Before the desktop digital audio studio there was the Portastudio. Originally recording to cassette tapes, the system ushered in the era of “everyone can do it.” Over three decades later the concept still lives on, but now the fragile tapes and hard drives have been replaced with solid state SD cards as the recording medium.
It’s been over twenty years since Casio has made a synthesizer for the pro market, but at NAMM 2012 they announced the XW-P1 and XW-G1, two competitively-priced, yet very capable keyboards that have a lot to offer. Make no mistake, Casio is back, and they’re back in a big way.
Musicians, DJs and producers use hardware controllers to get away from using a mouse and computer keyboard to interact with their music software. A good controller transforms the act of digital music production into a more natural, tactile experience.
The new MicroBook II from MOTU stands as a substantial upgrade over its original ultra-compact audio interface. All of the little touches that the original model needed have been added. The result is a super backpack-friendly interface that provides you with pristine sound quality for both mobile and studio recording.
Blue is a maker of fine microphones, well known for their excellent sound quality and unique industrial design. In 2011, Blue released an affordable studio microphone with a standard, analog XLR output called the Blue Spark.
As the music industry hastens its march into the digital age of home-audio production, Akai Professional continues to deliver more flexible and affordable USB/MIDI keyboard controllers that work intuitively with your favorite music software.
Blue has a reputation for making quality microphones with visually striking designs, and the freshly announced Tiki USB Microphone is no exception. The Tiki is less than 3" long, and it connects directly to the USB port of your Mac or PC.
IK Multimedia unleashed a fresh batch of new iOS and iPad-centric accessories at NAMM 2012, which can help you do everything, from recording excellent-quality sound directly into your Apple device, to mixing songs on separate media players with a purpose-built iPad hardware DJ mixer.
The Akai MPC line of drum machines is legendary, beginning with the original MPC60 through its numerous hardware incarnations. Produced in collaboration with designer Roger Linn, the MPC line combines MIDI sequencing and audio sampling into a complete drum production environment.
The new Universal Audio Apollo advances the technology of computer audio interfaces in two significant ways: it offers integrated duo or quad core real time UAD plug-in processing, and it’s the first audio interface to offer the option to connect through an über-fast Thunderbolt port.
At the 2012 NAMM show, in Anaheim, California, Acorn Instruments announced the Acorn Triple-D10. It’s a complete five-piece set (kick, snare and three toms) and it creates a compelling new option for beginners and intermediate players in the $500 price range.
Shure has just announced two new models in its SRH series of professional headphones: the SRH1440 and SRH1840. These headphones are designed for critical listening and mastering purposes, and are ideal for use in studios.