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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

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Korg intros Taktile & Triton Taktile controller keyboards

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Korg has announced the Taktile and Triton Taktile, two small, lightweight USB/MIDI controller keyboards that provide a wide variety of functions for song production, and are available in either 25 or 49-key variations (semi-weighted).

Korg Triton Taktile 25

TRITON taktile controller feature a stylish design that projects a sense of presence, together with the same great-feeling semi-weighted keyboard that’s used on synthesizers and music workstations such as the KingKORG and KROME.

It’s loaded with functions that make it fun to play and use, such as a touch pad inherited from the Kaossilator that lets you play melodies using just a single finger, trigger pads that let you generate chords in the key and scale of your choice and an arpeggiator that includes rhythm patterns. Of course, the taktile and TRITON taktile also delivers the functionality that you expect from a MIDI controller. It provides all of the basic controllers such as sliders and switches, and makes setup easy so you can start producing music right away. Convenience is not the only attraction of TRITON taktile; it’s a MIDI controller that’s full of features that will stimulate your creativity.

In addition, the TRITON taktile adds 512 sounds from the TRITON, KORG’s best-selling music workstation loved by top-ranking musicians around the world. From your desktop to live stage performances, it’s a USB MIDI controller that you can use in any situation.

The Korg Taktile and Triton Taktile will be available in June 2014, priced at $249.99 USD and $349.99 USD for the Taktile 25 and 49, while the Triton Taktile 25 and 49 models will be $349.99 USD and $499.99 USD respectively.

More information: Korg / Taktile / Triton Taktile

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Alesis introduces VI & V Series Keyboard/Pad Controllers

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Alesis has announced the new V Series and VI Series of full-size keyboard/pad controllers.

The performance-oriented V Series offers expressive hands-on control for the software musician. The step-up VI Series provides increased control for the keyboard performer. Both series include a Software Preset/Parameter utility that makes setup a snap.

The new Alesis V Series (V61, V49, V25) combine velocity-sensitive keys with eight drum/trigger pads, allowing virtual instruments to be played with dynamic expression.

Alesis V25

Cool blue LEDs illuminate the pads—as well as the four assignable knobs and buttons—for positive visibility. Assignments may be made quickly via the MIDI Learn feature. Octave shift keys provide access to the entire note range. A single USB cable provides both a power and data connection to nearly any computer.

Alesis V Series features

  • Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61).
  • Pitch Bend and Modulation Wheels.
  • 8 Pads with blue LED illumination.
  • 4 Assignable knobs and buttons.
  • Sustain pedal input.
  • USB MIDI.

The VI Series (VI61, VI49, VI25) add semi-weighted keys and aftertouch.

Alesis VI49

The pad count has been increased to 16, with multi-color illumination. This layout provides intensive command over the clip trigger workflow of top DAW and compositional software.

The internal clock offers drum roll, tempo, and sync capabilities. An optional power supply and a standard MIDI output allow for stand-alone use.

Alesis VI Series features

  • Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61).
  • Semi-weighted keys with Aftertouch.
  • Pitch Bend & Modulation Wheels.
  • 16 Pads with Multi-color LED illumination.
  • VI25: 8 knobs, 24 buttons.
  • VI49: 12 knobs, 36 buttons.
  • VI61: 16 knobs, 48 buttons.
  • Transport and Present up/down buttons.
  • Sustain pedal input.
  • USD MIDI, MIDI Out.
  • Internal Clock for sync, tempo, rolls, etc.

The V and VI Series will have the following respective estimated street prices, V25 ($79.99 USD), V49 ($99.99 USD), V61 ($149.99 USD), VI25 ($169.99 USD), VI49 ($199.99 USD), and VI61 ($249.99 USD).

Alesis will unveil the V and VI Series at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Alesis

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Clavia launches Nord Lead A1 analog modelling synthesizer

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Clavia has announced the Nord Lead A1, a new analog modelling synthesizer.

Clavia Nord Lead A1

The Lead A1 combines the latest analogue modelling engine from the acclaimed Lead 4, with an innovative streamlined interface for fast-track programming.

The Lead 4 and now the Lead A1 are equipped with an all new analogue modeling sound engine, capable of reproducing the character and nuances of the vintage synths of your dreams with breathtaking accuracy. 24-voice polyphonic and four part multi-timbral, the Lead A1 is a flexible choice for either stage or studio, delivering a stunningly rich and versatile palette of sounds.

The Lead A1 introduces a new front-panel user interface designed to make programming quick and easy, while retaining hands on flexibility.

Nord Lead A1 features

  • Oscillators
    • Unique Oscillator concept.
    • 8 Oscillator Configurations.
    • Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, AM, Noise, Dual Osc, FM.
    • Traditional Analog and Digital Waveforms.
  • Modulation
    • LFO with 5 waveforms.
    • Mod Envelope.
    • LFO as additional ModEnv.
  • Filter
    • 12, 24 dB low-pass filters.
    • High-pass and Band-pass filters.
    • Transistor and diode ladder filter simulations of Mini and TB-303.
  • Effects
    • Ensemble, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Ring Modulator, Drive.
  • Performance
    • 4-part multi-timbral.
    • Master Clock Sync of Arpeggiator, LFO and Delay.
    • Velocity and Mod Wheel Morph.
    • USB MIDI.

The Nord Lead A1 will be available in April 2014 with an estimated price of £1299 GBP RRP inc. VAT / $1799 USD MAP.

The Nord Lead A1 will be demonstrated at the NAMM show, at the booth of USA distributor American Music & Sound, #B6464.

More information: Nord / Nord Lead A1

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Nord updates Nord Lead 4 OS to v1.20 + Richard Devine Bank

Nord has launched OS version 1.20 for the Nord Lead 4 performance synthesizer.

Nord Lead 4 OS 1.20
OS 1.20 is an important update that both fixes some bugs in the Nord Lead 4 as well as adding a number of new features.

Changes in OS v1.20

  • Performances are now organized in 2 Banks, A and B with 50 slots in each.
  • When the Ladder M filter is selected, the filter and amp envelopes is switched into a more vintage like mode.
  • Nord Sound Manager Program Bundles are now supported – requires Nord Sound Manager 6.34 or newer!
  • Details here.

The update is available now from the downloads section.

Richard Devind Nord Lead 4 Bank

Nord has also introduced a new bank for the Nord Lead 4 by Richard Devine.

Richard Devine is an artist and sound designer based in Atlanta GA. He’s a man of many skills and his portfolio includes releasing music on the cult label WARP, remixing Ryuichi Sakamoto, sound design for Microsoft Windows 7 and doing sound libraries for many innovative companies like Ableton, Native Instruments, Propellerheads, Izotope and many more!

Richard also did some brilliant patches the Nord Modular G2 back in the day, so he can proudly call himself real Clavian!

The free bank includes 50 performances, 50 single programs, and 25 bonus drum sound programs.

More information: Nord / Nord Lead 4

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IK Multimedia launches iRig KEYS PRO Mobile MIDI Keyboard

IK Multimedia has announced the expansion of its iRig KEYS line with two new products for mobile musicians: iRig KEYS PRO and iRig KEYS with Lightning connector, compact MIDI keyboard controllers with 37 velocity-sensitive keys.

IK Multimedia iRig KEYS PRO

iRig KEYS PRO is a true “plug and play” professional-quality programmable MIDI controller designed specifically for making music on the go with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. Even with pro features like mod and pitch wheels, illuminated octave and program buttons, 4 programmable “sets” for storing complete setups, and a programmable continuous-controller volume knob, iRig KEYS PRO is 30% smaller than any other full-size key MIDI controller that can be played with two hands.

iRig KEYS PRO also has powerful programming features that are useful during live performance and in the studio. Players can program iRig KEYS PRO with different set-ups and store them in one of the 4 “Set” banks. When iRig KEYS PRO is in Edit mode, the user can set the MIDI transmit channel, velocity (touch) response, assign Control Change numbers to the Volume/Data knob, send custom Program Change messages, transpose the keyboard in semi-tones and more. iRig KEYS PRO is also right at home in the studio, and works seamlessly with DAW software, including GarageBand, Logic Pro and many others.

iRig KEYS PRO features

  • 37 velocity-sensitive full-sized keys (a 3 full octaves range plus one note).
  • Modulation and pitch bend wheels.
  • Volume/Data knob (assignable).
  • Octave/Program Up/Down back-lit, soft-touch buttons.
  • SET button to store and recall 4 different customized setups.
  • Input for an optional sustain or expression pedal.
  • Core MIDI (iOS) and USB class compliant (Mac/PC) – plug and play.
  • Powered from the iOS device or Mac/PC USB.
  • Comes with SampleTank FREE iOS and iGrand Piano FREE apps (download from the App store).
  • Comes with free Mac/PC virtual instrument: SampleTank 2 L (download from IK User Area).
  • Includes Lightning, 30-pin and USB cables.

The iRig KEYS PRO is available to purchase for 119.99 EUR.

iRig KEYS with Lightning is the first ultra-slim and highly portable universal MIDI controller keyboard for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac/PC.

IK Multimedia iRig KEYS

iRig KEYS with Lightning connector is IK’s new version of the ultra popular iRig KEYS portable mini keyboard and now comes with a Lightning-connector cable for connecting iRig KEYS to the newest Apple devices, including the new iPad, iPad mini and iPhone 5 series.

It shares the same powerful features of iRig KEYS PRO but with a more compact build so it only takes up minimal space on your desktop and can easily fit in a backpack or a carry-on bag.

The iRig KEYS with Lightening connector costs 99.99 EUR. The Lightning Cable is also sold separately for 24.99 EUR.

More information: IK Multimedia / iRig KEYS

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Elektron introduces Analog Keys analog synthesizer

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Elektron has announced the Analog Keys, its new flagship analog synthesizer.

Elektron Analog Keys
Fully analog signal path, digital controls, and unprecedented playability make it an instrument for the expressive musician.

The Analog Keys is a four voice polyphonic analog synthesizer, capable of generating the finest basslines, chords, leads, and sounds imaginable.

The warm and deep tone represents the pinnacle of analog synthesis and the acclaimed Elektron sequencer stands ready to arrange and warp the analog sounds in real-time.

Complete the experience by treating the four voices with incredibly well-crafted master effects. A new world of sounds awaits.

Analog Keys features

  • 100% analog signal path.
  • Four voices, each with 2 analog oscillators, 2 sub-oscillators, dual analog filters, and analog overdrive.
  • 37 key semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch.
  • +Drive storage hosting up to 4096 Sounds (+Drive Sound Library).
  • Elektron sequencer with CV/Gate sequencing.
  • Parameter assignable joystick.
  • Extensive modulation possibilities.
  • Supervoid Reverb, Saturator Delay, Wideshift Chorus send FX.
  • Polyphonic, multitimbral, unison modes.
  • Dedicated MIDI controller mode.
  • 1 × headphones output, 2 × main outputs, 4 × stereo separate track outputs.
  • 2 × audio inputs.
  • MIDI IN/OUT/THRU with Din sync out.
  • 2 × dual CV/Gate outputs.
  • USB 2.0 port.

The Analog Keys will be available to purchase on December 5th, 2013, priced at $1849 USD / €1749 EUR / £1449 GBP. Shipping starts December 9th.

More information: Elektron / Analog Keys

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