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New Gear: April 2015 - EMusician

New Gear: April 2015

Products from Dave Smith, Focusrite, Mackie, and More
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1
WAVES
H-REVERB

Plug-in
$350 Native; $525 SoundGrid; Introductory price TBA

HIGHLIGHTS A Finite Impulse Response (FIR) reverb plug-in offering analog modeling and a drive control • EQ and dynamics parameters • built-in LFO • ability to produce resonant filter sweeps for creating effects • pre-delay BPM sync • 5.1 surround capabilities • collapsible GUI • quick-reference button • includes presets designed by prominent mix engineers

TARGET MARKET Recording and mixing engineers, sound designers

ANALYSIS A state-of-the-art reverb plug-in that offers a number of useful features for exploring the creative use of reverberation.
waves.com

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2
SPITFIRE AUDIO
THE GRANGE
Drum library for Kontakt Player
£149

HIGHLIGHTS Features three influential rock drummers—Roger Taylor (Queen), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Andy Gangadeen (Massive Attack)—recorded to 24-track 2" tape in the historic English home known at Headley Grange, where John Bonham cut classic tracks with Led Zeppelin • includes hits and loops with individually close-miked instruments, stems, ambient stereo perspectives, and mix tracks

TARGET MARKET Musicians, songwriters, composers

ANALYSIS Three hard-hitters recorded to tape with vintage gear in a classic room: What’s not to like?
spitfireaudio.com

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3
ROLAND
JD-XI

Hybrid keyboard synth
$499 street

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HIGHLIGHTS Play and sequence four parts—one analog voice, two SuperNatural-based PCM digital voices, and drums—in real time or step mode • analog filter • sub oscillator • effects (reverb, delay, ring mod, bit crusher, slicer) • vocoder (gooseneck mic included) • AutoPitch capabilities • TR-REC programming mode • USB audio and MIDI • digital synths offer 128-voice polyphony

TARGET MARKET Keyboardists, DJs, beat producers

ANALYSIS A remarkably powerful and versatile, yet affordable, instrument featuring a full analog synth voice as well as a vocoder.
rolandus.com

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4
AUDIO-TECHNICA
ATH-R70X
Open-back reference headphones
$489

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HIGHLIGHTS 45mm drivers • 5Hz to 40kHz frequency response • 470-ohm impedance • lightweight, with acoustically transparent honeycomb-mesh housing • self-adjusting wing-support headband • fabric earpads • detachable locking cable that can be used on either side of the headphones, while retaining the proper stereo channeling

TARGET MARKET Musicians, engineers, sound designers

ANALYSIS Audio-Technica’s first open-back headphones, designed for comfort and to provide a more natural-sounding listening experience compared to closed-back designs.
audio-technica.com

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5
ARTURIA
AUDIOFUSE
USB audio/MIDI interface
$599

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HIGHLIGHTS 24-bit/192kHz resolution • 3 USB/MIDI ports • 2 mic preamps on combo jacks • 2 1/4" TRS analog inputs • 2 RCA inputs with RIAA phono preamps and ground • two pairs of balanced 1/4" speaker outputs • 2 1/4" and 2 3.5mm headphone jacks • direct monitoring • ADAT and S/PDIF digital I/O • two inserts • talkback • available in black, gray, and silver

TARGET MARKET Musicians recording at home and on the road

ANALYSIS A compact and portable audio/MIDI interface that can also act as a USB hub.
arturia.com

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6
SPECTRASONICS
OMNISPHERE 2
Software synthesizer workstation
$499; $249 upgrade; $199 VIP upgrade

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HIGHLIGHTS Audio import features • expanded browser and arpeggiator • more than 3,000 new sounds • granular synthesis and morphable wavetables • 25 new effects; 16 effects units per patch • Sound Match feature for locating related sounds in the library • Sound Lock feature retains chosen parameters as you search for related sounds • 8 new filter types • unison drift feature models the behavior of analog polysynths

TARGET MARKET Composers, sound designers, keyboardists, musicians

ANALYSIS The increase in features and power make this instrument tough to beat.
spectrasonics.net

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7
DAVE SMITH INSTRUMENTS
SEQUENTIAL

PROPHET-6
Analog polysynth with digital effects
$2,799 street

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HIGHLIGHTS 6-voice synth with two analog VCOs per voice • 4-octave semiweighted keyboard offering velocity sensitivity and Aftertouch • resonant analog 4-pole lowpass filter for each voice • resonant 2-pole highpass filter for each voice • Unison mode • extensive modulation capabilities • 24-bit/48kHz digital effects include reverb, delay (standard and BBD), phase shifter, and chorus, all with true bypass • analog distortion • multimode arpeggiator • polyphonic step sequencer

TARGET MARKET Keyboardists, composers, performers

ANALYSIS Classic analog polyphonic synth sounds coupled with modern conveniences and build quality.
davesmithinstruments.com

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8
YAMAHA

AG06
USB interface and mixer
$249

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HIGHLIGHTS 6-input mixer • 24-bit, 192kHz audio interface • 2 D-Pre mic preamps • instrument input • 1/4" and RCA line inputs • stereo aux input • DSP effects with footswitch control • separate headphone and monitor controls • To PC switch and loopback capabilities for routing inputs to the stereo USB output for podcasting/webcasting • runs on batteries or AC power

TARGET MARKET Home studios, schools, mobile, gamers

ANALYSIS Designed to be lightweight, portable, easy-to-use, and rugged, while providing useful routing capabilities between analog devices and your computer.
usa.yamaha.com

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9
MACKIE
FREEPLAY
Stereo P.A. system
$499.99

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HIGHLIGHTS Bluetooth-enabled, full-range stereo P.A. • 2 mic/line/instrument inputs • 8" woofer • AC or battery powered (optional rechargeable lithium-ion pack) • 4-channel digital mixer • FreePlay Connect app for iOS to control speaker voicing modes, feedback elimination, and 16 vocal/instrument effects • kickstand/polemount and accessories available

TARGET MARKET Singer/songwriters, musicians, educators

ANALYSIS Designed to provide maximum versatility in a highly portable P.A. speaker that can be used anywhere, thanks to its battery operation.
mackie.com

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10
FOCUSRITE
CLARETT
Thunderbolt audio/MIDI interfaces
$499.99-$1,299.99

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HIGHLIGHTS Preamps modeled after Focusrite’s ISA design • 24-bit/192kHz resolution • metering • MIDI I/O • interface latency below 1ms • Red 2 and Red 3 plug-in suite (AAX, AU, VST) • Clarett 2Pre (10x4): $499 • Clarett 4Pre (18x8): $699 • Clarett 8Pre (18x20): $999 • Clarett 8Pre X (26x28): $1,299

TARGET MARKET Musicians, recording engineers, educators

ANALYSIS Using the latest Thunderbolt technology, Clarett products have extremely low latency, combined with a surprising number of I/O options.
focusrite.com

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11
NORD
ELECTRO 5
Keyboard synthesizer
$TBA

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HIGHLIGHTS Expanded memory, keyboard splitting, and layering capabilities • programming section designed for live performance • available in three models: 5D 61, 5D 73, and HP 73 • the 5D 61-note and 73-note keyboards include drawbars • monitor input for stereo playback devices • 1GB piano library • included sample editor

TARGET MARKET Gigging keyboardists

ANALYSIS The Electro 5 is designed for the stage, with many new features that enhance the keyboard’s real-time performance capabilities.
nordkeyboards.com

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12
NOVATION
LAUNCHPAD PRO
USB MIDI controller
$299.99 street

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HIGHLIGHTS 8x8 grid-based performance controller for Ableton Live • grid is enhanced with 3-color (RGB) velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads • melody and chord capabilities in Note Mode • create custom configurations within User mode • apply effects in Device mode • trigger and combine clips using Session mode • control other software using Standalone mode • USB bus powered • comes with cable and software

TARGET MARKET Beat producers, DJs, musicians

ANALYSIS A pro-level button box that is surprisingly easy to use, thanks in part to the colored pads.
novationmusic.com

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13
PEAVEY
XR-AT
Powered mixer with Auto-Tune
$899 street

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HIGHLIGHTS 9-channel powered mixer offering 1,000W RMS and built-in Antares Auto-Tune technology • 8 mic/1/4" combo inputs with pads • mic-channel monitor sends • subwoofer line out • Feedback Locating System • MidMorph features • digital FX • effect-to-monitor return control • two 9-band graphic EQs • analog record outputs • Bluetooth • USB input for MP3 playback • KOSMOS bass enhancement

TARGET MARKET Performing artists, small- to medium-sized venues

ANALYSIS A solid and powerful mixer with built-in pitch correction: Perfect for open-mic nights!
peavey.com

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14
VIENNA SYMPHONIC LIBRARY
VIENNA SOLO VOICES
Sample library/instrument
$540

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HIGHLIGHTS Covers complete range of the human voice • four female voices (coloratura soprano, soprano, mezzo soprano, alto) and three male voices (tenor, baritone, bass) • “ah” and “oo” vowels in staccato, legato, and sustains at four dynamic levels • staccato repetitions • effects include sforzatos, diminuendos, crescendos, glissandi, and trills • Full Library includes 55,000 samples

TARGET MARKET Composers and sound designers

ANALYSIS Top-notch recording quality and performances make this a must-have vocal library.
vsl.co.at

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15
KORG
KAOSS DJ

USB DJ controller and audio interface
$299.99 street

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HIGHLIGHTS A DJ controller (USBbased or standalone) that includes A and B decks, a built-in KAOSS effects pad, a 2-channel mixer, and 24-bit/48kHz interface • 1/4" mic input • A and B stereo RCA input sections • RCA master outputs • 1/4" headphone jack • includes Serato DJ Intro, but supports any DJ software app

TARGET MARKET DJs, beat producers, musicians who want to explore DJ products

ANALYSIS A convenient way to add powerful KAOSS effects while using a digital 2-deck software controller.
korg.com

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16
Electro-Voice
EKX
P.A. series
$TBA

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HIGHLIGHTS Available in passive and powered models, each with 12" and 15" 2-way configurations and 15" and 18" subwoofers • Class D amplifiers provide up to 1,500W • single-knob QuickSmart DSP processing builtin • Cardioid Control Technology in the subwoofers for focusing the sound towards the audience

TARGET MARKET Musicians, DJs, clubs, and installations

ANALYSIS Positioned above the ZLX and ELX series, but below the ETX product line, the EKX speakers provide a lot of bang for the buck in terms of power and portability.
electrovoice.com