Archive for the ‘M-Audio’ Category

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Midi Keyboards: Why? How?… & 5 of the Best!

June 25, 2009
Edirol PCR-M1

The Edirol PCR-M1, the world slimmest MIDI Keyboard…view more

A MIDI keyboard is a piano-style digital keyboard device used for sending MIDI signals or commands to other devices connected to the same interface as the keyboard.

MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface (protocol). The basic MIDI keyboard does not produce sound. Instead, MIDI information is sent to an electronic module capable of reproducing an array of digital sounds or samples that resemble traditional analog musical instruments. These samples are also referred to as voices.

An encoding scheme is used to map a MIDI value to a specific instrument sample. Also, other sound parameters such as note volume and attack are included in the MIDI scheme. The keyboard merely acts as a MIDI controller of sound modules and other MIDI devices, including DAW software.

MIDI keyboards are a very common feature of a recording studio, and any DAW setup. Most include a transpose function and the ability to set different octaves. Many MIDI keyboards have pitch bend and modulation wheels. Some also have extra sets of assignable rotary knobs and/or buttons for sending custom MIDI messages to the synthesiser, sampler or DAW software.

Other features that some MIDI keyboards might include are:

  • Input for foot switch (usually used as a sustain pedal)
  • Input for a foot expression controller
  • Semi-weighted or fully weighted keys
  • Capability of sending aftertouch
  • Direct USB connection for use with computers

In other words if your serious about making music on a computer a MIDI device will make your work better faster!

How do I connect a MIDI keyboard to my computer?

The first thing to do is to make sure that your MIDI keyboard has MIDI ports on the back. It is very rare to find a modern midi keyboard without MIDI ports.

Here are your options:

  1. USB to USB
  2. MIDI to MIDI
  3. MIDI to USB port
  4. MIDI to soundcard gameport

USB to USB

Every modern MIDI controller keyboard we sell excluding those by Fatar now come with a USB connection for easy use with computers. Some keyboard are even ‘class complient’ which means you don’t even need to install any software. The cable you need for a USB to USB connection is just a standard USB cable which should be included with your keyboard. For USB Cables in stock at Dolphin, CLICK HERE

MIDI to MIDI

Some of the audio interfaces we sell such as the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 or the Tascam US-122 combine Audio & MIDI I/O enabling your to connect your keyboard directly to your sound card. For MIDI Cables in stock at Dolphin, CLICK HERE.

MIDI to USB port

If your sound card doesn’t have MIDI connections and your keyboard doesn’t have USB then the next best option is a USB to MIDI interface such as the M-Audio Uno or the Edirol UM 1X.

These devices come equipped with a USB connection for your computer, and a 1 In/ 1 Out 16 channel MIDI connection to your MIDI keyboard. However if you had more than one MIDI device to connect such as a second keyboard or a sound module then mutli port options are avalible such as the M-Audio Midisport 2×2.

MIDI to soundcard gameport

If you are using a standard computer sound card rather than a music sound card, then it may have a joystick port.

If you have a joystick port then all you need is a cable that has a 15 pin ‘D’ connector at one end and MIDI connectors on the other.

If you need any further help, please call us on 0844 815 0888 and speak to one of our experts. We’ll be glad to help and direct you to the best gear for your needs.

More about MIDI…

MIDI data is not the same as sound data. What is transmitted over the wire is information on how to play a song, not the physical sound data itself. MIDI can be thought of better as a player-piano roll than a compact disk: just as the piano-roll instructs the player-piano to create the sounds, MIDI data tells a MIDI device which notes to play, patches (instruments) to use, and other information to help the instrument recreate the song. When you listen to a MIDI file, you’re hearing an actual ‘performance’ by the instrument, not a ‘recording’ of a past performance.

MIDI was not designed to be used with personal computers, but since it is a digital interface, they actually work very well together. Combining at least one MIDI instrument with a personal computer and a MIDI interface (a device that allows the computer to “speak” MIDI) allows for many interesting applications.

The  the easiest way to get this up and running is to us a USB to MIDI keyboard. This will take care of any MIDI channel assignments and route it effectively in your DAW with ease.The USB device drivers are also native with Windows and Mac, which it will just WORK

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MIDI Keyboards: 5 of the Best

M-Audio Oxygen 8 v2 25-Key USB MIDI Controller

The Oxygen 8 v2 is an updated version of the mobile MIDI controller that started the mobile studio revolution. You get a fully functional MIDI keyboard with great action, plus eight MIDI-assignable knobs to control any MIDI parameters you desire in your hardware or software. It’s perfect for composing on the go or performing live bass lines and pads, firing samples, or triggering audio and/or visual effects. New features include full MIDI message support, plus 6 transport controls that can be reassigned to any MIDI parameter. The Oxygen 8 v2 also offers 10 non-volatile memory locations and is compatible with our free Enigma software for computer-based storage, retrieval and management of an unlimited number of patches.

oxygen 8v2

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E-MU Xboard 61 Pro USB/MIDI Controller Keyboard

The new E-MU Xboard™ 61 USB/MIDI Controller features 61 premium full-size keys with aftertouch, 16 programmable real-time control knobs, 16 new patch select/program change buttons, Xboard Control editing software, and a full version of E-MU’s Proteus X Version 1.5 Desktop Sound Module with over 3GB of sounds, including a new custom bank of E-MU’s finest performance keyboard sounds. The Xboard Control (Windows/Macintosh) software provides an intuitive desktop interface that lets you effortlessly create custom templates for all of your favorite hardware and software instruments. The Xboard 61 also gives you four Zones per patch (each with its own key and velocity ranges), allows you to set discrete MIDI channels for each knob and offers unrivalled real-time control and performance features, including Snap Shot that lets you send multiple program changes and controller values by pressing a single button, and Latch Mode that enables you to define a section of the keyboard as on/off triggers – perfect for drum loops. The Xboard 61 is perfect for studio and stage and can run on USB, battery, or AC power.

emu
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M-Audio Keystation 61es 61-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller

The Keystation 61e is a 61-note USB keyboard with velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keys that is designed to easily integrate in any computer music environment.

Class compliancy with Mac OS X and Windows XP delivers true plug-and-play setup. The Keystation 61e is also compatible with many music education and music creation software titles, making it ideal for classrooms and studios alike.

More advanced users can control software synths, external sound devices, and more with the assignable slider, and pitch and mod wheels. This sleek, compact keyboard is USB bus-powered and requires no external power supply.

maudioe
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M-Audio Axiom 25 Advanced 25-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller

Don’t let the compact size of the Axiom 25 fool you. This advanced 25-key USB mobile MIDI controller features both semi-weighted action and assignable aftertouch, plus eight rubberized trigger pads that put drum programming and performance at your fingertips.

Eight endless rotary encoder knobs let you get your hands on synth parameters, virtual mixer controls and more.

Six transport controls can also assign to control other MIDI parameters. Virtually everything is freely MIDI-assignable—and the backlit LCD screen makes programming easy and intutive.

You get 20 memory locations for on-board storage, plus free Enigma editor/librarian software to manage an unlimited number of setups via computer.

axiom


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Korg Kontrol 49 USB Studio Controller

The new KONTROL49 combines intuitive design, great feel, familiar hardware and detailed displays into the most comprehensive controller for all your MIDI needs. Equipped with 40 assignable control elements – including the new Vector Joystick – the KONTROL49 provide new musical dexterity when working with soft-synths, MIDI modules, or any digital audio workstation.

Few controller keyboards can boast the high level of hardware integrity found in the KONTROL49. The 49 keys are not only full-sized; they feature the same great touch and feel proven in Korg’s professional workstation instruments. Eight velocity curves let you tailor the response to your own playing, or to a specific application. Octave shift buttons provide full access to the entire 128 note range.

lorg control

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M-Audio Introduces New Studiophile CX Series Active Studio Reference Monitors

April 1, 2009

Best-in-class monitors provide an expansive soundstage as well as customizable controls for greater flexibility in any listening environment

New Studiophile CX monitors by M-Audio

Tewksbury, Mass, March 26, 2009 — M-Audio, a part of Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) has introduced the new Studiophile® CX8 and CX5 studio monitors, which are designed to bring accurate monitoring to any mixing environment. The Studiophile CX series builds upon M-Audio’s best-selling studio monitor line, and delivers excellent off-axis response, minimal distortion and a full complement of Acoustic Space controls. Now, customers will be equipped with studio monitors that deliver accurate performance and the flexibility to adapt to any production space.

Available in 8-inch (CX8) and 5-inch (CX5) configurations, the Studiophile CX series monitors deliver well-balanced sound and superior detail in a wide range of environments. The new monitors feature a custom-designed waveguide that deliver an expansive soundstage – ultimately offering customers more flexibility in the production suite. The Studiophile CX5 monitor is tailored towards smaller mixing rooms, home studios or workstation areas where users require quality audio referencing. The Studiophile CX8 monitor is ideal for mid-to-large size mixing and referencing environments.

New features in the Studiophile CX monitor line include: 

  •  Exceptional design integration: Provides superior headroom with exceptionally accurate and efficient frequency response, minimizing distortion and allowing for longer duration listening. Engineers will now hear a more accurate mix – ensuring consistent playback across a broad range of speaker systems; 
  • OptImage IV high-performance waveguide: Improves off-axis clarity, providing users a much wider soundstage than traditional waveguides. As a result, the listening area can accommodate several people – allowing for multiple individuals to hear an accurate representation of the mix during post production sessions; 
  • A full complement of customizable Acoustic Space controls: Enables users to customize frequency response and optimize the monitoring experience – even in the most difficult acoustic environments; 
  • Custom low-frequency Kevlar drivers: Provides tight bass response and long-lasting durability; and 
  • Efficient high-frequency drivers: Delivers an exceptional high-frequency response up to 30kHz, so that users experience smooth, transparent highs – even in the midst of challenging placement and listening conditions.

“The CX monitors extend our position as a leader in the studio monitor market and reset the performance expectations for monitors in this class,” said Richard Ngo-Tran, segment marketing manager at Avid. “By delivering superior quality and increased performance, we’ve equipped our customers with tools that enable them to make better creative decisions, which ultimately drives success in this ever-changing and increasingly competitive market.”

View Products:

M-Audio Studiophile CX5 (single)

M-Audio Studiophile CX8 (single)

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M-Audio’s Groundbreaking New Torq 1.5 DJ Software

January 9, 2009

Software upgrade delivers innovative new creative tools and workflow enhancements for digital DJs.

M-Audio is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Torq® 1.5 DJ software for Mac OS X and Windows. Torq 1.5 brings even more creative options to the only digital DJ workstation designed to merge live DJ performance and advanced music production. New features in Torq 1.5 software include Tempo Anchors, Tempo Master, zplane élastique time stretching, send/receive MIDI Clock, a new toolbar and a variety of workflow enhancements.

The full list of New Features in Torq 1.5:

Improved Tempo/Pitch Alteration
Tempo Anchors allow marking tracks with varying tempos—Torq’s effects and samples follow the tempo changes in the song
Tempo Master assigns a playing track to serve as the master tempo source for all tempo-related functions
zPlane Elastique time-stretching/compression technology for sophisticated beat matching and pitch alteration

Advanced MIDI Control
transmit/receive MIDI beat clock for sync with other hardware/software and easy switching between DJs
MIDI soft takeover prevents parameter jumps when using external controllers

New User Interface Features
Hide Mixer option conserves screen space
preview songs in headphones before loading to deck
new databse categories for bit rate, file type, year and label
select multiple files to add to playlists
Musical Style Preferences improve results when analyzing tracks
drag and drop songs into decks while in browser max view
warning message if loading a new song onto a Deck that is playing
warning message when attempting to exit Torq
optimized control locations
intuitive toolbar buttons and MIDI/tempo indicators
Global Tempo metronome can be monitored in headphones
Auto Gain feature matches the gain levels between decks

Enhanced Effects Processing
internal effects can be grouped into effects chains
VST effect tempo synchronizes with tempo of playing deck
effects can be used in a post-fader configuration

Rock-Solid Integration with Traditional DJ Hardware
Skip Protection keeps the music playing even if the Control Vinyl or CD skips
True Key Lock keeps the pitch constant when adjusting external turntable speed

New Looping Functionality
Loop points can be set after a section plays
new QuickLoop option for CDJ-style loop division
Quantize function for start/stop accuracy

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M-Audio Releases Groundbreaking New Torq 1.5 DJ Software

January 9, 2009

Software upgrade delivers innovative new creative tools and workflow enhancements for digital DJs.

M-Audio is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Torq® 1.5 DJ software for Mac OS X and Windows. Torq 1.5 brings even more creative options to the only digital DJ workstation designed to merge live DJ performance and advanced music production. New features in Torq 1.5 software include Tempo Anchors, Tempo Master, zplane élastique time stretching, send/receive MIDI Clock, a new toolbar and a variety of workflow enhancements.

The full list of New Features in Torq 1.5:

Improved Tempo/Pitch Alteration
Tempo Anchors allow marking tracks with varying tempos—Torq’s effects and samples follow the tempo changes in the song
Tempo Master assigns a playing track to serve as the master tempo source for all tempo-related functions
zPlane Elastique time-stretching/compression technology for sophisticated beat matching and pitch alteration

Advanced MIDI Control
transmit/receive MIDI beat clock for sync with other hardware/software and easy switching between DJs
MIDI soft takeover prevents parameter jumps when using external controllers

New User Interface Features
Hide Mixer option conserves screen space
preview songs in headphones before loading to deck
new databse categories for bit rate, file type, year and label
select multiple files to add to playlists
Musical Style Preferences improve results when analyzing tracks
drag and drop songs into decks while in browser max view
warning message if loading a new song onto a Deck that is playing
warning message when attempting to exit Torq
optimized control locations
intuitive toolbar buttons and MIDI/tempo indicators
Global Tempo metronome can be monitored in headphones
Auto Gain feature matches the gain levels between decks

Enhanced Effects Processing
internal effects can be grouped into effects chains
VST effect tempo synchronizes with tempo of playing deck
effects can be used in a post-fader configuration

Rock-Solid Integration with Traditional DJ Hardware
Skip Protection keeps the music playing even if the Control Vinyl or CD skips
True Key Lock keeps the pitch constant when adjusting external turntable speed

New Looping Functionality
Loop points can be set after a section plays
new QuickLoop option for CDJ-style loop division
Quantize function for start/stop accuracy

For information on how to upgrade (for free or not for free? that is the question) and full product info please go to:
www.maudio.co.uk/Torq2me
 

For M-Audio products at Dolphin Music, please click here

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ProKeys Sono Series – The Songwriter’s Scratchpad

November 21, 2008

The M-Audio ProKeys Sono 88 and ProKeys Sono 61 are the world’s first digital pianos with built-in audio interface technology.

prokeys1_th

As such, these instruments offer musicians, songwriters and keyboardists a wide range of possibilities—from performing live with a laptop to recording tracks in the studio. ProKeys Sono digital pianos also function in standalone mode, allowing you to play the onboard sounds and collaborate with other musicians without connecting to a computer. There are literally dozens of ways to use the Sono series, and you’ll no doubt discover many more. But for now, let’s examine a few common use cases and see how ProKeys Sono can help bridge the gap between stage and studio

With a built-in 2 x 2 audio interface and dual headphone outputs, ProKeys Sono is perfect for jamming along with others. The audio interface is automatically active in standalone mode—even with no computer attached. All of the analog inputs, plus the built-in keyboard sounds are automatically routed to the main analog outputs and dual headphone jacks.

prokeys2_2th

The Songwriter’s Scratchpad

For many musicians, it’s an all-too familiar situation: You think of a great song idea and run to the studio—only to find yourself wasting five minutes booting up the computer, loading software patches and troubleshooting faulty patch cable connections. By the time you’re up and running, another great idea is lost.

ProKeys Sono offers an appealing alternative—simply turn it on and start playing. You don’t need a computer to access the high-quality built-in sounds. And since ProKeys Sono 88 and ProKeys Sono 61 are lightweight enough to travel with, you’ll always be ready when the inspiration strikes.

Tip: In addition to the high-quality onboard sounds like grand piano, electric piano, organ and clav, ProKeys Sono digital pianos feature a built-in General MIDI soundset—offering 128 additional instruments plus drums and percussion. The octave (data) buttons on ProKeys Sono will let you scroll through the sounds, which include string patches, synth pads and sound effects. You might even want to download the user guide and print out Appendix A, which lists the General MIDI instruments by name.

prokeys_tips_main


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Last Chance to Enter 2008 International Songwriting Competition

November 20, 2008

The 2008 ISC deadline has been extended until December 1, 2008—enter now for a chance to win over £90,000 in cash, prizes and M-Audio gear.

Contest features an A-list panel of judges—plus over £90,000 in cash, prizes and M-Audio gear Are you a talented songwriter looking to gain international exposure? Would you welcome a chance to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry—and win thousands in cash and gear prizes? If so, check out the 2008 International Songwriter Competition. Now in its sixth year, the annual ISC provides both aspiring and established songwriters with an opportunity to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena.

To choose the winners, ISC has gathered the most prestigious panel of judges ever assembled for a songwriting competition—including industry luminaries Tom Waits, Chaka Khan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Smith, Black Francis, James Cotton, Natalie Grant, Paul Van Dyk, Amy Doyle, Steve Lillywhite, Renee Bell, Peter Strickland and many more.

Participating songwriters will have a chance to win a grand prize consisting over £16,000 cash, plus a gear package that features the M-Audio ProKeys Sono 88 digital piano and Studiophile® BX5a Deluxe studio monitors. In addition, first, second, and third place winners will be chosen in each of the 20 musical categories.

Entries must be postmarked on or before December 1, 2008. For more information, visit www.songwritingcompetition.com .

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MicroTrack Tales From the Road: Richard Devine

October 23, 2008

Sound designer Richard Devine ventures underground to capture sound effects with the M-Audio MicroTrack recorder.

Name: Richard Devine
Occupation: Artist, producer, sound designer, remixer
Credits: BT, Trent Reznor, Aphex Twin, Apple, Ableton, Nike, Scion, Land Rover, Audi, Microsoft Gaming Division (Halo2), Sony PlayStation, Konami and more
Base of Operations: Atlanta, GA
Official Website: http://www.richard-devine.com

“The MicroTrack has been an amazing tool—I never leave home without one,” says Devine. “I have three of them including the MicroTrack II, and all have proven to be solid and dependable. I often go out and record in very difficult situations, doing sound design work for TV, film and video games. Sometimes I even record sound from fireworks, weapons or heavy machinery. The MicroTrack has held up time and time again.

“I recently went on a field recording trip to Petty Johns Cave in northwest Georgia. The cave is located on the east side of Pigeon Mountain in the Appalachian Plateau. It has small rivers and waterfalls deep at the bottom of the cave, which is about four hours below ground level. I used the MicroTrack II to capture the unusual ambient sound of water flowing through strange cuts in the rocks. All the recordings ended up getting included in my new Sony effects library. The MicroTrack held up very well even in the most challenging conditions.”

Hear more of what Devine has to say about the latest M-Audio gear – click here. 

More Info:

M-Audio MicroTrack II