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Korg intros Kross music workstation

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Korg has announced Kross, a mobile synthesizer keyboard with impressive features.

Korg Kross

With the KROSS, the sounds and songs that you’ve created at home and the system that you use every day can go with you onto the stage or into the street! Featuring rich sounds that exceed its class, yet remaining highly portable, the KROSS is designed for practical usability.

There’s a convenient mic input and a built-in audio recorder, and it can run on 6 x AA batteries. It’s a distinctive new standard in music workstations, with specs and style that set it apart from all others.

Kross features

  • Stylish and distinctive red and black two-tone color design.
  • The lightweight body is only 4.3 kg/9.5 lbs (61-key model) or 12.4 kg/27.3 lbs (88-key model), and can be powered by 6x AA batteries.
  • Piano, electric piano, and drum sounds that exceed its class.
  • A wide variety of sounds that utilize twice as much PCM memory as previous instruments, and meet the needs of a broad range of musical styles.
  • Sound Selector makes it easy to find the sound you’re looking for.
  • Favorites function lets you register 64 selected sounds or audio songs for one-touch access – a great feature for live performances.
  • Pro-quality EDS-i sound engine built-in, with a total of seven effects available for simultaneous use.
  • External input jacks allow a mic or external audio source to be directly connected..
  • Quick Layer/Split function for on-the-fly versatility.
  • Stereo audio recorder allows you to record and overdub your performances and vocals.
  • Step sequencer inherited from the Electribe, a 16-track MIDI sequencer, a drum track, and an arpeggiator.
  • Connects to your computer via USB for plug-in integration with your favorite DAW.

The Korg Kross will be available in August 2013, priced at $699 USD (61-key) and $999 USD (88-key).

More information: Korg / Kross

Nord intros Nord Lead 4, Nord Drum 2, Nord Pad & Nord Piano 2 HP

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Nord has announced it will introduce 5 new Nord products at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt.

Nord Drum 2
The Nord Drum 2 percussion synth + Nord Pad multi-pad controller surface.

The new Nord Lead 4 and Nord Lead 4R is 4-part multi-timbral synthesizer with innovative new performance features, advanced layering and synchronization possibilities, new filter types and on-board effects. Read more about the Nord Lead 4 and listen to the sound demos at our mini-site: www.nordlead4.com!

The Nord Drum 2 is a 6-channel Modeling Percussion Synthesizer that combines the playability of real percussion with unique and powerful sound creation possibilities! New features included Resonance modeling, FM-synthesis, distortion effects, stereo outputs with panning and CC-control. We’re also releasing the Nord Pad, a responsive, compact multi-pad designed to be the perfect companion to the Nord Drum 2 with an elegant single cable ethernet connector. The Nord Pad is available as an optional accessory.

The new Nord Piano 2 HP combines all the features from our Nord Piano 2 HA88 with the amazingly lightweight 73-key Hammer Action Portable keyboard (11 kg/ 24.25 lbs). For general information see the existing Nord Piano 2 product page.

More information: Nord

IK Multimedia ships iLine Mobile Music Cable Kit

IK Multimedia iLine Mobile Music Cable Kit

IK Multimedia has announced it is now shipping the iLine Mobile Music Cable Kit, a collection of 6 high-quality cables, also available separately, designed to give users of smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and laptops the tools they need to handle any mobile-audio cabling situation.

The iLine cables are perfect for use with IK accessories like iRig, the most popular guitar and bass input adapter of all time; iRig HD, the new high-definition digital interface, and iRig MIX, the ultra-portable DJ mixer that’s small enough to hold in one hand.

iLine Mobile Music Cable Kit

  • 6 high-quality cables:
    • Mono Output Adapter
    • Input Output Extension
    • Stereo Aux
    • Headphone Splitter
    • RCA Output Adapter
    • Mono Output Splitter
  • 24K gold-plated connectors for maximum connectivity in all environments.
  • High-purity copper conductors for the best-quality signal transfer.
  • Low-capacitance insulation to preserve transients.
  • High-density shielding to guard against EMI.
  • Carrying case included.
  • Made in Italy.
  • Compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and most high-end audio equipment.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty.
  • Cables can be purchased individually.
  • Free interactive companion app, iLine Cable Kit for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch and for Android.

The iLine Mobile Music Cable Kit is available to purchase for 49.99 EUR. Individual cables are sold starting at 11.99 EUR. The iLine Cable Kit App is a free download.

More information: IK Multimedia / iLine Mobile Music Cable Kit

Steinberg releases CMC Six-Pack limited bundle of controllers

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Steinberg has announced the release of the CMC Six-Pack, a new bundle deal comprising the award-winning CMC line-up of USB controllers.

“The CMC Six-Pack is the most flexible controller setup ever made for Cubase: it’s a touch-based mixer; it’s a handy pad controller; it’s a transport control you won’t want to miss after the first try,” comments Stefan Schreiber, product marketing manager at Steinberg.

The CMC Six-Pack is made up of all six controllers designed to offer users a modular controller experience. Arranging the units in a way that best suits the personal needs when using Cubase makes the CMC series a very customizable hardware control system. Each of the six slim-sized USB controllers provides tactile control over Cubase features.

Steinberg CMC Six-Pack

CMC Six-Pack features

  • Six unique micro controllers designed to take control of dedicated Cubase areas — faster and more convenient than with any other solution.
  • Modular system: combine multiple units to form an eminently powerful Cubase control station that exactly fits your needs; joint plate included for quick and easy connection.
  • Fully mirrored Cubase functionality: intuitive operation due to the adoption of the Cubase color scheme and icons.
  • Perfect ergonomics guarantee a unique level of handling quality — created to make your recording and live performance workflow more musical than ever.
  • Brings innovative technologies to your fingertips: illuminated, high-resolution touch controls and rotary encoders for detailed visual feedback.
  • Portable and compact: small enough to fit in your pocket, on a master keyboard or wherever desired
  • User-assignable functions for even more flexibility and tweaking options.
  • USB-powered: no additional power supply required.
  • Cross-platform compatible: OS X and Windows support.
  • Cubase AI download version included to start recording your music straight away.

The CMC Six-Pack is available from selected resellers and through the Steinberg Online Shop as long as stocks last, with a suggested retail price of 299 EUR including German VAT.

More information: Steinberg / CMC Six-Pack

IK Multimedia announces iRig BlueBoard

IK Multimedia has announced the iRig BlueBoard, the first Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Winner of the iLounge “Best in Show” at the recent CES, iRig® BlueBoard, a groundbreaking new Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iPhone, iPad and Mac, which gives you: the guitarists, bassists and keyboard players hands-free control of mobile and Mac music apps.

IK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard

iRig BlueBoard is a great addition to any mobile or studio rig for live performance and recording. You can use it to extend control of your preferred music apps by switching presets, changing sounds or modifying effects parameters – all hands-free. You don’t have to put down your instrument, and can remain focused on your performance.

Any music app or software that is MIDI compatible (the standard communication protocol for musical instruments) – such as IK’s AmpliTube, VocaLive, SampleTank, iGrand – or any other Core-MIDI-compatible app like Apple GarageBand, can be operated wirelessly with iRig BlueBoard.

This ultra-portable unit uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to transmit the actions of its four onboard, backlit footswitches and its two optional external pedals to the mobile device or Mac. Then using the included iRig BlueBoard app and software, the Bluetooth signals are converted into MIDI messages and routed internally to the music app that’s running on the device.

Because it’s wireless, iRig BlueBoard lets you setup onstage without being tethered to your mobile device. The unit’s range is 10 meters (over 32 feet), giving musicians a great deal of mobility to roam the stage that would be impossible with a wired unit. Because the footswitches are backlit, they’re easy to see in all lighting conditions, even on a dark stage. Additionally, the fact that iRig uses wireless Bluetooth leaves all the wired ports of the device free, so they can be used simultaneously by interfaces or controllers that feature the 30-pin or Lightning connector, like IK’s iRig HD, iRig MIDI or iRig Keyboard, and adapters or microphones that use the device mini-jack such as iRig or iRig MIC.

iRig BlueBoard features

  • Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard (10m/32.8′ range).
  • 4 backlit switches for sending program, bank and other MIDI messages.
  • 2 1/4″ inputs for optional expression pedals or switches that can used for sending continuous controller or on/off messages.
  • BlueBoard iOS app runs in background on mobile device or Mac, and translates Bluetooth messages to MIDI.
  • Runs on standard AAA batteries.
  • Small enough to fit in a laptop bag.

iRig BlueBoard is priced at $99.99 USD / 79.99 EUR MSRP (excl. tax), and will be available in the second quarter of 2013.

More information: IK Multimedia / iRig BlueBoard

Apogee announces updates for ONE, Duet & Quartet audio interfaces

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Apogee ONE

Apogee Electronics has introduced the completely redesigned ONE, a 2 IN x 2 OUT USB audio interface and microphone.

The all new ONE is the first studio quality audio interface and microphone that makes a direct digital connection to Apple’s iPad (iPhone, iPod touch) and Mac.

ONE features Apogee’s Maestro control software, iOS device charging, optional battery power for portable recording with iPad and professional sound quality. ONE is the all-in-one solution that makes it easy for musicians, songwriters, recording engineers, film makers, audiophiles, and anyone else to enjoy professional sound quality on iPad and Mac.

The new ONE will be available March 2013, priced at $349 USD.

Apogee has also introduced Duet for iPad and Mac, a 2 input, 4 output USB audio interface.

Apogee Duet

The new Duet is the first professional stereo audio interface that makes a direct digital connection to Apple’s iPad (iPhone, iPod touch) and Mac. Duet features Apogee’s Maestro control software, iOS device charging, MIDI connectivity and professional sound quality. Duet is the ideal personal studio interface for stereo music recording, mixing and audiophile-quality listening on iPad and Mac.

The new Duet will be available February 2013, priced at $595 USD.

Furthermore, Apogee has announced iPad compatibility for the Quartet 4 input, 8 output USB audio interface.

Apogee Quartet

Quartet is the first professional multi-channel audio interface that makes a direct digital connection to Apple’s iPad (iPhone, iPod touch) and Mac. Quartet for iPad and Mac features Apogee’s Maestro control software, iOS device charging, MIDI connectivity, advanced monitor control and professional sound quality. Quartet is the ideal studio control center for multi-channel music recording and mixing on iPad and Mac.

The Quartet will be available February 2013, priced at $1295 USD.

More information: Apogee Electronics

Arturia introduces MiniLab Universal MIDI Controller

Arturia has announced the launch of MiniLab, a USB bus-powered powerhouse, featuring 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keys alongside brand-new pitch and modulation touch-strip controls for maximising musical expression in a highly-portable package.

Arturia MiniLab

16 multifunction encoders — more than those found on any available comparably-sized USB/MIDI controller — ensure everything is at hand to program or perform, wherever life may take or lead you. And if that’s not enough to keep users entertained, two banks of brightly backlit performance pads can be easily assigned as pads, MIDI CC buttons, or program change switches for even speedier interactions with whatever device MiniLab is connected to (via its cleverly-recessed USB bus-power port and sustain pedal input).

Of course, music is where the heart is, and at the heart of MiniLab is the benevolently bundled Analog Lab software solution. With over 5,000 legendary classic keyboard and synth sounds carefully chosen from the Mini V, Modular V, CS-80 V, ARP2600 V, Jupiter-8V, Prophet 5, Prophet VS, Oberheim SEM V, and Wurlitzer V range of Analog Classic software instruments, Analog Lab offers speedy and simple editing with the most essential parameters for personalising presets available onscreen and for tweaking using the MiniLab controls. Notably, those TAE® (True Analog Emulation) synthesis-powered sounds are not sample-based, but are actually running the full synth engine behind the scenes, so offer unparalleled flexibility.

Yet there’s more: owners of those individual Analog Classics or the all-encompassing V Collection 3.0 bundle can open an Analog Lab sound, edit it in the original software instrument, then add it to their Analog Lab library, thereby taking their sound and workflow to a higher state of musical interactivity. Speaking of which, MiniLab is also compatible with Apple iPad and iPhone products (using a camera connection kit).

So, whatever way users choose to use it, musical life on the move’s just got a whole lot sweeter thanks to MiniLab, the world’s premier mobile keyboard solution!

MiniLab features

  • 25 note velocity sensitive mini keyboard.
  • 16 encoders.
  • 16 pads (two banks of 8 pads/buttons).
  • Pitchbend/Modulation touch strip.
  • Footswitch input.
  • Recessed full sized USB jack.
  • Bus powered, Class compliant.
  • Works with iPAD (camera connection kit required).
  • Comes with Analog Lab software.
  • 5000 sounds from the best synths and keyboards.

MiniLab will be available to purchase from the Arturia online store or any dealer for 99 EUR / $129 USD from mid-March 2013.

More information: Arturia / MiniLab

Arturia redefines drum machine with SparkLE

Arturia SparkLE

Arturia has announced the NAMM 2013 launch of SparkLE Creative Drum Machine, its newest hybrid beat production centre combining intuitive hardware hands-on control with software strength and integration.

Quite simply, SPARK Creative Drum Machine revolutionised hands-on beat-making by cleverly combining TAE® (True Analog Emulation) synthesis, sample playback (with multiple layering modes and post-processing), and physical modelling technologies with the intuitive workflow of a hardware drum machine upon its June 2011 launch; today, SparkLE Creative Drum Machine joins its bigger brother to take this concept to the masses in an all-new, ultra-portable package at a takeaway price point that’s tough to beat (€249.00 EURO/$299.00 USD).

The solidly-constructed, super-slimline SparkLE Creative Drum Machine hardware measures a mere 1.6cm in depth and comes complete with a handy neoprene slipcase to take your beats to the streets with that ‘real instrument feel’ so many other controllers clearly lack. With it comes direct access to all the features needed to create patterns, write automation, and perform live.

SparkLE Creative Drum Machine serves up classic ‘TR-style’ workflow via its brightly backlit step sequencer buttons, while a musical platter of bangin’ beats can quite literally be banged out using its eight velocity- and pressure-sensitive backlit pads. Stunning live performances are a breeze thanks to the advanced Looper and beat-slicing functions, while beats can be transformed on the fly with the touch-sensitive FX pad that features eight filter modes (including the famed Oberheim SEM V filter featured in Arturia’s acclaimed Oberheim SEM V soft synth namesake) and seven Slicer modes.
Three assignable encoders ease writing automation and realtime sound control. More musical still, TUNE mode permits playing sounds chromatically across those 16 step sequencer buttons or eight pads — try having the kick drum follow the bass root note for truly trouser-flapping lows, play a synth bass/lead sound, or transform percussion sounds into pitched instruments… it’s all there for the hands-on taking!

Software-wise, SparkLE Creative Drum Machine makes use of the same full-featured Spark Engine software shipping with the original SPARK Creative Drum Machine. It includes an awesome library of over 1,500 instruments and 100 kits, providing top-notch, professional sounds covering a variety of dancefloor-friendly genres and stylings, ever-expandable with Arturia add-ons (like the Hip Hop Essentials and DubStep Essentials Expansion Packs).

Priced to go, there has never been a better time than now to add a little sparkle to your rhythmic creativity with SparkLE Creative Drum Machine!

SparkLE features

  • Full featured Spark Software.
  • 3 synthesis engines: Virtual analog, Physical Modeling, Sample playback.
  • Works Standalone & as a plug-in (VST, VST3, AU, RTAS).
  • Backlit velocity and pressure sensitive Pads.
  • Touch sensitive FX pad.
  • Mode selector – Bank, Pattern, Seq, Tune.
  • Bus powered, class compliant USB input.
  • User assignable encoders.
  • Advanced Looper Divide/Move function.
  • Classic ‘TR style’ programming.
  • Real-time programming from the pads.
  • Protective travel sleeve.
  • Small, Portable, Solid construction.
  • MIDI mode for use as a controller with any software.

SparkLE Creative Drum Machine will be available to purchase from the Arturia online store or any dealer for 249 EUR / $299 USD from mid-March 2013.

More information: Arturia / SparkLE