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  • Filed under: Gear
  • 01/17/2014

This Week in Music Tech: Moog Teases Two New Synths, Roland's Aira TR-08 Details Leak, Watch Four Tet Make a Beat, and More

With NAMM around the corner, the gear world was abuzz this week with teases, leaks, rumors, and the like. Among them was Moog, who shared the news that it will introduce two new synths at the annual NAMM conference, and Roland, who halfway introduced the Aira TR-08 (a.k.a. the "next step" in the lineage of the 808). Along with news on those two fronts, the latest This Week in Music Tech gathers videos from Four Tet and Swedish outfit Minilogue in their respective sutdious, checks out an app that turns images into experimental sounds, and shares a video profile of a renowned synth repair shop in Berlin.

Somehow, without much of the internet taking notice, Moog revealed that it would introduce two new synths at the upcoming NAMM conference in Southern California. One of the two synths, the Sub 37, had its front panel uploaded as a PDF to the Moog Forum, revealing that it will be a "paraphonic analog synthesizer" with a built-in arpeggiator. Create Digital Media who shared further details on Moog's forthcoming Sub 37 synth.

Earlier in the week, Roland teased the forthcoming Aira TR-08 unit, which the company claims represents "the next step" in the evolution of Roland's legendary 808 drum machine. At first, only the leaked image above was revealed, but now, further speculation has all but confirmed that the unit will not be a purely analog piece as many had hoped, but instead an "emulated, digital 808 synth" that will likely utilize Roland's "SuperNATURAL synth" technology. More specific details about the TR-08 are expected to start coming in as NAMM approaches.

London mainstay Four Tet became the latest artist to be featured in Don't Watch That TV's Beat This video series, sampling portions of Michael Jackson's classic Thriller and manipulating those sounds in Ableton Live in order to make a beat in just 10 minutes.

NYC-based production school Dubspot will be opening a new Los Angeles location in June of this year, and this week, it began early registration for its first West Coast classes, offering a 35% discount for students who sign up for one of the nine different courses in the next few weeks. More details can be found here.

VOSIS, a new app for the iPad which can translate images and live video into playable sound devices, surfaced this week. The $1.99 app is described by developer Ryan McGee as "an interactive image sonification interface that creates complex wavetables by raster scanning greyscale image pixel data." The VOSIS app is currently available to purchase from the iTunes store.

Ableton shared a new set of videos featuring Swedish duo Minilogue and its drool-worthy live setup, which incorporates Ableton Live within a sophisticated matrix of outboard synthesis and digital control. The video above details the pair's setup for live performance (which, interestingly enough, includes two laptops that are not MIDI-synced), covering how both audio and control signals are routed and used within the setup. In addition to the clip above, a second video which delves more into the philosophies which drive Minilogue's creations can be viewed here.

In the latest episode of its ongoing Slices video series, Electronic Beats profiled PhilSynth, a Berlin synth shop that specializes in bringing old, broken synthesizers back to life. The 12-minute mini-doc is equal parts gear porn, synth nerdery, and a touching love story about a man and his many synths.

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