Korg announced the Minilogue XD in NAMM, an update to their very successful Minilogue. It still has 4 voice polyphony, but has many new features including a programmable digital oscillator, multiple effects and a sequencer. I don’t have one for review yet, but I was able to record all 200 factory patches at the show. Here you go!Read 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 →

Many synths are mono-timbral, meaning they’re designed to play only one kind of sound at a time. Whether they’re polyphonic or monophonic, and no matter how many parameters and knobs you tweak, the end result is a sound, or timbre, that plays relatively similarly no matter where you play on the keyboard. Synths that can pull off keyboard splits where each split plays a different sound are called bi-timbral, or multi-timbral synths.  If your synth is mono-timbral and you want a little bi-timbral action, this video is for you. This “trick” or “hack” won’t work on all mono-timbral synths, but if you’re lucky and the right setRead More →

Pigments from Arturia is a new software synth that is their own original creation, rather than an emulation of a vintage synth. Is it the best sounding synth ever? I think it sounds pretty good but I’ll leave that decision up to you. What I think they really did well here though, is make a synth that’s an extremely useful tool for learning synthesis, for a few reasons. #1: Arturia’s Demo Policy The first reason Pigments is a good learning tool isn’t actually unique to it, but is true about all of Arturia’s software synths and that’s their demo policy. You can download Pigments andRead More →

Yamaha’s MODX is the less expensive, more portable version of their flagship Montage synth. It has the same exact synth engine as its bigger brother – but at a price which makes it a very interesting player in today’s synth market. There’s a lot going on in MODX – in this review and companion video I’ll look at the most important things you need to know to figure out if this synth is for you.   What’s a performance? Let’s get started by looking at some basic terms. A performance consists of everything you can do simultaneously with the MODX – the song I playedRead More →