Beat creation software for Mac and Windows gets a makeover 30/04/14
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It was premiered at the NAMM show in January and now Arturia has announced availability of SPARK 2, which they say brings a new look, new feel, and new features to its premier sound- sculpting and performance drum machine software for Mac and Windows. Here's the rest of what they have to say in their own words...
With the timely introduction of SPARK 2, Arturia has given its beat creation software a new look, new feel, and a whole host of new features fit to make it the premier sound-sculpting and performance drum machine on the market -- all the more so when perfectly paired up with the award-winning SPARK Creative Drum Machine and SparkLE Creative Drum Machine controllers. It's a match made in hybrid heaven that's more flexible than ever before!
While SPARK has always been built on a fully-modular VA (Virtual Analogue) sound engine, originally only developers had access to this wonderful-sounding rhythmical power source. Not now. With the all-new MODULAR screen, SPARK 2 users are now free to add and subtract modules (including Oscillator, multimode Filter and Karplus-Strong Filter, Envelope, Lfo, MiniMixer, RingMod, and Bode Frequency Shifter); create their own patch routings; and assign up to six macro controls for immediate control. Clearly, it's this truly modular, fully-accessible sound engine that makes SPARK 2 truly shine as the ultimate drum synthesizer!
With SPARK 2, Arturia has taken the opportunity to update the look and feel of SPARK to allow for faster workflow, while creating a layout that allows it to grow well into the future and secure its longevity -- no easy feat in today's here today, gone tomorrow's world of rapidly disposable developments. New tabbed pages provide a cleaner look, more screen space, and faster access to the most needed features -- features like an all-new MIXER window (with level, pan, and insert effects and sends -- to 14 unique professional-grade effects, no less), expanded PATTERN edit screen, and enhanced LIBRARY page for better data management.
SPARK 2 also adds 50 new kits -- including no fewer than 800 new instruments -- that span many more musical genres than ever before, including trap, hip-hop, tech house, and nu disco, to name but a few modern electronic music styles, as well as acoustic drum kits capably spanning modern rock, funk, R 'n' B, pop, vintage rock, and latin percussion. Vintage drum machine enthusiasts are also well catered for with ear-opening emulations of the likes of Roland's TR-808, TR-909, TR-707, TR-606, and CR-78; LinnDrum, Linn 9000; Oberheim DMX; E-mu Drumulator; Sequential Circuits Drumtraks; Yamaha RX5; and Simmons SDS-V -- analogue and digital classics all. And all kits come complete with 32 patterns that can be used by themselves or form the basis of user-programmed beats.
Bringing up the rear, SPARK 2 sees SONG mode updated, too. Song segments can now be configured and then replayed at the touch of a button. Users can create song sections that will play from one pattern to another and then recall these sections via the step buttons on the SPARK Creative Drum Machine and SparkLE Creative Drum Machine controllers -- perfect performance enhancements!
Indeed, integration with the outside world works on multiple levels: as a 32- and 64-bit compatible virtual instrument for Mac and Windows, SPARK 2 can be run standalone or used as a plug-in with popular host DAWs (supporting 16 audio outputs that can be routed and assigned within the host); AIFF, WAV, REX2, and MIDI files can all be imported with drag and drop export of WAV format patterns and MIDI sequence formats into DAWs; and all parameters on SPARK 2's MAIN screen are MIDI-assignable for control via any external MIDI device.
So why not get behind the wheel of a truly creative drum machine and let SPARK 2 help you create truly driving rhythms with minimum fuss and maximum musical output. No driving lessons required!
Pricing and Availability: SPARK 2 can be exclusively purchased online from Arturia for an introductory promotional price of €129.00 EUR/$129.00 USD between May 1 and June 30, inclusive (rising to €169.00 EUR/$189.00 USD thereafter); alternatively, Arturia is also offering a promotional pricing of €199.00 EUR/$199.00 USD on the SparkLE Creative Drum Machine controller (with SPARK 2 included) between those same dates (rising to €249.00 EUR/$299.00 USD thereafter) from any authorised dealer or online here.