iConnectivity is now shipping iConnectMIDI4+, their flagship next generation MIDI interface for desktop and iOS. iConnectMIDI4+ is a multi-host MIDI interface that bridges MIDI and audio between multiple computing devices, instruments, and the network by introducing four new technologies into its design. Multi-hosting capability allows for up to 3 computing devices to share the same interface. Audio pass-through enables multiple computing devices (desktop or iOS) to not only pass MIDI data but also act as an audio interface between them, bridging each computing device into each other’s audio and MIDI environments. Up to 8 additional USB MIDI devices are supported via external powered hub. Lastly, iConnectMIDI4+ can link Ethernet or Wi-Fi to any of the MIDI devices connected. The interface is available now for $299.99. It requires OS X 10.4 or later, or iOS 4.2 or later with CoreMIDI-compatible apps.
Muiskmesse 2015 — Softube has announced Heartbeat, a software drum synth with a familiar, yet unique, sound character. While Heartbeat draws inspiration from the best analog drum machines of the 1980s, its sound mostly originates from Softube’s own modeled analog synthesis to create two separate bass/kick drums, two snares (or rim/clap), hi-hats, two percussion sounds, and a cymbal. Effects include Softube’s Valley People Dyna-mite dynamics and TSAR-1 Reverb. Finally, the Auto Layer Machine adds a bit of random chaos to the mix. Heartbeat will be released this spring. Pricing and system requirements are TBA.
Musikmesse 2015 — Universal Audio has introduced an all-new line of Apollo audio interfaces for Mac Thunderbolt users featuring next-generation A/D and D/A conversion, new monitoring functions, Thunderbolt cascading of up to four interfaces, and Realtime UAD Processing, all housed within a sleek, black aluminum package. Apollo 8 has four Unison-enabled mic preamps and Hi-Z inputs, and is available now. Apollo 8p offers eight mic preamps. Apollo 16 features 16×16 analog I/O via DB-25 connectors, dedicated XLR monitor outs, and stereo AES/EBU digital I/O. Bringing up the rear, Apollo FireWire will offer a legacy option for pre-Thunderbolt Macs. Apollo 8 is available now, while the others are expected in June. Prices range from $1999 to $2999. They require OS X 10.8.5 or later and a DAW compatible with AU, VST, RTAS or AAX 64 native plug-ins.
Musikmesse 2015 — RME has announced BabyFace Pro, a complete reengineering of their BabyFace audio interface. BabyFace Pro features new space-saving XLR ports for input and output, dual headphone ports with separate driver stages to perfectly match low and high impedance headphones, two digitally controlled preamps with switchable 48V and new circuitry for big gain with little noise, and an efficient design that can be powered by any USB 3 and most USB 2 ports (data moves at USB 2 speed). MIDI and S/PDIF or ADAT compatible TOSLINK round out the I/O. All of this is encased in a sleek new skin made from a solid block of aluminum. Availability and price for the Babyface Pro are currently unknown.
Tracktion 6 is now available. New features include Z-Plane’s Elastique Pro time stretch algorithm, Warp Time audio editing, tape-style start/stop effect handles for audio clips, dedicated sub-mix and automation tracks, comprehensive tagging editor plus track tagging, an upgraded plug-in management system, a new “super comp” audio compiling tool, and more. Tracktion 6 also comes with Marketplace, a new in-app retail portal which allows the audition, purchase, download and installation of assets such as plug-ins, sounds and instruments without leaving the project currently underway. Tracktion 6 is $60 and upgrades are $30. It requires OS X 10.7.5 or later, an Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz processor or better, and at least 2 GB of RAM.