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  • Filed under: Gear
  • 09/28/2012

This Week in Music Tech: Machinedrum Ableton Session, Cakewalk Sonar X2, Native Instruments Maschine Update, and More

We've got a complete Ableton set from a top-shelf producer, the word on a new program from Cakewalk, a few tantalizing updates, and—of course—some helpful videos in this edition of our weekly production and technology news wrap-up.

In case you missed it:

- This week saw XLR8R add another edition to our ongoing In the Studio series of interviews and photos, this time tapping Lazer Sword member Lando Kal (pictured above) to give us a tour of his "space-age studio cabin" in Berlin. You can read the full interview and gaze at the man's neon-glowing array of hardware here.

- An interview with the veteran producer Machinedrum appeared Wednesday on Ableton's website, in which the Berlin resident broke down the production process behind his "Sacred Frequency" track and included a download of the song's complete Ableton Live Set. A resounding "Holy shit!" could be heard across the Facebook and Twitter feeds of production nerds around the globe, so make sure you check out the full interview and get your hands on Machinedrum's Live session here.

Some reboots and updates:

- Cakewalk began shipping the latest edition of its Sonar DAW, X2, this week. The new version of the software comes with a host of performance and user enhancements—including an improved "Smart Tool," a new clip-triggering matrix, an array of brand-new and reworked plug-ins, and plenty more shiny bells and whistles. You can head over here to read up on what all is new in Sonar X2.

- Plug-in developers Camel Audio have released an update to its Alchemy sample manipulation synthesizer. Now at version 1.5, the new Alchemy comes with an easier-to-navigate, redesigned browser that claims to be "the most fully featured sound browser available anywhere," adding to its reputation as a powerful soft-synth and sample-manipulation tool. (Side note: If you don't already have it, Camel Audio's free Camel Crusher "coloring" multi-effect plug-in is certainly worth the download.)

- This week, Native Instruments Maschine users finally got their hands on the 1.8 update which was announced a few weeks back, the same time as the next generation of Maschine and Maschine Mikro—both of which are set to hit stores on Monday. For an in-depth look at what is new with 1.8 (other than the access to NI's fabled Massive soft-synth) and to delve deeper into the new Maschine line, check out the video below, courtesy of Dubspot.

A pair of videos to send you off:

- The endlessly knowledgeable Thavius Beck again blew our minds with a tip on using Live's EQ8 plug-in for split-stereo EQing in the lastest edition of his Ableton Live Tips: Did You Know? YouTube video series, again courtesy of Dubspot.

- And lastly, the Keith McMillen Instruments-designed QuNeo USB controller officially started shipping last week after an initial outpouring of Kickstarter-support pushed the product into development late last year. As part of its review of the QuNeo, the DJ Tech Tools blog/store put the unit through an excessive stress test (including a can of beer and a two-story drop), showing how much abuse the controller can surprisngly withstand while also providing some nerd-centric entertainment.

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