New Gear, February 2013

HIGHLIGHTS Re-creates three classic electromechanical keyboards— Rhodes, Pianet, and Wurlitzer • based on the same ‘Radical’ technology as Propellerhead’s acclaimed Radical Piano • goes beyond emulation by enabling users to sculpt their own instruments from the originals
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Propellerhead Software

Radical Keys
Reason rack extension

HIGHLIGHTS Re-creates three classic electromechanical keyboards— Rhodes, Pianet, and Wurlitzer • based on the same ‘Radical’ technology as Propellerhead’s acclaimed Radical Piano • goes beyond emulation by enabling users to sculpt their own instruments from the originals
TARGET MARKET Reason owners who want to expand their available roster of instruments
ANALYSIS The introduction of Rack Extension technology has been huge, as it allows optional-at-extra-cost add-ons to the core Reason program. In addition to cultivating third-party contributions, Propellerhead Software has been active in creating new modules.

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MX Series
Music synthesizers
MX49 $599.99, MX61 $799.99

HIGHLIGHTS Sounds derived from MOTIF synthesizers • 49- and 61-note versions • extensive audio/MIDI USB connectivity • DAW and VST controller features • eight-element engine, Virtual Circuit Modeling effects, and 1,134 preset voices • audio interfacing
TARGET AUDIENCE Stage and studio musicians who want strong hardware/software integration with on-the-go size and weight
ANALYSIS The low-priced MX Series makes the sounds of the MOTIF line more affordable to a wider range of musicians. However, MX synths are also designed for serious computer integration; the bundled software underscores that point.

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Mac audio interface

HIGHLIGHTS USB 2.0 • 4 ins, 6 balanced outs, stereo headphones out • Apogee A/D-D/A conversion technology • four world-class mic pres • ADAT/SMUX digital inputs • dual high-res OLED displays • works with any Core Audio-compatible application • three assignable touchpads • six touchpads for direct selection of inputs and outputs
TARGET MARKET Mac-based desktop studios requiring more than a basic 2-channel interface
ANALYSIS Quartet fills the hole in Apogee’s interface product line between the 2-channel Apogee Duet and the 8-channel Apogee Ensemble.


Sound library
$12 or part of subscription

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HIGHLIGHTS Collection of instruments, sound effects, percussion kits, and more, sourced from a circuit-bent Casio SK-5 • for Ableton Live, NI Kontakt, and Apple Logic • Ableton Live Racks include precise incremental controls • Logic EXS version includes Channel Strip Settings with Logic effects
TARGET MARKET Those who seek unusual sounds based on the SK-5’s lo-fi character
ANALYSIS Circuit bending can open up a world beyond standard instrument sounds; but if you don’t have the tech chops to do it yourself, libraries of circuit-bent sounds are the next-best option.

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USB-200FB Series
High-speed USB cables

HIGHLIGHTS Available in 3-, 6-, and 10-foot lengths • pivoting Type A connector (the end that typically connects to a computer) can be set to either straight or right-angle positions • supports burst data transfer rates up to 480Mbps
TARGET MARKET DJs, musicians, and audio professionals who need to make connections to an elevated laptop computer and related equipment in cramped quarters
ANALYSIS As more portable gear uses USB, connecting peripherals to computers in tight spaces can be a problem—one that the USB- 200FB Series is designed to solve.

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Analog Four
Hardware synthesizer

HIGHLIGHTS Four-voice analog synthesizer with digital control • step sequencer with parameter locks • two analog oscillators and filters per voice • dedicated CV/Gate and FX sequencer tracks • two external inputs • MIDI in/out/thru with DIN sync out • multiple LFOs and envelopes per voice
TARGET MARKET Keyboard players who favor analog synths
ANALYSIS While purists love the sound of analog, it’s hard to forego some of the advantages of digital—like sequencing precision. By combining analog sound with digital technology, Elektron intends to offer the best of both worlds.

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Audio Recording Techniques
Video course

HIGHLIGHTS Five-hour program hosted and written by audio recording educator Bobby Owsinski • walks through the process of miking and tracking a complete song • covers recording drums, guitars, vocals, strings, horns, bass, keyboards, and more
TARGET MARKET Beginners who need the fundamentals of studio miking and recording techniques
ANALYSIS While many musicians have become proficient with desktop recording setups, there are often gaps in their knowledge regarding fundamentals—like recording a drum set. This video addresses those kinds of users, as well as beginners.

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Future Loops
Total Chillout
Sound Library
€99.95 (approx. $130)

HIGHLIGHTS 10GB of chill-out and downtempo samples • tempos range from 80 to 110 BPM • WAV and REX format • with vintage keys, lo-fi breaks, phat and old-school drums, bass lines, strings, ’70s flute licks, percussion loops, vocals, FX, saxophone, trumpet, pads, synths, and various oneshots • contains more than 10,000 samples
TARGET MARKET Producers working with hip-hop, breaks, or downtempo styles; film/TV composers
ANALYSIS Chill and downtempo continue to be popular musical niches, and Total Chillout’s 10GB of material is tailor-made for these genres.