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Taylor

Taylor
January 23, 2012

Dave Smith Tempest at NAMM 2012

Dave Smith has quite a synth development history. Dave was responsible for the Prophet 5. He is commonly referred to as the “father of MIDI” after his involvement with the development of the system. Pioneering physical modeling synthesis research and developing the Wavestation over at Korg are just a few stops in an amazing history of seeing Dave appear from one breakthrough to the next. you might have even had one of Dave’s creations in your old computer if you ever owned an AWE 32 or 64 from Sound Blaster; as these cards contained Dave’s first software based synthesizer to drive it’s 32/64 voices. Since opening his own brand, Dave Smith Synthesizers, Dave has created some of the most popular analog synths currently on the market and the devices bring a signature modern appeal to devices that feel as classic as the vintage beasts that inspired them.

Now that they’ve …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 23, 2012

Traktor debut the F1, part of Traktor 2.5′s Traktor Remix

Native Instruments were not present on the floor at NAMM this year. One might have thought Native were taking a too cool, “we’ll see you at Musikmesse or something” approach. Instead, Native were having a 10th anniversary party on Saturday. It really was a pretty slick approach; avoid the trade show where every competitor has three devices taking aim at your flagship hardware. Let’s not forget that all of these competitors are boasting compatibility with your software product that might as well be the center of the universe right now. Call up everyone who you know is going to be there, saying “oh, we’re just having a modest little informal thing, 10 years in the biz, etc. It’s invite only, you know, so we’d love to see you.” Once you get a few drinks in everyone, casually step up to say a few words. Then, with everyone’s attention, change the …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 23, 2012

The Keith McMillen QuNeo 3D Multi-touch Pad Controller

A little while ago a company called Keith McMillen Instruments proposed an idea for something called a QuNeo 3D Multi-touch Pad Controller on Kickstarter.com. If you don’t know it, Kickstarter is a place where proposals for creative endeavors can confirm public interest in the form of donations and even pre-orders. Once a project’s proposed goal is met and the end of the proposed funding deadline met, the project is green lit and all of the donations are actually accepted. If a project fails to meet its goal, the project does not go forward, no money is collected and the creative making the pitch is not left trying to finish their project under funded. So far Kickstarter has brought a lot of wonderful things to life, and gear related projects have been among them.

When Keith McMillen Instruments proposed the QuNeo, they figured they could get their project underway for around 15,000 …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 21, 2012

Korg Booth at Namm 2012

Korg just seems to chug along at a very pleasant pace these days. So many announcements fill the year for them and it is easy to overlook the quiet additions to their many lines of staple products. This year, however, it looks like Korg used NAMM as an opportunity to show off updates for many of these.

Notably, on display were the recently released Monotron Delay and Monotron Duo. If you haven’t considered the devices in the Monotron family of pocket-size, analog ribbon synthesizers; they really are worth picking up. They are built with the same VCF circuits as the MS series of analog/ semi-modular synths Korg released in the late 70′s/early 80′s and sound great. The DUO offers a second oscillator for wide detuned and chorused sounds. This makes the DUO fantastic for generating synth solos and dissonant effects. The DUO also borrows the cross modulation, “X-MOD,” from the classic Mono/Poly. …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 21, 2012

Akai Max 49 Midi Keyboard Controller – NAMM 2012

It is looking like control voltage/ step sequencing is bound to experience a very healthy rebirth. Boutique synths and desktop analogs have been showing up in the market more in the past few years, but small companies with high costs have made building these systems expensive enough that it hasn’t really become a trend for the penny pinchers. However, with products like the Moog Minitaur and the Arturia MiniBrute appearing on the market, we could be on the precipice of an “analog step sequencing for the masses” kind of an era. Yes, it’s funny to be excited about bringing the old sequencing methods to the future; but even back in their day, these systems were not mass produced at a level to be considered affordable for just anyone. Modular analog CV based sequencing systems are the white whale in a lot of studios. As one of the masses I am …