Tag Archives: Software update

KORG Monotribe – System version 2.0

Korg Monotribe

KORG released a major system update for the Monotribe !

System Version 2

Announcing a major update for the monotribe!
Version 2 provides many new features to take your playing to a new dimension!

Announcing a major update to the monotribe analog ribbon station — the full-fledged analog synth and rhythm unit with a step sequencer inherited from the Electribe! The monotribe Version 2 adds a plethora of new features, allowing you to create sequences that are even more elaborate, or to layer complex musical developments for extended performances.

Surely one of the most exciting additions is a new synchronized performance mode that allows for new type of performance using multiple monotribe units. Whether you’ve never touched a monotribe or whether you’re an expert who is thoroughly familiar with all of the current features, this new update guarantees that your analog groove-making will be more intense than ever before!

Highlights

Sequencer:

Synth part resolution has been doubled to 16 Steps
Volume Automation has been added to the synth part.
Active Step can be specified for each part.
Drum Roll capability has been added.
Gate Time Hold function has been added.

Synthesizer:

Sample and Hold (S&H) function added to LFO.

Sync:

Connected sequences allow multiple monotribe units to play in rotation.
Half Tempo function has been added.

Short Cut Keys:

Four convenient shortcuts for creating patterns quickly

16-Step Synth parts
As with drum parts, the synth part now provides timing information in between the steps in a sequence, allowing a pattern to achieve a total of 16 steps.

Synth Part Volume Automation
Volume Automation allows the synth volume to be recorded during playback to create more detailed sequences. The left side of the ribbon controller keyboard decreases the volume, and the right side increases it. This Volume Automation can even be controlled when if Flux mode is on.

Set individual Active Steps for each Part.
The Active Step function lets you specify which steps are played or jumped when playing back the step sequencer. Now, the Active Step can be set individually for each of the SYNTH, BD, SD, and HH parts. By specifying a different number of steps for each part, you can create complex polyrhythms.

Sample & Hold (S & H) added to the LFO
The newly added S&H function is indispensible for creating mysterious analog synth sound effects. The RATE knob adjusts the frequency of change, and the INT. knob adjusts the depth of change.

“What is Sample & Hold?”
Unlike traditional LFO waveshapes that provide a constantly changing signal, the Sample & Hold feature takes a “sample” of the LFO signal and holds that level for a specific duration of time. The results are the highly popular and slightly random stepped-filter effects so famously used in analog synthesizers. By using noise as the input signal, the monotribe version 2 lets you create effects that change in a distinctively random manner.

Drum Roll capability
A roll can now be added to the desired drum part. The speed of the roll can be controlled using the ribbon controller keyboard; moving toward the right will increase the number of strikes. You can also record the drum roll using the sequencer to intuitively create subtle and dynamic drum patterns.

Linked Sequences play multiple monotribes in rotation
The Link Sequence feature is a completely new sync method that vastly expands the scope of the monotribe, to deliver even more fun. When sequence playback reaches step 8, the sequence will automatically stop and the next monotribe unit will start playing. By loop-connecting the SYNC jacks, the playback can keep cycling through multiple units – in true modular fashion!

New Additions
The Gate Time Hold function lets you use the ribbon controller keyboard to play and record new pitch information while retaining the gate times recorded in the sequencer. Also new is the Half Tempo function, which cuts the tempo in half when synchronizing to an external input from the SYNC IN jack. In addition, there are now four shortcut keys that instantly initialize various types of sequence data or active step settings.

Updating Procedure
Thinking of monotribe as an analog synthesizer, the procedure of for updating the Operating System is also a very old-school, analog-style method, reminiscent of loading data via the playback of analog cassette tape. Simply download the system data which Korg has encoded as an audio (WAV) file from www.korg.com or from the website of your local Korg distributor. Then, play back the file using a WAV file player like a Smartphone or using PC application software, directly in to the monotribe’s SYNC IN jack. When the audio (WAV) file finished playing, your monotribe has been updated. It’s a traditional procedure revived for a new generation!

WARNING!
Do not playback the system update file on any speaker or headphone system as this could lead to damage to equipment and/or hearing loss. Neither Korg nor any of its affiliates will accept responsibility for any damages, personal loss or injury that may result from playback of the file.

Here is a short video about the upgrade procedure :


Have a nice day !

Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 – Review

A few days ago I’ve started to test the new Z3TA+ so I going to tell you about this long awaited beast !

Z3TA+
Z3TA+2

First thing you’ll notice, is the change occurred in the design. The size of the interface is bigger and cleaner than the old one but the general organization remain intact so you wont get lost If you were familiar with the previous one.

Z3TA+ Oscillators
Z3TA+ Shaper

The Oscillator panel remains globally the same but there are some great improvement in term of usability. For example, the Shaper panel is now directly integrated to the oscillator panel and all the options are now selectable via a context menu.

Z3TA+2 Oscillators
Z3TA+2 Perform

There is now a new panel called “Perform” which contains, a joystick modulator and a small but interesting panel named “Analog”. In the analog panel you’ll be able to control oscillator drift and burst 😉 Last but not least, it is now possible to select and load the “user waveforms” from the wave context menu… Even if there are no real astonishing improvements, changes were made and well made !

Z3TA+ Filters
Z3TA+2 Filters

The filters panel remains the same but with 3 new filter types which are “Formant”, “Reso” and “Comb”.

Z3TA+ Enveloppes
Z3TA+2 Enveloppes

The envelope panel is more visual and more usable but globally there is no real changes at all.

Z3TA+ LFO
Z3TA+2 LFO

The low frequency section offer more waveforms and is also more visual, no much to say.

Z3TA+ Modulation Matrix
Z3TA+2 Modulation Matrix

The modulation matrix is pretty much the same one, with a 16 slots routing table. Now the modulation matrix share the same location with the arpegiator panel.

Z3TA+ Arpegiator
Z3TA+2 Arpegiator

The arpegiator has very few modes available but it allow you to load midi files directly and the default soundbank already contains tons of midi sequences. It is possible to use the arpegiator as a “trance gate”.
The parameters available to control the arpegiator are the same but you have now an “humanize” and a “swing” parameter.

As you can see, even if there were improvement made for the “Synth” part, these are ergonomic changes and finally, 80% the functionality remains the same as in version 1.5 but I have to admit that the basis was already very good, so, cakewalk is forgiven 😉

Z3TA+ Effects
Z3TA+2 Effects

The “Effects” part of Z3ta+2 allow you to chain all effects as wanted but again, this is mainly the only modification.

In conclusion, even if Z3ta+2 is very good, it is more an “ergonomy” update than a technically improved version of the first one and I think that’s a bit light for a “10 years later” upgrade 🙁

Pro :

  • Great Sound !
  • New “Analog” features
  • Very usable interface
  • Nicely designed
  • Effect routing
  • Old presets are still compatible
  • Large set of quality presets

Cons :

  • No arpegiator editor, only presets and/or midi file
  • Lack of apegiator modes (Only 5 modes available)
  • Preset/category management is outdated
  • Bugs