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New Gear: Hits from Winter NAMM 2014

June 11, 2014
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1.
MOTU
828x
Thunderbolt audio/MIDI interface
$849 street

Highlights 24-bit/192kHz resolution • two front-panel mic/instrument inputs with preconverter sends • 8 channels of balanced line-level analog I/O on 1/4" jacks • XLR main outputs • MIDI, Word Clock, and S/PDIF I/O • built-in digital mixer and effects
Target Market Professional and project studios
Analysis An industry standard in audio quality and stability is now available for current or future Thunderbolt users, while offering Hi-Speed USB connectivity for engineers transitioning between the formats.
motu.com

2.
iZotope
BreakTweaker
Beat sequencer and synth engine
$249

Highlights Designed in collaboration with BT • MicroEdit Engine, Sequencer, and Generator allow you to create extraordinarily complex rhythm parts quickly • wavetable synthesis and sample player • glitch and granular capabilities • 32-step sequencer and 24 patterns • 4 LFOs and envelope generators • 2GB of royalty-free samples
Target Market Musicians looking for the most powerful beat-creation software available
Analysis A production tool that moves you off the grid with easy-to-use, yet sophisticated tools for creating elaborately crafted grooves.
izotope.com

3.
QSC
TouchMix
Compact digital mixers
$899; $1,299 street

Highlights Available as TouchMix-8 and TouchMix-16, with either 12 or 20 input channels, and 4 or 10 aux output channels, respectively • Simple and Advanced user modes • 4-band parametric EQ and dynamics processing on each channel • includes USB WiFi adapter for use with iOS remote control app
Target Market Musicians and sound reinforcement engineers
Analysis Powerful and lightweight digital mixers that can also record WAV files directly to an external USB drive—no computer necessary.
qsc.com

4.
Roland
FA-08
Keyboard workstation
$1,799 street

Highlights Features Integra-7 SuperNatural synth and XV-5080 sounds • weighted-action, 88-key, Ivory Feel-G keyboard • sampler and effects • guitar/mic and line inputs • 16-track sequencer • bounce song tracks as stereo files to SDHC card • control your DAW via MIDI over USB • high-resolution color LCD
Target Market Composers and performers
Analysis The FA-08’s workflow is designed to make it easier than ever to take projects from beginning to end, while providing top-notch sounds and pro features.
roland.com

5.
EastWest
Stephen Wilson’s Ghostwriter
Sample library
$395

Highlights 60GB of drums, basses, guitar, keyboards, vocals, and more played by Wilson, Marco Minnemann, and Laurence Juber • effects include SSL EQ and Dynamics Channel Strip, Transient Shaper, and Stereo Bus Compressor, as well as Echoplex EP-1 • Play 4 32- and 64-bit software included
Target Market Composers, particularly in the film, game, and TV industries
Analysis A full-featured sample library with serious personality and attitude featuring three of today’s most compelling performers.
soundsonline.com

 

6.
Korg
Triton Taktile 49
USB keyboard controller and synthesizer
$499

Highlights Features 512 programs from Triton workstation • 49- note, semi-weighted keyboard • 16 drum-trigger pads • x/y touch pad • DAW transport controls • Touch Trigger and Chord Scale functionality • 8 assignable sliders, knobs, and switches • available in a 25-key version for $349
Target Market Keyboardists who want to record and gig with the same instrument
Analysis A reasonably priced, yet versatile USB controller that includes a wealth of high-quality sounds from one of the company’s high-end workstations.
korg.com

7.
Waves
Abbey Road Reel ADT
Artificial double-tracking plug-in (Native only)
$200

Highlights Digital re-creation of the layered vocal effect, developed at Abbey Road Studios for use on the Beatles’ vocals, using two tape machines to create a variable delayed sound • the plug-in can advance or delay the doubled signal • drive can be added separately to each of the signals for tape-saturation effects
Target Market Musicians and engineers
Analysis A classic effect that provides all the modern conveniences we enjoy from a DAW plug-in.
waves.com

8.
Universal Audio
Apollo Twin
2-channel Thunderbolt audio interface/DSP accelerator
$699 Solo; $899 Duo

Highlights 2-in/6-out, 24-bit/96kHz audio interface capable of realtime UAD effects processing • 2 mic preamps and a front-panel instrument jack • Unison technology models tube and transformer-based mic preamps • 2 digitally controlled analog monitor outputs • 8 channels of digital input via Optical port
Target Market Personal studio users
Analysis The excellent sound quality and flexibility of the Apollo now fits on your desktop and is available with one (Solo) or two (Duo) SHARC DSP chips.
uaudio.com

 

9.
Arturia
BeatStep
MIDI USB controller and sequencer
$129

Highlights MIDI USB connectivity that is iOS compatible • CV and gate outputs for use with analog synthesizers • 16 backlit pads and rotary controls • built-in 16-step sequencer stores 16 sequences • transport controls and data wheel
Target Market DJs, beat producers, and musicians in the studio or onstage
Analysis This lightweight, desktop controller can be used with just about any instrument you own, whether it’s software- or hardware-based, using MIDI and CV/gate signals.
arturia.com

10.
Audio-Technica
ATW-1501 System 10 Stompbox
Digital wireless guitar system
$614

Highlights Includes one UniPak body-pack transmitter and one receiver • 3 levels of diversity • works in the 2.4GHz range • 24-bit resolution • each receiver can be paired with 8 transmitters • two TRS outputs that can be used for amp switching or muting one output • receiver encased in metal housing • LED and battery display
Target Market Performing guitarists and bassists
Analysis A state-of-the-art wireless system using a rugged receiver that you can mount on your pedalboard.
audio-technica.com

11.
Zildjian
Gen16 Buff Bronze Series
Reduced-volume cymbals
$189–$449

Highlights Real metal cymbals designed for use with Gen16 Direct Source sensors • different bell profile than the original series • lack of nickel plating results in a warmer tone • additional lathing to lower the fundamental pitch
Target Market Drummers wanting real cymbals in their acoustic-electric kit
Analysis This product line provides the feel of real cymbals, which can then be electronically processed to fit any playing situation, whether onstage or in the studio.
zildjian.com

 

12.
Nord
Lead A1
Analog modeling synthesizer
$1,799 street

Highlights 4-part multitimbral • 24-voice polyphony • 8 oscillator configurations • independent effects and arpeggiator for each of the four slots • redesigned user interface makes programming simpler • morph several parameters in real time using the mod wheel or Velocity • MIDI over USB • synth engine offers 96kHz, 32-bit floating point processing
Target Market Keyboardists who gig or record
Analysis A remarkably powerful synth that extends the concept of analog modeling while simplifying the task of programming.
nordkeyboards.com

13.
Apogee
Mic 96k
USB microphone
$229 street

Highlights Provides digital resolution up to 24-bit, 96kHz • works with iOS devices and Mac computers • onboard input level control with multicolor LED for level monitoring • incudes USB cable, and Lightning and 30-pin iOS cables • preamp offers 40dB of gain • metal construction • made in the U.S.A.
Target Market Podcasters, musicians, and personal studio owners
Analysis Designed to provide a quick and convenient way to record using an Apogee-designed mic preamp and converter.
apogeedigital.com

 

14.
Samson
Synth 7
Wireless system
$349

Highlights Transmitters available as handheld microphone, lavalier mic, headset mic, or guitar belt pack • all-metal rack-mountable receiver with color LCD • 300- foot range • Scan Mode • auto mutes when transmitter is turned off • more than 90 available channels • transmitters run on two AA batteries and provide 15 hours of continuous use • belt pack and handheld mic feature an LCD
Target Market Musicians, schools, houses of worship
Analysis A low-cost solution for a variety of wireless applications.
samsontech.com

15.
Garritan
Abbey Road Studio CFX Concert Grand
Piano sample library
$259 download; $299 boxed version with USB stick

Highlights A Yamaha CFX concert grand piano recorded in Studio One • 3 discrete miking perspectives: Classic, Contemporary, Player, with independently controllable Close and Ambient levels • recording mics used include those from Schoeps, Neumann, AKG, and DPA • uses the Aria software player • supports AU, VST, RTAS, and AAX
Target Market Composers and performers
Analysis This library was designed for professional users but is priced affordably for personal studio and onstage use.
garritan.com

 

16.
Tannoy
Reveal 802
Active studio monitors
$279

Highlights Powered close-field monitors with 8" woofer • 100W amplifier • tuned front-firing bass port • XLR, 1/4" TS, and 3.5mm minijack inputs • volume and EQ controls • Aux Link cable connects monitors together • Reveal 402 ($139) with 4" woofer and 50W amp, and 502 ($179) with 5" woofer and 75W amp also available
Target Market Personal studios, editing suites, educational facilities
Analysis Priced lower than its other models, the Reveal series makes Tannoy speakers available to more people.
tannoystudio.com

 
 

17.
Sony Creative Software
Sound Forge Pro Mac 2
Stereo waveform editor
$299

Highlights Supports 24-bit, 96kHz audio • customizable toolbar • FLAC file support • CALM-targeted metering • automated batch processing • automatic trim and crop tool • includes iZotope Mastering and Repair Suite and Nectar Elements vocal processor • SpectraLayers 2 interoperability • available bundled with SpectraLayers Pro 2.1 in the Audio Master Suite Mac for $499
Target Market Music and broadcast engineers
Analysis A professional-level stereo editor that has been upgraded to offer the production tools required for modern studio and broadcast work.
sonycreativesoftware.com

18.
PSP
X-Dither
Dither and noise-shaping plug-in
$89

Highlights Designed for mastering use • 6 noise shapes to choose from, including 3 new algorithms • dither shape and level controls • 5 bit-depth levels • Truncation and Rounding modes available for audio quality comparison • output clip indicator • supports VST, AU, RTAS, and AAX for Mac and PC DAWs
Target Market Mastering and recording engineers
Analysis X-Dither has a wide range of functionality that you didn’t even know you needed.
pspaudioware.com

19.
Elektron
Analog Rytm
8-voice analog drum machine
$1,549

Highlights Each of the 8 voices has its own sound generator, analog multimode filter, sample player, analog distortion effect, and discrete output • 12 pressureand velocity-sensitive pads • onboard step-sequencer • effects send offers delay and reverb • 3 modes: Performance, Chromatic, and Scene • audio inputs • main outputs • USB and MIDI I/O
Target Market Beat producers, DJs, and musicians
Analysis A full-featured drum machine with an interface that is specifically designed for performance.
elektron.se

20.
Electro-Voice
ETX-series
Powered loudspeakers
Price varies

Highlights The series includes three 2-way models (10", 12", and 15"), a 15" 3-way model (with a 6.5" MF driver), and two subwoofers (15" and 18" drivers) • integrated FIR-Drive and DSP with LCD screen • Class D amplifiers • Signal Synchronized Transducers waveguide design
Target Market Professional musicians and DJs, entertainment venues
Analysis EV’s top-of-the-line loudspeakers, which are designed to provide optimum power and allow users to assemble a system that matches their needs.
electrovoice.com

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