Octatrack MK1 users might be getting conditional locks!

    Elektron recently launched updated versions of their boxes, including an Octatrack MKII.  Octatrack MKI owners might still benefit from this release as Elektron has now officially anounced via their website (see image below) that the MKII OS will be compatible with the MKI box and will "include the functionality of the MKII".  As you may have heard, the MKII will support conditional locks, which is a great way to add probabilities to your sequenced steps--opening up a whole lot of good fun.

    (source: https://www.elektron.se/support/?connection=octatrack#resources)

    Now, to further legitimize my suspicion that MKI will now be able to do conditional locks (aka trig conditions), have a look at the manual and you will notice that everything is almost identical between the MKI and MKII manuals except for the highlighted sections below: CONDITIONAL LOCKS and FILL MODE. (MK1 manual on left, MK2 on right)


    So, congrats to all MKI owners as it looks like you will have at least one more OS update to come (but perhaps more!) with additional features here and there.  Personally, I'm still waiting for program change parameter locks, which are present in the digitakt and monomachine.

    What features would you like to see implemented in the MKII OS?

Kilpatrick PHENOL Unboxing and Demo - Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer

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Back in January I wrote about PHENOL emerging through a Kickstarter campaign--fastforward 7 months later and it's finally here!  To keep things short--I've enjoyed my first encounter with the PHENOL and see a lot of potential using this little beast for future projects.

Instagram as art


As a rule of thumb, before attempting to evaluate something, it's always a good idea to define that "something".  Attempts to define art have been made for centuries. Some of these attempts are very serious and thorough, such as Leo Tolstoy's "What is Art?" essay, which was written in 1896--40 excerpts of its main points can be found here for your enjoyment (no, really, it's quite interesting).  For this reason I'm declaring this article a deformity from the start--to avoid any disappointment from anyone stumbling upon it.

Circuit-bend your Mircrosoft GS Wavetable Synth

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For many electronic musicians and sound designers a couple of synths, drum machines, and VST's along with a microphone and some creative sound sources are enough to keep busy.  However, for many of us, there comes a time when the hiss of an old tape player and the crackle of an old record no longer satisfy the hipster in us desperately sniffing around for unorthodox sounds impossible to extract from prepackaged sample libraries or synths.  This is when we fall victims to circuit-bending fever.

MPC 1000 Blues


I've owned a few MPC1000's but I always ended up selling them because I found their defects extremely hard to work with.  As covered in my MPC 1000 review  these defects range from faulty pads, sensors, and tactile switches.

Bass Station 2 as an analog drum machine

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Elektron hardware is known for its innovative features such as parameter locks implemented on their popular xox-style sequencers.  Parameter locks give you the ability to change parameters on a per-note basis by simply holding down the step and tweaking knobs.  This yields very interesting results instantly.


The MPC is THE icon of sample-based music--more specifically hip-hop. While there is an entire line of MPC's out there, what makes the MPC 1000 model special is its portability and power although not right out of the box.


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The Kilpatrick Audio PHENOL is the 2nd semi-modular synthesizer I've owned (the first being the Korg MS-20), and it is also the closest thing to a modular.  Soon after getting my hands on it I started realizing what the modular fuzz was really all about.

The PHENOL packs a lot of modular features in a small package.  This includes a very simple but useful divider and powerful multi-mode envelopes--all things that are not very common outside the modular world.

Everything else on... more

The MPC is THE icon of sample-based music--more specifically hip-hop. While there is an entire line of MPC's out there, what makes the MPC 1000... more


The Zoom Sampletrak ST-224... the poor man's MPC... the last of the 90's samplers... and there's a good chance you've never heard about it.

... more

I still remember when I won my first analog synth, the Korg MS-20, on an ebay auction for about $1000 in 2004.  The synth was still in its cult-... more