New DJ + Producer Gear at Musikmesse 2014
Each year, just a few months after the NAMM show in Anaheim, California, Europe has their own industry convention where even more DJ and production gear rises to the surface. Today we’re sharing the details on all the new gear that’s worth noting – from new controllers to new analog drum machines. Read on for the latest from companies showing in Frankfurt this week.
PIONEER’S TURNTABLE PROJECT
Still under glass, Pioneer’s new project is at once the most and least interesting new product at Musikmesse 2014. At first, we had heard (incorrectly) that the turntable sported USB and X-Link ports on the side. Now we’ve heard that product is actually a near-final prototype and doesn’t sport anything beyond an analog RCA output. Pioneer seems to be aiming to replace the benchmark Technics 1200 – but for now they don’t seem to have their sights set anywhere beyond that.
That being said, they’re clearly working with artists (thus Q-Bert dropping the hint) to make sure that their decks are fit to become the standard in the industry – and potentially creating a monopoly on DJ booths around the world with CDJs, DJM mixers, and these new turntables. The real question is pricing – will Pioneer keep their traditional upper-tier model, or could we be looking at vinyl decks that sit in a more budget conscious range? Read a full set of speculation in the comments on our other post.
RELOOP BEATMIX 4 + BEATMIX 2
Reloop’s been rolling out new controllers steadily for the last two years, at a rate that’s become hard to keep up with. The Beatmix 2 and Beatmix 4 join the older Reloop Beatmix for Virtual DJ (launched back at Messe 2012), and are both entry-level controllers that were designed collaboration with Serato. The aim is to become the most budget-friendly controllers for Serato DJ on the market – and the Beatmix 4 even comes with a full version of Serato DJ included (apparently a “limited introductory offer”). Worth noting that the full version of Serato DJ is required if you want to take advantage of 4-deck mixing – Serato DJ Intro is limited to channels.
The controllers have the expected set of transport, effects, mixing, cue, and volume controls, along with master outs and a headphone cue. The Beatmix 4 is priced at €299 (~$415) and the Beatmix 2 at €219 (~$303), and both are expected to be in stores soon.
ARTURIA MINIBRUTE SE
Arturia has updated their popular all-analog synthesizer that launched two years ago at NAMM 2012 for a unique special edition. The MiniBrute SE sports a new look, with a brushed aluminum enclosure and two wooden side panels. At the same time Arturia has also added a step sequencer to the unit, making it a more formidable addition to live production rigs.
The new Special Edition is expected to be available for purchase at the end of May for $599/€549.
AKAI RHYTHM WOLF DRUM MACHINE
Akai has clearly been watching as the market’s fascination with analog production gear has come into play over the last few years – and as such introduced their own analog groove box. Equipped with a 32-step sequencer with swing, genuine AKAI MPC-style pads that are velocity sensitive, and a simple bass synth (square/saw wave with filters, cutoff, and resonance), Rhythm Wolf will likely make waves due to its price – $199 street.
There’s also the ability to sequence external hardware using the sequencer over MIDI or USB, a gate trigger input/output, and two separate mono outputs for the drum machine and the bass synth. Unfortunately there aren’t any videos or audio samples out yet as the product on the convention floor is just for show. See the full press release over on Akai’s official site here.
AKAI APC LINE REFRESH
Akai’s full of new gear – and they have not forgotten the seemingly-replaced APC line that was shuffled to the side when Ableton’s Push debuted. The APC 40 MKII replaces the traditional APC 40 with full-RGB lighting and a redesigned control layout. The APC Key 25 brings a clip-launching interface to a 25-key synth-action keyboard, giving Novation a run for their money. And finally, the APC Mini brings extreme portability to the line, probably the most backpack-friendly out of all of them.
The new APC generation is expected to launch this summer – read our full story, complete with tech specs and pricing, here.
AKAI MPX16 SAMPLE PLAYER
Akai’s final major new product is the MPX 16, a 16 pad sample player that’s self-contained. It’s a pretty awesome little piece of kit, complete with the ability to record and play back stereo WAV files on any SD card, backlit velocity-sensitive pads with filter/tune/envelope/choke on each, and all powered over USB (or a power adapter). There’s MIDI in/out, and we suspect that many live performers will see this as a great replacement for a similar piece of gear like the Roland SP series.
The Akai MPX16 is set to launch this summer with a street price of $199.99.
Allen & Heath has done an ultra-fast second pass on their Xone:23 mixer that was introduced in January at NAMM. The new Xone:23C model integrates a 4-channel soundcard into the mixer, allowing for DVS control (and includes a copy of Mixvibes LE) with two inputs and two outputs on the card. Read more about the 23:C in our full announcement article here.
The Xone23:C will launch in June of this year to the tune of $580 MSRP.
MIXVIBES DVS PACKAGE
Speaking of Mixvibes, the DJ dev company continues to take aim at the major DJ software players with the recently updated Cross 3 software (read our review here). This time, they’re targeting the DVS market. Not only have they crafted a bundle deal with the Xone:23C above, but they’re also introducing a simple bundle for DVS users. The bundle includes two vinyl copies of Mixvibes timecode along with a license for the software. It’ll allegedly work with most hardware setups – just drop a set of the timecode on your decks and get started.
Seen something else at Musikmesse this year that’s really caught your eye? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add anything that’s really compelling to this list!