Making music just isn't the same on computers. You can't feel it. Digital tools can reproduce the loopy sounds of crazy old analog synths and drum machines, but they lack the raw analog physicality. These modular USB-controllers might help.

The new Steinberg CMC series of USB controllers talk to your music production software. Everything about them is designed to make the person using them feel comfortable. The series is modular—nine units in all—so you can mix them up and rearrange them to your liking. It reminds me a bit of the modular components people buy to build wacky analog synths. (NERDS: I get that it's different.) The buttons and faders are soft and intelligently responsive to touch—not to mention all the pretty colors that will help further enhance your consciousness.

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There's plenty of other controllers out there, but I like how customizable these are. (The controllers are actually designed to work seamlessly with Cubase, but they could be used with any software.) There's nothing warm and fuzzy about software. Each of the units costs $150—that's the price of giving your computers some soul. [Steinberg via Audio Technology]

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