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Steinberg UR44 Audio/MIDI interface now shipping

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Steinberg has announced the release of its UR44 USB audio and MIDI interface.

Steinberg UR44
The Steinberg UR44 — 6 x 4 USB 2.0 audio & MIDI interface.

With six inputs and four outputs, D-PRE mic preamps and MIDI I/O in a rugged full-metal chassis, the UR44 is designed to suit a huge range of recording and production situations.

The ultra-flexible interface works with PC and Mac computers and can also be used with the iPad for mobile recording. The onboard DSP effects — REV-X Reverb, Sweet Sport Morphing Channel Strip and Guitar Amp Classics* — provide latency-free monitoring and are also included as VST 3 effects.

UR44 features

  • 24-bit/192 kHz USB 2.0 audio interface with 6 analog Inputs, 4 line outputs plus 2 main outputs and MIDI I/O.
  • 4 Class-A D-PRE mic preamps supporting +48 V phantom power and two Hi-Z.
  • Rugged full-metal casing for ultimate durability.
  • Latency-free DSP-powered monitoring with effects and bundled Basic FX Suite VST 3 plug-ins.
  • Cross-platform compatibility for Windows, Mac OS X and iOS (with the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit), and Cubase AI music software included.

The UR44 interface is now available to purchase for 349 EUR inc. VAT.

More information: Steinberg / UR44

Single Cell Software updates Caustic for iOS & Android to v3.0.1

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Single Cell Software Caustic 3

Single Cell Software has updated its Caustic music app for iOS and Android to version 3.0.1.

Caustic 3 is a music creation tool inspired by rack-mount synthesizers / samplers rigs.
Everything is real-time and optimized for mobile devices.

Changes in Caustic v3.0.1

  • Support for more .instr file formats.
  • Fix for loading ZIP instrument format.
  • Fixed occasional crash bug when deleting patterns.
  • [iOS] Fix for audio coming out of phone receiver instead of speaker on iPhone.
  • [iOS] Fix for Caustic’s audio cutting out when returning from other apps.
  • [iOS] Fix for stuck MIDI notes.
  • [iOS] Fix for missing .MID import.
  • [iOS] SoundFont import tweaks.
  • [iOS] Added advanced option to fill screen in landscape on iPad.
  • [Android] Allow .MID file import in demo.
  • [Android] Disable mic on certain Tegra devices.
  • [Android] Improved MIDI device detection.

Caustic for iOS and Android is available to purchase for $9.99 USD.

More information: Single Cell Software / Caustic

Akai Pro announces new models in MPK line of keyboard controllers

Akai Professional has announced four additions to its MPK USB keyboard/pad controller series— the 25-key MPK225, 49-key MPK249, 61-key MPK261 and an update to the ultra-portable MPK Mini.

Akai Pro MPK49
Akai Pro MPK249 USB/MIDI Performance Keyboard.

Housed in a slimmer, all-new design, each full-size model features RGB backlit trigger pads lifted straight from the MPC Renaissance and a 20-character LCD screen with comprehensive parameter feedback. Designed to erase the line between hardware control and software performance, the new MPK family also includes the ability to send QWERTY-style commands using soft-controls, a low-power mode for iOS connectivity via the Camera Connection Kit and enhanced response from the refined keybed.

The latest members of the full-size MPK series also come with advanced music production software titles including Ableton™ Live Lite and MPC Essentials – a powerful sample-based groove production application – and spectral morphing synth Twist from SONiVOX. Owners of the MPK249 and MPK261 will also receive AIR Music Tech’s high-definition Hybrid 3 virtual synth, while MPK261 owners also receive SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble.

MPK (full-size models) features

  • New full-size, semi-weighted keybed in 25-, 49- and 61-key models.
  • Backlit, velocity-sensitive RGB trigger pads derived from the MPC Renaissance.
  • Includes industry-leading music creation software from Ableton™, Akai Professional, AIR and SONiVOX.
  • New layout with LCD screen for faster access to essential DAW-based functions.
  • 8 assignable control knobs; 8 assignable faders on 49- and 61-key models.
  • USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input & output; sustain and expression pedal inputs.
  • Hyper-responsive pitch bend & modulation wheels; octave controls.

The refreshed MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard remains true to its name as the ultimate portable keyboard controller.

Akai Pro MPK Mini
The new MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard.

It’s comprised with an impressive array of controls in the small 25 mini-key frame including an all-new joystick control for pitch and modulation functionality, trigger pads ported from the MPC Renaissance, famed Note Repeat, a full-size USB connector, and an improved keybed.

MPK Mini features

  • Ultra-compact design lets you create anywhere; 25 synth-action mini keys.
  • 8 backlit, velocity-sensitive trigger pads derived from the MPC Renaissance.
  • New 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch/modulation control.
  • 8 assignable control knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins and more.
  • USB-powered; no power adapter required.

The new range of full-size MPK controllers will cost $249.99 USD (MPK225) / $399.99 USD (MPK249) / $499.99 USD (MPK261), and the MPK Mini will be $99.99 USD.

Akai Professional will unveil the MPK keyboard controllers at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Akai Pro

Line 6 intros AMPLIFi guitar amplifier

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Line 6 has introduced AMPLIFi, a high-performance guitar amp with 5-speaker stereo design that includes a streaming Bluetooth speaker system and a breakthrough iOS app.

Line 6 AMPLIFi

High-Performance Guitar Amp with 5-Speaker Stereo Design

AMPLIFi is unlike any amplifier ever built. The five-speaker stereo design delivers stunningly detailed guitar tones, from crystal-clear highs to deep and smooth low end. Featuring two tweeters, two mid-bass drivers, and a custom guitar speaker, AMPLIFi covers a far wider frequency spectrum than any other guitar amplifier, delivering sonic details traditional amps simply can’t produce. AMPLIFi is available in a powerful 150-watt model or portable 75-watt version, both of which can deliver ear-splitting volume levels.

Streaming Bluetooth Speaker System

AMPLIFi is the ultimate Bluetooth speaker system for guitarists, featuring streaming compatibility with Android™, iOS, Mac® and PC devices. The full-range speakers deliver amazing sound, while the custom guitar speaker functions as a thumping subwoofer. AMPLIFi combines playing and enjoying music like no other system, enabling guitarists to jam along with songs in their music library, play back tracks during band rehearsal, or crank up the volume at parties.

iOS App Control and Cloud Connection

The AMPLIFi Remote app for iOS introduces a new world of possibilities. Instead of using static knobs or tiny screens, guitarists can now control every aspect of their tones from an iOS device.* AMPLIFi Remote also introduces revolutionary Line 6 tone-matching technology, which automatically serves up guitar tones that match tracks in a guitarist’s music library.

With a cloud community of guitarists uploading their best patches, AMPLIFi Remote provides a unique and powerful resource for finding guitar tones. Within the cloud community, guitarists can rate their favorite tones, upload their own, and build their musical network by connecting with other musicians and fans. The AMPLIFi cloud automatically keeps all devices up to date and synchronized. Guitarists can store an unlimited number of presets in the cloud–and access them anywhere.

“AMPLIFi is a groundbreaking new amp that promises to change the way guitarists jam, practice and enjoy music forever,” said Max Gutnix, VP of Products and Marketing at Line 6. “It sounds absolutely amazing and delivers a uniquely incredible experience that players of all levels are going to love. Whether listening to music, jamming with friends or creating inspiring new tones to share, AMPLIFi is going to rock your world.”

Pricing and Availability TBC.

More information: Line 6 / AMPLIFi

Cakewalk announces Z3TA+ iOS synthesizer for iPad

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Cakewalk has announced Z3TA+ iOS, a synthesizer app for iPad.

Available on the Apple App Store starting in February 2014, Z3TA+ iOS will be Cakewalk’s second iOS product following the successful launch of ScratchPad for iOS.

Cakewalk Z3TA+ iOS

Borrowing from the Mac/Win versions of Z3TA+ 2, Z3TA+ iOS brings an unmistakable signature sound—used globally in countless successful electronic, EDM and dance productions—to the iOS world. Redesigned to fit iOS screen-real estate optimally, Z3TA+ iOS maintains its legendary impeccable sound quality and sonic depth, while new touch control capabilities open up even more innovative waveshaping sound possibilities.

Z3ta+ iOS’s intuitive sound-shaping environment is segmented into pages. The Synth Page is the heart of the synth, where sound design takes life through oscillators, filters, envelope generators and LFO parameters. The Modulation Matrix/Arpeggiator Page provides exceptional sonic versatility and composition assistance, while the Effects Page offers world-class Distortion, Modulation, EQ, Compression, Triple Delay and Reverb—all with new routing capabilities to craft the perfect sound in the iOS environment.

For creating music on the go, Z3TA+ iOS’s onboard, customizable collapsible keyboard not only triggers notes, but allows shifting octaves, choosing root notes, “holding” notes, and more. Finally, a header strip completes Z3TA+ iOS’s design, by providing easy access to move among pages, search presets, control master volume, and choose additional options through the program menus.

Z3TA+ iOS features

  • Over 500 on-board, expertly crafted presets.
  • Support for Inter-App Audio, Background Audio, and AudioBus.
  • Classic waveshaping Z3TA+2 synth engine with 6 Oscillators, 6 LFOs, Filters, and more.
  • Modulation Matrix includes 16 Sources, Curves, Controls, and Destinations.
  • Advanced modular effects—Distortion, Modulation, Compression, Delay, Reverb and Limiter.
  • External MIDI control and user-friendly onboard Keyboard.
  • Performance section with Tap Tempo and assignable XY Pad, Mod Wheels, and User Controlled In-Key Pitch Bend.
  • Designed for iPad 2 or above, iPad Air, and iPad Mini.

Z3TA+ iOS will be available on Apple’s App Store in February 2014 for $19.99 USD.

More information: Cakewalk / Z3TA+ iOS

iConnectivity announces iConnectAUDIO4+ Audio/MIDI interface

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iConnectivity has introduced iConnectAUDIO4+, its next-generation audio and MIDI interface for Mac, PC, and iOS.

iConnectivity iConnectAUDIO4+

iConnectAUDIO4+ is a multi-host audio and MIDI interface for MAC, PC, and iOS that combines several of iConnectivity’s innovative technologies in a uniquely flexible device.

iConnectAUDIO4+’s Multi-Host technology supports multiple audio and MIDI peripherals, and also multiple computing devices, all at once. This allows any combination of up to 2 Mac, PC, and iOS devices to share iConnectAUDIO4+’s I/O.

iConnectivity’s multi-host and Audio & MIDI passThru technologies bridge iOS, Macs, and PCs in a professional environment, with many practical applications. Control a virtual instrument (or any music program) on one computer device from another one. Audio and MIDI flow back and forth without extra cables, and with no audio degradation. All the computer devices act like a single integrated machine.

The Host Port is another unique technology. Many peripherals use USB for MIDI I/O, but an iOS device can only access one of them with its single port. The iConnnectAUDIO4+ Host Port eliminates that limitation by accommodating several Class-Compliant USB MIDI devices at the same time.

iConnectivity’s iConfig software for iOS, MAC, PC (included) offers complete control over iConnectAUDIO4+’s I/O, providing direct control over audio and MIDI routing. Snapshots are then stored in flash memory on the device.

iConnectAUDIO4+ features

  • Multi-Host & Host Port – use 2 computer devices (Mac/PC/iOS) at the same time. Or use 1 computing device with several and/or MIDI peripherals (with Class-compliant devices connected to a powered USB hub.)
  • Audio and MIDI passThru™ routes audio digitally between two computing devices.
  • 4 XLR – ¼” TRS combo analog inputs.
  • 4 ¼” TRS balanced analog outputs.
  • 1 X 1 regular MIDI in/out.
  • iConfig software (Mac, Windows, iOS) makes it simple to set up filtering/routing/merging scenes – which are also stored in flash memory on the device.
  • High-resolution audio – up to 24-bit/96kHz AD/DA conversion.
  • USB audio and MIDI Class-Compliant for easy, plug-and-play set-up.
  • Charges an iOS device.

iConnectAUDIO4+ is expected to be available at iConnectivity resellers worldwide mid-2014. Its MSRP and projected street price are TBD.

More information: iConnectivity / iConnectAUDIO4+

Sinevibes releases Sequential for iPad

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Sinevibes has announced the release of Sequential for iPad, its first iOS app.

Sinevibes Sequential for iPad

Combining an audio player with a multi-effect sequencer, Sequential lets you instantly reshape any loop beyond imaginable, create amazing breaks, fills and transitions, and turn even the simplest sounds into unique animated textures.

Sequential for iPad features

  • Powerful effects. Sequential lets you load audio samples for looped playback and apply up to 11 different effects in a rhythmical fashion. It includes many classic algorithms such as low- and high-pass filters, flanger, resonator, bit crusher, but goes much further with Sinevibes’ trademark wave transformer, circuit bender and even synthesizers controlled by the sound’s dynamics.
  • Fun workflow. Creating effect patterns with Sequential is more gameplay than workflow. With its bold shapes, clever color coding and all-round use of animations, it feels alive and almost connected straight to your brain. All parameters you change are saved along the audio files and recalled without you even noticing — everything just works the way you think it should.
  • Instant recording. Whatever you hear coming out of Sequential can be recorded, even if you activate recording as you play. Moreover, all recordings are trimmed precisely to a bar, meaning you will always get audio that loops rhythmically.
  • Diverse content. Sequential comes with a tasty selection of bass and rhythm loops in a wide variety of music styles, including house, drum’n’bass, r’n’b, dubstep, trap, hardstyle, electro, and more.
  • Easy sharing. You can import your own loops and export recordings both via the audio pasteboard and iTunes file sharing. Sequential supports .wav and .aiff files in 16 bit 44.1 KHz format.

Sequential for iPad is available to purchase for $4.99 USD.

More information: Sinevibes / Sequential for iPad

Positive Grid announces new Mastering App & Open Beta Program

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Positive Grid has created a new Mastering App and now open to collect feedback from mastering engineers, production gurus and iOS music enthusiasts.

Positive Grid Mastering App

The Mastering App consists of a mobile-first mastering suite from the ground up that combines nuanced techniques of mastering with Positive Grid’s expertise on mobile design.

Positive Grid is looking for experienced and talented individuals who want to join to shape this project and be a part of the beta testing program.

In exchange, beta testers will:

  • Have exclusive access to early development of a groundbreaking app from one of the fastest growing music technology companies.
  • Participate actively with Positive Grid’s engineering and product team, provide input and be in the front row of a Mastering App development process.
  • Be featured in the final Mastering App credits.
  • Receive a Mastering App promo code when released.

The beta program is available to those who have an iPad or iPad mini with iOS 7. Only 50 slots will be available.

More information: Positive Grid / Mastering App