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Arturia announces BeatStep controller/sequencer

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Arturia has announced BeatStep, an amazingly compact and bijou, space-saving tabletop pad controller-cum-step sequencer that is as powerful as it is portable.

Arturia BeatStep
Arturia will showcase BeatStep at the 2014 Winter NAMM Show, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

Arturia’s breakthrough BeatStep offers a new level of functionality and performance features in a powerful, portable pad- and encoder- laden USB Class-compliant controller at a hitherto unheard of price-to-performance ratio. Taken at face value, triggering audio clips within powerful, flexible software environments such as Ableton Live or playing drum parts in conjunction with the likes of FXpansion BFD or Toontrack EZdrummer is as easy as exercising your trigger fingers!

Users can comfortably use BeatStep’s 16 sensitively-spaced, velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads to create dynamic percussion performances. Performing onstage? Well, when working in CNTRL (controller) mode those pads backlit LEDs are brightly lit in red — perfect for overcoming far from ideal lighting conditions that are typically associated with onstage operation. Actually, this also assists with making studio-based beats easier on the eye, too.

But beyond that trigger-happy, percussion-friendly facade lies a wealth of flexible features for creating mind-blowing music. Switch to SEQ (sequencer) mode and those backlit LEDs become blue for instant visual confirmation of the mode change. The pads now perform a different function, too. Each one represents a step in a 16-step sequence while pitch adjustments for each step is available via BeatStep’s 16 encoders. Up to 16 sequence pattens can be conveniently stored for instant recall. Elsewhere, encoder-enabled scale modes, sequencer playback modes, and time division functions allow for realtime performance changes.

Whatever your connectivity preferences may be, Arturia has helped keep BeatStep one step ahead of the competition by thoughtfully providing MIDI, USB, and CV/GATE options. Users can comfortably drive anything from software instruments to suitably-equipped hardware, including instruments like Arturia’s own super-selling MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer and MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer. Supporting BeatStep’s super-slender form factor, a custom breakout cable can be used to drive standard MIDI gear. Freedom of choice is always a wonderful thing — even more so when it comes to step sequencing!

Speaking of connectivity, when used with an Apple iPad and Camera Connection Kit combo, BeatStep becomes one of the most flexible iPad app controllers around as well. Indeed, its relatively diminutive dimensions make these desirable devices the perfect production partnership. After all, freedom to travel is also a wonderful thing — especially when carrying around a production-ready BeatStep-carrying backpack that is far from backbreaking and also unlikely to break the bank!

Those wishing to use BeatStep as a general purpose control surface are also well and truly catered for since its pads can be configured to be MIDI CC buttons or assigned to send Program and Bank Change messages as well as note messages. The transport buttons can be MMC controls or MIDI CC to start and stop any connected DAW. With 16 encoders, 16 pads/buttons, and 16 preset memories at your command, you can come up with multiple ways to use BeatStep in any live or studio environment.

Put simply, your wish is BeatStep’s command. Controlling and step sequencing is fun and flexible — and all available at an amazing asking price with Arturia’s breakthrough BeatStep. To see one is to want one — which is exactly why Arturia has seen fit to include a Kensington Lock to keep your BeatStep secure from prying eyes (and hands)!

BeatStep will be available to purchase at the end of March, 2014, priced at $129 USD/99 EUR (MSRP).

More information: Arturia

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Alesis introduces VI & V Series Keyboard/Pad Controllers

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Alesis has announced the new V Series and VI Series of full-size keyboard/pad controllers.

The performance-oriented V Series offers expressive hands-on control for the software musician. The step-up VI Series provides increased control for the keyboard performer. Both series include a Software Preset/Parameter utility that makes setup a snap.

The new Alesis V Series (V61, V49, V25) combine velocity-sensitive keys with eight drum/trigger pads, allowing virtual instruments to be played with dynamic expression.

Alesis V25

Cool blue LEDs illuminate the pads—as well as the four assignable knobs and buttons—for positive visibility. Assignments may be made quickly via the MIDI Learn feature. Octave shift keys provide access to the entire note range. A single USB cable provides both a power and data connection to nearly any computer.

Alesis V Series features

  • Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61).
  • Pitch Bend and Modulation Wheels.
  • 8 Pads with blue LED illumination.
  • 4 Assignable knobs and buttons.
  • Sustain pedal input.
  • USB MIDI.

The VI Series (VI61, VI49, VI25) add semi-weighted keys and aftertouch.

Alesis VI49

The pad count has been increased to 16, with multi-color illumination. This layout provides intensive command over the clip trigger workflow of top DAW and compositional software.

The internal clock offers drum roll, tempo, and sync capabilities. An optional power supply and a standard MIDI output allow for stand-alone use.

Alesis VI Series features

  • Full size, flat-front keys (25, 49, or 61).
  • Semi-weighted keys with Aftertouch.
  • Pitch Bend & Modulation Wheels.
  • 16 Pads with Multi-color LED illumination.
  • VI25: 8 knobs, 24 buttons.
  • VI49: 12 knobs, 36 buttons.
  • VI61: 16 knobs, 48 buttons.
  • Transport and Present up/down buttons.
  • Sustain pedal input.
  • USD MIDI, MIDI Out.
  • Internal Clock for sync, tempo, rolls, etc.

The V and VI Series will have the following respective estimated street prices, V25 ($79.99 USD), V49 ($99.99 USD), V61 ($149.99 USD), VI25 ($169.99 USD), VI49 ($199.99 USD), and VI61 ($249.99 USD).

Alesis will unveil the V and VI Series at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Alesis

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Focusrite announces iTrack Dock for recording music on iPad

Focusrite has announced iTrack Dock, a complete music recording solution for the iPad.

Focusrite iTrack Dock

iTrack Dock is a comprehensive studio-quality iPad recording interface, featuring dual legendary Focusrite microphone preamps plus two line inputs and an instrument DI, independent stereo monitor and headphone outputs, and a USB port for class-compliant MIDI instruments and controllers. iTrack Dock provides everything required to record, monitor and control music on Lightning iPads – with precision Focusrite digital conversion at up to 24-bit, 96kHz sampling. It even charges and powers the iPad at the same time.

Perfect for songwriters, musicians and home recordists who want to take advantage of their studio gear alongside the simplicity of iPad, iTrack Dock was designed to provide a comprehensive recording, monitoring and control solution for iPad users. iTrack Dock is easy to use and provides all the control and functionality you’d expect in a traditional recording interface.

iTrack Dock features

  • The Focusrite recording dock for your iPad: Sleek Focusrite industrial design provides the perfect platform to dock, charge and record music with the new generation of iPads – iPad(4th Gen) / iPad Air / iPad mini / iPad mini with retina display.
  • Record and monitor at superior resolution: iTrack Dock is the best sounding iPad-based workstation, featuring premium Focusrite A-D/D-A conversion with over 105dB dynamic range, operating at up to 24bit, 96kHz sample rates.
  • Legendary Focusrite mic preamps: Two Focusrite mic pres, as featured in the Scarlett range of USB audio interfaces, include 48V Phantom power for use with condenser microphones. iTrack Dock also features Focusrite’s unique “Gain Halos” – a ring of light around the input gain control – to easily set the input gain: green for healthy signal, red if it’s too hot.
  • Dedicated maximum headroom guitar DI: iTrack Dock provides a guitar input with plenty of clean, clear headroom to capture both quiet and loud guitars with stunning clarity.
  • USB MIDI port connects and powers a MIDI controller: USB MIDI port for class compliant MIDI controller connectivity (MIDI + power) – perfect for connecting a Novation Launchkey or Launchkey Mini.
  • Works with any Core Audio app: From GarageBand to Cubasis, Auria and beyond, iTrack Dock expands the functionality of any Core Audio application – and with its built-in Core Audio driver there’s no setup required.
  • High quality outputs with over 105dB dynamic range: Balanced main monitor outputs plus a stereo headphone output, with more than enough power for headphones and powered monitor speakers.
  • Latency-free direct monitoring: iTrack Dock’s direct monitoring sends your input signal straight to the headphone and main monitor outputs for perfect timing.
  • Stereo line inputs: Connect synths, drum machines, CD players and more with balanced stereo line in.
  • Versatile recording app included: Includes the Tape by Focusrite app for iPad, which offers instant recording, mastering and sharing without the complexities of traditional music-making software.

iTrack Dock will be introduced at the Winter NAMM 2014 in Anaheim, California, at Focusrite Novation Inc’s booth (#6464). It is priced $249.99 (MSRP) / $199.99 (street).

More information: Focusrite / iTrack Dock

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iConnectivity announces iConnectAUDIO4+ Audio/MIDI interface

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iConnectivity has introduced iConnectAUDIO4+, its next-generation audio and MIDI interface for Mac, PC, and iOS.

iConnectivity iConnectAUDIO4+

iConnectAUDIO4+ is a multi-host audio and MIDI interface for MAC, PC, and iOS that combines several of iConnectivity’s innovative technologies in a uniquely flexible device.

iConnectAUDIO4+’s Multi-Host technology supports multiple audio and MIDI peripherals, and also multiple computing devices, all at once. This allows any combination of up to 2 Mac, PC, and iOS devices to share iConnectAUDIO4+’s I/O.

iConnectivity’s multi-host and Audio & MIDI passThru technologies bridge iOS, Macs, and PCs in a professional environment, with many practical applications. Control a virtual instrument (or any music program) on one computer device from another one. Audio and MIDI flow back and forth without extra cables, and with no audio degradation. All the computer devices act like a single integrated machine.

The Host Port is another unique technology. Many peripherals use USB for MIDI I/O, but an iOS device can only access one of them with its single port. The iConnnectAUDIO4+ Host Port eliminates that limitation by accommodating several Class-Compliant USB MIDI devices at the same time.

iConnectivity’s iConfig software for iOS, MAC, PC (included) offers complete control over iConnectAUDIO4+’s I/O, providing direct control over audio and MIDI routing. Snapshots are then stored in flash memory on the device.

iConnectAUDIO4+ features

  • Multi-Host & Host Port – use 2 computer devices (Mac/PC/iOS) at the same time. Or use 1 computing device with several and/or MIDI peripherals (with Class-compliant devices connected to a powered USB hub.)
  • Audio and MIDI passThru™ routes audio digitally between two computing devices.
  • 4 XLR – ¼” TRS combo analog inputs.
  • 4 ¼” TRS balanced analog outputs.
  • 1 X 1 regular MIDI in/out.
  • iConfig software (Mac, Windows, iOS) makes it simple to set up filtering/routing/merging scenes – which are also stored in flash memory on the device.
  • High-resolution audio – up to 24-bit/96kHz AD/DA conversion.
  • USB audio and MIDI Class-Compliant for easy, plug-and-play set-up.
  • Charges an iOS device.

iConnectAUDIO4+ is expected to be available at iConnectivity resellers worldwide mid-2014. Its MSRP and projected street price are TBD.

More information: iConnectivity / iConnectAUDIO4+

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MOTU intros 828x audio interface with Thunderbolt technology

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MOTU has announced its 828x professional 28×30 audio interface with Thunderbolt technology is now shipping.

MOTU 828x
Only the 828x gives you an award-winning combination of comprehensive features, inspired engineering, rock-solid performance, and connectivity to any Mac or PC with either Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0.

The 828x connects to a Mac or PC computer with ultra-fast Thunderbolt™ or hi-speed USB 2.0 and delivers DSP effects and mixing for all 28 inputs and 30 outputs with 32-bit floating point processing.

Effects include classic reverb, modeled analog EQ, and vintage compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A™.

Two mic/guitar “combo” style inputs provide transparent preamps, true hi-Z guitar input, and hardware limited signal overloaded protection. All analog inputs offer digitally controlled analog trim.

828x features

  • Highly-flexible 28-in/30-out audio interface with Thunderbolt and USB connectivity.
  • Easily manage complex routing configurations with CueMix FX software mixer.
  • Built-in DSP gives you high-quality reverb, EQ, and compression on inputs, outputs, and headphone mixes.
  • Can be used as a standalone mixer with complete front panel control.
  • Separate XLR main outs and front-panel headphone jacks, each with independent volume control.

The 828x is available to purchase for MSRP $999 USD.

More information: MOTU / 828x

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Future Loops releases Total Producer 4

Future Loops Total Producer 4

Future Loops has announced the release of Total Producer 4, a limited edition collection of its entire catalog, available at a discount for a short period of time.

Future Loops is proud to present…Total Producer 4! It’s the highly anticipated return of the extremely limited edition and deluxe sample collection specially created for the Holiday season!

To celebrate this festive time of the year we have compiled the most extensive and versatile sample library ever! Like a sample beast that just keeps on sampling, Total Producer 4 is a collection like no other: simply unrivaled in size, quality and value for money (total savings of 4.000€ !!!)!

Browse through more than 150 award-winning sample packs from the Future Loops catalog and dive in a music production paradise with over 250 GB of premium samples, loops, one-shots, kits, sound fx, vocals, instruments, drums, soundsets and more!

Total Producer 4 features

  • 266 GB (after conversions to other formats and content duplication).
  • Over 300.000 samples.
  • 166 sample packs in several styles, genres, instruments and formats!
  • Content is loaded to a 2.5″ portable external hard drive: Plug and Play device, USB 3.0 powered hard drive that requires no external power supply.

The bundle is available to purchase for 799.95 EUR.

More information: Future Loops / Total Producer 4

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Serato introduces Remote Mini app for iPhone

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Serato has announce the release of Serato Remote Mini, its first official App for iPhone and iPod touch.

Serato Remote Mini

The Serato Remote Mini is a special version of the Serato Remote, designed specifically for use with your iPhone or iPod touch. Designed to compliment an existing Scratch Live or Serato DJ setup, we took the best parts from the Serato Remote and stripped it back for better usability with the smaller screen of the iPhone and iPod touch. Now you can have the Serato Remote with you at all times, ready to whip out for a little extra control at your next party.

Serato Remote Mini will connect seamlessly to your Serato laptop software and work with all supported Scratch Live and Serato DJ hardware. Load tracks, instant double, set and trigger Cue Points, Loops and Samples and manipulate FX. Connect over USB for ultra low latency or wirelessly, freeing you to move around the stage.

We’ve designed the app with real world performance in mind. Similar to the Serato Remote for iPad®, the Serato Remote Mini has library control, plus three performance tabs: PADS, SP6 & FX, all have been meticulously designed for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Serato Remote Mini for iPhone and iPod touch is available to purchase for $4.99 USD.

More information: Serato / Serato Remote Mini

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