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Akai Professional announces MPC Headphones & Earbuds

Akai Professional has announced MPC Pro Headphones, MPC Headphones, and MPC Earbuds, premium personal audio devices each designed for professional music production with Akai Professional’s newest line of MPCs.

Akai Professional’s new MPC headphones and earbuds are designed to match each new MPC in design, quality, and purpose. Each is designed to empower producers with the ability to hear their tracks and hone their craft with unmatched clarity and precision. In addition, MPC headphones and earbuds provide an exceptional experience for simply listening on the go to a personal music library.

Akai Professional MPC Headphones

MPC Pro Headphones feature powerful 50mm drivers and an over-the-ear design for premium isolation and comfort in the studio, while MPC Headphones come with precise 40mm drivers and an on-the-ear design ideal for portability and music production on the move. Both feature Akai Professional’s unmatched expertise in tuning and frequency response, as well as fully adjustable headbands, pivoting ear cups, and gunmetal aluminum and steel construction for a solid, comfortable fit. Overstuffed leather cushioning on the headbands and ear cups provides a luxurious listening experience for even the most demanding studio sessions. An audio cable with 1/8-inch connector and 1/4-inch adapter is included for music production, and a communication cable with a built-in microphone is also included for use with mobile phones.

“Headphones are a huge part of the production process,” said Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “With the MPC headphones and earbuds, we’re simply doing what we’ve always done—delivering the tools musicians need to get fully immersed in their craft.”

MPC Pro Headphones / MPC Headphones features

  • Iconic Akai Pro build quality, tuning, and frequency response.
  • Powerful 50mm/40mm drivers with neodymium magnets.
  • Gunmetal aluminum and steel construction.
  • On-ear design with overstuffed leather cushioning.
  • Audio cable with 1/4″ adapter included.
  • Communication cable with built-in microphone included.

Featuring lightweight soft-touch ear clips with aluminum trim and volume control, MPC Earbuds are flexible, powerful, and designed for the active producer.

Akai MPC Earbuds

They’re engineered to be multi-purpose with the ability to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth® to any compatible music player for casual cable-free listening, or to connect via the included professional audio cable for latency-free performance during music production. The built-in lithium-ion battery recharges easily via USB (cable included). MPC Earbuds deliver Akai Professional’s superior tuning and frequency response for any track via precise 13mm drivers.

Producers can go wired or wireless by connecting or disconnecting the included 1/8-inch cable from the Akai Professional medallion that is located on the cable between the earbuds. The medallion also includes a built-in mic for using MPC Earbuds with a mobile phone.

MPC Earbuds features

  • Iconic Akai Pro build quality, tuning, and frequency response.
  • Lightweight ear clips with aluminum trim and volume control.
  • Built-in lithium-ion battery recharges easily via USB.
  • Bluetooth wireless technology for cable-free listening.
  • Cable with 1/8” connector for latency-free listening and music production.
  • Medallion with built-in mic and 1/8” input.
  • Precise 13mm drivers with neodymium magnets.

Akai Professional will display the new MPC headphones and earbuds at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show, January 24-27 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Akai Professional

Numark announces NS7 II 4-Channel DJ Performance Controller

Numark has announced the NS7 II, a dramatically enhanced and updated version of the industry’s most advanced and best-selling motorized DJ controller, NS7.

Numark NS7 II

For more than 20 years, Numark has set the pace in the world of digital DJing, empowering DJs with cutting-edge technology that has continually advanced the art form. In 2007, Numark and Serato® released NS7, a controller that blends different eras of DJing so completely it makes them virtually indistinguishable from each other. Since then, the powerful experience offered by NS7 has defined the top tier of DJ performance, setting the standard by which all other controllers are judged.

Now, with NS7 II, Numark is pushing the modern DJ’s performance capability even further, incorporating iconic technology from Akai Professional, the world leader in music production technology and creator of the legendary MPC. NS7 II’s 16 MPC pads can be instantly assigned to control five dynamic performance features in Serato DJ: Cues, Loop, Roll, Sampler, and Slicer. In addition, each pad features RGB illumination, allowing for a virtually endless amount of color variations assignable via MIDI. Vinyl platter control has never felt more familiar with its high- and low-torque motorized platters with real slip mats and real vinyl sitting on 3,600 ticks of resolution. NS7 II’s four-channel mixer works with or without a computer and includes a full array of external device inputs. Capacitive touch-activated filter, gain, EQ, and effects knobs are other features incorporated from Akai Professional, which turn the knobs themselves into control surfaces. DJs can use them for instant-on parameter control, blending effects, and instant frequency kills. “NS7 II is an interactive playground,” said Chris Roman, Numark Product Manager. “It’s built to squeeze every ounce of capability out of Serato DJ and push your creative limits. It’s born to perform and to empower DJs with maximum live-performance creative capability.”

NS7 II features

  • 7” motorized turntables with 3600 ticks of resolution.
  • 4-channel mixer and 24-bit audio interface built in.
  • 16 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC pads from Akai Professional.
  • Capacitive touch-sensitive filter, gain, EQ, and effects knobs.
  • High- and low-torque turntable settings, 33rpm or 45rpm.
  • Comprehensive Loop, Sample, Slicer, and Hot Cue controls.
  • Strip Search™ virtual needle-drop technology.
  • Curve-adjustable CP-Pro crossfader.
  • Dedicated iZotope® effects controls.
  • Rugged all-metal construction.
  • Integrated laptop stand.
  • Serato DJ software included.

NS7 II will be unveiled at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show on January 24th.

More information: Numark

Akai Professional announces MAX25 keyboard & MPX8 sample launcher with MPC pads

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Akai Professional has announced the MAX25 USB/MIDI/CV keyboard controller and MPX8, a standalone SD sample launcher with MPC pads.

Akai MPX8

MPX8 is one of Akai Professional’s most innovative pad instruments yet. Using a standard SD card, users can load virtually any sample onto MPX8 and then assign it to any of the unit’s eight backlit velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads. MPX8 also comes with a large library of standard samples built in, which can be used for live performance in front of a crowd, on a radio show, or for in-studio production. Its bright blue backlit display and intuitive interface make for easy operation in any amount of light. A 1/8-inch headphone output, two balanced 1/4-inch outputs, and five-pin MIDI and USB MIDI inputs and outputs are onboard.

“With MPX8, we’re giving musicians a quick and convenient way to have one-touch access to a virtually unlimited number of sounds, shots, stabs, and drops,” said Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. MPX8 comes with a drag-and-drop sample editor for Mac® and PC for easy sample conversion. Users can also save sample sets together as kits for easy recall and even tune and add reverb to samples.

MPX8 features

  • Add sound samples via standard SD card (sold separately).
  • 8 velocity-sensitive and pressure-sensitive pads.
  • Drag-and-drop sample editor for Mac and PC included.
  • Built-in library of popular sounds, samples, and bumps.
  • Tune, add reverb, save sample sets for easy recall.
  • USB MIDI plus standard MIDI inputs and outputs.
  • 1/8” headphone output and balanced 1/4” outputs.

Akai Professional will also exhibit MAX25, a compact version of the innovative MAX49 USB/MIDI/CV keyboard controller that was released in 2012.

Akai MAX25

MAX25 has all of the same cutting-edge features as MAX49, including CV/Gate output, semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, a built-in step sequencer, expanded arpeggiator, and revolutionary LED touch faders for gradual or instant parameter value changes. The difference between MAX49 and MAX25 only lies in the number of onboard controls. Where MAX49 has 49 keys, 8 faders, and 12 pads, MAX25 has 25, 4, and 8, respectively. Like MAX49, MAX25 will come with AkaiConnect automatic-mapping software and Mackie Control® and HUI® modes for instant compatibility with many DAWs. “This is a controller that’s made to be in front of a crowd,” said Gill. “It’s everything people love about MAX49 but in a compact package that will fit perfectly in front of a laptop on stage.”

MAX25 features

  • 25 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 4 LED touch faders.
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VSTs.
  • 8 MPC pads, MPC Note Repeat, and MPC Swing.
  • 4 pad banks, 4 fader banks: 64 assignable pads, faders, and buttons.
  • Step sequencer and expanded arpeggiator.
  • CV & Gate outputs (1V/Oct), Mackie Control® and HUI® modes.

Akai Professional will unveil MPX8 and MAX25 at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show, January 24-27 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Akai Professional

Retronyms updates Tabletop for iPad to v2.0

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Retronyms has released version 2.0 of the Tabletop modular environment where you can mix and match different devices.

This free update adds killer new features including a Timeline Editor, MIDI Controller support, and Session Sharing. Plus the brand-new iMPC from Akai Professional works inside Tabletop as the first Tabletop-Ready App!

Retronyms Tabletop for iPad

Changes in Tabletop v2.0

  • Timeline Editor. Edit, arrange, create notes on a pianoroll style timeline!
  • Midi Controller Support. Control Tabletop devices via Core Midi with hardware!
  • Tabletop Ready Apps. Standalone apps that work in Tabletop! iMPC is the first!
  • Share Sessions. Post and download sessions for remixing, backup and more.
  • Improved stability and performance.
  • Brand new UI look and feel.
  • Panhander. Autopanning effect device.
  • iOS 6 enhancements and improvements.
  • Improved template system.
  • Various bug fixes.

Retronyms for iPad is available to download for free.

More information: Retronyms

Akai intros iMPC music production app for iPad

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Akai iMPC

Akai Professional has announced the iMPC music production app for iPad.

Turn your iPad into an MPC. With more than 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs, 80 editable sequences, and iconic MPC workflow, iMPC is the first app to bring all the functionality of a classic Akai Pro MPC to your iPad.

Developed in partnership with Retronyms, iMPC includes everything you need to create a beat quickly and easily, including built-in effects, plus the ability to create new sequences and record and overdub beats. Time correction from 1/8 note to 1/32T with variable swing, and Note Repeat from 1/8 note to 1/32T with latch control are also built in. The app’s built-in sampler can record samples three different ways: using the mic on the iPad, using the line input on the iPad, or using the multi-touch turntable interface in iMPC to record samples directly from iTunes or other music libraries.

iMPC features

  • More than 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs, and 80 editable sequences.
  • Exclusive iMPC sound set and classic Akai Professional sound library.
  • Sample from iPad mic, line-in, or music library using multi-touch turntable interface.
  • Export tracks to MPC Software for use with MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio.
  • In-app SoundCloud community, powered by CloudSeeder.
  • Share on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or export to your computer.
  • 16 Levels mode: 16 levels of attack, velocity, length, and tuning.
  • Note Variation slider: adjust attack, velocity, length, and tuning as you play.
  • Trim and categorize samples, undo takes and erase samples.
  • Create new sequences, record and overdub beats.
  • Live Sequence queuing for real-time performance and playback.
  • Simple drag and drop program creation.
  • Built-in effects: delay, bit crusher, master compressor/limiter.
  • Time correct: 1/8 note – 1/32T with variable swing.
  • Note Repeat: 1/8 note – 1/32T timing, with latch.
  • Supports WIST, wireless Sync Start protocol from Korg.
  • AudioCopy beats and sequences to compatible apps.
  • AudioPaste samples from compatible apps.
  • Tabletop Ready iMPC is free for for iMPC owners.
  • Route to and use with your favorite Tabletop Effects and devices.
  • Line-in allows you to resample Tabletop devices.
  • Use with Tabletop’s Timeline Editor.

The iMPC is available to purchase for $6.99 USD.

More information: Akai Professional / iMPC

Ableton announces Live 9 and Push

Ableton has announced two groundbreaking new music-making products: Live 9, the music creation software with inspiring new possibilities, and Push – Ableton’s first hardware instrument for Live.

Ableton Live 9
Ableton Live 9 coming Q1 2013.

The upgrade to version 9 greatly expands the creative possibilities of Ableton’s popular Live software.

Changes in Live 9

  • Session automation: In Session View, automation can now be recorded in real time directly within clips. Automation can move together with clips between Arrangement and Session View.
  • Find sounds fast: Live’s new browser puts all instruments, effects, samples, and plug-ins in one easy-to-navigate view. Drag and drop folders from anywhere on your computer, search as you type and navigate from the keyboard to find everything quickly.
  • Discover new sounds: Live comes with a large selection (3,500 in the Suite edition) of production-ready sounds, which were carefully crafted with the help of over 40 artists, sound designers and engineers. All sounds feature Macro controls for fast access to their most meaningful, musical parameters.
  • Get your sound right: Live’s studio effects have all been reworked for even better sound and usability. The Glue Compressor is a new effect – an authentic model of a legendary 1980s console bus compressor. EQ Eight has an audition mode for isolating frequencies and an expandable spectrum display. The Gate and Compressor effects feature a Gain Reduction view which shows changes in signal level over time.
  • Extract music from samples: Live’s new Harmony, Melody and Drums to MIDI tools extract natural-feeling MIDI directly from the favorite parts of your music collection. You can also sing, tap a rhythm, play any solo instrument, then use Melody or Drums to MIDI to turn your recordings into MIDI clips that you can edit and reuse with any sound.
  • Edit the details: Transpose, reverse and stretch MIDI notes or warp clip automation and add curves to automation envelopes. New tools and an improved workflow allow fast and flexible editing of musical ideas.
  • Max for Live – now in Suite: The Suite edition of Live 9 comes with Max for Live and its many unique instruments, effects and tools. Max for Live itself includes 24 new devices such as a convolution reverb, new drum synthesizer instruments, MIDI echo as well as reworked versions of classics such as Step Sequencer and Buffer Shuffler 2.

Ableton Live 9 will be available in the first quarter of 2013. Prices start at $99 USD/79 EUR (Live 9 Intro download version), $449 USD/349 EUR (Live 9 Standard download version) and $749 USD/599 EUR (Live 9 Suite download version). Upgrades to Live 9 Standard / Live 9 Suite vary in price depending on the Ableton products you already own.

With Push, Ableton presents a new hardware instrument designed to solve an old problem: how to make a song from scratch.

Ableton Push
Ableton Push: Improvise and play with loops.

Push provides direct, hands-on control of melody and harmony, beats, sounds and structure, powered by Ableton Live running on your computer. High-quality, dynamic pads, buttons, encoders and display combined with an innovative workflow allow you to play and compose musical ideas without the need to look at or touch your computer, and more importantly, without interrupting the musical flow.

Push features

  • Play and sequence beats: Push’s 64 velocity- and pressure-sensitive multi-color pads can be used to play, step sequence, and navigate within rhythm patterns – all at the same time. The 11 touch-sensitive endless encoders can control device parameters, adjust velocity, nudge timing and more.
  • Play melodies and chords in a new way: Push “folds” a keyboard’s worth of notes into its 64 pads, with different pad colors showing the key center and other notes in the key. This allows you to play in every key using the same finger patterns, move between keys at the touch of a button, and explore new harmonies and phrases.
  • Improvise with song structure: Push expands the scope of creation with its unique workflow. Using just a few buttons to trigger clips, overdub notes, move between song materials and variations lets Ableton Live itself become an intuitively playable instrument.
  • Move smoothly from creation to arrangement: Push offers both the inspiring instrument to start creating music, and the full-featured software to finish off a track. Everything created with Push is laid out in Ableton Live on your computer – ready for fine-tuning, arrangement and export.
  • Includes Ableton Live 9: Push includes Ableton Live 9 Intro and works with any edition of Ableton Live 9 (Intro, Standard, Suite). All the included instruments, effects and sounds, as well as your own libraries, are ready to be played, tweaked, and personalized.
  • Designed by Ableton, built by Akai Professional: Utilizing Akai Pro’s long-standing expertise in the field of pad controllers, Push features 64 pressure and velocity-sensitive RGB (multi-colored) pads with an adaptive layout and a touch strip with 24 LEDs for pitch bending or navigating through a Drum Rack. The 11 touch-sensitive encoders and LCD display adapt dynamically to control and show active parameters.
  • Fits inside a backpack alongside a laptop: Push is 370 mm / 14.57 inches wide, 293 mm / 11.54 inches deep and is 46 mm / 1.81 inches in height (including encoders) and weighs 2990g / 6.59 pounds. Backside connections are a USB port, power adaptor input and two assignable footswitch inputs. (Push is USB-powered, the brightness of the display and LEDs can be increased by using the included power supply).
  • Push cover: An optional steel cover doubles as a sturdy, angled stand for performance.

Push will be available in the first quarter of 2013 for $599 USD/499 EUR. Push includes Ableton Live 9 Intro and works with any edition of Ableton Live 9 (Intro, Standard, Suite). Bundle upgrade discounts will be available for owners of previous versions of Live.

More information: Ableton

Akai Professional intros MPC Fly Music Production Controller

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Akai Professional MPC Fly

Akai Professional has announced the MPC Fly, a music production controller for iPad 2.

MPC Fly merges unmatched Akai Professional technology with the power of your iPad 2, embodying legendary capabilities that have made the MPC an industry standard like real MPC pads, MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing. Its multifunctional, double-hinged design gives you the flexibility to produce tracks anywhere, while also acting as a protective case between sessions and giving you total access to your iPad 2 for normal uses.

MPC Fly features

  • Hardware
    • The first MPC designed specifically for iPad 2.
    • Fitted compartment for iPad 2 provides fully integrated portable MPC solution.
    • 16 backlit genuine MPC pads with MPC Note Repeat & MPC Swing.
    • Works seamlessly with the MPC App: sequence & sample editing, effects, EQ and more.
    • Create beats on the go and transfer to a Mac or PC for further mastering.
    • Double-hinged case sits upright, lies flat or closes for transport.
    • Compatible with virtually any Core MIDI app.
    • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
    • Charges iPad when plugged into wall power.
  • iPad App – Developed by Retronyms
    • Sequence four tracks simultaneously: four-track mixer built in.
    • Built in sound library of samples and drum kits.
    • Record and overdub sequences and create and edit your own Programs.
    • 16-Levels mode: play one sample at 16 levels of attack, velocity, length, and tuning.
    • Note variation slider allows you to manipulate attack, velocity, length, and tuning as you play.
    • Built-in effects: delay, bit crusher, master compressor/limiter.
    • Time correct: 1/8 note – 1/32T with variable Swing setting.
    • Note Repeat: 1/8 note – 1/32T timing.
    • Sample using internal mic or line-in and trim and categorize samples.
    • Sample from your iPod library with turntable interface.
    • Share on SoundCloud, Facebook or twitter.
    • Supports WIST, Wireless Sync Start protocol from Korg.
    • Supports AudioPaste.

More information: Akai Professional / MPC Fly

iZotope partners with Akai Professional to provide loop slicing and time stretching technology for next generation MPCs

iZotope Radius

iZotope has announced a new partnership with Akai Professional to provide iZotope’s acclaimed Radius time-stretching algorithm and Loop Slicing Engine for future products in the MPC line, including the new MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio.

Combining MPC hardware with new MPC software, these are the first MPCs designed to harness the processing power of a user’s Mac or PC.

“The MPC is a giant in music production history.” says Alex Westner, iZotope’s Director of Business Development, “iZotope is very excited that our technology can make the MPC a more powerful and flexible hybrid of hardware and software.”

“Top-notch audio is essential when updating a beloved product line like the MPC Series,” adds Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “iZotope’s loop-slicing and time-stretching technology were critical to making the new MPC products sound great.”

iZotope’s Loop Slicing Engine
The Loop Slicing Engine provides an extended suite of slicing tools, compatible with both Chop Shop and REX file formats. The engine’s unique algorithm maintains high quality audio throughout real-time loop manipulation while remaining lightweight in terms of processing power.

The MPC line takes advantage of additional features such as:

  • Manual and automatic loop slicing.
  • Slicing and stretching with per-slice stretching options.
  • Triggering of individual slices or the entire loop from beginning to end.
  • Transient detection.
  • Pitch shifting via cents or semitones.

Akai Professional will unveil MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio at booth #6400 at the 2012 NAMM Show from January 19—22 in Anaheim, California. Both will be available for purchase in Q3 2012. iZotope’s Loop Slicing Engine, Radius, and a host of other audio technologies are currently available for third-party licensing.

More information: iZotope