Latest Music News and Technology: September 2019

This EDM news roundup features a selection of new music gear and announcements from Roland, Moog, Arturia, Pioneer DJ, Native Instruments, Wave Alchemy, and your favorite music school, ICON Collective.

Roland FANTOM Synthesizer
Photo by Roland

Music Industry News

ICON Collective’s music news roundup is your source for the latest music technology, industry news, gear reviews, artist interviews, events, and more.

New Icon Programs Coming in Summer 2020!

Icon Collective Music Business School and Vocal Artist School

ICON Collective is proud to announce the new Music Business School and Vocal Artist School in Los Angeles. Enrollment into these exciting music programs will officially open in Summer 2020. Learn more and pre-register today!

The comprehensive 12-month Music Business School is for creatives interested in the industry side of music. Students will learn all legal and career aspects of the music business.

The new Vocal Artist School is an opportunity to find your voice and develop your music skills! This extensive 12-month program focuses on vocal training, songwriting, and performance.

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Roland Announces MC-707 and MC-101 Grooveboxes

Roland MC-101 and MC-707 Grooveboxes

Roland unveiled the MC-707 and MC-101 grooveboxes. The two products reintroduce Roland’s iconic GROOVEBOX concept to a new generation of musicians, updated with the latest sounds and a range of options. Create complete productions, standalone or integrated with a computer-based workflow.

The MC-707 Groovebox offers everything needed to create a song or perform a live set without a computer. It features eight-track recording, sequencing, sampling, synthesizers, and a host of effects. It also comes loaded with a curated palette of sounds, loops, and phrases.

The MC-101 Groovebox has all the sounds, sequencing, and effects of the MC-707, but in a more compact four-track version tailored for portability. Craft sounds, create drum patterns, and compose musical phrases anywhere.

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Arturia Announces 25-Key MicroLab

Arturia MicroLab Smart 25-Key MIDI Controller

Arturia announced a new controller keyboard, the MicroLab. The 25-key velocity-sensitive MIDI keyboard has a rugged, portable design. This streamlined controller also features a rubberized shell and a cable recess to keep your setup neat. In addition, MicroLab includes four buttons, two capacitive mod and pitch controls that work similar to touchscreens, and a software bundle loaded with instruments and sounds.

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Pioneer DJ Releases HDJ-X5BT-N Gold Headphones

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5BT-N Gold Headphones

Pioneer DJ releases the new gold-colored iteration of their HDJ-X5BT headphone series, the HDJ-X5BT-N. The over-ear, Bluetooth headphones boast a range of features. They provide wireless technology for monitoring music, a well-balanced, dynamic sound, flexible functionality for DJing, excellent sound insulation, a foldable, easy-to-carry design, comfortable ear pads, and lasting durability.

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Native Instruments Confirms Layoffs In “Global Restructuring”

Native Instruments Berlin

Native Instruments confirmed 100 employees have been laid off in a “global restructuring plan.” There have been rumors of issues at the Berlin-based DJ hardware manufacturer. Several ex-employees wrote negative reviews on Glassdoor about canceled projects and mass-layoffs in the US and Germany.

Native Instruments confirmed those reports are accurate. In a press release, Native Instruments says the reduction is needed to “create the right organization set up to focus on development” and focus on developing a “new, unified and fully integrated platform.” It’s reported the company plans on moving a range of products and services to the new integrated platform next year.

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Roland Debuts All-New Jupiter-X Synth Lineup

Roland Jupiter-X Synthesizers

Roland introduced the Jupiter-X line, a new series of premium synthesizers that offer “a diverse selection of sounds and advanced composition and performance features.”

The Jupiter-X line is inspired by Roland’s long history of genre-defining gear. Tap into sounds of analog classics like the JUPITER-8, JUNO-106, and SH-101, as well as digital machines like the vintage XV-5080 and modern RD pianos. You also get many Roland drum machines like the TR-808, TR-909, CR-78, and more.

The new Jupiter-X will be available in two formats:

  • The flagship Jupiter-X model features a full-size control layout and a 61-note keyboard.
  • The Jupiter-Xm model is a compact music production and performance system, built around a 37-note slim keyboard. It also provides battery-powered operation.

It’s like a studio full of vintage gear, with modern capabilities!

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The Moog Matriarch is Now Available

Moog Matriarch Synthesizer

Moog Music announced their latest synth, the Matriarch, is now available. The Moog Matriarch is a patchable 4-note paraphonic analog synthesizer with a built-in Sequencer, Arpeggiator, stereo Ladder Filters, and stereo Analog Delay. Moreover, the keyboard brings an analog circuit design inspired by vintage Moog synth modules. It also incorporates influences from their other recent keyboards and Eurorack module designs.

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Wave Alchemy Introduces BasSynth

Wave Alchemy BasSynth

Wave Alchemy releases Bassynth, a Kontakt instrument that will beef up your low-end. The instrument brings a diverse library of multi-sampled Sound Sources, Oscillators, and scannable Wavetables. It also boasts a range of emulations, including analog mono synths, gritty polysynths, bass guitars, acoustic instruments, and live brass sections.

Bassynth also delivers a 4-Layer Voice Engine, Polyrhythmic Motion Sequencer, extensive sound design parameters per voice, tag-based browsing, drag and drop Macros, a modular Effects System, a Wavetable Engine, and over 290 playable presets.

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Roland Announces New Fantom Synthesizer Line

Roland Fantom Synthesizers

Roland introduced a new line of Fantom synthesizers. The three new flagship synths offer a fluid workflow, modeless operation, deep computer-integration, and more.

The Fantom series is available in 61-key, 76-key, and 88-key models. The company says the new synths have been developed from the ground up, with intuitive touchscreens, deep computer-integration, superb playability, and rugged construction.

Moreover, the Fantom design creates an environment that fuses composition and performance, allowing you to capture and develop ideas quickly. A key feature is workspaces, called Scenes, which are customizable for different composition and performance setups.

The Fantom line also sports a color touchscreen interface, a wide range of knobs and sliders, and a dedicated synthesizer section with oscillator, filter, and envelope controls. Also included are RGB pads, a classic TR-REC style pattern sequencer, real-time recording with piano roll editing, a grid for recording and launching clips, and more.

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Vuo Releases Vuo Pro 2.0

Vuo Pro 2.0

Vuo is a realtime visual programming environment for macOS designed for creating audio, visual, and live performance effects. You can export compositions created with Vuo as standalone applications or render them as Quicktime movies. They can also run as sources within VDMX and CoGe VJ performance software. In the upcoming 2.0 release, you can also export FFGL video effects for Resolume and other VJ software, or as FXplugs for Final Cut X.

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About Icon Collective

ICON Collective is a Los Angeles and Online music production school that teaches you core technical skills while unlocking your unique creative process. Mentorships with industry professionals let you access real-world insights and help you personalize your music education. Check out our Music Production Programs.


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