TAP YOUR FOOT
TimeBender ($299.95) from DigiTech puts a diverse complement of delays under foot. Its ten delay types cover analog and digital models, moving and fixed-tape head, ducking, reverse, and time warping. Each type features tone control, modulation, tap tempo, and ping-pong patterns. Use TimeBender's footswitches to program up to six taps to create custom rhythm patterns on the fly based on your guitar strumming. More than 100 preset chord voicings — octaves, fifths, thirds, and so on — let you add harmonies to your delays and create otherworldly effects. Finally, you get four memory buffers, a 20-second looper, and both tempo-synched and millisecond delay settings.
MODARTT PIANOTEQ 3
A DIFFERENT MODEL
Modartt has released Version 3 of its physical-modeled acoustic-piano virtual instrument, Pianoteq (Mac/Win; approximately $340, free update). Major improvements include a new acoustic model to simulate the sound radiation of the soundboard and cabinet, user positioning of up to five mics with individual levels and delays, and a head-modeled binaural mode for headphone use. Along with two new grand-piano models — C3 for classical and M3 for jazz and rock — you get demo versions of the new Rhody and Wurly electric-piano models (available as an add-on for $63). Pianoteq comes stand-alone and in Audio Units, VST, and RTAS plug-in formats. Download the slightly hobbled trial version from Modartt's Website and find out for yourself.
SPECTRASONICS STYLUS RMX XPANDED 1.7
IT'S ABOUT TIME
Spectrasonics has released the much-awaited Stylus RMX Xpanded 1.7 (Mac/Win; $399 [MSRP], free update) Audio Units, VST, and RTAS plug-ins. The big news is Time Designer, which lets you adapt any RMX or compatible third-party loop to any time signature, lock loops to the groove of other loops even while browsing, and simplify and rearrange loops on the fly. The other big news is the addition of the full complement of effects from Spectrasonics' new plug-in, Omnisphere. Much requested operational enhancements include improved Favorites management and Suite Editing with the new Edit Buffer Suite. And, at last, you can sync RMX to the plug-in host's transport controls.
MUSE RECEPTOR 2
The new and affordable Receptor 2 ($1,999) from Muse Research offers performance paralleling the previous generation's top-of-the-line model. It boasts a sleek new look, a single-core AMD processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 250 GB internal SATA 2 hard drive. Receptor 2 has prized advanced features such as fast-loading Z-Load technology, snapshots, and Unified Preset Access. Receptor is compatible with most manufacturers' virtual-instrument and effects plug-ins, and comes with a six-instrument collection from Plugsound to get you started. Preloaded and authorized software bundles for IK Multimedia Total Workstation, Native Instruments Komplete 5, and the Receptor 2 Spirit (created specifically for houses of worship) are also available.
C-THRU MUSIC AXIS-49
C-Thru Music has just released the baby brother to its AXiS-64 harmonic-table-based USB MIDI control surface. The AXiS-49 (Mac/Win, $495) has 98 hexagonal, Velocity-sensitive buttons arranged in two identical sections of 49 notes. With transpose-up and -down buttons, the full range is four octaves. The harmonic-table layout keeps specific intervals and chords in the same relationship: vertical for a perfect fifth, diagonally up-right for a major third, diagonally up-left for a minor third, and so on. The controllers are designed for composition, arranging, and experimentation, and the 11.2×1.6×7.3-inch, 3-pound AXiS-49 is ideal for travel.
VIRSYN FDELAY THE RHYTHMISER
Fdelay — The Rhythmiser (Mac/Win, approximately $215) from VirSyn Software Synthesizer takes the latency-free, linear-phase multiband processing introduced in the company's frequency shifter, Prism, and applies it to digital delay. Each band has its own delay time, feedback, and output-level settings that you create graphically in the frequency-band display. Other global controls let you shift the band frequencies, add a bipolar offset to the band delay times, and adjust the mix. Free and note-based, linear or exponential delay scales let you home in on the exact delay you need. Fdelay — The Rhythmiser comes in Audio Units, VST, and RTAS formats.
NOTEFLIGHT LLC NOTEFLIGHT 1
WHAT'S THE SCORE
Cambridge Massachusetts firm Noteflight LLC has opened its online notation platform for free access by the music community. The Noteflight Score Editor is designed for creating and sharing music-notation documents. With it you can import MusicXML files and export MIDI and audio files. It offers an intuitive, drag-and-drop approach to entering and editing music, and it supports lyrics, dynamic markings, and automatic part transposition. A commercial edition for educators (prices vary) integrates with popular course-management systems like Blackboard, Moodle, WebCT, and Haiku LMS. Students use it to enter scores, which educators can then review and mark up, all without any up/downloading.