Alesis Intros $199 Vortex Wireless Keytar


At the 2014 NAMM Show, Alesis has introduced a $199 wireless Keytar controller, the Alesis Vortex Wireless.

Plugging an included USB receiver dongle into any Mac or PC establishes a live USB/MIDI link with the Vortex Wireless. There is also a standard MIDI output (5-pin) mounted in the Vortex Wireless for connecting to hardware MIDI gear. Continue reading

New Vortex Multitimbral Sequencer + Synth

Home Grown Sounds has released Vortex, described as a ‘break through’ VSTi Multitimbral Sequencer.

Vortex is a performance instrument, offering 12 tracks of multitimbral sequencing + synthesis, with an emphasis on quick and easy music creation.


  • Real-time triggers which allow manipulating the sequences with effects such as Stutter (and programmable stutter), Restart, Half tempo, double step, note ties and mute amongst others. An octave of your keyboard is reserved for the triggers allowing easy sequence transformations. When sync mode is enabled, once all triggers are released the sequence will revert to it’s former playing state.
  • Global knobs for subtracting or adding to the internal synth parameters, amongst them Filter Cutoff, Resonance, Filter Decay, VCA (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release), Filter (Attack, Decay, Sustain), Noise Level, FM, Oscillator Mix, and LFO (Speed, Amount, Sustain). These knobs affect all synths simultaneously and so the entire output of Vortex becomes a single morphing and dynamic instrument.
  • All knobs have CCs.
  • Vortex began as a MIDI application and so the internal sound module is designed to behave as an external MIDI device. The idea is that you simply dial up presets rather than being faced with actual sound editing, although up to 10 CCs can be overridden in a session to give some sound editing possibilities.
  • Other features include a Multi-Sequencer which allows assigning multiple sequences to a single key, internal FX using the the TerraNova FX engine, a 16 channel midi mixer and 8 rows of assignable CC Knobs.

Here’s a demo of Vortext in action:

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MacBeth Photon + MicroMac Synthesizers (Sneak Preview Prog-a-thon)

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Ken MacBeth, of MacBeth Studio Systems, gets his chilltronic prog jam on in this sneak preview of a couple of new synths he’s working on – the MacBeth Photon and MacBeth MicroMac synthesizers.

Here’s what he has to say about the analog duo:

This is another video of the micromac (prototype) in action with the even more compact 21HP 3U X-Series Photon synthesizer module (prototype). Both the micromac and Photon are complete analogue synths!

I’m using my all analogue CV and Gate keyboard to drive the Micromac and a Korg Prophecy/Kenton Pro Solo to drive the Photon. The Photon is the arpeggiated synth going on here.

gain it’s fun to do this stuff, and my playing is not the best- but this video does give you a good idea of the power and the sound of these seriously small in size synths doing their job!

The MicroMac and Photon synths are prototypes. Release date and pricing are to be determined.


Twisted Tools Scapes + Konkreet Performer = Twisted Performer?

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This video, via twistedtools, captures some experimentation using Twisted Tools SCAPES. tweaked live using Konkreet Performer for the iPad.

Scapes is an effects processor and sound generator for Native Instruments Reaktor. Konkreet Performer is a music control and performance instrument for the iPad.