So...here we go again. We said two weeks for the next mail-out and it's been.....13 days. A wee pat on the back for us I think? Let's see how long we can keep the winning streak going :)
Also...nobody here got COVID so the tentative link we mentioned last time about writing mail-outs and contracting COVID has been well and truly shattered (he said with fingers crossed behind his back and an extra Booster shot in the arm).
First big bit of news (or bit of big news) is something we touched on in the last mail-out....we're throwing caution to the wind and after a mere 6 years in business, we thought we would have an opening party!
Thursday 8th December is the date for your diary, if you're in the area come in and see what we've done with our new space. There will be synths (of course), drinks (of course), music (playlist is being fought over in the office as we speak) and some sort of food/snacks (which is most likely us raiding the crisps aisle at the Tesco Metro around the corner from the shop so don't get your hopes up).
It's an informal affair but drop us a quick email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you might be coming in so we know how many packets of crisps to get in. We'll also create a Facebook Events page so you can sign up on there too and show your friends how cool you are.
Stay cool, see you next time
Eventide's H9 has been a stable part of many a synth player's effects arsenal for more than a decade now but it had a few drawbacks that have been well and truly obliterated by the new H90. It's now a fully dual engine monster with multiple signal routing possibilities, a stunning collection of even deeper and more powerful effects algorithms (10 years is a long time in DSP and Processor development!) and finally...it's got a proper screen for editing (OLED too - it's beautiful to work with in any light conditions)
As well as full MIDI control over parameters and clock (for clocked delays and other time based effects) there's two CV inputs so you can do some really nice voltage control from your modular gear. We really think that this will be another "Modern Classic" from Eventide.
Der Mann Mit Der Maschine "Droid" is an incredibly deep and powerful platform for controlling voltages and gates built into a Eurorack module, and with a fantastic array of expander modules that build into a fully configurable system based around your own particular needs.
The main module is the Droid Master which is configured using a very elegant graphic editor on Mac or PC. Normally web editors are confusing, buggy or difficult to use, this one is the exact opposite. It's smooth as butter and gives an incredible amount of options and power in a very simple interface.
It's worth jumping to about 11mins in this video if you want to see how nice it is to use:
It's not really fair to compare it to that other highly configurable digital module, Disting, however it does have similarities but with a much more advanced graphic editor - basically if you can think of a function or a use in a patch, you can easily programme it into Droid.
You can then add various expander modules with buttons, switches and even motorised faders to create anything from a multi-channel envelope generator to a complex Euclidian sequencer and everything in-between
DMMDM has managed to cultivate a strong user community already so it'll be fascinating to see how this little ecosystem develops over time in the future.
Oberheim. I've been trying to write this paragraph up without using the word "legendary" but it's proving rather difficult. Firstly Tom Oberheim is a legendary synth designer. He's working here with other legendary synth company Sequential. The guy who oversaw the engineering of the entire project is Marcus Ryle, the legendary co-designer of the original OB-X range (and the inventor of the first MIDI sequencer with note quantisation and he started Line 6 and helped revolutionise digital recording with the Alesis ADAT AND the amazing HR-16 drum machine AND MMT-8 Sequencer and the legendary Quadraverb effects processor). Said OB range is amongst the most legendary of all synth ranges with used prices quite often somewhere north of ten grand. Legendary doesn't come cheap.
It's basically not possible to write about this instrument without using the word "legendary"...a LOT!
All joking aside, the effort that has gone into this synth is obvious on so many levels. it's a beautifully crafted instrument with an incredibly rich and varied sound palette, taking elements from all of the original OB range (including the legendary "Spread" function where individual notes in a chord will be spread across the Stereo Field) and bringing them together into one mighty machine. If you want this to sound like a 1980's analogue polysynth it can totally do that. If you want it to sound like The Future, it can totally do that too.
We have one set up permanently in our showroom so come in and check it out if you get a chance as YouTube videos definitely don't do justice to an instrument like this.
Expert Sleepers have been developing their Analogue range over the last two years and Pandora rounds out the collection nicely being a Band Pass Filter with Overdrive and other signal mangling facilities. As always with Os' designs, there's more to them than meets the eyes.
The module provides a unique approach to band pass filtering and distortion using MOSFET components with great parallel processing possibilities. It's very useful for Sound Design, Harmonics Generator, unusual LFO shapes and even does some weird Control Voltage processing. There's a superb DivKid video (of course) right here:
In other related news, the Persephone, the VCA in the Expert Sleepers Analogue range, has just been included in Sound On Sound's end of year round up as one of their Best Modular Gear of 2022 modules.
You can see Persephone and some of the other ES analogue modules in this superb video from our friend Tom Churchill right here if you want to explore the range further
First of two new releases from our fellow Glaswegians Instruo - Carn is, on the surface a 4 Channel Mixer but as you would expect with Instruo, there's a LOT going on under the hood and it has a literal ton of additional uses and ways of being configured. Literally.
Whether you need a feature-dense signal processor, a hyper-compact summing mixer, or a soft-clipping signal mangler, càrn will meet the challenge.
You can chain multiple Carn together using a connector on the back panel and also connect it to other Instruo modules, specifically Cuir to give you a very well specified output module combination.
The Lubadh update is so feature rich that Instruo managed to do a TWO HOUR video on it!!! Now that's what you call an upgrade! The video has been described as being "like the entire Lord of The Rings Trilogy all viewed in one sitting but with more mentions of Delia Derbyshire and the San Fransicso Tape Music Centre and less Ents".
As well as the software update you get a new USB Expander module (for easy access to the SD card now that you can save and export recordings) and some very nice Instruo produced sounds and material for processing in your shiny new Lubadh V2.
Obviously we're mainly about hardware synths at Signal Sounds but if you are going to use computers and software and the like in your music making..you might as well use bloody good stuff!
V-Collection 9 is Arturia's latest combo of their generally very well respected software emulations of classic synths. All the heavy hitters are in there including Roland Jupiter 8, Yamaha CS-80, Sequential Prophet 5, Prophet VS as well as some stuff you might not expect including Buchla Music Easel, EMS Synthi, Oberheim SEM and more.
Pigments is an application that Arturia describe as a "polychrome soft synth". We have absolutely no idea what that means but Pigments is a very well featured Wavetable and Virtual Analog instrument with a huge collection of very useable and interesting sounds and a simple User Interface.
FX Collection is, as the name suggests, a load of very useable emulations of some classic vintage Processing and Effects gear with an emphasis on quality over quantity (their line is "Effects you'll actually use")
Why are we telling you about these packages of digital ones and zeros right now? Because they are all half price which, apart from "completly free" is our favourite price.
That's all for this week, don't go changing...