Concept: Ultralight MIDI controller using same technology as the MIDI-fied Mark 7 pianos.
Big deal: USB-powered. Real Rhodes action. Polyphonic aftertouch and optical key sensors. Carbon fiber body weighs just 38 pounds. Four zones onboard for splits and layers.
We think: Having played a Mark 7 that has MIDI, this looks to be a super-premium MIDI controller at an approachable price.
Estimated: under $2,000 | rhodespiano.com
PG MUSIC BAND-INA- BOX FOR ANDROID
Concept: Remote client for Band-in-a-Box for Windows.
Big deal: Requires you to have the Windows version on your computer, but lets you enter chord progressions on the go for later transfer to your desktop, or lets you take songs from your computer on the road. Renders M4A audio files.
We think: BiB users need never lose another idea again— if you have an Android phone, you have an arranger scratchpad.
$0.99 | pgmusic.com | market.android.com
Concept: Semi-modular virtual analog soft synth for Native Instruments Reaktor.
Big deal: Over 300 preset sounds. Continuously variable oscillator waveforms. Wavetable synthesis mode. Ultrasaw stacks nine detuned sawtooth waves. Sub-oscillator also has Ultrasaw mode. Envelope follower lets you affect almost any internal parameter using external audio.
We think: Cool, cheap soft synths are like black shoes. You can never have too many.
Direct: €39 (approx. $55) | mcrow.net
H.E. AUDIO POETIC GUITARS
Concept: Exhaustive sample-based instruments of three different acoustic guitars. Windows VST only.
Guitars: Ryan Nightingale Grand Soloist, Rodriguez Spanish guitar, and Fleta eight-string classical.
Big deal: 500MB to 1.5GB of samples per guitar. All the articulations you’d expect. Up to 12 velocity layers. Three sample sets for pick, finger, and fingernail playing. Converts keyboard chords to guitaristic strums.
Each: $99 direct | All three: $208 direct | bettermusicdistribution.com
Concept: HD video recorder with high-resolution stereo PCM audio recording.
Big deal: Records up to 1,080p resolution at 30 frames per second. Great mics with low-cut filter and auto level control. Records audio in PCM linear or MP3 formats.
We think: With Flip out of the picture (pun intended), this gives the Zoom Q3HD some meaningful competition. But what’s with putting the lens on the top?
Approx. street: $300 | olympusamerica.com
Concept: Formerly known as the Studiodock, it’s a serious audio interface for the iPad.
Big deal: Two XLR combo ins, one with guitar/line impedance switch. Phantom power. USB and five-pin MIDI in and out. RCA video output for external monitors. Main outs and stereo headphone out are all on 1/4" jacks. Works with iPad 1 and 2.
We think: A lot of very powerful synth and recording apps for iPad will now be taken more seriously.
List: $399 | Approx. street: $200 | alesis.com
MOOG IS LOVE!
The Bob Moog Foundation’s efforts range from preserving and curating the legendary synth inventor’s archives and designs to teaching kids math and science concepts by putting their hands on synthesizers. Two of our favorite developers have deployed special releases, with proceeds benefitting the Foundation. Want to help?
Arturia Dr. Bob’s Collector Pack
How do you make a bundle of the spot-on Minimoog V and Moog Modular V soft synths even more appealing? Add Hans Fjellestad’s award-winning film Moog, plus a gorgeous book of rare Moogiana entitled From Bob Moog’sArchives. You also get a Moog Foundation button to show the world you’re a geek who stands for good.
Direct: $299 | arturia.com
Spectrasonics Bob Moog TributeLibrary
Eric Persing produced this library for the Omnisphere soft synth. It features sounds by everyone from Hans Zimmer to Jordan Rudess to Vince Clarke to Jean Michel Jarre. More than just a Moog emulation, it also samples rare synths from EMS, Buchla, and yes—Zimmer’s massive modular Moog.
Direct: $100 | spectrasonics.net