MicroBook-IIc-iso

MOTU’s MicroBook mobile audio interface now works on iPad, Linux

The iPad has matured into a serious musical instrument and production tool. So it only makes sense to give it a serious audio interface. Now you can add to the list of candidates MOTU’s MicroBook IIc. MOTU announced this week their mobile interface is class-compliant, which means you can use it with the iPad. Since powering an audio interface would drain the iPad’s battery, you’ll instead connect this device via USB and the anachronistically-named Camera Connection Kit adapter, then use the AC power adapter in the box for juice. (It’s bus-powered on other devices.)

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mpctouch

Akai MPC Touch is an MPC with a multi-touch screen

MPC lovers, you finally get a piece of hardware with everything in one place: touch, color displays, pads, buttons for workflow access. There’s just one catch: you will still need the computer. Ever looked at those beautiful color waveforms on Native Instruments’ Traktor and Maschine controller and wished you could touch the screen? Imagined pinching to zoom waveforms and navigate samples, the way you can on an iPad? Well, Akai are the first to do groove-making hardware that combines physical pads and a touchscreen in one unit – no iPads (or Microsoft Surfaces) in sight.

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Finally, Connect a USB Hub and Audio in One Gadget, on Laptop or iPad

File this directly under “why has no one done this properly before?” One of the few remaining annoyances in computer music making is just getting connected. First, you need an audio interface to get proper sound and headphone cueing. Then, you’ve got all this great gear for control – but where to put it? Macs and even many new PCs have few USB ports (especially ultrathin notebooks like the MacBook Air). Yes, it’s about time someone combined a practical audio interface with a USB hub. Focusrite/Novation seem to be the right folks for the job. Focusrite’s audio interfaces are some …

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Numark NV for Serato: Every Digital DJ Control Method in One Box?

In the digital age, the metaphor for DJing has been fragmented. You’ve got big wheels, but they represent missing turntables and don’t provide visual feedback. You’ve got CDJs, but then the waveform and the wheel are still separate. You’ve got vinyl records, but then you have to look at a computer screen to see where you are in the track. (A recent presentation at the NIME conference projected images on the record – see below – but projectors lack enough resolution for cue points on the vinyl.) The iPad is the one device that seems to get it right. It …

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It's not a monster combining everything in a giant, coffin-sized case. Instead, the Z2 focuses in on 2-channel mixing and controls, and integrates with Traktor.

A Mixer, A Soundcard, a Controller: NI Traktor Kontrol Z2, Examined [Gallery, Details]

Native Instruments is continuing their hardware attack with a new device that combines three tools: controller, mixer, audio interface. Those knobs and faders control software, as an integrated controller for Traktor, but internally, the Kontrol Z2 is also a mixer and computer soundcard. It’s geared primarily for Traktor users, of course, but with pricing under a grand and support for MIDI and audio with any software, it’ll be interesting to see if this sort of all-in-one design appeals to users of other DJ and performance tools. The Z2 is unique in that it’s a 2+2 mixer. It’s not the first …

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track16front

MOTU Track16: Finally, Slim-Line Audio Interface That Doesn’t Sacrifice I/O? [Preview]

Try a little thought experiment. In one column, write down everything you want in an audio interface. You probably come up with things like physical controls, proper meters so you can see levels, and lots of ins and outs (including digital and MIDI). Now, in another column, describe what you want it to look like. (You can draw a picture.) There are interfaces that will satisfy the whole wish list of the first category. But very often, they come in a big, hulking rack-mount case – actually perfectly ideal for dedicated studios or people who tour with a truck, but …

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A DIY iPad Audio Dock, with Instructions, from Father of Circuit Bending Reed Ghazala

What are those alien, otherworldly sounds coming out of the iPad? That’s not GarageBand. It’s what happens when Reed Ghazala, the father of circuit bending some decades ago, meets the iPad. Not that it’s his first encounter with products from Apple – he’s been approaching that company’s hardware as he does everything else, prying unexpected life with modifications and experimentation. But just as “circuit bending” need not be seen as “breaking,” here, too, Ghazala’s modifications make the device more humane, more musical, and – for all the shouting about how the design is perfect – far, far more usable. A …

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mox8

Yamaha’s MOX: Recession-Friendly, More Portable MOTIF Keyboards; Computer Workflows

While Roland this week is pushing their JP-80 and celebrating a 30-year milestone (the Jupiter-8), Yamaha has a different tack. They’re talking about the 10-year anniversary of the MOTIF workstation line, and introducing a version that’s actually easier to lift and afford. That could be friendly to the current economic tough times. But with all that people love their software synths, can Yamaha make a compelling case to the computer user, too? I put Yamaha on the spot to answer that. First, here are the specs: MOTIF XS sounds, with 1,217 voices and 355 MB of waveforms. (Okay, that’s nothing …

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audioexpress

Mixing and Audio Interface, in the $450 MOTU Audio Express

The competition for your audio interface dollar is pretty heated these days, but MOTU’s latest – the Audio Express – packs a pretty impressive feature set for something costing US$449 list. It’s both a 6×6 audio interface and a mixer, with standalone mixer functionality so you can mix signals from the front-panel knobs without a computer attached. It also has connectivity features generally seen only in pricier, physically-larger boxes. MOTU tells CDM the quality is equal to their higher-end offerings, and other rivals in the $500-800 range. MOTU winds up on my short list as far as hardware that makes …

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Pro Tools with Mackie Hardware: Avid Makes Deal to Okay Link

http://cdm.link/files/2009/09/mackie820i_thumb.jpg”> It’s long been the case that if you wanted to run Pro Tools, you needed hardware from Digidesign. That’s why it was a surprise when Mackie announced new audio interface-mixer hardware that they said they had made work with Pro Tools M-Powered, which previously worked only with M-Audio gear. Digidesign parent Avid had made statements that they would champion “openness,” but it wasn’t clear at the time if that would extent to allowing third-party gear to work with Avid’s software crown jewels. We get our answer today from LOUD. There is a catch – you’ll have to pay extra …

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