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Isaac Elejalde

Elektron Digitone and Digiton Keys get a new OS upgrade

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Elektron focuses on the FM-enabled Digitone and Digitone Keys, bringing exciting new features, upgrades, and bug fixes.

The Digitakt often receives all of the attention, making the Digitone and Digitone Keys feel neglected — not anymore. Here’s a substantial upgrade to the FM synth operating system which should make users feel much better about themselves and their Elektron box of choice.

The effects section now can connect to the rest of the unit via a GLOBAL FX/MIX menu. All of the settings on the internal mixer, external mixer, chorus, delay, and reverb pages may be set to global so that changes to one pattern affect all of the patterns in the project. This also applies.

The external stereo input may now be divided into two mono inputs with distinct effects sends, giving the effect engine a lot more room to experiment with other devices.

Other changes include the addition of a delay parameter to the filter envelope and the improvement of the LFO Fade envelope. Overbridge audio and sync bugs have been addressed.

There has been a lot of work done to smooth out the images and improve the looks in several locations. You may now adjust the brightness of the LEDs and OLED screen, which is a much-desired feature.

Links of interest

Website | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram

SXM Festival returns to the Caribbean island of Saint Martin this year

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Sweet crystal blue waves lapping on Saint Martin’s gorgeous beaches during the day and jungle adventures at night, all sound recorded by the industry’s top talents. This intoxicating combination will be one of the talking points of the Q1 tour, and the SXM Festival 2022 will be bringing out the major guns from March 9-13.

With such a vast assortment of activities going place over the festival’s breadth, there is always a need for a diverse array of musicians. The first leg of the lineup features a diverse group of minimal artists, as is customary.

One of the pulls from prior years is Ricardo Villalobos, but nearby former colleagues are a close second. Names like Raresh, Maher Daniel, Sonja Moonear, and Steve Bug are among them.

There will also be a variety of satellite parties taking place across the island, including boat parties aplenty, and for that VIP experience, there will be The Panorama party, which will provide 360-degree views from the pinnacle of the Caribbean’s tallest hill. If the Cercle events are on your radar, you should look into this event venue.

You may purchase your tickets here and participate in the Facebook event.

Links of interest

SMX Festival
Website | Facebook | Instagram

The positive impact of Record Store Day is chronicled in a new book

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Record Store Day: The Most Improbable Comeback Of The Twenty-First Century, a new book, will be released in April.

The book, written by New York writer Larry Jaffee, examines how the yearly event—which will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2022—helped to resurrect vinyl throughout the world. Artists, record shop owners, and the creators of Record Store Day were among the people he spoke with.

RSD (Record Store Day) was founded in 2007 by six Baltimore record store owners and swiftly grew into a global sensation owing to the assistance of big labels and famous artists, who often issue limited-edition vinyl for the event. This tradition has spread throughout electronic music, with dozens of labels and businesses frequently participating, including Warp, Ninja Tune, and London’s Phonica Records.

According to music sales statistics provider MRC Data, vinyl sales in the United States reached a 30-year high in December. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said that sales in 2021 increased by 8% over 2020, marking the 14th consecutive year of growth.

On April 12th, Rare Bird Books will release Record Store Day: The Most Improbable Comeback Of The Twenty-First Century. Rough Trade has it available for pre-order now.

Links of interest

Record Store Day
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Sunwaves returns in April with a 7-day spring edition

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Sunwaves, a staple of Romanian electronic music, comes to Mamaia in April.

The sweet flavor festival comes back to its homeland for the first time since 2019, beginning on May 28th and lasting nonstop through May 4th. Following an off-piste edition in Zanzibar, the heart of minimal comes home for its 28th episode, where we can anticipate long sets, unexpected B2B’s, and the gorgeous beachfront location on the coast of Romania.

Over the years of the Sunwaves event, many record labels, relations, and experiences were formed. The amazing project, known for its great sound, breathtaking location, and devoted audience, is poised to blow listeners’ minds once more. The full lineup of artists will be announced soon.

Tickets are now available here.

Links of interest

Sunwaves Festival
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Lemondrop Granular and Fireball Wavetable synthesizers by 1010Music

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Lemondrop Granular is a four-voice polyphonic sound made up of two granulators and a single oscillator. Two multimode filters, two envelopes, and two LFOs are packed inside the brightly colored box to get things going in that sweeping, scanning manner people like to mistreat granulated waveforms. There’s also a modulator sequencing and two effects sections, one for modulation style and the other for delay and reverb, for a total of six effects.

Lemondrop comes with 100 presets and a microSD card containing wave files. There is a line output and input, a clock input, and a MIDI in/out minijack for connections. A USB-C port provides power.

Wavetable Fireball

With two wavetables and an extra oscillator, this cherry bomb of a box can produce up to 8 notes of polyphony. The filter, envelope, and LFO configurations are the same as on the Lemondrop, as is the modulation sequencer.

Fireball includes the same effects, connectors, and settings engine as Fireball, as well as a microSD card for wave files. I believe you’ll find they’re very similar in form and function.

The touchscreen interface that 1010Music likes to plaster on the front of their gadgets take us to this point. It is quite feasible to explore the complexity of both granular and wavetable synthesis using a nicely designed menu system, two encoders, and a few buttons.

Many settings may be swiped about with your fingertips to provide some pleasant interactivity. You can always connect a MIDI controller if you want a more believable hardware experience.

These look fantastic in a grab-and-go, lively and fruity way. The display looks great, but how much fun it is to program remains to be seen. They certainly have a little toy-like appearance, but that is not reflected in the €449 price tag.

Links of interest

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Teenage Engineering introduces the Line I/O module for the OP-Z synthesizer

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Line is a new hardware extension module for Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z synthesizer.

The line module is intended to bring in and out external audio signals from your OP–Z. It adds a stereo line input and a second stereo line output to the machine, as well as MIDI, trig, and PO sync input and output, similar to oplab.


Reasons to get the Line module for the OPZ

  • Line in may be used to add external audio sources to your mix, while line out can be used as a second stereo output within OP–Z.
  • Individual songs may be routed to the module output rather than the main mix to isolate and process them, or effect loops can be created using your favorite effect pedals. You can choose between mono and stereo streams based on your needs.
  • The output may also be utilized for headphones cueing your songs before sending them to the main mix.

According to TE, the new Line module will be ready in Spring 2022. Pricing will be revealed later.

Links of interest

Teenage Engineering
Website | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram

Dimensions Festival has revealed the complete lineup for its 10th anniversary edition

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Dimensions Festival takes place between September 1st and September 5th in Croatia’s Garden Resort on the gorgeous Dalmatian shore of Tisno.

One of the final summer festivals to take place, the line-up constantly draws attention, instead of limiting themselves to just a few genres, they manage to offer a lot of them into five days.

The landmark event commemorates the tenth anniversary of the legendary festival’s inception in 2012. Some DJs you shouldn’t miss are Raresh, Sonja Moonear, Gene On Earth, The Ghost, Sweely, and Margaret Dygas.

“The Dimensions Festival line-up for 2022 has been finalized, marking the festival’s tenth anniversary.” “Tickets are on sale now, but act quickly since space is limited,” Dimensions said on Instagram today, accompanying the entire lineup.

For the time being, we can announce the whole lineup of artists and partners who will be giving all of the highlights during the prolonged session throughout the different boat parties, beach shindigs, and overall open-air parties.

Links of interest

Dimensions Festival
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Mixcloud | Youtube

Bandcamp Fridays are coming back on February

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The Bandcamp Fridays program will return on February 4 and will run until the end of May.

The initiative was introduced in March 2020 to give a fee-free option to support artists who have been affected by the pandemic.

Artists will receive 100 percent of the revenues if they waive their revenue share every Friday.

Bandcamp said, “Fans gave artists and companies more than $70 million over 17 days, helping to fund rentals, mortgages, food, prescriptions, and much more.”

“If you’re one of the approximately 800,000 admirers that participated, thank you. Live performance income will most likely take several months to fully recover. So we’ll keep doing Bandcamp Fridays in 2022, on the 4th of February, 4th of March, 1st of April, and 6th of May.” they said in their blog post.

“With such a big income source drying up almost entirely, finding solutions to continue supporting artists in the next months is now an important concern for everybody who loves about music and the artists who produce it,” its CEO, Ethan Diamond, stated in 2020.

Links of interest

Website | Facebook | Instagram 

Nektar Agu has released a new Sample Pack on Bandcamp

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Nektar Agu is a DJ and producer who has made his musical imprint by assembling just the perfect parts of an electronic music jigsaw in his songs and performance. His sound is defined as techno with minimalist IDM tear sounds, discordant and harmonic pads, and the appropriate texture of a memorable dancefloor experience.

In 2013, the acclaimed Berlin label Sleep is Commercial issued his first EP, “Bad Habits.”

Recently, Nektar Agu has released his second sample pack on Bandcamp, featuring genres like RoMinimal, Micro-house, and Minimal Techno.

What is inside:

  • 2,40 GB of Loops and Samples.
  • 24 Bit integer resolution.
  • 109x Stripped Drum loops (Hats, Percussion, No Kick Loop, Full Drumloop).
  • 27x Pad & Texture Loops.
  • 27x Synth Loops.
  • 27x Bass Loops.
  • 27x Vocal FX Loops.
  • 27x Drum Top Loops.
  • 27x FX Loops.
  • 143x Oneshots (Kick, Snare, Hats, Claps, Percussions)

Hear the demo version here:

Links of interest

Nektar Agu
Instagram | Facebook | Youtube | Spotify | Bandcamp

Roland is celebrating 50 years of creating incredible electronic instruments

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With an interactive website, anniversary editions, and teases of upcoming items, Roland takes us through the history of musical creativity.

The 1970s

Roland Corporation was formed in 1972 in Osaka, Japan, and has since invented and constructed some of the world’s most recognizable electronic musical instruments. From early TR drum machines through Space Echoes, organs, and guitar amps, to the 1976 System-700 modular synthesizer and the 1979 VP-330 Vocoder.

The 1980s

The TR-808 drum machine, Jupiter-8 analog polysynth, and Juno-106 were all released in the 1980s. Roland created guitar synths, rhythm composers, and electronic drum kits, while the Boss pedal line grew and the decade closed with samplers, Linear Arithmetic Synthesis, and a Computer Music System.

The 1990s

Roland made a name for itself in the digital 1990s with the massive JD-800 synthesizer and the Sound Canvas and JV-1080 Super JV sound modules. Roland designed the groovebox and introduced the VS-880 as the first inexpensive digital multitrack recorder when organs, pianos, and guitar modeling systems were still evolving. Not to mention the JP-8000 and UA-100 USB audio interfaces, which can convert your PC into a studio.

The 2000s

With the debut of the Fantom workstation in the 2000s, things looked to take a different turn. However, there were many brilliant concepts, such as the RC-20 Loop Station, VariPhase and COSM technologies, and the massive MPC-style MV-8000 production studio. The SP-404 Phrase Sampler, as well as several video products, digital mixers, and the AX-Synth Keytar, were introduced.

The 2010s

More percussion and drum pad possibilities, stage organs, pianos, and the RC-505 Tabletop Loop Station were introduced in 2010. The Jupiter-80 pleased the synthesizer world until it was decided that the simplicity and power of analog modeling might exceed the demand for analog authenticity.

The 2020s

There’s a whole chronology on Roland’s website that walks you through the important releases of each decade. It’s chock-full of information, photographs, music, and performers showcasing Roland’s dizzying assortment of goods to the world of electronic music. Or perhaps you’d like to have a look at the Roland Museum? Here you have it:

Roland will send out tales from the previous 50 years throughout the year, including interviews with Roland engineers and the people behind the devices. There will also be some surprises and commemorative goods this year, including something spectacular to be presented on April 18th, the actual anniversary day.

Visit their website and take a detailed look of Roland milestones and creations:

Links of interest

Website | Facebook | Youtube | Soundcloud