Drumdrops has announced Now That’s What I Call 80′s Drums, a collection of 80′s drum beats. Featuring twenty 80s Pop drum tracks ranging from 71BPM to 179BPM, this is a wide-ranging collection of 1980s beats. It takes influences from a variety of 1980s acts, with nods towards drum grooves synonymous with the styles of George [...]
The Drum Broker has released a remastered 12″ vinyl of its International Breaks 101 sample library featuring 101 breaks. You won’t find these breaks anywhere else! Our dedicated digging team scoured the planet for these super dusty and rare break beats. Ready to chop, loop, and layer, International Breaks 101 features 101 breaks from from [...]
He’s not a household name. But Tatsuya Takahashi is the man from Korg’s development group behind instruments you almost certainly know. Starting with the first Korg monotron, followed by the Monotribe, monotron DUO and monotron DELAY, Takahashi has been standards bearer to a legacy of Korg stretching back to the early analog days. These newer instruments return to some of the analog circuitry and ideas behind earlier instruments, bringing a new playful approach to electronic music making for the masses, at stunningly low prices that put the products in reach of those musicians.
And now … well, now there’s volca, three new instruments covering bass, beats, and keys (in name and function), each under $150 bucks. And so we’re really lucky that their designer Tatsuya Takahashi from Korg in Inagi-City, Japan visited us in Berlin. He had all three volcas in hand, and shared his experience as a musician and designer, complete with a live improvised jam for us on the products he and his team at Korg built.
It was a rare pleasure – Christmas in May.
The three new instruments are both more value-packed and more capable, complete with (at last) MIDI input ports that let you connect other gear. volca beats, volca keys, and volca bass each focus in on a specific sound design task, while sharing common sequencing and sync features, and tidy bodies with big touch strips. They’re self-contained music instruments (complete with speakers), but also play nicely with each other and other gear.
You may have seen a look at volca from Musikmesse, but there, these babies were locked inside big “don’t steal me” cages and had to be heard over the din of a trade show. Tatsuya stopped by my studio last week with the items so we could hear them on proper monitors and play. And play we did, for a delightful afternoon filled with grooving volca sounds and chatter, joined by Benjamin Weiss of DE:BUG and Engadget Germany (who has also been a musical collaborator of mine lately).
I thought they sounded pretty good at Musikmesse. Then I heard them properly and got to play for more time. And I can say this: they’re even better than you likely think. With street prices now aiming for around US$139 and €139 (official European list is €166, for instance, but street looks lower), they’re looking just ridiculously desirable.
Something about them also suggests that Korg has gone from experiment to real instrument. Those early Korgs were nice, but the absence of MIDI was a pain (especially on monotribe), and they weren’t for me at the level of must-have sonically. These are different. I got to talk to Tatsuya for a long time about his ideas. He’s an extraordinarily-insightful designer; a long-time UK resident with a proper English accent, you get a real sense of focus on the designs he works on, a degree of confidence that shows in the designs. I understood from our conversation that Korg was unsure – as the rest of us were, frankly – how the original monotron experiment would be received.
If the first blush of monotron was “toy,” those of you who picked them up and made music with them proved they were more. And volca seems to acknowledge that, not only with the much-needed MIDI port, but with more spacious touch strips that are more playable, with deeper sound design options that set them apart not only as “cheap” but genuinely “unique.” A friend on Facebook asked if monotribe owners wouldn’t be frustrated by the availability of volca beats. I said, quite the opposite, I think those monotribe owners – putting up with the rest of our skepticism, going to the trouble of shipping off their hardware to add MIDI mods – may now feel vindicated. The volcas are a triumph of the design thinking behind monotron.
Let’s talk specifically, though, about what I mean and how I’d pick between the instruments.
First, here’s a listen to music made by Tatsuya on the spot using each, so you can hear what they sound like. (A shame, actually, that we didn’t record more, as we were having fun all day long.) Recorded for CDM in my studio, direct from the instruments, no additional effects. (That means they’re also completely dry.)
And here’s a jam with our friends at KOMA Elektronik, also from Tatsuya’s Berlin visit – thanks to Wouter for sharing this with us.
Things you may not know about the volcas:
The delay is not the same as the one on the earlier monotrons. The new delay is actually running on the microcontroller, a custom-implemented delay routine squeezed into the volca’s processor cycles. And it’s irresitable. In fact, it was the thing that drew me to the volca keys first at Messe, capable of whipping up spacey ambient dubs from your synth leads. (The earlier monotron used a dedicated chip for delay. My intern messed around with his own delay implementation using that same chip last summer — this stuff isn’t a secret, once you open the case, and Korg even shared the earlier design in public sechematics. What made the monotron special was fitting the analog filter into the delay line.) No matter: it all sounds great, and it’s certainly in the spirit of the original.
Sync is a blast – and you can sync up other monothings, too. You can connect minijacks to sync these different instruments, including both volcas and Korg monotribe. Now, you can also sync from MIDI in – and then use that to clock something else from the sync port. So, for instance, you could add a volca bass, run MIDI from your laptop, and then run a sync cable to your monotron, and everything will clock together.
MIDI out will be hackable. Tatsuya didn’t let us unscrew the cases – these things are rare – but he did confirm for us that “MIDI out” is spelled in large letters on the board. So, hackers, just as you added MIDI capabilities to past Korg boxes, you’ll be able to supplement the included MIDI input with output.
The battery lasts. The suspect East German wiring in my studio never got tested as everything was happy running off batteries. Having built-in speakers is fun, too, though the only problem is you’re unaware how big the sound of these instruments can be.
You can automate the (digital) knobs. Korg advertised this, but using it in practice is endless fun – for acid techno lovers, but anyone wanting to sequence more complex sounds, generally.
The filter sounds great. Both the bass and keys use a 1974 miniKORG700S filter, recreated here. It’s been tuned differently: on the bass, it feels more like a squelchy acid filter, whereas on the keys it is a little bit tamed for subtler sound designs (though still capable of some acid-y sounds if you push it, making deciding between bass and keys doubly tricky). I was a bit unsure of this move, having grown accustomed to the MS-style filter on the monotron (and, more recently, recreated for the MS-20 mini). But while this filter sounds different, think of it as yet another characteristic Korg filter, capable of some fairly out-there sounds. In fact, it may make you a bit sad that the new volcas lack an audio in jack. (Having seen the case; trust me, there wasn’t room!)
Slide touch makes the sequencers more usable. Slide along the touch strip, and you can quickly silence and mute drum parts on the volca beats, for instance. You can also use Active Step to add and remove steps on bass and beats, and hop around the sequence on beats with Step Jump for rhythmic effects. It makes the beats and bass really performance-ready.
The sound is poor, but I love the virtuosity of this demo, apparently as given to dealers in Japan – it makes you want to buy all three, then spend a lot of time practicing (and means we can never complain about the touch strip again):
volca beats has added some sound features that keep things fresh. The “grain” parameter adjusts the digital wavetable on the hat, and can make some glitchy, tight sounds. (Yes, the hat is a hybrid digital/analog circuit, which makes sense for this case. Had a bit of discussion last time in comments about this – I said it was digital, you said it was analog, and we were both right.) PCM Speed creates some creative effects, as well, for other digital timbres. And the Stutter effect can be tuned to all kinds of different results. We talked a bit to Tatsuya about this; a real goal of the beats was keeping things original, and all of this helps. But, and this is important:
You’ll get deep bass when you want it. That “toy” criticism can be fair if an instrument can’t rumble the floor with bass or hold up in a club or mix. With all three, I was impressed in better acoustic environments by the sounds of the bass drums and bass lines.
So, if I had to get only one volca… I’d probably get the volca beats. It’s tough to beat a drum machine for under $150. Two, or if I had another drum machine/sequencer I liked: definitely the keys. It has a distinctive lead sound, the various unison options are a joy, and the delay really opens it up. You can still use it for basslines, happily. But it’s really genuinely tough to choose. The bass is definitely acid friendly, and having the three oscillators is great. It’s not hard to imagine some people getting all three.
But this isn’t a review. We expect volcas to appear in the summer. By then, we’ll have more hands-on video showing how these work, and certainly more sounds. (We expect more from Korg, too. And Korg, Tatsuya was making great sounds with his instruments, so we told him we wanted more from him, too!)
Oh, and it was nice that both I and the folks at Koma got to talk to a Korg veteran about instrument design. We’re not sitting still on the MeeBlip project – we’re hard at work on something new, something different than what the volcas offer. And we’re thrilled that you can now put together a very affordable hardware studio, as it means MeeBlip is more useful than ever. At the same time, part of why I’m humbled and happy to have had the MeeBlip experience is that I now appreciate the work done by someone even as big as Korg. Korg owns their own factory in Vietnam; Tatsuya had just visited to work with the manufacturing team. The result is something incredibly high-quality, consistent, and affordable, that was even recently not possible at this price point. When you’re making physical products, every manufacturing detail therefore matters.
And speaking of manufacturing, it’ll all be shipping later this summer. We’ll be watching.
More photos, courtesy Benjamin at DE:BUG.
The Loop Loft has announced the introduction of three new classes of music-creation content developed directly for and with partners at software developers, Native Instruments and PreSonus: MASCHINE Kits, KONTAKT Slice Machine 002 // Loop Loft Beats and Studio One Sound Sets. Each of The Loop Loft’s new products is instantly available for download from [...]
So, electronic musicians and dance music makers just push buttons, huh?
Actually… why not? There are certain parallels between the synchronized, quantized grids of computer music and video games. Rhythms, aesthetics, and even interface have evolved in tandem. Early games even hard-coded synthesizers and scores into the same circuitry that made the music, and each has made its impact on the other.
Game designers keep toying with this concept in game design. I gave a talk on interactive music in gaming last week at Berlin’s A MAZE Indie Connect. But here’s one person at that same festival who did one better. In a matter of hours, Simon Cubasch coded up an arcade game that synchronizes sound effects with a beat grid, making a shooter that’s also a kind of music interface. It’s reminiscent of titles like Jonathan Mak’s ground-breaking Everyday Shooter, which notably used guitar riffs instead of the ubiquitous dance music. But I think each experiment in pulling this off is a learning experience. Description below.
And I post it again partly as we’re working on more with music and gaming, using libpd, I’m coding up examples, and other workshops and game jams are possible. So – who’s interested? Who’s made stuff like this? What other games (ancient, recent, or upcoming) have you seen that play with music and gaming? I’d love to hear.
More on this jam — remember, be gentle, this is just hours of work which is the whole point:
Since the theme of Ludum Dare was minimalism and I wanted to experiment with sound I was looking into minimal techno and a shooter marriage where the gameplay was generating the music. Every object has a sound on a certain step of the 16 sequencer steps. Bullets, missile, enemies etc. There is no real gameplay yet and in order to make the game more interesting the gameplay also would have to be more tied to the music it generates. There could be a battle between the enemies music/sounds and the players own. Sequences of evade and catch could make the game more diverse. I also like the notion of powerups making the player sound different (instruments) just as now the players missiles and lasers (red and black) firing rythm make up the players beat/music. This was meant as a prototype to figure out if the sound resulting from the interactions could be interesting enough -as a basis to work more on gameplay and develop a game. I would also need a musician to produce good minimal techno samples. What do you think?
Producers Choice has announced the release of Ultimate Production Toolbox, a sound lirary featuring 2.3GB of high definition samples, drums & instruments by Pablo Beats. We teamed up with Pablo Beats to give you the most complete collection of production tools on the market. Industry quality drums, leads, basses patches, FX, vocal hits and more. [...]
Bass Boutique has launched Bounce n’ Shake, a Bassboutique sample library by Deekline & Ed Solo. Deekline & Ed Solo step up to the plate to bring you their long awaited debut sample pack. Complete with beats, bass and booty banging FX for your decks. It is loosely based on their genre-defining new album ‘Bounce [...]
Big tune from Temo & Apollo which features Georgina Uptons vocals titled “Time.” They posted a preview for this track about a year ago, and now it has finally been given away for free via Temos Facebook. Support Apollo // Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud Support Temo // Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud Temo &
XLN Audio has launched Black Velvet, a new ADpak for the Addictive Drummer virtual drum instrument for Windows and Mac. The Black Velvet ADpak is the sound you always wished you could afford! A modern classic dressed in black captured with a large, epic sound. Created with the grunge/post-grunge era in mind, with roots in [...]
Zenhiser has announced the release of 1989 Drum Beats, a collection of 296 drum loops from the 80′s. Every year in the 80′s delivers a wealth of drum beat style and 1989 was the year the 80′s went out with a bang! Capturing the essence and style of all the main pop & clubbing hits [...]
Ninja tune has launched Ninja Jamm, a free mixing and jamming app for iOS that lets anyone instantly remix music from the Ninja Tune label using touch control, state of the art effects and killer music from Ninja artists. The app is a revolutionary fusion of music and software for the iPhone brought to you [...]
After testing viewers’ patience with a three-week hiatus Nashville returned to the airwaves last night Picking up where we left off Juliette is still hell-bent on establishing her artistic credibility Avery is still making terrible decisions Rayna and Teddy are still divorcing and Gunnar is still reeling from the death…
London based record producer and recording artist Chemo is back with the second volume of Hip Hop Instrumentals, a collection of 10 construction kits. Each construction kit has everything you need to build inspirational Hip Hop productions including stems of each drum part, Bass Loop, Hook and Atmosphere along with its own separate drum kit [...]
The Loop Loft has announced the release of Slice Machine 002 // Loop Loft Beats, a custom beat slicing machine for Kontakt 5 containing 225 of drum breaks from The Loop Loft. Teaming up with our friends at Samplephonics, we developed the first Kontakt instrument to allow users to easily add, move around and effect [...]
Polish Ambassador / Invisible Frontiers / FREE DOWNLOAD
We try to cater to all kinds of bass heads. Enjoy this little taste of some unconventional beats.
MURAMASA // “Rainy Sunday” Beat // FREE LIMITED DOWNLOAD!
Something short and sweet to keep your spirits high on this beautiful sunday. Grab this limited download now before it hits 100!
The Producers Choice has introduced Pablo Beats Drum Kit Volume 2, a sample library featuring 2.4GB of hand crafted sounds by master beatmaker Pablo Beats. Making beats just got EASY with this extensive collection of Drums, Leads, Basses, Synth Patches, Mixer Presets, FX and much much more – all ready for you to make smoking [...]
Native Instruments has posted another teaser from a forthcoming product, which is said to “Supercharge Your Beats”. The sound of the 21st century comes wrapped in a futuristic user interface, fusing ultimate power with a lightning-fast, visual workflow – seeing is believing. Stay tuned. Subscribe to the Native Instruments newsletter to stay informed. More information: [...]
Goldbaby has announced the release of the Urban Cookbook Vol 2 sample library. Time to cook up some more delicious beats… the cookbook has a sequel! Including more ingredients which are full of saturated fat, MSG, a heap of sugar and certainly not suitable for a low cholesterol diet. These new recipes are perfect for [...]
Standard Beat Company has announced the release of Black Surface Volume One, a new collection of dark ambient hits and loops. Created by sampling organic and found objects then sent through a rigorous post process, Black Surface offers a unique and versatile set of tools for both music and sound design. Black Surface Volume One [...]
Producertech is offering rekkerd.org readers a chance to win one of its latest online video courses: Dubstep Production in Logic Pro by FracTroniX. In this new online course, FracTroniX takes you through each stage of producing a heavy Dubstep track with Logic Pro. The course is split into parts, which focus on each of the [...]
JuJu Beats – Forward Thinking Sounds Boom Howard Mix / CLICK TO DL
The vibes on this mix…. whew!
HUGE ups to FORWARD THINKING SOUNDS!!!
WE SINK – Inside ft. Andrea
Stay Forever VIP – Kastle
Hot Chip Vs Major Laser – Diplo
Samurai – Baauer
Swell – Muramasa
Slip Disk – KAOS
HelpInterlude – Arnold
ALESIA – UH UH – CRNKN
Royce Wood Junior & Stac – Edge – Fybe_one
Loopmasters has released Hip Hop Instrumentals 2, a new collection of laid back atmospheric, dope and dusty breaks and beats by Chemo. Relax your heads with 10 timeless Hip Hop construction kits plus bonus Drum Loops and Atmospheric SFX. Each construction kit has everything you need to build inspirational Hip Hop productions including stems of [...]
Liccle D & L. Double – Hail Him (Flex Records 1996)
EDJ Jungle Book – Chapters 1 to 10 exclusive mix
Team Popo has released version 2.0 of BeatEvolve, a music app for iOS. Anyone can make music with BeatEvolve! With 32 instruments to choose from, the intuitive interface lets you combine 3 layers of harmonies to create awesome riffs! Select from one of six preset evolution rules or create your own from scratch then sit [...]
The Producers Choice has released Futuristic Drums, a collection of drum loops and samples. We came up with a PRE MIXED collection of 100% unique sounds – so you can skip the mixing worries and sound like a SUPERPRODUCER. Straight from the mixing desk of our multi-platinum producers – Futuristic Drumz is a brand new [...]
The Loop Loft has released the Beats Like Bonham Bundle, featuring a collection of 6 complete song sessions with 7 individual drum tracks each. We’ve bundled both of our “Beats Like Bonham” collections, giving you instant access to over 1.6 GB of multitrack drum sessions (and at a 25% savings!) inspired by the legendary Led [...]
Zenhiser has announced 1988 Drum Beats, a sample pack featuring 280 drum loops that take your music productions into the retro years of the 1980′s. Every year in the 80′s delivers a wealth of drum beat sand 1988 is one blinding year. Capturing the essence and style of all the main pop & clubbing hits [...]
In Act II of Giselle, Albrecht does 32—32!—entrechats six in a row. His feet flutter like hummingbird wings as he … Continue reading
Emancipator / Minor Cause / 320: download
Some uplifting beats to get you motivated for the new year. This track is brand new and will be on the new upcoming Emancipator album released on January 29, 2013.
What’s everyone’s goals for this year? Any important lessons learned from 2012? Any resolutions? Please share and comment.
The Loop Loft has announced it is offering the MIDI Loops Vol 5 Classic Beats pack for free with any purchase. Buy any loop collection today and automatically receive this free copy of our popular Classic Beats MIDI release (a $29 value)! You’ll be presented with the free loops during checkout. Just add to cart, [...]
Exquisite night panda Thom Yorke and his new band Atoms for Peace — which features Flea and Nigel Godrich — are gearing up for their Feb. 25 release of Amok via XL Records. You’ve already heard “Default,” so now unleash your ears on the dark and delirious “Judge, Jury and Executioner.”
Accompanied by a luxurious screensaver video, “J, J & E” is Yorke doing his best Massive Attack, while instilling said trip-hop sentiments with pretty mutterings of acoustic guitars. It’s quite possibly one of the singer’s most well thought-out tracks. Stream it below.
The Drum Sample Broker has introduced !llmind Blap Kit Vol. 3, a new drum sample sound library. I’ve collected, created, layered, and processed so many drums, but carefully handpicked this special collection for Volume 3. This collection is probably the “crispiest” one yet. These are some of my favorite drums, all with a focus on [...]
STREAM: Lightfoot x Hifadility - Annie Mulz EP. 2 (Beat Tape)
Christmas has come and gone, but the good folks over at Annie Mulz shared a holiday gift for their supporters, and anyone interested in vibing to some dope instrumentals from two of Boston’s best producers. Linking up with Lightfoot and Hifadility, Annie Mulz has released the ‘Tree of Light: Annie Mulz EP. 2’ which is a nine track tape that features more laidback instrumentals for you to zone out to.
As you sit at home reflecting on 2012 and preparing for 2013, make sure to sit with the sounds of the ‘Tree of Light’ EP and further stimulate your mind.
M83, Nosaj Thing, Majestic Casual
What’s so good?
This is the newest song I have on autorepeat. I’m really into the captivating repetition of the “Show Me Love” lyrics — they’re a perfect high-pitch / low-pitch trade-off, and the beeps and bops pair well with the heartbreaking refrain. The synth swims along a selection of samples from The Notebook, and I won’t lie, I’m really digging it. Suits the song, in my opinion. And yes, kinda cheesy. But, then again, I’m a romantic. Sue me. Luckily, it’s not as terrible as having to sit through the entire film.
I found this track through YouTube. The top comment on the video was really elegant, so I’ll just leave it in the words of poster ‘rkasnake’…
“Winter is coming, and these tunes are appealing to me once again. What was once a bright sunny day, warmth and joy, turns into a gloomy, cold, and cozy days next to the fire. With this song, you give your deepest thoughts the chance to enlighten you. To make you a better person. To reflect on what’s to come. Great beginning of fall/winter.”
Profound, huh? Pi3 is Pavel Petrov, a Portugese producer. You can discover him on SoundCloud. Not much output lately, last track was three months ago, and this track was made a year ago. Still, a nice listen for your winter appeal.
———————— With countless sub-genres
1. Original post: Pi3 – Show Me Love
3. Find more music on Indie Shuffle’s Indie Music Blog.
ICƎD OU₮ / ₮R∆M⁋¥ (Rowah “Where Yo Ice At?!” Remix) / STREAM ONLY
#BRICKSQUAD #SOICEY #FLOCKA TRAP
Thelonius Martin - ‘Twelve’ (Beat Tape)
Where are my aspiring rappers currently looking for some new beats to write bars over? What about the hip-hop heads who just like it when the beat drops and makes their head bop?
Regardless of who you are, you need this Thelonius Martin beat tape in your music library. ‘Twelve’ was released yesterday, on 12/12/12, and features twelve tracks from the Chicago beatsmith’s vault. If you haven’t heard Thelonius Martin’s name, you just haven’t been paying attention to production credits cause he’s done work for some of your favorite rappers favorite rappers – i.e. Curren$y, Hodgy Beats, Action Bronson, Mac Miller, and many more.
Check out ‘Twelve’ down below and support the production element of our hip-hop culture by hitting up his Bandcamp page.
Sample Magic has announced the release of Massive Moombahton & Trap Patches for the Native Instruments Massive synthesizer, and Mainroom Beats, a collection of pumped and punchy big-room beats. 101 synthetic screamers, Game Boy freak-outs, grimy basslines, bouncing subs and assorted bleeps and squeaks primed for finger-on-the-pulse moombahton and trap tracks. Once again Massive has [...]
XXYYXX, or Marcel Everett of our homeland Orlando, FL., began releasing originals and remixes under this name a little under 2 years ago. His releases were limited in the scope of downloads (usually the first 100 lucky fans could receive a copy), until he unexpected announced through his facebook page a few minutes ago that he could [...]
Wick-it the Instigator / We Have Arrived (Re-Spliffed) / FREE DOWNLOAD
The Instigator does it again.
Clicks & Whistles / Bear Mountain / FREE DOWNLOAD
Brand new one from these guys. Clicks & Whistles were one of the first groups I have seen play a trap set.
Behind The Beat: Scoop Deville
Scoop Deville, the producer behind Kendrick Lamar’s The Recipe and Poetic Justice recently sat down with DJ City to recap the creative process behind his beats on ‘Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City’, as well as how he linked with Kendrick, and a little bit on his personal history as a producer.
The LA producer has been active in the hip-hop industry since 2005, and he’s worked with artists like Snoop Dogg, Murs, Playaz Circle, Das Racist, Fat Joe, Game, 50 Cent, and more, but his latest joints were the first to get him invited over to vibe with superproducer, Dr. Dre.
Check out the interview up above, and bump one of his bangers just because.