January 3, 2014
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 …
November 1, 2013
It’s been quite a long time since we have seen anything drastically new from the Native Instruments line of Maschine groove production controllers. Sure we got the Maschine Mikro and two new versions with the MK2 line, but these added only slight improvements to workflow and left a lot of active Maschine users (myself included) wondering if there was ever going to be anything substantially different on the horizon. Well those questions can now be answered with the latest controller in the Maschine line, the Maschine Studio.
There are tons of new features on the Maschine Studio which, in my opinion, really improve the sound design process because it gets your eyes and your hands off the computer screen and mouse and onto the actual controller. That’s not to say that this was not achievable on the Maschine MK2 or even the first Maschine, but it was not perfect. …
August 9, 2013
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 …
March 14, 2013
Forums, news feeds, social media networks, and email in boxes lit up Monday with the announcement from Native Instruments that their immensely popular Komplete software instrument suite will be getting an update from version 8 to the new version 9. This comes nearly two years after the Komplete 8 update which came out in the late summer of 2011. The official release of Komplete 9 is March 27th but we now know what instruments and effects will be included in the update which you can read in detail here.
The big question for most of us is: Should we bother upgrading? Are we going to be getting anything worthwhile out of this update? While reading these forums, blogs, and social media posts, I began to notice that there was a lot of disdain mixed with “yeah whatever” when it comes to this release, and rightfully so. Many of the instruments and effects that are …
February 26, 2013
So I bought Traktor DJ for iPad Thursday.
Before I go any further I want to say again that I bought it Thursday. At the time of writing, it is Monday the following week. When I bought the product, I was thinking “I’ll just bang around with it, test out the sync functionality, set a few loops and cue points, and bang out a quick review for the blog.” That didn’t happen for two reasons:
1) I really dragged my feet on the whole “leaving Snow Leopard” thing. Snow Leopard was fine. I wanted to stay there. Over recent months, this or that driver update excluded me and I realized the day was coming when someone would force my hand. NI were the someone, and 2.6.1 was the update to do it. Mac users will want to note that full use of the app’s functionality with Traktor Pro 2.6.1 requires …