Music software maker Bitwig teamed up with modular-synthesizer maker BASTL Instruments as booth featuring hardware and software together. Bitwig’s new Studio software was running on a YUGE Microsoft Surface tablet and controlling a special BASTL modular system.
We wrote about BASTL Instruments last year, in particular about their modules that allow external sensors and actuators to be used with modular synthesizers and their unique “wooden” design for the faceplates. Bitwig Studio is a bit of a new discovery for us. It has many of the features and characteristics of Ableton Live!, but with its own more modular architecture for instruments and compatibility with Linux in addition to Windows and macOS. You can see a bit of these systems working together in our video.
So the question is whether Bitwig Studio is a reasonable alternative to Ableton Live! – for us, it would probably occupy the same functions as Live!: a secondary DAW to use with Pro Tools for performance elements, and a software hub for live performance. The demo suggests that it could do those functions, but whether or not it would a better option or not is unclear. In particular, Max/MSP integration would be missed. But it does have a powerful scripting system.
For BASTL Instruments, we are still most intrigued by their rich offering of external I/O beyond traditional musical instruments, along with their percussion synthesizers. The combination of this with a touchscreen DAW like Bitwig Studio opens up some new possibilities…
“Playing the Prodigy ‘Out Of Space’, ‘Omen’ and ‘Break & Enter’ on Poison-202: new professional MIDI synthesizer app for iOS with fancy retro rave patches
APP STORE ► http://itunes.apple.com/app/poison-20…
WEBSITE ► http://www.jimpavloff.com”
Published on Jun 16, 2016
Ziggy Cat & Bill T Miller of Orgy Of Noise studio recording session at Headroom Studios Boston on December 5, 2015 (couple days before ZBC Radio appearance) – http://billtmiller.com/12.05.15.bill….
BTM RIG with FieldScaper iPad App with Ziggy Cat Purr & Leaf Blower Drone Samples controlled by Arturia Mini Lab Keyboard & custom BTM Spring-O-Phone instrument with Korg Mini-Kaoss Pad for Delay. (Moog Mother-32 Synth is pictured, but not used on this composition.)
Directed & Edited by Bill T Miller
Cameras: Bill T Miller & Sheri Hausey
Co-Producer / Assistant Editor: Ziggy Cat
X-tra THANX to Ziggy & Sheri
and Igor Vasiliev for creating FieldScaper & SoundScaper apps
and to DJ Deftly-D & DJ Josh B at WZBC Radio.
It provides the features that iOS users currently enjoy like creating and sharing recordings with Mystery Synths and following other users, and a beautiful new material-design interface. Indeed we think this new Android version looks better than the iOS version 😉 – but don’t worry iOS folks, an update is coming soon.
If you have an Android device running Lolipop (5.0) or later, please check it out! You can get the download and more info at the Google Play Store.
During a break at NAMM, a friend showed me the tag line for Biotek that described it as an “organic synthesizer.” That sounded quite intriguing, though also a bit baffling. Did it contain biological elements or designs based on organic systems? It turned out to be a new software synthesizer from Tracktion. It uses high-quality field-recordings from nature as sample sources and incorporates them into a full-featured synth architecture. The centerpiece of the synth and its user interface is a function that morphs between the natural sound and different degrees of processing from the rest of the synthesizer.
It is quite striking to look at. Playing with just the central control is fun. The sounds are unique, especially in the middle between fully synthesized and fully nature-sample. I had fun playing a patch based on avian sounds from the connected keyboard and found myself thinking of musical ways to combine it with analog sounds. Whether it would be a novel feature for a handful of tracks or an regular instrument is hard to say – I leave that to other musicians to explore and decide.
All during the demo of Biotek, I was listening to the sound on Tracktions new (and first) hardware interface, the Copper Reference.
As one can see in the photo above, it is gorgeous. The case is a shiny copper finish with soft edges, topped with two vacuum tubes. The vacuum tubes are part of a selectable overdrive circuit for the inputs. It also contains high-end high-sample-rate D/A and A/D converters. It sounded great in the Biotek demos, though a NAMM booth is not an environment where I can discern its character compared to others. It is definitely a boutique interface that will carry a high price tag ($5000 USD), especially for just stereo. But it is gorgeous!
We at CatSynth are excited to announce the release of the 2.0 version of our iOS app knows as CatSynth: The App!. It has a redesigned modernist interface for browsing and reading articles. And the biggest change is that you can now record and share performances with the built-in Mystery Synths!
If you already have the app (thanks!), we strongly recommend that you update to the new version. If not, we encourage you to give it a try. And for our friends on Android, we hope to have a 2.x version in the not-too-distant future.
We’re happy to release the first major update for the iPhone/iPad version of CatSynth: The App!. 1.4.142 (yes, it’s the square root of 2) has the following new features and improvements:
New Mystery Synth #3!
Facebook or email login for comments, favorites and more.
Numerous bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements
It’s that last one that really took the longest: the under-the-hood improvements using a completely rebuilt backend. We might have more to say about the technology that went into it (it’s pretty cool from the point of view of a computer-science geek), but for now we simply ask that if you have an iPhone or iPad, please download and enjoy the new app.