Dracotek

A site for electronic instruments, effects and synthesizer gear …

Dracotek - A site for electronic instruments, effects and synthesizer gear  …

Analog Keys

Analog Keys

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Well the Elecktrons have done it again this time with a new product called the Analog Keys.  This is basically an Analog 4 with a three Octave keyboard attached as well as a Joystick, Octave Buttons etc. The keyboard features LED’s that light up and show the current pitch while the sequencer is running and also allow for easy inputting of notes for the sequencer. While they have gotten away from the standard machine size with this device it will still be a valuable asset to many. Another big item is that Elektron has announced they will provide an OS update for the Analog 4 and Analog keys that enables Polyphonic mode as well as their +drive technology which will give you access to 4000 patches.  The Analog Keys are scheduled to Ship on Dec. 9th with orders starting December 5th so get yours soon.

Date Published: 11/27/2013

Elektron Launch Party

Night of Machines

Elektron is poised to do it again  with their Elektron launch party called Night of Machines. On Nov 23rd they are throwing a big party in Berlin and will showcase a new machine. What could it be? The rumors have already started on the forums as to what the device is. Stay tuned for more information when available.

Date Published: 11/08/2013

 

Best Synthesizer

What is the best synthesizer ….

As I visit many forums on many different topics this question comes up frequently in many threads. To answer that I would have to say “it depends.” Synthesizers come in many flavors. There is analog , digital or hybrid, mono (single note at a time) or poly (multiple notes played together), with keys, rack,  desktop or modular layouts. Then there are synths designed for a  specific task such as a bass synth or a drum synth. Then there are several methods of synthesis such as sample playback or “romplers” which take a sample or multiple samples and spread it across the keys and some synthesis methods are applied to the sample in the form of LFO’s, Envelopes, Filters, etc.  Virtual analog synths use calculations and software to create the various oscillators, filters and other parameters. Analog synthesis  is created using hardware  as the basis for the parameters. Hybrids use a combination of these methods. There really are so many options that it is impossible to answer that question. So the next time you are asking what is the best synthesizer it would be very helpful to others if you give specifics.

What is the best synthesizer
Date Published: 11/05/2013

DSI Prophet 12 Module Rumored for NAMM 2014

 

dsi-prophet-12-module The latest from DSI …

A new synthesizer from Dave Smith Instruments is rumored to be shown at the 2014 NAMM Show.  Here is a picture of the prototype for the DSI Prophet 12 module. The unit is rumored to be based on the Prophet 12 Synthesizer already in existence. The Prophet 12 boasts an incredible 12 voices in a polysynth. Each of the Prophet’s twelve voices is composed of a brand new hybrid digital/analog architecture that sounds different than any other DSI synth, yet retains the true Prophet vibe. With a humongous twelve voice polyphony, streamlined design, and sophisticated architecture, the Prophet 12 is ready to handle any sound you can dream up! Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Date Published: 11/03/2013

Apple OS X Mavericks

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The new  OS X Mavericks has been released from Apple. A first in a while from Apple is that this is major named upgrade is free as Apple used to charge for named upgrades. Apple has added new applications for Maps, iBooks as well as upgrading previous applications Calendar, Safari, Keychain, Multidiplay, Notifications, Finder Tabs, Tags and other Advanced Technologies. Look here for a complete in depth descriptions of what is new. This is a welcomed upgrade to the Mac line of products and increases performance as well fixing several outstanding OS X issues. You can get it by downloading and installing directly from the App Store application installed on current Mac OS machines.

Date Published: 11/03/2013

 

Elektron Analog Four

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The Elektrons have done it again. This is the Elektron Analog Four (or A4 for short) four voice analog synthesizer. It is using their new format for “machines” similar to the the Octatrack as opposed to the old layout of the Machinedrum and mono machines. I welcome this new layout, color schemes, and round buttons that seem more natural to the touch. I would have preferred a larger LCD screen like the Octatrack uses but there is only so much space available to utilize. The A4 includes the standard Elektron 16 buttons for the sequencer and 4 buttons for choosing banks and programs but new is a one Octave keyboard via buttons for entering notes. The up and down arrow buttons allow you to cycle through 5 octaves. Along the right of the unit are the track select buttons allowing you to select from tracks 1 to 4, an effects track or a CV track. Up top we have 10 knobs to adjust all synthesizer functions as well as buttons to select the parameter such as oscillator1, oscillator2, filters, amp, etc. The analog synth engine is very deep and an arp is also included above and beyond the sequencer. The oscillators are very strong and the filters are very versatile to give you a great range of analog sounds.  I would have preferred an additional set of outs so you could use one for each track but the unit includes a standard right left pair of main outs. I could go on for pages about this unit and may do a second in depth review but I will say this unit come highly recommended and hope you have enjoyed my analog 4 review.

Elektron A4 Review

Some tips for selling gear online

Here are some useful tips for selling your old or unused hardware for cash.

  •  Whenever your order something new save the box and packing materials if you have the room. These can be re-used for outgoing shipments and save you some money buying shipping materials. Iv’e gotten this down to where I usually only need to buy some packing tape. Always try to save the original box and any manuals and packing for new items you purchase as this will increase the value upon resale.
  • You should have a Paypal account for selling to handle your monetary transactions , if not sign up for an account first at PayPal. Once you have an account use Paypal to create a packing slip and print a shipping label for shipping companies such as UPS. I have found that the rates to ship are less expensive through paypal to ship with UPS then to create a label directly with UPS. Print out your label, attach it to your box and drop off at a UPS store.
  • Get a separate bank account for your online selling activities. My bank offers an eBanking account that allows you to do everything electronically. Once everything with a transaction is finalized it is easy to then transfer the funds to my checking account. Having this separate account protects you and your regular checking account for things like customer returns or item disputes. If you are accurate on your descriptions this should rarely happen but it does still happen.
  • This one kind of goes without saying, but try to price your items competitively. Whenever I sell  something I look back at the prices of completed items for the last 90 days or so. This will tell you generally what people are willing to pay for your item.

I hope these tips help you sell more gear as there is good many to be made in your closet.

Visit eBay for more tips.

Moog Minifoogers

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There are 5 new effects available from Moog Music. They are the Moog Minifooger Pedals MF Boost, MF Delay, MF Drive, MF Ring and MF Trem. The Minifooger family of analog effects places legendary Moog quality, tone and versatility into a compact, rugged housing designed to withstand the tortures of touring and daily abuse. Each Minifooger is unique, powerful, transformative and extremely responsive to each player’s unique style. They are true bypass, 100% analog, expression input equipped, battery power-able, and have no negative impact on the tone of your instrument. For further info please visit the Moog website available here

Microsoft Windows 8.1

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The Start menu returns, though not the way you remember it. The new Windows 8.1 which has been available as a preview version for sometime now has finally been released. This latest version of Windows also allows you to boot into the desktop mode verses going straight to the start menu. The free update is available on the Store app in Windows 8 and the update comes highly recommended.

A short review of Microsoft Windows 8.1 release
Date Published: 11/03/2013

Arturia Microbrute

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The new Microbrute from Arturia is the next fully analog mono synth after the previous successful Minibrute. This unit adds a patchable mod matrix and a built in sequencer. The demos sound good and I’m willing to bet this one will be a hit as well.

From the Arturia website: “MicroBrute is pure analog sonic powerhouse of a synth. Small in size but loaded with features, it follows in the footsteps laid by its big brother the MiniBrute.

Packed with mixable waveforms, a new sub oscillator design, the famous Steiner-Parker multimode filter, super fast envelope, syncable LFO and the new step sequencer, not to mention the patchable mod matrix the MicroBrute is a landmark new synth at an incredible price.”

Arturia Microbrute analog synthesizer
Date Published: 11/03/2013