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Putting the PC in MPC: The Next Akai Drum Machine, Numark DJ Products, on Windows Embedded

The dedicated drum machine is at a crossroads. Computer hybrids are simply capable of more than dedicated hardware – and that, in turn, has changed user expectations. You can go retro, as analog machines have done. You can go small, as boxes like the volca beats and upcoming Akai Rhythm Wolf do. You can stay the course, as Elektron does with their boxes. You can go hybrid, as Native Instruments’ Maschine, Arturia’s Spark, and Akai’s Renaissance and MPC Fly do. Or, there’s one other option. You could put the soul of a computer – and the touchscreen interface – in …


Leaks: Roland Aira-08 Will Be an Emulated, Digital 808 Synth

The “new” 808 successor from Roland will be modeled in digital form, possibly using virtual analog modeling, and perhaps with some sample sources. Roland’s Aira-08, as readers noted, is already leaking in product descriptions as a “virtual analog” synth. (Among other sources: there was a Dutch retailer that revealed the info, before removing the page.) Unless Roland has managed some epic disinformation campaign, that means you won’t see an analog remake as KORG did with their MS-20 last year. What you should expect instead is one that uses digital models to capture the sound of its predecessor, in a new …


Arturia Teases a New, Analog Mini-Keyboard; What We Know About IT (MicroBrute?)

Et tu, MicroBrute…us? It’s small, it’s analog, and it’s a follow-up to the MiniBrute – very likely, called the MicroBrute. Arturia has a new analog synth; they’re not talking details yet, instead posting a site with blurred-out photos and a countdown to a release date later this week. But between leaked information and images, and some tidbits from the teaser site, it’s not so hard to piece together a lot of details of the instrument they’re referring to only as “IT.” It’s definitely an analog synth with keys (seen in the blurred shots) in a compact form factor. It’s also: …

Let's talk about "decimation." Photo (CC-BY) Dale Gillard; explanation of the reason we're using Roman soldiers here... in the article.

New Version of Logic is Coming, Confirms Apple Pro Audio Exec; Nothing to See Here? [Opinion]

Apple tends to avoid commenting outside its famously-watertight public relations apparatus, but executives sometimes get personal. That appears to be the case for Xander Soren, Director of Product Marketing (and a key player in their pro audio apps). Xander has been in my experience an outspoken and articulate individual. Here, he dispels notions that Apple is backing off of Logic development: Nicholas, thanks for your email. As the lead for our music creation apps, I always want to hear what our users are thinking. I want to assure you the team is still in place and hard at work on …

Tradition, at least. Elektron's team isn't the same one that produced the Machinedrum, but the legacy leaves on. (CC-BY) Acid Pix.

Elektron Teases Its New Machine; In Music, Any Machine Will Do (Plus The Field’s Kitchen)

I hesitate to give teaser/hype campaigns extra words, but there’s simply too much anticipation about whatever Swedish hardware maker Elektron is doing to ignore it. The makers of Machinedrum, Monomachine, and Octatrack have a minisite through which they’re gradually trickling out teasers for whatever they’re doing next. The safest bet – particularly given the samples, the background image, and “tradition & future” moniker – is some kind of hardware combining the Octatrack and older drum machine design threads in some new gear. And given the Octatrack’s focus on sampling, a new generation on the synthesis side seems a no-brainer. Update: …


One More Teaser: KORG Kaoss in Store?

I think I’m going to have to start teasing random projects I’m doing, like taking a picture of the corner of a dirty dish before I do the dishes, or showing a corner of my shoe before I tie them in the morning. But here’s one more teaser for you, especially since Americans today have the day off. One reader tips us off to an image inserted in iKaossilator. It sure looks like a new KAOSS product. Aaron lazytrap writes some reasonable speculation: New KP, red & yellow = Kaossilator+KP in one h/w box? New `tribe (play/stop buttons)? Hrmn. I’m …


Music Geek Christmas: 10 Cool Things That Make NAMM Show Worth Getting Excited Over

You kneed KNAMM knobs. The Metasonix Wretch – photo (CC-BY-SA) Brandon Daniel. I sure hope we can look forward to Metasonix at NAMM – stuff that makes me love NAMM from someone who doesn’t. Trade shows aren’t what they used to be. For those of us who love music technology and the spirit of invention, it’s a good thing – why shouldn’t people be coming up with ideas year round? Why not spread them in places other than the gray, fluorescent glow of a big trade show floor open only to the industry? On the other hand, there’s something to …


As Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash; Look for a Renewed HTML5 Video Debate, Leapfrog Tech

You’ve come a long way, baby. In fact, in the midst of this whole debate, consider what phones can do – and what they’ll be able to do soon. As an artist, that’s incredibly compelling. Photo (CC-BY) Fred Benenson. While ZDNet stands behind the story, this should be classified as “rumor” until an official statement has been made, and my comments considered accordingly speculative. Updated: the official announcement. Note what it says – yes, it’s wordy, but there are two pieces here. One is, Adobe is committing to contributing to HTML5, which is to say, to make Web standards do …


Spotted: Lemur Interface, Running on iPad

I don’t know why you look so surprised about this, really. Photo (CC-BY) insanephotoholic. “Lemur should just run on the iPad.” “There’s no point to have a Lemur when you can get an iPad for $500.” “When will the Lemur just run on the iPad?” Soon, apparently. Sources and an in-person sighting suggest to me you’ll see this in the very near future. The JazzMutant Lemur, the touch control hardware I reviewed over five years ago, gave musicians the first widely-available, for-sale taste of multi-touch control of music. It established a lot of basic paradigms that would appear on other …


Rumors Mounting for Imminent Logic Pro X, a la Final Cut Pro X; No-Brainer Speculation

I generally avoid commenting on Apple rumors, lest I find a severed horse head atop my MacBook Pro, but this one seems simply to be obvious. Apple took a radical approach to Final Cut Pro X (and Motion), giving them full overhauls and new UIs, 64-bit support, and distribution through the online Mac App Store instead of exclusively through online distribution. It stands to reason that their current Logic Studio will get something along the lines of the same treatment. Sure enough, rumors are surfacing saying as much. (I’ve gotten at least one email, secondhand – no, Apple, no Apple …