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Nektar launches Impact LX25 & LX61 controller keyboards and NP-1 & NP-2 footswitches

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Nektar has announced the Impact LX25 and Impact LX61, two USB MIDI controller keyboards, featuring the unique and musician friendly direct integration with most DAWs, Nektar Keyboards are famous for.

Nektar Impact LX25 / LX61

The Impact LX25 is a feature packed 25-note, velocity sensitive, synth-style keyboard with pitch bend, modulation wheel, fader, 8 pots, 8 pads, transport control, 3-digit LED display, foot switch and USB sockets. Its functionality extends beyond its compact size and provides similar access to DAW parameters and navigation as its bigger siblings.

The Impact LX61 is a comprehensive 61-note velocity sensitive, synth-style keyboard with pitch bend, modulation wheel, 9 faders, 9 MIDI buttons, 8 pots, 8 pads, transport control, 3-digit LED display, foot switch and USB sockets.

Every control can be programmed to send MIDI messages with settings stored in 5 user-presets making Impact LX 25 and Impact LX61 compatible with any MIDI software. A unique pad learn function enables pads to be assigned MIDI note numbers on the fly with setups stored in an additional 4 pad maps.

Impact LX25 and Impact LX61 really stand out with the direct integration with DAWs including Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Digital Performer, GarageBand, Logic Pro, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Sonar and Studio One.

Integration includes track and patch navigation as well as button switching between Mixer and Instrument control. Parameters are pre-assigned and include functions for launching the DAWs relevant windows, right from Impact LX. The extensive mapping of transport functions not only includes traditional transport buttons but also options to set left and right locators/loop points, click on/off plus much more.

Impact LX61 is available to purchase for MSRP $229.99/ 179.99 EUR / £159.99 GBP. Impact LX25 will be available from May, priced at MSRP $129.99 USD / 109.99 EUR / £99.99 GBP.

Nektar has also announced the release of the NP-1 and NP-2 foot switch pedals, designed for musicians who need a quality pedal for keyboard sustain or any other foot switch operation.

Nektar NP-1 & NP-2

The NP-1 is in a heavy duty metal housing with nice, thick rubber padding both at the top and bottom to ensure a good solid grip. A 6ft cable, 1/4 TS jack connector and a polarity switch delivers universal compatibility with all keyboards featuring a sustain pedal foot switch socket.

The NP-2 is designed around a solid metal pedal and base. The design gives it real weight which is also reinforced with a think rubber pad on the bottom. The housing is rubberized giving it a luxurious feel. As with the NP-1, a6ft cable, 1/4 TS jack connector and a polarity switch delivers universal compatibility with all keyboards featuring a sustain pedal foot switch socket.

The NP-1 is available to purchase for MSRP $19.99 USD / 19.99 EUR / £16.49 GBP; NP-2 costs MSRP $24.99 USD / 24.99 EUR / £19.99 GBP.

More information: Nektar

Akai Pro intros MPX16 sample recorder & player

Akai Professional has announced the MPX16, an advanced sample player with onboard sound recording.

Akai Pro MPX16

The portable MPX16 plays and records .WAV samples using SD cards for powerful, reliable performance in live and studio situations. Like the popular MPX8, samples are triggered internally from the highly responsive MPC-style pads or an external MIDI device via USB-MIDI and 3.5mm (1/4-inch) MIDI inputs. Also a feature-packed MIDI pad controller, the MPX16 is equally capable of launching clips or adding trigger pads to a producer’s studio.

Samples are captured at CD-quality via dual 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs or the on-board stereo microphone and saved to an SD card. The user may assign audio clips to the pads and apply tuning, filters, envelopes and “choke” grouping for creative, dynamic performances. An LCD screen and illuminated trigger pads provide visual feedback during use, and the MPX16 may be powered from a USB port or the included power supply. Naturally, users may load existing sound files onto an SD card or use the MPX16 as an SD card reader for drag-and-drop convenience on a Mac or PC. A software tool for even easier sample management is included via download.

MPX16 features

  • Record and play back stereo .WAV samples using any SD card.
  • 16 ultra-responsive, velocity sensitive backlit trigger pads.
  • Sample via 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs or internal mic.
  • MIDI In/Out easily integrates into your performance or studio setup.
  • Filter, tune, envelope and choke grouping on each pad.
  • CD quality sampling and playback.
  • Includes computer software editor for efficient loading and editing of samples.
  • Acts as an SD card reader for loading sounds over USB.
  • Powered by USB or the included power supply; SD card included.

The MPX16 will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with a $199.99 USD street price.

Akai Professional will unveil the MPX16 at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

Akai Pro announces APC40 mkII, APC Key 25 & APC mini

Akai Professional has announced the APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC mini, three new Ableton Live controllers.

Akai Pro APC series 2014

In 2009, Akai Professional partnered with the creators of Ableton Live, a powerful performance and production software environment, and introduced the original Ableton Performance Controller. With the debut of the APC40, Akai Pro raised the standards for controller design and revolutionized Ableton Live software and hardware integration. Akai Pro now unveils the reimagined APC40 mkII along with two compact Ableton Live controllers—APC Key 25 and APC mini.

APC40 mkII

Akai Pro’s flagship Ableton Live controller, the new APC40 mkII, incorporates five years of user feedback into its design for extended functionality, countless musical capabilities, and improved workflow. The APC40 mkII features a 5×8 RGB LED clip-launching matrix, assignable A/B crossfader, 8 rotary knobs, 8 channel faders, and a send button for quick access to send busses.

Akai Pro APC40 mkII

Included with the APC40 mkII is a suite of software, samples, and loops for out-of-thebox electronic music production: Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology, and SONiVOX Twist give users endless music production possibilities with hand-selected samples & loops and high-definition virtual synthesizers. The APC40 mkII is USB-powered and supports plug-and-play.

APC40 mkII features

  • 5×8 RGB LED clip matrix—launches clips with visual feedback.
  • 8 channel faders, 1 master fader, and 8 device controls—map to Ableton Live directly.
  • Intuitive layout—revised knob layout with in-line controls for smarter workflow.
  • A/B crossfader—can be assigned on the fly for dynamic mixing.
  • Send button—press and hold Send and use the Track Selects to choose one of 8 sends.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology & SONiVOX Twist.

APC Key 25

APC Key 25 is the first controller designed for Ableton Live that is equipped with a highperformance keyboard. Uniting the power of a clip-launching panel with a keyboard interface, the APC Key 25 couples real-time control of Ableton Live with traditional composition tools.

Akai Pro APC Key 25

The controller includes 25 synth-action mini keys, a 5×8 clip-launch matrix with tri-color visual feedback, 8 control knobs, USB power, and plug-and-play connectivity. The APC Key 25 comes mapped to Ableton, but can also be used as an all-purpose MIDI controller.

APC Key 25 features

  • Ableton Live controller with keyboard—25 synth-action mini keys.
  • Tri-color clip matrix—launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status.
  • 8 assignable control knobs—hands-on-control of any Ableton Live parameter.
  • Octave Up, Octave Down, and Sustain—expands keyboard range and expression.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech & SONiVOX Twist.

APC mini

APC mini is the most portable all-in-one Ableton controller solution with Akai Pro build quality. Engineered for the mobile musician or producer, APC mini concentrates the essential features of the APC40 mkII into a space-saving design.

Akai Pro APC mini

An expanded 8×8 multicolor clip-launching grid, 8 channel faders, and a compact chassis provide unprecedented hands-on control over Ableton Live with a small footprint. The APC mini is also USB-powered and supports plug-and-play.

APC mini features

  • Tri-color clip matrix—8×8 grid launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status.
  • 8 channel faders & 1 master fader—provide hands-on-control of Ableton.
  • Compact construction—portable design for mobile performers and producers.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs & Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech.

The APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC mini will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with the following street prices: APC40 mkII ($399.99 USD), APC Key 25 ($129.99 USD), and APC mini ($99.99 USD).

Akai Professional will unveil the APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC Mini at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

Waldorf intros Streichfett hardware string synthesizer

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Waldorf has introduced Streichfett, a hardware synthesizer unit that combines the best of the now extinct species of String Synthesizers of the 70s and early 80s.

Waldorf Streichfett

Its dual sound engine features a fully polyphonic strings section and a monophonic solo section, which is essential for recreating how adult movies sounded thirty years ago. The Ensemble Effect handles lubrication of the String Section, while the Effects section adds adjustable Phaser or Reverb. Alternatively, the Effect section can be used to animate the strings registration, allowing spectacular sound morphs.

The Solo Section offset presets named Bass, E-Piano or Clavi, and just like in your typical string machine, the sound has little to do with that name. Instead, these are shimmering and slightly percussive sounds that blend well with the string section.

Streichfett features

  • Fully polyphonic Strings Section with Violin, Viola, Cello, Brass, Organ and Choir presets.
  • 2′nd Layer with Violin/Viola Voicing.
  • Ensemble Effect for String Section.
  • Typical String Envelope Generator with Crescendo and Release.
  • Monophonic Solo Section, offering Bass, E-Piano, Clavi, Synth and Pluto sounds.
  • Dedicated Tremolo for Solo Section.
  • Switchable Envelope generator with variable Sustain setting and Attack/Decay (Release) function.
  • Effect Section with Animate, Phaser or Reverb.
  • Layer or Split for Solo Section.
  • Dedicated balance knob for quick adjustment of layered/split sounds.
  • Fully programmable with 3 x 4 memory locations.

Pricing and availability TBA.

More information: Waldorf / Streichfett

Novation intros Launchpad S Control Pack

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Novation has announced the Launchpad S Control Pack, a combination of everything you need to make and perform electronic music with Ableton Live.

Novation Launchpad S Control Pack

Get Launchpad S, Launch Control, Ableton Live Lite 9, 1GB of loops and sounds, and two custom designed cases in a single pack. Launch loops and sounds and play drums and melodies with the Launchpad S, plus control mixer, instrument, and effects with Launch Control. As you move from studio to stage, the custom designed cases keep Launchpad S and Launch Control safe and secure.

Launchpad S Control Pack is a combination of everything you need to make and perform electronic music with Ableton Live, containing Launchpad S, Launch Control, two custom made protective sleeves, Ableton Live Lite 9, and a large pack of inspiring Loopmasters samples.

Pricing and release date TBA. Sign up here to find out directly from Novation when the Launchpad S Control Pack hits the shops.

More information: Novation / Launchpad S Control Pack

Native Instruments launches TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 limited-time ‘Spring Breaks’ special

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Spring Breaks Traktor Kontrol X1 Special

Native Instruments today launched ‘Spring Breaks’ – a limited-time special offer on the highly-acclaimed TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 decks and effects controller. Until March 31, 2014, customers can purchase TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 and receive a full version of the flagship TRAKTOR PRO 2 software for free.

TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 provides seamless, intuitive control. DJs get plug-and-play physical control over 2 track decks and 2 TRAKTOR FX units. The integrated multi-purpose touch strip offers inspiring tactile control over looping and FX via finger swiping, as well as convenient access to track nudge and needle drops. Adding to TRAKTOR KONTROL X1′s playback and effects control, capacitive touch sensitive encoders provide instant visual feedback on TRAKTOR PRO 2′s features.

Trusted by countless professionals, TRAKTOR PRO 2 offers DJs up to four virtual decks, intuitive looping and cueing functionality, and a wide range of over 40 effects. Integrated Remix Decks technology allows instant looping and sampling for on-the-fly remixes.

TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 is available for $199 USD / 199 EUR / £169 GBP. The offer is valid from until March 31st, 2014. The TRAKTOR PRO 2 license included with purchase of TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 during this offer is not eligible for resale.

More information: Native Instruments / Traktor Kontrol X1

Harrison 950SC Sidecar & 950RR Roller Rack shipping

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Harrison Consoles has announced the introduction of the 950 line of studio furniture – the 950SC Sidecar and 950RR Roller Rack. Both units are now shipping to pre-order customers.

Harrison Consoles 950SC Sidecar

The Harrison 950SC and 950RR were designed to match the look of the Harrison 950mx analog console, but are also well-suited for any studio requiring high-end furniture solutions.

The 950SC features a solid, heavy-duty construction using extruded aluminum framing and a powder-coated metal finish. In a studio workspace, the 950SC provides 10 rack spaces at desk-height. Harrison designs have always emphasized ergonomics – thus, the rack space has been angled 15 degrees for usability.

The 950SC features a conventional open-back design that provides ample heat dissipation and room for cables. Rails and movable inserts are provided for cable dressing. The front of the 950SC features a convenient bolster for a computer keyboard or controller, and the top panel provides space for a computer or audio monitor.

Harrison Consoles 950RR Roller Rack

The 950RR also features a solid, heavy-duty construction that includes the same extruded aluminum framing and powder-coated metal finish as the 950SC. There are 16 rack spaces available on the front of the unit. In a studio workspace, the 950RR provides easy access to each side of the unit with its solid, industrial wheels. The engineering quality of the 950RR is apparent just from getting your hands on it – something that an engineer may need to do often during a studio session.

The 950RR also features rack rails on the rear which can be used for power conditioning, lights, additional I/O, or custom panels. This is helpful if the rack needs to move from room-to-room.

The top of the 950RR includes a vent for heat dissipation – a feature that is almost always overlooked in studio furniture. Because Harrison has accommodated proper airflow, the 950RR can be filled all the way to the top without worry of overheating.

The Harrison 950SC and 950RR are now available to purchase for $1,849 USD and $1,499 USD respectively.

More information: Harrison Consoles

Dangerous Music releases Dangerous Compressor for tracking, mixing & mastering

Dangerous Music has announced the release of the Dangerous Compressor, a dual-mono/stereo compressor for tracking, mixing and mastering designed by legendary mastering gear guru Chris Muth.

Dangerous Compressor
The dangerous compressor was designed to be simple, transparent and powerful.

Built to the exacting standards of the mastering community, as with all things Dangerous, it has also proven indispensable for tracking and mixing. Tame a vocal, tighten a snare, crush a sampled loop or gently smooth a track- the compressor will rise to the occasion, providing rapid results, intuitive feedback and without coloration.

Like all Dangerous Music equipment, the compressor achieves musical, yet transparent results; in the words of producer and mixer Michael James (New Radicals, Hole, Robben Ford, L7, Edwin McCain, The Coronas) “The new Dangerous Compressor is a ‘must have’ in my world. It’s a refreshing complement to the currently fashionable boxes that indiscriminately add color to your sound-whether you want it or not.”

Dangerous Compressor features

  • Simple:
    • Hit your choice of buttons and twist the threshold for radio-ready results.
    • Smart Dyn Dual Slope Detection: Automatically limits peaks while stealthily compressing the average.
    • Auto Attack/Release: Replace “guess” with “yes” for rapid-fire results.
  • Transparent:
    • Performs like an automated fader: No more drawing vocal rides.
    • True Stereo Dual Detector: Traditional linking shares one detector, often resulting in a narrower stereo image.
    • Immaculate VCA: Virtually no distortion, even with 20dB of gain reduction.
  • Powerful:
    • Internal sidechain circuitry houses the audiophile soul of the compressor.
    • Bass Cut: Tightens the track without sacrificing the low end.
    • Sibilance Boost: Shave sibilance and shrill histrionics with zero post-compression hangover.

The new Dangerous Compressor is available through dealers worldwide for a street price of $2,799 USD.

More information: Dangerous Music / Dangerous Compressor