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HBF Tech Round-up: Logic X, Native Instruments X1, Serato iOS App, Arturia Spark

Welcome to another HBF tech round-up, giving you a pit stop tour of all the shinny new gear that’s made our heads turn over the last month.

This month saw Apple’s flagship DAW get a long awaited revamp in the shape of Logic X, and with initial reactions being generally positive, it looks like Apple continues to lead the way in sensibly priced sequencers. Along with some useful features such as an Arpeggiator, a drum production tool, and Track Stacks, what caught our eye was the addition of the iPad controller, giving Logic a long awaited multi-touch surface.

The remote app allows you to play any instrument in your MIDI channel such as a synthesizer or drum machine, operate key commands such as transport controls or customized shortcuts, and also mix your project, with control over faders, pan, and soloing. All this with a free Logic Remote app that could finally see the mouse take the back burner. Logic X is available to download now from the Mac App Store for £139.99, check out the specs below.


NI’s range of DJ controllers are proving to be a popular hardware choice in the world of iOS DJing, providing a decent quality piece of kit that’s both intuitive and fun to use. The X1 has now received a face-lift which includes a couple of new encoders, two LED screens, and a touch sensitive strip to give a bit more control over things like track position, loops, nudging, and needle drop. There’s no release date as yet but the X1 Mk2 is available for pre-order now for $199, if you need any more convincing watch the promo video below.

After the success of Traktor DJ for iPad and iPhone, iOS DJ apps were inevitably going to start popping up more and more. This month the long time DJ software developers Serato have dipped their toes in the water with the Serato Remote for iPad. Instead of going for a standalone all-in-one like Traktor DJ, Serato are aiming for the app to be part of your larger set-up, acting as a controller for their existing DJ and Scratch Live software with control over loops, samples, and effects. The app costs £13.99 and is available now.

Last up, analog emulation specialists Arturia have released an update for their drum machine software, Spark and SparkLE. Adding six new effects from their Wurlitzer V stompbox including delay, chorus, and a vocal filter. They’ve also added 14 new kits, which include tech house, DnB, hardcore and disco. If you’re already a Spark user then you can update for free via the Arturia website, below is a demo that takes you through the new features.

James Trigo

James Trigo is an advocate for the craft of making a good tune. Whiling away the small hours with his head in a sequencer, if he's not making music he's listening to it, and then writing about it. Come say hello. Free free to contact James here: onetwotrigo@gmail.com