midiphy MatriX Mechanical Grid Graphical Sequencer (Sneak Preview)

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This video, via Hawkeye, captures a sneak preview of the upcoming midiphy MatriX Mechanical Grid Graphical Sequencer, in conjunction with the midiphy SEQ v4+.

The MatriX extends both midiphy’s SEQ v4+ (legacy 16×16+X BLM Mode) step sequencer, as well as the LoopA sequencer (with an upcoming firmware extension). Using the MatriX, polyphonic sequences can be entered graphically, including force-to-scale “auto-correction”.

Details are still to come at the midiphy site.

Sassy ‘Audio Spreadsheet’ Sneak Preview

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Developer Jari Komppa lets us know that he’s released Sassy, a new software modular synthesizer for Windows, as a beta release.

“I’ve been working on an approach on virtual modular synthesis, namely a spreadsheet,” notes Komppa. He describes the application as an ‘audio spreadsheet’.

If you’re interested in beta testing Sassy, he’s shared his contact info along with the video.

Therevox ET-5 Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

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Ontario-based synth designer Mike Beauchamp shared this sneak preview of his upcoming Therevox ET-5 synthesizer.

The ET-5 is the latest in his line of Therevox instruments, inspired by the Ondes Martenot (1928) and the Electro-Theremin (1950). Like earlier Therevox instruments, the ET-5 is played by moving a finger along a reference keyboard, giving you continuous control over pitch, and pressing dual pressure-sensitive keys on the left of the keyboard, giving you continuous control over the volume of each oscillator.

New features in the ET-5 include:

  • The ET-5 features completely redesigned Intensity Keys that provide a progressive tactile feel, allowing more nuanced control of the two oscillators.
  • The ring has been completely redesigned, with a significant reduction in friction for faster glides, slides and expressive bends.
  • The length of the fingerboard has been increased by over half an octave.
  • A new 3.5mm Patch Panel allows complete reconfiguration of the the ET-5’s controls to any parameter on the synthesizer. Mults are also provided for advance routing, splitting and adding signals. The Patch Panel also makes it easy to integrate with Eurorack gear, and 1/4″ CV outputs are also provided to control large format and vintage gear.
  • Next to each intensity key is a new slider/fader control that replaces the “hold knobs” on the ET-4.3, allowing the levels of the oscillators to be held without using the intensity keys. These sliders generate a control voltage that is available to be mapped on the Patch Panel, putting the control of any parameter under your fingers.
  • The fingerboard is now also pressure sensitive. This is a feature that has been requested for a long time and took a lot of work to get right. Like the new hold sliders, the fingerboard pressure can control any parameter through the Patch Panel and the control voltage is also available as a 1/4″ output on the side of the ET-5.
  • The new FX loop also has a wet/dry mix CV control available on the Patch Panel, designed in a unique way that that preserves the trails of your reverbs and delays.
  • A dedicated 9V power output on the Therevox can power your guitar pedals directly as they are inserted into the ET-5 FX loop.
  • The level control for the FX loop is now also a gain control for a custom-voiced saturation stage before the new 3-pole filter.
  • The spring reverb circuitry has been redesigned to reduce noise and increase frequency response.
  • A built-in tuner lets you tune the analog oscillator to any interval.
  • In addition to MIDI over USB, the ET-5 now has a 5-pin DIN MIDI output to directly control other gear. The two intensity keys work on separate channels, allowing the ET-5 to independently control two synthesizers at the same time, or blending separate voices on a single synth.
  • You can now also “freeze” the pitch of Oscillator 2. When this is enabled, pressing down on the fingerboard will grab and hold the pitch in that position ,allowing for easily changing drone notes and polyphonic melodies.

Beauchamp says that the ET-5 design was driven by feedback from existing Therevox users.

The first ET-5 prototype.

“Being able to see how our customers use their Therevox and how it integrates with their music-making environment informed the design of the ET-5. Also the local synthesizer collective meetings have been a great resource for hands-on experience with new and vintage synthesizers.

These meetings refined my taste in filters and contributed to the design of the new 3-pole filter, and were definitely responsible for the inclusion of a 5-PIN DIN MIDI output being added to the ET-5.”

Pricing and Availability

Details on pricing and availability for the Therevox ET-5 are still to be announced. There is a contact form on the Therevox site if you want additional information or to get on the wait list for the ET-5.

What Eurorack Modules Do You Need To Talk To Aliens?

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Epic Pictures Group has released the trailer for Doors, a new science fiction movie, scheduled for release March 23rd, 2021.

Here’s the film’s synopsis:

“Without warning, millions of mysterious alien “doors” suddenly appear around the globe. In a rush to determine the reason for their arrival, mankind must work together to understand the purpose of these cosmic anomalies. Bizarre incidences occurring around the sentient doors leads humanity to question their own existence and an altered reality as they attempt to enter them.”

From the first few seconds of the trailer, embedded above, it appears that the filmmakers are following the time-honored tradition of repurposing electronic music gear as ‘high-tech’ future stuff. Check out the system being used to communicate with aliens:

This raises the question: What Eurorack modules do you need to be able to communicate with aliens?

Check out the trailer and the screen capture above, and let us know what modules you recognize! And, if any readers have any background on what’s going on here – in the movie or in the making of this scene – leave a comment!

Intellijel Metropolix Eurorack Step Sequencer (Sneak Preview)

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In his latest loopop video, Ziv Eliraz takes a look at the upcoming Intellijel Metropolix step sequencer, the successor to their Metropolis sequencer.

Metropolix looks much like its predecessor, but its capabilities have been expanded to allow for much more variation to its eight-stage sequences.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:00 Sliders & switches
2:05 What’s old?
3:30 What’s new?
3:55 Two tracks
5:10 New lanes
6:30 More news
8:45 Stage buttons
10:40 Track controls
13:35 Knobs & IO
15:10 This setup
17:10 Home screens
17:35 Mod tracks
21:15 Skip invert
22:30 Decoupling 1 & 2
23:20 “Split view”
24:20 Pitch override
26:45 Accumulator
28:40 Loopy
29:20 Split kbd/seq
30:30 Using presets
32:40 Pros & cons
37:45 Outro track

Here’s a summary of what’s new:

One of the biggest updates to the Metropolix is that it offers two separate pitch and gate outputs, corresponding to two tracks each derived from the main set of sliders and switches. The unique settings of each track are determined by the white buttons in the bottom left, providing independent playback order, length of the sequence, division of the clock rate, and settings for swing, slide, and gate length. Diving deeper into the Track menus will reveal further capabilities, such as pitch transposition, note ranges, and more to give each track some further distinction from its counterpart. Metropolix also supports several parameters that can be assigned on a per-stage basis, allowing for things like ratcheting, probability, and other ways to inject new twists on your musical ideas.

Metropolix also offers eight internal Modulation lanes, which each offer eight stages of stored values and can be routed to the assignable A or B outputs, or a variety of internal parameters. These Mod lanes can have their own individual playback order, length, and clock division rate. For external modulations, three Aux inputs with attenuverters can be assigned freely, and two Ctrl knobs are available for hands-on control of assigned parameters at the twist of a knob (or two).

While Metropolix will remember its current state on power down, presets  can be stored as well. Eight banks of eight presets can provide 64 states of stored menu settings, without overwriting the current pitch slider and gate switch settings, allowing for powerful change at in instance without being musically jarring in a live setting.

Features:

  • Eight stage, 2 track sequencer
  • Master settings for Pitch, Pulse Count, and Gate Type provide the foundation for the independent sequencers
  • Per track settings for Order, Len, Div, Swing, Slide, and Gate
  • Per Stage settings for Slide, Skip, Pitch override, Gate override, Ratcheting, Probability, CV Accumulation
  • Eight modulation lanes with eight stages each, with independent Order, Len, and Div
  • Activate Loopy mode to trigger subsequences on a whim, or hook up a keyboard to access each stage manually
  • Assignable A and B modulation outputs
  • Mod lanes, Aux inputs, and Ctrl knobs may be mapped to a wide range of internal parameters
  • 64 presets stored in eight banks of eight presets each
  • Additional gate outputs available by connecting a Gx or Qx expander

Note: Eliraz makes clear that the video is sponsored, in part, by Intellijel.

Pricing and Availability

The Metropolix is priced at $579 USD and is officially ‘coming soon’.

Behringer Solina String Ensemble Sneak Preview

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Behringer shared this update/sneak preview of their upcoming Solina String Ensemble – a Eurorack format synth module based on the Eminent/ARP Solina string synth of the mid-70s.

The original Eminent/ARP Solina is a fully-polyphonic/paraphonic keyboard. It uses divide-down oscillators for full polyphony, but pairs them with a single envelope & filter. A BBD (Bucket Brigade Device) chorus delay effect gives the Solina its characteristic lush sound.

The Behringer version follows the pattern of several of their earlier synth knockoffs, closely copying the design of an original synth, but shrinking it down to a Eurorack-compatible module, adding a few patch points and minimal MIDI control. With the Solina, they’ve also incorporated a clone of the EHX Small Stone phaser, a classic pairing with string synths in the 70s.

Details on pricing and availability are to come.

via Andreas Markusen

Modern Sounds Intros Pluto Portable Modular Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

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Ann Arbor, MI based startup Modern Sounds shared this preview of their Pluto portable semi-modular synthesizer.

The design of Pluto draws from a legacy of portable electronic instruments, from the Buchla Music Easel to 80s Casio synthesizers. It features five channels of modulation (named for the five moons of Pluto), two voices, two sequencers, a mini-keyboard and onboard delay.

Features:

  • Compact 2-voice, 2-sequencer patchable synthesizer
  • Easily create complex, randomized sequences
  • Low-aliasing digital oscillators, wavetable oscillators
  • Mini touch keyboard
  • Clock range from 1 bpm to audio rates
  • Audio input for audio processing (line level)
  • Audio output (headphone, line out)
  • Quantize to preset scales, MIDI, or even audio input
  • Built-in delay with looping and glitch modes
  • Eurorack-compatible patch signals (5v)
  • Sync In & Out
  • MIDI In & Out (TRS, USB)
  • 2 channels CV Out (0-5v, default 1v/oct calibrated)
  • Power/charge via USB (Micro B, cable included)
  • Rechargeable 2500mAh battery

Pricing and Availability

Details are to be come.

Make Noise & Alessandro Cortini Intro Strega Synthesizer

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Make Noise today shared a sneak preview of their new Strega synthesizer with Sonic State, embedded above.

The Make Noise Strega – a collaboration with Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails, Blindoldfreak) – is a new desktop synth module in the style of the 0-Coast and 0-Control.

Official details on the design are still to be released, but the Strega (Italian for witch) combines a basic analog synthesizer, a multi-tap delay, complex modulation options and unique tactile controls.

It also offers an audio input, so it can be used for processing other instruments or be integrated with other modular gear.

Pricing and Availability

The Make Noise Strega is expected to be available in February for $599 USD. Details are still to be announced.

Korg Wavestate SE Offers 61-Note Keyboard With Aftertouch

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Ahead of the 2021 NAMM Show, Korg has shared a sneak preview of the Wavestate SE – a new edition of the Wavestate that offers a 61-note keyboard with aftertouch and a more premium build.

Features:

  • 61-key version of current 37-key wavestate now with aftertouch
  • New internal programs added, all sound programs optimized for aftertouch
  • Solid build, aluminum panel and knobs

Details on pricing are to be announced.

Korg SQ-64 Polyphonic Sequencer Offers Four Channels Of 64 Steps (Sneak Preview)

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Korg today shared this sneak preview of its upcoming SQ-64, a polyphonic step sequencer that’s designed to let you control a mix of hardware and software synths via MIDI and CV/Gate.

The SQ-64 has 64 illuminated Step button pads that let you quickly choose a step and then edit its values, using encoder knobs and dedicated mode buttons. Each step has graduated lighting; the higher the modulation value, the stronger the button lights up. An OLED provides details as you edit.

The Korg SQ-64 offers three melody tracks and a drum track. For each of the melody tracks, there are CV Gate, CV Pitch and CV Mod signals available via 3.5mm mini jacks. For the drum track, there are 8 trig outputs available via 3.5mm mini jacks.

MIDI In/Out is via 3.5mm stereo mini-jacks (type-A MIDI converter). Sync In/Out is also via 3.5mm mini-jacks.

The 64 pad Matrix can be also be used as a keyboard in several layouts:

  • Keys: A traditional piano layout.
  • Isomorphic: the notes are displayed symmetrically in rows, you can transpose the same chord pattern up and down without changing its shape
  • Octaves: one scale displayed in 3 different octaves on each row

Other features include an arpeggiator; Reverse, Bounce, Random, and Stochastic play modes; and pattern loop and chain.

Pricing and Availability

The Korg SQ-64 is expected to be available in January 2021 for 299 USD/EUR.