Antelope Audio MP32, 32 channel high end preamps in a 2U space.

Antelope have already had a very good 2014 with the launch of their successful audio interface, Zen, but, at the 137th AES show held this time in LA, they’ve shown they have more in store for the year with the Antelope Audio MP32.

At its heart the MP32 is a 32 channel mic pre featuring the same console-grade preamps as found in the Zen. All mic pres offer individual phantom power and can function as line inserts thanks to the combi inputs all found on the front of the unit. Four of the inputs can also be used as Hi-Z inputs, and all channels can give up to 68dB of transparent gain in 1dB steps.

A software control panel offers fine control over all the features giving easy access to mic/line/Hi-Z switching, gain controls and the per channel phantom power. Big VU style meters also afford quick-glance checking of levels, and complex routing scenarios can be saved and recalled in no time at all.

Antelope Audio say they’ve designed the MP32 with their highly regarded Orion unit in mind. The Orion is a 32 channel ADDA convertor with multiple I/O options (MADI/ADAT/analogue/USB/SPDIF) and they’ve managed to fit it all into a 1U box. With a combined rack space need of 3U, the MP32 and Orion combination should make an attractive proposition for engineers working in a wide range of disciplines.

Coming out in Q4 2014, the MP32 will have a street price of $2995 with a special discount for existing Orion owners. For full details head on over to the Antelope Audio MP32 product page.

Alto Pro Live Series

Live sound specialists, Alto Professional have announced the immediate release of their all new Live Series analogue mixers. Designed and built with the brief that good looks should always aid ergonomics, these low profile, low-noise, high-headroom, slim-line mixers are available in four configurations:

  • Live 802: 8-Channel, 2-Bus
  • Live 1202: 12-Channel, 2-Bus
  • Live 1604: 16-Channel, 4-Bus
  • Live 2404: 24-Channel, 4-Bus

These live mixers allow anyone to settle in straight away. Each XLR microphone channel is equipped with Alto’s unique DNA preamps and switchable phantom power supports both dynamic or condenser microphones. Select mic channels offer analogue dynamic compression, each with an individual control knob. Each channel features its own 3-band EQ—the 4-bus models add sweepable mids—and there is a 9-band graphic EQ that can be applied to the main or monitor mix. All of the mixers also offer up 100 Alesis DSP effects (10 effects, each with 10 variants) providing additional creative control in any mixing environment.

Alto Pro Live SeriesMono channels feature an XLR input, balanced ¼-inch line input, and a TRS insert jack. Each mono channel offers a low-cut filter, gain control, three-band EQ, pan knob, mute switch, and a 60mm smooth-travelling fader. Stereo channels trade the insert jack for a second balanced ¼-inch input. In addition to having two more send knobs, 4-bus models include a pre/post fader switch for the first two sends.

The desks also feature USB audio in and out. This 24-bit USB audio feature enables the stereo main or monitor mix to be recorded to a computer, or allows for the playback from a laptop or other USB audio source controlled by a dedicated level knob. Live Series mixers are equipped with an onboard USB jack to power lamps or charge mobile devices. A footswitch can be used to toggle the effects on and off. LED 12-step metering and an easy-access headphone out with independent level control help keep the mix under control.

“Our Live Series mixers are the highest-featured, best-sounding mixers in their class,” noted Dustin Plumb, Product Manager, Alto Professional. “Our U.S. engineering team went to great lengths to ensure that every detail was designed to meet or exceed Alto Professional standards and provide the end-user an intuitive and transparent mixing experience. From the sonic nuance of the all-new low-noise, high-headroom DNA microphone preamps, to the dynamic performance of the onboard compressors, our all-new Live Series mixers give upcoming musicians and seasoned pros the sound they desire and the quality they deserve.”

Live Series analog mixers are available from authorized Alto Professional dealers worldwide with the following street prices:  Live 802 ($229), Live 1202 ($279), Live 1604 ($499), Live 2404 ($599). For full details on all desks in the range go to the Alto Professional Mixer page.

Last week we featured the release of the new Modulus.002 synthesizer from British manufacturers Modulus and got so excited about it we had to catch up with Modulus co-founder Philip Taysom to ask a few questions.

What was the inspiration behind the modulus.002?

That’s a good question. Between us, Paul and I have owned pretty much every classic (and some not so classic) synthesisers of the past fifty years. Synth players will always recall fond memories of the sonic capabilities of classic machines, shortly before remembering the lack of reliability/tuning stability and interfacing options! We wanted to create a ‘go to’ synth – an instrument which an owner chose to go to first in composing, an instrument which owners used to explore its sonic possibilities because of the advanced user interface and control surface, rather than just preset surfing. And, above all, an instrument that you want to keep with you for the long term – one which, every time you turn it on, reminds you why you spent your hard earned cash buying it.

Even with an absence of additional processing other than the filter the modulus.002 appears to be quite a deep synth. Was this intended from the beginning or did it build up during the design process?

002 has enormous sonic power. With two oscillators, the two sub-oscilators have a very unusual feature in that they can take on the waveform of the primary oscillators – giving you four oscillators with the same waveform. This is per voice. The filter provides very extensive and, for an analogue machine, unusual features such as the sweep function enabling you to morph from a fizzy one pole all the way through to a bombastic four pole. Then added to all of this, the Animator provides 12 channels of 32 steps of parameter sequencing – effectively providing a further twelve LFO’s per voice, on top of the two primary LFO’s – but with the ability to be sequenced rather than merely modulated by a waveform. Of course there’s our very powerful arpegiator that enables arpeggio sequences to be created by holding notes and then turning them off to create rhythmic sequences – which can then be saved ‘as sequences’ for later recall into the 16 track sequencer.

Finally, 002 adds a stunning UI which can also be accessed using a web browser – so there’s no need for a separate plugin – and online sync to the cloud. All of these features were set out from the outset of the design process when we started back in July last year. Other features we wanted from the start were high quality effects and digital interfacing into DAW’s – these will be provided by the 002 Digital Output Card which we aim to release at the end of this year. This card provides each of 002’s 12 channels over USB at upto 192kHz/24bit in addition to the master stereo output and a stereo input, which is processed pre-filter on 002.

With a glut of cheap and versatile synths having flooded the market in the past few years is there space for a monster synth with a price tag to match?

I can’t agree with your implied comment that ‘002 has a monster price tag’. This suggests that you can buy something comparable for less. I’d challenge anyone to find an alternative that offers everything 002 does for even twice the price of 002. If you listen to the sounds 002 makes, how much would a vintage synth capable of sounding like this cost? Probably two or even three times the price of 002. Also, 002 is made to be an ‘instrument’ – something an owner can have a long term connection with – and so is built to last for many years, using very high quality components throughout. Finally, we only intend to supply 002 to a relatively small (in the overall context of the £750m a year keyboard industry!) number of 002’s to customers and clients who want un-compromised sonic flexibility, build quality and user interface. We’re already selling 002 very well so we have no concerns about whether there’s ‘space’ in the market – customers are showing us there is and that 002 is the instrument they’ve been wanting for a long time.

Paul Maddox and Philip Taysom

Modulus Co-Founders Paul Maddox and Philip Taysom

Can you please explain the and the decision to take it open source?

From the outset in the design process we wanted 002 to have the ability to interface in a new and more flexible way. We are all waiting for the ‘next generation’ MIDI standard to be ratified, but one key thing we can see is that the physical connection for ‘next gen’ MIDI is going to be ethernet. In order to give as much flexibility as possible to 002 owners, it was always logical to put ethernet on our instrument. We’d always dreamt of a platform where you can share content on your instrument with collaborators – and the cloud functions of Modulus 002’s OS do just that. As we were creating this platform, it just seemed logical to offer it to other manufacturers in the hope that, perhaps one day, we’ll have cloud storage, sharing and editing features across synths.

You’ve previously mentioned that this would be the first in a line of synths from modulus. Can you give us any details on the others?

I’m afraid we only talk about what we can deliver today, not what we’re going to do – this was one of the key reasons behind not announcing 002 until she was ready to ship. We don’t believe in marketing vapourware products that are not available for 12 to 18 months after they’ve been announced We do plan on making several announcements early next year so do watch this space.

The Modulus.002 is available now. Go to for full details and check out the Sonic State video preview with Paul Maddox

The name Robert Henke will mean different things to different people. To some he’s the co-creator of Ableton Live and the Monodeck, to others he’s one part of techno group Monolake, and to others he’s an esteemed academic which includes being a professor of sound design at the Berlin University of Arts. This Saturday 19th July, however, sees Henke take up court at the Barbican Centre in London and unleash his “Lumiere” show. From the words of Henke:

“Based on self written software, this work on the edge of concert and site specific installation finds previously unseen beauty and minimalistic elegance in a commonly underrated medium. High power lasers are used to draw complex morphing shapes and connect points in space. Unleashing the full potential of the underlying advanced vector engine, Lumière combines precise geometric figures with floating organic structures, presenting the archaic sign language of an alien culture communicating via emerging and disappearing traces of extremely bright light.

The software also generates the control signals to drive equally abstract and powerful sonic events, a multi sensorial experience of audiovisual rhythm, at times fragile and quiet, at others massive and overwhelming. Each Lumière performance is a unique and site specific real time exploration of synchronicity and divergence, of light and darkness at the limits of perception.”

Henke is keen to stress that the show is in a constant state of evolution and that the show is site specific in nature, meaning that no two shows are ever the same (and they’re always getting better!). Reviews from previous performances have been overwhelmingly positive and confirmed future dates are just in Berlin so this potentially the last time UK public get the opportunity to see Lumiere, at least for a while.

Also performing alongside Lumiere is Robin Fox with his show “RBG”. Based, much like Lumiere, around the the audio and visual interpretation of assorted stimuli triggered by a performer this looks to be a very primal experience promising to saturate the audience with, “sound and light information that connects parts of the brain rarely accessed.”

Tickets are available now from the Barbican show page.

Short Documentary: Robert Henke – I Really Do Everything Myself

Lumiere Excerpt I

Lumiere Excerpt II

The countdown is on to the launch of the  new controller from Livid Instruments, Base II. And to mark the occasion Livid are having a pre-order sale. Not content with taking the price down, they’re also doubling the warranty to two years and throwing in the power supply for free! At $329 this all adds up to a saving of $90 and makes the controller an even more attractive proposition but get in there quick as the sale ends on Friday 11th July.

For full details, and to order, go to the Base II product page.

Variety of Sound and Tokyo Dawn Labs. Development teams that are famous for delivering plugins for little to no cost to the end user at a standard that would make larger companies overwork their PR teams for months on end.

A couple of months ago they released their first collaborative effort, the snappily named TDR VOS Slick EQ. It was free and made some relatively big waves in production and engineering circles. They have now released the Gentleman’s Edition. This is different in so much as it now costs €30 but it also improves on the free version in some significant ways. You know get five EQ models – British, American, Soviet, Japanese and German – rather than four, the HP filter now comes with an optional “Bump” and you also get an LP filter with two slopes and a Tilt filter with an optional “V” mode, six output stages – Linear, Silky, Mellow, Deep, Excited and Toasted – rather than four and you also get every single one of the other features as included in the original including the famous VOS “Stateful Saturation” algorithms, loudness compensated auto gain control, stereo, mono and sum/difference (mid/side) processing options, a  frequency magnitude plot and a fully equipped tool bar with undo/redo, A/B options and easy preset management.

Dave Pensado said of the original, “This little guy sounds amazing” so it might well be worth your while checking this out if you have an EQ shaped hole in your arsenal.

Available now from the Tokyo Dawn Labs website, it cost €30 and is available for Mac OSX and Windows in 32bit and 64bit and in VST, AU and AAX varieties.

The Groovesizer Multiboard (or MB) just got some rather sparkly new firmware in the shape of Bravo which turns the instrument into a 4 voice drum machine with a 32 step sequencer.

Once loaded up, Bravo allows for pitch, volume, swing, tempo and distortion controls affecting the audio but you also get the ability to save and recall patterns, step repeat, and it also transmits MIDI clock data allowing for other devices to be synced up with the Groovesizer MB.

Perhaps this doesn’t sound like much to shout about but, much in the same vein as the excellent Soulsby Synthesizer Atmegatron, the Groovesizer MB allows uploading of different firmware that turns it into completely different instruments! In this case a 3 oscillator monosynth as well as a granuar synth. We here at BOS are massive fans of this approach.

The Groovesizer MB is available in kit form or ready built and starts at $168 US. The Bravo firmware is available now. Full details on the Groovesizer site.


It’s about to go off…!

After some very hard work over the past few months, Book Of Sound Issue 1 has been formally announced via an advert in our rather brilliant sister publication, Hungry Eye, and on our Twitter feed.

Our cover star is the “Godfather of Controllerism”, Moldover, and his collaboration with Livid Instruments, the Guitar Wing. Also interviewed is Paul Soulsby from Soulsby Synthesizers as he takes us on his journey from the Atmegatron’s inception right up to the present day, and we also speak to Jakob Erland from Gyraf Audio as we talk about his life, his passions, and his gear!

Martin Walker writes about his time as a soundtrack composer in the 8bit and 16bit era of videogames and the challenges of working with the chips of the time, and sound installation artist Esther Ainsworth tells us how she deals with working with audio in acoustically challenging environments.

Out very soon, Book Of Sound will be printed quarterly, is priced at the very reasonable sum of £6.99 GBP and is available from all good specialist magazine and bookstores and online here at 

NUGEN Audio have released the SEQ-S, a linear phase spline-match EQ.

As with other NUGEN products, SEQ-S appears to be a “no cut corners” approach offering mono, stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 support, stereo MS operation, automated spectrum analysis, curve smoothing and a direct-draw spline interface for corrective application. Jon Schorah, Creative Director for NUGEN Audio, adds,

“Unlike many digital EQs, SEQ-S features a phase profile that is linear across the frequency spectrum which results in natural sounding EQ changes and produces minimal phase artifacts. SEQ-S also includes a unique resolution setting that can be used with high precision in the low frequencies, allowing for highly transparent adjustments without muddying the mix.”

On top of these SEQ-S offers an “Invert” button making usual space saving techniques as literally simple as pressing a bunch. Perhaps most excitingly, the “match” in the “spline-match” description refers to the ability of cloning the EQ in a piece of audio and then transferring onto yours! While SEQ-S won’t be the first EQ to offer this there’s no doubt that NUGEN will offer one of the best applications of this concept so far.

Available now for $249, it comes in as VST, VST3, AAX and AU in 32 and 64bit formats. There is an RTAS version but that is only in a 32bit version. For full details visit the NUGEN Audio website.

Applied Acoustic Systems, the company most famous for the Tassman modular synth, the Lounge Lizard series of electric pianos and the excellent Chromaphone (seriously, if you’ve not used Chromaphone then you need to check it out, it’s fantastic), have released a major update to physical-modelling String Studio bringing it up to version 2. The interface has a major redesign, splitting the synth into 3 main sections – Play, Edit and Effects – with the Play section now adding an Arppegiator into the mix, users now have 12 effects including brand new EQ and Compressors to add into their chains and the preset manager has had a masssive overhaul making organising and sharing so much easier (VS-2 is also bakckwards compatible with the original String Studio).

AAS aren’t a company to update for the sake of updating so if they have something new it really is worth taking notice of. The original String studio was highly praised on its release 9 years ago and we fully expect this new version to be as successful and for as long.

Available now at the introductory price of $99 and including the Frontier soundbank (rising to $199 on July 1st) it’s available for PC and Mac and comes in 32/64 bit flavours for VST, AU, RTAS and AAX native. Check out the intro video above and then head on over to the product page for full details.

Sennheiser MKE Mics - Buy Now