This week in music tech news finds a selection of new music production products, industry announcements, and gear sneak-peaks.
Icon’s music tech roundup is your source for the latest music technology, industry news, gear reviews, artist interviews, events, and more.
iZotope Introduces Ozone 8 and Neutron 2
iZotope releases Ozone 8 and Neutron 2! This next evolution of the company’s mixing and mastering line brings innovative new features like Tonal Balance Control, Master Assistant, and inter-plugin communication.
Ozone 8 now features machine learning technology with the introduction of Master Assistant. This feature addition allows you to reach an optimal starting point for your master in seconds. Version 8 also includes Track Referencing, a Spectral Shaper to tame problematic frequencies, improved signal processing, as well as refinements to the user interface and workflow.
Neutron 2 includes a host of improvements and feature additions. New signal processing enhancements, a Gate with Hysteresis for a smoother gating response, and improvements to Track Assistant and Neutrino modes help you get to a better starting point. Neutron 2 also features an intuitive Visual Mixer that allows you to mix on a soundstage by controlling pan, gain, and width of audio busses. In addition, the new Mix Tap plugin enables you to route any track to the Tonal Balance Control plugin, Visual Mixer, and Masking Meter, even if you are not using any iZotope plugins.
Elektron Announces MKII OS Update for MKI Users
Earlier this year, Elektron introduced enhanced “MKII” versions of their premier Octatrack performance sampler and Analog Four synthesizer. A move that should please original Octatrack users, the Swedish company recently announced an upcoming software update that brings MKII features to the MKI. However, Elektron has not yet issued a release date. The company said the new firmware “will be available soon.”
Roland Releases Boutique D-05 Linear Synthesizer
Making its debut in 1987, the D-50 was the first fully digital synthesizer from Roland. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of this legendary synthesizer, Roland released the Boutique D-05 Linear Synthesizer, a compact reproduction of the original Roland D-50.
Combining the newly developed Digital Circuit Behavior (DCB) sound generator with the actual samples used in the original instrument, the D-05 delivers the D-50’s iconic, highly recognizable sounds. The recreation captures the original features with the addition of modern conveniences of the Roland Boutique module format.
The new D-05 also includes many modern enhancements not available with the original D-50. The 64-step polyphonic sequencer is ideal for performance and music creation. It offers the ability to sequence shuffle and gate timing along with tempo and patch changes. You can also create, save and recall up to 64 patterns. In addition, there’s also a built-in arpeggiator for adding movement to the D-05’s already evocative LA Synthesis sounds.
Plus, the D-05 features all of the sounds from the complete D-50 Sound Library featured in the rare D-50 Memory Cards. There are also six Preset Banks and eight User banks for a combined total of nearly 900 sounds! All instantly available at the press of a button.
Irijule Introduces Music Theory Based MIDI Controller
Irijule introduces TheoryBoard, a new Music Theory MIDI Controller that is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. The controller is designed to help users with music theory. The interface provides LED color coated mappings of 860+ scales, various chord structures, and more.
TheoryBoard’s innovative layout provides a new way of perceiving music by offering ways to tackle the complex world of scales, chords, inversions, melody, and harmony. By merging color and sound, the TheoryBoard provides a synesthetic experience for anyone interfacing with the product. For example, diatonic scales, chord groups, and the correlations between them are expressed through color. This approach gives the user a unique advantage by allowing visual reference points while playing. The TheoryBoard also houses every scale known. Moreover, selecting a scale reveals full access to every note as well as every possible chord within that scale.
Newfangled Audio and Eventide Release ‘Elevate’ Plugin Limiter
Elevate is another advanced mastering plugin to hit the market. The Elevate bundle combines a multiband limiter, human-ear EQ, and an audio maximizer designed to deliver loudness while maintaining your mix’s dynamics and tonal balance. This full-featured plugin also uses intelligent, adaptive technology that responds in real time to your music. These artificial intelligence algorithms are also designed to automatically make corrections to help you achieve a more professional sounding mix.
In addition, the adaptive limiter analyzes 26 frequency bands and alters the gain, speed, and transients for each band in real time. Elevate also utilizes 26 critical filter bands modeled from the human ear in addition to several other helpful features.
TC Electronic Teases New Juno-inspired Chorus Pedal
Reverb reports that TC Electronic is set to produce a new pedal based on the classic chorus section of Roland’s Juno-106 synth from the ’80s.
Dubbed the “June-60,” this pedal first made its way into the spotlight at Germany’s GuitCon convention in September. However, TC Electronic has not yet released any official word about production plans. It’s unclear if this design has a future or if it’s a prototype meant to stir interest. Noteworthy though, Behringer acquired TC Electronic in 2015, a company known for producing gear based on designs from other companies.
ROLI Introduces Next Generation Lightpad Block
ROLI recently launched the second-generation model of their Lightpad Block line called the Lightpad Block M in addition to a series of upgrades to their NOISE app.
The palm-sized Lightpad Block M advances the Lightpad Block line that launched in November 2016. This new device allows music-makers to recreate the sounds of drums, cellos, flutes, synths, and hundreds of other instruments with touch-sensitive pads that supports pressure-based multi-touch gestures.
The newest version of ROLI’s free NOISE app introduces improvements to clip launching, clip editing, and user-interface navigation as well as new acoustic sounds. Together with the recent introduction of Seaboard View and Mixer Mode, the updates make NOISE 3.0 a versatile sketchpad for making music on the go.
The Synth Sounds of Blade Runner
In celebration of Blade Runner 2049, Reverb’s Justin Delay looks at the classic gear behind the original Blade Runner score written by Vangelis. He also talks about how to recreate those iconic sounds with analog and digital gear.
MPC X/Live 2.0.5 Firmware Update
Akai Professional unleashes a major firmware update for the MPC Live and MPC X. The 2.0.5 Firmware Update delivers new features for real-time audio warping, time-stretching, and pitch-shifting in addition to several other audio editing improvements. The update also introduces Bluetooth MIDI and QWERTY keyboard support, a new Program Edit Samples page, enhanced support for storage expansion/external drives, and more.
Another significant addition to 2.0.5 is Ableton Link support. Ableton Link synchronizes beat, phase, and tempo of Link-enabled applications over a wireless or wired network.
Pioneer DJ Teases New Hybrid Sequencer/Sampler
A new Pioneer DJ performance sampler made headlines after images captured the device onstage at the Dirtybird Campout in California. Digital DJ Tips describes the latest edition as having a “form factor of a CDJ/XDJ, but with performance pads and buttons that look like the ones found on the Toraiz SP-16 sampler.” It’s also reported that people are calling this new product the “DJS-1000.” Stay tuned for details as they come out!