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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Alesis announces CORE Series USB audio interfaces

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Alesis has announced the new CORE Series of 24-bit USB Audio Interfaces providing complete, fully integrated recording solutions.

Alesis CORE Series

CORE Series interfaces offer a full range of recording solutions including XLR+1/4″ combo inputs, Mic/Line or Guitar level switching, headphone outputs with level controls for efficient monitoring, and each model ships with a Cubase® 7 LE.

CORE 1, a single input/dual output inline interface, is ideal for on-the-go recording or the budget-conscious producer. CORE 2 offers both audio and MIDI connections for full studio integration. Topping out the series is the CORE 8, an eight-channel rack mount interface suited for live or studio applications.

CORE Series features

  • CORE 1 – 1-Channel In-Line USB Audio Interface:
    • 2-channel mini USB, 24-bit/48 kHz output.
    • 1 XLR+1/4″ TRS combo input with gain knob.
    • Mic/Line or Guitar level switch.
    • Stereo headphone out with level control.
    • Modern sand-blasted aluminum housing.
  • CORE 2 – 2-Channel Desktop USB 2.0 Audio+MIDI Interface:
    • 2-channel USB 2.0 24-bit/96 kHz output.
    • 2 XLR+1/4″ TRS combo input with gain knobs.
    • 2 Mic/Line or Guitar level switches; phantom power.
    • Stereo headphone out with level and input/USB monitoring.
    • 2 Powered USB hub ports; MIDI In and MIDI out.
    • Stereo 1/4″ outs.
    • LED segment metering.
    • Sand-blasted aluminum housing.
    • ERP Compliant – Auto off.
  • CORE 8 – 8-Channel Rack Mount USB 2.0 Audio Interface:
    • 8-channel USB 2.0, 24-bit/96 kHz output.
    • 8 XLR+1/4″ TRS combo input with gain knobs.
    • 2 Mic/Line or Guitar level switches; phantom power.
    • Dual stereo headphone out with level and input/USB monitoring.
    • Stereo main + monitor outs.
    • LED segment metering.
    • 2U metal rack mount enclosure.
    • ERP Compliant – Auto off.

The CORE Series will be available to purchase for $49.99 USD (CORE 1), $149.99 USD (CORE 2), and $299.99 USD (CORE 8).

Alesis will present the CORE interface lineup at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Alesis

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Alesis introduces VI & V Series Keyboard/Pad Controllers

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Alesis has announced the new V Series and VI Series of full-size keyboard/pad controllers.

The performance-oriented V Series offers expressive hands-on control for the software musician. The step-up VI Series provides increased control for the keyboard performer. Both series include a Software Preset/Parameter utility that makes setup a snap.

The new Alesis V Series (V61, V49, V25) combine velocity-sensitive keys with eight drum/trigger pads, allowing virtual instruments to be played with dynamic expression.

Alesis V25

Cool blue LEDs illuminate the pads—as well as the four assignable knobs and buttons—for positive visibility. Assignments may be made quickly via the MIDI Learn feature. Octave shift keys provide access to the entire note range. A single USB cable provides both a power and data connection to nearly any computer.

Alesis V Series features

  • Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61).
  • Pitch Bend and Modulation Wheels.
  • 8 Pads with blue LED illumination.
  • 4 Assignable knobs and buttons.
  • Sustain pedal input.
  • USB MIDI.

The VI Series (VI61, VI49, VI25) add semi-weighted keys and aftertouch.

Alesis VI49

The pad count has been increased to 16, with multi-color illumination. This layout provides intensive command over the clip trigger workflow of top DAW and compositional software.

The internal clock offers drum roll, tempo, and sync capabilities. An optional power supply and a standard MIDI output allow for stand-alone use.

Alesis VI Series features

  • Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61).
  • Semi-weighted keys with Aftertouch.
  • Pitch Bend & Modulation Wheels.
  • 16 Pads with Multi-color LED illumination.
  • VI25: 8 knobs, 24 buttons.
  • VI49: 12 knobs, 36 buttons.
  • VI61: 16 knobs, 48 buttons.
  • Transport and Present up/down buttons.
  • Sustain pedal input.
  • USD MIDI, MIDI Out.
  • Internal Clock for sync, tempo, rolls, etc.

The V and VI Series will have the following respective estimated street prices, V25 ($79.99 USD), V49 ($99.99 USD), V61 ($149.99 USD), VI25 ($169.99 USD), VI49 ($199.99 USD), and VI61 ($249.99 USD).

Alesis will unveil the V and VI Series at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Alesis

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Subaqueous releases Retro Drums – Free Vintage Drum Racks

Subaqueous Retro Drums

Subaqueous has rekeased Retro Drums, a free vintage drum racks pack for Ableton Live.

Of late I’ve been really inspired by the sounds of the 80’s. I even watched the movie Xanadu last night for inspiration. What a terribly awesome movie by the way. Iv’e been loving the vintage tape sounds,lush synth pads,and striking percussion. I’ve had a chance to work with some analog drum machines to make Live Drum Racks for my production. The drum machines were the Alesis HR16, LinnDrum, and Simmons Crash Trap.

I’ve spent time processing the one shots, 76 in total, and putting them in drum racks with Macro controls for Ableton Live 9. I’m really proud of how these racks turned out and wanted to share them with you all. Hope to inspire some rad chillwave and glo-fil, been really digging that genre of late.

The drum racks pack is a free download. A pack of one shot samples for use in any DAW is also available.

More information: Subaqueous / Retro Drums

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Chokehold releases Alexis D-Four plug-in

Chokehold has launched Alexis D-Four, a free drum sampler instrument for Windows and Mac.

Chokehold Alexis D-Four
The Alesis D4 drum and percussion sound module sampled.

I didn’t just want to get the samples out of this machine, I wanted to capture and simulate the dynamic range of the device – which had an impressive -76dBfs noise floor.

Even though it was a one-shot machine, the idling noise was loud enough so that a close listener could really hear the samples fade into the noise floor differently at changing velocities.

Others have sampled D4s before, but they usually just capture one loud sample and scale its volume down for lower velocities. Which also lowers the volume of the noise floor being played back, and thereby distorting the dynamic behavior of the device. Might sound cleaner at lower volumes, but not authentic.

Younger ears used to ultra-sterile digital samples might find these sounds a little grungy and fuzzy, I find that as well. But it’s not a harsh or evil fuzz, it’s actually a very warm and pleasant hiss, and may just be what’s missing in oh so many modern productions.

Alexis D-Four features

  • A sampled 90s drum module with a huge 1.16GB sound library.
  • 500 drum sounds, 3000 samples, 1 custom patch.
  • Plugin player for Win or Mac, VSTi or AUi, x86 or x64.

The Alexis D-Four is a free download.

More information: Chokehold

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