EM News July 2004

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Product Update - July 27

New products, software updates, and more. . .

Alesis announced two new USB/MIDI keyboard controllers. The Photon 25 offers 12 controller knobs, an X/Y joystick control, a 4-character LED and more. The Photon X25 is both a MIDI controller and a 24-Bit, 44.1/48 kHz audio interface that includes balanced stereo audio I/O. Both keyboards have 25 velocity-sensitive keys; 20 editable user configurations; are Mac OS X and Windows XP ready; and can be powered either by USB bus power, an optional external AC adapter, or 4 “C” batteries.

Arturia has released version 2.0 of its Moog Modular (Mac/Win) virtual synth plug-in. The new version offers improved oscillators, filters, and envelopes; and 6 new modules including Ring Modulator, 1630 Bode Frequency Shifter, 12 Stage Phaser, 928 Sample and Hold, Formant Filter, and 912 Envelope Follower. Two hundred new presets are provided. The upgrade is scheduled to ship in the second half of August and will be free to all registered users.

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BIAS released Peak 4.1 Mastering and Restoration Edition ($899) for Mac OS X, which bundles the company''s Peak 4.1 2-track editor, SoundSoap Pro audio restoration plug-in, and SuperFreq 10-band mastering EQ in one package. The bundle represents a savings of $300 over the cost of purchasing the products individually.

EastWest has introduced Percussive Adventures 2 ($399.95; Mac OS X, Win XP), a percussion library that comes with special versions of Native Instruments Kompakt and Intakt to play back its samples. The library, designed for scoring, remixing, and compositional purposes, contains 70 full-lenth pieces that EastWest terms “lengthy and evolving rhythmic terrains.” The pieces can be opened as full songs or split into separate elements, and tempos can be changed by the host sequencer.

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IK Multimedia has released Sampletank 2 Free (Mac/Win), a limited version of its SampleTank 2 software. IK Multimedia will be posting sounds and free lessons for it on its Web site each month. SampleTank 2 Free has all the functions of the full version except that it can only open sounds made by IK for the free version (at press time, a drum kit and two vocal samples were available), only one instance at a time can be opened, user presets are not available, and the Import function is disabled.

Korg is releasing two new tube preamps, the TP-2, a standalone unit; and the TPB-2 a user-installable board for its D32XD and D16XD multitracks. Both preamps are two-channel units that feature phantom power, phase, pad, lowcut and Hi-Z switches for each channel. They also offer dual VU meters and balanced XLR and 1/4-inch TRS I/O. (The TBP-2 offers coaxial and optical digital outputs, as well.) Korg expects the units to ship in late August, and pricing has yet to be announced.

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NUSofting has released Peti (Win; $93.90) a VSTi-compatible soft-synth designed to emulate instruments from the reed-organ family, including the harmonium, the accordion, and the melodica. The plug-in uses a hybrid synthesis system that can emulate such qualities as a harmonium''s body resonance, and the sound of air in its bellows or chambers. A demo version is available at the NUSofting Web site.

Ohm Force is offering four new plug-in bundles for Mac and Windows including All Effects, All Instruments, All Filters, and All Plug-ins. Each bundle is comprised of two or more of its plug-in packs, and substantial discounts are offered for the bundles. Demo versions of the plug-ins are available on the Ohm Force site.

Roland announced a new synthesizer, the Juno D, a 61-key, GM2-compatible, velocity-sensitive keyboard loaded with 620 patches and 20 rhythm sets. The Juno D sports 47 multi-effects, including 8 reverb and 8 chorus types; an arpeggiator, a D-Beam controller, five control knobs, and Mac and PC editing software.

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Waves has introduced the Musician''s Bundle II (Mac/Win; $200), which puts together five of the company''s plug-ins into a single package. Included are the Renaissance Equalizer and Renaissance Compressor; Super Tap, a multi-tap delay, Doubler, which offers realistic doubling effects; and Renaissance Vox, an easy-to-use compressor designed for vocals. At 14-day demo can be downloaded for free at the Waves Web site.

Product Update - July 21

New products, software updates, and more. . .

Ableton and M-Audio will officially unveil Live 4 (Mac/Win) this week at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville. The new version adds MIDI functionality to the program, including sequencing and support for external MIDI hardware. Other new features include a new channel-routing scheme and sample reverse.

Cycling '74 has released MAX/MSP 4.5. The upgrade includes a number of interesting new features: ReWire slave support; visualization tools for audio signals (including sonogram, spectrogram; and VU-style displays); anti-aliasing oscillators; sample-accurate audio signal step-sequencing; new real-time pitch- and frequency-shifting objects; dynamics processor objects for mastering; and scalable anti-aliased 2-D and 3-D graphical user interface elements driven by JavaScript. For more details and pricing, visit cycling74.com.

M Pro Audio has announced an 8-channel mic preamp ($299), an 8-channel optical compressor ($649), and a pair of tube-based mic preamps. MORE.

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MultiLoops has released stereo versions of its Naked Drums Pop R&B Mixed and Rock Volume 2 Mixed sound libraries in the WAV format. Pop R&B Mixed is a single CD-ROM with over 450 24-bit, 44.1 kHz stereo loops and fills. Rock Volume 2 Mixed is a 3-CD-ROM set containing 975 24-bit, 44.1 kHz stereo loops and fills. For more information and special pricing options, visit multiloops.com.

Prosounds is offering new sound sets for ConcreteFX Adder and Micron VST instruments, as well as a new skin for Adder.

Sound Quest is now shipping Midi Quest 9.1 ($199) and Midi Quest XL ($299) editor/librarians for Mac OS 9 and OS X. Both programs, which support more than 600 instruments from over 60 manufacturers, feature a wide range of tools to create, edit, organize, back-up, and tweak the settings of your synthesizers, effects units, drum machines, and other MIDI devices. MORE.

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Steinberg has released the Steinberg Virtual Instrument Collection (Mac/Win, $149.99). The package includes Special Edition (SE) versions of five instruments: Groove Agent SE, Virtual Guitarist Electric Edition SE, The Grand SE, D'cota SE, and HALion VST.

Tascam has announced GigaStudio 3.0 (Win). The update to this popular sampler includes support for 24-bit, 96 kHz audio; support for ReWire and VST effects; and expanded polyphony. MORE.

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The Terratec Producer Phase 22 (Mac/Win) is a PCI audio interface card offering 24-bit, 96 kHz resolution. It features stereo analog I/O on balanced 1/4-inch TRS jacks, as well as coaxial S/PDIF and MIDI ports.

Check out EM's Special Report on Roland. In it, you will find the articles Killer Drum Grooves by Julian Colbeck and Sample Solutions by Jim Aikin, as well as interesting information about Roland products.

Product Update - July 13

New products, software updates, and more. . .

Atlas Sound has announced the QR-2, a quick-release mic-stand adaptor designed to save set-up and tear-down time. The QR-2 is constructed of machined steel and finished in black chromate.

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Acoustica Audio Converter Pro (Win) converts CD tracks to MP3, WAV, WMA, CDA, and OGG files. According to the company, the application has a 32-bit engine that converts to and from the most common audio formats, even within playlists. An integrated audio CD ripper is also included.

IntelliScore Polyphonic 6.1 (Win) is a WAV-to-MIDI, MP3-to-MIDI, and CD-to-MIDI converter. The program "listens" to prerecorded polyphonic music (in WAV, MP3, or CD format) and creates a MIDI file containing the notes played, likely chord names, and overall key. The EM review of IntelliScore 4.0 can be read here.

Magix has announced Audio Cleaning Lab 2005 (Win, $39.99), which combines a CD and DVD burning utility with effects for removing unwanted noise, DirectX plug-in support, and Magix Music Editor 2.0 for editing and mastering. Click here to read the EM review of Magix Samplitude 7.

MixMeister Technology is giving away the MixMeister BPM Analyzer (Win) for free. BPM Analyzer allows you to calculate accurate bpm counts for any song. MORE.

Native Instruments has released version 1.1 of Guitar Rig (Mac/Win). The update includes a fourth amp module based on the Vox AC-30 and three new effects -- Treble Booster, Psychedelay, and Pitch Pedal, a polyphonic pitch shifter. The update is free to registered users. A demo version of Guitar Rig is also available.

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Waves has introduced V5 (version 5), which offers new builds of the company's entire line of plug-ins for Mac OS X and Windows. Waves Musicians Bundle II is also introduced in this release. V5 is available at no additional charge to any user currently covered by the Waves Update Plan (WUP). MORE.

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Wizoo is offering Hypersonic GM-4, a free extension for Steinberg Hypersonic users that adds GM (General MIDI) functionality to the program. GM-4 includes 128 GM-compatible patches, a GM standard drum kit, and an additional 110 MB (330 MB uncompressed) of new sample content.

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Check out EM's Special Report on Roland. In it, you will find the articles Killer Drum Grooves by Julian Colbeck and Sample Solutions by Jim Aikin, as well as interesting information about Roland products.

Product Update - July 6

New products, software updates, and more. . .

BIAS has extended the Spark to Peak crossgrade promotion until August 31, 2004, offering Peak 4.1 to Spark and Spark XL customers for $299. A review of Peak 4.1 appears in the July issue of EM, on your newsstand now and online here.

Celemony has released Melodyne version 2.5 (Mac/Win), which adds RTAS support and includes the Melody Manager. MORE.

Version 1.5.3 of the audio editor DSP-Quattro (Mac) is now available. The update, free to registered users, fixes a bug in version 1.5.2. The EM review of version 1.5 can be read here.

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FXpansion has announced BFD XFL ($249), the first expansion pack for the BFD software acoustic-drum module. BFD XFL includes 22 GB of detailed virtual-drum components, including many rare instruments as well as hi-hats, cowbells, finger-snaps, and instruments struck with brushes and mallets. The EM review of BFD 1.07 can be seen here.

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Kid Nepro has announced MIDI Mix, which contains samples from "over 25 of the best synthesizers released over the past three decades." All sounds are sampled from Kid Nepro's sound libraries and layered together to create unique textures. The MIDI MIX Vol 1 CD-ROM, with 650 MB of AIFF or WAV samples, will be released in September. In the meantime, previews are available for download at $5 each. The new collections include Prophet-VS/MKS-80 Basses, Mini Moog/Matrix-12 Basses, Mini Moog/Prophet-5 Leads, and Motif/Prophet-VS Pads. For more information and MP3 demos, visit Kid Nepro online.

Minnetonka Audio Software is now shipping discWelder Chrome II (Win; $2,995), the latest version of its DVD-A authoring application. New features include DSD Import/Conversion, video track link, custom menu options, and Video Auto-Mirror.

Steinberg is now shipping HALion 3 (Mac/Win; $399.00). Among the features added in the upgrade are RAMSave, a memory-saving technology for working with large sample sets; 27 new effects; the ability to import more sample formats; and new routing capabilities. To read the EM review of an earlier version of HALion, click here.

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Universal Audio has announced version 1.2 of its TDM plug-ins, which adds support for Digidesign Pro Tools 6.4 and the Accel DSP card. UA's TDM range includes the 1176LN/SE, LA-2A, and Pultec EQP-1A EQ. The upgrade is free to registered users, and a 14-day demo is available.

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