At the 2021 NAMM Show, La Voix du Luthier introduced a new version of its Pyramide acoustic resonator – the Pyramide Essential.
In the video, Christophe Duquesne demonstrates the Onde, the Pyramid and a new Slim Continuum controlling Jordan Rudess’ Geoshred application, with video mapped to the Onde & Pyramid resonators.
The sound generation comes from a layer of a Continuum preset and Geoshred. The audio is 100% acoustic and is recorded with a Zoom IQ7 and a Zoom H2. It is raw audio, direct from the mics, without any editing, and it is a one take live shooting.
The Pyramide Essential as an acoustic resonator – a device that essentially turns your electronic instrument into an acoustic one. It does this by using the signal from your instrument to vibrate wood acoustic resonators, similar to the way a guitar string causes the body to resonate. This approach means that your sounds are affected by the resonances of the Pyramide, which adds a physical dimension to your performances. This also makes it idea for electronic musicians wanting to perform with acoustic musicians.
Pyramide Essential differs from the original Pyramide by eliminating the integrated amplifier of the original. You can use it your own amplifier, similarly as passive speakers, but with a true acoustic sound (each Pyramid is stereo, and offers 2 voices that can be bridged to make it mono, 8 Ohms or 4 Ohms).
At the 2021 NAMM Show, Noise Engineering introduced three AAX plugins for Pro Tools users – Basimilus Iteritas, Cursus Vereor, and Desmodus.
Noise Engineering is best known for their Eurorack & MU synth modules, but they note that they can do things with plugins that they can’t with their modules – including presets, polyphony, MIDI control, patch recall and more.
Here’s what they have to say about the new plugins:
“Basimilus Iteritas, for those who know our hardware, will be a familiar name. Based on the Basimilus Iteritas Alter module, the Basimilus Iteritas plugin features the parameters you’ll find on the module, plus some interesting additional options. Have you ever wondered what it would sound like to have two BIAs? Or ten?? Or thirty?? What about a polyphonic BIA? Well, now you can answer those questions!
As you can expect, the Basimilus Iteritas is designed for percussion. It’s the same additive/FM synth engine as in the module, so you can create some pretty awesome kicks and snares, as well as abstract metallic sounds like hats and sizzles. But it’s not just for percussion: it’s great for bass plucks, leads, stabs, pretty much any synthy thing you can think of. I’m a bit of a bass junky, personally, and the low end you can get out of this thing is seriously impressive.
And of course, just as the module responds wonderfully to CV modulation, the plugin is designed with automation in mind: slide those faders around and see what magic happens!
Desmodus is our reverb plugin, based on the Desmodus Versio module. If you’re not familiar with the Desmodus already, it’s a synthetic-tail-generator reverb that is designed to be an instrument in itself instead of just another room simulator. Like infinite ‘verb? You’re in luck! The feedback parameter on Desmodus, called Regen, goes well beyond 100% (in fact, 100% feedback is only halfway through the parameter!). The further past 100% you go, the more intense the atmosphere you create. And if you crank Regen all the way up, it ducks based on input sounds, so you can make some awesome automatic sidechain effects.
Desmodus has three reverb algorithms: limit, distort, and shimmer. Limit is a (relatively) clean reverb tail. Distort adds slight saturation to the reverb tank, giving you some grit on your more intense ‘verbs. And shimmer adds a +1 octave shift to the tank, giving you some really beautiful atmospheres. (Well, they’re pretty until you add the LFO… then they get incredibly creepy.)
Those modes aren’t the only way you can shape your tails, though. Enter Tone: it’s a DJ-style lowpass/highpass filter in the reverb tank, and it lets you choose where you want your atmosphere to sit.
And if you want things to get a bit more chaotic, it’s got internal delay-line modulation with the LFO/Index controls: modulating the delay lines can do anything from spice up a clean reverb to bring you into a new, demented world of chaos.
Last but not least, Desmodus is a charity initiative: a portion of the proceeds of all Desmodus licenses sold go to Bat Conservation International. You can read all about why bats are so important and find out what BCI is doing to help them survive and thrive here.
Cursus Vereor is a combo: it’s based on our Cursus Iteritas oscillator, and Ampla Versio dynamics firmware. It’s the most gentle of the bunch (at least, it can be — that Fold slider doesn’t mess around). It’s got the same dynamically generated wavetable engine of the Cursus, paired with an ADSR-controlled VCF/VCA dynamics section.
And that dynamics section is really deep and a bit unusual. It’s got an ADSR envelope with adjustable curve that controls the volume of the synth, as you’d expect, and also controls the cutoff of a filter. The filter can be a lowpass, bandpass, or highpass filter, and you can blend it in with the appropriately named Blend control. The filter is resonant, too, and past 75% the resonance modulates the filter cutoff creating some awesome distorted and squelchy sounds.
While Cursus Vereor only has 6 tone controls, a filter, and a handful of controls for envelope shaping, it’s got a huge sonic palette: every time we open it up we end up creating something we’ve never heard before. Just paired with Desmodus, we’re pretty sure you could write a whole ambient soundtrack.”
The Noise Engineering AAX plugins are available now – with VST, AU & Reason formats planned. See their site for details.
Haken Audio shared this video for the 2021 NAMM Show to provide an update on their instruments and firmware.
In the video, Haken Audio’s Ed Eagan introduces the latest firmware, Version 9.5, for all Continuums with DSP engines (both classic action and light action) and for all ContinuuMinis.
Here’s what’s new in v9.5:
There are many new System Presets for the Continuum and ContinuuMini since the last release for the Continuum, version 9. This brings the total number of Presets available to nearly 600.
The Editor has a new look and layout; learn about it in the new Continuum User Guide and EaganMatrix User Guide included in your Version 9.5 download. Here are a few highlights:
The Editor has three Themes/Skins; the “Dark” theme is default; in Midi and Global Settings you can also select the “Light” or “Neon” theme.
The EaganMatrix and System Presets share the same area; click on the red text “System Presets” to toggle to “EaganMatrix” display.
Overcrowding of controls has been alleviated using Control 1, Control 2, and Control 3 displays, selectable by radio button at center left.
There are now 128 User Preset Slots, 16 are shown in the Editor at a time.
New Tilt EQ controls.
New BiqBank and SineBank properties and capabilities.
Jenny Oscillator is now a choice in the Osc/Filt portion of the Matrix.
v9.5 is now available as a beta release. They expect the next full release to be Version 10, which will be released to coincide with the release of Expressive E’s Osmose keyboard, a keyboard that includes the Haken Audio EaganMatrix sound engine.
They note that the Version 9.5 release is stable for general use, but they plan to add new features along the path to Version 10.
2021 NAMM Show: Sensel has introduced Express MPE – a free set of MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) presets for five different synthesizer plugins (Aalto, Kaivo, Quanta, Pigments, Serum), two DAWS (Bitwig and Live 11) and one hardware synth (ASM Hydrasynth).
There are 5+ presets for each synth, all designed for MPE. There’s percussion, pads, leads, etc – all of which are designed to not only be great sounds, but also a great way to learn about how to design sounds for MPE.
“These presets are a masterclass in how to map Pitch Bend, Glide, and Pressure in each of these software (and the Hydrasynth hardware),” they note. “Pull these apart and learn some great ways to get the most from the many dimensions of MPE.”
Express MPE is a free download (email required) from the Sensel site.
ADDAC System has announced its first comprehensive take on granular synthesis: the ADDAC112 VC Looper & Granular Sampling module.
The company says that the new 32 HP Eurorack module and the accompanying 13 HP patchbay [ADDAC112B] “bring a sea of possibilities to modular synthesists”.
“There’s a long history behind the granular concept and many reinterpretations of its core principles, and this is our take on it,” comments ADDAC System founder André Gonçalves. “In a loose description, digital granular refers to pieces of sound files being played at the same time with slight, or completely different parameters — originating what is commonly referred to as ‘granular clouds’. In our vision we added the possibility of extremely long buffer sizes — up to 5 minutes,. This allows “softer” approaches to the granular principle. using it as an effect that can generate both ‘accidental’ effects like slight ‘stutters’ to more extreme processing or complete transformation of any incoming audio signal.”
The module consists of three main sections:
The Looper Engine, which is where all the ‘real-time’ recording happens. Multiple controls within the Looper Engine section allow users to record and play loops into a list so that samples may be accessed at any given time. Using the included SD Card, the Looper Engine can store a total of 99 loops per preset, and five minutes of sampling time can be shared for all loops loaded into a bank. Loops are saved as separate 16 bit, 44.1 kHz mono .WAV files
The Granular Engine features a deep set of controls, allowing a wide range of results. This section was designed to be fully hands-on, with all controls readily available on the front panel allowing for immediate playability. After a grain is initialized, the Granular Engine will read and calculate all parameters, continuously calculating new settings every times it starts playing. The Granular Engine feeds from whatever LOOP buffer is selected — therefore the size of any grain is dependent of the LOOP size
The Output Mix allows individual control over the dry Input, looper volume and grains volume so they can be summed and combined into the stereo outputs.
In addition to each of these three sections, all of the front panel control knobs have their own CV input, and all controls on the left block (ADDAC112) have a corresponding I/O matrix on the right block (ADDAC112B).
Pricing and Availability
The new ADDAC112 VC Looper & Granular Sampling module will be available in late March for a cost of €540.
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.
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.
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.
2021 NAMM Show: Korg today shared a sneak preview of the Drumlogue drum machine.
The Korg Drumlogue is a hybrid analog + digital design that incorporates Korg’s Multi-Engine, found on the NTS-1, Minilogue XD and Prologue. The Multi-Engine essentially lets you load third-party sound plugins to your device, making these devices customizable and making it possible for you to add features and capabilities over time.
Details are to be announced, but it looks like the Korg Drumlogue will follow the pattern of Elektron’s Analog RYTM, which has voices that can be analog, digital or a mix – plus allow you to load up custom synthesis and effects plugins.
From ‘Banaheim’, Behringer today introduced knockoffs of the classic ARP 2600 ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ synthesizers.
The original ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ synths are rare early versions of the ARP 2600. They differed in terms of styling from later 2600s. They also had some electronic differences from later models that affect how they sound, but arguably not as much as the later move from a Moog clone filter to the so-called ‘post-lawsuit’ filter design.
Here’s what Behringer has to say about their two new variations on their 2600:
“Featuring carefully selected high-grade components for improved performance, a mechanical spring reverb and unicolor fader LED’s, the Behringer Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie look back at the rarest first editions of the 2600 that was released in 1971.
We further added some very useful features such as a dual filter, an additional LFO, VCO syncs, USB MIDI, and much more.
Rumoured that only 25 Blue Marvin’s and 35 Gray Meanie’s were ever made, these modern-day and authentic recreations bring you closer than ever before to these rarities that have always been so out of reach. This time, at a price within reach.”
Based on what Behringer has said, it sounds like the build changes in the new 2600s are not to align with the unique electronics designs of the original Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie synths, but to address complaints some had with the sound and build of the Behringer 2600s. For many buyers, though, paying an extra $100 for improved components and a real spring reverb (vs the emulation used on Behringer’s earlier 2600s) will be a no-brainer upgrade.
Pricing and Availability
Behringer says that they will be shipping their ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ 2600s in February 2021, priced at US$ 699.