Nikon Z Series Firmware Ver. 2.20 Released



Nikon announced the release of firmware Ver. 2.20 for the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 full-frame mirrorless cameras. The firmware update offers several improvements that made these cameras even more powerful, including the addition of support for the next generation memory card, CFexpress.

Additionally, Nikon announced that service to install RAW video output functionality will be available for those wishing to add enhanced professional video capabilities.

Updating Z 7 and Z 6 firmware to Ver. 2.20 enables the use of 1 of CFexpress 2 cards. CFexpress cards are robust and reliable, and support even faster data transfer than XQD cards for a smoother and more efficient photographic workflow. Initially, only CFexpress card types are fully supported and the number of supported cards will continue to expand as additional cards are tested and certified.

Developed in conjunction with Atomos, the RAW video output function (4K UHD and Full HD) capability enables recording of RAW video, which has greater flexibility for color grading compared to other video formats.

With this upgrade, 12-bit 4K UHD or full-HD Raw video can be recorded to select models of Atomos video recorders connected to a Z 7 or Z 6 camera via a HDMI connector. As RAW video is not subjected to in-camera processing, all information that is outputted from the image sensor is preserved. This abundance of information can later be used in post-production.

The RAW video output capability upgrade can be installed at a Nikon service center and will incur a fee but will be included free of charge as part of Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s kit bundles. Those customers in the United States who already purchased a Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s kit will be eligible to have the fee waived. (Proof of Purchase required.)

The RAW video output upgrade is available now and will require installation by a Nikon Service Center. A $199.95 fee will apply.


Leica M10-P White – A New Color Option



Available now, the Leica M10-P White is a new color option of the iconic Leica rangefinder camera. The all-white design of the current M10-P camera takes its cue from the extremely popular Leica M8 White Edition released in 2009. The top and bottom plates are finished in white paint and are color matched with the camera’s high-quality, genuine leather trim in white. Silver control elements with engravings picked out in white ideally complement the design concept of the Leica M10-P White.

The Leica M10-P White comes as a set with a silver chrome version of the Summilux-50 mm f/1.4 ASPH lens. The engravings on the lens are also picked out in white to match those of the camera. A genuine leather carrying strap in white with Leica embossing and a white leather case for the lens round off the set. The set is available in a worldwide limited edition of only 350 examples. All Leica M10-P White cameras have their own unique serial number.

The technical specifications of both camera and lens are identical to those of the standard models. Particularly discreet and concentrating entirely on the most essential camera functions, the Leica M10-P embodies the essence of the M-Philosophy. The outstanding feature is the extremely low noise level of its shutter and the quietist shutter capturing authentic photographs from the heart of life itself.

With its handling concept, the Leica M10-P fulfills everything that discerning photographers expect from a Leica M and, in this traditional concentration on essential functions, follows the lead of all past and present Leica M-Cameras.


Yamaha to Exhibit More than 75 New Products at NAMM Show 2020



Yamaha will showcase more than 75 new products and sponsor headline concert events, including an anniversary concert featuring the world’s famous funk band Tower of Power, at the NAMM Show 2020, the world’s largest music products trade show, to be held from January 16 to 19 in Anaheim, California.

In the Yamaha main booth, Yamaha Keyboards will unveil a family-friendly portable keyboard with high-quality Voices and special learning tools, as well as an addition to one of its acoustic product lines that adds design enhancements and new technology to broaden its range of utility and expressiveness.

Guitars will launch a revamped acoustic guitar series featuring the groundbreaking Atmosfeel pickup and preamp system, as well as fresh new finishes for several lines of electric guitars, while Percussion will roll out products ranging from enhanced software to a signature instrument to a compact gigging set.

Pro Audio will roll out new loudspeakers from Yamaha and NEXO. Winds & Strings will debut a wide assortment of band and orchestral instruments, including an addition to the line of SILENT SERIES. Commercial Audio, including NEXO, as well as Steinberg, Line 6 and Ampeg will exhibit around the Yamaha main booth.

For more information, please visit the Yamaha booth at the NAMM Show 2020 in the Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Marquis Ballroom, January 16-19, 2020.


Native Instruments is Offering RAUM for Free



Native Instruments is offering RAUM for free. It is one of the free holiday gifts that Native Instruments is giving away.

Meet RAUM, your do-it-all creative reverb. Made to sculpt any space, RAUM can do everything from abstract echoes to spacetime-bending ambience in one swift move. It’s your space laboratory, your mix fixer, and your utility tool. It’s simple, flexible – and most importantly, it sounds out of this world.

To get RAUM for free, visit the Native Instruments website. If you already have a Native Instruments account, there is a button for you to press to log in and request your free copy of RAUM. If you do not have a Native Instruments account, you will need to make one before you can download RAUM for free.

System Requirements:

  •  macOS 10.13, 10.14, or 10.15 (latest update), i5, 4 GB RAM
  •  Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (latest Service Pack), Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 2 GB RAM
  •  An internet connect and a graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.1 or higher or Direct X 9 or 11 are required to download and activate this product.

In addition, Native Instruments is giving away a $25.00 e-voucher. Treat yourself to new sounds, instruments, or effects for the holidays. You can find this year’s voucher code on the Native Instruments website on the same page that mentions the RAUM giveaway.


Eventide Extended their Holiday Sale



Eventide is having a Holiday Sale where you can save up to 75% on Anthology XI and Elevate Mastering Bundle. This sale has been extended to January 2, 2020. Eventide recommends that you place your order by December 24, 2019, in order to guarantee shipping this year. Be aware that the Eventide Store will be closed from December 24, 2019, through January 2, 2019.

Anthology XI is a suite of 23 plug-ins that span over 45 years of legendary Eventide sounds. The bundle includes emulations of legendary boxes plus classic EQs, compressors, dynamics processors, delays, reverbs, and pitch changers used by the best in business.

Plug-ins Include:

  •  H3000 Factory™
  • Fission
  • Blackhole
  • 2016 Stereo Room
  • Tverb
  • H3000 Band Delays™
  • H910 Harmonizer®
  • Dual H910
  • H949
  • Dual H949
  • MangledVerb
  • UltraTap
  • UltraReverb
  • Octavox™
  • EQ65 Filter Set
  • E-Channel™
  • UltraChannel™
  • EQ45 Parametric Equalizer
  • Precision Time Align™
  • Quadravox™
  • Instant Phaser™
  • Instant Flanger™
  • Omnipressor®

Elevate Bundle is the most advanced mastering bundle every created. It features a powerful multi-band limiter, graphic EQ, spectral clipper, and transient modulator. It uses intelligent, adaptive technology creating not only the loudest, but the best sounding master.

This bundle features three additional plug-ins:

EQuivocate is a graphic EQ that uses filters which are modeled on the human ear. Perfect for mixing and mastering. EQviocate’s auditory filters and match EQ functionality make it incredibly powerful, simple to use, and natural sounding.

Saturate is a saturation plug-in made popular as the final Spectral Clipper stage in the Elevate plug-in. Saturate has two controls which belie a sophisticated signal processing engine which allows it to overdrive a signal without effecting the tonal balance or allowing the signal to get “tubby”.

Punctuate
is heavily based on the Transient Emphasis section of the Elevate Mastering Limiter. It is a multi-band transient modulator (sometimes called a transient designer) that uses, by default, the 26 critical brands in the human ear. In addition, to using critical bands, it also uses intelligent algorithms to set the parameters of the transient modulator for each band.


Roland Releases GO:Piano with Alexa Built-in



Roland released GO:Piano with Alexa Built-in, the company’s first musical instrument equipped with Amazon Alexa. Committed to inspiring the thrill of the creative expression, Roland continually seeks to develop new technology solutions that make playing musical instruments easier, more accessible, and more enjoyable. Integrating Roland’s leading piano sound and features with intuitive operation via Alexa voice commands, GO:Piano with Alexa Built-In presents an exciting new way for everyone to learn and have fun with the piano.

Featuring voice control over nearly any function, GO:PIANO with Alexa Built-in makes complicated panel operations a thing of the past. Piano players can ask Alex to call up any of the 40 onboard sounds, without ever having to take their hands off the keyboard. Dozens of other common operations can be accessed with voice commands, like turning the metronome on/off, changing up the beat, and more.

GO:PIANO with Alexa Built-in also works as a standard Alexa device, allowing users to listen and play along to songs from Amazon Music and other streaming services through the keyboard’s high-quality system.

With the combined technologies in GO:PIANO with Alexa Built-in, users can fast-track learning like never before. Alexa sharpens music sensibilities with ear training and builds knowledge with trivia on composers and famous music. And by connecting a smartphone tablet via Bluetooth, players can use Roland’s Piano Partner 2 app for iOS and Android to learn music scores and boost skills with fun exercises and musical games.

When the player has mastered a piece or composed a new idea, they can ask Alexa to record their performance. Recorded songs are always available in cloud storage via a wi-fi connection and can be played back through the piano using voice commands.

GO: PIANO with Alexa Built-in inspires players with expressive sounds derived from Roland’s premium pianos. Each note responds like a fine acoustic grand, sparking creativity and stimulating ongoing musical growth. Electric pianos, organs, and many other sounds are also on board, allowing the user to explore different styles and expand their musical experience.


Roland XV-5080 Now Available in Roland Cloud



Roland Cloud, an evolving cloud-based suite of software synthesizers, drum machines, and sampled instruments, presents the XV-5080. A Swiss Army knife in the world of sample-based libraries, the XV-5080 remains as vital as it was upon its release.

Released in 2000, the Roland XV-5080 stepped onto the scene, leaving a mighty footprint. Described as “Roland’s ultimate sound module,” the XV-5080 boasted immense PCM-based multitimbral synthesis power, sophisticated modulation, an array of pro-quality DSP effects, and compatibility with the popular SRX Expansion Board series. Its high fidelity and technological adaptability were unmatched at the time and embraced heavily by composers and producers spanning a wide range of genres.

The XV-5080 is brimming with nearly every instrument sound imaginable; one of the reasons musicians often used the original in place of slower and less convenient samplers. Onboard effects and the flexible parameters of a virtual platform make the XV-5080 a valuable tool for composers, beatmakers, and songwriters at all levels.

With over 900 presets in its library, Roland Cloud’s XV-5080 facilitates genre-hopping fluidity. From low-end theory to iconic retro game sounds and symphonic masterpieces, this instrument is limited only by the imagination. The categorical search function makes finding the perfect sonic compliment an effortless process.

Hardware synthesizers like the Roland SYSTEM-8 can map to these controls, facilitating an easy, tactile workflow. Roland Cloud’s XV-5080 also features a drop-down editor with separate views for STRUCTURE, TVF, TVA, LFO, and other parameters. Whether your orchestrating rhythmic EDM or cavernous boom-bap beats, the Roland XV-5080 provides tools to achieve that perfect blend.

The XV-5080 joins the TR-808, JUNO-106, JUPITER-8, TB-303, TR-909, D-50, and dozens of other classic titles in Roland Cloud’s growing suite of software instruments.


BOSS Introduces Waza-Air Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System



BOSS introduces the Waza-Air Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System, a revolutionary new wearable, over-ear sound system for guitarists.

In BOSS Waza tradition, Waza-Air combines decades of expertise with cutting-edge innovation to present a breakthrough musical product that truly pushes the envelope. Melding BOSS’s premium amp effects, and wireless technologies with dynamic 3D sound and natural “amp-in-room” tone, Waza-Air delivers a unique guitar amplification experience that’s never been available until now.

While often necessary to avoid bothering others, playing guitar through traditional headphones offers a less-than-satisfying experience that lacks the depth and dimension of playing a real amp in a real room. Waza-Air changes all that, restoring the natural dimension, resonance, and “moving air” feel to provide an engaging and inspiring monitoring environment for the player. An integrated gyro sensor tracks head movements as the user plays, driving sophisticated 3D algorithms that produce an immersive sound field with extraordinary spatial realism.

Wasa-Air’s advance ambience setups provide three realistic environments to play in. Surround mode places the amp in a virtual room, providing an immersive experience like playing a recording studio. Static mode provides natural spatial localization, where the combined amp and room sound continually changes depending on where the user moves their head. Finally, Stage mode places the user center stage, with the amp sound coming from a virtual backline behind them.

Waza-Air features tones and controls from the stage-class Katana amplifiers, with full customization available using the free BOSS Tone Studio app for iOS and Android. Five amp types deliver tones from classic clean to high gain, plus a full-range voice that’s ideal for bass or acoustic-electric guitar. Over 50 effect types are available as well, including mod, delay, and reverb effects optimized for Waza-Air’s unique spatial experience. And with six onboard memories, users can store favorite setups and recall them with dedicated buttons.

The BOSS Waze-Air Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System is available now for $399.99.


BOSS Introduces SY-1000 Guitar Synthesizer



BOSS introduces the SY-1000 Guitar Synthesizer, an advanced synthesizer and modeling processor for guitar and bass. Opening a bold new chapter in BOSS guitar synth innovation, the SY-1000 features a newly developed Dynamic Synth and refreshed versions of historic BOSS/Roland instrument modeling and synthesizer techniques. Backed by a cutting-edge sound engine, high-speed DSP, and evolved GK technology, the SY-1000 delivers the finest performance and most organic playing experience yet.

The SY-1000 is the most powerful guitar/bass synth processor to date, fusing decades of R&D with the latest software and hardware advancements. Leveraging custom DSP and GK independent string processing, the SY-1000 brings numerous musical advantages to players, including ultra-articulate tracking, lightning-fast response, instantly variable tuning, sound panning/layering, and more.

Deep and expressive, the SY-1000’s Dynamic Synth takes guitar synthesis to a new level, allowing players to craft sounds never before possible. Ten oscillator waveforms are available, plus six filter types, amplifier control, two LFOs, and two 16-part step sequences for automating pitch, filter, and amplitude parameters. Optimum performance is realized with the GK input, but its also possible to play the Dynamic Synth via the normal guitar/bass input.

Complementing the Dynamic Synth are two additional synth instruments. OSC Synth is an analog style engine with numerous filter options and full ASDR control. Also included is a faithful sonic recreation of the GR-300, Roland’s legendary analog guitar synth from the early 1980’s.

The SY-1000’s effects and user interface are derived from BOSS’s flagship GT-1000 multi-effects. A large LCD and hands on knobs enable free-flowing sound creation, and users can customize eight onboard footswitches to operate nearly any function. Deep external control is supported as well. Main and Sub stereo outputs include independent EQs, and there’s also an effects loop for integrating external gear.

The BOSS SY-1000 will be available in January 2020, for $999.99.


Download iZotope’s Ozone Imager V2 for Free!



iZotope has updated its Ozone Imager stereo imaging plug-in, and is currently offering it as a free download. Ozone Imager Version 2 comes updated with Stereoize II and a resizable window, so you can narrow or widen your stereo image with simple controls.

Updated in 2019 with immersive, fluid visuals, full resizability, and a smooth new Stereoize mode, this free plug-in offers a wider world of possibilities for imaging in your mix.

Control the width: Easily widen or narrow your sounds to fit them in any mix. It’s the easiest way to spread out a narrow-sounding synth or nestle your bass guitar in the center.

Stereoize it: Stereoize can turn mono into stereo, with no need for reverb or doubling. Use the new Stereoize II mode for subtle enhancement, or Stereoize I for a colorful phasing effect.

Visualize your sides: Three different vectorscope meters help check your stereo width and see if your left and right channels are lining up properly. Resize your plug-in window to get an even better view of the action!

System Requirements:

  •  Mac: OS X 10.11.6 (El Capitan) – macOS 10.15 (Catalina)
  • PC: Win 7-Win 10

Available Formats: All plug-in formats are 64-bit only

  •  Audio Unit
  • AAX
  • VST2
  • VST3

Supported Hosts: Logic Pro X, Live 9-10, FL Studio 20, Pro Tools 12.8-2019, Cubase 9.5-10, Studio One 4, Reason 10-11, Reaper 5-6, Bitwig Studio 3, Audition CC 2019, Premier Pro CC 2019, Sound Forge Mac 3, Sound Forge Pro 13, Digital Performer 10, Nuendo 10, Wavelab 9, Final Cut Pro X