Native Instruments Intros Battery 3

The addition of time-stretching and advanced loop capabilities, innovative play parameters, a powerful master effects section and an integrated wave editor all serve to strengthen the role of Battery as a creative drum and percussion sampler.

Native Instruments Intros Absynth 4

The new version offers extended sound design and performance capabilities through a new customizable signal flow; additional oscillator, waveform and envelope features; and a completely revised modulation concept. Numerous usability improvements, including a new KORE-compatible sound browser, provide a more convenient creative workflow.

Native Instruments Intros MASSIVE

Based on an new high-resolution audio engine, MASSIVE combines advanced Wave-Scanning synthesis with a wealth of sophisticated sound-shaping and modulation options, resulting in a charismatic high-end sound full of warmth, punch, character and definition.

Dance Music, Sex and Drugs

Hip-hop and dance music fans are more likely to experiment with drugs, have sex and blow off their social obligations, according to research by University of Leicester psychologist Dr Adrian North.

BT: Binary Universe

BT talks about the relationship of mathematics to his music and how the music relates to the images on his new DVD.

Blind man living in Iran makes music like everyone else

Amin wrote to me about his friend Aboozar. Aboozar lives in Mashhad, Iran's second city, close to the borders with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. It's a pilgrimage centre, built around an enormous shrine.

This is not the MPC-500 (but one is on the way)

Rumour mills are turning, and it looks pretty likely that Akai will be launching an MPC-500 in the not-to-distant future. It's not a new rumour - GearJunkies reckoned it would be announced at MusicMesse 2005, back before the MPC2500 was launched. The message board concensus seems to be that it will be smaller, cheaper, and less powerful than the MPC1000. There are certainly corners to be cut - the 1000 has six outputs, digital ins and outs, hard drive support, a chunky metal case with a built-in PSU - so it might be possible to produce a cheaper, maybe plastic, maybe DJ oriented unit. In March 2006, Numark/Akai registered, and last week Matrix reported that NovaMusic now have a product page saying: "BREAKING NEWS!!New ultra portable MPC available late October" and taking pre-orders, quoting a price of $1099, reduced to $799. This seems steep, considering used MPC1000s go for $600 on eBay US. If you know any more, please get in touch. And if you created this splendid MPC/PSP mashup, thank you!

Incredible home-brew MIDI and USB guitars

Doug writes: "I liked the Kaoss Pad Guitar very much. I like complete control over my digital music and I have built two guitars that do just that. One controls midi parameters, the other uses a usb interface into max/msp." Doug's page is here, with some noise-tastic sound samples here.

Dr Bob demonstrates the Minimoog

The Alphatrack fader/knob/ribbon controller

This is the new thing from Frontier (the people behind the popular Tranzport wireless controller, who also designed Tascam's nicer recent interfaces). Alphatrack is a USB controller with a single motorised fader, 3 touch sensitive knobs, transport and other controls, and a ribbon controller for scrubbing back and forwards through the track ("Use one finger on it to move the scrub through your project's timeline, and two fingers to jump in and out of shuttle mode.").

Treat Yourself :)