1. 1010music Bluebox Compact Digital Mixer / Recorder
DAW-less jamming has seen a seismic shift in popularity in recent years, and there’s now more electronic music enthusiasts than ever who are bypassing the grid in favour of painstakingly patching and sequencing their gear on the fly. Tapping into this trend, electronic gurus 1010music have debuted the new Bluebox, a digital mixer and recorder to act as the centrepiece of any given DAW-less set-up.
With a 3.5″ touch screen, six stereo 3.5mm jacks to hook up modular, synth and drum modules and three stereo outputs to send your signal to other sources, the 1010music Bluebox allows for each track to be independently controlled and recorded, and also packs in a bunch of performance features such as compression, reverb and delay. Tracks can be recorded at 48kHz/24-bit WAV in stereo or multi-tracked to micro SD, and the Bluebox can even be bus-powered via USB to make for a mighty fine hardware sequencing set-up. Hear it in action below.
2. MP MIDI Controller
There’s a fair bit of hype about this one. The MP MIDI Controller has been billed by many of our contemporaries in the gear sphere as being the future of soft synths and VSTs, and when you dive into the details, it’s quite difficult to disagree. The Controller essentially ports your VSTs and effects into a desktop bound controller with 32 mapable controls, while a massive touchscreen allows for unparalleled tone tweaking – almost like the real thing!
If you’re working in the box, this controller could be all you need to break out and take your tracks to the next level with its tactile controls. Preorders are available via MP MIDI’s website now, and units are expected to arrive some time in January 2021. Check out the demonstration below to find out more.
3. Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Signature Black Beauty Les Paul Custom
How many signature models does one man need? Apparently for Joe Bonamassa, eight is the magic answer, and on his most recent outing, he’s pairing with Epiphone to unveil an eye-catching Les Paul Custom based on the coveted Black Beauty models of the ’50s and ’60s. Featuring a ’50s neck profile, bound mahogany body and vintage tuners, it’s a fitting tribute a classic era of guitar manufacturing, with Bonamassa’s eye for detail certainly being employed to its fullest here.
The guitar is also loaded with triple ProBucker humbuckers, Orange Drop capacitors and CTS pots, and also comes shipped with a deluxe black hardcase with gold hardware and plush yellow lining, putting the cherry on top of what looks to be another impressive signature offering from the JoBo. Hear it in action below.
4. MXL Revelation Mini FET Microphone
Off the back of the success of their Revelation microphone, MXL have unleashed a pint-sized sibling to the popular FET microphone, with the MXL Revelation Mini FET packing all the features of the original into a remarkably compact enclosure. With a 32mm gold-sputtered capsule and a low-noise circuit to minimise hum, the Revelation Mini valve condenser provides warm audio quality and pristine performance, while the multi-pattern condenser capsule allows you to dial in a range of patterns to suit all kinds of applications.
5. Focusrite Red / RedNet Audio Interfaces
New from Focusrite, the Red and RedNet audio interfaces seeks to bring the company’s legendary audio quality to large scale audio networks, with Dante and Pro Tools HD connectivity allowing for a flexible range of inputs and sources. The Red 8Line packs a whopping 58 inputs and 64 outputs, with a pair of Red Evolution preamps providing up to 63 dB of gain and Thunderbolt connectivity ensuring a zippy performance for both Mac and Windows devices.
Meanwhile, the Focusrite RedNet A16R MkII and RedNet D16R MkII provide 16 ins and outs for use with large scale audio systems, with Focusrite also unveiling a RedNet R1 desktop controller to control both units remotely. Head to their website to explore each new product in full today.
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