Arturia Spark

Arturia Spark

12 03, 2012 Hurby
DJ Gear


Combining the power of analog synthesis, physical modelling and samples, through the intuitive workflow of a hardware drum machine, Spark is a highly creative beat production center.Spark will save you time when looking for the right drum kit, will get you hooked by its amazing simplicity, and will surprise you by its sonic possibilities.With a complete library including vintage drum machines, electronic analog kits, acoustic & physical drums, Spark is your weapon of choice to create unique grooves whether you are producing in the studio or performing on stage.
Spark is arguably the most powerful and creative drum solution available today. It takes the best elements from analog drum machines, sampled based beatboxes and acoustic drum sets. Then Spark combines them in a modern beat station offering powerful synthesis and expressive control. Where MPC-styled drum machines will have you browsing and playing with endless libraries of samples, Spark invites you to dive deep into the synthesis of drums. Tweaking knobs and interacting with your sound finally brings the fun back to beat creation. As a combination of Hardware and Software, Spark offers the benefits of both worlds : a great user experience and a great sound totally integrated into your studio.

Spark integrates a step sequencer with 16 keys allowing you to create patterns with up to 64 steps. You can choose between follow mode (follows the position of the step when playing), or static (fixed 16 steps zone). The arrow buttons allow you to easily display each zone of the pattern you want to edit. Like on classic drum machines, it is also possible to place accents on each step by selecting the accent button. 8 velocity sensitive pads enable you to perform your groove with all its nuances and intensity.Thanks to their pressure sensitivity, they will also help you create rolls with great precision. You can choose if you want your performance to be quantized or not, depending if you want to emphasize on the spontaneity or the precision of your beats. 
Thanks to the Jog Dial, browsing and loading your kits and instruments have never been that fast and easy. In synchronization with your movements on the Jog Dial, the LCD screen displays all useful information, while the software cover flow comes handy to spot your favourite projects at a glance.The touch sensitive Pad offers real-time quality FXs, right at your fingertips, for dramatic transformations of your beats. It is a creative tool that will be an integral part of your production process in no time at all. 

Each instrument track (above each pad) is controllable thanks to 3 knobs. These encoders give you in-depth access to the sonic parameters. Each knob is already pre-assigned, but you can also remap it to your liking onto 6 different sound parameters. Spark's advanced looper is the perfect weapon for creating live breaks. The divide and move functions allow you to set the size and the position of the part in your pattern that you want to loop in real time. This feature brings a lot of dynamics into your playing especially when used live. Use the FX Pad on top of that and it will generate even more impressive effects. These 6 key parameters differ depending on the type of synthesis used for this particular instrument making each instrument's response unique.

Spark's Sound Engine embeds our TAE technology, standing for True Analog Emulation. In non-technical language, this is an unprecedented way of creating the very unique sound from classic analogue synthesizers such as the Moog Modular or the Yamaha CS-80. Transposing this awarded technology into Spark allowed us to recreate all the punch, warmth and thickness of the sounds from the most sought after analogue drum machines.Including Physical Modelling techniques, Spark enables you to refine, alter and distort the physical properties of drums. Spark integrates a collection of high quality drum samples provided by reference third party companies, resulting in a wide collection of beats ranging from Minimal to Techno, Hip Hop to RnB, Dub to Electro.

Spark's library also includes multi-layered acoustic drum samples based on modern and vintage kits. On top of this, Spark lets you easily import your own sounds in wave and aiff formats, and then chop, layer and edit them within its sound engine.

Spark's mixer recreates the interface of a professional mixing board, providing on each of the 16 stereo tracks : volume fader, panning, mute/solo, 2 auxiliary sends and up to 2 insert effects. Each drum instrument can be processed through 14 professional grade digital effects : Multiband Compressor, Reverb, Bit crusher, Multiband EQ, Chorus, Delay, Distortion, Phaser, Plate reverb, Destroyer, Flanger, Space pan, Limiter, Sub generator.

Every instrument can be automated. That means that you can turn the knobs while recording your performance, and all the sound modifications will be saved within the sequencer. Each track of the step sequencer includes 15 automations per instrument and full automation on the effects that are accessible via the knobs and entirely editable in the software.

Spark's software comes very handy when you want to quickly order your pattern creations and convert them into a Song. You can recall your songs at any time by pressing the 'Song' button on the hardware interface. Simple functions such as drag and drop from the pattern circle and copy/paste will help you achieve your ideal song in no time.
Spark includes emulations of the following vintage drum machines:                            
Roland TR-808, Roland TR-909, Roland TR-707, Roland TR-606, EMU Drumulator, LinnDrum, Oberheim DMX, Korg KPR 77, Sequential Circuits Drumtraks, Simmons SDS-V, Roland CR78 / Acetone Rythm Ace*, Korg DDM-110, Korg DDM-220, Yamaha RX5, Casio RZ1, Lynn9000*

Spark embeds a broad library of electronic kits covering all modern music styles: 
Hip Hop, Electro House, Deep House, Minimal Techno, R'n'B, Trance, Techno, Abstract Hip Hop, Dancehall, Industrial
Acoustic drum kits are included covering the main drumming styles: 
Modern Rock, Funk, R'n'B, Pop, Vintage Rock, Latin Percussion
Samples are recorded and produced by the best third party companies for the highest audio realism, and multi-layered for accurate velocity response.

Spark's software can be used as standalone or plug-in application within your favorite host sequencer: 
Steinberg Cubase, Digidesign Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Apple Logic Audio, MOTU Digital Performer, Cakewalk Sonar
In plug-in mode, the 16 audio outputs of Spark can be instantly routed into the audio tracks of your DAW. 
Spark comes with import function of Audio Aiff and Wave files, MIDI files and REX2 files.
Drag & drop export of patterns in Wave and MIDI formats into your DAW also makes it handy for quickly saving your beat creations.

Spark is optimised to work in combination with its dedicated software.
But it also acts as a universal MIDI controller that will allow to control any other compatible hardware or software. A MIDI Control Center application is also available as a download, allowing you to easily map Spark's controls to your gear.
This application includes a template specifically designed for Ableton Live, making your setup and jam a breeze.


1.4 version MAIN FEATURES:

  • Pristine quality sound engines including : TAE® Analog synthesis, Multi layered sampling delivered by reference third-party companies, Physical modelling
  • More than 1300 Instruments / 90 Kits :
    • Vintage drum machines : Analog emulations of the TR-808, TR-909, TR-606, Simmons SDS-V, and Eprom based LinnDrum, Drumtraks, DMX, Drumulator and more*.
    • 10 new emulations from « Spark Vintage Drum Machines » (1.4.1 version) : CR-78, Mini Pops 7, Ace Tone FR-2L, Yamaha MR 10, Maestro Rhythm King MRK2, Boss DR-55, E-mu-SP-12, Roland DR-727, Roland R-8, Casio VL-Tone and SK-1.
    • Electronic kits covering the most popular modern music styles : Electro House, Techno, Hip Hop, RnB… as well as experimental fields thanks to the physical modelling engine.
    • Acoustic drum kits mixing physical modelling and samples for high audio realism.
  • 16 key – 64 step sequencer
  • 8 velocity & pressure sensitive pads
  • Touch sensitive FX Pad with Repeat, Tape, Reverse, Strobe, Pan, Mix, Bit Crusher, 3 mode Filter and Roller
  • Advanced Loop mode with divide and move functions
  • Real-time automation on all parameters
  • 16 track mixer with 14 high quality effects : Multiband Compressor, Reverb, Bit crusher, Multiband EQ, Chorus, Delay, Distortion, Phaser, Plate reverb, Destroyer, Flanger, Space pan, Limiter, Sub generator
  • Song Mode with up to 64 patterns by song
  • Shuffle and Shift modes to humanize grooves
  • High precision rotary encoders
  • Aluminum enclosure
  • Works as a universal MIDI controller towards any third-party software
You will be surprised by how simple it is to get started, have fun and spark your creativity!

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