Round In Circles For Boss
One product that certainly caught my eye this year was the RC-202 from Boss. Boss and Roland are always looking to progress with their products and don’t ever do reissues of previous products, so you can all rest well knowing that this is not just a rebuild of the old SP-202 that many of you might remember from years gone by. I for one have owned about half a dozen different 505’s over the years, each one acting in a very different manner to the previous. So, with the RC-202 we are in for suggestions of the SP-202, but with a whole new vision and work flow. Designed to build on the guitar looper products that Boss is getting so much success with of late, this unit is a smaller version of the RC-505 that was released a few years back. In difference to the guitar products, these are designed to work as a desktop unit specifically with DJs and producers in mind. Floor control is still an option with extra footswitches, but this is very much a hands-on experience for live music production. For those of you who are prepared to put in a little time getting to understand the subtle nuances of the interface, a great deal can be achieved with this unit from what has been seen so far.
New Avenues For Pioneer
For anyone and everyone involved in live DJ performances in the past 20 years, it is hard not to have worked with Pioneer products at some point in time. In the modern technology-based DJ market, Pioneer have certainly been leading the way for some time, dominating the marketplace with a huge range of products aimed at DJ performance. Now, they have taken the plunge into the production world in a more serious way. Inviting Dave Smith of Sequential Circuits to get involved in this new project, Pioneer has joined the game with a very strong introduction in the Toraiz SP-16. In a nutshell, it’s a sampler. Also, it’s a pair of Dave Smith filters. Plus, it’s a groove-box and sequencer. Most of all, it’s a game changer. There is plenty going on with this device and it is going to appeal to a wide range of users. Many will feel familiarly at home with certain aspects of the layout with a pad based sample trigger grid on one side, a step based sequencer layout across the bottom and a full colour, multi-function LCD screen delivering plenty of information for those that rely heavily on a computer screen for info.
Synth nuts are going to love the addition of the two Dave Smith analogue filters in the Toraiz, giving this device a more organic sound and feel to many other units on the market. And this is what Pioneer seems to have been aiming at with the entire design, as it will operate as a stand-alone production and performance centre without the need of a computer to be involved. It can be use dwith a PC or Mac for more power, but it has been built with the idea that you can integrate into your hardware DJ setup and it works like a sound engine in its own right. Where this comes into its own is that Pioneer has now delivered us a product that can be at home in both the studio and the DJ booth and transfer easily between the two. It makes it so simple to bring your studio production into your live performances with the one machine, without the need of a computer and audio interface. Being a hybrid of so many products, the Toraiz SP-16 is going to bring together a wider user base and should put them all in the same ballpark. Keep an eye out for this one.
Despite picking up a bagful of awards in what seems to be a regular event for Native Instruments, they were not showing new products at Musikmesse this year. That said, there has been plenty going on at Native Instruments’ basecamp in the way of software updates and special promos. With it now being more than a year since their new STEMs audio systems made waves, NI have launched a promo on the Traktor S5 and D2 consoles that will run through to the end of May, making it the best time to get into STEM audio performance at a reduced price. We will just have to wait to see what is in store from NI as to new products as we all speculate as to when Komplete 11 might be released.