modes
  • ZTX time stretching
  • Beat slicing with Randomize, Auto Randomize, Repeat, Reverse
  • Rewritten UI

This keeps DP in the game with rivals Logic and Live (Quick Sampler and Simpler, respectively). You never have to be far from a capable sampling workflow in your DAW of choice.

There are also some detailed workflow improvements:

Chunks the feature DP has that radically changes organizing live shows and scoring – is still better than anything out there in the category. Actually, as much as you can line up some of the rest of the stuff mentioned here with rival DAWs, here’s one where DP just doesn’t have a comparison. And now at last you can organize into folders and playlists, so – yeah, no one is catching DP on this.

Enhanced View Filtering lets you show/hide multiple channels of MIDI data in a single track. That’s a really nice breakthrough for hardware sequencing, in combination with some of the other stuff here.

Also, here’s a tiny feature with huge implications, by user demand: you can strip silence by dB threshold and not just percent. That solves a ton of workflows in a range of use cases.

There’s a lot more stuff like this, so best to check the videos and changelog.

But yeah, even in 2021, DAWs continue to advance – and endure. They may be aging better than the rest of us.

https://motu.com/en-us/products/software/dp/

UK Government confirms clubs in England can reopen from 19th July

The UK Government has confirmed that nightclubs in England can reopen on 19th July, with most remaining COVID-19 restrictions to be removed as previously outlined. 

Limits on the number of people who can meet inside will end, and face masks will no longer be required, although people are urged to continue wearing coverings on public transport and in other crowded settings. Businesses, including events, are also being advised to use vaccine passports. 

The news comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the country, but crucially experts now say the successful vaccine rollout has severed the link between infection rates, hospitalisations, and deaths. 

“If not now, then when,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid in a Westminster address on Monday 12th July, warning infections could reach 100,000 per day after reopening but the health service should not be overwhelmed by this because severe illness will be rare as a result of inoculations.

“As a matter of social responsibility, we are urging nightclubs and other venues with large crowds to make use of the NHS COVID pass, which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or natural immunity as a means of entry,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the latest Coronavirus Update, broadcast by the BBC. 

“It is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution, and I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough — this pandemic is not over. This disease, coronavirus, continues to carry risks for you and your family. We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday 19th of July to life as it was before COVID,” he continued. 

Across Europe and the US, societies are slowly attempting to reopen. In Spain, clubs are operating again, with rules set on a regional basis — last week Catalonia announced it was closing indoor venues again after a brief spell during which parties were possible. Meanwhile, in Berlin restrictions recently began easing, with Berghain using its outdoor dancefloor for the first time in months last weekend. Find out how nightlife workers feel about the return of events in our long read on the complex situation facing staff in the industry. 

Oliver Heldens shares his take on Calvin Harris’ ‘By Your Side’

Oliver Heldens shares his take on Calvin Harris’ ‘By Your Side’Www.youredm.com456oliver Heldens Ultra 2019 Rukes

Oliver Heldens offered up his talents to remix Calvin Harris‘ “By Your Side” with Tom Grennan. Providing a slightly more tropical feel to the track, Heldens continues the upbeat sounds found in the original while providing a more club-like atmosphere on his unique spin.

Heldens’ remix follows his June release, “Ma Luv” featuring MorganJ. The producer has remained busy over the past year and a half, releasing more than 30 tracks in that timespan. With a new “By Your Side” remix, Heldens shows no sign of slowing down in 2021—listen below.

Featured image: Rukes

The post Oliver Heldens shares his take on Calvin Harris’ ‘By Your Side’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

New book On UK Electronic Music Pioneers, Tape Leaders

New book On UK Electronic Music Pioneers, Tape Leaders

Velocity Press has announced a new book on UK electronic music pioneers, Tape Leaders: A Compendium Of Early British Electronic Music Composers.

Tape Leaders is a richly illustrated A-Z compendium, featuring over 100 composers active with tape and electronics in the analog era.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Containing information never previously uncovered, it shines a fresh light on many sound experimenters unacknowledged in the history of
British electronic music.

With an individual entry for each composer, it covers everyone from famous names
like William Burroughs, Brian Eno and Joe Meek to the ultra-obscure such as Roy
Cooper, Donald Henshilwood and Edgar Vetter. There are sections for EMS and the
BBC Radiophonic Workshop and amateurs, groups and ensembles that
experimented with electronics, including The Beatles, Hawkwind and White Noise.”

Originally published by Sound On Sound Magazine in 2016, this edition has been extensively revised and
updated.

The hardback book is 22.7cm x 17.7cm landscape, and the 224 pages are printed and bound on heavyweight 130gsm paper. It also includes a specially-compiled 15 track CD of mainly unreleased early British tape and synthesizer works. The CD is exclusively available to the Velocity Press shop and free with all pre-orders.

Pricing and Availability

Tape Leaders is available to pre-order now for £20 and is expected to be out in October 2021.

Kuala Lumpur dance music pioneer DJ Gabriel Chong dies, aged 48

The man also known as Gabriel Mustaqim, DeepHouseSociety and Jeneral Kai leaves a lasting legacy behind 

Martin Guttridge-Hewitt

Monday, July 12, 2021 – 15:32

Kuala Lumpur dance music pioneer DJ Gabriel Chong has died, aged 48. 

According to an obituary in the Malaysian lifestyle publication UNRESERVED, Chong — who also went under the names Gabriel Mustaqim, DeepHouseSociety, and the tech house moniker Jeneral Kai — suffered an asthma attack, was then found to have kidney issues and slipped into a coma shortly after. 

A key figure in the South East Asian club scene, Singapore-born Chong represented his home country at the 1988 DMC World DJ Championships in London, and was deeply involved in hip hop culture and turntablism before discovering house and techno. He set up the first dance music record shop in Kuala Lumpur, Singles Shoppe, and co-founded the Tempo DJ collective. His work as a gig promoter helped scores of international artists play the city for the first time. 

“He is symbolic of the 90s in KL [Kuala Lumpur] where there was a confident vibe, and attitude was everything,” wrote UNRESERVED’s editor in chief, Kassandra Kassim. “Time Out UK once voted KL the fourth best place to party in the world in the late 90s. I like to think he played a big role in that.”

The news was met with an outpouring of tributes on social media. Watch his DMC set below and listen to a recent mix. 

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Roland x0x fun – a free 707, a master class in 606 from Shawn Rudiman

606 and 707 day passed us by, but let’s not miss these two free gifts – a master class from Pittsburgh’s machine maven and a free plug-in version of a Roland TR, too.

I don’t know about you, but I’m personally gearing up for July 27 – TR-727 day, obviously! So I hope you’ll forgive me being slow on the draw, but these two are too good to pass up.

First, there’s the exceptional-as-always Shawn Rudiman, who shows what the TR-606 can be all about. This fairly mild-mannered drum machine can be transformative when applied musically, as Shawn shows on the TR-06 reboot.

It’s also a chance to glimpse the cockpit of his handcrafted Synthdrome studio in full flight.

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Of course, the 606 is defined by its hats. But it’s worth saying the ’06 is not just a remake – tuning, probability, effects, decay, effects and sequence parameters, plus trigger outs. (Sequence parameters of course also includes swing, at last.)

Those triggers do make this fit perfectly with a modular rack; the TR-06 really makes a fine cornerstone to a modular or semi-modular/desktop rig – anything with analog ins.

Meanwhile, on July 7 (707 day) the question came up – is there a TR-707 plug-in? The answer is, yes, absolutely.

1985’s TR-707 has not merited its own remake on Roland Cloud, for instance – Ma Roland made a 606, 808, and 909 but the 7×7 series isn’t directly modeled. So we turn instead to third parties. The 707 doesn’t get a whole lot of love – to most it’s just “the cheap 909,” especially since there’s some considerable overlap in sounds. Underrated might be a lot to say here, but let’s at least say – it’s important, for its design (which has influenced a lot of hardware), and its influence on Chicago house and acid house plus Al Jeel pop music, so Illinois to Egypt. It does seem worth having in your plug-in library.

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Because the 707 soundset is PCM-based waveform playback, it’s not hard to find. But I’m going to opt for the RT-7070 remake. It’s got that signature look, and a bunch of features:

  • LP/HP filter
  • 20 Drum kits
  • Reverb
  • Main decay
  • Pan controls and volume mixing per-part
  • Assignable outputs
  • Mac, Windows, 32-bit, 64-bit, and macOS Catalina+ Support.

Grab it here, along with various other freebies from these folks:

Plus, something like that is useful in software form for the same reason the TR-06 hardware serves Shawn in a hardware rig – you can pair the vanilla flavors of this well-recognized Roland with, say, a modular software host.

If you want to go further afield, there’s also this plug-in version that samples the 707 sound set from an E-MU Emax but… it’s probably more reliable to use the ESL plug-in and just add your own E-MU style digital grunge if you want.

Anyway, now that I have your attention, do start gearing up for the 27th and … send in those agogo creations.

Artisan Electronic Instruments Nucleus Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

Artisan Electronic Instruments Nucleus Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

Artisan Electronic Instruments – the creator of the Ottava hybrid synthesizer and the Baroque analog synthesizer – has shared a sneak preview of Nucleus, a new analog hybrid desktop synthesizer:

The Nucleus promises to offer a wide range of sonic possibilities, with three oscillator types:

  • Osc 1: Analog Saw Core with Wave-folding & PWM, Sub Osc 1 with its own Low Pass VCF
  • Osc 2: AnalogSaw Core with PWM, Sync and and FM
  • Osc 3: Digital wavetable + Noise Source

Other features:

  • 3 input Digital Ring Modulator
  • 8 Pole Multi-Mode Dual Peak Filter
  • VCA with soft and hard clipping distortion
  • 4 ADAHSR Envelopes with variable shape
  • 3 LFO with key-sync and delay
  • Modulation Adders, multipliers, lag, contouring….
  • Full MIDI interface
  • User selectable CV In and Out
  • 100 user patches and built-in standard patches
  • Over 60 Modulation sources
  • Over 35 Destinations (all simultaneous)

The Nucleus will initially be available in as a Eurorack/Desktop module (prototype shown above).

But Artisan also plans a keyboard version:

The keyboard version will be available in 4- and 8-voice versions. It uses the voice card of the Nucleus module, so offers the same synthesis capabilities, but with more controls.

Features:

  • 4 to 8 voices
  • 5 Octave FATAR keyboard with Aftertouch
  • 64 step 2 channel sequencer can act as a modulation source to over 100 parameters!
  • Additional knobs and switches for more direct live control.
  • Inboard power supply.
  • Built in Digital Effects

Details on pricing and availability are still to be announced. See the Artisan site for more information.

Reason 12 Now In High Resolution

Reason 12 Now In High Resolution
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Reason Studios today announced that Reason 12 – the latest version of their flagship DAW and virtual studio – is starting to roll out to Reason+ subscribers.

Here’s what they have to say about the update:

“Reason is now presented in beautiful high resolution. In practice, this means that Reason will look good on any screen and resolution, no matter how large.

There’s more to it than that though. We’ve rebuilt how Reason handles graphics from the ground up to utilize your graphics card. This allows us to do even more interesting, interactive, and great-looking things in the future. But right now, for you, the Reason user, it means that both our own devices and third party Rack Extensions will look drop dead gorgeous. In fact, every single device is available right now. Many other UI elements are of course hi-res too, and we’ll keep updating anything that isn’t as we go along.

While Reason will adapt to your screen and OS resolution, we recognize that everyone has their own personal preferences. For example, I tend to have a very high OS scaling so macOS is quite tiny, but when working in Reason I want to be up close and personal. Even more so when using the Rack in Ableton Live. To accommodate that, there’s now a global Application Zoom setting in the Options menu in standalone and the top bar of Reason Rack Plugin. That way you can easily get Reason to sit just right in your setup.

To not interrupt your music making, we’re scaling the graphics to your setting in the background and once they’re ready we switch them in. Kind of like how the time stretch preview works in the sequencer! So if a device doesn’t look spectacular right away, don’t worry, and once they’re scaled to a certain size you don’t have to scale them again.

That’s not all though, we’ve also improved search in Reason’s Browser. Gone are the days of typing your search term, hitting enter, and then sighing as Reason crawls through your massive folder of samples, patches and ReFills. We now build a search index from all your locations (you know, the things you keep in your Browser sidebar) and immediately show search results as you type. The results are categorized by type and you can easily switch to searching All Locations at once. No need to worry about where a specific patch is located, searching All Locations will find it. Much like high resolution, this is also a great foundation for us to keep improving Reason’s Browser and make it easier to find what you need—or just go exploring.”

The company is releasing its planned updates for Reason 12 incrementally. Reason+ subscribers will get access to improvements and new features as soon as they are available, Reason 12 perpetual licenses and upgrades will be available for purchase on September 1st 2021.

Planned changes in Reason 12 include:

  • Making Reason high resolution. With version 12, you can zoom Reason to fit your set-up, and all 3rd party Rack Extensions will be ready for hi-res on day one.
  • A new sampler.
  • The Combinator in Reason 12 is overhauled to be fully customizable, more powerful, and easier than ever to work with.
  • Reason 12 also features an improved Reason browser. Search is now faster and your search results are categorized to easily find what you want.