Wrapping up another week full of many new gear announcements, the latest This Week in Music Tech showcases the studio of Spanish electronic pop outfit Delorean, says farewell to Moog's Little Phatty, and catches up with legendary synth designer Dave Smith—all before checking out new controllers from Pioneer and Native Instruments, a wireless MIDI PUC, and 32 Lives, an application that allows for use of 32-bit plug-ins in Logic X. And, just for fun, we also take a look at what just might be the worst controller ever. It's all inside this edition of our weekly gear and production news wrap-up.
For our latest In the Studio piece, we checked in with Barcelona outfit Delorean to discuss the process which yielded the group's new full-length, Apar, discovering how the group approached crafting its self-proclaimed "big production album." The complete interview and photo set can found here.
Earlier this week, Moog announced that it will discontinue production of its Little Phatty analog synthesizer, one of the last units designed with the help of the company's founder and synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog. To mark the occasion, Moog prepared a slightly sentimental mini-doc to send the Phatty—originally released back in 2006—on its way.
Pioneer introduced the DDJ-SR this week. Essentially a two-channel version of the company's existing DDJ-SX controller, the new unit is optimized to work with Serato DJ, and will come with a free download of the program. The DDJ-SR is expected to hit stores next month with an MSRP of $699.
Native Instruments also unveiled updates to its DJ controller line, showing off new versions of its S2 and S4 Traktor controllers. Both offer a few useful new features, perhaps the most important of which is the fact that both the S2 and S4 can now either work with Traktor on a laptop/desktop or with NI's Traktor apps for iPhone and iPad. The new controllers are expected to be in stores by the end of the month, with current pre-orders pricing the two-channel version at $499 and the four-channel version at $799.
A new fundraising campaign hit the web this week for PUC, a small, puck-like device which can convert and send MIDI data wirelessly. The device claims to be able to free MIDI devices from the "tyranny of wires," and seems especially useful for those who utilize the iPad's many music-production apps. Those interested in finding out more about the PUC can watch the promo video above—if they can sit through the kitschy delivery and questionable music featured therein—or simply check out the product's Indiegogo campaign, here.
One of the few gripes we pointed out in our review of Apple's Logic X software was that 32-bit plug-ins would no longer work in the program, meaning those who had spent their hard-earned money building an arsenal of 32-bit FX and instruments were left out in the cold. Now, an answer is on the way with 32 Lives, a new application from Sound Radix which is capable of "generating 64-bit Audio Units versions of your loved and hard-earned 32-bit legacy plug-ins." The beta version can currently be downloaded for $69, and a full release is on its way. More information on 32 Lives can be found here.
Attack Magazine recently sat down to have a chat with pioneering synth designer Dave Smith, the man behind the Prophet series of keyboards and the main collaborator with Roger Linn on the much sought-after Tempest drum machine. The extensive interview covers a variety of topics—including the evolution of synths, MIDI, and why analog signals are still a vital part of synthesis. The full interview can be read here.
Lastly: While we here at XLR8R mostly focus our attentions on the latest advancements in production gear and innovations in music technology that could fundamentally change the way we all create, the "musical instrument" seen in the video above is not such a piece. Essentially a controller that allows users to manipulate atrocious, pre-packaged musical selections via "laser beams," the newly launched Beamz by Flo is the latest piece of equipment claiming to make anyone and everyone an instant musician. We've included it here not only because the promotional video and the product are laughably bad, but also to point out the benefits of keeping up with current music technology—so that we're never as clueless as these guys.