This Week in Music Tech: MiniBrute, Native Instruments, Ableton Pro Tips, and Vocal Recording Masterclass

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What with the internet and all, a lot can happen in seven days—especially in the rapidly evolving field of music technology—so we're launching a new weekly feature to keep up on the constant onslaught of information and catalog the highlights of gear and production-related news and videos into one condensed place. Here, we have our inaugural congregation of juicy tidbits, a roundup which we've cleverly titled This Week in Music Tech.


This past Wednesday saw XLR8R unveil yet another edition of our In the Studio features, this time chronicling the Berlin sound lab of Magda (pictured above), who joins the likes of Machinedrum and Tycho in our ongoing series of pictures and interviews.

Some hardware news came down the pipeline this week:

- Arturia's highly anticipated MiniBrute analog synthesizer had encountered a bumpy launch due to a variety of issues which caused a complete release of the product to be delayed. However, this week, the company issued a statement noting that the move to a new factory had been succesful and that a complete release of the synth is now in full force across the US and Europe. Arturia also added that it is confident in the fact that it "will be able to deliver units to the stores on a regular basis" from here on out. Below, you can watch a clip of Portishead's Adrian Utley talking about the synth. (You can also tour the artist's entire amazing synth collection here.)

- Native Instruments teased a new Traktor-ready hardware mixer with a "sneak preview" video. The preview's title, "2+2 Control Mixer," gives a few clues as to what can be expected from the hybrid mixer/controller, but further details have not been revealed. The video below shows the unit in action at the hands of one Eric Goldstein, who throws an Addison Groove track in there for good measure.

A bit of software-related happenings popped into our email:

- Brainworx added another powerful M/S-based mastering tool to its arsenal with the BX Stereomaker, a plug-in based on widening and tightening stereo mixes as well as converting signals from mono to stereo.

- iZoptope (who recently impressed us with its fantastic Alloy 2 plug-in) announced the release of a new sound library, Toy Sounds, consisting of over 200 high-quality samples with names such as "Unicorn Tears," "Peanut Butter Nap," and "Candy from Strangers," among others.

And lastly, a pair of helpful videos caught our eyes over the past few days:

- Chicago legend Robert Owens and UK producer Raffertie shared some in-depth points on recording the human voice with the Point Blank online production school in this 40-plus-minute Vocal Recording Masterclass.

- Ableton guru and Dubspot instructor Thavius Beck posted the fourteenth episode of his Ableton Live Tips: Did You Know? series of YouTube videos, this time around revealing the hidden depths of Live's MIDI- and key-mapping capabilites.