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Native Instruments launches limited-time price drop on Traktor Kontrol S4 & S2

Native Instruments has launched “It’s all about the drop”, a limited-time special offer on the industry-standard Traktor Kontrol S4 and S2 all-in-one DJ controllers.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 / S2
Traktor Kontrol S4 is reduced by 100 EUR/USD, the S2 is 50 EUR/USD off SRP.

The TRAKTOR KONTROL series has earned a reputation as the industry-standard TRAKTOR DJ controllers. At the forefront is TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 – the flagship 4-deck all-in-one DJ system. The S4′s premium 4-channel mixer, built-in 24 bit/96 kHz audio interface, and intuitive, hands-on controls offer DJs a seamless and comprehensive unit designed for the latest TRAKTOR software.

The “little brother”, TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 delivers all key TRAKTOR PRO features with the same built-in audio interface, 2 decks, and a 2-channel mixer with multi-effect units. Its compact build makes the S2 the ideal controller for use with TRAKTOR DJ for iPad and iPhone.

With the release of iOS 7.1, TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 and S2 now also join the growing list of TRAKTOR hardware compatible with TRAKTOR DJ for iPad and iPhone.

Traktor Kontrol S4 is available for $699 USD / 699 EUR / £579 GBP, Traktor Kontrol S2 is $449 USD / 449 EUR / £369 GBP. This offer ends April 30th, 2014.

More information: Native Instruments / “It’s all about the drop”

Expert Sleepers releases ESX-8MD MIDI/DINsync Expander

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Expert Sleepers ESX-8MD

Expert Sleepers has announced the release of the ESX-8MD MIDI/DINsync Expander, offering sample accurate and jitter free MIDI and DINsync.

The ESX-8MD is an expansion module for the ES-4, ES-40 or ES-5 Eurorack modules, adding eight MIDI/DINsync outputs from one expansion header.

The ES-4/5 Controller software (part of Expert Sleepers Silent Way) allows the ESX-8MD outputs to be used for MIDI output (note – not just MIDI clock output, but as an actual MIDI port, capable of sending any MIDI messages). Since these outputs are driven from an audio connection, they have sample-accurate timing, which no USB MIDI interface can claim.

The Silent Way Sync plug-in would typically be used to send DINsync to the ESX-8MD, though any software capable of addressing the ES-4/5′s expansion headers, via Silent Way or the associated Max/MSP external, can send clock pulses to it.

The ESX-8MD is now available for purchase for MSRP £89 GBP + VAT.

More information: Expert Sleepers / ESX-8MD

Elektron intros Analog Rytm demo sounds + full specs

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Elektron has posted demo sounds and full specifications of its soon to be released Analog Rytm 8 voice analog drum machine with sample support.

The Analog Rytm is a one stop solution beat machine. Distinguished by the power of analog drum sounds fused with samples. Perfected by the immediacy of drum pads coupled with Elektron sequencing.

Elektron Analog Rytm

Analog Rytm features

  • 8 drum voices, each with:
    • Specialized analog percussion sound generator.
    • Sample playback (16-bit/48Khz/mono).
    • Analog overdrive.
    • Analog multi-mode filter.
  • 12 velocity & pressure sensitive pads.
  • Analog stereo master compressor & distortion.
  • Reverb & Delay send FX.
  • World class Elektron step sequencer.
  • Chromatic, Performance, and Scene mode.
  • Live oriented beat control.
  • Individual voice outputs.
  • +Drive storage for projects, patterns, kits, songs, sounds and samples.

Analog Rytm will be available for purchase for $1549 USD / 1489 EUR. You can now sign up on the waiting list to be notified when it goes on sale.

More information: Elektron / Analog Rytm

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