Arturia Releases SPARK 2 Drum Machine

Beat creation software for Mac and Windows gets a makeover   30-Apr-14

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.

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6 Comments... Comments are closed while we transition to Disqus

Adam Bailey    Said...

This thing looks really, really fun, and a lot cheaper than Maschine!

30-Apr-14 09:30 PM

Rolf    Said...

What happened to for free for existing Spark users??

01-May-14 02:37 AM

Dizzy Pointed    Said...

This update is free on the website and shown on updates as 10.6 compliant. I have just put this on a 10.6.8 machine and it will not open because of a "problem". Originally announced as 10.7 upwards so if the months delay in releasing was to make this backwards compatible there is still work to do. And obviously it is currently impossible to log into their website.

01-May-14 04:29 AM

Ryan    Said...

I DLed it on 5/1 and everything seemed fine. So to those above I hope you have been able to resolve your issues

As for the product itself, it is very well done... I haven't tested it fully so I don't know how buggy it is. The modular mode could have been done better, but it is enough to get you rolling if you have time for that sort of thing.

I bough SparkLe on v1.7 and loved the MPC style pads and the Electribe-like sequencer/knob fx. I DID not like how difficult it is to extend the range of the tune keys... To my knowledge you can only play within the 16 step range of the original sample... Which blows. If I can play a full -24 to +24 and I just don't know well then make that crap more intuitive.

Overall, the inspiration you get from using this thing is outstanding. I haven't felt so free since my ESX days. I love the 2.0 update and continue to be encouraged by their innovation in this realm. For me, this is what I want a hardware integrated software rhythm box to be.

02-May-14 08:11 AM

RP    Said...

'It's the quickest, easiest and best sounding drum machine on the market'

Lawyer 'Glen we can't factually say that'

Ok, it's 'probably' the quickest, easiest......

Love that :)

02-May-14 01:51 PM

lylerasputin    Said...

yeah, the installer does NOT WARN you when you install on 10.6.8 that it will not work…. I just hosed my existing Spark 1.71 with the update unfortunately… at least NI's installers check your system .plist BEFORE installing software you can't use… I don't know if there is a workaround to make it work with 10.6.8, if anyone knows, please share! thanks

17-May-14 05:56 PM

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