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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 06:19 AM
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Default Focusrite Saffire


1.Name of the product: Focusrite Saffire.
2.When you bought the product: 20/09/06.
3.Why you bought it: Needed an interface as I didn't have one.
4. Cost: Ä466 in the local shop (didn't know about DV - am I forgiven?).
5.Set up and/or installation: Install and plug in.
6.What do you like about the product: two mic and two line inputs and two headphones
7.What donít you like about it: can only use one mic and one line at the same time - using a mic input exludes using the line that's below it.
8.Any improvements you would like to suggest for the product? I think it's fine, but then I have nothing to compare it with.
9.How does it compare to similar products out there? no idea.
10.Would you buy it again? as a starting off interfaces, yes. But if I had more money and more info at the time, I would go for something higher up.
11.Pros and cons summary: I like it. It works and does the job.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 06:26 AM
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M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 88-Key Hammer-Action USB at DV247.COM

1.Name of the product: Key Station Pro 88.
2.When you bought the product: 13/09/07.
3.Why you bought it: Needed a controller keyboard with piano weighted keys.
4. Cost: Ä256.54 from DV.
5.Set up and/or installation: Plug in and play.
6.What do you like about the product: the weighted keys, and the knobs and sliders are useful as I don't have a mixer yet.
7.What donít you like about it: nothing, I happy with it.
8.Any improvements you would like to suggest for the product? no.
9.How does it compare to similar products out there? I think it's the best for me.
10.Would you buy it again? yes, definately.
11.Pros and cons summary: Nice piano weighted touch so I can use it as a controller and also as a piano in the living room.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 12:06 PM
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Model: M-Audio NRV10
Purchased: August 08
Reason for Purchase: I wanted something that could record more tracks
Cost: £180 (second-hand FTW!)
Setup : Couldn't have been easier under XP32. Impossible under Vista64, because there's no drivers. And nor will there ever be, it seems.
Likes: Sounds decent enough, serves as an analogue mixing desk too, making it ideal for replacing a club PA mixer for live recordings
Dislikes: Firewire sucks as an interface. If hot-swapping might blow the ports at both ends, why not have a lock mechanism in the connector, like RJ45 connectos have?
Improvements: Decent driver support would be nice. You know. So I can actually use it without having to have a dedicated install of WinXP.
Similar products: Lots. Anything not made by the Avid group would be an improvement.
Would i buy it again?: No. Lousy customer support is something that affects all products released by the Avid group, and having been stung for support with my Pinnacle TV card too, I've been turned off buying M-Audio ever again. I don't trust companies that cut corners as a matter of practise.

Pros: Records 8 tracks simultaneously and in good quality.

Cons: Besides what I've already whinged about, it needs its own PSU, it only has one headphone output, it only does stereo analogue output, there's no digital IO, phantom power is either on for all mics or off for all mics
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Old 22nd September 2008 , 04:20 PM
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1.Name of the product and current version: Macbook Pro on Leopard 10.5.5 2.6 C2D chip, 4Gig RAM 15' anti glare screen.

Specs:
2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
200GB Serial ATA @ 7200 rpm
SuperDrive 8x (DVDĪR DL/DVDĪRW/CD-RW)
MacBook Pro 15-inch Widescreen Display
Backlit Keyboard (British) & Userís Guide (English)
AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Pro (w/or w/o Display) - Auto-enroll



2.When you bought the product: August 08

3.Why you bought it: i bought this because i wanted a portable device that i could Dj with and use as a portable studio, this is the main reason i went for the 15' screen so as to increase portability as opposed to the 17'. I went with a Mac as in my eyes this is an ideal platform for media and im a techy fashion victim

4.How much did it cost: i bought this from apple in Brent X for £1,744.57 with apple care and a student discount (no im not a student) otherwise it comes in at £2188.00

5.Installation: It came pre installed with OS 10.5, but i had apple put an additional 2gig of RAM in for me

6.What do you like about it: well i like the fact it has an anti glare screen, i love the look and that the keyboard lights up when the room gets darker, I think the magnetic power supply connector so as to avoid accidently avoid pulling the laptop to the ground while being clumsy, performance wise it is great, it has 6 PIN firewire as opposed to the usual 4 PIN on many a PC and even has Firewire 800 socket. the battery life is good as well,

7.What donít you like about it: the price and iv heard horrific overheating issues, they do heat up considerably but this???:



8. Any improvements: If these overheating issues are correct to this extent then yes this needs to be improved

9.How does it compare to similar products: There is no similar product in terms of Mac this is the ultimate hardware/software package. there are most definately similar PC's out there with equal or greater performance but then they are let down by OS imo. unless of coarse they are Hackintosh's

10.Would you buy it again: Nothing else but Mac from now on

11.Pros and cons summary:
This is an excellent machine laden full of features but it can tend to get very hot so be careful of that, i myself have invested in a lap top cooler.


12. Rating: 4.5/5
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Last edited by sureno; 16th October 2008 at 07:16 PM. . <
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 06:29 PM
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More great reviews guys thanks for helping out again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sureno View Post
7.What donít you like about it: the price and iv heard horrific overheating issues, they do heat up considerably but this???:



Don't tell me it actually physically melted???

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monarch View Post
More great reviews guys thanks for helping out again.



Don't tell me it actually physically melted???

im not sure what to believe this is not mine but after much reseach this is a middle of the road example, there was one where the base was severely bent but then who knows how it really happened? thats why i take no chances but feel rumour or not future buyers should be made aware of the speculation, i was feeling sick for a whole day because i found this out when i was browsing the net on my new purchase but luckily i don't even let mine get hot
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureno View Post
im not sure what to believe this is not mine but after much reseach this is a middle of the road example, there was one where the base was severely bent but then who knows how it really happened? thats why i take no chances but feel rumour or not future buyers should be made aware of the speculation, i was feeling sick for a whole day because i found this out when i was browsing the net on my new purchase but luckily i don't even let mine get hot
Thanks for sharing that in the review sureno. I am sure many on the market for a Macbook Pro would at the very least want to know about the information you shared. Speculation or not. It's a viewpoint that should still be considered.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 07:33 PM
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Thumbs up

1. Name of the product and current version:Echo Audio Fire 4


2. When you bought the product:Early 2007

3. Why you bought it: Had read about the high quality sound Echo products deliver and that their driver support (even for very old products) is superb.

4. How much did it cost: About £160+

5. Installation / Setup: Easy. Popped in the install disc then once the software installed I was asked to connect the hardware. 5 minutes or so in total.

6. What do you like about it?: Lovely sound. Easy to use. Few controls. Small in size. Very nice mixer software for the unit. Regular driver updates. x64 Vista drivers.

7. What donít you like about it?.No Master volume control around the front.

8. Any improvements: Master control on the front.

9. Comparison to similar products: I think this does sound better than FA-66 which I used to have.

10.Would you buy it again: Yes.

11.Licence:
a. Transfers allowed?
Yes AFAICT

12. Format (PC or MAC):
Both

13.Copy Protection:
None.

14. Pros and cons summary: I like the fact that it has balanced ins and outs, I really like the sound and you get a copy of Tracktion v.2 thrown into the deal for free.
15. Rating: 4.7 out of 5
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 30th September 2008 , 03:15 AM
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Novation Nocturn
29th Sept 2008

I purchased it because V & Bass station are out of stock, and this was next on the wanted toys list !

£60

Macbook 2.2. @gig Ram. Logic Studio 8 and Traktor

Good Points
1) It's incredibly flexible
2) The Automapping software is a neat idea that allows you to store and recall customised control setups
3) It's small enough to be taken just about anywhere
4) It's well laid out and intuitive to use
5) It's price !

Low Points
1) It takes awhile to get into. A paper manual would help
2) The encoder resolution can be a bit fiddly
3) It doesn't always automap correctly
4) It has issues with Mac OSX and NI Traktor. Takes time to figure out the workaround.

How could it be better?
1) Screens to display encoder function names
2) More encoders

Rival Comparison
The closest rival is from M-Audio
M-Audio X-Session Pro USB MIDI DJ Mixer Controller at DV247.COM
WHilst the M-Audio has more physical encoders to play with, the Automap software makes the Nocturn much more flexible. Flip a page, and you can use the same controllers to control completely different functions of software. The Automap supports upto 127 different encoders on different pages. This makes it much easier and quicker to re-assign controls then the M-Audio Unit.

Am I Happy?
I would buy this again, but would go for one of the bigger Novation Controllers. This is the baby of the range, but still represents a good piece of kit !
It works on both Mac and PC. Just be aware of the Mac/Traktor issues.

Summary
An excellent idea. Really flexible and adaptable. Mac uers have their party spoiled by Apple though. The Automap doesn't work with Logic's default plugs, but will work with their hidden AU devices. It also has issues with NI Traktor, that require a bit of tinkering to sort. But if you take the time to program it, the rewards are very worthwhile ![/COLOR][/B]

9/10
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Last edited by EdRyan; 30th September 2008 at 11:44 AM. . <
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 30th September 2008 , 09:08 AM
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Hi Ed
Took the liberty of adding a pic of the Nocturn to your review above.. cool?
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 30th September 2008 , 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdRyan View Post
Edit:
4) It has issues with Mac OSX and NI Traktor. Takes time to figure out the workaround.
Any chance of a 'reference' thread/post to detail the workaround you figured out Ed?
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 30th September 2008 , 11:46 AM
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Hi Modz. I actually updated my original post in the Dj section on using a Nocturn with Traktor. I did it last night, and it now includes the workaround !

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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 9th October 2008 , 02:29 PM
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1. Name of the product and current version:
MOTU Midi Express 128 Professional MIDI Interface


2. When you bought the product: 2008 Q1

3. Why you bought it: Needed a larger MIDI interface

4. How much did it cost: £129.99

5. Installation / Setup: Pretty straight forward, install drivers and good to go, did it on both Mac and PC so both where easy

6. What do you like about it?: Does the job, looks lovely and is rack mountable. No wall wart or AC plug and easily identifiable channels

7. What don’t you like about it?: Only very very rarely it may lock up and all channels will illuminate as if MIDI data is being sent every where all at once but a simple restart of the computer is all it needs and this is so very rare.

8. Any improvements: The price

9. Comparison to similar products: im not aware of any products similar as a lot of companies seem to have discontinued their line on MIDI interfaces.

10.Would you buy it again: yes and i did i have 2

11. Pros and cons summary:

Pro's: 8 independent MIDI inputs and outputs for a total of 128 MIDI channels. Expansion is simple. Add additional MIDI ports by plugging in another MOTU MIDI interface.

Con's: Price could be near the £100 mark
12. Rating: 4.75/5
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Last edited by sureno; 9th October 2008 at 02:32 PM. . <
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Old 10th October 2008 , 09:29 AM
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1. Name of the product: M-Audio ProFire610

2. Cost: £275 - £299

3. Why you bought it: Had the connections, I/Os, software, reliability, quality parts and build and suited my needs - the most important bit

4. When you bought the product: Recently

5. Installation / Setup: Plug and play Firewire

6. Likes: Does what it says. Switch on - attach leads - easy. Easy to use mixer software, which is very flexible. I have three sound sources and can channel it to them how I like and still go to headphones too. Standalone operation (nice). Nice long knobs for easy use. Assignable master volume and separate headphones x2.

7. Dislikes: Locks the functions of the Asio panel to itself and can only switch modes when DAW software is closed. This may vary from DAW to DAW.

8. Improvements?: Changes to the above and I would prefer another 2 ins on the back.

9.Would you buy it again?: Yes. Simple research avoids surprises.

10. Pros and cons summary:

Effortlessly gets your music on to your DAW. Everything is crisp and up-to-date. Only one freebie - the product is selling itself, which is a good thing.

Lacks a bit of flexibility on the setting up latency as it does it for you and inability to change modes in the software on the fly. There are workarounds. S/Pdif is coaxial and not both and no RCA, which may not suit some.

11. Rating: 4.8/5 -
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Old 17th December 2008 , 05:44 PM
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1. Name of the product and current version:

Akai MPK49 Performance Controller with 12 MPC Drum pads


2. When you bought the product: 16-12-08

3. Why you bought it: wanted to upgrade my controller and also wanted mpc pads again, lol after hastily selling my mpc 2500

4. How much did it cost: £260

5. Installation / Setup: I found this a little more troublesome than your average controller, it comes with templates but none of which are for Logic, so alot of programming involved to get it 96% working

6. What do you like about it?: it has nice semi weighted keys like a good synth, an LCD display, arp feature and note repeat for the 12 mpc style pads, knobs and faders and excellent build quality. it also has transport controls which are working seamlessly with Logic 8. the pitch and mod wheels are exceptionally nice reminding me slightly of a moogs wheels being they are illuminated

7. What don’t you like about it?: i do how ever have a few gripes about this bit of kit and to be honest i shouldnt as these issues should of been fixed along time ago by Akai..

1. when the controller is set to external sync, tap tempo stops sending any midi when pressed in!

2. The setting are very temperamentally stored, sometimes they save other times they dont and when switched off all is restored to default which is a hindrance at times

3. The pads appear to have different velocity curve options but as far as im aware for the life of me i cant see a way to change the key velocity curves!!!

8. Any improvements: yes, Akai need to adress the 2 above issues and also create a template for Logic in the ones provided, also to do a 61 key model and include a power switch

Include different velocity curves for the keys!!!

9. Comparison to similar products: none other can compare as no other controller contains all these features but the runners up would have to be

M-Audio Axiom
Novation SL
Korg Kontrol 49

10.Would you buy it again: yes

11.Format (PC or MAC): this works on both platforms

12. Pros and cons summary: solid robust build quality but has some petty programming issues, all round an excellent key board controller

13. Rating:
4.5/5
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Last edited by sureno; 17th December 2008 at 05:47 PM. . <
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