Modular Synth Supergroup Node Releases Live Concert Video

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Modular synth supergroup Node – made up producer Flood, producer and composer Ed Buller, Doctor of Music Dave Bessell, and Hollywood film composer Mel Wesson – has released Live at the Royal College of Music, a Blu-ray concert video of one of their rare live performances.

Node performs and records with large-format modular synthesizers. The performance features each of the musicians performing with a collection of classic modern and vintage gear.

Node’s performance was released on CD and digital formats in 2018 as the album Node Live and features new music in the tradition of 70’s electronic music pioneers like Tangerine Dream.

Now the Blu-ray release promises a behind-the-synths view of the performance.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Appearances of Node live are incredibly rare, but when they happen they unleash their full ‘shock and awe’ arsenal of vintage analogue synths in a stage performance that is played entirely in real time.

Featuring probably the largest collection of such synthesizers ever gathered on a single stage, this is a rare opportunity to hear these vintage machines in full flight handled by masters of the art.

Released as a limited edition of 500 – when they are gone they are gone.”

Node are:

  • Dave Bessell: guitar and modulars
  • Ed Buller: sequencing and modulars
  • Flood: Basso Profundo and modulars
  • Mel Wesson: VCS3, PPG and modulars

You can find out more about the concert and the effort behind it in our 2018 interview with Node.

Pricing and Availability

Live at the Royal College of Music is available now on Blu-ray for $24.99.

The music is also available on CD and in digital formats. You can preview the album below:

Poly Effects Beebo Offers ‘Best Eurorack Modules’ In A Hardware Pedal

Poly Effects has announced that Beebo – a modular synth in an effects pedal – is now available.

Beebo is a multi modulation hardware pedal that they say ‘gives you the power of a Eurorack modular synth in an easy to use touch screen pedal’.

Beebo features conventional effects, auto swell, delay, algorithmic reverb, chorus, looping delay, mono & stereo EQ, mono & stereo compressor, pan, phaser, reverse, rotary, saturator, phaser, warmth and through zero flanger. It also features ports of popular open source modules, like Mutable Instrument’s Clouds and Plaits modules.

You can make the foot switches change a value, or connect up parameters to a random source, an LFO or an envelope follower. Modules that generate control signals can be controlled too, which is the power of a modular workflow.

For example, If you don’t get everything you want out of the built in chorus or flanger modules you can build your own by adding a few delay modules and modulating them. You can also send control signals out as MIDI CC to control other pedals.

Features:

  • Modular environment for synthesis & effects processing contained within a single pedal
  • Touch screen interface for easy patching
  • 4 audio inputs and 4 audio outputs
  • 3.5mm TRS MIDI I/O
  • USB port for importing/exporting patches via flash drive
  • Includes ports of Mutable Instruments modules

Pricing and Availability

Beebo is available now for $399 USD.

SSL Brings Serge Dual Slope Generator To MU Format

Synthetic Sound Labs (SSL) has introduced a new module for MU modular systems, the 1240 Dual Slope Generator (DSG).

SSL says that they designed the 1240 Dual Slope Generator in close collaboration with composer and synth designer Serge Tcherepnin, who created the original Dual Slope Generator design in the mid 70’s.

The Dual Slope Generator can be used in many ways. Each Slope Generator can be used as an envelope generator, an LFO, an envelope follower, subharmonic generator and more.

A Serge Slope Generator is a slew limited unity gain voltage follower, whose positive and negative slew rates are voltage controllable. It has an extremely wide range, covering sub-sonic to high audio rates.

Trigger inputs and pulse / gate outputs extend the slewing functions for use as a voltage controlled (VC) LFO, envelope generator and a variable pulse delay mono-stable functions.

One VC responds roughly exponentially, and two additional VC inputs are routed to individual Rise and Fall slope attenuverters, for maximum flexibility and convenience.

This updated design of the 1240 DSG now includes temperature compensation to help eliminate drifting. The linearity and accuracy of the slews allow them to be used for exacting applications, such as portamento functions.

The 1240 has two identical slope generators (A & B) – each of which can be set to self-trigger (Loop), or even to trigger each other for some wild modulation and audio effects. It also has two auxiliary outputs which provide an output that is the greater of A & B (PEAK), and another that is the lesser of A & B (TROUGH). These are interesting and go far beyond normal summing / mixing.

Here are some of the uses for the 1240 DSG:

  • VC Transient / Envelope Generator – simply started by trigger or gate at TRIG IN.
  • VC LFO – The rates are controlled by the Rise and Fall Rate knobs and inputs, and the slopes controlled from LOG thru Linear to Exponential.
  • VC Timing Pulse / Gate generator.
  • VC Portamento with separate controls for rise and fall rates, and slopes.
  • Envelope Follower (Detector) – The VC decay rate allows the response to be moved from positive to negative peak detection.
  • VC Pulse Delay (Monostable).
  • Sub-Harmonic Series Generator. A trapezoidal wave-shape is generated for sonorous, smooth sounds.
  • Audio Generator with variable symmetry and a range into kilohertz regions.
  • Non-Linear Low-Pass Filter. The VC slew limiting can progressively turn a sawtooth wave into a triangle and many variations between. Thus a slope generator can be used as a very interesting low-fidelity VCF.

Pricing and Availability:

The 1240 Dual Slope Generator is available now from SSL and Noisebug for $495 USD.

Buchla Easel Command In Depth Demo

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Synthesist Marc Doty (AutomaticGainsay) shared this series of in-depth videos that explore the capabilities of the new Buchla Easel Command.

The Buchla Easel Command is an updated version of the 208 Stored Program Sound Source, the synthesizer at the heart of Buchla’s 1973 Music Easel. In the original design, it was paired with the 218 Touch Keyboard Controller to make a complete instrument.

The updated version, the 208C, is available in a standalone desktop form, with MIDI and CV control, as the Easel Command. It’s also available as a module for use in a Buchla 200e system.

The new version offers a variety of updates that are designed to improve usability, add new synthesis options and make it easier to integrate with modern synth rigs. Updates include MIDI input via USB & DIN, 1/4″ audio outputs, minijack cv/gate inputs, USB Host support, new patching options and more.

Details on the Easel Command & 208C module are available at the Buchla site.

Qu-Bit Intros Surface, An 8-Voice Polyphonic, Multi-Timbral Physical Modeling Module For Eurorack Systems

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Qu-Bit let us know that the Surface, a multi-timbral physical modeling voice in Eurorack format, is now shipping.

Surface features a wide variety of physical modeling algorithms, supports up to 8 voice polyphony and delivers true stereo output.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Surface is a multi-timbral physical modeling voice, capable of emulating the sonic qualities of acoustic instruments or morphing into otherworldly synthetic textures. Physical models contain plucked strings, prepared piano, and an assortment of melodic percussion, with up to 8 voices of polyphony. Creating a sense of space is easy with the true stereo outputs and their configurable spatialization modes.”

Features:

  • Multi-timbral Physical Modeling Voice
  • Various sound models: plucked strings, prepared piano, tuned percussion, and waveguides
  • 8 Voice Polyphony
  • True stereo outputs with unique spatialization modes
  • Tech specs:
  • Width: 10HP
  • Depth: 28mm
  • Power: +12V: 60mA, -12V: 60mA, +5V: 0mA

Pricing and Availability:

The Surface is available now for $299 USD.

Synthesis Technology E520 Hyperion Effects Processor First Look

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The new Synthesis Technology E520 Hyperion Effects Processor is arguably the most powerful multi-effects processor ever developed for Eurorack format systems.

In this official demo, Divkid Ben Wilson takes the production model of the of the Hyperion Effects Processor for a spin, exploring its capabilities and showcasing the powerful module in action.

“This video looks at 7 algorithms, exploring different patches and some of what the E520 offers,” notes Wilson. “Future videos will explore the algorithms in detail in my usual ‘deep dive’ style, looking at the time-based and spectral -ased effects.”

Topics covered:

00:00 Hello & patch previews

0:58 E520 run down, video layout, other resources

01:41 Algo: Pattern Delay – DNB / Jungle beats

01:49 Algo: Pattern Delay – exploration

02:29 Algo: Pattern Delay – melodic patch

03:07 Algo: Frequency Shifter – west coast harmonic playground

04:20 Algo: Spectral Drone – windy reverberant washes

04:48 Algo: Diffusion Flanger – lush textures and ambience

06:04 Algo: Spectral Time Machine – live vocal mangling!

07:15 Algo: Chowder Delay – beat chops, stutters and reverses

08:21 Algo: Phaser – rich stereo modulation

See the Synthesis Technology site for details.

Behringer Teases ARP 2500 Module Knockoffs In Eurorack Format

Behringer has shared several images of planned ARP 2500 module knockoffs via social media.

Original ARP 2500 Sequencer

Specifications are to be announced, but the modules appear to follow Behringer’s precedent of shrinking vintage synth designs down to fit into Eurorack format, and mimicking the look and feel of the originals.

The knockoffs differ from the original designs in dispensing with arguably the most unique feature of the original ARP 2500, below, the dual rows of sliding matrix switches.

The ARP 2500 matrix switch system allows each module’s output to be connected to any other module’s input, eliminating or minimizing the need for patch cords. This also eliminates the ‘cable spaghetti’, typical of most modular synths, that can often obscures controls.

The modules are also much shorter than the originals, and module panels incorporate patch jacks. This results in controls that are a lot more crowded than on the original modules.

For example, an original 2500 step sequencer module, shown right, has three rows of controls, spaced fairly widely, while the Behringer version, right in the above photo, compresses the knob arrangement into six closely-spaced staggered rows.

The upcoming modules are a collaboration with Rob Keeble of UK-based synth manufacturer AMSynths.

“In June 2019, I joined forces with Behringer to design analog synthesizers that will be manufactured in China and sold to customer across the world,” explains Keeble. “I am working on three projects which Behringer will announce when they are ready. The first is the ARP 2600 replica which I helped design and test…”

Keeble says the modules will be made with surface mount technology, but that they’ve taken care to ensure that ‘the sound is authentic’ to the original designs.

Pricing and Availability

Details on pricing and availability are to be announced. Keeble says that it “Looks like it will get launched later this year…”

ARP 2500 Images: Encyclotronic, ARP 2500 User Group

ACL MiniMIDI USB Midi To CV Interface For Eurorack Modular Synthesizers

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Audiophile Circuits League (ACL) shared this video preview of their new MiniMIDI compact MIDI to CV interface.

Via the CC output it can transmit velocity, aftertouch and several MIDI controller values. It is configurable to 15 different modes through DIP switches. The CV output can be precisely calibrated.

Specifications:

  • 4HP
  • Pitch Output (1V / Octave ) : -3V to 7V
  • Gate Output : 0V / 10V
  • MIDI CC Output : 0V to 5V
  • MIDI Start / Stop : Active High ( 5V )
  • MIDI Clock : Rising edge ( 5V )
  • USB MIDI Host Interface output current : up to 500 mA

Details on pricing and availability are to come at the ACL site.

New Music From Suzanne Ciani – ‘A Sonic Womb’

Electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani has released a new album, A Sonic Womb, that captures a recent live modular performance.

The performance was recorded December 14, 2019 at the Lapsus Festival, at Barcelona’s Centre for Contemporary Culture. The event was entitled ‘A Sonic Womb’ and was dedicated to the musical roots of the synthesizer.

The performance is ”an improvisation that I began using in the ’70s and continue to use now as raw material. Each performance based on this material has its own expression,” notes Ciani. “One could liken it to jazz.”

You can preview the album below and it’s available via Bandcamp:

Berlin School Synth Jam With Waldorf Iridium & Modular Synthesizer

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Synthesist Martin Stürtzer shared this trip into ambient/Berlin School territory, Lai’s Dream.

The live performance features the recently released Waldorf Iridium synthesizer, paired with a Eurorack modular system.

Here’s what he has to say about the technical details:

Lal´s Dream was sequenced and recorded with Ableton. All sounds: Waldorf Iridium, U-HE Repro5, Makenoise 0-Coast, Mutable Instruments Plaits / Ripples / Veils & Doepfer A-140″