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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

M-Audio introduces updated Keystation keyboard series

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M-Audio has introduced the updated Keystation keyboard series.

Designed to be simple, powerful solutions for sequencing music and playing virtual instruments, the new Keystation series boasts even more functionality, a virtual piano instrument, music production software and a sleek new colorway.

M-Audio Keystation Mini 32
The new Keystation Mini 32.

The four new Keystation models suit a wide range of musicians needing a pure, velocity-sensitive keyboard controller. The Keystation Mini 32 features synth-action mini-keys, octave shift, and sustain and modulation buttons for the travelling musician or producer.

The Keystation 49, 61 and 88 offer an extended physical octave range and full-size keys–ideal for use with a digital audio workstation or in a live performance setup. Lightweight and durable, they travel with ease and compliment nearly any musician’s studio.

New for the Keystation 49, 61 and 88 are transport and directional controls for simple DAW operation without a mouse or trackpad. A 6.3mm (1/4-inch) sustain input jack is included on each for expressive performance capabilities.

M-Audio Keystation 49
The updated Keystation 49 controller keyboard.

Also included with the Keystation 49, 61 and 88 is a powerful software suite for creating music. The Eighty-Eight Ensemble from SONiVOX lets you play one of the most sought after pianos in the world from the comfort of your Keystation keyboard. This powerful virtual instrument is an authentic capture of a 9-foot CD327 Steinway—meticulously recorded and expertly sampled. Ableton Live Lite, flexible music creation software, is included so you can create with professional flair right out of the box.

Keystation Mini 32 features

  • 32 velocity-sensitive, synth-action mini keys.
  • USB powered; a single cable provides power and MIDI connectivity.
  • Pitch bend, sustain, and modulation buttons add expression to your performances.
  • Octave-shift controls let you access the entire range of playable notes.
  • Includes Ignite music creation software by AIR Music Tech.
  • Works with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit for use with iOS devices.

Keystation 49, 61 and 88 features

  • 49, 61 or 88 full-size velocity-sensitive keys.
  • Transport and directional controls let you operate your DAW from the keyboard.
  • USB powered; a single cable provides power and MIDI connectivity.
  • Includes SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble virtual piano instrument.
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite digital audio workstation.
  • 6.3mm (1/4-inch) sustain pedal input.
  • Works with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit for use with iOS devices.

The new M-Audio Keystation Mini 32, Keystation 49, Keystation 61 and Keystation 88 will be available in Summer 2014 with a $49.99, $99.99, $169.99 and $219.99 street price, respectively.

M-Audio will showcase the Keystation series at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: M-Audio

RME intros Fireface 802 audio interface

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RME has introduced the Fireface 802, a new USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 audio interface at the Musikmesse 2014.

RME Fireface 802

60 channels of audio, high-end microphone preamps, reference class converters, a complete effects section and operation at up to 192 kHz are the base for many more features:

Ultra-low latency operation with USB or FireWire, combined with the legendary RME driver stability and maintenance. Active jitter suppression, individually switchable reference levels for all inputs and outputs, full stand-alone functionality, RME’s unique DIGICheck metering and analysis toolbox, and identical operation on Windows PC and Mac.

New in Fireface 802

  • New look with improved usability.
  • Dedicated Control Room section for the main output (e. g. studio monitors) and other monitoring outputs (e. g. phones). All existing stereo output channels can be freely assigned as source for the control room section channels.
  • Four definable groups for Solo, Mute and Faders.
  • Switchable Mono and Stereo channel view.
  • Channel Options: Stereo Width, MS Processing, Phase L/R.
  • Trim mode: Adjusts the volume for all routed signals of a channel simultaneously, equalling a hardware’s trim functionality as well as a Post-FX Send function.
  • Unlimited Undo and Redo.
  • FX Sends and Returns: One send bus for every input/playback channel with Reverb/Echo.
  • Expandable channel view for channel settings, EQ and Dynamics.
  • Slim channel mode for selected or all channels, to save space or give a meter bridge view.
  • 2 Row Mode: reduces the height of the mixer to two rows for smaller displays.
  • Reworked Matrix with mono/stereo mode, Undo/Redo, display of phase and mute.

More information: RME / Fireface 802

Elektron announces Overbridge for Analog Four, Analog Keys, and Analog Rytm

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Swedish music machine maker Elektron announces the forthcoming Overbridge implementation for Analog Four, Analog Keys, and Analog Rytm.

Elektron Overbridge

This breakthrough technology completely erases the line between analog hardware and software plug-in instruments.

For the first time in history, seamless DAW integration of analog synthesizers and drum machines is a reality.

Overbridge features

  • Full VST/AU control — Thanks to Overbridge, the Analog range of Elektron machines can be deeply integrated with PC and Mac computers. The customized and machine specific software plugins, available in VST and AU formats, give direct parameter access over USB and allows efficient DAW based sound editing and sequencing. Overbridge merges the functionality of software plug-ins with the unmatched sound of analog hardware.
  • Bi-directional USB audio streaming — Overbridge makes multi tracking easy. Connect a USB cable and record multiple Elektron machine voices to separate DAW tracks in 24 bit quality. Or send audio from a DAW, process it with the analog circuitry of the Elektron machines and bring back the results to a new DAW track all over a single USB cable and without timing issues. Overbridge even allows the Analog range of machines to be used as multi-channel USB sound cards.
  • Total recall — Management of analog sounds and sequences has never been easier. Any adjustments made either directly on the Elektron hardware or via the software plug-in can be automatically recalled when loading a DAW project. Overbridge offers ultimate convenience when handling Elektron machine data.

Overbridge will be a part of a free OS update expected to be released Q4 2014. The OS update will work on all Analog Four, Analog Keys, and Analog Rytm units in existence.

More information: Elektron

Arturia launches MiniBrute SE analog synthesizer

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Arturia has announced the MiniBrute SE, a ‘special edition’ of its analogue mono synthesizer.

Arturia MiniBrute SE

Arturia’s red-hot MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer set the electronic musical instrument world alight immediately upon its introduction in 2012. Indeed, it rapidly reset the price/performance ratio benchmark when successfully soaring through the subtractive synthesis sound barrier while singlehandedly setting a new standard for what a hardware synthesizer should be.

Hot on its heels comes a ‘special edition’ that is very special indeed. MiniBrute SE shares the same physical footprint as the original MiniBrute, but builds upon this amazingly compact and bijou analogue monosynth in both looks and features.

Although a sturdy and stylish brushed aluminium casing with wooden sides surely make MiniBrute SE stand out from the analogue crowd, skin-deep good looks are not the be and end all here, however, as added functionality runs deeper still.

An all-new step SEQUENCER elegantly expands playing options with the MiniBrute SE — six Pattern sequences with up to 64 steps each to create multiple musical phrases, to be precise. Yet it is capable of so much more than simply replaying pre- programmed Pattern sequences ad infinitum. Users can create new musical phrases from existing ones by changing the playback Mode, Gate Len (timing), and Swing settings in realtime from the clearly labelled front panel — perfect for inspiring new musical ideas and creating exciting live performances on the fly.

MiniBrute SE is proof positive that the original MiniBrute was no fly-by-night success story. A pure analogue signal path and attractive features like a multi-wave OSCILLATOR and Sub Osc combined with a huge-sounding Steiner-Parker multimode FILTER (fittingly revised by Nyle Steiner himself) and wide-ranging modulation capabilities confirm that MiniBrute SE continues to innovate while breathing new life into recordings and stage performances.

Add fantastic features like Ultrasaw (generating shimmering sawtooth waveforms), Metalizer (adding extreme triangle waveform-induced harmonics), LFO (with sample and hold), and full USB/MIDI/CV connectivity into the musical mix, and what have you got? A killer-sounding, step sequencing-capable synth with looks to die for, that’s what!

MiniBrute SE will be available to purchase at the end of May, 2014, priced at 549 EUR / $599 USD.

More information: Arturia

M-Audio intros new Oxygen controller keyboards

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M-Audio has introduced the new Oxygen series of controller keyboards for musicians and producers.

M-Audio Oxygen 25

Available in 25-, 49- or 61-key models, the Oxygen series combines a velocity-sensitive keybed with a series of 8 trigger pads. Used for launching audio clips, triggering percussion sounds and more, the pads also provide velocity-sensitive response and illuminated feedback. Control capabilities expand with 8 assignable knobs – perfect for adjusting plugin parameters and mixing tasks. The Oxygen 25 features an assignable master fader while the Oxygen 49 and 61 provide 9 total faders for virtually limitless MIDI manipulation. Each keyboard in the series features an LCD screen and transport controls for seamless operation with digital audio software. A 6.3mm (1/4-inch) sustain input jack is built in for expressive performances.

Every keyboard in the Oxygen series includes a powerful software package for creating music right away, starting with Ableton Live Lite – a dynamic music creation software, that lets musicians develop songs with extensive MIDI and audio processing tools. Twist, an acclaimed spectral-morphing software synthesizer from SONiVOX, creates swirling sonic textures that come to life with inspiring depth and motion.

Oxygen Series features

  • 25, 49 or 61 full-size, synth-action velocity-sensitive keys.
  • 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads for beat production, clip launching & more.
  • 8 assignable knobs for mixing and tweaking plugins.
  • 9 assignable faders (Oxygen 49, Oxygen 61).
  • Transport controls let you operate your DAW without reaching for the mouse.
  • Auto-maps to popular DAWs: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase.
  • LCD screen provides instant parameter feedback.
  • USB powered; a single cable provides power and MIDI connectivity.
  • Works with Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately) for use with iOS devices.
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite for immediate and powerful music creation.
  • Includes SONiVOX Twist spectral morphing synthesizer.

The new Oxygen controller series will be available in Summer 2014 with a street price of $99 USD (25-keys) / $149 USD (49-keys) / $199 USD (61-keys).

M-Audio will showcase the Oxygen series at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: M-Audio

Akai Pro intros Rhythm Wolf analog drum machine & bass synth

Akai Professional has announced Rhythm Wolf, an analog drum machine and bass synthesizer module with built-in sequencing.

Akai Rhythm Wolf

The Rhythm Wolf is an authentic analog instrument that combines the coveted sounds of early electronic and hip-hop music with genuine Akai Professional workflow. Inspired by the classic analog beat machines and synthesizers of the past, Rhythm Wolf enables today’s musicians to harness iconic analog sounds for music production and performance. The drum machine consists of five highly-tweakable drum sounds and includes a kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion. Onboard controls allow users to customize the tuning, amplitude envelopes, and volume of each drum voice separately for precise real-time adjustment. The bass synthesizer features a selectable oscillator (sawtooth or square wave), classic filter design, a filter envelope with variable decay, and is capable of creating powerful bass sounds and squelchy leads.

Outfitted with six genuine MPC pads and a built-in 32-step sequencer, the Rhythm Wolf provides an ultra-responsive interface with a classic drum machine layout. Drum patterns can be fine-tuned using the Swing function, Pattern Select, and Tempo Control knob. A custom distortion signal path, activated by the “Howl” knob, adds grit and character for additional tone shaping. Rhythm Wolf features USB-MIDI, MIDI In/Out, a gate trigger, and integrates seamlessly with modern and vintage equipment. Two audio outputs enable producers and performers to mix percussion sounds and bass independently.

Rhythm Wolf features

  • 5-voice analog drum machine and synth—authentic analog design that references classic rhythm machines and synthesizers.
  • Legendary analog drum sounds—kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion.
  • Synth-bass module—selectable square or sawtooth wave with classic filter design for warm, deep basses and squelchy leads..
  • Onboard 32-step sequencer—classic drum machine workflow for quickly laying down grooves and melodies.
  • Six genuine MPC pads—responsive controls for sequencing and finger drumming.
  • Howl knob—custom distortion circuit for additional sound design.
  • USB-MIDI and MIDI In/Out—flexible MIDI connectivity for easy integration into modern studios.
  • Gate Trigger—triggering via modular synths, vintage sequencers, or external sound sources.
  • Independent audio outputs—dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth-bass module for precise mixing.

The Rhythm Wolf will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with a $199.99 USD street price.

Akai Professional will unveil the Rhythm Wolf at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

Nektar launches Impact LX25 & LX61 controller keyboards and NP-1 & NP-2 footswitches

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Nektar has announced the Impact LX25 and Impact LX61, two USB MIDI controller keyboards, featuring the unique and musician friendly direct integration with most DAWs, Nektar Keyboards are famous for.

Nektar Impact LX25 / LX61

The Impact LX25 is a feature packed 25-note, velocity sensitive, synth-style keyboard with pitch bend, modulation wheel, fader, 8 pots, 8 pads, transport control, 3-digit LED display, foot switch and USB sockets. Its functionality extends beyond its compact size and provides similar access to DAW parameters and navigation as its bigger siblings.

The Impact LX61 is a comprehensive 61-note velocity sensitive, synth-style keyboard with pitch bend, modulation wheel, 9 faders, 9 MIDI buttons, 8 pots, 8 pads, transport control, 3-digit LED display, foot switch and USB sockets.

Every control can be programmed to send MIDI messages with settings stored in 5 user-presets making Impact LX 25 and Impact LX61 compatible with any MIDI software. A unique pad learn function enables pads to be assigned MIDI note numbers on the fly with setups stored in an additional 4 pad maps.

Impact LX25 and Impact LX61 really stand out with the direct integration with DAWs including Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Digital Performer, GarageBand, Logic Pro, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Sonar and Studio One.

Integration includes track and patch navigation as well as button switching between Mixer and Instrument control. Parameters are pre-assigned and include functions for launching the DAWs relevant windows, right from Impact LX. The extensive mapping of transport functions not only includes traditional transport buttons but also options to set left and right locators/loop points, click on/off plus much more.

Impact LX61 is available to purchase for MSRP $229.99/ 179.99 EUR / £159.99 GBP. Impact LX25 will be available from May, priced at MSRP $129.99 USD / 109.99 EUR / £99.99 GBP.

Nektar has also announced the release of the NP-1 and NP-2 foot switch pedals, designed for musicians who need a quality pedal for keyboard sustain or any other foot switch operation.

Nektar NP-1 & NP-2

The NP-1 is in a heavy duty metal housing with nice, thick rubber padding both at the top and bottom to ensure a good solid grip. A 6ft cable, 1/4 TS jack connector and a polarity switch delivers universal compatibility with all keyboards featuring a sustain pedal foot switch socket.

The NP-2 is designed around a solid metal pedal and base. The design gives it real weight which is also reinforced with a think rubber pad on the bottom. The housing is rubberized giving it a luxurious feel. As with the NP-1, a6ft cable, 1/4 TS jack connector and a polarity switch delivers universal compatibility with all keyboards featuring a sustain pedal foot switch socket.

The NP-1 is available to purchase for MSRP $19.99 USD / 19.99 EUR / £16.49 GBP; NP-2 costs MSRP $24.99 USD / 24.99 EUR / £19.99 GBP.

More information: Nektar