PreSonus Eris HD10BT headphones deliver studio quality with Bluetooth connectivity

PreSonus Eris HD10BT feat

PreSonus has announced its new Eris HD10BT wireless noise-cancellation headphones, which provide studio-quality audio performance with the mobility and freedom of Bluetooth connectivity. The Eris HD10BT’s 1.57-inch (40 mm) drivers deliver the superior clarity, accurate response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and extended bass you expect from professional studio headphones. Active Noise Canceling (ANC) […]

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MidiWrist aids instrumentalists by giving Siri and Apple Watch control

Grabbing the mouse, keyboard, or other controller while playing an instrument is no fun. Developer Geert Bevin has a solution: put an Apple Watch or (soon) iPhone’s Siri voice command in control.

We’ve been watching MidiWrist evolve over the past weeks. It’s a classic story of what happens when a developer is also a musician, making a tool for themselves. Geert has long been an advocate for combining traditional instrumental technique and futuristic electronic instruments; in this case, he’s applying his musicianship and developer chops to solving a practical issue.

If you’ve got an iPhone but no watch – like me – there are some solutions coming (more on that in a bit). But Apple Watch is really ideally suited to the task. The fact that you have the controller strapped to your body already means controls are at hand. Haptic feedback on the digital crown means you can adjust parameters without even having to look at the display. (The digital crown is the dial on the side of the watch that was used to wind and/or set time on analog watches. Haptic feedback uses sound to give physical feedback in the way a tangible control would, both on that crown and the touch surface of the watch face – what Apple calls “taptic” feedback since it works with the existing touch interface. Even if you’re not a fan of the Apple Watch, it’s a fascinating design feature.)

How this works in practice: you can use the transport and even overdub new tracks easily, here pictured in Logic Pro X:

Just seeing the Digital Crown mapped as a new physical control is a compelling tech demo – and very useful to mobile apps, which tend to lack physical feedback. Here it is in a pre-release demo with the Minimoog Model D on iPhone:

Or here it is with the Eventide H9 (though, yeah, you could just put the pedal on a table and get the same impact):

Here it is with IK Multimedia’s UNO synth, though this rather makes me wish the iPhone just had its own Digital Crown:

Version 1.1 will include voice control via Siri. That’ll work with iPhones, too, so you don’t necessarily need an Apple Watch. With voice-controlled interfaces coming to various home devices, it’s not hard to imagine sitting at home and recording ideas right when the mood strikes you, Star Trek: The Next Generation style.

Geert, please, can we set up a DAW that lets us dictate melodies like this?

It’s a simple app at its core, but you see it really embodies three features: wearable interfaces, hands-free control (with voice), and haptic feedback. And here are lots of options for custom control, MIDI functionality, and connectivity. Check it out – this really is insane for just a watch app:

Four knobs can be controlled with the digital crown
Macro control over multiple synth parameters from the digital crown
Remotely Play / Stop / Record / Rewind your DAW from your Watch
Knobs can be controlled individually or simultaneously
Knobs can be linked to preserve their offsets
Four buttons can be toggled by tapping the Watch
Buttons can either be stateful or momentary
Program changes through the digital crown or by tapping the Watch
Transport control over Midi Machine Control (MMC)
XY pad with individual messages for each axis
Optional haptic feedback for all Watch interactions
Optional value display on the Watch
Configurable colors for all knobs and buttons
Configurable MIDI channels and CC numbers
Save your configurations to preset for easy retrieval
MIDI learn for easy controller configuration
MIDI input to sync the state of the controllers with the controlled synths
Advertise as a Bluetooth MIDI device
Connect to other Bluetooth MIDI devices
Monitor the MIDI values on the iPhone
Low latency and fast response

All of this really does make me want a dedicated DIY haptic device. I had an extended conversation with the engineers at Native Instruments about their haptic efforts with TRAKTOR; I personally believe there’s a lot of potential for human-machine interfaces for music with this approach. But that will depend in the long run on more hardware adopting haptic interfaces beyond just the passive haptics of nice-feeling knobs and faders and whatnot.

It’s a good space to keep an eye on. (I almost wrote “a good space to watch.” No. That’s not the point. You know.)

Geert shares a bit about development here:

Fun anecdote — in a way, this app has been more than three years in the making. I got the first Apple Watch in the hope of creating this, but the technology was way too slow without a direct real-time communication protocol between the Watch and the iPhone. I’ve been watching every Watch release (teehee) up until the last one, the Series 4. The customer reception was so good overall that I decided to give this another go, and only after a few hours of prototyping, I could see that this would now work and feel great. I did buy a Watch Series 3 afterwards also to include in my testing during development.

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Roland announces FP-10 88-note digital piano instrument

Roland FP-10

At the 2019 NAMM Show Roland has announced the FP-10 Digital Piano, a new entry-level instrument with premium sound and playability. The FP-10 features Roland’s acclaimed piano sound and an expressive 88-note weighted-action keyboard, delivering top-tier performance that was previously unavailable in its price class. The instrument’s portable design makes it easy to move, while […]

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Roland introduces GO:PIANO88 Digital Piano with 88 full-size keys & natural sound

Roland GO PIANO88

Roland has announced the GO:PIANO88, a new addition to the lineup of fun and innovative GO-series instruments and devices. Offering 88 full-size keys and natural sound derived from Roland’s premium digital pianos in a portable cabinet, the affordable GO:PIANO88 provides a solid foundation that’s ready to support years of musical growth and playing enjoyment. With […]

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RØDE introduces RØDECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio

Rodecaster Pro

RØDE Microphones has announced the RØDECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio, the world’s first fully integrated podcast production studio. The RØDECaster™ Pro will change the face of the fastest-growing segment in the media industry – podcasting. Now, everyone with a dream to create professional-quality podcasts will be able to do so seamlessly with this new and […]

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Audio-Technica intros ATH-M50xBT wireless over-ear headphones

Audio-Technica ATH_M50xBT

Audio-Technica has announced the introduction of its ATH-M50xBT wireless over-ear headphones, which bring Bluetooth wireless technology to one of the world’s most acclaimed pro audio and consumer headphones. “Although our M-Series models were originally designed as professional studio monitor headphones, they’ve crossed over into the consumer market to the extent that they’ve become a favorite […]

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Roland introduces LX700 Digital Piano Series & Piano Every Day app

Roland LX700 seriesRoland has announced the new LX700 series, which aims to recreate the experience of playing a beautiful grand piano at a world-class venue. The flagship LX708, mid-range LX706, and entry-level LX705 all deliver superior performance for the discerning player, with innovations in sound generation, keyboard action, ambience modeling, and design. Unlike typical digital pianos, which […]

Roland’s latest keytar is more 80s than ever: AX-Edge

“Shoulder synthesizer”? “Strap-on keyboard?” No, Roland is calling their latest keytar a keytar – and giving into 80s retro vibes. And it’s a vocoder. And… you might kinda want one.

Roland says the new AX-Edge is built on “decades of refinement and input from artists around the world.” Apparently, that “refinement” came when the keytarists said: “give it blades.” “All black keys.” “I want to look like I could play in Jem and the Misfits.” “Please stop calling it a strap-on. It’s a keytar. That sounds really dirty.”

Well, who are we to argue with any of that?

The AX-Edge comes in red and black or white. What’s onboard:
49 keys with velocity and channel aftertouch
Bluetooth MIDI wireless connections – which even allows wireless use of the editor
MIDI DIN in and out
USB and a USB-B slot for a memory stick
Mic input
Stereo out
Headphone out
The paddle-style modulation bar, plus a touch strip (both of those designed to be accessible under your thumb)
One assignable control knob, next to the volume knob (though that one looks tricky to reach)
More sounds: lead, bass, poly, pad, brass, keys, “other”, FX
Vocoder sounds (you knew that mic input was for something, right?)
Performance controls, which Roland says are easy to reach: portamento, hold, octave, and program change buttons, plus 7 assignable buttons
Effects: EQ (per part), 79 types of per-part multi-effects, chorus (8 types), reverb (6 types), master compressor, master EQ

The sound engine is divided into 4 parts + the vocoder part.

You can also “favorite” sounds. And there are more performance features: an arpeggiator (thank you), two displays for more visual feedback, and a song mode with backing tracks.

Roland promises four hours of mobile playing time on Ni-MH batteries, or you can tether to power with an AC adaptor.

This is a pretty similar arrangement to the previous AX-Synth, so I’ll need to talk to Roland to find out what exactly has changed. The obvious omission: the D-Beam wireless controller. But that was awkward to use on a keytar, since it was designed to be aimed up from a keyboard in front of you on a stand, and you still get control modulation.

Clever placement of buttons under your fingers on the neck, in combination with the existing paddle and ribbon controller plus a lot of additional assignable buttons and one assignable knob, open up more serious performance options. The engine promises to back that up, too.

Other than that, on specs: the AX-Edge has roughly twice the number of sound presets, presumably using a more up-to-date Roland engine, and a whole bumper crop of effects you can apply to each part. That suggests there’s way more horsepower under the hood. The AX-Edge has also gotten ever so slightly heavier – 4.2 kg instead of 3.9 kg – and has shifted its dimensions around if in roughly the same space.

But mostly what I notice is, this looks a hell of a lot better. It at least embraces the ridiculousness of a keytar with something that looks badass. And that’s what’s likely to make it move better in stores, whereas the AX-Synth looked weirdly toy-like for a product with a four-figure price tag.

For an added gimmick, you can swap out different-colored blades to customize the appearance. (The white comes with gold, the black with silver, and you can customize blades.)

Normally at this point, people start griping in comments about how most people will look horribly dorky playing a keytar, which is true, but you’ll look horribly dorky playing anything unless you clean up your appearance and practice your chops, so there’s that.

We’ll keep an eye out for price (critical), and some details on sound engine.

But if this is affordable and sounds great and looks as good in person, you might have to start an electro band.


Oh dear. Yes, this is happening.

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TASCAM intros Model 24 Digital Multitrack Recorder

TASCAM Model 24TASCAM has announced a new versatile digital multitrack recorder for studio and live applications. Model 24 offers 24 tracks of 24-bit, 48 kHz audio capture (22 channels and a stereo main mix) and 22 playback tracks via either USB 2.0 or to the unit’s onboard SD Card recorder. The SD Card recorder offers quick, easy […]

CL 2 Planar – RHAs superhochauflösende kabellose Ohrhörer

RHA CL2 Planar

Planar ist das Stichwort für RHA, eine Technik die neu, aufwendig und anders ist als die bisheriger Kopfhörer. Deshalb sollen sie auch als In-Ear-System denkbar sein und eben ohne Kabel per Bluetooth Verbindung zum Heimgerät finden.

Ab 800 Euro und Mitte September lieferbar sollen die CL2 Planar sein und sind damit sicher weder billig noch massenmarkttauglich zu nennen. Wer so etwas kauft, muss einen Grund haben diese Summe auszugeben, ohne dass nur ein Apfel auf etwas klebt. Aber was bei Monitoren die Auflösung ist, wird auch hier verbessert, nämlich die Impulsfähigkeit.

Technik der CL2 Planar

Technisch gesehen wechselt man die Spule, welche die Membran bewegt, gegen ein anderes System aus. Dieses System ist plan, also flach und offenbar eher komplex in diese Größe zu bringen. Dadurch sollen Verzerrung und die Auflösung immens vergrößert werden. Ich habe dies nicht selbst hören können, weshalb dies zunächst Versprechen einer Website sind. Die Essenz dieser Technik ist oder sind parallele Magnetfelder. Die Spule hat die Form einer Helix, sie ist also nicht „rund“, und das Gegenstück ist der einer Blendenoptik vergleichbar. Höhen und Dynamik profitieren durch diese rein mechanische Änderung. Es gibt also keinen Computer oder DSP-Optimierung.

Nicht nur Blauzahn …

Das Gehäuse ist offenbar gegen Hitze und mechanische Einwirkung gut geschützt und es gibt eine Art kleines Set dazu, auch ein sogenanntes 12h-Halteband und eine Vorrichtung, um trotzdem auch eine 3,5mm-Miniklinken-Verbindung herzustellen. So kann man dann auch ohne eine Bluetooth-Verbindung hören und ausprobieren.

Die Vorbestellung ist bis zum 12.September 2018 möglich, ab da soll er dann regulär verfügbar sein und knapp 800 Euro kosten mit dem Zubehör, welches man auf der Site genauer beschrieben findet. Wir sollten davon ausgehen, dass die Bezeichnung 12-Hour-Tragegurt auch bedeutet, er das Tragen für 12 Stunden angenehm macht und dass eine Ladung 12 Stunden hält.


Mehr zu dem System gibt es auf der RHA Website