The LMN 3 – An Open-Source Teenage Engineering OP-1?

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Fundamental Frequency shared this in-depth look at LMN 3, described as “an open-source synth/sampler/sequencer/DAW-in-a-box”.

Some may see it as a DIY alternative to the Teenage Engineering OP-1, since it’s designed to be an all-in-one portable solution for music making.

The LMN-3 DAW is based on the Tracktion Engine, an open-source audio engine, and offers standard capabilities like recording, editing and mixing. The hardware platform is based on the Raspberry PI, a popular single-board computer design.

Topics covered:

00:00 – Introduction
00:31 – General Settings
00:55 – Tracks Screen Overview
01:42 – Plugins Screen Overview
02:06 – Drum Sampler Overview
02:28 – Step Sequencer Overview
03:19 – Drum Programming
04:11 – Sampler Overview
05:10 – Bass Sequencing
05:39 – Clip Cut/Paste
06:02 – 4OSC Synth Overview
07:24 – Adding Effects
08:07 – Recording
08:51 – Editing, Loop Controls, Saving, and Track Addition/Deletion
09:37 – Mixer Overview
10:19 – Pitch Bend
10:42 – Modifiers
11:20 – Project Rendering
11:31 – Implementation Overview

LMN 3 is an advanced DIY project. Details are available via Github.

JUCE 7 Now Available, With Updated API Support, Improved Graphics & More

The JUCE Team has released JUCE 7, a major update to the open-source cross-platform C++ application framework, used for the development of desktop and mobile audio applications.

In addition to improved graphics and accessibility, JUCE now supports the Audio Random Access SDK (ARA) and the LV2 plug-in format, enabling more sophisticated audio processing workflows and access to additional platforms and communities.

“JUCE 7 brings substantial improvements to where and how you can process audio, with the Audio Random Access SDK, LV2 support, and a MIDI 2.0 API adding to JUCE’s core capabilities as an audio processing framework,” notes Tom Poole, Director of JUCE. “We have also improved our graphics backend so that drawing commands are synchronized with hardware refresh rates. This gives us full compatibility with modern devices and makes rendering GUIs more efficient in all cases. JUCE 7 will make your software better.”

Below are the major improvements in more detail:

Audio Random Access (ARA) Support

Plug-ins and plug-in hosts built on top of JUCE can now use the Audio Random Access (ARA) SDK to access a much more powerful plug-in API. The ARA SDK augments the VST3 and Audio Unit interfaces to allow plug-ins to read audio samples from a DAW outside of the normal live audio time constraints, enabling the development of plug-ins like Celemony’s Melodyne. Without being tied to individual realtime buffers plug-ins can operate more like sample editors, and the dynamic exchange of information like tempo and key provides a rich platform for building much more advanced audio effects.

LV2 Support

The addition of LV2 to JUCE’s suite of plug-in formats widens the reach of JUCE-based plug-ins and hosts. It is now much easier to integrate JUCE into many open source projects and developers can access new audio platforms and communities.

macOS and iOS Graphical Rendering Improvements

On macOS and iOS we have a new asynchronous default rendering mode that moves much of the computational burden off the main application thread, resulting in faster and more responsive GUIs. We also have the option of enabling much more precise control over redrawn regions via a new Metal layer renderer, which can improve performance of particularly busy GUIs dramatically.

Hardware Synchronised Drawing

On Windows, macOS and iOS drawing events are now synchronised with hardware screen refreshes. The batching of graphical invalidation regions eases pressure on the main application thread and provides compatibility with the dynamic refresh rates provided by Apple’s ProMotion displays. Display synchronised drawing prevents redundant computation and provides smoother animations.

JUCE 7.0 is available now.

New Audio Plugin Standard, CLAP, Offers Open Source Alternative To VST & AU

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Bitwig and u-he have announced CLAP (CLever Audio Plug-in API), a new open standard for audio plug-ins and hosts.

CLAP offers modern features, innate stability, and rapid support for plug-in and host developers. The developers say that, since it’s open source and liberally licensed, CLAP is a safe bet for the future.

CLAP 1.0 is the result of a multi-year project initiated by u-he and Bitwig, with design and implementation contributions by a group of commercial and open source audio developers.

Here’s are the benefits that the developers highlight:

Better Performance From Modern CPUs

Developed with modern CPUs in mind, CLAP takes multi-thread management to a new level, with a clear and efficient allocation of roles between plug-in and host. Specifically, CLAP allows collaborative multicore support between plug-in and host through a so-called “thread-pool”, also allowing hosts to manage CPU-threading for plug-ins that provide their own multicore support. Preliminary tests show significant performance gains compared with current solutions.

Better and Faster Organization

CLAP hosts can read plug-in metadata and help organize your plug-ins. As CLAP hosts can retrieve information from plug-ins without having to wait for them to initialize, plug-in scans can be much faster.

The developers say that they’re also finalizing an extension that will let plug-ins tell the host which files they need (e.g. samples or wavetables), so the host can consolidate those in the project file. That means you’ll never lose a sample while transferring a project between systems.

Better Modulation

The CLAP standard promotes new ways to create music with automation, modulation, and expressions:

  • CLAP supports per-note automation and modulation (in accordance with the recent MIDI 2.0 specifications).
  • CLAP’s parameter modulation concept also allows for temporary parameter offsets. Parameter modulation is non-destructive, so as soon as the modulation has finished, the target parameter will return to its original state.
  • CLAP makes it possible for polyphonic plug-ins to have their per-voice parameters modulated for individual notes (“MPE on steroids”).

Initial implementations by Bitwig, u-he and the Surge project demonstrate CLAP’s possibilities.

Information for Plug-In and Host Developers

The CLAP creators tout many benefits for plug-in and host developers:

“From the C-only ABI, which allows binding to any programming language, to the transparent client-server model between host and plug-in, the robustness and clarity of the threading model, and the single event queue for all kinds of parameter changes, timing and MIDI. Despite being so comprehensive, everything in CLAP is easy to find and easy to implement.

A single cpp/hpp glue layer for C++ offers a quick start into the ABI, and its built-in “proxy layer” finds common threading bugs in an instant. Apropos C-only ABI: There are no platform specific dependencies: In theory CLAP should also run well on embedded platforms, game consoles or specialized supercomputers.”

Open Source & Liberal License

CLAP is open source, released under the MIT license: No fees, memberships or proprietary license agreements are required before developing or distributing a CLAP capable host or plug-in, and the license never expires.

In a nutshell, there are no entry hurdles for developers, and plenty of open source projects already benefit from CLAP.

It’s available now via Github.

MIDI Just Works

Inspired by MPE and MIDI 2.0, CLAP can adapt to any future MIDI standard. Wherever a solid standard exists, we allow developers to freely decide how to apply it. Plug-ins can receive and send any MIDI event on multiple ports.

Extensibility & Governance

A simple system for extensions makes CLAP future-proof. Companies can offer proprietary extensions if required for specific features.

Availability

CLAP is now available in the latest Bitwig Studio beta version and in the u-he CLAP beta versions of ACE, Diva, Hive 2 and MFM2.5. It has also been implemented by Chowdhury DSP, MultitrackStudio and the Surge Synth Team.

Open Source Projects Using CLAP:

Avendish project
CLAP JUCE Extensions project
Dexed
MIP2 framework
nih-plug framework
TheWaveWarden (Odin2

Following companies and projects are already evaluating CLAP for their host and plug-in software:

Arturia
Avid
BespokeSynth
CableGuys
Cockos
Cytomic
DMGAudio
Epic Games (Unreal Engine)
Expressive E
FabFilter
Image-Line
iPlug2 framework
LHI Audio
Node Audio (Etonal Studio)
Oddsound
Presonus
Plogue
Qtractor
Togu Audioline
Valhalla DSP
VCV
Vital Audio
Xfer Records

Profree-4 Open Source Hardware Synthesizer Now Available On Kickstarter

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Japanese development team PikoPiko Factory has launched a Kickstarter project to support development of the Profree-4 open source synthesizer.

Profree-4 is an original synth design, based on the voice circuitry of the Sequential Prophet-5. Unlike the original, it’s a mini-synth, features MIDI support, can run on batteries, can be used as a keytar and has a built-in speaker for mobile use.

After development, all technical information of Profree-4 will be provided under the “Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.International” license. This means that anyone can build, make and sell the Profree-4.

See the project site for details.

via Andreas Markusen

New Eurorack Module, IDUM, Lowers The Barrier To Making Intelligent Dance Music

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Mystic Circuits has introduced IDUM, a gate processing effect for Eurorack systems that promise to make creating IDM (intelligent dance music) easy.

Making complex electronic music with a modular can require a large system and a level of expertise beyond the reach of many modular users. Mystic Circuit says that IDUM puts making IDM “into the hands of people with average intelligence.”

And, if you do happen to be a brainiac, IDUM is based on open source code and Arduino-based hardware, so you can go wild bending the module to your will.

IDUM acts like an effects processor for the sequences that run through it. The module manipulates the gates and sequences of connected modules, but with a level of playability normally inaccessible to a sequencer. IDUM can vary carefully crafted sequences or turn your music into an onslaught of controlled chaos.

IDUM has eight effect modes:

  • HOLD – Alter the length of incoming triggers.
  • BURST – Generates a ratcheting effect with timing determined by the clock.
  • MULTIPLY/DIVIDE – Generates a ratcheting effect with timing determined by incoming triggers.
  • BALL – Generates a bouncing ball effect.
  • ROTATE – scrambles the connections of inputs and outputs.
  • DELAY – postpones incoming gates by a dynamic amount of time based on incoming triggers.
  • BREAK – preset rhythms that turn incoming triggers into breakbeats.
  • SKIP – manipulates the clock output to multiply the clock speed or skip forward multiple steps.

In addition to these modes, IDUM features an eight step looper that loops incoming gates as well as any effects that were active on those steps.

To control when IDUM’s effects are active, the CHANCE slider sets the likelihood that on a given step an effect will activate and the LENGTH slider sets how many steps the effect will last for. The PARAM knob controls a parameter unique to each effect while the MODE knob selects the mode. All of these controls as well as the LOOP status have their own CV modulation inputs.

Unique to IDUM is its ability to manipulate external sequencers using the clock output. This includes functions like: pausing the clock when an effect is active for dynamic clock division, skipping forwards or multiplying the speed of the clock in SKIP mode, and looping a sub-section of sequencer steps in the looper. To keep everything tamed while manipulating the clock, the CYCLE switch will send out bursts of clocks to catch your sequencer up with its original sequencer position after an effect has completed.

Here’s an in-depth guide to IDUM:

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Pricing and Availability

IDUM is available now for $295 USD.

Multi MIDI Controller, Filter, Router & Sound Generator

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Pangrus shared this video demo of the Multi, a multi-function MIDI device that can be used as a MIDI controller, sound generator, sequencer and more.

The Pangrus Multi is available as a kit or fully assembled. It allows any kind of MIDI filtering and routing operation and it also functions as a bi-directional USB to DIN converter.

It’s based on the Seeeduino XIAO, so you can program Multi as a simple sequencer, algorithmic arpeggiator, aleatoric patch generator and more.

The Multi is based on open source software, and several options are already available:

  • drone – a six oscillators drone machine.
  • synth_sequencer – a three oscillatorsmonophonic synth with embedded sequencer. It receives MIDI clock and note messages.
  • bytebeat player – play salgorithmic music, with no instruments and no real oscillators, but a math expression that creates an audio output waveform as a function of time, processed 8000 times per second. The expression has six parameters accessible through the multi knobs.
  • midi converter – a USB to 5 DIN bi-directional MIDI converter.
  • midi metronome – takes the MIDI clock from the 5 DIN midi connector and generates a metronome click on the audio output, to allow acoustic musicians to synchronize their performance to an electronic setup.

Pricing and Availability

Multi is available in limited quantities, priced at $115 as a full kit or $140 assembled.

Free Music Sequencer For Windows

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Developer Andreas Remshagen shared this video demo of his free music sequencer for Windows PCs.

It’s designed to be an alternative to hardware sequencers for controlling analog gear.

Here’s what he has to say about it:

“This is the Sequencer-Software i made with Flowstone (a graphical programming system) for my Live-Performances. It should run on every Windows-PC and is written to control Midi to CV-Devices like the Polyend Poly. It can Handle two different Devices with 8 Midi-Channels. Maybe you can use it for your own Performances.

It is completely free, so I don’t give a guarantee for everything.

If you have the Flowstone-Software you can edit the source-code-file called FL-Sourcecode in the Zip and change the Sequencer as you like!

This Sequencer works extremely stable in performance and Timing

I normally work with analog sequencers but a Sequencer with the complete Functions like this Software-Sequencer would take up more space in my room than i have.”

It’s available as a free download (.zip file).

If you give it a try, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it.

Mystic Circuits Introduces Leaves Turing Machine Expander Module

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Mystic Circuits has introduced Leaves, a new Eurorack module that’s a voltage sequencing expander for their sequential switching module Tree. 

It’s based on the open source Turing Machine expansion protocol, which means that it works with any other modules that host Turing Machine Expanders, including Turing Machine, Vert, Grayscale Permutation and others.

Leaves is designed to support many complex sequencing possibilities, with multiple inputs and outputs and the capability to daisy chain many expanders to a single host.

Designed with non-linear sequencing in mind, Leaves is the beginning of a set of expanders intended to grow Tree from a unique sequential switch into the center of a flexible modular sequencing environment.

Each of Leaves four outputs correspond to a different range of sliders, and each of those outputs has its own dedicated transpose input. All outputs can have a 0 – 5V range but, by default, the final output (which reacts to all eight sliders) has a 0 – 2V range, which makes it more useful for note sequencing. This also makes the slider’s center detent indicate one octave of range, whereas setting the slider fully up gives two octaves of range.

The sliders feature an eight-color LED rainbow that corresponds to the colors on the host Tree, making it easy to identify which steps are active across an entire range of expanders.

?Leaves is fully open source and all relevant files are hosted on the Mystic Circuits Github page. Much attention was paid to the expander port itself, each expander port is buffered at the input to avoid issues when many modules are chained together. The expander ports are duplicated to allow for easy daisy chaining of many modules to be hosted by a single expander.

Pricing and Availability

Leaves and Tree are available now via the Mystic Circuits site, priced at $250 and $180 USD. Escape From Noise in Sweden is also expected to have both Leaves and Tree in stock soon.

The PICO DSP Is An Open Source, Arduino-Compatible Audio Development Platform

Ohmic Electronics has launched a crowdfunding project on Crowd Supply to fund production of PICO DSP, an open source, Arduino-compatible device which can be used for a number of different synthesis applications.

Developer Andy Wilson says that it’s perfect for people who are interested in designing their own smart instrument, and features both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a MIDI adaptor and a user-programmable, multi-functional, Eurorack format expansion module.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“PICO DSP is an open-source, Arduino-compatible ESP32 development board for audio and digital signal processing (DSP) applications. It offers an expansive audio-processing feature set on a small-format, breadboard-friendly device that provides audio inputs, audio outputs, a low-noise microphone array, an integrated test-speaker option, additional memory, battery-charge management, and ESD protection all on one tiny PCB.

PICO DSP can be used for a wide range of DSP applications, including but not limited to those in the fields of music, art, creative technology, and adaptive technology. Music-related examples include digital-music synthesis, mobile recording, Bluetooth speakers, wireless line-level directional microphones, and the design of smart musical instruments. Art-related examples include acoustic sensor networks, sound-art installations, and Internet-radio applications. Examples related to creative and adaptive technology include voice user interface (VUI) design and Web audio for the Internet of Sounds.”

There is a project Github repository with different example projects for Arduino and ESP-IDF, that is open to developers for collaboration.

Pricing and Availability

PICO DSP is available to project backers starting at $29 for a bare board and $129 for the Eurorack format version.

Note: Crowdfunding projects involve risk in exchange for the opportunity to get access to new products and/or get pre-release pricing. See the project for details.

Hands-On With Monome’s Norns, Grid & Arc ‘Open Instruments’

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In his latest loopop video, synthesist Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at Monome’s Norns, Grid and Arc – a trio of open hardware instruments.

Monome (Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain) makes a small line of products that are designed to be open-ended and customizable. The company’s instruments are minimal, but also flexible and powerful:

  • Grid is an open, interactive instrument that allows the user to imagine and define its function.
  • Norns is a Linux-powered open-source sound computer.
  • Arc is a devices with rotational controls, encircled by dense segmented lighting, completely open for user definition.

“This week I’m reviewing Monone’s Norns, Grid and Arc,” notes Eliraz, “A hardware and software platform that’s entirely open source, which is probably why so many musicians and developers contribute extremely creative apps for it, including loopers, granular samplers, innovative sequencers, effects and other musical apps that don’t fit in any traditional category.”

“This video takes an in-depth look at the platform, a bit of scripting, and also includes over 10 script walkthroughs/demos.”

Topics covered:

0:00 intro
1:50 three norns
3:45 connectivity
6:00 workflow
7:05 system menu
7:25 tape
7:55 params
8:45 maiden
9:35 norns.community
11:10 grid
11:40 awake
12:40 thirtythree
14:45 mlr
17:00 other grids?
17:50 arc
18:25 mangl
19:00 larc
20:00 mx.samples
20:40 passersby
21:30 scripting
23:30 alternatives
24:05 vs organelle
25:20 pros & cons
31:30 showers
32:00 icarus
33:05 oooooo