The USB MIDI keyboards I’ve tested so far were all spring-loaded and therefore quite light and indifferent to the touch. The Impact LX88+ is an 88-key semi-weighted MIDI keyboard/controller. Its keys are part spring-loaded, part weighted. You instantly feel the difference.
The mother of all synthesisers and the one all others try to beat must be the Moog. Moog, the company, still manufacture the actual synths, which are quite expensive. The Moog Model 15 is a digital recreation of a box the size of a small refrigerator. Now I’ve only heard recordings of music created with a Moog, so I can’t tell you what it sounds like when you’re standing beside the real thing, but I can tell you this: the recordings of the iPad Moog Model 15 app that I made come close to the recordings of the real thing.
NUGEN Audio is well known for its broadcast audio plug-ins and applications. Recently, it released its first batch processor, Audio Management Batch Processor (AMB). This application processes multiple audio files simultaneously. It reports on loudness levels, auto-edits your audio files to make them comply with loudness standards, upmixes audio using the new Halo Upmix algorithm and optionally works with ProRes and MXF files (OP-1a and OP-Atom)
The EncorePro HW720 is Plantronics’ latest professional headset for phone calling via a softphone like Skype on your Mac. The EncorePro HW720 delivers a comfortable and efficient phone calling experience with Skype. The EncorePro HW720 is powered by Plantronics DA80 solution that fits both SOHO callers and call centres.
You can buy a 3m microphone cable for €10, but Neumann sells one for €300. Neumann is the German manufacturer whose mics are used in Deutsche Grammophon recordings. The Chord Company doesn’t make microphones, but it knows cables. They make a microphone cable using the same mixture of knowledge, skills and technology as the one they use when making some of the world’s best Hi-Fi audio cables: the Cream cable.
Audiophiles swear that cables can change your musical experience. They believe cables can make or break the sound coming from your expensive amplifier. People who know better argue that cables costing north of let’s say €200 won’t do you any good.
Myriad is an audio batch processor. It has been for some time, but version 4 has been totally redesigned. It has beautiful looks and processes files at blazing speeds. Myriad has a large number of processing actions you can combine and save into workflows. It will simultaneously export to multiple formats, sample rates and frequencies giving you advanced configuration options and dithering algorithms.
Integrating with Logic Pro X, Reason, Cubase, ProTools and many other DAWs while offering an excellent keyboard experience seems to be Nektar Technologys’ goal in life. They’ve just released the Impact GX49 MIDI keyboard/controller.
It comes with its own batteries to drive 48V phantom powered microphones, has two Neutrik XLR/TRS audio jacks for mics and instruments, two MIDI ports, two speaker output ports and a headphone interface. The iRig Pro Duo is a cross-platform portable recording unit and I was curious to hear how well it sounds.
No matter how good an audio sample may sound, there are always notes that sound synthetic and with instruments like a grand piano subtleties and musicality are inevitably lost. It’s a problem that can be solved by not sampling an instrument but using true physical modelling. That’s what Pianoteq from French company Modartt seeks out to do — and from what I’ve experienced: with success.
The iRig Keys Pro keyboard is a 37 notes keyboard annex MIDI controller with velocity sensitivity. It is compatible with iOS devices as well as with Mac and Windows computers. The iRig Keys Pro has a pitch bend and modulation wheel, illuminated octave selection buttons, four user sets for quick recall of MIDI programs and […]
To avoid your iOS device being drained by an iRig Pro or one of IK Multimedia’s other iRig devices, you need some sort of power solution. iRig PowerBridge is IK Multimedia’s own solution to the problem. It’s a tiny power/data splitter that sits in-between your device and the iRig device. It delivers power to the iPad or iPhone as well as to the iRig device you’re using.
What I first thought to be part of some free perks that come with an iRig product, turned out to be quite a wonderful sound and groove app/plug-in. SampleTank 3 SE has great sounding and real-world audio samples and works both as a stand-alone app and a plug-in to your DAW.
iRig PRO is a compact audio and MIDI interface you can use with XLR-microphones, a guitar and bass, a keyboard and other line-level sources and MIDI controllers. It features an XLR and 1/4″ combo jack for connecting microphones and instruments, and a MIDI input for plugging in a controller. I was very curious to know if this small box would have the quality you need when shooting video with an external audio interface. Traditionally, this would mean using a Zoom H4n sound recorder, but if you have an iPad, an iRig PRO could do the job as well.
Shooter Suite 13 is the latest upgrade of Red Giant Software’s application bundle for video shooters. The suite is targeted at offloading video from camera recording devices to your system as well as ingesting video into your NLE so that it is instantly usable. Shooter Suite 13 includes Offload 1.x, PluralEyes 4, Instant 4K and Frames. Of all the included apps, PluralEyes 4 is the most important one and the only app to have received a major feature upgrade.
Celemony has recently released Melodyne 4, a significant upgrade of its audio software. It’s the most extensive update to the entire product family so far and the emphasis lies on the most feature-complete version, Melodyne 4 studio. New features include the Sound Editor, which has totally new sound design capabilities, DNA (Direct Note Access) on an unlimited number of tracks, and extremely accurate tempo detection. Melodyne 4 studio is a 64-bit app, running as a stand-lone application or a plug-in within your DAW. I tested Melodyne 4 studio with Logic Pro X and on its own.
Ozone 7 is the latest version of the master mixing app by iZotope. It contains a whole slew of new modules and features. There are new vintage modules (tape, equaliser, compressor and limiter), a codec preview, new export formats and an upgraded maximiser with a new algorithm (IRC IV).
Some products are upgraded once a year, even if the improvements seem few. On the surface, that’s the case with iZotope’s RX 5 Audio Editor Advanced. If you dig a bit deeper, though, it becomes apparent the RX 5 upgrade is worth every penny. That’s not because the quality of the editing results has improved dramatically — I don’t believe that’s possible anymore. It’s due to new plug-ins and better integration with DAWs, including Avid’s ProTools.
How clean an output do USB ports really deliver? AudioQuest seems to think the output isn’t as clean as it should be. If you want to listen to music and enjoy a noiseless experience with a good soundstage, you’ll need to suppress electronic signals that aren’t music. The AudioQuest Jitterbug does precisely that. Perhaps you’re sceptical. I know I was. I knew my Apogee Duet iPad/Mac has dedicated circuitry to get rid of digital/electronic noise, so what would a €49 USB stick be able to improve on that?
Creating music for a movie or a soundscape is not a matter of buying a few samples and adding them to your sequence or timeline. Doing it right requires imagination and inspiration. Inspiration may come by experimenting with plugins in your music app or DAW. I had the privilege of trying out BIAS FX Desktop, a complete guitar effects modeller or processor that I tried in Logic Pro X. It’s the guitar effects system, but I discovered it can be even more.
For any type of movie, audio quality is crucial. It doesn’t matter whether you need to record an interview or a concert, the sound must be as good as you can possibly get it. If people are asked about the difference between a professionally created video and the experiment of a dilettante, they invariably find the audio to be the deal breaker. Well recorded sound makes a good movie stand out. Good sound is even more important for videos meant to be played on Youtube or Vimeo.