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New Gear, May 2011

May 1, 2011

Native Instruments Traktor Pro 2 $229, Traktor Scratch Pro 2 $669

Four sample desks and loop recorder for on-the-fly capture • TruWave technology displays tracks and samples in all four decks with high-resolution multi-colored waveforms, including spectral properties • SoftSync combines automatic beat-matching with hands-on control • expanded effects section
target market Computer-based club DJs
analysis Native Instruments continues to make gains in the DJ arena. Their latest generation encompasses new interfaces (Traktor Audio 10 and Traktor Audio 6) as well as new software, and Traktor Duo 2, a scaled-down, two-deck version of the Pro line. With this new generation, NI is offering complete solutions for intermediate and advanced DJs.
Traktor Pro 2 Product Page
Traktor Scratch Pro 2 Product Page

Spectrasonics Omnisphere 1.5 Free to registered users
Interactive “The Orb” interface for realtime synthesis manipulation and morphing • expanded synthesis engine • 5-column browser view • polyphonic aftertouch • 780 new patches (for more than 8,000 total included sounds)
target market Sound designers, 
audio-for-video soundtrack creation, live performance keyboardists, general recording of innovative, sample-playback sounds
analysis Spectrasonics is known for large, deep, innovative sound libraries coupled with highly editable synth engines. Their products are years in the making, and not meant to be disposable but instead have long, useful lifespans, due in part to generous, free updates to registered users; V1.5 continues that tradition.
Omnisphere 1.5 Product Page

Audio-Technica U851RO Omnidirectional Boundary Mic $313
Phantom power range 11–52VDC • omnidirectional in hemisphere above mounting surface • optional interchangeable elements (UE-C 120° cardioid and UE-H 100° hypercardioid) • 80Hz, 18dB/octave low-frequency rolloff • maximum input level 132 SPL
target market Recordists who want to add another mic type to their arsenal (e.g., for placing under a piano lid, on the floor for picking up drums, on walls for room sound, etc.)
analysis Boundary mics, although commonly used to record speeches and conferences, have many uses in the studio for experimentally-minded engineers. The U851RO is designed for more than just recording speech, making it well-suited to music recording; furthermore, the fidelity is higher than lower-cost models that are designed primarily for A/V.
U851RO Product Page

vescoFX Cross Delay VST Plug-In $29
Echoes can be sent to opposite channels • subsequent echoes can ping-pong between channels • modulation section allows chorusing and similar effects • adaptive damping • VST plug-in format
target market Recordists who work “in the box” and rely on plug-ins for signal processing
analysis Cross-delay echoes can create interesting stereo imaging and time-delay effects, but traditionally required using multiple delays in parallel with potentially complex busing. Cross Delay creates these effects within a single plug-in.
Cross Delay Product Page

TASCAM DR-05 Handheld Recorder $149
Up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution for WAV files • 32-320kHz MP3 recording • stereo condenser mics • automatic or manual gain setting • variable speed playback • 2-second pre-recording buffer • microSD cards to 2GB, microSDHC to 32GB • runs on two AA batteries
target market Budget-conscious musicians seeking a quality portable recorder that requires minimum setup hassles
analysis The DR-05''s greatest strength is ease of use, with automated level setting, peak reduction, built-in limiter and lowpass filter, and built-in speaker for instant monitoring—the portable recorder equivalent of “plug and play.” Musician-oriented features include variable speed, loop and repeat playback, and chromatic tuner.
DR-05 Product Page

TK Audio The Strip 1U Hardware Channel Strip $1,300
Channel strip with mic preamp, compressor, and EQ • hi-Z instrument input • blend control for parallel compression • up to 75dB gain • vintage transformer-balanced Class-A or electronic balanced output stage • Baxandall EQ with high- and low-frequency shelving
target market Studios that use analog gear or need an analog front end for digital gear
analysis Despite the trend toward performing all aspects of recording “in the box,” it''s still primarily an analog world. This channel strip provides essential signal-processing functions for those who prefer conditioning analog signals in the analog domain before feeding them into a DAW.
The Strip Product Page

Dynacord Compact Mixing Systems (CMS) Live Performance Mixers $TBA
Three models: CMS 1000-3 (10 inputs), CMS 1600-3 (16 inputs), CMS 2200-3 (22 inputs) • six aux buses • dual 24-bit effects unit • 11-band graphic EQ • 4-in/4-out, Mac/Windows-compatible USB interface • high-impact plastic lid for protection when transporting
target market Gigging musicians looking for a higher-end, but portable, live mixing solution with computer interfacing
analysis For gigging, live recording is becoming a necessity for many bands—whether to sell music to their fan base or to critique their performance afterward. Adding a 4-in/4-out interface to the CMS line handles these needs, but the mixer itself is also rugged and can handle the rigors of the road. Compact Mixing Systems Product Page

Marcodi Musical Products Harpejji $2,999 base 16-string model
Tapping instrument, while guitar-like, requires only one finger to play a note—no strumming • keyboard-inspired playing interface is comparatively easy to learn • can play chord intervals that would be difficult or impossible to play on guitar or keyboard • piezo pickup
target market Keyboard, guitar, and bass players who want to open up new possibilities without abandoning all of their traditional techniques
analysis Alternate controllers have a hard time getting traction, but the Harpejji incorporates enough familiar elements that those with traditional instrument chops aren''t starting all over again. Go to for videos of the Harpejji in action.
Harpejji Product Page

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