Submersible Music announced Drumcore 3.0, the latest version of the popular audio and MIDI loop librarian/player/instrument. V3.0 includes several major enhancements, such as a completely redesigned user interface, LiveDrummer (for more realism with MIDI drum rolls and cymbals), DrumCore Toolkit (for importing REX2, WAV, ACID, and AIFF loop libraries, and for building drum kits), twice the bundled content, and new plug-in compatibility with RTAS, AU, and VSTi.
MOTU cranked out two powerful new products. The first, the BPM (Beat Production Machine), is a virtual drum-machine-style instrument, which can play either loops or instruments. A 15GB “urban sound” library (10,000 samples and 1,000 loops) that was mastered at Sterling Sound is included, plus you can sample audio or import just about any audio file, as well as files from MachFive, Ethno, Electric Keys, and more. Programming is simple and intuitive. Standalone, MAS, AU, RTAS, and VST are supported on Mac and Windows. Volta is a brilliant plug-in that can be used to automate and control external voltage-controllable synths and other gear from within your DAW. Volta accepts MIDI information, then outputs voltages through the DAW’s audio interface. They are then routed to the CV inputs on the synth. It’s a great solution for integrating vintage (or new) analog synths into your computer-based rig.
The Native Instruments Maschine is a groove-production studio that combines a hardware controller with software. You can perform beats and patterns live via the controller’s pads or use the step sequencer to program beats. Maschine includes a 5GB library with 250 kits and 14,000 samples, all organized by a tag-based browser. There are 20 built-in effects, all of which can be automated. External MIDI gear can be accessed from the Maschine hardware controller. It supports standalone, VST, AU, and RTAS formats.
If you’re after hip-hop sounds, then Sonivox Playa is for you! Playa is a virtual instrument for Mac and Windows that is designed for beat construction, remixing, and sequencing. It includes more than 400 instruments (synths, basses, drums, leads, orchestral and ethnic instruments, guitars, and more) and has 16 user-programmable “pads” – there are 50 pad setups to get you started. It supports standalone, VST, RTAS, and AU formats.
Taylor has rounded out their electric guitar offerings, with the T3, a new semi-hollowbody model. The T3 has two Style 2 humbuckers with coil split, and it features a body of sapele with a quilt maple top, and an American mahogany neck. The T3 is available with either a stop tailpiece or a Bigsby vibrato and roller bridge. The tone knob also contains a pull switch, which activates a second capacitor for a warm, fat, old-school jazz tone.
The DigiTech TimeBender features 10 types of delay, including digital, analog, fixed-head tape, and moving-head tape, and there’s a 20-second looper. Custom delay patterns can be created on the fly by simply strumming the guitar, plus intelligent harmonies (100 voicings, including octaves, fifths, and thirds) can be added to the delays.