Music Tech News: Emerging Technologies and Announcements

This music tech news roundup features the latest announcements and emerging technologies from Behringer, ZONT, Faderfox, KORG, Moog, Steinberg, Onde Magnétique, Ableton, Eric Prydz, and Peter Zinovieff.

Music Tech News

Ableton Live 9.7 Coming Soon

Ableton announces Live 9.7 will be released later this year. Currently in beta, the free update to Live 9 will bring big improvements for Push beatmakers. New features include new slicing options, new drum layout with 16 set velocity levels for playing and programming more dynamic beats, hands-on audio routing improvements, visual feedback for tighter recordings, color customization, better playability, and more.

Read more at Ableton

Behringer Polyphonic Synth

In this third teaser from Behringer, we learn that their new synthesizer is analog, polyphonic, and offers lots of hands-on control. The synth looks and sounds a bit Juno-ish to us so far. Behringer initially announced plans to build a budget polyphonic analog synth back in November 2014, but has only recently released three teaser videos. Rumors have surfaced that the synth emulates the classic ARP Odyssey synth from the ‘80s. The rumors are not yet clear, but since the announcement, Korg has released their own version of the ARP Odyssey, as well as an affordable polyphonic synth called the Minilogue.

Read more on Behringer’s Facebook

Zont Digital Pocket Synth


ZONT rolled out the announcement of a ground-breaking pocket-sized digital synthesizer for creating rhythms, sequences, and melodies. About the size and shape of a smartphone, ZONT’s beautiful design looks to be inspired by Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operator synths but with a few more bells and whistles. From what we know so far is that the synth features interchangeable sound cartridges called ZONT modules which are digital sound engines that can be swapped out. The design also sports soft-to-touch materials, LED-backlit buttons, universal inputs, Bluetooth connection and Wi-Fi cloud sync, USB-C, an iOS and Android app, and a built-in rechargeable battery. The company also announced collaborations with big producers and DJs on some of the presets. Unfortunately, the official website says it won’t be available until the fall of 2017.

Read more at ZONT

Faderfox UC44 Controller


The UC44 is a compact universal controller that sports eight push-encoders each with a 2-digit-display, 16 faders, 35 buttons, and heap of midi commands all housed in a robust metal carrying case for some serious action. The encoders are switchable to 32 groups meaning you can control a total amount of 512 control parameters. This fully programmable controller is ready for controlling music and video software products out of the box. Also included is a custom control surface script for Ableton Live that provides all necessary mappings to control 16 tracks simultaneously.

Read more at Faderfox

Kamata Wavetable Synth

Developed as a KORG Gadget mobile music production app, Kamata is a synthesizer that lets you play the classic video game sounds of the past. Kamata is a collaboration between KORG and the sound team of the game development company BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc. The sound engine reconstructs the C30 custom sound engine that swept the world in the 1980s. With a 4-bit 32-sample waveform table, detune capability, and full editing of carefully selected parameters, you can design sounds that are both nostalgic and new.

Read more at KORG

Minimoog Model D Returns


For the first time since 1981, Moog Music has officially resumed production of the Minimoog Model D. The Minimoog Model D was the world’s first portable synthesizer and served as the archetype for all electronic keyboards that followed. First released in the early 1970’s, the instrument gained worldwide acclaim for combining the colossal sound of Moog’s large-format modular synthesizers with the accessibility of pre-wired modules. This 3-oscillator, monophonic, analog synthesizer is securely housed in a locally-sourced Appalachian hardwood enclosure and hand-finished aluminum chassis. The circuit boards retain the exact component placement and through-hole design of a beloved 1970’s era Minimoog Model D. Though no changes have been made to the original sound engine or audio signal path, the Minimoog Model D now includes a series of popular functional modifications that expand this legendary instrument’s sonic capabilities.

Read more at Moog Music

Free iOS Metronome App from Steinberg


Steinberg rolls out a free iOS metronome app called Smart Click that runs on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Smart Click’s easy-to-use interface lets you focus on practicing effectively and improving your ability to play in time. In addition, this metronome app allows you to choose different time signatures and four types of accents for each beat, including the well-known Cubase click sound. Key features include an accurate metronome engine, easy-to-use interface, visual assistant, various metronome modes, and multiple ways to enter your tempo.

Read more at Steinberg

OM-1 Cassette Synthesizer

Onde Magnétique reveals the OM-1 Cassette Synthesizer, an analog musical instrument that uses a standard cassette tape as its audio source. Inspired by instruments like the Mellotron and Ondes Martenot, the OM-1 is built around the concept that when a continuous tone/note is recorded to tape, its pitch will change as the tape’s playback speed is increased or decreased. Individual notes are playable with the eight buttons, which are also pressure sensitive to control note volumes. The notes can then be pitched with the eight tuning knobs. The OM-1 also features a three-position switch to control attack and release response, CV/Gate inputs to control the cassette’s pitch and volume from a linear voltage sequencer, and powered LED’s.

Read more at Onde Magnétique

Ableton Loop Summit 2016

Ableton Loop

Loop is a three-day summit for music makers that features discussions, performances, presentations, studio sessions, and interactive workshops aimed at exchanging ideas at the cutting edge of music, technology, and creative practice. The event brings together artists, technologists, educators, and other creative thinkers to collaborate on new ideas, share new techniques, and make new connections. Loop is a collective exploration of what it is to make music today and what it could be tomorrow. Tickets are now available.

Read more at Loop Ableton

Eric Prydz Brings EPIC 4.0 to America

The global multi-platform media and entertainment company Mashable gives us an exclusive look behind the scenes at Eric Prydz’s impressive America EPIC 4.0 live show which is arguably the most ambitious and visually pleasing live music show in the world. Eric gives us a look at his preparation, his team’s preparation, the thought behind his music tracks, and the life that he lives as one of the biggest, most respected DJs in the world.

Peter Zinovieff on the EMS Synthi

Peter Zinovieff, a British engineer and electronic music pioneer most notable for his EMS company (Electronic Music Studios), which made the famous VCS3 synthesizer in the late 1960s talks about his legendary Synthi instrument in this exclusive video interview.


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