As digital music continues to explore new realms and push boundaries through EDM, dubstep, and the growing trend of the mash-up, the demand rises for creative, functional, and deeply customizable MIDI controllers for both programming and controlling your DAW.
Due to its compact size, cute design, and unusual layout, one may almost mistake the OP-1 Portable Synthesizer for a toy upon first glance. But, once you start to explore the depth of functionality that this piece has to offer, you begin to realize that phrases like “mini workstation,” “powerful synthesizer,” and “beast” are far more descriptive terms.
UK-based manufacturer nu-desine has just announced the AlphaSphere nexus, a unique, spherically shaped USB MIDI controller and musical instrument that has been designed to cater to the modern electronic musician.
Novation's popular Launchpad controller has been updated. The Launchpad S features brighter LEDs, a faster refresh rate, and full-MIDI class compliance so it can work with virtually any Mac- or PC-based audio software. In this video, Rob Rives takes a look at how it works.
There are many DJ controllers to choose from, but the VCI-400 from Vestax has a lot going for it. This solidly built but quite portable 4-deck controller connects to your Mac or PC via USB and features an excellent sounding built-in audio card.
It seems like eons ago, before digital media and the Internet forever changed the way we consume music, folks visited brick-and-mortar stores to purchase vinyl LPs and 45 rpm records. While there are signs that “vintage” analog is making a comeback, the fact remains that people nowadays mainly buy and listen to music on computers and portable electronic devices.
This year at NAMM, three industry heavyweights released full product lines of fresh gear. Akai, M-Audio and Alesis have all come forth with new and interesting products for 2013, ranging from a tiny 2-channel USB interface to full-featured electronic drum sets and microphones.
IK Multimedia just announced the new iRig BlueBoard, a MIDI pedalboard that lets you control music apps wirelessly with your feet, via Bluetooth. If you use music-making apps on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, the BlueBoard can profoundly change the way that you interact with your device.
Dubstep is a fairly new style of electronic music that’s dominated by sparse, reverberated beats and overpowering synthesized bass lines. In most forms of music, bass is pushed toward the back of the mix, but in Dubstep, it’s the unchallenged star of the show.
This B&H video reviews the Keith McMillen Instruments QuNeo 3D Multi-Touch Pad Controller. The QuNeo is an ultra-portable, light-up pad controller that offers touch recognition in multiple dimensions for drum programming, DJ-ing, VJ-ing, performing and more. It features 27 pads, sliders and rotary sensors that are pressure, velocity and location sensitive.
Apogee just announced the new Quartet, a USB 2.0 audio/MIDI interface that enables you to record up to 12 channels into an Apple computer, and will act as the centerpiece of your recording studio. Quartet features four combo-XLR inputs, each with a high-quality preamp for connecting microphones, instruments and line-level signals.
The original MIDI specification was established thirty years ago, and with some modifications has remained unchanged since then. Of course, its mere introduction revolutionized music creation in the early 1980s and cemented the use of electronics firmly in our musical lexicon.
Compact, desktop-style computer audio/MIDI interfaces have really grown in popularity over the past few years, and the new Track16 from MOTU is the latest, and perhaps the most compelling addition to the bunch.
The landscape of available MIDI controllers is crowded with plastic products that are mass produced to appeal to a broad and unfocused range of users, and the components used in these products are often compromised in order to price the products competitively.