Remembering the sounds of Casio VL-1, a pocket calculator with chiming noises

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When I first heard Kraftwerk’s 1981 album Computer World, it felt like the future was within my grasp. The album was a musical vision of how computers were infiltrating our lives and one particular track, Pocket Calculator, incorporated bleeps and blips from actual calculators.  Thanks to the electronics company Casio, a little bit of that […]

Review: Softube Monoment

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      Price £69.95/$99 (RRP) Contact Softube Despite many producers using more hardware instruments these days, the demand for good quality software instruments has never been greater, so companies like Softube are developing like crazy to meet that demand. The company has a pretty sizeable portfolio of plug-ins that embraces vintage hardware alongside more […]

Review: Spitfire Audio Kepler Orchestra

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      –Price £249/$299 Contact Spitfire Audio Companies are becoming ever more intuitive and attuned to the needs of modern producers and composers; it’s certainly the case that something sonically different can inspire when creativity might be feeling a little flat and Spitfire Audio is a company that understands this, largely thanks to the […]

Review: Qu-Bit Electronix Chord v2

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      Price £269/$299 Contact Qu-Bit Electronix If there’s one uniting feature of modular systems, it is the complexity of creating a patch that works convincingly polyphonically – which explains why almost all modulars tend to concentrate on monophonic signals and are often happier that way.  But let’s face it, it’s pretty difficult for […]

The ARP 2600 is still one of the most prized synthesizers today, here’s why

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Purchasing a hardware synthesizer has always been a bit of an investment decision, thankfully made easier by the cost-effective nature of some of the newer machines of the current age, so it’s always nice to consider a machine you’ll really get some use out of. Does it have the ability to create decent drum sounds, […]

Review: Modal Electronics CRAFTsynth v2.0

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      Price £129/$149/€149 Contact Modal Electronics It was only a couple of years ago that British company Modal Electronics entered the synthesizer marketplace, with the rather fine PPG-inspired 002. Once we’d got over the awe factor, things were quickly followed by the all-analogue 008 and while both of these machines were clear budgetary […]

Review: VSL Vienna Ensemble Pro 7

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      Price £172/$220 Contact VSL Vienna Symphonic Library – affectionately known by the acronym VSL – deserves a great deal of kudos for numerous innovations through the years. The Symphonic Cube, released back in 2002, was one of the first packages to truly acknowledge the coming of age of orchestral samples, with a sample count that […]

Review: Spitfire Studio Woodwinds Professional

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      Price £349 Contact Spitfire Audio Since the release of the famed Symphonic Series from Spitfire Audio, many users have requested something very similar, but in a drier acoustic. The creatives at Spitfire have responded by producing the Studio Series, recorded in the acoustic of AIR Studio One, while still offering the excitement […]

Review: Qu-Bit Prism

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      Price $249/£221 Contact Qu-Bit Aim a shaft of white light at a prism and the resulting refraction throws us beautiful shards of splintered and separated colourful light. Somewhat unsurprisingly, this recently released Eurorack module from Qu-Bit aims to deliver a very similar result with an audio signal, but with much greater control […]