Apple has announced a new range of MacBook Pro computers with a focus on high power and features for creative professionals. The laptops come in two sizes – 14-inch and 16-inch – and, to the joy of many music makers, have returned some of the much-missed ports to the computers. MagSafe charging has returned as well as a physical HDMI output and – a heavily requested – SD card slot on the side for expanding storage space and also for transferring media quickly.
Apple has launched the next version of their popular AirPod headphones. The third generation of AirPod won’t replace the current second-gen but adds some features from both the Pro and the AirPod Max including Spatial Audio, Adaptive EQ and Dynamic Head Tracking. The new pods are also water and sweat resistant and add up to six hours of listening, with four full charges via the new case, which now also supports wireless charging.
Software and hardware company IK Multimedia has announced four new plugins designed to emulate classic TASCAM tape hardware. The models are officially certified from TASCAM and focus on everything from the high-end reel-to-reel tape to portable cassette recorders that were a super popular home-recording solution from 1984 onwards.
Roland’s infamous SP-404 sampler has been given its first major update since the original release back in 2005. The unit is famous for making lo-fi beats and has been the go-to sampler for the likes of Flying Lotus, James Blake and many more.
Universal Audio has unveiled a new range of audio interfaces that feature their own modelled preamps and compressors. The new Volt range starts at an affordable $139 for one input and two outs, all the way up to four ins and outs for $369.
Denon DJ has updated their Engine DJ software to version 2.0, adding Ableton Link to their range of DJ hardware, a world-first for standalone DJ hardware. Lighting app SoundSwitch has also been added to the hardware range meaning DJs can create custom light shows without the need for a computer – simply plug the USB dongle for DMX users and SoundSwitch will automatically create light shows based on what’s playing. Or, Philips Hue users can connect wirelessly to the devices for home or live stream use. Lights can be controlled using the touchscreen on the PRIME range.
Roland’s popular SP-404 sampler has been a go-to for electronic music producers, especially those making lo-fi beats, since 2005. Leaked details of a MkII version appeared last week on Reddit – according to MusicTech – bringing with them rumours of a ‘cassette simulator’, velocity-sensitive pads, 32 voices of polyphony, an OLED screen and “upgrades under the hood” to improve boot-up times and load times.