NAMM 2010: New Sounds and Software for your Studio

MOTU Updates Performer, Plugs

MOTU showed off their new plugins on a new version of Digital Performer (that thing is still around???) — some high quality stuff. Directly competing with Apple’s built-in plugins for Logic Pro, MOTU’s line of plugins features the following:

Electric Keys, a low latency 40GB keyboard sound library of electric pianos, organs, clavs, tape samplers, string machines and more classic and vintage instruments. Nearly all are sampled at 24 bit, and the plugin is 256-note polyphonic, and is complete with an effects rack and amp simulator.

BPM, which looks remarkably similar to Apple’s drum sequencer, gives you the ultimate rhythm programming experience. Includes plug-and-play support for hands-on pad controllers like the Akai MPD32, which is good news for many sample pad enthusiasts, but now with unlimited sample layers per pad (or as much as your computer can handle). Awesome tool for electronic music performance and beat sequencing.

Ethno2 delivers stunning ethnic and exotic instrument sounds from Africa, Asia, Australia, India, South America, and more. I may have to buy this just for the penny whistle and Celtic instruments, and the Flamenco Percussion and guitars.

I didn’t get to hear the Symphonic instrument, and I have a hunch that it may fall a little short compared to other libraries (ie Vienna and EastWest). If you’ve heard it, let me know what you think.

BigFishAudio and Vir2 Instruments Ready to Release Electri6ity

Electrici6ity is the most epic electric guitar virtual instrument to hit the market (ok it’s not out yet, but get ready). This awesome instrument contains some of the most advanced, detailed, and versatile collection of guitars ever. The plugin features the Strat, Tele, Les Paul, P90, Rickenbacker, Danelectro, ES335, and L4 and uses 24-bit samples from each, with three pick up options for each. Every, and I mean every fret of every string was sampled for this library. Downstrokes, upstrokes, ghosting, mutes, hammer-ons, slides, pulloffs, and more are included for every guitar. Articulation and Velocity morphing adds depth and seamless transitioning between effects, while the advanced AI adapts to your playing, allowing for fluid lines, 2000 different chords and positions, and more. If you sequence guitars, this one is a must have.

Piano Sounds from Synthogy

If you’re looking for some fresh Piano samples that hit the spot with realism and features, you have to check out Synthogy’s new Ivory II virtual instrument. Featuring tons of pianos and synths from uprights to grands to synth combos, this piano instrument has half-pedaling, pedal noise, lid position effects, tuning tables, and even sympathetic String Resonance. Check it out at Ilio.

Gear of the Year Poll – From SCOREcast Online

Saw this great poll SCOREcast Online. They are asking everyone for their vote on the Best Software of the Year for Music Production.

While I think all five of the choices are solid, two of them really stand out in mind. Kontact 4 is a definite candidate just based on how people are actually using it. Something that popular has to be a consideration.

My vote however, went to Melodyne DNA. This is a revolutionary piece of software that is really going to change how music production happens. In the demo I saw at NAMM, they took a guitar chord that had a single string out of tune and brought it into tune. They were also able to change the key of a whole song by changing the a single instrument. The ability to manipulate polyphonic audio is going to be huge for the industry. So I had to vote for that.

You can take the poll here:

NAMM 2009: Native Instruments Maschine

Anyone who works with groove boxes and drum samplers knows that one of the drawbacks of sequencing is the slow hardware programming. This year, Native Instruments has combined the flexibility of the computer-based workstation with the ease and tactile process of the groove box with Maschine.

Maschine combines an intuitive on-sceen sequencer, sampler and over 20 high quality effects with real-time control and flexible routing into an inspiring Groove Production Studio. The hardware component features 16 pads, 41 buttons, and 11 rotary encoders dedicated to playing, recording, sequencing, automation, and arrangement. The software interface is a graphical editing environment that is eerily similar to Apple’s built in groove plug-in for Logic Pro. Easy inegration via VST, Audio Units, or RTAS into any host DAW.

From a musical standpoint, Maschine boasts over 5 gigs of studio-quality sounds and 14,000 plus samples. The onboard loops and patterns are perfectly suited for electronic, urban, and indirtronic genres.

More info online at