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M-Audio introduces updated Keystation keyboard series

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M-Audio has introduced the updated Keystation keyboard series.

Designed to be simple, powerful solutions for sequencing music and playing virtual instruments, the new Keystation series boasts even more functionality, a virtual piano instrument, music production software and a sleek new colorway.

M-Audio Keystation Mini 32
The new Keystation Mini 32.

The four new Keystation models suit a wide range of musicians needing a pure, velocity-sensitive keyboard controller. The Keystation Mini 32 features synth-action mini-keys, octave shift, and sustain and modulation buttons for the travelling musician or producer.

The Keystation 49, 61 and 88 offer an extended physical octave range and full-size keys–ideal for use with a digital audio workstation or in a live performance setup. Lightweight and durable, they travel with ease and compliment nearly any musician’s studio.

New for the Keystation 49, 61 and 88 are transport and directional controls for simple DAW operation without a mouse or trackpad. A 6.3mm (1/4-inch) sustain input jack is included on each for expressive performance capabilities.

M-Audio Keystation 49
The updated Keystation 49 controller keyboard.

Also included with the Keystation 49, 61 and 88 is a powerful software suite for creating music. The Eighty-Eight Ensemble from SONiVOX lets you play one of the most sought after pianos in the world from the comfort of your Keystation keyboard. This powerful virtual instrument is an authentic capture of a 9-foot CD327 Steinway—meticulously recorded and expertly sampled. Ableton Live Lite, flexible music creation software, is included so you can create with professional flair right out of the box.

Keystation Mini 32 features

  • 32 velocity-sensitive, synth-action mini keys.
  • USB powered; a single cable provides power and MIDI connectivity.
  • Pitch bend, sustain, and modulation buttons add expression to your performances.
  • Octave-shift controls let you access the entire range of playable notes.
  • Includes Ignite music creation software by AIR Music Tech.
  • Works with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit for use with iOS devices.

Keystation 49, 61 and 88 features

  • 49, 61 or 88 full-size velocity-sensitive keys.
  • Transport and directional controls let you operate your DAW from the keyboard.
  • USB powered; a single cable provides power and MIDI connectivity.
  • Includes SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble virtual piano instrument.
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite digital audio workstation.
  • 6.3mm (1/4-inch) sustain pedal input.
  • Works with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit for use with iOS devices.

The new M-Audio Keystation Mini 32, Keystation 49, Keystation 61 and Keystation 88 will be available in Summer 2014 with a $49.99, $99.99, $169.99 and $219.99 street price, respectively.

M-Audio will showcase the Keystation series at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: M-Audio

RME intros Fireface 802 audio interface

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RME has introduced the Fireface 802, a new USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 audio interface at the Musikmesse 2014.

RME Fireface 802

60 channels of audio, high-end microphone preamps, reference class converters, a complete effects section and operation at up to 192 kHz are the base for many more features:

Ultra-low latency operation with USB or FireWire, combined with the legendary RME driver stability and maintenance. Active jitter suppression, individually switchable reference levels for all inputs and outputs, full stand-alone functionality, RME’s unique DIGICheck metering and analysis toolbox, and identical operation on Windows PC and Mac.

New in Fireface 802

  • New look with improved usability.
  • Dedicated Control Room section for the main output (e. g. studio monitors) and other monitoring outputs (e. g. phones). All existing stereo output channels can be freely assigned as source for the control room section channels.
  • Four definable groups for Solo, Mute and Faders.
  • Switchable Mono and Stereo channel view.
  • Channel Options: Stereo Width, MS Processing, Phase L/R.
  • Trim mode: Adjusts the volume for all routed signals of a channel simultaneously, equalling a hardware’s trim functionality as well as a Post-FX Send function.
  • Unlimited Undo and Redo.
  • FX Sends and Returns: One send bus for every input/playback channel with Reverb/Echo.
  • Expandable channel view for channel settings, EQ and Dynamics.
  • Slim channel mode for selected or all channels, to save space or give a meter bridge view.
  • 2 Row Mode: reduces the height of the mixer to two rows for smaller displays.
  • Reworked Matrix with mono/stereo mode, Undo/Redo, display of phase and mute.

More information: RME / Fireface 802

Dynaudio Professional intros new BM mkIII & BMS II series monitors

Dynaudio BM5 mkIII

Dynaudio Professional has introduced four new near-field monitors, mounting solutions and two new precision subwoofers at the Musikmesse / ProLight+Sound 2014 show in Frankfurt.

The new near-field monitors include BM Compact mkIII, BM5 mkIII, BM6 mkIII and BM12 mkIII and on the subwoofer side, BM9S II and BM14S II.

Pursuing Perfection

Still made in Denmark, Dynaudio Professional’s BM range has become a pro audio industry standard since its introduction 15 years ago. Since then, continuous improvements to this series have been made to further support discerning professionals’ needs for transparent, highly responsive and non-fatiguing listening monitors. This new series is the next step in that evolution.

The smaller BM Compact mkIII and BM5 mkIII models both feature expanded frequency response and SPL thanks to a combination of improvements including drivers design and Class D amplifiers. Each includes an auto standby mode as well as both XLR and RCA input connectors for maximum flexibility. BM6 mkIII and BM12 mkIII have been revoiced and now include Dynaudio Professional’s innovative wave guide that ensures utmost precision when distributing high frequencies. Both of the BMS II subwoofers have also been further optimized to compliment the new range of mkIII near-field monitors.

IsoAcoustics Stands Included

Dynaudio Professional searched for what it felt was the world’s best isolation stand and chose IsoAcoustics. Each of the new BM mkIII near-field monitors comes bundled with a dual-branded IsoAcoustics monitor stand that allows the monitors to ‘float’ in free space. This provides an authentic and uncolored sound that is achieved by eliminating energy transfer to surrounding surfaces. The advantages are significant and apart from a tighter bass response, overall imaging is enhanced and the monitors are able to always perform to their full potential. BM Compact mkIII and BM5 mkIII come with an ISO-L8R 155 stand. BM6 mkIII and BM12 mkIII come with ISO-L8R 200 stand.

A Complete Monitoring System

Renowned for sonic consistency across the product range, Dynaudio Professional near-fields and subwoofers are designed to work together. However the company also considers the broader workflow needs of professionals. These are supported by a range of accessories spanning new mounting solutions for larger studios and broadcasters to precision level controls for the desktop – the Volume Box for BM Compact mkIII, the TC Level Pilot for BM6 mk III and BM12 mkIII and of course the TC Electronic BMC-2 Monitor Controller.

Fred Speckeen, Global Brand Manager for Dynaudio Professional concludes: “We are tremendously proud of this next step in the evolution of the Dynaudio Professional product range, a brand that has been chosen by ear by the world’s most discerning studio professionals and broadcasters.“

The products will be available in May (North America) / April (Europe, rest of world), for a suggested US retail price of:

  • BM Compact mkIII: $629.99 USD.
  • BM5 mkIII: $729.99 USD.
  • BM6 mkIII: $899.99 USD.
  • BM12 mkIII: $1,229.99 USD.
  • BM9S II: $999.99 USD.
  • BM14S II: $1,849.99 USD.

More information: Dynaudio Professional / BM mkIII and BMS II

BOSS announces GP-10, GT-001, VE-2 & GT-100 version 2.0 update

BOSS has announced the GP-10 and GT-001 guitar processors, the VE-2 vocal harmonist, and a version 2.0 update of the GT-100 amp effects processor.

BOSS GP-10

GP-10: Guitar Processor

The new GP-10 puts a universe of amazing tones and tunings at your command, all in one compact processor that’s affordable and easy to use. With a Roland GK-compatible pickup on your guitar, the GP-10 lets you transform your sound into numerous classic electric and acoustic guitar types, basses, and even analog-modeled synths, including the legendary Roland GR-300. Not stopping there, you have access to instant altered tunings, including popular open tunings, 12-string tones, and “down” tunings that are essential for today’s ultra-heavy rock styles.

The versatile GP-10 also functions as a full-featured multi-effects processor for both GK and normal pickups, giving you a huge selection of COSM® amps and effects for live playing and studio recording. In addition, USB connectivity lets you capture GP-10 tones directly into your DAW, and you can even play computer-based soft synths from your axe with the GP-10’s guitar-to-MIDI convertor!

GT-001: Guitar Effects Processor

The GT-001 packs the acclaimed amps and effects of the flagship GT-100 Version 2.0 in a stylish desktop processor for your home studio or mobile rig. Its small size fits easily into any workspace, while the intuitive interface makes it simple to dial up world-class tones for recording and practice.

BOSS GT-001

In addition to the guitar input, an XLR mic input is included for capturing vocals or acoustic instruments, and the built-in USB audio/MIDI interface provides a direct connection for creating music with your favorite DAW.

Like the GT-100, the GT-001 offers powerful sound creation possibilities with dual amps and effects chains and flexible routing options. On top of that, a newly developed guitar-to-MIDI function lets you have fun with Guitar Friend Jam and other computer programs from a normal guitar input—no special pickup required! Available as a free download, the BOSS TONE STUDIO software provides a cool graphical interface for tweaking tones from your computer, plus access to BOSS TONE CENTRAL for free studio-ready patches and much more.

BOSS VE-2

VE-2: Vocal Harmonist

Combining sophisticated sound with simple operation, the VE-2 Vocal Harmonist delivers a complete effects solution for all singers, particularly those that perform with guitar. This portable, battery-powered stompbox has everything you need to create polished, studio-quality sounds everywhere you sing, from concert stages and street performances to practicing and having fun at home.

The VE-2 magically creates beautiful harmonized vocals that follow your singing, with pitch that automatically tracks the chords played on a connected guitar, a preset key, or a combination of the two. Using one of these three operation modes, it’s easy to create perfect real-time harmonies in any key, even if you have no experience with gear or music theory.

In addition to harmony, the VE-2 provides essential effects to enhance your voice, such as high-quality reverb/delay and an enhancer with real-time pitch correction. Also included is a USB audio function that allows you to connect to your computer and easily capture impressive VE-2 vocal sounds for music recordings, social media videos, and more.

GT-100: Amp Effects Processor

With the new GT-100 Version 2.0 update, BOSS’ flagship multi-effects processor is now even more powerful than before, adding a host of great new features to its already formidable arsenal.

BOSS GT-100

Two new amp types are included, along with cutting-edge MDP effects, an acoustic guitar simulator, and an improved rotary effect. A convenient Guitar-to-MIDI function is on board as well, letting you have fun with Guitar Friend Jam and other computer software using your normal guitar.

The GT-100’s USB audio capabilities have been expanded too, providing greater flexibility for re-amping applications. And with the BOSS TONE STUDIO software, you can now edit GT-100 patches from a friendly graphical interface on your computer.

More information: BOSS

BluGuitar introduces Amp1 guitar amplifier

BluGuitar has announced Amp1, a new analogue guitar amp unit.

BluGuitar Amp1
The Amp1 by Thomas Blug, renowned guitarist and official “Strat King of Europe”.

Amp1 is a fully analogue guitar amp with four channels amplified by a newly designed 100-watt Class D tube power amp. The amp sets new standards in terms of power, vitality, responsiveness and genuinely analogue output stage behaviour – the only Class D power amp to offer a PowerSoak. Amp1 features a Clean Channel and three Overdrive channels. Each of the four channels can be supplemented with an extra portion of gain via the built-in Boost control. Thanks to Amp1’s unique Custom Controls, guitarists can even customise the responsiveness and tonal character of each of the four channels to their own personal needs in order to maximise their individual tone.

Amp1 is perfect for use without a loudspeaker, just with headphones or for “Silent Recording”. You can use Amp1 like an amp head on top of your cab, connect it up to your effects board and stompboxes, or simply use it like an FX pedal on the floor in front of you. Amp1’s three footswitches let you select between the Clean/Vintage/Classic/Modern channels, with Boost and Reverb settings either on or off.

With Amp1 it’s possible to build a complete 100-watt guitar amp and effects setup on a single pedalboard for the first time ever. This will really help reduce the amount of cabling guitarists will need to use, which not only benefits their tone, but will also save the pro player an awful lot of time with assembly and clear-up before and after the gig.

Amp1 & Remote1

Using the optional Remote1 foot pedal, all of Amp1’s functions can be directly selected via 9 switches. These settings can be stored as presets. There are 4 Banks with 9 Presets available. Consistent with the Presets, Remote1’s MIDI out can be used to switch programmes on external MIDI-capable effect devices.

Alternatively, the optional MIDI1 Adapter allows players to control Amp1 with their own favourite MIDI foot pedals. For players who want to integrate their favourite FX pedals into the Amp1 guitar system, the optional Looper-Kit extension (featuring four true bypass relay loops) is available, making pedalboard tap dancing and sound loss a thing of the past.

BluGuitar Amp1 is available in stores from June 2014, priced at RRP 649 EUR. BluGuitar Remote1 retails at 349 EUR; BluGuitar Looper-Kit is 249 EUR, and the BluGuitar MIDI1 Adapter costs 49 EUR.

The Amp1 guitar amplifier system and the 61 Masterbuilt electric guitar are introduced at Musikmesse 2014, in Hall 4.0, Stand H10.

More information: BluGuitar

Arturia announces KeyLab 88 MIDI controller keyboard

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Arturia has announced the KeyLab 88, an 88-note MIDI keyboard controller and hybrid synthesizer solution.

Arturia KeyLab 88

As implied by name, KeyLab 88 takes its rightful place at the top of Arturia’s acclaimed range of professional-grade MIDI keyboard controllers with a high-quality hammer-action Fatar keybed boasting 88 keys. Indeed, it’s all in the name.

For KeyLab 88 comes complete with Analog Lab — Arturia’s accomplished software synthesizer solution for Mac and PC with over 5,000 TAE® (True Analog Emulation) synthesis-powered professionally-programmed presets — to create a performance powerhouse par excellence.

KeyLab 88 will be available by the end of August, 2014. Pricing TBA.

More information: Arturia

Arturia launches MiniBrute SE analog synthesizer

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Arturia has announced the MiniBrute SE, a ‘special edition’ of its analogue mono synthesizer.

Arturia MiniBrute SE

Arturia’s red-hot MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer set the electronic musical instrument world alight immediately upon its introduction in 2012. Indeed, it rapidly reset the price/performance ratio benchmark when successfully soaring through the subtractive synthesis sound barrier while singlehandedly setting a new standard for what a hardware synthesizer should be.

Hot on its heels comes a ‘special edition’ that is very special indeed. MiniBrute SE shares the same physical footprint as the original MiniBrute, but builds upon this amazingly compact and bijou analogue monosynth in both looks and features.

Although a sturdy and stylish brushed aluminium casing with wooden sides surely make MiniBrute SE stand out from the analogue crowd, skin-deep good looks are not the be and end all here, however, as added functionality runs deeper still.

An all-new step SEQUENCER elegantly expands playing options with the MiniBrute SE — six Pattern sequences with up to 64 steps each to create multiple musical phrases, to be precise. Yet it is capable of so much more than simply replaying pre- programmed Pattern sequences ad infinitum. Users can create new musical phrases from existing ones by changing the playback Mode, Gate Len (timing), and Swing settings in realtime from the clearly labelled front panel — perfect for inspiring new musical ideas and creating exciting live performances on the fly.

MiniBrute SE is proof positive that the original MiniBrute was no fly-by-night success story. A pure analogue signal path and attractive features like a multi-wave OSCILLATOR and Sub Osc combined with a huge-sounding Steiner-Parker multimode FILTER (fittingly revised by Nyle Steiner himself) and wide-ranging modulation capabilities confirm that MiniBrute SE continues to innovate while breathing new life into recordings and stage performances.

Add fantastic features like Ultrasaw (generating shimmering sawtooth waveforms), Metalizer (adding extreme triangle waveform-induced harmonics), LFO (with sample and hold), and full USB/MIDI/CV connectivity into the musical mix, and what have you got? A killer-sounding, step sequencing-capable synth with looks to die for, that’s what!

MiniBrute SE will be available to purchase at the end of May, 2014, priced at 549 EUR / $599 USD.

More information: Arturia

M-Audio intros new Oxygen controller keyboards

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M-Audio has introduced the new Oxygen series of controller keyboards for musicians and producers.

M-Audio Oxygen 25

Available in 25-, 49- or 61-key models, the Oxygen series combines a velocity-sensitive keybed with a series of 8 trigger pads. Used for launching audio clips, triggering percussion sounds and more, the pads also provide velocity-sensitive response and illuminated feedback. Control capabilities expand with 8 assignable knobs – perfect for adjusting plugin parameters and mixing tasks. The Oxygen 25 features an assignable master fader while the Oxygen 49 and 61 provide 9 total faders for virtually limitless MIDI manipulation. Each keyboard in the series features an LCD screen and transport controls for seamless operation with digital audio software. A 6.3mm (1/4-inch) sustain input jack is built in for expressive performances.

Every keyboard in the Oxygen series includes a powerful software package for creating music right away, starting with Ableton Live Lite – a dynamic music creation software, that lets musicians develop songs with extensive MIDI and audio processing tools. Twist, an acclaimed spectral-morphing software synthesizer from SONiVOX, creates swirling sonic textures that come to life with inspiring depth and motion.

Oxygen Series features

  • 25, 49 or 61 full-size, synth-action velocity-sensitive keys.
  • 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads for beat production, clip launching & more.
  • 8 assignable knobs for mixing and tweaking plugins.
  • 9 assignable faders (Oxygen 49, Oxygen 61).
  • Transport controls let you operate your DAW without reaching for the mouse.
  • Auto-maps to popular DAWs: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase.
  • LCD screen provides instant parameter feedback.
  • USB powered; a single cable provides power and MIDI connectivity.
  • Works with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately) for use with iOS devices.
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite for immediate and powerful music creation.
  • Includes SONiVOX Twist spectral morphing synthesizer.

The new Oxygen controller series will be available in Summer 2014 with a street price of $99 USD (25-keys) / $149 USD (49-keys) / $199 USD (61-keys).

M-Audio will showcase the Oxygen series at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: M-Audio