@AES: PreSonus’ New Handheld Audio Interface, Fully Plugged

AES updates through the week — problem with being at the show is, it doesn’t leave much time to write about the show! -PK Let’s face it: what most people need for computer audio is just an easy way of plugging in a mic or guitar or two. Presonus’ new Inspire 1394 is a bus-powered FireWire “handheld” computer audio interface that gives you just that, plus a real phono input for connecting a turntable. All under $200 street, with the usual bundled software (Cubase LE and Acid XMC) and some nice plugins from Audio Damage, Camel, Cycling ’74, and Voxengo). …

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Numark’s $99 Portable Turntable, Torture Tested in the Burning Man Desert

CDM’s resident spinner, DJ Eldorado, brings us a review of Numark’s ultra-portable, US$99 turntable, the PT01. But he didn’t just see if it could pass muster in his bedroom: he preferred more extreme conditions. Here’s his full review:

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iPod Nano Still Not a Recorder; Portable Recording Alternatives [Updated]

Yet another iPod . . . yet another iPod without real recording capability. (And no, adding a piece of hardware and then having to deal with low-resolution recording does not count.) So while Nano is certainly deeply drool-worthy for listening, wouldn’t it be great to have an iPod-like device for recording? Here are some of your options: Hack your iPod. iPodLinux unlocks full-resolution, uncompressed audio recording with no additional hardware; it works best with a line out plugged into the headphone port but mic recording works, too (though the signal winds up being on the weak side). Installation on Windows …

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Mindprint Trio: Audio Interface/FX Good for Mobile Music?

A USB audio interface these days is about as exciting as a pair of knee socks, and unlike the latter, you don’t really need multiples. But this particular box is actually interesting. Trio USB [Mindprint] First, the Trio delivers all the hardware effects you’d need in a channel strip: mic inputs, low-cut filter, “vintage” 2-band EQ, compressor. And there’s plenty of I/O here, connecting via USB 2.0. Second, this box has what’s missing on so many audio interfaces: three assignable speaker outs and two separate headphone outs with headphone amps. Mindprint is marketing this as a recording solution, but I’m …

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Gemini iKey Recorder: BYO Hard Drive (Huh?)

Here’s a novel solution to the need for portable recording: the new Gemini iKey lets you leave the computer at home for recording, but only provided you connect your own USB hard drive. (See Harmony Central; nothing posted at Gemini’s site as I write this.) The good news: it only costs US$229 and lets you connect however much hard drive space you need. The bad news: you’ll have to lug two boxes to record, and this only includes RCA connectors — no XLR ins, so you can’t record from microphones (or a lot of other things from that matter). Bottom …

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PSP Rhythm Composer: Roland-Style Drum Machine / PSPKick Update

There’s now not just one but two drum machines for the Sony PSP handheld game system. The new PSP Rhythm Composer is a simple drum machine with a Roland TR-style interface: PSP Rhythm Composer for PSP [ matrixsynth ] In the meantime, PSP Kick has a new Flash-based Website, though it’s more Flash, less substance. On the bright side, they’ve got new forums up, and promise upcoming sound packs and skins. (See previous story: PSP Kick) So the PSP homebrew community has come up with two drum machines while the Nintendo DS folks have come up with squat. (Any leads, …

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Rack-Mounted Mac Mini Keyboard/Guitar Rig with LCD (Part I)

Christopher Scheidel has created an impressive Mac Mini-based rig for playing keyboards and guitars. He’s documented the whole process at his site Heavylift. There’s a lot to be learned there about how to do it yourself (including taking advantage of cheap LCDs for display), but here are the basic specs: Hardware: Apple Mac Mini 1.2G G4 / 1 G RAM, Bluetooth, 802.11g, 40G HD Apple Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard Belkin USB extender eBayed Lilliput 2″ LCD screen ($5 + $25 shipping; replaced a larger touchscreen when it died!) Calzone 4U rack MOTU 828 mk II audio interface M-Audio Radium 61 …

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Korg D4 Compact Flash Four-Track USB Portable Recorder

Up in the sky: it’s a Zoom! It’s a 4-track Portastudio! No, it’s a CompactFlash-based 4-track recorder from Korg. Yes, the march of CF-based recorders continues. Hot on the heels of last week’s look at sub-$400 recorders, here’s another one — with a twist. The Korg D4 is a “complete portable studio,” not just a field recorder. Basically, it’s a four-track with built-in mic, metronome, drum patterns, effects, mic/amp models, MPEG-1 recording and USB out. Here are the full specs: 4 tracks simultaneous recording, 32 virtual tracks 1/4″ and XLR inputs for line, guitar, or mic Low-quality (to save space) …

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PDA Music: Theremin Apps for Palm, PocketPC

Cris (aka atariboy) sends us Theremin emulators for your PDA — it’s theremin to go. Cris writes: Pete Moss ThereMini (US$10): This guy has a Theremin emulator with MIDI out, no less! For PalmOS on his Palm software page. Got a PocketPC? check out Clanger. (Free) You can even change the tremelo rate and decay time. Cool stuff. Got an app you love for your Palm, PocketPC, or phone? Let us know. (Okay, my current favorite phone app is the “off” function, but how about you?)

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NAMM: The “HD” MiniDisc – 1GB Recorders from Sony

Still like your recorded media removable? A 1GB MiniDisc is just US$7 — meaning you can stock up on them a lot more easily than you can CompactFlash cards. While previous MiniDisc recorders suffered from fidelity loss and timing issues due to their ATRAC compression, new Hi-MD recorders use standard uncompressed PCM. Sony has two new Hi-MD recorders (via Harmony Central): the MZ-M100 and MZ-M10. They include stereo mics, USB connections for PC or Mac, and rechargeable batteries. You sacrifice a lot: 16-bit/44.1 kHz only (not even 48 kHz for video work), no mic pres, no digital in. I can’t …

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