Sony-BMG Pays Up for Payola

Let’s play a game. Here’s how it goes: I read a headline, you feign surprise. “Sony-BMG engaged in widespread payola.” “Sony-BMG settles in case regarding payments to radio stations.” “Radio groups refuse to comment.” (see Digital Music weblog or your local paper) Okay, well here’s one that brings a little surprise. According to Billboard Radio […]

M-Audio ProKeys88: Stage Piano, US$600 – Keyboard Review

Several sites are reporting that M-Audio has introduced a new 88-key stage piano, but it’s not new: in fact, Ken “King of Keys Hardware” Hughes from Keyboard Magazine has a great review of the ProKeys88 from Keyboard’s July issue. Ken’s verdict: a great keyboard, an incredible price (street around US$600 from what I can see), […]

Reimagining Hearing: Hearwear Show in UK

While image technology has leaped forward, headphones and hearing aids still resemble 19th-Century tech. A show opening this week in London brings together designers seeking to change that. Ideas on view include glasses with built-in earphones that let you listen directionally to whatever you’re looking at, and “goldfish” earphones that repeat whatever someone said in […]

NAMM: M-Audio MicroTrack Portable Recorder: Official, US$499.95

The M-Audio MicroTrack portable recorder (prototypes were called FlashTracker) is now official. See the awkward press release (via Harmony Central; as usual M-Audio’s Website is lagging). Who’s writing this stuff? “Leaps in miniaturization technology”? (Sorry, a leap in tech would involve a $99 price.) “One of the secrets to the . . . compact size” […]

Yamaha Tenori-On: 16×16 LED Light + Sound Toy

What if Lite Brite and a tablet PC had a crazy love child? It might look something like the Yamaha Tenori-On. The basic idea is, you press buttons on a 16×16 LED grid and trigger sounds and visuals; there are collaborative features for playing with your friends Tenori-Ons, and the back of the screen functions […]

NAMM: motion dive .tokyo VJ Software + Hardware

Hard-core VJs have long known about Motion Dive. This VJ app is so rock-solid, intuitive, and flexible that people were willing to import it from Japan and use it with all-Japanese menus. Weirdly, it was easier to use that product in Japanese than many others in English. Now, Roland division Edirol is handling US distribution, […]

Which Portable Recorder to Buy?

Quick: which brand-new portable recorder will be your long-awaited iPod of recording? The newly-announced M-Audio MicroTrack, or the already-proven Edirol R-1? One thing’s for sure: CompactFlash is where it’s at. I just got an email from offering a full 2 GB of CompactFlash storage for US$70 after rebate. You’re likely to run out of […]

Marantz PMD660 Portable Digital Recorder

While we’re mulling CompactFlash-based portable digital recorders, I’d be remiss to ignore the Marantz PMD660. Just as the new M-Audio MicroTrack is inspired by Apple’s iPod (check out the LCD display if you don’t believe me), the PMD660 is deeply rooted in past Marantz recorders. Those of you who have fond memories of Marantz cassette […]


Well, just a pleasant quiet Saturday afternoon he– WHAT’S THAT??!!! I CAN’T QUITE HEAR YOU!! THE R O L A N D E X C I T E M E NT SEEMS A LITTLE OUT OF CONTROL!!! FEEL THE POWER OF THE NEW ROLAND ORGAN!! YEAH, BABY, YEAH!!! Ready to shatter the peace of your […]

Jack Daniel’s Amp + More of the WORST OF NAMM

Thank God for press releases. Without them, how would we know about some of the least-interesting product announcements being made at shows like the huge NAMM music conference? Here are just a few of the most-useless product announcements made in the last few days. And why do I have a sinking suspicion I’ll have part […]