New PWM Malevolent Keyboard Offers Analog Sound, Modular Patching & Affordable Pricing

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At Superbooth 2021, PWM is introducing the Malevolent synthesizer, a keyboard monosynth that features a pure analog signal path, Eurorack-compatible patchability and a relatively affordable €579.99 price tag.

The Malevolent is a portable, minikey synthesizer that features two analog oscillators, LFO, 2 EGs, VCF + VCA. The keyboard offers a latching arpeggiator, along with pitch, velocity & gate control voltage outputs.

The signal path is normalized internally, so you can just turn the keyboard on and play. But Malevolent also offers 38 3.5mm patch points, so you can create custom patches and then play them via the keyboard.


  • Pure Analogue signal path designed by Future Sound Systems
  • 19 Outputs and 19 Inputs for 3.5mm mono jack cable patching
  • Normalized signal path for immediate sound Malevolence
  • Additional rear panel line out
  • Additional headphone out
  • 2 Voltage Controlled Oscillators
    • Saw / Triangle / Pulse outputs plus Mix for each oscillator
    • 1V/Oct pitch control input
    • Shape control / pulse width modulation input
    • 2x Frequency Modulation inputs
    • Coarse / Fine tune control
    • Shape mod amount control
    • FM1 and 2 mod amount controls
    • Shape control
    • Selectable waveforms for the mix output
    • Individual osc level control
  • LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator)
    • Triangle / Square wave outputs
    • Rate control
  • 2x Envelopes
    • Individual ADSR controls for each envelope
    • Individual gate inputs
    • Individual envelope outputs
  • Multi-mode 2 pole VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter)
    • Low pass / Band pass / High Pass individual inputs
    • 2x Frequency Modulation inputs with amount controls
    • Filter cutoff
  • Filter resonance
  • Mixer
    • Noise w/level control
    • Aux input w/level control
  • VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) with overdrive control
  • Compatible with Eurorack standard 1V/Oct gear
  • Monophonic and patchable allowing individual pitch control of each VCO and gate control of each envelope
  • USB bus-powered
  • MIDI In / Out
  • Headphone out
  • Line out
  • Analogue clock in & out
    • USB-MIDI to 1V/Oct CV & gate conversion
    • All pitch and gate control is fully analogue
    • Analogue clock In / Out
  • Multi-function Joystick control
    • Left / right for pitch bend
    • Performable portamento
    • Performable vibrato
  • Latching hold mode
  • Arpeggiator
    • 6 arpeggiator types
    • Up, Down, Up/Down 1, Up/Down 2, Played & Random
    • Auto clock sync
    • Detects analogue / MIDI or USB-MIDI clock and synchronises the arpeggiator automatically
    • Selectable sync rates when clock detected
    • Rate / sync control
    • Latch
    • 6 Octave range
    • Analogue / MIDI / USB-MIDI Clock output when arpeggiator is running
  • Keyboard Control
    • 32 Velocity-sensitive mini-keys
    • Octave shift +/- 4 octaves
    • Pitch output
    • Velocity output
    • Gate output
    • Local Off mode for DAW use

Pricing and Availability

The PWM Malevolent is still in pre-production, but is expected to be available within a few months, with the following pricing:

  •  £499.99 inc. VAT
  • €579.99 inc. VAT

No US pricing has been announced, but the €579.99 (inc VAT) price would translate into about $550 USD. See the PWM site for more info.

Tion Wayne, ENNY, Backroad Gee, more announced as performers at this year’s GRM Rated Awards

GRM Daily’s annual Rated Awards has confirmed the performers for this year’s virtual ceremony,  which will be streamed at 7PM BST on Thursday 16th September.

Hosted by actor, rapper, and comedian Michael Dapaah (aka Big Shaq) alongside actress and model Jourdan Dunn after Idris Elba was forced to pull out, the event will host a raft of live appearances from grime, hip hop, and electronic talent. This includes award nominees Tion Wayne, Pa Salieu, Backroad Gee, Amia Brave and ENNY (pictured). 

Elsewhere, slowthai, AJ Tracey, Ghetts, Abra Cadabra, Little Simz, Shaybo, Lady Leshurr, Jorja Smith, Big Zuu, and Stefflon are also up for honours in categories ranging from Album of the Year to Personality of the Year and Mixtape of the Year.

Although not in the running for any trophies this time round, Heartless Crew and Potter Payper will also perform. Celebrating the best in UK MC, vocal, songwriting, DJ, and production talent, 2021 marks the sixth instalment of the Rated Awards. 

“I am so honoured to be asked to co-host the GRM Rated Awards, it will be so much fun doing so with Michael Dapaah. I am excited to be part of a show that recognises and celebrates UK talent,” said Dunn. 

Photo credit: Timothy Spurr 

Erica Synths Perkons HD-01 Drum Machine ‘Will Change Your Approach To Electronic Rhythm Synthesis’

At Superbooth 2021, Erica Synths officially introduced Perkons HD-01, a drum machine and synthesizer that they say “will change your approach to electronic rhythm synthesis.”

Perkons is named after the Baltic god of thunder, and Erica Synths says that it is “an instrument which bears the weight of a storm beneath its sturdy casing.

The drum machine features four sonically versatile hybrid voices (digital sound engine + analogue multimode filter with overdrive) and a sequencer with simultaneous control over all four percussion tracks.

Each voice has 3 sound engine modes, a HP/BP/LP filter and 8 controls for nuanced sound design, including an internal analogue BBD FX send. All voice parameter settings can be saved as KITS. To add dynamics to the performance, parameter automation is implemented and a modulation LFO can be assigned to all parameters.

It’s also designed to integrate with external gear. Each voice has a dedicated velocity-sensitive trigger input, individual output and FX send and return with 6.3mm jack sockets, along with extensive MIDI implementation.

All voices are summed and run through a built-in optical compressor and master overdrive.


  • 4 hybrid voices (digital sound engine and analogue multimode filter with overdrive)
  • 8 controls per voice
  • Velocity sensitive trigger inputs for drum pads
  • Individual voice outputs
  • Individual sends and returns
  • 64 kit and 64 pattern memory + additional memory on the SD card
  • Built-in analogue bucket brigade delay and optical compressor
  • Modulation LFO with morphing waveforms, phase shift and 8 destinations
  • 4 track sequencer, 4 time divisions and 4 time multiplications per track
  • Per-step ratchets and probabilities
  • 4 shuffle algorithms

Audio demos are still to come at the Erica Synths site.

Pricing and Availability

Perkons is expected to be available by the end of 2021, with a MAP of $1,999 USD, and  RRP of 1650 EUR (VAT excl.).

Lane 8 deems September 15 as the start of fall with three-hour ‘Fall 2021 Mixtape’ [Stream]

Lane 8 deems September 15 as the start of fall with three-hour ‘Fall 2021 Mixtape’ [Stream]232275345 4901260383224307 6062971421644290716 N

Welcome back to that time of year when everyone needs to edit their calendars, with Lane 8 officially deeming September 15 the new recognized onset of the fall season. With his three-night run at the Brooklyn Mirage in the rearview and a planned four-hour evening at Red Rocks exactly one month away, Dancing Astronaut’s 2020 Artist of the Year has returned with the ID-brimmed present that we all wait on pins and needles for four times each year, now serving out his “Fall 2021 Mixtape.”

Although the This Never Happened captain’s summer classic hasn’t lost any semblance of novelty since its June arrival, his latest masterpiece now—of course—takes priority going forward. Nine total IDs find themselves spread throughout the year’s third seasonal trek as Lane 8 guides a three-hour tour of melodic bliss as the leaves gradually begin changing color, including eye-catching cuts from RÜFÜS DU SOL, Leaving Laurel, Tonja Holma, as well as expected appearances from label mainstays like Sultan + Shepard, Dirty South, Helsloot, and more.

Soak in the first day of fall with Lane 8’s newest seasonal offering, which is also available again on Apple Music.

Featured image: Fixation Photography

The post Lane 8 deems September 15 as the start of fall with three-hour ‘Fall 2021 Mixtape’ [Stream] appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

Free Open Source Modular System, Bespoke, Offers An Alternative To Skeuomorphic Virtual Eurorack Synths

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Developer Ryan Challinor has officially released Bespoke, a free open source software modular synthesizer for Linux, macOS & Windows.

Unlike software modulars like Cherry Audio’s Voltage Modular and VCV Rack, Bespoke does not use a skeuomorphic interface designed to look like a hardware Eurorack modular.

Instead, it’s designed to let you create completely ‘bespoke’ patches. This freedom means that the developer was able to do some creative things with the user interface, like animating patch cables with the signals that they carry.

Here’s the official walkthrough video:

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“Bespoke’s core design is to break everything into separate modules that can be patched together in a custom layout, much like a hardware modular. Bespoke is designed to be highly customizable, with the idea that any of the custom layouts that you create will be ‘bespoke’ to you as well,” notes Challinor. “In a way, Bespoke is like if I smashed Ableton to bits with a baseball bat, and asked you to put it back together.”

Pricing and Availability

Bespoke is available now as a free download for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It is open source, licensed with GPLv3. While it’s freeware, if you try it and like it, consider donating to the developer via his site to help support future development.

Expressive E Intros Imagine Multidimensional Physical Modeling Synth

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Expressive E & AAS have introduced Imagine, a new physical modeling synthesizer designed for expressive control.

Imagine offers hundreds of physically modeled instrument layers. Each preset combines two of these instrument layers to create expressive acoustic timbres.


  • Atypical instruments – Imagine offers hundreds of instrument layers, “meticulously modeled” to bring their very own character.
  • Playful sound design – Each instrument has its very own character that can be easily adjusted with great flexibility.
  • Vivid textures, morphing acoustic – Combine the layers of instruments and modulate their characteristics in real time.
  • Enhance and articulate – Imagine offers a complete tool set of effects ideal for enhancing your sounds. Everything is designed for real-time manipulation to easily create fluid articulations, breaks, drops, or to dynamically modify reverbs and delays.
  • Multi-stage envelope generators – For further expressive possibilities, Imagine contains MSEGs that pack a huge collection of modulations for your sounds.
  • Intelligent modulation system – Behind the scenes, everything is optimized to provide you the best expressive experience possible: no dead zones; sensitivity curves and ranges are continuously scaled.
  • Optimized macros – Significant optimization work has been carried out to allow you to modulate the sound of your instruments in real time, resulting in a unique expressive perspective.

Here’s the official walkthrough video:

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Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability:

Imagine is available now with an intro price of $83.40 USD (normally $139).

Knobula Poly Cinematic An 8-Voice Polyphonic Synthesizer In Euro Format

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At Superbooth 2021, Knobula is introducing the Poly Cinematic, an 8-voice polyphonic synthesizer in Eurorack format.

The module offers up to 7 oscillators per voice, 3 filter types, a built-in reverb, chord memory and more.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Introducing Poly Cinematic. The powerful compact synthesiser that brings big synth polyphony to Eurorack. It’s simple to use with a dedicated knob or switch for each parameter, giving you immediate access to all the controls that really matter in the world of polyphonic pads and stabs.

No presets, no menus, just a good honest tactile experience that puts pure sound synthesis at your fingertips.”

Poly Cinematic can be played polyphonically via MIDI, or monophonically over CV/Gate. As a monophonic module, it can play one of 8 chord stacks, selectable using CV control.


  • 7 oscillator supersaw per voice
  • 3 oscillator syncable wave shaped square/pulse
  • 3 oscillator detuned tonewheel organ
  • 8 chord memory controlled by cv/gate
  • Detune control with unison/5th/sub octave sweet spots
  • 3 filter types: lowpass, notch and highpass
  • Built in high quality 24bit 96khz reverb

Pricing and Availability

The Poly Cinematic is expected to be available later this month, with pricing TBA.

Classic Buchla 200 Series Modules Returning As Inexpensive Eurorack Modules

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At Superbooth 2021, Tiptop Audio and Buchla USA have announced a joint project to bring classic Buchla 200 Series modules back as affordable Eurorack modules.

The Buchla 200 Series Electric Music Box was introduced in 1970, and replaced the earlier 100 series. Like the original Moog modular synths, 200 Series systems were rare and expensive, so few people had access to them.

Buchla and Tiptop Audio say that they’ve joined forces to resume the production of these designs, but in Euro format and with module prices expected to start around $160 USD.

Pricing and Availability

Six modules have been announced for the Buchla & Tiptop Audio Eurorack 200 Series:

  • Dual Oscillator Model 258tDual Oscillator Model 258t – expected Winter 2021, priced at $160-200
  • Quad Lopass Gate Model 292tQuad Lopass Gate Model 292t – expected Spring-Summer 2022, pricing TBD
  • Dual Voltage Processor Model 257t – expected Spring 2022, pricing TBD
  • Source of Uncertainty Model 266tSource of Uncertainty Model 266t – expected Spring 2022, pricing TBD
  • Quad Function Generator 281t – expected Winter 2021, priced at $170-210
  • Sequential Voltage Source Model 245t, expected Winter-Spring 2022, price TBD

Avtomat drops debut UK 12″ on queer-focussed label 51-53: Listen

Avtomat has released his first 12″ for queer-focussed London imprint 51-53. The Warsaw-based Oramics member – one of the Polish city’s foremost LGBTQ+ producers – has taken full creative control for his first EP on a UK label, dropping three tracks and even designing the artwork.

“This EP is a bit of a concept, said Avtomat in the announcement notes. “I zoomed out the picture of what it means to be any kind of different in Poland and tried to compress it into this one, emblematic character, symbolising all the bigotry, hatred and sloppiness of the Polish right-wing, perpetuated by their hypocrisy and need to police everybody according to their own beliefs.”

51-53 is a queer-focused label that launched in early 2020 with ‘Excess’ from East London duo, Super Drama. They also released ‘Fela’s Groove’ later in the year, an EP from Blankson, 51-53’s founder and Label Head.

Speaking about the release Blankson says: Blankson said “I’m super stoked to be working with Avtomat on this release. He’s got such a unique sound and this EP epitomises that. I’m conscious of the struggles our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters face in other countries, and it’s important to tell their stories”.

The release is due to be accompanied by a music video created by Polish artist bakblivv. The video, due to land later in September, uses motion-capture data from the CTM project ‘Capturing Queer Movement’.

Listed to the EP below and pre-order on Beatport here.

Vaccine passports for English nightclubs could be reimplemented with just one week’s notice, government reveals

Vaccine passports for English nightclubs could be reimplemented with just one week’s notice, according to the latest government guidance. 

The new ‘COVID-19 RESPONSE: AUTUMN & WINTER PLAN‘ was published Tuesday 14th September and specifies a number of possible ‘Plan B’ actions that could be introduced if new cases of coronavirus do not fall in the coming weeks, and the NHS is at risk of becoming overwhelmed by hospitalisations, as the British winter draws in. The news comes just days after lawmakers back-tracked on plans to roll out a vaccine passport system for English venues this month.

In the event of Plan B coming into effect, so-called “vaccine passports”, officially referred to as Vaccine-only COVID-status Certification, would be required for entry into a number of different settings, including all nightclubs, indoor spaces with more than 500 attendees, outdoor locations with more than 4,000 people, and all situations with crowds of 10,000 or more. Crucially, promoters and club owners are being asked to make contingency preparations, with a warning  policy change could happen within one week of any announcement.

Other Plan B measures in the published document include mandatory mask-wearing in public, and renewed advice to work from home where possible. At the time of writing, the UK is recording a rolling average of 32,386 positive test results per day, with hospitalisations averaging around 1,000 per day. The vast majority of infections and admissions are in England. 

Last week it was announced that clubs in neighbouring Scotland will be required to operate a vaccine passport scheme from 1st October. Several countries in the EU, including France, and the Netherlands, have introduced similar systems, as have parts of Germany including Berlin, where clubs are only reopening on the basis that attendees must prove full vaccination. Meanwhile, in the US states such as New York have also opted-in to comparable schemes.