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Akai Pro intros MPX16 sample recorder & player

Akai Professional has announced the MPX16, an advanced sample player with onboard sound recording.

Akai Pro MPX16

The portable MPX16 plays and records .WAV samples using SD cards for powerful, reliable performance in live and studio situations. Like the popular MPX8, samples are triggered internally from the highly responsive MPC-style pads or an external MIDI device via USB-MIDI and 3.5mm (1/4-inch) MIDI inputs. Also a feature-packed MIDI pad controller, the MPX16 is equally capable of launching clips or adding trigger pads to a producer’s studio.

Samples are captured at CD-quality via dual 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs or the on-board stereo microphone and saved to an SD card. The user may assign audio clips to the pads and apply tuning, filters, envelopes and “choke” grouping for creative, dynamic performances. An LCD screen and illuminated trigger pads provide visual feedback during use, and the MPX16 may be powered from a USB port or the included power supply. Naturally, users may load existing sound files onto an SD card or use the MPX16 as an SD card reader for drag-and-drop convenience on a Mac or PC. A software tool for even easier sample management is included via download.

MPX16 features

  • Record and play back stereo .WAV samples using any SD card.
  • 16 ultra-responsive, velocity sensitive backlit trigger pads.
  • Sample via 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs or internal mic.
  • MIDI In/Out easily integrates into your performance or studio setup.
  • Filter, tune, envelope and choke grouping on each pad.
  • CD quality sampling and playback.
  • Includes computer software editor for efficient loading and editing of samples.
  • Acts as an SD card reader for loading sounds over USB.
  • Powered by USB or the included power supply; SD card included.

The MPX16 will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with a $199.99 USD street price.

Akai Professional will unveil the MPX16 at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

Akai Pro announces APC40 mkII, APC Key 25 & APC mini

Akai Professional has announced the APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC mini, three new Ableton Live controllers.

Akai Pro APC series 2014

In 2009, Akai Professional partnered with the creators of Ableton Live, a powerful performance and production software environment, and introduced the original Ableton Performance Controller. With the debut of the APC40, Akai Pro raised the standards for controller design and revolutionized Ableton Live software and hardware integration. Akai Pro now unveils the reimagined APC40 mkII along with two compact Ableton Live controllers—APC Key 25 and APC mini.

APC40 mkII

Akai Pro’s flagship Ableton Live controller, the new APC40 mkII, incorporates five years of user feedback into its design for extended functionality, countless musical capabilities, and improved workflow. The APC40 mkII features a 5×8 RGB LED clip-launching matrix, assignable A/B crossfader, 8 rotary knobs, 8 channel faders, and a send button for quick access to send busses.

Akai Pro APC40 mkII

Included with the APC40 mkII is a suite of software, samples, and loops for out-of-thebox electronic music production: Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology, and SONiVOX Twist give users endless music production possibilities with hand-selected samples & loops and high-definition virtual synthesizers. The APC40 mkII is USB-powered and supports plug-and-play.

APC40 mkII features

  • 5×8 RGB LED clip matrix—launches clips with visual feedback.
  • 8 channel faders, 1 master fader, and 8 device controls—map to Ableton Live directly.
  • Intuitive layout—revised knob layout with in-line controls for smarter workflow.
  • A/B crossfader—can be assigned on the fly for dynamic mixing.
  • Send button—press and hold Send and use the Track Selects to choose one of 8 sends.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology & SONiVOX Twist.

APC Key 25

APC Key 25 is the first controller designed for Ableton Live that is equipped with a highperformance keyboard. Uniting the power of a clip-launching panel with a keyboard interface, the APC Key 25 couples real-time control of Ableton Live with traditional composition tools.

Akai Pro APC Key 25

The controller includes 25 synth-action mini keys, a 5×8 clip-launch matrix with tri-color visual feedback, 8 control knobs, USB power, and plug-and-play connectivity. The APC Key 25 comes mapped to Ableton, but can also be used as an all-purpose MIDI controller.

APC Key 25 features

  • Ableton Live controller with keyboard—25 synth-action mini keys.
  • Tri-color clip matrix—launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status.
  • 8 assignable control knobs—hands-on-control of any Ableton Live parameter.
  • Octave Up, Octave Down, and Sustain—expands keyboard range and expression.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech & SONiVOX Twist.

APC mini

APC mini is the most portable all-in-one Ableton controller solution with Akai Pro build quality. Engineered for the mobile musician or producer, APC mini concentrates the essential features of the APC40 mkII into a space-saving design.

Akai Pro APC mini

An expanded 8×8 multicolor clip-launching grid, 8 channel faders, and a compact chassis provide unprecedented hands-on control over Ableton Live with a small footprint. The APC mini is also USB-powered and supports plug-and-play.

APC mini features

  • Tri-color clip matrix—8×8 grid launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status.
  • 8 channel faders & 1 master fader—provide hands-on-control of Ableton.
  • Compact construction—portable design for mobile performers and producers.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs & Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech.

The APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC mini will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with the following street prices: APC40 mkII ($399.99 USD), APC Key 25 ($129.99 USD), and APC mini ($99.99 USD).

Akai Professional will unveil the APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC Mini at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

AudioFront updates MIDI Expresion to v1.1

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AudioFront MIDI Expression

AudioFront has released version 1.1 of its MIDI Expression compact Pedal to USB MIDI interface, bringing improvements to all aspects of its design.

MIDI Expression is a compact class compliant USB MIDI device that allows different types of pedals to interface with your computer. Pedal sensing technology built into the device detects the type of pedal plugged in and automatically adjusts its settings to support it.

Changes in MIDI Expression v1.1

  • New Form Factor – The most dramatic change for MIDI Expression comes in the form of its casing. MIDI Expression is now housed in a 3D printed enclosure allowing it to maintain its compact form while improving its aesthetics and strength. There are also now six colors available including, white, black, red, green, blue and yellow.
  • Plug-in Version – The MIDI Expression Control application is now available in both standalone and VST varieties. The new plugin version allows configurations to be injected into the device on a per project basis offering a unique level of control.
  • Updated Firmware – The updated firmware contains some improvements as well. Firstly each color now has a unique MIDI Port name to facilitate working with multiple devices. Secondly the onboard LED has been improved giving the user timely visual feedback.

MIDI Expression is available to purchase for $49 USD.

More information: MIDI Expresion

Native Instruments launches Heavy Valentine – Limited-time TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 sales special

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 Sale

Native Instruments has launched a limited-time February special on TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2, the highly acclaimed 2+2 channel DJ control mixer that unites analog and digital DJing techniques.

Featuring two standalone channels each with Remix Deck controls, and an integrated 24-bit audio interface, TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 is the perfect pro-mixer for TRAKTOR DJs. Rear panel inputs provide connectivity for both turntables and CDJs, offering connectivity for purely analog as well as timecode-based setups. With a robust aircraft-grade aluminum enclosure, the Z2 is equipped with top-notch knobs and buttons, multi-colored cue point controls, and advanced Innofaders™ for durable, tactile mixing. TRAKTOR PRO 2′s Macro FX and Flux Mode are also directly accessible from the Z2′s dedicated buttons. An integrated USB hub even allows connectivity for multiple TRAKTOR KONTROL F1 and X1 controllers with plug-and-play simplicity.

TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 includes the latest version of the flagship TRAKTOR PRO 2 software. Trusted by countless professionals, TRAKTOR PRO 2 offers DJs up to four virtual decks, intuitive looping and cueing functionality, and a wide range of over 30 effects. In addition, integrated Remix Decks technology allows DJs to instantly record, loop and sample audio for on-the-fly remixing. For DJs who combine the flexibility of digital DJing with classic analog systems, the Z2 also comes with TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2* timecode vinyl and CDs.

TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 is available to purchase for $599 USD/599 EUR/£499 GBP until February 28, 2014 (regular $799 USD/799 EUR/£679 GBP).

TRAKTOR PRO 2 and TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 software are provided as a download following registration of the TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 mixer.

More information: Native Instruments / TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2

Behringer intros MOTÖR 49 & MOTÖR 61 controller keyboards

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Behringer has announced MOTÖR 49 and MOTÖR 61, two new USB/MIDI master controller keyboards with motorized faders and touch-sensitive pads.

Behringer MOTÖR 49

The MOTÖR 49 master keyboard controller allows you to take total command over your virtual instruments and DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Featuring amazingly-smooth action, motorized faders and touch-sensitive pads, the MOTÖR 49 provides an unparalleled level of control for the ultimate creative expression.

The 49 semi-weighted full-sized keys, 60 mm faders and backlit drums give you hands-on control over all the parameters of your favorite DAW. An incredible hardware-based arpeggiator enables you to instantly add arpeggios to software and hardware synths and create complex arrangements on the fly.

MOTÖR 49/61 features

  • 49/61 semi-weighted full-size keys featuring expressive velocity and after-touch functionality.
  • 9 motorized 60 mm touch-sensitive faders to control your DAW mixer, drawbar organ, soft synths or effect units.
  • 8 backlit drum pads with velocity and pressure-sensitivity for ultimate drum and sample-loop performance.
  • Standard MIDI and Mackie Control modes for ultimate flexibility with your DAW software.
  • Hardware-based arpeggiator allows creation of complex patterns regardless of software limitations.
  • Ultra-precise, illuminated endless rotary encoders with LED rings provide a clear overview of all software parameters.
  • Backlit transport section for direct access to your DAW record/play engine.
  • Quick individual bank select for faders, encoders and pads.
  • Large backlit LCD screen for optimal overview, easy editing and quick status check.
  • Built-in presets – no complex mapping required; additional free user presets for your favorite software/hardware assignments.
  • Flexible communication via USB or MIDI In/Out/Thru – including merge functionality.
  • Plug and play with Mac OS X and Windows XP or higher operating systems.
  • Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins downloadable.

The Behringer MOTÖR 49 and MOTÖR 61 controller keyboards are available at a suggested U.S. MAP of $299.99 USD and $249.99 USD, respectively.

More information: Behringer

Moog intros Theremini

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Moog Theremini

Moog Music has announced the Theremini, a re-imagination of one of the oldest electronic musical instrument in history, and Bob Moog’s first love – the theremin.

Its design fuses the experience of performing with an instrument you don’t actually touch, with a powerful sound engine derived from Moog’s award winning synthesizer, Animoog. The Theremini guarantees immediate success to any player at any skill level, while providing new ways to experiment with music, education, and gestural control.

Assistive pitch correction allows each player to adjust the instruments level of playing difficulty. At the maximum position, the Theremini will play every note in a selected scale perfectly, making it impossible to play a wrong note. As this control is decreased, more expressive control of pitch becomes possible. When set to minimum, the Theremini will perform as a traditional theremin with analog heterodyning oscillator and absolutely no pitch assistance.

A built in tuner supplies real-time visual feedback of each note as it is played, as well as its proximity to perfection. This is useful for correcting a users playing position, or to educate younger players about pitch and scales.

The presets section allows you to select from 32 wave or wavetable-based patches, store a selected scale & root note, set and recall a specified playing range, and specify per-patch settings for the included stereo delay.

Recessed in the top of the Theremini is a compact speaker perfect for private rehearsal and quick setup anywhere. Silent rehearsal is also possible via front panel headphone jack. Simply plug in ear-buds or headphones and the built in speaker becomes silent.

For live performance and gestural control, the rear panel features two line level audio outputs, a pitch CV output with selectable range, and a mini USB jack for MIDI I/O and connectivity.

The Theremini will cost $319 USD.

More information: Moog Music / Theremini

Alesis announces CORE Series USB audio interfaces

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Alesis has announced the new CORE Series of 24-bit USB Audio Interfaces providing complete, fully integrated recording solutions.

Alesis CORE Series

CORE Series interfaces offer a full range of recording solutions including XLR+1/4″ combo inputs, Mic/Line or Guitar level switching, headphone outputs with level controls for efficient monitoring, and each model ships with a Cubase® 7 LE.

CORE 1, a single input/dual output inline interface, is ideal for on-the-go recording or the budget-conscious producer. CORE 2 offers both audio and MIDI connections for full studio integration. Topping out the series is the CORE 8, an eight-channel rack mount interface suited for live or studio applications.

CORE Series features

  • CORE 1 – 1-Channel In-Line USB Audio Interface:
    • 2-channel mini USB, 24-bit/48 kHz output.
    • 1 XLR+1/4″ TRS combo input with gain knob.
    • Mic/Line or Guitar level switch.
    • Stereo headphone out with level control.
    • Modern sand-blasted aluminum housing.
  • CORE 2 – 2-Channel Desktop USB 2.0 Audio+MIDI Interface:
    • 2-channel USB 2.0 24-bit/96 kHz output.
    • 2 XLR+1/4″ TRS combo input with gain knobs.
    • 2 Mic/Line or Guitar level switches; phantom power.
    • Stereo headphone out with level and input/USB monitoring.
    • 2 Powered USB hub ports; MIDI In and MIDI out.
    • Stereo 1/4″ outs.
    • LED segment metering.
    • Sand-blasted aluminum housing.
    • ERP Compliant – Auto off.
  • CORE 8 – 8-Channel Rack Mount USB 2.0 Audio Interface:
    • 8-channel USB 2.0, 24-bit/96 kHz output.
    • 8 XLR+1/4″ TRS combo input with gain knobs.
    • 2 Mic/Line or Guitar level switches; phantom power.
    • Dual stereo headphone out with level and input/USB monitoring.
    • Stereo main + monitor outs.
    • LED segment metering.
    • 2U metal rack mount enclosure.
    • ERP Compliant – Auto off.

The CORE Series will be available to purchase for $49.99 USD (CORE 1), $149.99 USD (CORE 2), and $299.99 USD (CORE 8).

Alesis will present the CORE interface lineup at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Alesis

Dubspot intros DS1 MIDI Mixer

Dubspot has announced the DS1, a MIDI mixer developed in collaboration with Livid Instruments.

Dubspot / Livid DS1

The DS1 MIDI Mixer is a portable solution for computer-based mixing, production and performance, constructed with only the highest-quality parts and materials.

This intuitive and versatile controller is the result of a creative collaboration between Livid Instruments and Dubspot, forged from a shared desire to bring classic audio mixer design to the digital world.

DS1 features

  • 9 high-quality, 60mm faders.
  • 44 rotary knobs with single-color backlighting.
  • 1 push encoder.
  • 25 RGB buttons.
  • Class-compliant MIDI USB.
  • Expression Pedal Input (compatible with the Livid Master Fader).
  • Ultra light and heavy-duty aluminum construction.

Availability and pricing TBA.

More information: Dubspot / DS1