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  • Filed under: Gear
  • 05/10/2013

This Week in Music Tech: Korg Volca Mini-Synths, Herb Deutsch on Moog, Troy Pierce's Tutorial, MacBeth Nexus, and More

The internet was ripe with new videos and articles aimed at the production and gear connoisseur this week—from demo videos of MacBeth's new synth to synthesizer innovator Herb Deutsch walking us through the evolution of the MiniMoog, all the way to an in-depth look at Korg's forthcoming Volca series of mini-analog units. There was also an Ableton Live remix tutorial with techno veteran Troy Pierce, a new guide to building DIY analog synths, and a free found-sound sample pack, all of which will catch us up with the latest edition of This Week in Music Tech.

First, in cased you missed it, XLR8R had the chance to take Elektron's Analog Four unit for a test drive, and so we shared an in-depth review of the new boutique piece on our site earlier in the week. Our comprehensive experience with the Analog Four—which includes audio samples—can be read here.

Items & Things co-head and veteran techno producer Troy Pierce recently hooked up with London's Point Blank music school to give an in-depth tutorial on remixing in Ableton Live. The 30-minute lesson follows Pierce as he dissects a recent remix of Tomas More, showing exactly how he went about piecing the rework together and dishing out many helpful hints along the way.

Electronic musician, inventor, educator, and early collaborator with the conception of Moog synthesizers, Herb Deutsch recently took a few minutes to discuss the evolution of the original MiniMoog Model D into the contemporary MiniMoog Voyager. Essentially gushing over the synthesizer's many useful features—most of which he is partially responsible for implementing—the brief video is another insightful look at what makes Moog synthesizers such a highly regarded commodity.


Scottish synth builder Kevin MacBeth has been sharing videos of his recent tests for a new synthesizer that he's almost finished designing and building, called the Nexus. This week, two new videos surfaced—the first showing "a short burst of dual, independant Pulse Width Modulation on Oscillators 1 and 3 of the Nexus prototype," and the second finding MacBeth himself using the Nexus prototype in concert with a vintage Korg sequencer. From the looks—and sounds—of these videos, the MacBeth Nexus appears to be a powerful unit. While few details of the synth have surfaced, it's expected to only be available in limited quantities sometime in June or July. Those wishing to see more of the Nexus in action are encouraged to check out the 15-minute demo video posted earlier in the moth, here.

After meeting with Tatsuya Takahashi, the designer behind Korg's still forthcoming Volca series of minature analog synthsizers and grooveboxes, Create Digital Music's Peter Kirn shared an in-depth look at the still forthcoming units; providing a plethora of sound and video samples to go along with what is undoubetdly the most informative look at the Volca series to date. Create Digital Music's full article can be read—and heard—here.

For the true DIY analog synth nerds, a new book has surfaced from Ray Wilson, noted DIY synth guru and head of online DIY-synth-meeting-place Music from Outer Space. Wilson's new book, Make: Analog Synthesizers, is intended as a guide to hand-building one's own analog sound toys. The text is currently available as an e-book and will be available in hard copy sometime in the following weeks; more information can be found here.

Earlier this week, New York production duo Prism House shared an intriguing sample pack of high-quality found sounds culled from around New York City. As the group puts it, "Prism House Samples Vol. 3 is a new collection of 80 found-sound samples gathered from field recordings made in the streets and art spaces of New York City and Brooklyn. The pack includes natural percussion hits and unique loops recorded in Mid-Side using the Zoom H2N field recorder." Prism House's latest collection of found sounds can be downloaded for free, here.

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