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Music Category Draws CE Attention With New Devices

NEW YORK — As consumer electronics retailers look beyond the traditional parameters of the category, the music instrument, DJ equipment and other pro audio segments all continue a steady rollout of new products.

Several companies, all of which distribute through major CE retailers, unveiled joined the new-product bandwagon this spring with devices intended to appeal to pros and do-it-yourselfers alike.

Korg announced its first battery-operated keyboard workstation.

The red and black Kross can operate via six AA batteries or with an AC adapter. It is sold with 61 keys or 88 fully weighted keys.

Features include 16-track MIDI sequencer, analog-style step sequencing, built-in audio recorder with overdubbing capabilities, a one-touch Drum Track function, and an arpeggiator to animate any type of sound.

Korg said that the keyboard’s piano, electric piano and drum sounds have been taken from some of the company’s flagship instruments, and it also features sounds for rock/ jazz organ, strings, brass, synth, toy piano, accordion, combo organ, church organ, a tape sampler, and sounds for electronic dance music and electronica.

There are more than 130 effects available with the Kross, including delay, reverb, chorus, flanger and rotary speaker.

The 61-key model weighs 9.5 pounds and has a carry handle while the 88-key one is 27.3 pounds. They will both be available in August for $699 and $999, respectively.

Korg distributes to a number of nationwide music instrument retailers, such as Sam Ash and Guitar Center, as well as Best Buy and B&H.

Novation, which has products available through Amazon, B&H, Sam Ash and Guitar Center, among others, updated its 20-yearold Bass Station Synth. The Bass Station II ($629 suggested retail) now features two filters, two oscillators and a sub-oscillator, patch save and an analog effects section.

The two-octave, 25-note keyboard has fullsized keys, arpeggiator with a programmable step sequencer, a modulation section, and MIDI I/O and USB connectivity. It comes with 64 onboard patches and can save an additional 64 via USB, the company said.

Pioneer Electronics said it will begin shipping in June its four-channel DJM-750 DJ mixer.

The mixer comes with a Boost Color FX feature that Pioneer said is the industry’s first that lets users change the intensity of various effects with the rotation of the built-in effects knob.

“The degree of the selected effect is intensified (i.e. increase cut rate) the faster the knob is turned,” the company said, adding that it will work with the integrated mixer effects and comes with Filter, Crush, Noise and Jet effects.

The DJM-750 also has a built-in 24bit/96kHz USB sound card, 13 different beat effects, support for three samples rates (96kHz, 48kHz and 44.1kHz), ASIO/Core Audio standards and a USB port.

Each channel is equipped with a switchtype three-band equalizer and three-band isolator, Pioneer said. Channel fader knobs and cross-fader knobs have a lock function that’s engineered to protect from accidental knob disconnection.

Black and silver versions of the DJM-750 will be offered, each retailing for a suggested $1,199.