November 9, 2023

Looking for the Ideal Keyboard Controller (with a FREE software bundle)?

Nektar’s LX+ Series controllers are easy to set up and integrate with your favourite DAW, with complete transport control and pre-mapped controls for any DAW native plugins. Inexpensive and comprehensive, they quickly become an essential part of your work flow.

The Panorama T-Series are a more advanced alternative for more in-depth control, with Nektarine hosting software and live performance capability (with MIDI out socket).

The GXP Series USB MIDI controller keyboards are designed for players: Experience 49, 61 or 88 semi-weighted keys, with velocity and aftertouch to deliver a nice, firm touch and great playability, plus instant access to performance controls including a real-time repeat engine, powerful Nektarine plugin patch management and Nektar DAW Integration.

And all of these controller series, plus the LX Mini, are even better value now, with a FREE Cherry Audio plugin bundle containing PS-20, Mercury-6, Octave Cat, DreamSynth DS-1 synths and Stardust 201 delay plugins

Find out more about this fantastic free collection:

https://nektartech.com/nektar-software-bundle

Nektar DAW Integration supports Bitwig Studio 8-Track (included with LX+ and Panorama T-series), so using Nektar products and Bitwig Studio 8-Track together is a fantastic combination: If you are just starting out, this is a great way to take your first steps in the world of digital music creation. And if you’re already familiar with using DAW software you’ll be amazed at what this combination has to offer!

DAW Integration Support
August 11, 2023

Unleash the Power of iOS

Your iPhone and iPad have access to some absolutely amazing synth apps, both FREE and paid, but playing and monitoring them is limited to touching the screen and plugging in headphones.

Apps from Moog, IK Multimedia, AudioKit, Igor Vasiliev, and many others, plus Apple’s GarageBand, Steinberg’s Cubasis LE and similar recording utilities, can be brought to life with the amazing iRig Keys I/O keyboards from IK Multimedia. With 25-key and 49-key options available, the iRig Keys I/O can be a backpack travel solution or a studio performer.

With the included stand and lightning cable, the iRig keys integrates your iOS music apps into a professional audio format, thanks to the built-in audio interface and stereo outputs. The USB cable provides connection to your computer. Recording vocals? There’s also a microphone preamp combo input with switchable 48V for phantom powering your favourite condenser microphone.

The included Syntronik Pro V on iPhone

To get you started right out of the box, the Keys I/O keyboards also include a collection of vocal, sample and instrument apps, plus Cubasis LE for iPhone/iPad, and a selection of plugins, plus Ableton Live Lite for Mac/PC.

The Keys I/O can be powered by batteries, USB or an optional PSU.

IKMT_IRIG-KEYIO25: RRP $499.99

IKMT_IRIG-KEYIO49: RRP $719.99

June 26, 2023

Mixdown Magazine’s Review: Nektar LX Mini

WORDS BY GREG LONG

Sound and Music | Price: $269.99

When I was approached to review the Nektar Impact LX Mini, I’m not going to lie, I was like, meh. Yet another backpack keyboard controller. At the risk of sounding cynical, I was thinking, “Let me guess, you can play drum pads, some transport controls, and the ability to launch clips in Ableton!” So, with some considerable surprise, I’m now looking to retire a couple of said keyboard controllers and embrace the new kid on the block. The question I’m sure you’re all asking is “why?” So, let’s dig deep and see what the Impact LX Mini offers.

Nektar is an American-based company with a unique go-to-market strategy. From their website, Nektar’s aim is to, “Bridge the gap between powerful music software and controller hardware”. Don’t expect a host of software instruments and plugins that often shift with similar products. In addition to the keyboard controller and a driver installer, the only other inclusion is an eight-channel version of Bitwig Studio. The Nektar Impact LX Mini is a class-compliant USB device but if you are looking to use it with Ableton Live, the driver is required for both Windows and Mac OS X. In my testing, I used an M1 Mac and Ableton Live Suite 11, but support is provided for all of the major DAW players. (I’m very interested to check out the Avid Pro Tools integration but at the time of writing, am yet to do so).

Set up is relatively simple and the documentation is clear and concise. I tried to jump straight in, but didn’t get far. You definitely need to reference and read through and follow through the documents. It’s pretty simple so don’t worry too much. A Max for Live device offers further control functionality, but this is only compatible with Ableton Suite 11 with Max for Live installed. For full compatibility, check the product site.

One strange and glaring omission in Ableton Live, and by extension Push, is dedicated fast forward and rewind buttons. For most uses this isn’t an issue, however, if you are editing a long looping section with more than one clip selected, you have to listen to the entire loop from start to finish, even if you’re just tweaking notes at the end of the loop. There’s no way of fast forwarding or rewinding without using the mouse to click into the interface and doing so will deselect the clips in the process. This may seem small, but it has been a constant frustration of many for a long time. This, paired with FFW and REW buttons, makes the unit very attractive. On the topic of looping, the Impact LX Mini allows you to set start and end points and turn looping mode on and off, all without needing to touch the mouse. 

All of this barely scratches the surface of the functionality of Nektar Impact LX Mini. There is so much more on offer. The actual keys have secondary functions that can be accessed by holding one of the Part Two buttons. Doing so can change MIDI channels, layer an octave on top, or below, shift octaves up and down. The price is a little over $250 so it offers excellent value and adds significant workflow improvements. So, if you are in the market for a pint-sized powerhouse, it’s well worth a look. 

May 16, 2023

Immersive Recording Simplified

Spatial Mic lets you focus on recording immersive audio for VR, ATMOS, spatial music, concert recording, live broadcasts and much more. Want to use it in traditional stereo session? No Problem – the included software makes it easy to decode to stereo and aim virtual mics around the soundfield. No need for expensive multi-microphone & preamp setups – just plug-in and record with either Dante audio networking or USB/ADAT models.

Spatial Mic is now in two formats

Spatial Mic is crafted to bring your recordings to life in the most realistic way possible. More than simply a microphone – analog and digital electronics work together with software components to create incredibly engaging audio.

Find out more: https://sound-music.com/product/voyage-audio-spatial-microphone-dante/

The Spatial Mic Converter plugin (AAX, Audio Unit & VST3) transforms the raw audio signals from Spatial Mic to Virtual Mics and first or second order ambisonics in AmbiX or Fuma formats. To accomplish this, Spatial Mic Converter uses an internal 64-channel filter matrix and measurements from an anechoic chamber.

Spatial Mic Converter offers the capability to change the microphone’s aim at the point in space where the audio was recorded. This is useful when aligning audio position with 360 video, or aiming the mic at a specific sound that should be in front of the listener.

May 15, 2023

ToneX on the Go

TONEX offers the most hyper-realistic guitar and bass tones ever thanks to IK’s advanced AI Machine Modeling™. Feel the warmth and dynamic response of real amps and pedals right on your iPhone or iPad as never before.

Connect one of our mobile interfaces to practice and jam along with your favourite songs or record guitar and bass tracks with ease when inspiration strikes.

  • Play, practice and record anywhere with your TONEX Tone Models on iPhone and iPad
  • Standalone universal app and plug-in compatible with AUv3 host apps 
  • Enjoy the exact same tone and sound-shaping tools as on Mac/PC
  • Seamless integration – all your Premium Tone Models sync automatically on all your devices
  • Browse, search and download additional Tone Models from TONEX in ToneNET
  • Edit and save presets on your iPhone or iPad
  • Free to download with 20 premium must-have and 20 à-la-carte Tone Models
  • Connect to one of our iRig interfaces (iRig HD 2 , iRig 2 and the newly announced iRig HD X) for the ultimate mobile experience
Powerful tone shaping 

Tweak your tone to perfection using a built-in compressor, pre- and post-amp EQ, noise gate and a beautiful stereo reverb using IK’s latest, award-winning algorithms.

Built-in VIR™ cabinet technology lets you place and adjust microphones with stunning accuracy, and all your edits with TONEX can be saved as presets.

Get the app:

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/amplitube-tonex/id1613359930

April 19, 2023

Microphone Care

We’ve been receiving a lot of enquiries from customers about their condenser microphones getting muffly or distorted, or making humming noises after four or five years of use, and in most cases this is because of environmental conditions polluting the capsule: too much moisture, sea air, smoke, etc.

The main trick is how you store it when you’re not using it!

How should I store my microphone?

We generally recommend keeping your microphone in its case or original packaging when it is not in use for more than a few hours. If your studio is very clean and safe, it could be OK to leave out on its mic stand when not in use, but if a mic is out of its case, it could potentially be exposed to dust, smoke, moisture, or humidity – which can damage the sensitive parts of the mic – so we recommend avoiding those things at all cost.

How do I clean a microphone that has been effected by spillage and dirt?

If your microphone has come in contact with dirt or another removable substance, we recommend cleaning it with a very soft, slightly damp cotton cloth. Do not open the microphone up to clean the inside, and make sure you NEVER touch the capsule itself. Cleaning a capsule should only be done by highly trained professionals in a “clean room” environment. If you suspect your capsule needs to be cleaned, please contact info@sound-music.com so we can recommend an authorised local technician.

These tips are from our friends at sE Electronics

April 11, 2023

The T6 and Reason

Nektar’s T-Series controller keyboards are pre-mapped for all native plugins in most popular DAWs, making setup and creation quick and stress free. Bitwig, Cubase, GarageBand, Logic, Reaper, Reason, Studio One and Pro Tools are pretty much ready to go as soon as you download and install the appropriate software for your own setup.

As an example, Reason 12 working with the T-Series controllers allows functionality and control that will renew your relationship with the basic native plugins that you’ve grown bored with, for reasons you’ll soon forget: Thor, ReDrum, Kong, SubTractor, Dr. OctoRex, Monotone, Europa and the others are pre-mapped to allow the most useful controls to be accessed in real-time and also automated in your tracks, adding movement and tone changes that will give your tunes new energy.

Below, you’ll see the T6 screen and controls being utilised to create a ReDrum track with all important functions available for automation. To select the drum you want to work on, simply tap the pad that triggers the sound and you’re ready to start tweaking – pitch, length, start point, level, pan and even effect send are all on screen, and now easy to control and record on their own track lanes, giving unprecedented power to your track (this level of individual drum control is also available with Kong):

Even the Combinator Mk II is pre-mapped for controls and buttons, so if you want quick access to your favourite VST’s parameters, you can ‘combine’ it and assign vital tone changers easily.

And we haven’t even mentioned the extra parameter control and VST stacking you can do with Nektarine 2.5

Whether you’re using the top of the range Panoramas, the LX+, GXP, or the tiny GX and LX Minis, the mapped parameter and transport control functions will smooth the way for your important creative processes.

To find out more about what’s available for Nektar’s controllers and your DAW-of-choice, check out the support documents on our website.

February 20, 2023

ToneNET

AI Machine Modeled Tone Model cloud and sharing community

IK’s online tone-sharing and social platform ToneNET now includes a dedicated TONEX section for browsing, downloading and sharing TONEX Tone Models and presets. You can demo and download TONEX Tone Models from ToneNET right inside your TONEX software or app. Plus new Tone Models from IK and the TONEX community are continuously posted and available in real time, for a limitless, growing repository of the best tones.

Whether you’re using TONEX standalone, plug-in or app, you can connect instantly to ToneNET and explore the latest Tone Models without breaking your creative workflow.

Dreams do come true

Get access to thousands of sought-after and one-of-a-kind amps, combos, cabs and pedals. Build your dream rig and find gear you thought you would never play. ToneNET makes your gear dreams come true.

ToneNET/TONEX web browser

You can also use a regular online browser to surf thousands of Tone Models and select ones to try by liking them, which automatically show up for instant download in your TONEX software and TONEX App. Discover and hear new tones from any browser. ToneNET makes it easy to stay inspired and feed your creativity anytime.

How to get started

To join ToneNET you just need an  IK account. You don’t need TONEX software to create a profile or to connect with others on ToneNET. However, you will need TONEX for Mac/PC or TONEX App to download and upload Tone Models and presets. 

To create your brand new ToneNET profile, simply follow the wizard steps by clicking the button below. SIGN-UP

January 30, 2023

Panorama P-Series & Studio One

The Studio One Update is for Panorama P1 desktop controller, P4 and P6 keyboards, and the T4 and T6 keyboards.

This update extends the capabilities of the already powerful Nektar DAW integration for Studio One, with expanded and easier parameter mapping at the centre:

  • 8 map pages (instead of 1) per plugin. 
  • Pages instantly selectable using the 8 fader buttons.
  • New Quick-learn feature makes mapping a breeze. Check out the video.
  • Control insert plugins through the macros page – Quick learn supported.
  • All Studio One instruments and effects pre-mapped.
Download the update from your Nektar account.

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