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COMPETITION – Manley Labs Celebrate 30 Years!

COMPETITION – Manley Labs Celebrate 30 Years!

To celebrate, we are giving one lucky Manley fan a piece of gear that has been in constant production since the earliest days:
The Manley Enhanced Pultec Equalizer.

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It’s our longest-continuously-in-production piece. Way back in the day, we were given the blessing of one Mr. Eugene Shenk (the Pultec’s original designer) to use the Pultec name and produce our own updated version, and we never stopped making them. From drums to vocals to guitars, people seem to love the Manley Pultec on just about everything.

So how do I win it, we hear you ask?

Simple: if you’ve used a piece of Manley gear over the last thirty years, we want you to tell the world what you love about it.

All you have to do is review at least one of your favorite Manley product(s) on at least one of your favorite websites. Write your review, copy the URL of the review page, and upload that URL via the form on this page (scroll down) to enter to win. And if you REALLY want to win, multiple entries are possible…check out the rules below for more details.

The winner will be announced during the 2019 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. GOOD LUCK!

ENTER HERE!

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Native Instruments Introduce Komplete 12, A Series Keyboards and Maschine Mikro MK3

Native Instruments Introduce Komplete 12, A Series Keyboards and Maschine Mikro MK3

Native Instruments has unveiled its biggest product refresh in years. In total, nine new products have been announced today (September 6), with a particular focus on affordable, entry-level hardware for novice producers.

The new products cover all of NI’s core brands: its beat production line Maschine, the Komplete Kontrol MIDI keyboards and Traktor, the company’s DJ software and controller brand. Lots of software is getting updated too. As well as new versions of its Komplete software package (now on version 12), core NI tools Kontakt and Massive are receiving major updates in the form of Komplete 6 and Massive X.

Today’s launch isn’t just about hardware and software though. Over the past few years Native Instruments has been busy acquiring businesses like Metapop, a music rights startup, and The Loop Loft, a “boutique” loops and samples store. These have received website redesigns while Sounds.com, NI’s recently launched Sounds.com (a ‘Spotify for samples’) exits beta.

I had a chance to spend time with some of these products before they were announced last month and was surprised by how affordable a lot of it was. Some of these new instruments are going to be game-changers for a lot of aspiring producers who may have been put off buying an NI controller due to price, though some specification compromises have been made to keep costs low.

Experienced producers may be disappointed that there’s nothing quite as significant as last year’s Maschine MK3 or 2016’s Maschine Jam in terms of new gear. However, professional keyboard players will probably be happy that there’s now an 88-key version of the Komplete Kontrol keyboard with a fully-weighted keybed.

Overall though, it’s the Traktor line that showcases the most significant new technology – specifically the new S4 controller, which adds the kind of haptic feedback found on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Maschine Mikro

NI’s Maschine Mikro – a cut-down, budget-friendly version of its flagship beat controller – hasn’t been updated since it 2012 when it received colored pads, so this refresh is long overdue. In terms of design it’s inspired by last year’s Maschine MK3, though the RGB displays are replaced with a simpler OLED screen.

The pads themselves are bigger than on the previous model and based on those found on the excellent Maschine MK3. The MK3’s ‘Smart Strip’ also makes the jump to the new Mikro, allowing you to strum and bend sounds. For the most part, it’s a cut-down Maschine with all the advantages of portability that brings, though there’s no built-in audio interface and the OLED screen is very, very small.

What’s most impressive about the Mikro is the price. It costs $249/£199/€249 and comes bundled with full versions of the Maschine software and a 1.6GB Factory Selection of kits and sounds alongside Massive, Monark and Reaktor Prism – only a little over half of what the Maschine MK3 costs.

Komplete Kontrol

Today’s launch sees the Komplete Kontrol keyboard line split into two tiers: the existing Komplete Kontrol S-Series models, and the new Komplete Kontrol A-Series – a more budget-conscious option that cuts back on features like the dual color displays and light guide for helping you stay in key.

As with the Maschine Mikro, the Kontrol A-Series keyboards only have one small OLED screen for displaying whatever parameter you’re controlling at the time. On the Mikro, this isn’t quite as noticeable, but on the Kontrol S-Series – which you’ll be predominantly using for editing synth patches and effects as well as moving around your DAW, the extra visual feedback is probably going to be missed.

The decision to cut the light guide is also a curious one for an entry-level keyboard, being one of NI’s main technologies aimed at making the music-making process easier for people without formal musical training. However, the price reduction for getting rid of these features is significant – a 25-key A-Series keyboard costs $149/£119/€149, the 49-key version $199/£159/€199 and the 61-key model $249/£199/€249 (for comparison, the cheapest S-Series model comes in at $599).

There’s also one new addition to the Kontrol S-Series lineup – the S88 MK2. This is the professional 88-key model missing from last year’s Komplete Kontrol lineup and includes a fully-weighted, hammer-action Fatar keybed for real piano feel, color screens and light guide. It costs $999/£799/€999.

Traktor

NI’s two new Traktor controllers seem like an attempt to get back to the core of what DJs expect from a controller after experimenting with the S8, an interface with divisive touch strips for track control instead of jog wheels. The two-channel Traktor Kontrol S2 is the budget model ($299/£239/€299), while the four-channel S4 model is aimed at professionals with high-end features.

The S2 has everything you’d expect from a modern, entry-level DJ controller: Traktor software is included, it has 16 backlit RGB pads for triggering samples and loops, as well as setting and triggering cue points. It’s very portable, and seems to be aimed as much as people DJing beach parties as bedroom users.

The S4, similarly, has all you’d expect from a pro DJ controller, including hi-res color screens for displaying waveforms and track information, stereo booth output and audio interface with timecode vinyl support. The big selling point of the S4 however is its jog wheels, which incorporate the kind of haptic technology the iPhone and Apple Watch use to deliver tactile feedback. It costs $899/£719/€899.

NI’s “Haptic Drive™” does a few cool things: it attempts to replicate the same feel of resistance you get when using a vinyl platter and also delivers subtle force feedback for things like cue points and loops. So, if you’re trying to find the start point of a track, you can feel a bump as the platter spins over its relative position. It’s the kind of useful and innovative technology that could have digital DJs switching allegiance to Traktor.

Arriving with these controllers is the latest edition of the Traktor software, Traktor Pro 3. It includes a new “Elastique 3” time-stretching engine for audio improvements, redesigned user interface and Mixer FX, one-knob effect and filter controls that can be assigned to each channel independently. Both the S2 and S4 models have dedicated knobs for these new effects.

Software

Komplete 12 comes in four versions: the standard version, Select, Ultimate and a new Collector’s Edition to celebrate Komplete’s 15th anniversary. New titles coming to Komplete 12 include kick and bass synth TRK-01, Expansions sound packs, Session Guitarist: Electric Sunburst and the latest version of NI’s sampler software, Kontakt 6.

Kontakt 6 includes three new instruments: an ’80s synthwave-inspired set called Analog Dreams, a tool that combines traditional instruments with digital synthesis calld Ethereal Earth and Hybrid Keys, “a modern digital twist on classic keyboard instruments”. Developers who build instruments in Kontakt also get the benefit of new sound design tools, a wavetable engine and a standalone application called Creator Tools that offers a debugger and instrument editor.

However, the big software news is the announcement of Massive X. This isn’t the latest iteration of the existing synth, but a completely new version built from the ground up. NI is still being very secretive about Massive X; I wasn’t shown the synth in action, only a render of the interface, which NI describes as having a “modular approach”. Today’s press release does reveal that it features “new subtractive filters, new insert effects, and a new performer for complex sound shaping”.

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September News from Manley Laboratories

Manley Labs Logo

September News from Manley Laboratories

– First, A Note from EveAnna Manley –

September 2018 marks my 50th Birthday and the Manley brand’s 30th Anniversary. Also, let’s give a Happy One Year Birthday celebration to our Manley Reference Silver Microphone – now nominated for a TEC Award!

There’s a lot of innovation in this newest Manley creation starting with its power supply, a smaller version of our hugely successful and proven reliable Switch Mode Power Supply used in all of our latest products for the last several years (CORE, FORCE, NuMu, and ELOP+). We have a real technology edge with this dedicated high voltage supply custom designed for us by Bruno Putzeys and is team. It’s efficient, “green” if you will, lighter, all regulated, and super-quiet. This results in “blacker blacks” and speedy presentation of the music. It also auto-senses incoming mains voltage and works everywhere in the world. Most important is it wins the sonic shootouts every time. Our new SMPS sounds better than the older linear power supplies of yesteryear. And that’s the bottom line.

The “top” of the Ref Silver Mic is David Jospehson’s excellent take on the ol’ SONY C3 capsule. I first encountered this capsule when Aspen Pittman of Groove Tubes fame had reached frustration trying to get his dream capsule built in So Cal by “another guy” (R.I.P.). Aspen sent me some parts to look at asking for help. I suggested to Aspen that he contact David Josephson who had been building our Manley Gold Mic capsules for many years. “DJ” ended up creating this capsule for the GT MD3 and MD3A microphones.

Those mics are long out of production now so when I was day dreaming about creating a new tube microphone, I remembered that this unique capsule design was really only being used in current production in the (solid-state) Josephson C715. I contacted DJ and got a capsule to play with and my team worked up a superb modern tube mic around this capsule and using our amazing switching power supply. The end result is a rich middle “character” mic with a beautifully tamed upper frequency register which makes it a natural in front of an electric guitar cabinet, overhead drums, on snares and toms, and in front of sooooo many vocalists, females, for sure, and horns, and with guys who have kind of scratchy throat noises that might be overly accentuated by more airy microphones. Give it a go! It’s a very versatile and impressively handsome creation of ours.

Cheers,
EveAnna

REFERENCE SILVER MIC VIDEO

Taking inspiration from the fabled Sony C-37A, Manley Labs introduces the Manley Reference Silver Microphone – now nominated for a TEC Award! Featuring an American-built capsule by David Josephson and a Manley-designed circuit, this microphone has a warm, rich tone and a TON of character.

STREAM FROM OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

…OR DOWNLOAD IT! 

OUR NEW SHARED CONTENT DRIVE IS NOW READY

We’ve finished porting over all our photos, videos, logos and more to a shiny new Google Drive. All product images are organized in PRO and HIFI folders, sorted by SKU code, with both high-res TIFFs and screen-res JPEGs & PNGs for just about everything.

We’ve also got a selection of photos from the factory, advertisement / banner artwork, our official logos, and of course all the new videos we’re making. Feel free to share these links with your dealers, and make sure everything’s updated as needed.

If you think there’s something missing, or if you need help finding something in particular, let us know!

http://bit.ly/ManleyDrive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“THE NEW CLASSICS”
One section of our new Manley Drive is dedicated to advertisement & banner examples for your websites (and your dealer websites!). Here’s an example featuring Manley’s “New Classics” – feel free to edit these for your own language and use them to spread the word about Manley’s latest gear.

 

One section of our new Manley Drive is dedicated to advertisement & banner examples for your websites (and your dealer websites!). Here’s an example featuring Manley’s “New Classics” – feel free to edit these for your own language and use them to spread the word about Manley’s latest gear.

ZIMA PRODUKTION (SWEDEN)
One of our very oldest distributors is Zima Produktion in Sweden, headed up by Robert Zima.

“In 1992, what made me choose Manley was the Reference Cardioid and Gold mics – and also the Mono Variable Mu and ELOP limiter. Being a distributor for Manley has been very easy because of the devotion that customers have shown for the product all these years.No other brand in my portfolio has the same continuity of sales over such a long time.”

Fun fact: Even though Zima has been distributing Manley Labs since 1992, he’s been playing in a progressive rock band even longer: since 1971! The band still plays around the world with the original lineup – and if you want to see them, they’re booked to play a festival in Seattle, WA in June 2019…

http://zima.se

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Polyend now at Awave

Polyend

Polyend now at Awave

Polyend the home of innovative and unique high-quality musical instruments.

Brought to life in 2015 by its founder Piotr Raczyński. Formed by a small crew of dedicated professionals – designers, coders, technicians and musicians. Located in the Land of Thousand Lakes in northeastern Poland. Focused on unveiling the new possibilities in music creation.

The first released product – Perc Pro has made some positive stir on the electronic musical instruments market as the first digital drumming machine ever. This encouraged Polyend to continue heading in the right direction, to think new.

Shortly after, another two products were introduced – a couple called Seq and Poly. With their what you see is what you get interfaces that are offering users unique options for controlling the sophisticated hardware and software music setups, breathing life into their machines.

Powered up by the feedback of its instruments users, from modest bedroom producers to the most recognized names on the scene. The team keeps working on the new products alone or teamed up with other music hardware manufactures. Polyend proves that this is only an introduction of their creative path. Expect more great things to happen, this is just a beginning.

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Big Bear Audio now at Awave

Big Bear Audio

Big Bear Audio now at Awave

Products for the producer and audiophile

Big Bear Audio is an innovative London-based audio design house founded by Charlie Slee.

We invent and manufacture audio products that create beautiful sound profiles for studio production and home listening.

As a proud descendant of British audio engineering, we are committed to supporting the UK manufacturing industry. This includes all design work, PCB manufacture, mechanical design, materials, and all products being handmade in London.

We work closely with the best producers, engineers and artists to bring you exceptional audio products that combine the best in form, function, and high-level design.

Over the coming years Big Bear Audio will release an original range of consumer and pro audio products, all designed and built in London.

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Stam Audio Comes to Awave

Stam Audio at Awave

Stam Audio Comes to Awave

Stam Audio creates zero compromise recording gear that is light on the wallet. Recreating the finest gear from the 60’s and 70’s, we go to every length to ensure that each piece contains every last ounce of musicality and tone from the originals. The reason we’re able to achieve the sound you’d expect from a very expensive piece of boutique gear is through a combination of years of research, development and critical listening. Only the best components are used, and each component goes through a rigorous testing process with one thing in mind: getting the best sound possible. If you’re experienced in using classic gear such as the LA2A, 1073MP or U87 – you can expect to swap in Stam gear seamlessly, with no change in sound or functionality.

View the entire Stam Audio product range here