Forgotten Keys updates Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4 for Kontakt

Forgotten Keys Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4

Forgotten Keys has updated its Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4 drum machine sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.

The Maestro MRK-4 is I think a rather strange-looking drum machine from the 1970s. I’m still trying to fathem the logic behind the four white rhythm selectors!

It features intro/fill patterns and rather refined cymbal sounds. It is analogue of course and employs inductor coils to generate the drum sounds. This machine also appeared in a different form as the built-in rhythm unit in some top-of-the-range Lowrey organs of the period.

The Kontakt re-creation included two bonus sounds from the Maestro Rhythm ‘N Sound G2 kindly provided by one of my customers.

Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4 features

  • 10 multi-sampled sounds.
  • 16 re-created rhythms (combinable) plus two intro/fill-ins.
  • Kontakt interface with Setup tab with volume, pan, tune and mute for each instrument, randomisation controls and customisable note and output routing.
  • Plus, two bonus sounds from the Maestro Rhythm ‘N Sound G2.

The sample library costs £3 GBP. Requires Kontakt 4.2 or above, full version.

More information: Forgotten Keys / Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4


Arturia releases Spark Vintage Drum Machines

Arturia has released Spark Vintage Drum Machines, a virtual drum software featuring the sounds of 30 legendary drum machines.

Arturia Spark Vintage Drum Machines

Intuitive and powerful, this software is much more than your typical sample player. By mixing high quality samples and virtual analog synthesis (based on TAE®), Spark Vintage Drum Machines manages to capture the unique soul of these instruments.

From the classic percussion sounds of the Roland CR-78 and Korg Mini Pops 7 to the heavy punch of the TR-series, all the top producers’ boutique models are available in one single easy-to-use interface.

Add to this the lightning-fast workflow, in-depth tweaking possibilities, and live features of Spark, and you get a true must have for any demanding beat maker.

Spark VDM features

  • 30 legendary drum machines including: Roland TR-808, TR-707, TR-909, CR-78, Korg KPR-77, Mini Pops 7, LinnDrum, Yamaha RX5, Maestro Rhythm King MKII, Simmons SDS V,…
  • Easy workflow: one interface to learn, thirty drum machines to play.
  • Made for live performance: XY Pad, Beat Looper, Slicer, Real-time automation on all parameters.
  • 14 high quality effects : Multiband Compressor, Reverb, Bit crusher, Multiband EQ, Chorus, Delay, Distortion, Phaser, Plate reverb, Destroyer, Flanger, Space pan, Limiter, Sub generator.
  • Spark’s Step Sequencer makes track creation a breeze.
  • Perfect integration: 16 independant audio outputs, midi I/O.
  • Unparalleled sound quality based on virtual analog synthesis (TAE®) and high resolution sampling.
  • 64 patterns pre-programmed for each drum machine.

Spark VDM for Windows and Mac is now available to purchase as a download for 99 USD/EUR. The boxed version is shipping March 20th, 2012, priced at $129 USD / 119 EUR.

More information: Arturia / Spark VDM


Forgotten Keys releases Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4 sample pack

Forgotten Keys Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4

Forgotten Keys has released Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4, a sample pack featuring the sounds of the drum machine by Maestro.

The samples can be used in any sampler that accepts 24 bit 44.1 KHz sample format. However, this pack comes alive when used with the supplied Native Instruments’ Kontakt File. Kontakt is a software sampler for use on a PC. By taking advantage of the scripting capabilities that kontakt offers, it has been possible to create a virtual drum machine, including all the rhythm patterns and intro/fill feature.

There are Eight samples of each sound picked at random in order to reduce the so-called machine-gun effect. You are able to add “Imperfections” to give a touch of realism to the sound including random velocity, timing and round-robin variations. Sound groups can be panned and their volume balanced. Rhythms can be added together in any combination just like the original, and can also be played via incoming MIDI notes allowing you to play the rhythms from a sequencer or DAW.

The Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4 sample pack is available to purchase for £3.50 GBP.

More information: Forgotten Keys / Maestro Rhythm King MRK-4


Nomad Factory releases Echoes, Analog Echo Box effect plugin

Nomad Factory has announced the release of Echoes, an analog echo box effect plug-in designed to give you the warmth and richness of classic vintage delay effects.

Nomad Factory Echoes

ECHOES faithfully models the greatest delay effects of all time, PLX-1 Based on Echoplex® 1, PLX-3 Based on Echoplex 3, OILCAN Based on Tel-Ray® Oilcan Delay, EHX-DM Based on Electro Harmonix® Deluxe Memory Man, and ADM-2 Based on Boss® DM-2 Analog Delay.

Following the philosophy behind Nomad Factory’s hit Magnetic plug-in, ECHOES not only sounds amazing, but it is designed to be very easy to use. Unlike many other delay plug-ins that have dozens of unnecessary knobs and confusing parameters, ECHOES has captured the essence of the original effects by keeping it simple. With the turn of a few knobs, the plug-in delivers musical results and instant analog delay satisfaction!

Echoes features

  • 5 classic analog delay effects all in one plug-in:
    • PLX-1: Based on Maestro® Echoplex 1 – The original Tube-based tape delay effect.
    • PLX-3: Based on Maestro® Echoplex 3 – Transistor-based tape echo.
    • Oilcan: Based on Tel Ray® Echo – Tapeless Oilcan delay/echo.
    • EHX-DM: Based on Electro Harmonix® Deluxe Memory Man – The most in-demand analog delay pedal ever built.
    • ADM-2: Based on Boss® DM-2 – Analog delay pedal from the early 80’s.
  • ECHO TIME : Controls the time from 20 to 2000ms of analog delay.
  • PANNING : Center position for stereo pan, left or right causes ping pong effect.
  • ECHO MODE : Choose from 5 classic analog delay effects.
  • REPEATS : Controls the feedback amount of the delay effect.
  • MIX : Controls the balance of the wet /dry signal.
  • EXTRA KNOBS : 3 additional preset knobs that change according to the currently selected mode
    • PLX-1 : Wow & Flutter, Drive and Echo Level
    • PLX-3 : Bass, Treble and Echo Level
    • EHX-DM : Mod Speed, Mod Depth and Echo Level
    • OILCAN : Tone, Variation and Echo Level
    • ADM-2 : Bass, Treble and Echo Level
  • SYNC SWITCH : Sync your delays to your song’s master tempo.
  • VINTAGE SWITCH : Give your delays that vintage analog sound by filtering the repeats.
  • STEREO WIDENER : Increases the width of the delay. Lowest setting is true mono.
  • INPUT : Sets the input level of Echoes.
  • OUTPUT : Sets the output level of Echoes.
  • POWER bypasses the entire unit.

Echoes is available to purchase from DontCrac[k] for the introductory price of $49 USD until May 15, 2011 (regular price $129 USD). It is also included in the Magnetics Bundle (with Magnetics plug-in) at a limited time price of $99 USD, also available until May 15, 2011.

More information: Nomad Factory / Echoes


Apogee Duet 2, audio interface for Mac

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Apogee Duet 2

Apogee has announced the Duet 2, an updated version of its USB audio interface for Mac.

Apogee’s Duet is the most respected portable audio interface ever. Along with receiving many industry awards, Duet has also been instrumental in the creation of numerous GRAMMY winning records. While others have been trying to emulate its sound quality, ease of use and innovative design, we have been busy making an even better Duet. Duet 2 builds on the incredible success of its predecessor by incorporating customer feedback, adding advanced new features and delivering even better sound quality than the original.

New in Duet 2

  • Completely redesigned mic preamps and converters.
  • 4 outputs, Independent speaker and headphone outs.
  • Balanced outputs.
  • USB 2.0 high speed connectivity.
  • 24-bit/192kHz recording.
  • Full color OLED display.
  • Configurable touch pads.
  • Maestro 2 software.
  • Breakout box (sold separately).
  • Redesigned Breakout Cable.
  • Soft Limit.

Duet 2 will be available this April, priced at $595 USD.

More information: Apogee / Duet 2


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