Tag Archives: keyboard

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

The Arturia MatrixBrute

Arturias latest synth is another stunner to look at if your a synth programmer and more than lives up to its name. With so many options, its going to be hard to know where to start, but we bet anyone with a passing interest in sound design is going to love getting their hands on one of these.

The MatrixBrute features a 100% analog signal path generated by its three oscillator + sub oscillator style design. It features a Steiner-Parker filter along with its ladder filter setup, which are capable of being arranges in series or parallel configurations. Routing is handled by a 16×16 modulation matrix that allows you to assign any of the 16 modulation sources to any of the 16 modulation destinations, offering a staggering amount of control over your patches, the sort of which you’d rarely see outside a full modular setup.

Those patches can also be saved for later use, so whilst the MaxtrixBrute might not qualify as a modular function wise at least you get the best of both worlds with control more in depth than most other synths, whilst still maintaining the ability to instantly recall a patch when your performing.

Speaking of performing, it has a 49 note controller keyboard with a full compliment of additional sequencer and arpeggiator controls. A USB connection allows you to connect it to the editor and patch libraian software for easy managment, its also fully MIDI controllable and impressively it includes 12 CV inputs and 12 CV outs for connection and control of any modular gear you wish to connect up alongside it.

This really is an amazing looking synth, one we’re sure will end up on many a wishlist this year.

Main Features

Analog Matrix Synthesizer

256 Preset memory locations

2 Analog Exponential VCO’s:

Saw + UltraSaw, Square +Pulse width, Triangle + Metalizer, Sub

1 Analog Linear VCO/LFO

Saw, Square, Triangle, Sine waveforms; LFO time divisions; Key track

VCO 2>1 Hard Sync

Audio Mod:
VCO1>2 ; VCO1 < VCO3> VCO2 ; VCF 1 < VCO3> VCF 2 ; VCF1 < Noise> VCF2
 

Noise Generator:
White ; Pink ; Red ; Blue noise types

5 input Audio Mixer with Filter routing

Steiner Parker filter with 12+24 db per octave modes ; Drive ; Brute factor; Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Notch

Ladder filter with 12+24 db per octave modes ; Drive ; Brute factor; Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass

2 LFO’s
Sine, Tri, Square, Ramp, Saw, Random, S&H

3 Envelope Generators

2 Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release

1 Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release

External Audio In

16×16 Matrix modulation panel

64 step sequencer

STEP enable, Slide, Accent, Modulation

Save and recall sequence patterns on the fly

Analog Effects

Stereo delay, Delay, Flanger, Chorus, Analog Reverberator

Arpeggiator

12 CV / Gate Inputs/Outputs

Audio Input, Line or Instrument level

Stereo audio output

MIDI and USB I/O

Pedal inputs for Expression and Sustain

Arturia MatrixBrute @ Scan

All Arturia Hardware @ Scan

Artura MatrixBrute Homepage

Nord Stage 2 EX Keyboard Range Launched At Musikmesse

Nord-Stage-2-EX-HA88 Keyboard

Starting off our Musikmesse hardware coverage this year, Nord has announced an update to their ever popular “Stage” range in the shape of the Stage 2 EX piano range.

Ever popular with live performers world wide, the new Nord Stage EX range comes in 3 sizes with the EX 88 offering a fully weighted 88-note hammer action keybed, the EX HP76 has a lightweight hammer action keybed, and the EX Compact has a 73-note semi-weighted waterfall keyboard. Other than the keyboard variations, all the keyboards offer the same features across the range and include 1GB for the new factory bank that features a total of 5 Grand Pianos, 7 Upright Pianos, 11 Electric Pianos, Clavinet, Harpsichords and a vastly improved Nord Sample Library selection including great new Strings, Choir and Folk instruments.

Main Nord Stage 2 Ex Features

Piano Section

  • 1 GB memory for the Nord Piano Library
  • State-of-the art sample-based Acoustic and Electric Pianos
  • Advanced String Resonance (Gen 2)
  • Long Release option
  • Dynamic Pedal Noise via optional Nord Triple Pedal

Organ Section

  • B3 Tone-Wheel simulation
  • Vintage 122 Rotary Speaker simulation
  • Faithful simulations of classic Vox and Farfisa organs
  • Digital LED Drawbars for easy overview of active drawbar settings.

Synth Section

  • 380 MB for the Nord Sample Library
  • Powerful Classic analog, 3 Operator FM and Wavetable synthesis
  • Arpeggiator
  • Unison mode
  • Master Clock

Global features

  • Comprehensive Effects section
  • Single-function control knobs and instant visibility of current settings
  • External section allowing the Nord Stage 2 EX to serve as a master keyboard
  • Expanded Live Mode with 5 locations
  • USB-MIDI. No driver required for Mac OS X. WHQL certified driver available for Windows.

 

All said, it looks to be a solid upgrade to a well loved synth range and improvements to the sound engine and keyboard itself should go down well.

The Nord Range @ Scan

The Nord Stage 2 EX Range Homepage

 

 

 

Novation Announce The Launchkey Mini

Novation Launchkey Mini
Novation Launchkey Mini

Fresh from the Novation stable comes their newest addition in the diminutive yet fully featured Launchkey Mini.

The Launchkey Mini is a compact mini-key controller / instrument for iPad, Mac and PC featuring 16 velocity sensitive, three colour illuminated launch pads – use them to launch loops, sounds, effects, transport controls, and more.

Launchkey Mini also features a 25-note mini-keyboard, eight assignable rotary controls, seven function buttons, and a further two performance buttons. Compact and portable, Launchkey Mini is great for producing and performing at home or on stage. Launch your music – anywhere.

Launchkey Mini works immediately with the free-to-download Novation Launchpad and Launchkey iPad apps, and gives you hands-on control of major Mac and Windows based music software including Ableton Live, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, and Logic. Ableton Live Lite is included in the package, along with an extensive Loopmasters sample library, V-Station and Bass Station Soft Synths.

A keyboard and launch pad controller for iPad, Mac and PC

The latest in the growing family of Novation “Launch” products, Launchkey Mini is an instantly accessible mini keyboard and launch pad controller for a wide range of software apps on iPad, Mac and PC. It’s a keyboard / DAW controller with 26 assignable controls, offering fuss-free hands-on control of major music software via Novation’s intuitive “InControl” technology. The 16 launch pads are velocity-sensitive – use them to play drum sounds and samples expressively, as well as launch clips and scenes in Ableton Live.

Powerful iPad Apps transform Launchkey Mini into an instrument

Launchkey Mini integrates seamlessly with powerful music software apps for iPad, which transform it into a production and performance instrument. Use the free-to-download LaunchKey App with Launchkey Mini on your iPad to trigger the included professional sample library and control effects, letting you produce and perform music straight away. Launchpad app upgrades will allow you to import your own samples and share your creation with a growing fan base.

The free-to-download LaunchKey App for iPad is a synth filled with Novation technology, allowing you to control notes with the Launchkey Mini’s keyboard while warping the sound with the knobs or via intuitive multi-touch control on the iPad’s screen. The Launchkey and Launchpad apps sync together perfectly for simultaneous use – set an arpeggiator on the Launchkey app and switch to the Launchpad app to build the beats behind it, for example. Both apps are fully Audiobus compatible.

Launchkey Mini connects directly to your iPad with the Apple Camera Connection Kit (not included) and it’s powered by the iPad – so there’s no need for batteries or an additional power supply.

Ableton Live Lite, Bass Station, V-Station and Sample Pack for Mac and PC

As well as Ableton Live Lite, Launchkey Mini comes with the V-Station polyphonic soft-synth and the Bass Station software plug-in. You can use these as plug-ins within Ableton, FL Studio or other DAWs. There’s also a sample pack supplied by world leading sample producers – Loopmasters. Get started straight away on your Mac or PC with over one gigabyte of loops including drums, FX and artist content.

Launchkey Mini Key Features

  • 25-note mini-keyboard controller / instrument for iPad, Mac and PC. Fast action synth-style mini keys ideal for modern playing techniques
  • 16 velocity sensitive, three colour launch pads. Launch loops, samples, effects and more and get direct visual feedback.
  • Hands-on control of major Mac and Windows based music software including Ableton Live, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, and Logic via Novation’s intuitive “InControl” technology
  • Launch your music anywhere. Launchkey Mini is fully powered by iPad or USB – no need for power sockets or batteries – and it’s ultra-lightweight and easy to carry
  • Knobs and buttons for total control. Eight knobs, seven function buttons, and two performance buttons to enhance and control your software in real time
  • Free software for iPad, PC, and Mac. Launchkey Mini is a fully-integrated instrument out-of-the-box working seamlessly with the Novation Launchpad and Launchkey apps for iPad. Also Includes Ableton Live Lite, V-Station, Bass Station Soft Synth and Loopmasters sample pack for Mac and PC.
  • Launchkey Mini is a USB class compliant device. It is compatible with any operating system that supports USB MIDI device class 1.0. Launchkey Mini is ‘plug and play’ compatible with most modern computers and the iPad

Officially supported operating systems:

  • MAC – OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.7 Lion
  • WINDOWS – Windows 8 and Windows 7 (64 & 32 bit)
  • iPAD – iPad2 or later is recommended. iOS 5 or above is required

Additional Specs

  • Net weight: 675g
  • Dimensions: W: 325mm, L: 175mm, D: 43mm
  • Connectivity: Class compliant USB: works with USB and iPad (using Camera Connection Kit, not supplied)
  • Power: Fully bus powered by USB, including iPad.

The Novation LaunchKey Mini @ Scan

Nektar Impact LX49

The Nektar Impact LX49 controller keyboard shoots straight for the budget USB controller keyboard market, currently headed up by the immenent arrival of the Novation Launchkey.

LX49top

Sharing many features with it’s big sibling the Panorama P4 (but lacking the LCD display) It promises easy integration with a range of sequencers such as Cubase, Reason, Cubase, Nuendo Garageband, Sonar, Reaper and even Bitwig (if it ever comes out of beta!)

49 Full size Keys
Sequencer Transport Controls
8 Velocity Sensitive Pads
9 30mm Faders and Control Buttons.
8 Rotary Controls
3 Digit LED Display
5 preset memory locations
4 keyboard velocity curve options
Pitch bend and modulation wheels

Nektar Impact LX49 is due in the Autumn, with an RRP of only £109.99!

http://www.nektartech.com/

Hey You! It’s Novation Bass Station 2 !!!!

The original Novation Bass Station, was launched in ’93, and its digitally synchronized analogue oscillators became the staple of many ‘90’s dance and electronic hits.

Based on very intuitive layouts like the Wasp or the ARP Odyssey, it became the goto  generator of synth lines that could reproduce analog bass sounds similar to a TB303 , MicroMoog or  Pro One synthesizer.

Well, anyone who remembers those days with fondness, are in for a treat from today………

Yes, Novation have just announced…………….

 

BASSTATION 2!!!!!!!!!!!!

A powerful analogue synth that’s made for bass but equally well adapted to leads. Based on the classic Novation BassStation, Bass Station II has been completely re-worked for the 21st century, with two filters, three oscillators, patch save and a fully-analogue effects section. Plus there’s a step sequencer, arpeggiator, a two octave (25-note) velocity-sensitive keyboard with full-sized keys and a powerful modulation section. There’s even MIDI I/O and USB connectivity.

 

bs2

Key Features

Analogue synth: brand new version of the classic BassStation. Bass Station II has a pure analogue audio signal path, reviving the spirit of the original BassStation with an all-new design optimised for bass

Two distinct analogue filters: In addition to the original ‘Classic’ BassStation filter, there’s a brand new ‘Acid’ diode ladder filter for squelchy 303-esque bass sounds

Load and save patches: 64 factory patches on-board with room for 64 more of your own. Save more to your computer via USB

Pattern-based Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator: Bass Station II has an arpeggiator with a programmable step sequencer that enables you to store and call up patterns as well as quickly sketch out ideas

Instant hands-on control: Instant hands-on control of the sound engine via a traditional analogue synth control panel

Two Oscillators plus an additional Sub Oscillator: Bass Station II has two sync-able, tune-able oscillators with four selectable waveforms, plus a third sub-oscillator for generating enormous bass sounds

Analogue effects section: Bass Station II includes fully analogue distortion and filter-modulation effects and a separate filter overdrive to add aggression and crunch

Powerful modulation section featuring two Envelopes and two LFOs: Two ADSR envelopes for amp, filter, pitch and pulse width modulation alongside two LFOs with waveforms including triangle, sawtooth, square and sample & hold

 

Bass Station II

Twenty years ago, Novation released the groundbreaking BassStation: a compact, analogue synth designed for fat bass sounds and bubbly leads. The original BassStation became a classic; now Novation present the new Bass Station II: an analogue monophonic synth but with a total re-design that brings it firmly into the 21st century, bigger and bolder than ever. It’s more than a bass synth; it’s versatile enough to kick out sharp leads and crisp arpeggios.

 

Bass Station II’s signal path is all analogue, including the effects section. It is based on three analogue oscillators (two independent oscillators plus a sub for rich bass sounds) and a noise generator; two discrete filters, Classic and Acid, with built-in overdrive; Distortion and Osc Filter Mod effects; two ADSR envelopes, two LFOs, and an Arpeggiator and programmable Step Sequencer. And that’s just scratching the surface of the synth engine. Bass Station II’s traditional control layout breaks everything into modules with dedicated pots, switches and sliders. Unlike a traditional analogue synth, there’s plenty of storage for your own sounds – there are 64 factory presets plus 64 more slots for your own sounds in the hardware – and you can store more on your computer.

 

About Bass Station II’s Design

The original BassStation was released in 1993, but its heritage goes back a lot further: to the 1970s, thought of by many as the golden era of synthesis. Synth designer Chris Huggett has remained a constant design force for Novation over the years. Huggett has decades of experience in hardware synth design, having pioneered the development of digitally controlled analogue synths including the OSCar. He also designed such classics as the Wasp, released by Electronic Dream Plant in 1978 – and there is a direct line of descent from the Wasp filter to the awesome ‘Classic’ filter in Bass Station

www.youtube.com/embed/utKZJdaNLyE

 

Bass Station II  LN50432

 

 

 

 

All hail the King(Korg)

Korg have unleashed a new VA synth of epic proportions in the shape of the KingKorg. A full sized 61 key,  3 OSC  synth,  with Korgs own newly developed XMT modeling sound engine. XMT (Xpanded Modeling Technology) is proprietary Korg technology that was created in order to produce a broad range of sonic variations while keeping operation simple. In a conventional synthesizer, the sound-creating process requires you to adjust the oscillator settings one by one, making it difficult to see the overall picture. In contrast, KingKORG provides pre-set algorithms that contain combinations of various types and numbers of oscillators, letting you easily and quickly sculpt stage-ready sounds. The wide range of oscillator algorithms includes the choices you’d expect from an analog synthesizer–sawtooth wave, square wave, and noise–in addition to numerous PCM/DWGS algorithms, giving you plenty of scope choices for creating highly personal sounds.

Other key features are 3 effects sections on the master allowing you to apply effects from a choice of 6 different effects, filters modeled upon classic Korg filter sections and a vacum tube section to add overtones and some extra drive and all this is constructed around a virtual patch system ensuring that you should have plenty of ways to help you sculpt your sound.

KingKorg topdown

KingKorg Features

  • A full-fledged, 61-key analog modeling synthesizer designed for live performance
  • Powerful oscillators that are understandable to the beginner, yet satisfying for the expert
  • Modeling filters that reproduce the sound of classic instruments
  • Three master effect sections (each with six effect types) add the finishing touch to your sound
  • Vacuum tube driver circuit adds rich overtones and powerful distortion
  • New panel layout designed for intuitive operation
  • CV/GATE OUT jack lets you control a Korg monotribe or MS-20
  • Support for librarian software that lets you manage programs

KingKorg Rear

Features In Depth

Powerful oscillators that are both understandable to the beginner and satisfying for the expert
KingKORG features a 3-oscillator x 2-timbre design allows you to generate thick and rich sounds, plus a newly developed XMT modeling sound engine. XMT (Xpanded Modeling Technology) is proprietary Korg technology that was created in order to produce a broad range of sonic variations while keeping operation simple. In a conventional synthesizer, the sound-creating process requires you to adjust the oscillator settings one by one, making it difficult to see the overall picture. In contrast, KingKORG provides pre-set algorithms that contain combinations of various types and numbers of oscillators, letting you easily and quickly sculpt stage-ready sounds. The wide range of oscillator algorithms includes the choices you’d expect from an analog synthesizer–sawtooth wave, square wave, and noise–in addition to numerous PCM/DWGS algorithms, giving you plenty of scope choices for creating highly personal sounds.

Modeling filters that reproduce the sound of classic instruments
While designing KingKORG, extreme attention was paid to the filter section, which is crucial to a synthesizer’s character. A diverse variety of filters is a unique advantage of analog modeling, and KingKORG’s filters add unparalleled flexibility. In addition to a variety of essential analog modeling filter types, you get faithful models of filters that reproduce the analog monophonic synths used for lead and bass in the ’70s, the polyphonic synths used in new wave music of the ’80s, and the filters of Korg’s classic MS-20 analog synth. These filters can also be made to self-oscillate by raising the resonance setting– a unique capability of analog synthesizers.

Three master effects, each with six effect types, add the finishing touch to your sound
KingKORG provides three master effect sections, each giving you a choice of six effect types: PRE FX, with types such as distortion and amp simulator; MOD FX, with classic effects like phaser, chorus, and tremolo; and REV/DELAY, with ambience effects such as hall reverb and modulation delay. Each effect processor has a dedicated front panel dial that selects the effect type. To choose the ideal effect type, simply turn the dial to hear the result, and use the FX control knobs located below these dials to adjust the effect as desired.

Vacuum tube driver circuit adds rich overtones and powerful distortion
KingKORG provides a full-analog vacuum tube driver circuit as a mastering effect. You can use it to add warm fullness, a powerful overdrive, or anything in between.

Vocoder function
The built-in vocoder uses audio from the onboard mic input to modify the sound, creating an effect as though the synthesizer were talking. The vocoder features Formant Shift to dramatically modify the tonal character, as well as Formant Hold, which allows you to “freeze” a vowel sound and play it back using the keys. Thanks to the KingKORG’s dual-timbre architecture, you can even combine the vocoder with another timbre, either as a complementing sound or a modulation source.

Virtual patch function
On many classic synthesizers (such as the MS-20), the signal flow could be reconfigured using patch cables to physically connect one element to another. KingKORG reproduces this function with an intuitive Virtual Patch system. With six Virtual Patch assignments per timbre, control signals such as EG, LFO, or joystick movement can be virtually connected to sound parameters such as pitch or cutoff, allowing you to modulate a parameter for even greater sound-shaping possibilities.

Step arpeggiator function
The step arpeggiator automatically generates an arpeggiated phrase (broken chord) according to the chord you hold on the keyboard. You can choose from six arpeggio types, and specify the duration, interval, and on/off status of each step to enjoy a wide variety of performance possibilities.

Specifications

System

    XMT (eXpanded Modeling Technology)

Program

Number of programs:

    300 (Preset: 200)

Number of categories:

    8 categories

Number of timbers:

    Up to 2 Timbres (Layered or Split)

Maximum voice polyphony:

    Up 24 voices

Oscillator

Structure:

    3 Oscillators (Analog, Noise, DWGS, PCM, MIC IN)

Number of Types:

    127 types (Analog & Noise: 32 + DWGS: 64 + PCM: 30 + MIC IN)

 

Filter

Structure:

    1 filter per timbre (LPF, HPF, BPF)

Number of Filter Types:

    18 types (LPF: 7 + HPF: 5 + BPF: 6), including modeling filters

Modulation:

    EG: 2 units, LPF: 2 units, AMP

Virtual Patch:

    6 Virtual Patches per timbre

 

Effect

Sections:

    Program effects x 3 (PRE FX, MOD FX, REV/DELAY) + EQ (2 Band) + TUBE (Stereo)

Types:

      PRE FX: 6 types (DISTORTION, DECIMATOR, RING MOD, GT AMP, EP AMP, TONE)

 

      MOD FX: 6 types (FLANGER, CHORUS, U-VIBE, TREMOLO, PHASER, ROTARY)

 

    REV/DELAY: 6 types (HALL, ROOM, PLATE, TAPE ECHO, MOD DELAY, BPM DELAY)

 

Vocoder

    16-Band Vocoder with Formant Shift and Formant Hold

 

Arpeggiator

      Up to 8 steps (The number of steps can be changed)
    6 types (UP, DOWN, ALT1, ALT2, RANDOM, TRIGGER)

Audio

Input:

      Mic In
        Connection: XLR-3-31 Type (Balanced)
        Input Impedance: 6.8 kO
        Maximum level: -12 dBu

Output:

      Audio Output
        Connections: 6.3 mm, TS phone jack (Unbalanced) “L/MONO, R”
        Load Impedance: More than 10 kO
        Maximum level: -12 dBu
      Headphone

 

        Connection: 3.5 mm, Stereo min phone jack
        Maximum level: 60 mW + 60 mW @33O

 

Display

Main Display:

    16 characters x 2 lines / OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode)

Sub Displays for Oscillator and Filter Sections:

    128 x 64 dots / OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode)

Keyboard

      61 notes (Semi-Weighted Keyboard)
      *Velocity-sensitive
      *Adjustable Key Response (NORMAL, SHALLOW, DEEP)

KingKorg @ Korg

Korg @ Scan

M-audio Announces Axiom AIR 61, 49, 25 and Air Mini 32 MIDI Keyboards

Another raft of controller keyboards, this time coming from the M-Audio camp bring us a complete refresh of their Axiom range.

M-Audio Axiom Air 25

Axiom AIR 25

Premium Keyboard and Pad Controller

  • 25 expressive synth-action keys with aftertouch
  • 16 great-feeling trigger pads respond to pressure and velocity
  • Roll button aids in creating realistic drum parts
  • Assignable controls offer front-panel programming:
  • 8 rotary encoder knobs plus 1 long-throw 70mm fader
  • 3 banks of pad and knob assignments with color-coded illumination
  • HyperControl automatically maps controllers to popular software
  • Drum Pad Learn feature and Identify button
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons make recording easy
  • Octave/Transpose buttons access the entire note range, in any key
  • Assignable pitch bend and modulation performance wheels
  • Selectable velocity curves to match any playing style
  • 128 memory locations for saving custom settings
  • Functional design provides backlit LCD plus under-keyboard cable routing
  • Includes AVID Pro Tools® Express and Ignite™ by AIR

M-AudioAxiom AIR 25

Axiom AIR 49

Premium Keyboard Pad Controller

  • 49 expressive synth-action keys with aftertouch
  • 12 trigger pads respond to pressure and velocity
  • Roll button aids in creating realistic drum parts
  • Assignable controls offer front-panel programming:
  • 8 rotary encoder knobs; 9 long-throw 70mm faders; 9 buttons
  • 3 banks of pad and controller assignments with color-coded illumination
  • HyperControl automatically maps controllers to popular software
  • Drum Pad Learn feature and Identify button
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons make recording easy
  • Octave/Transpose buttons access the entire note range, in any key
  • Assignable pitch bend and modulation performance wheels
  • Selectable velocity curves to match any playing style
  • 128 memory locations for saving custom settings
  • Functional design provides backlit LCD plus under-keyboard cable routing
  • Includes AVID Pro Tools® Express and Ignite™ by AIR

M-Audio Axiom Air 61

Axiom AIR 61

Premium Keyboard Controller

  • 61 TruTouch® semi-weighted piano-style keys with aftertouch
  • 12 trigger pads respond to pressure and velocity
  • Roll button aids in creating realistic drum parts
  • Assignable controls offer front-panel programming:
  • 8 rotary encoder knobs; 9 long-throw 70mm faders; 9 buttons
  • 3 banks of pad and controller assignments with color-coded illumination
  • HyperControl automatically maps controllers to popular software
  • Drum Pad Learn feature and Identify button
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons make recording easy
  • Octave/Transpose buttons access the entire note range, in any key
  • Assignable pitch bend and modulation performance wheels
  • Selectable velocity curves to match any playing style
  • 128 memory locations for saving custom settings
  • Functional design provides backlit LCD plus under-keyboard cable routing
  • Includes AVID Pro Tools® Express and Ignite™ by AIR

M-Audio Air Mini 32

Axiom Air Mini 32

Mobile Keyboard and Pad Controller

  • 32 low-profile, velocity-sensitive mini keys
  • 8 assignable velocity-sensitive drum pads (x2 banks)
  • 8 assignable knobs deliver immediate control
  • HyperControl® interactive controller mapping
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons
  • Sustain, pitch bend, and modulation buttons
  • Octave +/- buttons access the entire note range
  • Velocity curves to match your playing style
  • Includes Ignite™ by AIR and Ableton® Live Lite

 

On top of all this inlike other keyboard controllers that include trial and demo versions of music software, M-Audio’s strong partnerships with AIR Music Technology and Avid® allow each Axiom AIR 61, 49 and 25 model to come complete with two exclusive and complementary music creation applications: Ignite by AIR and Pro Tools® Express from Avid.

By removing many of the hurdles associated with computer-based music-making, Ignite delivers the most streamlined means to quickly capture your best musical ideas.
According to AIR Product Manager Samara Winterfeld, “Ignite was designed from the ground up to provide instant integration and controller mapping with Axiom AIR and
every M-Audio keyboard. This is one less thing a musician has to worry about when inspiration strikes.”

M-Audio @ Scan.

Akai Max 25 & 49

Two new controller keyboards announced at NAMM by Akai today. The Max 25 & 49 have all your normal features and a handful of sliders & pads for to cater for your controller needs, plus both of them come with one additional rather suprising feature of a CV gate!

 

 

Akai Max 25MAX25

Compact USB/MIDI/CV Keyboard Controller

  • 25 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 4 LED touch faders
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VSTs
  • 8 MPC pads, MPC Note Repeat, and MPC Swing
  • 4 pad banks, 4 fader banks: 64 assignable pads, faders, and buttons
  • Step sequencer and expanded arpeggiator
  • CV & Gate outputs (1V/Oct), Mackie Control® and HUI® modes

Akai MAX 49

 

AKAI MAX49

USB/MIDI/CV Keyboard Controller

  • Now includes Avid® Pro Tools® Express
  • 49 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 8 LED touch faders
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VSTs
  • 12 MPC pads, MPC Note Repeat, and MPC Swing
  • 4 pad banks, 4 fader banks: 176 assignable pads, faders, and buttons
  • Step sequencer and expanded arpeggiator
  • CV & Gate outputs (1V/Oct), Mackie Control® and HUI® modes

Akai Hardware @ Scan

Korg KRONOS for Christmas?

KRONOS for CHRISTMAS?

So, its nearly that time of year. That time of year when professional musicians face the age old conundrum….new gear for Christmas?

You see, most gigging musicians know that at this time of the year, there are usually more and better paid gigs, which means a touch more money in the coffers, but also, it’s a time when you think long and hard about your gear. Would I sound a LOT better if I had the latest ‘so & so’ from ‘such a company’….. If I sounded a lot better, would I get more gigs, If I got more gigs, the new gear would have paid for itself in no time, and actually, by not getting the latest kit, I’m harming my core business etc.

And so, it is, that eventually the Pro musician will convince himself he has to have the latest piece of kit, and as far as we’re concerned, for Pro Keyboards players, it’s the new KORG KRONOS X.

So what are you getting in real terms?

Let’s have a look at what they say, and what it means to you……

 

 

KRONOS X Highlights

They say:

“Peerless synthesizer containing nine sound engines, such as realistic piano, richly expressive electric piano, tonewheel organ, digital synthesis, and powerful analog/physical modeling.”

We say:

Actually, this is the crux of the matter. Whilst soft synth and samplers like Kontakt, undoubtedly have the edge in terms of string and brass sounds, just because of the sheer huge size of the libraries and the amount of processing power available to your average audio PC or MAC, in terms of Pianos, Electric Pianos and Organs, there is very little if any difference between the top end Software versions and the onboard sounds within KRONOS. They are just uniformly excellent. To accurately capture the rich character of a concert piano, Korg abandoned working within the limitations of existing sampling methods and took advantage Virtual Memory Technology (VMT), able to play large samples directly from the internal high-capacity Solid State Disk (SSD).

Whether you’re playing  Rock, Pop, Jazz or Restaurant music, these are some of the best  keyboard samples available. Korg have such a long history of wrestling and squeezing samples to get the very best out of them, that now they have the luxury of Gigabytes of sample RAM, (Approximately 2GB of available PCM RAM and a doubled SSD capacity of 62 GB ) they are just superb at  tailoring the sounds, and I would defy anyone to not find a usable Piano, E.Piano or Organ from the vast palette available in KRONOS.

 

They say:

“16-part Combis allow all engines to function together in perfect harmony;”

We say:

Again. This is one of the key strengths to the KRONOS and its compatriots.

Yes, it’s perfectly possible to combine different soft synths within a DAW, and to play them all on MIDI channel 1, but hardly anyone ever does, and yet, the bods at Korg have been doing this for decades. At first it was an attempt to bolster some fairly weedy Programs sounds into a fatter, more usable whole, but as memory size has increased, and the Programs themselves have become  hugely powerful sounding in their own right, the Combi’s have allowed the programmers to take some very cool (and in some cases, weird) flights of fancy.

On a more practical level, for the gigging musician, the ability to split a keyboard into say, Bass in the Left hand and Piano in the right, is a necessity, and the nice thing about the Kronos, is auditioning/changing the various voices is a doddle.

 

They Say:

“On-board sequencer offers 16 MIDI tracks + 16 audio tracks (24-bit, 48kHz recording quality)”

We Say:

For those of us blessed enough to run fully fledged DAWS on powerful computers with large, multiple monitors. The idea of the old ‘workstation’ type sequencer seems antiquated and laughable, but hold on, and take a closer look. As with everything else, the sequencer has actually borrowed from the best of what’s gone before, and is now a very usable and powerful tool. The 16-track audio recorder simultaneously captures up to four tracks of 16-bit/24-bit uncompressed data at a sampling rate of 48 kHz, it has mixer automation and editing functions such as copy, paste, and normalize, and a USB CD-burner so you could assemble your album right from the TouchView display.

 

They say:

“Open Sampling System – Instant sampling and resampling from any mode:”

We say:

It’s true, and very, very powerful, once you’ve got your head around it.

You can use KRONOS to sample an external audio source, or to resample the performance of the KRONOS itself. User samples can be edited using operations such as truncate, normalize, time stretch, or time slice. Edited samples can also be exported in AIFF or WAVE format. You can also load external samples in AIFF, WAVE, SoundFont 2.0, and AKAI S1000/3000 formats via USB memory. By loading samples that you’ve previously created on other instruments or on a PC, you can set up your music production system on the KRONOS.

Essentially, you just need to put the time in to get to know your instrument. Once you’ve seen the Korg ‘power-users’ getting the kind of results you’d expect from a fully fledged DAW, you’ll be very surprised at the amount of creativity this offers you.

 

They say:

Sophisticated KARMA® technology generates infinitely variable performance-driven phrases, musical effects, and backing tracks to catalyze your creativity

We say:

Monkey Nuts.

Seriously.                                       

Monkey Nuts……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They say:

“Set List mode: Organize the Programs, Combis, and Songs you need to perform your set in a single, easy-to-select screen – including performance notes!”

We say:

Phenomenal idea. For any gigging musician, especially if playing solo, this is an absolute Godsend.

Again, you need to learn how to drive it, but this is so good.

Essentially, you can load up your various Combi’s ,Presets, Programs etc. IN THE ORDER YOU’RE GONNA NEED THEM!!!!

So, for example if your first song relies on a Huge Electronic Pad with a cutting edge high synth lead line, and your second needs to feature a lush Grand Piano with backing strings, you can just programme whatever you need into your setlist, hit the track name, and Voila, the sounds you need are there right away. None of the struggling changing patches and jabbing frantically at buttons of old, just a seamless transition between songs, and because of the Smooth Sound Transition feature, the notes will flow from one to the other without a hitch or glitch.

Also, if someone, changes the set-list on the fly, it’s as easy as just picking the correct song name.

Very cool.

They say:

  • Direct support for playing drums and chords from Korg pad-equipped USB controllers, including the nanoPAD, nanoPAD2, padKONTROL; general support for all class-compliant USB controllers, including the Korg nano series and microKEY series
  • Support for the KRONOS Editor and Plug-in Editor software
  • USB Ethernet adapter compatibility enables high-speed data communication between the KRONOS X and your computer.

We say:

Does what it says on the tin. Complete communication between control devices, your computer and their own editing software. Can’t ask for any more.

They say:

“Comprehensive interface, based around a large 8” TFT TouchView™ display”

We say:

Hallelujah! The biggest and best touch screen of the whole range. Very easy to see everything you need, and very intuitive to use.

 

So, will you do it?

Will you allow yourself to indulge this Christmas?

Well here’s one final Cherry on the Christmas Pud.

It’s just come down in price.  LN46685

Happy Christmas to you.

You deserve it.