News Round-Up: 7/4/17

Tributes paid to Roland Corporation founder Ikutaro Kakehashi. Spitfire introduce new synth plugin. Mini synths and drum machines crowdfunded.

Ikutaro Kakehashi RIP. Japanese engineer Ikutaro Kakehashi passed away last week. As founder of the Roland Corporation in 1972, he went on to oversee development of the TR-808 amongst many other influential machines. Read some tributes on the Guardian.

Let’s Ava it. Audio and visual arts festival Ava is back at Belfast’s T13 on June 3rd and 4th  and promises talks and sets from Jeff Mills and Guillaume Marmin, Marcel Dettmann, Bicep, Fatima Yamaha live, a Rebekah Hybrid set and more. Further info is at

Chocks away. Spitfire Audio has announced its first software synth, namely the sample-based instrument BT Phobos. It is said to help create epic cinematic electronic compositions, costs £209 and can be read about here.

Oops. There has been a recent trend for Shazam unwittingly revealing details about forthcoming albums before the news has been made public. Pitchfork investigate how and why, here.

What a fine Messe. One of the highlights of the annual German trade fair is the introduction of a working prototype of a new Waldorf Quantum 8-voice hybrid polysynth. Watch a video detailing the new machine above.

Size matters. If you want hands-on playability but don’t have the strength to lug about huge bits of hardware, look no further than Minijam Studio, a set of portable electronic instruments featuring a drum machine and wavetable synth, amongst others bits. A Kickstarter to fund it has already been successful, so development starts soon. Read more here.

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