Here are the things that caught my eye this year.
BreakTweaker by BT & iZotope.
Designed by BT and developed by iZotope, BreakTweaker is not just a drum machine: it's a drum sculpting and beat sequencing machine that blurs the line between rhythm and melody. Give your beats an evolving depth that gets better the longer they play. Use rhythmic slicing to drive everything from pitched melodic lines to sweeping rhythmic concoctions
I was a bit skeptical about this plug-in at first, but after trying out the trial version I was instantly hooked. The interface is quite intuitive and most important features are easily discoverable. It's very easy to start creating interesting sounds and rhythms. It's definitely a step up from Stutter Edit, which I find quite cumbersome.
Checkout the slightly more in depth feature overview captured by SonicState at the NAMM show.
iConnectivity's multi-host and Audio & MIDI passThru technologies bridge iOS, Macs, and PCs in a professional environment, with many practical applications. Control a virtual instrument (or any music program) on one computer device from another one. Audio and MIDI flow back and forth without extra cables, and with no audio degradation. All the computer devices act like a single integrated machine.
This could be the audio interface I've been looking for. With iConnectAudio4+, I will be able to digitally route the audio signals between my iPad and Mac, without needing analog cables and an extra audio interface. I can't think of a more integrated iPad and Mac music production setup. The bad news is that it won't be available until mid-2104.
Checkout the video of the iConnectivity team discussing their products in detail captured by SonicState at the NAMM show.
Cakewalk Z3TA+ for iOS
Borrowing from the Mac/Win versions of Z3TA+ 2, Z3TA+ iOS brings an unmistakable signature sound—used globally in countless successful electronic, EDM and dance productions—to the iOS world. Redesigned to fit iOS screen-real estate optimally, Z3TA+ iOS maintains its legendary impeccable sound quality and sonic depth, while new touch control capabilities open up even more innovative waveshaping sound possibilities.
This is great news. I love how Z3TA+ sounds. Hopefully, the app works well on iPad.
Bitwig has announced that the launch of Bitwig Studio will be March 26th, 2014. Bitwig Studio is a new and innovative music creation, recording, and performance software that supports all three major computing platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Combining traditional arrangement sequencing with modern performance-oriented clip launching workflows,. Bitwig Studio offers a state-of-the-art audio engine under the hood, with full multi-processing support, a unified modulation system, 32/64-bit VST plugin bridging, and VST plugin crash protection.
This announcement was a bit surprising to me, because I thought I'd never see the day. I'm not trying to replace my main DAW (Logic Pro X), but I'm very curious to see how good Bitwig is compared to everything else I've tried. It has a few interesting and unique features.