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VirSyn updates iVoxel to v2 and Addictive microSynth to v1.1

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VirSyn has released updated versions of its iVoxel vocoder and Addictive microSynth apps for iPhone and iPad.

VirSyn iVoxel

iVoxel is not only an amazingly sounding vocoder – the unique concept of iVoxel turns this vocoder into a singing machine. iVoxel is a combination of a voice optimized synthesizer and a vocoder. The vocoder part is based on the Matrix vocoder from VirSyn used by many famous artists – one of them the well known german group Kraftwerk. The channel filters used by iVoxel are based on the Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201 resulting in a rich and fat analogue sound characteristic.

Changes in iVoxel 2

  • Realtime pitch following.
  • Automatic tuning correction to selectable scale.
  • Polyphonic sequencer.
  • Voxel editing.
  • Hi-end Reverb.
  • Support for virtual MIDI input connections and Background Audio.
  • Support for Korg’s Wireless Sync-Start Technology (WIST).
  • Publish recordings online with the SoundCloud audio platform.
  • Many more things and bugfixes.
VirSyn Addictive microSynth

Version 1.1 of Addictive microSynth for iPhone introduces Akai SynthStation 25 support.

It was never so easy to create beautiful sounds and driving loops. The unique dynamic wavetable synthesis allows you to explore an unprecedented wide range of sonic territory. From acid loops, crystal clear percussions, realistic human choirs to complex musical sound scapes nothing seems impossible with only a handful parameters to tweak.

With Version 1.1 you get instant hardware access together with the AKAI SynthStation 25. Use the hardware buttons for scrolling through presets and arpeggios, operating the Arpeggiator and rolling our famous dice to get instant new arpeggio creations!

More information: VirSyn

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

Akai Professional intros MAX49 MIDI/CV controller

Akai Professional has introduced the MAX49, a new controller which places revolutionary MIDI and CV control at your fingertips.

With an intuitive layout and included AkaiConnect automatic-mapping software, MAX49 offers an instant, fully immersive experience with your favorite music software and virtually all VST plugins.

From its 49 semi-weighted keys and 12 real MPC pads, to its groundbreaking LED touch faders and vintage CV & Gate outputs, MAX49 combines cutting-edge Akai Pro technology with classic capability to give you an unprecedented music-making experience.

Akai MAX49

MAX49 features

  • 49 semi-weighted keys with Aftertouch for complete musical expression.
  • Built-in step sequencer for detailed track construction.
  • Expanded arpeggiator with latch and time division controls.
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VST plugins.
  • 12 backlit, real MPC pads with MPC Note Repeat and MPC swing.
  • Eight backlit LED touch faders for gradual or instant parameter value changes.
  • Four pad banks & four fader banks provide a total of 80 assignable pads & faders.
  • CV & Gate outputs for use with vintage analog synths (1V/Oct).
  • Large, centrally-positioned transport controls & rubberized pitch and modulation wheels.
  • Mackie Control & HUI modes provide instant compatibility with many DAWs.

More information: Akai Pro / MAX49

Detunized releases fTable Live Pack for Ableton

Detunized fTable

Detunized has released fTable, a sample library for Ableton Live featuring synthesized random and additive sampler waveforms.

The new fTable Live Pack includes a huge collection of synthesized waveforms created on a Hohner HS1E sampler. All sets of waveforms use the additive and hand drawing capabilities of this unit. The samples are recorded through the samplers proprietary 16 Bit DAC that is a little harsh but also gives unique colorization to the sounds.

fTable takes you back to the late 80´s when this sampler appeared on the market and instantly challenged the big players like EMU and AKAI.

fTable features

  • Includes 40 instruments.
  • 655 samples, 24 Bit/44,1 kHz.
  • Ableton Live Pack for Live 7 or higher.

fTable for Live is available to purchase as an instant download for 4.80 EUR.

More information: Detunized / fTable

No Dough Music launches Happy Xmas Sale + NDS-4 announced

No Dough Music

No Dough Music has launched its Happy Xmas Sale, offering 25% off its sample libraries.

It’s that time of the year, mince pies are reaching critical mass, and we just can’t help but get into the spirit of things, so… We have decided during the month of December to knock 25% off all our products.

That includes NDS-1 The House Music Sample Pack for £29.99 (RRP £39.99), NDS-2 Super Alpha for £22.49 (RRP £29.99) and NDS-3 Classic FM for £22.49 (RRP £29.99).

All our packs are built around the concept of offering you a great selection of sounds at the highest quality, all sampled from the best hardware and tweaked through high-end chains of analogue gear. We offer you access to the tones of the big studios right inside your DAW.

It’s the perfect time to snap up some winter-warmers for your studio or for a friend as a present and now there’s a great deal to make it affordable. On top of that , when you buy our new packs and become a customer, you will always get a 25% discount off our future packs, including our next big one NDS-4.

No Dough Music has announced it will be releasing NDS-4 early next year.

NDS-4 will be based around some of the best sounding samplers by Akai and E-mu. Featuring over 200 Hybrid sampler instruments, loops , the pack will also feature a full complement of Drums and & Percussion, a mixture of 909′s and other classic machines, mixed with some more contemporary creations from us. All sampled from / re-sampled through some incredible sounding boxes in 96000hz. This pack is going be a must have for 2012!

More information: No Dough Music

Grand Loops launches MPC 500 Winter Raffle

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Grand Loops MPC 500 Winter Raffle

Grand Loops has announced the MPC 500 Winter Raffle, a chance to win the MPC 500 by Akai Professional.

GrandLoops come with a BIG Promotion for this winter!!!

We offer an AKAI MPC 500 in the first day of the new year – 01.01.2012 – for one lucky customer who downloaded products form www.grandloops.com.

MPC 500 Winter Raffle rules:

  • You must buy at less one product from our store, between 01 Oct 2011 and 31 Dec 2011. (Free Downloads are not included)
  • You must be registered on the www.grandloops.com as a customer.
  • Use real data for registration.
  • The winner will be chosen by one of our partners.
  • The winner will be posted on the website and contacted via email.

More information: Grand Loops

Review: Akai LPD8 portable MIDI controller

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I recently had a need for an affordable, easy to use, portable MIDI controller. Not because I travel a lot, or that I’m short on space in my studio… I just wanted to allow my 2-year old boy to join me in making noise, without him having to use the more complicated and expensive controllers in my setup.

My first thought was the Akai MPD18, but some people recommended the LPD8 instead, a small controller with 8 pads and 8 encoders.

Akai LPD8

The LPD8 laptop pad controller is a USB-MIDI controller for musicians, producers, DJs and other music creators. It measures less than 13 inches across and weighs less than a pound to easily fit into a laptop case, backpack or messenger bag for extreme portability.

At around 30 by 8 centimeters in size, the LPD8 sure is portable. It weights a little over 300 grams, which is nice and lightweight, but not too flimsy. It feels rather solid and sturdy.

The pads are velocity sensitive, though I found it a bit hard to get low velocity hits. The pads require quite a bit of force to register a hit. No problem for my son who prefers bashing over tapping, but personally I would prefer a lighter touch similar to the pads on Native Instruments Maschine. I have found some information online on increasing sensitivity by putting some electric tape under the pads. I might have a go at that.

The knob response is quite smooth, and distance between individual knobs is good for me. Normally I don’t need that many knobs (typically just cutoff/freq) but having 8 can be a great thing. Take Turnado. Having 8 knobs & pads on the LPD – to turn the big knobs and (de)activate the fx slots – is just perfect for turning Turnado into a live performance instrument.

Of course you can use the LPD8 to control anything you want by using MIDI learn to assign parameters to controls, or by selecting one of the 4 user configurable presets. The editor software is pretty straightforward.

LPD8 editor software
LPD8 editor software

The pads can transmit MIDI note, Program Change, and MIDI CC data. The knobs send MIDI CC data; low and high data values can be set for each knob (270 degree rotation).

Presets are fetched from and stored on the LPD8 as well as on your computer, so you can create a library of presets larger than the 4 slots available on the LPD. The “program” button on the LPD allows you to change presets, “prog chng” and “cc” buttons put the pads in respective modes. The “pad” button switches the pads to send out MIDI notes. The MIDI channel to be used is also stored in the presets.

Furthermore, pads can be set to be momentary (only active when held) or toggle.

So what do I think?

Product: LPD8 by Akai Pro
Format: USB MIDI controller
Price: 49 EUR
Like: Portable, quality hardware, affordable
Don’t like: Pad sensitivity
Verdict: 8/10

Notwithstanding its size, the LPD8 is a respectable controller. I kind of expected it would have a bit of a rinky-dink toy-like feel to it, so I was surprised to find it actually has a decent build quality. I have not yet dropped it, but I think it could take a reasonable amount of abuse without breaking. I feel comfortable taking this thing on the road.

What else can I say? The controller delivers exactly what it says on the package. An ultra portable USB controller with 8 pads and 8 knobs, 4 user programs, and a software editor.

I quite like the design, and the orange backlit pads are lovely to my eye. I only wish they would be a little more responsive. YMMV.

In short, the LPD8 is a good quality, affordable portable controller. Suitable for children of 2+ years old (and their mums & dads).

More information: Akai Professional / LPD8