Go Deeper Into the Sound – Unless It Will Make Your Head Explode

shape-of-soundReader Alistair de B Clarkson let us know about a new series of articles kicking off at the Shape of Sound site, Going Deeper into the Sound.

The series is intended for ‘music nutters’ that are obsessed by sound.

Clarkson notes:

These articles are only suitable for synthtopia readers and will result in any non synthopia reader complaining that their head will explode.

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The PPG Wave 2 Synthesizer


This set of videos, via 12bitrec, demonstrates the PPG Wave 2 digital synthesizer.

The PPG Wave 2 was a digital + analog synthesizer created by Wolfgang Palm, of the German company Palm Products Gmbh. The PPG Wave combines digital waveforms with analog filters and VCA’s, creating a “warmer” sound than was then possible with digital synthesis.

Three versions of the PPG Wave 2 were produced:

  • Wave 2: 1981-82
  • Wave: 2.2 1982-84
  • Wave 2.3: 1984-87

Waldorf has released a virtual version of the PPG Wave 2, PPG Wave 2.v Classic Wavetable Synthesizer.

The PPG Wave 2 was used by Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, Gary Numan, Art Of Noise, Thomas Dolby and Ultravox. Continue reading

The Korg microKORG Synthesizer/Vocoder

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This is a demo video for the modern mini-synth classic, the Korg microKorg synthesizer.


State-of-the-art analog modeling and multi-band vocoding are available in a compact, portable instrument. With 37 keys and 128 user-rewritable programs, the microKORG Synthesizer/Vocoder is designed for the performer, producer, computer musician or beginner looking for an affordable synthesizer.

Korg microKORG Synthesizer/Vocoder Features:

  • 128 user-rewritable programs
  • 37-key mini keyboard
  • Powerful synthesis
  • Classic vocoding
  • A full range of effects
  • Great sounds and expression
  • Flexible arpeggiator (6 types)
  • Clear control and classic looks
  • Can serve as a compact MIDI controller

EM’s David Battino had this to say about the Korg microKorg:

It’s easy to slip into critic mode and forget that making music is supposed to be fun. The MicroKorg is frustrating if you expect to play and program it like a full-size keyboard synthesizer, but as a portable, creative gadget, it stands alone. If you can justify spending $500 on a terrific-sounding musical toy (and I use that word in a very positive sense), you won’t go wrong with the MicroKorg.

The Korg microKorg retails for $399.

If you’ve used the Korg microKorg – leave a comment with your thoughts!

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The Yamaha CS-50

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The Yamaha CS-50, a vintage synthesizer from 1976,  is a scaled down version of the classic Yamaha CS-80 and CS-60 synths.

It offers 4-voice polyphony, with 1 oscillator per voice.

While it has a much simpler architecture, it offers a relatively inexpensive option for getting the classic Yamaha CS sounds.

If you’ve used the Yamaha CS-50, leave a comment with your thoughts!


Sony Sound Forge Pro 10

sony-sound-forge-pro-10Sony has introduced Sound Forge Pro 10, the latest version of its professional digital audio production suite for Windows.

Update features include event-based editing, the élastique time stretch and pitch shift plug-in, interactive tutorials and a mastering effects bundle.

Details below.

If you’ve used Sony Sound Forge Pro 10, leave a comment with your thoughts! Continue reading

Free Software Synth For Windows, Anubis


B. Serrano has released Anubis, a free polyphonic software synthesizer for Windows.


  • 16-notes polyphony
  • 2 oscillators with X-Mod and Sync
  • Randomizable ADSR
  • Graphical modulation envelopes up to 32 stages
  • 2 LFOs; host BPM syncable
  • 1 multi-mode filter (same as Adonis 2); Randomizable
  • 7×7 modulation-matrix
  • Vibrato
  • Tremolo; host BPM syncable
  • Delay
  • Chorus
  • MIDI learn
  • CPU friendly

If you’ve used Anubis, leave a comment with your thoughts!

Akai Miniak Synthesizer Now Available For $500


Akai Professional has announced that the Akai Miniak is now available.

The Miniak combines Akai’s control surface with Alesis’ synth engine.

The Miniak lets you create programs with up to eight multi-timbral voices, each with three oscillators. You can create complex sounds using the Miniak’s two multimode filters, three envelope generators, two LFOs, stereo effects and 40-band vocoder with gooseneck microphone. The MINIAK also has a comprehensive sequencer with step and dynamic real time phrase sequencing, a drum machine/rhythm sequencer and an arpeggiator.

The MINIAK is available from musical instrument and professional audio retailers and has a U.S. Retail Price of $699.00 with an estimated street price of $499.00.

Details below.

If you’ve used the Akai Professional Miniak synthesizer, leave a comment with your thoughts. Continue reading