A few years ago 1010Music released Bitbox – a simplified but extremely powerful Ableton-Live style sampler, slicer and clip launcher – by far the most advanced Eurorack sampler I’ve ever seen. Where it gets a little confusing is that since then they’ve released two completely different firmware versions for the same hardware – Fxbox and Synthbox, which transform it into radically different modules. I’m not talking about just updates with new features (which have also come out separately), but rather alternate firmware versions with entirely different functionality. In parallel, they’ve released independent modules with said firmware versions, which can also load each other’s firmware. So,Read More →

REVIEW The DrumBrute Impact is new smaller and less expensive brother to Arturia’s DrumBrute. It’s an analog drum machine that packs a punch at an aggressively low price point for an analog synth. My video review shows you what it can do, and discusses its pros and cons. ANALOG VS DIGITAL First, and most importantly, the DrumBrute Impact is an analog drum machine – which means it doesn’t work based on playing back samples, but rather there’s a physical synth circuit behind every one of its instruments. This is not to say that sample based machines are bad, just very different in how they makeRead More →

The H9 is an effects pedal from Eventide that as evolved over the past few years: it contains all the effects previously released in the Eventide Factor series pedals – TimeFactor, PitchFactor, ModFactor and Space, and quite a few more that are exclusive just to it, that don’t exist in any of the Factor pedals. It’s basically all of Eventide’s hardware effects in one box, which is a pretty big deal, especially considering is doesn’t cost much more than one pedal. In the accompanying video I give an overview of the H9’s interface, and then explore my top favorite presets for synths. Finally I’ll summarizeRead More →

The MatrixBrute by Arturia is a massive synth with a hefty price tag – is it worth it? Well, that depends on what you want or need… but as far as synths go, this is one of the most advanced analog synths ever made – certainly in terms of what’s possible with just three oscillators. In this video I explore what makes it special – what I call its “superpowers” – things you don’t see in lower-end synths, and some things you just can’t get anywhere else: 1. Duo-split: typically, three oscillator synths are monophonic, however the MatrixBrute’s duo-split mode effectively turns it into aRead More →

Maths by Make Noise is by far the #1 eurorack module on Modular Grid – both in terms of rating and popularity. In this video, I explain what Maths is and why it’s so popular. Maths sounds complicated and if you’ve heard some of the terms used to describe it – an analog computer, a function generator and various other quadratic equations, it may seem a bit intimidating, but overall, it has three core components: attentuverters, a mixer and slew rate limiters. It is however the combination of these things, which a few bonus features, that makes Maths such a versatile module. In this clipRead More →

Delay is one of the most popular audio effects, and understandably so.  In this clip I review EuroDDL, as well as use its various CV interfaces to create a chorus/flange effects, a delayed harmonizer, apply a PWM-like effect to a synth that doesn’t have that feature, loop drums and, since there’s a built in filter, create percussive Karplus-Strong sounds. While the concept of delay is simple – recording a snippet of sound and playing it back continuously, done at different delay times – delay can have a dramatic effect on your sound. Timed to the tempo of a song, delay can take a simple riffRead More →

The Arturia Spark LE – or Sparkle has been around for quite some time, but I only came across it when I needed drum sounds for a clip I made a few weeks ago. I was scouring the web for good drum plugin with plenty of sounds, downloaded a demo of this and was impressed with how good it sounded. And when I saw you could get the hardware controller for Spark used on Reverb for around $100 and new for around $200, I decided to check it out. Now first – when looking at the pros and cons of this – obviously, it’s notRead More →

The Electro-Harmonix EHX-95000 is the latest in its series of multi-track loopers. The concept behind these loopers is simplicity, and for the most part, knob per function. Electro-Harmonix were clearly going for scale here: the EHX95000 can live loop into 6 mono tracks, which can be used alternatively as 3 stereo tracks. It also has a seventh “mixdown” stereo track that can live record all 6 mono tracks, including their level and panning motion, and mix them down into one stereo track, freeing the 6 tracks for even more live looping. Each of the tracks has its own dedicated level control, and the six monoRead More →

TRK-01 is a new synth and drum engine – or more precisely a kick and bass synthesis and sequencing plugin from Native Instruments. Though it can be used to produce a variety of non kick and bass sounds, its focus is helping you create, manage and boost the low end of your track. The kick and bass are the beating heart of electronic music. The challenge is that they occupy similar portions of the audio spectrum and if they don’t sit together well, can send a track down-hill quickly in a river of mud. TRK-01 from Native Instruments aims to solve that problem, get youRead More →

If you were ever curious about what it’s like to attend Moog’s Engineering Workshop at Moogfest – join me as I walk you through the process of building the Moog Subharmonicon, including some pretty nasty mistakes I admit to making along the way. Luckily Moog’s engineers are patient and helpful, and used to dealing with such things… Moogfest is a synth fan’s dream come true, with live shows, music making workshops and plenty of synths on hand. A small subset of Moogfest is the “VIP Engineering Workshop” – where, for a hefty price ($1,500+fees) you get to build a new, unreleased synth, with guidance byRead More →