Bitwig Finally gets a Release Date!

March 26! Mark the date as this is when the german outfit will release their much anticipated new DAW.

According to a press statement sent out today the date and pricing will be announced at NAMM 2014, which kicks off tomorrow in California. The boxed version will retail for USD 449.99 / 399.99 (MSRP/MAP), 329 EUR  and 41.000 YEN. The download only version will be available for a reduced price of USD 399 / 299 EUR. Also, a free demo will be made available for download on the Bitwig website from the day of release.

It’s great to see another actor enter the market and this can only lead to more innovation and competition, which ultimately will benefit the consumers. Very exciting times ahead!

Are you getting Bitwig? What’s your take?

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Official Arturia MicroBrute Movie

Quick update on the Arturia Microbrute. If you go to the teaser site and click the Arturia Logo at the bottom of the site, you will be shown a full length intro movie about the synth, which is also already up on Youtube:

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 10.04.44 PM

Really makes you wonder what the count down is for?

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Glitzerstrahl is Moving to Stockholm

I was based in Tokyo but relocated to San Francisco by my Japanese employer when I started this blog. San Francisco having such an incredibly creative atmosphere and an abundance of great music spots was a fantastic place to be for synth-head / electronic music producer. But in July 2013 my employer decided to transfer me back to Tokyo.

Tokyo is an awesome place, probably my favorite city on this planet, but for various personal reasons me and the family decided that the best thing for us to do next was probably to move to Stockholm and try our luck in my home country for a while.

I won’t go into the details, but the result is that we are moving to Sweden and will set up base in Stockholm. At the moment the rest of the family is still in Japan, waiting for visas and other technicalities, but I have gone ahead to try and set up a home and other preparations for us.

At the moment I’m living in a temporary, corporate housing solution, looking for an apartment in the Stockholm area (if you have any leads leave a comment!), while all the gear is somewhere on the Atlantic heading north (or west, or possibly east depending on how you look at it).

Therefor there won’t be that many updates for a while as I’m trying to acclimatize myself to this new environment and so forth.

In the meantime, here’s a shot of the portable studio set up in my temporary (very cold) apartment.

TempStockholmStudio

Looking forward to exploring the Scandinavian electronica scene, so if you have any tips or just want to hang out and talk synths and music let me know!

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: