Arturia has introduced SQ80 V, a new virtual instrument for Mac & Windows that’s based on the Ensoniq SQ-80 from 1988.
The original Ensoniq SQ-80 is a hybrid synth, with three digital wavetable oscillators per voice paired with an analog 4-pole filter. It also is one of the few classic synths to offer polyphonic aftertouch, a feature that lets you expressively control the sound of individual notes, after the initial key press.
Here’s the official video overview:
With SQ80 V, Arturia has recreated the sound of the original using hardware modeling. But they’ve also expanded on the original’s design with a variety new features, including:
The arpeggiator – including arp direction, sync, octave range, and hold.
Unison – SQ80 V offers up to 16-voice polyphony – twice that of the original hardware instrument – plus ann 8-voice unison option for creating massive sounds.
Dispersion – subtle variations and inconsistencies in the behavior of its emulated circuitry that mean no two notes will ever be exactly the same,.
Envelopes expanded – Arturia included 2 additional envelope modes: DADSR and MSEG. The former adds a delay stage to the traditional ADSR for staggered strikes and interesting rhythmic patterns. The latter is a fully-customizable looping function generator.
The Mod Mixer – Combine any 2 modulation sources, from envelopes to keyboard controls, to distort, mangle, and refract your patches in interesting and unexpected ways. With 6 different modes of modulation mixing, the combination possibilities are enormous.
MPE compatibility – SQ80 V supports MPE-compatible controllers for advanced expression.
3 digital oscillators based on the original DOC chip
Over 400 waveforms across 4 unique banks
Amplitude Modulation and Hard Sync
4 analog DCAs; 1 for each oscillator, 1 master output
Analog resonant low-pass filter based on the original CEM chip
4 polyphonic envelope generators with 3 modes; SQ80, DADSR, MSEG
3 LFOs with 6 waveforms
8 MIDI sources
Modulation mixer for combining 2 modulation sources
Built-in 7-mode arpeggiator
Up to 16-voice polyphony with Unison mode
4 FX slots across 2 busses, configurable in series or parallel]
15 master effect types
Advanced Brightness, Timbre, Time and Movement macro controls
200+ factory presets, including 40 from the original SQ-80 instrument
Pricing and Availability
Arturia SQ80 V is available now with an intro price of $99 (normally $199).
Arturia let us know that they’ve updated V Collection, their collection of virtual instruments, with microtuning support, NKS compatibility and more.
Here’s what’s new in Arturia V Collection 8.1:
Microtuning compatibility – You can now explore microtonal tunings with OB-Xa V, Vocoder V, Emulator II V, Jup-8 V, and Jun-6 V, thanks to compatibility with ODDSound’s MTS-ESP, a microtuning software utility designed with the help of Aphex Twin.
NKS ready – Every title in V Collection is now ready for Native Kontrol Standard implementation.
OB-Xa V – updated with detailed analog voice dispersion, improved envelope behavior, VCO sync and more.
Analog Lab V accessibility – their all-in-one keyboard anthology has been updated with text-to-speech functionality, providing real-time audio feedback with every tweak and preset change – you can even configure it to respond to your MIDI controller adjustments.
More in-app tutorial updates – many of the in-app tutorials have been updated to be more informative and accessible.
MIDI / macro improvements – including MIDI CC assignment, macro customization, and a number of workflow improvements.
You can preview the updated Arturia V Collection 8.1 via the video embedded above. Upgrade details are available at the Arturia site.
Ever wonder where your synths come from, what inspired them and what decisions shaped their features?
The latest episode of the Synth Design Podcast features Sébastien Rochard, Senior Product Manager at Arturia. discussing the origin of some of their most popular designs. Host Roey Tsemah talks with Rochard about the origin and development of gear like the Keystep, the MiniBrute 2 and the MicroFreak.
“Designing an open-ended instrument is a complex challenge. Open ended means flexible, and the more flexible an instrument is, the more complex it can become. It’s a designer’s role to strike the perfect balance. To deliver an inspiring instrument that allows creative expression, and at the same time make it easy enough to learn and memorize.
In this deep dive conversation Sébastien Rochard, senior product manager at Arturia, shares his design process. Analyzing various sketches and prototypes of the Microfreak and Minibrute II, and even revealing a cardboard prototype…”
Arturia has released a free firmware update for the Keystep Pro that adds new features, improvements and bug fixes.
Here’s what’s new in Arturia Keystep Pro 2.0:
Transpose Group: Tracks can now be grouped and transposed simultaneously (Trans+Track buttons to group tracks) Global Offset: It is now possible to alter the properties of all steps within a pattern. (Hold Shift and turn Pitch, Gate, Velocity, Time Shift or Randomness) Arp can now be recorded in the sequencer in real time Chord Mode: Chords can now be recorded in the sequencer using Real Time Rec, Step Rec, Step Edit, and Quick Edit. Arp can now be played when the sequencer is stopped Swing can now be applied to arpeggios Mono mode: Workflow has been reworked for a smoother experience. Step Listen: In Step Edit / Step Rec, pressing a step button plays the step (Can be enabled / disabled via Utility > Misc or MCC) MIDI Thru: MIDI Out 2 can now be set to Thru mode. (from Utility > MIDI Settings > MIDI Out 2 or the MCC) MIDI to CV: now supports Pitch bend, Mod wheel and Aftertouch messages Looper Touch Strip can now be disabled (Shift + Touch Strip) Sustain pedal & Hold are now taken in account when recording in real time. Steps and pages can now be copied and pasted across different patterns and tracks Notes Copy/Paste: Copy and paste of notes within a step has been reworked for a smoother experience Reload Project saved state: Hold Project + Shift to reload the project saved state from the Flash memory Drum Mute: “Shift + Drum” now quits Drum Mute mode Metronome time signature is now the reference for bar size and launch quantize Nudge, Invert and Rand Order functions can now be applied to Control Track Pedal MMC start / stops are now supported
Various synchronisation improvements Step Recording: Creating ties now moves the cursor to the next step on each press. Chord mode: It is now possible to release Shift + Tie/Rest and keep editing the chord until all keys are released Quick Edit: It is now possible to release the step and keep editing until all keys are released Chains can now be created on the fly on several tracks without releasing the chain button Switching between Pattern / Chain now occurs when releasing Pattern / Chain buttons. Manually switching between patterns now exits Chain mode Active steps now remain dim lit when holding shift for a better experience when using Nudge, Invert and Random Order functions. Walk mode behavior improvement Arp: velocity knob can now increase and decrease the arpeggio velocity Arp Randomness range improvement Arp: Keyboard now remains active when the track is muted Arp: Added warning popup when reaching the maximum number of notes Added a pop-up warning when trying to transpose Drum Track Tap Tempo estimation improvement Step Edit: Step values are preserved when going above 127 or below 0. Control mode: Chords & Arps played when record is ON are now recorded on the selected background track
Real time recording: Held notes are no longer overwritten by notes played staccato when overdub is OFF. First step gate time is now correct when slaved to Live through USB First step is no longer missed on start when slaved to Ableton Live via USB Velocity minimum value is now properly displayed on the LED ring Chord mode: Notes above MIDI note 127 or under MIDI note 0 are now ignored No more conflicts between the Looper and the Arpeggiator No more conflicts between the tracks and scenes step colors when holding Scene No more conflicts between the playback cursor and scenes step colors when holding Scene No more conflicts between the keys LEDs when using user scales and Step Edit/Step Rec Holding an empty step now shows the default note blinking Enabling Step Rec now properly resets the cursor position to step 1 No more stuck notes when playing arpeggios and using user scales Default note key LED no longer stays ON when entering another note Arp no longer misses notes Drum sequencer can no longer stop when switching between Mono and Poly mode Key LEDs can no longer be stuck in the Drum Mute color after exiting it Control Mode pattern 2 no longer creates conflicts with Drum pattern 1 Pattern maximum number of notes is now properly limited to 192 notes. Drum sequencer no longer randomly misses some triggers upon playback Velocity voltage is now properly updated when playing legato No more stuck notes when transposing arpeggios Creating a chord in the chord mode is now displayed on the correct octave.
Keystep Pro firmware v2.0 is available now as a free download.
Arturia today introduced Pigments 3, a major update to its ‘polychrome synthesizer’ that adds a variety of new synthesis options: additive synthesis, a utility engine with sub oscillator and dual noise sample players, the filter from Jup-8 V, four new effects and more.
Here’s what’s new in Pigments 3:
Harmonic engine – detailed additive synthesis with up to 512 partials, dual formant filters that can be morphed from A to B, odd and even harmonic customization, and various colorful ways to modulate partials
3rd Utility engine – add an extra oscillator layer and up to 2 noise sample layers to Pigments’ dual-engine sound for extra depth and sonic color
64 new wavetables, bringing the total to 164
Ramp waveform, for Virtual Analog engine
Jup-8 V4 Low-pass filter – the revered filter from our meticulous emulation of a polysynth icon
Enhanced filter routing – route either filter to either FX bus for detailed sound
Pitch Delay – a clean, modern algorithm for creating exciting pitch-shifting ambience
Multi-Band Compressor – a much-requested tool for creating a tight mix-ready sound without ever leaving Pigments
BL-20 Flanger – a faithful reimagining of an elusive analog studio effect
Chorus JUN-6 – one-touch analog sparkle and stereo fatness, taken from our faithful Juno-6 emulation
Expertly-crafted new presets by world-class sound designers
Enhanced in-app tutorials from the product designers
Pricing and Availability:
Through May 13th, Pigments 3 is available for 99€/$ (normally 199€/$). The update is free for existing users. See the Arturia site for details.
If you’ve ever looked an Arturia MatrixBrute synthesizer and wondered “What Would Jexus Do?”, this video has got you covered.
Sound designer Jexus / WC Olo Garb gives the MatrixBrute a workout, demonstrating a wide range of custom sounds.
“I’m a fan of everything gnarly, dirty, organic, wonky & unstable (because I want music to sound that way too). And the Matrixbrute timbre is all of that,” notes Jexus. “It’s almost acoustic – it reminds me of the way the soviet Polivoks behaved. It’s the most alive timbre I’ve heard in a decade, and for me that one characteristic places the Matrixbrute among the best modern synths.”
Sounds and timings:
0:00 dawless & clueless 0:45 gentlepeople 1:07 this is duo-split 1:36 they mess with my brain 2:04 stand still or give organs 2:28 suburban urbanite 2:43 arpeggiator walkthrough 3:07 save (by buying more) 3:22 sometimes i wish i was a monk 3:43 a famous song recreated 3:59 a famous song deconstructed 4:12 dirty! loathsome! oily! scrotum! 4:23 the last famous song recreation 4:40 i’m afraid of the endtimes 5:03 he didn’t want to wear a mask 5:28 click like if u like this content 5:49 joseph conrad 6:11 gorelink 6:59 long & fruitless hunt for arapaima 7:35 count me out 7:55 which side of the zoo are we on 8:15 the amazing self-ratcheting bass 8:27 hijaz kar 8:49 miriwoong comb woorlang 9:17 they’re here 9:53 deepstate 10:20 most iconic aerophone riff 10:37 sound design 11:06 weird side of things 11:37 bonus track
Pricing and Availability
The Jexus MatrixBrute sound library is available now for € 24,00.
Arturia let us know that they’ve released a major update to the firmware for their MicroFreak synthesizer, adding three new oscillator modes and more.
MicroFreak Firmware V3, created in collaboration with Eurorack maker Noise Engineering, adds a variety of new features:
3 Noise Engineering oscillator modes – Bass, SawX, Harm; 3 new algorithms that also feature in Noise Engineering’s flexible Virt Iter module, offering additive harmonic color, wavefolding, phase modulation, and more. Digital never sounded so dirty.
Unison mode – Up to 4-voice unison is now available for all oscillator types, with unison spread of up to 12 semitones that can also be used as a modulation destination. Make your basses bigger and your melodies more massive than ever.
More factory presets and slots – The number of preset slots has increased from 256 to 384, giving you more legroom to make MicroFreak your own – this even includes 96 more factory presets for more musical madness straight out the box.
Saving and loading presets – Enhancements to preset functionality makes MicroFreak easier and more intuitive than ever, including loading the last saved preset upon restart, and always retaining Chord Mode’s most recent chord within your saved preset.
You can see MicroFreak Firmware v3 in action in the video above. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the update:
The update is available a free download for MicroFreak owners.
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