ESI has released a new product in its keyboard controller product line that can be used with many different software or hardware devices because its USB connection, including synths (using the knobs and faders). The ESI K.ON Controller Keyboard‘s environment can be studio (professional or home) or live stages, where the aluminum cabinet gathers importance.
The ESI K.ON Controller Keyboard features 88 hammer action keys, 8 endless rotary knobs (for effects or parameters adjustments), 9 faders, modulation and pitch wheels, editing and selecting controls, numeric LED display, transport controls and 4 expansion slots (on the back) that are compatible with many vendors synth modules. The controller can be powered through the USB connection or via an external power supply.
This controller works with Windows (XP or higher) and Mac OS X and comes with ubiquitous Cubase LE 4.0 software. The ESI K.ON Controller Keyboard is now available and its approximate price is $675.
We announced last year the release of the new mixer series from Allen & Heath that was called ZED and the next step taken by this company is adding effects to their USB mixers. There will be, at first, 2 models Allen & Heath ZED-12FX and Allen & Heath ZED-22FX that have similar features to their “non-effected” brothers.
The effects included in the Allen & Heath ZED FX Mixers are delays, reverbs (long and short) and modulation (flanger or chorus) that make a total of 16 different effects (2 banks with 8 each) that can be activated and adjusted through the effect and bank selection and tap tempo buttons. Other features of these mixers are 6 or 16 mono (depending on the model) and 3 dual stereo channels, 100mm faders, 3-band EQ on mono and 2-band EQ on stereo channels, DuoPre padless preamps, dual stereo input, 2 pre and 2 post fade auxiliary sends and many more.
This mixers have been designed for being comfortable on a studio (or at home) desktop, with characteristics like the top placed connectors taken from the Allen & Heath professional mixers, and come with Cakewalk's Sonar LE music production software. The Allen & Heath ZED FX Mixers will be available in March and their list prices are $600 for the ZED-12FX model and $900 for the ZED-22FX model.
Almost one year after the release of the iMultimix 8, Alesis updates its mixer-to-iPod product line with this new model, the Alesis iMultimix 16 USB Mixer, a mixer that also features an iPod dock and can be used for studio and home recording or for live events.
The features of the Alesis iMultimix 16 USB Mixer are 16 channels, 16-bit resolution and 44.1 and 48kHz sampling rate audio recording quality, 28-bit digital effects (reverb, chorus, delay, … more than 100), 3-band EQ per channel, iPod jog wheel and record and playback levels, +48V phantom power, 4 high-gain mic/line preamps, 2 guitar mic/line inputs and aux send and returns.
This mixer works only in Windows and Mac OS and includes the Cubase LE 4 software. The Alesis iMultimix 16 USB Mixer is now available and its price is $600.
The new guitar amp released by Mackie is one of the very interesting products released lately. The Mackie Hotwire VT12 Guitar Amp is fully customizable from the preamp circuit, the mode selector allows us to switch between 12 modes that cover American, British, blues, jazz and many more amps, to the output power, that can convert the amp into a Class A or a Class AB selecting the 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 30, 60 or 120-watts output, and you can even store your configurations in any of the user presets slots.
The features of the Mackie Hotwire VT12 Guitar Amp are 120 power output, 4 channels (clean, crunch, overdrive and lead), 12 different wiring circuit modes, built-in effects in 3 categories (modulation: chorus, flanger, tremolo, …; delays and reverbs) with independent controls, 96 user presets, 12″ custom-voiced neodymium speaker (that reduces considerably the weight), USA and UK speaker voices and output power selector, 3-band EQ, drive, presence, volume and master volume controls and USB connection. This output allows you to record directly from the amp with a cabinet simulated signal or to manage your own presets.
This Mackie amp can be controlled with PB1 pedal board or PB4 4-way switch. The Mackie Hotwire VT12 Guitar Amp will be available on April and its price will be $1,500.
The electronics division of Marshall continues releasing very interesting products, this new one is the first USB mic that can record in 24/96 audio quality without needing an external A/D converter, the internal converter and all the components of the MXL USB.009-24 Condenser Mic provide a high quality sound to convert it in one of the most interesting USB mics in the market.
The specifications of the MXL USB.009-24 Condenser Mic are cardioid polar pattern, 24-bit and 96 kHz recording quality, 32 mm pressure gradient condenser capsule, gold sputtered diaphragm, 114 dB dynamic range and gain and mix (to blend between the mic and the playback signals) controls. A strange feature of the mic is that it has a headphone output in the mic itself, with even a headphone level control, for monitoring tasks.
This mic is a true plug and play device, you only need to plug it in your Windows or Mac computer and no need of drivers or extra configuration. The MXL USB.009-24 Condenser Mic will be available this spring and the minimum advertised price is $400.
Another compact and mobile interface has been released at Winter NAMM to increase the huge number of options we have in this home recording field. The E-MU Tracker Pre USB Mobile Interface includes some functions only found in professional devices that will allow you to make your best with this dual-function mobile interface.
The E-MU Tracker Pre USB Mobile Interface, that can also be used as a stereo mic, line or instrument preamp because the signal is preamplified before the A/D conversor, features 24-bit and 192 kHz A/D and D/A conversion, mono and stereo mode switch, master volume level and gain control per channel, balanced XLR, 1/4″ and 1/8″ condenser mic inputs, 2 1/4″ balanced or unbalanced and stereo headphones outputs. There also available send/return connections before the A/D conversor.
This USB-powered device comes with a lot of software, all you need to create your own music and professionally record it with your Mac OS X or Windows operating systems supporting ASIO2, WDM, MME, Apple Core Audio and Core MIDI. The E-MU Tracker Pre USB Mobile Interface will be soon available, supposedly this month, and its approximate price will be $150.
This product will be soon in many home studios or podcast bloggers desktops, Audio-Technica has released an USB version of their affordable condenser mic, the AT2020 model. The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Mic provides clear and natural sound isolating the unwanted sources resulting a high-quality tone.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Mic is a polarized condenser mic with cardioid polar pattern, 20 Hz to 16 kHz frequency response, low-mass diaphragm, low self-noise, +48V phantom power and USB connection, that also powers the mic.
This USB mic comes with tripod desk stand, pivoting stand mount and USB cable and is compatible with Windows and Mac OS operating systems. The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Mic will be available on March and its MSRP price will be $250.
Another release by ESI and another small recording interface for home studios or for portable recording, the ESI U46 XL USB Audio Interface, this one has been based on the U46DJ product but with added features to put it on the USB recording interfaces product line.
The ESI U46 XL USB Audio Interface features 4 channels, mic preamp, switchable +48V phantom power, 100dB(a) dynamic range, 48 kHz sampling rate, gain control per channel, input selector switch, XLR mic, 1/4″ instrument and 4 RCA inputs, stereo mix, headphones and 6 RCA outputs and USB connection (that also powers the device).
As the this interface supports DirectWIRE and EWDM driver with MME, WDM and ASIO 2.0 support. The ESI U46 XL USB Audio Interface will be available in Q2 of 2008 and its price has not been announced yet.
This new Moog device that will be present at Winter NAMM show can be a great and very important tool for synth or DJ-gear absed musicians, if you are on this group and sometimes you have felt you need another hand take a look at this. The Moog MP-201 Multi-Pedal is a foot pedal MIDI controller that can be used with effects processors, synths, laptops, … even to adjust parameters from different devices at the same time.
The Moog MP-201 Multi-Pedal features 4 footswitches each one with LED, expression pedal, 1 rotary encoder with push switch, 2 momentary switches (for editing presets), LFO signal generated by user’s rate, amount and waveform (available waveforms: triangle, square, sawtooth, ramp and sample and hold) adjusments, random noise cv (control voltage), preset Voltage levels, USB port (with MIDI over USB), MIDI in and out connections, 4 CV 1/4″ TRS outputs and 5 operation modes.
The operation modes include using footswitches to select programs or channels (single channel mode) or using footswitches as channel on/off and the pedal as an expression pedal for all the channels, among others. The Moog MP-201 Multi-Pedal price and availability have to be announced yet.
The last CEntrance release is, probably, one of the smaller and portable recording interfaces I’ve ever seen and will be great for anywhere-you-want recordings. The CEntrance AxePort Pro USB Direct Box is a plug-and-play device, no drivers needed, with the same philosophy of the Mic Port Pro that allows you to connect your guitar or bass to your laptop and record immediately.
The CEntrance AxePort Pro USB Direct Box features 24-bit audio resolution and 96 kHz sampling rate, 1/4″ jack input, headphone and guitar/bass preamps, input and output level controls, zero latency monitoring, Windows (XP or higher) and Mac OS X compatibility and the device is USB powered.
This direct box comes with ASIO/GSIF universal driver, 3 foot instrument and 6 foot USB cables and Native Instruments Guitar Combos emulation software. The CEntrance AxePort Pro USB Direct Box is now available and will be on the Winter NAMM show, but its price has not been announced yet.