Apple updates Logic Pro X to v10.1 & Mainstage 3 to v3.1

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Apple has releases version 10.1 of its Logic Pro X digital audio workstation and version 3.1 of the MainStage music application designed for live performance.

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated tools for professional songwriting, editing and mixing are built around a modern interface that’s designed to get creative results quickly and also deliver more power whenever it’s needed. Logic Pro X includes a massive collection of instruments, effects and loops, providing a complete toolkit to create amazing-sounding music.

Changes in Logic Pro X v10.1

  • 10 new Drummers that produce beats in a variety of electronic and hip hop styles including Techno, House, Trap, Dubstep and more.
  • Drummer provides specialized sound and performance controls for dialing in electronic or hip hop drum grooves.
  • New Drum Machine Designer plug-in offers new sounds and features for customizing electronic drum kits in a variety of styles.
  • Create a sequence of notes with a single mouse gesture using the new Brush Tool in the Piano Roll Editor.
  • New view options in the Piano Roll Editor let you see more notes in less vertical space and help identify drum sounds by name.
  • Easily compress or expand the timing of selected notes with new time handles in the Piano Roll Editor.
  • Note Repeat and Spot Erase modes allow classic drum machine style techniques for creating beats in realtime.
  • Smart Quantize proportionally corrects the timing and length of notes to preserve the musicality of your original performance.
  • Redesigned Compressor plug-in features scalable, Retina-ready interface and 7 models including the new Classic VCA.
  • Retro Synth can now create wavetables from imported audio and is able to stack up to 8 voices.
  • Expanded sound library includes over 200 new synth patches and 10 classic Mellotron instruments.
  • Automation can now be part of a region, not just the track, which makes it easier to use effects creatively.
  • Manage large-scale mixes more easily with the addition of console-style VCA faders.
  • Relative and Trim Automation modes extend the options for fine-tuning existing automation.
  • Mixer now allows remote control of microphone and other input settings for compatible audio interfaces.
  • Realtime rendering of fades allow them to work with Flex Pitch and speeds up project load times.
  • The Plug-in Manager now allows you to customize the organization of your menu.
  • Support for Mail Drop and Air Drop in OS X Yosemite makes it even easier to share your Logic projects.

Changes in MainStage v3.1

  • Redesigned Compressor plug-in features scalable, Retina-ready interface and 7 models including the new Classic VCA.
  • Retro Synth can now create wavetables from imported audio and is able to stack up to 8 voices.
  • Expanded sound library includes over 200 new synth patches and 10 classic Mellotron instruments.
  • The Plug-in Manager now allows you to customize the organization of your menu.
  • Turn your favorite hardware synthesizers into sampled instruments using new Auto Sampler plug-in.
  • Assign and manage custom shortcuts using the new Key Command editor.

More information: Apple / Logic Pro X

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Arturia intros BeatStep Pro performance step sequencer

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Arturia has launched BeatStep Pro, an all-new world-class controller and dynamic performance step sequencer, at the NAMM Show 2015, January 22-25 in Anaheim, California.

Arturia BeatStep Pro

Designed for hands-on hardware sequencing, the BeatStep Pro brings two fully independent melodic sequencers and one drum sequencer.

You can from the BeatStep Pro manage a full performance, controlling software instruments, analog and digital synthesizers, drum machines and drum kits, iPad apps.

The melodic sequencers offer up to 64 steps per sequence, 16 sequences per project and 16 projects, making them the most impressive step sequencers ever made.

The additional drum sequencer allows for 16 separate tracks of sequencing. Record in real-time via the pads or use the step buttons for a classic drum machine workflow.

BeatStep Pro features

  • 2 monophonic step sequencers
    • Up to 64 steps per sequence.
    • Note, velocity and gate time settings per step.
    • Note tie.
  • 16-track drum sequencer (one track per pad)
    • MIDI controller mode.
    • Fully customizable for knobs, step buttons and velocity and pressure sensitive pads.
    • Send MIDI CC, note data, program changes.
  • 16 Projects, each with 16×2 sequences, 16 drum sequences and a controller map.
  • Performance controls.
  • Randomizer with Amount and Probability settings.
  • Real-time looper/roller touch strip.
  • Independent swing amount per sequence.
  • Touch sensitive knobs.
  • Tap Tempo.
  • Connectivity
    • CV/GATE outputs (1 volt per octave CV, 10 volt gates).
    • 8 drum gate outputs.
    • Clock sync with multiple standards.
    • MIDI In/Out with supplied MIDI adaptors.
    • USB class compliant.
  • Kensington lock.

BeatStep Pro will be available for purchase in April, 2015, priced at $299 USD/249 EUR.

More information: Arturia / BeatStep Pro

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Korg intros MS-20M Kit + SQ-1, KAOSS DJ, kaossilator 2S & new Kronos at NAMM

Korg has introduced a number of new products at the Winter NAMM 2015.

SQ-1 step sequencer

Korg SQ-1

The SQ-1 is a compact step sequencer with 2 x 8 steps.

It’s wealth of connection jacks allows it to be connected to the MS-20 and a variety of other synthesizers. Vintage analog synths or the latest compact synths can be controlled from this single unit. You can also switch between a variety of synthesizer modes and use the step buttons to create performances overflowing with spontaneity, just as when using a volca unit.

Liberate yourself from the numerically-bound parameter editing that’s typical on a DAW; you’ll enjoy truly musical inspiration as you train your ears and concentrate on what your fingertips are doing. Don’t miss the experience of music that’s driven by your instinct.

MS-20M Kit + SQ-1 Monophonic synthesizer module kit

Korg MS-20M Kit + SQ-1

The MS-20M Kit is based on the MS-20 with additional improvements.

It’s an analog synthesizer module where you can choose your preferences and assemble yourself. In addition to greatly enhanced synthesis possibilities provided by oscillator sync, FM, two filters (pre and post), and PWM, there are jacks such as a CV IN that supports both Hz/V and V/Oct, making it play nicely with other equipment.

You’ll be able to immerse yourself in synthesis, and with the inclusion of the SQ-1 step sequencer you can also create and play sequences.

KAOSS DJ

Korg KAOSS DJ

The KAOSS DJ is a new DJ controller.

The KAOSS DJ is a USB and standalone DJ controller that features a built-in KAOSS PAD, KORG’s famous and inimitable touch pad effects unit. Using these effects, along with the generous assortment of control features provided, will take your DJ performances to a whole new level.

Use sweeping filters to accentuate or create your own drop; use time-based delays to manipulate the beat; employ isolators to accentuate frequencies for mashups; put a huge reverb on that snare hit… the possibilities are endless!

kaossilator 2S

The kaossilator 2S is a dynamic phrase synthesizer.

Korg kaossilator 2S

The palm-sized synthesizer, kaossilator 2, has now been intensified. Announcing the newly evolved kaossilator 2S (“S” stands for Sound on Sound), a great tool for serious music production.

Use the touchpad to perform intuitively, the loop recorder to keep overdubbing, then export your recorded phrases to Ableton Live and polish them into a song! With undo/redo functions and support for exporting as multi-track data or in Ableton Live format, the kaossilator 2S means that serendipitous phrases and sudden ideas can be seamlessly used in song production.

New Kronos

The new Kronos is the most powerful version of Korg’s flagship synthesizer.

Korg Kronos

“The new Kronos features the unrivaled 9-engine structure from previous versions, with numerous improvements to both sound capability and overall functionality. Truly, the most powerful synthesizer on the planet just got more powerful” James Sajeva, Brand Manager for Korg products.

“Our SGX piano engine, already revered for its German and Japanese grands, now also includes a 9GB Berlin grand with dedicated una corda (soft pedal) samples, plus sympathetic string resonance that works on all the SGX pianos” he continued. “It’s truly an amazing piano experience. There are new banks of sounds based on famous song titles for our cover players and those looking for ‘that’ sound for their recordings, plus a ‘best of’ bank from KaPro, who has created numerous libraries for the Kronos line.”

Other new features include system-wide Touch/Drag via the Kronos’ huge color TouchView™ screen; allowing the user to edit onscreen parameters faster and more naturally than ever.

An evolved Set List mode provides the capability to resize their custom text per set list entry, and enter text via either an onscreen QWERTY or external USB ASCII keyboard. Entries can also be color-coded for better organization and visibility, and users can even decide how many set list entries appear on the screen at time, allowing for more (and larger) onscreen text to remind you of lyrics, changes, or other notes.

An improved search function helps users to find the perfect sound faster than ever. Other improvements include onscreen metering in Combination and Sequencer modes, along with the ability to edit Programs within a Combination to hear the edits in context with other parts.

The improvements don’t end with the software, either; the new Kronos also boasts a new look, including natural wood side panels, easier-to-read silkscreened text, a sophisticated – and functional – vented back panel, and gold-plated audio I/O jacks.

More information: Korg

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Dave Smith Instruments intros Prophet-6 synthesizer

Dave Smith Instruments has introduced the Prophet-6, a 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer.

Sequential / Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-6

The Prophet-6 is Dave Smith’s tribute to the poly synth that started it all—the Sequential Prophet-5.

But it’s not simply a reissue of a classic. Rather, as Dave puts it, “It’s the result of our effort to build the most awesome-sounding, modern analog poly synth possible.” The Prophet-6 takes the best qualities of the original Prophet-5—true voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers—and adds enhancements such as studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more.

The result is pure, unadulterated analog tone with the stability and reliability of a state-of-the-art modern synth.

Prophet-6 features

  • Oscillators
    • Continuously variable wave shape (triangle, sawtooth, pulse, square) per oscillator.
    • Pulse width per oscillator.
    • Hard sync: oscillator 1 syncs to oscillator 2.
    • Triangle sub-octave generator (oscillator 1) per voice.
    • Low frequency mode (oscillator 2).
    • Keyboard tracking on/off (oscillator 2).
    • Oscillator slop amount for increased tuning instability, from subtle to extreme.
  • Mixer
    • Oscillator 1 amount.
    • Oscillator 1 sub-octave amount.
    • Oscillator 2 amount.
    • White noise amount.
  • High-pass filter
    • 2-pole, resonant, high-pass filter per voice.
    • Bi-polar filter envelope amount.
    • Velocity modulation of envelope amount.
    • Keyboard tracking: off, half, full.
  • Low-pass filter
    • Four-pole, resonant, low-pass filter per voice, inspired by the original Prophet-5 filter.
    • Filter can be driven into self-oscillation with the Resonance control.
    • Bi-polar filter envelope amount.
    • Velocity modulation of envelope amount.
    • Keyboard tracking: off, half, full.
  • Poly mod
    • Sources: filter envelope (bi-polar) and oscillator 2 (bi-polar).
    • Destinations: oscillator 1 frequency, oscillator 1 shape, oscillator 1 pulse width, low-pass filter cutoff, high-pass filter cutoff.
  • Effects
    • Stereo analog distortion
    • Dual, 24-bit, 48 kHz digital effects, including: reverb (room, hall, plate, spring), delay (full bandwidth digital delay and emulated bucket brigade and tape delays), chorus, and phase shifter.
    • Delay sync.
    • True bypass maintains fully analog signal path when digital effects are off.
  • Sequencer
    • Polyphonic step sequencer with up to 64 steps and rests.
  • Patch memory
    • 500 user and 500 factory programs in 10 banks of 100 programs each.
    • Direct program access, including Prophet-5 style single-button access to the current set of 10 programs.
  • Performance controls
    • Full-sized, semi-weighted, 4-octave keyboard with velocity and aftertouch.
    • Backlit pitch and mod wheels.
    • Spring-loaded pitch wheel with selectable range per program (1 to 12 semitones up and down).
    • Transpose controls for an 8-octave range.
    • Hold switch latches held notes on.
    • Polyphonic glide (portamento).
    • Unison (monophonic) mode with configurable voice count, from one to all six voices, and key modes.
    • Preset switch: when off, the front panel is live; what you see is what you hear.

More information: Sequential

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Roland intros MX-1 Mix Performer

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Roland has announced the MX-1 Mix Performer, a performance-optimized mixing instrument for bringing together synths, drum machines, loops, DAW tracks, AIRA gear, and more.

Roland MX-1 Mix Performer

The MX-1 can mix up to 18 audio channels from a computer, and AIRA devices are able to communicate directly via USB alongside other analog and digital gear. With its versatile input selection, intuitive layout, and numerous tempo effects with step and real-time control, the MX-1 is a unique and powerful tool for delivering spontaneous, dynamic musical performances.

Designed to function as the nerve center for a modern electronic music rig, the MX-1 is perfect for working with AIRA devices such as the TR-8, TB-3, and SYSTEM-1, as well as other music equipment. Simple to use, the MX-1 provides high-quality sound at rates up to 96 kHz, plus a wealth of mixing features optimized for real-time creativity. Master tempo control (with fine and tap functions) synchronizes the MX-1’s effects with all connected devices via USB and/or MIDI.

MX-1 Mix Performer features

  • 18 channel performance mixer with step-sequenced FX, transport, and tempo control.
  • Three kinds of step-sequenced Beat FX (Filter, Side Chain, Slicer) with TR-style buttons.
  • Six kinds of Master FX (48 variations) with large performance control knob.
  • Beat FX and Master FX can be applied to any or all inputs; Beat FX are per channel.
  • Combi mode rhythmically alternates the Master FX using the step-sequencer.
  • Four AIRA Link USB ports support audio, MIDI, sync, and bus power (on Port 3) for AIRA gear.
  • Mix mode provides six analog, one digital (stereo), four AIRA (stereo) , and two PC channels through mixer and FX.
  • External mode provides 18 channels from DAW through mixer and FX (all inputs direct to DAW).
  • Control Surface mode for full DAW control via MIDI.
  • DJ-style cue monitoring, quick mutes, and six fader curves per channel.
  • Per-channel Tone/Filter knob with ten kinds of EQs, filters, and isolators.
  • Transport and tempo control with fine, shuffle, and tap-tempo functions.
  • Instantly save and recall complete setups including all FX configurations.

Availability and pricing TBA.

More information: Roland / MX-1 Mix Performer

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