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Summer Shopping Spree: 8 Killer New Audio Tools

June 20, 2013

Volca Series
Analog synthesizers
$205 each
HIGHLIGHTS Three models: Volca Keys lead synthesizer, Volca Bass synthesizer, and Volca Beats rhythm machine • each instrument features a loop sequencer for generating/ recalling phrase-based performances • vintage-style sync in/out, as well as MIDI In • optional battery operation and built-in speakers • analog signal generation technology
TARGET MARKET Musicians who want compact instruments for portable music applications or tight spaces
ANALYSIS Korg has done well with their Monotron, Monotribe, and MS-20 Mini synths; the Volcas are a logical extension of the line.


Mixing console
HIGHLIGHTS 24 mono/4 stereo line ins • 6 aux sends, 4 group buses • 2 FX sends • onboard DSP (REV-X and SPX multieffects) • USB device recording and playback • X-Pressive and graphic EQ • multiband compressor • VCM technology emulates classic analog gear • 24 mic pres with Class A preamps and per-channel phantom power
TARGET MARKET Small- to midsized venues, touring bands, educational institutions, houses of worship
ANALYSIS The MGP32X (and MGP24X) are larger-format versions of Yamaha’s highly successful MGP12X and MGP16X compact mixers.


Active monitor
HIGHLIGHTS 5" woofer and 0.75" metal dome tweeter • biamplified with 50W and 30W Class D amps • Intelligent Signal Sensing power management with auto power-off/auto power-on • standby power consumption of less than 0.5W • automatic global voltage selection • intuitive room response controls and system calibration • XLR/TRS and unbalanced RCA inputs
TARGET MARKET Project studio owners who are concerned about sustainability
ANALYSIS These speakers retain Genelec’s trademark sound, yet follow sustainable initiatives with enclosures made from wood fiber and recyclable material.


Universal Audio
Apollo 16
Audio interface
HIGHLIGHTS 16x16 analog I/O • FireWire interface with optional Thunderbolt card • onboard UAD-2 QUAD processing with as low as sub-2ms latency • DB- 25 connectivity and multi-unit cascading via MADI for up to 32x32 analog • I/O dedicated XLR monitor outputs and stereo AES-EBU digital I/O • virtual console software for routing and processing
TARGET MARKET High-level recording requiring lots of I/O and onboard signal processing
ANALYSIS The original Apollo combined I/O and processing; Apollo 16 retains the concept, but augments the I/O.


Loop Station
HIGHLIGHTS Five phrase tracks can play simultaneously • independent record/overdub/ play and stop buttons • up to three hours of stereo recording • input and track effects • 99 phrase memories • 85 onboard rhythms can route to the rearpanel phones jack only, providing a dedicated click track • XLR mic in with phantom power • mono/ stereo instrument inputs
TARGET MARKET Looping-oriented live performance, backing tracks
ANALYSIS Loopers keep gaining in popularity; Roland has been at the game a long time, and it shows in the RC-505.


Bass Station II
Analog synth
HIGHLIGHTS New version of the classic Bass Station • switch between two analog filters, “Classic” and “Acid,” each with built-in overdrive • mono analog signal path • load and save patches • pattern-based step sequencer and arpeggiator • dedicated tweakable controls • two oscillators, additional suboscillator, and noise generator • distortion and oscillator-based filter modulation TARGET MARKET Synth players who are into bass for live performance or recording
ANALYSIS The original Bass Station was released in 1993, and remains a true collectible—and now there’s a 21st-century version.


Impact LX49
USB keyboard
HIGHLIGHTS 49-note, full-size, velocity-sensitive keyboard • intelligent mapping for major DAWs (Reason, Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Garageband, Sonar, Bitwig, Reaper) • Mixer, Instrument, and Preset modes • 8 velocity-sensitive pads • 9 control faders (30mm) • transport controls • 5 preset memory locations • 8 control pots • pitch bend and mod wheels
TARGET MARKET Keyboard players who want a DAW control surface and pads
ANALYSIS The Impact LX49 uses the same type of technology and mapping options that first appeared in Nektar’s Panorama keyboards.


DSLR audio recorder
$349 street
HIGHLIGHTS 4-track recorder uses SD/SDHC media • up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution • two 1/4"/XLR locking combo mic/ line inputs with +48V phantom power • soft-touch keys help eliminate handling noise • dualrecord “Safety Track” mode • tripod mounting threads and DSLR screw attachment • operates on 4 AA batteries, AC adapter, or USB bus power
TARGET MARKET On-set filmmakers and videographers who use DSLR cameras
ANALYSIS DSLR cameras aren’t known for audio quality; the DR-60D is designed to mount unobtrusively under the camera and capture quality audio.

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