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
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
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.
380 MB for the Nord Sample Library
Powerful Classic analog, 3 Operator FM and Wavetable synthesis
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.
With the start of what is perhaps the largest show in the music tech calender only days away the announcements are starting to pick up. In what can only be described as a shotgun approach, Roland takes no prisoners by announcing all their product in one deft swoop.
We’ve had a look through what’s on display and in amongst the guitar pedals & performance keyboards the are a few bits that grab our interest.
Roland Duo Capture MKII
The audio interfaces of course were always going to be the obvious ones. Expanding on the current range of durable recording options we have two new units the first being the Roland Duo Capture.
The beauty of smaller interfaces is that everything you need to know is probably on show in those two images; for the full run down however keep reading:
Small, convenient audio interface for mobile musicians
Compatible with Mac and PC; iPad compatibility via Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit
1/4-inch MIC/GUITAR input with Hi-Z switch for connecting a guitar directly
1/8-inch stereo input; 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch dual headphone outputs
Dedicated controls for input and output volume
Low-latency ASIO (Windows) and Core Audio (Mac) drivers; input monitor function
USB bus powered
Cakewalk SONAR X1 LE for Windows included
Roland Studio Capture
Now we get a bit more interesting. When Focusrite announced their new interface last week we mentioned a lack of choice when it comes to interfaces with loads of mic inputs for a reasonable price point. The Roland Studio Capture has 12 of them in a 2U USB based rack solution…. that’s a lot of inputs for a unit of this kind.
Once again the pictures give you a good idea of what we can expect here but its certainly worth going into more detail as the is a lot of features crammed into rather tight space.
High-performance USB 2.0 audio interface for studio and mobile production
16 audio inputs and 10 audio outputs, including 12 premium mic preamps (VS PREAMP)
VS STREAMING delivers ultra-stable, low-latency driver performance for Windows and Mac
AUTO-SENS intelligently sets optimal input levels for all preamps
Individual input/output meters and input channel buttons
Four independent, software-controlled monitor mixes
XLR monitor out, direct monitor, and dual headphone outputs with independent front-panel level knobs
Coaxial digital I/O; MIDI I/O with FPT
Expand your I/O by using two STUDIO-CAPTUREs together, both controlled with a single driver
2U rackmount ears included
I have to say we’re looking forward to seeing how this one does when it lands and at what price point. It offers a lot and at the right price could prove attactive to a lot of studios in various recording senarios.
So the obvious stuff out of the way, what else do we like the look of? Well we saw some inital details on this a few weeks back and it pop’d up on a few peoples want list on the staff here in Scan. It’s a portable set of V-Drums, whats not to love?
Renowned V-Drums sound and quality in an ultra-portable mobile kit
Innovative folding design for quick, compact breakdown and easy transport/storage
Includes TD-4 Percussion Sound Module, loaded with expressive sounds, Coach and Quick Record/Play functions, and more
Eight pads total: kick, snare, toms x3, hi-hat, crash and ride cymbals; FD-8 Hi-Hat Controller included
Snare and tom pads feature cushioned-rubber surfaces for natural playing feel
Options: custom carrying case (CB-TDP); mesh-head snare pad (PDX-6 / PDX-8); pad mount (MDH-12); drum accessory package (DAP-3X); drum mat (TDM series)
Small, lightweight and portable with the added bonus of being silent once you add headphones. For people living in locations where a large amount of noise could be problematic during practice, this kit offers up an ideal solution. Perfect if your living in a city center flat and don’t want to give up your sticks!