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Welcome to HBF’s first monthly tech round up, where we give you the lowdown on everything that’s caught our attention in the world of hardware and software over the last few weeks.

First up, the release of Pro-Tools 11, a platform that’s made many changes over the years in an effort to move from pro-studio to bedroom. This latest incarnation goes 64bit, allowing you to utilise that CPU and make the most of your RAM capacity. The sequencer finally allows for offline bouncing, so more efficiency but less tea breaks I’m afraid. Pro-Tools HD 11 is still available if you can afford it, but at £550 for the standard version you’re still going to have to justify the extra cost over its rivals.

The Mac Pro coming this fall.

At Apple’s WWDC we got the first glimpses of the new MacPro, a product that was rumoured to be in the balance. However, with a complete facelift to a design that’s been with us for the best part of 10 years, it looks like it’s here to stay. Whether you’re a fan of the tubular look or not, with speeds touted at 2 x the current generation, it’s going to be on many producers wish list. Prices aren’t yet known but we expect to see them hit the shelves before the end of the year.

On the softer side, LA based developer Slate Digital have released another tasty plug-in in the shape of a virtual buss compressor. Adding to their list of dynamic processors, the VBC contains three classic analog modeled compressors and attempts to capture every little detail of the original to help improve your mixes. At about £130 we recommend visiting Slate Digital website and giving the demo a whirl.


Synthesizer powerhouse Clavia has brought out another little red number, the Nord Lead 4. The synth hosts new features such as, new filter types, on-board effects, Impulse Morph control, and lots of syncing possibilities. The Nord Lead 4 is available now for £1550 and also comes in a slightly cheaper rack-mounted version.

Check out the Nord Lead 4 demos below.

Last but not least, software innovators liine have released a new Ableton controller for use with their iPad based Lemur software. Looking as slick as ever the app allows you to get hands-on with effects, modulation, sequencer and instrument control to name but a few. You will need the Lemur for iPad app to use the controller but if you’ve already got lemur then LiveControl 2 is completely free.

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