Leica Camera AG Introduces New Variant and Two New Lenses for Leica M



Leica Camera AG presents three new lenses for the Leica M-System: the silver anodized APO-Summicron-M 75 f/2 ASPH as well as the limited-edition Summicron-M 90 f/2 ASPH in an olive green “Safari” finish. The technical specifications of the three new lenses are identical to those of their serially produced counterparts. All three lenses are available from the end of Feburary.

The APO-Summicron-M 75 f/2 ASPH counts among the most high-performing lenses for Leica M, and is particularly well suited to portrait photography. Now the lens is also available in a silver anodized finish which perfectly emphasizes its sophisticated design. In contrast to the black-paint variant, the feet markings on the distance scale as well as the focal length engravings are inlaid in red, while all other engravings feature black inlays.

In addition, Leica are producing a limited run of the special-edition Summicron-M 28 f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron-M 90 f/2 ASPH with a special, olive green paint finish. Both “Safari”-edition lenses feature red inlaid feet markings on the distance scale and red focal length markings, while all other engravings are inlaid in white – creating a pleasing juxtaposition with the olive green lens body.

Aside from the Leica Summicron-M 50 f/2 released in 2019, the new Summicrom-M 28 f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron-M 90 f/2 ASPH are the only M lenses to perfectly match the olive green finish of the Leica M10-P Edition “Safari” – thereby turning the camera into the centerpiece of an appealing collection. The Summicron-M 28 f/2 ASPH Edition “Safari” is produced in a limited run of 500 units; the APO-Summicron-M 90 f/2 ASPH Edition “Safari” is limited to 250 units.


Lekholm Instruments Introduced DM48 Digital Chromatic Harmonica



Lekholm Instruments, a Swedish company, introduced the Lekholm DM48 Digital Chromatic Harmonica. It is a 12-hole, 48 note, chromatic harmonica that has expressive control over any electronic instrument.

The Lekholm DM48 is a unique MIDI controller that finally gives harmonica players what piano players take for granted: the ability to play any sound imaginable, from realistic brass to deep electronic bass. With the DM48, harmonicists can practice silently, easily make sheet music, and instantly transpose to any key, thereby basically replacing a bag full of harmonicas.

Even non-harmonica players can appreciate it as a novel, innovative, and expressive way of controlling synthesizers. Each of the twelve holes can be assigned to any note, so that any scale can be easily played by sliding along the mouthpiece while varying the breath pressure.

The DM48 is a pure MIDI controller without onboard sound synthesis. Instead of reeds, it is based on twelve precision pressure sensors. It is highly configurable, including MIDI output on a single or multiple channels, mono-/polyphonic models and adjustable response curves. Breath pressure is transmitted as continuous MIDI CC messages at high rate.Together, this puts harmonica players in control of a world of synthetic sounds, silently at night or loud on stage without feedback.

First made available in 2017, the DM48 has now just been released in an updated version, representing what we consider to be its final mature form. The instrument can be purchased directly on the Lekholm Instruments website, where more information and demo videos can also be found. The price is 6400 SEK (Swedish Krona), which is approx. 670 USD, plus shipping.


Flight Announced Soundwave Ukulele with Built-In Effects



Flight announced the Soundwave Pickup System, a pickup system that uses phenomenal new technology to place control of the preamp and various effects at the fingertips of the player, whether the ukulele is plugged into an amplifier or not.

The Flight Soundwave Pickup System amplifies a ukulele from inside the instrument; reverb, delay, chorus, and volume can be controlled with dials on the side of the ukulele.When the ukulele is plugged into an amp or PA system, the EQ and effects bypass the interior system and send the effects through the output jack.

Performers are often at the mercy of a sound engineer when gigging. The Flight Soundwave Pickup System not only adds a new dimension to acoustic playing, but also gives the gigging musician complete control without the need of additional equipment other than a lead cable and the ukulele in their hand.

Flight offers the Soundwave Pickup System on the Sophia and Diana, which are higher-end solid top spruce and cedar ukuleles with laminated walnut back and sides.

Diana Soundwave MAP is $420 and Sophia Soundwave MAP is $430.


Heil Sound Introduces PR 37 Vocal Mic



Heil Sound introduced its new PR 37 professional microphone. Designed with the vocalist in mind, the PR 37 produces natural, articulate sound over a wide frequency range. Its excellent upper mid-range response has been designed to cut through a mix whether live or in the studio. It features a 1.5” diameter dynamic element that is mounted in a rugged housing to reduce handling noise. The PR 37 has a frequency response from 50 to 18,000 Hz and output level of -51 dB @ 1000 Hz.

The PR 37 joins an already impressive lineup of vocal microphones, including the PR 22 and PR 35. Heil Sound worked with several FOH mix engineers both with the initial design and the field testing of the new microphone.

John Hopkins, FOH for the bands Sleep, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, stated: “The PR 37 immediately moved to the top of the list for my go-to vocal mic. It’s a super transparent mic and the rejection of stage noise is incredible.” Adam Pike, working with the PR 37 and Red Fang had a similar response, “The Heil PR 37 is a beast! Very rich and smooth low-mids along with pristine high-mids that Heil is known for. This, combined with the excellent rejection is making it my go to vocal mic. The extremely sturdy casing is also a great added bonus.”

The PR 37 represents the next evolution of the Heil Sound brand and will begin shipping in July. Retail price is $269.00 US.


Furch Guitars Announced “Little Jane” Limited Edition Travel Guitar



Furch Guitars, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium-quality acoustic guitars, announced their one-of-a-kind, solid-wood guitar “Little Jane” as a limited-edition for 2020. This instrument stands-out by combining first-class material, precision craftsmanship and a unique design that offers musicians incredible freedom while traveling.

The Furch Little Jane Limited 2020-LC stems from one of Furch’s favorite and best-selling models. Its unique design features, such as the patented assembly system, allows for quick and easy assembly in to a fully functioning instrument and then disassembly to a compact size which fits in a travel bag the size of a standard backpack. This guitar is always read for adventure.

The main assembly design feature is the robust latching mechanism made from high-quality stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum. This provides robust and reliable attachment of the removable neck to the guitar’s body. A special recess in the guitar’s side serves to protect the neck of the guitar during transport. This also enhances the enjoyment for the player by directing a surprisingly projecting sound towards the players ear.

The uncompromising, compact transport size of the instrument is also achieved via removable headstock, which can be safely stored after disassembly in a special pocket in the travel bag. Further convenience is illustrated by a 45mm-wide fretboard (1 3/4”) and 55mm bridge string spacing (2 3/16”), which do not correspond to travel guitar dimensions, but to those of full-size acoustics.

The top plate of the Furch Little Jane Limited 2020-LC is made from rare Alpine Spruce. Its beautiful sound, with slightly pronounced highs, allows for Firch’s special individual soundboard voicing process. The back and sides are exotic Cocobolo. The instrument’s body is coated in our specially formulated, thin, open-pore finish which accentuates the natural visual and tonal properties of the chosen woods.

The overall stylish appearance of the guitar is underscored by a number of decorative elements, namely the Paduk body bonding, Walnut purfling, annular rosette with Abalone inlay and mother-of-pearl side fret markers. A tuning locking mechanism, Furch Machine, is also present and ensures that the guitar stays in tune even after disassembly and reassembly.

The Furch Little Jane Limited 2020-LC production run will be limited to 120 units. As with other limited edition models, the production volume is final and the same configuration will not be used on any other future models. The Furch Little Jane Limited 2020-LC will be available through Furch authorized sellers starting in March. For those interested, pre-orders are currently being accepted.


EBS Released the EBS 802 High Dynamics Bass Amp



EBS released the EBS 802 High Dynamics Bass Amp at NAMM 2020. Customers who are interested in buying the amp are encouraged to contact EBS for personal guidance.

EBS’s ability to make outstanding high-end bass amps based on their linear solid state technology is a cornerstone of the company. When the EBS HD360 went out of production recently, as the last of the rack-mounted amps in the line, anxious voices from hardcore fans wondered if EBS went for a future with solely lightweight amplifiers in the program? No need to worry about that anymore.

After the initial hype of the lightweight amplifiers, they have found their natural place in the life of many bass players. But among others, there’s been an increasing itch for something else that can bring them what the class D amps still have proven hard to deliver. The physical experience and organic response of a well built solid-state bass amplifier.

That’s why the time is right to return to the roots and introduce a brand new High Dynamics Linear bass amplifier, the EBS 802.

The preamp of the EBS 802 is the most versatile yet of any EBS amp. Not only does it offer sweepable mid controls for Low Mid and High Mid, but the Bass and Treble controls are extended as well with switches to change the reference frequency of these filters. That makes the EBS 802 equipped to meet the demands of 5- and 6- string bass players, and possible to adapt to any musical style.

The Bright-control completes the EQ section and works almost like a volume control for the tweeter. Besides, the preamp has separate Lo and Hi boost character filters, a Compressor/Limiter, and a Drive control.

The back of the amp reveals dual balanced XLR-outputs – post and pre EQ. An Effects Loop, Line Out, inputs for a 4-switch remote control (like the EBS RM-4) to engage Mute, Drive, activated Character Filters and to bypass the entire EQ.

The EBS 802 fits in a 19” rack case. The amp is entirely made in Sweden.


EBS Released MultiComp, OctaBass, & BassIQ “Blue Label ” Pedals



EBS released new “Blue Label” versions of three legendary pedals; the MultiComp, OctaBass, and the BassIQ. These pedals were first available before Christmas of 2019. They were released at NAMM 2020 as an “unofficial” US launch.

EBS MultiComp Blue Label

The MultiComp is the best selling EBS pedal ever. It is famous for its super intuitive interface and smooth compression that allows for dynamic playing even when the compressor is engaged.

With the new version, a Sensitivity control has been added to adjust the sensitivity of the effect to comply with the output level of your instrument and playing style. If used to a previous version of the pedal, a center click indicates the factory setting of earlier editions.

EBS OctaBass Blue Label

The original OctaBass won recognition for its great tracking performance and fat, natural tone. The new “Blue Label” version improves both the tone versatility and the tracking performance of the effect while keeping it 100% analog. The revolutionary new feature is the Range switch (not to be confused with the functionality on previous OctaBass’s). It allows for the tracking performance to be optimized for playing either higher up or further down on the fretboard.

The new Tone control adjusts the character of the octave sound with improved accuracy and more versatility than before.

ESB BassIQ Blue Label

“Its the pedals touch sensitivity that provides full-filter fun factor”, Bass Player magazine summarized their review of the original BassIQ. That statement captures the essence of the BassIQ – both then and now. The difference is that the new Bass IQ is charged with more possibilities to create an amazing range of envelope effects.

With a new control for the Q value, you will quickly and easily set the sharpness of the effect. With the new filter switch, you can run every setting in Full Range, or with a Band Pass, or Low Pass filter engaged to expand the palette of sounds.


PRS Guitars Announced Next Evolution of the John Mayer Silver Sky



PRS Guitars announced two new updates to the John Mayer Silver Sky model, including a long-awaited maple fretboard option, two new colors, and a limited run with a flip-flop premium finish.

Ever since Mayer was seen playing his signature Silver Sky with a maple fretboard this past summer, there has been much conjecture as to whether this would become a catalog model for PRS or not. And after much anticipation, PRS is pleased to confirm that the Silver Sky will now be offered with the option of a maple fretboard.

The maple fretboard Silver Sky will maintain the original 635JM neck shape and 7.25” fretboard radius, and is now offered in eight finish options, including the original Frost and Tungsten as well as the more recently added Dodgem Blue, Golden Mesa, Moc Sand, Orion Green. For 2020, Silver Sky models will also be offered in brand-new Midnight Rose and Polar Blue colors.

Limited to only 500 pieces worldwide, the Silver Sky Limited Edition in “Nebula” finish is another exciting offering from PRS Guitars in 2020. This premium limited-edition is outfitted with a antique “flip-flop” finish that reflects hue and light differently at different angles.

The polychromatic finish accentuates the lines of the Silver Sky’s body and gives the guitar a dynamic look that is both delicate and powerful. Perfectly timed with the start of a new decade, this finish also reflects the Silver Sky’s goal to redefine what a vintage-inspired guitar can be and shift the focus to the future.


iZotope’s Dialogue Match Wins Cinema Audio Society Award



iZotope, the experts in intelligent audio technology and makers of two-time Emmy Award winning software RX, recently accepted the prestigious Cinema Audio Society Award for their dialogue editing software, Dialogue Match.

The award represents recognition from the CAS membership, a “who’s who” of television and film sound. Dialogue Match was introduced in November 2019 and has very quickly become a critical tool for dialogue editors and automated dialogue replacement (ADR), both for cinema and TV audio.

“We now have a way of seamlessly matching EQ, reverb, and ambience of ADR to existing production recordings,” explained Doug Mountain, dialogue editor for movies and TV shows such as Catch 22 and Walking Dead. “This takes all the guesswork and time out of mixing ADR into existing production. It’s a huge timesaver. You can’t even tell what is ADR now, it blends so perfectly with production. This is a serious game changer.”

Dialogue Match is the first tool to automatically learn and match the sonic character of dialogue recordings. It is also the first product to combine brand-new machine learning from iZotope with ground-breaking reverb technology from Exponential Audio’s product line, which was acquired by iZotope in 2019.

For re-recording mixers and ADR editors, Dialogue Match is an unprecedented time-saver. Tonal characteristics can be matched between a boom and a lavalier microphone, localized audio can automatically be matched to the original language, and global snapshots and reference photos can be saved or loaded.

This is iZotope’s seventh CAS award. Dialogue Match builds on the success of iZotope’s RX, which streamlines audio workflows for post production editors and mixers and has become a mainstay of the CAS awards. RX has taken nome six awards since 2014.


Roland Announced RD-88 Stage Piano



Roland announced the RD-88 Stage Piano, the latest model in the company’s long-running RD series. For over 30 years, Roland RD pianos have been the top choice of professional keyboardists, appearing regularly on stages all over the world. Offering premium features in a light, streamlined design, the RD-88 delivers renowned RD sound and playability in an affordable instrument that’s simple to use and easy to carry.

Equipped with the 88-note PHA-4 keyboard, the RD-88 provides exceptional feel and response with Roland’s award-winning hammer action and Ivory Feel keys. Every musical nuance is perfectly translated, giving serious players the inspiring touch they need for authentic performances. A high-quality speaker system is also integrated into the instruments design, offering convenient self-contained amplification for home practice and convenient monitoring.

The RD-88 is refreshingly intuitive to use while performing, with fast-access controls for selecting sound categories, creating layers and splits, and more. It’s easy to shape the tone and color via grab-and-go knobs and enhance sounds with compressor, chorus/delay, reverb, and other effects. Favorite setups can be stored for quick recall, and a One-Touch Piano button allows the player to quickly return to their core piano sound at any time they like.

Advanced users will love the RD-88’s zone features and easy computer integration. Software-based sounds can be played through the RD-88 via USB, and three sones can be configured with internal sounds or set up to control virtual instruments from Apple MainStage.

The RD-88 features a clean and compact design that fits neatly into any musical situation. Weighing just 13.5 kg/29 lb. 13 oz, it’s easy to move and set up, even in small stages or in cramped rehearsal spaces.

The Roland RD-88 Stage Piano will be available for $1,999.99 in March 2020.