New Gear Alert: Waves “Smack Attack” Transient Shaper, Keyboard Mixer/Interface by Radial, Free Reason Update & More

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Waves is now shipping the Smack Attack transient shaper plugin.

Smack Attack offers not only traditional controls such as Attack and Sustain, but also the ability to sculpt transients’ shape and duration.

The Waves Smack Attack plugin adds smack and bite to drums, loops, synth hits and all percussive sounds by designing the level, shape and duration of their transients’ attack and sustain — from surgical tweaks to savage effects. You can unleash or tame kicks, snares, claps, drum samples, or any other drum or percussion instrument — but also guitar and bass plucks, quick piano arpeggios, synth stabs, or even your entire mix.

Unlike traditional transient shapers, Smack Attack has not only the standard Attack and Sustain level controls; it also gives you pinpoint control over the transients’ shape and duration. You can make a kick tighter than you’d ever imagined, or give your snares that extra “crack.” You also have a Sensitivity control for selective transient shaping; you can process all transients, only the loudest ones, or anything in between.

Smack Attack is available now for $49.


Radial announces Key-Largo™ is now shipping.

In addition to shedding the need for multiple DI boxes, keyboardists can now send custom balances of multiple sources to sound engineers with this single solution.

Key-Largo™ is a mixer and digital interface designed specifically for keyboard players. It features 1/4″ analog inputs for connecting up to three stereo or mono keyboards, as well as a USB interface for use with soft-synths or computer-based audio.

All inputs are equipped with an individual level control, and separate send controls access a shared effects loop. This stereo loop is activated using a dedicated footswitch that can be set to mono operation for use with standard guitar-style pedals. The effects return is equipped with its own level control, allowing the player to easily blend the signal with the direct sound. A built-in momentary sustain footswitch is also provided so the Key-Largo™ can act as a standalone sustain pedal. Finally, a dedicated connection allows the player to use their own volume pedal for control over the stereo bus.

The output section includes stereo 1/4″ TRS outputs to feed a personal monitor system and transformer-isolated XLR mains. The USB interface is equipped with high-quality
24-bit/192kHz converters and can be used for both playback and as a recording interface to capture the keyboard mix live or in the studio. It even has MIDI connectivity, allowing the player to use their standard keyboards as software controllers.

Street price for Key-Largo™ $379.99. Click here for additional information.


Propellerhead announces free Reason 9.5 update with VST support.

VST support is the number-one feature request for Reason users—and with version 9.5, Propellerhead delivers.

Reason 9.5 is the newest update to the award-winning Reason music production software. It is a free update for Reason 9 owners that introduces VST support — the number-one feature request by both Reason and non-Reason owners alike.

You can now drag and drop from the browser, use CV and audio connections with plugins, play in new ways with Players, and put them in Combinators with Reason’s own devices or Rack Extensions.

Reason 9.5 will be released on May 29th, and any owner of Reason 9 will receive the new version for free through Reason’s auto update.

Reason 9 is available for $449 / €405
Reason Essentials 9 is available for $129 / €120
Reason 9 Upgrade (from any previous Reason version) is available for $129 / €129


Audio-Technica announces M-Series Headphones are available in new Studio Headphone Pack Bundles.

The ATH-PACK5 (left) and the ATH-PACK4 (right) cover all bases for commercial, private, and project studios alike, offering a cost-effective way to fully outfit facilities with all of their headphone needs.

Audio-Technica is now shipping two new headphone bundles perfect for the tracking and mixing needs of both personal home/demo studios and commercial facilities. These packages offer a convenient and cost-effective way to outfit a facility with an all-in-one headphone solution.

The ATH-PACK4 Studio Headphone Pack includes one set of ATH-M40X Professional Monitor Headphones and three sets of ATH-M20X Professional Monitor Headphones (suited for mixing and tracking, respectively). The ATH-PACK5 Studio Headphone Pack includes one set of ATH-M50X Professional Monitor Headphones and four sets of ATH-M20X headphones.

The high-performance ATH-M40X professional headphones are tuned flat for incredibly accurate audio monitoring across an extended frequency range. The studio experience is enhanced with superior sound isolation and swiveling earcups for convenient one-ear monitoring, and professional-grade earpad and headband material provides exceptional durability and comfort.

The original ATH-M50 has been praised by leading audio engineers and journalists worldwide, and the ATH-M50X features the exact same coveted sonic signature as the original, with the addition of refined earpads and three detachable cables (a 1.2m-3m coiled cable, 3m straight cable and 1.2m straight cable). From the large aperture drivers to sound-isolating earcups and robust construction, the M50X provides an unmatched experience for the most critical audio applications, including recording, broadcast, DJ, live sound and personal listening. The ATH-M50X is available in black (ATH-M50X) and white (ATH-M50XWH).

The ATH-M20X headphones are a great introduction to A-T’s critically acclaimed M-Series line. Modern design and high-quality materials combine to deliver a comfortable listening experience, with enhanced audio and effective isolation.

The ATH-PACK4 is priced at US $199, and the ATH-PACK5 is priced at US $299.


ESI announces availability of U168 XT and U86 XT interfaces.

Along with the extensive flexibility of these new offerings from ESI, U168 XT and U86 XT users can also enjoy the Bitwig (8-track) and Deckadance LE software that comes bundled with each unit.

The U168 XT and U86 XT are a progressive pair of USB 2.0 high-speed audio interfaces for Mac and PC.

U168 XT provides 16 line inputs and 8 line outputs on balanced 1/4″ TRS connectors. This full-featured 24-bit/96kHz solution also includes 4 integrated microphone preamps with XLR inputs and switchable +48V phantom power, positioned on its front panel for easy access alongside two switchable Mic/Hi-Z instrument inputs, plus rear-mounted coaxial S/PDIF input and output on RCA connectors. Two independent headphone outputs are also easily accessible alongside an integrated monitoring mixer. External keyboards, synthesizers, and sound modules can be connected via MIDI with an input and output on the unit’s rear panel.

The U86 XT shares the same flexible feature set and functions as its U168 XT bigger brother, but with a reduced number of physical analog inputs (8) and outputs (6). With stylish and sturdy casings designed to work wherever their final destination may be, both bundle packages come complete with an 8-track version of Bitwig Studio, as well as a license for DJ specialist Stanton’s Deckadance LE software.

U168 XT ships worldwide as of early May 2017 with an MSRP of €549; U86 XT follows in early June 2017 with an MSRP of €399. For availability and international pricing, visit the ESI website to find a distributor for your region.

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