Alphasphere May Be The Most Original New Instrument At Musikmesse 2012 – But It Still Does Dubstep

AlphasphereAt Musikmesse 2012, the most original new musical instrument may be the Alphasphere, a unique programmable spherical controller.

The AlphaSphere allows you to be expressive with music through a series of 48 tactile pressure sensors. You can load the Alphasphere with your own sounds, or connect to your existing digital audio workstation (DAW) with the intuitive software.

AlphaSphere Hardware

By itself, the AlphaSphere is a controller which communicates to a computer or synthesizer via USB. Though it has the ability to send MIDI messages, it is not strictly a MIDI controller and is more programmable than a standard MIDI controller.

The AlphaSphere offers full polyphonic aftertouch compatibility as standard, each of the pressure sensitive pads affecting the sound individually.

The AlphaSphere’s form is conceived as a departure from the western tradition of music. The combination of tactile pads in a playable form ‘unlocks a new experience of music making, a synergy of form and function’.

AlphaSphere Software

AlphaLive is a standalone application that enables the AlphaSphere to operate as a number of common devices found within electronic music production.

The software allows you to program the functionality of the AlphaSphere to a highly customized level.

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New Music Interface – The CCC-Pad (Sneak Preview)

Håkan Lidbo tipped us off to the CCC-Pad, described as “a creative media interface where sounds and video can be played in a new and intuitive way”.

The first version will be on the market in fall 2012, but the big touch screen prototype was tested at the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest, Jan 11, embedded above.

The CCC-PAd is a prototype and part of an extensive research project by Dr Rikard Lindell in collaboration with Lidbo, programmers and designers.

The concept of the CCC-Pad project is that everyone can interact with each other. Most live electronic music is about musicians playing on separate units without the possibility to effect each others music. Same for visual artists. With CCC-Pad, everyone can manipulate, change, add and delete anything, both music and video. Everything is connected to everything else.

Collaborators in this projects are the designers Oskar Kjelleryd and Haithem Mizban from Quantum White and the programmers Fredrik Jansson and Dr Rikard Lindell from Mälardalen University. CCC-Pad is a part of the C3LOOPS project.

Numerology 3.1 Now Available – Here’s What’s New

Five12 has released an update to Numerology, the modular sequencing and audio plugin environment for Mac OS X.

Employing discrete sequencing techniques, powerful signal processing, Audio Unit (AU) hosting, advanced signal routing, and unmatched modulation capabilities, Numerology is designed to combine pure brute “in-studio” strength with agile “live performance” response and finesse for musicians, composers, sound designers, and sample artists. Continue reading

The Roland Jupiter-8 – ‘The Most Beautiful Synth Ever’

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Roland’s new Jupiter 80 synth has been met with a great deal of resistance from synth fans over the use of the ‘Jupiter’ name.

While the new ’80 may be a monster synth on its own, the Jupiter 8 holds a special place, in the minds of synthesists, as one of the great polyphonic analog synthesizers.

Here TheSynthFreq offers her take on the Roland Jupiter 8 – a classic 8 voice polyphonic analog synth from 1981. She calls it “The most beautiful synth ever.”

Note: Head-spinning Bourne-o-vision camera work on this one!

Novation UltraNova Review & Unboxing Video

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Composer Paul Baraka takes a look at the Novation UltraNova synthesizer.

The bulk of the review focuses on Novation UltraNova sounds – which offer a nice preview of what the synth is capable of. But Baraka also offers his take on some of the pros and cons of the UltraNova. Continue reading

Crossfade Loop Synth Demo

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This is a preview and demo of Expert Sleepers’ Crossfade Loop Synth.

Crossfade Loop Synth is actually two plug-ins: Crossfade Loop Synth and Crossfade Loop Synth Effect. The effect version takes the power of Crossfade Loop Synth and turns it into a live sampler, a looper and a very unusual and powerful delay effect.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

Crossfade Loop Synth

Crossfade Loop Synth is at heart a simple sample playback synth plug-in. It plays samples in the classic sampler manner – by simply altering the playback speed according to the desired note. No fancy timestretching or pitchshifting is applied.
You can control how the sample is looped as it is played. An adjustable amount of crossfade can be applied to the loop endpoints to smooth the transitions. This makes it extremely easy to produce glitch-free pad sounds. The loops can also be played backwards and alternately forwards and backwards (pendulum-style).

Further sound processing can be applied in the form of overdrive/saturation, filtering, envelopes (for amplitude and filter), pulse-width modulation, oscillator sync and LFOs (one each for filter, pitch, PWM and sync).

The synth is 32 note polyphonic, and all parameters can be controlled by MIDI controllers.

Crossfade Loop Synth Effect

Crossfade Loop Synth Effect is the same as Crossfade Loop Synth except you can record live audio to use as the sample, rather than just loading it from disk.
You can record continuously, even while playing back. This allows you to use the plugin as an extremely unusual and creative delay effect. For example you can have the delays played back at double the pitch/speed you played them. Or at double the pitch and backwards. Or as a chord. Or repeat the first beat of every bar… the possibilities are legion.

You can save the recorded sample to disk as an AIFF/WAV file for later use.

Crossfade Loop Synth is $49 at the Expert Sleepers site.