"Simple and classic" is how I would describe the Roland Alpha Junos. Like the Korg DW-8000, they don't have too many moving parts: your standard subtractive synth setup, and with only a single envelope and a single LFO. Not a lot of modulation capabilities. But the sound of the oscillators and the resonant low-pass filter give you a classic Roland sound, and the minimal parameters let you quickly explore a lot of different sonic spaces.
The Coffeeshopped Blog
Happy New Year! What better way to start off a new year (and a new decade, although some would debate that) than with new synth editors? Today we bring you an editor for the Korg DW-8000, a digital/analog hybrid keyboard released in 1985, and its rack-mounted sibling the Korg EX-8000.
The latest updates to Patch Base for Mac (version 1.1) and iPad (version 3.7) add editors and librarians for the Alesis Micron and the Akai Miniak. These two synths are virtually identical under the hood: they're powerful virtual analog synths with 3 oscillators, 2 filters (each with 20 different filter types), 3 envelopes, 2 LFOs, 12 modulation routes, 2 effects sections, and a few other modulation abilities such as FM, ring modulation, a tracking generator, and a sample and hold unit. That's a lot of potential for sound design.
It's been about a year in the making, but today I'm happy to announce version 1.0 of Patch Base for Mac, available now. This first release includes every editor that is available on the iPad version, so over 50 synths across 10 manufacturers are supported. All of the features from the iPad version are here on the Mac, as well as some new features that take advantage of the multi-windowed environment on macOS. To give you a feel for this new version, I made an intro video for you:
The Patch Base Vote list-topper, the Novation Circuit, is now the newest editor available in the app. Patch Base version 3.6 brings the update.
The Circuit actually reminds me a lot of the Yamaha DX200: a groovebox with sample-based drums, 2 synth voices, and sequencers for all of them. And while the Circuit is easy to navigate itself, for playing notes, making patterns, tuning drums, etc., like the DX200 it offers nothing on-board in the way of creating your own synth patches.
It took me awhile to get my hands on a Yamaha TG77. These days, they are highly sought after and (frankly) often overpriced. But finally during one of my eBay trawls I found one with the typical TG77 problem of a burnt-out backlight on the display. So I grabbed it. Where we're going, we don't need backlights: the TG77 and its sibling the Yamaha SY77 are now supported in Patch Base.
About a year ago, the venerable Elektron released their Digitone: an FM synth box with a sequencer, promising to make the elusive methods of frequency modulation into a more hands-on experience. Well, 17 years earlier, Yamaha tried a similar thing: the DX200. And about a month ago, a kind and generous man named Calvin met with me on a chilly night in the parking lot of a Walgreen's Pharmacy in Austin to loan me his DX200 (pictured here).
In what will (probably?) be the last launch of the year for Coffeeshopped, Patch Base 3.3 now supports the Roland XV-5080, XV-3080, XV-5050, and XV-2020. And whew, these were some doozies to tackle (the work started on these months ago), but very worth it.
Patch Base 3.2 adds 2 new editor/librarians for the Roland JV-880 and JV-80. These synths were the beginning of the family tree that led to the JV-1080 and eventually the powerful XV-5080 (which I'm working on support for!). Don Solaris has a great article and diagrams of the evolution of Roland's sample-based synths.