All posts by JenThorpe

Yamaha Announces Three Designs Selected for Red Dot Award

Yamaha Corporation announces that three of its designs were selected to receive the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020: namely, the CP88/CP73 stage pianos, the Sonogenic SHS-500 keytars, and the design for the solo guitar stools.

CP88/CP73 Stage Pianos

Powered by over 100 years of piano craftsmanship and 45 years of synthesizer innovation, the CP88 and CP73 stage pianos continue a rich tradition as the newest in the CP Series of keyboards designed for live performances. The CP88/CP73 stage pianos boast authentic acoustic and electric piano sound, realistic piano touch, and an intuitive one-to-one interface. Durable, yet compact and light, the stage pianos are available in both 88-key and 73-key models.

Sonigenic SHS-500 Keytars

The Sonogenic SHS-500 is a “keytar”, a digital keyboard that can be held like a guitar, designed to allow anyone to experience the fun of musical performance immediately, even if they’re never played a keyboard before. With a JAM function that automatically matches notes played on the instrument to the chord progressions of songs played on connected smart devices, the SHS-500 lets even beginners enjoy performing along with their favorite songs. Weighing just 1.5 with a built-in speaker, these instruments can be operated using batteries only and come equipped with 30 instrument voices, a knob that lets you control a wide range of effects, and even a MIDI terminal. The Sonogenic SHS-500 features a simple design while still being a great choice for full-fledged performances and musical composition.

Solo Guitar Stools (China Release Only)

Designed by Yamaha, these stools also function as a guitar stand. Protrusions set low on two of the three legs serve as supports for the guitar when the stool is used as a guitar stand, while a knob set higher up on the remaining leg can be used by players to rest their leg when playing. The surface of the seat looks like a guitar pick when seen from above and has been crafted so that he upper surface is comfortable to sit on, while the underside feels pleasant to hold. Yamaha released a conceptual prototype of the stool in 2010, which was productized by Chinese furniture manufacturer MEXARTS and released by the same company in September 2019 for sale in China.

The Red Dot Design Award is a German design award highly respected around the world, and comprises three categories: Product Design, Brands & Communications Design, and Design Concept. Each year, top-quality designs from around the world are selected for these awards. This time, around 6,500 items were submitted from 60 countries and regions around the world for the Red Dot Award: Product Design. This latest win brings Yamaha’s total number of Red Dot Design Awards to 24 since it began submitting entries in 1997.

Antlion Audio, Dan Clark Audio, and Schitt Hel Offer “Hel Yeah” Bundle

The “Hel Yeah” Bundle is a collaboration between Antlion Audio, Dan Clark Audio (formerly Mr. Speakers) and Schitt Hell.Together, they have created the “Hel Yeah” Bundle, their biggest bundle ever!

We know that with the current hard times, lots of people are having to adjust to new work and home life situations.

Well we are too, so we called our friends at Schitt Audio and Antlion Audio to put together a great package to make working at home, socializing online with friends, staying in touch with family, and simply enjoying music, games and video more enjoyable, at a price that will shock you!

The “Hel Yeah” Office, Gaming, Video and Music Bundle includes the following products:

  •  An AEON Flow Open, originally $799.99
  •  A Schitt Hel DAC/Amp with microphone inputs, normally $189
  •  An Antlion Audio 3.5mm ModMic Uni, normally $49.95

Normal retail for this bundle is $1038.94. The bundle price for you is $649.99. That’s almost 40% off. There is a limit of 2 per customer. Supplies are definitely limited. Shipments will commence April 6, 2020. Sales are handled by Dan Clark Audio.

SRX Piano I and SRX Piano II Now Available in Roland Cloud

Roland, a leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and professional video products, announces the release of SRX Piano I and SRX Piano II through Roland Cloud, based on classics from the SRX wave expansion board series. Both of these detailed concert pianos are available for immediate download with a Roland Cloud membership.

Based on Complete Piano and Concert Piano, the second and eleventh titles in Roland’s legacy SRX wave expansion board series, SRX Piano I and SRX Piano II present exquisite stereo-sampled concert pianos for composition, recording, and performance.

The samples in SRX Piano I were taken from a single, rare European piano, using high-end mics and converters to preserve its soft, delicate voice and natural resonance. SRX Piano II presents a single, stunning, 88-note acoustic grand. Sampled specifically for the original board, this world-class piano was recorded in high-resolution stereo, with four way velocity switching and other nuances.

Offering expressive playability with clear tone, bright harmonics, and ultra-wide dynamic range, these two inspiring instruments are ideal for virtually all musical styles.

Line 6 Offers Savings on Spider V MKII Amps

Line 6 has a sale on select Spider V MkII Amps. You can save up to $50 when you purchase a qualifying Spider V from April 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020. Your purchase must be made by a participating dealer.

Whatever drives your creativity, Spider V MkII amplifiers get you there with all the ease or depth that defines your personal musical vision. Plug right in and immediately rock a traditional amp tone, or enjoy tweaking until you’ve devised an inspiring tone of your own. There’s a Spider model to inspire every type of player.

The select models are:

$20 off Spider V 60 MkII – Easily switch between rehearsals, home-studio session, and small stages with the Spider V 60 MkII. You not only get all the sounds you need, but also practice tools, built-in wireless connectivity, with the optional Line 6 Relay G10T transmitter.

$30 off Spider V 120 MkII – The Spider V 120 MkII lets you rage onstage with 120 wats of power, built-in wireless connectivity, and a Line 6 FBV 3 Foot Controller comparability.

$50 off Spider V 240 MkII – Take no prisoners with the Spider V 240 MkII and its full-spectrum stereo tone, 240 watts of power, dual 12” speakers, wireless connectivity, and Line 6 FBV 3 Foot Controller compatibility.

$50 off Spider V 240HC MkII – The Spider 240HC MkII is the ultimate triple threat for gigging, recording, and rehearsing. Plug the amp head into a Line 6 412 or other speaker cabinet for powerful tone onstage, or use the dedicated 50-watt amp and built-in 4” speakers for practicing and rehearsals (even quiet gigs), or connect directly to a DAW and/or mixer via USB or XLR stereo outputs.

Line 6 has put together a page on their website where you can click on the various Spider models and be presented with a list of online retailers, and local retailers, where you can make your purchase.

The discount is being offered as an instant rebate that will be reflected in the final purchase at the time of sale. This offer is only available to Line 6 customers with mailing addresses in the United States. Offer is available only while supplies last.

Major Advancement of NDI Helps a World Connected by IP

NDI, a Vizrt Group brand, and the world’s most widely adopted video over IP technology, today unveiled NDI version 4.5 providing the most significant release update since NDI was introduced in 2015.

Advancements in NDI’s already unmatched capabilities for transferring video, audio and metadata in real time across standard and wireless Ethernet networks include breakthroughs in mobile phone connectivity, wireless networking, and virtual reality environments and more. These advancements come at a time when making video accessible over IP matters more than ever.

As social distancing is being widely practiced around the globe, the only way content creators can work together is through IP networks and software-defined visual storytelling (#SDVS) – the mission that has always driven NDI. NDI has the widest support for any IP video technology with thousands of companies implementing NDI DK, putting the technology in the hands of millions of users globally.

As growth in esports accelerates and more than 50% of online gamers are now using mobile devices, the ability to bring the game from a smart phone into streaming software favored by gamers is crucial. NDI 4.5 adds support in iOS for real-time, full frame-rate, and resolution capture of the display on wireless with NDI|HX Capture for iOS. In addition, the NDI|HX Camera for iOS app turns any phone into a full 4K wireless camera, giving it the same capabilities as a high-end video camera.

Built into NDI 4.5 are extended capabilities for internet use on wireless networks. This version shows massive improvements to NDI|HX, with lower latency, full support for (multi) GPU decoding acceleration, and support for the most advanced compression formats available today.

Working with Epic Games, the NDI SDK for Unreal Engine adds full support for video inputs and outputs over IP enabling a new generation of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) video products for integration into games and more. The NDI SDK for Unreal Engine is free to download and the source code is available so that developers can customize their content creations.

NDI 4.5 offers unlimited IP recording, with Adobe Premiere plugins both for real-time NDI and working with time-locked ISO recording across multiple streams. This takes NDI streams from the network and stores them on a disk with no CPU usage, allowing users to record any number of streams to disk and extend this to multiple machines for almost infinite recording capabilities.

For use in embedded systems, NDI 4.5 now includes the latest version of the embedded NDI SDK that offers full FPGA support for both NDI encoding and decoding. In addition, there is support across almost all platforms for access to the compressed data streams, instant routing and more. For advanced development, embedded platforms and custom hardware needs, NDI fully provides the ability for developers to create amazing products.

The NDI 4.5 SDK and NSI Tools are free downloads, available by the end of March 2020.

DJ Khalil Shares New Artist Expansion with Native Instruments

Native Instruments releases hand-crafted sounds from an LA mastermind who has worked with the likes of 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Logic, Nipsey Hussle, and many more. Expect smooth funk, vintage synth tones, and hard-hitting live drums from a master of the craft.

This is the second edition of Native Instrument’s Artist Expansions, a new artist-created series which channels the signature sounds and leading music producers, sharing their own production toolkits with the world.

Years in the making, Artist Expansion: DJ Khalil sees the producer share a range of sounds that underpin his approach and signature West Coast style. DJ Khalil shares his distinct method for creating, recording, and sampling. From recordings of his personal synth collection, to live musicians from his studio sessions, DJ Khalil has created a comprehensive library dripping with his signature vintage feel.

The Expansion comes packed with almost 300 melodic samples and loops, 25 MASCHINE kits, and 34 BATTERY kits full of grooved-up bass, live drums, and one-of-a-kind synth samples. DJ Khalil also lets us inside his process, giving us insights into his sound design with original presets for MONARK.

Artist Expansion: DJ Khalil joins a growing range of over 60 Expansions. These sound packs contain everything a musician needs to create a full track in a specific style, and can be used in any DAW.

Artist Expansion: DJ Khalil is available now exclusive at the Native Instruments Online Shop for $49 / 49 € / £44 / ¥ 6,280 / AU$ 79.

Yamaha Adds YBS-82 Custom Baritone to its Saxophone Lineup

Yamaha unveiled the YBS-82 Custom Baritone Saxophone, the first custom level model addition to the company’s venerated saxophone lineup.

Like its highly acclaimed Soprano, Alto and Tenor Custom Saxophones, the YBS-82 provides industry-leading reliability and consistency to professional jazz, classical and contemporary artists looking for the highest level of craftsmanship in a baritone saxophone.

As a Custom-level Yamaha instrument, the YBS-82 offers a variety of configurations that can help an artist achieve their desired sound. For example, the new saxophone features handmade neck options with varying tapers and finishes, including silver-plated, unlacquered, and gold lacquered to satisfy a player’s preferences.

A shorter bell length improves intonation, particularly when playing challenging notes in the lower register, while a one-piece bell provides rich sound throughout the range of the instrument. A new key layout improvises ergonomics and makes it easier to play the instrument comfortably. Yamaha also added a detachable peg, which supports a good portion of the instrument’s weight.

In keeping with the Yamaha vertical design philosophy, the newly released YBS-6211 and YBS-480 will contain features from this top-tier instrument.

“The YBS-82 offers the greatest level of customization of any baritone saxophone on the market today, as well as the highest level of craftsmanship and reliability for which our saxophones are known,” said Brian Petterson, senior manager, Winds & Strings, Yamaha Corporation of America. “The arrival of this instrument completes the Yamaha Custom saxophone lineup, offering expert saxophonists a truly world-class instrument able to bring their desired sound to life.”

Newfangled Audio Offers Half Off the Elevate Bundle

Newfangled Audio is offering 50% off upgrades to the Elevate bundle. For a limited time, you can get the Elevate bundle for just $99 USD / 99 EUR (50% savings), with upgrades as low as $19. You’ll get Elevate, plus EQuivocate, Saturate, and Punctuate, all for one discounted price.

There is an Elevate Bundle Pricing Overview that is available through Eventide. Those who have an iLok account can use it to see what pricing they qualify for based on past purchases. That said, if you own Elevate, you may download the latest v1.5 update for free.

Elevate is the most advanced mastering plug-in ever created. This unique multi-band limiter, human-ear EQ and powerful audio maximizer will increase the loudness of your mix while maintaining or improving its dynamic perception. It uses intelligent, adaptive technology that responds in real time to your music; creating not only the loudest, but the best sounding master.

Developed by Newfangled Audio, Elevate maintains subtle dynamics and improves the tonal balance of your mix. The adaptive limiter analyzes 26 frequency bands and alters the gain, speed, and transients for each band in real time. The result is a transparent, natural sound, no matter how hard you push it.

The entire Elevate Bundle (Elevate, EQuivocate, Saturate, and Punctuate), now supports MacOS 10.15 Catalina, as well as other features. Grab a free trial or update your plugins to the latest builds right from the Newfangled Audio website.

Yamaha Introduces Second Generation Professional Baritone Saxophone

For more than 35 years, the Yamaha 62 professional model saxophone line has earned the deep admiration and respect of jazz, classical and contemporary artists alike. Yamaha is introducing the second generation YBS-62II Professional Baritone Saxophone, which improves upon the ergonomics and intonation of the original model, the YBS-62.

The new saxophone retains the outstanding quality and playability of its predecessor, while inheriting high-end features from the company’s newly released Custom YBS-82 Baritone Saxophone These include a new key layout based on ergonomics that make it easier to play longer, faster and more comfortably, as well as a shorter bell length for improved intonation, especially for challenging notes in the lower register.

The UBS-6211 also features the addition of a peg receiver so that an optional peg can be attached. For the first time, a new case design adds wheels for easier transportation.

“The Yamaha UBS-6211 is intended for the professional or aspiring professional saxophonist looking for a reliable horn that projects and plays in-tune,” said Brian Petterson, senior manager, Winds & Strings, Yamaha Corporation of America. “The legacy of the 62 line of instruments is decades of exceptional quality, reliability and value. This new model improves on a design that was already the choice of top artists due to its outstanding versatility and quality craftsmanship.”

The Yamaha Second Generation Professional Baritone Saxophone YBS-6211 (MSRP: $13,997.00) will begin shipping in September 2020.

NEP Standardizes on Sony’s HDR Live Production Cameras

Sony Electronics Inc. announced the completion of an agreement with international outsourced technical production partner NEP Group for the purchase of more than 50 Sony HDC-3500L and HDC-5500L cameras. A longtime Sony customer and collaborator, NEP will use these products to support live sports productions and entertainment events worldwide, giving at-home viewers front row seats.

“Our mission is to ensure we are bringing home viewers a spectacular image that replicates the experience of being at a live event,” said Glen Levine, president, U.S. Broadcast Services, NEP. “We have collaborated with Sony over the years and expressed our desire for a new camera that not only provided flexible HDR imagery, but one that was quiet, ran on triax and worked seamlessly alongside our other Sony cameras to provide backward compatibility. Sony truly listened and hit the mark when they created the HDC camera systems.”

The HDC-3500 is highlighted by a 2/3-inch 4K global shutter, three CMOS sensor system, which enables the camera to offer high modulation depth and wide dynamic range for HD and 4K production. The camera system supports HD, HDR, and 4K, as well as IP capabilities. The HDR-3500 has an exchangeable transmission side panel, which NEP is using to support both fiber and triax operation.

Sony’s HDC-5500 is a multi-format live camera employing the world’s first 2/3-inch 4K global shutter three CMOS image sensors, which ensures image quality in HD, 4K, and HDR live production. The cameras achieve a high frame rate up to 4K 2x and HD 8x.

Sony and NEP have shared a longstanding relationship, which is highlighted by NEP’s on-going use and advocacy of Sony cameras and monitors, which are the backbone of many of NEP’s mobile production units.

“ As these camera units were designed and developed, Sony relied heavily on feedback from key users, including NEP,” said Theresa Alesso, pro division president, at Sony Electronics. “This allowed us to create a robust and user-friendly model that incorporates new features such as HDR and Global Shutter imagers. Our HD cameras give users the option to customize their cameras with the capabilities they need most, while pushing the envelope of what is possible in live production.”