New Beatport Link puts unlimited beats in your DJ software

Stream Beatport’s entire catalogue without limits and send it straight to your DJ programs to mix on the fly with Link.

Beatport Link is a new subscription service that brings unlimited access to their catalogue of electronic music for a monthly cost. Beatport have just partnered their new subscription service with Denon DJ’s Prime Series DJ hardware for full control and unlimited possibilities.

Beatport Link launched in beta earlier this month and offers their 7 million track catalogue for unlimited streaming. Create personalised playlists of your favourite tracks to keep your favourites in order. Beatport Cloud is also built into Link services.

Beatport Link is also compatible Pioneer DJ’s WeDJ for iPhones and various DDJ controllers. As well as their upcoming partnership with Denon DJ, Beatport are planning to bring Link integration to rekordbox by the end of 2019.

Beatport Link is available in beta now and you can sign up to a 30-day free trial as a new user.

Control your music with these gloves used by Ariana Grande

Put the power of music in your hands, as literally as possible with these expressive gloves that will “change the way we make music”.

MI.MU gloves have been used by massive artists like Ariana Grande since Imogen Heap shared them with the world 5 years ago. The ‘gestural music performance’ gloves have gained a lot of interest in the past 5 years following their unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign in 2014.

The gloves gained notoriety for their potential as a performance tool, allowing to performers to add to their sets in entirely unique ways – as Ariana Grande shows above with looping and harmonies.

The gloves can be mapped with music software like Ableton Live and Logic Pro to control particular effects or instruments. It offers up a whole range of new performance opportunities for singers and DJs, even further into performers in other arts. There’s a world of possibilities.

Singer, songwriter, producer and general artist, Imogen Heap said: “So happy that we are finally able to extend the incredible, superhuman feeling of having music in our hands out to a wider audience.”

The company’s managing director, Adam Stark added: “We believe the gloves will enable musicians to discover new forms of expression, leading to new ideas, new performances and, ultimately, new forms of music.”

The latest re-designed version of the MI.MU gloves is at last going on general sale with pre-orders available from the website. It will cost £2.5k which is roughly $3.2k.

Why Use Nuendo and Not Just Cubase Pro 8?

Some of the worlds best film composers use Cubase Pro 8 and not Nuendo (eg. Hans Zimmer). Why should you use Nuendo and not just Cubase Pro 8 for composing film scores?

Here is a quick run down of the key features between Nuendo and Cubase Pro 8.

Nuendo + NEK = Cubase + some extra features:

– Advanced crossfade editor – really useful for film work
– Edit Mode – where position (and video) follows objects being moved – a typical film spotting feature
– Batch Export of cycle marker regions – very useful when you assemble and export a CD sequence
– ADR Taker
– more automation features
– loudness track
– some extra plugins
– slower update cycle
– different name


Adam Black’s new 0-2TE electro-acoustic guitar review

Adam Black have created an affordable electro-acoustic guitar that may be perfect if you’re starting out, on the road or small-time gigging.

When you first pull Adam Black’s new electro-acoustic guitar out of the happily included guitar case that comes with it, the fine grain wooden finish resembles a beautiful, rustic guitar that wouldn’t look out of place on the shoulders of a nomadic folk singer.

Upon whipping it out your audience might be in silent awe at the gorgeous sapele finish and mahogany neck and for the general ear, what you play may be enjoyable on the fitted steel D’addario strings that come with it.

The 3/4 size makes it easy to transport and its lightweight build makes pulling it out to play simple wherever you might be. The body lends itself to player of smaller build along with the very streamlined v-neck that is easy to hold first position chords particularly. The nut on this guitar is just a bit smaller than the Vintage V-300 of which we compared it to, this may be a hindrance for some more experienced players but for those with smaller hands i.e. children, it is a lot easier to make those beginner’s stretches – I am talking G major in first position, we have all been there!

Unfortunately the action on this guitar is a bit high and this may make it harder to fret bar chords for a beginner however if a beginner can get used to this strengthening exercise, they may take to a bigger guitar with heavier strings easier in the future.

Its power is certainly improved when plugged in but the quality of the guitar’s tone isn’t as bright as you might expect from the compact acoustic. The controls and Fishman pickup for the guitar are hidden just inside the sound hole so you can’t see any wiring when you look at it. In fact apart from the input and battery slot on the bottom, you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s not a native acoustic. To adjust it’s volume and tone you simply reach your finger in above the strings and roll the dials.

To someone more experienced with guitars and tone, I was a little disappointed in how Adam Black’s new electro-acoustic guitar sounds acoustically. It lacks sustain for an acoustic and the low end is not amplified as well as it could be – even for a guitar of this size. I think this guitar prefers a lighter gauge which again would suit the beginner players, it may be improved by experimenting with string gauges.

To conclude, this guitar lends itself to someone who is thinking of getting a first steel-string acoustic with simple plug & play-ability. I rather like the fact that there are no controls for the EQ of this guitar because it makes the player use their fingers as the primary source of tone control. In the same way that we learn on a 3/4 size nylon string classical guitar and crave an electric, until we are good enough to play the nylon and hone our skill to match, only then will that Squire Stratocaster be presented on the foot of our beds on the morning of our 13th birthday! The 0-2TE is for the more practised beginner who’ll be eventually suited to the more advanced acoustic guitars In the Adam Black range. For example, the O7-CE solid top electro-acoustic.

This guitar is good for the price, at a reasonable £179 with strings and gigbag included. However it may need a bit of setting up to reach its true potential. Lighter strings are advised. This guitar could make for a perfect beginners guitar as for the budding bedroom producer.

Over all, not bad Adam Black.

If you’re looking to get your hands on your own head here.

Eclipse by Rosetti guitar strings review

We recently got our hands on some of Rosetti’s Eclipse strings to see how these slinky strings measure up. Spoiler alert: They’re pretty good.

The nice people at Rosetti were kind enough to send us a set of their Eclipse strings for electric and acoustic guitars. We tested them out to see how they feel and what they sound like.

I tried their 9-42 thickness, nickel roundwound electric guitar strings. The strings are incredibly slick to the touch with a slinkiness that makes playing on them feel incredibly smooth. They’re solid strings with a gorgeous tone that are flexible enough for serious bending. They are great for rhythm guitar with an even tone when playing chords whilst providing a formidable treble sound for playing lead parts.

I’ve found the Eclipse 9-42 strings perfect for playing funk stylings. If you’re looking for a chunkier tone for rock or metal the strings still perform but you’d want to look at some thicker strings – which I can’t speak of the quality of for Eclipse though I imagine they’re of the same good standard.

For acoustic guitars we played a set of the Eclipse 12-53 strings made up of 80/20 bronze. Thanks to their 80/20 bronze make up the strings ring out incredibly bright and sit at their best on a full-bodied, dreadnought guitar. They sound powerful with a good volume that doesn’t infringe on clarity at all.

They feel great whether you’re a 3 chord singer songwriter or you’re speedily playing up the neck. These are great for a full-bodied sound though lighter strings may suit you if you’re more into playing complex acoustic guitar parts.

Overall I was impressed by Rosetti’s Eclipse strings. They feel great, they sound great and they’re flexible enough to suit most guitar players. At £4.99 for the electric guitar strings and £5.49 for the acoustic strings they are incredibly reasonably priced for a really nice set of strings.

Check them out at: www.rosetti.co.uk

A cheaper version of Teenage Engineering’s incredible OP-1 could be on the way

The OP-1 is super cool – if you know, you know. But it’s also super expensive and that’s stopped a lot of people getting it. The OTTO synth could be the affordable solution.

Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 is a pcoket-sized, all-in-one music production controller that combined extensive features with a quirky design. The OTTO is similarly capable and even looks to match the quirky graphics that take the OP-1 beyond an amazing piece of kit and makes music creation fun.

The OTTO is an open-source digital synthesizer that is still in the works that is heavily inspired by the OP-1 but looks to pack it with different hardware. It works on Raspberry pi software and features a 26 key/button playable spread with 4 knobs for customisation and a series of other buttons for control. It has a DAC to output sound to your headphones or a speaker and features 4 encoders.

OTTO teenage engineering synth OP-1 mini portable sampling music production software device hardware
The OTTO synth – under the skin

It’s not designed to be a commercial product with the creators saying: “It might be important to mention that the OTTO is not, and will never be, a commercially aimed product. It is open source by nature, in both hardware and software. If you want an OTTO, you’re going to get your hands dirty, if not with the code, at least with the hardware.”

Otto synth’s planned features include:

  • A synth (with swappable engines) for live performance with midi effects (arpeggiator, etc.)
  • 2 FX slots. Synths and drums send to them as a FX bus.
  • Synths and effects are swappable “engines”.
  • For drums, a sampler will run in parallel to the sequencer-synth chain.
  • The drum sampler has 10 channels. These have a simple 1-bar, 16 step volca-style drum-sequencer, with each step corresponding to a white key on the musical keyboard on the prototype currently being built.
  • An audio line input which has FX send and level
  • A simple loop-station-style audio looper that can get audio from line in or synth. It has overdub and one level of Undo.
  • 8 save slots which save the state of the entire system. A save button lets you choose the slot to save in. Saves are only performed when you take the action.

The OTTO is still very much in development and it’s small team are always looking for people to help out with it’s development, testing, design, and more.

Find out more about the OTTO synth and it’s build so far, even get involved, here: github.com/topisani/OTTO

Traktor Pro 3.1: S4 MK3 Standalone Mixer, S8 and D2 Controllers and more

Traktor Pro 3.1 is now going live and it has now been officially announced.

Traktor Pro 3.1 has a lot of great changes – including visual addtions, S4 MK3 standalone mixer mode, a new mapping control for S8 and D2 controllers, and a lot of other smaller changes.

  • ADDED Parallel Waveforms: Two new deck size “Parallel Full” and “Parallel Slim” have been added, which optionally replace the side by side waveforms by stacked ones. The parallel options can be enabled for decks A & B and decks C & D separately in the preferences. A layout preset “Parallel” will be added to the user’s list layouts.
  • ADDED Single Deck View: The number of visible decks can now be set to “1”, which provides a single deck view with the waveform spreading across the full width of the screen to be used for set preparation. A layout preset “Preparation” will be added to the user’s list of layouts.
  • ADDED Duplicate in Layout Manager: A button allowing to duplicate an existing layout has been added to the Layout preferences.
  • ADDED Custom Mapping for S8 and D2: Individual controls on the Kontrol S8 and the Kontrol D2 can now be custom mapped (over-mapped) via the Controller Manager.\
  • ADDED Non-Destructive File Handling: A set of options called “Tag writing mode” has been added to the File Management preferences to configure which types of metadata Traktor does write and does not write into the audio files.
  • ADDED Tooltips in Preferences and a toggle icon in Application Header: Tooltips are now also available for all preferences panels. Tooltips can be switched on/off in the Global Settings preferences as well as the Global Section. (Editor’s note: it does not appear that there are any tooltips in the Controller Manager section – easily the most confusing page of the preferences) 
  • IMPROVED Insert new track to analysis queue: A new un-analysed track loaded into a deck is now prioritized over an analysis queue running in the background.
  • FIXED Keyboard Shortcuts non-functional when exiting Preferences or dialogs
    The search string in the upper right corner of the browser pane has been grown bigger to improve its readability.
  • FIXED Search by KEY broken: Search by KEY via the refined search dropdown is functional.
  • FIXED D2/S8: Sample Pitch Control Broken: The sample pitch control via the display knobs is functional again on KONTROL D2/S8.

KRK’s get LCD screens in the next generation of studio monitors

KRK have unveiled they’re next line of studio speakers and they change the game with a visual equaliser.

KRK are a popular name in studios and for good reason with over thirty years of experience creating high quality monitor speakers that don’t price out home studio engineers. Their ‘next generation’ of studio monitors introduce their most high-tech offering yet packed with surprising new features.

The KRK Rokit G4 range introduces an LCD EQ on the back so you can use a visual graph with DSP-driven room tuning to get the perfect acoustic tuning for your environment. The KRK app for Android and iPhone helps guide you with your speaker placement, level matching, subwoofer level and more.

The G4 series features a custom-built Brickwall Limiter to help maintain a balanced sound ans prevent distortion by engaging at maximum amp-level automatically. The amplifier itself has been custom engineered to efficiently drive Kevlar speakers with a Class D design.

Their newly-designed front-firing port produces fantastic low-end extension, while the open cell acoustic is-foam pads separate speaker and surface, reducing unwanted vibration transmission.

KRK’s new G4 monitors feature:

  • Built-in efficient Class D power amp
  • Proprietary speaker drivers built in-house from the ground up
  • Onboard LCD visual DSP-driven EQ
  • 25 visual Graphic EQ settings for different environments
  • KRK App with Room Correction Tools
  • Scientifically designed high-quality/low resonance speaker enclosure
  • High density acoustic Iso-foam pads for improved clarity
  • Newly designed Brickwall Limiter automatically engages at maximum amp level
  • Wide, deep and dynamic listening sweet-spot with incredible imaging
  • 3D soundstage creates incredible realism and depth in your mix (width, depth and height)
  • Optimized high frequency wave guide
  • Optional replacement faceplates with protective metal grilles
  • Incredibly versatile speaker system great for creating music in different environments
  • Great for all functions of music creation from production to mixing to mastering
  • Front-firing port with optimized low frequency tuning alignment for the best possible transient response and extension
  • Designed and built by a monitor company with over 30 years of proven success

KRK’s G4 speakers will be available from grade 5 (bi-amp) to grade 10 (tri-amp) models between £159 and £459. They’re expected to launch on the 1st April. You can pre-order them and find out more here:
https://goo.gl/JovchP

Akai announce an all-in-one music production studio that doesn’t need a computer

The Force is a new powerhouse piece of kit from Akai that puts all you need to create and produce music inside one performance system – no computer, no MIDI needed.

Digital music production has revolutionised how music can be created and has made it possible for anyone to make highly polished electronic music and use digital techniques to create, edit and mix their music even on a budget. Akai’s Force brings everything you need into one single piece of kit.

The Force is an all-in-one music production solution with DJ performance technology. It features clip-launching, step sequencing, sampling, synth engines and touch screen control all in one system allowing you to play, perform, and produce without a computer or any other accessories or instruments.

It’s 8×8 backlit grid lets you trigger scenes and clips, step sequence beats, finger drum using an MPC style matrix, and play note data for seamless playing and launching. Alongside it are expansive controls for navigating your project and all of it’s pieces. The ergonomically positioned controls represent the Ableton Push but with even more functionality.

Akai Professional Force MPC studio music production all in one hardware

A multi-touch display at the top is the base of your experience, displaying your project and allowing you to navigate through samples, sounds, edit MIDIs, apply effects and so much more. It’s basically a built-in, touch-activated DAW.

The force comes with all the hardware and software packed inside it that you need to sample, chop, splice, loop and mix. Inputs in the back take USB or SD cards to load up samples and sounds with space for internal storage expansion. 2 XLR/quarter-inch combo inputs allow for microphones and instruments too.

Akai Pro Force all in one music production studio DAW hardware mpc producing pad

Akai Professional’s new Force has so many features and capabilities packed into. Get the detailed low-down on their website: force.akaipro.com

The Akai Pro Force will be available for $1499 and launches in February.

Mooer are set to blow multi-effects out of the water with this pedal

Mooer’s new multi-effects pedal gives unparalleled power with hundreds of effects, amps, and more in one board.

Mooer have unveiled the next in their GE multi-effects pedals and the 300 is a serious monster that takes on every other pedal in the game. Their new GE300 brings 164 effects, 108 digital amp models, 43 optional factory cab simulators and is capable of recreating an environment for custom tones using Impulse Response.

Mooer’s new pedal is packed full of features to leave you satisfied no matter what the sound you’re after is. With a new Synth Engine you can use the pedal’s tri-voice polyphonic synthesis module to edit wave form, pitch, filters, and arpeggiators without the need for guitar modifications or pickups.

Mooer say the pedal will feature 10 customisable footswitch controls, programmable stereo effects loop, 30-minute looper that can store loop sessions, external device switching, direct USB audio and that’s just the start of what it is capable of.

They’re promising that the user interface will be intuitive like it’s GE200 pedal but with far more capabilities. Mooer will be showcasing their final prototype for the GE300 at NAMM so it’s not going to be available until at least the 2nd half of this year. We’ll have to remain drooling over what we know until then.