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HBF Music Tech Round-up: Surface 2 Controller, Seaboard Grand, Nectar 2, Monome Aleph

Another month has been and gone and with it an array of tasty tech in the shape of Microsoft’s limited edition controller for Surface 2, ROLI’s Seaboard, iZotope’s Nectar 2, and Monome’s Aleph.

Microsoft’s touchscreen endeavour didn’t get off to the most convincing start, with a string of cheesy ads trying to tempt us with body popping and beatboxing, but the tech giant is now dipping its toes into the world of music controllers with their limited edition Surface Music Kit. As thin as a biscuit and Surface sized, the controller has 16 touch pads, three faders and some pre-programmed transport controls. Unfortunately in order to pick one up you’ll have to enter a competition, but it does at least show some promise for the future. Learn more about the remix project and how to get involved via the link below.

http://www.surfaceremixproject.com

London based start-up ROLI are an interesting tech company that are making an effort to push the instrument further into the future. Their latest release the Seaboard reinvents the piano with tactile, pressure-sensitive technology, to create an instrument that would look at home in the lobby of Space Station V. With the ability to control pitch, volume and timbre with one continuous gesture the Seaboard certainly captures the imagination. Available now direct from their online store and starting from $1999, check out the video bellow or visit the website for an endorsement from Mr Zimmer.

http://www.weareroli.com

Plug-in developers iZotope have amassed a solid selection of high quality effects and mastering tools over the years and their latest release makes some useful updates.  An all-in-one vocal production tool, the Nectar 2 follows on from the original release with vocal effects, harmonic saturation and a plate reverb modelled on the EMT 140.  With the ability to add harmonies, control breath, and edit pitch, the Nectar 2 wants to be your go-to vocal tool.  Available in October, visit iZotopes website for updates on the release.

http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/nectar2/index.asp

It’s refreshing to see small tech companies taking risks and designing new and interesting ways to make and manipulate sound. Monome’s Aleph, a programmable sound computer, is one of those interesting boxes. Looking like a 70s vision of the future of hi-fi, the Aleph combines audio interface, with synthesiser, with noise machine to end up with what promises to be an exciting addition to your live set-up. Available to order now at $1400.

aleph prototype looper and drum synth from tehn on Vimeo.

http://monome.org/aleph/