Sonicware expands its portable LIVEN product range with the LoFI-12, a new retro sampler groovebox for on-the-go.
With the LIVEN, the Japanese manufacturer Sonicware has a strong competitive product range for the Korg Volca series. In terms of design, they are very reminiscent of the Volcas, but in reality, they are significantly larger. They also offer more at their core. From 8-bit, wild FM, to drum and bass, there is something for everyone. And each engine is packed with creative features.
Now the success story continues with the LoFi-12, the fourth LIVEN.
Sonicware LIVEN LoFi-12
The LIVEN LoFI-12 is a new 4-track digital groovebox powered by a retro-style 16-bit 12kHz/24kHz sampling engine. Visually it reminds me a lot of the Volca Sample but only in large size.
A highlight is here the 12-bit sampler mode that coats every sound with a beautiful, wobbling, Lo-Fi sound timbre. Instant lo-fi vibes are guaranteed.
Each track consists of a mini sampler that can sample up to 4 seconds of mono at 12kHz and 2 seconds of mono at 24kHz. Very little but this belongs here to the vintage concept of this portal instrument. Once sampled, you can set the start and end points, adjust the pitch, and reverse the playback. There are also options to sustain the looped content, filter it, and add movement via an LFO.
According to the developer, the engine has a 10-note polyphonic mode, and offers a versatile multi-mode arpeggiator per track. Clever, the sounds sampled by the LIVEN LoFI-12 are automatically assigned to the keyboard. So you don’t have to deal with mapping sounds for a long time. Internally, you can save up to 128 samples in 16×8 banks.
Then, you route each track through a multi-mode filter and mangled them further with an effect. There is a wide range of effects, including chorus, flanger, tremolo, delay, distortion, bit-crusher, filters, isolator, tilt EQ, and compressor.
For all 4 tracks, there is the master effects section at the end that features various reverbs (hall, room, arena, plate, tunnel, infinity), as well as a cassette tape and vinyl simulators. The reverb sends amount can be set independently for each track.
The LIVEN LoFI-12 also has a very extensive sequencer on board. It has four tracks with 64 steps and 64 patterns per track. Nice, you can also work with tempo sub-divides, swing, and unique laid-back controls. It allows you to delay the start of the selected sampled sound perfect for those wobbly beats.
Other highlights of the sequencer are the parameter and sound-locking functionalities. We know the former from the Elektron devices where you can program parameter changes per step.
The sound locking function is also interesting. It allows you to record selected sound changes into your patterns. The developer promises that you can use an almost infinite combination of sounds within a single song.
The connections are located on the top of the case. Sonicware doesn’t skimp on features here either. You can find here full-size MIDI ports, 3.5mm sync jacks, line in and out, mains, and a headphone jack. On top, you get a built-in speaker.
For power, you can either use a classic 9V DC plug or insert batteries on the back. So you can use it also as a portable sampler groovebox for on-the-go.
Glad to see the LIVEN series is continuing. After three synthesizers, a sampler was the logical next step. The features are very solid and offer a lot of fun. In direct comparison with the Korg Volca sample. the LIVEN LoFI offers much more. But it also costs almost twice as much. It’s definitely a good alternative.
Sonicware LIVEN LoFI-12 will retail for $239 USD/319€ and will be available in the first week of December 2022.
More information here: Sonicware
LIVEN LoFI-12 will be available at my partners