NAMM Stories January 24, 2013

NAMM: Apogee updates USB interfaces with iPad support, Mackie launches 8-channel iPad mixer

Today is the first official day of NAMM in Anaheim, and we are already started to see a few Apple-related products pop up. The most interesting is the new lineup of interfaces from Apogee, including updated One, Duet, and Quartet models that all include new features, specs, and iPad compatibility with support for any Core Audio app. iPad compatibility comes thanks to Apogee’s new Maestro app:

Apogee’s new free Maestro app for iOS brings total hardware control to iPad. Designed to create a seamless transition between Mac and iOS, Maestro’s design was customized for each device; iPhone, iPad and Mac, ensuring an intuitive user interface across every platform. The app includes all the same essential functions available on the Mac including low latency monitoring. Maestro can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store on your iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad.

Starting with the One, the refreshed USB interface now features two inputs, the ability charge your iOS device, Apogee’s Maestro control iOS app, optional battery power, and updated mic preamps and AD/DA converters. It also includes a built-in mic and breakout cable to connect a 1/4-inch cable or XLR. One will be available in March for $349.

The new Duet, a four output, two-input USB interface has been given a refresh, and, like the One, it now includes a USB port for device charging and iOS connectivity. It also works with Apogee’s new Maestro iOS app, and it includes a full-color OLED display like previous versions. It will be available in February for $595. It also includes a breakout cable for XLR and 1/4-inch connections.

Lastly, Apogee is updating its 4 IN x 8 Out USB Quartet interface to take advantage of Maestro control software for iOS and Mac and offer full iPad compatibility. The refreshed Quartet will be available in February for $1,295, and a firmware update will bring iOS support to existing users at the same time.

The One, like the other updated Apogee interfaces, comes with a 30-pin cable, so you’ll need an adapter for Lightning devices.

Another iOS-related highlight from NAMM: Mackie’s new DL806 8-channel digital mixer for iPad (pictured below). It is available now for $799:

(Apogee via mi-pro.co.uk)

NAMM Stories January 23, 2013

IK Multimedia announces ‘iRig BlueBoard’ Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iOS & Mac

With NAMM press day kicking off in Anaheim today, iOS app and accessory maker IK Multimedia officially announced some of the products it briefly had on show during CES 2013. One of the more interesting products is the iRig BlueBoard. IK already has the iRig STOMP pedal, iRig accessories for connecting mixers, guitars, and mics to your iOS devices, but BlueBoard marks its first Bluetooth-enabled MIDI pedalboard designed specifically for iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

The pedal works with a dedicated BlueBoard app that will take the Bluetooth signal, convert it to MIDI messages, and then route them to any Core-MIDI compatible app on your iOS device or Mac. The result is the ability to control functions of an app, such as AmpliTube or JamUp Pro XT Amp Effects Processor, in the middle of a performance without having to fumble around your iOS device’s touchscreen. It will work with apps on your Mac, too.

It’s also possible to fully customize the MIDI messages that are sent out by the four switches and two optional expression pedals. It’s easy to setup iRig BlueBoard to control patch changes, effects parameters, reverb, delay on/off – or any parameter that can be controlled via MIDI. For a guitarist or vocalist using a mobile multiFX app like AmpliTube or VocaLive as a sound processor, iRig BlueBoard provides the foot-controlled functionality and convenience of a pedalboard, but with a form factor so compact and portable that it can easily slide into a backpack, a laptop bag or an instrument case.

Among the features: foot switches are backlit, Bluetooth 4.0 provides over 32 feet range, and the unit measures 10.6-inch-by-3.5-inch. It also requires four standard AAA batteries.

iRig BlueBoard will be available for $99.99 in the second quarter of this year. IK announced two new “iLoud” portable studio monitors for musicians, as well.

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