Tech reviews: new products, May 2024

Jonathan Savage
Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Dr Jonathan Savage rounds up the latest products

Sur software instrument
Sur software instrument

Sur – MNTRA Instruments

Price: Free

Sur is a software instrument which reproduces the essence of the drone in Indian classical music. Featuring exquisitely recorded Tanpuras and Shruti Box, Sur offers a sonic foundation for musical exploration and meditation. Powered by the advanced MNDALA 2 engine, Sur features a deep micro-tuning system and creatively processed samples, inviting students to further explore the intricate nuances of popular ragas with precision and authenticity. In essence, Sur is a small taste of the sacred beauty and boundless potential of the drone within Indian classical music. It is a great addition to your software instrument library and, best of all, it is free.

Roland RD-08 and LX range pianos

Prices: RD-08 £864; LX from £2,399

Roland has launched a range of new pianos at two different price points. If portability is key, the Roland RD-08 stage piano (pictured) brings you legendary Roland RD piano performance in a compact keyboard that's easy to carry. It is the most affordable RD to date, yet it delivers no-compromise sound and playability, supported by an intuitive interface. It also features an upgradeable design, allowing you the opportunity to add even more sounds and features as your students’ needs evolve. For those in the market for a classroom piano, or something suitable for the school assembly hall, Roland's new LX-5, LX-6 and LX-9 offer fantastic options for a premium digital piano.

Boss KATANA: GO headphone amplifier

Price: £120

The Boss KATANA: GO is a compact headphone amplifier that can be used with any electric or bass guitar. It allows you to create authentic sounds from the stage-class Katana amp series at your instrument's output jack, paired with a host of wireless music streaming, sound editing, and learning tools on a smartphone. Advanced spatial technology provides a rich 3D playing experience, while BOSS Tone Exchange offers an infinite sound library to explore any style. The KATANA: GO would be a useful addition for any music department where ‘noise’ is an issue yet guitarists want to practice with authentic sounds from their favorite amplifiers.

Jacob Collier Audience Choir

Price: Free

Musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier is renowned for his genre-defying productions, electrifying live shows, and innovative approach to harmony. Throughout his Djesse world tour, he captivated audiences by transforming them into harmonious choirs. Now, these voices are yours to conduct with this one-of-a-kind choir plugin. The best part? It's totally free to download. Within the plugin, you can explore choir samples captured at some of the world's most iconic venues. The interface allows you to craft your own arrangements note-by-note, or quickly lay down rich soundscapes with pre-recorded triads. Smart features help you dive deep into harmony, whatever your level of music theory knowledge. You can use the chord generator function for instant harmony or effortlessly blend between tonalities of pre-built triads using the Triad Blend. You can also explore different vowel and consonant sounds within an innovative grid interface.