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Roland has announced that it new performance synth - the Jupiter-80 - is now shipping, off...

Roland says that realism is at the very heart of its new Jupiter-80 performance synth. The company claims that the kind of expressive acoustic instrument authenticity delivered by its analog sound modeling technology simply couldn't have been made available before now. Studio and live performers can access a huge bank of preset sounds which are said to go beyond mere sampling of acoustic, electric, orchestral and ethnic instruments, then manipulate those sounds into something vintage, modern or futuristic, or create and store their own layered sonic stacks. Control of the action comes courtesy of a touchscreen display and numerous buttons, knobs and sliders.  Read More

Native Instruments has unveiled new versions of its Guitar Rig, Kontakt and Komplete digit...

Mobile music-making apps like Amplitube and GarageBand have proven themselves to be popular, powerful and versatile additions to the digital toolbox of both bedroom enthusiast and professional alike. Dedicated computer software is by no means dead in the water yet, though, as evidenced by the new releases from Native Instruments. The computer-based music production and performance specialist has announced new versions of its Guitar Rig amp and effects package and Kontakt sampler, and the multi-product Komplete bundle.  Read More

Using a technique known as circuit bending, Reed Ghazala has transformed a talking dinosau...

Ever since a chance encounter with the new soundscape produced by a short-circuited toy amplifier in the 1960s, Reed Ghazala has been randomly exploring audio generation in compromised electronic devices such as talking games and toys. He has written a book on the subject, teaches others to bend circuits, and has created experimental instruments for many well-known artists including Tom Waits and Peter Gabriel. His latest work started life as an educational dinosaur game – which was broken apart, rewired and rebuilt, and then introduced to a plasma globe to become the Radiopool Thereglyph.  Read More

Korg has announced a compact, portable version of it popular Wavedrum percussion synth, wh...

At the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim recently, Korg unveiled a new oriental version of its famous Wavedrum percussion synthesizer, designed specifically for Middle Eastern music. For Musikmesse 2011 in Frankfurt, the company has announced that its Wavedrum technology has been reduced down into a compact, portable, playable pad with a built-in speaker and effects. The Wavedrum Mini also features a clip sensor which is said to allow users to transform finger taps and hand slaps made on just about any surface into synthesized, amplified percussive sounds.  Read More

Korg monotribe front panel

When Korg's US trademark for "monotribe" was discovered in the lead up to Musikmesse, it was pretty obvious that we were about to meet a device that incorporated elements of the wonderful monotron analog synthesizer and the Electribe range - but that doesn't make these leaked shots any less exciting.  Read More

Roland has announced the latest evolutionary leap in the world of guitar synth technology:...

In the late seventies, Roland took the sonic palette available to keyboard players and opened it up to guitarists, with the introduction on the GR-500. It was quite simply a marvel, but is positively primitive when compared to the latest evolutionary leap taken by the company with the GR-55 guitar synthesizer. Featuring a pair of independent synthesizer sound engines and a Composite Object Sound Modeling (COSM) engine, the device makes hundreds of different sounds available to the player – anything from pianos to strings, drums to synths, various acoustic and electric guitar and bass emulations, as well as numerous amplifiers.  Read More

CyberStep says that it has developed the world's first fully portable, handheld digital au...

Japan's CyberStep has announced its expansion into the music business, with the development of the KDJ-ONE portable digital audio workstation (DAW). The device brings a synthesizer, sequencer, and multitrack audio editing into one unit, which sees user interaction via a touchscreen, a keypad, arrow pad and jog control. The mobile DAW is powered by an Atom processor, has included SSD storage and microSD expansion, and benefits from USB and Wireless LAN connectivity.  Read More

Eowave has released an update to its ribbon synthesizer - the Persephone Mark II

Ever since the dawn of electronics, inventors have looked at weird and wonderful ways of getting at the wealth of opportunities offered by synthesized sound. The instruments through which such sounds are controlled by a player have enjoyed much variety in form, size and functionality in the years since. While most have been keyboard-based, some – like the Theremin – have broken away from tradition to offer an altogether different way of playing. French sound and sensor innovator Eowave has recently updated an instrument that uses a more modern approach to the ribbon-based synthesizer technology used by the likes of Dr Freidrich Adolf Trautwein for his Trautonium – the Persephone Mark II.  Read More

Sonic Charge Patternarium

I've been a registered owner of Sonic Charge's µTonic (pronounced MicroTonic) drum/percussion synthesizer for years - but a new online tool from Sonic Charge called Patternarium is likely to make it one of my most used plugins when I'm looking for some inspiration in the studio. They're calling it a "giant collaborative patch randomizer," and my explanation of that won't fit in this summary.  Read More

Korg's $85 monotron analog synthesizer

Korg has been a big player in the democratization of music production in recent years, with the mini Kaoss Pad effects device, the Kaossilator phrase synthesizer and the incredibly affordable nanoSeries USB MIDI controllers finding their way into the kit bags of countless budding rockstars (and many actual rockstars). Its latest noise maker is the monotron, a dead simple analog synthesizer featuring a ribbon controller (essentially a touch panel instead of keys, which is incredibly "playable" even for amateurs) and the same filter used in the classic MS-10 and MS-20 analog synthesizers which are still some of the most sought-after vintage synths on the planet.  Read More

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