iPhone Roundup: Field Recording, DJ Tools, Odd iInstruments, Cinco de Mayo

Now we’re talking: FiRe turns your iPhone into a serious recorder. No, really, a serious recorder – with advanced features and actual mic support. Your pocket is bulging with power. Wait… okay, that sounded really wrong. Anyway, the mobile software revolution continues. There’s so much stuff out there that it can actually be hard to track. Here’s a round-up to help you navigate everything that’s going on this week. And even if you can’t stand another word about the iPhone, consider this: the explosion of iPhone software, more than just a fad, illustrates what happens when you give developers tools …

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Video: Beloved Drum Machines Hit the Road

Would You Like to Tap My Box? from kamoni on Vimeo. Drum machine lovers, you now have the beat gear equivalent of Matt Harding and Where the Hell is Matt?. Kamoni, aka sonic creator, composer, and experimenter Micah Frank, takes his favorite devices out on the road, piecing them together into an epic YouTubular jam. Doepfer and Korg, Elektron and Akai, plus a lot of other devices make their way around New York and Brooklyn and other parts of the world. Ableton I think figured into editing the video clips in time — thank you, Live, for video. I could …

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Gallery: The Music and Visual Controllers of NAMM, Up Close

Jay Smith of Livid Instruments may be in the business of making controller hardware himself, but that doesn’t stop him from appreciate the knob-laden goodness of the NAMM show floor. Jay’s own gear reveals a not-so-secret love of knobs and buttons and faders, and if you’re into that sort of thing, this year’s NAMM music trade show had plenty to love – Akai’s APC40 controller for Live, Akai’s MPK keyboard, the Alesis MasterControl, Arturia’s Factory Experience controller for their soft synth emulations, and even another brutish-looking computer-in-a-keyboard, now with pads, from Open Labs. The shots give you a particularly good …

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Mobile Recording: Alesis Hooks XLR Mics to iPod; Edirol R-09 Adds Storage; Tascam DR-1 Review

The mobile recording space keeps rolling along. Alesis is the latest company to try to turn the iPod into a usable digital recorder. With up to 160 GB of storage, the fact that the iPod is a mobile hard drive you may already own certainly has some appeal. But what about quality? The Alesis ProTrack attempts to bridge that input divide with internal mics and XLR inputs: XY pattern stereo condenser mics (they look a lot like the mics on the Zoom H4) XLR and 1/4″ inputs (line/mic) with 48V phantom power 1/4″ stereo output, making this interesting as a …

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Tenori-On is Shipping in US; Tenori-On Meets Kyma Synth

Tenori-on Meets Kyma from Nomad Cinema on Vimeo. US distributor Keyfax NewMedia reports that it has Yamaha’s Tenori-On in stock and shipping out now. (Pre-orders began at the beginning of May, but this is apparently the first the US unit has made it to our shows — unless you happened to win one from createdigitalmusic.com, that is, in April, in which case you know who you are.) Every time I mention Tenori-On, despite the awe and lust it inspires in some musicians, someone raises the point of its somewhat retro-styled, simple sound bank. Fair enough: the minimal sounds are fantastic …

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CDM Giveaway Starts Now: Win Free Hardware, Software, Swag, and Link Love

I’m pleased to announce the first-ever CDM Giveaway. We’ve got over US$4,000 of hardware and software tools for music creation, and we’d like to give you the chance to win them. To do that, we’re holding a good, old-fashioned prize drawing — I’ve been warming up my true random number generator — so that all you have to do is enter for a chance to win. To better your odds, each prize will get a different winner. CDM Giveaway Info Page; official rules (no purchase necessary). Here’s what we’ve got: Akai MPC500 mobile music workstation Ableton Live 6 music production …

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Novation Xiosynth Online Player, Tripped-Out Synth School Podcast; Which Starter Synth is Best?

Novation is hoping you’ll bring their new Xiosynth mini-synth keyboard home, and to help give you an additional push, they’ve got a new online sampler keyboard plus lessons for learning synthesis techniques. Have a listen to the patches on the Xiosynth with the Flash player below; try the z, x, and c keys on your QWERTY keyboard: The Xiosynth mini-site has a series of synthesis “tutorial” podcasts that purport to teach you synthesis. Novation PR (who sent links along with banner ads that it apparently hopes us blogs will run in stories — fat chance) hopefully describe these thusly: “The …

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Alesis Unveils Drum Trigger Interface, Drum Pads

Alesis has its eyes on the drum market with two new products: The Trigger iO is a trigger-to-MIDI percussion interface for drum triggers. It will go head to head with Roland’s TMC-6. There’s no predicting how good this will be until we see it, but from a marketing standpoint, it looks like a smart direction: whereas Roland modestly markets its MIDI trigger interface as a way of expanding a set of Roland V-Drum electronic drums, Alesis looks like it’s going after everyone. The package even includes the “lite” edition of the excellent BFD drum set from fxpansion. There’s an optional …

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Alesis Fusion, Synth Workstation Bargain? Fusion Roundup:

Alesis has always managed to make good hardware synths at low prices, and the quality of their analog-modeling synths (see our review of the Micron) has been stunning. The Fusion is a particularly impressive deal, with multiple synthesis engines (sampled, physical modeling, virtual analog, and FM) and even a genuine-article Alesis HD 8-track hard disk recorder, all starting at under a grand.

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