Best $100 Spent at NAMM: Novation’s Nocturn Controller is Liz’s Pick

NAMM had plenty of new goodies, but what do we actually want to buy? Here’s Liz’s top pick (high on my list, as well). -PK No, it’s not an advertising campaign for Ableton Live if that’s what you’re wondering. The Live-like logos that pop up onto your screen when you start using the Novation Nocturn controller actually represent the Nocturn’s various knobs, automatically mapped to whatever software you’re using at the time. It’s a heads-up, intuitive display that extends both the mouse and the controller itself. You can see the knob settings on screen, then use the mouse to navigate …

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Messe Winners and Losers: International Press Pick their Fave Gear

I’d like to thank the Academy . . . Yes, it’s that time of year when the entire global music press put their heads together to pick their favorite products. It’s a bit like an Editor’s Choice, only with all the editors. The results sometimes lack nuance, and I wouldn’t take them as product advice, but they’re always interesting. See the complete results, but here are some of the categories we care about:

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Holiday Gift Guide: Music and Books

Looking for gifts for others, or yourself? Or a way to drop hints about what you want? CDM is here to help. Next up for digital musicians ready to give and receive: music with a conscience, and books worth reading, many suitable as stocking stuffers.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Best Digital Music Picks from Femalemusician.com

Online exclusive: Kicking off this week’s guide to holiday gifts, Theresa Orlando joins us from Female Musician.com. Theresa’s site and studio help young female musicians like vocalist Ashley Jewdy (shown) hone their craft and digital studio skills. Theresa brings us some of her favorite picks for musicians, including a book/video on breathing technique for singers, music lessons in Long Island, an inexpensive mic duo, mutable guitar cables that prevent pops and squeals, and iTunes music.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Best Gift Guides on the Web

Readers sent in so many ideas for gifts that I’m still digging through them; watch today/tomorrow. But here’s the latest from some of CDM’s favorite sites. And if your favorite gifts didn’t make the cut, there’s still time to email me / hit comments. Music thing Gift Guide (pictured): Just in case your wallet escaped the first time, Tom is back to do more damage with goodies from the blogosphere. Some of my favorites are quite affordable: t-shirts, Dubstation plug-in, and a pipe organ you can make out of paper. Make’s Mostly-Under-$100 Gift Guide Our favorite DIY magazine weighs in …

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Gorgeous USB-to-MIDI Adapter

MIDI is still a reality of life for connecting all kinds of instruments. The most compact MIDI adapters act basically like a MIDI-to-USB cable, but many of those are 1-in / 1-out only and look ugly as hell. Romio from Reflex is different: 1-In, 2-Out (for 32, count `em, channels), and it's simply gorgeous, at least in the product shots. Bus-powered, compact, plug-and-play. Can't wait to try one out. US$40, available now.

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