We're back with our monthly feature of the latest gear to arrive in the Middle East - August 2020 Edition.
As a part of our mission to empower musicians and creators, we share a monthly update on the latest gear to hit the streets of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Riyadh and the rest of the Middle East from our portfolio of 150+ leading brands in the music, production, and recording space. Check back in every month to see what's new in the Middle East music, audio, production and recording market, or sign up for our newsletter here, and we'll notify you when new and hot products make an appearance. You can also check out some of our previous updates here: The Hottest, Newest Gear - July 2020, and The Hottest, Newest Gear - June 2020.
Here are our top picks of the latest gear this month:
AT A GLANCE
- Denon DJ PRIME 2 - 2-Deck Smart DJ Console w/ 7” Touchscreen
- Denon DJ PRIME GO Portable DJ Set / Smart DJ Console
- Denon DJ SC6000 Prime Media Player
- Denon DJ SC6000M Prime Motorized DJ Media Player
- Denon DJ X1850 Prime DJ Mixer
- Arturia KeyLab Essential 88
- Arturia KeyStep Pro Sequencer
- Arturia BeatStep Black Edition
- Behringer RD-8 Rhythm Designer Analog Drum Machine
- Behringer MS-1 - Analog Synthesizer with Live Performance Kit
- Behringer TD-3 Analog Bass Line Synthesizer
- Mackie EM-91C Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- PreSonus Atom Producer Lab Bundle
- PreSonus Eris E7 XT 2-Way 6.5" Active Studio Monitors with Wave Guide
- IK Multimedia AXE I/O SOLO Guitar Interface
- Universal Audio Apollo Solo with Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface
1. DJ All Day Everyday - Denon
If you're a professional, travelling DJ looking for a mid-high level system, look no further than Denon's Prime 2 system. The standalone deck has 7" HD touchscreen with WiFi and built-in 2.5-inch SATA drive bay to store music onboard. In addition to the independent FX units, 3-Band EQ and Filter, and the multi-function performance pads, the Prime 2 sits comfortably in between a mid-level deck and the fully geared Prime 4.
We seldom come across a device that offers true functionality without giving up on portability. The Prime Go is a stand-out exception to the portable DJ scene. It features the same intuitive HD touchscreen navigation as the flagship Prime 4 DJ system, can run on battery, has WiFi built-in to help directly stream music, and has two decks (albeit in a smaller package). This is a powerful tool to consider if you're looking to foray into the world of DJ-ing. It features eight multi-function Performance Pads, two capacitive-touch jogwheels, and compatibility with all major software including rekordbox, TIDAL, and Serato.
The SC6000(M) media players have a built-in hard drive bay, three USB ports, and support for SD card media which can handle multi-terabyte libraries with ease. The most notable difference between the two models are that the non 'M' model is the standard edition that comes with an 8.5inch platter with tension adjustment, while the SC6000M has a motorized platter with torque adjustment. Harmonic Mixing makes it simple to create ultra-musical DJ set, with the further benefit of dual-deck playback functionality - using two decks in one. The decks feel slightly more muted visually, though it suits the premium aesthetic that Denon are apparently going for.
The Prime mixer mainly acts as an integration device for the SC6000(M) and sports small improvements from last years models. It features a 4-Channel, multi-assignable input (with dual USB for audio devices and software), an expressive 3-band EQ section, and an OLED screen for FX editing and preference adjustments. This device completes the Denon ecosystem.
2. Your KeyStep into Music Production - Arturia
This is ideal for those looking for a weighted, 88-key DAW keyboard controller that doesn't complicate your production experience. As the name suggests, the MIDI controller has all 'essential' features in a minimal setup. It features a clickable encoder, 9 encoders, 9 30mm faders, 6 transport switches, 4 command switches, a modulation and pitch bend wheel, with the added functionality of 8 touch and pressure-sensitive pads. To add to the package, Arturia pairs this device with the Analog Lab software (with over 6500 synth and keyboard sounds, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Model D.
The 37-key Keystep Pro is a compact powerhouse sequencer that is best adapted to music producers who want a future proof, well-built device to assist their controller needs. This updated edition features four track step sequencer, melodic sequencer that can manipulate pitch, velocity, gate length, time shift and probability for each note, and an arpeggiator function. For added functionality, the controller also has a sustain pedal input, an OLED display, and a mini-speaker for metronome. Our only minor inconvenience with this device is its small-footprint keybed which feels cramped.
This is a simple, all-black horizontal beat sequencer with DAW controller functionality. This updated controller has 16 backlit pads and 16 assignable encoders that can be used independently (using a DC in or mini USB).
3. The Analog Way of Life - Behringer
This Analog Drum Machine has long been the industry standard equipment, modeled to reflect a retro personality. It sports 16 analog drum sounds, 11 independent outputs, along with USB connectivity, MIDI in/out/thru, trigger outputs, and sync I/O.
We love that the MS-1 has full-sized keys and still managed to be a compact analog synth. In the name of compatibility, we often get smaller, hard-to-play keys. However, the MS-1 has managed to give the artist the best of both worlds. It comes with 32 semi-weighted keys, a 3340 analog oscillator, a 32-step sequencer with 64 sequence locations, a pitch bend wheel and pitch modulation trigger among other functions.
This Analog Bass Line Synthesizer comes with VCO, VCF, 16-Step Sequencer, Distortion Effects and a 16-Voice Poly Chain. Yet again, this model features the arrpegiator, an option that is making appearances in an increasing number of controllers. This synth stay true to its roots and has true analog circuitry for bass and groove sounds.
4. Make with Mackie
The Mackie EM-91C Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone is built to provide you with accurate response and longevity at a budget-friendly price-points - inclusive of a shock mount and mic cable. For this price point, this device would make for a brilliant learners piece, and even take a few beatings along the way. The large-diaphragm design provides warm, accurate pickup while the cardioid pickup pattern works well for most applications.
5. Studio Essentials with PreSonus
This artist-oriented bundle has three of the main accessories required to record and produce music - ATOM Pad Controller, AudioBox USB 96 audio interface, and the M7 large-diaphragm condenser microphone. Pair this with Ableton Live, and you're on you way to a professional (and passionate) path to live recording and music production.
If you're looking for a monitor companion for your Atom Producer Lab bundle, look no further than the Eris E7 XT Active Studio monitors. The clean-looking device's stand out feature is the 'Wave Guide' that helps determine the sweet spot accurately, visually, only helped by the superior high-frequency response and wider 100-degree horizontal dispersion.
6. Multitask with the IK Multimedia AXE I/O
AXE I/O is a professional 2 in/5 out audio interface and controller designed to suit a guitarist's every needs and provide the best-in-class sound quality and powerful features. It includes a dedicated Amp Out, so you can process your recording with real guitar amps and stomps without the need for external accessories. This interface comes bundled with Ableton Live 10 Lite.
7. A Class Apart - Universal Audio
Universal Audio Apollo Solo with Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface || Universal Audio Apollo Solo USB Audio Interface
Universal Audio (UA) has been the industry standard in world class studios for over five decades. Their latest Apollo Solo series audio interfaces bring that high-end professional technology at an affordable and accessible price point. If you've ever wondered how internationally acclaimed musicians are able to record sound as heard live and without much coloring, they are probably using the range of products offered by UA. Owing to their state of the art technology, highest quality of components and exceptional build quality, rest assured, your recording will sound as life-like as possible. The range of Apollo Solo comes in two variants: The Universal Audio Apollo Solo TB3 - with native Thunderbolt 3 support for Mac and Windows users, and Universal Audio Apollo Solo USB3 - with USB-C and USB-A connectivity for Windows users. Both are Desktop 2 x 4 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interfaces with Realtime UAD-2 SOLO processing and near-zero latency tracking and mixing via their powerful headphone out.
We are building a community of musicians and creators in the Middle East – those not afraid to follow their dreams and expand creative horizons. One way we support and empower aspiring, active creators on their journey is by sharing a variety of content and information across essential topics in this complex and exciting industry of musical instruments and content creation gear.
When you're looking to pick up instruments or music and sound gear, get in touch with us for recommendations, the latest information on new and discontinued models, as well as sales and promotions. Whether you’re looking for a guitar, a keyboard, a piano, a drum kit, studio recording equipment, music production tools, or DJ gear – we can promise the widest variety, knowledgeable advice and the lowest prices across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, UAE, the Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.