Here it is! A full, detailed review of Elektron’s new Model:Samples, and a feature by feature comparison to Digitakt, which is the question I believe most people interested have on their mind: what are the tradeoffs, and what can one do that the other can’t. I’ve also narrowed the gap between the two a bit with a few tips and hacks that fill in the blanks in Model:Samples’ feature set, like the lack of sample locks and filter envelope. Below are two timelines, one for the 10 tips/hacks in the video, and another based on overall content. TIP/HACK TIMELINE: 1:40 Add Amp envelope stages usingRead More →

Neutron by Behringer was a pretty good value for money before this update, and with version 2.0, Neutron got quite a lot better. In this video I cover the pros, cons and important new features in Neutron firmware version 2.0. The new firmware has important improvements to Neutron’s paraphonic playability and options, LFO and more. It also supports Behringer’s new Neutron control software, which makes accessing its “shift” features substantially easier, gives bi-directional feedback to parameter status and tuning, and controls other parameters not configurable in the panel. Along the way I explore 13 patch ideas and general tips which will hopefully make life easierRead More →

The Quad Peak Animation System – or QPAS from Make Noise – is an interesting new look at stereo filtering, what can be done with four filters, and how to manage them. The idea isn’t to give you individual control of every parameter of each filter, but rather it’s a take on how four filters can work together as a whole, whether in mono, or preferably in stereo, to form a playable instrument.  Aside from having “regular” state variable low pass, band pass and high pass outputs, it introduces what Make Noise call a “smile pass” filter” – designed to enable resonant peaks without filteringRead More →

Akai just announced Force – their new standalone music production workstation. The design is clearly inspired by 8×8 style grid controllers like Push 2, Launchpad, and their own APC-40.  The big question is – what are the tradeoffs between a comprehensive controller/computer combo like Push 2, and Force? You’d think that it would be just up to the interface, but most of the material differences stem from the fact that Akai decided to base Force on a proprietary hardware/software OS combo, meaning that it can’t run standard Windows or Mac programs.  So, what are the differences? Which is better for you? This clip tries toRead More →

Cenk Sayınlı (AKA “Mr. Dataline”) has a day job at Elektron, but he’s also a live electronic music performance master. The speed and skill with which he plays is phenominal. At NAMM 2019, I was able to convince him to walk us through what’s going on in his head as he does his thing, and the result is this video: Here’s a short rundown of the ideas in this video: Load up a few basic sounds and… Record a beat live and unquantized for a human feel. Adjust micro-timing if necessary. Spice it up with step-sequenced sounds (“trigs”) and add ratchets (“re-trigs”). Add Chance onRead More →

Moog’s new Sirin is a refresh to the Moog Minitaur with a new look, but more importantly, it got a major upgrade to the internal oscillators that lets it play much higher notes, rather than stopping at C4 like the Minitaur. Other than those two things it’s completely identical to the Minitaur, the thing is, if you search for reviews of the Minitaur you’ll see reviews and videos from 2012, when it was first released, which aren’t really relevant because so much has changed in the firmware and supporting software. Here’s a full review of what Sirin (and Minitaur) are and what they can doRead More →

With plenty of upgrades and 8 years after it was released, is the Octatrack still worth it? This review attempts to find out, in light of a few other instruments that have come since then. It’s split up into two parts, first, the top 10 features I think still make it stand out, and then a deeper look at what the user experience “cost” is in terms of complexity. In a nutshell, here are the things I think make Octatrack stand out:  Live sampling: in most samplers, sampling is an offline process. You can’t sample/slide/edit samples when a sequence is running. With Octatrack, live sampling, resampling and loopingRead More →

I recently uploaded a video where I used both ends of a Stackcable (split cables made by Tiptop Audio) as a three way splitter, and I got a few comments from people who didn’t know that was possible. One thing led to another and the result is a short video exploring that concept, as well as buffered vs passive mults and some other uses for split cables. In a nutshell, a Stackable is a passive splitter, or mult cable, with jack inputs on either end. Passive splitters can be used to take one audio or modulation source and send it to multiple destinations. They can also be usedRead More →

This video is a follow up to my original “14 0-Coast Hacks” video, and looks at what 0-Coast can do with a little help from a few friends. Pairings explored are: MIDI and CV controllers, preferably with built in sequencers and arpeggiators, and multiple MIDI and CV outputs. Adding effects to 0-Coast, Reverb in particular. What it would take to augment 0-Coast in a hybrid modular setup with VCV Rack. How modular sequencers can pair with 0-Coast to modulate its various controls. Using an external modular sequencer to control subharmonics. A couple of filter pairing ideas. Adding modular voices alongside 0-Coast. Multi function modules. VariousRead More →

This video provides an intro to 0-Coast as well as 14 hacks/ideas/tips/things it can do that you may not be aware of. In a nutshell… here they are: Even though to 0-Coast is a one-oscillator synth, its AD slope can be looped and pitched quite easily to play paraphonic drones in parallel to the main oscillator. Slighlty more difficult and yet completely doable, the AD slope can also be played chromatically with proper knob settings and 1v/octave control. This turns 0-Coast into a truly paraphonic synth. Concurrent MIDI and CV control: By using a keyboard such as Arturia’s KeyStep or Novation SL MK3, you canRead More →