There's something in the air around the Naonext Crystall Ball MIDI controller: your hands, coaxing any parameter you assign to its five infrared sensors. The accompanying 24-button pad grid either assigns parameters to the sensors or works like traditional pads. With 24 banks of 5 control sets each, there are thousands of programmable controls to give your airborne hands plenty more to do than just pump up a crowd. Let's see how it performs with software like Traktor and Ableton Live.
Portable MIDI mini-keyboards have become a dime a dozen, but Reloop’s Keyfadr tries to give you a little more bounce for the ounce. Without sacrificing mobility, it packs in some healthy channel-strip controls, Ableton Live integration, and internal Arpeggiator and Chord modes. Is it worthy of your twiddling fingers? We gave it the once-over to find out.
Today's the day that you can DJ with music streaming from the 20-million-track-plus Spotify library. Algoriddim has partnered with Spotify to give Spotify Premium subscribers access to Spotify's music—as well as their playlists, starred tracks, and Inbox—from Algoriddim Djay 2 for iPad and iPhone. The launch also includes Match, a track-selection tool based on the Echo Nest's analysis of Spotify's library, a new Automix Radio features, and optional new effects for Djay 2 created by Sugar Bytes.
With Native Instruments' recent Maschine 2.1 software update, there's never been a better time for experienced Maschine-ists to work—or for curious newcomers to explore the Maschine world. There's some very cool new Drumsynth features, like the Grit Kick and Shaker Performer mode. Many workflow enhancements also help you make your music faster and smarter. Check out our videos to see what you need to know.
Starting to DJ doesn’t have to be so expensive or intimidating that it freaks you out. We reviewed six DJ controllers for under $300 that include their own soundcards, high-level software, and enough features to see you through to your first gigs and beyond. Whether you’re looking for a fun hobby, a side income, or are gunning to be the next Aviciësto, your first step is only a small payday away.
After much anticipation, Bitwig Studio, the DAW software that takes Ableton Live's ball and runs with it, has arrived to reinvigorate your music-making life. This comprehensive music production and performance platform goes heavy on user-friendly workflow features and light on clutter. The whole point is to unleash your musical creativity. But can it hang with the veterans of the industry? Is it just a re-designed Ableton Live copycat? We've sweated the details to let you know.
Today's review shows how to create a beat, mangle its sounds, and manipulate the unique BreakTweaker sequencer to achieve evolving rhythms that won't create repetition fatigue. Compatible with any DAW software, BreakTweaker could be the first step on the path to music production or the new secret weapon in a well-equipped producer's studio.
Enough of the teasing already. We can finally tell you all about the new Roland Aira series, a group of meticulously modeled digital instruments based on the legendary Roland "xox" series -- analog classics like the TB-303 Bassline and TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, pieces that kicked off entire genres of dance music. The new TB-3, TR-8 and VT-3 Voice Transformer will be available in March, with the System-1 synth, inspired by the old SH-101, following in May or June.