audioexpress

Mixing and Audio Interface, in the $450 MOTU Audio Express

The competition for your audio interface dollar is pretty heated these days, but MOTU’s latest – the Audio Express – packs a pretty impressive feature set for something costing US$449 list. It’s both a 6×6 audio interface and a mixer, with standalone mixer functionality so you can mix signals from the front-panel knobs without a computer attached. It also has connectivity features generally seen only in pricier, physically-larger boxes. MOTU tells CDM the quality is equal to their higher-end offerings, and other rivals in the $500-800 range. MOTU winds up on my short list as far as hardware that makes …

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ddjs1

Virtual DJ Controllers: New Hardware for Serato, Traktor from Pioneer, Numark

What should digital DJing look like? It’s an open question. If you aren’t willing to contend with the (potentially-unreliable) combination of real vinyl control records with computers, the question becomes what DJing technique hardware should embody. Writing for CDM, Ambivalent of Minus Records was most enthusiastic about advanced hardware mixing in Allen & Heath’s Xone:DB4. Boutique manufacturer Faderfox focuses instead on advanced, four-deck effects and control, minus the big, record-mimicking platters. The big players, though, are focused on a kitchen-sink approach that combines turntable controllers with integrating mix, effect, and transport controls with software. We saw Native Instruments’ Kontrol S4, …

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828mk3

28 Ins, 30 Outs, Loads of Features, as MOTU’s 828 Meets Firewire and USB2

FireWire may be getting rare these days, but new hardware proves that doesn’t mean serious external audio interfaces are in any danger. In the latest iteration of its tried-and-true 828 line, MOTU combines both Firewire and USB 2.0 for Mac or PC, and a wide range of features. The MOTU 828mk3 “Hybrid” in a nutshell: 28 inputs, 30 outputs. Combo jacks for 1/4″ guitar in, XLR mic. Phantom power, of course. Balanced/unbalanced 1/4″ analog ins and outs running at 24-bit/192kHz. Separate main XLR outs with dedicated volume controls on the front panel. (Quick, turn that down!) Two headphone jacks with …

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ambivalent_db4

Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 DJ Mixer: Hands-on Preview with Ambivalent (Minus)

Ambivalent gets his hands on the DB4 for the first time – and doesn’t want to let go. Photo courtesy Allen & Heath, who snapped this while he was testing it out. Can a digital mixer change how you work and perform? After getting a hands-on introduction to one, globe-trotting electronic DJ Kevin McHugh, aka Ambivalent (on m-nus), thinks so. I’m pleased to welcome Kevin to talk about why he’s so excited about this particular kit, not only for DJs but potentially as a useful tool for anyone who needs live mixing. And we hope he’ll come back and talk …

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DJ Control: Details on Denon, NI, Novation, And, Oh Yeah… Practicing

Great music vendors think alike? Denon also aims for the all-in-one DJ market, and those ready to drop a grand on one piece of kit that solves everything. Photo courtesy Denon. This week, DJing is in the spotlight as DJ Expo, a significant trade show, hits Atlantic City, New Jersey. So it’s a good time to check in with some of the leading trends in DJ gear. We also get a chance to find out more about Native Instruments’ Kontrol S4, which judging my comments, split readers in terms of interest around its all-in-one design. Native Instruments isn’t the only …

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Rane Sixty-Eight: A Mixer/Controller for Two Computers

It had to happen sooner or later: the computer has supplanted the turntable, so why not a mixer intended for two computers? That’s the idea behind the just-announced Rane SIXTY-EIGHT. It’s intended for use with two computers via two independent USB ports, plus controller support (intended primarily for Serato’s tools, but presumably adaptable to other software) for up to four virtual decks. Now, as a way to manage four decks, it seems like absurd overkill – hasn’t Traktor done four decks for years? But if this solution is indeed software-agnostic, it could be a boon to advanced computer musicians wanting …

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Pro Tools with Mackie Hardware: Avid Makes Deal to Okay Link

http://createdigitalmusic.com/files/2009/09/mackie820i_thumb.jpg”> It’s long been the case that if you wanted to run Pro Tools, you needed hardware from Digidesign. That’s why it was a surprise when Mackie announced new audio interface-mixer hardware that they said they had made work with Pro Tools M-Powered, which previously worked only with M-Audio gear. Digidesign parent Avid had made statements that they would champion “openness,” but it wasn’t clear at the time if that would extent to allowing third-party gear to work with Avid’s software crown jewels. We get our answer today from LOUD. There is a catch – you’ll have to pay extra …

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On Behringer’s Track Record, “Value,” and “Copies”

Photo (CC) sleepydisco aka David Wood. In pointing out Behringer’s clone of Apple’s homepage, I may have left some things unclear. I was honestly surprised to find a number of people rushing to Behringer’s defense. I wasn’t trying to score cheap and easy points against the brand, but while venting frustration, I may have underestimated the response of people who own Behringer gear. If you do, and it’s working for you, as always – that’s a good thing. The conversation got me excited, and I stepped into the comment fray. I shouldn’t have in this case, and unless asked to, …

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Single Knob Filter: Free Windows VST Plug-in Emulates Pioneer DJM-800

Sometimes, simple stuff matters. DJ mixers like Pioneer’s DJM-800 have simple, single-knob low- and high-pass filters. Laptop software often doesn’t. Enter FZero, with his free and open source Single Knob Filter to fill the gaps. (Windows-only, built in SynthEdit, but it’s open source and schematics of the basic signal processing are available, if anyone wants to translate this to Mac.) Drop this into an insert in a tool like Ableton Live and go play. Single Knob Filter [Project Page] SKF-VST at Google Code [Source, VST Download] It’s apparently a big improvement on an Ableton forum solution that used 127 different …

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Elsewhere: Korg ZERO8 Mixer Video Review

Adam Dworak aka DJ Destruction writes to let us know he’s finished a video review of the ZERO8: Via the DJ Destruction blog. About halfway through, he gets to some hands-on demos with the internal effects and controllers, which demonstrates some of what makes the ZERO8 unique. Thanks for sharing this one, Adam! Adam’s rig — the mixer, a DJ app (Virtual DJ), and use of the internal mixer and effects — qualify him as what is likely the target audience for the ZERO8. And you can see he’s pretty happy using it in that way. We have heard some …

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