Bastl Instruments has revealed a couple of new products: a MIDI Looper in a desktop box and a new IKARIE stereo analogue filter in collaboration with Casper Electronics and inspired by space.
Václav Peloušek says that the MIDI Looper is something he’s been working on for some time. The idea is that it’s a looper and not a MIDI sequencer. You plug in your MIDI controllers and then create loops on-the-fly like when live-looping audio….. but with MIDI. That way you retain the ability to control parameters.
The MIDI Looper has a single MIDI input and two MIDI outputs. It listens to MIDI on all channels and there’s a button on the top of the box to select which output you want to send to – or send to both. You can clock the box with MIDI clock or analogue clock via a separate port, so perhaps bring in a clock from your modular.
To record something just start playing because the box is always in record waiting for something to happen and then hit a button to start looping. Switch to the other MIDI output and record another loop over the top. It really is that easy.
It has built-in quantizing, shuffle features, loop lengths, velocity and humanisation – so it doesn’t just have to be based on your spontaneous performance you can pull it together within some boundaries.
It also has some CV inputs to trigger or retrigger record, velocity, metronome and transpose. Transposing can also be done via MIDI, just select the button and then play a note on the keyboard to transpose the entire loop.
You can store a few patterns but it’s not focused on recording sequences.
It’s a really nice and creative way of organically building up sequences of synths without all the hassle of messing about with computers or a DAW. In the video Václav shows it running effortlessly with some modular and a couple of MIDI sound sources.
The MIDI Looper is in production and should be with us by the end of May for $239.
IKARIE Stereo Analogue Filter
In collaboration with Peter Edwards of Casper Electronics we have a stereo analogue filter. It appears to be called IKARIE which is probably a reference to Jindřich Polák’s pioneering sci-fi masterpiece IKARIE XB-1 – let’s just say it is!
Anyway, it has a stereo input and output and features a high and low pass filter on each channel that’s controlled by turning the cutoff left into lowpass and right into highpass. A Stereo knob detunes the left and right channels. If you are working in mono then the two filters are mixed to the single output and using the Stereo knob to offset them creates two resonant peaks – nice vocal quality! There’s a third output called “Beyond” which is subtraction between the left and right channel to give a spectral difference. IKARIE also has an output VCA and an envelope follower.
Sounds pretty epic but then I love the whole Bastl/Casper thing – fantastically fat and fierce modules.
Availability should be in the summer, price TBA.
- Bastl MIDI Looper: SynthAnatomy
- Bastl IKARIE: Synth Anatomy