Propellerheads’ Reason software is a comprehensive, commonly-used tool for musicians to compose electronic music and hip hop. After Reason existed for years without audio recording capability, recent versions have allowed the recording of sounds along with digitally-created instrumentals. But to get voice, guitar or other acoustic sounds into the Reason software environment, one needs a microphone and an audio interface. The new Balance computer music interface bridges the gap between acoustic sound and electronic beats, taking a signal from a microphone or other device and recording it in Reason in real-time.
The Balance interface allows for 24-bit/96kHz audio recording across two channels via USB. It features four smooth-rotating knobs and eight buttons to record and manipulate audio as it is recorded in the Reason software. These details may not mean much to non-musicians, but the design of Balance is a step forward in industrial design. Balance has been out since late 2011, but its design has just received the iF Design Gold Award for hardware design. The design consultancy No Picnic worked with Propellerheads on the design, having succeeded in delivering a compact, attractive, user-friendly device that broke from the norms of audio hardware design. It’s a great product, and the iF design award underscores its value for the ears and the eyes alike. [via designboom]