Archive for the ‘DSP’ Category

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Maschine: What is it? An in depth look

May 6, 2009

ni_maschine

Finally merging a fast and intuitive groove-box workflow with the power and versatility of software, MASCHINE enables an inspiring and spontaneous creative approach for today’s computer-based music production setups.

MASCHINE is built on an intelligent combination of timeless groove box and drum machine workflows, systematically refined and expanded to take advantage of the best aspects of computer technology. It brings together flexible step sequencing and real-time polyphonic recording in a forward-thinking pattern-based arrangement concept that makes it easy to jam out ideas, and turn them into full-blown songs in a way that is efficient, effortless and fun. MASCHINE was designed to accommodate and facilitate inspiration at any point in the creative process, from spontaneous beat creation to sophisticated multi-timbral arranging.

The advanced MASCHINE controller was designed as a natural extension of the software, and makes the system feel and respond as a true instrument. The 16 pressure-sensitive drum pads have been carefully engineered for the best possible response and durability, and they illuminate to visualize sequence patterns and other crucial information.

Eight rotary encoders, a concise layout of dedicated buttons and dual high-resolution displays give immediate access to all functions of MASCHINE without touching the computer mouse or keyboard. By design, all features are quickly accessible “on the surface” rather than hidden away in hierarchical sub menus. The MASCHINE hardware also doubles as a powerful universal controller for any MIDI compatible music gear, thanks to an included MIDI mapping application and support of the MCU protocol for sophisticated DAW control.

Native Instruments Maschine

Based on a powerful high-resolution sample engine, MASCHINE is a versatile instrument that renders intricate drum kits and percussion, loops and multi-sampled polyphonic instruments with uncompromising sonic accuracy, assisted by automatic sample mapping, beat slicing, note repeat and more.

The advanced real-time audio recording and resampling features in MASCHINE also allow producers and performers to capture, map, sculpt and transform any external or internal signal immediately, and seamlessly integrate the result into a running track without ever breaking the flow of the music. Multiple performance effects sections on the sample, group and master level provide a versatile arsenal of 20 highquality algorithms ranging from conventional to experimental, all optimized for profound sound shaping and creative real-time control through the MASCHINE hardware.

MASCHINE lets everyone get into making music right away through its massive library of drum and instrument sounds for contemporary urban and electronic music styles, created in collaboration with international cutting-edge producers and sound designers.

Based on several GByte of studio-quality samples, the arsenal of MASCHINE provides hundreds of drum kits, synthesizer sounds and acoustic instruments, with around ten thousand individual sounds overall. All kits, instruments, samples and effects can be efficiently managed and located through a highly convenient browser that uses categories and concise metadata.

With MASCHINE, all crucial functions including parameter automation, sample mapping and sound editing are always immediately accessible through the controller and within the concise single-window user interface of the software. Usable both as a self-contained standalone instrument and within any DAW or music sequencer, MASCHINE utilizes all the benefits of computer integration like total recall, superior processing power, memory and file handling, project transfer and more, while retaining the inspirational handling and tactile appeal of a hardware instrument.

NI Maschine

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An in depth look an Ableton 8

May 5, 2009

New groove engine

Groove patterns dynamically influence the timing and velocity/volume of audio and MIDI material. This can add life and swing to straight patterns, give a track more drive, or lend a piece an easy, laid-back feeling.

groove_browser

Live 8 enhances Live’s existing groove power with some important new features:

  • Apply groove patterns to any audio or MIDI clips in real time. Change the feel of the whole piece or just selected clips.
  • Choose from an extensive library of groove patterns, captured from songs played by some of music’s most original, expressive and soulful drummers.
  • Extract groove patterns from any audio or MIDI source to build your own groove library from your favorite tracks.
  • Quantize audio and MIDI in real time: non-destructive velocity and timing adjustments for rhythmic correction.
  • Randomize audio and MIDI timing for a more human feel

New warping engine

Live 8 is the next logical step in warping evolution with a new, more intuitive warping paradigm and some important Warp Mode enhancements.

warping
  • New, intuitive warping allows you to adjust events on the timeline instead of stretching and squeezing the timeline around the events.
  • Transient handles: Live analyzes and assigns handles to the transients in audio files automatically.
  • Slice by transient: slice audio to MIDI based on Live 8′s new transient analysis.
  • Enhanced Beats Warp Mode for improved warping of percussive material and new control options.
  • Improved Complex Warp Mode using élastique Pro for warping complex, polyphonic material with fewer artifacts.

Looper

Looper brings the creative power of classic sound-on-sound looping to Live, without the limitations of a hardware device. Inspired by some of our favorite sample/delay devices plus a good deal of Ableton wizardry, Looper provides plenty of scope in a super-simple interface.

content
  • One-touch operation: Looper is set up for remote operation, so you can record, overdub, undo and more using a single footswitch (not included) and without touching the computer.
  • Endless overdubs, tape-loop style for infinite improv jams.
  • First loop sync: Live reads the tempo from the length of the first loop you record and automatically syncs up. This eliminates timing issues and lets you record without the click.
  • Simple loop management: drag and drop a loop from Looper into a clip slot to make a clip; drag a clip back again to reload it into Looper.
  • Multiple Looper sync lets you run as many Loopers as you want without any synchronization headaches.

New effects

Live 8 includes five powerful new effects, each with a strong personality and serious “classic” potential. These effects add a special Ableton shine to the well-known aspects of these devices, giving you effects that are not only practical and easy to use but also inspiring.

Vocoder: the famous “singing robot” effect. Vocoder is classic vocoding plus advanced, intricate control for flexibility and rich sound design.

vocoder

Multiband Dynamics: effective processing plus a refreshing approach to visualizing the dynamics involved lets you really see and hear what’s going on.

multiband_dynamics

Overdrive: models the circuits found in legendary stompboxes and forms a perfect complement to Saturator and Dynamic Tube.

overdrive

Limiter: an effective brick-wall limiter that will keep your peaks in check.

limiter

Frequency Shifter: frequency shifting and ring modulation for flange effects, atonal harmonics and the sound of Fifties science fiction.

freq_shifter

Workflow enhancements

Version 8 makes Live easier with a number of most-wanted enhancements and some deceptively simple detail work.

Crossfades in Arrangement View: This much requested feature gives you real-time, non-destructive crossfades, neatly integrated into Live’s familiar workflow.

crossfades

The enhanced MIDI editor now features step recording, an insert marker and editing improvements.

midi_editor

Group tracks let you group selected tracks (e.g. a group for drum tracks or a group for all backing vocals). Each group works like a separate mix buss with its own effects and routing settings. You can also collapse grouped tracks to preserve screen real estate.

group_track

Multi-parameter manipulation: want to lower the volume of six different tracks? No need any more to adjust six different faders; just select all six tracks and adjust one volume control.

multi_parameters

Magnify the user interface for optimal visibility on dark stages or hi-res screens. Zoom out for the big picture.

zoom

Browser waveform display: Audio and MIDI browser preview now with waveform display and scrubbing for more informed browsing and file selection.

browser_preview

Plug-in parameters: Improved configuration and control for plug-ins with numerous parameters.

plug_configure

And many more workflow improvements: Yes, that feature request you sent may well be in there somewhere…

New in Ableton Suite 8

Ableton Suite 8 is a package which gives you a rich world of sound, perfectly complementing the tools and features in Live 8. Suite 8 provides all the instruments a musician could hope for, including a wide range of synths, a powerful sampler, electric and acoustic drums, mallets, numerous sampled instruments: 10 instruments in all. Here’s what’s new in Suite 8.

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iPhone Roundup: Field Recording, DJ Tools, Odd iInstruments, Cinco de Mayo

April 29, 2009

fire

Now we’re talking: FiRe turns your iPhone into a serious recorder. No, really, a serious recorder – with advanced features and actual mic support.

Your pocket is bulging with power.

Anyway, the mobile software revolution continues. There’s so much stuff out there that it can actually be hard to track. Here’s a round-up to help you navigate everything that’s going on this week.

And even if you can’t stand another word about the iPhone, consider this: the explosion of iPhone software, more than just a fad, illustrates what happens when you give developers tools to make multimedia capabilities easier, then provide a distribution outlet. I don’t love everything about the iTunes approach, but those are lessons that could easily be learned in desktop and mobile development alike. The iPhone platform, if nothing else, is surprisingly uncompromising in the sound and visual interaction departments, especially for a mobile platform. And even desktop platforms could benefit from this kind of distribution mechanism (see also: Steam for games).

Also, we do have some of the first signs that the iPhone won’t be alone for long – new functionality on Google’s Android could take that platform in new directions. See my next story, Android/Linux/open source fans.

Disclaimer: don’t worry. I’m not giving up on desktop apps. Relax. In fact, even now as I look across these applications, while there are lots of cool ideas, it’s still clear this is a nascent area. The experience is nowhere near as rich as you get on the desktop. But it’s nonetheless worth exploring some of the ideas before we return to our (more powerful) desktop applications for music.

Field Recording, Microphones for iPhone + iPod touch

fire2

The big news this week was FiRe, which promises to be the “first professional field recorder” for the iPhone and iPod touch. The developer behind it is one of which we’re already big fans: Audiofile Engineering. AE make Wave Editor, which has rapidly become the secret weapon of choice for Mac audio producers and sound designers, as well as the batch-processing Sample Manager and adoptive parents of the excellent Rax plug-in host. Anything these guys do would get our attention, and then they go and add specs you wouldn’t expect to see on the iPhone:

  • Accurate real-time waveform display
  • Live, touch-controlled waveform navigation
  • Audio markers
  • Broadcast WAVE metadata
  • Instant downloading in multiple formats – and easy sharing via FTP, Web server, or even a SoundCloud account
  • Tag recordings with location data
  • Overdub mode
  • VU meters for input and output
  • Configurable time units
  • Mic flexibility: use Blue Mikey, Alesis ProTrack or even the internal mic

http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/

iTunes link (which is tricky to find otherwise)

Let’s just cut straight to it: this is, bar none, the most full-featured app out there. It’s the first one that would make me seriously consider using this platform for recording.

This, of course, raises the question of which mic you might want to use.

If you’re on the iPod touch, you don’t have even a built-in mono mic. (Don’t knock it: I’ve put together entire pieces based on simple mono mic samples. Creative sampling artists will use anything.)

Even on the first-generation iPod touch, you can use some simple solutions that will let you do basic sound.

The SmartTalk mic poses for the Smule blog.

The Smule blog has a terrific round-up of recommendations for touch owners wanting to use their Ocarina app. Their technical needs are much lighter than what you might need for FiRe, but this is still worth a look if you have any interest in recording at all:

Microphones for iPod Touch Ocarina

The Griffin SmartTalk wins out for 2G owners. I have Griffin’s TuneBuds mobile, which has worked well enough for applications like RjDj. (Note that Smule have managed to get their app working with the first-gen hardware; FiRe requires the newer generation.)

At the fancier end:

mikey

Blue Microphones’ Mikey is a slim-line stereo condenser capsule that plus into the iPod accessory port. It’s hinged so you can play with placement at least a little, and there’s basic gain control (3 settings). It runs about US$80 street, which means it doesn’t have to compete with standalone recorders. Update: Audiofile Engineering say they’ve seen some issues with FiRe and Blue Mikey, and can’t officially support the combination. Readers have had some issues themselves. If you’ve already got a Mikey, this might be worth a try, but otherwise, you can await updated information as Blue and Audiofile Engineering attempt to address the problem.

Specific update: The problem sounds as though it is the combination of the production Mikey with second-generation iPod touch units running the current OS. This is expected to be fixed with the next OS release. Stay tuned for more.

protrack

Tha Alesis ProTrack is even more impressive-looking, but at US$249 list, it does start to get into the realm of “you could just go buy a dedicated recorder.” The ProTrack extends the iPhone by adding a shell with an X/Y stereo mic pair – one that looks quite a lot like the Zoom H4 mics – and even has onboard XLR jacks and phantom power. You also get LED monitoring, a limiter, additional power (four AAA’s), a mic stand mount – basically, it turns your iPhone into a real mobile recorder.

The Alesis has its own app, but the Audiofile Engineering option is looking more powerful. Naturally, that’s the advantage of software – because the iPhone is essentially a computer, you can add whatever software you like.

h4n

I still think there’s a good place for a dedicated recorder. I’ve started testing the Zoom H4n,seenat right. (Not an iPhone hiding in a shell.) I’m already blown away – it corrects most of the navigation and quality issues with its predecessor, and unlike an iPod or iPhone, has fantastic battery life and onboard XLR input jacks. (Okay, the ProTrack does have XLR’s, so this is getting a little more interesting.) In other words, I’m not sure I’m giving up on dedicated recorders in favor of one of these yet. It’s still handy to have, though – and who says you can’t use both, given how essential it can be to have a backup recording in many situations?

Paul Van Dyk’s DJ Tools

This one was a bit of a surprise: Paul Van Dyk has released a DJ app, but it’s not just a quick, attention-grabbing, “DJ on your iPhone” gimmick. It’s more like a utility belt for DJs. I’m surprised to see that as a result it’s actually gotten some criticism. To me, finding some genuinely useful stuff you might want to have on your mobile device is the whole point.

What’s in there?

  • BPM counter
  • Frequency analyzer
  • Noise level (the “NYPD Application”), with an oddly beautiful visualization
  • Seismic reader (for testing your turntable, not for telling if there’s an earthquake happening – that you’ll probably figure for yourself)

And then some silly stuff, too – glow stick, anyone?

http://www.paulvandyk.com/

Not yet available – coming late May 2009

Nine Inch Nails App

ninaccess

NIN, of course, had their app become available on 4/14. There’s been quite a lot written about it – so much, in fact, that I feel like the whole thing is a bit overhyped. The basic development here is that NIN is taking all their fan data and making it location specific. On the upside, this is a lot more than many high-profile bands have done with iPhone development. But then, these guys should be doing more – they have the budget to hire real developers. I do like the idea of fans being able to interact on their mobile device; that clearly makes a lot of sense. But few artists will inspire the kind of loyalty NIN does, which means the real question is, will someone be able to build a platform for everyone else? And if you are a more obscure artist, what should you be doing?

The app is free, so just a conduit for fans, really.

iTunes link

http://www.nin.com/

Gestural Beat Sharing, Celebrate Cinco De Mayo

ZoozBeat is the application I looked at in the fall: the idea is to make musical improvisation more accessible by allowing people to use fun gestures, taps, and the like to assemble beats. The software is not only for iPhone, but the powerful Nokia N95, too.

That story is worth checking out from the perspective of gestural music in general, not just iPhone or mobile apps:

Gestures, Mobile Music, and the “Low Floor” for Novices: ZooZBeat on iPhone, Nokia

The latest news: the guys have gotten funding, for one. More importantly to end users, ZOOZ Mobile is adding a sharing component, much like what we saw with Smule’s Leaf Trombone. New upgraded software adds a Latin component with Samba and Tejano rhythms and is ready-to-go for Cinco de Mayo. Sounds great to me – and the Latin market has been oddly ignored by a lot of musicians and developers. There are also new Pop, Hip-Hop, and Techno beats.

http://www.myzoozbeat.com/

Unusual Instruments

lakepiano

You’ve got plenty of faux-808 apps for the iPhone now. Our friend Henry Lowengard is taking a very different tack, with drone-friendly creations and detuned pianos. He describes this as well as I could, so here’s what he writes to tell us about.

Imagine a piano in a summer home on a small lake, far in the north of the Northeastern United States. Imagine the piano sitting there for 60 or 70 years, untuned and unmaintained.
The naturally prepared timbres of the Lake Piano are now here for you, each missing felt, each individual nuance of the key action and character-filled tones. Briskly recorded one summer in lo-fi, these samples also contain sounds of children, cats, screen doors, and the summer breeze.

The first version of Lake Piano is relatively minimal, Henry says, played as a double row of scrolling piano keys and the ambient sounds stolen from a videotape he recorded. Henry promises more playability and more ambience in an upcoming upgrade, but you’ll get that automatically when it’s done, so you can always go play now.

Palm Recorders

Edirol R-09HR Including Free 4GB SD Card

The R-09HR is a professional, high-definition recorder that travels light and performs like a heavyweight. With crystal-clear 24/96 fidelity, the R-09HR is the new flagship of EDIROL’s award-winning R-series recorders. Features 24-bit/96kHz linear PCM high-resolution, low-noise recording and more! View details…

Line 6 BackTrack + Mic

Great songs begin with great ideas. Capture all your revelations, epiphanies and inspirations the moment they strike. Inspiration Insurance Inspiration is spontaneous, and BackTrack™ + Mic is your guitar’s instant replay button. Easy to use, BackTrack + Mic captures everything you play without ever hitting record. View details…

Zoom H4 4-Track Handy Digital Audio Recorder

The palm-sized Zoom H4 Handy Digital Recorder is ideal for recording live musical performances, interviews, podcasts, meetings, classes and seminars. The Zoom H4 records linear PCM at up to 24-bit/96-kHz sampling rates or compressed MP3 format at up to 320kbps bit rates. View details…

Zoom H2 Handy Recorder

The H2 will record via the integral one point stereo design microphone, and achieves the Mid/Side (MS) Stereo technique by using a 3 microphone capsule configuration and digital signal processing. Affordable and very versatile!  View details…

Yamaha Pocketrak 2G

There are so many compelling reasons to record band rehearsals or music lessons for later review that a portable recorder is an essential item. Recording conferences and meetings has become a matter of course too. Naturally, the smaller and lighter that recorder is, while delivering top-class sound quality, the better. View details…


Source: http://createdigitalmusic.com


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Cubase 5 Features Workshop with Steinberg Part 1

April 8, 2009
Visual Cubase 5

Cubase 5 – Advanced Music Production System

Dolphin Music recently had the opportunity of hosting the Cubase 5 tour. This evening offered  a one off workshop demonstrating the new advanced features of Cubase. Held in the sumptuous surroundings of the Leaf Cafe, Liverpool, we were one of the first to hear of all the exciting new additions to the worlds already most renowned sequencer.

tilttube

Cubase 5 comes with fully integrated new tools for working with loops, beats and vocals, such as LoopMash and VariAudio, combining with new composition features and the first VST3 convolution reverb to take musical creativity to new heights. With stunning innovations and additional enhancements that boost productivity and performance, Cubase 5 represents the absolute cutting edge in digital audio workstations.

cubase5po0

New Features in Cubase 5

Cubase 5 adds even more creative possibilities and new technologies to the world’s premier music production software developed by Steinberg — providing the finest tools to producers, composers and musicians in any musical genre. VariAudio and PitchCorrect provide integrated intonation editing for monophonic vocal recordings. Groove Agent ONE and Beat Designer change the game for beat creation, while the revolutionary LoopMash seamlessly blends loops, creating unimaginable variations. VST Expression tools for composers combine with the first VST3 convolution reverb and improved automation for more dynamic mixes. And an array of additional enhancements and 64-bit technologies boost performance — all designed to inspire further musical creativity and productivity.

Beat Creation and Loop Mangling

Cubase 5 features outstanding new tools for creating beats, generating exciting new rhythms and working with loops.

Vocal Editing and Pitch Correction

Cubase 5 comes with an amazing new toolset for perhaps the most important element in any song: the vocals.

New Dimensions for Your Mix

Cubase 5 has numerous new features that will help you bring new depth to your mix — in more ways than one.

Express Creative Visions

With Cubase 5, Steinberg has innovated even further to offer even more creative compositional tools.

Next-Generation Performance and Faster Workflow

Cubase 5 also includes an array of additional new ways of working faster, with added performance that takes advantage of new technologies.

Further Improvements and Added Value

Cubase 5 comes with redesigned and enhanced features plus many new handy tools and functions, making Cubase even more intuitive to use than ever before.

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Boss Loop Station Championships – All You Need Is Loop

March 31, 2009

Boss recently held their annual Loop Station Championships in Balham

On the night, the regional finalists performed one song each, drawing on voices, guitars and various other noise-making devices to wow the judges and entertain the crowd. The rules were simple: you must use a looping device to record/overdub – with nothing pre-loaded into it – and your track can be no more than five minutes long. Anything else goes.

In the end there was one clear winner: DubFX from Bristol whose vocal-only performance astounded and entertained in equal measure as he beatboxed, sang and synthed his way to the top spot. Check him out on YouTube to see what we mean – utterly amazing. DubFX bagged a voucher for £1,000 of Roland and Boss gear as his prize.

DubFX at The Bedford

The judges were unanimous in our decision because DubFX used the looping device – a Boss RC-50 – as a musical instrument rather than a mere gimmick. His intelligent song construction and arrangement – plus the fact it was a good song in the first place! – made him stand out. DubFX received his prize from The Bedford’s Tony Moore and Roland’s Kevin Steel.

Tony Moore, DubFX and Roland's Kevin Steel

Source: Guitarist
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New Aphex Twin Album On its Way

March 18, 2009

aphex-twin-windowlicker


Warp Records reveals Electronic pioneer’s new record is on the way

13 March 2009 – Experimental wizard Aphex Twin is notoriously reclusive when it comes to his music but 6 Music can reveal his new album’s in the works.

Steve Beckett, founder of Aphex’s parent label Warp Records, exclusively said: “We’re definitely going to be putting out a new album by him. Hopefully it will be this year, if I can prise it out of his hands. It’s definitely on its way.”

Recently Warp has brought us music by the likes of Jamie Lidell, Squarepusher as well as bands like !!!, Grizzly Bear and Maximo Park.

It is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with several big gigs in London, New York Tokyo and Paris and have already revealed that Richard James, better known as Aphex Twin, will be playing a show in the French Capital on 9 May.

His last release was in April 2006, titled Chosen Lords, a compilation of the Analord material.

“Hopefully it will be this year, if I can prize it out of his hands. It’s definitely on its way.”
Warp Records founder

Speaking about working with the influential artist, Beckett said: “He’s got his own unique view on life and obviously he’s just a genius musician and artist and it’s brilliant to work with him. He’s a genuine, English eccentric.”

However, the new material will be kept firmly under wraps until late in the recording process, continued Beckett.

“I don’t know a single note or anything about it,” he explained. “It will be as much of a surprise to me as anyone else.

“Basically I find out what it sounds like when we go into the mastering room and he puts it – well how it used to be, he’ll put the DAT player in and there it’ll be – so that’s the first time I’ll hear it.

“Then I’ll go onto my knees and thank him and then we’ll put it out.”

Speaking about the forthcoming shows, Beckett said he is thrilled with the final Paris line-up: “The big coup there is getting Aphex Twin to play so that was the one that we were really excited to pin down.”

Oh and let us not forget this quote from about 1997

“I really don’t use my tank much nowadays because it’s not where I live. It’s around my parents. I was in it a month ago.”

Source: BBC

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AmpliTube Fender®: The World’s Most Influential Guitar and Bass Tones On Your Desktop!

February 27, 2009

AmpliTube® Fender® is the first and only official guitar/bass Amp and FX software suite made by IK Multimedia in cooperation with legendary music icon Fender® Musical Instruments Corporation.

AmpliTube® Fender®

With a collection of 45 pieces of gear collected from the most sought after classic and modern Fender® amps (including the ’65 Twin Reverb®, ’57 Deluxe™, ’59 Bassman® LTD, ’64 Vibroverb® Custom, Super-Sonic™, Metalhead™ and many more), cabinets, stomp boxes and rack effects, AmpliTube Fender® sets a new standard for software amplifiers.

From guitar to bass, from Country to Blues and Rock, Punk to Metal, whatever style you play, AmpliTube Fender® is the only amp suite that gives you the world’s most influential guitar and bass tones right on your desktop.

Features:

  • Standalone and plug-in software for all platforms
  • 12 of the most influential guitar amps of all time
  • 12 original matching cabinets
  • 9 microphones
  • 6 signature classic stomp effects
  • 6 rack effects
  • Incredible tonal flexibility: mix and match amps, cabinets, mics and more
  • Sound-certified and approved by the tone gurus at Fender®
  • 5 separate modules: Tuner, configurable Stomp pedal board, Amp head, Cabinet+Mic and Rack Effects
  • 2 fully configurable rigs with up to 32 simultaneous effects
  • Digital Tuner
  • Standalone and VST/AU/RTAS plug-in
  • Includes SpeedTrainer™ and RiffWorks™ T4 Recording Software
  • Can be expanded with any “Powered by AmpliTube” models using AmpliTube X-GEAR
  • Can be controlled live with StompIO™, StealthPedal™ and any traditional MIDI controller
  • Hundreds of presets included with more that can be downloaded online
  • Powered by AmpliTube® with exclusive DSM™ (Dynamic Saturation Modeling) and VRM™ (Volumetric Response Modeling)

MORE INFO:

IK Multimedia AmpliTube Fender® Studio Software Amp and Effects Suite

IK Multimedia AmpliTube Fender® Software Amp and Effects Suite

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Alesis USB Pro Drum Kit – Professional USB Drumset

February 18, 2009

alesis-usb-pro-drum-kit

THE ONLY DRUMMER-FRIENDLY CONTROLLER
Just plug the Trigger|iO interface into your Mac or PC’s USB port, load up the included copy of FXpansion BFD Lite, and you’re ready to play. Because USB Pro Drum Kit is MIDI compatible, you can track a performance, and then go back afterward and tweak your sounds. Try that with acoustic drums!

USB Pro Drum Kit also opens up a new world of software including BFD, Toontrack, and Reason to drummers and producers looking for realistic drum performances.

ADVANCED DRUM PADS
USB Pro Drum Kit’s acoustic-feeling drum pads are built around 8? mylar drumheads and acoustic-dampening foam for quiet response. The snare and tom pads are dual-zone, enabling rimshot or rim-click sounds on the snare and additional sounds such as wind chimes, cymbals, gongs, and cowbells on the tom rims.

When they wear out, the drumheads can be replaced with any model you choose from any manufacturer. The heads are tunable with a standard drum key for adjustable tension and feel. The triple-flanged counterhoops are covered in removable, sound-reducing rubber sleeves, which further cut acoustic noise.

USB Pro Drum Kit includes a self-standing kick tower, to which any model of single or double-bass-drum pedal can be attached. The kick pad also features a tunable, 8? mylar playing surface.

CYMBALS WITH BUILT-IN TRIGGERS
USB Pro Drum Kit comes with our top-of-the-line SURGE Cymbal Pack with choke: the only serious choice in cymbals for triggering electronics. The kit comes with a 12? SURGE Hi-Hat Cymbal, a 13? SURGE Crash Cymbal with choke, and a 16? SURGE dual-zone Ride Cymbal with choke. Based around a true brass-alloy cymbal and coated with a clear sound-dampening layer, SURGE Cymbals feel like acoustic cymbals because they begin life as just that. The Crash and Ride cymbals feature large choke strips on the undersides for even more attention to accurate cymbal control. The Ride features dual-zone triggers for bell-clanging nuance. And the SURGE Hi-Hat Cymbal is continuously controllable using the included pedal.

alesis-surge-cymbals-300x187

SURE-GRIP HARDWARE
The fully adjustable rack is built of 1?-inch metal tubing, which is standard throughout the drum industry. It’s easy to expand USB Pro Drum Kit with any manufacturer’s clamps and mounts. All necessary clamps, professional ?-inch cables, and mounting hardware are included. All clamps adjust with the included drum key. Pad-mounting L-arms feature non-round arms to eliminate slippage from playing. All of the hardware on USB Pro Drum Kit is designed for sure grip and extensive adjustability.

No other drumset blends the realistic feel and touch, with the sonic and creative flexibility USB Pro Drum Kit.

Alesis USB Pro Drum Kit Features:

  • Five-piece electronic drumset: kick, snare, three toms, SURGE Hi-Hat, Crash, and dual-zone Ride Cymbals
  • 8? drum pads with tunable mylar drumheads for customizable feel
  • Brass-alloy SURGE cymbals are real cymbals with triggering
  • SURGE Cymbals feature exclusive sound-dampening layer to cut the acoustic noise
  • Dual-zone snare and tom pads enable access to a wide palette of sounds from a standard setup
  • Choke capability on SURGE Crash and Ride cymbals
  • Ultra-fast triggering and intuitive operation
  • Interface accommodates up to 10 inputs including continuous control hi-hat
  • Easy to expand with additional Alesis pads and SURGE Cymbals
  • Includes BFD Lite virtual drum-module with sound library
  • Practice quietly with headphones or connect to a PA to rock out loud

Alesis USB Pro Drum Kit INCLUDES:

  • Trigger|iO trigger-to-MIDI interface
  • 8? dual-zone snare pad
  • Three 8? dual-zone tom pads
  • Bass drum pad with tower and mount for single or double pedal (pedal not included)
  • SURGE 12? Hi-Hat Cymbal
  • SURGE 13? Crash Cymbal with choke
  • SURGE 16? dual-zone Ride Cymbal with choke
  • Continuous-control hi-hat pedal
  • Metal drum rack with 1?-inch tubing
  • Complete set of firm-grip hardware mounts
  • Complete set of connection cables
  • Drum key
  • Software CD with FXpansion BFD Lite
  • Owner?s manual

Alesis USB Pro Drum Kit Specifications:

  • USB Computer Interface
  • 10-1/4″ TRS Trigger Inputs
  • 1- 1/4″ TS input for Hi Hat Continuous control messages
  • 1- 1/4″ TRS input for up/down value footswitch
  • USB 1.1 Jack
  • 1 MIDI Output
  • 20- Presets (can be overwritten)
  • Controller remapping support
  • Trigger|iO Dimensions: 8.5 inch W x 5 inch D x 1.75 inch H
  • Trigger|iO Weight: 1 lb, 15 o
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Studies for two Yamaha TENORI-ON(s)

February 17, 2009

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Studies for two TENORI-ON(s) by Smith from Franck Smith on Vimeo.

A chap named Nick Ciontea has created a channel on Vimeo collecting odd videos folks have made with or regarding Moog products.

Artist “Smith” says:

This first test is a prepartory work to a series of solo pieces inspired by John Cage’s experiments for prepared piano and Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano studies.

Yes, things you don’t normally expect to go together: Cage/Nancarrow, Moog, Tenori-On. And he successfully erases the Tenori-On’s beautiful if predictable signature sound. This is what I imagine music boxes would sound like on Alpha Centauri. In other news: I can’t afford this rig.

- 2 TENORI-ON(s)
- MI Audio Pollyanna Octave Synth
- Moog Low Pass Filter (MF-101)
- Moog Ring Modulator (MF-102)
- Moog Bass Murf (MF-105b)
- Jomox M-Resonator
- Rotary Ensemble (Boss RT-20)
- Boss FV-500L (as expression pedal for LPF Resonance)
- Boss FV-500L (as expression pedal for RM Frequency)
- Boss EV-5 for Rotary Ensemble speed

But, involved as that is, it’s further evidence you can push sound in new ways. And if online videos do nothing else, they can lay the gauntlet down in terms of what you think possible – both by demonstrating the generic and the unusual.

Sorce: createdigitalmusic

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Artists Profile: Portishead, Orange Amps and Vintage Synths

January 28, 2009

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The members of Portishead — Beth Gibbons, Adrian Utley and Barrow — hadn’t made a proper studio record since 1997’s Portishead (Go! Discs/London), the follow-up to their own gi-normous debut, Dummy (Go! Discs/London, 1994), but they have been listening. Barrow didn’t like what he heard.

Portiheads Geoff barrow speaks his mind and appears to have held his tongue for the last few years…till now.

“[America's music] is s**t, isn’t it?” he continues. “The hip-hop artists are just rubbish. Jay-Z’s records always sound good, but he got the sack from Universal. If you end up with a country Britney, it doesn’t matter ’cause they’re all twats anyway. Timbaland came to England trying to find a Coldplay to produce. Everyone told him to f**k  off.  He went to America and got his own band and they are gi-normous, the most revolting people you have ever seen in your life. They are called Timbaland. We all like it underground but no one is buying it. Even Moby is struggling.”

Digital radar??

Working in a Radar 24 digital system, Portishead generally avoided direct sampling, instead creating its new nightmare scenarios with a combination of live and programmed drums (played by Barrow and Clive Deamer), guitar and a massive battery of modular-synth systems effected by a collection of ’60s and ’70s compressors and EQs, further warped by a Roland Space Echo. But it began with the group’s wholesale rejection of Pro Tools.

“When we began recording Third in 2005,” Barrow recalls, “Pro Tools sounded s**t. I would go into recording sessions where no one was listening — they would just be staring at a screen talking about a fu***g plug-in that sounded s**t. People were really excited when Pro Tools could reproduce the sound of a turntable stopping on a beat. That made me want to puke. They sorted it a year or so ago; now, Pro Tools sounds great, but it doesn’t create soul, it just creates nerds. Jay-Z’s albums always sounded good, but there was generally a lack of soul.

“But Radar is amazing,” he adds, offering a solution. “It makes you make decisions. When you record a bad saxophone solo on 138 channels, you can to listen to it forever in the [Pro Tools] mix. With Radar, you have 24 channels, like tape. So you have to make a decision. Also, Radar sounds not dissimilar from tape.”

“We used to have a tape machine, an Atari 1040 computer and a couple samplers,” Utley (guitars, synths, production) recalls. “We’d record live through nice equipment or terrible equipment. The difference with Radar is now we can capture audio on a hard-disk recorder and cut up things and have multitrack loops. We used to play a track and overdub or get people in to record, mix that, then cut it to vinyl, then sample that. Now we’re just playing straight to Radar, which sounds so good. Pro Tools|HD is up there now, but Radar sounds like tape. There is no sense of urgency — obviously, we took 10 years to make this record — but it really works for us.”

Writing and recording as far back as 2000 (“Nylon Smile”), Portishead met at Barrow’s SOA studio (called State of Art because it is anything but). Moving beyond their former roles, Gibbons brought in guitar riffs; Utley created noise and ideas from his ARP, Analogue Systems, Doepfer, EMS, Plan B and Moog modular synths; and Barrow recorded guitar and bass lines, as well as drum loops (created one drum and cymbal at a time). Barrow is not impressed with the general state of the plug-in, so Portishead avoided them.

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“When you listen to people who make interesting production records,” he says as he ascends the soapbox again, “they all sound like they’ve been made in a box. They’ve taken a plug-in, and when they get really crazy they stick it through an amp. For f**k’s sake, look at the people you really respect, and that just sounds boring. Music is so easy to distort or alter now. That is why the drums on this album are quite normal. I just want them to sound real and interesting rather than ‘plug-in interesting.’”

“Even from the early days, we wanted to achieve the same sound as now; it’s only 15 years on,” Utley adds. “It’s usually slightly disruptive and experimental and pushing a few boundaries. We use a mixture of extremely broken equipment and extremely rare equipment, like my valve [Neumann] U 47 and RCA ribbon mic; they have this warmth but also a fidelity that we would then completely deconstruct. It’s not all that stuff that you can hear on modern recordings. That’s not interesting to us.”

Orange Amps and Portishead

Orange Guitar Amp News: Portishead’s Adrian Utley (Orange Ade) talks Orange Guitar Amps:

“I’ve always been a huge fan of vintage amps,” Adrian explains, “but I haven’t been so happy with an amp as I have with my AD30 which I’ve used for everything ever since I first got it about four years ago. There’s something about that amp… I can mess with it and really change the sound and the gain structure of it – but I can do so really simply. In my extensive collection of about fifteen amps I’ve got a 1950s and a 1960s Fender Twin; an Ampeg Reverb; a 1950s Fender Tweed and some old AC30s. But the AD30 can produce all of those vintage sounds partly because I can drive it without going incredibly loud.”

Orange Guitar Amps have been used on Portishead’s recent album, Third. The track ‘The Rip’ neatly illustrates Adrian’s open-minded approach and attitude to recording the guitar:

“I have lots of acoustics and electrics. One of my main stage electrics is a 1964 Fender Jazzmaster and for acoustic I use a Brook homemade guitar (see photo) by a company from Dartmoor in England. But when we recorded ‘The Rip’  I used a beautiful little kid’s guitar that I bought in a junk shop for four quid. It had just the kind of different tone I’d been after for a quite a while. It cost another thirty pounds to have the frets sorted out and then I used it in the studio…recorded with a three-and-a-half grand mic!”

“My first perception of acoustic guitars was from records – and on records they never sound like they do when you’re in the room… they sound more spacious and have much more frequency. So for me to play a kid’s guitar means it’s got limited frequency range already when recording; so it gives space for loads of other stuff.”

At a recent festival, Adrian hired an Orange rig and for the first time ever used a 4×12 speaker cab:

“I’ve never used a 4×12 before in my life and what I found was that I could make it feed back in a more controlled way which was really good.” How did you first hear about Orange Guitar amps?

“I remember Orange from the 1970s when I was beginning – quite a few friends had them. But those old 120-watt ones were way too loud for me. Then a few years ago I was doing a session for Marianne Faithfull which Polly Harvey was producing and she had an AD30 with a 2×12 cab and I used hers in the studio. It was so totally brilliant – and not just for guitar… we played bass through it for certain things and that also sounded great.”
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Another thing that’s quite extreme and unmissable about Portishead’s backline is Adrian’s customised Orange 2×12 Cab:

“I wanted to have a loud speaker cab – that’s two separate words [laughs] – and so I asked Jim Barr who plays bass with us, to spray-paint a design on the speaker grille. I really like what he came up with and in a weird kind of way it fits in with the pictures you get on old Orange amps – the mountains for the echo and stuff.”. Jim Barr explains more about his artwork: “I did it with masking tape and a can of spray paint and I used my imagination a little bit and wanted something to look like a picture of loudness. I could waffle on about all kinds of arty stuff like German expressionism – bit I won’t [laughs] ! We sprayed the whole grille black, then put on the masking tape and sprayed over with matt white car primer. It took about twenty minutes all in all.”
Watch this amazing live set from 2008 or Portishead in Portishead

Source :Orange Amps
remixmag.com

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