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Music Technology

Universal Audio Releases UAD v9.2 + New Plugins

Universal Audio releases UAD Software v9.2 along with five new plugins for Apollo Audio Interfaces and UAD Accelerators.

Universal Audio

Overview

UAD Software v9.2 arrives with several enhancements, feature improvements, and five new additions to their award-winning lineup of plugins. The free update is compatible with all UAD-2 products (Apollo, Satellite, PCIe) and external connection types (Thunderbolt, FireWire, USB 3). Learn more about the UAD Software v9.2 here.

Antares Auto-Tune Realtime

Legendary for its vocal enhancing and creative applications, the Antares Auto-Tune effect revolutionized vocal production and is a must-have tool for the modern music producer’s toolkit.

A UA exclusive, Antares Auto-Tune Realtime for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is the ultimate low-latency tuning solution — optimized for instant live vocal tracking in the studio or on stage.

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SSL 4000 G Bus Compressor Collection

Integral to the hit-making SSL sound, the G Bus Compressor is a legend for making mixes bigger, more powerful, and punchy, all the while enhancing cohesion and clarity.

Officially licensed and approved by Solid State Logic, Universal Audio proudly unveils the SSL 4000 G Bus Compressor Collection, a thorough circuit emulation that goes beyond UA’s original SSL G Bus Compressor plug-in by adding major workflow enhancements while capturing every sonic element of the iconic hardware.

Learn More

Pure Plate Reverb

Engineered by the modeling experts at Universal Audio, Pure Plate Reverb offers the organic, lush sonics of plate reverb in a simple, affordable package — and with all of the essential features. Perfect for beginners and pros alike, Pure Plate Reverb gives any source the unmistakable warmth and texture that only plate reverb can provide.

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Fuchs Train II Amplifier

Developed by Brainworx and officially endorsed by Fuchs Audio Technology, the Fuchs Train II guitar amplifier plug-in perfectly emulates the tonal complexity of this powerful boutique tone machine that has been a go-to for the likes of Mark Knopfler, Brad Paisley, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. Exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

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Eden WT800 Bass Amplifier

Developed by Softube, the Eden WT800 Bass Amplifier plug-in is an exacting emulation of this industry standard bass amp, down to its onboard bi-amping, compression, 5-band EQ, and magical Enhance knob. Exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Learn More

New in UAD v9.2

  • Antares® Auto-Tune Realtime
  • SSL® 4000 G Bus Compressor Collection
  • Pure Plate Reverb
  • Fuchs® Train II Amplifier
  • Eden® WT800 Bass Amplifier
  • New Plugin Features
  • Several New Enhancements and Changes
  • Operating System Compatibility Improvements
  • Mac and Windows Improvements and Feature Changes
  • Thunderbolt Mixed Multi-Unit Compatibility with Windows 10 PC Systems
  • Windows Driver Improvements
  • Console 2 Application for Apollo FireWire Multi-unit Cascading
  • Apollo FireWire Driver Improvements
  • Firmware Updates
  • Pro Tools Improvements

Visit Universal Audio for the full list of release notes here.

 


About Universal Audio

Founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., Universal Audio has been synonymous with innovative recording products since its inception. A favorite engineer of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and more, the late Bill Putnam Sr. was a passionate innovator who is widely regarded as the father of modern recording — with many of his legendary studio and equipment designs still in use today.

Universal Audio was re-founded in 1999 by Bill’s sons, James Putnam and Bill Putnam Jr., with two main goals: to faithfully reproduce classic analog recording equipment in the tradition of their father; and to design new digital recording tools in with the sound and spirit of vintage analog technology. To that end, Universal Audio employs the world’s brightest DSP engineers and digital modeling authorities to develop our award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform. Featuring the most authentic analog emulation plug-ins in the industry, our DSP gurus work with the original hardware manufacturers — using their exact schematics, golden units, and experienced ears — to give UAD plug-ins warmth and harmonics in all the right places, just like analog.

With 165 employees and offices in Los Angeles, Colorado, and Amsterdam, Universal Audio is headquartered near Silicon Valley in Scotts Valley, California — where our classic analog gear is still hand-built, one unit at a time.

Software or hardware, every Universal Audio product is backed by a decade’s long legacy of innovation, superlative quality, and technical passion.

 


Mixing and Mastering Program

Transform rough ideas and basic compositions into dance floor bangers and sonically pleasing commercial quality masters. Learn the well-kept industry secrets of EQ, compression, panning, level balancing, reverb and special effects.

Mixing and MasteringAbout This Program

This program gives you everything you need to refine tracks into a clear commercial quality release, including special mixing and mastering techniques for dubstep, techno, house, trance, downtempo, hip-hop, and the gamut of electronically-produced music. You will learn to mix and master your tracks using the same plugins that top industry engineers use every day, including plugins by Izotope, Soundtoys, Sonnox, Altiverb, and more.

What’s Included

  • Mixing & Mastering Level 1: Mix
  • Mixing & Mastering Level 2: Modify
  • Mixing & Mastering Level 3: Master

Additional Information

Visit the Mixing and Mastering course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call -855-938-2776 or send us a message.

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Plugin Spotlight: Moog Multimode Filter Collection by Universal Audio

This plugin spotlight features the Moog Multimode Filter Collection by Universal Audio, a set of truly authentic, analog-sounding Moog filter emulations.

Moog Multimode Filter

Overview

The legendary sound of Moog analog filters have long reigned supreme as the most influential and musical‑sounding filter circuits ever designed. In a successful effort, Moog and Universal Audio have combined their renowned talents to design a new Moog Multimode Filter Collection for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Capturing the incredibly rich presence and sought after filter characteristics, the Moog Multimode Filter Collection comes bundled with the new Moog Multimode Filter XL plus the previously available Moog Multimode Filter, and the low DSP Moog Multimode Filter SE. These three plugins offer truly authentic, analog-sounding Moog filter emulation, coupled with powerful modulation and control functions that can be used as a tone-shaping secret weapon in a mix or a source of creative madness in a live performance.

Moog Multimode Filter XL

Moog Multimode Filter XL

Built for the modern music producer or audio engineer, the Moog Multimode Filter XL combines various incarnations of Moog designs with expanded modulation and envelope capabilities, improved filter design, and a full-featured, 16-step multi-lane step sequencer for modulating the plugin’s control parameter values over time.

Designed in collaboration with Moog Music Chief Scientist Cyril Lance, the Moog Multimode Filter XL is a more advanced version of UAD’s original Moog Multimode Filter plugin. The new design offers separate filters that can be modulated separately, more filter modes, a variety of filter slopes, a wider range of cutoff frequencies, an envelope follower circuit with a selection of sound shaping parameters and control destinations, endless LFO modulation possibilities, and an intuitive, full-featured, four-lane 16-step sequencer.

Key Features

  • Based on the Moog Sub 37, the improved nonlinear filter design includes four different filter slopes, a full 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range, plus Lowpass, Highpass, Bandpass, and Notch filtering with self-oscillation.
  • Drive control for increasing the amount of saturation gain before the filter, plus a Boost (+20) button that increases the gain range of the Drive circuit.
  • Independent Envelope Attack and Release controls borrowed from The Moog Ladder 500, plus four assignable Envelope destination selections for Filter Cutoff, Resonance, Modulation Amount, and Rate. Also, a Sensitivity control for setting the level of the input signal as it passes into the envelope follower and an Amount control for setting the degree to which the envelope destination is affected by the dynamics of the input signal.
  • Borrowed from the Moog Sonic Six, the LFO Modulation section features two fully independent, Tempo Sync/Tap Tempo controlled LFO Rate controls plus seven independent LFO Wave selections including Slewed Random from the Sub 37. This section also has global LFO Amount, Balance, and Width controls that affect the behavior of both LFOs simultaneously.
  • Borrowed from the Moog Voyager, the Spacing control detunes two separate hard-panned filters for creating stereo spatial effects.
  • 16-step Sequencer with four assignable lanes that feature Sequence Length, Amount, Glide, plus global Direction, Sync, and Swing controls.
  • Output section controls for setting final output volume, wet/dry mix, stereo/mono operation, and left/right balance.
  • The collection includes Moog Multimode Filter XL, Original Moog Multimode Filter, and DSP-lite “SE” version.
  • Comes loaded with artist presets from The Glitch Mob, The Crystal Method, Benno de Goeij, Christoffer Berg, and more.

The Moog Ladder Filter

Moog Multimode Filter

Turning electricity into music, the late electronic music pioneer and inventor of the Moog Synthesizer Bob Moog is famously known for developing legendary analog synthesizers that have inspired generations of musicians and audio engineers. What makes Moog synthesizers so unique is the Voltage Controlled Filter circuitry used in all Moog Synthesizers to this day. Moog’s Ladder Filter is the heart and soul of his instruments and is an essential element of the lush, thick sound that make Moog synthesizers so renowned.

On October 10, 1966, Bob Moog filed the patent #3,475,623 titled “Electronic High Pass and Low Pass Filters Employing the Base to Emitter Diode Resistance of Bipolar Transistors,” which became one of the most influential elements in the Moog sound. Interestingly, Moog’s design gained its name ‘The Ladder Filter’ from the original filter circuit schematic which shows two symmetrical cascades of four transistors and a capacitor between each pair of transistors that does indeed look like a ladder.

Moog Ladder Filter

The Ladder Filter was the first voltage controlled filter design. By using voltage control such as keyboards and envelopes to steer the harmonic content of music over time, the Ladder Filter allowed new ways of manipulating sound which massively advanced musical expression. The Ladder Filter became so revolutionary that it was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2013 for being a great technological achievement that has changed the world.

Nearly 50 years later, Moog’s Ladder Filter remains one of the most musical‑sounding filters heard on countless hit records and used by some of the biggest names in the music industry since its inception. The illustrious sound of the filter was so well received that it quickly become the design reference and sonic benchmark for nearly every synthesizer that has followed.

The great achievements of Bob Moog’s innovative designs and legendary sound has placed him in history as the founding father of synthesizers and the original inspiration for so much of today’s electronic music.

Take Away

The Moog Multimode XL plugin is truly an impressive emulation of the most musical audio filtering circuits ever devised. It delivers that classic Moog richness and personality of the original hardware while also offering modern functionality for sequencer-based music production. What makes this filter stand out from the pack other than its amazing sound and rhythmic precision is that it combines several classic and modern Moog instrument features into one simple, creative control set.

The Moog Multimode Filter Collection is a great set of tools perfect for sculpting and manipulating sounds like the pros. Enhance your music by adding subtle to extreme textures to synths, drums, and other sources or create various styles of expression across the stereo field with independent LFOs. The Drive circuit alone adds musical warmth that will push your sounds harder in the mix. Even better, is that the new plugin design offers modern features such independent control and an intuitive, four-lane step sequencer loaded with options for creating some filter madness.

Moog and UAD have done a stellar job with this plugin. It’s also inspiring to have the opportunity to work with a legendary processor that has been a major recording studio staple for so many decades. This set is remarkably one of the finest “character” filter plugins available today, and at an affordable price. Another great achievement for Universal Audio!

Availability

The Moog Multimode Filter Collection plugin for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is available to download at Universal Audio for $249.

 


About Universal Audio

Founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., Universal Audio has been synonymous with innovative recording products since its inception. A favorite engineer of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and more, the late Bill Putnam Sr. was a passionate innovator who is widely regarded as the father of modern recording — with many of his legendary studio and equipment designs still in use today.

Universal Audio was re-founded in 1999 by Bill’s sons, James Putnam and Bill Putnam Jr., with two main goals: to faithfully reproduce classic analog recording equipment in the tradition of their father; and to design new digital recording tools in with the sound and spirit of vintage analog technology. To that end, Universal Audio employs the world’s brightest DSP engineers and digital modeling authorities to develop our award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform. Featuring the most authentic analog emulation plug-ins in the industry, our DSP gurus work with the original hardware manufacturers — using their exact schematics, golden units, and experienced ears — to give UAD plug-ins warmth and harmonics in all the right places, just like analog.

With 165 employees and offices in Los Angeles, Colorado, and Amsterdam, Universal Audio is headquartered near Silicon Valley in Scotts Valley, California — where our classic analog gear is still hand-built, one unit at a time.

Software or hardware, every Universal Audio product is backed by a decade’s long legacy of innovation, superlative quality, and technical passion.

 


Kontour Tutorial

Sound Design Komplete Program

Finding the right sound can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Learn the fundamentals of synthesis and sampling and gain the depth of knowledge to shape sounds the way you want them or make your own sounds from scratch.

About This Program

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

What’s Included

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Production Techniques
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

Additional Information

Visit the Music Foundations course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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Plugin Spotlight: Analog Strings by Output

Get an in-depth look at Analog Strings by Output, an innovative virtual instrument designed for creating and manipulating string sounds.

Analog Strings

Analog Strings Overview

The team at Output continues to impress with innovative software instruments and groundbreaking concepts. The creative force behind the development of REV, SIGNAL, EXHALE, and SUBSTANCE have extended their line of impressive music production tools with Analog Strings, a radically new approach to crafting and performing strings sounds that are insanely unique and cutting-edge.

“Analog Strings is a modern take on string production. We were meticulous in our sampling but then spent months messing it all up to create something new and different. We’re really excited to hear the music it inspires.” – Gregg Lehrman, Output’s Founder and CEO.

At its core, Analog Strings is a modern virtual instrument for Native Instruments KONTAKT line of devices designed for creating and manipulating string sounds like no other instrument can. Cleverly wrapped up in Outputs signature modern designed interface, Analog Strings offers advanced modulation routing, dual tape loopers, dual arpeggiators, flux sequencing, and four macro sliders along with some insane sound design possibilities. The Output team has also captured the best of the best by recording two string orchestras, the rarest vintage synths, and unconventional elements that can all be blended to create some unmatched sounds. Back that with a 39 GB sound library and 500 presets and you have enough content to push the boundaries of string creation.

Analog Strings in Action

Watch the Output team perform with Analog Strings.

Main Page Fun

The Main Page features Analog Strings’ unique macro design and is where all the fun happens. Here you make quick changes to the instrument’s mix, sound sources, and macro settings. This page is where you’ll want to be when you’re not dialing in the details of the sound, but rather exploring presets and performing with assignable Macros.

Analog Strings

The controls on the bottom half of the main page will remain throughout the instrument regardless of which page you are using. Here you can mute, mix, reverse, or mutate playback settings depending on the type of source you’re playing.

Advanced Editing

Sculpt and manipulate your sounds with precision on Analog String’s Edit Page. This page is where the trigger settings for both sound sources can be set. Dive deep into the details with essential controls for editing the volume/amplifier ADSR envelope, the pitch ADSR envelope, pitch flutter, stereo pan field, tuning, and playback settings. You can also enable/disable monophonic and legato modes from the Edit Page as well as access more advanced features for even more immersive control.

Analog Strings

In the Advanced menu, you can set the key range, swap stereo perspective (for orchestral sources), adjust the glide time, dial in velocity sensitivity, edit color settings per layer, and much more.

FX Page

The FX Page offers a vast selection of audio effects and controls for dialing both Layer FX and Global FX.

Layer FX

Analog Strings
  • Filter: Eleven different filter types with frequency cutoff, resonance control, velocity sensitivity cutoff modulation, and Filter Envelope.
  • EQ: Three frequency bands with adjustable bandwidth and gain cut/boost controls.
  • Distortion: Equipped with three types of distortion styles that include Tube, Drive, and Lo-Fi.
  • Compressor: Threshold, ratio, attack, release, and gain control.
  • Delay: Tempo-synced delay time, feedback, L-R pan amount, wet/dry mix control.
  • Reverb: Room modeled reverb with pre-delay, size, and dry/wet control.

Global FX

Analog Strings
  • Filter: High and lowpass filters with frequency cutoff and resonance control.
  • EQ: Three frequency bands with adjustable Q and gain cut/boost controls.
  • Distortion: Emulates the tone of classic British guitar amps. Gain sets the ‘preamp’ gain, the bass, middle, and treble are tone color controls.
  • Compressor/Limiter: Compressor offers a threshold control, ratio range from 1:1-1:25, attack/release and gain. The limiter has input gain controls and release time.
  • Motion: Chorus and Phaser effects with selectable depth, speed, feedback, phase, and wet/dry controls.
  • Delay: Two tempo-synced delay time, feedback, L-R pan amount(ping-pong) and wet/dry mix control.
  • Convolution Reverb: Select from up to sixteen different ‘creative’ impulse responses and seven different realistic impulse responses. Control the pre-delay time, early reflection size, late reflection size, cutoff frequencies of high and lowpass filters, and the overall wet/dry mix.

Feel The Rhythm

Each layer of Analog Strings sports two independent rhythm generators that can be either set to LFO or Step Sequencer. The rhythm generators can be used to modulate layer volume, layer pan, filter cutoff, filter resonance, tube saturation, distortion drive amount, lo-fi distortion bits, and lo-fi distortion sample rate. The top section of the page also offers controls for setting the rate (speed) of modulation and dialing in the amount of modulation being sent to either of the eight available modulation destinations. You can also quickly enable/disable all rhythmic modulation or any individual rhythm generator. This section also features Flux, a reimagined step rate sequencer that determines the modulation rate of all rhythm generators. Each step of the flux rate sequencer has a rate parameter – meaning when the flux sequencer reaches a step, all rhythms with Flux enabled will modulate at the rate set to the current Flux Rate sequencer step. Additionally, you can set each Flux sequencer step to remain on the current step for a set amount of time.

Analog Strings

Moving further down the interface is where you select between the LFO or Step Sequencer modulation types. Each modulation type offers a selection of controls and access to presets that include LFO wave shapes and Step Sequencer patterns. In addition, you can also draw your own step pattern or create a custom LFO shape.

Arpeggiatorize

Analog Strings’ dual arpeggiator is the most advanced arp Output has built to date. Select the direction of arpeggiation from a menu offering twelve arp types and then release arpeggio madness with a host of controls for adjusting the speed, duration, gate time, swing, octave, and velocity.

Analog Strings

The step table shown in the arpeggiator allows you to program in the accent level of each note in the arpeggio. Here you can adjust the number of steps, reverse or randomized steps, control the amount of repetition of each step, and set a pedal setting which determines whether the highest or lowest note will be alternated when ‘pedal’ is enabled.

Heaps of Presets

Analog Strings comes loaded with 500 explosive presets that can quickly be swapped out from any page. The dedicated Preset Page gives you access to a monstrous list of presets with an ultra helpful tag filter that offers 30 tags to help filter your search by characteristic. You can also “star” favorite presets and then sort the preset list by favorites.

Analog Strings

Key Features

  • A playable instrument with 500 presets
  • 39 GB sound library (20 GB compressed)
  • Powerful dual-layer sound engine
  • Four central macro sliders unique to each preset
  • Advanced modulation routing
  • Layer FX and global FX
  • Dual arpeggiators
  • Dual tape loopers
  • Flux sequencing
  • Syncs to tempo
  • Preset menu with smart tagging
  • Built-in help menu

The Breakdown

Analog Strings brings a new era of advanced sound design to the forefront and is capable of serving some seriously styled-out string sounds. The elegant but modern looking design, intuitive control, and flexibility make it an excellent tool for creating and manipulating simple or complex string sounds with little effort. Everything about this thrilling plugin sparks instant creative inspiration and is a must have if you’re looking for an innovative and highly expressive new software instrument.

Pricing and Availability

Available at Output and Authorized Output Dealers for $199 USD
For more information and bundle options visit the Output.com.

 


About Output

Output is a modern music company developing innovative software for musicians, composers, producers and sound designers. The focus is simple – enable music makers to BE CREATIVE.

 


Kontour Tutorial

Sound Design Komplete Program

Finding the right sound can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Learn the fundamentals of synthesis and sampling and gain the depth of knowledge to shape sounds the way you want them or make your own sounds from scratch.

About This Program

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

What’s Included

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Production Techniques
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

Additional Information

Visit the Music Foundations course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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The post Plugin Spotlight: Analog Strings by Output appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Plugin Spotlight: Cooper Time Cube MkII by Universal Audio

This plugin spotlight features the Cooper Time Cube MkII by Universal Audio, a unique emulation of the original garden hose-based mechanical delay device.

Cooper Time Cube

Overview

The UAD line of plug-ins is famously known for their unmatched ability to emulate legendary classics with precision at the highest quality. The Cooper Time Cube is an example of their mastery to not only capture the original sound characteristics and functionality but to also provide modern enhancements for today’s sonic demands.

Designed by Duane H. Cooper and Bill Putnam, the Cooper Time Cube was a garden hose-based mechanical delay device introduced in 1971. Over the years it has achieved cult status as the most unique delay processors ever made. Famous for its short delay and doubling effects, the original the Cooper Time Cube offers simplicity at its finest as well an impressive ability to sit perfectly in the mix.

The Cooper Time Cube MkII plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is a precise emulation of the coveted original hardware unit. It faithfully captures the sound of the original delay system, while offering modern delay features making it a versatile, fat-sounding space maker worth checking out.

Key Features

  • Designed by Duane H. Cooper and Bill Putnam — one of the most unique delays ever made
  • All the vibe of the original, with modern feature enhancements
  • Two delay lines can be set independently and adjusted with Delay, Decay, Pan and Volume controls
  • Separately adjustable tempo sync for both A & B delay lines
  • “Coils” selection recreates the original sound of the CTC regardless of Delay setting
  • Treble and Bass tone controls, High Pass Filter, Wet Solo, and analog-style metering
  • MIMO, MISO and SISO operation (SISO is true stereo)
  • Requires a UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface available from authorized dealers worldwide

The Original Cooper Time Cube

Cooper Time Cube

Designed by Dr. Duane H. Cooper of the University of Illinois and Bill Putnam of UREI, the original UREI/Universal Audio Model 920-16 Cooper Time Cube was a unique delay system that introduced a garden-hose-based mechanical delay to the stage in 1971. Originally created specifically for recording studio and motion picture sound applications, the original Cooper Time Cube became famous for its unmatched short delay and doubling effects, as well its astounding ability to enhance sounds in the mix. However, the hardware unit was limited and only provided 14ms, 16ms or a combined 30ms delay setting. Although it was less flexible than conventional tape-based delays of the time, the Cooper Time Cube provided a unique character that became highly sought after. In addition, only 1,000 were ever made.

Cooper Time Cube

The original Cooper Time Cube hardware was built with a rugged 2′ x 2′ plywood housing filled with coiled tubing, Shure SM57-style microphone capsules at both ends of each line used as speakers and pickups, and a series of tooled aluminum blocks with “tuning screws” at various places for tuning the delay. Also, the entire delay mechanism was suspended on springs within the housing to maintain “acoustical isolation,” and was then filled with packing peanuts. In addition, a 3 1/2″ x 19″ rack mount unit provided two audio channels, a power supply, access to four UREI 1109 line amplifiers, independent delay line input gains, a meter to view the delay output, and four TRS jacks for front-panel signal access and routing. The rear of the unit included two standard 25″ microphone extension cables with XLR-3 type connectors for interconnecting the chassis and the housing.

Cooper Time Cube

Before the era of digital delay, the hardware worked by sending live audio through long pieces of tubing to create a time delay. There were two channels, A and B. Each channel is transduced to/from a coiled length of plastic tubing which provides the acoustic “sound columns” that define its distinctive sonic character. The coils for each channel are placed at fixed but different lengths, which defines the available single delay times of 16ms for channel A and 14ms for channel B. The two channels could also be cascaded in series via external routing to create a total delay time of 30ms.

Since its inception, this incredible delay unit has grown a strong following and has found a home in some of the most prestigious studios around the globe and has been used on countless hit records over the years. Top producers and engineers such as Richard Dodd, Vance Powell, and Joe Chicarelli still swear by the Cooper Time Cube for its unique character and its exceptional ability to always sit perfectly in the mix.

Working with Cooper Time Cube

Cooper Time Cube

The Cooper Time Cube MkII plug-in has all the vibe of the original plus modern feature enhancements easily accessible through a user-friendly interface. It is a true stereo plug-in that sports two independent delay processors. Each channel has its own set of controls in addition to global controls. The front panel provides all the controls; there are no hidden panels and options. The plug-in version goes much further by offering all the necessary features expected from a modern delay device such as independent channel controls for Delay times, Decay, Pan, Volume, and Tempo Sync. MkII also incorporates other enhanced tone-shifting features such as a 2-pole high pass filter and a Color switch that toggles between the original filter emphasis of the hardware in position A and the “leveled” filter frequency response in position B, which allows for greater Decay ranges. Lastly, there is also a switch for soloing the Wet signal and a Send switch that allows momentary interruption of the signal being sent into the delay system. In addition, UAD offers 32 presets to get you going with ease. They provide a good starting place to hear all the different delay possibilities.

Take Away

The Cooper Time Cube MkII is a brilliant sounding spatial processor that delivers the sound of the original delay system while offering all the necessary features expected from a modern delay device. The distinct sound of the single or double hose Coil is preserved regardless of delay setting, and either sound is available at the flick of a switch. This delay is great for adding subtle richness and loudness enhancement to any sound using the shorter delay times or for introducing small room ambiances and more traditional echoes with longer delay times.

Also, it’s inspiring to have the opportunity to work with a legendary processor that has been a major recording studio staple for over three decades. Not many delay plug-ins can deliver this magnitude of performance at a fraction of the price that aging hardware version is going for. The Universal Audio Cooper Time Cube MkII is remarkability one of the finest “character” delay plugins available today at an affordable price. Another great achievement for Universal Audio!

Availability

The Cooper Time Cube MkII plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is available to download at Universal Audio.

 


About Universal Audio

Founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., Universal Audio has been synonymous with innovative recording products since its inception. A favorite engineer of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and more, the late Bill Putnam Sr. was a passionate innovator who is widely regarded as the father of modern recording — with many of his legendary studio and equipment designs still in use today.

Universal Audio was re-founded in 1999 by Bill’s sons, James Putnam and Bill Putnam Jr., with two main goals: to faithfully reproduce classic analog recording equipment in the tradition of their father; and to design new digital recording tools in with the sound and spirit of vintage analog technology. To that end, Universal Audio employs the world’s brightest DSP engineers and digital modeling authorities to develop our award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform. Featuring the most authentic analog emulation plug-ins in the industry, our DSP gurus work with the original hardware manufacturers — using their exact schematics, golden units, and experienced ears — to give UAD plug-ins warmth and harmonics in all the right places, just like analog.

With 165 employees and offices in Los Angeles, Colorado, and Amsterdam, Universal Audio is headquartered near Silicon Valley in Scotts Valley, California — where our classic analog gear is still hand-built, one unit at a time.

Software or hardware, every Universal Audio product is backed by a decade’s long legacy of innovation, superlative quality, and technical passion.

 


Mixing and Mastering Program

Transform rough ideas and basic compositions into dance floor bangers and sonically pleasing commercial quality masters. Learn the well-kept industry secrets of EQ, compression, panning, level balancing, reverb and special effects.

Mixing and MasteringAbout This Program

This program gives you everything you need to refine tracks into a clear commercial quality release, including special mixing and mastering techniques for dubstep, techno, house, trance, downtempo, hip-hop, and the gamut of electronically-produced music. You will learn to mix and master your tracks using the same plugins that top industry engineers use every day, including plugins by Izotope, Soundtoys, Sonnox, Altiverb, and more.

What’s Included

  • Mixing & Mastering Level 1: Mix
  • Mixing & Mastering Level 2: Modify
  • Mixing & Mastering Level 3: Master

Additional Information

Visit the Mixing and Mastering course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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Classic Gear Spotlight: Roland TB-303 Bass Line

Synth guru Ross Kelly investigates the history of Roland’s legendary TB-303 Bass Line Synth in this spotlight series exploring the vintage gear that has had historical influences on music.

TB-303

Roland TB-303 Bass Line

It could be argued that Roland’s TB-303 is one of the most important electronic instruments of the 20th century. Over the last 30 years this small plastic box has given birth to countless hits, influenced numerous producers, and inspired an entire genre of music. However, the TB-303 wasn’t always a big player in the game. There was a time when nobody knew what to do with this instrument, and it took years for the true potential to be discovered.

Released in 1982 for the retail price of $395, the Roland TB-303 was originally intended to be a bass accompaniment instrument for musicians. It was designed by Roland engineer Tadao Kikumoto (who was also responsible for the design of the TR-909 analog drum machine) to be used as a bass guitar replacement for rehearsals and live gigs. For this intended purpose, the 303 was a failure. The instrument’s esoteric sequencer programmer combined with its very synthetic sound did not strike the target market. As a result, less than 20,000 units were sold in its 18-month release.

As a result of the device missing its target market with musicians, the TB-303 became a relatively inexpensive device in the 1980s, easily found in pawn shops and used instrument stores. The low asking price of the 303 on the used market made it a favorite amongst aspiring artists in the burgeoning Chicago house music scene of the mid-80s. Chicago-based acid-house group Phuture is often sighted as the ones to coin the term “acid house” after the release of their 1987 EP “Acid Trax.” Acid Trax featured a new direction of sound possibilities using the TB-303. Instead of programming a simple bassline, Phuture animated the 303 by manipulating the synthesizers controls in real time while recording. This innovation created the classic squelchy sound that the 303 is famously known for. The popularity of “Acid Trax,” particularly in Europe where house music was gaining popularity, would take the 303 from a bargain synthesizer to one of the most sought after instruments in electronic music by the early 90s. Since then, demand has pushed the prices upwards, and today a used TB-303 can go for $3000+ on the used market.

Officially released 1987 on Chicago’s Trax Records, Phuture’s “Acid Trax” spawned a new genre

On the surface, the TB-303 looks like a limited synthesizer. It’s a plastic box with six knobs, a single oscillator offering square or sawtooth waveforms, and a 24db low-pass filter. However, the 303 is capable of a wide variety of sounds due to its aggressive filter and unique sequencer which offers accent and glide control. The sequencer in the 303, along with the filter, are responsible for creating those classic squeals and squelches that make it so identifiable. Many synthesizers can make similar sounds, but without the unique slide and accent functions of the 303s built-in sequencer, they can not completely nail the sound of an authentic Roland TB-303. The slide and accent are what give the 303 its percussive hits and rubbery slides. These features in unison with creative tweaking of the synthesizer controls in real time are what make for stereotypical 303 acid line.

Newcleus’ hit “Jam On It” is one of the first records to feature the TB-303

Over the years there have been many many emulations of the TB-303, both in hardware and more recently in software form. In 1996 Roland released the MC-303 groovebox, which is physically inspired by the 303 and features a TR/TB style sequencer. However, the sounds in the MC-303 are based on samples and was not well received. By 2005 the demand for the 303 sound had grown, and the Adafruit x0xb0x was born. Initially offered as an open source DIY project, the x0xb0x is one of the most popular hardware emulations. It was the first successful recreation that features an authentic 303 sounds and is notable for being the first with an authentic sequencer as well. The commercial availability of pre-constructed x0xb0x units from sources such as Willzyx have also helped the x0xb0x’s popularity. Another popular hardware emulation is the Cyclone Analogic “Bass Bot tt-303″ which also offers an authentic 303 sound and physically looks very similar to the original unit.

Adafruit x0xb0x

There are also some notable software emulations of the TB-303. The first of these was ReBirth, released by Propellerheads in 1997. ReBirth features not just an emulation of the 303, but also the TR-808 and TR-909 analog drum machines with authentic sequencers. Propellerheads have recently brought ReBirth back as an iOS app as well. One of the most popular pieces of 303 emulation software is AudioRealism’s “Bass Line” plugin. Bass Line offers a very deep and tweakable interface that gives users detailed control of their acid line. Another 303 emulation option is the Sonic Faction’s “Evilfish 303” Instrument for Ableton Live users. This device emulates the popular “Devilfish” modifications, which is a popular set of modifications found on the original 303 that widely expanded its sound palette by adding distortion and other sound sculpting features.

More recently, Roland released the battery-powered TB-03 as part of their Boutique line series of limited-edition modules that faithfully recreates some of Roland’s most legendary instruments. The TB-03 is a direct descendant of the famous TB-303 Bass Line Synth that sports the same layout and controls as the original. It also sounds like it too, thanks to Roland’s advanced ACB technology that recreates the hypnotic liquid grooves of the magic silver box. The new TB-03 goes even further by introducing several enhancements not found on the original model. The four-digit LED display makes programming easier and more accurate, while overdrive and delay effects let you unleash a twisted, tribal wall of sound to send the crowd into a frenzy. The TB-03 can also send control information via MIDI or its USB port, which also allows the TB-03 to function as an audio interface.

For more info on the current TB-303 clones, check out this article on emulating the TB-303 sound.

TB-303′s Influence on Electronic Music

As one of the most iconic sounds in electronic dance music, the TB-303 can be heard on thousands of records. In the late 1980s and early 90s, artists like DJ Pierre, Phuture, Underground Resistance, Hardfloor, Jesse Saunders, and Richie Hawtin launched their careers with the sound of the TB-303. Other artists such as the Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy, Madonna, Newcleus, Orbital, 808 State, Aphex Twin, Uberzone, The Pet Shop Boys, and Luke Vibert are also notable artists who successfully created music with the TB-303.

 


About Ross Kelly

Ross Kelly is a Chicago-based DJ, producer, and synth guru who is a one-half of Night Moves, a cosmic disco party at Danny’s in Chicago. He is also a partner at Kokorokoko Vintage, an 80s and 90s themed vintage clothing shop in Chicago.

 


EDU Summer Sessions

Music Foundations Program

Unravel electronic music’s origins, build your chops, learn musical language and theory, and make and play music the way you want. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, strengthen their keyboard skills, and learn valuable music theory, deepening their creative practice and facilitating effective collaborations with musical partners.

About This Program

The best producers, DJs, and musicians in the world strive to be well-rounded. So should you. In Dubspot’s Music Foundations Program, you’ll explore three major aspects of music: rhythmic theory, melodic theory, and critical listening.

Most pioneering early electronic musicians had years of conservatory training in theory and performance but had access to very limited technologies. In today’s musical world, it’s the opposite: we have a powerful and versatile array of electronic music making tools at our fingertips, but often fall short in our theoretical understanding of how electronic music works.

Our Music Foundations program is designed to fill this gap and provide training in fundamental skills and concepts with the electronic musician, DJ, and producer in mind. In this course, you’ll build your chops and learn the basics of musical language and theory so that you can make and play the music you want. You will also develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, and explore compositional techniques and song structure. The weekly homework lessons for all three courses have been designed using Ableton Live, and along the way you’ll also learn the basics of Ableton and how to use it as a powerful tool to improve your musicianship in a variety of ways.

What’s Included

  • Music Foundations Level 1: Pads & Rhythmic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 2: Keys & Melodic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 3: Critical Listening

Additional Information

Visit the Music Foundations course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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Music Tech News Roundup: NAMM 2017

NAMM 2017 arrives with all the latest in music products, pro audio, sound, lighting, and entertainment technology. To kick off the excitement, we rounded up some NAMM highlights.

NAMM 2017

Elektron Digitakt

Elektron Digitakt

Elektron debuts Digitakt, a new compact and rugged eight track drum machine. Digitakt is equipped with a highly flexible sound engine, sampling capability, a live-friendly sequencer, and the means to control external MIDI gear. Round it off with a super crisp OLED screen and wonderfully tactile back-lit buttons. Done deal.

Read more at Elektron

DSI REV2 16-Voice Poly Synth

Introducing the all new 16-voice analog Dave Smith Instruments REV2 poly synth. The REV2 retains all of the key features of the Prophet ’08 and expands on them. It has twice the polyphony, twice the mod matrix, waveshape modulation on all waveforms, digital effects per layer in stacked or split voice mode, a polyphonic step sequencer per layer, USB connectivity, and more. The result is a true analog powerhouse.

Read more at Dave Smith Instruments

 

DSI + Pioneer DJ Toraiz AS-1

The TORAIZ AS-1 is driven by a fully programmable, true analog synthesis engine based on the discrete analog circuitry in Dave Smith Instruments’ Prophet-6 synthesizer – a modern reboot of his classic Prophet-5. You can connect the TORAIZ AS-1 synth to the TORAIZ SP-16 live sampler via MIDI and use the sampler’s sophisticated sequencer to create even more complex patterns with the powerful analog sounds you’ve created in the synthesizer. Together, the two TORAIZ instruments can be connected to your DJM mixer via Pro DJ Link and MIDI, creating a set-up where the CDJs play the track, the TORAIZ SP-16 adds loops and one-shots, and the TORAIZ AS-1 generates unique analog leads in sync with the BPM of the music.

Read more at Pioneer DJ

 

Bitwig Studio 2

Bitwig announces they plan to release Bitwig Studio 2 February 28th, 2017. Released back in 2014, Bitwig Studio 1 was the first music production software to combine linear and non-linear sequencing on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Combining cutting edge technologies like plug-in crash protection and a highly flexible user interface, alongside a lightning fast workflow experience for keyboard, mouse and touch screens, Bitwig Studio has attracted a large and steadily growing user base all over the world.

Read more at Bitwig

 

Teenage Engineering PO-32 + Microtonic Compatibility

Teenage Engineering introduces a new model to their compact Pocket Operator line with a drum and percussion synthesizer called PO-32 Tonic. The new model was designed in collaboration with Magnus Lidström, whose Sonic Charge studio created the Microtonic drum synthesizer. This next level Pocket Operator comes equipped with a fresh selection of new punch-in fx, import/export functionality, and a built-in microphone that allows direct wireless transfer of sounds and pattern data between units, as well as the desktop version of Microtonic.

Read more at Teenage Engineering

 

Korg Arp Odyssey FS

KORG reveals a full-size reissue of their vintage ARP Odyssey synthesizer. This limited edition ARP ODYSSEY FS is a faithful recreation of the original ARP Odyssey and an alternative to the compact 86%-sized unit. The ARP ODYSSEY FS comes equipped with a standard keyboard, a spacious panel layout with faders that are smooth to operate, and a robust but light body. Choose from three designs: Rev1, Rev2, or Rev3.

Read more at KORG

 

RME Fireface UFX II

RME UFX II

RME is set to unveil their next generation Fireface, the UFX II. The new Fireface UFX II audio interface combines flexible recording and playback operation with RME’s industry-renowned low-latency hardware and drivers. With 60 channels of audio (30 inputs and 30 outputs) and support for sample rates up to 192 kHz, the new Fireface UFX II is the ideal audio solution for a variety of professional audio applications such as recording, mixing, monitoring and live performance. That’s not all; this powerful audio interface comes stacked with a host of functionality and updated technology.

Read more at RME

 

Roland GO:KEYS and GO:PIANO

Roland GO-KEYS

Roland rolls out a new line of portable keyboards – GO:KEYS and GO:PIANO. Both models are designed for novice musicians who want to create music with no formal training and come with a 61-note keyboard, Bluetooth connectivity, built-in speakers, sounds derived from Roland professional synthesizers, and are battery powered. The GO:KEYS keyboard gives you the ability to trigger loop phrases, build songs in real time with drums, bass, and various instruments, and then manipulate those loops with intuitive one-touch controls. The GO:PIANO is suited for those who wish to learn to play the instrument, with no prior experience. It offers a collection of electric pianos, organs, and other sounds for exploring different styles. The metronome, onboard recorder, and transpose function are convenient features that support your daily practice, while Bluetooth connectivity allows you to play along with piano lesson apps, instructional videos, and more.

Read more about GO:KEYS and GO:PIANO

 

Behringer DeepMind 12

Behringer has unveiled an impressive analog 12-Voice polyphonic synthesizer equipped with four FX engines, two digitally controlled analog oscillator and two LFOs per voice, three ADSR generators, an extensive 8-channel modulation matrix, 32-step control sequencer, tablet remote control, built-in Wifi, and so much more. This beast packs some serious synthesis firepower!

Read more at Behringer

 

Akai MPC Live

MPC Live

Akai Professional announces the newest addition to the iconic MPC line, the MPC Live. This latest edition takes the immersive production workflow introduced by the MPC Touch and adds standalone functionality and a revised feature set. The new MPC Live sports a full-color 7-inch multi-touch screen, 16 amazingly responsive, velocity- and pressure-sensitive RGB pads, four touch-capacitive Q-Link controls, and a large, clickable master encoder knob, and much more!

Read more at Akai Professional

MOD Duo

MOD Devices launches MOD Duo, a new audio processor with unlimited, downloadable plugins. Light, compact and robust, the new MOD Duo is a multi-effects pedal designed to replace heavy rigs by allowing guitarists access to plugins, including effects, synths, amp simulations, and various other tools. The MOD Duo allows musicians to make infinite combinations of effects, synths, amp simulations, tools and much more with hundreds of current plugins.

Read more at MOD Devices

 

KORG’s Limited Edition Products

KORG

KORG has announced three new limited edition models: Kronos Gold, Krome Platinum series, and MS-20 mini White Monotone. All three models offer the same great sounds and features as the originals plus some extras. The KRONOS 88-key model comes in a gold brushed aluminum body with sunburst wood side panels. The workhorse Krome Workstation is now available in an eagerly-awaited, eye-catching platinum color. The MS-20 mini, which faithfully reproduced the classic MS-20 at 86% of the original size, is now available in a limited-edition White Monotone color.

Read more at KORG

 

Roland Go:Mixer and Rubix Interfaces

Roland Rubix

Roland is on fire this year with new products. The new Go:Mixer is a compact mixer for smartphone video production. Compatible with iOS and Android smartphones, it connects digitally via an included cable to give the user inputs for a mic, musical instruments, and other devices. Front-panel knobs provide hands-on mixing for the mic and instruments, as well as an output jack for monitoring the sound via headphones or an external amplification system.

Roland has also announced the new Rubix USB audio interface series. The three models – Rubix 22 (2-in, 2-out), 24 (2-in, 4-out, with compressor), and 44 (4-in, 4-out) offer a perfect balance of high-fidelity sound, solid build quality, compact size, affordable prices, and crucial features for today’s musicians and producers. With support for high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192kHz, Rubix interfaces sound clear and defined thanks their extremely low noise from input to output. Also, their near universal USB support works seamlessly with Mac and PC computers, as well as iPads for the ultimate in portable music production and performance.

Read more at Roland

 

IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O

The new iRig Pro I/O gives musicians and producers a pocket-sized mobile personal recording studio for all platforms, with high-definition audio I/O, professional quality preamp, MIDI input/output, a huge software bundle and more. iRig Pro I/O is designed for all your gear — studio mics, vocal mics, guitars, basses, keyboards, sound modules, MIDI Controllers, you name it! iRig Pro I/O gives you all the features needed for modern day recording plus full version IK Software including AmpliTube for iOS, AmpliTube 4 for Mac/PC, SampleTank 3 SE, T-RackS Deluxe with Mic Room, and more.

Read more at IK Multimedia

 

Gemini MAS-1 Controller

Gemini MAS-1

Gemini announces the MAS-1 controller, the company’s first Midi controller designed for clip-based performance software like Ableton Live. The MAS-1 is a performance controller that combines the feel of a four-channel DJ mixer with controls for devices and effects. Stand out features include a four-channel mixer section with full EQ and channel faders, 45mm crossfader for fast DJ-style transitions, built-in low-latency four channel audio interface with balanced outputs, full clip control with scene and clip launching and RGB illumination, encoders with LED rings for adaptive software feedback, full looping control, and more.

Read more at Gemini

 


DJ Extensive Program

Immerse yourself in the complete art of DJing: from the fundamentals of beatmatching and mixing to using effects and programming extended club sets. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn fundamentals or a seasoned pro looking to take your talent to the next level, our curriculum is designed to accommodate all skill levels and styles of music. This comprehensive DJ program covers everything from basic mixing to advanced digital DJing with both Serato Scratch Live and Traktor Scratch Pro.

About This Program

At Dubspot you’ll be working at personal student workstations equipped with industry standard and cutting-edge technology: Technics SL-1200 / 1210 series turntables, Pioneer CDJs, Pioneer DJM or Rane TTM mixers, Apple iMacs and MacBook Pros, Native Instruments’ Traktor Scratch Pro, Serato Scratch Live, vinyl, CDs, timecode, and MIDI controllers.

Our instructors teach you the necessary techniques and draw on their vast collective experience to give you insight into the mindset, workflow, and art of DJing. Graduates of the DJ Extensive Program will have an opportunity to perform at an event in a New York City venue, organized and promoted by Dubspot together with you and your fellow students. At Dubspot, we want you to do more than just learn. We want you to be great at doing what you love. Let us help you get there!

What’s Included

  • DJ Level 1: Rookie Sessions | Essentials I
  • DJ Level 2: Phrase Mixing | Essentials II
  • DJ Level 3: Beyond The Blend | Intermediate Skills
  • DJ Level 4: Preparation | DJ Psychology
  • DJ Level 5: Classroom to the Club | Advanced Techniques I
  • DJ Level 6: Club to the World | Advanced Techniques II

Additional Information

Visit the DJ course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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Plugin Spotlight: Decimort 2 by D16 Group

This plugin spotlight features Decimort 2, an impressive high-quality bitcrusher developed by D16 Group that offers the coloration and warmth characteristic of circuits from classic samplers.

Decimort

Overview

At its core, D16′s Decimort 2 effect unit is an impressive bitcrusher and sample rate reducer that sports some highly unconventional features. The advanced signal processing algorithms within Decimort are geared to simulate those sought after “grit” and “color” characteristics of vintage hardware samplers. Decimort 2 recreates this musical coloration and adds that vintage sampler magic back to any imaginable sound you run through it. That’s not all; Decimort 2 also extends its capabilities beyond vintage sampler emulation. This full featured unit brings a new level of control not commonly found on other bitcrushing plugins giving you even more sound shaping possibilities. For an affordable price, you can easily create a low-fidelity “fat” sound that sits well in the mix.

Advanced Capabilities

Decimort 2 offers more than traditional bitcrushing plugins by introducing a selection of advanced features all implemented in a beautifully designed interface that impresses with its professional quality sound. The stand out features that make this unit so great include:

Decimort
  • Two optional anti-alias filters: The Approximative Filter gives you the option to control the amount of aliasing that occurs at the output. The filter features a very steep low-pass pre-filter coupled with the resampling frequency that removes all harmonic content above the set frequency, ensuring no aliasing will appear below that frequency. The Image Filter is another post filtering option that is also synchronized with the Resampler section of controls. It is used to give you control over the amount of aliasing images appearing above the resampling frequency when enabled.
  • Adjustable Jitter: This uncommon feature introduces short-period, random fluctuations to the resampling frequency which produces a type of harmonic distortion that is often different and interesting.
  • Quantization methods: Decimort also sports a Quantizer module used to control the signal’s amplitude quantization. Basically, you choose between a set of algorithms each with drastically different dynamics responses to enhance your sounds even further.
  • Controllable dithering: D16 added a dithering option to reduce unpleasant harmonic distortion that occurs when degrading the signal’s amplitude. It essentially reduces audible quantization errors by masking the harmonic distortions they cause.
  • Two in one: Decimort is also equipped with four analog-like filters that have an adjustable resonance to allow further sculpting of the signal. These can be used to smooth the sound or remove sonic artifacts introduced into the signal path.

Key Features

  • Ultra accurate resampling algorithm (ADC emulation, no harmonics above 22kHz)
  • Approximative (pre) filter and Image (post) filter, both conjugated with resampler
  • Adjustable jitter
  • Quantization with controlled dithering
  • Two quantization methods (mid-raiser, mid-tread)
  • Analog-like filters with adjustable resonance and cutoff
  • Tag based preset browser
  • Two alternative GUI sizes
  • MIDI-learn functionality throughout
  • 64 bit internal processing
  • No harmonic distortions at output (unwanted)

Working with Decimort 2

Like all D16 products, I was thoroughly impressed with Decimort 2. The intuitive and easy to understand interface allows you to jump in and get amazing results right away without having to figure out complex controls and options. If you’re familiar with other stellar D16 products like Devastator and Toraverb, then you will feel right at home with Decimort’s design. The sound quality and bitcrushing detail is absolutely amazing! This plugin is arguably one of the best vintage bitcrushing emulations I’ve had the pleasure to try. Not only is Decimort capable of mangling your sounds into creative new directions, but it also comes equipped with unmatched control and sound shaping possibilities.

Decimort

I quickly got started by loading up Decimort on a drum loop and began flipping through a wide variety of presets to hear how it transformed the sound. Once I settled on a preset, I then tweaked all the different controls to hear how they altered the sound further, at times pushing it to extremes to hear just how wild I could make the drum loop sound. In the end, I now have a new go-to tool for giving my sounds that famous “lo-fi” touch that works great for any genre of music. Decimort is truly a powerful and musical effect that will make a fine addition to your arsenal. In addition, it gives you the ability to emulate classic sampling units in-the-box with even greater precision at an affordable price.

Availability

Decimort 2 is available to download at D16 Group and authorized dealers.

Decimort 2 Sound Examples

 

 


Kontour Tutorial

Sound Design Komplete Program

Finding the right sound can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Learn the fundamentals of synthesis and sampling and gain the depth of knowledge to shape sounds the way you want them or make your own sounds from scratch.

About This Program

Become fluent in the language of sound design and synthesis with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers the major techniques used for contemporary sound design.

You will learn to create your own sounds with a variety of techniques and add a personal sonic signature to your tracks. We introduce you to the latest synthesis and sampling technologies and show you how to use the world’s largest and most diverse sound library. In the advanced levels, you will acquire total control over all aspects of the Komplete instruments while practicing genre-based sound design.

What’s Included

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Production Techniques
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming and Instrument Building

Additional Information

Visit the Music Foundations course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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Classic Gear Spotlight: Yamaha DX7 FM Synthesizer

Synth guru Ross Kelly investigates the discovery of FM synthesis and development of Yamaha’s legendary DX7 synthesizer in this spotlight series exploring the vintage gear that has had historical influences on music.

Yamaha DX7

The Yamaha DX7 Synthesizer

In 1983 Yamaha made history with the release of one of their most legendary synthesizers, the DX7 Digital Programmable Algorithm Synthesizer. The DX7 was not the first digital synthesizer, but it was the first affordable one to hit the market which ended up sparking a revolution. The unique sound and affordability of the DX7 made it both famous and infamous as the synthesizer sound of the 1980s.

FM Synthesis Origins

The story of the DX7 began at Stanford University in the late 1960s when a music composition graduate student named John Chowning took an interest in electronic music. He began his research with a piece of early music software called MUSIC that had been developed at Bell Laboratories in the 1950s by a scientist named Max Matthews. Mathews had continued development of this software, keeping it current as technology went from vacuum tube-based computers to transistors. Chowning worked to expand the MUSIC software, and through his experiments discovered the sound creation method that would become known as FM synthesis (frequency modulation synthesis).

John Chowning and the DX7

After some demonstrations of his discoveries, Stanford saw potential in Chowning’s work and pushed to license the technology to music equipment manufacturers. After many failed attempts to find an interested manufacturer, Yamaha sent an engineer to assess the new technology. The engineer was excited by what he saw and Yamaha ended up licensing the technology from Stanford to began further developing the concepts alongside Chowning. The licensing of Chowning’s discovery’s turned out to be one of the second most profitable deals that Stanford had ever inked, bringing in a reported $20 million before its expiration in 1995.

John Chowning - DX7

John Chowning – DX7

Once Yamaha had the license for FM synthesis, it began development of a functional musical instrument. In 1981 Yamaha released the first synthesizer based on Chowning’s research, the behemoth GS-1 FM synthesizer. The GS-1 was built to look like a miniature grand piano that cost close to $20,000 and weighed about 175 lbs. Also, the GS-1 was nothing like other synthesizers of the time. It’s large size, and complex design made it extremely expensive, making it only available to the richest players and the biggest studios. However, it did leave a mark in pop history as the synth used to make Toto’s hit “Africa,” and also served as Yamaha’s test platform for the FM synthesis technology which would eventually bring the DX7 to life.

Dr. John Chowning explains the discovery of FM synthesis.

Yamaha Releases the DX7

By 1983, Yamaha had developed the technology into the affordable, feature-packed DX7. The mono output, six-operator design set the synthesizer world afire. Priced at $2,000 US, it sold over 200,000 units over the first three years. Its design was a departure from previous synthesizers in that it had no knobs, only membrane buttons, a two-line screen, and a data slider for changing its many parameters. Most of the DX7′s controls seemed alien to users accustomed to the standard subtractive synthesizer design that had been around since the release of the Minimoog in the early 70s. Although its functionality was familiar to most users, the sound, however, was something new altogether. Most users at the time never bothered to stray from the presets.

A sampling of the 32 original DX7 factory presets.

The original DX7 had 32 internal presets and included two memory cartridges with 64 voices each, which made for a robust factory sound set. Yamaha’s inclusion of MIDI was wise, as they beat Roland to market with an MIDI-equipped synthesizer by a year. The MIDI implementation was very basic, but its inclusion was certainly a boon at the time.

Yamaha DX7 Ad

Yamaha DX7 Ad

The DX7 took Yamaha from the back of the synthesizer line to the front nearly overnight. It’s release had the other major instrument makers rushing to develop their own affordable digital FM synthesizers. In 1986, Roland would finally release a synthesizer that matched the sales success of the DX7, the Roland D50.

Yamaha DX7 Mark II

Yamaha took advantage of the DX7′s momentum and followed it with many other units based on FM technology. The DX7 itself would see several revisions during its production lifespan from 1983 to 1989. The DX7 IID, released in 1987, updated the original 12-bit digital-to-analog converters to 16 bit, expanded the internal memory from 32mb to 64mb, included bi-timbral for keyboard splits and layering, and redesigned the casing with real buttons instead of membrane buttons. Next came the DX7 IIFD, which added a floppy drive for storage. Finally, the DX7S followed which was essentially the original DX7 in the new case with upgraded digital conversion.

Yamaha DX7

Yamaha also began developing an entirely new affordable line of synthesizers based on the DX7 designed as rack and desktop modules more appropriate for studio use. The new DX-based keyboards included the DX21, DX9, and DX11. They also made the TX-7 (a desktop version of the original DX7), the TX81Z (the first FM synth to use waveforms other than sine), and the TX802 (an eight-part multitimbral rack version of the DX7 mkII).

FM | The Sound of the 80s

The DX7 quickly became the sound of the 80s, immediately recognizable for its bell and percussion sounds, and its famous electric piano simulations. Inexpensive sampling instruments and sample-based synthesizers “ROMplers” would catch fire in the late 90s and cause the DX7 to be forgotten. However, the DX7′s popularity surged again in the 2000s when a new generation of sound designers discovered the power of FM synthesis. Electronic and pop producers found that DX7 sounds could give a modern production a retro touch.

We can hear the DX7 bass throughout the Tears for Fears hit song “Shout.”

DX7 Emulations

In 2001, Yamaha released the DX200, a combination groovebox-style FM synthesizer that included a drum machine with knobs for easier programming. In 2002, Native Instruments released the FM7 plugin, introducing the classic sounds of the DX7 to a new generation of computer-based producers. FM7′s graphic interface made it much easier to program the complex FM architecture. Then in 2006, Native Instruments followed up with its powerful FM8 FM Synthesizer plugin.

NI FM8 Tutorial: Creating Unique Basslines Using FM Synthesis.

Making Music History

During the late 1980s, the DX7 was heard on many hit records. Artists like Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel had a heavy DX7 sound. Even Michael Jackson used it heavily on his hit song “Bad.” The Beastie Boys song “Girls” from their album License To Ill features drums and the DX7 Marimba as the entire backing track. Sounds from the DX7 was heard across all genres of music, featured on albums by artists like Chick Corea, George Michael, Luther Vandross, Billy Ocean, Depeche Mode, Madonna, Tina Turner, SOS Band, Level 42, Jan Hammer, Walter Faltermeyer, Brian Eno, Kraftwerk, The Talking Heads, U2, Queen, Yes, Toto, Elton John, Herbie Hancock, Jean Michel Jarre, and countless others.

The only synth sound in the Beastie Boys 1986 song “Girls” is the DX7 Marimba preset.

 


About Ross Kelly

Ross Kelly is a Chicago-based DJ, producer, and synth guru who is a one-half of Night Moves, a cosmic disco party at Danny’s in Chicago. He is also a partner at Kokorokoko Vintage, an 80s and 90s themed vintage clothing shop in Chicago.

 


EDU Summer Sessions

Music Foundations Program

Unravel electronic music’s origins, build your chops, learn musical language and theory, and make and play music the way you want. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, strengthen their keyboard skills, and learn valuable music theory, deepening their creative practice and facilitating effective collaborations with musical partners.

About This Program

The best producers, DJs, and musicians in the world strive to be well-rounded. So should you. In Dubspot’s Music Foundations Program, you’ll explore three major aspects of music: rhythmic theory, melodic theory, and critical listening.

Most pioneering early electronic musicians had years of conservatory training in theory and performance but had access to very limited technologies. In today’s musical world, it’s the opposite: we have a powerful and versatile array of electronic music making tools at our fingertips, but often fall short in our theoretical understanding of how electronic music works.

Our Music Foundations program is designed to fill this gap and provide training in fundamental skills and concepts with the electronic musician, DJ, and producer in mind. In this course, you’ll build your chops and learn the basics of musical language and theory so that you can make and play the music you want. You will also develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, and explore compositional techniques and song structure. The weekly homework lessons for all three courses have been designed using Ableton Live, and along the way you’ll also learn the basics of Ableton and how to use it as a powerful tool to improve your musicianship in a variety of ways.

What’s Included

  • Music Foundations Level 1: Pads & Rhythmic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 2: Keys & Melodic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 3: Critical Listening

Additional Information

Visit the Music Foundations course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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The post Classic Gear Spotlight: Yamaha DX7 FM Synthesizer appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Dubspot Top Picks: 10 Choice Reverb Plugins

This Dubspot Top Picks guide features a selection of our favorite reverb plugins based on professional quality sound, features, and expertly designed emulations.

Reverb Plugins

UAD | AMS RMX16

The AMS RMX16 was the world’s first microprocessor-controlled, full-bandwidth, digital reverberator. Heard on hundreds — if not thousands — of seminal recordings from the 1980s onward, the RMX16 is still found in nearly every major recording studio the world over. Thanks to the innovators at Universal Audio and AMS Neve, the unique and lush reverb programs of the original unit are expertly captured in the only authentic emulation of the AMS RMX16 Digital Reverb plugin which is designed exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces. With the merging of analog heritage and groundbreaking digital designs you can now enhance your mixes with all nine classic sounds of the original RMX16 which are Ambience, Room, two Hall types, Plate, Echo, Chorus, NonLin, and Reverse. Better yet, you also get an addition of modern features such as dry/wet mix, wet solo, and easy “click-and-type” editing of control values not available on the hardware model.

Read more at Universal Audio

ValhallaDSP | VintageVerb

Reverb Plugins

Valhalla VintageVerb is a postmodern reverb plugin, inspired by the classic hardware digital reverbs of the 1970s and 1980s. This widely popular reverb not only sounds great but is the most affordable on this list. This diverse plugin offers fifteen reverb algorithms and three color modes for dialing in the tone color and sonic artifacts of a specific reverb era. In addition, the interface has been designed to be instantly accessible and user-friendly.

Read more at ValhallaDSP

Waves | Abbey Road Reverb Plates

This is a set of four legendary reverb plates modeled after the hardware units housed at Abbey Road Studios. Introduced in the 1950s, plate reverbs have been a fixture of recorded music ever since. This type of reverb was famously used most prominently in the ‘60s and ‘70s by pioneering bands, including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and countless others. Waves has successfully created meticulous models of these stunning and unique-sounding units, individually modeling the harmonic distortion of both the drive and output amps as well as the individual plate/damper behaviors.

Read more at Waves

Lexicon | PCM Native Reverb Plugin Bundle

For over 40 years Lexicon has been recognized as the gold standard of digital reverb and effects processing. The PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle is the ultimate reverb plugin for creating professional, inspirational mixes. This powerhouse bundle delivers seven legendary Lexicon reverbs with hundreds of the most versatile and finely-crafted studio presets, including recognizable classics from Lexicon’s immense library of sounds. The user interface displays nine helpful parameters for customization and also enables you to transition deeper into the algorithm to edit the full matrix of parameters. The most noticeable display features are the Input and Output Meters, graphical EQ section for easy adjustment of both early and late reflections, and a multi-dimensional real-time display. There are also three screens to choose from, all showing different frequency stages of the algorithm to help you shape your sound.

Read more at Lexicon

D16 Group | Toraverb

Reverb Plugins

Toraverb is not a classic type reverb unit like spring, room, hall or plate. It is a concept algorithm reverb that allows the user to create practically any type of reverb. This highly very versatile reverb unit features modulation which affects the diffusing filters making the reverb tails smooth and a more realistic, separate equalization for early and late reflections, and an innovative spatial reflection algorithm to give a better impression of physical space. The high sound quality, flexible sound shaping capabilities, affordability, and ease of use is certainly appreciated in this plugin.

Read more at D16 Group

Softube | TSAR-1

The TSAR-1 Reverb is also not an emulation. The powerful, modern reverb algorithm of the TSAR-1 is capable of delivering some serious sound that is natural and believable. The TSAR-1 has been designed with ease of use in mind. The user interface features five sliders, and a selection of switched options in addition to a solid bank of expertly crafted presets categorized into a “modern” and a “vintage” set.

Read more at Softube

UAD | EMT 250

The EMT® 250 Classic Electronic Reverb plugin for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces is a faithful emulation of the first digital reverb/modulation effects unit introduced in 1976. Still regarded as one of the best-sounding reverb units ever made, the EMT 250 continues to leave an immeasurable mark on record-making history in the hands of studio legends and has appeared on countless records. Designed in conjunction with EMT 250 designer Dr. Barry Blesser, the UAD plugin version uses the same algorithm found in the original, extremely rare, hardware. In addition, the EMT 250 goes beyond the original hardware, adding modern, workflow enhancing features like Dry/Wet Mix, Wet Solo, and Hard bypass.

Read more at Universal Audio

Audio Ease | Altiverb 7

Altiverb 7 has become an industry standard convolution reverb plugin. It features top quality samples of real spaces. Audio Ease has been traveling the world to record the acoustics of the very best sounding spaces ranging from Sydney Opera House to the cockpit of a Jumbo Jet. The IR browser features an immersive Impulse Response library that allows users to select impulse responses by clicking photos of rooms in addition to a keyword search field. Altiverb 7 is also efficient on the CPU and offers a set of sound shaping parameters to tweak the reverb to taste. In addition, every month Altiverb 7 users receive new impulse responses for free.

Read more at Audio Ease

2CAudio | B2

Reverb Plugins

B2 is a modular dual-engine, non-linear spatial processor featuring built-in harmonic distortion and flexible dynamics. It is a more advanced reverb plugin capable of both mind-bending creative effects that defy classification as well as stunningly lush reverbs. Its modular design enables an almost infinite variety of sonic possibilities. This sophisticated processor features a modular design that gives limitless configurations and slew of sound shaping features for creating unique sounds. If you’re looking for a more creative reverb, then check out the B2.

Read more at 2CAudio

HOFA Plugins | IQ-Reverb

Reverb Plugins

The IQ-Reverb combines innovative convolution technology with vintage features of classical reverb processors from the golden age. The IQ-Reverb’s centerpiece is its intuitive 3D display that sports a host of sound shaping controls and editing capabilities. Some notable features are reverse reverb, modulation options, ability to position sound sources in virtual space, layered reverb combinations, and an extensive IR and preset library for a wide range of spaces. The IQ-Reverb is capable of delivering complex soundscapes with a wide variety of reverbs and impressive spatial depth due to its many innovative options.

Read more at HOFA Plugins

 


Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

At Dubspot our world-class instructors provide the most complete and cutting-edge Ableton Live learning experience. The Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program is the flagship of our music training. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

About This Program

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

What’s Included

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music

Overview

  • Dubspot’s complete Ableton course load: six levels/48 class sessions
  • 132 hours of hands-on instruction
  • Additional lab hours to work on assignments in Dubspot’s onsite facilities
  • 24/7 access to Dubspot Online’s Ableton Live course videos
  • Access to the course videos for one year after course completion

Additional Information

Visit the Ableton Live course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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The post Dubspot Top Picks: 10 Choice Reverb Plugins appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

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Classic Gear Spotlight: Moog Minimoog Synthesizer

Synth guru Ross Kelly investigates Moog’s iconic Minimoog synthesizer best known for its famous sound and groundbreaking design in this spotlight series exploring the vintage gear that has had historical influences on music.

Minimoog

Moog | The Legend

In almost any conversion on the subject of synthesizers, one name inevitably comes up: Moog. This is no coincidence, Dr. Robert A. Moog, better known as Bob, created the synthesizer as we know it today. In 1970, he released the Minimoog, the first fully self-contained portable synthesizer that did not require patch cables for routing. It put synthesizers in the hands of musicians and set the stage for all synthesizers that would follow. Over 40 years later, it is still sought after by musicians around the world.

Professor Herb Deutsch’s Influence on Bob Moog

In the early 1950s, Bob Moog began a company that sold tube-based theremins, an instrument that is played without being touched. The sounds from this type of instrument are often associated with classic horror movie sound effects. Eventually, technology moved on from the tube to the transistor, and Bob Moog released the first transistor-based theremin. In 1962, Moog wrote an article for “Electronics World,” which explained step-by-step how to build a theremin, which later inspired Hofstra University Professor, Herb Deutsch to begin designing synthesizers. After meeting at a conference in 1963, the two decided to collaborate on the design of a musical synthesizer based on concepts that Moog was working on.

thereminThe theremin is an early predecessor to the synthesizer 

Moog 900 Modular Synthesizer

Herb Deutsch was a highly trained and talented musician who was able to help Moog with several ideas on how to make the synthesizer more musically expressive. For example, Deutsch insisted that the system be controlled by a piano-type keyboard. By 1964, the first prototype of what would become the “Moog 900″ modular synthesizer was being demonstrated to the public by Deutsch. At the same time, Moog continued to build and develop his modular synthesizer system through the rest of the decade, streamlining and fine-tuning the design with help from other musicians.

Moog

The completed 900 model instantly proved to be a huge step forward for electronic sound synthesis. However, it was large, complicated, and expensive. Most of them were sold to experimental music artists, studios, and universities. As the 60s marched on, Moog and Deutsch’s creation began to receive more public attention. Some of this achievement came from a demonstration booth at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival which put the Moog synthesizer in front of mainstream artists like The Doors and The Rolling Stones. The most significant attention in the music industry, however, came the next year after American musician and composer Wendy Carlos released her commercial breakthrough of a Moog recording on the album “Switched-On Bach,” which became one of the highest-selling classical music recordings of its era. The success of the album ignited a heap of other synthesizer based records in the late 1960s to mid-1970s.

While modular synthesizers are effective in the hands of experienced users like Carlos, they are intimidating and prohibitively expensive for the average user. Bob Moog was well aware of this. In an interview Bob says “These early modular instruments looked more like telephone switchboards than musical instruments because you had lots of patch cords that connected the parts together.” This led Moog and his engineers to imagine a new synthesizer that would be portable, easy to use on stage, and affordable enough to land in the hands of working musicians.

From Modular to Minimoog

In 1969, Moog’s engineers, particularly Bill Hemsath, designed and built the first Minimoog prototype. Hemsath, a product demonstrator in Moog’s New York shop, would set up a typical patch on a Moog modular (this often required six or more patch cables), and ask himself how it could be simpler. Hemsath’s curiosities led him to successfully build the first prototype, known as the “Model A” out of parts that were in a junk pile at the Moog factory. He was the first person to put a keyboard and a synthesizer into the same box. Hemsath filled the gap between the key bed and the left side of the case with a slider that, in the final design, would become the first mod and pitch wheel concepts. Moog and his team went on to create three more prototypes before arriving at the final design, the “Minimoog Model D.”

Dr. Bob Moog Demonstrates the Minimoog

This final version, released in 1970, is the Minimoog we know and love. The design they settled on consisted of three voltage controlled oscillators (VCOs), a noise generator, a 24db/oct lowpass filter and two ADSR envelopes (one dedicated to the filter, the other dedicated to the oscillators), and a voltage controlled amplifier (VCA). The modules chosen for the final design allowed for a much simpler operation compared to the modular version, while also offering a wide range of sounds and functionality.

The Minimoog specifications became the standard for analog subtractive synthesizers, and are still the standard layout used in synthesizers produced today. The modulation and pitch wheels they invented are now seen on just about every full-size synthesizer and MIDI controller in existence. Not only did the Minimoog have a huge impact on the marketplace, but it also had an extremely long production run since it rolled off the production line in 1981. Most synths today are considered a major success if they are in production for more than two years!

The first Minimoog prototype that was cobbled together with spare parts on Bill Hemsath's lunch breaks

The first Minimoog prototype that was cobbled together with spare parts on Bill Hemsath’s lunch breaks

The 2nd revision of the Minimoog, Model B

The 2nd revision of the Minimoog, Model B

Minimoog Model C, almost there!

Minimoog Model C, almost there!

And the final result, the Minimoog Model D

And the final result, the Minimoog Model D

Minimoog in Use

The Minimoog took popular music by storm. It was immediately embraced by the burgeoning progressive and psychedelic rock movements. Keith Emerson (of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer), who was already using a large Moog modular system on stage, added it to his stage rig almost immediately. It was also embraced by the jazz-fusion scene with Chick Corea pioneering a new style of soloing with the pitch and mod wheels. It also became a hit in funk and pop music due to its famous thick bass tones, slick leads, and otherworldly space effects. Bernie Worrell, of Parliament-Funkadelic and Talking Heads fame, uses a Minimoog on stage to this day. Bands like Zapp and Roger had a sound based heavily around the Minimoog. Everyone wanted the Moog sound in their music – it even popped up in unexpected places like Bob Marley’s classic “Stir It Up.”

Bob Marley’s Reggae classic “Stir It Up”

The Minimoog also helped to mold the sound of disco in Giorgio Moroder’s famous collaborations with Donna Summer. By the end of the 70s, artists like Gary Numan, Ultravoxx, and Kraftwerk had adopted synthesizer-heavy sounds that featured the Minimoog prominently. These artists shed great influence on the synthpop, industrial, and new wave of the early 80s.

The Bee Gees “Jive Talkin”

Beyond the Minimoog’s design legacy, its sound is still one of the most sought after. Nearly every synth has some version of a Moog bass or lead sound included in the presets. There have also been many hardware and software emulations of the Minimoog. For example, Studio Electronics (a company that started out transforming original Minimoogs into MIDI-enabled rack modules) has made a few synths designed to emulate the Minimoog, most notably the SE-1 which borrows heavily from the look and layout of the original. Bob Moog himself rebooted his business in 2002 with the release of an updated version called the Minimoog Voyager. This modernization of the original offers enhancements such as patch memory and MIDI that brought it up-to-date for a modern studio environment.

Minimoog

 


About Ross Kelly

Ross Kelly is a Chicago-based DJ, producer, and synth guru who is a one-half of Night Moves, a cosmic disco party at Danny’s in Chicago. He is also a partner at Kokorokoko Vintage, an 80s and 90s themed vintage clothing shop in Chicago.

 


EDU Summer Sessions

Music Foundations Program

Unravel electronic music’s origins, build your chops, learn musical language and theory, and make and play music the way you want. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, strengthen their keyboard skills, and learn valuable music theory, deepening their creative practice and facilitating effective collaborations with musical partners.

About This Program

The best producers, DJs, and musicians in the world strive to be well-rounded. So should you. In Dubspot’s Music Foundations Program, you’ll explore three major aspects of music: rhythmic theory, melodic theory, and critical listening.

Most pioneering early electronic musicians had years of conservatory training in theory and performance but had access to very limited technologies. In today’s musical world, it’s the opposite: we have a powerful and versatile array of electronic music making tools at our fingertips, but often fall short in our theoretical understanding of how electronic music works.

Our Music Foundations program is designed to fill this gap and provide training in fundamental skills and concepts with the electronic musician, DJ, and producer in mind. In this course, you’ll build your chops and learn the basics of musical language and theory so that you can make and play the music you want. You will also develop a deeper understanding of the roots and lineage of a variety of electronic and dance music genres, and explore compositional techniques and song structure. The weekly homework lessons for all three courses have been designed using Ableton Live, and along the way you’ll also learn the basics of Ableton and how to use it as a powerful tool to improve your musicianship in a variety of ways.

What’s Included

  • Music Foundations Level 1: Pads & Rhythmic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 2: Keys & Melodic Theory
  • Music Foundations Level 3: Critical Listening

Additional Information

Visit the Music Foundations course page for detailed information on this program here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

/files/2016/12/Minimoog_Thumb.jpg

The post Classic Gear Spotlight: Moog Minimoog Synthesizer appeared first on Dubspot Blog.

Read more here