November 26, 2013

Changeable Moods...

by Chris Randall


While I was spending the last 7 days building modules, packing modules, shipping modules, and delivering modules, all kinds of fun things happened in the music tech industry, as it turns out.

1. Elektron Analog Keys - Interestingly, when Elektron first announced they were going to announce that they would be announcing a new product, my initial reaction was "hey, an A4 with a keyboard!" Then I got to thinking "nah, they wouldn't do that, would they?" So I went off on this harebrained mental exercise on what they were actually going to announce they would be announcing. Turns out, I was right the first time. Yay, me. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it at this point. The A4 has ingrained itself in to my WORKFLOW so much so that I don't really like the way I conceptualize its use to be fucked with. On the other hand, it would be snazzy to have a keyboard version. Apparently, they also announced that they'll be announcing another announcement soon, so we shall see. I'm obviously buying something from Elektron in the next couple months. I just don't know what it is yet.

2. MeeBlip Anode - I don't know why, but the word "anode" makes me want to get out my Crandall's Big Book Of Snark. It's a funny word. Whatever. New MeeBlip! I have the other two iterations, so I will, of course, buy this one. Although I'm of the considered opinion that Peter should just give it to me for all the joy I bring him. He won't, but he should. This one has all the controls nobody ever used removed, and an analog filter added. (The previous two had digital filters.) It's a Twin-T filter, the same one that makes the 808 Boooooooom, so there's that. $109 until Dec. 3, $129 thereafter. The MeeBlip family has always been, and will continue to be, the best value in hardware synthesis, and the Canadian Royal Mail will probably continue to suck. Immutable facts, ladies and gentlemen.

3. Cubase Adds Gesture Control - And strangely enough, Logic still doesn't understand what to do when I flip it off. Typical Apple DAWs, always playing catch-up.

4. Big Beat Is Not Coming Back - Who's stupid idea was that? Shit's sooooo 1996. I am working on a new EP. It will have guitar on it. I'm so sick of synths right now, I don't even...

In scrolling back through the week's RSS trail, that is actually kind of it. New sample set from Standard Beat Company that is worth checking out (one of Wade's better sets, IMO), I'm back to working on an iOS port of Phosphor, and Adam is working on the panel circuitry for the big-ass Audio Damage Eurorack modules. What are you up to?


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Nov.28.2013 @ 9:09 PM
Not sure how I missed that in adition to the stereo output that the A4 Keys also has 4 unbalanced mono outputs. I love my A4 but have always wanted the flexibility of individual outs to be able to eq, compress and apply external effects on a per track basis. Guess I'll eventually be selling my A4 to get one of these, though I'll wait to make that decision after they announce what was blinking in that opaque platic box the other day.

Nov.28.2013 @ 9:33 PM
Wow, actually, it has 4 individual stereo outputs, one per voice, in addition to the main stereo out. Even better.

Nov.28.2013 @ 10:50 PM
Chris Randall
Well, now. _That_ is an addition worth talking about. I've often thought the A4 would really benefit from individual outs. And here we have it. That might be what pushes me over the edge on the AK. I need to sell something to fund it, though.


Nov.29.2013 @ 7:10 AM
Thank you for those two links. Beautiful guitar (that blond finish is perfect) and nice sounds. I like to record archtops with a ribbon, too.

Nov.29.2013 @ 8:45 AM
Funny...I am so sick of bass guitars I could..I blame it on analogindustries, which has re-introduced me to it goes both ways.

I love the idea of the AK.

Though I read the posts here everyday..I am still wondering about the design purpose/philosophy (a subject that you cover very well) in the difference between the a4 and the Tempest? Seems as though 2 slightly different approaches? I would like to get going again with a hardware workstation.

Nov.29.2013 @ 12:39 PM
Chris Randall
The A4 and Tempest have very different purviews. The A4 can (sort of) act like a kind of shitty drum machine, while the Tempest can (sort of) act like a mediocre synth. This all comes down to voice design and UI, of course. Both _can_ do the other's job, but neither is very good at it.

Or, to put it another way, the approaches aren't slightly different. They're extremely different.


Nov.30.2013 @ 3:34 PM
What I really wanted from Meeblip is the new iteration of the Meeblip with USB power/programming. I wonder if that's really going to happen...

Dec.01.2013 @ 8:59 AM
@chaircrusher - did you get in on the patchblocks kickstarter at all? Granted, it's a different bag altogether (and no MIDI, though it sounds like they're planning a dedicated MIDI block). I only mention it as it falls into the "small, cheap" category with the Meeblip.

Dec.02.2013 @ 5:31 PM
Adam Schabtach
I was disappointed to note that the A4 does not have separate outputs. Seems like a pretty obvious feature. However, this disappointment was not enough to stop me from ordering one today. Maybe I'll open it up and see whether the individual outs could be tapped somewhere.


Dec.02.2013 @ 6:26 PM
I'm a sucker for archtops.. ever since I was 9, I played my grandfathers who passed it down to my uncle... 1940-ish gibson archtop jazzguitar.... when he passed my mom pawned it for $100... Now I partially know why I'm in therapy...

I thought it was gonna be a KB also, though I thought it was gonna be like the monomachine keys with the whole sidweways structure thing...

I think Akai is up to something sneaky for Abes ...

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