Tiptoe through just about any online music synthesis forum and it won't be too long before you stumble across an Analog vs. Digital
debate. Both have their legions of dedicated followers, but if you're looking to dabble in some analog waveform manipulation and don't relish the thought of getting tangled up in patch cable spaghetti or having to sell the car and break your back to buy and install something like the Moog System 55
, futuresonus has developed a tabletop-friendly analog synth that features digital controls called Parva. The polyphonic synth offers eight voices, each with its own oscillators and filters, and is claimed the first analog synth to boast a USB master port.
Though still in demand, classic analog synthesizers from decades past can be a bit of a nightmare to keep in good working order. Many modern digital emulators do a decent enough job of recreating the epic sounds of artists like Jean Michelle Jarre, Kraftwerk and Soft Cell, but some believe that they just don't have the same iconic sound qualities. Such is the thinking of a team of designers and engineers led by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox, which has created a next gen music synth named Modulus.002. The boutique polyphonic sound machine mixes classic analog sound creation techniques with some digital magic to give musicians access to the kind of sounds made famous by vintage instruments of yesteryear.
Seeing the Airpiano being played, one can't help but be reminded of a graceful martial artist, musical conductor or mysterious magician. The innovative interface is activated and controlled by moving a hand in mid-air above the flat display surface and within range of a sensor array matrix. Driven by custom software, the device can put a huge library of tones and sounds at a player's disposal.
Denmark's audio manufacturer TC Electronic launched a new tuning pedal at this year's National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show in California. Guitarists needing to do a quick tuning tweak will be now able to strum all six strings at once and the Polytune will advise if any are in need of some attention.