Sonicware Livens up its Lofi-12 sample groovebox with an all-new XT version

Sonicware Liven Lofi-12 XT
(Image credit: Sonicware)

Sonicware has announced Lofi-12 XT, an update to its LIVEN Lofi-12 from last year, that adds user-requested features to liven up the original machine’s specs. And it's not just an added 'XT' badge either, as Lofi-12 XT has received quite the upgrade with longer sample times, more connections, a much better screen and better performance features.

Sonicware Liven Lofi-12 XT

(Image credit: Sonicware)

The original Lofi-12 was aimed at those wanting their grooves a little old school in terms of sonic quality. It boasted a 16-bit/12kHz/24kHz sampling engine but most definitely had an '80s and '90s vibe in mind with its 12-bit sampler mode. (Weird isn’t it – we remember the '80s and '90s like yesterday, when we were looking forward to a 32-bit future. Ah, the endless cycle of life.)

The new Lofi-12 XT actually uses similar hardware to Sonicware’s SmplTrek to add the power and connectivity that its users asked for. It delivers added sample lengths, more tracks, and better connections but still retains the same lo-fi ethos of the original. The new unit does indeed look very similar to SmplTrek – there's probably a 'buy in bulk' deal on at the case-makers – but boasts a more uniform, black finish. 

Lofi-12 XT still has that 16-bit/12kHz/24kHz engine and 12-bit sampler mode, but each sample now has a maximum length of 300 seconds and, depending on your SD card, you can store as many samples as you like and load up 256 of these into a single project. 

Sonicware Liven Lofi-12 XT

(Image credit: Sonicware)

The display is a massive improvement over the original’s with more graphical capabilities helping to make your sample editing ‘simple and fun’. An extra Pad Mode gives you more performance and playing options, and you can also chop and play slices, or use the D-pad to retrigger notes over different divisions. 



(Image credit: Future)

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An on-board 8-track sequencer allows for both real and step-time recording plus you can record automation – just hit record and tweak. There are 20 effects on hand of which you can use eight per track. Sonicware gives you a good start with your sounds too – an included SD card delivers over 1000 samples from many classic Roland, Linn and E-mu drum machines.

Finally, there’s a cool-sounding Mix Tape feature that allows performances – mixing down tracks, recording live or creating beats – to be captured on one of five different tape quality levels, from the lowest (micro-cassette) to DAT. 

LoFi-12 XT has two sets of TRS analogue ins and outs, digital outputs via USB, and tempo sync through MIDI or audio.

The Lofi-12 XT project is kicking off today on Kickstarter with the early-bird pricing as follows.

Regular black Lofi-12 XT: Standard price, $429, early bird (first 5 days), $399 or $379 for the first 100 units.

Limited edition (500 units) ‘retro colour’ version (pictured below): Standard price, $559, early bird (first 5 days), $4299 or $399 for the first 100 units.

More information from the Sonicware website.

Sonicware Liven Lofi-12 XT

(Image credit: Sonicware)
Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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