Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician May 2019

The new ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN is a “must have” resource for anyone who makes music, plays music, and shares music. Every issue includes "gig tested" product reviews on music gear, tons of how-to's, and interviews with today's stars revealing the secrets of their songwriting approaches and audio-production concepts.

United States
Future Publishing Limited US
12 期号


adventures in synthesis

The thing that has always appealed to me about electronic music making is the sheer scope of creativity it offers. Players of traditional ‘real’ instruments can, of course, push the boundaries of their sound within the limits of their tools — guitarists can shape their tone with amps and stompboxes, orchestral players can experiment with articulations, pianists can think outside the box with ‘prepared’ instruments — but synthesists aren’t bound by any such constraints. From the rich analog tones of subtractive synthesis, to the complex timbres of FM, the evolving capabilities of wavetables and beyond, the possibilities are limited only by your own commitment and imagination. On that front, there’s a lot to hopefully inspire you in this issue of Electronic Musician. Of course, this month’s cover star, Keith Emerson, was…

elektron puts accessibility at the forefront with model:samples

Elektron has a bit of a reputation for gear with a steep learning curve. While instruments like the Octatrack and Analog Four are undeniably deep and powerful, a considerable amount of practice and a thorough read of the manual is required to even scratch the surface of their capabilities. Its new digital sample instrument, Model:Samples, certainly bucks this trend. With a neatly laid out sequencer and plenty of up-front, hands-on control, it’s far less daunting than its bigger siblings. Model:Samples is a six-track groovebox that comes with 300 preset sounds that are supplied by Splice. These range from the familiar — kicks, snares, hi-hats, etc — to more esoteric tones. You can also import your own samples or additional sound packs. It’s probably fair to say that this could be the most tactile…

soft opinions

February is always a strange time for software releases. After the mad scramble to announce and release products at the NAMM show in January, the following month leaves us with a big contrast. It's not that software news completely disappears in February, though. After the NAMM dust has settled, the talking points usually come from three categories of developer: those who didn't manage to ready their product or announcement to show it directly to attendees in Anaheim; those who strategically waited for the 'slow news month' to get the attention of people like me; and those who have swiftly responded to their competitors' announcements at the show. It's the third one of these that, to my mind, has brought the biggest news this month: after the announcement of Bitwig Studio 3.0 and…

this month in software

Output Crack Open 'The Crate' for Arcade 1.2 Sampling has had a long and varied journey over the decades, and if you thought that journey ended with the proliferation of royalty-free ready-made sample pack vendors, it's time to think again. In version 1, Output's Arcade introduced the ability to 'play' loops across the keyboard, using white keys to play slices, and black keys to transform their sound. Said loops are curated and available to download from the cloud, although you can also load your own and use Arcade's engine to mess with them. But version 1.2 opens the door to an interesting new idea: after striking a deal with BMG Publishing, in partnership with Universal Music Group and Countdown Media, Output has managed to add to Arcade with a significant new sample collection:…

ambient synths

Ambient music can be linked back to the launch of the first modular synths and synth experimentation/electro-acoustic music by composers and artists such as Brian Eno, Wendy Carlos and Jean-Michel Jarre and bands/collectives such as The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk. In the 90s/00s artists including The Orb, Enigma, Enya, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Omni Trio, Autechre, Burial, Moby, Photek and the KLF fused minimalistic synths, lush FX, samples and textures with beat-driven styles such as house, techno, broken beat, downtempo and DnB but, rather than focusing on pop chord progressions and short 3:30 forms, the resulting tracks were often more abstract and experimental, varied in length and focused on deeper atmospherics, darker moods and space for thought, with quirky, processed samples, ‘found sounds’ and vocal loops…

creating drones with synths

A good drone helps set and underpin the mood of your track, while allowing harmony to move freely above it. Drones are generally characterized by a long sustaining single note or chord (often on the root note of the track) and technically speaking (in musical terms), a drone is a ‘pedal note’. Of course, if your drone is just a single oscillator with no movement/modulation it’ll soon get boring, so in these next steps let’s use a few tools to inject some movement into our drone. Note: 12dB (2-pole) filters are usually good for drones as they have a solid low-end but still let some high-frequency harmonics/energy through even at lower cutoff settings. Here are a few ideas… Start with two oscillators; slightly detune one to add movement. Add a sub-oscillator…