This Video Demonstrates How Akai’s New Keyboard Controls Everything

It’s a horse race. Two keyboards – one from Native Instruments, one from AKAI – really want to be the interface between you and every plug-in you own. And we’re getting closer to find out if either deserves your attention. You’ve heard this story before. Sure, you have powerful software on your computer screen. But when you want physical control of those instruments beyond just playing keys, you’re left either manually mapping controls or reaching for your mouse or trackpad. So, over the years various solutions have tried to solve this automagically. There was Automap, seen in Propellerhead Reason and …


How Akai Advance Could Best NI’s Komplete Kontrol in Smart Keyboards

Smart keyboard controllers that integrate with software have been something various makers have tried frequently over the years, with various degrees of success. Propellerhead helped lead the way with Automap in Reason, which could cleverly link on-screen controls to devices. But by the time this was translated to multiple pieces of software, the resulting “automatic” features could be harder to use on than off. I tried at various points Novation’s ReMOTE, M-Audio’s Axiom Pro, and Cakewalk’s A-PRO keyboards, and found them all to be perfectly nice hardware – once I gave up and turned the automatic stuff off and just …


The Riser Synth Makes it Easy to Make Ridiculous EDM Rises, Drops; Try it Free

The Riser, the new synth from German developer AIR, isn’t shy about what it’s for. This is a synth to make rises and drops aimed squarely at EDM fans. Dial up presets, turn some knobs, and sync up absurd rhythmic builds, like pumping chart-topping performance-enhancing drugs into your music. What makes it interesting is, it’s a synth. It isn’t another sample library, so you can actually control the results and make something original. And if that’s what you want to do, you can do it right now for free – sort of. There’s a 2-week unlimited demo version – but …


M-Audio’s Trigger Finger Pro, in Videos: Think Three Devices in One

M-Audio’s first Trigger Finger might be the most ubiquitous controller in laptop music. Pads, faders, knobs. It was almost a stupidly simple equation, but it caught on. The Trigger Finger Pro is something different. It takes on three roles: 1. It’s a controller for included software. If you want hands-on control of software right away, M-Audio has bundled tools that integrate directly with the controller: there’s Arsenal, a kind of drum sampler-style tool M-Audio calls a “production hub,” AIR Drums, a dedicated drum module, and Hybrid 3, a very lovely synth, plus loads of sample content. But what sets Trigger …


Kinect Hacking, Now in Next-Level Halloween Decorations

Kinect Ghosts from Ben Guerrette on Vimeo. Just how significant is the impact of Kinect and computer vision? Enough so that trick-or-treating kids might get to play a video game by waving their hands in front of someone’s garage. Which part of “we’re living in the future” did you not get, precisely? Ben Guerrette writes CDM: Here’s a short video of a Kinect project I put together for the Halloween Trick or Treaters. I turned my garage into a giant video game. Well, kind of. I just projected in it. It’s a simple “get the ghost” game where up to …


M-Audio, Freshly Parted from Avid, Already Has a New Line of Axiom MIDI Controllers [Images]

Well, it didn’t take M-Audio long to get over that breakup. The world’s most ubiquitous brand of USB MIDI keyboards is out this summer with a refresh to its Axiom line of USB MIDI keyboards, hot on the heels of announcing they’re no longer part of Avid. They’ll now share branding with A.I.R., the German virtual instrument developer that, along with M-Audio, is moving from former parent Avid to inMusic, sharing that corporate owner with the likes of Akai and Alesis. The family shares some features: HyperControl automatic mapping. (I’ve had equal measures praise and frustrated criticism for such things, …


M-Audio, AIR Join Akai, Alesis, Numark at inMusic: Q&A With New Owners, and a Timeline

M-Audio honored its Midiman roots with an anniversary edition of their (quite useful) MIDI interface line. Photo courtesy Avid. So, you own M-Audio and/or AIR stuff. You want to know what this means as Avid sells those makers to a new owner, right? M-Audio and AIR (formerly Wizoo) this week end their time as subsidiaries of Avid, and take on a new life at a parent entity now called inMusic. (That company has been known to us for some time as the home of brands like Akai, Alesis, and Numark, among others.) There’s a business story here, of course – …


Handheld Visuals: Lo-Res Animated Drawing Tool, and the Goodness of AIR for Android

Bridge Invaders Basics from Momo the Monster on Vimeo. Today, Adobe announced the availability of AIR apps in the Android Market. A quick refresher: AIR is Adobe’s runtime environment for Flash Platform applications. It allows Flash movies to run as closer-to-first-class citizens – they can get access to system hardware like the accelerometer, save/load files, run in fullscreen AND allow keyboard use, and more. I’ve been developing in AIR for the last year or so, and I’ve just released my first Android app, Bridge Invaders: It’s a lo-res animation application, originally designed as a full-size video installation. I was able …


Free Generative MIDI with Cellular Automata, Built in AIR

Cellular AutoMidi is a generative music making app, making use of a modified version of the ever-popular Cellular Automata algorithm – a simple evolutionary model on a grid that works nicely for sequencers. (See, among many others, Lazyfish’s legendary NEWSCHOOL for Reaktor, and Audio Damage’s Automaton.) Cellular Automata is nothing new, but here, you get to see it as an AIR/Flash app, which means a modular CA-based creation you can drop anywhere. (More on the cross-platform details after the jump.) And hey, if we can have countless step sequencers, why not countless cellular automata step sequencers? The project is developed …


Free Plug-ins for a Free Visual App: Flash-Based Onyx VJ Plugs Get a Blog

Batchass has added a new blog which will feature new plug-ins for Onyx VJ, the free and open source VJ app built in Flash / Flex / AIR. With the possibility of support for Adobe’s new Pixel Bender, this is all getting pretty interesting. (And because of the Adobe architectures beneath, that means creations can have a life on the Web, as with Processing and Java.) Batchass Code I also like Batchass’ tagline, “electro-rock VJ.” Oh, yeah.