2010 NAMM Show

2010 NAMM Show

New Roland Strap-On Synth, The Lucina AX-09, Now Available

Roland has announced that they are now shipping the Lucina AX-09 – their strap-on “shoulder synthesizer”.
The Lucina set off Synthtopia’s Super-Doppler Keydar™ alert system when it was announced. And, while Roland may not be pegging the Lucina AX-09 as a keytar, the “shoulder synthesizer” name doesn’t quite cut it.
Here’s what Roland has to say about the AX-09:
With a stylish body and 37 keys, the Lucina AX-09 is compact, lightweight, and loaded with 150 high-quality sounds that cover a wide stylistic range, from synth leads to solo violin. It can be played in either a standing position using a shoulder strap or in a traditional horizontal tabletop orientation.
Find the perfect sound quickly with the Category buttons, and press the Preview button to hear the currently selected sound with a pre-programmed riff. Assign your top 12 sounds to the Favorites bank for instant, one-button recall. Volume, reverb, and patch edits can be stored with each Favorite.
The design of the Lucina AX-09 is actually kind of cool, making the synth equally at home played horizontally or as a keytar.

The positioning of some of the controllers, though, looks more convenient for strap on play vs horizontal.
Lucina AX-09 Features:

  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive user interface
  • 150 high-quality sounds that cover a wide stylistic range
  • 37-note velocity-sensitive keyboard, 128-voice polyphony
  • External-In Jack and USB-Memory Audio Player Function
  • Runs on AC or battery power
  • It’s a cheap keytar!

The Lucina AX-09 synth is available in white and Black Sparkle, with suggested prices of $699.00 and $799.00.

Access Virus TI OS 4 Now Available!

Access has announced that Access Virus TI OS 4, introduced at the 2010 NAMM Show, is now available as a free update.
Features below. See the Access site for details on TI OS 4.

  • Stomp Box Effects – OS4 for the entire Virus TI line of synthesizers brings 6 more distortion flavors to the table, modeled on vintage guitar distortion pedals. Every one of these classic pedals is famous for its distinctive character and has been exploited by some of the greatest guitar heroes of all time. The virtual stomp boxes feature carefully modeled distortion curves and tonal characteristics and include tone controls where appropriate.
  • Mint Overdrive – The sound of this one just screams tubes – a very special kind of overdrive which results in a wonderful smokey tone. Good for achieving a subtle distortion effect whilst still retaining headroom for dynamics.
  • Curry Overdrive – A more extreme distortion – like in the original, this does not feature a Tone control.
  • Saffron Overdrive – The ?orange? one. A very harsh distortion, popular with the grunge movement.
  • Onion Overdrive – A big distortion effect famous for its fuzzy character.
  • Pepper Overdrive – A clear, powerful distortion that?s perfect for making leads cut right through the mix. Tone control to soften sound with a lowpass filter.
  • Chili Overdrive – A classic “fuzzbox” overdrive. No tone control, just in-your-face fuzz.
  • Speaker Cabinet - To compliment the new vintage distortions, a speaker cabinet simulation was added to the effect section. The new effect type greatly helps to fine tune the frequency response of any sound and to give it more focus in the mix.
  • Vowel Filter Effect – This effect is a simple and effective way to vocalize any sound similar to the way a talk box or vocoder would do.
  • Comb Filter Effect – The new comb filter creates everything from subtle, pitched overtones to extreme time-warped deconstruction of any given patch.
  • Arp To Matrix – OS4 for the Virus TI series introduces a powerful new feature that allows you use the arpeggiator pattern to modulate any of the parameters available to the modulation matrix. You can use this to create dynamic, rhythmical patterns within a sound, similar to what you can achieve with a step sequencer.

Roland VP-7 Vocal Processor Now Available

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Roland has announced that the new VP-7 Vocal Processor is now available in stores.
This portable vocal processor sets up on top of keyboards and creates ensemble vocal sounds with a variety of PCM-based vocal sounds, or with Roland’s Vocal Designer technology.
For keyboardists who want lush vocal backing tracks without singing into a microphone, the compact VP-7 offers four human voice sounds:

  • Female Choir
  • Boys Choir
  • Gregorian Choirs
  • Jazz Scat

Utilizing Vocal Designer technology derived from Roland’s VP-Series vocal & ensemble keyboards, the VP-7 also has three Vocal Designer algorithms that can automatically generate multi-voice backing harmonies that sing the same lyrics as a performer sings into the included DR-HS5 headset microphone.
Pressing the Vocoder button allows for quick access to a talkbox, vintage vocoder, or modern vocoder effect. Keyboardists can also go deeper into seven additional vocoder variations that have natural human voice sounds. This allows for the performance of independent harmony lines that complement the lead vocalist.
The VP-7’s super-simple interface features large, quick-access buttons and knobs, so it’s easy to call up preset sounds and adjust blends on the fly. Onboard ambience effects sweeten the sound with the twist of a knob, while a handy bypass switch lets the user bring the VP-7’s processing in and out with the push of a button, or with a tap of the optional DP-2 footswitch.
The VP-7 is now available with an MSRP of $639.00.

Mopho Keyboard Now Available

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Dave Smith InstrumentsMopho Keyboard, introduced at the 2010 NAMM Show, is now available.
Mopho Keyboard Features:

  • Excellent “bang for the buck”: full-featured analog synth at a great price
  • Real analog sound
  • Immediate, hands-on control of all aspects of the sound and performance
  • Compact, but with full-sized keys and wheels
  • Couple with DSI Tetra for expanded polyphony

This preview video comes via AudioMIDI.com, but it’s available at other large synth vendors, too.
The Mopho Keyboard retails for a relatively sane $799.
At $799, does the DSI Mopho Keyboard make paying higher prices for vintage synths like the Sequential Circuits Pro One obsolete?

The Mopho Keyboard
The Mopho Keyboard is an affordable, full-featured mono synth with a 100% analog audio path. Mopho features 32 full-sized, semi-weighted keys with velocity and aftertouch in a package about the same size as most 25-note controller keyboards. Choose from 384 preset sounds or craft your own with 25 soft-touch knobs and 20 switches.
Mopho features 2 oscillators, 2 sub-octave generators, a classic Curtis low-pass filter (2- or 4-pole), 3 5-stage envelope generators (ADSR plus delay), 4 LFOs, and real analog VCAs. Other features include an arpeggiator, a gated 16 x 4 step sequencer (1 sequence per program), feedback, the ability to process external audio, and an extensive modulation matrix. Tap tempo to beat match or sync the arpeggiator, sequencer, and LFOs to MIDI clock.
Integrate and automate the Mopho Keyboard with your computer and other hardware via standard MIDI jacks or with a direct USB connection. For a ridiculously compact analog poly synth, use the Poly Chain output along with a DSI Tetra to expand Mopho’s polyphony.
The Mopho Keyboard delivers the renowned DSI sound in an ultra-portable, feature-rich performance synth.

  • Dimensions/Weight-Box: 7.875” x 25.5” x 15.375/13” – 13 lbs (Product inside box)
  • Dimensions/Weight-Keyboard: 3.35” x 18.65” x 11.1/10” 10 lbs (Product only)

via AudioMIDI

Eigenlabs Eigenharp Secrets

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In this video, Eigenlabs founder James Lambert shares some of the secrets and stories of the development of the Eigenharp – a unique new electronic instrument.
via gearwire:
Mr. Lambert talks a little about the surprisingly long history of this new-to-the-market instrument, and does an impressive job detailing all its most important functions and features in under eight minutes. You also get to see and hear the Eigenharp Alpha and Eigenharp Pico in action in this, the most efficient Gearwire tradeshow video ever created.

Roland V-Combo VR-700 Stage Keyboard Now Available

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Roland has announced that the V-Combo VR-700 Stage Keyboard is now shipping.
Featuring the best of Roland’s Virtual Tone Wheel organ, full 88-key multi-sampled piano, and pro synthesizer sounds, the V-Combo is designed for players who need an all-in-one keyboard for a variety of musical settings.
Using Roland’s Virtual Tonewheel engine, the V-Combo simulates the unique structure and distinctive sound of vintage organs. The new amplifier and rotary simulator faithfully reproduces the sound needed for jazz, rock, funk or gospel, while the 76-key waterfall action captures the feel of a vintage organ. Add an optional PK-25 or PK-7A pedalboard for a more console-organ type feel.
The V-Combo takes its lead from Roland’s popular instruments, including everything from expressive full key multi-sampled acoustic grand pianos, classic electric pianos, to realistic strings, brass, bass and guitar sounds. The 76 keys can easily layer two ensemble tones together, or layer and split with the organ tones.
In addition to the ten harmonic bars on the front panel, the V-Combo also incorporates a variety of expressive controllers for even more exhilarating performances. The red harmonic drawbar allows players to control the volume of the Ensemble tones. With the D Beam, players can create authentic organ-specific effects, such as wheel braking, or perform filter and level tone shaping on ensemble tones using an infrared light beam.
XLR and ¼” outputs make the V-Combo ready for any stage, while the USB port and Song Player function enables direct playback and control of backing tracks from USB memory. Keyboardists can also back up and recall Favorites and system settings from USB memory, making the V-Combo easy to share at rehearsal studios.
The V-Combo VR-700 is now available with a suggested retail price of $2,329.00.

The Moog VX-351 CV Output Expander Turns A Minimoog Voyager Into A Modular Synthesizer

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Moog Music released this video today, which features Brian Kehew giving a tour of the VX-351 CV Output Expander for the Minimoog Voyager.
The video and sound quality of this video aren’t great, but Kehew, who’s done everything from play keyboards for The Who to co-authoring Recording The Beatles, knows his stuff and does a great job of highlighting how the VX-351 CV Output Expander turns the Moog Minimoog Voyager into a modular synth.

The Moog Guitar With MIDI

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This video, from the 2010 NAMM Show, features Saul Zonana demonstrating the features of the Moog Guitar Model E1-M, which supports MIDI.

Roland VP-7 Vocal Processor

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Roland has released a couple of videos that offer an overview of the Roland VP-7 vocal processor, which was introduced at the 2010 Winter NAMM Show.
These demo videos don’t really do the Roland VP-7’s creative potential justice. This may be a reflection of Roland’s primary market for a device like this.

Click here to view the embedded video.
The Human Voice section provides choral backing by just playing the keyboard — no singing required. The Vocal Designer section can automatically generate 2-voice or 3-voice backing harmonies, based on the lyrics that you sing into the microphone.
The VP-7 can also do classic robot-voice effects.

Sonic LAB Kaossilator Pro Review

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Sonic State delivers another deep video review with their take on the new Korg Kaossilator Pro. See their write-up for more details and supporting info.
They raise some important issues with the Korg Kaossilator Pro. The inability of the Kaossilator Pro to be played via a MIDI keyboard is especially gobsmacking – though it’s really not designed to be a sound module.
As we said in our 2010 Best Of NAMM wrapup, though, the Kaossilator Pro is going to sell like hotcakes. It’s just a lot of fun to play.
If you’ve tried out the Korg Kaossilator Pro, leave a comment with your thoughts!

Treat Yourself :)