Archive for November, 2023

Arturia Updates Firmware for KeyStep Pro & Introduces KeyStep Pro Chroma

Arturia has released KeyStep Pro firmware 2.5, adding bug fixes and user-requested features, and introduced KeyStep Pro Chroma, a new version of the keyboard MIDI controller.

New in KeyStep Pro firmware 2.5:

  • Send Program Changes – Users can now send Program Changes per pattern and per MIDI track.
  • Transpose Latch – Configure KeyStep Pro’s Transpose button to toggle Transpose Mode on.
  • Quick-access track settings – Quickly change track-specific settings by pressing Shift & Track number.
  • Fixed Velocity – Determine a fixed velocity for pressed keys and triggered notes.

KeyStep Pro Chroma combines new aesthetic elements, including a dark gray exterior, blue LEDs, new knob caps and the ability to change colors for tracks.

Here’s a profile of Andreas Tilliander, aka TM404, and how he uses the KeyStep Pro Chroma:

The KeyStep Pro Chroma is available now for $574. Firmware 2.5 is available as a free download.


Sound Designer Jexus on the Behringer Pro-800

Sound designer Jexus has released a collection of 100+ patches for the Behringer Pro-800 synthesizer, a Eurorack synth module, based on the Sequential Circuits Prophet 600.

As usual with Jexus’s patch libraries, the Behringer PRO-800 sound library is a comprehensive and creative exploration of the sound design possibilities of the Pro-800.

Here’s part 2 of the Behringer PRO-800 sound library demo:

Jexus also shared some pros and cons of the synth, with build quality being a strike against the Behringer synth:

“When it finally arrived to my doorstep and I took it out of the box and started to mess with it, my first impressions were… very bad. The quality of the product seemed low – there was a totally loose screw in the panel which I had to fix into its place. The blister buttons were hard to press. Also, it seemed to me like too many of the synth’s features were hidden in the menu – and the menu parameters were only accessible via the questionable membrane buttons (guess what – just like in the original Prophet 600!) Then some ghost editing started to happen and make the display go crazy with random values.”

Another con noted was the Pro-800’s accuracy in recreating the original Prophet 600 sound, noting:

“The Pro-800 definitely sounds like a clone of Prophet-600, but does not sound 100% like the real Prophet-600. Simple structures sound pretty identical, but the further you go into the wacky territory, the more obvious the nuances become. The most striking difference is that the Prophet-600 is brighter, while the Pro-800 sounds a bit darker & more stable (unorganic) in comparison.”

On the positive side, though, Jexus says that the Pro-800 sounds good, judged on its own merits:

“The significant amount of real-time controls made me concentrate on pure sound design and, step by step, I forgot about all these issues. The more I played the thing, the faster my disappointment gave way to enjoyment.

The synth sounded cool in its own right and it had a fair share of engine goodies that I needed: filter FM, oscillator FM and random LFO, to name a few. I really dig synths that sound a bit metallic and a bit raspy, not too thick and not too clean. And the Pro-800 has all these qualities in its timbre.”

The Jexus Behringer PRO-800 sound library is available now for $14.90 / €13.90 / £12.9


Audio Modeling & GPU Audio Team Up to Accelerate Physical Modeling Synthesis

Audio Modeling and GPU Audio have announced that a partnership that they say “promises to redefine the possibilities of virtual instrument technology”, by using state-of-the-art GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) technology to enhance the capabilities of Audio Modeling’s SWAM (Synchronous Waves Acoustic Modeling) product line.

GPU Audio has pioneered using the powerful GPUs found in modern computers to accelerate audio software, instead of just graphics. Benefits include:

  • Low-latency VST3 performance regardless of channel-count
  • Real-Time (instant) Audio processing
  • Performance gains for AI and ML algorithmic use cases
  • DSP power that is orders of magnitude greater than CPU

The SWAM engine combines concepts of Physical Modeling and Behavioral Modeling with the Multi-Vector/Phase-Synchronous Sample-Morphing technique to combine the realism of sampling with the flexibility and expressiveness of physical modeling.

“Our partnership with GPU Audio represents a colossal leap forward in the realm of virtual instruments,” says Simone Capitani, Partner at Audio Modeling. “The increased computational power will enable us to surpass the existing limits of technology, fostering the development of even more lifelike instruments. In the world of physical modeling, the possibilities are boundless, and we believe we are only at the beginning of something truly extraordinary.”

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