Arturia Beatstep……

So, along comes another controller!

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Ahh but………

Arturia’s BeatStep offers a new degree of functionality and performance for a portable pad controller.

BeatStep is highly versatile, capable of triggering clips in such applications as Ableton Live, it also allows you to play drums in conjunction with such applications as BFD or EZDrummer.

BeatStep is also a 16-step analog sequencer for creating all kinds of musical phrases to be sent to analog synthesizers, MIDI drum machines, MIDI keyboard devices, or computer programs. Its vast connectivity allows you to interface BeatStep with a computer or iPAD using USB, a drum module using MIDI or an analog synthesizer equipped with CV/GATE.

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Main Features :

    MIDI controller Mode – RED LED MODE

    Step Sequencer mode – BLUE LED MODE

    16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads

    16 encoders

    16 MIDI Controller presets

    16 Sequence presets

    Works with MIDI Control Center Editor

    Internal and External clocking

    CV outputs

    USB I/O

    MIDI output

    iPAD compatibility (using camera connection kit)

    Transports can send MIDI CC or MMC

    Kensington Lock

    Standalone MIDI or CV operation when powered via standard USB power adaptor

    USB Class compliant (no drivers)

QuNexus: Does the world need another small keyboard controller?

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Apparently Yes!  If the said controller comes from Keith McMillen and is the new QuNexus…

QuNexus is the next generation of portable keyboards.  The most playable, portable and powerful MIDI keyboard controller on the market. 25 pressure-sensitive silicone keys and LED illumination make QuNexus uniquely interactive and fun to play.

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QuNexus’ Smart Sensor keys detect finger pressure, tilt and velocity. Each key sends out a unique CC# as well as Polyphonic Aftertouch, and Channel Rotation allows for polyphonic pitch bends. Imagine pitch bend and modulation in every key.

QuNexus fits perfectly in the center of your studio; a hub that integrates every synth protocol. Route controls for vintage CV analog gear, external MIDI hardware and audio production software.

QuNexus is class compliant and works natively with any system that supports MIDI. Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android* with no software drivers required. You can also take control of analog gear via Control Voltage (CV) or 5-pin MIDI

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The QuNexus keys and buttons are made from a durable silicone composite, so don’t worry about the keys or buttons breaking when you throw QuNexus into your backpack or laptop bag.

In fact there’s a rather memorable video on You Tube, where 2 youths tie a QuNexus to a watermelon and hurl it from a window, but that’s another story….

QuNexus:

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Apollo Twin: Pro Interface for your desktop……

Hokay…..

Universal Audio make some of the worlds best Audio Interfaces, and their plug-ins are legendary (especially here at Scan towers where all the Pro Audio staff use them in their own studios)…. trouble is, that kind of High-end top dollar, professional unit is always out of reach to the humble bedroom studio or recording enthusiast right?

Wrong.

Here comes the Apollo Twin….

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Purpose built for the smaller ‘project’ studio, The Apollo Twin, brings the legendary Universal Audio quality within reach of Mac users everywhere….

With its class-leading resolution and Realtime UAD Processing, Apollo Twin sets a new standard for desktop music production. This 2×6 Mac Thunderbolt interface allows you to record with near-zero latency through the full range of UAD Powered Plug-Ins — ingeniously merging classic analog tones with cutting-edge features.

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They say:

  • World-class 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion
  • Realtime UAD Processing — track through vintage Compressors, EQs, Tape Machines, and Guitar Amp plug-ins with near-zero latency*
  • New Unison™ technology for stunning models of classic mic preamps**
  • Available with either UAD-2 SOLO or UAD-2 DUO DSP Processing onboard
  • Includes “Realtime Analog Classics” UAD plug-in bundle
  • Thunderbolt connection for blazing-fast PCIe speed on modern Macs
  • 2 premium mic/line preamps; 2 line outs; front-panel Hi-Z instrument input and headphone output
  • Digitally controlled analog monitor outputs for full resolution at all listening levels
  • Uncompromising analog design, superior components, and premium build quality throughout

We say:

With the ability to use the Unison pre-amp modelling technology on the pre-amps, and the comprehensive monitoring facilities, this looks like a real ‘step-up’ for the smaller studio, allowing access to world beating plug-ins, and UA quality hardware.

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Focusrite iTrack Dock: iPad Muso's rejoice!

Well, we’ve seen them come and go, and in some cases, never turn up at all, but finally, it looks like Focusrite have nailed the idea of a functioning dock for iPad users, allowing full connectivity and some pretty cool features.

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iTrack Dock is a comprehensive, studio-quality iPad recording interface that acts as the hub of your iPad recording studio. Featuring dual legendary Focusrite microphone preamps, along with two line inputs and an instrument DI with plenty of extra headroom, stereo monitor outputs with 105dB dynamic range plus independently-controlled headphone outputs, and a USB port for class compliant MIDI instruments and controllers, iTrack Dock gives you everything you need to record, monitor and control music on your iPad – with precision Focusrite digital conversion at up to 24-bit, 96kHz sampling. And at the same time it charges and powers your iPad.

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iTrack Dock is the perfect recording interface for songwriters, musicians and home recordists who want to take advantage of their studio gear alongside the simplicity of iPad. 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.

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DDJ-SZ…….

Our Tom got a little bit excited over this, when it was announced a few hours ago….

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Designed for software-based DJs who want to get serious, the DDJ-SZ is Pioneer’s new top-of-the-range Serato DJ-compatible controller/audio interface.

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The Pioneer DDJ-SZ is the first Pioneer controller to closely match the experience of a CDJ-2000nexus and DJM-900nexus setup for the most intuitive DJ experience. Features include full size, aluminium jog wheels inherited from the CDJ-2000NXS, illuminated, super accurate digital track position indicators, large Performance Pads with customisable multi-coloured LEDs and two USB sound cards for ultra-smooth DJ change-over.

The DDJ-SZ packs in most of the technology found on a Pioneer CDJ-2000 and DJM-900nexus setup and has been designed to work hand in hand with the many features in Serato DJ.

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KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-SZ:

• Full sized (206mm) CDJ style jog wheels with digital sticker and cue point countdown.

  Performance Pads with multi-coloured LEDs that can be set to reflect cue point colours set in Serato DJ. 

• Two USB sound cards for smooth DJ change-over.

• Support for DVS control that allows DJs to connect CDJs or Turntables, and use Serato NoiseMap™ Control Vinyl or CDs to operate Serato DJ. The DDJ-SZ can also be used as a standalone four-channel mixer.

• High quality hardware FX & Filters on each channel including brand new Oscillator (Noise, Siren, Cymbal and Horn) – as well as the popular Sound Colour FX (Pitch, Echo, Jet and Filter).

• High quality audio circuitry that delivers a professional sound.

Keep an eye out here on the Scan site, more info as it comes……………..

BitWig… Finally!

 

Here at Scan we’ve been beta testing this for around 18 months now, so we’re pleased that its been announced that its available from this coming March……

 

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Does the world need another DAW? Well these guys have good pedigree and understand the genre better than most, however the Mighty Ableton Live has also progressed and many people might wonder if these guys haven’t missed the boat?

Once again, keep your eyes peeled here over the coming weeks…….

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Trigger Happy?

So, here at Scan we love a good controller, and M-Audio have announced themselves very much on the running with this….

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Trigger Finger Pro is a fully encompassed performance instrument and software control station in the form of a portable, 16-pad (4×4 configured) instrument with onboard sequencing. Nearly a decade ago, M-Audio revolutionized the industry by introducing the first performance pad controller and effectively set the stage for the MIDI controller market with the Trigger Finger. The Trigger Finger Pro draws from its predecessor’s performance pad roots but features an entirely new hardware design, user experience, and creative functionality to serve both the live performer as well as the music producer. It’s modern design features 16 ultra-responsive RGB illuminated pads, 16 backlit step sequencer key controls, a road-ready chassis with brushed aluminum faceplate, and a high resolution screen.

The all-new Arsenal software integrates with popular DAWs, hosts VSTs and includes automatic mapping, providing seamless integration between the hardware and software. Along with AIR Drums and Hybrid 3 plug-ins, Trigger Finger Pro includes 8 GB of ready-to-play sounds, loops, one-shots with exclusive content from Black Anomaly, Prime Loops, Toolroom Records, and more.

Highlights

    16 Ultra-Responsive Pads – velocity sensitive, illuminated pads with RGB feedback

    Onboard Step Sequencer – accompanied by 16 backlit keys, and high-res screen

    Extensive Expression Controls – 48 assignable controls are offered between 4 faders, 4 knobs, and 4 buttons with 4 banks each, and includes pitch bend, modulation and more

    Arsenal Software – allows for instant DAW/VST integration with full tactile control parameters; or operates as a standalone program with powerful presets & VI’s

    AIR Drums and Hybrid 3 – includes two dynamic VST instrument programs, a drum sample player/editor compatible with REX files and a high definition analog synth suite

    Built-in Instruments – 8 GB of sounds, one-shots, loops, and exclusive content

    Customizable Controls – backlit controls instantly map to popular DAWs on the market

    Road Ready Chassis – brushed aluminum faceplate with detachable 3-position stand

UK prices not confirmed yet, so keep your eyes peeled on the Scan site for more info as it comes…….

NAMM 2014

Well, it’s that time of year again….

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Each year in Anaheim, Califiornia, the annual NAMM show takes place, with all new products and all manner of musical goodies designed to part you from your cash, and it looks like this year is going to be no exception…

There will be many things that excite us this year, but two have been released early, and both look like game changers..

The first comes from Steven Slate, who is thought by many to be king of ‘In the box’ i.e. computer recording. He has released details of his new product, the Slate Virtual Microphone system.

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Essentially via some clever manufacture and some even cleverer modelling technology, Steven Slate reckons he can give computer based studios, access to some of the finest microphones ever made. Microphones that would cost you an arm and a leg to try and buy, even if you could source them.

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If this is true, and his past history is remarkably solid on this front, then we believe this is a truly huge breakthrough, and one which will herald a new age of home and project studio recording.

Watch this space for further news……

Second up, is again a huge innovation.

Fishman transducers, known for many years for their work in Acoustic Pick-ups and pre-amps, have for the first time got themselves involved in the world of Electric guyitar pick-ups and once again, if they are correct, they have produced a ground-breaking product with their ‘Fluence’ range of pick-ups.

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Basically they have overturned years of traditiona l pick up design, and created a modern noise-free, hum free pick-up with the ability to change sounds at the push of a switch.

Both of these products promise a superb NAMM show, and we here at Scan can’t wait to see what else is revealed tomorrow…….