Alesis releases V & VI Series Computer Controllers

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Alesis has announced that its new V and VI series USB/MIDI keyboard controllers are now available.

Alesis VI61

Models in the V Series include the V25, the V49, and the V61. The VI Series models are the VI25, VI49, and the VI61. These offer two, four, and five octave keyboards, respectively.

Alesis V Series are ideal for the hobbyist, software performer, or novice musician. Far from stripped down, each model includes several up-to-date premium features. Full-size, flat-front keys provide a confident, comfortable feel. Octave Up/Down buttons provide access to the entire note range, regardless of keyboard length. Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels—plus the sustain pedal input—lend an extra level of performance expression. The eight velocity-sensing drum/trigger pads are generously proportioned, and offer blue LED illumination. Each Alesis V Series model is also equipped with four assignable knobs and four assignable switches—also illuminated—that allow interactive software control.

Alesis VI Series models are equipped with full-size, flat-front keys. Semi-weighted for an authentic feel, these keys allow the performer to play with confidence—plus they respond to both velocity and aftertouch. Octave Up/Down buttons provide access to the entire note range, regardless of keyboard length. Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels lend an extra level of performance expression, and there is a sustain pedal input for piano-style control.

In keeping with their more professional-level performance capabilities, on the VI Series to the left of the keyboard—up front and of equal importance—are 16 highly-responsive drum/trigger pads equipped with color-keyed RGB LED illumination. Generously sized, these pads offer dynamic (velocity) sensitivity and a substantial, solid feel. These pads are ideal for playing drum sounds, firing samples, or triggering loops and grooves.

Both the V and VI Series come with comprehensive software packages that provide an important creative boost for the user. Both series includes the popular Ableton Live Lite, an interactive loop-based compositional and performance software program that makes effective use of the V and VI Series pads and controllers. Also included is the powerful Xpand!2 from Air Music Technology. Originally created as part of the Avid Pro Tools Creative Collection, Xpand!2 has been updated as a standalone software synthesizer capable of creating fantastic sounds, from natural instruments to intense electronic tones. An accompanying software editor opens the door to easily creating custom controller assignments. A single USB cable makes a convenient connection providing both power and two-way USB/MIDI link between the Alesis V and VI Series Controller and the user’s Mac or PC computer.

“The V Series controllers provide a powerful competitive performance edge for the modern music maker,” notes Alesis Director of Engineering, David Gill. “The emphasis on dynamic pads, illuminated controls, and full-size keys reflect our dedication to provide the most in-demand features to the entry and mid-level performer. Plus, the included software suite makes it uniquely easy to record, produce, and perform your music.”

Gill added, “Offering even greater flexibility and performance, the VI Series reflects the changing nature of software—and music making in general—from linear song composition to loop- and percussion–based construction and performance. We are very excited to deliver a controller that can satisfy the modern studio producer, the live performer, and the software composer, all in the same instrument.”

The controllers are now available for purchase at the following prices:

  • V25 $79.99 USD.
  • V49 $99.99 USD.
  • V61 $149.99 USD.
  • VI25 $169.99 USD.
  • VI49 $199.99 USD.
  • VI61 $249.99 USD.

More information: Alesis / V & VI Series

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AIR releases XPand!2 multitimbral workstation

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AIR has announced the release of XPand!2, a virtual instrument for Windows and Mac.

AIR XPand!2

AIR Music Technology designed XPand!2 to operate as multitimbral music workstation. Each patch may contain up to four stereo parts. Each individual part is provided with its own MIDI channel, Note Range (Zone), Mix, Arpeggiation, Modulation, and Effects settings. The Voice Mode for each part can be set to polyphonic or monophonic. Polyphonic parts can have up to 64 voices; monophonic parts offer First, Last, Highest, or Lowest priority making it easy to designate a bass, lead, or solo instrument. As remarkable as each part may be on its own, fusing the four parts together to build one incredible Patch is where XPand!2 reveals its true power.

XPand!2 relies on a variety of sound creation technologies—everything from wavetables and FM synthesis to sample playback—to deliver thousands of patches created by the Air Music Technology sound design group. Sounds are conveniently sorted into categories for quick access. Editing a sound or creating new ones from scratch is simple. Six smart knobs deliver hands­on control of major parameters relating to the selected sound. In the Easy Mode, each of the six knobs now controls common parameters of all parts in a patch for rapid, on­demand editing.

“XPand! quickly became a key reference instrument for Pro Tools users worldwide since its release,” said Andy Mac, Product Manager for AIR Music Technology. “XPand!2 builds upon this proud legacy, now including over 2500 expertly­crafted sounds, multiple part layering, and patches with a collection of outstanding studio quality effects. The editing is simple for any performer, while the onboard arpeggiators allow inspiring patterns.”

A number of inventive modulation routings add to the performance capabilities of Xpand!2. The advanced arpeggiator includes dotted and triplet values, as well as an incredibly useful Latch mode. Two independent processors deliver dozens of studio­grade audio effects. The processors can be routed individually, or combined together in a “cascade mode” to create exciting new results.

XPand!2 features

  • Versatile multitimbral sound module instrument.
  • Up to four stereo instrument parts per patch.
  • Up to 64 voices per part; Mono or Poly voice modes.
  • Smart Knobs provide intuitive sound editing.
  • Easy Edit Knobs control the entire patch at once.
  • Two digital effects processors; 50 editable effect types.
  • Individual arpeggiation control for each part.
  • Over 2500 + total presets and parts.
  • VST, AU, and AAX compatible.
  • No iLok required.

XPand!2 for Windows and Mac is available for purchase for $99.99 USD. Owners of the AIR Instrument Expansion Pack can upgrade to XPand!2 for $49.99 USD.

More information: AIR / XPand!2

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Akai Professional updates MPC Software to v1.7 (incl. AAX)

Related: , , , , Posted in news on Sep 09, 2014 - comment 0 comments

Akai Professional has announced the release of version 1.7 of the MPC Software, the software platform for creating music with the MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio.

Akai Professional MPC Software v1.7

MPC Software version 1.7 introduces AAX compatibility for use with Pro Tools 10 and 11. In addition, the software’s audio structure has been optimized to allow for deeper manipulation of MPC programs including an enriched mixer interface, multi-processor audio path, improved metering accuracy, and new automation capabilities. Legacy MPC Software project files are supported by version 1.7 with the addition of enhanced creative control.

Continuing MPC’s track record for world-class content, MPC Software version 1.7 delivers a host of powerful new sonic tools. Hybrid 3, the bestselling synthesizer plugin from AIR Music Technology, is seamlessly integrated into the software. With automatic intelligent mapping of MPC’s controls, users can create lush, high-definition synth parts in the same environment as sample-based music. Version 1.7 also includes two free expansions from Prime Loops, the premier creator of sound libraries for music producers and DJs. The two expansions, Deep House Drums and Official Trap Drums, span over 30 new programs of fresh kits, loops, and demo tracks. A new expansion browser provides streamlined access to all instruments and sample expansion packs with better organization of programs, samples, and sequences.

The update also adds new creative workflow features. Direct Record brings a live loop-station-style sampling option to Sample Record Mode, letting producers build complex layered recordings effortlessly. For greater flexibility within the DAW environment, MPC users may export their project audio by program or track, as well as being able to mixdown insert return buses and the master effects insert.

“This is a monumental update for the MPC user,” noted Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “We have added features and content that will ignite the creative process while giving the user more capability than ever within their favorite DAW. Even more, we are including an industryleading synthesizer and two expansions to push the sonic boundaries even further.”

Changes in MPC Software v1.7

  • AAX plugin compatibility for use with Pro Tools 10 and 11.
  • All-new audio mixer architecture with improved metering and control.
  • Multiprocessor audio path with enhanced performance.
  • Extensive track automation with in-depth visual feedback.
  • Hybrid 3 built-in; a virtual synth from AIR Music Technology.
  • Comprehensive audio export; export audio by program and track.
  • Direct Record mode: real-time loopstyle sample layering.
  • Mixer view filters for customized display of essential parameters.
  • All-new expansion browser with adjustable sample-audition volume.
  • Two free Prime Loops expansions; 30+ programs of kits, loops, and demo tracks.
  • New keyboard shortcuts for greater efficiency during common tasks.
  • Over 100 workflow and stability enhancements.

MPC Software version 1.7 is available now as a free update for MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio owners. Internet-connected computers will automatically prompt MPC Software users for an update upon program startup.

More information: Akai Professional / MPC Series

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AIR releases The Riser instrument plugin

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AIR Music Technology has announced the release of The Riser, a synthesizer instrument for designing musical transitions of epic proportions.

AIR The Riser

At the heart of The Riser are three editable sound generators – sweep, noise, and chord – letting the user manipulate the movement, timber, and tonality of the transition. Three low-frequency oscillators (LFOs) provide modulation duties to each patch, including beat-synced movements and the “Pumper” effect – a modern pulsating effect used to modify dynamics. Reverb, delay, and mixer controls let the user shape transition volume, effect saturation, and stereo imaging. Users may draw transitions from scratch or edit 300 presets spanning rises, falls, swells, fades, and more.

The Riser features

  • Transition designer optimized for electronic music production, scoring, and remix work.
  • 3 editable oscillators; sweep, noise, and chord.
  • 3 LFOs; free-running, tempo-synced, and Pumper.
  • 23 filter types including multi-pole and phase shift.
  • 300 professionally designed, editable presets.
  • Randomizer generates patches at the click of a button.
  • Invert mode creates complementary patches by instantly changing transition direction.
  • Easy MIDI-Learn Mode; just click and twist to assign parameters to your favorite MIDI controller hardware.
  • Pumper effect creates pulsating movement.
  • Configurable delay and reverb with wet/dry processing; 4 reverb types.
  • Adjustable panning movements and master stereo width control.

The Riser for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/AAX) is available for purchase for $79.99 USD.

More information: AIR / The Riser

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AIR intros The Riser synth-based transition designer

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AIR Music Technology has introduced The Riser, a synthesizer instrument designed for creating powerful transitions with electronic dance music producers and DJs in mind.

AIR The Riser

A powerful, synth-based instrument, The Riser features all of the tools you need to compose heart-stopping transitions in one intuitive user-interface. In seconds, you can construct rises, falls, swells, fades, and more, based on our coveted sound synthesis technology. For instant inspiration, The Riser includes 300 pro-grade presets that you can edit, deconstruct, copy, mangle, and implement into your tracks.

Transitions add suspense, hype, drama, and movement to your music. Cymbal swells and reversed instruments were go-to transitions for years, until the DAW pioneered fast and flexible audio editing, paving the way for complex sound effects. When combined with synths and other audio shaping tools, transitions completed their metamorphosis from science to art. Until now, this process has convoluted and time-intensive, taking attention away from the overall project itself. The composer spent more time trying to get plugins, virtual sample players, hardware effects, sound modules, and other gear to play nice with each other – and that was before hitting “record”.

The Riser features

  • Transition designer optimized for electronic music production, scoring, and remix work.
  • 3 editable oscillators; sweep, noise, and chord.
  • 3 LFOs; free-running, tempo-synced, and Pumper.
  • 23 filter types including multi-pole and phase shift.
  • 300 professionally designed, editable presets.
  • Randomizer generates patches at the click of a button.
  • Invert mode creates complementary patches by instantly changing transition direction.
  • Easy MIDI-Learn Mode; just click and twist to assign parameters to your favorite MIDI controller hardware.
  • Pumper effect creates pulsating movement.
  • Configurable delay and reverb with wet/dry processing; 4 reverb types.
  • Adjustable panning movements and master stereo width control.
  • 64-bit AU; 32- and 64-bit VST/AAX; Mac or Windows.

The Riser will cost $79.99 USD. A full version 15-day demo is available for 48 hours only.

More information: AIR / The Riser

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