Roland has announced two new hardware synths as part of their Boutique series – the JX-08 and the JD-08. Modelled on the JX-8P and the JD-800 respectively, the new boutiques are mini versions of two classic synths from Roland’s back catalogue. The JX-8P was a late ’80s classic that was known for its shimmering chords and raw bass arps. The original was a digital beast, meaning it was hard to program and didn’t have many instant-access controls on top of the unit.
Pioneer DJ has announced a new two-channel all-in-one DJ unit called the XDJ-RX3. The new unit features a multi-touch 10.1-inch screen, borrowing a lot of features from their new flagship CDJ-3000 standalone media player. A new feature called Playlist Banks lets you select up to four playlists you use often to avoid having to scroll excessively mid-set, and the Touch Preview feature from the 3000s allows users to cue a track from the browser without loading it into a deck has also been added.
A new turntable from Lenco – the LS-55 – lets users rip vinyl straight to a USB stick. The new turntable also features built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity as well as the USB port, which encodes to MP3 format.
The player features a built-in phono pre with RCA outputs, for connecting straight to a mixer or amp. There’s also an aux input for using the built-in 5W speaker. The LS-55 has a retro wooden finish, despite its modern features and also includes a passive radiator for "better BASS effect".
Roland has added a virtual clone of the JD-800 to its Cloud platform of plugins. The classic synth was released in 1991 and was a favourite of ’90s dance music producers such as Faithless, Underworld, Pet Shop Boys and 808 State. The original was an answer to the demand from its users for more control and fewer menus that were seen on earlier digital synths.
LANDR – the online music mastering and distribution platform – has announced a new, cheaper All Access Pass. The new pass offers users three masters a month via their in-browser AI mastering tool, access to LANDR’s samples library, dedicated space to store projects and backup files, Sessions, which gives you access to high-quality video streaming for collaboration and Distribution, which means you can release music on digital music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and over 150 more.
Sample and education platform Splice and streaming giant SoundCloud have teamed up to find the next generation of artists. Their new platform – called Nova – aims to discover talent through Splice’s Discord server, using artist packs and producer contests, with twelve total packs released starting in January 2022.
MasterSounds – the UK company that manufacture bespoke rotary mixers and high-end audio equipment – has announced a new hi-fi system for ‘music lovers’, called Clarity A. The system includes two cube-style speakers called Cube:6 and a subwoofer called Sub:8, both numbers referring to the cone size in inches. The whole system is subtly designed to fit in both a public venue or in your own private listening space.
Apple has added Spatial Audio mixing to Logic Pro X in a new update. The new feature lets users take advantage of the new tech that Apple has invested heavily in over the past few years, adding it to their AirPod Pro and Max headphones, as well as Apple Music, Apple TV and now MacBook Pros. Other services like Disney Plus also support the feature.
Numark has announced a new DJ hardware unit, the MixStream Pro. It’s designed to be used without a computer and can stream music from multiple sources including Beatport LINK, Beatsource LINK, TIDAL and SoundCloud Go+. Tracks are buffered to an internal memory system so they won’t drop out if you lose connection. You can even use Dropbox to store your music and access it straight from the device without a computer.
Apple has announced a new Apple Music subs model – Voice Plan. Users who subscribe to the new plan will only be able to use Siri to access the Apple Music library. That means you’ll have to speak to any Siri-supported devices like iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, HomePod, CarPlay and AirPods and ask for the music you want to hear. It's designed for the ultra-casual listener who just wants a mood or a vibe, or a certain artist but isn't as interested in putting on a special song or album.