Rob Papen Punch
Virtual drum synth
highlights Combines classic and synthesized drum sounds • can load samples for customized kits • 16 pads • supports AU/VST/RTAS formats • internal sequencer can play eight different four-track patterns, each up to 16 steps long • two envelopes, two LFOs, and 26 effects • comprehensive mixer screen • trial version available
target market Recordists who work “in the box” and need a versatile virtual drum instrument
analysis Rob Papen is best known for his big-sounding, deep synthesizers, and has applied that expertise to virtual drums.
Rob Papen Punch product page
Radial Engineering EXTC 500
500 Series module
highlights Converts balanced, line-level signal to a guitar-level effects loop signal, then re-converts back to a balanced level • simplifies patching guitar pedals in studio situations • fits API-style 500 Series Lunchbox frames and Radial Workhorse • transformer-coupled output eliminates potential ground loops • phase reverse switch
target market Recording studio engineers and live performers who want to integrate guitar-level effects into conventional audio interfaces or hardware mixers
analysis Guitar effects have gone way beyond simple fuzzes; the EXTC 500 simplifies integrating them into the world of line-level, balanced signals.
Radial Engineering EXTC 500 product page
highlights Portable, less than 29 lbs • USB memory port and SD card slot allow direct media file playback • balanced, instrument/mic, and aux (stereo RCA) inputs • built-in 50-watt amp drives enclosed 8" speaker • dual-voltage AC power, or up to 12 hours continuous operation from rechargeable battery
target market Singer-songwriters, ambient musicians, mobile DJs, acts who use backing tracks
analysis As the live performance industry gets “downsized” to smaller clubs, restaurants, and parties, portable PA systems are increasingly important. Having memory options for direct playback are the MS-USB''s “special sauce.”
Gemini MS-USB product page
Waves MPX Master Tape
$300 TDM/$200 Native
Models 3M Scotch 206/207 tape saturation running on the Ampex 350 tape transport and 351 tube electronics • adjustable tape speed, bias, flux, wow, flutter, and noise • designed in association with Eddie Kramer • slap and feedback delay • supports TDM/VST/AU/RTAS/AudioSuite formats
target market Recording enthusiasts who want to impart the sound of a vintage analog tape recorder to digital recording projects
analysis Combining MPX with the HLS Channel and PIE Compressor completes the Olympic Studios recording chain used by Kramer in his recordings of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix.
Waves MPX Master Tape product page
Moog Music MF-108M Cluster Flux
Hardware analog delay
highlights Uses rare, analog bucket-brigade chips • chorus/flanger/vibrato effects • tap tempo • CV and MIDI control • LFO with six waveforms, including sample-and-hold • maximum delay time 50ms • inverting and non-inverting feedback • software editor
target market Guitar players and other musicians who use effects devices, either onstage or in
analysis The Moogerfooger analog effects look and act like the Moog synth modules that inspired them. The MF-108M brings vintage, analog delay sounds to an effects box—but uses extremely rare parts, so this is a limited production run.
Moog Music MF-108M Cluster Flux product page
Micro DJ controller
highlights Portable, weighs 13 oz. • control DJ software with a tactile feel • familiar layout with two platters, crossfader, pitch, and level controls • Deck A, Deck B, Master, and Headphone gain controls • sync and headphone buttons • includes special edition of Virtual DJ software • USB connection to Mac/Windows
target market DJs who need a small, light, inexpensive portable controller for software-based DJing
analysis The new generation of laptop-oriented DJ software makes it easier than ever to get into DJing, but a mouse is an ineffective controller compared to a special-purpose controller like the DJ2GO.
Numark DJ2GO product page
Audiofile Engineering FiRe 2
Field recording app
highlights Advanced editing suite with normalize, looping playback, regions, fades, more • EQ and dynamics effects • iTunes file transfer • supports multiple file formats • SoundCloud and Dropbox integration • input processing presets developed by iZotope • record in background function
target market iPhone 3GS/4, 3rd/4th gen iPod touch, iPad, or iPad 2 users running iOS 4.2 who are into field recording and editing
analysis FiRe 1 and 1.5 (still available for older iOS devices) established iThingies as viable field recorders; version 2 adds multiple features made possible by iOS 4.2.
Audiofile Engineering FiRe 2 product page
iPad sheet music app
highlights Transforms Apple''s iPad into an interactive score library, music stand, and in-app sheet music store (more than 150,000 titles) • powered by Avid''s Sibelius software engine • can transpose, and convert to/from guitar tab • see the score played on the keyboard display, play back music and speed up/slow down
target market Arrangers, students, teachers, session musicians, and others who want a more portable sheet music solution than paper or a laptop
analysis The iPad continues to make a case for itself as a music platform; Scorch takes advantage of its display, sound capabilities, and portability.
Avid Scorch product page