Teenage Engineering OP-1 Gets Price Cut For 10th Anniversary

Teenage Engineering OP-1 SynthesizerTeenage Engineering is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their OP-1 synthesizer, and has cut the price of the portable synth studio to $1,121, inspired by the device’s 2011-2021 life.

Here’s what TE co-founder Jesper Kouthoofd has to say about it:

“it all started with two prototypes. a clock radio and a synth. well, we decided to go with the synth and i guess we were right.

it was only david, me and jens back then, but we were soon joined by johan and david number two.’

i remember how we built the first prototype – an empty shell with a screen mounted on the inside. we squeezed into my honda element and drove all the way down to musik messe in frankfurt. and if i remember things right, emil was also with us at this time, but we really didn’t have a proper company yet so i guess he just joined the trip for fun.

the trade booth was just a black fabric backdrop and a table where we had placed the OP–1, under a thick piece of plexiglass. a computer under the table processed the graphics on the little oled screen.

it looked very real and the illusion even fooled ourselves as we estimated the launch just a couple of months away. (guess it was my fault, i am always a ’super-optimist’). well, it took us another two and a half years to complete it and here we are now, ten years after unit no. 01 was shipped.

the dream was to create a machine that lasted at least 20 years. we are halfway there… so big thanks and hugs to all of you. let’s celebrate ’halfway there’!”

The OP-1 inspired interest and controversy from the start, because of the way it combined a user-friendly, almost toy-like user interface with minimal design and powerful capabilities.

But 10 years later, the OP-1 is won Georgia Tech’s Margaret Guthman Award for instrument design, is part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, and is still being sold.

10 years is a pretty good run for any synthesizer or other piece of consumer tech. Or as Kouthoofd notes: “Halfway there!”

Details on the OP-1 are available at the TE site.

Live Ambient Performance With Oberheim, Moog & ARP Synths

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Sunday Synth Jam: This live performance, by Dutch synthesist Martin Peters, makes masterful use of analog synths like the Oberheim OB-Mx, Polymoog & Korg ARP Odyssey to create a modern take on classic synth music.

Here’s what Peters shared about the technical details of his performance:

“A couple of weeks ago I got my Oberheim OB-Mx back from repairs after it has been in repair for a year. There are 3 voicecards inside, each containing 2 voices, so it has 6 voices in total. But 1 of these voicecards could not be tuned anymore. The repair-shop could not find the problem so I still have 1 voicecard I cannot use.

Anyways, this video starts with the Oberheim OB-Mx having the VCA’s opened playing a G minor chord. The Minimoog solo comes in and there is a sort of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ deja-vu. The Polymoog with the Behringer VP1 Phaser accompanies the Minimoog. After that some tones are added from the Synthesizers.com Modular, Oberheim SEM and Korg ARP Odyssey with the VCA’s opened. Then the sequences start, adding the Joranalogue Generate 3 and Mutable Instruments Plaits. It all builds up to a climax where the Odyssey plays some notes. And after that it all fades out to nothing.

The track was recorded live to multi-track on the Behringer X32 Compact and mixed in Studio One afterwards. The mix only involves some gain staging, EQ and compression. No track edits where performed and no automation was used.”

Norand Mono Analog Synthesizer In Depth Demo

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In the latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the Norand Mono, a new synth that pairs an all-analog signal path with deep control and performance options.

The Mono features ‘contextual modulation’, a unique modulation system that gives you full control over every parameter. Each parameter has its own envelope and audio-frequency modulator – with 13 dedicated envelopes for modulation and 20 dedicated modulators.  Other features include a sequencer with ratcheting and probability per step, continuously variable waveforms and a wide range of randomization features.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:45 Overview
3:40 Mod per knob
6:10 Mod notes
8:50 Connectivity
9:50 Oscillators
11:50 Analog mods
14:10 Filter
16:30 Digital mods
19:35 X-env to depth
20:10 Sequencing
22:25 Randomize
22:50 Scales
23:10 Accent, slide
24:45 Custom accent
25:40 Automation
26:55 Mod note seq
28:00 Ratchet, prob
29:15 Unlink x-env
30:10 Advanced RND
31:40 Glitch sonata
32:40 Project & patterns
36:20 Pros & cons
42:30 Factory patterns
46:45 Outro jam

Pricing and Availability

The Norand Mono is available now for 700 €.

Polyend Medusa Updated With New 6-Voice FM Synth Engine….And Discontinued

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Polyend has announced the discontinuation of the Medusa Hybrid Synth, but has also released a major firmware update for it that adds a 6-voice FM synth engine.

The company says that “Medusa has played a very special role in Polyend growth and maturing, and its maintenance and technical support will be continued.”

Here’s what’s new in Medusa v4.0 firmware:

  • Added a 6-voice 3-operator digital FM synth engine,
  • Reworked pitch bend and glide,
  • Better “Channel per Voice” mode,
  • Added MIDI Program Change,
  • LFO Synchronization with MIDI Clock,
  • Additional bug fixes.

Audio Demos:

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The update is available now via the Polyend site.

Analogue Solutions Intros Leipzig v3 Advanced Analog Synthesizer

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British boutique synth maker Analogue Solutions let us know that the Leipzig v3, a new desktop analog synth that updates its discontinued rack-mountable Leipzig-S analog synth/sequencer, is now available.

Leipzig v3 is inspired by classic 70’s synth designs, and offers extensive routing possibilities, a Moog-style filter, two VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators) and an analog step sequencer.

Features:

  • Analog voice and modulation circuitry.
  • Moog style transistor ladder filter – 24db/Octave 4 pole.
  • Two analog VCOs with individual Glide (portamento).
  • Sub-VCO for extra depth and power.
  • Osc Sync & Cross-Mod.
  • Option to overdrive the mixer and filter.
  • Extensive modulation routing possibilities.
  • Versatile analog CV step sequencer – with a variety of clocking options.
  • 16-step sequencer, with transpose feature.
  • The sequencer can be used as a modulation source.
  • Versatile CV patch bay.
  • Rugged steel/aluminum construction.
  • MIDI In for DAW/software sequencing.
  • Headphone output.

Pricing and Availability

Leipzig v3 is available now for £849.00, excluding Tax/VAT.

Dirtywave M8 Mobile Tracker Now Available To Pre-Order

Dirtywave has announced that the M8 – a portable tracker sequencer and synthesizer – is now available to pre-order.

The M8 is powered by the Teensy micro-controller and inspired by the Gameboy tracker Little Sound DJ. It features 8 tracks of freely assignable instruments; waveform, FM and virtual analog synthesis; sample playback; and MIDI output.

Sequencer Specifications:

  • 8 Monophonic Tracks/Voices
  • 255 Patterns/Phrases & chains
  • 256 Instrument Tables for advanced modulation
  • 128 Instruments per song
  • Song Arranger with Live mode
  • Instantaneous song recall
  • Full MIDI input & Output support

Instruments & Effects:

  • Wavsynth – Classic console & computer chip emulation.
  • Macrosynth – Based on Mutable Instruments Braids
  • FM – 4 OP 12 algorithm with feedback per operator.
  • Sampler – 8/16/24 bit mono and full stereo wav format.
  • MIDI Instruments with 10 user definable CCs.
  • Global reverb, chorus, delay and a master bus limiter.
  • Sample recording and song rendering/bouncing.
  • No sample memory or length limitation.

Hardware Specifications:

  • 3.5mm TRS MIDI (Type A or Type B) input and output.
  • Stereo audio input and Headphone/main output
  • USB MIDI and Audio compliant
  • SDHC Micro SD slot for storage
  • 1200mAh USB rechargeable battery – up to 6 hours use.
  • High quality 2.8″ IPS display with capacitive touch
  • Dimensions: 96mm x 133mm x 18~20mm

Pricing and Availability

The M8 is available to pre-order for $450.00. Shipping is expected to start in July 2021.

Moog Sound Studio Offers Turnkey Eurorack Modular System In A Box

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Moog Music today introduced Moog Sound Studio, a new line of compact Eurorack synth systems, featuring two synthesizers, a new compact mixer, a cable organizer and other accessories.

Since Moog debuted their first Euro format synth 2015, their semi-modular synth line has expanded to become a full ecosystem, with the Mother-32, DFAM, Grandmother, Matriarch, and Subharmonicon. While these synths have been a hit with long-time Moog fans, the company has also found that users of any level of experience can get into these synths, with some guidance on how to build a system.

Moog has responded to this by developing the Sound Studio, which offers an all-in-one solution for synthesists of any skill level, along with tools to help new users get started.

Two Sound Studio options are available: Mother-32 & DFAM or DFAM & Subharmonicon.

Both options come with the accessories needed to set up a complete compact modular system, including two synths, a synth rack, cable organizer, mixer and more:

Here’s what Moog has to say about the Sound Studio:

The Moog Sound Studio offers a turnkey Eurorack modular system in a box.

“Each user begins their unique Moog Sound Studio journey by selecting an instrument combination to complement their musical style or sonic preference: Mother-32 & DFAM or DFAM & Subharmonicon.

Moog’s Mother-32 and DFAM synthesizers are a perfect pairing to anchor any electronic studio. Mother-32 is a versatile performance and production synthesizer with a powerful step sequencer and 64 slots of sequence memory. Its classic Moog voice delivers raw analog sound, deep Moog bass, and soaring synth leads, which complement DFAM’s rich analog rhythms and percussive patterns.

Subharmonicon is a rich sonic kaleidoscope of six-tone subharmonic chord shapes and polyrhythmic sequences. For a more experimental journey with unexpected textures and sounds, choose the magical combination of Subharmonicon and DFAM.

While each instrument is uniquely powerful alone, pairing two together creates an experience that will inspire you to create new sounds, unlock novel behaviors, synchronize patterns, and explore endless sonic possibilities.

Along with the chosen duo of semi-modular analog synthesizers, each Moog Sound Studio includes an audio mixer and power distribution hub, a two-tier rack mount kit, patch cables and a patch cable organizer, guided exercises and patch book, educational materials, games to encourage experimentation, custom artwork designed exclusively for Moog Sound Studio owners, and plenty of creative inspiration.”

Moog Sound Studio Accessories

The Moog Sound Studio introduces two new accessories: a new mixer/power distributor and a rack-mounted cable organizer:

We asked Moog if these will be available separately for existing Moog Eurorack system owners. They do not have plans to sell them separately at this time.

Explorations in Analog Synthesis

To celebrate the new systems, Moog has also released a seven-song EP that explores the sonic possibilities of both Moog Sound Studio synthesizer combinations.

It features a downtempo percussion collage from Bonobo, a neo-soul synth anthem from Peter Cottontale, a vocal drone from Julianna Barwick and more. Each track was built around the instruments and accessories included in one of the Sound Studios.

?Explorations in Analog Synthesis is available to stream for free or purchase by donation on Moog’s Bandcamp page, with all proceeds going to charity. You can preview it below:

Pricing and Availability

The Moog Sound Systems are available now, with the following pricing:

  • Moog Sound Studio: Mother-32 & DFAM is $1,399
  • Moog Sound Studio: Subharmonicon & DFAM is $1,449

See the Moog site for more information.

SOMA Lab COSMOS ‘Drifting Memory Station’

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Synth designer Vlad Kreimer shared this demo of the new SOMA Laboratory COSMOS Drifting Memory Station.

Here’s what he has to say about it:

COSMOS is a drifting memory station, designed to work with meditative states through music. The design of the controls, functions and generated soundscapes are intended to evoke, in both performer and listener, states and experiences inherent in meditation, such as limitless space, fluidity, spontaneous development, presence, the ability to hear, tranquility, the experience of subtle harmony and happiness enveloping the whole world.

From a functional point of view, COSMOS is a large array of sound memory, in which recorded sounds undergo constant recombinations, spontaneously generating an ever-changing soundscape. This is achieved in three ways — by a mathematical shift based on the relationships between large prime numbers (the size of all delay lines are different primes), an asynchronous operation of the LFO, and modulation with a slowly changing chaotic signal. As a result, it allows the endless layering and processing of various sounds, as in a looper, but without an intrusive, repetitive loop.

COSMOS generates rich, fluid and evolving soundscapes perfect for ambient music. Using COSMOS, you can play an entire meditative solo concert while being in a spontaneous flow and without using studio-prepared sequences, backing tracks and other things that can’t be a reflection of the “here and now”.

Here’s a demo with synthesizer:

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Pricing and Availability

COSMOS is available for pre-order for 480 Euros.

Make Noise Strega Review: Simple, Dirty And Interesting

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In his latest Sonic Lab video, host Nick Batt takes an in-depth look at the Strega, a new analog synth created by Make Noise, in collaboration with synthesist Alessandro Cortini.

“It sounds quite simple, and is,” notes Batt, “but it also sounds pretty interesting, capable of some lovely atmospheric textures and dirty, imperfect sounds with degraded feedback.”

Topics covered:

00:00? Introduction and overview
02:54? Oscillator
05:21? Activation (VCA)
06:29? Delay and filter
11:32? Patch demo
14:53? Functio generator
17:15? Touch Plates
22:05? Conclusion

Pricing and Availability

The Strega is available now for $599.

If you’ve used the Make Noise Strega, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

Overlays & Sound Packs For Modal Skulpt, Craft Synth 2.0

Oversynth– a company specializing in creating panel overlay mods for synths – has released a collection of overlays and sound packs for the Modal Skulpt and Craft Synth 2.0 synthesizers.

Oversynth says that the overlays are intended to allow sound designers and performing musicians to get the most out of the surprisingly deep sound engines, without the need to use a computer editor or look at an owner’s manual.

Overlays For Modal Skulpt and Craft Synth 2.0

The adhesive-backed overlays feature large fonts and high contrast artwork, designed for enhanced visibility in low light. Several of the designs also feature section color-coding, for faster navigation of the front panel controls.

Common sound editing tasks such as selecting a specific oscillator or LFO wave shape, mod mode, or modulation assignment become much easier with the help of these overlays. All of the 2nd and 3rd function control combinations are indicated with blue or grey highlighted labeling. In addition, the Craft Synth 2.0 overlays also show MIDI CC mappings for each of the controls.

Distorientation & Ambiente Oscuro Sound Packs

Oversynth has also released two new sound packs for these synths.

Both sound packs feature 64 original Dark Ambient / SciFi synth patch-scapes, ideal for use in soundtrack, video game, or other mood-based genres. The sounds include noisy FM textures, warm distorted drones, and pulsating feedback flutters.

You can preview the new sound packs below:

Distorientation for Skulpt:

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Ambiente Oscuro for the Craft Synth 2.0:

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See the Oversynth site for more information.