Archive for January, 2021

Behringer ARP 2600 Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie Limited Edition

 

Not content with their 2600 clone Behringer is bringing back the ultra-rare ARP 2600 Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie synth models.

 

Another chance to get your hands on a 2600 clone.

 

Behringer has announced that it will be releasing two new versions of the immensely popular ARP 2600 clone. The two new editions hark back to early rare versions of the iconic semi-modular synth.

 

The Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie models were early versions of the 2600 before ARP had settled on the final design that we are more accustomed to. How they differ from Behringer own first version of the 2600 is more than just a change in livery.

 

The most welcome change is the switch to a single coloured LED on all the faders giving it a much more sedate and serious look. Eagle-eyed Behringer fans may notice that both Marvin and Meanie are sporting single colour LEDs, which are also dimmable. A choice we are sure will prove popular. Under the hood, some tweaks have been made. Most notably the addition of a spring reverb and new higher-grade componentry that promises to improve performance. As well as the dual filter, additional LFO, VCO syncs, and USB MIDI.

 

Apparently, the stocks of Behringer original 2600 clone are on backorder until March, but these two new models are expected to start shipping in February 2021.

 

Both the Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie will retail for $699, $100 more than the base-model 2600 (and quite a bit cheaper than Korg recently announced ARP 2600 M).

 

For more detail information, check Behringer website.

 

Alesis Q Series MKII MIDI Keyboards

 

Pro audio brand Alesis has unveiled the MKII iteration of its Q Series MIDI controllers, new 49- and 88-note models joined by the super-compact Qmini.

 

Alesis Q Series MKII MIDI keyboards promise no-nonsense performance at a low price.

 

Alesis Q series MIDI keyboards might be short on bells and whistles, but what they do offer is an amazing price-per-key ratio. Today sees the launch of two updated models – the Q49 MKII and Q88 MKII – and the all-new Qmini.

 

The idea with each keyboard is to offer no-nonsense performance. The new Qmini features 32 mini keys, the Qmini is very much the baby of the family – you will have octave, transpose, pitchbend, modulation and sustain buttons, whereas, the Q49 MKII and Q88 MKII both have full-size keys and proper pitch/mod wheels.

 

Additionally, all the models are plug-and-play over USB, with the Q88 MKII’s 5-pin MIDI port also enabling standalone operation (providing you plug in a power supply). This largest model also benefits from semi-weighted keys, whereas. the other two have synth-action keys.

 

The Qmini, Q49 MKII and Q88 MKII are available now priced at $59, $109 and $229 respectively. Find out more on the Alesis website.

 

 

 

Korg Wavestate SE Synthesizer

 

Korg has shared a sneak preview of the Wavestate SE – a new edition of the Wavestate.

 

The new Korg Wavestate SE adds aftertouch and a premium feel in a new 61-key version.

 

It seem the Korg product releasing juggernaut rolls on with yet another synth breaking cover. This time Korg has given 2020’s Wavestate the premium treatment with a new SE version, adding what many users would have loved in the original: aftertouch. It is not just a case of simply adding the aftertouch and leaving it there. Much of the patches included in the machine have been tweaked to make the most out of the feature.

 

Aluminium panel and knobs should make for a very solid synth.

 

Beside aftertouch, an obvious choice has been taken to up the key-count to 61, further making reinforcing the Wavestate as a full-on performance instrument. In addition, players will also be pleased with the addition of solid aluminium knobs and top panel, giving the Wavestate SE a premium feel.

 

Korg seems to be really hitting NAMM’s Believe in Music event hard with miniKorg 700FS and Modwave, already being announced.

 

However, these announcements are merely a sneak preview of what is coming from Korg this year, hence, we do not have any details on release dates and prices as yet. Check out the Korg website for more info.

 

 

Kurzweil K2700 Synthesizer Workstation

 

Kurzweil has officially introduced the K2700 synthesizer workstation.

 

Kurzweil goes beyond the K2 workstations with the mighty K2700. Is there anything it does not do?

 

The new K2700 is an evolution of Kurzweil’s popular K2 series workstations, and appears to pack a whole lot of functionality into its considerable frame.

 

The K2700 features an 88-note fully-weighted keyboard with aftertouch, along with a 4×4 bank of velocity-sensitive pad triggers, nine sliders, nine knobs and 10 buttons. There is a built-in ribbon controller and widescreen colour display, along with a 16-track internal sequencer, 4.5GB of factory sounds – more than 1,500 factory programs, 700 multi combinations and 13 instrument categories – and 3.5GB of user sample memory. With 256 notes of polyphony, is more than five times that of the previous K2 series model.

 

Powered by an expanded version of the V.A.S.T. (Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology) engine that made its debut in the K2 series, the K2700 offers virtual analogue and FM synthesis, along with organs, pianos and more. Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology (V.A.S.T.) has for decades been recognized as one of the most powerful and flexible platforms for synthesis.

 

The new K2700 has a built-in USB audio interface – you plug in line, instrument and mic sources via the XLR combo inputs. There are balanced audio outputs, and you can also plug in a class-compliant MIDI controller.

 

The Kurzweil K2700 released date and price are still to be confirmed. You can find further details on the Kurzweil website.

 

 

 

 

Korg Modwave Wavetable Synthesizer

 

The Korg DW-8000 has returns in the form of the Modwave hybrid wavetable synthesizer and the Kaoss pad is back with new functionality.

Korg has revived yet another classic from its illustrious history and given it the hybrid treatment, with the new Modwave wavetable synthesizer that promises to take the DW legacy and create a  synth with a little help from Motion Sequencing 2.0 and the brand new Kaoss pad modulation.

It is not mind-blowing to see that this looks like it is the third instalment of forward-thinking hybrid synths from Korg that tap into models of yesteryear with modern features, all wrapped up in a now-familiar 37-key chassis.

The Modwave seems to also take on the same ethos as the Wavestate and opsix with plenty of hands-on control and combining deep synthesis with plenty of filtering options and a whole heap of modulation options with the ability to assign four modulation signals with the Kaoss pad, utilising the new Kaoss physics function. In addition, the Modwave synthesis engine seems to be rather deep with 200 wavetables, each containing up to 64 waveforms. The structure allows you to utilise 30+ Modifiers to change the character and 13 Morph Types for realtime processing. Combined with the A/B Blend function, all of this adds up to a dizzying number of wavetable variations, over 230 million to be exact.

Modulation takes up a large part of Modwave architecture with the return of an old friend to help you get more creative results out of the synth. The Kaoss pad is back and Korg has deployed its fabled XY pad controller as a new modulation source. The pad is part of Korg’s new Kaoss Physics feature which models a ball rolling on a surface and/or bouncing off walls. Using the pad you can control the ball, or have it automatically triggered via a Gate + Damper.

If that does not blow your mind enough, you can add more by loading your own custom wavetables in Serum or WaveEdit formats via the Editor/Librarian software. Additionally, the virtual environment allows to either have the walls slow down the movement of the ball, like a cushion or bounce off the walls, accelerating the ball’s movement much like a pinball machine.

The Kaoss Physics alongside Motion Sequencing 2.0 from the Wavestate, make for some very interesting modulation possibilities, especially with a choice of four envelopes and five LFOs onboard.

For more info and full specs check out the Korg website.

The Modwave price and release date are still to be confirmed but, considering the opsix launched with a £799 price tag, we can assume this synth would not differ greatly on that score.