Archive for August, 2021

Rhodes just releases the first photos of its New electric piano and says it is “going to blow people’s minds”

Just a few weeks since it was confirmed that the Rhodes brand is now under new ownership, it looks like the fledgling company is almost ready to show its first electric piano.

 

Word has it that the new Rhodes has been in development for two years at an R&D facility in Leeds, and Dan Goldman, the new Rhodes Chief Product Officer (not to mention demon Rhodes player) is doing nothing to dampen expectations.

“Compared to the old pianos it’s got all the vibe and soul, but everything that wasn’t precisely built has been precisely built and with massive detail,” he says.

 

“I think it’s the ultimate collision of the vintage world and the modern world. I think what we’ve achieved in the last two years is going to blow people’s minds.”

Forget digital emulations – this looks like the real deal. Anticipation-building photos indicate that this is very much a real Rhodes rather than a digital emulation of some kind, with the vintage look of the classic EPs of yesteryear.

 

This would make total sense as there is no point buying a brand like Rhodes and then not trading on its heritage but, it will be interesting to see if anything new has been added to the formula.

 

Our sources indicate that we have to wait for weeks rather than months before the big reveal. You can sign up for direct updates on the Rhodes website.

 

 

 

 

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Sequential Take 5 Synthesizer Pairs Classic Prophet Sound with Modern Effects

UPDATE: Dave Smith has now confirmed that it is real.

 

The new keyboard is on the way from Dave Smith, the Sequential Take 5 synthesizer.

 

Previously leaked by a Belgian retailer Sequential has confirmed the existence of a new analogue synth, the Take 5. This the company’s first new synth since it was acquired by Focusrite in April 2021.

 

Could the Sequential Take 5 synth give you the Prophet-5 sound in a compact and more affordable keyboard?

 

“The Take 5 puts the classic Sequential sound and legacy into the hands of people who may not have been able to experience it before,” said Dave Smith, Sequential founder and lead product designer.

 

“Packing this much performance power into such a small footprint was the kind of challenge we love. Throughout development we were amazed by how huge this synth sounds and how crazy versatile it is. It was a joy to work on and I’m looking forward to hearing what our customers create with it.”

 

Possibly not designed exclusively for those who wish to play the Dave Brubeck classic, this is a five-voice polyphonic instrument with two analogue oscillators per voice and a continuously variable waveshape per oscillator. As such, its architecture appears to be similar to that of Sequential’s Prophet-5 Rev 4, which was released in 2020.

 

Other features include a sub-oscillator, hard sync and front-panel FM, while a Mixer enables you to set the levels of the oscillators and the amount of white noise.

 

The four-pole low-pass filter, meanwhile, is said to be based on the design of the one in the Prophet-5 Rev 4. This can be made to self-oscillate using the Resonance control.

 

Modulation features include two five-stage envelope generators with variable routing, with velocity modulation of each envelope amount. The envelopes promise to be freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations. The same can be said of the LFO, which offers five waveshapes and internal or external MIDI clock sync.

 

A digital effects section gives you dedicated reverb and overdrive along with a multi-effect that delivers stereo delay, BBD delay, tape delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, ring mod, vintage rotating speaker, distortion and a high-pass filter.

 

In addition, a Vintage knob is included – another feature of the new Prophet-5 – so that you can recreate the tiny oscillator, filter and envelope fluctuations that are typical in classic synth hardware.

 

On the control front, there is a full-size, semi-weighted and aftertouch-capable 3.5-octave Fatar keyboard, pitch and mod wheels, a keyboard split mode and both portamento and unison (monophonic) options.

 

A step sequencer and arpeggiator are on the agenda, too, while you can expect 128 factory presets and space for 128 of your own.

 

Features:

OSCILLATORS

  • Two analog VCOs per voice
  • Continuously variable wave shape (sine, sawtooth, variable-width pulse) per oscillator
  • Hard sync: oscillator 1 syncs to oscillator 2
  • Square wave sub-octave generator (oscillator 1) per voice
  • Keyboard tracking on/off for each oscillator
  • Front-panel FM (frequency modulation)

MIXER

  • Oscillator 1 amount
  • Oscillator 1 sub-octave amount
  • Oscillator 2 amount
  • White noise amount

LOW-PASS FILTER

  • Four-pole, resonant, analog low-pass filter per voice, based on Prophet 5 Rev 4 design
  • Filter can be driven into self-oscillation with the Resonance control
  • Bi-polar filter envelope amount

ENVELOPES

  • Two 5-stage envelope generators (ADSR + delay) with variable routing (filter, amplifier, gate)
  • Velocity modulation of each envelope amount
  • Envelopes freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations

LOW FREQUENCY OSCILLATOR

  • Five wave shapes: triangle, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, square, and random (sample and hold)
  • Clock sync (internal or external MIDI clock)
  • Freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations

DIGITAL EFFECTS

  • One dedicated reverb with damping, pre-delay, decay and tone
  • One multi-effect with stereo delay, BBD delay, tape delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, ring mod, vintage rotating speaker, distortion, high-pass filter
  • Dedicated Overdrive effect

VINTAGE KNOB

  • Recreates the characteristics of vintage synthesizers by introducing micro-fluctuations in oscillators, filter, and envelopes per voice.

AFTERTOUCH

  • Source: channel (mono) aftertouch with bi-polar amount
  • Aftertouch freely assignable to multiple modulation destinations

CLOCK

  • Master clock with tap tempo
  • BPM control and display
  • MIDI clock sync

ARPEGGIATOR

  • Up, down, up+down, random, assign modes
  • Syncs to MIDI clock
  • Re-latching arpeggiation

SEQUENCER

  • Polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps with ties and rests

PERFORMANCE CONTROLS

  • Full-sized, semi-weighted, 3.5-octave premium Fatar keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program with independently adjustable upper and lower pitch wheel range transpose controls
  • Low-split mode creates two independent performance zones with different octave ranges
  • Hold switch latches held notes on
  • Polyphonic glide (portamento)
  • Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count, from one to all five voices, and key modes
  • Factory switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear

PATCH MEMORY

  • 128 user and 128 factory

IN/OUT

  • 1 MIDI In, 1 MIDI Out, and 1 MIDI Thru port

USB port for bidirectional MIDI communication

  • 1 Sustain/footswitch input
  • 1 Expression pedal input
  • Main stereo output (2 x 1/4″ phone jack)
  • Headphone out (stereo 1/4″ phone jack)

 

The Sequential Take 5 is available now priced at $1,299. Find out more on the Sequential website.

 

 

 

 

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Steinberg Intros Absolute 5 Virtual Instrument Collection

 

Steinberg has updated its Absolute bundle, their virtual music software collection that contains the company’s best plugin synths and workstations.

 

But, is Steinberg’s new synth plugin bundle an Absolute bargain?

 

 

Now totalling 28 instruments, Absolute 5 contains more than 130GB of content, and offers more than 7,500 presets.

 

New in Absolute 5 includes Backbone, Steinberg’s drum resynthesizer plugin; Amped Elektra, which offers vintage keys; Electric Bass; and expansions for Padshop 2, Retrologue 2 and Groove Agent 5 (all of which are included in the bundle).

 

In addition, Absolute 5 also contains all the instruments from its predecessor – the likes of HALion 6, HALion Sonic 3, The Grand 3 and many more.

 

Feature Highlights:

 

  • More than 130 GB of instruments and 7,500 inspiring presets
  • First-class sample libraries for bass, choir, orchestra, and keys
  • New: Drum re-synthesizer Backbone
  • New: Vintage keys Amped Elektra
  • New: Electric Bass

 

Find out more on the Steinberg website. The instruments in Absolute 5 run on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats.

 

Absolute 5 is available now for $500/€499.

 

 

 

 

 

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