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Ketron Audya 4 Advanced Music Station

23 October 2012 | 1:15 pm | Mark Owen

Although I have barely scratched the surface of this device, you can see why the Ketron Audya 4 is going to be the preferred arranger and sequencer for many performers.

The Audya 4 is presented as a state-of-the-art modern Expander and Arranger module; in simpler terms, it allows you to create accompaniments, backing tracks, and play along with them. Although you may be forgiven for thinking that this may be a very confusing and complicated device, you'd be mistaken. The interface is very user-friendly and allows you to navigate through the device quickly and with ease. And it's a device that many players, arrangers and performers will find a very useful and valuable tool in their arsenal.

Ketron have been around since the early '80s, are based in Italy, and have a rich history for audio interfaces, keyboards and PA systems.  Since Ketron's renowned MS60 / MS40 series was launched back in the early '90s, Ketron has been at the forefront of the industry and the Audya 4 is definitely consolidating that.

The Audya 4 has over 560 in-built groove styles and 370 drum sequences, making it almost impossible not to find the right beat for your song, be it original or a cover. If for some reason you can't find one, the device allows you to import you own drum samples and sequences; you can also start from scratch and create your own within the device. It has over 150 guitar patterns, allowing you to select a style, as well as the key and the chords or notes. It also includes a massive bank of bass guitar, ambient sounds and special effects, offering the user a total sonic experience.

The device is made with both home studio and live situations in mind, with plenty of in-built effects including reverb, chorus, flanger and delay. It has two XLR inputs so you can have two vocals at any one time, with individual effects on either channel, MIDI in, into two through and 32 MIDI channels and two line inputs. You can play your guitar straight into the music station and use the in-built effects and play straight through the PA - no more lugging around a sequencer and amps or a pedal board.

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This unit is such an impressive piece of kit, it's impossible to even to talk about half of the abilities this gives the user. More features I haven't mentioned include the Pro level multiplayer with up to six tracks simultaneously playing back, playlists, the ability to pre fader listen to your tracks, cross fades etc etc, input harmonisers and a state of the art vocaliser.

Built with the working musician in mind, it's easy to use and the 17 sliders allow fast and easy real-time control over effects and volumes.

Although I have barely scratched the surface of this device, you can see why the Ketron Audya 4 is going to be the preferred arranger and sequencer for many performers. Do yourself a favour; get down to your local music store and spend some time with one - you won't regret it. I'm off to delve further into this beast.