Terrence O'Brien, Engadget

Terrence O'Brien


New York, United States

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Recent articles by Terrence:

Poly Effects fully merges Digit and Beebo into one super pedal

The Poly Effects Digit and Beebo are two of the more interesting guitar pedals to come out in the last few years. They were built on the exact same platform and their firmware are completely interchangeable. Now the company is taking the next logical step, and combining them into a single firmware and single pedal under the Beebo name. → Read More

Polyend Tracker review: A powerful but confounding groovebox

The Polyend Tracker is an exceptionally built and almost intimidatingly powerful groovebox. It can record samples, edit them, turn them into playable synths, and control external gear. It will carry you all the way from germ of an idea to polished track. The workflow isn’t for everyone, but it’s impossible to deny the value packed into this $599 instrument. → Read More

Hector is a virtual modular synth you can put in your real modular synth

Hector is essentially a Poly Effects Digit and Beebo modular guitar pedal, but in a 30 HP Eurorack module. → Read More

Korg teases Drumlogue, a hybrid analog / digital groovebox

Korg announced the next member of the ‘logue family: the Drumlogue. It will be a hybrid analog / digital groovebox. Judging from the short teaser video, that means some analog drum voices similar to the Volca Beats, as well as PCM and digital synthesis voice. → Read More

The miniKORG 700FS is an overdue reissue of its first landmark synth

Korg is finally giving its first synth the miniKORG 700 the recognition it deserves with a 100-percent analog reissue: the miniKORG FS. The company even brought back the original designer, Fumio Mieda to oversee the development. → Read More

Korg reinvents a cult favorite with the Modwave wavetable synthesizer

In 1985 Korg released the DW-8000, an analog-digital hybrid synth that combined at the time cutting edge digital oscillators with analog filters. The Modwave is an all digital take on the DW, updated to fit in with the company’s modern lineup, including the Wavestate and Opsix, which focus heavily on knob-per-function controls and live performance. → Read More

Korg's ARP 2600 M is a 'mini' version of an iconic synth

The ARP 2600 M is about half the size of the original and one-third the weight. But it still packs all the classic sound design modules. → Read More

Arturia updates the MicroFreak synth with three new oscillators

The MicroFreak gets perhaps its biggest update yet with three new oscillators from Eurorack experimentalists Noise Engineering. → Read More

Uno Synth Pro is IK Multimedia's attempt to move beyond budget instruments

IK Multimedia is stretching its wings yet again, this time with the Uno Synth Pro. This three-oscillator paraphonic instrument goes well beyond the portable and affordable Uno Synth and looks to carve out space among higher-end competition like Korg and Moog. → Read More

Sensel's touchpad tech could bring realistic haptics to Windows laptops

Sensel wants to bring its shape-shifting touchpad to laptops. → Read More

Roland's Verselab is a groovebox built for vocalists

The Verselab is a music studio in a box complete with a vocal processing unit. It's aimed squarely at singers, songwriters and rappers. → Read More

Hologram Electronics Microcosm: A cheat code for making ambient music

The Microcosm can be a rhythmic glitch machine, a top-notch loop pedal or a straightforward delay. It’s more than just a one-trick pony, which is important given the $449 price. → Read More

Arturia's JUN-6 is a free chorus plugin based on the iconic Juno synth

Arturia’s new V Collection 8 added a recreation of the iconic Juno-6, so in the spirit of the holiday season (and a dash of self promotion), the company is giving away a free version of the chorus effect from that plugin until December 29th. It’s hard to overemphasize how simple the interface for the Juno chorus is. Of course, being modern software VST means that Arturia was able to add a bunch… → Read More

Atom SQ review: An affordable and powerful companion for Studio One

PreSonus built the Atom SQ explicitly for its Studio One DAW, and it shows. The integration between the two is excellent. The price is right and the unique staggered layout bridges the gap between a traditional keyboard and a grid-based pad controller. But, if you don’t use Studio One, the Atom SQ probably doesn’t have a ton of appeal. → Read More

Artiphon Orba review: Much more than a musical fidget toy

Orba’s goal of lowering the barrier of entry to music creation is admirable. And it errs closer to a musical fidget toy than an intimidating and unusual instrument. But, those willing to push its limits will find surprising depth. → Read More

Arturia's flagship instrument bundle is getting a major upgrade...

In the world of softsynths Arturia’s V Collection and Analog Lab are two of the best bangs for your musical buck. Version seven which launched in mid 2019 included 23 instruments, many of them basically unobtainable in vintage physical form. Arturia V Collection 8 is somehow even more comprehensive. → Read More

Erica Synths SYNTRX review: A classic reimagined

This modern interpretation of the iconic EMS Synthi A is ripe for exploration and experimentation. It may be expensive but it’s incredibly satisfying and inspiring to play. Its target niche of experimental musicians and hardcore synth nerds will be enthralled. → Read More

Korg goes for the sequencing crown with the modular-friendly SQ-64

It can play nice with Korg’s analog and semi modular fair like the MS-20 Mini as well as eurorack modular synths and basically anything else that will accept CV (control voltage input). The Korg SQ-64 Poly Sequencer is basically attempting to be the king of all the CV sequencers. Sequencing over MIDI adds eight addition drum triggers, for a total of 16, and gives you eight voices of polyphony… → Read More

Bandcamp finally gets in on livestreaming music

But as much as I miss live music, the musicians who actually play live music, miss it even more. → Read More

Roland TR-6S review: An impressively small and powerful drum machine

Roland’s TR-6S includes digital emulations of classic drum machines like the 808, 909 and 606, as well as a quirky FM percussion engine and sample playback. It’s perhaps the most versatile portable drum machine out there. But be prepared to do a lot of menu diving. → Read More