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HBF February Tech Round-up: Ableton’s Dark Synth, Korg’s Arp Odyssey, VirSyn’s MicroTera iPad Synth And Audiu

HBF’s resident synth botherer, James Trigo, gathers together the best bits of last month’s music tech for this month’s round-up. We  have new shininess in the form of Ableton’s new Dark Synth for Live, Korg’s Arp Odyssey, VirSyn’s MicroTERA synth for iPad, and Audiu, the online music production feedback service.

Ableton’s list of Max for Live synthesizers has grown to include some powerful sound design tools, and with a varying degree of user-friendly interfaces between them, some may have you scratching your head at every knob tweak. Dark Synth, a collaboration with Amazing Noises, boasts a “super-intuitive interface” to keep your sound-shaping mastery in full flow. Coming in the additive synth variety it hosts 2048 sine wave oscillators (partials), all of which can be independently controlled, as well as 128 detuned and phase-shifted copies, giving you plenty of scope to create all manor of weird and wonderful sounds. Available on the Ableton website now for $68/£39, check out the video below for more info, and the Soundcloud link for demos.

The recent influx of classic analogue gear isn’t about to abate any time soon, with Korg announcing they aim to bring the ARP Odyssey synth back to life after over 40 years since it’s inception. The two oscillator subtractive synth was based on the modular 2600 but after reducing cost and size ARP opened up the market to make it their most popular synth. Now set for a come back and with David Friend of the original ARP team on-board, they’re aiming to make the ARP Odyssey as accurate to the original as possible. With no price as yet, we hope to see it in the flesh before the years out.


In the world of iOS, Germany based VirSyn brings us a new synth for iPad with microTERA. Previously developed for the desktop, VirSyn are adding the waveshaping synthesizer to their iOS collection, which can apparently produce sounds that can’t be made by any other contemporary synth, a bold claim I know. With three sine oscillators, four LFOs, a 32 step sequencer and plenty of effects including chorus, phaser, distortion, echo/delay, and reverb there should be enough sound design possibilities, and if not you can just make use of the randomisation option. There’s also support for Audiobus and Inter App Audio if you really want to push your iPads CPU to the limit. Available now for $9.99/£6.99 on the App Store.

Moving away from synths we have internet-based service Audiu, offering budding music producers the chance to get one-to-one feedback with industry professionals. Housed in an easy to navigate site, the aim is to upload your track and choose from one of the experts on their roster, with bio and specialist experience displayed to help you decide which one. Once you’ve signed up, there’s a choice of 4 different packages to choose from, starting with a free membership, going up to a £120 bundle that offers 12 reviews of your work. With the ability to pin comments to the relevant places on your waveform, your chosen audio professional gives you feedback on categories such as market appeal, sound choices, flow and mixdown. Still in it’s infancy, it may prove to be a handy tool for producers in the future, check out the site below for more details.


James Trigo

James Trigo is an advocate for the craft of making a good tune. Whiling away the small hours with his head in a sequencer, if he's not making music he's listening to it, and then writing about it. Come say hello. Free free to contact James here: onetwotrigo@gmail.com