Black Friday at Analogue Zone

bf-azYou can get select gear for a price during our black Friday sale all weekend. Here are the highlights.

ADDAC has been always known for their high quality and
sophisticated instruments. You can get nice tools which you should never underestimate in a modular system, and an interesting modulation source called Marble Physics. Save 10%!

You can check some select gear from Pittsburgh Modular as well, including the fantastically brilliant Toolbox! They are being sold quickly so you better hurry and save 15%!

Select Moog gear, including the magnificent Voyager XL are also 15% off now, and the brilliant Dave Smith Instruments synths (including the Sequential Prophet 6) are also off 10%.

Other euros on sale include the great Hexinverter.net and Synthrotek modules and also Roland AIRA digital modules and the System 1M.

Are you into quality desktop tools? All Waldorf products in stock are on sale as well. Have you been waiting for some ideal time to upgrade your studio speakers? Monkey Banana monitors are also available. Save 15% with these purchases!

Not to mention that the most creative and indestructable controllers from Keith McMillen pair well with these – they are also on sale!

…and we’ve just scratched the surface. Check other products on sale and save more until Sunday, midnight!

the Analogue Zone team

Roland System 500 first impressions - constructive decency

Veijo Laine visited our showroom to demonstrate the basic functions, and – most importantly – have fun with the new Roland System 500 modular system. It gave us a lot of great moments, and we got a lot out of them, even with a simple CV/Gate keyboard. Here are our first impressions for you.

We were playing some classic tunes on it, everything sounded good from epic rave Dune melodies to Boards of Canada. But it could even do lovely electro stuff. It is just decent enough for a lot of electronic music genres.
The oscillators are pretty cool and detuning them was also a pleasure. Again, I was not really modulating them with anything harsh, just basically tweaking them, controlling it with a Keith McMillen QuNexus. I’m sure a lot of people will find some decent modulation patches as well. I guess it will stay just musical and not too harsh. It seems that it is not meant to be abused. Syncing them, I was back to these documentaries of the 70’s and 80’s. Which means a lot of classic harmonies that sound good just everywhere, even when I considerably detuned them.
The filter has a lovely resonance tone to it, but the phaser is especially sweet, offering a “talking” synth sound, even with simple manual control. The analog delay is a really rough, sweet sounding BBD delay, with all the noise people love about the pre-digital sampler era. Rather closer to a chorus and flanger than an actual delay, I was able to add different yet still likeable flavours to the System 500’s sound.
The gate delay can create interesting timing settings, even in free running modes, e.g. when you’d like to trigger the two envelopes with one synced and another delayed gate.
As for the controls, spacing so many functions in 16HP, mostly dual(!) modules was considered to be an engineering challange. Some might want more spacing, others will be happy with what they have. As you know, apart from the ADSR’s, almost everything is CV controlled so you can modulate every parameter from the convenient distance and space you want to.
All in all, the System 500 will be a great and constructive addition to the eurorack world. Our hats off to Roland and Josh from Malekko – working in tandem with Japanese engineers – for making this happen. Expect the first batch in early 2016! Check out the archived stream of the workshop as well:

Roland System 500 Workshop in the Analogue Zone Showroom

We had the chance to take a look at the Roland System 500 modules. These modules are not digitalised editions of Roland classics or digital processors (like the TR-8 or the digial AIRA modules), but fully analog reincarnations of Roland modules from the company’s modular era, tailor-made to the eurorack synthesizer, promised to be available for an affordable price. On Monday, you can try this system out before its official release in our Budapest showroom on an exclusive workshop, which will be held by Veijo Laine from Roland. But first, let’s have a recap on the 500’s introduced by Josh Holley from Malekko who also helped Roland considerably in the manufacturing and the design of the new/old Roland modules.

The Roland System 500 is a full synth voice, with specially flavoured filters and processing dimensions. One of its special characteristics is that all of the modules in the system are dual. Dual VCO, VCF and VCA modules and envelope generator / LFO comobos are all available in it. The most interesting to me is the 572, which is a phase shifter, audio and CV(!) delay and LFO – all accessible on one front panel!
 
Drop by if you are in Budapest on Monday afternoon at around 4PM, and get there earily, because space in our showroom is limited!
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Analogue Zone – Analogue Modular Store

Experts Sleepers Announces Disting MK3

Expert Sleepers have always been the forerunner in the digital integration of your modular systems. Thanks to them, you can synchronize and control everything vice versa in your DAW and your modular synthesizer with ease via their Silent Way plugin. Their first standalone module , the Disting, which is basically all the modulation and even a few sound processing tools you need in your system has just got smaller in footprint and bigger in functionality.
disting mk3
Expert Sleepers – Disting MK3

Here are the cornerstones:

* Smaller depth – now 42mm deep (from 53mm)
* Over 50% less power consumption – now 70mA – consumes a bit more than two single-purpose Doepfer modules as for comparison!
* User-updatable code – via Micro SD card!
* More algorithms hence more functions of the module – no longer limited to 16 – upload as many as you want!
* More functionality – new encoder and push buttons give more control options

 
We are so happy to see modulars shifting towards being even more ergonomic and leaving less footprint as far as depth and power consumption is considered. Pre-order yours now!

 

Further possibilities with the Furthrrrr Generator

Richard Devine has recently shed light on the Endoprhin.es new addition. It’s not a new module, it’s a new core to their ever popular and beautiful Dual Oscillator, the Furthrrrr Generator. The module has already made a lot of users forget the standard oscillator waveforms, so it is time to upgrade it even more.

Furthrrrr Generator New digital STRONG-ZERO Voltage Controlled Oscillator Core chip expands the frequency modulation possibilities to an entirely new level. New features look great, can’t wait to install it tonight:
futhrrrr-strong-zero• Instant thru-zero linear FM for your Furthrrrr Generator
• 16-pin DIP IC chip – VCO сore replacement that works with any Furthrrrr Generator
• Expands Furthrrrr Generators FM capabilities for obtaining new timbres – deeper, metallic timbres, entirely new sphere of sounds from light whistles to weird noises.
• Band-limited 12 bit resolution 80 kHz sample rate triangle and square waves generation. The waveshaper and folder remains analog.
• Together with Terminal, the Furthrrrr creates a powerful 2-operator modular FM-synth.
• 16 bit pitch CV and linear FM acquisition for proper microtuning and modulation operations.
• Hard and soft sync without aliasing as may be expected from stock Furthrrrr oscillators – via Richard
Devine’s facebook page

We are talking about musical instruments after all - Konstantin Gervis (ZV_K - Tiptop Audio) interview

Konstantin Gervis has a long running path as a live performer. His approach to electronic music is simplistic and rigorous: regarding synthesizers and drum synthesizers as instruments which have to be learnt and practised over and over are often forgotten nowadays in the fast-paced world of tutorials and demos. This article is based on conversations we started with him at Budapest Music Expo’s Analogue Zone booth where he was demonstrating his Tiptop Audio rack – the brand to which he has been loyal since the introduction of their revolutionary TR-drum modules. Apart from talking of the best features that Tiptop Audio tools offer, he also gave us an eye on what is forthcoming from the manufacturer.

“My involvement with the company began when Gur was designing Station 252, I contacted him begging to make the case hand luggage compatible, sending him  various airports and airlines allowances for hand luggage, that I was researching  at the time. Also around that time I started getting back into playing techno again after an 8 year long break, I wasn’t happy with the drum sounds I was getting out of my machinedrum even though it was good for various percussion or even melodic sounds it wasn’t cutting it for me for the most important sounds, namely bass drums, hats, cymbals and toms. Basically I wanted a 909 and an 808.”

Konstantin saw the release of drum modules widely available and sounding exactly as – or to some extent even better than – the old Roland drum machines that defined genres as one of the greatest moments in his life. But not only these fantastic drum modules – tailor-made for eurorack modular environments – and their extra functions that had not been available in the originals kept his heart beating: it was Tiptop’s sequencers that completed the drum circle.

“…using single manufacturers’ systems or sub-systems or voices is the best way to use modules, the experience becomes more coherent and thus easier to actually create music as we are talking about musical instruments not some collector’s items after all. (…) What I find extremely fascinating regarding the modular in general is not so much the sound or sound creation possibilities (which is great, but so are many other instruments), but the clocking and sequencing arrangements, where splitting pitch values from triggers and poly rhythms  is easily achieved and controlled. That’s where Circadian Rhythms and Trigger Riot are second to none. The Circadian’s timing is phenomenal and the swing is the best I have ever used. It is very easy to use, it is very ergonomic and very playable.”

His live performance rig does not end up at the drum modules and Circadian Rhythms, as the clock is distributed towards the Trigger Riot, a very refreshing concept, propagating towards alternative paths today’s next gen x0x drum sequencers. It is a clock divider multiplier module that works in Matrix or independent mode, hence each change of one beat affects the other outputs as well. (check
out our exclusive video with the module
).

konstantin-mannequins
Konstantin Gervis – Budapest Music Expo 2015 Analogue Zone Booth

“The Trigger Riot is the best clock divider/multiplier there is, and more. The possibilities are just mind blowing. the fact that you can recall complex clocking arrangements is a game changer for me, priceless in a live situation. The latest firmware added some very cool functions.”

As in all modular systems, audio and modulation signals meet at one point. Konstantin is happy to process digital fx on his Z-DSP with his Z3000 oscillator which goes up to 32KHz. But we should not forget, that his Tiptop stack cables are used to connect all the modulation / information in his system. He points out very straighforwardly why these innovations are so brilliant in the eurorack world:

“The Stackables: for me those are the norm, I think multiples belong to the 5U world, but totally counter-productive and very messy in Eurorack. Now we can just relax like all those lucky Banana [cable] lovers, but shielded, so even more relaxed :)”

The MIXZ module add up to the reduction of cables since the audio can be mixed through the bus board while not picking up any unwanted noise.  Konstantin mentioned during his stay that the new quantizer module by Tiptop will be able to make a clock / preset change connection between their modules, with the use of just one cable. It will result in more integration and a downsized cable jungle.

However convenience is already unlike anything that he used to experience. It takes the shortest time ever to get their systems set up when they are playing live together as ZV_K.  It’s also great how tweakable everything is in a modular system and he hopes to hear more people using it live, jamming electronic dance music, as any other musician would do:

Tiptop Audio - BD909
Tiptop Audio – BD909

“I really want to hear more people playing with modulars as it really sounds glorious on  proper PA systems. You don’t think the BD909 sounds like whatever you want it to sound? just go and test it on a Function One….. ”  (…) “I haven’t seen anyone playing pure modular sets except of Martin Dubka, who is vey very good! You can definitely find more courageous musicians playing modulars in the less famous locations. There are at least two event lines that represent modular (mostly) artists with an accent on techno but not elusively: Modulism, run buy Will Rankin with cooperation with TipTop Audio and Clockworks, run by Wouter von Jaspers from Koma Electronic.”

Apart from these tools that Tiptop Audio produced in the last few years or are to be releasing soon, Konstantin had a hard time to think about anything he actually lacks from their current live/studio setup. He says he would never see anything in futuristic eye-candy tools that are not practical:

trigger-riot
Tiptop Audio – Trigger Riot

“I want the people to start writing actual music with what we already have, music that is made by humans and move other humans. Made by playing and not drawing automation curves. It doesn’t matter if it was played with machines or acoustic instruments.  I want go to concerts and enjoy the music, enjoy watching people perform. I don’t want to be entertained, i want an experience. As i am myself not and never will be an Ready to play live - ZV_Kentertainer, i’m here to give you a never to be repeated musical experience, you either like it and flow with me or not. So no, not interested in gloves, wireless floating in space controllers, million and one buttons futuristically spaced over a cactus.  That stuff should be in museums, galleries, art installations. Only interested in Eurorack Modular Systems and modules made by some of the greatest instrument designers of our time – people that I love, respect and trust.”

 Konstantin’s recordings from Budapest

 ZV_K Official
Tiptop Audio @ Analogue Zone