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?


After owning an original analog Korg MS-20 for a few years and having finally convinced myself to let it go, I felt I needed at least a small analog synth to fill-in the void.  Enter the Arturia MicroBrute. This little synth is the coolest thing you can get for the money. It even has a patch bay that lets you do some more advanced signal re-routing. Check out some videos on YouTube. This is the best thing you can get for this budget...



In case you haven't heard of Elektron, they are like the hypster-mac of electronic music instruments.  Their first big hit was the Sidstation, which is basically a revial of the 80's Commodore 64 sound engine chip (SID) rehoused in their own synth box. They have expanded their line of products since then and most of their designs are extremely popular due to their streamlined workflow and powerful-but-different features.

Dawn of the Cloud DAW Era

Audiotool is a kick-ass online music production studio that eliminates the need of a muscular computer to process all of your virtual instruments and FX, because all the processing happens in the cloud!

30 Gridz Series


The 30 gridz in the series were drawn in a relatively short period of time.  The most time consuming part of the project was actually analyzing the gridz and writing about them because exploring the source of each grid was imperative in this project (see Introducing Gridz for concept background information).

Even though all 30 gridz follow the same guidelines and limitations, they were created with different approaches. The series can be divided in two phases: the experimental (1~14), and the intentional (15~30).

Commodore 64-based retro VST synth now FREE


UPDATE: it seems like Basic65 is no longer availible as it has disappeared from de la Mancha's website. Give Dream64 by Odo over at KVR a shot--another cool little C64 synth!

I'm going to try to not go overboard with the "FREE" posts...  Who are we kidding? Synthmode loves FREE and so do you, so here's another great find from de la Mancha Plug-ins.

BrainZtain - Beyond The Spectrum

Embedded thumbnail for BrainZtain - Beyond The Spectrum

Beyond The Spectrum is an electronic track by BrainZtain featuring dark house and techno influences and even some west coast Easter eggs (see if you can spot them).  The video complements the tracks experimental nature by combining various technology clips with deep-sea creatures and some geometric patterns and mirror effects.

Free MP3 download via SoundCloud link.


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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