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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
The first thing that strikes you about the TMA-1 (MSRP: $199) is its design: distinctive and minimalist, the hyper-clean silhouette is underscored by a glorious matte, rubberized finish. Pick them up and the solidity is immediately apparent—this is a solid set of cans, and one unlikely to break under even the most drunken of circumstances. The headphone cable is removable, and the ear cushions pop off in favor of a higher-isolation pair for noisy clubs, included in the box. Read more »
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