Cloudbounce is a new online mastering service that aims to offer the “world’s most advanced, AI-Driven, Cloud based Mastering Engine”.
Online mastering has been a hot topic of debate recently, some swearing by it, whilst others not convinced that it can replace the skilled ears and techniques of a qualified mastering technician.
CloudBounce claim that their 2.0 mastering engine is the most advanced system currently out there, using AI and machine learning to analyse and identify the subtle differences between music genres.
Cloudbounce also has a flexible payment option, where producers can either pay as they go at £3.99 per track, £24.00 for unlimited monthly or £160 yearly subscription plans. All come with a CloudBounce player page which can be shared between fans, labels or clients, as well as lifetime Cloud backup.
Cloudbounce are currently offering three free mastering sessions to anyone who signs up to try out their new service and mastering engine.
Want to learn more about creating a quality mix? Check out Deadmau5's new online production masterclass.
Bedroom DJ’s rejoice! There’s now a plug-in that will make your amatuer endeavours even more accessible.
With the addition of the new touchstrip on the latest Macbook Pro, Apple has added an outlet for those who can’t afford a MIDI controller. While it’s nothing extremely fancy, it’s simple interface is easy to use for those just getting started on their music career.
What makes it even more appealing is that it works smoothly with popular DAWs, including Ableton Live, Logic, and Cubase. While the presets have been reported to be limiting, nothing beats a free MIDI. Also, it’s completely customizable.
Along with being compatible with notable DAWs, it’s also the most available MIDI controller you’ll find. Even at their cheapest, MIDI’s can be out of price range for those looking to take off in the industry. This plug-in now gives you the chance to have something affordable. Not only that, your MIDI will now go wherever you go since it’s built into your laptop!
Canadian-based company Tri-Art Audio has just shown off its new turntable made completely out of bamboo.
The new bamboo Sprout TA–0.5 turntable is comprised of a bamboo platter, plinth and tonearm, and can be purchased with Audio-Technica’s AT95E cartridge for around $725 (£585).
One of the unique features of the turntable is the counterweight system that Tri-Art have used on their tonearm — two small compartments at the back of the arm that can be loaded with small ball bearings, allowing for adjustment by simply adding or taking away some of the bronze balls.
Tri-Art are no strangers to making audio equipment out of bamboo. Their collection features a range of speakers and audio accessories made from the pliable wood, with the wonderful looking Sprout TA a new addition to their growing series.
For more interesting turntable designs, check out the Technics SP10MK3 Ferrari Corsa Red Micro Suede.
Arturia returns with their KeyLab Essentials range of slick and colourful controller keyboards.
Coming in two sizes of 49 or 61 key variants, priced at £189 and £235 respectively, the new keyboards are an affordable and stripped-down option for producers looking for a quality controller for their studio or performance set-up.
KeyLab Essentials ships with Arturia’s Analog Lab 2 software included, as well as Ableton Live Lite and UVI’s Grand Piano, offering an impressive and complete out-the-box production environment for newbies or professionals.
DJ Mag Tech's favourite feature is KeyLab Essentials's Chord Mode which works in a similar way to Native Instruments’ chord feature, allowing users to play out complex chords just by pressing a single key.
If these new keyboard controllers are still too big for your production set-up, Arturia also offer the excellent MiniLab MKII MIDI controller as a more compact option.
The mixing desk that was used at Abbey Road Studios from the '70s to the '80s has been sold for $1.8 million.
The EMI TG12345 MK IV recording console was used at Abbey Road Studios by the likes of Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, The Cure, Kate Bush, and many more stars from the era. Pink Floyd also recorded their ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ album on it.
The forty-channel desk itself is impressive to look at, it was bought by producer Mike Hedges when Abby Road upgraded their studios back in the early '80s, now achieving the incredible sale price at auction via Bonhams of London.
When DJ Mag Tech first heard of the Roland/Serato hook-up we were intrigued. Roland, which has cut its chops in the music technology industry for years, a leading player with an undeniable history in regards to its synths, drum machines and hardware now looking to enter the DJ controller arena; and Serato, one of the industry leaders in digital DJing software. What could they both bring to this already saturated marketplace?
When we initially saw the first images of the DJ-808 we weren’t quite sure what to make of it. Would it be taken seriously by DJs, or would they see it as a novelty product from companies that should know better?
Well, on unboxing the controller, we were happily surprised. The pictures that we initially saw were deceiving. The look and the build quality of the controller were immediately impressive. This was reinforced when we turned on the controller and started playing on it.
The visual LEDs, the firm action of the knobs, sliders, pads and buttons and the thoughtful layout all came together nicely. Additionally, the weight of it, just the right side of heavy, was a relief. Straight away, from our initial tinkering it was obvious that Roland was serious about entering the DJ sector. We suppose this should have been obvious in the first place, as we doubt Serato would have jumped on board if it was not going to be a product to garner respect.
So, who is the DJ-808 aimed at? Straight up DJs who simply mix their records will probably choose another option for a controller, but DJs who are now breaking out of the standard two-deck mixer-type performance will quickly see what the attraction is with the DJ-808. Potentially, this controller could find its mark in this tightly-filled sector.
Roland has created an instrument that includes DJ functions. What makes up the DJ-808 is a drum machine (the TR-S) featuring sounds from Roland’s classic TR range of drum machines (808/909/707/606). The drum sounds can be routed through the Serato software with FX applied to them — this shows the deep integration that the two companies have applied to the build of the controller.
The parameters of the drum sounds can also be adjusted directly from the hardware. Also, part of the make-up is a MIDI sample step sequencer, of which 16 patterns can be saved in the unit. Again, there is deep integration with the software, as the sequencer can sequence the Serato DJ sample decks. Just this alone makes for some serious DJ/musical performance capabilities.
The other element that makes it not just a standard controller is the vocal transformer, which can be utilised by singers or DJs to creative effect with its auto-tune capability. We messed around with this, but as we are not accomplished vocalists, our attempts to do a James Blake/Nicolas Jaar were limited. Still, it is clear to see the potential of what can be done in this section alone.
The instrumental side of the controller sits on top of the DJ section, which is made up of the usual deck and mixer components. The ‘Ultra Low Latency’ jog-wheels have a great feel, and the tightness and accuracy with which they control the Serato DJ software is apparent. The rest of the deck section is in-keeping with most of the modern controllers out there, with eight RGB performance pads (four of those being velocity-sensitive), loop, pitch, sync, mode select buttons and transport controls.
The mixer section is made up of a crossfader and five upfader channels. Four of these are audio channels with EQ, independent track load buttons and FX control dials that control the channel FX, while the fifth in the middle takes care of the volume level of the TR-S drum machine and sampler. The mid sector also contains the master level knob, visual volume LEDs and a menu/track scroll dial.
The mixer is also capable of being used as a standalone unit independently of the Serato DJ software. It has a good selection of inputs and outputs. Extra hardware and external audio sources can be hooked up to it in addition to the usual media players and turntables; it also comes with MIDI out as well as having two additional AIRA Link USB ports, reinforcing the possibility of using the DJ-808 as the central hub for a DJ/live/studio set-up.
And with Roland leading the charge with its AIRA and Boutique range of synths, it is a no-brainer that it sees the appeal in creating a custom set-up with the DJ-808 as the centrepiece of the action that can sync up to their other bits of kit and also be the central MIDI clock device.
The sound quality of the DJ-808 is good. We matched it up against a few other controllers in the price bracket as well as other media players and mixers and were happy with the depth and quality of the sound.
We had fun putting the DJ-808 through its paces. As a controller it is solid and rates up there with the best of them, but we think its strength lies as an instrument with additional DJ capabilities. It begs the performer to be more creative with its use. Roland could be on to something here.
It’s obvious that Roland and Serato have seen what can be done when DJs start to explore ‘live’ performances, and this collaboration places both companies in a good position to expand on this ever-growing sector of DJ performance. DJ Mag Tech would love to see a full-on band performance with the DJ-808, a choice selection of synths and other tasty bits of kit all hooked up together.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the DJ-808 (long enough) and everything else we needed (Roland AIRA/Boutique synths and a band/friends) to really test it out to this level of musicianship. But we’ll be back with a separate review sometime in the near future when we have had a chance to delve deeper into this side of the DJ-808. For now, we were impressed with what Roland and Serato have done.
Build Quality 9
Ease of Use 9
Value for Money 9
Sound Quality 9
A quality controller, that goes beyond just a DJ tool.
A built-in soundcard would have been the icing on the cake.
The DJ-808 is a great controller with a lot of facets that make it very versatile indeed. It takes its name from another of Roland’s legendary products, however time will tell if this controller will take its place in the DJ kit hall of fame.
Curtesy of www.djmag.com
Now you can make you own MIDI enabled musical instruments from everyday objects...
Fancy building your own MIDI controlled musical machines? Then check out Dadmachines new Automat Toolkit, which has just launched on Kickstarter.
An ambitious project from the Berlin studio, the Automat Toolkit is a bit like lego for adults with musical ambitions, that allows the user to build musical instruments using everyday objects.
At the centre of the build is the Automat controller, a plug-and-play MIDI unit that has 12 DC outputs, which can be plugged into a selection of solenoid motors that can transform near enough anything into a musical instrument.
The Automat hub can be controlled via standard MIDI or via USB, which means that it can be controlled via software like Ableton Live or any other MIDI capable program and or hardware.
There is no limit on how far you can push the Automat — it's perfect for simple one hit wonder to a complete robotic set-up playing a range of home-built instruments.
Dadamachines stress that building your musical robot/instrument is pretty easy and anyone can get in on the fun.
There are several packages on offer on the Kickstarter site, from the basic Automat controller to a range of cool add-ons including motors, microphone stands and the various adapters.
Pledges start at €89 for a DIY Automat board up to €499 for the large toolkit, and if the funding round is successful fans can expect to see the fruits of Dadamachines’ labour from August 2017.
Ghostly International continue with their eclectic collaborations joining forces again with Brooklyn-based workshop, Brandnewnoise, to release their Ghostly Zoots — a take on the kalimba (African thumb piano).
The new bespoke instrument combines elements of an original kalimba with new looping and pitch shifting capabilities, to add a whole new dimension to this classic instrument.
The Ghostly Zoots forms the third piece in a collection with Brandnewnoise, joining the Phone Home Xylophone and Looped Visions Recorder Box in this unique instrument collection.
The Hyve synth — that looks like a cross between a stylophone and the Buchla Music Easel — launched on Kickstarter last week, and has already reached its $20,000 target with 25 days to go!
This futuristic-looking, DIY synth garnered a lot of interest when it was first announced back in 2015 and now, thanks to its successful crowd-funding campaign, is set for a full release in September this year.
The Hyve comes with two playing surfaces, a traditional piano-style keyboard and a hexagonal grid. The grid allows users to move their fingers over notes that work together in groups to create chords, the playing surface is also pressure sensitive allowing for some interesting modulations of sound.
You can pre-order the DIY Kit on Kickstarter for between $79 or $149 whilst a fully-built one will set you back $299.
Technics SP10MK3 Ferrari Corsa Red Micro Suede is officially on the market via Audiogon for a whopping $38,895, with shipping in the USA for $695.
The pricey turntable was originally created by Technics Matsushita Japan in the early ‘80s, but this model has been hand-crafted and finished by Artisan Fidelity.
The listing states: “The evolution of Artisan Fidelity's continuing and ongoing designs using optimized conventional and direct coupled based turntable models based on the Technics SP10MK3 drive platform over past years has lead us to this final NGS iteration, a no expenses spared flagship design, engineered and crafted from the ground up with absolutely zero compromise. Indeed, the playback capabilities of the Technics SP10MK3 NGS platform easily exceed and surpass both conventional plinth type designs and direct coupled designs”.
Watch the video of the making of the Technics SP10MK3 below.