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June Gear: Peavey, Sonnox, Electro-Harmonix, Toontrack, Propellerheads and More!

May 15, 2013

Escort 3000
Portable P.A

HIGHLIGHTS Dual 150W power amps • integrates entire sound system into a single, portable package • includes digital multieffects • USB MP3 player • folding speaker stands, space for accessories, and luggagestyle wheels • FLS Feedback Locating System • 7 channels, 6 combination XLR 1/4" inputs • two-way speaker system with 10" woofer
TARGET MARKET DJs, small bands, schools, churches, presenters, solo musicians
ANALYSIS Small, portable sound systems are becoming more practical, affordable, and powerful. The Escort 3000 is a complete system that even includes a dynamic mic and mic cable.


Multitrack looping recorder

HIGHLIGHTS Each loop has four mono tracks and one stereo mixdown track • uncompressed recording is 44.1kHz/16-bit to removable SDHC cards • handles 4 to 32GB cards • each card holds up to 100 individual loops, accessed with the optional 45000 Foot Controller • supports overdubbing or punching, and quantized or non-quantized recording modes • loop speed is adjustable over a two-octave range • built-in metronome
TARGET MARKET Musicians who are into live loop-based performance
ANALYSIS Electro-Harmonix was one of the first companies to produce looper pedals; the 45000 offers an interface that is reminiscent of multitrack digital recorders.


Oxford Dynamics
AAX plug-in
$595 (HD-HDX)
HIGHLIGHTS Based on algorithms from the OXF-R3 digital mixing console’s Dynamics section • includes Compressor, Expander, Limiter, Gate, Sidechain EQ, and Warmth functions • usable as a surround bus compressor/limiter • new metering • 64-bit compliant • three compressor types • HDHDX supports Pro Tools AAX DSP, AAX Native, TDM, RTAS, and Native 32/64-bit AU, and VST • requires iLok 2
TARGET MARKET DAW users seeking precision dynamics control
ANALYSIS Pro Tools users have been waiting for some popular plug-ins to be ported to AAX, and Oxford Dynamics is one of them.

Drums Toolbox
EZmix Pack

HIGHLIGHTS Features one-click processor settings specifically tailored to enhance drum recordings • sounds designed by engineers Randy Staub (Metallica, Alice in Chains), Neil Dorfsman (Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan), Pelle Henricsson (Refused), and the Toontrack sound design team • presets offer complex chains with effects like EQ, compression, transient shaping, and tape simulation • each kit piece has dedicated inserts as well as aux and group bus settings
ANALYSIS The EZmix plug-in contains presets for a variety of instruments, but can also be expanded with packs like the Drums Toolbox.


Reason 7
Music software
$449, upgrade $129

HIGHLIGHTS Features mixer, rack, and sequencer improvements • EQ with spectrum view • intuitive grouping/busing • easy creation of REX files • interfaces with external hardware synthesizers via a “MIDI rack” • automatic audio slicing and quantizing • enhanced Factory Sound Bank • Audiomatic Retro Transformer effect unit adds a futuristicvintage sound to any track
TARGET MARKET General recording, songwriting, electronic dance music, ReWire-based instrument suite for other DAWs
ANALYSIS Reason made jaws drop when it was introduced, and each new version made jaws drop further. Version 7 is no different. 


Launchpad for iPad
Music performance app

HIGHLIGHTS Incorporates some key features from the hardware Launchpad • eight sliders, switchable between volume and filter • simple filter and repeat effects • includes sample pack from Loopmasters • works with Novation’s Launchkey hardware controller and free Launchkey iPad app • eight sessions spanning various EDM styles
TARGET MARKET Anyone who likes fun music-making apps for the iPad; also, Launchkey controller owners who want to expand their horizons
ANALYSIS Lots of “free” iPad apps are really just teasers for paid versions, but this app is quite complete and entertaining.


Native Instruments
Komplete 9 Ultimate
Virtual instruments/effects suite
$1,099, updates from $149

HIGHLIGHTS Includes 65 instruments and effects • Monark monosynth • redesigned Battery 4 drum sampler with more than 70 new kits • more than 370GB of content and 16,000 sounds • now includes Scarbee Rickenbacker bass, Action Strings, Session Horns, Damage industrial percussion, Session Strings Pro ensemble, and more
TARGET MARKET DAW users who want to expand their options with a comprehensive collection of instruments, sounds, and effects
ANALYSIS Due to its sheer volume of instruments and content, Komplete 9 Ultimate is extremely cost-effective; however the more limited, lower-priced ($559) Komplete 9 is also available.


Seaboard Grand
Digital controller

HIGHLIGHTS Soft, three-dimensional keyboard surface enables realtime, intuitive control of pitch, volume, and timbre • simulates gestures from a plethora of other instruments—guitar note bends, string and horn swells, and more • SEA Interface enables seamless transitions between discrete and continuous input, and captures three-dimensional gestures while simultaneously providing tactile feedback.
TARGET MARKET Keyboard players seeking a more expressive keyboard that accommodates additional performance gestures. (It’s already being used by Jordan Rudess.)
ANALYSIS You really have to see this to understand why it’s different— watch a video at com/weareroli.

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