OB-Xd 2.0: Open Oberheim-inspired synth for Mac, Windows, Linux adds loads of improvements

discoDSP just released 2.0 of their open-source plug-in inspired by the Oberheim OB-X, with new features, Linux and high-res display support, and more.

It seems like the OB-X is the target of a lot of interest lately. And commercial plug-ins like Arturia’s OB-Xa – which I reviewed favorably – do give you loads of extras. (Arpeggiator, unison mode, extra generators, more voices, and tons of effects.)

The approach of the OB-Xd, though, is to simply focus on the synth, and retain the essentials of the Oberheim original – just not slavishly so. You BYO effects and whatnot, but certainly we have a lot of those in our hosts and plug-in collections anyway.

Most significantly, the OB-Xd is free and open source. You can pay US$49 for a supported copy, but it’s under a GPL license, with source code. I’m actually curious if that generates a reasonable amount of sales, as it would be an ideal for a lot of us open source fans. The software is effectively free for those who can’t afford it – a non-trivial issue in this time of global crisis. But you can also pay to support its further development. And the source code is still there for all, including now Linux OS support.

Ilkka Rosma Dark Theme.

New in 2.0:

  • 7x faster GUI controls.
  • Linux build.
  • Standalone app.
  • Signed and notarized installers.
  • Updated JUCE framework to 5.4.7 for better stability and compatibility.
  • Updated Banks with 2.0 compatibility.
  • Ilkka Rosma Dark Theme.
  • macOS Catalina support.
  • MIDI CC Learn.
  • MIDI CC support.
  • Parameter refactor.
  • XML based skinning.
  • HiDPI (Retina) ready GUI themes.

You get some minor tweaks the original lacked – like a continuous blendable multimode filter. (It’s HP-Notch(BP)-HP in 12 dB mode and 4-1 pole in 24 dB mode.) But in general, it gets the behavior and sound of the original model, just in software, with preset storage, and some pretty themes. (Those themes also involved community support.)

AU, VST2, and VST3 support, plus standalone – honestly standalone might be the ideal way to run it on Linux, and I could see a nice rig involving this and VCV Rack. (I better actually go try that, huh?) “How to run plug-ins on Linux and what’s going on with formats” is a topic for another day. (Maybe someone wants to volunteer to walk us through that?)



discoDSP News


Thanks to Patrick Gharapetian for the tip.

BRDG stream from Tokyo is a hyperactive explosion of audiovisual madness, today

Stream burnout is real. But today’s visual effects-heavy AV lineup from Tokyo is a shot of adrenaline mixed with sugar. On twice: Tokyo time 20:30, again Berlin time 21:00. Ted Pallas reports.

Today, Wednesday, August 5, Tokyo collective BRDG will be streaming a live performance by Keijiro Takahashi, Yaporigami x DEFASTEN, ai.step, and moxus. BRDG is known for bridging the gap between experimentalism and pop. It would be correct to think of them as “Avant Guardians of the Galaxy” because this will be a visual effects bonanza. 

BRDG has explored the use of technology in audiovisual expressions for a while now, notably with a holographic show in 2016. 

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So, if you are feeling stream fatigue, I recommend approaching this one from another angle. A BRDG production is something to see, hear, and feel.  

The stream will be broadcast twice, once for Tokyo and once for Berlin.  

Here at CDM we love all the render engines, and so does the BRDG crew. Keijiro Takahashi is a noted Unity artist pushing the boundary of Unity’s real-time VFX systems.  

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Yaporigami is an exciting electronic composer who specializes in music at the intersection of club, experimental, noise, techno, electroacoustic. 

Patrick Defasten is well-regarded in the Notch community as a forward-thinking designer and architect of spaces.  [We premiered his work in April, for Detroit Underground.]

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ai.step consists of Kakuya Shiraishi and Scott Allen. They will be bringing us a live improvised performance where humans and a machine modulate each other, with graphics on screen driven by choices made by each.  

Live coder Kakuya Shiraishi of ai.step.


Moxus is an algorave stalwart who basically makes magic happen with math.  

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Being interested in the notions of “Inter-textuality” and “Subjectivity”, he researches the structures visible in paintings and other visual media by perception and calculation through “Painter Emulator”, the original machine to generate abstract paintings automatically.  


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All in all, BRDG is packing a whole lot of audiovisual talent into one stream. Though this is BRDG’s first online-only stream, we expect it to have all the energy of their live events.  

Tickets to the stream are name your price – literally any amount of money you can give – and the proceeds will be shared between credited artists and BRDG. Please support them, and name your ticket price, here if you can tune in.  



2020/08/05 20:30(JST) Tokyo

2020/08/05 21:00(UTC+2) Berlin (15:00 NYC – 12:00 LA)

Check out the trailer and watch the stream live at: 

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Dave and David Attenborough collaborate on new BBC Planet earth special

Sir David Attenborough and London MC Dave have collaborated on a one-off musical special of Planet Earth. 

Planet Earth: A Celebration will also feature new music from legendary film score composer Hans Zimmer in collaboration with Jacob Shea and the Bleeding Fingers collective. The special, which will air at the end of August on BBC One, compiles highlights from award winning series Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, with newly recorded narrations from Attenborough. According to the BBC, the programme will be “a visual and musical feast designed to lift viewers’ spirits during a time of international uncertainty.”

The string section of the score is performed by the BBC concert orchestra, accompanied on piano by Mercury and Brit award winning artist Dave, who also went home with the best MC/vocalist gong at DJ Mag’s Best Of British awards in 2019. Dave and the orchestra were filmed performing their contribution to the show in Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios, London.

Speaking about his contribution to the show, Dave said: “I’ve always been a fan of powerful natural history documentaries. This is a programme where nature and music come together, so it was only right that I lent my talent, my time, and my attention to this project. It was a pleasure to work alongside Sir David Attenborough and Hans Zimmer.”

Learn more about Planet Earth: A Celebration here

Last year, as part of a competition launched by Songlines magazine and PRS Foundation, music makers were invited to remix recordings captured by Attenburough in Bali over 70 years ago.


New Music From Lisa Bella Donna – Pilgrimage

Synthesist Lisa Bella Donna has released a new album, Pilgrimage, created as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

On Pilgrimage, Bella Donna uses a wide range of classic analog gear, creating music that sounds like it could have been recorded in any of the last five decades.

“As we all have to adjust to living life beneath the confines of a global pandemic, my family has taken full advantage of living in the countryside, which this year, has seemed to flourish with more blooms, growth, fragrance, birds, and wildlife – more than any other year,” notes Bella Donna.

“This has been the most time I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to spend with my daughter than when she was first born. Feeling the turbulence of or world and times, we have all tried to immerse and make the very best of these times. When the time came to start recording another album, I asked Joni if she’d like to help me with the compositions and conception of the recorded works. She agreed.”

You can preview Pilgrimage below. It’s available via Bandcamp:


  • The Eagle of the Tiskelewah 16:09
  • Summer Snows of Wolf Hollow 06:28
  • Crystal Mountains 23:52

Lisa Bella Donna:

  • Moog Modular Synthesizers & Sequencers, ARP 2600, ARP Omni, Yamaha Organ, Minimoog, Mellotron, ARP String Ensemble. Moog Tympani, Gongs, Chimes, & Bells..

Joni Mariabronn:

  • ARP String Ensemble

Irijule TheoryBoard In-Depth Demo

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In the latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the Irijule TheoryBoard, a MIDI controller that’s based on music theory concepts.

Video Summary:

‘”Theoryboard from Irijule is a MIDI controller built to give you easy access to multiple musical scales and is designed to help you write chord progressions, melodies, and bass lines. What makes it special are its chord layout and live modes, as well as the sheer number of scales implemented.

In this video, I take a look at what it can do, its pros and cons, and where it fits within the landscape of software and hardware tools aimed at helping you compose and perform music.”

Theoryboard from Irijule is a MIDI controller built to give you easy access to multiple musical scales and is designed to help you write chord progressions, melodies, and bass lines. What makes it special are its chord layout and live modes, as well as the sheer number of scales implemented. In this video I take a look at what it can do, its pros and cons, and where it fits within the landscape of software and hardware tools aimed at helping you compose and perform music.”

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
0:35 Disclaimer
1:10 Overview
4:35 Connectivity
5:25 Build
6:40 Colors
7:30 Chord layouts
8:40 Transpose
9:10 Stacking and inverting chords
10:35 Strum mode
11:25 Live note mode
13:10 Misc
13:45 Pros & cons

Carl Cox named official associate for London Motor Show 2021

Carl Cox has been named an official associate for the 2021 London Motorshow.

The techno legend’s love of cars is no secret, and in 2013 he launched his own Carl Cox Motorsport brand to represent drivers and teams in various areas of racing. From 16 – 18 July 2021, the London Motor Show will take place in Battersea Park and Cox will be bringing plenty of vehicles from his own famed car collection, as well as showcasing the brand itself. He will, of course, also be DJing the event.

Speaking about Cox’s involvement with the show, London Motor Show chairperson Alec Mumford commented: “Having an association with Carl and [his] team is amazing. Aside from his legendary status behind the decks, he is also a petrol head through and through. He’ll be bringing a selection of his vehicles as well as showcasing Carl Cox Motorsport, which participates strongly in drag, side car, motor vehicle, and motorbike racing.”

He added: “Carl himself is a first-class driver and a rider having clocked up an eye watering 235mph earlier this year in New Zealand.”

Learn more about the London Motor Show 2021 here, and keep up with Carl Cox Motorsport here

Last week, Carl Cox made his Armada Music debut with a remix of  Kenneth Bager and Jez Phunk. Check out Cox’s recent all-vinyl, three deck, ‘90s rave special live stream here.

Qu-Bit Surface Physical Modeling Eurorack Module – Better Than Rings?

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Synthesist and sometimes Star Wars composer Enrique Martinez shared this video, demoing the new Qu-Bit Surface Eurorack module and sharing his thoughts on how it compares to the Mutable Instruments Rings.

The Surface is a physical modeling voice module in Euro format that can create sounds that recall plucked strings, piano, tuned percussion and more. Because it’s not constrained by the constraints of actual physical instruments, though, it can create sounds that go beyond the capabilities of physical instruments.

Like Rings, the Surface can do a limited form of polyphony – sustaining sequential ‘strummed’ notes so that they overlap to create chords. While Rings can only generate up to 4 notes, though, Surface can generate up to 8.

Topics covered:

00:00 Intro
01:38 The Setup
02:10 Unique Tuning
03:04 Physical Models
04:20 Voice Modes
05:25 Choking Voices!
07:09 Sound Design
08:55 DARK Mode
10:50 Modulation!!!
14:14 Techno Jam
19:54 Outro

Martinez calls the Surface “one of the best physical modeling drum modules on the market right now.”

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the Surface in the comments!