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These are the Best Things at Musikmesse: CDM Best of Show Awards

What a week it’s been. Musikmesse in Frankfurt, one of the world’s largest gatherings of the music instruments industry, was host to a range of new gear, new technologies, and new revelations. I decided it’s finally time to crown my own picks as the most significant appearances at the show. Not because I have any particular right to do so, but I felt strongly enough about who was deserving. First, some honorable mentions:

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powercore

TC PowerCore DSP Range is Dead, Long Live PowerCore; UAD-2 Crossgrade Offer

TC Electronic’s PowerCore, a hardware DSP platform for audio processing is officially discontinued. You could easily continue working with PowerCore for some time, however. A recently-released 4.0 update provides full support for current OSes and hosts, even 64-bit ones, says the manufacturer. Nor is TC going anywhere: the company says it will continue to pursue audio interfaces and software (non-hardware-DSP) plug-ins. In fact, it’s a safe bet TC simply wasn’t getting enough business out of PowerCore to justify it, and will devote its resources elsewhere. One manufacturer that is making it in hardware DSP that’s not Avid Pro Tools is …

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Through Wednesday, Get TC Electronic M30 Reverb Plug for Free

Sometimes, all you need is one really good reverb with editable parameters. TC Electronic has done some really lovely reverb work, and they’re currently giving away one of their plug-ins, for three days only. Registration is required, if you’re opposed to such things, but beyond that, there are no strings attached. (Yes, there’s a mailing list, too, so you have to unsubscribe if you don’t want it. Why not put an opt-out on the registration page, TC?) The plug-in is free through Wednesday, and then costs US$79 after that. What you get from the M30: VST, AU compatibility on Windows …

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Dare you accept the Circuit-Bending Challenge?!?

So I was having a little chat with the Circuit Master over at www.getlofi.com about how and why we both got into circuit bending. The number one reason, for me at least: tons of bend-able toys and devices can be found very cheaply at secondhand and thrift stores. Which brings us to this: The premise is simple: 1. Wait until October 28th with growing anticipation. 2. Bicycle, walk, or swim to your nearest secondhand store. 3. Locate and purchase a cheap electronic noisemaking device. 4. Take it home and bend that thang! 5. Document the process and end result, then …

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Stompboxes @ Messe: Roland Space Echo, TC Helicon Voice Processors

Stompboxes are back! Yes, software is great, but the gigging musician still loves something you can plug in and step on. The Messe show saw some traditionally rack-mounted gear reborn in stomp form. Sure to be a huge hit, Roland’s BOSS RE-20 takes the beloved RE-201 Roland Space Echo and recreates it as a stompbox. It emulates all the major features of the RE-201, down to placement presets and tape flutter and magnetic head sound saturation, and adds a longer delay time — plus the ability to tap in delays with your foot. No pricing or availability yet that I’ve …

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An Audio Interface with Built-in Effects; Other Effects and Guitar Goodies from TC Electronic

TC Electronic is rapidly becoming a household name for audio gear and not just a high-end plug-in maker. The lead item in their newest lineup is a drool-worthy new audio interface loaded with some of their best built-in effects, plus PowerCore for PCI express and some treats for guitarists and hardware effects lovers. Here’s a quick preview.

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TC Electronic Announces Klingon-Designed Audio Software Interfaces

We’re all for interface innovation and TC Electronic does fantastic audio processors. But their new “MINT” interface technology not only wins for silliest meaningless acronym since synth maker Kurzweil’s “V.A.S.T.”, it also looks like the interface panels from a Klingon warship in Star Trek III. What’s going on here? (Hint: it might actually be cool and, unlike Klingon user interfaces, usable.)

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Musikmesse: TC Electronic Goes Gaga for Guitars, Other Audio Goodies

TC Electronic has loads of new hardware at Musikmesse (see their roundup of announcements), but the biggest news is for guitarists: The G-System is a new high-end floor based guitar system. Think TC Electronic's high-quality effects, but for guitarists, plus analog loops, amp switching, floor control, and 9VDC power for your pedals. Effects don't skimp, either: filter, compression, noise gate, modulation, pitch, delay, reverb, tuner, tap tempo / MIDI clock. And it's simply gorgeous. This is the Rolls Royce of guitar processors, EUR 1395 retail, shipping in June. More in the range of mere mortals: the EUR 275 Analog Vintage …

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