synthesizer

This portable, rechargeable synth focuses on the pretty side of modular

Modern Sounds Normally when people talk about “modular synths”, you probably envision a giant Eurorack system with thousands of dollars worth of modules and rats nests of patch cables forming impossibly complex networks. But, over the past few years companies have made a concerted effort to bring the flexibility of modular to smaller and more …

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Liven XFM is a $199 groovebox for ’80s fetishists

Sonicware Sonicware first broke on the scene with the ELZ_1 a few years back — a portable multimode synth that’s seemed to draw inspiration from Teenage Engineering’s OP-1. Then last year it announced the Liven 8-Bit Warps, a looping synth with a collection of engines for creating your own chirpy chiptunes. Now, before its even …

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Poly Effects fully merges Digit and Beebo into one super pedal

The Poly Effects Digit and Beebo are two of the more interesting guitar pedals to come out in the last few years. They feature large touchscreens and incredible depth for designing your own effects and instruments. They’re basically virtual modular synths in a pedal format. While Digit and Beebo have different strengths, they are built …

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Korg teases Drumlogue, a hybrid analog / digital groovebox

Korg is teasing the next member of the ‘logue family, the Drumlogue. We don’t have all the details right now as it’s still under development, but we do know it will be a hybrid analog / digital groovebox. Judging from the short teaser video, that means some analog drum voices similar to the Volca Beats, …

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Korg’s ARP 2600 M is a ‘mini’ version of an iconic synth

Last year Korg announced a limited edition remake of the ARP 2600. It’s about as iconic as synths get. But, the 2600 is a beast of an instrument. The whole package, including the keyboard, weighs about 68 pounds and would basically demand it’s own table or desk. Technology has come along way since the original …

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Uno Synth Pro is IK Multimedia’s attempt to move beyond budget instruments

IK Multimedia It was only two years ago that IK Multimedia decided to branch out from its normal MIDI controllers and mobile audio interfaces to try its hand at building a standalone synthesizer. The Uno Synth was pretty successful — it packed big authentic analog sound into a portable and affordable package. But now the …

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Vocal synth with teeth is equally hilarious and horrifying

Love Hulten No, 2020 isn’t done with deeply unnerving technology just yet. The artist Love Hulten has built VOC-25, a vocal synthesizer where each of the keys is represented by a set of plastic teeth. Yes, it’s just as freaky in action as it looks. Play a piece and you’ll watch the teeth clatter as …

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Arturia’s flagship instrument bundle is getting a major upgrade…

In the world of softsynths Arturia’s V Collection and Analog Lab are two of the best bangs for your musical buck. (The fact that they frequently go on sale for half price doesn’t hurt, either.) And today both are getting major upgrades. Though, there is some bad news, the price of V Collection is going …

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Arturia’s MicoFreak gets a vocoder mode and limited-edition makeover

Vanessa Strub When Arturia announced the MicroFreak in January of 2019 I said “there’s nothing stopping Arturia from adding more oscillators down the road through firmware updates.” And the company has not disappointed. This past January it added a noise oscillator, plus chord and scale modes for simplified playing. Now owners are getting a vocoder …

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Roland marks TR-808’s 40th anniversary with a documentary and freebies

Roland It’s the TR-808 drum machine’s 40th anniversary this year, and Roland is marking 808 Day (8/08, of course) with a flood of goodies to celebrate the legendary instrument. To begin with, there’s a mini documentary (with a convenient 8:08 running time) detailing the device’s use in songs over the decades, right down to the …

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