Arturia SparkLE Shines

Arturia, SparkLE, drum machine

I’m a sucker for sparkly things, and the Arturia SparkLE is certainly no exception.

SparkLE is a sleek hardware/software hybrid drum-machine that is bound to light up your life (nyuk nyuk) in a few different ways. Spaceship-LIGHTshow aside, this little beatbox is LIGHT, weighing in at only 1 kg (2.2 lbs.). And of course, it will simply deLIGHT you. (End of horrible pun.)

You can build beats using the step sequencer buttons or pound them out in realtime on the pressure sensitive pads. Throw down a groove with the Looper and then introduce variation with the touch sensitive XY pad, which can control 8 filter modes (including the classic Oberheim SEM filter) and 7 different Slicer modes. Engage the TUNE mode and play a synth melody on SparkLE’s 16 keys, or simply add pitch to a percussion sound.

SparkLE, Arturia, hardware software hybrid drum machine

The SparkLE sound engine boasts a wide range of ever expanding sounds, with layering, Virtual Analog, and Physical Modeling for further tweaking. The software component offers a Mix view, effects, automation & editing capabilities, and can be used as a standalone program or AU/VST/VST3/RTAS plug-in (without the hardware connected). Alternately you can map the hardware to control your DAW via MIDI, or use the included templates for Ableton LIve and Reason.

All this functionality is built into a seriously compact (284mm x 171mm x 17 mm) and portable (comes with a travel case) package. SparkLE is a truly versatile tool for a musician on the go!

Arturia’s SparkLE is an obvious competitor to Native Instruments’ Maschine Mikro. In the race to get smaller and smaller, it wins; the Spark drum controller is thinner, takes up less desk space, and the price tag is lower ($299 vs. $399 for Maschine). Although Maschine might fair better with MPC drum pad enthusiasts, I must say I prefer Spark’s keyboard/’TR’ style layout. I’d love to get the two of them in a room for a real sonic shootout sometime.

Moog 500 Series Analog Delay

Moog Analog Delay 500 Series

Moog has announced the late December release of it’s flagship analog delay designed specifically for 500 series studio rackmount systems. 

So now producers will have the option to insert Moog’s famous all analog echos into their hardware chain right next to their “lunchbox” API or Neve microphone pre-amps. In addition to being more studio fitting than its Moogerfooger counterpart, the Moog 500 series Analog Delay will have an accompanying VST/AU/RTAS plug-in editor, which can be used to control “Tap/CV input routing, Keyboard Control settings, Clock Divisions and a Delay Multiplier for access to illegal times up to 4x the front panel position.” Illegal times! So wrong it feels right! Now that is just downright sexy.

Here’s more detailed info from Moog:

The Moog Analog Delay is the world’s first delay designed exclusively for the 500 series format. It is a MIDI syncable module that features a 100% analog signal path, front panel MIDI, and an assignable Tap Tempo/CV jack. Included with each unit is a free VST/AU/RTAS editor for easy implementation into any recording, live, and performance situation.

Out of the box you get 800ms of the warmest, and most musical delay on the planet. No emulation plugin can impart depth and life into your mixes like the Analog Delay.

The Analog Delay has been designed with tone, connectivity, and flexibility at the forefront. Moog’s engineering team worked tirelessly to deliver a 500 Series module with an incredibly clean front end that could easily pushed into a warm, natural overdrive for saturated delay trails or beyond for more distorted effects.

Though not on the front panel, the Analog Delay features a 6 Waveshape LFO that allows you to create other time based effects such as tape delay, chorus and extreme modulated sounds. The LFO can be easily accessed via MIDI or the free VST/AU/RTAS Analog Delay plug-in editor.

Also accessible via the editor are advanced features like Tap/CV input routing, Keyboard Control settings, Clock Divisions and a Delay Multiplier for access to illegal times up to 4x the front panel position. The Tap/CV input also can be fed audio from a click track to act as a tap tempo source.

The 500 series Analog Delay combines the sound of the ultimate analog delay with convenient digital control and flexibility to create the perfect recording and live sound tool.

Features:

• 40-800ms Analog Delay Time

• .5x/1.0x time and filter switch

• 32dB of input Drive

• Assignable ¼” Tap Tempo and CV input

• MIDI control

• 6 Waveshape LFO

• Free VST/AU/RTAS editor (AAX coming soon)

• Stereo Linkable