Korg make two announcements. Native Instruments lay off staff. ASM release the Hydrasynth and Roland revives a classic.

Gamer gadgets from Korg. Korg’s arcade game-inspired Gadget 2 software series gets an update with three new gadgets: Ebina, Waszawa and Otorii. Ebina takes sounds from arcade games like Darius and The Ninja Warrior, while Warszawa sells itself as more of an edgy EDM-ready wavetable synthesizer and Otorii takes drum/SFX from classic SEGA games OutRun and AfterBurner. What’s not to like. Check them out here.

Arturia’s mini keyboard. This week Arturia announced ‘Microlab’, a new controller keyboard made for travelling. It has 25 slim key velocity sensitive keys and comes bundled with software titles AnalogLab Lite, UVI Grand Piano Model D and Bitwig Studio 8-Track. It looks slick and robust for a mobile keyboard, and has a protective rubber shell for those on-the-road bumps and bruises. Find out more.

All hail the the Hydrasynth. This beautiful looking wave morphing synthesizer, comes from the newly-formed hardware company Ashun Sound Machine or ASM for short. Made available this week, it includes tonal modifications, polyphonic aftertouch technology and a ribbon controller. There is a desktop version, too, with a rack-mount kit. More info here.

Build your own synth. Korg pushes on with their DIY-focused Nu: Tekt range with the NTS-1 digital synth. This allows you to build your own device without having to solder all the parts together! It comes with the logue-SDK, which makes it possible to customise the synth, changing oscillators and effects. The perfect Xmas gift? Visit the Korg site to learn more.    

Roland’s Fantom & Jupiter. As part of the 909 Day celebrations, Roland announced this week two next-gen series, the Fantom and Jupiter-X keyboards. Jupiter-X boasts a range of emulations including vintage synths like the Jupiter-8, Juno-106 and SH-101, digital machines like the XV-5080 and RD pianos, plus drum machine sounds from the TR-808, TR-909, TR-707 and CR-78. The Fantom comes in three different sizes and Roland hails it as a “modeless interface”, with a built in touch screen, meaning you can get the likes of LogicPro up on the actual screen. Snazzy. For more info go here.

Native Instruments restructure. In the midst of what Native Instruments call “global restructuring”, software company Native Instruments have laid off a large number of their own staff. They say they are now working toward creating a “unified platform experience for the modern music producer” in 2020. Twenty percent of the company, mainly in Berlin, have been made redundant with CEOs stating it’s ensuring “all parts of the company work together towards one common goal”.

Hangar closes its doors. East London venue, Hangar, has abruptly closed its doors without warning. What once sold itself as a multi-purpose arts space with an almighty sound-system, and previously guised itself under monikers ‘Mangle’ and ‘Laundry’, deleted its Facebook this week, with email replies simply saying ‘closed’. Eerie vibes!

Faces for radio? The new wave of Radio 1 residents were announced this week, with eight well-picked names set to take over our air waves from September through to February next year. Among the names are some new eye-catching head turners in the scenes such as footwork and juke DJ Sherelle, who hangs up the headphones from her time at Reprezent radio,  and techno’s Saoirse. Other names include Nastia, Paul Woolford, HAAi, Charlotte De Witte, Jayda G and Denis Sulta. More here.

ByeTunes. The decimation of iTunes marches on. Apple have unveiled a new beta version of a web player holding many similarities to the old software, which Apple announced will shut down when macOS Catalina is released later this month. It’s all online nowadays, it seems. More here.

6th September, 2019

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