The Elektronauts Community

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Elektron (the Swedish company behind the A4, the Machinedrum and many other great instruments) has officially announced the imminent availability of the Elektronauts Community.

Currently the Elektron user community is being served by a user-managed community at http://elektron-users.com, but with the launch of Elektron’s own community the site will be retired according to posts here.

The Elektronaut community has been eagerly anticipated by Elektron users for over 16 months, but other projects (i.e. the A4) taking priority has led to delays in the actual release.

The new community is rumored to open it’s doors on September 9.

Update: As expected the community is now (as of 9/9) open.

Novation Launchkey Mini vs Arturia MiniLab

Disclaimer:
I have not used the Launchkey Mini yet, the below is based on specs and photos.

launchkeymini_angle-640x412So Novation has announced the Launchkey Mini (sp ~$99). With 25 mini keys, 16 pads, 8 rotary knobs and 2 performance buttons, all assignable of course, it makes for a sweet little MIDI keyboard, not at all unlike the Arturia MiniLab that also launched recently.

I got a chance to play around with the Arturia board for a couple of days and it certainly has the upper hand when it comes to design in my opinion. Of course the two are not entirely comparable given that you get a bloody awesome collection of 5000 analog synth emulation presets with the Arturia board..

My biggest gripe with the Arturia MiniLab was the touch strips. Very poor quality and performance which in the end rendered it almost unusable for me. The keys and the pads though were very nice and responsive. The Launchkey Mini has gone a step further and done away with the traditional modulation / pitch controls entirely. My suspicion is that you can use the two ‘performance buttons’ for this by assigning them your self?

MiniLab_275In terms of connectivity the only difference is that you get a foot switch input on the MiniLab. This could be important to you depending on your playing style. Both are USB powered and class compliant. I for one really wish they had a MIDI out port for connecting straight to some of my older analog gear, but that dear old round connection seems to be an endangered species these days…

Looking at the bundles software (Launchkey Mini: Bassstation, V-Station, Live Lite, Samples, Launchkey app for iPad vs. MiniLab: AnalogLab with 5000 classic synth presets) it really depends on your style of music and workflow. I love the Arturia emulations since they fit very well with the kind of music I make, but the flexibility of the Novation soft synths where you are not limited to presets is also very attractive. In the end it’s up to you.

Check out the rivals at their respective websites below:

New Bitwig Video Released

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about Bitwig Studio, but this latest video shows off some of the features (specifically around modulation) of the much anticipated DAW.

It also shows how much the software has matured since last time. Also, the UI seems to be heading in a very pleasant direction. What’s your take on Bitwig? Still excited?

Elektron Machinedrum has Arrived!

I have written about my ongoing work to design a pair of really nice side panels for my Elektron gear (here, here, here). I’ve also mentioned that I’m designing the panels to hold up to 2 machines, but at the moment I only own one (the Analog Four).

Well, rejoice as that has changed as of today. This afternoon my brand new Machinedrum (SPS-1 UW+ MKII) was delivered in the mail.

I placed the order yesterday around noon and in less than 24h the package was delivered by the Japanese postal service. Amazing speed! Below are some pictures of the machine and how it fits with the prototype panels I made.

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The good folks at Power Rec threw in a pair of BD headphones, an Elektron t-shirt and a bunch of stickers as well :). Who can resist that?

manualSince I bought it in Japan I got the Japanese manual :). Good thing I can read Japanese!

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Set up in the prototype panels I made. The dimensions and screw holes are exactly the same as on the Analog Four.

I will post some tracks and more info once the dust settles around here…

New EP (Cumulus) Released!

The first Cumulus EP is complete and uploaded to Bandcamp!

The tracks on this album represent different fantastic visions of abandoned environments that could or perhaps do exist somewhere only the clouds travel. The tracks are meant to be heard in order as a continuous journey.

All tracks were recorded using my modular synth (The Cumulus Machine) with Ableton Live as a recording deck. With the exception of a few overdubs the tracks were recorded ‘live’ as continuous takes.

Download it now!
It’s free, or you can pay any amount you want
if you feel generous and like what you hear :).

Special thanks to Adam Watson for mastering and feedback!