Animoog App Discount Marks Bob Moog’s Birthday Celebration

Moog Music Inc. has dropped the price of its popular Animoog synthesizer apps for iPhone and iPad, to mark the 78th birthday of the late electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.

Price drop on Animoog iPhone app until May 29 2012

Animoog for iPhone is available from the App Store for $0.99 until May 29 2012

The iPad version of the feature-rich analog synth emulation is available right now at the App Store for $9.99 (regular price $29.99), and the scaled-down iPhone version is just $0.99 (regular price $9.99).

The steep discounts are in effect for one week, May 23rd through May 29th. The special pricing celebrates the May 23 birth date of Moog Music founder Bob Moog.icon

Birthday discount pricing on Animoog iPad app in effect to May 29 2012

The iPad version of Animoog is on sale for just $9.99, also until May 29 2012

Animoog is highly regarded as one of the most usable, fun, and great-sounding synth apps available for iOS devices. In particular, the iPad version with its multitouch control surface capabilities has gained a lot of traction amongst pros and serious home musicians.

On the other hand, the depth and complexity of the virtual instrument has been daunting for some users with less experience of real analog synthesizers. If you are in this category, make sure you take advantage of the many excellent online tutorials for Animoog, provided free by Moog Music and several pro audio training groups (see below for links to some of the best).

Google Honours Robert Moog’s Birthday with Minimoog Synth Emulator

To celebrate and commemorate the 78th birthday of electronic music pioneer and inventor Robert Moog (May 23 2012), Google has created one of its most amazing “doodles” yet: a full-blown, live-playable emulation of a Moog 3-oscillator analog synthesizer, embedded on the Google home page.

Permalink: Google’s Moog Doodle (play it online)

Think this couldn’t possibly be a serious piece of music tech? Check out the downloadable quick-start manual for the Moog Doodle, available from Moog Music’s site (click the image below to get the PDF):

Moog Music offers a downloadable PDF quick start guide for the online Google Doodle Moog

As you can see, this Moog synth emulation provides 3 oscillators, with control over waveform as well as tuning for each oscillator; a full-featured low-pass filter with a simple dedicated envelope; and a sweet pitch-glide control to give you those distinctive 70s swooping effects.

The Moog Doodle is playable on Google’s home page, using your mouse or your computer’s keyboard (the qwerty row is mapped to the “white keys”, and the number row covers the “black keys”). You can even record what you play, using the simulated 4-track reel-to-reel tape deck.

Google's home page featured a working emulation of a Moog synthesizer on May 23 2012.

Sound Reinforcement Behind the Scenes at Blizzcon

Christine Wu and Band on stage at Blizzcon 2010I don’t often get a chance to talk about my secret passion for World of Warcraft (a massively popular online game) here at AudioWorld. So I was quite pleased to find this opportunity! Electric violinist Christine Wu has posted a great story about the technical challenges she faced with sound reinforcement when she performed as bandleader at last October’s Blizzcon 2010 event.

Blizzcon is a huge annual event put on by Blizzard Entertainment, the game developer responsible for World of Warcraft, in Anaheim, California. It’s the place to be for WoW gamers, and it always includes splashy concert events in the evening, at Anaheim Convention Center. For Blizzcon 2010, one of the main stage events featured a costumed, WoW-themed dance contest, with music provided by a very hot band of L.A. session players, fronted by three electric string players. All led by Christine Wu.

The show came off without a hitch, at least as far as I could tell at the time. I remember thinking what a great job the band did, sounding (and looking) great under difficult circumstances. As Christine puts it… “we have no idea if we’ll play 10 seconds or 2 minutes of each song… but I’ll have no feed from the show’s producers or a talkback mic to talk to my band, which is going to present a MAJOR challenge.”

That turned out to be almost the least of her problems. Her story of behind-the-scenes at the show details how she used an Apogee GiO guitar interface to hook up her custom 5-string Yamaha electric violin with her Mac laptop, Logic Audio, and Waves GTR and Pedalboard. This solved all kinds of trouble with software incompatibilities and audio connectivity, and she managed to run solid through a 3-hour show entirely on battery power.

It’s a great story, especially for those of us who were at Blizzcon and enjoyed the whole spectacle without ever thinking what was going on with audio. In fact, I remember overhearing several comments about how great the sound was, better than ever before at a Blizzcon event.

Gratz to Christine Wu, her band, the sound reinforcement crew at Blizzcon… and Apogee Digital for the versatile GiO interface.

Native Instruments Releases a Slew of New and Updated Software with a Massive Deal

The latest round of software instrument updates from virtual instrument maker Native Instruments (NI) includes upgraded versions of Battery (drums and percussion), FM8 (fm synthesis), Absynth (modular synth), and Komplete (big software bundle), along with the brand new Massive wave-scanning synth.

The best news for completists who want to own everything NI makes is a limited time offer: buy Komplete 4, along with the Kore hardware/software bundle, and you get a free copy of Massive (special deal runs until December 31st 2006).

Native Instruments says that Massive ($339 US) uses a new high-resolution audio engine, and combines advanced Wave-Scanning synthesis with a wealth of sophisticated sound-shaping and modulation options.

The result: a charismatic high-end sound full of warmth, punch, character and definition. Massive is “a true next-generation software synthesizer with unique sonic character, outstanding audio fidelity, vast flexibility and an innovative, highly accessible interface.”

Absynth 4 ($339 US) is the 4th generation of NI’s award-winning semi-modular software synthesizer. Absynth is well-known for its unique evolving sounds and textures. The new version offers a new customizable signal flow that allows for extended sound design and performance capabilities.

It also brings additional oscillator, waveform and envelope features, and a completely revised modulation concept. Native Instruments also points out numerous usability improvements, including a new KORE-compatible sound browser, that will provide a more convenient creative workflow.

FM8 ($339 US) is the long-awaited successor to the popular FM7 software synthesizer, which has become a classic in its own time as a deluxe emulation of the Yamaha DX-7 synthesis architecture. The new FM8 comes with an enhanced high-resolution audio engine, intelligent sound morphing, added performance features and a new KORE-compatible preset manager.

“The FM8 makes the timeless and highly expressive musical potential of FM synthesis available in a thoroughly modernized instrument that fits perfectly into today’s studio and stage setups,” says Native Instruments.

Battery 3 ($229 US) offers a significant revision of the popular drum and percussion sampler. New features include time-stretching and advanced loop capabilities, innovative “play parameters,” a powerful master effects section and an integrated wave editor. Battery 3 also comes with an enormous library of more than 100 high-quality drum kits providing a wealth of studio-quality material for all styles and genres.

Last, and by no means least, Komplete 4 ($1,499 US) is the new version of the powerful software bundle that has become a mainstay with professional musicians and producers around the world. With a universal selection of state-of-the-art instruments and effects, reinforced through several powerful updates to some of its key components, Komplete 4 continues to mark the cutting edge in software synthesis and to provide an invaluable resource for all areas of modern music production and performance.

Native Instruments Website (U.S.)

Tascam’s New DM-4800 Digital Console Is Perfect for the Computer-Based Professional Studio

Tascam’s new DM-4800 ($5,999 US) digital mixing console, launched this week at the AES convention in San Francisco, is designed to integrate with a computer-based DAW.

The DM-4800 provides 48 channels and 16 returns for a total of 64 inputs. Also onboard are 24 analog mic/line inputs with phantom power for condenser mics and analog inserts. Users can add mic preamps by using expansion cards with external preamps. Four expansion card slots support optional FireWire, ADAT, AES/EBU, Analog, TDIF and Surround Monitoring cards.

Tascam says that the DM-4800 feature list offers mixing specs that equal or surpass digital consoles over twice its price. The company positions the DM-4800 as a digital console for professional users who demand a flexible, 64-channel mix platform that can be configured to fit their needs, especially in a computer-based environment.

A “fat channel” strip in the center of the board provides instant access to 4-band parametric EQ, dynamics and auxiliary controls available for the first 48 channels. Twenty-four studio-grade mic preamps provide enough inputs for a live event, and more can be added using expansion cards with external preamps. The standard compliment of analog and digital I/O is more than you’ll find on consoles costing three times as much, and a completely configurable 24-buss routing system allows you to re-patch the board at the flick of a switch.

TASCAM’s DM-4800 fits seamlessly into the modern recording environment based around a computer DAW. With a single button press, the Remote layer provides a 24-fader control surface for control of premiere workstations such as Pro Tools, Logic, SONAR, DP, Cubase and Nuendo.

Options available for the DM-4800 digital mixer include the IF-FW/DMmkII FireWire interface card, which provides 32 channels to and from a computer at up to 96kHz over a single FireWire cable; and a surround monitoring card that provides down-mixing, bass management and level control for mixing in up to 6.1 surround.

More features:

  • 48 channels and 16 returns for 64 total inputs
  • 24 busses
  • 12 Aux Sends
  • 24 mic/line inputs with analog inserts and phantom power for condenser mics
  • 24 channels of TDIF and 8 channels of ADAT built in
  • 4 expansion card slots support optional FireWire, ADAT, AES/EBU, Analog, TDIF and Surround Monitoring cards
  • Dedicated cascade port -supports cascade of two DM-4800s
  • Channel Strip section for EQ, Dynamics and Aux control of selected channel
  • Per channel LED ring encoders for pan, aux sends and EQ
  • Built-in DAW control layer compatible with Pro Tools®, Logic Pro™, SONAR™, Cubase™, Nuendo™, and Digital Performer™
  • Transport buttons control DAW software or RS-422 devices
  • Powerful automation with touch-sensitive motorized faders
  • 4-band EQ, compression and gating on each channel
  • Compression for each aux, buss and main output
  • Two built-in effects processors, each able to run TC Reverb programs
  • Flexible routing allows any input to be routed to any channel or output
  • Offload data to convenient Compact Flash media using built-in CF slot
  • Optional MU-1000 meter bridge
  • Stylish, professional design with rear panel I/O connections