Welcome to 2018 — Synth News Digest 13

Well, the New Year is upon us. Hopefully, the muse blesses you with inspiration and a bunch of cool new gear. I’m personally in a transition period with my recording setup, with a new Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 joining the family. The upcoming Church of Hed album is likely to be the last one recorded on my ancient ProTools setup. Expect more news on that when relevant.

As far TabMuse, I’ve got a few more in-depth reviews in the oven to be published over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. With a smooth glide into 2018 in mind, let’s take a look at some interesting music gear product announcements that caught my eye over the last few weeks.

Spitfire Audio celebrates their Tenth Year

Spitfire Audio is known for their state of the art sample libraries. We previously covered their excellent BT Phobos and Hans Zimmer Percussion products. I’ve been using HZP quite a bit on the new album.


The spartan Spitfire Audio logo. Copyright Spitfire Audio.

To celebrate their 10th year in the business, Spitfire released a refreshed version of their Albion One orchestral sample library. If producing movie soundtrack music inspires your muse, this collection belongs in your studio. A 109-piece orchestra with a thunderous cinematic percussion section is all part of the package.

Like many of the other Spitfire releases, the free download Native Instruments Kontakt Player is required. Albion also supports the NKS control standard. Expect a street price of $399 to $499 with a version crossgrade available for $99.

Red Room Audio joins the Fray with their line of Orchestral Sample Libraries

Speaking of sample libraries, Red Room Audio is a new company introducing its own line of sample libraries suitable for a wide array of musical applications. Their product list includes the following:

  • PALETTE – SYMPHONIC SKETCHPAD set of orchestral instruments
  • PALETTE BRUSH PACK 01 – MELODICS, 17 inspiring melody-carrying orchestral instruments
  • PALETTE BRUSH PACK 02 – ORCHESTRAL FX, an extensive collection of cinematic aleatoric effects for strings, brass, woodwinds, and choir
  • PALETTE BRUSH PACK 03 – RUNS & ARPS, the most complete set of orchestral runs and arpeggios available anywhere

Expect street prices to range from $200-300 per Red Room Audio product. This looks to be another worthy option for those budding Hans Zimmer or Craig Armstrong composers out there.

Touch Innovations takes the Touchscreen to another Level

Ever since the introduction of the iPad and its capacitive touchscreen, a new era of musical instrument control dawned. Touch Innovations is a company known for its high-end touch surfaces with applications across multiple industries, including music technology. Their new XG unit simply resides at the pinnacle of the touchscreen world.

With a display size of 39 inches supporting 10 simultaneous touch points, the Touch Innovations XG is something you buy for musicians who already own everything else – including a Moog System 55. The two models are priced at $6,895 and $5,999 respectively, with the more expensive XG Pro including a high-end Windows PC with 500GB of storage.

Somebody get me one of these – either model will suffice – for next Christmas!  Thanks!


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