D16 Intros “The Definitive 303 Emulation”, Phoscyon 2

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D16 has introduced Phoscyon 2, a software emulation of the legendary Roland TB-303 bassline synthesizer that they say “has been taken to entirely new heights.”

While D16 says that the signal path has been designed to “achieve an unprecedented level of emulation accuracy”, Phoscyon 2’s design otherwise diverges significantly from the classic 303, adding a robust FX chain tailored to “acidic squeaks” and an original sequencer and arpeggiator, designed to make it easy to edit patterns and perform with them live.

Other features include:

  • Substantial factory content
  • Over 800 presets and patterns in factory content
  • Several UI sizes and HiDPI support for better screen fit
  • MIDI Learn for easy controller assignment

Here’s a demo of the factory presets:

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Pricing and Availability

Phoscyon 2 is available now with an intro price of 89 Eur (normally 119 Eur).

via Absolut

Cherry Audio Introduces Elka Synthex-Inspired Elka-X Software Synth

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Cherry Audio has introduced their latest software synthesizer, Elka-X, inspired by the rare Elka Synthex., used iconically by synthesist Jean-Michel Jarre.

Elka-X replicates the original hardware synth’s character, and expands on the original’s synthesis capabilities.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Cherry Audio precisely crafted each aspect of the Elka-X synthesizer to sound and behave exactly like a vintage hardware Synthex. Every effort was taken to emulate the prized tone of the original’s DCOs, dynamic filter, and stunning chorus. The innovative sound-sculpting and performance features such as layering and keyboard split have been preserved, and the original’s 128-step sequencer has been greatly improved.

As with its other synthesizer and effects products, Cherry Audio has kept the soul of a classic alive while updating its feature set for modern studio environments.

Elka-X expands the polyphony and filter modes and introduces mono and unison modes that were absent from the original design. The extended functionality of the LFOs and addition of velocity response expands modulation potential, and a new arpeggiator delivers new performance possibilities.

Elka-X adds studio-quality echo and reverb stereo effects, with independent settings for both layers.”

Here’s an in-depth intro, featuring synthesist & developer Tim Shoebridge:

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Pricing and Availability:

Elka-X is available now for Windows and Mac (VST/VST3, AU, AAX and standalone) with an intro price of $39 USD until September 18th, 2022 (MSRP $59 USD).

iceGear Instruments Intros Nambu, An FM Synthesizer With A Difference

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iceGear Instruments has introduced Nambu, a new 6-operator FM soft synthesizer that’s not designed to mimic the FM synths of 40 years ago.

Nambu is a semi-modular FM synthesizer that they say “incorporates modern ideas, not designed to recreate the sound and workflow of a vintage FM synthesizer.”

It’s not compatible with vintage FM synthesizers and you can’t import old DX7 patches. It doesn’t even come with a lot of patches – the synth is designed for people who want to do new things with FM.

Features:

  • 6 Operator Types
    • FM Operator
    • Noise Operator + AM
    • Oscillator Operator (Analog synthesizer style oscillator) + AM
    • Texture Operator + AM
    • Filter Operator
    • Resonator Operator
  • Operator Matrix Mixer
    • The Matrix mixer creates an operator network that is not limited to traditional “Algorithm” methods.
  • Modulation sources
    • 4x LFOs
    • 4x Envelopes
    • 2x Step sequencer
    • 2x Keyboard scaling
    • 2x Velocities
    • 2x Macros
  • Effects
    • Chorus
    • Delay
    • Reverb
  • Program Arpeggiator
    • You can easily create your own pattern.
  • Universal App
    • It is compatible with iPad and iPhone.
  • Audio Unit Extensions (AUv3)
    • You can use this AUv3 Plug-In in a host application that supports Audio Unit Extensions (AUv3).
  • Audiobus
    • You can stream live audio directly to an Audiobus compatible application. See https://audiob.us for more information.
  • Ableton Link
    • Link is a technology that keeps devices in time over a local network. See https://www.ableton.com/link/ for more information.
  • MIDI input
    • Core MIDI, Virtual MIDI, Inter-App Audio MIDI Input
    • MIDI clock synchronization
    • MIDI controller mapping
  • Preset sharing
    • You can share your presets with other users. You can add presets created by other users to your preset library using the iOS Share Extension feature.

Here are the official intro videos:

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Pricing and Availability

Nambu is available now for $14.99 USD.

Cherry Audio Miniverse Modules Make The Moog Minimoog Modular For $39

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Cherry Audio and MRB have introduced the Miniverse Module Collection, an expansion of the Miniverse virtual instrument into 14 flexible modules for use with the Voltage Modular platform.

In a nutshell, the Miniverse Modules make the Moog Minimoog modular as a collection of modules for the Voltage Modular virtual synth platform. And it’s polyphonic!

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“It retains all the classic tone and mojo that made the original Mini great while freeing users of the fixed ‘hard-wired’ limitations of the original. Poly module versions are also included for up to 16-note polyphony, giving users the ability to design the ultimate Mini of their dreams.

The Miniverse Module Collection components have been expertly adapted to the modular workflow. Award-winning synth designer Mark Barton’s (MRB) proprietary DSP coding reproduces every sonic nuance, every curve, and every response of the audio based on the original hardware. In addition, polyphonic module versions of the oscillator, mixer, filter, glide, contour, and VCA sections are included for up to 16-voice polyphony via poly jacks.”

The 14 module Miniverse Module Collection includes:

  • Miniverse Oscillator and Poly Miniverse Oscillator modules super accurately replicate the famously brawny sounds of the original Mini.
  • Miniverse Filter and Poly Miniverse Filter are 24dB/oct, lowpass filters based on the famous transistor ladder filter.
  • Miniverse Glide and Poly Miniverse Glide modules allows notes to slide smoothly from one pitch to the next and Mini’s unique glide unique asymmetrical glide characteristics are accurately emulated.
  • Miniverse Mixer and Poly Miniverse Mixer are four-channel mixers, usable with audio or CV signals.
  • Miniverse Contour and Poly Miniverse Contour are ADS envelope generators used to dynamically shape note volume, filter cutoff, or any other voltage-controlled mod destination.
  • Miniverse Noise faithfully replicates the Mini’s noise section. It’s not apparent from the front panel, but the original instrument actually contains white, pink, and red noise generators.
  • Miniverse VCA and Poly Miniverse VCA replicate the unique mojo of the original Mini circuit. They are usable with audio or CV signals.
  • Miniverse A-440 module replicates the Mini’s unique tuning reference oscillator circuit.

Pricing and Availability

The Miniverse Module Collection is available now, with an introductory price of $39 (list $59). A 50% discount from the $39 price is available for customers who previously purchased the Miniverse instrument. For those new to the Voltage Modular platform, it’s fully compatible with our FREE Voltage Modular Nucleus Edition, with no operational limitations. A free seven-day demo of Miniverse Module Collection is also available. T

Spitfire Audio Releases Originals Epic Choir, Featuring The Sound Of A 50 Voice Vocal Ensemble

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Spitfire Audio has introduced Originals Epic Choir, a new software synth that features the sound of a 50-piece large-scale ensemble of London’s finest vocalists, recorded in the hallowed (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios.

Originals Epic Choir features 50 singers, which is the biggest ensemble of voices that we’ve recorded yet,” nootes Spitfire Audio in-house composer Homay Schmitz. “It’s been recorded at AIR Studios’ Lyndhurst Hall, so you get those beautiful acoustics; with it also being a former church, you get the singers in a traditional habitat as well.”

Features:

  • 50-piece ensemble
  • Recorded at Lyndhurst Hall, AIR Studios — home of blockbuster scores
  • Three bespoke signals (Close, Tree, Ethereal)
  • Split into two sections — Sopranos & Altos / Tenors & Bass — both sections offering identical articulations
  • Classic shorts and longs, as well as ‘episodic’ vowel blending textures and short staccato syllables, alternating between vowel sounds

Presets:

  • Sopranos & Altos: Long Ahh — A long sustained note, sung on the vowel sound “ahh”
  • Sopranos & Altos: Long Mmm — A long sustained note, hummed on the consonant “mmm”
  • Sopranos & Altos: Episodic Combo 1 — A long episodically changing sustained note, blending between a combination of different vowel sounds, for a textural and shifting sound
  • Sopranos & Altos: Episodic Combo 2 — A long episodically changing sustained note, blending between a combination of different vowel sounds, for a textural and shifting sound
  • Sopranos & Altos: Short Staccato Syllables — A short, sharp sound, sung on one of up to seven different syllabic sounds
  • Sopranos & Altos: Short Staccato Syllables (keyswitch) — A short, sharp sound, sung on one of up to seven different syllabic sounds, with keyswitch functionality to change between specific syllables
  • Tenors & Basses: Long Ahh — A long sustained note, sung on the vowel sound “ahh”
  • Tenors & Basses: Long Mmm — A long sustained note, hummed on the consonant “mmm”
  • Tenors & Basses: Episodic Combo 1 — A long episodically changing sustained note, blending between a combination of different vowel sounds, for a textural and shifting sound
  • Tenors & Basses: Episodic Combo 2 — A long episodically changing sustained note, blending between a combination of different vowel sounds, for a textural and shifting sound
  • Tenors & Basses: Short Staccato Syllables — A short, sharp sound, sung on one of up to seven different syllabic sounds
  • Tenors & Basses: Short Staccato Syllables (keyswitch) — A short, sharp sound, sung on one of up to seven different syllabic sounds, with keyswitch functionality to change between specific syllables

Controls:

  • Reverb — A realistic Hall-style impulse response
  • Release — A release trigger which only applies to long patches
  • Tightness — This cuts further into the note to make it tighter and only applies to short patches

Signals:

  • Close – Valve spot mics summed together for a direct and upfront image of the string ensemble.
  • Tree – A decca tree microphone array, giving a spacious and enveloping sound.
  • Ethereal – A treated signal (saturation, reverb, EQ) which adds texture, brightness and width to the vocals, while retaining an organic feel

Pricing and Availability:

Originals Epic Choir is available now as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible plug-in, supporting Native Instruments’ NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD) for Mac (OS X 10.13 – macOS 12) and Windows (7, 8, 10, and II — latest Service Pack) priced at £29.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$29.00 USD/€29.00 EUR (inc. VAT).

Download A Free Symphony Orchestra

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Spitfire Audio has released BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover – described as “an inspiring gateway into orchestral composition” – as a free download.

The free virtual instrument collection features 33 instruments, and the same professional recording quality as both their Core and Professional editions, but in a lightweight and accessible package (only 200mb).

Each edition is fully interchangeable through Spitfire’s mode switching technology, making it easy to share and collaborate with other composers, regardless of the edition that they own.

BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover is available as a free download, for Mac and Windows, at the Spitfire Audio site.

GForce Software & Tom Oberheim Intro Oberheim SEM Software Synth

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Tom Oberheim and GForce Software have introduced GForce Oberheim SEM, a software synth for Mac & Windows that recreates the sound of Oberheim’s classic synth design.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“When Tom Oberheim created the first Oberheim® Synthesizer Expander Module (model SEM-1) in 1974, he had one goal – to make a synth that sounded great, whilst being extremely simple to use. In the decades since the release of this iconic synth, it’s been used by countless legendary musicians, making the SEM one of the most revered synthesizers of all time.

As well as painstakingly recreating the huge, unmistakable sound of the SEM, the GForce Oberheim SEM also recreates the ethos of the original – a simple monophonic synth that allows you to shape incredible sounds in an instant. And with Tom Oberheim’s seal of approval, you can be confident in its authenticity. Add to this more than 400+ categorised patches, and inspiration is just moments away.”

While GForce Oberheim SEM is designed to recreate the sound of the original, the software version of the synth feature several enhancements over the original.

Alongside a new VCO3, which doubles as an LFO with audio rate for additional modulation and FM possibilities, the SEM now has tempo-syncable LFOs with multiple wave shapes, and a host of performance controls via velocity and aftertouch. It also features an arpeggiator & sequencer, a stereo delay and a lush reverb.

Finally, it features 400+ factory patches designed by top sound designers, designed to demonstrate the sonic range of the SEM. Every patch has been categorised and is quickly accessible from the patch browser (arrow navigation friendly). The SEM also integrates with the GForce Oberheim OB-E, so you can load SEM presets in either device. This means you can sketch out your sounds in the SEM, and then make them polyphonic in an instant.

Features:

  • Recreation of the monophonic SEM experience and sound
  • Augmented with a 3rd VCO
  • 400+ factory Patches designed to fit in a mix, all tagged and categorized
  • Librarian for easy access to the presets
  • Sequencer, Arpeggiator, Stereo Delay, Reverb
  • Undo/Redo, Extended and Flip mode
  • SEM presets can be exported to and imported from OB-E
  • Extensive Velocity & Aftertouch modulation

Audio Demo:

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Pricing and Availability:

The GForce Oberheim SEM is available now, with  an intro price of £29.99 + VAT (normally £49.99 +VAT).

Arturia Intros Their Biggest Software Bundle To Date, Sound Explorers Collection Belledonne

Arturia has introduced their biggest software bundle to date, Sound Explorers Collection Belledonne.

The Sound Explorers Collection Belledonne builds on the expansive collection that originally marked Arturia’s 20th anniversary in 2019; it now features 33 V Collection instruments, the latest version of cutting-edge softsynth Pigments, the 26 plugins included in FX Collection 3, and the Exploration Sound Library.

Here’s what’s included:

  • V Collection 9 – The latest version of Arturia’s reference instrument suite, with 33 classic and modern software instruments – the ultimate hit-making ensemble.
  • FX Collection 3 – The latest version of Arturia’s curated selection of classic studio effects and creative production plugins, re-engineered for modern producers.
  • Pigments – State-of-the-art multi-engine softsynth, combining instantly-gratifying modern sound with deep sound design in one thrilling instrument.
  • Exploration Sound Library – 50 best-selling sound banks with over 4000 presets in total, unlocking a wealth of versatile and exciting sounds for every style.
  • 256GB SSD – Quick and easy installation, including additional available storage space to back up your important music projects and files.

Pricing and Availability

Sound Explorers Collection Belledonne will be available to buy exclusively from dealers worldwide, and exclusively from Sweetwater in the USA, until September 27th, with a street price of about $800 USD. Contact or visit your local store to purchase.

Tracktion Intros Novum, A New Take On Granular Synthesis

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Tracktion Corporation has introduced Novum, a next-generation granular synthesizer from Dawesome.

Novum is a creative sampler plugin which combines spectral, granular and subtractive synthesis. Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Similar to how a prism takes white light and splits it into separate colors, Novum takes a sound and separates it into natural tone ‘colors’. Its unique decomposition algorithm allows users to break down any sample into layers, providing the freedom to edit them individually. This enables easy cross synthesis via the drag and drop of timbres and envelopes from other samples.

The granular engine provides as many as 6 layers and has unique features like Homogenization to create delicate velvet-like sound textures that are hard to achieve with classical granular synthesis.

Extracted tone colors can by spectrally modified through the timbre flower that offers variations on the original.”

Novum Preset Demo:

Here are examples of Novum in action:

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Pricing and Availability:

Novum is available now, with an intro price of $179.

Roland Updates SP-404MKII Sampler With v2.0 Firmware, Adding TR-REC Style Step Sequencing & More

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Roland has released a free firmware update for the SP-404MKII SP Sampler.

The revamped sampler and effector is better than ever, with an enhanced VariPhrase Encoder algorithm and an expanded MFX library, including Harmony Effects for endless performance possibilities. For the first time, creators can also use TR-REC style step sequencing, an all-new recording mode existing alongside traditional real-time pattern recording.

Roland’s info on the update is pretty minimal – they’ve shared release notes and some tips and tricks – but we’ve embedded their official overview video above.

Topics covered:

0:00 – INTRO
0:26 – CHROMATIC MODE
1:45 – TR-REC
5:25 – MOTION RECORD
7:57 – CHROMATIC MODE IN PATTERNS
8:38 – UNDO
9:07 – SOUND ENGINE
9:57 – CHANGE PARAMETERS OF MULTIPLE SAMPLES
10:45 – NEW EFFECTS
13:17 – SNAP TO ZERO CROSSING
13:36 – SKIP BACK
13:52 – STOP ALL SAMPLES
14:12 – DJ MODE