Beat Assist Mantra – a Free Synth That Fuses Phase Distortion and Frequency Modulation Synthesis (Win 32-Bit)

Beat Assist Mantra is a brand new software synthesizer that fuses PD (phase distortion synthesis) with FM (frequency modulation) – I guess that would be kinda like if I took the innards of my old Casio CZ-1000 and Yamaha TX-802 synths and got some brainiac to put them in a virtual blender for me. Well, not quite, perhaps, but still: I’ve only just downloaded the Mantra and spent a few minutes toying around with it, and I quite like it. For an FM/PD synth it seems fairly easy to get your head around, and it is also equipped with stuff like good old fashioned filters (something you’re obviously not going to find on all those vintage FM and PD synths) as well as effects like reverb and distortion.

I like a good few of the presets and I think I can definitely find a use for some of them in my music, but what I’m really looking forward to exploring this thing and coming up with my own stuff. This is a synth with a simple, inviting interface, so I think I’ll be able to start doing just that and getting some decent result straight away.

BeatAssist Mantra has two oscillator modules, each with three panels. The FM Module has the basic waveforms follower by three waveform carriers (Sine/Saw/Triangle). The Phase Distortion Module has several waveforms divided in two waveform pickers. As mentioned, Mantra also has a built in effects processor.

This synth is SynthEdit based, which means it’s only available in Windows 32-bit.

Mantra was developed by Portuguese electronic music artist Duarte Vinagre.

For more info and to download for free visit BeatAssist.eu.

Richard Devine Takes You On a Tour of His New Studio

Loved this video, so I obviously had to share it here. Richard Devine is not just a remarkably talented and skillful sound designer and musician, but he is clearly also a really great guy. Besides, he has an absolutely rocking new studio (moved downstairs from his old one) that you should check out if you have not already done so:

If you’re not familiar with Richard Devine and his work, Richard has been releasing his own music for nearly two decades now, played live around the world, and made music for both video games and a host of commercials, including work for Nike and Touchstone Pictures. Check out his stuff on Richard-Devine.com or follow him on Twitter.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at FutureMusicMagazine for the video.

Finally: Korg Legacy Collection Virtual Instruments Now with 64-bit Compatibility

Good news for both current owners (like yours truly) and potential owners of Korg’s Legacy Collection plugins: these guys are now available in 64-bit. Check it out at Korguser.net.

For people who run 64-bit DAWs but don’t own any of the Legacy Collection plugins, this would probably be a good time to check them out. For only $49.99 a piece, you can now get yourself Korg’s own software recreations of classic synths like the M1, Wavestation, Mono/Poly, PolySix, and MS-20, as well as the MDE-X effects suite (only $19.99).

Note: Korg Legacy Collection  v1.0-1.1 owners must have previously purchased and registered “v1.2 Upgrade” for access to this update.

Personally, I can’t wait to hook my MS-20 controller and run the softsynth in Reaper X64 – I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to do that for over three years, as I went 64 bit in 2009 – bridges don’t always work well, and they certainly didn’t with that synth. Should be fun!

New Keyboard from Kurzweil: The SP5

The new Kurzweil SP5 is expected to hit the stores soon, although no official announcement has yet been made.

Features include graded hammer action, aftertouch, a setup mode with 4 zones (split/layer), around 1000 sounds taken from the PC3LE synth, Kurzweil’s famed TripleStrike Piano, KB3 mode (Hammond organ emulation, five sliders, three pedal inputs (2 switch + 1 cc pedal), two balanced outputs, a USB port.

The 88 key version pictured here is named SP5-8.

Expect an official announcement along with more details on the Kurzweil Music Systems website soon as this instrument should be shipping shortly.