Welcome to the Waveform Weekly, a digest dedicated to sound synthesis!
This digest aggregates key updates, developments, and discussions from the global synthesizer community. It is intended for anyone interested in synthesizers, regardless of their level of knowledge or experience. The digest includes various types of content such as the latest information on new modules and equipment, in-depth analysis of sound design methods, and conversations with prominent industry figures.
New Synth Hardware, Software, and Updates
By: Naomi Bolton, www.vintagesynth.com
Despite the recent setbacks in the synth industry, with layoffs at companies like Moog and insolvency at Modal Electronics, new hardware synthesizers, software synths, and updates continue to emerge from various brands. Among the new releases, UJAM unveiled Usynth PIXEL, a softsynth inspired by 90s gaming soundtracks, available for 79 EUR/USD. Roland introduced GAIA 2, an upgrade of the GAIA SH-01 synth, boasting a wavetable and virtual analog synthesis. Bastl Instruments launched Kastle ARP, a modular melody generator, while Arturia released the 3.0 firmware update for PolyBrute, enhancing its effects and features. Read more
Soundiron Intros Sitarion Virtual Sitar For Kontakt
By: synthhead, www.synthtopia.com
Soundiron has unveiled Sitarion, a virtual electric sitar instrument for Kontakt. Crafted to merge traditional sitar sounds with modern recording techniques, the library is based on samples from a custom sitar created by luthier Sanjay Rikhi Ram Sharma, played by Chithrinie Nirupama. Sitarion offers extensive multi-samples, encompassing rich live performance phrases. The instrument records plucks in six velocity layers and 12 round robin variations for every note. It further provides numerous ornamental articulations, including hammer-ons, meends (slides/bends), and krinthans, all available in multiple dynamics and speeds. The library also boasts over 3,000 live performance phrases, an arpeggiator, phrase sequencer, and a full effects rack within an adaptable user interface. Read more
SoundSaw – Walkthrough of The Art of Sound Destruction
A comprehensive walkthrough and demo of the SoundSaw app, emphasizing its capability in producing intricate distortion effects for iOS, with possible relevance for desktop platforms. SoundSaw stands out for its unique potential in crafting noise, lo-fi, chiptune, and avant-garde musical soundscapes. While the application can be somewhat user-friendly, especially by Igor’s app standards, Gavinski recommends referencing the manual or a tutorial for an optimal experience. One standout feature is the envelope follower section, which doesn’t lend itself to the mere application of factory presets. Instead, SoundSaw’s allure lies in the crafting of bespoke presets for distinct sound processing and real-time adjustments. The app can either subtly enhance sound quality, imparting a warmer, more natural tone, or radically transform it, introducing intense harmonics, pops, and hisses, fostering a playground for sonic experimentation. Read more
wirehead FREAQ FM – part 1
By: Jondent, djjondent.blogspot.com
Discover the Wirehead FREAQ FM synth, an 8-bit, two-operator FM synth with two FM voices and two sequencers. This DIY synth is locally designed in Australia and comes with all the necessary parts. The blog post includes build notes and a video build guide. Dive into the world of electronic music and explore the possibilities of FM synthesis with the Wirehead FREAQ FM synth. Read more
Three Q’s w/ Elias Jungqvist of Viagra Boys / Behind The Video: Troglodyte
By: Danz, www.synthhistory.com
In a Three Q’s interview, Elias Jungqvist of Viagra Boys discusses the synths he uses, including the Korg MS-20 DIY kit and the Behringer MS-1. He also shares his love for the MS-20’s filters and the joy of playing with limited synths. Jungqvist reveals that his first synth was a Yamaha home keyboard and talks about the inspiration behind the music video for ‘Troglodyte.’ The director, Cissi Efraimsson, explains her passion for stop-motion animation and how it allows her to bring her visions to life. She also discusses the process of finding small props for her animations. Read more
Devlog #02 – Checking out Godot
By: Hannes, www.horizontalpitch.com
In this devlog, the author explores the potential of using Godot for game development. They discuss various frameworks and resources available for creating adventure and point-and-click games in Godot. The author also shares their initial thoughts on Godot, highlighting its responsiveness, lightweight nature, and passionate community. They compare the visual scripting capabilities of Adventure Creator and Popochiu, and express their positive impression of Popochiu’s functionality and the ease of adding custom code. The author also appreciates GDscript and Godot’s built-in code editor, as well as the 2D-specific features and lighting options available in Godot. Read more
Machina Bristronica – this Saturday!
By: Timm, www.stromkult.com
Don’t miss the Machina Bristronica event happening this Saturday in the UK! Featuring a wide range of brands and workshops, this event is a must-attend for synth enthusiasts. Explore modular synthesizers, drum machines, and effects units from established makers and independent designers. Enjoy performances by Julia Bondar, JacqNoise, Scanner, Dopplereffekt, and more. Visit the website for more information. Read more
Fyrall Mutant Progress
By: Richard, pugix.com
Richard Brewster provides an update on his Fyrall Mutant project, a modified version of Peter Blasser’s design. He has finished drilling and filling the plexiglass case and mounted the Fyrall PC board beneath the surface. The panel features board-mounted pots, LEDs, ins and outs, and switches. Next, Brewster will focus on wiring. The blog post teases future details about the modifications made to the original design. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting DIY electronic sound project! Read more
Maneki Neko DIY Light-controlled Synth
By: catsynth, catsynth.com
Check out this cool DIY light-controlled synth made from a triple maneki neko (lucky cat) figure. The synth features light sensors, LEDs, volume and CV controls, and was created by polwor.2. See the results of the ‘Diseño y Manufactura’ class on Instagram. This unique and creative project combines art, cats, and synthesizers in a fun and innovative way. Don’t miss out on this fascinating fusion of technology and feline charm! Read more
Jogging House – Because – Ambient Album
By: boboter, www.elektronauts.com
Jogging House has released a new ambient album titled ‘Because’ on Seil Records. The album explores the beauty of broken sounds and distortion, with warm and gentle tracks that also contain screamy, noisy parts. The album is available in a blue cassette edition with golden printing, as well as digitally. Jogging House used various gear including Onde Magnétique OM-1, Herbs and Stones Solid Felt, Chase Bliss Mood MK2 & Habit, Digitone, Cocoquantus, and a modular system. The music is available for free download for the first two weeks. Check out this unique ambient album now! Read more
Autumn Light: An Ambient Synth Concert with Victoria Lundy, Monoscene, and Mark Mosher with Interactive Light Sculptures. Fri Oct 6, 8PM Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, Denver.
By: Mark Mosher, markmoshermusic.com
Join us in Denver for Autumn Light, an ambient synth concert with interactive light sculptures. Three artists will conjure the vibrant colors, mellow refracted light, and entrancing blue skies of Autumn in a venue dedicated to sound, sight, and vision. The concert will feature performances by Victoria Lundy, Mark Mosher, and monoscene. Tickets are available now on Eventbrite. Read more
The Blue Marble Synthesizer Project Plans to Put a Music Synthesizer in Space
By: matrix, www.matrixsynth.com
The Blue Marble Synthesizer Project plans to launch a music synthesizer into space that can be controlled from Earth. The project consists of a pressurized capsule in a low earth orbit satellite, a network of sensors, and a web-based interface for people to play with. The capsule measures the behavior of a marble floating in zero gravity and sends sensor data, audio feed, and video feed back to Earth. The Kickstarter campaign starts on October 4, with the rocket launch set for November 1. Artists like Andrew Huang will compose original music using the Blue Marble Synthesizer. Read more
That concludes this week’s edition of the Waveform Weekly. We appreciate your time and hope that our curated selection from the synthesizer world has been both informative and inspiring. Until then, keep exploring the wonderful world of sound synthesis.