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This month’s round-up of the latest and greatest in tech includes Pioneer’s S-DJ X monitor series, Tone2’s Firebird 2.0 soft synth, NI’s Drum Lab, and two Live controllers, TouchAble 2 and Patchworks’ Conductr.

As a trusted brand in the world of post vinyl DJing, Pioneer have been slowly edging their way into the world of production with a crack at reference monitors. Introducing the S-DJ05s almost two years ago and scoring highly amongst the DJ to producer fraternity, this new range of active monitors are aimed predominantly at the dance music producer/DJ. Retaining a ported design, the S-DJ X series come in 5, 6, and 8-inch woofers, and at a reasonable $149, $199, and $249 respectively, there probably worth a demo, check out the video below.


With a host of popular vsts to their name from synths to samplers, Native Instrument’s latest software aims to create another plug-in you can’t live without. Marketed as a first-of-its-kind drum designer tool to be used within NI’s Kontakt 5 software or the free Kontakt 5 player, Drum Lab concentrates its efforts on the layering and sound design of electronic and acoustic drums. With 58 acoustic instruments, 80 electronic samples, and 900 drum patterns to get you started, it may be a worthy addition to your plug-in arsenal. On sale now for €99 via the Native Instruments website.



Softsynth developer Tone2 announced this month that their successful softsynth Firebird 2.0 is to be set free. Employing its harmonic content morphing synthesis method, the synth boasts a range of high quality sounds that are easy and intuitive to use. With 437 presets, 84 oscillator types, And 38 different filter types Firebird 2.0 offers a decent amount of sound design possibilities. If you’re on Windows grab your free copy now at Tone2’s site.


With iPad controllers being released left, right and centre it’s becoming harder and harder to keep up. This month saw the release of two controllers, TouchAble 2 and Conductr from Patchworks. Both offer similar control over Live’s mixer, clip and effects modules with plenty of customizable options. Both controllers are geared for live performance with TouchAble possibly offering a bit more in the studio department, and although TouchAble’s bright, Windows-y looking interface has been revamped in this latest release, Conductr’s overall look seems slightly more elegant. Both are available from the App store, with TouchAble’s update free to existing users or £17.49 new, the Conductr app comes in at £15.49.


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