Spring means Musikmesse time to audio lovers who flock to Germany at this time every year for a festival of product launches. Here's a roundup of the best new music hardware to catch our ears at this year's Musikmesse event.
The industry-wide rise of mobile is starting to take over the music business, judging by this year's stand-out consumer products. Apple's iPad once looked like a toy compared to regular studio gear, but it's starting to be taken seriously by musicians who want to get ideas down without fussing about on a computer, and the latest hardware is starting to reflect that change. So what's new?
Remember the amazing remix by that Madeon chap who mashed 39 pop songs together? It was glorious. He used the original Novation Launchpad to do it, and Novation have now announced its successor in the Launchpad S. It might look the same, but this version will connect to iPads via Apple's camera connection kit so you can travel even lighter and leave that clunky old laptop at home. [Novation]
Deck masters Numark reveal another mid-range DJ controller for its Mixtrack series. There's more than a handful of products in this range now, so the Quad adds a splash of neon colour, drum pads and four channels of audio. If rumours of a £200+ price put you off the Quad model, Numark have also announced the ultra-portable Mixtrack Edge, a two-channel alternative which works with your laptop over USB. Perfect to chuck in a rucksack for impromptu parties. [Numark]
Everyone knows analog synths sound better than digital, even if they;re not really sure what that means. Put it this way: the Dr. Who theme sounds awesome because it was recorded long before laptops were invented. The problem is that analog synths are expensive - or at least, they used to be. These new micro-synths from Korg sound delicious, and will sync together so you focus on the performance. At around £120 each they're going to be very popular, so you can expect to hear them on a summer's worth of dance records very soon. [Korg]
A new limited red edition of these great studio headphones. If you're working on a music career, you'll know that consumer headphones by the likes of Beats won't cut it; whether they sound good or not to you doesn't matter, because they colour the sound so you can't really judge what the audio is really doing as you tweak it. Proper monitoring headphones like these will keep your productions on track, and this candy-coloured edition is worth snapping up to make sure you look good at the same time. [Audio Technica]