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Taylor

Taylor
January 26, 2014

NAMM 2014 | Arturia BeatStep

Arturia have been impressing us consistently from the Spark and SparkLE controllers to their foray into the analog synthesizer market with the MiniBrute and MicroBrute. Their products are incredibly inexpensive which makes them a great go to brand for a great mix of quality, reliability, and affordability. Their latest addition to the line is a sequencer controller dubbed the Arturia BeatStep.

With sixteen pads and sixteen knobs, all of which are completely assignable to nearly any DAW, you can have total control over your software and DAW controls. It includes MIDI, USB, and CV connectivity making it a very versatile controller. With a street price of $99 and a March release date, you can expect many folks to be talking more about this throughout the year. Check out the video above where Rebecca from Arturia walks us through the features on the BeatStep and let us know what you think …

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Taylor

Taylor
January 3, 2014

Our 10 Picks for Best Music Tech of 2013

There were a lot of great new musical instruments, audio software developments, and music technology that came out this year. As NAMM 2014 approaches, we wanted to take a retrospective look at some of our favorite releases from the past year. While this is not an exhaustive list, and there were certainly some things that got left off, we encourage you to post your amendments in the comments below so we can all revel in all of the great releases of 2013. As we gear up to cover all the secret new products from NAMM 2014, here are our top 10 picks of 2013 in no particular order.

Ableton Push & Ableton Live 9

Arguably one of the top releases this year was the Ableton Push controller as well as the update to Ableton Live 9. The Push controller was one of the most talked about pieces at Winter …

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Taylor

Taylor
August 9, 2013

Traktor Kontrol Z1 Review

We could call this the year of the modular DJ controllers. There are only a handful of companies putting out new, all in one, DJ controllers because frankly there are very few design improvements that warrant making a whole new controller. Instead we are beginning to see more and more modular setups to accommodate a new era of DJ. A DJ that can show up to a gig with a couple of very small modular controllers and an iPad or small laptop. For the more discriminating DJ this may be seen as dark time for the craft, but for the more forward thinking performer this opens doors to a whole new level of possibilities.

Those posibilites are becoming much more streamlined as evidenced by the latest controller from Native Instruments with the Traktor Kontrol Z1. This two channel DJ mixer, soundcard, and MIDI controller can connect to your computer …

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paul

Paul
January 11, 2013

Arturia MiniBrute Overview

If you read much about the Arturia MiniBrute in synth forums, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the most absurdly elitist of synth snobs saying anything bad about it. While it is their first foray into proper analog hardware, Arturia have brought into the world a tough little synth with features not often aligned with the price point of the MiniBrute. They have been hard to get ahold of, but I finally picked up one during the brief second we had them in stock.

One of the nicer features that I don’t really touch on during this brief overview video is the aftertouch. While I mention it in passing, I don’t go on and on about just how rad aftertouch on an affordable analog synth is. So let me do it here: OMG YOU GUYS!!!! AFTERTOUCH!!!!

That said, it really is quite a nice option to have …

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Taylor

Taylor
December 12, 2012

Akai MAX 49 Keyboard Controller Overview

inMusic, the parent company that owns Numark, Alesis, and Akai, has been pretty busy this year. All three of their leading companies have been releasing much of the gear featured at Winter NAMM 2012 and teased through YouTube videos and company press releases. Gear like the Numark 4TRAK, the Alesis QX line of MIDI keyboard controllers, and the very popular Akai Synthstation 49 and MPC Renaissance. In addition to releasing tons of new gear this year they also acquired formerly AVID owned M-Audio to round out their line of professional audio equipment. We will likely see more from inMusic this year at Winter NAMM 2013 in January and we will have plenty to report from the show room floor.

We first saw the Akai MAX 49 almost a year ago at Winter NAMM 2012 and our first impression was that the MAX 49 was a collection of improvements …