midi Stories May 4, 2016

Moog Music has been known for producing some of the most popular synthesizers since the 70s— we reviewed a couple of the newer models in our Logic Pros series and noted that iPad/Mac synths still can’t quite capture the experience of even a $1,000 Moog. But today Moog is releasing its own iPad and iPhone version of its popular $10,000 Model 15, aiming to offer a similar experience in a $30 mobile app. 

Moog’s own techs helped program the app at the Moog Factory in Asheville, NC, according to the company, with the app both resembling the look and sound of the original 1970’s Model 15 hardware:

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midi Stories December 2, 2015

expiredHome Recording: M-Audio 61-Key MIDI Keyboard $85 (Reg. $169), M-Audio’s best selling monitors $99 (Reg. $150), more

Woodwind & Brasswind (97% positive over the past 12 months w/ 68,733 total ratings) via Amazon is offering the M-Audio Keystation 61 II 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for $84.99 shipped right now. That’s about half the price it still fetches at Guitar Center/B&H and is the best price we can find.

Perfect for beginner and experienced musicians alike, this is a full-size 61 key MIDI controller with touch sensitivity, pitch bend/modulation wheels and hardware transport to control playback in Logic (or other DAWs). It comes with SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble (“a world-class virtual piano instrument”). Rated 4.2/5 stars from 150 Amazon customers.

More MIDI Keyboard Controllers:

Also from Woodwind & Brasswind on Amazon, you can grab the M-Audio AV42 Professional Studio Monitor Speakers (Pair) for $99 shipped (price appears in cart). That’s $50 under the average selling price, $30 below the B&H sale price and the best we can find.

As well as being the best selling powered speakers (don’t require an amp) on Amazon, they have 4-inch polypropylene-coated woofers, 1-inch Ferro fluid-cooled silk cone tweeters, RCA inputs and more. They are rated 3.9/5 stars from only 30 Amazon customers, but just about all the M-Audio monitors have 4+ ratings from hundreds.

Head below for the rest of today’s best home recording deals including MK II M-Audio interfaces from $80, more MIDI controllers from $40, Amazon music deals and much more:

midi Stories November 2, 2015

I’m not musically inclined. Nor do I pretend to be. Give me a Rock Band Drum Kit and I’ll get after it, but otherwise, instruments are completely intimidating. Like many of you out there, I enjoy tapping my pencil along to the beat or playing the bongos on my desk to my favorite song. If only there was a way to translate that into real music…

That’s where Mogees comes in. A simple iPhone add-on that detects vibration and translates it into music. So your desk full of accessories instantly becomes a drum kit. Or a kitchen sink is suddenly transformed into a synthesizer. The opportunities are endless…

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midi Stories July 7, 2015

The inputs on our computers haven’t changed too much over the years. Basically a mouse and keyboard have dominated our interactions with desktops and laptops alike over the last 25 years. There have been varying degrees of new products that have included ergonomic designs or dials that handle one specific input. Now, a new company called Palette is releasing a customizable modular kit with support for the full Adobe Creative Suite, MIDI and even a joystick for your games.  expand full story

midi Stories June 3, 2015

Novation Launchkey MIDI controller keyboard: 49-key $100 (Orig. $200), 61-key $140 (Orig. $250)

Amazon is offering the Novation Launchkey 49 key USB/iOS MIDI Keyboard Controller for $99.99 shipped (matched at Guitar Center). That’s $100 under its original listing and the best price we can find. It still fetches up to $160 at some trusted retailers.

You’ll also find the Novation Launchkey 61 model for $139.99 shipped today (matched at Guitar Center). That’s more than $100 under the original listing and the best we can find by $60.

They are compatible with Mac, PC and iPad (requires the standard Apple Camera Connection kitnot included), and feature 6 velocity-sensitive multi-color pads, over 50 mappable hardware controllers in total, and seamless integration with your DAW including Logic Pro X, FL Studio and Ableton Live.

The Novation Launchkeys have a 4.1/5 star rating from over 160 Amazon customers, much like the rest of the popular and affordable Novation music production gear.

If you’re into music production, then you’ll want to check out our new series: The Logic Pros, which explores all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac and iOS devices.

More on the Launchkey:

Launchkey is a range of 25, 49 and 61 note keyboard controllers with up to 50 physical controls including 16 velocity-sensitive multi-color launch pads that trigger and stop clips, and launch scenes in Ableton Live. In addition to enabling hands-on control of your DAW’s mixer, instruments and more, Launchkey is an integrated software/hardware instrument. Launchkey includes an entire suite of software for iPad, Mac and PC including a brand new Launchkey synth app, a Launchpad app* for triggering and improvising with loops, and the powerful V-Station and Bass Station soft synths for Mac and PC–not to mention Ableton Live Lite and a huge Loopmasters sample pack.

Launchkey is a controller for all major music software, giving you hands-on control of your mixer, transport and more in Ableton Live, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Reason, Logic and Cubase. With 9 faders, 9 buttons, 8 rotary knobs and transport controls, nothing comes close to Launchkey for sheer controllability. 16 multi-color backlit velocity-sensitive launch pads can be used to play drums and trigger loops without being near a computer, perfect for sketching out beats or playing in drum patterns, or triggering clips and scenes in Ableton Live. The velocity-sensitive synth-style keyboard mechanism is accompanied by pitch and mod wheels and octave, track up/down buttons. It recreates the feel of classic synth keyboards with precision, so playing styles can be reflected by the software as accurately as possible.

midi Stories December 2, 2014

expiredAlesis Q25 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller $40 shipped (orig. $180)

Amazon has the Alesis Q25 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for $39.99 shipped (matched at Guitar Center). That’s $139 or 77% under the original listing, $20 or more under the average selling price and the best price we’ve seen.

Features:

  • 25-key USB MIDI keyboard controller provides the ideal surface for composing and performing music with computer-based digital audio workstations, sequencers, and more
  • 25 velocity-sensitive keys ensure a dynamic performance
  • Pitch and Modulation wheels add musical expression; perfect for emulating the nuances of specialized musicians via DAW software
  • Octave Up and Down buttons extend the note range without taking up critical desktop space
  • Sustain pedal input and MIDI output for pro-level functionality and versatility
  • Single USB cable simplicity delivers both data and power
  • Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition software is included to get you creating right out of the box

This can be a great option for those looking for a smaller controller for home or on the go. Using any one of the many iOS/Mac compatible interfaces available like those from Focusrite, IK and the wireless PUC option, it will work with a desktop/laptop and your iPad. It is received a 4.1/5 star rating from nearly 80 Amazon customers.

For more iOS/Mac music production options check out our 2014 buying guide and head over to Amazon’s Cyber Week Musical Instruments sale.

More from Alesis:

5-Key USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller:

Offering single-cable USB simplicity, the Alesis Q25 delivers complete MIDI control in a space-saving, compact package. Beginning with 25 full-size keys, the Q25 adds expressive Pitch and Modulation wheels. The velocity-sensitive keys respond instantly to your touch, while the sustain pedal input allows piano-style performances. The Q25 includes software from Ableton so you can make music today.

Expressive Performance Features

Whether you need to chop out some chords, lay down a bass groove, or cut loose with a solo, the Q25 stands ready. The velocity-sensitive keys capture all the nuances of your playing. The Pitch and Modulation wheels can add vibrato, bending or other modulation effects to enhance your playing. Use the Octave Up and Down keys to increase the keyboard range.

Total MIDI Control

Using just the keys on the keyboard, one single button, and the assignable slider, the compact Q25 unlocks easy access to deep levels of MIDI control, so you can dig in to all your favorite software instruments. The Q25 also provides a MIDI output for adding a drum machine, sampler, or sound module to your setup.

Quick Computer Connection

A single USB cable provides power to the Q25 and a two-way data connection to your computer. It’s that simple. The Q25 includes music software from Ableton so you can begin making music right away. If you’d like, you can use the 9V power input (adapter optional) and the MIDI output for stand-alone operation.

midi Stories November 28, 2014

expiredIK Multimedia iRig Pro iOS/Mac audio interface w/ MIDI & Lightning cable $84 shipped (orig. $150)

Amazon has the IK Multimedia iRig Pro instrument/microphone interface with MIDI for iOS and Mac for $84.15 shipped. That’s nearly $66 or 44% under the usual $149.99 price tag, more than $15 under Guitar Center/most Black Friday sales, and the lowest we’ve seen on the iRig Pro model with Lightning included.

Features:

  • Neutrik® combo input: 1/4″ HiZ instrument input and XLR microphone input
  • MIDI input for simultaneous audio+MIDI recording
  • Adustable input gain control for ideal sound quality with any instrument type
  • High-quality 24-bit A/D conversion for pristine sound
  • Includes Lightning
  • 30-pin and USB cables for compatibility with all generations of iPhone
  • iPad and Mac
  • Works with all popular audio & video apps
  • unlocks premium content inside IK Multimedia apps

It has received a 4+ star rating on Amazon much like the rest of the affordable IK Multimedia recording gear. Be sure to stay locked to our Black Friday weekend coverage and keep an eye on Amazon’s Musical instrument Lightning deals for deeply discounted offerings all weekend long.

midi Stories October 8, 2014

Numark Mixtrack Edge Slimline portable USB DJ controller for Mac/PC $99 shipped (orig. $300)

Amazon is offering the Numark Mixtrack Edge Slimline USB DJ Controller with Integrated Audio Output for $99 shipped. That’s $200 under the original listing, $40 better than Guitar Center and the best we’ve seen.

This is a light and extremely portable, 2-channel DJ controller that offers many of the basic options as a full fledged pro controller like the new Numark NV. You’ll find everything from Sync, Hot Cue, Loop, EQ and two effects controls all packed within a case that is less than 1-inch thick. It also has a built-in audio interface, metal platters, can be bus powered with the included USB cable and works with both Mac and PC along with a host of popular DJ software.

It has received a 4.2/5 star rating on Amazon and includes the Numark Remix Toolkit download ($200 value). 

More from Numark on the Mixtrack Edge Slimline:

Featuring the ideal combination of essential capability and compact design, Mixtrack Edge is a controller every DJ should have in their arsenal. USB-powered and just 14 millimeters thin, Mixtrack Edge goes anywhere with ease. Its low-profile design features an integrated cover to protect the control surface and a full array of bright backlit controls surrounded by brushed aluminum. It’s small on size but big on features, so you can command your mix with precision.

An audio interface is built in for headphone cueing and output to a PA system. Plus, Mixtrack Edge comes with Virtual DJ LE software and a 1/8″-to-RCA audio cable so you can start mixing right away. Mixtrack Edge is class-compliant with both Mac and PC and operates via standard MIDI, so it’s compatible with virtually any DJ software.

Mixtrack Edge has a built-in cover and ultra-slim design for a reason — it’s made to keep you, your mix, and your audience moving. Mixtrack Edge is also USB-powered, so no power adapter is required, and setting up is simple, so you can mix anytime, anywhere.

Features

  • Slim low-profile design with integrated cover to protect control surface
  • Sample, Sync, Hot Cue, Loop, and EQ and effects controls on each channel
  • Built-in audio interface for headphone cueing and output to a PA system
  • Metal platters for pitch bend, pitch fade, scratch, search, song select, and cue mix
  • Brushed aluminum control surface with bright backlit buttons
  • Class-compliant with both Mac and PC, no driver required
  • Standard MIDI for use with most popular DJ software
  • USB-powered, no power adapter required
  • Virtual DJ LE software included

midi Stories September 25, 2014

With the popularity of grid controllers on the rise, IK Multimedia has now unveiled the latest addition to its iRig line of recording and DJ gear. iRig Pads is an “ultra-portable” grid-style MIDI controller for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac/PC.

Head below for more on what the “ultimate travel companion for the mobile electronic music producer” has to offer:  expand full story

midi Stories September 20, 2014

Update (9/27): Thanks for all of the entries into our Small States giveaway, @broni, @phillsea and @EGHSPrincipalRI are our winners and they have been contacted.

Small States features small companies that design and manufacture within the United States. 

Introduction

Founder Dan Sullivan started the journey that would eventually lead to the development and release of his music products in the Apple Store as a synth circuit designer. Being a banjo and guitar player himself, he was always interested in bringing the two worlds together to create unique musical performance technology that would accommodate string players. Born out of that motivation, Minneapolis, Minnesota based Zivix is comprised of a small core group of passionate individuals set to create and release innovative new music products that meet the demands of modern day musicians.

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midi Stories August 20, 2014

IK Multimedia iRig PRO Audio/Midi interface for iPhone, iPad and Mac $118 shipped (Reg. $150)

Amazon has the IK Multimedia iRig PRO universal Audio/Midi interface for iPhone, iPad and Mac for $117.34 shipped. That’s around $33 or 22% off the regular $150 price tag, $8 under the next best price from a trusted retailer and the lowest we’ve seen this model go for.

The iRig Pro is an all-in-one recording solution for singer/songwriters and podcasters as well more experienced musicians looking for a quick demoing set-up on the go that works with all of their Apple devices. It offers mic and guitar inputs with “high definition, high-quality A/D conversion,” +48V phantom power for use with condenser mics, a suite of music-making software and apps, and will also double as a Midi interface using the included iRig Midi cable.

It comes with three cables: “a Lightning cable for newer iPhones, iPads and the iPad mini; a 30-pin dock connector for “older” devices; and a USB cable for connection to your Mac laptop or desktop.”

It has received a 4.3/5 star rating on Amazon where other iRig interfaces have also received excellent ratings and sit at the top of some Best Seller lists. Amazon also has a great price on the IK Multimedia iRig KEYS Pro Midi keyboard controller for $132.87 shipped (Reg. $150).

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