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Introducing MIDI HACK – a MIDI, OSC & CV focused hackathon

MIDI HACK is a 24h hackathon sponsored by Ableton, Native Instruments & Spotify celebrating the protocols (such as MIDI, OSC & CV) and technologies that are the backbone of analog and digital music creation.

MIDI HACK
The MIDI HACK weekend will offer lectures and performances from artists and creators. The focus of the event will be on letting our participants create new and ground breaking ideas.

The goal of MIDI HACK is to bring together industry leaders, interesting start-ups, software developers, hardware fanatics and musicians who push the envelope of music creation, and to spawn great and creative ideas for the future. Ever wanted to rip apart MIDI controllers to create a new one? Maybe write a new VST or AU? Or how about finding new ways to perform? Then this is the hack for you.

The name MIDI HACK derives from the midi protocol that has defined music creation for more than 30 years. Together with OSC (Open Sound Control – an open source version of the same idea) and CV (Control Voltage – used to control analogue synthesizers) they are the three pillars of music creation today whenever there’s a synthesizer or computer involved.

A hack is a abbreviation of hackathon, a defined space that during a limited tine engages people in overcome a defined target or investigate a certain subject. Midi hack is aimed for the people who love music creation and sees a potential for involvement within the area.

MIDI HACK will take place May 17th-18th, 2014, at Spotify HQ, Stockholm – Sweden. The application form opens Tuesday March 18th, and closes March 30th, 2014.

More information: MIDI HACK

Image-Line & Novation launch contest – Win Launchpad S and FL Studio Producer Edition bundles

Image-Line has announced a contest in collaboration with Novation, giving away 10 bundles of the Launchpad S and FL Studio Producer Edition.

We’re teaming up with our friends at Novation to give away TEN bundles of a Launchpad S and FL Studio Producer Edition (or IL VCash equivalent to be used in the Image-Line shop if you already own FL Studio). Don’t forget FL Studio also includes Lifetime Free Updates.

To enter the contest you need to name one track used in the performance above. The contest ends March 28th, 2014, at 16:00 GMT.

More information: FL Studio / Launchpad S contest

batZode releases Blowfinger breath & wind controller app for iOS

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batZode Blowfinger

batZode has announced Blowfinger, an app that turns any iPad into a breath or wind controller.

Musicians blow across an iPhone mic – or any other mic – and the wind noise is converted into a MIDI continuous controller. The instrument can send notes from the onscreen keyboard or woodwind touch keys (which use a very simple and intuitive fingering system). Or it can just function as a MIDI breath controller.

Blow, finger.

“We designed this app to take the place of expensive, inferior hardware breath controllers,” programmer Stephan Podell says. “It’s also a fantastic auxiliary controller for playing MIDI instruments.”

Blowfinger features

  • Blowfinger Keyboard mode
    • Velocity-sensitive keyboard allows you to glide between notes in a way not possible on a regular keyboard, making this an excellent musical performance addition to any set-up.
    • Use the eight utility pads with user text labels to send program changes or keyswitches. Or use them to play drums and percussion – they’re velocity-sensitive.
    • The XY pad offers additional expressive control in both axes, and it can be set to snap back to zero, to the center, or stay where you release it. Choose which MIDI controller is sent in each direction.
    • Transpose octaves up or down with one tap (either or both keyboard manuals).
  • Blowfinger Wind mode
    • Simplified fingerings based on recorder or Boehm system allow anyone who’s ever played a wind instrument to pick up Blowfinger right away. You switch octaves with your left thumb, so once you know one octave you know them all.
    • One size fits all. The keys and the thumb pads can be resized, moved, and stretched all over the screen. Play the instrument on your lap or perhaps a desk in front of you, or move the pads to the sides and hold the iPad up to your belly.
    • XY right thumb pad. This has the same features as the one in Keyboard Mode, with your choice of snap back behavior and MIDI controllers.
  • General features
    • Blowfinger can work as a breath controller without sending notes; in Breath-only mode, blow without fingering and it sends a MIDI controller.
    • Simultaneous support for Network MIDI over Wi-Fi, hardware MIDI, and inter-application MIDI to control synths running on the same iPad. Also supports rpMIDI for wireless MIDI on Windows.
    • While it feels great right away, you can personalize the breath response to suit your preference and also to adjust for noisy environments.
    • Global transposition so you can play in the key of Cb without getting angry.

Blowfinger is available to purchase for $17.99 USD.

More information: batZode

Cakewalk announces free SONAR X3e update

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Cakewalk Sonar X3

Cakewalk has announced its upcoming free SONAR X3e update, which will be available later this month.

Suitable for all three versions of the SONAR family (X3, X3 Studio, and X3 Producer), this update continues to focus on direct “wish list” feedback from Cakewalk customers.

SONAR X3e is the fifth free update since the X3 launch in September 2013, and features nearly 100 enhancements including improvements to the audio engine, loop recording, ARA (Audio Random Access), comping, and much more. SONAR X3e once again reinforces Cakewalk’s commitment to supporting the ever-growing number of users who have embraced SONAR X3’s superior workflow, functionality, and exceptional versatility.

“The continuing success of SONAR X3 is the result of what has essentially become a partnership with our user base. Their suggestions for enhancements have not only provided detailed, intelligent feedback, but inspired us to continue building on SONAR X3’s stability and functionality” said Cakewalk Product Manager Bill Jackson. “We are happy to release such a comprehensive list of enhancements to our loyal user base.”

The SONAR X3 family comprises SONAR X3 ($99), which delivers extraordinary value; SONAR X3 Studio ($199), targeted to advanced home and project studios; and SONAR X3 Producer ($499), designed to meet the demands of professionals who require a program with the versatility to handle any kind of project.

More information: Cakewalk / SONAR X3

Novation updated Launchpad App to v1.4.0

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Novation has released version 1.4.0 of its Launchpad App free music app for iPad, which now features Audio Import Audio Copy with supported apps.

Use Audio Copy to export performances directly from Launchpad App into any other Audio Copy supporting App, and Audio Paste to import from any other Audio Paste supporting app directly into your Launchpad App sound library and put straight onto a pad.

The Audio Import upgrade transforms Launchpad app into a powerful performance tool for users that want to play original music on their iPad, with Audio Copy and Paste support, timestretching, Launch family integration, and full Dropbox integration for import.

Import WAV/AIFF samples by BPM with Dropbox (free Dropbox account required) or Audio Paste, and assign them to any Launch pad as loops or one shots. Whether from professional sample providers or exported from your own productions, combine your samples with built in and In-App purchased Launchpacks to create a unique library to perform with.

The Launchpad App is a free download at the App Store. Audio Import is a $6.99 USD/£4.99 GBP upgrade from the Launchpad App store.

More information: Novation / Launchpad App

Nektar announces Panorama workflow integration with BitWig Studio

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Nektar Panorama integration with Bitwig Studio

Nektar has announced the deep integration with the Bitwig Studio DAW and the Nektar Panorama range of controllers featuring the unique and musician friendly direct DAW integration Nektar P series Keyboards are famous for.

From day one, Bitwig Studio will benefit from the extensive and transparent Panorama workflow integration that allows for controlling the Bitwig Studio mixer, instruments, effects, transport plus clip and scene launching right from Panorama P1, P4 or P6.

Building on Panorama’s workflow concept developed first for Reason and Cubase, additional functionality has been added to take full advantage of the Bitwig Studio controller API. This includes the ability to browse the instrument and effects device libraries of patches by category or creator, right from Panorama.

A step sequencer has also been included using the 8 LED buttons to program any of the up to 32 steps in a sequence. Panorama creates the events directly in Bitwig Studio so they are instantly part of a song and ready for further manipulation.
Taking advantage of the pads on the Panorama P4 and P6, it’s possible to trigger, create and record clips and scenes in absolute real-time. The Panorama display provides constant updates to show which clips are currently active, including the name of the clips available on the current track.

All things considered and also taking into account the compatibility of BitWig Studio with VST plug-ins, full navigation of all devices and their parameters, complete mixer control including motorized fader – the Panorama/Bitwig Studio combination may well be the most advanced hardware/software combination to date.

Registered owners of Panorama will be able to download the Panorama Bitwig Studio installer on March 26th, 2014.

More information: Nektar

PreSonus intros Music Creation Suite Recording Kit

PreSonus has announced its Music Creation Suite, a complete recording kit comprising hardware and software components for producing music.

PreSonus Music Creation Suite

Create music, podcasts, and more and distribute projects on the Web with PreSonus® Music Creation Suite recording kit, a complete solution for classrooms, school labs, churches, and home studios!

This special all-PreSonus system combines an AudioBox USB interface with Studio One® Artist music-production software, Notion music-notation and composition software, the PS49 USB MIDI keyboard, HD3 monitoring headphones, an M7 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, a free Nimbit account, a powered USB hub, and all necessary cables and mounts.

PreSonus will offer lesson plans and instructional videos to help music educators get the most from the new hardware/software recording and composition kit.

The Music Creation Suite has an expected street price of $399.95 USD. Custom site licenses for multiple units can be generated when the products are registered.

More information: PreSonus / Music Creation Suite

Dynaudio Professional announces AIR Control – Configuration & Installation Software

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Dynaudio AIR Control

Dynaudio Professional has introduced a new AIR Control application for Mac and PC, allowing users to carry out advanced calibration and alignment of their AIR monitoring system.

The software provides access to advanced tools and features inside AIR monitors and subwoofers including timing and SPL calibration and parametric EQs for each monitor. Air Control allows users to define and store custom setups and presets with selective parameter locking, and a special measurement mode provides EQ line signal out from selected monitors.

“AIR Control will be available as a free download, and we are very excited to offer our current and future AIR users the advantages of this intuitive software that easily and intuitively unlocks all the power of their AIR monitor systems.” says Fred Speckeen, Global Business Manager for Dynaudio Professional. “AIR systems are an industry standard, and have been so for over a decade. It is chosen by ear by the world-leading film, music and broadcast production studios, and AIR Control is designed to meet their accelerating project and workflow demands where minutely accurate adjustments and configurations must be easily made, saved and quickly recalled.”

AIR Control replaces Dynaudio Professional’s original ‘TC PC-IP’ installer software that was developed for professional installers. The new AIR Control application design is easier to use and an even more efficient way to fine-tune a complete, digital AIR monitoring system. The new AIR Control runs on Mac, PC and Windows-based tablets.

AIR Control will be available free of charge June 2014.

More information: Dynaudio Professional / AIR Control