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electronic MUSICIAN

New Gear

February 21, 2012

USB mic

Highlights USB-compatible, Mac or Windows • iPad-compatible with optional Camera Connection Kit adapter • lightweight • integrated headphone out allows monitoring without going through a computer • available with black body and red grill (Tempo KR) or silver with black grill (Tempo SK)
Target Market On-the-go recording, podcasts
Analysis With more and more devices—from laptops to iPads— going mobile, there’s a need for mobile mics that don’t require preamps or elaborate interfaces. MXL, known for studio and live performance mics, now has an entry in the USB arena.

Wave Alchemy
Pro II
Virtual analog synth
£39.95, approx. $62

Highlights For Kontakt 4 or higher • 3.9GB core library, 6,500+ multi-sampled sounds • emulates Sequential Circuits Pro One • five main editing pages: Preset, Synthesizer, Sequencer Page, Effects, Controls • 195 presets • alternate, somewhat lower-cost versions available as Ableton Live Pack or Reason Refill
Target Market Users of Native Instruments Kontakt 4/5 (full version required) who want to add a Pro One emulation to their sonic arsenal
Analysis Although there are many modeled analog synths, Pro II relies on multisamples taken from a vintage Pro One, and mapped to Kontakt’s playback and scripting engines.


SC702 Series
Stereo A/V direct boxes

Highlights Converts outputs from MP3 players, laptops and DJ mixers to balanced, mic-level signals for feeding audio consoles, mic preamps and house sound systems • two shielded isolation transformers isolate input/output connections to minimize hum and buzz from ground loops and RF interference • 20dB pad • merge switch for mono systems
Target Market Live performance, DJ, and studio applications
Analysis The need to interface consumer and mobile gear to pro systems is becoming more common, but this brings a variety of problems that need a solution—as provided by the SC702 (or SC702CT, with Jensen transformers; $359.99).

Hosa Pro
Speaker cables
$14.70 to $167.10

Highlights Available in 3-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, and 100-foot lengths • loudspeaker to loudspeaker, loudspeaker to 1/4-inch TS, and 1/4- inch TS to 1/4-inch • REAN Neutrik connectors have silver contacts, TS connectors have tin contacts • 14 AWG oxygen-free copper conductors, black PVC jacket
Target Market Live performance, studio, worship, other applications requiring pro-level speaker cables
Analysis As the last link in the audio chain, speaker cables are crucial. The Hosa Pro line of cables (also includes guitar and mic cables) is designed to deliver pro performance, but at a price within reach of typical users.

Pad controller
$200 pre-release price

Highlights iPad-sized • 27 pads, sliders and rotary sensors with 3D Multi-Touch recognition for pressure, velocity, and location sensitivity • pads also respond to X (left/right) and Y (up/down) gestures, as well as pinching and swiping • 251 multi-color LEDs provide visual feedback • works with USB, MIDI or OSC
Target Audience DJs, VJs, DIY hackers, and electronic musicians
Analysis KMI’s multi-touch controllers, of which QuNeo is the latest, go beyond two-dimensional control to more accurately translate physical gestures into signals that can control electronic music instruments, processors, etc.


Rack/mixer case
$179.99 MAP

Highlights 10U slanted top and 2U front-facing one-piece rack case • steel threaded rails, hard lid and doors, side access ports (for cable routing) • two TSA-locking SKB trigger latches secure the lid, while the flat hard top allows stacking for transport/storage • case is roto-molded of linear medium-density polyethylene • “no-fault” lifetime warranty
Target Market Live performance, presenters, DJs
Analysis Compact audio, DJ, mixer, and computer systems still need a sturdy case to prevent damage during transport or performance; the 1SKB-R102 can even mount the AV-8 computer shelf for laptops, with the cases’s lid closed.

IK Multimedia
StealthPedal CS
Interface/software bundle

Highlights Wah-style USB audio interface and controller • AmpliTube Custom Shop software • 100 gear credits for the AmpliTube Custom Shop online store (amps, cabs, effects) • “smart jacks” auto-detect and adjust for different types of instrument inputs • sample rates up to 96kHz
Target Market Guitarists, bassists, and other musicians needing a portable interfacing and processing solution
Analysis The StealthPedal itself isn’t new, but bundling it with the Custom Shop software and gear credits allows musicians to put together a convenient, portable, à la carte songwriting and performance rig.

Mix Bundle for SONAR X1
VST/ProChannel plug-ins
$299 (download)
Highlights Package with five plug-ins for SONAR’s ProChannel format: TSAR-1 Reverb, Passive Equalizer, Active Equalizer, Focusing Equalizer, FET Compressor • also includes all plug-ins in VST format • 32- and 64-bit native versions available • download only, requires iLok
Target Market Users of Cakewalk SONAR X1 who want to expand the options for the ProChannel channel strip, yet also have the plug-ins available to other applications
Analysis Softube supports products from multiple companies with their plug-ins, but this bundle not only supports SONAR’s proprietary ProChannel format but also standard VST hosts (of course including SONAR).,
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