Month in music tech: the biggest news of February 2021

Here are all the new music technology developments from February that you should know about.

In this round-up, we recap the biggest and best news of February 2021, giving you a comprehensive overview of announcements, product releases and new freeware you might have missed.

Obituaries

  • Rupert Neve, the innovator who was responsible for designing the modern mixing desk and subsequent coveted gear, passed away at 94.
  • Neil Young, Bob Dylan and The Band producer Elliot Mazer died aged 79. As well as helping create the first all-digital multitrack recording system, he also developed AirCheck, which is still used today.
  • Chick Corea, the Grammy-winning jazz fusion synthesist and Miles Davis keyboardist, died aged 79. He left a heartfelt message on social media to fans and aspiring musicians.

Rupert Neve

Industry

Daft Punk Split

Gear releases

  • Colossus, the £20,000 synth titan, has been reissued for a fourth production run.
  • Supreme has dropped a branded Akai MPC Live II in its SS21 collection. No word on price yet, but don’t expect it to come cheap.
  • Novation’s Circuit Tracks is a follow-up to the acclaimed Circuit. Also, a Circuit Rhythm sampler is in the works.
  • A leak on CPU Monkey showcases the power of Apple’s upcoming M1X chip. It’ll be built into 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and possibly a new Mac Pro.
  • The SSL UF8 is a new DAW controller with a premium feel and is said by the legendary audio brand to be its “obvious next step”.
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Erica Synths Dada Noise System II

  • Erica Synths and Liquid Sky have unveiled the Dada Noise System II. The modular lab comprises a range of Erica’s modules and a new joystick.
  • Modern Sounds debuts with Pluto, a pocket-sized digital synth that takes inspired by Buchla Music Easel and Casio synths of the 80s.
  • SoundBeamer is Noveto’s solution to personal audio. The speaker beams 3D audio directly to your ears, without disturbing nearby people.

Software

Ableton Live 11

  • Ableton Live 11 has launched, bringing community-requested features and new tools for production and live performance. Read our review here.
  • BandLab Sounds is now equipped with a sample editor to chop up and edit sounds before you download them.
  • GForce has emulated the legendary Oberheim 8-Voice. It’s an authentic reproduction with a few extra features, too.
  • You can now video chat and stream audio directly from your DAW with LANDR Sessions.
  • Revered audio engineer Al Schmitt has teamed up with Leapwing Audio to release his Al Schmitt Signature Plug-in, instantly giving you the Schmitt sound.
  • Roland has revived the Juno-60 in software form, with an emulation now available on Roland Cloud.
  • Stompenberg FX is Thomann’s new pedal testing service. You can audition the sound of effects pedals before you buy them, with the physical circuits housed in a rack pedalboard at Thomann HQ.
  • Reason has introduced a new instrument, Algoritm, which a unique nine-operator approach that makes FM synthesis a little easier.

REASON ALGORITM

Freeware releases

For more news, reviews, interviews and tutorials, head to musictech.net.
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