Wild, Techie, Wonderful: NAMM’s Gear Delights [Gallery II]

Hardware and software continue to thrive (above). Pro audio lives on. People still make strange, wonderful products for tiny niches of people passionate about every element of sound. Marsha Vdovin is a veteran of the NAMM trade show like few people we know, so seeing the show through the eyes of her camera reveals some weirdness and wonderfulness we always appreciate. And Wonder Woman, too. Magic Kingdom, indeed. Gallery II, go! -Ed.

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Looks familiar, but that's a good thing. Pics courtesy MOTU.

MOTU 828x: A Favorite Audio Interface Gets Thunderbolt Treatment

The MOTU 828 series has been a workhorse if ever there was one. Since the very first model, its more-then-ample I/O, mixing, clocking, and design have made it a favorite in a market crowded with lots of fairly-similar audio interfaces. It’s just more versatile and has easier access to controls and metering than some of its rivals. That means the arrival of an 828 with Thunderbolt matters. The 828x still has USB 2.0, so you aren’t limited to Thunderbolt connections, and it supports both OS X and Windows. But when connected to Thunderbolt, you get some distinct advantages. The bus …

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Singing Circuits: Who Needs Synths When a No-Input Mixer Sounds This Gorgeous?

Hypnotic and chant-like, this Christian Carrière composition hums and vibrates with what sounds like a chorus of electronic synthesizers. But that’s not what you’re hearing. It’s actually all a “no-input mixer” – a rig that makes use of controlled feedback rather than any other source of sound. It is, as Montreal-based composer Christian describes it, the sound of the circuits inside the mixer singing. And while you may associate feedback with angry distortion, here it’s beautifully tranquil, the rich tones of the circuitry themselves transformed into oscillators. The patterns and layers are all made with a looper. 35-minute mix:

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Digital DJing: Serato Scratch Live is Dead; Long Live Serato DJ [In Depth]

Serato DJ With DVS is Here from Serato on Vimeo. Let’s not mince words: Serato’s DJ offerings had gotten confusing, and updates and compatibility lagged. This week, the company has changed the tune: there’s one Serato to support everything, and it’s coming soon. For controller users, that means being ready to go in October, thanks to vastly-expanded hardware compatibility. For digital vinyl users, things are still going somewhat slowly, but a beta will be available later this year with stability afterwards and broader support for hardware early next year. That means controller users are likely to switch this fall, with …

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Roland V-4EX: HDMI, RGB, SD Mixer Will Have US$1995 List

We’ve gotten more details on Roland Systems’ Group’s V-4EX mixer. This really is an evolution of the V-4 – and Roland apparently still views “V-4” to mean standard definition, meaning you’ll need to look elsewhere for internal HD mixing. But the V-4EX does deliver on connectivity, with functionality via things like HDMI, and all in the VJ-loved V-4 form factor. We also know the price: US$1995. The bad news: there are some design glitches, like putting tap tempo on a touchscreen. And you are limited to SD mixing, even with those HDMI ins and outs; everything is upscaled. I could …

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V-4 Video Mixer, Now HDMI: First Look at Roland's V-4EX

For years, the Roland V-4 was the battle axe of the VJ and visual performance scene. Not owning one almost meant you weren’t serious about playing. And the ubiquity of these at community events meant more collaborative and back-to-back sets. Then computers evolved past – and even dropped – composite/component analog video outs, and the V-4 was left behind. The V-8 was a step forward, but still couldn’t keep up with the shift in video ins and outs. At last, we get the Roland V-4EX. Like the original V-4, it’s a four-channel mixer with effects. And it shares the V-4’s …

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V-4 Video Mixer, Now HDMI: First Look at Roland’s V-4EX

For years, the Roland V-4 was the battle axe of the VJ and visual performance scene. Not owning one almost meant you weren’t serious about playing. And the ubiquity of these at community events meant more collaborative and back-to-back sets. Then computers evolved past – and even dropped – composite/component analog video outs, and the V-4 was left behind. The V-8 was a step forward, but still couldn’t keep up with the shift in video ins and outs. At last, we get the Roland V-4EX. Like the original V-4, it’s a four-channel mixer with effects. And it shares the V-4’s …

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Roland's V-4 Goes HD: V-40HD Multi-Format Mixer, Output Up to 1080p [Gallery]

At last, Edirol – now, make that Roland Systems Group – has a successor to the V-4 that works with HD inputs and outputs. The V-40HD is called “switcher,” but multi-format “mixer” would be just as apt. It handles resolutions up to 1080p, with a variety of inputs – including standard-def composite and component up to VGA and HDMI. Roland also mentions DVI-D, but to do that you’ll need to break out HDMI connections. (Only HDMI jacks are available on the hardware; see our gallery.) Our friend Grant Davis, aka VJ Culture, apparently has one, so we’re looking forward to …

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Roland’s V-4 Goes HD: V-40HD Multi-Format Mixer, Output Up to 1080p [Gallery]

At last, Edirol – now, make that Roland Systems Group – has a successor to the V-4 that works with HD inputs and outputs. The V-40HD is called “switcher,” but multi-format “mixer” would be just as apt. It handles resolutions up to 1080p, with a variety of inputs – including standard-def composite and component up to VGA and HDMI. Roland also mentions DVI-D, but to do that you’ll need to break out HDMI connections. (Only HDMI jacks are available on the hardware; see our gallery.) Our friend Grant Davis, aka VJ Culture, apparently has one, so we’re looking forward to …

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Hardware Mixer Maker Vixid Closes Shop, Will Shut Website

Vixid, boutique makers of the VJX hardware mixer line, have announced unexpectedly that they are closing all operations. This comes as a surprise to those of us who talked to them earlier this year about plans to release new hardware – a story seen here as recently as September. From their site: Dear users, dear partners, dear friends, Today, the VIXIDSARL’s venture is coming to an end. We are keen on saying goodbye to you, but above all thanking you.

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