Akai releases mpc 2.3 with synths and more


AKAI PROFESSIONAL EXPANDS POWER AND VERSATILITY OF MPC PLATFORM WITH RELEASE OF MPC 2.3 UPDATE
New software update enables MPC X, MPC Live and MPC Software 2 users to take advantage of three great new built-in synthesizers–TubeSynth, Bassline and Electric–and other upgrades.
Cumberland, RI USA (November 15, 2018) — Akai Professional today announced the release of MPC Software 2.3. This major software and firmware update introduces a number of user requested features and functionality enhancements, notably the addition of three powerful, versatile, and expressive built-in synthesizers by AIR Music Technology (TubeSynth, Bassline and Electric) to the MPC standalone experience. This is a landmark feature addition which elevates the MPC from a sampler to a true musical powerhouse. Also very significant is the addition of Autosampler and Arpeggiator. As a result, this update is highly recommended for all current MPC X, MPC Live and MPC Software 2 owners.

TubeSynth:
The TubeSynth emulates the sound of classic vintage analog poly-synths packaged with five integrated AIR effects. The instrument is created by AIR and is based on the same advanced analog modelling technology found in their highly acclaimed desktop plugin synth Vacuum Pro. The layout has been carefully designed for easy tweak-ability via the MPC Q-Links. The TubeSynth comes packaged with a comprehensive factory library of cutting-edge presets including sumptuous pads, hard hitting plucks, thunderous basses and screaming lead sounds.
• Flexible 3 Oscillator architecture features noise, saw, square, pulse and triangle waveforms.
• Two different unison engines offer extended possibilities for thickening the timbre of any patch.
• Users can customize the harmonic content of Oscillator 2 using the voice level EQ and Drive parameters.
• Lowpass Filter with continuously variable slope with pre and post distortion.
• Polyphonic Glide/Portamento for polyphonic pitch slides between chords.
• Envelopes included for Filter, Amp with a third specialist ramp envelope that can be assigned to different modulation destinations.
• Two LFO’s have Sine, Square, Saw Up, Saw Down, Pump, Sample and Hold and Drift waveforms.
• Explore a wide range of timbral possibilities with the Oscillator’s Ring Modulation parameter.
• AIR Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Compressor and Hype EQ.
• Almost 300 patches provide a wide selection of Synth, Lead, Pluck, Pad, Bass, Organ, FX presets.
• Oscillator 1 and 2 Env Shape parameter allows users to modulate the shape of each oscillator with the Filter Envelope

Bassline
The AIR Bassline emulates the sound of classic mono synths with a contemporary twist. Including four integrated AIR effects as well as two built-in distortion algorithms.
• Flexible oscillator with continuously variable waveshape including octave saw, saw, square and sine waveforms
• Sub and fifth oscillators for thicker layered timbres.
• Low-pass and high-pass filters.
• Over 150 presets.
Electric
The AIR Electric emulates the sound of classic electric pianos.
• Dedicated Pickup, Envelope, Bell and Noise parameter sections provide a huge amount of flexibility to configure the timbre of the electric piano sound.
• Five AIR effects Tremolo, Tube distortion, Chorus, Delay and Spring Reverb.
• Over 80 presets.

In addition to the AIR plugins. MPC 2.3 introduces many other enhancements, including:
• Autosampler – Capture and convert any plugin preset or external instrument preset into a key group sampler patch. This is great for sampling patches from synths and drum machines.
• Crossfade Looping – Realtime crossfade looping has now been added to sample playback.
• Arpeggiator – A real time arpeggiator and phrase player.
“MPC 2.3 advances the user experience in amazing new ways,” said Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “Users will especially love the new plugins created by AIR. They definitely open up a whole new world of creative possibilities.”

This update is free for existing MPC Software 2 owners (2.0 – 2.2). MPC 2.3 is available as a new purchase for $199.99 for non-MPC product owners or as an upgrade from MPC Software 1 or MPC Essentials for $99.99.
For complete details on new features found in 2.3, visit: MPC 2.3 Release Notes.
For more information, visit akaipro.com.
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Novation Circuit Review

The Novation Circuit portable Groovebox

This Circuit review is one that I specifically requested from Novation. I was quite interested in the idea of a portable groove box that held one of my favorite synth engines in a battery controlled, forward thinking design. I was concerned about the macro control layout as I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the layout. I came away from my time with the circuit gaining a new appreciation for this different take on a portable synth. Instead of focusing on specifics like ADSR settings or complex oscillator set ups, This groove box opts to give you macros that can control 4 parameters on any given patch. While this might be a bit confusing, it also serves as the pathway to inspiration and discovery of new unexpected sounds. This is where Circuit can come into its own… The sequencer is a bit on the basic side being only 16 steps but it does allow for independent note lengths and pattern chaining. You can launch patterns in a similar way to the ableton live clip launching method. Speaking of Ableton Live, a copy is included free with Circuit and Circuit can be used as a controller for live.

The Battery power and the fact that it has a built in speaker was a large draw for me. I’m happy to say that through out this entire review I never once needed to actually plug it into the wall (though the wall adapter is included in the box). The internal speaker is quite adequate to get its sound across in a quiet setting (don’t expect it to be loud enough to get peoples attention in a noisy bus station but it will certainly turn heads if you are sitting in a starbucks.)

I found the over all build quality to be extremely good. The knobs feel VERY nice , smooth with decent resolution. the body didn’t creak or feel hollow and plasticy.  The build felt so nice I let my 2 and a half year old son bash away on it with not so much as a scratch or a worry. I have to say he quite enjoyed it as well.

I was skeptical of the layout but came away impressed with the build quality. The constant updates from novation is a very promising sign and the addition of sample import and “sample flip” is not to be over looked. the rigid 16 step sequencer resolution is probably my biggest gripe but for what this product is, its hardly a deal breaker.

If you are looking for a groove box that you can confidently take with you on the go and is truly stand alone… this might be right up your alley.

Getting the most out of older gear Part 1: MPC 1000 fat pad upgrade

These days there are a ton of options for the upcoming producer and selecting which tools you use can be daunting. Factors such as price range, hardware vs software, analog vs digital and workflow can all be major factors. Luckily for those in the know, there are some real deals to be had these days.  This series will focus of finding production equipment deals, older gear that still holds a lot of useful abilities, and breathing new life into that gear. To help get the best bang for your production dollar, I have decided to grab a few of these pieces of gear and show how to revamp them, what to look out for, and how to use them in todays modern environment.

So lets start off with arguably the center of most production setups, the sequencer/drum sampler.  I have chosen the MPC 1000 for a few reasons. 1) it is affordably priced and readily available. 2) with its compact flash slot, hard drive and USB connection, this MPC can easily connect to a modern studio set up with ease. 3) the MPC 1000 is to this day one of the most powerful portable samplers available.Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.27.34 PM

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Dominant Drums Teaser!

This new maschine expansion has been a labor of love. Drums were recorded in a variety of settings using both traditional kits as well as “found sound” kits. The drums were then processed through a variety of outboard gear and optimized for usage in todays top drum sequencing software with a special focus on Native Instruments Maschine.

The Expansion pack is available for both Maschine 1.8 and 2.x format also as individual wav files that are organized by category( kick, snare, etc)
All sounds are individually tagged for easy browsing.
Each kit is mapped out with finger drumming in mind!

Take a look at Dominant Drums!
available Soon at Bigfishaudio.com!

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Maschine 2.0 / Studio Preview 2 (The Sampler)

Time For Another Maschine 2 Preview!

I have been using Maschine 2.0 for a good bit now and am very familiar with it’s workflow and changes.

With Maschine 2.0 and the Studio controller about to hit the store shelves any day now. We have all heard about the great new 32 bit floating point sound engine, but I thought it might be nice to discuss some of the changes to workflow that you can expect.

Lets get right into it by talking about the sampler section

sampler view m2studioinput selection areaThe first thing of note is now we are not limited to using only stereo inputs. This means we can sample mono sources with out having to convert later.  On the studio controller we are given input selection buttons to allow us to directly select our source right from the hardware.

The four tabs in the left hand hardware screen are Record, Edit, Slice and Zone.

Under the Edit tab we are also given a new “Selection Range” this is a great feature in that it allows us to select a portion of the sample separate from the start and end points and loop points and apply functions such as time stretching or normalization to just that selection. you can pre hear the selection range from the software by clicking play icon next to the file name. very good for checking selections without screwing up your start and end points.

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