Archive for the ‘MIDI & Sync Equipment’ Category

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Musikmesse Frankfurt: Novation SL MkII (Video) Novation’s next step

April 3, 2009

Novation have updated their SL range of USB/MIDI controllers, with the release of mark two versions of all four models in the range: the Zero SL, the 25SL, the 49SL and the 61SL. Key new features (excuse the pun) include better visual feedback, and more robust build quality.

The most noticeable difference between old and new SLs, however, is the omission of one of the wide LCDs from the latter. This, say Novation, doesn’t restrict the SL MkII’s visible feedback capabilities for a number of reasons. Firstly, new translucent, backlit buttons enable the user to get more information from the controls themselves (on the SL MkI series, the buttons are made from grey plastic and give no visual feedback). Secondly, LED rings around the topmost rotary encoders provide even more visual information for the user. But most importantly, the SL MkIIs are the first controllers in Novation’s range to ship with version three of Automap, their controller interface software. This features what the developers call a Heads-up GUI, a software representation of the layout of the SL MkII’s controls. Other new features of the mark two SLs include touch-sensitive controllers and updated drum pads.

At the time of writing, prices for the new range were still to be confirmed, but they should be shipping by the beginning of May.

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Make Your Own Multitouch Screens: Max Multitouch Framework

March 24, 2009

The idea : control max user interface directly within a multitouch screen. This “framework” consists in a set of max abstractions. to “multitouchize” a patch, you just need to place an “mmf.interface” abstraction in your patch, and add to presentation mode and give a name to all the UI object you wish to control with your multitouch screen… and that’s all ! MMF will do the rest… to talk about MMF, repport bugs, request features, share patches.

Max Multitouch Framework by composer Mathieu Chamagne makes turning your Max patch into a multitouch interface a breeze. When I first reviewed the Lemur, I was frustrated by the hardware-style abstraction between your software and the interface. Why was I having to go through Max patches painstakingly assigning Lemur controls to Max controls – why not just make the Max controls appear on the multitouch screen? Well, that’s exactly what you get with MMF. Using a set of Max abstractions, all you have to do is build your Presentation Mode style UI and add in the MMF ingredients – it automagically becomes touchable on a variety of displays.

It’s not hard to imagine how great this could be for musicians, especially those who have already been building original sonic creations in Max/MSP. Best of all, you don’t need an expensive, non-portable table with a projector inside, either – commodity hardware works just fine right now.

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Livid’s Ohm64: Love Child of a Monome and a DJ-VJ Mixer Controller?

March 20, 2009

Look out, Akai APC40. There’s another contender in the emerging Controller With Lots of Buttons And Also Faders and Knobs and Crossfader product category. Livid’s Ohm64 combines the light-up button grid with faders, knobs, trigger buttons, and most importantly, unique customization options and a lovely wooden case. What’s unique about this one:

  • High-end materials: anodized aluminum faceplate, “immersion gold-platted circuit boards” (guess that’s circuit bling), an optional wooden body (aluminum is available, as well, but wood is more fun).
  • Not mass-market: hand-assembled, small-production Austin creation.
  • Fully class-compliant, no drivers (also true of the APC as far as I know, but nice – and ideal for Linux, too, in case you want to run this with a netbook or a Pd-running souped-up *nix laptop)
  • Open-source, customizable MIDI talkback: when you’re ready to customize just how those LEDs light up, there are included open source tools and fully programmable MIDI mapping

Bonus: it comes with a powerful, full-featured VJ app in the box, Cell DNA, though of course you can use it with anything you like.

The real story to me is the customization. Whereas the APC40 is entirely proprietary in design, has evidently limited MIDI mappings, and a mysterious mechanism for programming two-way communication, the Ohm64 is open, open source, and software-agnostic. If the open source thing catches on, that could mean a community of friendly folk thinking of smart ways to reprogram this thing for different apps. Ironically, that means that in the long run, the Ohm64 could wind up with better Ableton Live integration than the hardware Ableton chose to back – though all bets are off until we get these devices in our hands.

I would say the APC is probably more direct competition for the Ohm64 than the Monome, despite the 8×8 light-up buttons. The Monome is much lighter and slimmer, it takes a minimalist approach (no big knobs or faders), and uses OpenSoundControl in place of MIDI. The Ohm64 seems likely to appeal to those who weren’t Monome fans, and visa versa. And some lucky ducks are naturally going to own both.

But the important thing is that the Ohm64 joins the Monome in its crusade for open-source customization of a commercial product. Whatever the Ohm64 is when it ships, it’s that question of what people can do with it that may determine its real value. I have no doubt people will be reverse engineering the APC40, too — starting with figuring out how to fake the hardware “handshake” it uses so other devices can emulate it in Live. But it’ll be interesting to see how these different philosophies pan out, so to speak.

We’ll keep you posted….

Souce:  Create Digital Music


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Akai MPK25 Portable Keyboard Controller with MPC Pads – Coming soon

February 20, 2009

mpk25_web_med

Portable performance and production.

The Akai Professional MPK25 is a portable keyboard controller with MPC production controls. Based closely on the MPK49, the first keyboard ever to feature MPC pads, the MPK25 scales down the keyboard by 24 keys and retains the utility, capability, and flexibility that makes the MPK49 one of the world’s hottest keyboards.

Its smaller, more portable size makes the MPK25 the perfect travel companion. Its small footprint can fit in your lap on the couch or on a plane, enabling you to create tracks whenever inspiration strikes. All you need is your laptop and the MPK25.

CREATIVE INPUT
MPK25 combines a 25-key keyboard and 12 genuine MPC pads. The keyboard is semi-weighted and features aftertouch for expressive melodic control. The MPC pads are pressure and velocity-sensitive to capture every nuance of your creative concepts. The pads can access four banks of sounds, so you have 48 samples at your fingertips with the touch of a button.

MPK25 places dedicated transport controls within your reach for easy control of some of the most important tracking and editing controls. The MPK25 has modulation and pitch-bend wheels for expressive musicality, and two assignable footswitch inputs enable you to connect an expression pedal or other continuous controller and a footswitch for momentary controls like patch change or start/stop.

Q-LINK COMMAND
One of the most important input devices on an MPC is its Q-Link assignable control section. The MPK25 gives you twelve virtual knobs and four virtual buttons that are assignable to control nearly any software parameter. You can control two different parameters per Q-Link thanks to the knobs’ dual-bank selection.

EXPRESSIVE ENGINE
Two technologies pioneered in the MPC series and built into the MPK series are MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing. These note-modifying features can be heard in many of the most popular tracks over the last two decades. MPC Note Repeat is a capability that enables the MPK (or MPC) to automatically play a rhythm pattern, such as 16th notes on a hi-hat, for accuracy and speed of entry. MPC Swing is sometimes referred to as “the heart and soul of hip hop” because it turns perfectly aligned sequences into human feeling time alignments. You can specify exactly the degree and timing of swing you want to apply for the perfect feel.

On top of MPC technologies, the MPK25 has its own arpeggiator, which enables you to create quick, creative riffs in seconds.

MPK25 also has MPC Full Level and MPC 12-Level on its pads, as well as Tap Tempo and Time Division so you can nail the tempo, timing, and dynamics exactly as you hear them in your head.

COMPLETE SYSTEM
The MPK25 is a MIDI controller that sends its MIDI values over USB. It is bus powered, so all you need to connect and power the MPK25 is the supplied USB cable. Because it is MIDI compliant, the MPK25 works with most MIDI recording, sequencing, and performance software for musical performers from keyboard players to producers to DJs and even VJs!

The MPK25 comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition, one of the most popular and powerful performance and production programs in the world. Ableton Live Lite enables musicians to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise, and edit musical ideas in a seamless audio/MIDI environment.

Create and perform anywhere with the MPK25. It’s the most expression you’ll find in a portable, convenient package.

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Steinberg Cubase RC application for the Apple iPod Touch / iPhone!!!

February 6, 2009

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Available as a free iPod application from the iTunes store (starting sometime during the second-quarter, 2009) Steinberg Cubase RC, or Remote Control, will provide wireless control over many basic functions of the new Cubase 5.

The most obviously useful of these is the comprehensive transport controls. You’ll be able to use your iPhone / iPod Touch’s touch screen to remotely record, stop and playback your track — very useful if you’re recording yourself in the live room and your studio intern has called in sick again (a call you fielded with your iPhone; neat!). There are even controls for marker placement, metronome settings and toggling cycle mode on/off.

For live performance, Cubase RC provides complete access over the Cubase Arranger function in Cubase 5. Trigger playback stems, assemble playlists, jump between sections of a project and text all at the same time!

Cubase RC is compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows initialized iPods and iPhones, giving you remote control over Cubase 5 regardless of what operating system it’s running on.

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Product Spotlight: Arturia Analog Factory Experience

January 27, 2009

Arturia Analog Factory Experience

Hardware control over 3500 analogue sounds… Analog Factory Experience offers the immediacy of a hardware synthesizer combined with the flexibility of a software based solution. How is this possible? Analog Factory Experience is a unique combination of a software synthesizer that brings 3500 sounds, along with a high-quality dedicated hardware controller keyboard.

Arturia Analog Factory Experience

Once the software is launched, you can put your mouse away – all functions can be activated from within the keyboard controller: select a sound to play, modify this sound, recall snapshots… This is a true hands-on experience: simple, straightforward and fun!

Controller Keyboard by CME
The Analog Factory Experience velocity-sensitive keyboard is powered by renowned controller keyboard manufacturers CME, and places a wide dynamic range at the player’s fingertips, along with dedicated knobs and sliders to control the on-screen functions.

Smooth key action, keys shaped for comfortable glissando playing, silent operation come as a result of CME’s expertise in the production of controller keyboards. 32 keys and a sturdy aluminum case make the Analog Factory Experience controller keyboard the ideal solution for the contemporary musician who is always on the go.

Analog Factory Experience Controller Keyboard

Analog Factory Experience Controller Keyboard

Controller Keyboard - Rear Panel Connections

Controller Keyboard – Rear Panel Connections

Specification:

  • Keyboard: 32 keys with velocity
  • Controllers: 1 clickable encoder, 10 encoders, 4 sliders, 11 switches, 1 modulation wheel, 1 pitch bend wheel
  • Connectors: Hold, Sustain, Expression

Analog Factory 2.0 Software
The Arturia Analog Factory 2.0 software comes with 3500 preset synthesizer sounds. These sounds have been at the center of contemporary music production for the last 30 years. From the starship funky leads of the 70’s to the contemporary Hip-Hop basses, from the 80’s Pop Leads to modern Sound Track Special Effects, if you heard a synthesizer sound somewhere, there is a strong likelihood you will find it inside Analog Factory.

All presets in Analog Factory 2.0 have been carefully selected from the Arturia Classic Synthesizers: minimoog V, Moog Modular V, CS-80 V, ARP2600 V, Jupiter-8V, Prophet 5 and Prophet VS. These TAE® powered sounds offer unparalleled audio quality.

Software Specifications

  • 3500 analog synthesizer sounds that have defined the sound of modern music.
  • All presets are carefully selected from Arturia Classic Synths (minimoog V, Moog Modular V, CS-80V, ARP2600 V, Prophet V, Prophet VS and Jupiter-8V). These TAE® powered sounds offer unparalleled audio quality.
  • Smart Preset Manager. Quickly filter the presets according to these choices: by instrument, by type (Bass, Pads, Leads…) and /or by
  • Characteristics (hard, soft, complex, simple, short, long…), and find preset according to these fltered choices.
  • Straight forward editing, with the most essential parameters for personalizing presets: (Filter and LFO sections, 4 Key Parameters differing for each preset, Chorus & Delay mix, ADSR envelope)
  • Integrated as a plug-in within your sequencer, on Mac and PC, or plays as a stand alone software synthesizer.
  • Save and recall presets.

Hardware Specifications

  • Keyboard: 32 keys with velocity
  • Controllers: 1 clickable encoder, 10 encoders, 4 sliders, 11 switches, 1 modulation wheel, 1 pitch bend wheel
  • Connectors: Hold, Sustain, Expression
  • Power Supply: USB Bus Power or DC 9V (AC Adaptor, sold separately)
  • Current Draw: 1500 mA (AC Adaptor), 1500 mA (USB Bus Power)
  • Dimensions: 480(W) x 240(D) x 60(H) mm, 18-7/8(W) X 9-4/8(D) X 2-3/8(H) inches
  • Weight: 3.7 Kg / 8.15 lbs
  • Ultra thin 32 keys with full action effect and velocity sensitivity
  • High quality aluminum case

Platform Specifications
PC: Windows: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Mac: Mac OS X: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher and Universal Binary

Required Configuration
PC: PC/Windows: 512 MB RAM, 1.5 GHz CPU
Mac: Mac OS X: 512 MB RAM, 1.5 GHz CPU

Protection
Internet Connection required to authorize the product

Compatibility Matrix

Stand-Alone ASIO Core Audio Supported
Cubase, Sonar, Acid, Live Cubase, SX, Live
Pro Tools Pro Tools
n/a Logic Audio, Live,
Digital Performer

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NAMM 2009: Introducing the new Solo Performer Show Controller 4

January 16, 2009

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Overview Audio Lyrics Displays MIDI
Lights Foot Controller FAQ System Requirements

Alien Apparatus Company, Inc. releases Solo Performer Show Controller 4, the latest update to its popular show control system for onstage performers. Solo Performer Show Controller, billed as the most elegant way to play live with backing tracks, controls background audio, lighting, effects processor changes, and lyrics displays.

The new release adds a new display view called Button View, where all of the songs on the selected playlist show up as buttons that can be selected for playback. Using Button View, hundreds of buttons can be displayed onscreen at the same time, so that performers who do not work from pre-defined set lists can display all of their r’epertoire onscreen for easy access. Buttons can be organized by color and the view can be configured for various button sizes and layouts.

The event editor windows of Solo Performer Show Controller now show the audio waveform with an event track underneath. Events, such as lyric displays, light scenes, effects changes, and hotkeys, may be dragged and dropped onto the event track where they will show up as colored markers. The markers can then be easily repositioned to the audio by dragging them and sliding them into a new position.

The Solo Performer Show Controller System is currently the only system available for controlling a show that seamlessly integrates audio, MIDI, lyric displays, and lighting capabilities. With its six-button foot controller, a guitar player could, for example, play a show and have all of the backing rhythm tracks play from the system while the system controls the lights and changes the singer’s vocal reverb during the choruses.

Along with the version 4 release, Alien Apparatus has also introduced a new member to the show control system family: Solo Performer Show Controller SE. The SE version is a “software editon” that comes without the foot controller at a reduced cost. Users of the new Solo Perfomer Show Controller SE may purchase an upgrade at any time to receive the full foot controller hardware package in order to add hand-free control and DMX512 lighting capablitiesfor a reduced cost.

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