This Week in Music Tech: Silent Servant, Ninja Jamm, Korg Volca Mini-Synths, Novation Bass Station II, and More
- Words: Glenn Jackson
Thanks to Frankfurt's annual Musikmesse conferenece taking place this week, the past few days have been full of juicy gear announcements—including the unveiling of Korg's new analog mini-synths, a new bass synth from Novation, Pioneer's latest DJ mixer, Ninja Tune's Ninja Jamm app, and more. Again, we've compiled the best of the week's new audio toys and production news in one convenient place for the latest This Week in Music Tech.
Earlier this week, XLR8R caught up with Sandwell District affiliate Silent Servant to take a look at his San Pedro studio and ask the producer about his inventive methods. Our full interview and picture set can be found here.
Ninja Jamm, a "mixing and jamming" app that allows users to remix songs from Ninja Tunes' catalog, was released as a free download this week. The app supplies the separate pieces of tracks from Bonobo, Cold Cut, Amon Tobin, and others, all of which can be tweaked, chopped, and rearranged using the in-app modulators and editors. The stems for additional songs from the Ninja Tune catalog (and possibly more labels down the line) will also be available to purchase from the in-app store, and the resulting creations can be shared on Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, and Tumblr. The free iOS app can be downloaded here.
On Wednesday, Korg unveiled the forthcoming Volca line of analog mini-synthesizers. The three new synths—simply called Keys, Bass, and Beats—appear aimed at continuing Korg's recent moves towards making analog synthesis portable and affordable. The Volca synths will retail for $149.99 when they hit stores in July. For more information, head here.
This week saw Pioneer unveil a new four-channel DJ mixer, the DJM-750. Slated to hit stores in June, the 750 brings with it a few fresh functions while still representing a streamlined take on professional-grade Pioneer mixers. The full details of the DJM-750 can be found here.
Novation introduced the Bass Station II earlier this week. Inspired by the original, '90s-era Bass Station, the new unit is said to be "completely reworked for the 21st Century," and features two analog filters, two analog oscillators (along with an additional sub oscillator), a pattern-based step sequencer and arpeggiator, and a comprehensive set of analog FX and modulation—all for the street price of around $500. Full details of the new synth, which will hit stores in June, can be found here.
This week, Avid announced the upcoming release of Pro Tools 11, the next upgrade to its flagship audio workstation. The latest version of the DAW is said to feature a "newly designed architecture [that] turbo-charges production with more plug-in processing and the ability to run more virtual instruments." More details can be found here, and a very comprehensive video look at the forthcoming program can be viewed here.
In addition to announcing a new version of its Lead series of synthesizer, the Lead 4, Nord also revealed the Drum 2, a six-channel "modeling percussion synthesizer," and the Nord Pad (both pictured above). Nord itself hasn't revealed many details for the Drum 2 unit on its own, but Create Digital Music managed to gather all the information it could find in a single comprehensive post, which can be read here.
Lastly, Ableton co-founder and CEO Gerhard Behles recently sat down with KVR Audio for an interview in which he briefly discussed the roots of Ableton Live, the Push controller, Live's partnership with Cycling 74, and more. The full interview can be read here.
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