Reviewed: Yamaha SessionCake SC-01 & SC-02
Every now and then, a new device comes along that makes us all stop and wonder why no-one has come up with something like that before. And of course, when a new device like this comes along, it usually opens up new channels of creativity and enjoyment. It is often Japan that comes up with these fun little devices that get our attention and intrigue, and that is certainly the case with the latest offering from Yamaha. The esteemed company has delivered a new concept in practise tools for guitar, keyboard, vocals and just about any instrument that you can plug in. In two brightly coloured devices, the SC-01 and the SC-02 offer us a new way to get together with friends, whilst totally separating ourselves from one another at the same time. It’s time we all took a look at the SessionCake, and apparently we’re invited to take a bite.
Reviewed: ART Pro Audio Tube Mix
More and more gear is touchscreen-enabled these days, which is great for many applications. There have also been several successful takes at tablet apps that function as touchscreen interfaces for DAWs; it’s just how a lot of people want to work today. But admit it - it feels like there’s something missing. The accuracy and real-time feedback of a physical knob on a mixer channel still just works. ART has always been about combining technology and practicality, and the Tube Mix audio interface brings mixers back - way back - to a time when they were finished in wood grain and were all about controls you could actually touch.
Reviewed: Radial Engineering Key-Largo keyboard mixer
The team at Radial Engineering have once again proven that they know how to deliver compact devices that solve issues in your audio setup. It is usually guitar or microphone based devices that they come out with, so it is a pleasant change to see a unit designed for keyboards coming from Radial, as these guys don’t do things by halves. The Key-Largo is a multi-channel keyboard mixer and interface that brings your computer and keyboards together for a seamless live setup. This is, like so many other Radial devices, a very well thought out unit and one that will appeal to a lot of keyboard players.
REVIEWED: SOUNDCRAFT NOTEPAD-8FX MIXER
Soundcraft have been on the scene since the mid 1970’s, producing everything from small mixers to big multi channel live and studio sound desks. Recently adding to their Notepad series, Soundcraft introduced the 5, 8 and 12 FX mixers with the 8FX dropping into our offices. Designed to be compact and portable, Soundcraft have also included a host of features making it a serious range of mixers. Let’s see what these little beauties can do.
REVIEWED: QSC TOUCHMIX-8 DIGITAL MIXER
A couple of years back, I first got my hands on a couple of digital mixers from QSC. These were then, and still are now, up there as some of the best compact digital mixers on the market. I am of course talking about the TouchMix 8 and TouchMix 16. What can the same mixer possibly have to offer now that wasn’t there previously? Well, that is one of the major benefits of the TouchMix range. The hardware may stay the same, but a major update on the firmware can deliver big changes and excellent results.
Reviewed: Soundcraft Ui24R Digital Mixer
It used to be a case of needing a second mortgage to afford a digital mixer, and then requiring a university degree just to understand how to get the thing running. That has all changed now. The last few years have all but seen the last of analogue consoles in a live environment when bands often need to move from one venue to another and pull a good mix quickly and easily in each one. Not only has the price come down, but so too has the size. The features list and quality, however, has continued to raise the bar. Soundcraft have been at the forefront of this, and the recent range of Ui mixers has set the standard for portable digital mixing.
Reviewed: Zoom LiveTrak L-12 Digital Mixer and Interface
One of the most intimidating and confusing events in the life of the budding young musician is that tentative first step into an actual, semi-professional rehearsal studio. The dim-lit, dank, decades old grime on the walls sets the mood as you approach the ancient PA system and its gummed up faders. The task defeats many but once you do get the ‘test one-two’s to emanate from the charred speakers, then comes that lasting feeling that maybe this music thing does suit you after all. That first amplified victory is enough for many to maintain a hunger for mixing and recording via channel strips and preamps to varying degrees of success for decades thereafter. Zoom has, for a long time, been the go-to company for portable devices that aid and abet this addiction. Their latest creation, the LiveTrak L-12, sees them expand this logical approach to everything-to-everyone status.