LP 380- Slimline Digital Piano – Beauuuuuuuuuudiful…..

USA_LP380_4

Music is one of the best things you can ever teach your kids.

Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Music is academic. For some people, this is the primary reason for providing music lessons to their children. A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Year 7’s who were given music lessons scored 27% higher on proportional maths and fractions tests than children who received no special instruction. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.

Music is emotional. Music is an art form. We are emotional beings and every child requires an artistic outlet. Music may be your child’s vehicle of expression.

Music is for life. Most people can’t play soccer, or cricket at 70 or 80 years of age but they can sing. And they can play piano or some other instrument. Music is a gift you can give your child that will last their entire lives.

And Piano, is one of the most instinctive instruments for children. It’s immediate and physical.

Within 1 minute you can show a child a simple nursery rhyme to play.

So, why doesn’t every family have a piano in the house?

Because most people remember pianos as the old stand-up acoustic pianos of old.

Many people will remember how heavy and cumbersome and loud these things were…..

But look……

The LP380 from Korg has been designed slimmer than ever to take up minimal space in your home, whilst delivering the very best in Grand Piano sound.

Its only 26 cm deep !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You could fit this in a hall, or a landing and still have plenty of room to walk by, it could fit neatly into most spaces, and because its digital, you never have to hear it if you don’t want to, just clamp a pair of headphones on, and the player sits in glorious silence, whilst in their head the music is swimming all around.

The truth is, there’s never been a better time to buy a Piano for the home, and the new LP-380 is the perfect solution.

 

 

Let’s take a look at the spec…….

The LP-380 provides brilliant piano sound in a low-profile, slim design. The flat-top cabinet looks stylish even when the key cover is closed. The high-output amplifier and speakers accurately reproduce a realistic piano sound, while Korg’s flagship RH3 keybed enables expressive performances.

 

Product Features

 

    Slim and stylish design

    Rich, dynamic acoustic piano sounds that are enjoyable to play

    High-output amp section produces plenty of volume

    RH3 (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3) keyboard

    Reduced chassis, package size, and weight

    Three-pedal design with half-damper support

 

Stylish design

The LP-380 is a digital piano that’s designed with a style to match your interior décor. Merely 26 cm in depth, it’s slim enough to fit anywhere. The wooden key cover is flat on top, allowing the instrument to blend elegantly into your room when you’re not playing it. Keeping safety in mind, the cover uses a soft landing mechanism to ensure that it closes gently. The slim and stylish chassis projects a sense of stability. The RH3 keyboard, three pedals, and large-diameter speakers ensure a superb piano-playing experience and rich piano sound. Choose from two colors to match the atmosphere of your room: black or white

 

Rich piano sounds that you’ll enjoy playing

In order to reproduce the playing feel of an acoustic piano as closely as possible, the sound switches between four piano samples according to your playing dynamics. From subtle touches to powerful crescendos, the sound will respond realistically to your playing. In particular, the Classic Piano and Grand Piano sounds realistically reproduce the damper resonances that occur when you hold down the damper pedal of an acoustic piano, making the overall sound of the piano even more pleasant and enjoyable to play.

 

Authentic vintage electric piano sounds

As a musical instrument manufacturer, Korg has placed particular emphasis on the electric piano sounds. They reproduce not only the way that the tone responds to your touch, but also the subtle noises that occur when you release a key. Six varieties are provided, covering the sounds widely used in pop music of the ’60s and ’70s, as well as some of the tones that are highly regarded in soul music.

 

30 high-quality sounds

Starting with piano and electric piano, there are a total of thirty expressive and high-quality sounds built in. There’s also a Layer Mode that lets you play two sounds together, and a Partner Mode that divides the keyboard into left and right regions so that two people can play the same range of pitches at the same time. Two headphone jacks make it convenient for two people to enjoy playing the LP-380 together. You also have a choice of nine different temperaments, supporting historically authentic performances with period instrument ensembles.

 

 

Three effects

There are three effects: brilliance adjusts the brightness of the tone, reverb simulates the natural ambience (reverberation) of a concert hall, and chorus adds spaciousness.

High-output amp and speaker section for powerful sound

The amplifier (22W x 2) boasts the highest output in its class, properly reproducing the expressive piano sounds with rich tone, sonorous lows, sparkling highs, and gorgeous resonance. Two large-diameter 10 cm speakers are placed inside the cabinet, allowing the sound to resonate for even richer depth. Placing the speakers below the keyboard creates the sensation that the sound is enveloping the entire piano, providing even greater realism.

Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 Keyboard provides a superb playing feel

The Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 (RH3) keyboard reproduces the same playing experience as on a grand piano, with heavier response in the lower register that becomes lighter as you play upward. With improved response to repeated keystrokes, even rapid passages can be reproduced without impairing the expression of the performer. There’s also a Key Touch Control function that lets you choose one of three levels to specify how your playing dynamics will affect the sound, allowing you to personalize the instrument to your own keyboard touch. With a view toward the environment, no lead is used in the hammers of the keyboard.

Reduced chassis size and weight

In consideration of the user’s possible need to move or relocate the instrument, the LP-380 has been lightened by approximately 5.0 kg in comparison to the previous model (LP-350), making it easier to move or transport, as well as making assembly safer.

LINE OUT Jack

You can use the LINE OUT jack (stereo mini-jack) to connect the instrument to your amplified speaker system or recording device.

Metronome

The built-in metronome lets you adjust the time signature, tempo, and volume. It also lets you use a bell sound as the accent.

Premium pedal performance

The LP-380 includes all three pedals normally found on a concert grand piano, including support for realistic half-pedaling on both the damper and soft pedals. These pedals are affixed to the LP-380 in the perfect position for a true piano playing experience.

MIDI capability

The LP-380 supports MIDI, the unified standard for transferring performance data between electronic musical instruments and computers. MIDI allows connected devices to control each other, and lets you use the LP-380 as a 16-part multi-timbral sound module.

 USA_LP380_3

The Portable Ideas Machine- Korg KROSS

The Portable Ideas Machine……Korg Kross

 bs2

OK, It’s got a Mic input to go with its built in Stereo Audio recorder to capture and overdub your vocals or guitars…

It has a ton of stock Korg Workstation sounds on board, from Drum kits to Basses to Electric Pianos to Strings (all top notch Korg quality)…

It has the Pro-quality EDS-i sound engine built-in, with a total of seven effects available for simultaneous use….

It has an easy to use step sequencer inherited from the Electribe series, alongside a classic Korg 16 Track MIDI sequencer, drum-track (including a host of pre supplied patterns) and arpeggiator…….

It sounds Killer……

It can run on 6 x AA Batteries.

WHAT!!!!

Just sometimes, amongst all the new releases at NAMM and Frankfurt, a product sort of slips by without the Shouting and Bells and Whistles, and its only afterwards that you think just what has been achieved….

When I started out writing music for TV, I used to dream of having a keyboard that I could take into meetings and actually play ideas and parts in real time to creatives, with the facility to quickly record vocal ideas or lyrics. Unfortunately the only things available were nasty sounding ‘toys’ that no-one would’ve taken seriously. (You can’t trust people to be able to imagine sounds as they would be….)

Today, I’m pretty sure that whatever you’re pitching, whether it’s a song or an idea for a collaboration, this machine would allow you to get your musical message across knowing that the onboard sounds would be such good quality that everyone would ‘get it’.

You could pretty much gig with this thing, but certainly for impromptu jam sessions or quick rehearsals, I think this little beauty is going to be a ‘must have’ for players, writers and producers everywhere……

 USA_Kross_3

 

Lets Review….

Top professional musicians around the world use Korg synthesizers. The piano, electric piano, and drum sounds of the KROSS have been taken from the flagship instruments used by these pros, giving the KROSS a set of sounds that surpasses other instruments in its class. The grand piano features lavishly-sampled decays with three levels of velocity as well as reproducing the noises produced by the damper pedal, ensuring that every nuance of your performance is reflected in the sound. Also included are an upright piano (unusual for a PCM synth), as well as distinctive sounds from Korg’s famed SG-1D Sampling Grand and M1 Music Workstation. The five classic electric piano sounds are just as expressive as the acoustic piano sounds; they also include effect settings, giving you a complete package of the performance-ready sounds that you want. In addition, careful attention has been paid to the drum sounds that are indispensable for song production on a workstation, making them realistic and fresh.

A wide variety of sounds
Because of its portability, the KROSS will be used in a wide range of situations, and that’s why it provides a broad variety of sounds that surpasses even the flagship models of the previous generation. The PCM data is approximately twice as large as preceding models such as the X50 and the PS60. Staples such as the frequently-used rock/jazz organ, strings, brass, and synth sounds have been brushed up. There are also instruments such as toy piano, accordion, combo organ, church organ, and even vintage instruments such as a tape sampler, as well as bell-type sounds and the sounds you need for cutting-edge dance music and electronica – unique sounds that have not been included in a synth of this class. Our design goal has been to make KROSS the only instrument you need.

Sound Selector makes it easy to find the sound you’re looking for
While the KROSS provides an extremely broad range of sounds, there are two dedicated dials that let you easily find the sound you need. First use the category dial to choose the broad category such as piano, electric piano, organ, bell, synths, basses, or strings. Then turn the select dial to find the sound you want. It’s a quick way to focus on selecting the needed sounds without being distracted by sounds of another type.

Favorites function lets you register 64 selected sounds or audio songs for one-touch access
Sounds that you’ve created or that you use frequently can be registered to four banks of 16 buttons, giving you a total of 64 sounds that can be recalled at a single touch. This is a real convenience during live performances or song production. You can also register audio songs and recall them along with sounds.

Pro-quality EDS-i sound engine is built-in
The EDS-i sound engine is a high-quality sound engine distilled from the EDS/EDS-X sound engines found on Korg’s most advanced instruments. It allows you to use a total of seven effects simultaneously: five insert effects and two master effects. Ranging from standards such as delay, reverb, chorus, flanger, and rotary speaker, and also including amp modeling powered by Korg’s proprietary “REMS” modeling technology, and even a robot voice vocoder, you can choose from 134 different high-quality effects.

 

The MIC IN jack (1/4″ phone jack) lets you directly connect a mic. If you’re a vocalist as well as a player, there’s no need to obtain a separate mixer. In addition, there’s a LINE IN jack (stereo 1/8″ jack) for you to connect your audio player, giving you the option of performing along with the playback in a variety of situations on stage or anywhere else you go.

 

Quick Layer/Split function

Dedicated buttons are provided for Layer/Split settings. Start by selecting the first program you want to use; then press the dedicated button to enable Layer or Split. When this is on, a screen will appear in which you can choose the other sound and specify details such as the split point. Then simply write your settings and the layer/split sound will be saved as a Combination.

 

Stereo audio recorder allows you to overdub your performances and vocals

The built-in stereo audio recorder can record not only the performance of the KROSS itself, but also the sound of a mic or external input. You can play backing tracks that you created, or overdub onto them to create songs and demos. Audio can be imported and exported as WAV files using an SD card (separately sold), making it easy to exchange material with your computer.

 

The KROSS features a step sequencer inherited from the popular Electribe series. It’s a simple design in which you use the sixteen buttons to turn individual notes on or off, allowing you to quickly and easily create original rhythm patterns of up to 64 steps. The lightweight body of the KROSS contains all of the basic functionality you expect from a music workstation, including a full-featured 16-track MIDI sequencer with quantization, copy and paste, and individual note event editing. By using an SD card (sold separately), you can exchange SMF-format data with your computer. The KROSS gives you a full set of workstation and production tools, including a Drum Track function that lets you add rhythm simply by pressing a dedicated button, and an arpeggiator that can be used not only with synth sounds but also to generate guitar and bass riffs.

 

Connects to your computer via USB

You can connect the KROSS to your computer via USB for easy transfer of MIDI data. By using KROSS Editor and Plug-In Editor you can simultaneously view and edit large numbers of parameters on your computer, and use the KROSS within your DAW as if it were a software synthesizer.

USA_Kross_1_MAIN

SSL Sigma – Analogue Summing Rack

Analogue summing has become a de-rigour process of high end audio production, with the likes of the SPL Neos console leading the charge. SSL have taken this concept with Sigma and are the first to have designed a thoroughly modern take on it

The concept for the uninitiated goes like this….

For optimum digital to analogue conversion at maximum bit rate, the outgoing signal should leave the interface as close to 0db as possible. Every 6db (approximatly) quieter than zero the signal is, it loses a “bit”, so if your pad sound peaks at -24db, then you actually lose 4 bits of audio data!.

There is also a large movement that prefers the way that audio sounds when mixed in the analogue domain, instead of being digitally combined by exporting inside the sequencer. Many engineers prefer this method, citing more “Warmth”, “Space” and “Depth” to the mixes. Now obviously, this wont make much difference (in fact, it would undoubtedly be negative) with a £100 soundcard, but this can be the icing on the cake to the likes of high-end RME,  Lavry,  Apogee or Lynx conversion owners.

Now, where you sit on the whole summing debate is up to you, but where SSL have hit the jackpot with Sigma, is integrating digital level controls from the sequencer of the analogue channels from your sequencer. This “best of both worlds” approach, coupled with a legendary analogue signal chain produces an extremely forward thinking way of utilising modern studio workflow with classic analogue sound.

sigma-large

We are proud to unveil Sigma, the remote controlled analogue mix engine, at Musikmesse 2013 (Hall 5.1, Stand B.73). Designed for the DAW user that seeks the legendary big sound of an SSL console while retaining the convenience of working in the box, Sigma is a unique analogue mix engine in a 2U rack unit, that is remote controlled using MIDI via Ethernet using a DAW or an iDevice compatible software interface. Using proprietary MDAC control technology first featured in our Duality and AWS studio consoles, Sigma’s 100% analogue summing engine can be driven by automation data created within your DAW of choice. Sigma features 16 flexible input channels which can be individually switched between being mono or stereo for up to 32 channels at mixdown. There is accurate front panel LED metering for all channels. There are two stereo mix busses with dedicated outputs for convenient printing of stems back to the DAW and individual stereo insert points to facilitate implementation of parallel compression. Each input channel also features an individual direct output. Mix Bus B can also be injected into Mix Bus A for final mixdown.

An Artist and Studio monitoring section provides a Monitor and Headphone output. The Main monitor output has Main and Alternative connections to accommodate 2 sets of monitors. A comprehensive switching matrix enables selection of your monitor source. A large front panel rotary control uses a push-select mechanism to determine whether it adjusts Mix A, Mix B, Main Monitor or Headphone levels. There is also a Talkback input with adjustable Dim level. Control and switching of a wide range of functions including; monitor level and source, inserts, talkback, sum B>A and mono check, can all be achieved using any standard MIDI hardware control surface. A MIDI learn feature makes setup simple and easy. A pair of user assignable dual action push/hold buttons on the front panel or a foot-switch can also be assigned to the same collection of switching functions. Sigma uses MIDI over Ethernet for control and to connect to a cross platform software interface which provides additional control and setup capability. The software interface enables Sigma to be remote controlled using an iDevice.

Sigma is due to ship in August 2013.
£2799 + VAT

 

 

 

Sigma @ SSL

SSL @ Scan

Korg Volca – Analogue Beats, Bass & Keys

The Korg Volca analogue synths are a progression from thier Monotron and Monotribe synths, but this time they’ve listened to the public and added Midi support, whilst retaining the pure analogue control. There’s still no definate ETA on them, but they are priced at only £120 each! With the midi sync option, this really makes a fantastic way to integrate the unique sound of analogue synthesis into your productions. Personally, I find programming small patterns into the built-in sequencers and sync’ing them to midi clock gives a fantastic result, stick your sequencer audio on record and go crazy on the knobs, then go back and cut up the best bits.

USA_volca_1_MAIN

 

 

SYNC jack and MIDI IN connector allow synchronized performance with multiple units or with your DAW
By using the sync jack you can enjoy synchronized playback with multiple volcas or with a monotribe. You can also use the “SyncKontrol” iPhone app to wirelessly control tap tempo, swing settings, and synchronized playback with iOS music apps via WIST. The MIDI IN connector lets you synchronize with other devices, as well as play the volca from any MIDI keyboard. You can also send note messages from your DAW and use the volca as an analog sound module.

Volca Keys – Analogue Loop Synth 

The ideal introductory synthesizer, with a simple – yet powerful – polyphonic analog sound engine and loop sequencer
USA_volca_4

     

  • Three note true analogue synthesis
  • Voicing function lets anyone create sounds easily
  • Delay effect for even more sonic possibilities
  • Simple loop sequencer
  • Loop sequencer lets you record phases just as you play them
  • Motion Sequencer records knob edits in real time
  • Active Step function and Flux function to add dynamic change to your sequences
  • Convenient functions for tremendous ease of use
  • Self-tuning function for constant, stable pitch
  • Sync In and Out allows clock sync of multiple instruments from the volca Series as well as Korg’s Monotribe
  • Compact size, battery-powered operation, and built-in speaker for enjoyment anywhere

Volca Bass – Analogue Bass Machine

USA_volca_2

     

  • Powerful analog bass sound
  • Three analogue oscillators for thick, huge bass line
  • Newly designed analog filter for crisp, bright response
  • Simple structure with single VCF, VCA, LFO, and EG
  • Loop sequencer distilled from the Electribe series
  • Electribe-style 16-step sequencer with eight memory patches
  • Slide function that’s indispensable for acid and other types of electronic music
  • Active Step function generates new bass lines by removing or inserting steps

Volca Beats – Analogue Rhythm Machine

USA_volca_6

     

  • Real analog sounds created with reference to classic rhythm machines
  • Six editable analogue parts with one knob per function for easy editing
  • Maximum effect from minimal parameters – a unique advantage of analog
  • PCM sound engine expands possibilities when used with analog sounds

Loop sequencer distilled from the Electribe series

  • Electribe-style 16-step sequencer with eight memory patches
  • Stutter function generates repeated triggers that dramatically change the sequence
  • Active Step function generates new bass lines by removing or inserting steps.
  • Step Jump function instantly plays only the step you’re pressing

Volca @ Korg

Korg @ Scan

TC Helicon Harmony Singer…. Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!!!!

TC Helicon Harmony Singer….. YES YES YES!!!!

harmony-singer_persp_450x450px

Every once in a while I see a product that I just know I have to have, and fresh from Frankfurt Musik Messe 2013, here is my first choice.

 

The All New TC Helicon Harmony Singer is a vocal tool aimed at Guitarists who sing.

It reads the guitar signal coming in and generates the correct harmonies based on the chords you play.

However, it’s not just that feature that excites me.

For years, singers in small venues have been at the mercy of local PA operators, who’s knowledge of vocalists needs is sketchy compared to their prowess in say, miking up a drum kit.

What’s beauuuuuudiful about this little device is that TC Helicon (who have no small experience in this field,) have put together just the right e.q./ compression / gate combination, to give everyone who uses their pedal, a nice punchy ‘in the studio’ type sound, combined with a choice of 3 very useful reverbs.

This means that even with the Harmony switch off, the actual signal going to the PA is much cleaner and boosted correctly to give any vocalist a fighting chance.

After watching the video, the unit seems a doddle to use.

harmony-singer-bulletpoints

It’s very intuitive and at a suggested price of 149 Euros, I think it’s going to sell out to the thousands of Club/Wedding/Function band guitarists out there.

 

Universal Audio Apollo 16 – Flagship Audio interface and Quad UAD DSP

Universal Audio Apollo 16 is the new flagship interface and DSP host from the original UAD DSP card Daddies. Doubling the number of analogue i/o from the previous model, it maintains an itegrated UAD Quad processor for utilising the extensive range of UAD exclusive plugins, such as the excellent Studer A800 and Ampex ATR102 tape simulators.
It also comes complete with the Analogue classics bundle, comprising of the 1176LN, 1176SE, Teletronix LA-2A, Pultec EQP-1A & UA RealVerb plugins, that have been essentials for me for years on my old faithful UAD-1 card.

a16_front_hq

Apollo 16 is Universal Audio’s flagship 24-bit/192 kHz audio interface, delivering world-class conversion with 16 x 16 analog I/O — twice the analog connectivity of the original Apollo model. This uncompromising FireWire/Thunderbolt-ready* interface combines superior sound and flexible routing with powerful onboard UAD-2 QUAD processing. So you can track audio in real time through the full range of classic UAD analog emulation plug-ins — from Neve, Studer, Manley, Lexicon and more — on both Mac and Windows 7.

With its professional connectivity and multi-unit cascading (for 32 x 32 analog I/O), the Apollo 16 sets a new standard in high-resolution recording with classic analog sound.

hardware_callouts

World-Class 24-bit/192 kHz Conversion
Apollo 16 brings a true “no compromise” approach to every aspect of its audio signal path. Building upon decades of UA hardware expertise, it features meticulous analog circuit design, top-end converters, and DC-coupled outputs — providing the lowest THD and highest dynamic range of any converter in its class. Specifically, the Apollo 16’s deep, wide soundstage, and its exceptionally open and transparent sound, makes it the ideal centerpiece for professional recording studios.

Realtime UAD Plug-In Processing for Tracking, Mixing, and Mastering
With its standard UAD-2 QUAD processing onboard, Apollo 16 allows recording in real time through UAD Powered Plug-Ins — with as low as sub-2ms latency — so you can monitor, audition, and “print” audio through stunning analog emulations from Ampex, Lexicon, Manley, Neve, Roland, SSL, Studer, and more.** Better still, Apollo 16’s Realtime UAD Processing is also available during mixing and mastering, so that music producers can employ UAD plug-ins (VST, RTAS, AU) throughout the creative process.

Expandable 16 x 16 Analog Connectivity with Advanced Routing
Apollo 16 boasts straightforward 16 x 16 analog I/O via convenient DB-25 connections — perfect for pairing with mixing consoles, outboard processors, cue/headphone systems, and more. Two Apollo 16 units can be cascaded over MADI for an expanded system with eight UAD processors and 32 x 32 simultaneous analog I/O, capable of handling large professional mixes. Dedicated XLR monitor outputs and stereo AES-EBU digital I/O round out the Apollo 16’s rear-panel audio connections.

The Apollo 16’s enhanced routing capabilities include four stereo Cue mixes with individually assignable outputs, and a new “Virtual I/O” feature that allows for Realtime UAD Processing of DAW tracks and virtual instruments.

Thunderbolt™ Connectivity for Macs
Apollo 16 offers compatibility with Intel’s new high-bandwidth Thunderbolt technology on Macs via a user-installable dual-port Thunderbolt Option Card (sold separately). Thunderbolt provides greater UAD plug-in instances, improved performance at high sample rates, and reduced UAD plug-in latency in the DAW versus Apollo’s standard FireWire connection.

Because Thunderbolt offers many times the bandwidth of FireWire, it allows studios to connect numerous devices in series with the Apollo interface — including hard drives, processors, and additional computer monitors — all with fast, flawless performance. Thunderbolt also makes it easy to expand UAD plug-in processing power via a Thunderbolt-to-PCIe chassis and UAD-2 DSP Accelerator card(s).

Deeper Integration with Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase and More
Apollo 16’s Core Audio and ASIO drivers ensure compatibility with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, and more. The included Console application and companion Console Recall plug-in (VST/AU/RTAS) provide control and recall of all interface and Realtime UAD plug-in settings within your DAW sessions, even months and years later. A new “PT Mode” ensures that Pro Tools can take advantage of all 16 analog inputs/outputs for hardware inserts — and maximizes analog I/O in a multi-unit setup.

Hardware Design and Workflow
Apollo 16 boasts numerous design details that give you a fast, natural workflow — and better results. Its Monitor outputs are digitally controlled analog, so you don’t lose audio resolution when you adjust gain. More than 195 high-visibility LEDs provide full input and output metering, and with zero “hot spots” or light bleed. All front controls and rear-panel connections are professional-grade. And finally, standalone operation means that you can use Apollo’s audio connections, and last-used DSP mixer settings, even without a computer connected.

http://www.uaudio.com/interfaces/apollo-16.html

Universal Audio @ Scan

Softube Console 1 – Hardware Controller & Mixing Environment

Softube Console 1 is a major surprise for us. Every Musikmesse, something brand new and innovative comes around that we were not expecting and this year, i think it’s this.

Rather than producing a DAW hardware controller (such as the Stienberg CMC’s or Presonus Faderport), Plugin developer Softube (Tube-Tech CL1B / Pultec EQ, Trident A-Range Plugins) have unveiled a hybrid hardware controller, complimented by a “virtual analogue” mix environment. I cetainly think they are on the right track, with the rubber coated knobs and quick access buttons all showing a rugged, ergonomic layout. If the quality of thier existing Plugin’s are anything to go by, then the built-in Dynamic and EQ controls should be of the highest calibre, the GUI looks fantastically minimal and easy on the eye for long mix sessions. The mix environment can be used with any DAW and supports VST, VST3, AU, RTAS, and AAX Native Plugin connections.

Initially Mac OS only with hardware parameter control limited to softube plugins, with Windows support to follow, Console 1 should be available in The Autumn, price TBC.

 

A world-class model of an analog mixer channel paired with a hardware controller. Console 1 is that, and more.

Sound. Workflow. Control. Softube Console 1 is an integrated hardware/software music mixing solution which includes a rugged hardware controller and a modeled analog console channel with some unique additions. Use the system with any major DAW and enjoy the biggest advantages from digital and analog mixing environments—plus a few new ones.

Console1_withComputer
The software
Inserting the software on any or all mixer channels of your DAW gives you a full-featured channel strip per channel. Included in the purchase is UK 4k, a new model by Softube of an analog console. UK 4k perfectly mimics the sound of a well-known British large format console, used on countless records from its introduction in the late 1970’s and onwards.

The channel strip is divided into sections, and not only does it include the world famous four-band equalizer and compressor from the modeled console, but there’s also the Drive section which models analog console saturation. And then there’s Dynamic Shape, a unique processor that combines expander/gate and transient shaper functions. Plus a few more useful functions to help you make great mixes.

For further sonic variation, you can customize each channel separately by adding in any Softube equalizer or compressor. This works, because one unique aspect of the Console 1 software is that it’s a plug-in that can contain plug-ins!

The on-screen display gives you perfect and detailed visual feedback and metering of all effects settings and channel levels. But if you prefer an analog-like workflow, the hardware gives you all the visual feedback you need.

The hardware
With Console 1, it’s entirely possible to mix a song from beginning to end and not even look at the computer screen. Intuitively laid out, the sturdy Console 1 hardware puts you in direct control of every aspect of the Console 1 software. True to the analog workflow, most knobs and buttons are dedicated to a single function and very few functions require combining several controls. The LED meters give you immediate visual feedback of your gain structure and the processing performed by the dynamic effects. And the LED circles around each knob let you see that knob’s current position. Still, if you prefer the more detailed feedback the on-screen display gives you, you can toggle it on and off with a dedicated button on the hardware. Or use the Auto mode, and have it pop up every time you change a setting on the hardware and then fade away after a few seconds.

Console1_front

The hardware offers some useful extra functions, such as the ability of grouping any or all channels to tweak the settings simultaneously across the group, and changing the order of the effect sections. The hardware is USB powered, so no extra power supply is necessary.

In Short
– Integrated hardware/software music mixing solution
– World-class analog channel simulation
– Softube’s new modeled analog mixer is included, UK 4k for Console 1
– Hands-on control and intuitive workflow
– Use with any DAW
– Four-band equalizer, compressor, emulated analog console saturation and unique Dynamic Shaper
– Built-in sidechain and parallel compression with all Softube compressors
– Customize the channel by adding any Softube plug-in

Softube’s Console 1 was built to be a straight-forward and intuitive solution for music mixing. Nevertheless, there are a few things that are new about the concept and may need to be cleared up. So here you go—questions and answers on Console 1!

What is Softube Console 1?
It is an integrated hardware/software solution for music mixing. The software part gives you a full-featured mixer channel strip that you can insert on any or all mixer channels in your DAW. The hardware gives you physical control of that channel strip, not just the effects settings but all aspects of it.

So it’s a DAW controller?
No. The hardware doesn’t affect any of your DAW’s settings or functions. The software part of Console 1 lives within your DAW, and the hardware only controls the Console 1 software with its loaded effects. To get full control of your mix, we recommend that you insert the Console 1 plug-in on all the mixer channels of your DAW.

What software effects are included?
With the purchase, the Console 1 software comes loaded with UK 4k for Console 1, a brand new Softube model of a mixer channel from a classic large-frame British console from the late 1970’s. The mixer channel is sectioned into an equalizer, a compressor, Dynamic Shaper and Drive—a model of the saturation you get from running the signal through the analog circuits, with adjustable intensity and character. There’s a few nifty extras, too.

What is Dynamic Shaper?
It is a unique combination of an expander/gate and a transient shaper. This was not a part of the console we modeled for UK 4k, it’s a Softube invention you will only find as part of Console 1.

What else is included in the software package?
The input section has sweepable high and low cut filters that can be set to affect the audio signal or the sidechain of the dynamic effects. There is also a polarity reversal switch and an Input Gain knob. In the output section, you have Pan and Volume knobs, plus Solo and Mute switches. You can change the order of the sections, if you for example prefer to put the compressor before the equalizer in the signal chain, and you can group any or all channels to tweak their settings simultaneously. Everything is controlled from the hardware and almost all functions have their own dedicated switches or knobs.

Does that mean I can only use the included software effects?
No. One unique and innovative aspect of the Console 1 software is that it works like a plug-in that can itself contain plug-ins. Therefore, you can customize each single mixer channel by loading any Softube equalizer or compressor into the corresponding section of the Console 1 software, and then control it from the hardware. Softube will also release more excellent models of high-end analog consoles for Console 1 in the future, that can be purchased separately.

How do I know what settings I have made?
The on-screen display gives detailed visual feedback on all settings and functions of the Console 1 system. The on-screen display can be set to different views and there is a dedicated toggle on/off button on the hardware. You can also have it automatically pop up as soon as you change a setting on the hardware. But the LED meters and rings around the knobs on the hardware also give you plenty of visual feedback, so it’s possible to complete an entire mix without watching the computer screen at all. Working like this, you don’t only get the sound of the classic analog console, you also get an analog-like workflow.

Is the Console 1 software and its effects DSP powered from the hardware?
No. All signal processing takes place within the computer. The hardware only controls the software and has no built-in processing power.

What plug-in formats does the system support?
VST, VST3, AU, RTAS, and AAX Native.

What operating systems does the system support?
MacOS only at the time of launch, Windows support will follow.

How do I connect the hardware to my computer?
By a standard USB connection. The hardware is USB powered, so it has no extra power connections.

Do I need an iLok to run Softube Console 1?
No.

Can I run the Console 1 software without the hardware connected to the computer?
Yes, but you can not make any changes to the settings.

Can I use other manufacturer’s plug-ins within the Console 1 system?
Not currently.

Will UK 4k for Console 1 be released as a separate plug-in, that I can use without the Console 1 system?
No, UK 4k is a Console 1 product only.

Can the Console 1 effects settings be automated?
Yes, all the effects settings can be automated just like any plug-in in your DAW. However, you can not automate loading other plug-ins into the Console 1 software, the order of the effects sections et cetera.

When will Console 1 be available for purchase?
After summer of 2013.

Numark Mixtrack Quad and Mixtrack Edge

Numark have pulled out a couple of variations to their Mixtrack II controller.
MixtrackQuad

Mixtrack Quad seems to add two extra channels and gain controls to the mixer, alongside some extra coloured LED’s for a total of 16 colours, to identify different deck modes, such as cues, loops and sample playback. The platters have two zones and are touch sensitive. It comes with Virtual DJ LE software and has a built in, bus powered audio interface.

mixtrack edge

Mixtrack Edge keeps the built-in USB interface, but reverts to the two channel config and flattens the controls into a rucksack friendly format, whilst actually adding multifunction metal platters that control pitch, song select and cue mix.

Pro Tools 11 Announced – New Audio Engine & 64-bit Architecture

On the other side of the planet to Frankfurt, Avid today released details of the new Pro Tools 11 Software at the NAB conference.
Finally delivering full 64 Bit support and sporting a new audio engine, Pro Tools 11 is a free update to anyone purchasing PT10 after April 7th 2013. It should be available some point in this current quarter with a RRP of £459 + VAT (so from my calculations, picking up a copy of PT 10 right now looks to be a bit of a bargain, see the link at the bottom of page!)

pt11boxAvid® (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced Avid Pro Tools® 11, a major upgrade of its industry-leading digital audio workstation that redefines music and audio production for today’s workflows. This latest version enables audio professionals to take on the most demanding productions with new, high-powered audio and video engines, 64-bit architecture, expanded metering, and direct HD video workflows.

“Pro Tools 11 represents a quantum leap in creative power,” said Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of Products and Services at Avid. “The newly designed architecture turbo-charges production with more plug-in processing, the ability to run more virtual instruments—and a host of new features—letting users create ambitiously, without holding anything back.”

Pro Tools 11 delivers the features, performance, and workflows professionals need to take on today’s increasingly complex sessions and tighter timelines. 

 

ProTools11_Feature1_enlarge
Turbocharge sessions with the all-new Avid Audio Engine

Get multiple times the processing power of Pro Tools 10 to work with way more virtual instruments and effects plug-ins than ever before. And with the new 64-bit architecture, you gain the performance you need to handle the most sophisticated sessions—with more memory headroom to go even bigger.

 

 

 

ProTools11_Feature2_enlarge

Deliver mixes with lightning-fast offline bounce

Forget the wait—speed up your final mix delivery with new faster-than-real-time bounce capabilities.

 

 

ProTools11_Feature4_enlargeWork directly with HD video

Play MXF HD, Avid DNxHD, and other HD video formats directly in the Pro Tools timeline, without transcoding, using the built-in Avid Video Engine—the same as in Media Composer.

Audio Technica AT2020USB+ , New USB mic model adds a plus to the name

Audio Technica updates their USB mic, the AT2020USB by sticking a plus on the end of it. Now, i’m not the biggest fan of USB mics for vocals, due to needing to monitor with headphones plugged into into the mic itself, as you cant select different ASIO drivers for input and output devices in your DAW software.

at2020usb+

However, if you’re after a ridiculously easy to use large diaphragm condenser mic for voiceover work, or for podcasting (and haven’t got a phantom powered audio interface) then i heartily recommend this, as the previous model was a cracker, with a rich, full bodied tone! Don’t forget that you will still need a pop shield for close up use (so you get more direct sound of your voice and less of the echoes from the room)

RRP should be be £169 and should be available this month.