Melbourne Instruments Intros NINA, A 12-Voice Polysynth With Motorized Patch Recall

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At the 2022 NAMM Show, Melbourne Instruments today officially introduced the NINA, a 12 voice polysynth with robotic patch recall.

The developers say that NINA combines the tactile and sonic qualities of classic analog synths, with modern functionality, patch recall and automation.


  • 12 Voice Polyphony.
  • Motorized recallable and automatable control panel using long lasting zero wear encoders with the feel and precision of analog pots.
  • Variable shape triangle oscillators. Continuously morph wave-shape between triangle and sawtooth to find new timbres. Different to a traditional blend.
  • 4 pole transistor ladder VCF with modulatable resonance.
  • Massive voice-level filter overdrive.
  • Digital Wavetable Oscillators.
  • Sampling capability.
  • Deep Modulation Matrix. Quick edit, all sources to all destination.
  • Patch morphing for complex expressive effects.
  • Stereo Infinite Panning effects with 4 Quadrant DCAs.
  • Onboard digital effects.
  • Multitimbral, layered, split, or overlapping.
  • Hackable open-source software control powered by Raspberry Pi 4.


The company plans to launch NINA ‘soon’ via a Kickstarter project. See their site for more info.

Robotic Cameras Get MIDI Control

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PTZOptics, a manufacturer of broadcast-quality robotic cameras, and the MIDI Association, have announced a joint project to bring fully configurable MIDI control to the PTZOptics line of robotic cameras.

This means that you’ll be able to control video cameras from your keyboard, sequencer, MIDI controller or other MIDI device.

Starting with the PTZOptics 12X-NDI and SDI cameras, PTZOptics will roll out direct MIDI control to their current generation camera line via a free firmware update. Users will be able to map camera commands including setting presets, call, pan, tilt and zoom.

“Live streaming has become extremely important to musicians and creatives, from performers and worship leaders to bloggers and DJs,” says Geoff Robinson, Product Manager at PTZOptics. “With this new feature set, users can control a live video production, without any additional dedicated hardware – just the devices or even instruments they already have.”

“The MIDI Association is very excited to have PTZOptics as a member, because we have already been working on remote collaboration using Web MIDI for our MIDI In Music Education and MIDI In Music Therapy Initiatives,” says Billias. “The ability to remotely control PTZ cameras over Web MIDI shrinks the world in a very significant way.”

Owners of current generation PTZ 12X cameras will be able to unlock MIDI control by downloading and installing the latest camera firmware from the PTZOptics website in early June. MIDI control will roll out to all current-generation PTZOptics PTZ cameras by the end of 2022.

Conductive Labs Intros MRCC µ88 MIDI Router, MRCC XpandR 4×1 At 2022 NAMM Show

At the 2022 NAMM Show, Conductive Labs, makers of the NDLR polyphonic MIDI arpeggiator and the MRCC MIDI Router Control Center, introduced two new products: the MRCC µ88 (“micro 88”) MIDI router and the MRCC XpandR 4×1.

The MRCC µ88 is designed for MIDI gear owners that have outgrown a MIDI thru box or 1×1 USB MIDI interface. It offers enough MIDI inputs and outputs for a small desktop or live jamming rig:

  • 4x 5-pin DIN inputs, plus a shared 3.5mm MIDI TRS
  • 4x 5-pin DIN outputs, plus a shared 3.5mm MIDI TRS thru
  • 4x USB MIDI virtual Inputs and Outputs

The MRCC µ88 can be used as a ‘DAWless jamming’ hub, or as a USB MIDI interface for your Mac, PC or tablet. You can use it for playing hardware synths, stand-alone software synths, or with your DAW to play plugin instruments.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“With the dedicated per port routing buttons, simply select an input, then pick which outputs to route to. It’s super quick! MIDI merging is automatic. Status and activity are displayed on per-port LEDs. More advanced features such as Filtering, Channel Split, Panic and MIDI monitoring are configured with dedicated buttons. When your performance setup is complete, save it for recall later. All without a PC for configuration.

The MRCC µ88 was designed for crowded desktop music spaces. Its narrow form factor and vertical connectors ensure the best use of valuable real estate. An anodized aluminum enclosure gives it stability and durability. It will look amazing among your favorite gear with its vintage synth style and hand-silk screened user interface. The raised and angled cheeks provide enough space for cables to pass under the µ88.”


  • Ports:
    • 4x 5-Pin DIN, and 1×1 3.5mm TRS optically isolated Inputs.
    • 4x 5-Pin DIN, and 1x 3.5mm TRS (thru) Outputs. Traditional 5V MIDI spec for maximum compatibility
      with vintage gear.
    • 1x USB 2.0 Type B device port for computer connection with 4x USB MIDI virtual Inputs and Outputs. 1 First input pair, choose one of the 2 jacks; 5-pin DIN or 3.5mm MIDI type A
  • Message Filters and Tools:
    • Automatic MIDI merging. Select an output already assigned to a different input, and the inputs get merged to that output.
    • Filter MIDI Clock and/or Stop/Start/Continue messages.
    • The Panic button sends MIDI “All Notes Off” to routed ports.
    • Channel Split – select an input and the 16 MIDI channels will be split sequentially to the 4 DIN outputs.

The company also introduced the MRCC XpandR 4×1, a USB MIDI DIN Expander for the MRCC MIDI Router Control Center.

The MRCC MIDI Router Control Center

The MRCC, right, features 6 routable DIN and TRS inputs. If that’s not enough for your MIDI rig, the MRCC XpandR 4×1 adds 4x DIN Inputs (and a shared 3.5mm TRS), and 1x DIN Output (plus 3.5mm TRS thru).

Up to four XpandRs can be attached to the MRCC’s USB host ports. Inputs and the Output are routed the same way as MRCC’s USB host MIDI virtual ports, so it’s quick and easy to route XpandR’s ports; it’s like they were built into the MRCC.

The XpandR can also be used as a 4x Input, 1x Output USB MIDI class-compliant MIDI interface for your PC, Mac, tablet. Or, use the Mode button to switch XpandR to a stand-alone 4 into 1 USB powered MIDI merger. In MIDI merger mode, the USB connector is only used to power the XpandR.

A two-color indicator shows Power, Merge mode, MIDI Input and MIDI Output activity.

The MRCC XpandR 4×1 comes housed in an anodized aluminum enclosure with a silk screened user interface. A USB cable and User Guide are included.


  • 4x 5-Pin DIN, and 1×1 3.5mm TRS optically isolated Inputs.
  • 1x 5-Pin DIN, and 1x 3.5mm TRS (thru) Output. Traditional 5V MIDI spec for maximum compatibility with
    vintage gear.
  • 1x USB 2.0 Type B device port for MRCC or computer connection with 4x USB MIDI virtual inputs and 1x output.
    1 First input pair, choose one of the 2 jacks; 5-pin DIN or 3.5mm MIDI type A Requirements
  • Powered by USB (2.0): 5V DC, 40mA
  • A 6 ft USB Type A to Type B cable included, powered by MRCC USB host. Or use a quality USB charger, or power from your computer or a USB battery.
  • USB MIDI class compliant so it works with most operating systems that support USB MIDI class compliant devices, including Windows 10/11, Apple OS’s, Linux and Pi OS and others.
  • Firmware updates via USB mass storage mode. Press the FW button then drag and drop the update.

See the Conductive Labs site for details on availability and pre-orders.

Ableton Live 11.2 Now Available In Public Beta

Ableton has announced a public beta of Live 11.2, an update that introduces an improved Reverb, adds support for AUv3 and more.

Reverb has been updated with a refined interface, new Density controls, a new switchable filter, CPU optimizations and more.

Live now features native support for AUv3 plugins on macOS 10.15 or higher. This means more options for Live users running their systems on Apple Silicon Macs.

Here’s what’s new in Ableton Live 11.2:

Capture MIDI

  • Capture results are no longer influenced by the song tempo set by the target track’s previous Capture attempts.

  • When Live’s transport is running, Capture MIDI will keep longer phrases in captured clips.

Control Surfaces

  • In the Launchkey MK3 Control Surface script, the Quantise button can now quantize clips in Session or Arrangement View.

  • On the PreSonus ATOM SQ, it is now possible to scroll between device parameter banks by holding the bank navigation buttons down.

  • Fixed an issue in the SL_MKIII Control Surface script that resulted in incorrect LED button states when exiting Drum Mode.

  • In the ATOM SQ Control Surface script, it is now possible to control the Master Track volume and pan in Song mode when the Master Track is selected.

  • The encoder sensitivity for the ATOM SQ Control Surface script has been refined to better match the parameters they control. Additionally, the encoders can be used to fine tune parameter values when the Shift button is pressed.

Core Library

  • Added audio and MIDI clips to Session View in Live’s Demo Song.


  • The icons in Live’s Preferences and dialogs have been improved.

  • Live now shows different icons for Live Clip (.alc) files that distinguish between Audio and MIDI content in the browser.

  • When renaming tracks, [Tab] will navigate to the next track or chain header, while [Shift][Tab] navigates to the previous track or chain header.

  • Value ranges on vertical rulers in the MIDI Note Editor are now always displayed as two values stacked vertically.

  • Improved drag and drop behavior within list views (such as the Groove Pool and device chains). Instead of always being inserted before the target item, dropped items will now be placed dynamically, depending on which half of the target item the cursor hovers over. In addition, the copy modifier [ALT] now works more consistently.

  • When Num Lock is switched off on Windows, the number pad arrows, PgUp, PgDn, Home, and End keys now function as expected.

  • Disabled devices now display an alert icon above error messages in Device View.

  • Updated various info texts.

  • Updated the What’s New in Live lesson.

Max for Live

  • Updated the bundled Max build to version 8.3.1. For the changelog, visit:

    • live.banks: added warnings to explain non-reactivity in Max-only

    • Dynamic Colors: changed label of ‘live_control_fg’ to ‘Text /Icon’

    • jweb / CEF: fixed usage in Max for Live (Windows)

    • live.* ui objects: updated color code

    • live.banks: banks configuration is retained if device is opened and saved in Max

    • live.comment: linecount is preserved

    • live.gain~: @orientation 1 typed-in a box works as expected

    • live.gain~: auto-adapts when transforming to MC version

    • fixed value output after opening/closing Max editor

    • crosspatch: works in the context of a Max for Live device hosted in Live

    • Max for Live / Gen: improved fixes for intermittent crashes

  • Audio driver input and output latencies are now taken into account for Max for Live devices that contain audio routings to external targets. If needed, users can revert to the previous behavior by using the -DisableM4LRoutingCompensation debug option in an Options.txt file.

  • The time_signature_numerator, time_signature_denominator, time_signature_enabled and tempo_enabled properties are now available in the Max for Live API. Corrected descriptions for the properties have also been added.

  • Improved and updated the scale_name and scale_intervals descriptions in the Max for Live API.

New Devices and Device Improvements

  • Reverb:

    • The Reverb device’s interface has been updated with a fresh design.

    • The Reverb device’s Density and Quality parameters have been renamed to Diffusion and Density. The parameter values for Density (previously Quality) have also been changed from Eco, Mid, and High to Sparse, Low, Mid, and High. Sparse mode allows for lower CPU usage.

    • Added a Smooth drop-down menu to the Reverb device. You can now specify how the Size parameter responds when changed using the Smooth options None, Slow, or Fast.

    • Setting Smooth to None means that some artifacts may occur when changing the Size parameter values. The Slow and Fast options ensure that new delay times are updated over a specific period of time, resulting in a more musical sound.

    • Added a switchable filter type to the High filter in Reverb’s Diffusion Network. You can choose between a one-pole lowpass filter or a low-shelf filter.

    • Optimized for better CPU performance.

  • Tuner:

    • The Tuner device now includes three new options for note spellings. You can access a menu with these options when you right-click anywhere within Tuner’s UI:

      • Sharps (C#)

      • Flats (D?)

      • Sharps and Flats (C#/D?)

    • It is now possible to zoom out to a full octave in Tuner’s Histogram View by clicking the interface and dragging the cursor horizontally.

  • In the Phaser-Flanger device, the Phase parameter of the LFO now has a default value of 180 degrees.

  • The Excitator section of the Tension device is now called “Exciter” in Live and on Push.

  • A context menu option for a Hi-Quality mode has been added to the Delay device. Switching off Hi-Quality uses less CPU resources.

  • The Channel EQ device now uses less CPU resources.

  • Presets containing the Saturator device now run with improved CPU usage.

  • Inactive visualization data will no longer be sent in the Wavetable and Phaser devices, resulting in slightly improved performance.

  • When mapping and unmapping device parameters to Macros, the Map/Unmap labels now appear as expected.

  • A Hi-Quality option has been added to the [right-click](Win) / [CTRL-click](Mac) context menu of the Redux device. Using Redux with Hi-Quality switched off saves some extra CPU.


  • Added native support for AUv3 plugins on macOS 10.15 or higher.

    • Live’s Preferences now include options to enable both AUv2 and AUv3 plug-ins.

  • Plug-in errors are now shown in Live’s Status Bar, along with a linked detailed error report.


  • Push 2 mappings for the Reverb device have been redesigned to include parameters for new features.

  • On Push 2, the parameter names of the AAS devices (Analog, Collision, Tension and Electric) have been improved and aligned with the UI for readability.

Session View Improvements

  • It is now possible to simultaneously rename multiple rack chains in Session View.

  • When navigating tracks and device chains using the left arrow key in Session View, navigation will stop at the first track header as expected.


  • To avoid incompatibilities, you will be asked to save Live Sets created with an older version of Live as a new file in Live 11.2.

  • Live’s Audio Preferences now include an option to follow system settings for Input and Output on macOS. When enabled, changes made to system audio preferences are also reflected in Live.

  • Renamed the Customization section of Live’s Preferences to Display Customization, which now also includes the Zoom Display setting.

In addition, the update includes a variety of bug fixes and other performance improvements. See the Ableton site for details.

The MIDI Association Announces MIDI 2.0 Over A2B

At the 2022 NAMM Show – being held June 3-5, 2022 in Anaheim, California – the MIDI Association announced the addition of MIDI 2.0 capabilities to the Automotive Audio Bus (A2B) from Analog Devices, Inc.

A2B is a high bandwidth, bidirectional, digital audio bus capable of distributing 32 channels of audio and MIDI control data, together with clock and power over a single, unshielded twisted-pair wire.

The technology is designed for advanced audio and MIDI LAN systems for automobiles, smart homes and pro audio applications.

A2B will support both MIDI 1.0 and MIDI 2.0 devices and provide backward compatibility/translation, where necessary.

“We see many opportunities for the extension of Analog Device’s A2B into musical instrument and pro audio applications, particularly for guitar effects, electronic drums, digital keyboards and small format audio mixers,” said David Dashefsky, Director for Strategic Marketing and Systems in the Consumer Business Unit at Analog Devices. “MIDI 2.0 and ADI’s A2B digital audio bus now allow your whole band to connect together with multi-channel digital audio over low-cost cables, or inexpensively connect modular systems like guitar pedals or electronic drum kits”

“Combining the multi-channel audio networking capabilities of the Analog Devices A2B with MIDI’s expressive musical control creates a brand-new technology platform for the musical instrument and pro audio industry,” said Athan Billias, President of the MIDI Association. “This inexpensive platform to connect multiple digital instruments together is a big boon to designers of musical instrument and pro audio applications.”

Groove Synthesis 3rd Wave Synthesizer Debuts At 2022 NAMM Show

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Groove Synthesis, an electronic musical instrument startup founded by music industry veterans from Avid/Digidesign and Sequential, has officially introduced its first synthesizer, the 3rd Wave Advanced Wavetable Synth, at the 2022 NAMM Show, being held June 3-5 in Anaheim, California.

The 3rd Wave is a 24-voice, 4-part multi-timbral wavetable synth, with 3 oscillators per voice, analog low-pass filters, a state-variable filter, 6-stage wave envelopes per oscillator, and an industry-first Wavemaker tool that allows users to create custom wavetables in a single step, through proprietary sample-to-wave technology.

Each of its three oscillators can generate a classic PPG-era wavetable, a modern high-resolution wavetable, or an analog-modeled waveform.

While the 3rd Wave has roots in the classic digital wavetable synths of the past, it takes the concept into the 21st century with a lush, expansive sound that’s a product of its expanded wavetables and analog filters. It features a Dave Rossum-designed 2140 analog low-pass filter with variable saturation and resonance compensation, and a second, SEM-style state-variable filter (low-pass, high-pass, notch, and band-pass) for additional tone-sculpting. Both can be used in series for harmonically complex textures.

In addition to its factory wavetables (32 classic PPG-lineage waves plus 48 high-resolution custom waves), users can create custom wavetables of their own using the built-in Wavemaker tool and fill any of the 64 available high-resolution slots. The Wavemaker tool’s sample-to-wavetable capability allows users to connect an audio source to the synthesizer’s rear-panel audio input and generate a 64-wave wavetable at the touch of a button. Alternatively, users can import a 96kHZ wav file into the synth using USB.

With 24-voices, the 3rd Wave can handle note-intensive performances, layer up to 4 parts or create 4 independent split zones — each with a completely different sound, sequence, and dual effect. Each part has independent panning, volume, effects, and a dedicated stereo physical output.

Each of its 3 wavetable oscillators per part/voice has its own 6-stage, loopable wave envelope, which can create complex, evolving soundscapes.

Its pattern-based sequencer can sequence notes, songs, and parameters. Because the synth is multi-timbral, each of its 4 parts/layers has its own sequencer track. Sequences can be up to 24 patterns of up to 32 measures in length. Users can perform in real-time on the keyboard while a sequence or song plays. Users can also perform looped overdubbing of notes or parameter changes to build complex patterns interactively.

Other features include two digital effects per part, four ADSR envelopes (filter, amp, and two auxiliary) per part, four LFOs per part, and a 28-slot mod matrix per part. The synth is housed in a robust, all-metal chassis with a premium 5-octave, semi-weighted Fatar keyboard.

Pricing and Availability

The 3rd Wave is slated for release in August of 2022, with an introductory price of $3795 USD. See the Groove Synthesis site for details.

Sinevibes Stator plug-in is tape wobble, phasing, chorusing – and something different

Sinevibes’ Artemiy Pavlov keeps working away in Ukraine. Stator is a tape wobble simulator, yes, but in typical Sinevibes fashion, the sound and interface take something familiar into a place that’s personal and unique.

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One of the things Artemiy and I have talked about a bit is that his approach to DSP is intuitive and particular. It’s an expression of personality as much as science. Really, that is what makes the software plug-in scene so much fun – even when you’ve seen it before, you haven’t always heard it before.

So, sure, Stator is glad to be a tape simulator that you can crank up for some vintage effect – maybe a shoegaze tune about Lviv lunch breaks. (Sorry, that one’s for Artemiy but yes, let’s write it, though I’ll need to work out how to rhyme the words Lviv and shawarma).

It’s more than that, though, in that you have 13 DSP algorithms, and some unique stereo widening and crosstalk phasing. That’s what has me interested in this one. Whether in hardware or software, Artemiy’s multi-algorithm approach and clean UIs (no fake tape machine here) really help dial in unique sounds.

So you don’t have to even think of this as a retro plug-in, even if that’s the main draw. The phasing and widening and flutter effects can be used in a variety of ways. It’s a VHS deck if you want it – or a futuristic creative modulation effect if you want that.

You get:

13 tuned algorithms for simulating speed wobble on tape machines (which you can crank up to “VHS tape copied ten times over also there’s a magnetic storm happening” extremes)

Pitch wow, flutter, and scrape flutter each have separate modulation depth adjustments (whereas typically those get dumbed down into one knob)

Variable stereo phase offset with per-modulation controls

Variable stereo crosstalk (there’s your chorusing and phasing, as in Artemiy’s nice demo video)

Adjustable feedback loop

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Feedback plus separate modulation controls = more unique sounds.

US$29. macOS 10.9+ / Windows 8.1+, 64-bit, AAX, AU, VST3. Yeah, M1 / Apple Silicon obviously, too.

Sinevibes’ Hollow reverb has wound up finding its way onto a ton of ambient tracks for me for the same reason; there are just some unique characters both to the sound and the way you dial in parameters on the UI that set some of these tools apart from other plug-ins.

So yep, I am glad to add this one to my collection.

It’s like tahini sauce and harisa. You want a particular recipe, and then you want it on everything.

Must-stream: HALIENE, Amidy synergize on ‘Parachute’

Must-stream: HALIENE, Amidy synergize on ‘Parachute’279539888 524326555760744 6232597685405165709 N

After merging their creative sensibilities as singer-songwriters for the first time in November 2020 on Dancing Astronaut‘s 2021 Label of the Year, Ophelia Records, for “Already Home,” HALIENE and Amidy meet again for another poignant duet. On “Parachute,” distributed via Black Hole Recordings, the Dancing Astronaut Supernovas trade verses in a balanced fashion, HALIENE’s soprano proving a fluid complement to Amidy’s more alto vocal positioning. “Parachute” is a melodic parcel complete with emotive, arching melodies that provide lush support for HALIENE and Amidy’s vocal contributions. Arriving as further evidence of HALIENE and Amidy’s nearly palpable synergy, “Parachute” will debut live at The Church Nightclub in Denver on June 3, the final stop on HALIENE’s Glass Heart tour. Tickets to the finale are available for purchase here.

Featured image: Taylor Regulski 

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Kyle Kinch, Kevin McKay bring ‘Hella’ heat to house circles

Kyle Kinch, Kevin McKay bring ‘Hella’ heat to house circles277910148 1504473473400432 6263190717932790764 N

“Does it feel good baby?” (That Kyle Kinch and Kevin McKay have convened for the first time on “Hella.”)

That’s a rhetorical question, but if pressed for a reply, Dancing Astronaut‘s unequivocal answer would be a resounding yes. Kinch’s self-professed “biggest track of the year,” “Hella” lands via Kevin McKay’s esteemed Glasgow Underground imprint. If the ethos “house music all night long” had a sound, this, assuredly, would be it. A paragon of what it means to be dance-worthy, “Hella” hits the house mark in its beatwork; it’s infallible in its ability to induce some type of movement, any type of movement, from the slightest head bob to the fanciest of footwork. Its looping vocal sample is a potent match for the undulations of the beat and the sturdy pulse of the bassline.

Arriving in sync with an extended mix, “Hella” follows the Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch in 2022‘s recent collaboration with Tone Troy, “Pheromones,” distributed by Realm Records in mid-April. It’s McKay’s second production of 2022, trailing his expansive 19-song Goodies LP, released on February 25.

Featured image: Kyle Kinch/Instagram

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