IsoAcoustic ISO-Pucks At Namm

IsoAcoustics decoupling stands have been a popular option with the team at Scan for quite a few years now, and with the launch of NAMM this year they have expanded their range further with an announcement of the new ISO-Puck model. Designed to isolate and support your speaker much like the larger stands, the Pucks have a far lower profile, with a height of only 1.18 inches (3cm/30mm) and compresses to just under an inch (2.5cm/25mm) when in use. At only 2.3 inches (6cm/60mm) in diameter, the ISO-PUCK’s round shape makes it flexible enough to be ideally positioned on any surface, including the narrow spaces atop a meter bridge where other stands may prove too over-sized.

For larger devices you can scale your use of the ISO-PUCK system as they are designed to be used in multiples, allowing you to match the weight of each speaker or amplifier. With each Puck capable of bearing up to 20lbs you can combine 3 or 4 of them to support the weight of the particular bulky product requiring isolation.

Much like the larger ISOAcoustic stands, the multi-part construction design of the ISO-PUCK allows it to flex and move which helps to isolate and manage the energy generated by the driver in the speaker. The ISO-PUCK features a flange suction cup on the top which adheres to the speaker or top surface, as well as a bottom suction cup flange which adheres to the supporting surface. The energy is transferred to the core of the multi-part isolator in between which is met with resistence of lateral movement giving a dampening effect to any vibration moving through the stand. Despite the changes to the form factor this still works in a similar fashion to the larger stands already available, so it should continue to offer us the markedly improved clarity along with wider and more detailed sound staging that we’ve come to expect from the IsoAcoustic range over the years.

Take a look at the IsoAcoustic range @ Scan

Audio Plug-in Subscriptions – Are they worth it?

Over recent years we’ve seen subscription models from the likes of Adobe and Autodesk in the digital media world.  Avid and Cakewalk joined the trend by introducing subscription services for their DAW software. We’re now seeing this with audio plugins as well. With software companies struggling more and more in the fight against piracy, it seems natural for them to look into more financially viable methods of selling their products. We take a look at what’s currently available in the subscription based plug-in market.

Eventide Ensemble Bundle

Includes every Eventide plug-in to date. You can put your subscription on hold at anytime and resume as and when you want. There’s also some additional benefits for those who already own any Eventide plugins. For every plugin you already own, you get a month free on your subscription. There’s a cap at 6 months but still, not bad!

It goes without saying that committing to a 12 month plan saves you money in the long run. This you’ll find this to be a common amongst these subscription models.

Pricing

Month To Month – $29.99

Annual Paid Upfront – $299.99

Go here for more info.

 

Softube Volume One

Containing 16 plug-ins valued at over $2000, Softube’s Volume 1 offers all the essential tools needed for modern-day music production,

Pricing

Month To Month – $19.99

Annual Paid Upfront – $199.99

Go here for more info.

 

Xfer Records Serum

A massively powerful wavetable Synthesizer for $9.99 a month. The great thing about this is that once you’ve paid all the installments to make up the cost of buying the plugin out-right, you own the plugin! Another great benefit is you can pause your subscription at any time and resume it again when ever you like giving you greater flexibility.

Pricing

Month To Month – $9.99 (Rent-to-own)

Go here for more info.

 

EastWest/SoundsOnline Composer Cloud

This one is obviously aimed at being an all-in-one solution for composers. Having been on the scene since the the early days of high end orchestral sample libraries I guess it makes sense that they were one of the first to offer a subscription model.

The Composer Cloud provides a vast arsenal of tools and currently offers 53 products which includes over 10,000 virtual instruments. The standard plan includes all Gold editions of their instruments. The next plan up, The Composer Cloud X plan then gives you extra mic positions for all the orchestral/choir/piano libraries. Further to this, the Composer Cloud Plus plan includes all Diamond/Platinum editions of their instruments and gives you access to the SSL/EW FX Global Suite.

There is however a cheaper option which caters for students and teachers. This is limited to 7 products of your choice. You do however have the option of upgrading to the complete plan should you want to.

Pricing

Student Plan – Month To Month – $14.99

Student Plan – Annual Paid Upfront – $161.89

Composer Cloud Monthly Plan – $29.99

Composer Cloud X – Annual Plan, Paid Monthly – $29.99

Composer Cloud X – Annual Paid Upfront – $323.89

Composer Cloud Plus – Annual Plan, Paid Monthly – $49.99

Composer Cloud Plus – Annual Paid Upfront – $599.00

It’s also worth mentioning that there’s also the option to purchase CC X and CC Plus annual licenses as a gift.

Go here for more info.

 

Waves Mercury/Silver

Waves are renowned for their vast array of plugins. The Waves Silver plan gives you 16 essential plugins and is intended primarily for home studio use. Opting for the Mercury plan will hook you up with over 150 plugins and also includes some from their Signature Series.

Pricing

Silver – Month To Month – $9.99

Silver – Annual Paid Upfront – $99.00

Mercury – Month To Month – $149.00

Mercury – Annual Paid Upfront – $1499

Go here for more info.

 

Exponential Audio Stereo Reverb/Super Reverb Bundle

Two bundles available, the second providing surround versions of their reverb plugins.

Pricing

Stereo Reverb Bundle + Excalibur – Month To Month – $29.99

Stereo Reverb Bundle + Excalibur – Annual Paid Upfront – $299.99

Super Reverb Bundle + Excalibur – Month To Month – $49.99

Super Reverb Bundle + Excalibur – Annual Paid Upfront – $499.99

Go here for more info.

 

Slate Digital’s Everything Bundle Pro

Known for their authentic analogue modeling, Slate Digital’s Everything Bundle gives you access to every plugin currently available and all futures releases.

Pricing

Annual Paid Monthly – $14.99

Month To Month – $24.99

Annual Paid Upfront – $179.88

Go here for more info.

 

Nugen Audio Producer Pack/Post Pack

Nugen Audio are offering two bundles, the Producer Pack and the Post Pack. Like with Eventide’s Ensemble Bundle, for every plugin you already own, you get a month free on your subscription. Again, there’s a cap at 6 months.

Pricing

Producer Pack – Month To Month – $29.99

Producer Pack – Annual Paid Upfront – $329.00

Post Pack – Month To Month – $59.99

Post Pack – Annual Paid Upfront – $599.00

Go here for more info.

 

OG Kush Complete

Kush already have a reputation for their unique sounding hardware. The OG Kush Complete package gives you access to every plugin currently available and all futures releases.

Pricing

Month To Month – $19.99

Annual Paid Upfront – $199.99

Go here for more info.

 

McDSP All Access

Plenty of useful EQ plug-ins in this pack. Provides access to all V6 plugins and comes in two formats – Native and HD.

Pricing

All Access Native – Month To Month – $29.99

All Access Native – Annual Paid Upfront – $329.00

All Access HD – Month To Month – $59.99

All Access HD – Annual Paid Upfront – $599.00

Go here for more info.

 

 

Le Sound Bundle

Aimed more at sound designers, the Le Sound Bundle provides access to a innovative and creative plugin suite perfectly suited for use in cinema, television and video games.

Pricing

Month To Month – €76,00

3 Month Plan – €114,00

Annual Plan – €228,00

Go here for more info.

 

Pakotec Rent-a-plugin

Something else that’s just cropped up on the radar is Pakotec’s Rent-a-plugin. Providing access to plugins from the likes of d16 Group, Beatskillz, Kilohearts and Soundradix with the likelihood of more being added in the future, the service allows you to work with any of these plugins for up to 10 hours per month before committing yourself to the rental platform. The service isn’t live yet but be sure to sign up for more info.

 

So, to sum up… Going down the subscription route may appeal more to people who only require the use of a particular plug-in for a given period of time. However it may not sit well with others who use these tools day in day out as it may not make sense financially. I suppose it depends on the individual’s needs. For example, if there’s a plug-in you wish to utilize for a particular project and you don’t want to fork out a shed load of money for it when you’ll only be using it a few times, the subscription route could be the way to go. You’d just use it for however long you need then end your subscription. However, if you plan to be using that particular plug-in in most projects, I can see why purchasing a perpetual license out-right might make more sense.

There are pros and cons on both sides. For hobbyists the thought of a low monthly subscription as opposed to forking out a load of cash in one go may seem more appealing. Equally it could work the other way. If you can afford to buy the software outright then why commit yourself to a monthly payment? One advantage of a subscription is the fact that you’ll always have access to the most recent updates and as stated above, some companies also include all future releases at no extra cost. On the other hand, you could argue that most professionals wouldn’t be updating through concern of things breaking. As we know, professionals tend to stick with what works!

Ultimately you’d have to decide what works best for you. As I’ve described, there are arguments both for and against subscription models. It does however seem that this is the way things are going and I’m sure most companies in the industry will be following suit.

 

 

 

 

 

Roland Announce Rubix Line Of Audio Interfaces

Roland have announced their new line of portable USB audio interfaces for Mac, PC and iPad. The Rubix line consists of 3 units – The Rubix 22, 24 and the 44 all of which are designed with transparent, low-noise pre-amps and support for audio resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz.

The Rubix 22 has 2 ins/2 outs, the 24 has 2 ins/4 outs and the 44 as you can probably guess has 4 ins/4 outs. All 3 interfaces also support MIDI I/O and feature combo jack inputs, Hi-Z inputs and headphones outputs. The 24 and 44 also feature a hardware compressor/limiter! A ground lift switch on the back should also help laptop users with ground loop issues. There’s a switchable power source on the 22 and 24 which allows you to power the interfaces with a USB battery when connecting them up to an iPad. The 44 does however require an AC adapter. The activity LEDs are visible from the front and the top of the units, making monitoring signal input from any angle very convenient .

Key Features

  • 2-in/2-out / 2-in/4-out / 4-in/4-out USB audio interface.
  • 2 / 4 low-noise mic preamps with XLR combo jacks.
  • Hardware compressor/limiter (Rubix 24 & Rubix 44).
  • Hi-Z input for guitar and other high impedance sources.
  • MIDI In/Out ports.
  • Extensively shielded, low-noise design.
  • Sturdy and compact metal construction.
  • Easy-to-read indicators show vital information.
  • Low latency, class compliant drivers.
  • Ground lifts for quiet operation in a variety of venues.
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite.

Info on pricing & availability yet to be confirmed.

Roland Hardware @ Scan

Introducing The Dark Blood Distortion Guitar Pedal by KHDK

The Dark Blood is the new pedal from KHDK. The partnership between a certain Kirk Hammett and his business partner David Karon.

Combining solid state and mosfet technology this pedal delivers an amp like sound with plenty of gain and a powerful mid heavy tone.

I tried this pedal through a speaker simulator straight to the desk and through the clean channel of my old 6L6 loaded 120 watt valve amps clean channel and it performed exceptionally well in both circumstances.

You can trust me when I tell you there is plenty of gain on tap. Keep the gain low and the Doom counter clockwise and its tight. Perfect for those heavy riffs. Increase the gain (use the gate to keep the background noise in check) and the clarity remains which is not something that can be said of all pedals of this type. Turning the Doom clockwise increases the bass and gives you a spongy amp like feel under your fingers, perfect for those blazing fast lead runs and long sustaining notes.

The treble control is a passive low pass filter and is wide ranging enough to let you tailor the top end from bright and cutting to a more mellow smooth tone.

The HI/LO toggle switch offers two types of gain. LO is geared more towards rhythm while the HI mode adds compression giving sustain to your lead tone.

The aforementioned gate is an excellent addition and careful use keeps the background noise to a minimum without impacting on your tone.

Yes this pedal can do metal standing on its head but its crunch and lead tones really are wide ranging enough to cover many tones outside of this genre. There are plenty of tonal options from the wide range of controls on this pedal. If you are looking for a distortion pedal this is definitely worth adding to your list of must tries.

The one thing I have to say about the KHDK range of pedals is that they are well designed and perfectly executed. You don’t have to be a Kirk Hammett fan to want one of these pedals you just have to be into good tone……

KHDK Products @ Scan

Steinberg Release Cubase 9

So the rumours were true…. Steinberg bring us the latest edition of their flagship production suite – Cubase 9. Following the same trend as previous revisions it comes in 3 forms – Pro, Artist and Elements.

Steinberg conducted a survey earlier on in the year to see what new features we’d like to see in the next version. It seems the people spoke and Steinberg listened as many of the features we asked for have been implemented. Here’s a quick glance at some of those key features:

The Lower Zone

Intended to enhance workflow, the Lower Zone incorporates the mix window into the main project window and it can be dynamically resized. The MIDI and audio editors are also accessible from here. This will prove to be extremely beneficial for anyone working on a single screen!

Mix Console History

This will surely be massively useful! Gives you undo/redo functions and allows you to recall different stages of a mix.

Multiple Marker Tracks

The ability to structure your projects neatly and efficiently with up to 10 marker tracks.

Audio-Ins

You now have the option of being able to side-chain into VST3 Instruments that support it.

Sample Track

A basic sampler was on this list of requests. Well now we’ve got one! It allows you to drag audio straight out of a project and play it back chromatically on your MIDI keyboard. It also lets you transfer samples into other Steinberg instruments.

8-Band Frequency EQ

Offers M/S and Linear Phase support, Auto Listen, Spectrum Display and a musical keyboard to assist in finding the right tone. It also allows you to completely customize the look of the EQ spectrum.

Other features include better plugin management, updated plugin interfaces, revamped Production Grooves as well as improved services for cloud collaboration.

Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each version:

Cubase Pro 9

  • Award-winning 32-bit floating-point Steinberg audio engine with up to 192 kHz, 5.1 surround, flexible routing and full automatic delay compensation
  • Unlimited audio, instrument and MIDI tracks and up to 256 physical inputs and outputs
  • MixConsole for pro mixing desk experience and integrated high-end channel strip, VCA faders, Loudness Meter, Wave Meters
  • Complete suite of over 90 high-end audio and MIDI VST effect processors, including Quadrafuzz v2, VST Amp Rack and VST Bass Amp guitar and bass tone suites, REVerence convolution reverb, Frequency four-band EQ and many more
  • VariAudio for MIDI-style note editing of monophonic audio tracks, automatic voicing harmonization and auto-tuning effects
  • Intelligent compositional tools like Chord Track, Chord Pads and the advanced Chord Assistant for creative and playful composing of harmonic progressions and advanced voicings
  • Comprehensive set of 8 outstanding instruments with over 3,400 sounds, including HALion Sonic SE 2, Groove Agent SE 4, Padshop, Retrologue 2 and LoopMash 2
  • Full VST Expression 2 with Note Expression, VST Dynamics and Expression Maps for fully integrated workflows with musical articulations, dynamics and controller values
  • Perfect integration of external hardware effect devices and instruments, such as synthesizers or signal processors, into the sequencer signal flow.
  • VST Connect SE and VST Transit cloud collaboration services

Cubase Artist 9

  • Award-winning 32-bit floating-point Steinberg audio engine with up to 192 kHz, flexible routing and full automatic delay compensation
  • Simultaneous playback of 64 audio tracks, 128 MIDI tracks and up to 32 physical inputs and outputs
  • MixConsole for pro mixing desk experience and integrated high-end channel strip with dynamics and EQ
  • Comprehensive set of 8 outstanding instruments with over 3,000 sounds, including HALion Sonic SE 2, Groove Agent SE 4, Padshop, Retrologue 2 and LoopMash 2
  • Suite of over 70 high-end audio and MIDI VST effect processors, including Pitch Correct for vocal editing, VST Amp Rack and VST Bass Amp guitar and bass tone suites, Quadrafuzz v2 and many more!
  • Intelligent compositional tools like Chord Track and Chord Pads for creative and playful composing of harmonic progressions and advanced voicings
  • Thousands of MIDI construction kits, audio loops and samples as building blocks to create sketches, play-alongs or even full songs with just a few clicks
  • Lightning-fast multi-take comping with the dedicated lane tracks and the click-and-drag comp tool for conjuring the perfect recording
  • Track Versions for playlists-like editing and render-in-place for easily bouncing MIDI and audio parts
  • Streamlined music notation and score editing feature set

Cubase Elements 9

  • Award-winning 32-bit floating-point Steinberg audio engine, flexible routing and full automatic delay compensation
  • Simultaneous playback of 48 audio tracks, 64 MIDI tracks and up to 24 physical inputs and outputs
  • MixConsole for pro mixing desk experience and integrated high-end channel strip with dynamics and EQ
  • Three outstanding virtual instruments comprising the HALion Sonic SE workstation, Groove Agent SE drum machine and Prologue synthesizer
  • Over 40 audio effect processors, including high-end VST Dynamics, Pitch Correct for vocal intonation correction and the VST Amp Rack guitar tone suite
  • Powerful sample editor covering all common editing tasks and providing creative freedom while editing audio
  • Chord Track and Chord Pads for playfully and creatively composing with chords
  • Comprehensive content library with thousands of instrument sounds, MIDI construction loops and audio samples
  • Basic score editing features for music notation and composition
  • Full upward compatibility with Cubase Pro and Cubase Artist for

There’s certainly some interesting features in there and I expect many users will justify the upgrade based on what we’ve seen. For a more in-depth look at what Cubase 9 offers, head on over to the Cubase YouTube channel. There’s plenty of videos on there demonstrating all these new features.

Steinberg Cubase @ Scan

Soundtoys Join In The Freebie Goodness – Tremolator Plugin

It seems like Waves aren’t the only ones feeling generous this Black Friday, Soundtoys are giving away their oldschool Wurlitzer / Fender Vibrolux inspired tremolo plugin – Tremolator worth $129!

tremolator

“Need tremolo? We’ve got you covered. Tremolator emulates the tremolo effect of classic hardware like the old Fender Vibrolux guitar amp, and even the great tremolo sound of the Wurlitzer electric piano.

We added dynamic control of speed and depth that lets the tremolo respond to the music, and then tossed in MIDI sync to lock to your tremolo to tempo. Of course we also included our programmable Rhythm Editor that let’s you write custom patterns and turn Tremolator into a outrageous rhythmic auto-gate. Vintage guitar effect and modern remix tool at your service.”

tremolator-shape-tweak

Features:
– Unmatched auto-gate rhythmic control for a powerful remix tool.
– Lock to MIDI for tempo and beat-synced tremolo.
– Dynamic controls allow real-time musical and emotional expression.

Make sure to pick it up before the giveaway ends HERE

Waves Black Friday Giveaway – Supertap Analog Tape Delay!

Everybody loves a freebie and Waves have been nice enough to offer their analogue tape delay plugin – Supertap, for free this Black Friday!

Supertap

“Inspired by the legacy of the classic analog tape delays, SuperTap’s extensive modulation, panning, and filter options give it unprecedented processing power. Sync to your host tempo or tap it in; SuperTap gets you into the right groove.”

The plugin has the following features:
– Versatile delay and echo effects
– 2-Tap and 6-Tap components
– Tap-pad for tempo tapping or pattern switching
– Global LFO modulation and 2 feedback modes
– Spatial positioning vector display

Grab it while you can HERE

Take Kontrol with Native Instruments winter deals

Live now and running through to early in the new year, we have a selection of superb deals from Native Instruments giving you even more reason to keep warm in the studio over coming months.

Traktor Kontrol S8

The flagship all in one controller hits our lowest price point yet, retailing at just £799.

Capable of running as a 4-channel stand-alone mixer, professional audio interface, and featuring enhanced Stems ready decks for ultimate control over the included latest 2.11 version of Traktor Scratch Pro.

Touch-sensitive controls and high-res displays deliver DJ workflow that permits you to connect anything your setup needs, Traktor Kontrol S8 boasts the most expansive connectivity on a DJ controller yet.

Traktor Kontrol S8 @ Scan

Komplete Kontrol S-Series

The full range of the S-Series keyboards has taken a price tumble with the S49, S61 & S88 all receiving around £80 our previous price. The keyboards are all built around superb Fatar keybeds and offer NKS functionality which offers more in depth mapping with Native plugins and selected third part instruments. Of course regular VST support is included although anyone who already own Komplete will benefit most from some of the extra functionality on offer here. In fact the keyboard itself ships with Komplete Select and in support of the Keyboard price crash, we are offering a number of Komplete upgrade deals from Select that could save you a packet over the regular stand alone prices. For example if you pick up a Komplete Kontrol S49 and Our Komplete 11 upgrade package, this would save you almost £300 off our regular pricing!

Check out the full range of Komplete Kontrol Offers here.

Komplete Audio 6

It’s always a popular offer when we run it, and the Komplete Audio 6 has always been well regarded here in Scan. Tank like build quality combined with some of the best performing drivers we’ve seen on any interface under £500 make this a very popular interface. Offering a 4 in / 4 out I/O selection, MIDI control, a pair of pre-amps and a very handy physical volume control, the Komplete Audio 6 is a great interface for anyone getting into making music or even those making their first upgrade.

The Komplete Audio KA6 for just £149 @ Scan

See the full Native Instruments range @ Scan

Keith McMillen Instruments Launches K-Board Pro 4 Expressive MPE Keyboard Kickstarter Campaign

Keith McMillen Instruments are already known for their innovative engineering when it comes to MIDI controllers. Well they now aim to take the standard keyboard controller to the next level with the K-Board Pro 4. Utilizing their Smart Sensor Fabric technology, the keyboard itself has the look of a conventional keyboard but has no moving parts and the keys are made of silicone. Each key press is capable of sending attack velocity, release velocity, continuous pressure, horizontal position, and vertical position data. This allows greater control of the individual notes as you play. It also features 4 additional controller strips along the top of the keyboard.

kmi-k-board-4

There are other MPE controllers out there with similar functionality but they’re not cheap. Examples include the ROLI seaboard, LinnStrument and Eigenlabs’ Eigenharp. The K-Board Pro 4 is expected to retail for around $495 making it somewhat affordable in comparison.

Check out the teaser trailer.

See the Kickstarter site for more details.

The K-Board Pro Homepage

Keith McMillen Hardware @ Scan

Arturia Announces MiniLab MKII

Featuring some refined improvements over the original MiniLab, the MiniLab MKII features 25 velocity sensitive keys, RGB back-lit performance pads and 16 rotary knobs. Aimed at musicians who are primarily on the move it promises to be lightweight yet rugged. It also comes bundled with Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lite and UVI Grand Piano Model B.

Arturia MiniLab MKII

Main Features

  • 25 note velocity-sensitive slim keyboard
  • 2 banks of 8 RGB back-lit velocity-sensitive performance pads
  • 16 rotary encoders
  • Dedicated octave up and down buttons
  • 2 ultra-responsive pitch and mod wheel touch-strips
  • Foot-switch input for sustain pedal
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lite, Ableton Live Lite & UVI Grand Piano Model B
  • 8 user pre-sets
  • USB Powered

The MiniLab MKII is expected to be available at the end of this month.

All Arturia Hardware @ Scan

Arturia MiniLab MKII Homepage