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Gear: Akai Synthstation49 iPad Audio Controller

While the iPad has many of us daydreaming about the possibilities that a multi-touch, WiFi-enabled tablet presents for music production and performance, we've yet to see much that gets us drooling. The Synthstation49 (MSRP: $199) isn't quite the revolution we're imagining, but it's still a nice little tool that does its part to bridge the gap between iPad fantasy and reality. The MPC pads and transport buttons are as expected, and the angle-adjustable iPad dock is cool. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/25/2011

Gear: Pioneer HDJ-500 Headphones

Pioneer has a rich history in the professional DJ equipment market, of which "budget" or "entry-level" have rarely been terms associated with its products, but with a constantly growing population of mixmasters, Pioneer has produced these headphones to be affordable for the beginners with the reputation for quality that is associated with its higher-end lines. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/04/2011

Gear: M-Audio Axiom 49 MIDI Controller

The latest iteration of M-Audio's mid-range Axiom 49 (MSRP: $439) features the decidedly high-end feature that is semi-weighted keys. Eight rubberized trigger pads (think M-Audio's own Trigger Finger) provide an alternative input mechanism, as do the nine mixer-style faders and eight rotary knobs dotting the device. The company's homespun DirectLink mode, which is built to automagically work with Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Live, and Reason, includes transport, mixer, track pan, and virtual instrument parameters. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 02/25/2011

Gear: Korg Electribe EMX-1 SD Sequencer/Synthesizer

When the Korg Electribe EMX-1 (MSRP: $499) sequencer/synthesizer launched, Ableton Live and Reason were only a few years young. Now software's infinite possibilities are ubiquitous, but a dedicated groovebox still provides a certain presence. Indeed, immediacy propels the EMX-1 SD, with an updated SecureDigital card-storage slot and PCM sample banks, introducing contemporary genres such as mnml, chiptune, and dubstep. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 02/18/2011

Gear: Horsepower Productions' Tape Delay Tips

Back in 2002, UK outfit Horsepower Productions graced the cover of XLR8R, an issue that has become somewhat infamous for being one of the first publications to mention the word dubstep in print. Nine years later, even as the genre they helped create has mutated wildly, Horsepower Productions' Benny Ill is still at it, so we asked him to pass along a few studio tips from a low-end master. He was more than happy to oblige. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 02/17/2011

Gear: Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4

With Kontrol S4 (MSRP: $999, pictured above), Native Instruments has developed its most ambitious entry into the DJ game to date. Essentially a physical extension of NI's Traktor software, the S4 integrates four-deck control with a four-channel digital mixer and audio interface. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 02/11/2011

Gear: In the Studio: Miles Whittaker

Miles Whittaker is the long, tall, shaggy-haired Lancastrian gentleman behind the dub/tech/house monikers MLZ and Millie, and one half of the groups Pendle Coven, with Gary Howell, and Demdike Stare, with Sean Canty of the Finders Keepers vinyl collective. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 01/13/2011

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