Universal Audio Debuts Thunderbolt Satellite DSP Accelerators

UA_Satellite_Thunderbolt_DSPThis week Universal Audio announced its new line of UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerators, for use with Thunderbolt-equipped Macs and shipping early October.

UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerators enable Thunderbolt-equipped Mac users to run larger mixes filled with DSP-intensive plug-ins. These “desktop-friendly” units provide full access to UAD Powered Plug-Ins, including exclusive plug-ins from Studer, Ampex, Lexicon, Neve, Manley, SSL, and more.
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Roland System-1 Plug-out Synthesizer Overview

The new Roland Aira System-1 synthesizer puzzled a lot of synth fans when it was originally introduced, mainly because it introduced a new ‘Plug-Out’ technology that promised to let the System-1 have different sonic personalities.

Now that several ‘Plug-Out’ synths are available, it’s easier to appreciate the System-1 as a platform. In this video, Sweetwater’s Mitch Gallagher offers another look at the System-1 platform and shows how Rolland’s Plug-Out technology lets you use their soft synths as a hardware synth.  Continue reading

Zaquencer Firmware Turns Behringer’s BCR2000 Into A Hardware MIDI Step Sequencer

Behringer-BCR2000

Developer Christian Stöcklmeier contacted us to let us know about Zaquencer – a custom firmware for the Behringer BCR2000 (above) that turns the popular MIDI controller into a standalone hardware step sequencer.

Zaquencer does this by replacing Behringer’s firmware, which makes BCR2000 work as a MIDI controller, with a custom firmware that makes the BCR2000 work as a hardware step sequencer.

Here’s an overview of Zaquencer: Continue reading

The Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 – The Most Useful Synth Ever?

pro-2-synthesizer

Synthesist Chris Stack (Experimental Synth) shared with us his latest series of videos, which explore the Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 synthesizer.

When Dave Smith introduced the Pro 2, he called it his “most powerful mono synth ever.”

Stack agrees. “The Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 is the most useful synth I’ve ever played,” he notes. “In addition to its great internal sounds, with four assignable CV Outputs (and four inputs!), it (much like the Moog Multi-Pedal) is able to lend new functionality to your older existing gear.”

Ultimately, how powerful or useful you rate a synth is subjective – it depends on your needs, budget and tastes. Stack explains and demonstrates why he thinks so highly of the Pro 2 below – check it out and let us know what you think!
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How to Build a Magnetized Piano Harp

This episode of Motherboard’s Sound Builders features Brooklyn electroacoustic artist Andy Cavatorta. He’s an inventor, sculptor, and instrument designer latest project is a magnetized piano harp.

The magnetized piano harp can be played directly, by stroking, plucking or striking the piano strings, but also can be played via a MIDI keyboard that controls electromagnets, which cause the strings to vibrate.  Continue reading