Chimara Synthesis bC6 [Crystal] Review

A big thank you to Arthur Vanderbilt (http://arthurvanderbilt.org) for this review of the Chimara Synthesis bC6 [Crystal] Review



Construction and Controls

The Chimara Synthesis bC6 is a hand-built (in the U.K.) synthesizer with a built-in 16-step sequencer. My model is encased in clear, CNC-machined acrylic. It has a brushed aluminum top. A distinctive red circuit board is visible through the clear bottom of the case. Controls on the top of the case include six knobs, an LED, a button, and a 1/8" stereo output jack suitable for headphones or use as a line out. Two hex screws hold the top cover down. Remove them and the cover for access to the three AAA batteries. External power is not available. The bottom of the case has an on-off switch.

The synthesizer has three primary modes: a single-shot mode where each note is triggered by the button, an auto-repeat mode where a single note plays over and over and a sequencer playback mode. Switching between modes is accomplished by turning the volume all the way down and pressing the button. A flashing LED indicates single-shot mode, a pulsing LED indicates auto-repeat mode and a solid LED indicates sequence playback mode.

The sequencer continuously records the last sixteen notes played in single-shot mode. All parameters except volume are recorded. Pressing the button stops playback or starts playback with the settings as recorded. Settings can be changed during playback, affecting the output directly, and then reset by stopping and starting the sequencer. Holding the button down for more than two seconds will put the sequencer into variable speed mode. This will keep the volume knob from affecting the volume and make it instead affect the sequencer's rate of playback.

The next knob clockwise is a waveform selector for both the LFO and the VCO. The knobs range is divided into quadrants, each quadrant selecting a different LFO waveform. Each of these quadrants is again divided into quadrants, each quadrant selecting a different VCO waveform. This arrangement allows the selection of any combination of LFO/VCL waveforms with a single knob.

The knob to the right of the button controls the envelope. The knob to the left of the button controls the LFO rate. The next knob clockwise controls the amount of either frequency or amplitude modulation affected by the LFO. The final knob, to the left of the jack controls VCO frequency (pitch).

My Impressions

This synthesizer is a jewel. I haven't been able to keep my hands off of it since I received it in the mail. The variety of sounds and textures that you can create is amazing. Everything from modulated warbles to clear bell tones. It packs a lot of features and capability into a compact and inexpensive package. It's useful for glitch, drone, noise, improvisation and just about any application that doesn't need a hard MIDI clock sync or exacting pitch selection and intonation. The construction is top-notch and it's beautiful to look at. The only gripe I had was that it came with the wrong size hex wrench so I had to go find my set in the garage to get the top off. A small price to pay, because as soon as I got the batteries in, I was hooked.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXkfLHuDUp4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otLz_f0YVpE

10 steps to make a minor chord cadence fly



SoundPrism Pro - Audanika GmbH

Clip to Evernote

Novation coming to the market with a V-Station (HD) app?


Thanks to Marc for this tip off. Gearjunkies have the scoop.

Clip to Evernote

Nanoloop comes to Android


That explains why it has been quiet on iOS for a little while. Nanoloop is on the Android marketplace now.

TCTD gets the scoop.

Clip to Evernote

iPads as Wi-fi MIDI controllers



Clip to Evernote

BeatStudio Secret Test Labs



Whilst this is fun (and short) it doesn't really show what the app does so I'm hoping we can get to see another video shortly?

Clip to Evernote

PianoAngel update on the way

An update is on the way for PianoAngel. Here's what to expect:
  • Record playing to M4A audio file which can be fetched via iTunes file sharing or sent via email
  • Upload recording to SoundCloud
  • CoreMidi support for sending/receving MIDI notes (require iOS >= 4.2)
  • Replaced "Overall Volume" setting by "Volume Boost" which default is minimum and ineffective when headphone is plugged in (to avoid audio distortion)
  • Fixed pixelized text in main screen on iPad
  • Improved piano samples again for a more smoothed sound.
PianoAngel - Better World Studio

Clip to Evernote

pellegrini space time keyboard for iPad demo



I didn't know about this app so I tried to look it up on iTunes but couldn't find it. If anyone knows about it please get in touch.

Clip to Evernote

Sinusoid update


Sinusoid gets an update:
  • Revised bpm tempo controls. Touch text field for number pad input. 
  • Song starts from beginning upon loading.
Sinusoid - Erik Sigth
Clip to Evernote

FL Studio 10 arrives, so where is the Mobile one?

Whilst it is of course great to see the newest version of FL Studio I'm still wondering where the mobile version is that got leaked a little while ago.

Clip to Evernote

Isle of Tune is coming along well


Clip to Evernote

GarageBand for iPad



Via iPad Creative.

GarageBand - Apple®

Clip to Evernote

"Wires" by Sleeping At Last

"Wires" by Sleeping At Last by ryancurtisoneal

SoundPrism was used as the base-chords for this song, which is titled: "Wires" from Sleeping At Last's "January" EP, as part of their "Yearbook" Project. www.sleepingatlast.com

Clip to Evernote

SAS-1 update

After SAS-4 got an update SAS-1 now gets a little update:

Improvements
  • Quality improvement
  • Dual voice
Additional Features
  • Auto Arpeggio
  • Pitch Bender & Assign Function
  • Modulation Slider & Assign Function
  • Monophonic / polyphonic toggle
  • Portamento
  • Interactive simple instructions
SAS-1 - Music Device Project

Clip to Evernote

Interested in C64 trackers?

If you were interested in the post from yesterday about the use of trackers in the C64 app then look at the comments in the original post as there is loads of really useful stuff in there.

Clip to Evernote

Useful multitasking list in the forum

A very useful list if we can keep it up to date. Apps that support background multitasking in the forum.

Clip to Evernote

PocketLoops arrives


I posted on this a while back. The app requires one of their keyboards although I'm not sure when or if these are available as yet.

I have tried to get in touch with them a few times to find out more about the keyboard and if they're going to publish an SDK but they haven't replied to any emails! Never mind!

Here's the app's description:

NOTE: This application requires a compatible Pocket Loops keyboard, available through major retailers or online at gear4.com. For more information on Pocket Loops, please visit gear4.com.

Create your own beats and melodies using the PocketLoops keyboard and app.. Start expressing yourself by playing the keys to drop a beat, melody or effects.

The PocketLoops app lets you record the sounds you play from the keyboard. Sounds are recorded as loops to let you create the ultimate sounding tracks with awesome bass-lines, unique melodies and rich sounding effects.

Be your own producer by mixing and recording the tracks you create. Make your tune more dynamic by using the Echo or Chorus effect and create amazing distortions with the XY Filter Pad. Now that you have created a cool sounding track, why don’t you share it with friends via e-mail?

Key Features

CREATE
  • Record Loops – Plays the keys to record loops, then combine them to produce a hit record.
  • Create beats – Lay down your perfect groove with a drum kit matches your style. House, Drum & Bass, Hip-Hop, Rock, Reggae and more are included.
  • Play keys – Express yourself using the 13 included synths, organs, pianos and more.
REMIX
  • Record yourself – Give a back track with drums, bass and play a melody over the top, using one of the synths, pianos, organs or other included instruments.
  • Add effects – Make your tunes more dynamic with the 3 built-in effects, Echo, Chorus and the XY Filter Pad.
SHARE
  • Share your tracks with friends, straight from the app via email.
REQUIREMENTS
Made for iPod touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th generation only).
Made for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.
Requires iOS 4.1

PocketLoops - Gear4

Clip to Evernote

IPad 2 orders?

Just checked the order status on my iPad 2 and it says delivery by 25th of April. Anyone else got the same?

Clip to Evernote

BeatStudio has been submitted!

Really looking forward to seeing this app! Frontier has submitted it now so it shouldn't take too long.

Clip to Evernote

bleep!Synth price drop


bleep!Synth is on sale today with the price down to just $1.99.

bleep!Synth - White Noise Audio Software

Clip to Evernote

nanoSeries 2 question

After seeing the iElectribe 1.5 teaser video the other day I've been trying to find the nanoSeries 2 hardware with retailers, but I've had no luck. Anyone know if the hardware is actually out as yet, and if not when it is due?

Clip to Evernote

How to play different sounds with different fingers on SoundPrism Pro



SoundPrism Pro - Audanika GmbH

Clip to Evernote

MID2PRN for iPhone price drop


You might remember this app, it shows a score from a MIDI SMF file. The price has now dropped to $0.99

MID2PRN for iPhone - yonemura

Clip to Evernote

Fairlight



Fairlight - Fairlight Instruments Pty Ltd

Clip to Evernote

Jordan Rudess Presents Sylo Synth



Sylo Synthesiser - Matthew Rosenfeld

Clip to Evernote

SynthX update

Just a small update to this fairly new app:

This version fixes issues that can cause clicks and pops in the audio output. Also, issues discovered on the iPad 2 have been corrected.


A voice count controller has been added to allow users to set the number of voices SynthX has.

SynthX - Way Out Ware, Inc.

Clip to Evernote

OP-1 FM Radio to Drum Sampler



Clip to Evernote

Will any music apps get into the Apple design awards?

I really hope that we see some of the amazingly innovative music applications get recognised in Apple's design awards this year.

Which apps do you think should get awards?

Clip to Evernote

How to play different sounds with different fingers on SoundPrism Pro



SoundPrism Pro - Audanika GmbH

Clip to Evernote