Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Waldorf and Rolf Wöhrmann create new iPad Synthesizer

Waldorf and Rolf Wöhrmann of Tempo Rubato have joined together to create a new wavetable synthesizer for the iPad.  The new synth uses a similar layout to the Animoog, although this sports a very cool and unique use of the display which the user can manipulate.  The synth will work with all standard MIDI devices as well.  Read the full press release below!

"Waldorf and Rolf Wöhrmann design pioneering new iPad synthesizer
A long tradition of wavetable synthesis – from first PPG synthesizers to the latest developments in terms of Blofeld and Largo – and Rolf Wöhrmann’s (TempoRubatos) vast experience with the iPad synthesis made it only natural to come up with a wavetable concept for the iPad, which, as a mobile platform, is becoming increasingly more significant to professional and semi-professional musicians and producers.

Thanks to intelligent gesture recognition and plenty of available graphic performance the iPad is perfect for bringing wavetable synthesis to a new level. For the first time it will be possible to plunge into the depths of wavetables and to make their sound content visible with advanced 3-D technology.
The cooperation between Waldorf and TempoRubato, also known for their product line NLog Synth, doesn’t stop here: The application will also offer new possibilities for sound manipulation based on Waldorf’s very latest spectral research.

Completely new and unheard sounds
An innovative approach to wavetable synthesis allows for the transposition of the spectrum and the balance of periodic and sound spectra entirely independent from a wave’s position. The existing wavetable technology is thereby extended by two new dimensions, and it allows for formant shifts as well as numerous other unheard sounds. Also, unlike with typical wavetable instruments, the number and length of waves in a wavetable will no longer be restricted. It’s the era of wavetable synthesis V2.0!

This app will support a huge number of hardware MIDI interfaces, e. g. all Core MIDI compatible interfaces by IK Multimedia, iConnectMIDI, MIDI Mobilizer II by Line6, ioDock or the Camera Connection Kit by Apple, as well as proprietary interfaces such as the SynthStation by Akai.

App collaboration standards like Sonoma‘s Audio Copy/Paste, Intua‘s Audio Pasteboard and Virtual Core MIDI will also be supported like the upcoming AudioBus standard and KORG’s WIST synchronization technology.

Joachim Flor, executive manager at Waldorf Music GmbH is pleased: “We are truly excited about our collaboration with Rolf Wöhrmann from TempoRubato. Considering his great experience with the iPad synthesis we are planning to release this excellent synthesiser this summer. Then it will be available at the Apple App Store. It’s going to be an exciting time!“
Rolf Wöhrmann is also looking forward to the challenge: “The cooperation with Waldorf Music and the Waldorf developers is a great honour. Waldorf‘s long history in wave table synthesis and the new and innovative possibilities of the iPad will create an astonishing synthesizer for musicians, sound designers and producers.”

Further information at www.waldorfmusic.de"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tom Oberheim announces new Two Voice Pro Synthesizer

Coming this June from Tom Oberheim is his latest re-release, this time of the classic SEM 2 Voice Synthesizer.  Everyone is pretty familiar with his other classics SEM synths-- the 1 and 4 voice-- but this one sits firmly in between with a price tag somewhere in the middle as well.  While it's always nice to see more analogs from a classic maker on the market, this one will probably be reserved for the professionals and die-hards with its 3500 dollar price tag.  Of course, the new features and incredible sound are well worth the money if you can afford it.  This might be the Moog Voyager's new competition in that price range.

  • Mini-Sequencer is enhanced - you still generate a sequence with the knobs ( up to 16 positions ) but you can store sequences from the knobs into flash memory (up to 99 sequences stored)
  • Two sequences can be played simultaneously (or play one sequence while also playing on the keyboard, like the old one)
  • After sequences are stored in flash memory, you can edit them to add 2-way, 3-way or 4-way ratcheting and you can program the gate length from zero (like a rest) up to almost the complete step length
  • Sequences can be chained into songs, and each step in a song can be programmed for sequence number, transpose amount and number of repeats
  • Sequencer syncs to Midi Clock
  • Keyboard outputs velocity and pressure
  • Each module (both SEMs, Mini-Sequencer, Keyboard Control) has mini-jack patch points (over 50 patchpoints)
  • Pitch and Modulation wheels
  • Pan pots
  • Headphone output
  • Separate Vibrato LFO
The U.S. price of the new Two Voice Pro is $3495"

You can expect it to sound like its smaller counterpart, seen below.  For more information and how to order, check out Tom Oberheim's Site.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Alphabeat Interview: "Vacation" and the New Record

Alphabeat's new single "Vacation" launched a week ago today, and with great pleasure, I had the chance to chat with the band about their new single and record only days later.  Alphabeat's self titled debut in 2007 showed the world their pop craftsmanship with the tracks "Fascination" and "What Is Happening".  Their track "Boyfriend", which was re-produced as a new, more synth laden song, emerged as the new direction of the band.  2009 saw the release of The Spell, which marked a new era for Alphabeat-- a style more congruent with Ace of Base than modern pop-rock.  With their ever-evolving sound, the past 3 years have left fans wondering what form they would return in for their follow up record, and with the release of "Vacation", it seems to indicate a bright and fun 70s/80s pop influence.

I feel quite lucky these days getting a chance to interview some more of my absolute favorite musicians.  Alphabeat seem to be just as cool and bubbly as their stage presence suggests.  It also makes life easier when a group is willing to speak English for an interview (their native tongue is Danish)-- and for that, Alphabeat, I thank you.  Read on for some insight into the new Alphabeat record.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dan Black Interview: The Sample Master Returns with an Epic New Record

Dan Black is the world's current sampling genius.  Originally the singer and guitarist for the group The Servant, Black broke off on his own and released his first hit "HYPNTZ" in 2008, which sampled Rihanna's Umbrella and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.  While the original lyrics were that of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize", Black changed the lyrics when he released his album Un in 2009 and the track became "Symphonies".  Despite losing the unique gangster rap lyrics, "Symphonies" went on to be globally popular and was licensed everywhere, sometimes with the added rapping of Kid Cudi.  In 2010, Black released his mixtape Weird Science, which, again, sampled various classic pop songs and had Black singing other's lyrics with new melodies.  It was this mixtape that inspired Bag Raiders to call Dan Black for guest vocals on their track "Sunlight".

Since Weird Science, things have been quiet from the Black camp as he works on his newest record.  I tracked the singer/keyboardist/producer down via the net for his first interview in over a year where we chatted about sampling, his new record, and his favorite plugins.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Alphabeat's New Single "Vacation" is Here!

After a couple of quiet years, today marks the international release of Alphabeat's new single "Vacation".  Like their earlier work, "Vacation" features upbeat melodies and catchy vocal lines, but with a new perfect 1980s vintage feel.  While 2009's The Spell (The Beat Is... in some countries) seemed to focus more on early 90s dance roots, the new single pulls back to an earlier time when riding your DeLorean to the beach felt more right than anything else.

Be sure to pass this around to your friends and throw it on your car mix because this next record is going to be huge.  Alphabeat's two previous albums are a testament to classic pop music being made outside the US and UK; their hits "Fascination" and "DJ" have spawned classic remixes from international fans like Frankmusik and Madeon.  As a fan of this band, I can't be any more excited about the direction this single goes and I can't wait for the rest of the new record coming this summer.  Let's make this summer the summer of Alphabeat.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kids At Midnight - Let You Slide EP

I was away last week, but got a few emails with some great tracks while I was away and wanted to do some of them justice.  One was the Let You Slide EP courtesy of Kids At Midnight, one of Vulture Music's artists.  The title track, "Let You Slide", features an awesome chip-tune like intro and a great Robyn-like vocal line.  The song features a great warm buildup as well.

Also included on the EP is the track "No No Yeah Yeah" and its XM remix.  "No No Yeah Yeah" is that classic analogue-y synth jam that you'd expect from Vulture.  This is a perfect track to put on to chill out to after a night out.  Like "Let You Slide", it also has a great chip-tune lead off.  The XM remix is considerably more lounge with a funky bassline.

Don't forget to pick up the EP from iTunes.