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Gear: Livid Block MIDI Controller

Controlling Live and Max/MSP just got really sleek. Livid Instruments' Block MIDI controller (MSRP: $425) might be one of the most streamlined control surfaces yet to be released. Its minimal design and subtle color scheme (think monome) perfectly compliment its 64 assignable clip buttons, eight knobs, seven function buttons, and two faders that stand as the core of the controller's versatility. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 07/05/2010

Gear: Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4 Pro Kontrol

Offering an alternative to roadie hernias, this update puts realistically modeled guitar/bass set-ups in your laptop—complete with 25 selectable cabinets plus 15 pairable heads, 48 true stereo rack effects, and even vintage mics. But nothing replaces the satisfying physicality of a pedal's spring-loaded cha-chunk! Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 06/28/2010

Gear: Artist Tips: Christian Prommer

Christian Prommer is not one to think within the traditional rubric of what is considered electronic dance music; after all, the Munich-based percussionist and producer is best-known for his Drum Lesson Vol. 1 release, which reworked classic techno and electronic tracks into jazz instrumentals and sent his profile through the roof. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 06/22/2010

Gear: Dubmatix Atomic Reggae Loops Vol I

Production packages for reggae studio heads are few and far between, as companies instead focus their sets on popular genres such as hip-hop, electro, techno, or pop. Sonic Reality and Uberschall have a few reggae-themed offerings, but in general they sound like adaptations of their electronic and rock packages. Enter Atomic Reggae (MSRP: $79.95), a loops collection recorded by Canadian band Dubmatix using live vintage instruments. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 06/21/2010

Gear: Beat Thang Virtual

Beat Kangz Electronics brings its portable sampler/drum-machine/production tool, Beat Thang, into your Mac or PC with Beat Thang Virtual (MSRP: $149). The main selling point on this program is its overall simplicity, as Beat Thang promises novice producers they can create loads of professional-sounding tunes fast and easy. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 05/03/2010

Gear: Korg Kaossilator Pro

Korg's invention of the Kaoss line of products over a decade ago changed the effects game for musicians and producers both in the studio and on stage. Through the years, Korg continued to innovate such institutions as the DJ mixer and video/audio samplers; now Korg introduces its first touchpad-based synthesizer, Kaossilator Pro (MSRP: $460). The synths soundbank contains sounds suitable for genres ranging from electro to hip-hop to reggae and house, with plenty of acoustic instruments available as well. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 04/25/2010

Gear: Arturia Analog Experience Series

For those of you still dedicated to the sounds of classic analog synths, but might be happier with something a little more up-to-date, Arturia's new line of hardware synthesizers could be exactly what you want. The Analog Experience Series comes in three different options, The Player, The Factory (MSRP: $349), and The Laboratory, all with different features. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 04/18/2010

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