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Native Instruments introduces the updated TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 – now iOS-ready

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Native Instruments has announced new iOS compatibility for the updated TRAKTOR AUDIO 2, the world’s smallest premium DJ audio interface.

NI Traktor Audio 2 iOS-ready

Now plug-and-play with the latest version of TRAKTOR DJ – the pro DJ app for iPad and iPhone – TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 transforms iOS devices into a mobile, crowd-worthy DJ setup. Designed for ultimate portability, TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 delivers pristine, premium 24-bit/48 kHz audio in an unsurpassed pocket-sized format.

The ultra-compact TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 now joins the growing list of iOS compatible hardware by Native Instruments. With the release of iOS version 7.1, TRAKTOR AUDIO 2, TRAKTOR KONTROL S4, S2, and Z1 now all connect seamlessly to an iPad or iPhone running the latest version of TRAKTOR DJ. With an even slimmer, streamlined profile, the updated TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 is more portable than ever. Two 1/8 inch stereo outputs allow for seamless track cueing and headphone monitoring in TRAKTOR PRO 2 or TRAKTOR DJ. The outputs of the TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 can be connected to a standard DJ mixer, allowing two TRAKTOR Decks to be mixed with familiar tactile control.

TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 connects to laptops or iOS devices using the included mini-USB or 30-pin to USB cables. Using the AUDIO 2 with iPad 4 and iPhone 5 requires a 30-pin to Lightning adapter. When using TRAKTOR DJ on an iPhone or iPad, connecting the optional power supply increases the overall output volume and keeps the connected device charged. TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 includes TRAKTOR LE 2. Two decks, three effects, and all essential mixing features provide a ready-to-use package designed for entry-level DJs.

TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 is available to purchase for $99 USD / 99 EUR / £89 GBP. A $50 USD / 50 EUR / £44 GBP e-voucher will also be sent to users upon registration of the included TRAKTOR LE software.

More information: Native Instruments / TRAKTOR AUDIO 2

Introducing MIDI HACK – a MIDI, OSC & CV focused hackathon

MIDI HACK is a 24h hackathon sponsored by Ableton, Native Instruments & Spotify celebrating the protocols (such as MIDI, OSC & CV) and technologies that are the backbone of analog and digital music creation.

MIDI HACK
The MIDI HACK weekend will offer lectures and performances from artists and creators. The focus of the event will be on letting our participants create new and ground breaking ideas.

The goal of MIDI HACK is to bring together industry leaders, interesting start-ups, software developers, hardware fanatics and musicians who push the envelope of music creation, and to spawn great and creative ideas for the future. Ever wanted to rip apart MIDI controllers to create a new one? Maybe write a new VST or AU? Or how about finding new ways to perform? Then this is the hack for you.

The name MIDI HACK derives from the midi protocol that has defined music creation for more than 30 years. Together with OSC (Open Sound Control – an open source version of the same idea) and CV (Control Voltage – used to control analogue synthesizers) they are the three pillars of music creation today whenever there’s a synthesizer or computer involved.

A hack is a abbreviation of hackathon, a defined space that during a limited tine engages people in overcome a defined target or investigate a certain subject. Midi hack is aimed for the people who love music creation and sees a potential for involvement within the area.

MIDI HACK will take place May 17th-18th, 2014, at Spotify HQ, Stockholm – Sweden. The application form opens Tuesday March 18th, and closes March 30th, 2014.

More information: MIDI HACK

Bastl Instruments intros microGranny 2.0 granular sampler

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Bastl Instruments has introduced microGranny 2.0, a monophonic granular sampler.

Bastl Instruments microGranny 2.0 limited blue
Limited Blue Spring Edition 2014 of the microGranny 2.0 granular sampler.

It reads wav samples from microSD card and applies granular algorithms to them. You can also adjust start, end, sample rate (tuned or free run), crush and envelope (attack release).

MIDI Input allows external control of all parameters as well as transposition of the samples, or playing individual grains by different keys.

microGranny features

  • Monophonic mono sampler.
  • MicroSD card (storing + recording samples, storing presets).
  • 6 sounds with full adjustments storable in a preset at once.
  • 60 presets in 10 banks (6 preset per bank), stored as .txt files on microSD card.
  • Wav sample playback from microSD card (mono, 22050 Hz, 8 or 16 bit, two letter file name).
  • 8-bit 22050Hz wav recording via line input or onboard microphone.
  • Hold button.
  • Sample rate (tuned or free run).
  • Crush.
  • Start, end position with repeat, instant loop.
  • Granular settings: grain size and shift speed (positive or negative).
  • Amplitude envelope attack and release.
  • MIDI Input – responds to note, cc and clock (synchronize loop and grains).
  • MIDI side chain envelope restart.
  • Copy, paste.
  • Input & output volume knob.
  • Power switch – plug / battery.
  • Hackable – arduino based.

A limited Blue Spring Edition of microGranny 2.0 is available for pre-order, priced at 160 EUR. It will be shipped by April 14th, 2014, latest.

More information: Bastl Instruments / microGranny 2.0

Nektar announces Panorama workflow integration with BitWig Studio

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Nektar Panorama integration with Bitwig Studio

Nektar has announced the deep integration with the Bitwig Studio DAW and the Nektar Panorama range of controllers featuring the unique and musician friendly direct DAW integration Nektar P series Keyboards are famous for.

From day one, Bitwig Studio will benefit from the extensive and transparent Panorama workflow integration that allows for controlling the Bitwig Studio mixer, instruments, effects, transport plus clip and scene launching right from Panorama P1, P4 or P6.

Building on Panorama’s workflow concept developed first for Reason and Cubase, additional functionality has been added to take full advantage of the Bitwig Studio controller API. This includes the ability to browse the instrument and effects device libraries of patches by category or creator, right from Panorama.

A step sequencer has also been included using the 8 LED buttons to program any of the up to 32 steps in a sequence. Panorama creates the events directly in Bitwig Studio so they are instantly part of a song and ready for further manipulation.
Taking advantage of the pads on the Panorama P4 and P6, it’s possible to trigger, create and record clips and scenes in absolute real-time. The Panorama display provides constant updates to show which clips are currently active, including the name of the clips available on the current track.

All things considered and also taking into account the compatibility of BitWig Studio with VST plug-ins, full navigation of all devices and their parameters, complete mixer control including motorized fader – the Panorama/Bitwig Studio combination may well be the most advanced hardware/software combination to date.

Registered owners of Panorama will be able to download the Panorama Bitwig Studio installer on March 26th, 2014.

More information: Nektar

PreSonus intros Music Creation Suite Recording Kit

PreSonus has announced its Music Creation Suite, a complete recording kit comprising hardware and software components for producing music.

PreSonus Music Creation Suite

Create music, podcasts, and more and distribute projects on the Web with PreSonus® Music Creation Suite recording kit, a complete solution for classrooms, school labs, churches, and home studios!

This special all-PreSonus system combines an AudioBox USB interface with Studio One® Artist music-production software, Notion music-notation and composition software, the PS49 USB MIDI keyboard, HD3 monitoring headphones, an M7 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, a free Nimbit account, a powered USB hub, and all necessary cables and mounts.

PreSonus will offer lesson plans and instructional videos to help music educators get the most from the new hardware/software recording and composition kit.

The Music Creation Suite has an expected street price of $399.95 USD. Custom site licenses for multiple units can be generated when the products are registered.

More information: PreSonus / Music Creation Suite

Avid announces expanded AAX live sound plug-in platform for S3L System

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Avid has announced continued momentum in the live sound market with an expanded AAX live sound plug-in platform for the Avid S3L system.

Avid S3L
Avid S3L users can now choose from a wide range of plug-ins from Avid as well as some of the world’s most respected developers including Crane Song, McDSP, and Sonnox.

To meet the growing demand for more powerful, flexible processing, Avid S3L drives AAX plug-ins directly on an HDX-powered processing engine. It delivers the tightest integration and lowest latency of any live plug-in system, without the expense and complexity of outboard solutions. By supporting industry-standard Pro Tools® plug-ins, Avid live systems enable engineers to select the best plug-ins to suit their needs.

“With its unique capabilities and growing plug-in platform, Avid S3L is quickly becoming the console of choice for users requiring a compact, no-compromise system that can meet the toughest challenges,” said Sheldon Radford, director of product management, live systems and consoles at Avid. “Avid S3L gives live sound professionals the greatest flexibility to choose the right plug-in for the job. The plug-ins appear within the VENUE software and are fully integrated within the session file and snapshots. This provides the best possible user experience without the need for additional hardware or management.”

“Partnering with Avid helps ensure that we stay at the forefront of industry innovation when it comes to delivering high-performance plug-ins for the live sound industry,” said Colin McDowell, CEO/CTO at McDSP. “Together, AAX and VENUE offer live sound professionals the perfect integrated processing solution, so we’re delighted to be able to bring our range of plug-ins, including our 6030 Ultimate Compressor, to the Avid S3L system.”

The release of the free VENUE 4.1.3 software update provides support for the latest qualified plug-ins, with Avid continually qualifying additional AAX live sound plug-ins. As part of the update, current and new S3L customers can also download additional free AAX plug-ins for their system through their Avid customer account.

Avid S3L will be on show in the Avid stand G40A in Hall 8.0 at Musikmesse / Prolight + Sound, from 12-15 March 2014.

More information: Avid

Harrison 832c Filter Unit now shipping

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Harrison has announced that the Harrison 832c Filter Unit is now shipping.

Harrison 832c Filter Unit

From Abba to Zappa: Countless ground-breaking artists have been recorded and mixed on Harrison-designed consoles. AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, Robert Plant’s “Ship of Fools”, Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” all feature the signature Harrison sound! The greatest selling album of all time – Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – was recorded and mixed on a Harrison 32-series console using the very same filters featured on the new Harrison 832c Filter Unit!

The 832c features 8 channels of high / low pass filters from Harrison’s world-renowned 32c console – providing classic Harrison sound for recording and mixing in a convenient 1U rack space. Each channel features independent controls for both the high and low-pass filters, a Bump button, 2 sweepable filter knobs, and a 7-segment LED input meter.

When engaged, the “Bump” button creates a resonant boost just above the selected high-pass filter frequency – re-creating the signature low-end of the Harrison 32-series consoles. This feature keeps instruments from sounding thin when you roll off the unwanted low frequency energy. Combined with proper execution of the low-pass filter, the “Bump” feature makes the 832c the perfect tool to fatten kick drums, beef up bass lines, and add body to guitar tracks – all while helping each instrument find its place in the mix.

The audio connections are provided on AES59 (Tascam DB-25) connectors. Combined with other Harrison hardware, setup becomes painless and clutter-free, as the input connector of the 832c Filter Unit matches the output connector of the Lineage Mic Preamp. When used in tandem, the 832c Filter Unit and the Lineage Mic Preamp provide a complete Harrison 8-channel input section with preamps, filters, and metering.

The Harrison 832c Filter Unit is now available to purchase for $2,395 USD.

More information: Harrison Consoles / 832c Filter Unit

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