Mario Jurisch’s Synth-Project Diva Controller

With his Synth-Project, Berlin based Mario Jurisch has made a name for himself in the world of modern electronic music production by designing custom keyboard controllers both for softynths and synths that only come as tabletop versions but for which a keyboard could be useful. He has recently finished a new controller for U-He’s popular Diva virtual analog softsynth, which looks – predictably – absolutely fantastic.

Pretty much all of Jurish’s controllers look great in my opnion, but as they’re pretty rare (he describes his project as a hobby and not something he is interested in doing for financial gain) I have yet to sit down with one myself.

Considering the cost of producing these items as well as their practicality long term (what happens when major new features¬† get added in a new version of your softsynth? Build a new controller?), I doubt that we’ll ever see them available commercially, but I admit that I’d love owning one myself. These units don’t just seem to offer great functionality, but they’re also just plain beautiful to look at. I think his newest concoction, in particular, would look great next to my Kurzweil K2600XS (and I’m sure I could find a home for many of the others as well – easily)!

I wouldn’t be surprised if his “hardware Diva” will be the controller generating the most interest among softsynth users. After all, the Diva has become ridiculously popular, and many find it to be the most authentic emulation of analog synths so far. What better, then, than to get yourself a unit that actually lets you use the softsynth as if it was actually a real, hardware analog synth? For the most die-hard Diva fans, at least, it’d probably not be too far off a dream coming true.

While the harsh reality is that you’ll probably never, ever own one, I think it’s worth a look nonetheless:

Learn more about Mario Jurisch’s Synth Project and check out all his fantastic looking controllers at his website.

Adrian Utley of Portishead Explores Arturia’s MiniBrute Analog Synth

Here’s a video of Portishead’s Adrian Utley sitting down in his Bristol studio with an Arturia MiniBrute and exploring its sounds and features. Utley not only discusses the various aspects of Arturia’s first real analog synth, but also shares some of some personal views on why he works with synths, analog vs digital gear and synths in general, so even I weren’t interested in the MiniBrute (which I am) I’d still find this interesting.

Portishead, of course, is one of Britain’s premier trip-hop bands. If you’re a fan of artists like Tricky and Massive Attack it is safe to say that you’d be wise to acquaint yourself with Portishead’s music as well – that’s the route I took to discovering their music anyhow. They’ve made some absolute classics over the years that should appeal to those who weren’t fortunate enough to be around in the nineties when this kind of music was at its most popular.

Portishead isn’t an extremely prolific band. At the peak of the trip hop phenomenon they only released two albums, their debut album Dummy in 1994 and then Portishead in 1997.

I’ve always seen Portishead’s music as largely sample based (as with all trip-hop, pretty much) and also using electric and acoustic instruments more than many others, but synths (and a theremin) does play important roles as well on some tracks. It is my impression that as a member of Portishead Adrian Utley has spent a lot more time with guitars and the bass than with synths, though.¬† He nevertheless has an extremely impressive studio, sporting the kind of gear you only really find in a real programmer’s place. Not a lot of romplers with thousands of presets in them, that’s for sure.

Portishead’s last studio album Third was released in 2008, and is – along with their previous works – already considered a classic by many. From what I hear they are also working on a new album as we speak. I certainly hope the wait for that one won’t be as long as the one we had for Third. While waiting for its release, however, I’ll still be listening to their previous releases, which sound great to this day and will continue to do so for a long, long time to come.

Thanks to SourceDistributionTV for the video.

TAL-UNO-LX Updated to Version 2.0 – Now With a Better Filter and a Lower Price!

TAL-UNO-LX, the amazing Juno 60 emulation I wrote about just the other day was only out of beta a short while ago, but has already been updated to version 2.0. With this new update comes an improved, warmer sounding filter that should also sound more convincing with higher resonance settings. You can run this version alongside version 1 in your DAW if you prefer not replacing the original.

There’s also some great news for those who haven’t yet purchased the synth: the price is now reduced from $70 to $40 dollars, and I’m told that this is a permanent price reduction and not a limited time offer. And to be honest, I think that’s a great, great price for this synth. It offers perhaps the most convincing Juno-60 sounds from an emulation yet, and the Juno 60 is a popular, sought after synth that you’d be lucky to get for less than a grand in the second hand market.

Learn more and purchase at Togu Audio Line.

Tour of The Universe – Analog Modular Synthesizer Journey

Here’s a treat for modular maniacs. In the video, David Baron goes through a bunch of vintage analog modular synthesizers one by one. And not just any vintage modulars: on display here is the Moog Modular, EMS Putney, Emu Modular, Roland System 700, Arp 2500, Serge, Fenix, Roland 100m and the Arp 2600. Enjoy.