Steinberg has announced the highly anticipated release of Cubase 10, the latest version of its award-winning DAW. Cubase Pro 10 brings all the technological advancements to the table, the German expertise of which has been accumulated over three decades of extraordinary contributions to the industry. Cubase Artist 10 is a slimmer edition, offering the same […]
Steinberg has announced the immediate availability of a new UR22mkII Production Pack, a complete music recording and production solution. The UR22mkII Production Pack consists of the UR22mkII USB audio interface, ST-H01 studio headphones, ST-M01 studio condenser microphone together with a microphone cable as well as the Cubase Artist 9.5 music production system, WaveLab Elements 9.5 […]
One upon a time, there was a Novation keyboard called the ReMOTE SL. That’s as in “remote control” of software. Times have changed, and you’ve got a bunch of gear to connect – and you may want your keyboard to work standalone, too. So meet the SL MkIII.
The additional features are significant enough that Novation is dropping the “remote” from the name. Now it’s just SL, whatever those letters are meant to stand for.
The story here is, you get a full-featured, eight-track sequencer – so you no longer have to depend on a computer for that function. And Novation promise some higher-spec features like expanded dynamic range (via higher scan rate). With lots of keyboards out there, the sequencer is really the lead. Circuit just paid off for keyboardists. Novation gets to merge their experience with Launchpad, with Circuit, with Web connectivity, and with analog and digital gear.
The 8-track, polyphonic sequencer is both a step and live sequencer, it records automation, and you can edit right from the keyboard.
Arpeggiator onboard, too.
USB, MIDI in, MIDI out, second MIDI thru/out
Clock/transport controls for MIDI and analog, which also run standalone – route that to whatever you like.
Three pedal inputs
Eight faders and eight knobs, handy for mixing (there’s DAW support for all major DAWs, plus dedicated Logic and Reason integration)
RGB everything: yep, over the keys, but also color-coded RGB on the pitch and mod wheel as track indicators. (I’m waiting for someone to release a monochromatic controller. You know it’s coming … back.)
Those RGB pads are not just velocity sensitive, but even have polyphonic aftertouch (more like higher-end dedicated pad controllers)
Cloud backup/restore of templates and sessions – a feature we saw unveiled on Novation’s Circuit
And of course there’s more mapping options with their InControl software and Mackie HUI support.
(Some notes from the specs: you do need separate 12V power, so you can’t use USB power. I don’t have weight notes yet, either.)
Novation must know a lot of their customer base use Ableton Live, as they’re quick to show off how their integation works and why those screens are handy.
Here it is in action:
We also see some cues from Native Instruments’ keyboards – the light guide indicators above the keys are copied directly, and while the pads and triggers are all Launchpad in character, we finally get a Novation keyboard with encoders and graphic displays. Unlike NI, this keyboard is still useful when the computer is shut off, though.
And wait – we’ve heard this before. It was called the AKAI Pro MAX25 and MAX49 – step sequencer built in (with faders and pads), plus MIDI, plus CV, plus remote control surface features. You just had to learn to like touch strips for the faders, and that garish racecar red. That AKAI is still worth a look as a used buy, though the hardware here is in a more standard layout / control complement, and a few years later, you get additional features.
The big rival to the Novation is probably Arturia’s KeyLab MKII. It also strikes a balance between studio hub and controller keyboard, and it comes from another maker who now produces analog synths, too. But the Novation has a step sequencer; Arturia makes step sequencers but left it out of their flagship controller keyboard.
Oh yeah, and if you just wanted an integrated controller keyboard for your DAW, Nektar have you covered, or of course you can opt for the Native Instruments-focused Komplete Kontrol. Each of those offerings also got revisions lately, so I’m guessing … a lot of people are buying keyboards.
But right now, Novation just jumped out to the front of the pack – this keyboard appears to tick all the boxes for hardware and software. And I’ll bet a lot of people are glad to do some sequencing without diving into the computer. (Even alongside a computer for tracking, that’s often useful.)
£539.99 49 keys; £629.99 61. (Both share the same layout.)
Audient has announced that its creative hub ARC has relaunched. A year after the initial launch, Audient is offering a new selection of free creative software for all Audient customers, both new and existing. Audient has partnered with some of the industry’s leading innovators including Waldorf, Steinberg, Two Notes, Loopmasters, LANDR and Producertech to provide […]
Steinberg has announced the extension of its cloud service that previously was exclusively available to users of Cubase. Both VST Transit Go and the beta version of VST Transit Join are now freely available to the community of online music collaborators, expanding the creative space where vocalists, instrumentalists and producers come together to work on […]
Until we evolve more arms, foot controllers are very necessary. So it’s nice to see a new entry for both software and hardware control, in the form of the Nektar PACER.
If you don’t know Nektar, they’ve had a range of controller keyboards for some years now. They made a name for themselves by integrating with Reason, but since added loads of additional software support. And since they aren’t in the software business like Native Instruments and whatnot, Nektar has focused on deep integration with a range of tools.
The PACER does this, but for your feet – targeting software and hardware alike. And it’s about time – we haven’t seen a whole lot of competition in this market for a while, despite feet being something a lot of humans have.
There’s a lot of reason instrumentalists of various types may want foot controllers. You might need to control the transport of your DAW during a recording session, or switch effects in software, or work with preamps or effects on amps.
The PACER appears uniquely suited to all these tasks, for a few reasons:
Color: RGB LED color coding, programmable (get ready to shoegaze, apparently) Works with DAWs and other MIDI gear: MIDI Machine Control, Mackie Control Universal (MCU) Built-in support for Apple Logic and Garageband, Bitwig 8-Track and Studio, Cockos Reaper, Propellerhead Reason, Steinberg Cubase and Nuendo, Avid Eleven Rack (okay, so who wants to do an Ableton setup?) Works with MIDI guitar products: Line 6 Pod and Helix, Fractal Audio AxeFX, Kemper Profiler, Elektron Octatrack Pickup Machine, Electro Harmonix 45000 Looper Works with guitar products that don’t have MIDI (via standard amp switching and four onboard relays) Expandable: 2 TRS jack connectors for up to 4 external footswitches, plus another 2 TRS for up to 4 Standalone MIDI operation (without a computer) USB MIDI operation with a computer USB bus powered (or use that USB with an adapter if you forget the PSU wall wart)
So, you could easily customize this for your favorite VST plug-ins, whatever. Basically, you get 10 footswitches with RGB LEDs, 1 footswitch for going through presets, 1 encoder with push switch (which navigates the interface and provides control and programming), and a mess of I/O.
The key is making each foot switch press flexible. These can send up to 16 MIDI message (or relay switch) states at once, plus up to six programmable steps sent at once or in sequence. So you can chain together lots of different settings.
It’s clearly not limited to guitarists. Anyone who’s playing an instrument or other controller or even holding a mic may need foot input for recording and effects control – and foot switches are a great way to externalize and control different effects chains.
And it doubles as a USB MIDI interface and works in standalone MIDI mode – or both at once.
Shipping in April 2018, MAP price: $229.99 US / £199.99 / €229.99
Softube has announced Cubase DAW control integration for its Console 1, offering deeper integration and more hands-on control of Steinberg’s DAW than ever before. Console 1 works with all major DAWs, but with Cubase 9.5 and the latest Console 1 software version there are now extra layers of integration, further refining your workflow, and allowing […]
Native Instruments has released version 1.9.2 of its Komplete Kontrol software, the application that makes it quicker and easier to find sounds, and browse and load all Komplete Instrument presets from a single plugin. This free update allows full transport control, track navigation, mixing, and more – together with on-screen feedback – when using a […]