Posts Tagged ‘Ableton’

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An in depth look an Ableton 8

May 5, 2009

New groove engine

Groove patterns dynamically influence the timing and velocity/volume of audio and MIDI material. This can add life and swing to straight patterns, give a track more drive, or lend a piece an easy, laid-back feeling.

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Live 8 enhances Live’s existing groove power with some important new features:

  • Apply groove patterns to any audio or MIDI clips in real time. Change the feel of the whole piece or just selected clips.
  • Choose from an extensive library of groove patterns, captured from songs played by some of music’s most original, expressive and soulful drummers.
  • Extract groove patterns from any audio or MIDI source to build your own groove library from your favorite tracks.
  • Quantize audio and MIDI in real time: non-destructive velocity and timing adjustments for rhythmic correction.
  • Randomize audio and MIDI timing for a more human feel

New warping engine

Live 8 is the next logical step in warping evolution with a new, more intuitive warping paradigm and some important Warp Mode enhancements.

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  • New, intuitive warping allows you to adjust events on the timeline instead of stretching and squeezing the timeline around the events.
  • Transient handles: Live analyzes and assigns handles to the transients in audio files automatically.
  • Slice by transient: slice audio to MIDI based on Live 8’s new transient analysis.
  • Enhanced Beats Warp Mode for improved warping of percussive material and new control options.
  • Improved Complex Warp Mode using élastique Pro for warping complex, polyphonic material with fewer artifacts.

Looper

Looper brings the creative power of classic sound-on-sound looping to Live, without the limitations of a hardware device. Inspired by some of our favorite sample/delay devices plus a good deal of Ableton wizardry, Looper provides plenty of scope in a super-simple interface.

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  • One-touch operation: Looper is set up for remote operation, so you can record, overdub, undo and more using a single footswitch (not included) and without touching the computer.
  • Endless overdubs, tape-loop style for infinite improv jams.
  • First loop sync: Live reads the tempo from the length of the first loop you record and automatically syncs up. This eliminates timing issues and lets you record without the click.
  • Simple loop management: drag and drop a loop from Looper into a clip slot to make a clip; drag a clip back again to reload it into Looper.
  • Multiple Looper sync lets you run as many Loopers as you want without any synchronization headaches.

New effects

Live 8 includes five powerful new effects, each with a strong personality and serious “classic” potential. These effects add a special Ableton shine to the well-known aspects of these devices, giving you effects that are not only practical and easy to use but also inspiring.

Vocoder: the famous “singing robot” effect. Vocoder is classic vocoding plus advanced, intricate control for flexibility and rich sound design.

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Multiband Dynamics: effective processing plus a refreshing approach to visualizing the dynamics involved lets you really see and hear what’s going on.

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Overdrive: models the circuits found in legendary stompboxes and forms a perfect complement to Saturator and Dynamic Tube.

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Limiter: an effective brick-wall limiter that will keep your peaks in check.

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Frequency Shifter: frequency shifting and ring modulation for flange effects, atonal harmonics and the sound of Fifties science fiction.

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Workflow enhancements

Version 8 makes Live easier with a number of most-wanted enhancements and some deceptively simple detail work.

Crossfades in Arrangement View: This much requested feature gives you real-time, non-destructive crossfades, neatly integrated into Live’s familiar workflow.

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The enhanced MIDI editor now features step recording, an insert marker and editing improvements.

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Group tracks let you group selected tracks (e.g. a group for drum tracks or a group for all backing vocals). Each group works like a separate mix buss with its own effects and routing settings. You can also collapse grouped tracks to preserve screen real estate.

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Multi-parameter manipulation: want to lower the volume of six different tracks? No need any more to adjust six different faders; just select all six tracks and adjust one volume control.

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Magnify the user interface for optimal visibility on dark stages or hi-res screens. Zoom out for the big picture.

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Browser waveform display: Audio and MIDI browser preview now with waveform display and scrubbing for more informed browsing and file selection.

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Plug-in parameters: Improved configuration and control for plug-ins with numerous parameters.

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And many more workflow improvements: Yes, that feature request you sent may well be in there somewhere…

New in Ableton Suite 8

Ableton Suite 8 is a package which gives you a rich world of sound, perfectly complementing the tools and features in Live 8. Suite 8 provides all the instruments a musician could hope for, including a wide range of synths, a powerful sampler, electric and acoustic drums, mallets, numerous sampled instruments: 10 instruments in all. Here’s what’s new in Suite 8.

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Never a better time to own Ableton Live 7 Suite

March 17, 2009

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Between now and the April 1st when a UK customer unlocks their Live 7 purchase, they will receive the following downloads:

  • Free ‘Operator’ FM synth module Operator is an FM synthesizer that delivers an eclectic spectrum of sonic possibilities and musical inspiration.
  • Free ‘Drum Machines’ software Drum Machines offers a choice selection of classic drum machines, meticulously sampled to faithfully reproduce the original sounds. Drum Machines is easily tweaked with cleverly mapped controls, allowing users to experiment with the inner workings of the instrument and adjust to taste.
  • A special upgrade price of just EUR 49 for Ableton Live 8 (upgrade download direct with Ableton)

Visit our Youtube pages for a full set of Ableton videos


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How to ReWire Reason with Ableton Live, and why?

January 27, 2009

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Ableton Live is a professional loop-based software music sequencer for Mac OS and Windows by Ableton. The latest major release of  Live is  Version 7.

Unlike other software sequencers, Live is designed around the notion of being as much an instrument for live performances as a tool for composing and arranging. It is also often used for precision mixing of tracks by DJs.

If you have never used Ableton before, it can dratically change your music creation technique nevermind your outlook!.

Using Ableton Live, you can integrate audio recording, loops and samples with your Reason projects. This is done by ReWiring Reason with Live.

This gives you acces to some of the best control AND the best sounds!

  1. Install Live on your computer.
  2. Launch Live so that it can install its ReWire engine in your system.
  3. Go to Live’s In/Out View and select Reason as the “In Type.”
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  4. Enable Live’s Monitoring switch.
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  5. Launch Reason.
  6. Select the desired ReWire Channels in Live’s In Channel menu if you have devices in Reason routed to channels other than the Mix L & R Channels.
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Sending MIDI from Live to Reason:

  1. In a MIDI Track in Live, select Reason as the output type in the in/out chooser.
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  2. In the output channel chooser of the same Track, select the desired Reason device.
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Notes:

  • Reason is now in ReWire Slave mode; Live is the ReWire Master.
  • Reason will lock to the Live tempo and transport with sample-accurate synchronization. If you change the tempo in Live, Reason will follow.
  • You can record the Reason ReWire input in Live as you would with any other input in Live. (Please see the recording section of the Live manual).
  • To disconnect the ReWire connection you must always quit Reason first.
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So you wanna carrer as a record producer ??

January 23, 2009

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Often glamorised,  seldon understood. The modern day music producer can be a man/woman wearing  many hats, most of which usually not music! The great Quincy Jones was a said to be on the phone more than on the console!

In the music industry, a record producer has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. This has been a major function of producers since the inception of sound recording, but in the later half of the 20th century producers also took on a wider entrepreneurial role.

The music producer could, in some cases, be compared to the film director in that the producer’s job is to create, shape and mold a piece of music in accordance with their vision for the album. Unlike in film, the music producer is seldom responsible for raising the funds to create the record – more like the film director, the record producer is hired by those who have already obtained funding (typically record or publishing companies, though occasionally the artists themselves).

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Producers now typically carried out most or all of these various tasks themselves, including selecting and arranging songs, overseeing sessions (and often engineering the recordings) and even writing the material. Independent music production companies rapidly gained a significant foothold in popular music and soon became the main intermediary between artist and record label, signing new artists to production contracts, producing the recordings and then licensing the finished product to record labels for pressing, promotion and sale. (This was a novel innovation in the popular music field, although a broadly similar system had long been in place in many countries for the production of content for broadcast radio.) The classic example of this transition is renowned British producer George Martin, who worked as a staff producer and A&R manager at EMI for many years, before branching out on his own and becoming a highly successful independent producer.

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As a result of these changes, record producers began to exert a strong influence, not only on individual careers, but on the course of popular music. A key example of this is of Phil Spector who defined the gap between Elvis and the Beatles (1958–1964) with such acts as The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love, The Righteous Brothers and The Paris Sisters. Spector’s Wall of Sound production technique also persisted after that time with his select recordings of The Beatles, The Ramones, Leonard Cohen, George Harrison, Dion and Ike and Tina Turner.

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Modern Day Production

In modern digital music, it is possible for the producer to be the only person involved in the creation of a musical recording. The said producer is entirely responsible for writing, performing, recording and arranging the material. The existence of such producers is, in some ways, challenging the role of the traditional recording studio in that feasibly, an entire album can be created and recorded from the producers home studio. .This change has been partially due to the increase of inexpensive yet powerful music production software (such as Ableton Live, ProTools, Digital Performer, Logic, Cubase and Sonar), which allows for entire tracks to be composed, arranged and recorded on a single computer, allowing the roles traditionally carried out by a team of people to be performed by one individual. With the advent of portable recording equipment, live album production has become much more cost-effective than in the past. Also with the new innovation with MIDI technology the world isn’t so bland after all. This has resulted in countless live music recordings.

With the advent of the computer web applications like Facebook, YouTube and MySpace, record producers can now serve in very non-traditional roles, using “social networking.” They can produce music via the internet by having their clients email .mp3 or .wav files to them. In this way the producer can be located in a different geographic location and still accomplish their goal.

Producer  can be classed into  several catogories:

• MUSICIAN PRODUCER
As long as you can communicate effectively and have a basic awareness of what the studio equipment can do, you don’t actually need any technical knowledge at all to produce a record. This point is more easily understood if you think of the director of a TV commercial. He will be very visually aware, and will know what can be achieved with telecine and digital video effects. He cannot be expected to be a technical expert, but as long as he can communicate clearly with the telecine operator and digital artists, the result can be visually amazing. So, the musician producer needs to know what can be achieved in the studio, but someone else will be pushing the faders. A musician is obviously in a much better position than an engineer to know how to put together a piece of music for a recording from scratch, but the one thing that successful producers from either field have in common is that they have a clear image in their mind of the importance of the final product.

• EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
As well as the engineer producer and musician producer there is a third type, which I shall call the executive producer. The executive producer doesn’t know anything about engineering or about music, but knows the right people with the necessary technical and musical skills to handle all the elements of production, and most importantly, knows when something sounds right. Executive producers don’t need to be present all the time in the studio, they just need to hear work in progress occasionally. Their instinct will tell them whether the product is marketable or not. DJ’s often find their way into production along this route as they are in an ideal position to know what will, or will not please an audience. The difference between something that sells and something that ends up on a cut price market stall may be incredibly small, but the DJ will usually be able to tell.

• FREELANCE PRODUCER
Any type of producer may work as a freelance producer. In this situation, a record company might have signed a band or act and be scouting round for someone to co-ordinate them in the studio. Obviously, all the producers know the record company A&R people, and the A&R people know who the key producers are. Matching an act with a producer is an important A&R skill. Sometimes the decision will be made on a ‘flavour of the month’ basis. If a producer has had a series of successful records, then he may be seen as being on a roll and the next production will be a big seller too. The act and the producer must also be compatible in some way, though. Perhaps they will share the same musical vision and have a deep understanding of the style of music in which they work. They may get along well together because they are musically in tune, or the band could be wilful and potentially difficult to work with. The producer must be capable of exercising a degree of control to shape the band into something that will work on CD as well as it does on stage. Maybe an older and more experienced producer will have more respect in the band’s eyes, or maybe they need someone who is able to share their vision and will simply smooth over the rough edges. The freelance producer will be paid by the record company (who will get that money back from the band’s share of the eventual profits), and he is then free to go on to work for another record company.

• ENTREPRENEUR PRODUCER
‘Entrepreneur producer’ is a title I have invented to cover the type of producer who initiates a project and then sells it to a record company in the form of an act with writing, recording and management already in place, or as a partly developed idea working towards the same end. Either way, the producer will be at the top of the food chain and will receive the lion’s share of the rewards. The project could be a band in which the producer takes the roles of songwriter and musician, with a front man or woman to handle the vocals and provide a focus for the marketing machine to work on. Alternatively, the producer might be an engineer or musician who takes on the role of A&R scout and looks for a band or singer to work with. There will probably be a certain amount of investment involved, since the band will need studio time and promotional material. The entrepreneur producer will need to be able to promise the band or singer the earth, and give the impression that he is capable of delivering it. A track record of success will of course help! One of the advantages of working in this way is in the payoff. Not only is the entrepreneur producer entitled to a larger slice of the financial cake, he is also in control of an ongoing project, rather than staggering from one to another.

Source:

http://www.audiomasterclass.com/arc.cfm?a=what-is-a-record-producer-do-you-really-want-to-become-one

http://www.soundonsound.com

ref:

Hewitt, Michael. Music Theory for Computer Musicians.
Moorefield, Virgil (2005). The Producer as Composer .Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music

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Artist Profile: Deadmau5

January 9, 2009

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If you are Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, your very own giant-eyes-strobing Mau5head is just one sign of your increasing popularity and power. The 28-year-old Toronto native wields the Mau5head like some Daft Punk genetic mutation, but his music is anything but derivative. Deadmau5’s second artist release, Random Album Title (Ultra, 2008), confirms Zimmerman’s growing rep (as if his numerous Top-10 singles and globe-hopping club schedule didn’t) as a shape-shifter of enormous melodic progressive trance skill.

Mystery Achievments

“I am big fan of mystery pedals,” Zimmerman says from a San Francisco hotel at the start his latest world tour. “I like those gray tin boxes with knobs, and you don’t know who made it or where it came from. I find them in these shops in Toronto where they sell these strange pedals. You just feed something in, and it comes out sounding a lot different.”

Soft synths be damned, Zimmer-man uses a combination of Minimoog Voyager, Moog Little Phatty, Minimoog, Roland Juno-106 (“the chorus is crazy”), Sequential Circuits Prophet T8 and “a cool German one called ‘MSB synth.’”

“I am hard-pressed to listen to any piece of music and know exactly what they are using unless it is obvious presets, which does happen a lot in electronic music,” Zimmerman muses. “But the whole thing with analog versus soft synth sounds: You can totally synthesize everything and have it sound different depending on how you process it. I’ve spent money getting a sound that was probably very achievable by doing something else, but I like a knob in my hand. Not so much the mouse and drawing. The filter sweeps and the crazy synth rises in my music — it’s all handcrafted. I turn the knob. You can hear the mistakes. They’re not mistakes, but you will hear it dip and rise accidentally if I wiggle my hand.”

Those wiggles can be heard in “Sometimes Things Get, Whatever.” After a breakdown, an ugly Moog Voyager line rises like a grinning, ghoulish monster. “You can’t get that by drawing a line from zero to 127 in Ableton,” Zimmerman declares. “It’ll just be perfect. I like using hardware and mystery pedals and crazy LFOs that aren’t bang-on synced with the application. A lot of my LFOs I guessed at or got it as close as I could and cut it later.”
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The Maus and the Moogfooger
Moogerfoogers — all of them — figure prominently in the Deadmau5 aesthetic. As with his Moogs, Mau5head and Monome 256, Deadmau5 refuses to leave anything alone, befitting his early years as a programmer.

“I have three MF-107 FreqBoxes and doubles of other Moogerfoogers for stereo,” Zimmerman says. “The 107 is an FM modulator that takes in a carrier or outputs an oscillator. It’s really neat. The idea with the Moogerfoogers was to build a modular system, so you could spend two hours wiring to get one sound, but you can never get it back. The only way to save a preset is take a photo. But it is nice to make one feature sound for the whole track. The sound in ‘Hi Friend’ is that, a chirp, or noise on every upbeat. That was the result of me mucking around with the Moogerfooger and running an oscillator through another synth through it. It’s a great sound.”

Deadmau5 uses multiple sequencers, including Ableton Live, Propellerhead Reason, Steinberg Cubase and FL Studio. D.I.Y. seems to be the Mau5-mantra, using whatever works to make his music unique. “I use Fruity Loops ’cause it’s really quick for some things,” he explains. “The piano roll is so fast, and drawing in notes in Ableton or Cubase seems like such a chore by comparison to FL Studio. I use Reason for its effects and embedded instruments because they don’t support VST, but I ReWire it if I want to use the Thor or Subtractor synths. They’re just extra toys to throw in the mix and make little clips that you can add to your production.”
DEADMAU5 LIVE

Speaking of toys, the Mau5head is yet another element in the Deadmau5 arsenal; it lets the naturally shy Zimmerman hide out incognito. Of course, the Mau5head’s strobing eyes are the result of tinkering.

“There is a guy named Bert Schiettecatte who founded Percussa ( article coming soon on these), a music hardware and software company whose first product is AudioCubes,” he explains. “The cubes by themselves interact with each other and trigger different clips or patterns via proximity or color, and there are a couple of LEDs inside. I had the wiseass idea to buy a couple cubes, rip them apart and use the LEDs in the chipset and put them in the eyes of the Mau5head. My head is USB powered, which is perfect. I do light sequences that are in time with the music. They are controllable through MIDI, so I just chose different sequences from the [JazzMutant] Lemur to tell Live to send MIDI to the AudioCubes that light up in my head. They match the music; I write little clips that match the song.”

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In similar deconstruction fashion, Deadmau5 uses a Monome 256 as a controller to do everything from creating beats to executing manic melodies. The Monome 256 ships sans manual, diagram or instructions of any sort — all the better for the enterprising Mau5 among us.

“You have to make it work for you,” Zimmerman says. “You can’t just take it out of the box and go to town on presets. But you treat it like any other device that triggers another application. Basically, you freestyle and hammer away at any of the 256 buttons to trigger a sound like a drum kit into Ableton Live. But for the techno, you will want to have that sequence in a way that things get quantized and maybe have an LED row scroll back and forth and do a certain sequence of sounds, perhaps over a bar in a loop, and you want to be able to use other keys to modify that loop to have it play in reverse order or random order or whatever. It all comes with the development of custom VST software that communicates to the device before the device communicates to Ableton Live to trigger these sounds. So my partner in crime, Steve Duda, has come up with Molar; it’s a VST port of a Max/MSP replacement for the Monome 256 for Ableton Live. It lets you re-chop, re-sequence, re-slice a wave loop or trigger one-shots or send MIDI notes. You would never rig it up the same way twice, which is fun.”

The Mau5 Muses
Where does a successful Mau5 go from here? Zimmerman has plans to further alter his live DJ experience, and his ongoing collaborations with WTF? and BSOD (with Steve Duda) keep his head spinning. Otherwise, Zimmerman’s diet of Coke Classic (one case per track) should keep him energized enough to do battle with any DJ foe or Energizer Bunny.

“I’ve got the world’s only MIDI-controllable mouse head, so that’s cool,” he says with a laugh. “I want to start including more cool gear that interacts with the sound and the audience. But as far as defining my sound or popularity, maybe it’s the head. I don’t know what it is. I don’t want to look a gift mouse in the mouth.”

‘Random’ album equipment
Computers, DAW/recording software

Ableton Live software

(2) Apple MacBook Pro

Custom PC: Quad Core 3.2 gig Intel CPU, Alesis motherboard, 5 TB hard drive

FL Studio software

Steinberg Cubase software
Synths, software, plug-ins

Moog Little Phatty, Minimoog and Minimoog Voyager synths

Native Instruments Reaktor, Kontakt, Battery and Traktor software

Propellerhead Reason Thor and Subtractor soft synths

Roland Juno-106 synth

Sequential Circuits Prophet T8 synth
Effects

Moog Moogerfoogers: MF-101 Low Pass Filter, MF-102 Ring Modulator, MF-103 12-Stage Phaser, MF-104Z Analog Delay, MF-105 MuRF, MF-107 FreqBox, CP-251 Control Processor
Controllers, DJ mixer

Allen & Heath Xone: 4D DJ Mixer and Controller

JazzMutant Lemur

Monome 256

Percussa AudioCubes

Pioneer DJM-800 DJ mixer

Monitors
Genelec 8050As

Source: Remix

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Korg’s Nanopad now bundled with Toontrack’s EZdrummer Lite software

December 5, 2008

Toontrack’s EZdrummer Lite software adds great value to Korg’s Nanopad…

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Toontrack have created a special version of their incredibly popular drum sampler EZdrummer which is bundled free with the Nanopad. EZdrummer Lite provides the user with a great selection of drums from the full product and, once registered can be upgraded to the full version for just £59.00 (usual EZdrummer price £99.00).

That’s a drum pad controller and full drum sampler software for £100!

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The  Korg Nanopad is set to become one of the market’s fastest selling USB powered drum pad controllers. Featuring 12 responsive trigger pads plus an x-y pad with roll and flam functions, the Nanopad is already a favourite for David ‘Fingers’ Haynes who used it to demonstrate Toontrack’s product line at the recent Music Live show (see photo below).

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Here is the Nanopadused with Ableton.

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Christmas Gift Suggestion: E-mu USB Audio Interface

December 2, 2008

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The E-MU 0404 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface delivers an unparalleled level of audio performance to your PC with premium 24-bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters, pristine XTC mic/line/hi-Z preamps, ultra-low jitter clock and rock-solid stability.

From its plug-and-play functionality and hands-on ergonomic design to professional features and signal-to-noise specs that are simply unmatched by any other USB interface on the market, the E-MU 0404 USB will forever change your expectations of USB audio. The E-MU 0404 USB also ships with the E-MU Production Tools Software Bundle that includes E-MU’s Proteus VX, as well as software by Cakewalk, Steinberg, Ableton, IK Multimedia, and many more – everything you need to create, record, edit and master your music.



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e-mu_0404_usb_inputs_and-06:

  • Premium 24-bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters (A/D: 113dB SNR, D/A: 117dB SNR) deliver unmatched USB audio fidelity
  • E-MU XTC Class-A ultra-low noise Mic/Line/Hi-Z preamplifiers (-127dB EIN) with 48V phantom power and ground lift switches enable you to plug microphones, keyboards and guitars straight into your computer with professional results, while the built-in analog soft limiting circuit lets you record a hotter signal without fear of clipping
  • Comprehensive digital I/O with optical and coaxial S/PDIF (switchable to AES/EBU) and MIDI In/Out to easily connect all of your digital studio gear and instruments
  • Ultra-low latency Windows XP and x64 USB 2.0 drivers offer accurate timing and playback of your recorded audio and software instruments
  • Hardware zero-latency direct monitoring (mono/stereo) allows you to record and overdub with no annoying delay
  • Plug-and-play operation with hands-on control of all major functions like master level, direct monitoring, preamplifier controls and more
  • Compatibility with most popular audio/sequencer applications (ASIO2, WDM, MME – AC3 and DTS Passthru supported)