M-Audio, a division of Avid Technologies best known for audio Input/Output and musical accessories for computer-based music creation, have just introduced their own line of software that functions plug-ins for VST, RTAS and Audio Units host software or as stand alone software. Logic Pro 7 and Logic Express 7 both use Audio Units and would be compatible with M-Audio’s Drum and Bass Rig and Key Rig. Even though M-Audio and Digidesign are both part of Avid, that appears not to prevent them competing. M-Audio’s new offerings compete, in part, with Digidesign’s DigiRack and Bomb Factory Plug-ins.
Both releases are based on the same core engine and share common features in the master MIDI/Mixer section. In both Rigs, users can route, split, layer and mix each set of four modules in any combination that suits the performance and recording needs. A master effects section allows the addition of common effect settings over and above the individual effects for each instrument.
Key Rig covers the basic keyboard needs of a modern keyboardist in a single virtual rack design. The SP-1 Stage Piano module serves up grand pianos, Wurlitzer, classic electric pianos, FM, clavinet and more. Each preset holds the combination of two instruments while maintaining individual settings for Mix, Octave, Detune, Velocity and Tone. Within the preset, dual effects means each preset also has its own effect settings for items like delay, chorus, phaser and more.
The Drum and Bass Rig is also housed in a virtual rack and delivers a variety of bass and drum sounds ideal for creating backing tracks in both authentic and electronic styles. The LC-5 Loop Creator is ideal for people who want their own loops but find it hard to create them from scratch. It has a pool of 250 source loops including slice-reordering, slice muting or group muting of ranges of slices. It also offers a vast range of real-time controls for dynamic playing/arranging
M-Audio’s new software requires a G3/500MHz or faster but a G4 or faster is recommended. Memory requirement is a modest 256 MB and 1 GB of hard drive space. VST, AU or RTAS host required for plug-in use and a MIDI interface is required to play the virtual instruments. An Internet connection is required for software certification. Key Rig and Drum and Bass Rig are now shipping at a retail price of US$129.95 each.