Excuse me while I go wipe the drool from my chin. Here’s the full details on these tasty units.
Excuse me while I go wipe the drool from my chin. Here’s the full details on these tasty units.
The MIDI Association have released a tidy little video giving a nice overview of MIDI 2.0, the first full iteration on 1983’s MIDI standard. If you find MIDI a little daunting, this should help put your mind at rest on how both new gear will communicate with each other but also how it will work nicely with your old gear.
Nord have released a video with producer and player J3PO running through the analog sounds the Wave 2 can produce. It’s not clear whether we’re hearing standard presents of whether they’ve had some serious tweaking, but on initial listen I have to say I’m impressed. Have a listen for yourself:
We’ll update this post with each episode as it’s released.
Native Instruments keep pumping out new Kontakt instruments, with Pharlight the latest release:
KONTAKT instrument for musicians, sound designers, and composers, capable of unconventional melodic leads, pads, textures, and more sourced entirely from the human voice.
At the heart of PHARLIGHT is a specially-recorded sample library designed to bring the best out of the instrument’s engine. A result of extensive research into different sounds and how they interact with the granular and sample modules, PHARLIGHT’s sample content was created by 15 artists and sound designers to produce unconventional melodic timbres that are distinctly human.
From beatboxers to vocal artists, multisampled choral sounds, and made-up-words, the result is a curated collection of 319 sound sources and 375 expertly-designed presets that cover an extensive sonic territory including pads, leads, textures, soundscapes, bass, and subs. As well as cinematic textures, PHARLIGHT makes significant additional use of melodic, fast-attack sounds that are ideal for writing hooks and melodies.
Like Straylight, Pharlight takes two layers of either granular synthesis or sample playback and combines them into a master ‘snapshot’.
Here’s the walk through:
I’m going to be having a closer look at Pharlight – it’s currently being offered at AU $219.00 and has an RRP of AU $299. Maybe a Straylight / Pharlight combo deal down the track NI?
I just came across this great video released in recent days, demonstrating the Fastfingers II software. This software goes back to 1990, and shows what an amazing piece of gear the Commodore 64 was, it’s SID chip in particular.
The creator of the Fastfingers II software, Dan Laskowski, demonstrates the intricacies of the C64 and how his software can help you wrangle the best out of it.
You can check out his web page for more details, including the PDF manual.
I for one admire the hell out of people who stick with products and continue to develop them. This is one niche product but one that’s stood the test of time. Anyone out there using a C64 in a live or studio environment? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
MainStage has had an update and for those wondering, here’s what’s new:
NI offer half-price discounts on its Komplete software instruments
I own and use Komplete 12 in both my live and recording work, and am quite the fan. One of the reasons I’ve been able to buy the full Komplete suite of products is via sales like this. During the US Thankgiving period they are offering 50% off Komplete instruments.
Here’s the full info straight from the horse’s mouth:
Berlin, November 20, 2019 – Native Instruments today kicks off its biggest ever Thanksgiving sale. KOMPLETE users can upgrade and update to KOMPLETE 12 collections for half price, as well as get 50% off individual full instruments and effects, including new releases NOIRE, STRAYLIGHT, and MASSIVE X, alongside half-price upgrades, updates, Expansions, TRAKTOR PRO 3, and special hardware/software bundles.
For owners of KOMPLETE, it’s the best time to step up to the latest version, or upgrade to a larger collection. KOMPLETE 12 is the most comprehensive version yet of the world’s leading production suite, combining instruments, effects, and Expansions sound packs. During the promotion, users save 50% on all update/upgrade paths available to them.
The special also includes deals on hardware and software bundles, combining MASCHINE production systems, KOMPLETE KONTROL keyboards, and KOMPLETE AUDIO interfaces with tailored software packages at discounts of up to $499.50. Bundles range from entry-level packages to professional production workflows.
The half-price offer also extends to over 190 full instruments and effects, as well as upgrade and update paths – including industry-standard sampling platform KONTAKT 6, REAKTOR 6, and MASCHINE 2, plus recent high-profile releases including MASSIVE X, NOIRE, SUPER 8, and STRAYLIGHT, plus many more.
Native’s flagship DJ software TRAKTOR PRO 3 is up for grabs at $49.50, and existing users can update to the latest version for just $24.50.
The THANKSGIVING XXL sale runs until December 9. Full details about all offers can be found at the Native Instruments website.
Pricing and availability
The THANKSGIVING XXL special offer is valid until December 9, 2019, at the Native Instruments Online Shop.
E-vouchers cannot be used in conjunction with special offers. All upgrades, updates, and crossgrades require a qualifying base product to remain registered to your account. Should the base product no longer be registered, additional costs may apply.
Further product information and press material
Additional information about Thanksgiving XXL 2019 is available at
There you have it. If you’re a developer or manufacturer offering a discount, drop us a line. If you’re a player that’s aware of a great deal, post it in comments!
New ‘all-black’ version will turn some heads
Arturia love a good colour variant of their keyboards, and today sees them release the inverted version of their MiniLab Mk II. For what it’s worth, I love the look of this and am mightily tempted. My only concern is how easy it will be to see under lower stage lighting – maybe that’ll force me to play by feel a little more!
What do you think?
The speculation is true
As had been expected, Apple have released a 16-inch version of the MacBook Pro. This will appeal to some gigging keyboard players out there using software and applications like MainStage or Gig Performer. Have a read of all the details below: is this something you’ll be pulling the trigger on?
Apple introduces 16-inch MacBook Pro, the world’s best pro notebook
All-New MacBook Pro Features an Immersive 16-Inch Retina Display, Up to 80 Percent Faster Performance and a New Magic Keyboard
Cupertino, California — 14 November 2019 — Apple today unveiled an all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro — the world’s best pro notebook — designed for developers, photographers, filmmakers, scientists, music producers and anyone who relies on a Mac to create their life’s best work. The all-new MacBook Pro features a brilliant 16-inch Retina Display, the latest 8-core processors, up to 64GB of memory, next-generation graphics with up to 8GB of VRAM and a new advanced thermal design, making it the most powerful MacBook Pro ever.
Featuring a new Magic Keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism and 1mm travel for a more satisfying key feel, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers the best typing experience ever in a Mac notebook. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also includes a six-speaker sound system, longer battery life, Touch Bar, Touch ID, the Force Touch trackpad and the Apple T2 Security Chip.
“Our pro customers tell us they want their next MacBook Pro to have a larger display, blazing-fast performance, the biggest battery possible, the best notebook keyboard ever, awesome speakers and massive amounts of storage, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers all of that and more,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing. “With its brilliant 16-inch Retina display, 8-core processors, next-gen pro graphics, even better thermal design, new Magic Keyboard, six-speaker sound system, 100Wh battery, up to 8TB of storage and 64GB of fast memory, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the world’s best pro notebook.”
Largest Retina Notebook Display EverPros love the brilliant 500 nit, P3 wide colour gamut Retina display on MacBook Pro, and at 16 inches, it’s the largest Retina notebook display ever. Featuring a resolution of 3072×1920 and a higher pixel density of 226 ppi, the 16-inch Retina display delivers nearly 6 million pixels and an even more immersive front-of-screen experience. Each display is individually calibrated in the factory for accurate gamma, white point and primary colours.
New Magic Keyboard The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a new Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm of key travel and a stable key feel, as well as an Apple-designed rubber dome that stores more potential energy for a responsive key press. Incorporating extensive research and user studies focused on human factors and key design, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers a keyboard with a comfortable, satisfying and quiet typing experience. The new Magic Keyboard also features a physical Escape key and an inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys, along with Touch Bar and Touch ID, for a keyboard that delivers the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook.
More Advanced Thermal Design The 16-inch MacBook Pro uses the most advanced thermal architecture ever in a Mac notebook to enable the system to run at higher power for sustained periods of time. The sophisticated fan design features a larger impeller with extended blades along with bigger vents, resulting in a 28 percent increase in airflow, while the heat sink is 35 percent larger, enabling significantly more heat dissipation than before. Together, these advancements in cooling capacity allow the 16-inch MacBook Pro to sustain up to 12 more watts during intensive workloads than the previous design.
Powerful Processors and Faster MemoryWhether compiling code, editing multi-cam video or doing 3D animation, MacBook Pro customers need pro-level compute power they can take on the go. To deliver blazing fast performance, the 16-inch MacBook Pro features the latest 6- and 8-core 9th-generation processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz, which deliver up to 2.1 times faster performance than the quad-core 15-inch MacBook Pro.1 Its powerful CPUs, combined with faster memory up to 64GB for the first time, and its more advanced thermal design, will enable pro workflows never before possible on a MacBook Pro.
When compared to the fastest quad-core 15-inch MacBook Pro:
Next-Generation GraphicsGraphics performance is critical to pros, whether they’re creating the next big game title, rendering a complex 3D scene or colour grading a blockbuster film. The 16-inch MacBook Pro features new AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics — the first 7nm mobile discrete GPUs for pro users. Paired with GDDR6 video memory and with an 8GB VRAM option for the first time, pro users will be able to tackle GPU-intensive tasks faster than ever. Customers who choose the standard configuration will see 2.1 times faster graphics performance than the previous standard configuration. Those who opt for the highest-end graphics options will see up to 80 percent faster performance than the previous high-end configuration.1
When compared to the previous-generation 8-core 15-inch MacBook Pro with the highest graphics options:
To power all this performance, MacBook Pro features a 100Wh battery — the largest ever in a Mac notebook — for an additional hour of battery life of up to 11 hours of wireless web browsing or Apple TV app video playback.
First 8TB NotebookFor pros with massive asset libraries and large projects that need even more storage in a notebook, the new MacBook Pro doubles the SSD storage to 512GB and 1TB on standard configurations. And for the first time, MacBook Pro can be configured with a staggering 8TB of storage — the largest SSD ever in a notebook.
Higher Fidelity Audio Experience The 16-inch MacBook Pro introduces a completely redesigned six-speaker, high-fidelity sound system designed to bring musicians, podcasters and video editors the most advanced audio experience ever in a notebook. New Apple-patented force-canceling woofers use dual opposed speaker drivers to reduce unwanted vibrations that distort sound. As a result, music sounds more clear and natural than ever before, and the bass can go half an octave deeper. An upgraded high-performance mic array delivers a 40 percent reduction in hiss and an improved signal-to-noise ratio that rivals that of popular professional-grade digital microphones, delivering super-clean recordings that capture even the quietest details.
macOS, Designed for ProsPro users love the power, reliability and productivity built into macOS — designed to take full advantage of Mac hardware, deliver robust features with the highest possible performance and work seamlessly with other Apple devices. Dark Mode highlights pro content while controls recede into the background on the Mac’s stunning Retina display. Sidecar, a new feature in macOS Catalina, lets users leverage iPad as a second display or as a high-precision tablet input device using Apple Pencil. Files on macOS can be quickly browsed with visuals and easy access to metadata with Gallery View in Finder. Along with a robust ecosystem of third-party apps and devices, macOS includes Apple apps like Safari, Mail, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and supports high-performance apps like Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X and Xcode.
Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR Today, Apple also announced that the all-new Mac Pro, the world’s best pro desktop, and Apple Pro Display XDR, the world’s best pro display, will be available in December. Designed for maximum performance, expansion and configurability, Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world’s most powerful graphics card. Pro Display XDR features a 32-inch Retina 6K display with P3 wide and 10-bit colour, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a superwide viewing angle, all at a breakthrough price point.
Pricing and Availability
Roland aren’t resting on their laurels with their new Fantom models
Roland’s new Fantom 6, 7 and 8 have only been in the wild six weeks or so, but some sound expansion sets are starting to hit the market. Roland themselves have released six sound sets and they’re free – at least for now.
The six sets are:
EXZ006 EXZ World Instruments
EXZ005 EXZ Studio Sounds
EXZ Power Drums
EXZ003 Session Drums
EXZ002 EZX Stage Piano 2
EXZ001 EZX Stage Piano 1
I’ve had a listen and there’s some damn nice sounds in there that will catch the eye of potential buyers. Some of the sounds from the Studio Sounds and Stage Piano sets particularly appealed to me.
However, the elephant in the room remains: organs. Hopefully that’s something to be remedied in the near future.
Would love to hear your thoughts after you have a listen.