Arturia Intros SQ80 V, “Ensoniq’s Classic ‘80s Cross-Wave Synth Reborn”

Arturia Intros SQ80 V, “Ensoniq’s Classic ‘80s Cross-Wave Synth Reborn”
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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:

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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.

Features:

  • 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
  • MPE compatibility

Pricing and Availability

Arturia SQ80 V is available now with an intro price of $99 (normally $199).

Arturia Updates V Collection With Microtuning Support & More

Arturia Updates V Collection With Microtuning Support & More
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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.

Arturia MatrixBrute Noir Edition Now Available

Arturia MatrixBrute Noir Edition Now Available
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Arturia has announced that the MatrixBrute Noir Edition – a new version of their MatrixBrute analog monosynth with ‘Noir’ styling and updated firmware – is now available.

The Noir Edition features a new paint job, new knob caps and the black ionized parts. Like the original, it features a 100% analog audio signal path, with true analog effects.

The MatrixBrute Noir Edition is limited to 500 units.

Pricing and Availability

The Arturia MatrixBrute Noir Edition is available now with a street price around $2,000 USD.

Synth Design With Arturia

Synth Design With Arturia
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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.

Episode Summary:

“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…”

Free Arturia Keystep Pro 2.0 Firmware Update Adds New Features & Other Improvements

Free Arturia Keystep Pro 2
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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:

New Features

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

Improvements

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

Bug fixes

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 Pigments 3 Adds Additive Synthesis, New Wavetables & More

Arturia Pigments 3 Adds Additive Synthesis, New Wavetables & More

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.

What Would Jexus Do? (Arturia MatrixBrute Edition)

What Would Jexus Do? (Arturia MatrixBrute Edition)
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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.

Free Update Makes Arturia MicroFreak MicroFreakier

Free Update Makes Arturia MicroFreak MicroFreakier
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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:

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The update is available a free download for MicroFreak owners.

Free Soundbank For The Arturia Polybrute

Free Soundbank For The Arturia Polybrute
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Hispasonic shared this video, demoing its free soundbank for the Arturia Polybrute.

The sounds were programmed by Pablo Fernández-Cid and are available as a free download.

Note: Hispasonic is a Spanish language site.

Sounds demoed:

00:00 Intro
00:16 HugeBrute
01:08 Italian Harp
01:26 Split Vienna
01:40 Oxygenate Lead
02:03 Morphee Leads
02:45 Analog Split
03:25 Bach Horn
03:40 Bach Reed
03:54 Back to Berlin
04:22 Chordal Moods
05:10 Instant Mood
05:38 NewRonyum 82
07:28 HispasonicWLove
08:03 Clean warm lead
08:40 Seq & Solo Twins
09:28 SeqArpChords

Arturia Intros Free Juno-6 Style Chorus Effect

Arturia Intros Free Juno-6 Style Chorus Effect
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Arturia has introduced Chorus JUN-6, a free chorus effect modeled after the iconic stereo effect found in the Roland Juno series of analog polysynths from the ‘80s.

Here’s an in-depth video demo:

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Chorus JUN-6 can be used inside any VST, AAX, or AU compatible recording software.

Pricing and Availability

Chorus JUN-6 is available as a free download through December 29th 2020.