MOOG SLIM PHATTY
Concept: All the sound of the Little Phatty in a tabletop or rack module.
Big deal: Totally analog audio path. Arpeggiator and LFO sync to tap tempo or MIDI. Control voltage outs for volume, filter, pitch, and keyboard gate.
We think: It’s the most affordable way to get the Moog sound into your rig. To see it in action, read our modular tutorial on page 42.
List: $849 | Approx. street: $800 | moogmusic.com
Concept: High-speed USB2 audio interface with Class A circuit design.
Big deal: Mic preamps can automatically set gain based on incoming signal. XLR combo jacks on all eight inputs. Low-latency streaming lets you pair two units on one USB bus. Circuits are laid out so as to eliminate noise.
We think: Class A at this price? We can’t wait to review it.
List: $699 | Approx street: $600 | rolandus.com
Concept: Tiny ultra-premium mics designed for acoustic piano.
Big deal: Micro-shotgun design maximizes off-axis rejection. Magnetic bases let you place mics anywhere on the piano’s harp. God uses DPA mics.
Coming soon: We’ll test their resistance to feedback when you close the piano lid, as you’d do in a loud rock band.
List: $1,199 per pair | dpamicrophones.com
KEITH McMILLEN SOFTSTEP
Concept: Multi-touch USB-powered MIDI foot controller.
Big deal: Each key senses X and Y position, clockwise and counterclockwise rotation, and pressure. Included software lets you program different note or controller tasks for each of these on each key. OSC support.
We think: The company calls it a “mouse for your feet.” More like an OctaPad that thinks it’s a JazzMutant Lemur. That’s a good thing.
List: $289 | MIDI Expander: $49.95 | keithmcmilleninstruments.com
UNIVERSAL AUDIO STUDER A800
Concept: The warmth and saturation of the storied 24- track, 2" studio recorder, in virtual form for your UAD-2 card.
Big deal: Simulates tonal qualities of 7.5, 15, and 30ips tape speeds. Four tape formulation models and calibration levels. Simulates A800’s input, sync, and repro signal paths.
We think: For audiophiles mixing inside the box, this is as geektastic as it gets.
$349 direct | uaudio.com
Concept: Vulgar amounts of power in a 15.5 pound package.
Big deal: A cool thousand watts into four ohms; 725 watts into eight ohms. XLR, 1/4" TRS, and RCA inputs. Speakon and binding post outputs. Built-in subwoofer/satellite crossover.
We think: Anyone who’s lugged a shin-busting amp rack from the van will think this is too good to be true. It’s not.
List: $699 | Approx. street: $600 | qscaudio.com
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS THE MOUTH
Concept: Vocoder and talkbox style processing with a warped edge, from electronic artist Tim Exile.
Big deal: Separate Pitch and Beats modes for working its formant-shifting morphoolery on any kind of musical input. Separate harmony and effects sections.
We think: At this price, why not add this unique sonic color to your palette?
$79 | native-instruments.com