Last Updated on May 13, 2019 by Gareth Patch
Here’s a few tasty hardware releases to make you prise open your wallet instead of going on holiday…
They teased it for what seemed like only a matter of hours before IK Multimedia officially announced their new hardware drum machine, the UNO Drum. This analog/PCM drum machine sports the same form factor and physical layout out of their recently released UNO Synth and they are obviously aiming for a familial look to their ever-expanding hardware analog range.
The seven control knobs and parameter matrix at the top of the unit and the 16 step sequencer interface at the bottom, are this time joined by 12 double velocity pads to play the sounds and new performance effects. These include Stutter, Roll and Random to help give your performances some unexpected twists. Also, on-board compression and drive settings can give some creative options over the included 100 drum kit presets.
This time the case is white and you can hook it up and sync it with your UNO Synth to create a portable, analog performance rig. The sequencer pattern can reach to 64 steps and Song Mode allows you to chain 64 patterns together for extended compositions. Changes to sequences and drum kits can be saved on-board.
Pre-ordering, at time of publication, is $/€ 249.99 excluding taxes and shipping is due in June 2019.
Quality audio product manufacturers Audient, have released the Nero desktop monitor controller and it seeks to cover all your control needs, with something extra on top.
It sports 4 sets of inputs (2 stereo line in, a stereo cue mix and auxiliary-in on either phono or mini-jack), an array of outputs including a main out, 2 alt outs, a separate sub out and 4 headphone outs) and a routing matrix that gives you overall control.
There are also inputs on digital (coaxial and optical) a built in talkback mic or input for your own if you prefer and handy Dim, Cut and Mono functions. An interesting feature is an on-board memory that saves your routing settings, so you can always recall your perfect set up. For example, you may only want to hear your sub with your main output pair or your alt output only in mono. All this can be saved for your perfect workflow setup using what’s known as Smart Touchpoints.
The Audient Nero should be shipping during the second quarter of 2019 with an expected price of $499.
As hardware controllers go, we feel that this is one for purists only, but the Synclavier Knob has been designed and built by the Synclavier Digital team to feel and react exactly as the control wheel from the mark II version of the original synth did. It works in conjunction with Synclavier Go! (see our recent news item here …) and Synclavier Pocket! Apps, and was turning heads at the recent NAMM show.
Milled from a two inch bar of aluminium on a lathe from 1986, the Knob is spring loaded and returns to its central position when let go. It can increase and decrease the chosen parameter in the app and, just like the original, as you turn the knob further the tension increases and so does the rate of change in the parameter.
It can also work on multiple parameters chosen at the same time, increasing or decreasing all selected simultaneously. The manufacturers suggest that using Synclavier Go! on an iPad, with a MIDI keyboard and the Knob, is the closest you’ll get to how the original felt and sounded, adapting your sounds intuitively rather than constantly staring at a screen.
The cost of the Synclavier Knob is $399, which seems a little steep, but consider that the app itself is only 30 bucks and so together still comes nowhere close to the $200,000 that an original vintage hardware Synclavier II may set you back now.