If you’re an Aira fan running the TR-8, VT-3, TB-3 and System-1 simultaneously in sync while tweaking a tune out of them, your prayers have just been answered. The new similarly-styled MX-1 fixes all potential problems, operating as one central control for all your green ‘n’ black boxes.

The MX-1 makes no sound itself, being what Roland is calling a ‘performance optimised mixing instrument’, and while it’s clearly ideal for use with multiple Airas, it can be used as a digital mixer (with six analogue ins on the back), or as a control surface (with the knobs and sliders all assignable to CCs) as well. In fact, Roland is so keen to stress its multiple uses that the company stopped short of edging the unit in Aira-green, despite the similar styling.
Control of each of your Airas comes via four dedicated ‘Aira Only’ USB connections on the back which allow you to hook up your kit with a single cable each. The USB carries sync and control information from the MX-1 to the connected Airas, while also carrying audio back to its mixer and extensive filter and effects sections. There’s even an external effects send and return for you to get your old outboard involved.

It’s worth ‘noting’ that the MX isn’t a sequencer, and all note info is supplied via the patterns onboard your Airas or via a laptop connected to the MX (via a fifth USB socket) running your DAW of choice. So that’s all your other synths, your DAW output and your Airas all in one place, ready for tweaking with the MX-1 before being outputted as a mixed stereo out via its built-in audio interface.

The onboard effects – including DJ-styled filters and Aira’s trademark Scatter – can be programmed and sequenced via a TR-style 16-step interface which runs alongside the musical patterns being played elsewhere. In action, it’s a highly tweakable fast track to brand new performance possibilities.

The MX-1 looks like the perfect partner for an extended Aira setup and a state-of-the-art digital mixer (with built-in effects and interface). Or it’s a super-tactile mix/synth tweaking control surface, with a further option to take hands-on control of 18 channels of DAW output.

Price is TBC; check out the Roland website for more.

Roland Aira MX-1 feature highlights

  • 18 channel performance mixer with step-sequenced FX, transport, and tempo control
  • Three kinds of step-sequenced Beat FX (Filter, Side Chain, Slicer) with TR-style buttons
  • Six kinds of Master FX (48 variations) with large performance control knob
  • Beat FX and Master FX can be applied to any or all inputs; Beat FX are per channel
  • Combi mode rhythmically alternates the Master FX using the step-sequencer
  • Four AIRA Link USB ports support audio, MIDI, sync, and bus power (on Port 3) for AIRA gear
  • Mix mode provides six analogue, one digital (stereo), four AIRA (stereo), and two PC channels through mixer and FX
  • External mode provides 18 channels from DAW through mixer and FX (all inputs direct to DAW)
  • Control Surface mode for full DAW control via MIDI
  • DJ-style cue monitoring, quick mutes, and six fader curves per channel
  • Per-channel Tone/Filter knob with ten kinds of EQs, filters, and isolators
  • Transport and tempo control with fine, shuffle, and tap-tempo functions
  • Instantly save and recall complete setups including all FX configurations

Via MusicRadar



Arturia today introduced the BeatStep Pro — a flagship controller and dynamic performance step sequencer that they call ‘a sequencing powerhouse’. The BeatStep Pro has been designed to let you work with MIDI-, USB-, CV/Gate-, or DIN Sync-equipped gear. BeatStep Pro has been designed from the ground up to provide a hands-on hardware sequencing experience. It offers 16 touch-sensitive knobs, for entering of pitch, gate, velocity amounts, and timing shifts per step.

It includes two independent (colour-coded) monophonic step sequencers, each with dedicated displays to show the current playback position and bank length of the currently selected sequence. SEQUENCER 1 and SEQUENCER 2 have been greatly expanded with up to 64 steps per sequence, 16 sequences per project, and 16 projects, making BeatStep Pro one of the more powerful step sequencers ever made. each sequencer has its own 1V/Oct CV (Control Voltage) and (10V) GATE outputs to connect to suitably-equipped analogue synthesizers, together with a separate VELO (Velocity) output to allow for even more possibilities when working with a modular synth system setup.

An additional DRUM sequencer allows for 16 separate tracks of sequencing. Record in quantised realtime via the 16 pressure sensitive pads or use the 16 step buttons for a classic drum machine workflow. when working in SEQ1 and SEQ2 mode, the pads can control pitch transposition as well as accessing various musical scales — such as Chromatic, Major, Minor, Dorian, Mixolydian, Harm Minor, Blues, and also a User setting — while the DRUM sequencer itself also has eight DRUM GATES at its disposal (to send gate outputs from the corresponding pads for triggering external devices).

BeatStep Pro is also a controller. Switching from PROJECT to CONTROL MODE means users can trigger clips in their favourite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), play drum sounds from an external module, or adjust parameters in their favourite plug-in. Possibilities are (almost) endless, limited only by (lack of) imagination.

Beatstep Pro also offers performance effects, including a realtime ROLLER/LOOPER touch strip; PROBABILITY, RANDOMNESS, and SWING settings.

Features:

  • 2 monophonic step sequencers
    • Up to 64 steps per sequence
    • Note, velocity and gate time settings per step
    • Note tie
  • 16-track drum sequencer (one track per pad)
    • MIDI controller mode
    • Fully customizable for knobs, step buttons and velocity and pressure sensitive pads
    • Send MIDI CC, note data, program changes
  • 16 Projects, each with 16×2 sequences, 16 drum sequences and a controller map.
  • Performance controls
  • Randomizer with Amount and Probability settings
  • Real-time looper/roller touch strip
  • Independent swing amount per sequence
  • Touch sensitive knobs
  • Tap Tempo
  • Connectivity
    • CV/GATE outputs (1 volt per octave CV, 10 volt gates)
    • 8 drum gate outputs
    • Clock sync with multiple standards
    • MIDI In/Out with supplied MIDI adaptors
    • USB class compliant
  • Kensington lock

BeatStep Pro will be shipping in Spring 2015 and available for €249.00 EUR/$299.00 USD. See the Arturia site for details.

Via Synthtopia


Featuring audio import, many more waveforms, wavetable and granular synthesis, new sounds and FX and enhanced browsing features, it certainly looks like a chunky upgrade, and one that’s been many years in the making.

“Our biggest goal with Omnisphere 2 is to offer more freedom to create for every type of person using it,” states Spectrasonics’ Founder and Creative Director Eric Persing. “This is the first ‘version 2′ of any of our software instruments, and it’s monumental! We had a blast creating all the features and sounds over many years and we can’t wait to see what our users are inspired to do with Omnisphere 2.”

You can check out Omnisphere 2’s specs below – it’ll be released on 30 April priced at $499/€399. The standard upgrade price will be $249/€199. Find out more in the video above and on the Spectrasonics website.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere features

Vast New Synthesis Possibilities

  • Audio Import – Use your own audio file as a soundsource in Omnisphere
  • Over 400 New DSP Waveforms for the Synth Oscillator – an increase of 100X
  • Wavetable Synthesis – Each Waveform is now a Morphing Wavetable
  • Powerful New Granular Synthesis algorithm
  • Deeper FM/Ring Mod capabilities for aggressive timbres
  • 8 New Filter Types – New Power Filters, Vowel, Resonators
  • New Unison Drift models Analog Polysynth behavior
  • Expanded Modulation with new sources and many more targets
  • Polyphonic LFO and Modulation Envelope options
  • Soundsource Reversing

Now includes over 10,000 sounds

  • More than 3,000 New patches and soundsources from acclaimed Spectrasonics Sound Design Team
  • New Omnisphere EDM library with cutting-edge, modern sounds
  • New Exclusive Soundsources from Diego Stocco’s Custom Built Instruments
  • New category of Phrase-based Soundsources for granular synthesis
  • Hundreds of new Circuit Bent Soundsources
  • Many Innovative new Psychoacoustic Soundsources
  • New Melodic Cave Stalactites Soundsources
  • …and much, much more!

New Interface:

  • Redesigned Wider User Interface with many improvements
  • New Show Modulation pane opens modulation routings/sources on left side
  • New Mini-Browser available at all times
  • Larger Full Browser Design

Enhanced Browsing experience:

  • Sound Match™ feature instantly locates any related sounds in the library
  • Sound Lock™ allows endless useful variations by locking sound aspects while you browse
  • Easy Sound/Project Sharing for collaborators and third party libraries
  • Greatly Improved sound organization system
  • Fast Auto Preview/Progressive Loading allows rapid browsing
  • Browse Patches by Mood
  • Expanded Genres
  • Browse by Oscillator type
  • Boolean search options

New Arpeggiator Features:

  • Note transposition for step seq-style patterns
  • Arp pattern lock while browsing
  • Speed Offset control allows slow down/speed up effects
  • New modulation capabilities

25 New FX Units:

  • Innerspace
  • Quad Resonator
  • Thriftshop Speaker
  • Classic Twin
  • Bassman
  • Hi-Wattage
  • Rock Stack
  • Brit-Vox
  • Boutique
  • San-Z-Amp
  • Stompbox Modeler
  • Metalzone Distortion
  • Toxic Smasher
  • Foxxy Fuzz
  • Analog Phaser
  • Analog Flanger
  • Analog Chorus
  • Analog Vibrato
  • Solina Ensemble
  • Vintage Tremolo
  • Envelope Filter
  • Crying Wah
  • Stomp-Comp
  • Precision Compressor
  • Studio 2-Band EQ

Flexible New FX Features:

  • 16 FX units per patch
  • Full matrix modulation of every FX slot
  • New Aux FX rack per patch with Pre/Post fader sends
  • Hundreds of New FX Presets and Racks
  • Lock FX while browsing

Improvements/Special Features:

  • Live Mode with key splits
  • Enhanced Orb with Attractor mode
  • Trilian Custom Controls compatibility
  • Global Clock Speed (Halftime, Doubletime, etc)

…and much more.

Via Music Radar

Waldorf has introduced the nw1 Wavetable Module for Eurorack modular synthesizers.
nw1 is Waldorf’s debut module for the Eurorack format. The nw1 includes an advanced wavetable engine, with independent control of spectral envelope and noisiness – like its Nave software synthesizer.

The nw1 Wavetable Module For Eurorack

Wavetable scanning is cyclic with optional modulation of travel speed, position, spectrum, and more besides. By providing the Waldorf wavetable set from the classic Microwave and Wave synthesizers, nw1 ‘will enrich your Eurorack modular system as a potently powerful sound source’.

The nw1 sound engine also allows for onboard creation of user wavetables via time domain multiple foldover analysis. All you need to do is connect any sound source to the nw1 to transfer audio into a wavetable. Or use the integrated speech synthesizer to translate typed text into wavetables.

Wavetable synthesis is an extremely powerful sound source suited to producing all kinds of vivid metallic hues and digital clangorous tones. It can create organic, bell-like timbres, as well as spectacular-sounding scans through various waveforms with truly ear-opening results. It was almost impossible to create these kinds of sharp-edged, digital sounds back before the invention of wavetable synthesis in the late-Seventies.

Specifications

  • nw 1 front21st century advanced wavetable engine
  • Cyclic wavetable scanning with modulatable position and travel speed
  • Control of spectral envelope independent of pitch
  • Adjustable periodicity up to noisy reproduction
  • Classic Waldorf wavetables included
  • Integrated speech synthesizer for wavetables
  • User-recordable wavetables

Connections

  • Gate input for triggering wavetable travel and recording
  • Main 1V/Oct CV input with trim for pitch control
  • 3 additional CV inputs for modulation and realtime wavetable recording
  • Audio output
  • USB port with galvanic isolation for wavetable transfer and text input
  • Eurorack power connector

Power requirements

  • +/- 12V, 150mA

Interface

  • Powder coated metal surface with:
  • 10 rotary knobs
  • 1 wavetable select/encoder
  • 1 2 x 7 segment display
  • 6 x 3 position switches

Dimensions

  • Width: 32HP (162.6 mm)

Via Synthtopia

“K2VX is a K2000 which included an expanded ROM sample set (incorporating the Orchestral and Contemporary ROM sound sets).

In this demo track you can hear some percussions, basses and guitar-like patches, then many sound effects and much more synth sounds to give you a conception about Kurzweil’s V.A.S.T engine possibilities of this legendary machine.”

Via matrixsynth

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