Madrone Music Intros SyncArp Hardware MIDI Arpeggiator

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Madrone Music has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the SyncArp MIDI Arpeggiator.

The Syncarp is a dedicated arpeggiator that offers real-time control over multiple parameters. The SyncArp will break up to 10 simultaneously played notes into an arpeggio. You can hold arpeggiated chords, add notes to them in real time, and transpose them.

The SyncArp can sync to an external MIDI clock signal, through either of its MIDI-in ports, or it can provide an internal clock.

The SyncArp has six dedicated knobs that provide real time control over:

  • Tempo (clock division while clocked externally)
  • Swing
  • Length (gate)
  • Octave
  • Direction
  • 32 unique Patterns

Here’s a playlist of official demos:

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Pricing and Availability

Production of the SyncArp is being funded via a Kickstarter project and it is available to backers for $198 USD.

Note that crowdfunded projects involve risk – see details at the project site

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

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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.

OXI One Sequencer Now Available To Pre-Order

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OXI Instruments has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund production of the OXI One, a powerful step sequencer that features four independent sequencers, LFOs, arpeggiators, configurable CVs, randomization features and more.

The OXI One supports MIDI and CV connectivity, with 8CV and 8 Gate outputs, and 1 CV input with configurable routing. In addition to sequencing pitch, you can use the outputs for envelopes, LFOs and more.

Features:

  • Up to 128 steps per Sequencer
  • 4 deeply configurable and independent Sequencers active at the same time (up to 32 tracks)
  • 4 modes to choose from per Sequencer: Monophonic, Polyphonic, Chord, Multitrack (up to 8 independent tracks) more to come
  • Load Patterns and Projects instantly, no load time
  • CVs and Gate outputs are user assignable with a dedicated grid layout that allows changes in real time
  • CV outs support for ADs envelopes, Polyphony, Modulation and LFOs
  • Arranger mode with 4 pattern playback lanes, count down visualization and Program Changes
  • One LFO per Sequencer with assignable destination. CV In can act as an assignable modulator.
  • Live MIDI looper with Rec activation by MIDI in and Rec Extend options
  • USB MIDI, TRS MIDI, BLUETOOTH (BLE) MIDI routable to the CVs and gates outputs
  • Clock out and clock/cv in (which serves as parameter modulation by pulse frequency)
  • Intelligent and musical pattern Randomizer (with humanization and controllable randomization)
  • Innovative chord function, with hotkeys for voicing, inversion and spread
  • Playback and perform randomizer (velocity, octave, trigger, ratcheting and skipping independently)
  • Keyboard mode per Sequencer with arpeggiators independent of the sequence (10 modes, octavation, gate, rate and hold functions) and chord triggering
  • Internal clock or external sync (USB MIDI, TRS MIDI, BLUETOOTH MIDI and clock IN)
  • Preview function
  • Per step parameters: pitch, velocity, octave, gate, 4x modulation lanes, glide (for cvs outs in mono mode), ratches, micro time offset, probability; strum, voicing and chord type (Chord Mode)
  • Plenty available scales and user selectable root note
  • Open Source app (MacOS, Linux, Windows, iOS and Android) for further configuration and Project backup
  • 1/32th to 1bar resolution per step
  • Extend function
  • Loop function
  • Selectable Init and End steps (Independent for each track and Sequencer)
  • Selectable MIDI output channels (Independent for each track and Sequencer)
  • Swing per Sequencer
  • Playback directions: forward, backward, alternate, random.
  • Multiple pattern edition features like duplicate, moving patterns in all directions (rotate and transpose)
  • Copy, paste, clear features for patterns, parts, sequences, steps and presets
  • Several Undo steps
  • Up to 15 Projects which include Project configuration and up to 64 Patterns per Project and 16 songs. Pattern exporting possible via the companion app
  • Monome Grid support thanks to open sourcing by the Monome team. Currently available for DIY norns devices

Here’s a playlist of official overview videos:

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Pricing and Availability:

The OXI One is available to project backers to preorder, starting at about $637 USD.

Note that crowdfunded projects involve risk. Review the project site for details.

deadmau5 Launches OSC/PAR, A New Performance Tool For Digital Artists & Musicians

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deadmau5 has introduced OSC/PAR, an AU/VST3 plugin for macOS and Windows that broadcasts your real-time musical events from your favorite DAW into any OSC-capable client over the network.

The plugin sends out your transport information, MIDI notes played, automation events and even your song list as they happen during live playback. Those events are converted to OSC messages that can sent over WiFi or local network connection and used in other apps or hardware devices.

“OSC/PAR was originally developed as an essential need for a stage to FOH networking solution,” shares deadmau5. “I’m actually pretty stoked to be sharing this with everyone as a handy little tool for all your DAW to OSC needs.”

OSC/PAR works with OSC/PILOT, a bi-directional control surface application. As the overlap between audio and visual application space continues to grow, there is a need for a simple way to control these applications in a desktop application.

Pricing and Availability

The OSC/PAR plugin is available now for $19.99.

Free Launchkey mk3 Update Adds Strum Mode & More

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Novation has introduced a free firmware update for the Launchkey mk3 and Launchkey Mini mk3 that adds a new Strum Mode and more.

In addition to Strum Mode, the v1.1 update adds a few user-requested options:

  • Pad brightness will now be adjustable for more comfortable visibility in all lighting conditions.
  • Launchkey Mini [MK3] owners will now be able to switch pad velocity on or off. Depending on your preference, you’ll have greater control over your playing and be able personalize your user experience –especially helpful for finger drummers who prefer to have a fixed velocity
  • Clock output from the MIDI port can now be toggled on or off. This increases flexibility for users when connecting Launchkey Mini [MK3] to other MIDI devices.
  • Lastly, the shift, arp and fixed chord buttons can now be latched with double-tap. This enables handed control of shift-modified buttons — perfect for tweaking with one hand while playing with the other, or when simultaneously playing guitar or using a connected synth.

Launchkey Mini mk3 Update:

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See the Novation site for details.

Risset Rhythms With The ROLI Lumi

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Synthesist and Berklee Associate Professor Matthew Davidson (aka stretta) shared this video performance with the ROLI Lumi, hacked to display a list of active pitches as toggles for a Risset Rhythm trigger mechanism.

Risset Rhythms are a type of audio illusion, similar to Shepard Tones. While Shepard Tones give the illusion of infinitely rising or falling, Risset Rhythms give the illusion of infinitely speeding or slowing.

The performance is starkly minimal, but also reveals rhythmic relationships between the notes that are constantly changing.

Davidson makes interesting use of the Lumi, which is a consumer-focused device that he’s repurposed as an interesting MIDI controller. Here’s what he has to say out it:

“The Lumi by Roli is a small keyboard controller with LED feedback. The Lumi is a product designed to teach you how to play piano by lighting up what keys to play. To take full advantage of the Lumi experience, customers are encouraged to sign up to a ongoing subscription service of lesson content.

I’m not interested in using this product for the purpose it is designed for, but I feel there is a lot of potential for controllers with LED feedback. I purchased the Lumi so i could use it for applications such as displaying a histogram of pitches, to control transposition of a polyphonic granular process or to visualize and edit a set of pitches used by a procedural generation process.”

Davidson has documented his experiences with the ROLI Lumi at his site.

Conductive Labs MIDI Router Control Center Live Stream (Synthesthesia 2021)

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Conductive Labs, creators of the NDLR, shared this epic live stream as part of Synthesthesia 2021, officially introducing their new MIDI Router Control Center (MRCC), a new device that they say reinvents the MIDI router.

The MRCC has been designed to make it easy to build flexible and powerful MIDI setups, combing controllers, instruments, your computer and more.

The MRCC has tons of MIDI connections, ranging from traditional 5-pin DIN connectors to USB interfaces and USB host ports and even the 3.5mm MIDI A/B connectors that are popular on compact devices. There’s a dedicated button for each each input and output, so you just select an input button, and then pick which outputs to route it to.

The stream covers demoing the MRCC, Q&A, demoing with the NDLR and more.

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro Combines Traditional Piano Feel With Flexible MIDI Control

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M-Audio has introduced a new full-size, weighted keyboard controller, the Hammer
88 Pro.

The Hammer 88 Pro is designed for musicians that want both traditional piano feel and flexible software control in a control keyboard.

The Hammer 88 Pro offers 16 RGB velocity-sensitive pads with Note Repeat, 9 assignable faders and 8 assignable knobs to control your audio software. Hammer 88 Pro also includes an OLED screen that makes it easy to search for and test sounds, map controls, and mix and edit your sessions.

Features:

  • 88 graded hammer-action keys with aftertouch and assignable zones
  • (16) RGB, backlit, assignable, velocity-sensitive pads with Note Repeat for beat production, clip launching, and more
  • (8) assignable knobs & buttons for controlling virtual instruments, mix plugins, DAW controls, and more
  • (9) assignable faders for controlling virtual instruments, plugins, DAW faders, and more
  • Preset and DAW buttons for auto-mapped DAW controls & plugin parameters
  • Smart Chord mode enables playing of enharmonic or custom chord voicings
  • Smart Scale mode eliminates wrong notes making it easy to craft a perfect song
  • Arpeggiator with Type, Octave, Gate and Swing controls
  • Ergonomically designed pitch and modulation wheels & (3) footswitch pedal inputs and (1) expression pedal input
  • USB-MIDI connection and 5-pin MIDI Input and Output for connecting to external MIDI gear
  • Intuitive layout featuring an OLED screen for quick control edits
  • Includes music rest, MIDI editor software and a complete software production package

Pricing and Availability

The Hammer 88 Pro is available immediately for $799.

New MPE Instrument, The Wisp

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Developer Alex Duncan of WillowISP shared this introduction to the Wisp, a new expressive MIDI controller, based on the Sensel Morph touchpad.

The Wisp is designed to give you continuous control over pitch, timbre and volume for each note that you play. And the Wisp’s Isomorphic Key layout is designed so that fingering align consistently with the harmonic relationships of music.

Features:

  • Ease of playing massive chords – Each of the Wisp’s rows is an octave above the one below, so you can span the entire range of the instrument with one hand.
  • Isomorphic key layout – Unlike many traditional acoustic instruments, the distance between semitones is always the same, in every key. This means the shape of a riff or chord always matches its sound.
  • Low latency – The Willowisp software updates many hundreds of times per second for fluid responsiveness.
  • MPE support – Bending or vibrato on multiple notes at the same time. Polyphonic aftertouch. The Wisp Was made for that. Control pitch bend by sliding finger to the left or right, and MPE “Slide” with up or down.
  • Expressive control – Inside the Wisp is a Sensel Morph, a touchpad that continuously captures not only X and Y locations, but extremely sensitive pressure measurements (32,000 levels.)
  • Visualization software – The visualization in the Willowisp software can take the place of traditional sheet music, translating MIDI files into a visualization of the notes on the Wisp.

Pricing and Availability

The Wisp is available made to order, priced at $650 USD.

New App, Glover, Lets You Play Anything Like A Theremin

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MiMU, the company behind the MiMU Gloves gestural MIDI controller, has introduced Glover, a new environment for connecting motion-tracking devices to your music software.

Glover lets you map physical gestural to MIDI (or OSC), letting you create your own gestural language for music making. The software supports a wide range of motion tracking devices, including iPhone, Leap Motion, micro:bit and the MiMU Gloves.

With Glover, you can essentially play anything – your soft synths, your hardware or your DAW – like a theremin. But machine learning means that you can use gesture recognition to go even further.

Glover is essentially the heart of the MiMu Gloves – letting you control how your physical gestures – captured via sensors – are translated into musical information. It lets you take motion tracking devices and customize how they control music software, such as Ableton Live, Mainstage or Logic Pro.

Gesture recognition algorithms analyze the data coming in from your sensor, and then let you map it to MIDI or OSC. For example, you might make a ‘fist’ to start recording a loop ,or move your hand upwards to add reverb to your voice.

Glover was originally designed as the mapping environment for the MiMU Gloves, but it has been expanded to support a wider range of devices.

Features:

  • Dedicated software for composing and performing music using movement, connecting to third party music software
  • Supports movement based controllers including iPhone, Leap Motion, micro:bit, and more.
  • Connect your movements and gestures to MIDI / OSC
  • Gesture recognition via machine learning.
  • Design your own expressive language for music by creating unique mappings.
  • Integrates with MiMU’s free smartphone app Gliss
  • Includes license for Arturia Analog Lab Intro

Pricing and Availability

Glover is available now for $159. A demo version is also available.