Ableton Live 9 Announced

After being in beta for the last few months and having gotten us excited with a video leak or two over the weekend the wait is now over. Ableton Live 9 is officially heading our way.

Offering browser and library tweaks, new sounds, improvements to the inline editing and automation, audio to midi functionality and finally full 64bit support this long awaited update promises us all sorts of goodies to elevate your production to the next level.

Ableton on Live 9

Record automation into clips and edit automation with curves :  Session View automation lets you capture your performance or add movement to your loops and then you can use curves to make automation more musical.

Find sounds fast : With Live’s new browser, spend less time finding sounds and more time making music.

Play new sounds : Live’s library includes new Instrument Racks and sounds to get you going fast.

Get your sound right : The new analog-modeled Glue Compressor and redesigned studio effects help you get a better sound in less time.

Reclaim the music in your samples : Live 9’s new tools for converting audio to MIDI give you unprecedented flexibility to extract musical ideas from your samples and build upon them.

Edit the details : Powerful MIDI note manipulation tools and an improved editing workflow help you create new musical ideas fast.

 

 

Find your sounds

Faster Editing

Animate Your Sounds

Audio to Midi

For more on Ableton Live 9

Ableton Products @ Scan

Ableton Push

Two announcements from the Ableton camp today and whilst we were expecting the Ableton 9 announcement the Ableton Push one has caught us and I’m sure most other people rather by surprise.

So we have what looks like a hybrid of the Akai APC series and another Ableton endorsed controller the launchpad, with this controller being designed for Ableton by the aforementioned Akai. The video demo shows off how tactile the unit is and the well tested colour co-ordination being used allows quick and easy triggering of all parts of your track allowing you to quickly build up your songs in the studio and manipulate them easily when playing out live.

Ableton on the Push:

Push is a new instrument that solves an old problem: how to make a song from scratch.With hands-on control of melody and harmony, beats, sounds, and song structure, Push puts the fundamental elements of music making at your fingertips – and it fits in a backpack alongside your laptop.

Push uses the power of Ableton Live running on your computer which provides Push with a comprehensive collection of instruments and effects.

All of your sounds are ready to be played, tweaked, and personalized. Fine-tune parameters in your instruments and effects using Push’s touch-sensitive encoders and see everything from Push’s display.

Improvise and play with song structure, capture all of your musical ideas and quickly duplicate and create variations which you can then trigger, re-arrange, and create new combinations.

Capture everything you play with Push’s unique recording workflow. Overdub new notes or create variations of phrases, moving quickly between your song materials with just a few buttons. After you’ve created ideas, switch to another mode to try them out in various combinations.

When you’re ready to get into arranging, detailed editing, and exporting your finished song, switch from Push to your computer to find your music already laid out in Ableton Live – the software that was powering your work the whole time. Push gives you the best of both worlds for making music: inspiring hardware for hands-on control at the beginning, and full-featured music creation software for fine-tuning the details at the end.

Ableton Push use shot

Ableton push front

For more on the Ableton Push

Ableton Products @ Scan

 

Iso Acoustics L8R155 Speaker Stands

Its not often I get excited about speaker stands. Lets face it they are not the sexiest piece of kit out there. They don’t make noise, they don’t have flashing lights or dials and sliders you can fiddle with… they just sit there with all the drool worthy stuff sat on top.

In fact lets face it, I like the vast majority of people reading this no doubt, have never once in my life gotten excited about speaker stands.

Until now.

Back at the start of the year our very own Tom found himself embedded deep in NAMM and one of his battle stories involved a set of speaker stands which had blown him away. I must admit I only kind of half paid attention in a holiday photo slideshow sort of way at this point because as I said before… speaker stands. Are they really that interesting?

How wrong I was.

This week we finally managed to get some in stock and as it happens I’m in the process of a studio switch around and I’ve been considering some of the Isolation Pads for sitting my Genelecs on as we’ve had them out for demo days and I’ve been impressed by how they tighten up the sound reproduction in day to day use, especially on a budget as they come in at around £30. After a sit down with Tom I got a swift talking too and told to go and purchase some of the Iso Acoustics L8R155 speaker stands instead.

But I replied they cost almost 3 times as much… will they really prove an effective solution and give me the claimed improvements?

“Yes, just get them, you won’t be disappointed”

Now I’m always wary of this type of thing, the are so many solutions out there that at best could be considered snake oil… but having trust in Tom’s choice to track down the supplier and get them in after a demo in a distant show hall, I took the plunge.

Now as you may have guessed by this point, I was slightly impressed. In fact feel free to go through my other posts on here and you’ll probably see this is about as excited as I get when commenting on a product.

Over speaker stands.

(yeah, I still can’t believe it either).

So gushing out of the way, why am I excited?

Going back a number of years I had a dedicated recording area in a large rectangular room and I had my speakers at the time (a pair of Sprit Absolute 2’s) set up to fire straight down the room. The speakers were certainly in the budget end of the market and the was certainly a fair few compromises as to the design and overall sound of them, but I knew them well and I could finish projects in a few days on them no problem which translated onto other systems well enough that I was happy as were the people I was doing work for at the time. At some point I got lucky on a great deal on a smaller pair of Genelecs (1029’s for you speaker spotters out there) which I picked up to replace my Sprits and the difference in clarity between the two price points was astounding. The problem was due to the small size of the speakers I had to add a sub for the work I was doing as I really needed the bass extension and this started to get a bit troublesome in the space I had.

A few months later just as I was getting used to this new combination I had to relocate into a smaller, squarer and more boxy room and so began a number of years of fighting with the acoustics as sub placement in there is awkward at best. I’ve set all the speakers on bricks and concrete slabs to help reduce vibration, bass trapped all the corners, built diffusion panels on all the reflection points and hung up the traditional soft furnishings which admittedly has helped greatly but the has been something not quite right with the set up and sometimes on a busy mix it all gets a bit too much.

So I fitted the speaker stands a few days ago and it was I have to say an instant improvement. On busy tracks the percussion and high end simply snaps sharply into place again, the lower mid becomes solid and easier to work with and the bass rounds itself out. For the first time in a couple of years I feel like I’m hearing the speakers properly again and I’m finding myself just sitting and listening to my collection, once more picking out parts of tracks I didn’t realise were there.

This is a key indication of a well set up pair of monitors.

I’ve honestly spent the last few months lusting after a number of different speakers, after having A/B’d them in the office and hearing clear yet heavyweight audio coming from them and wishing my studio setup was half as good… Yet I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the same amount again on another pair when I had what were known to be a fairly decent set in their heyday.

For a 20th of the amount I was looking to spend on a new speaker set, these stands have sorted out my sound in a way I couldn’t imagine they would, which in turn is giving me inspiration to get back in the studio and just make some noise and have fun with it.

So what makes them special? Just a simple well thought out design.

IsoAcousticL8R155 Speaker Stand

The base of the unit has 4 rubber sink holes that the poles go into which have a matching design at the other end. These rubber mount points allow the poles to shock absorb the vibrations caused by speaker as the cone movement causes the unit to travel and stops reverberation from being amplified by the desk and furniture in the room.

That’s it, a simple yet very effective design and if I’m honest the design principle isn’t a million miles away from the way firms like Noctura use rubber mounting grommets to isolate their fans from the PC case to also ensure that the vibrations are being minimized. What you don’t always realize is just how much your furniture can add to the acoustics in a room in a negative fashions especially if you have a small amount of space and have to desk mount your monitor solution. I knew I had a problem but up until this point I wasn’t quite aware of just how much this issue was affecting my work flow and I’m quite happy I’ve found a working solution to this all too common a problem.

I can now completely see why they took a best in show award. Never has something like this made such a difference to my setup and its probably the most effective upgrade to my mixing space since I bass trapped the troublesome corners and my only regret at this point is that they don’t do a giant one to mount my sub on!

Iso Acoustics L8R155 Speaker Stands @ Scan

Special offers on L8R155 and monitor bundles for this week only!

 

Native Instruments Announce The Traktor Kontrol Z2

Native Instruments has finally announced what is probably the worst kept secret of the year… the Traktor Kontrol Z2. Having released a teaser a few months back in which the product details were not quite blurred out the net has been awashed with eager Dj’s wanting to know more about this new hybrid mixer.

The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 is a 2+2 mixer designed from the ground up to not only be a Traktor controller but it also has a pair of high quality channels to run your record or cd decks through making this a highly versitile solution, suitable for many install situations.

The Z2 excels equally as a control hub, or as a standalone mixer, with its aircraft-grade aluminum chassis and rock-solid, ultra-dependable Innofaders™.

Native Instruments has this to say about the Traktor Kontrol Z2:

TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 is the world’s first 2+2 DJ control mixer. Built tough for pro club use, the Z2 excels both as a state-of-the-art club mixer alongside turntables and CDJs, and as the hub of an advanced setup of Remix Decks and controllers.

All-new Macro FX and Flux Mode in the latest TRAKTOR software expand your creative arsenal. And the heavy metal, standard installation-height chassis, sturdy RGB control buttons, and Innofaders™ assure rock-solid dependability. Whatever your style, however you play, welcome to the future of mixing.

Combining the best of all that’s come before it, TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 takes a powerful two-channel stand-alone mixer, adds an additional two channels for Remix Decks, puts TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 in the package and rolls it out in luxurious style.

The ultra-stable, aircraft-grade aluminum chassis provides an intuitive layout instantly familiar to DJs, offering unprecedented sonic control. Throw in an integrated premium audio interface and dedicated TRAKTOR controls for cue points and Remix Decks and your options become infinite. Whatever your style, you’ve never had control like this before.

TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2 delivers the reliability and pro sound quality essential for the world’s biggest stages and hottest clubs.

Pro XLR outputs, a booth output and 24-bit sound quality mean your sets hit with maximum impact. Precision knobs, buttons, multi-colored cue point controls and Innofaders™ give you ultra-accurate control of your sets. Whether spinning vinyl, CDJs, playing digital files, or using TRAKTOR SCRATCH timecode control, switching formats is just a push of a button away – lightning-fast, uninterrupted creative flow. And the heavy metal chassis means your busy schedule won’t take its toll on your new tool of choice.

 

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 Front

 

 


The expected price at launch is currently around £555 and should be available from November 1

 More on the Traktor Kontrol Z2

The Traktor Kontrol Z2 @ Scan

Pioneer Announce New Serato Controller – The DDJ-SX

Pioneer have today alongside the Serato Dj announcement this morning their new Searto controller the Pioneer DDJ-SX and without spliting hairs…. it looks an absolute beast!

The offical line from Pioneer is as follows:

The DDJ SX is the exclusive controller for the new Serato DJ software, also announced today. This really is the ultimate controller featuring stand alone 4 channel mixer, metal jogwheels and casing, hardware colour effects, sample/effects launch pads, 4 deck control, exclusive dual deck control amongst many other creative features.

Further infomation can be found on the Serato site where offically the Pioneer DDJ-SX appears to be the launch controller of choice for the new Serato DJ software lin and should be the first controller to ship with the new software client.

Key Features Of the Pioneer DDJ-SX

Tight integration with Serato DJ

Developed specifically for Serato DJ, the DDJ-SX controls are tightly integrated with the software features giving you the best hands on control over your performance.

Performance Pad Section

8 velocity sensitive, Performance Pads to control Cue Points, Loop Rolls, Slicer and the SP-6.

Velocity Mode

You can enter Velocity Mode to trigger the SP-6 Sample Player slots. The harder or softer you hit the performance pads, the louder or quieter the samples sound.

Dual Deck Mode

Developed specifically for the DDJ-SX, this allows you to link two software deck layers and manipulate them as one. Go crazy and layer sounds!Large, Touch Sensitive Platters

Trustworthy Pioneer touch sensitive platters with platter illumination and a jog wheel display allow for the tightest control of the virtual decks in Serato DJ.

4-Channel Standalone Hardware Mixer

Connect your CDJs or Turntables and have the best of both worlds.

Slip Mode

Keep everything in time and in the groove. Turn on this mode and trigger cue points, loops or scratch. Once you are done, the track will go back to the position it would have been had you done nothing.

Hardware FX Controls

Dedicated hardware controls for the brand new FX Powered by iZotope in Serato DJ.

Slicer

Chop sections of your tracks up and re-arrange on the fly. The Slicer cuts a section of your track into 8 pieces, which can be triggered creatively with the 8 performance pads.

Dedicated HP/LP Channel Filters

A dedicated High Pass / Low Pass filter per channel gives you more control to create smooth blends and interesting sounds.

Channel Fader Start

Start playback of your tracks by opening the channel fader.

Pioneer DDJ-SX wide shot

Pioneer DDJ SX front

The Pioneer DD-SX launches later this month and should land at around £809 when it does.

 Pioneer DJ Products @ Scan

Serato To Replace Intro & Itch with Serato Dj & Serato Dj Intro

Serato has announced that its Serato Intro and Itch packages will be replaced by a more unified and interoperable pair of software clients going under the Serato Dj banner with a product launch on November the first.

A few features stick out for us here at Scan with the main improved funcationality possibly coming from the ability to map midi to other third party controllers opening up all sorts of new ways of controlling your music. This is perticularly a boon for users on older controllers who don’t currently have dedicated buttons and knobs assignable to the newer features like the SP6 sampler added last year as you’ll now be able to pick up a generic pad like the nano pad series from Korg and map them yourself.

Also to note is an upgrade to the effects section care of Izotope,  improved support for Serato video as well as improved support for multideck controllers.

Serato Dj Feature List

Even Better Experience

Serato DJ has a brand new look and a greatly improved software layout, optimized for simplicity and a great experience. The new interface also offers two and four deck view modes for four deck controllers, alongside improvements to the cue point and looping controls, which now allow you to display either 8 cues, 8 loops or a combination of both depending on how you perform.

Get Inventive with new FX

Load and customize your choice of high quality FX powered by iZotope including: Delay, Echo, Ping Pong Delay, Reverb, Phaser, Flanger, Distortion, HPF, LPF and a Combo HPF/LPF. Adjust and customize a range of parameters for each effect to shape your sound.

Hands on Control

MIDI mapping opens the software up to be mapped to a secondary MIDI controller to take full advantage of all Serato DJs features in your performance and create your own unique workflow.

Save your work

Played a great set? Want to share your latest bangers with the world? Save your nights work or record your latest mixtape. In-software recording gives you the ability to save your mix with the click of a button.

Loop it up

Take advantage of both auto-looping, which sets loops automatically based on the BPM of the track, and manual looping to create your own custom loops.

Four Decks

Mix with up to 4 decks for supported controllers.

Keep it all together

Lock your tracks together for seamless grooves. Smart Sync with Beatgrids gives you even more time to get creative. 4 deck mixing has never been better with the ability to create your own special blends of tracks, instrumentals and vocals without the pressure of keeping everything in time too. Less time making it work, more time at the party!

Serato Video

Mix music videos or add visuals to your sets. Serato Video support in Serato DJ gives you even more to enrich your performance, connect with the crowd and visualize the music.

Plug-and-Play

Less time making it work, more time at the party.

Plays well with others

Interoperable with Scratch Live, ITCH, DJ Intro and iTunes Music Libraries.

Stay in Tune

Access a wealth of free and exclusive promo music at your fingertips on Whitelabel.net.

Support for existing controllers is being rolled out over the next 12 months and if you’d like to find out when your weapon of choice is due to get some Serato Dj love head over to Serato.com

Serato at Scan