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Ploytec Synthesizer πλ² Pi L Squared gets alternative PL02.56 firmware

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Ploytec has announced a new firmware for the πλ² Pi L Squared synthesizer.

Ploytec pl2

The new “PL02.56 firmware”, comes with a “Vocal Tract” model filter offering formant sounds and speech. It’s a tribute to the General Instruments SP0256-AL2 chip from the early 80s, combined with the ability to play it as an instrument.

There are different performance modes available, allowing both: Playing the “allophones” (speech elements) on the keyboard while controlling the notes via the modulation wheel, or the other way around, selecting the allophones via the modulation wheel and playing notes on the keyboard. The PL02.56 firmware lets you choose between alphabetical and original order, plus supports using e.g. an Ableton Launchpad mini to access all 64 allophones.

The new firmware is to be released on Summer NAMM, 2014.

More information: Ploytec

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BOSS launches Waza Craft series effect pedals

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BOSS has announced the Waza Craft series, a new line of special edition compact pedals that offers players the ultimate BOSS tone experience.

The debut of the Waza Craft series includes the SD-1W Super Overdrive, BD-2W Blues Driver, and DM-2W Delay. All three pedals provide the classic sound signatures of the past and present BOSS pedals they’re based on, plus switchable modes for customized tones sought after by discerning guitarists.

BOSS Waza Craft pedals

Designed with a passion for premium sound by the master engineers at BOSS in Japan, the Waza Craft series introduces a new chapter in the company’s legacy of exceptional tone. Through meticulously-selected analog components, refined circuitry, and careful attention to the finest design details, Waza Craft embodies the essence of BOSS engineering and the spirit of generations of technical and musical wisdom.

“Waza” is the Japanese term for art and technique, and each of these special edition pedals proudly carries the Waza symbol to represent the artful wisdom and tech-savvy spirit flowing within BOSS design and craftsmanship.

In continuous production for over 30 years, the BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive is one of the best-loved stomps ever created. The Waza Craft SD-1W hot rods this players’ favorite with a revised circuit design, all-discrete analog components, and switchable Standard and Custom sound modes.

The BOSS BD-2 Blues Driver is also one of the most popular overdrive pedals in the world, and the Waza Craft BD-2W takes this classic’s signature creamy grit to a new level. Like the SD-1W, the BD-2W is built with all-discrete analog components and a revised circuit, and features Standard and Custom sound modes.

Highly sought after since being discontinued in 1984, the BOSS DM-2 Delay is universally revered by tone aficionados for its warm, “bucket brigade” analog delay sound. With the Waza Craft DM-2W, the coveted stomp has been reborn with greater versatility for today’s music styles. Using all-analog circuitry and an authentic BBD delay line, the DM-2W’s Standard mode captures the lush sound and 20-300 ms delay range of the original DM-2. Custom mode instantly changes the sound to a cleaner analog tone with over twice the delay time.

The DM-2W also includes a jack for controlling delay time with an optional expression pedal. Two output jacks allow for separate output of delay and direct sounds if desired.

More information: BOSS / Waza Craft series

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Mackie intros Creative Reference Multimedia Monitor Series

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Mackie has announced the all-new Creative Reference Multimedia Monitor Series, delivering the studio-quality design, sound and performance you expect from Mackie monitors in extremely desktop-friendly, compact designs that are amazingly affordable.

Mackie CR4

The series includes two models – the CR3 and CR4 – with 3-inch or 4-inch woofers that pump out an impressive amount of deep, punchy low end and 3/4-inch silk-dome tweeters that deliver smooth, articulate highs. CR monitors also feature a sleek, curved high-frequency waveguide for wide, even dispersion of sound and a well-defined, immersive stereo image. In addition, all-wood cabinets and custom-tuned rear ports provide a natural warmth to the sound that only true studio reference monitors can provide. With a combination of high-quality components and professional build quality, Creative Reference monitors deliver an affordable solution for those looking to step up from cheap, plastic computer speakers or for audio/video professionals looking for compact, but amazing-sounding studio monitors.

“When mixing audio or creating media, it’s critical that your audio translate across all the various speakers and headphones listeners will use,” commented Matt Redmon, Mackie Senior Product Manager. “Even if you are just enjoying a video or music, our new Creative Reference monitors will let you hear every nuance and detail the producer intended.”

Mackie Creative Reference monitors offer some truly convenient features that deliver real flexibility for both professional and personal applications. Unique to the line, a left/right speaker placement switch allows users to locate the volume control on the left or right of their workstation. The front panel includes a on/off/volume knob with a lit power indication ring that will also control the volume of headphones, which can be plugged directly into the front of the monitors. Great for comparing mixes, auditioning files or just enjoying a bit of music or video, there’s also a front-panel aux input for simple connection of a media device.

“With smartphones always at our side, you can easily find yourself creating professional multimedia one minute and streaming a video the next,” commented Redmon. “With our new Creative Reference monitors, you get the best of both worlds…studio-quality performance, an extremely compact design ideal for smaller workstations and smart features perfect creativity on any level.”

Creative Reference monitors come with all the connecting cables needed for the user to get started immediately. As a bonus, there’s even a pair of acoustic isolation pads included. Used in professional applications, acoustic isolation pads minimize unwanted bass buildup that can muddy a mix. Plus, the pads’ angled design allow the user to tilt the monitors slightly up or down for more focused listening depending on their setup.

“So whether you’re a seasoned pro looking for a compact pair of accurate, articulate monitors for work or just looking for a pair of amazing-sounding speakers for entertainment, Mackie’s new Creative Reference monitors are an affordable solution that deliver professional results in our most compact form factor to date,” concluded Redmon.

The new Mackie CR3 and CR4 monitors will be available for purchase in pairs in August 2014, priced at MSRP $129.99 USD (CR3) / $199.99 USD (CR4).

More information: Mackie / Creative Reference Series

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SKnote releases Agata micro console

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SKnote has announced Agata, a hardware micro console unit for tracking, summing, mixing and processing.

SKnote Agata

Agata features

  • 8 input channels, with link option for more units.
  • 8 individual output channels.
  • Stereo mix buss.
  • British input and output transformers.
  • Class A amplifiers.
  • Line and mic level inputs.
  • Passive emphasis networks (per-channel, affect sound and saturation).
  • Output pads.
  • Three rack units.
  • “Rock” sound.
  • XLR and TRS individual ins and outs.

Agata is available for purchase for the introductory price of MSRP 1,800 EUR (excl. VAT/taxes and shipping).

More information: SKnote

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IK Multimedia iRig MIDI 2

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IK Multimedia has released iRig MIDI 2, a portable Lighting/USB MIDI interface.

IK Multimedia iRig MIDI 2

Introducing iRig MIDI 2, the first Lightning/USB compatible mobile MIDI interface that works with all generations of iOS devices as well as Mac and PC.

It features everything you loved about iRig MIDI but with even greater pocketability, connectivity and control. Simply put, it’s the perfect MIDI solution for the musician on the move.

iRig MIDI 2 features

  • Universal MIDI interface for Lightning iOS devices as well as all prior generations of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch plus Mac and PC.
  • Ultra-portable, pocket-sized form factor that you can take with you anywhere.
  • Detachable bumper-friendly cables for seamless, universal connectivity.
  • Lighting connector and USB cable included, 30-pin cable available separately.
  • Standard-sized MIDI IN, OUT and THRU ports.
  • MIDI IN/OUT LED indicators for at-a-glance monitoring of MIDI data transmission.
  • Draws power from host device instead of a bulky power adaptor.
  • Comes with a powerful suite of music creation apps SampleTank Free, iGrand Piano FREE and SampleTank 3 SE.
  • Elegant and durable rubberized enclosure.
  • Designed and made in Modena, Italy.

iRig MIDI 2 is available for purchase for 79.99 EUR / $99.99 USD (excl. taxes).

More information: IK Multimedia / iRig MIDI 2

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Modulus launches modulus.002 synthesizer

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Modulus

Modulus, founded in 2013 by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox, has announced the modulus.002, he world’s first analog/digital music synthesizer designed for the Internet age.

Using high quality components, the Modulus.002 is a premium product designed to be the flagship in the Modulus range. The keyboard layout includes a semi-weighted, five octave key mechanism and has been ergonomically designed by musicians so that the hands fall naturally and intuitively to the controls.

It provides twelve discrete voices of polyphony with full multi-timbrility if required. Adding to the ease of use is a large integral display screen that is context sensitive, i.e. it displays the control parameters of any control knobs immediately when touched by the user. Quick recall banks enable preset sequences and settings to be stored for instant use such as during a live performance.

NCOs (Numerically Controlled Oscillators) are used for stability and accuracy while an analogue transistor ladder filter provides classic ‘warm’ sounds.

modulus.002

modulus.002 features

  • modulus.002 provides twelve discrete voices of polyphony with full multi-timbrality if desired.
  • Two oscillators per voice with two sub oscillators, which can be switched from being either traditional square wave to having the same waveform as the main oscillator – in effect making four oscillators per voice.
  • Analogue / digital hybrid architecture uses NCOs for very high resolution, and very stable oscillators. Over 50 different waveforms, ranging from classic analogue sounds to more unique digital shapes.
  • modulus designed 24db per octave four pole transistor ladder filter, with some very unusual morphing characteristics or ‘polesweeping’, enabling transition from four pole through bandpass to one pole 6db per octave, or anywhere in between.
  • Two LFO’s, one per voice and one global.
  • Extensive modulation options, all accessed directly from the front panel – no menu options!.
  • modulus.002 features a range of sequencing options – a built in 16 Track, 12 row, 32 step sequencer with 16 dedicated step time editing knobs on the front panel and MIDI sync capabilities. Sequences can also be transposed dynamically while running.
  • A very highly featured arpeggiator with a wide range of different modes, including modulus ‘hold’ mode, enabling arpeggiator-based sequences to be created.
  • The modulus Animator, which enables any control parameter on the modulus.002 to be sequenced, enabling very complex filter transisitions, wave form changes and modulation matrix changes to be sequenced.
  • Superb UI, a great departure from the norm of synthesisers, featuring a very high quality 4.3? screen with wide viewing angle, display is context sensitive where the control parameters of any control knob that is touched by the user, is immediately displayed.
  • Twelve ‘quick recall banks’ are accessible directly from the front panel, enabling performing musicians to get rid of their set sheets and build set lists of presets, sequences and animations, all quickly accessible from dedicated front panel buttons. Up to ten banks of quick recalls can be created, making live performance a doddle.
  • VCF and VCA envelope generators.
  • Four Key Modes – Poyphonic, Monophonic, Unison and Stack.
  • Very high quality construction, uses a premium FATAR semi-weighted five octave key mechanism with aftertouch.
  • All voice control parameters are accessible from a well designed and intuitive front panel, that follows a traditional synthesiser work flow.
  • Pure analogue signal path with combined XLR/TRS sockets for balance / unbalanced outputs. Further, each of the twelve outputs can be brought out individually via a dedicated dsub socket.
  • Two audio inputs enabling audio processing from the VCF onwards plus external MIDI in and out.
  • XY joystick and Sustain and Expression pedal inputs for performance controls – any control parameter can be assigned to any joystick axis (X+, X-, Y+, Y-) by pressing the dedicated front panel selector button.
  • Ethernet port to connect your modulus.002 to your network and enable updates via the internet (no more midi sysex dumps) and access to the Modulus cloud features.

The synthesizer will be available August 2014, priced at £2,995 GBP, excluding VAT and local taxes.

More information: Modulus

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Korg launches SDD-3000 Pedal

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Korg has announced the release of the SDD-3000 Pedal, a digital delay unit.

Korg SDD-3000 Pedal

The rack-mounted SDD-3000 which appeared in 1982 was a classic digital delay that dominated the world thanks to its peerless sonic character. The classic delay effect that’s central to the guitar sounds in world-class rock bands owe a great deal to the SDD-3000, which has been the driving force behind numerous famous songs over the years.

The SDD-3000 PEDAL packs all of the SDD-3000′s functionality into a convenient pedal unit. Featuring a pre-amp with ample headroom, a filter circuit that modifies the feedback sound, and modulation waveforms that allow a diverse array of delay effects, it covers all of the SDD-3000′s important elements. In addition to specifications that will satisfy SDD-3000 users, it provides many new functions such as eight delay types, long delay times up to 4,000 milliseconds, selectable modulation waveforms, stereo input/output, and MIDI compatibility. The user interface has also been updated for dramatically improved ease of use.

SDD-3000 Pedal features

  • All features of the legendary SDD-3000 digital delay, packed into a pedal unit.
  • Eight distinct delay types including SDD-3000, Analog, Tape, Modern, Kosmic, Reverse, Pitch and Panning.
  • The preamp that defined the sound of the SDD-3000 is faithfully reproduced.
  • Selectable filters that alter the sound of the delay repeats.
  • Choose from five types of modulation waveforms that modulate the delay time. You can also create waveforms that interpolate between two types, and make fine adjustments to the waveform.
  • Use special sound-shaping techniques such as flanging, chorus, vibrato, doubling, and Doppler effects.
  • A wide range of delay times is available, from 1 millisecond to long delays with a maximum of 4,000 milliseconds.
  • Sync mode lets you specify the delay time in terms of 11 different note values ranging from whole notes to 32nd notes.
  • A total of 80 programs (40 banks x 2 channels) can be saved.
  • LCR function lets you create multi-tap delay effects.
  • MIDI connectors are provided, allowing you to trigger program changes from an external device, or to transmit program data as a bulk dump to and from other units.
  • Seamless bypass and program changes allow you to retain the reverberant sound when switching sounds.
  • Reliable true bypass design.
  • An optional expression pedal can be used to control multiple effect parameters simultaneously.

The SDD-3000 Pedal is available for purchase for SSP £329.99 GBP ex VAT.

More information: Korg / SDD-3000 Pedal

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