Archive for the ‘Artists Profiles’ Category

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Bob Dylan went unrecognised during a trip to John Lennon’s home.

May 12, 2009

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We hear that Bob Dylan toured Mendips, John Lennon’s childhood home, while in Liverpool last week. According to the story that guides told visitors, he showed up at the house late in the day. He supposedly commented that some things, like the unheated bedroom, reminded him of his house in Minnesota.

The music legend wasn’t spotted by fellow visitors as he joined a £16 excursion to the late Beatles star’s childhood house.

The ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ singer was in Liverpool as part of his current world tour and a spokesperson for National Trust – who own and maintain the modest semi-detached property – admitted the organisation was stunned to be asked to accommodate him.

The representative said: “We couldn’t believe it when his agent rang us and asked if we could get Bob on one of our tours to see John’s house.

“He spent ages going through photo albums and all the memorabilia. He’s definitely the biggest celebrity we’ve ever had on our tours.

“But incredibly no one else recognised him.”

According to sources, Dylan said the 1940s home Lennon shared with his aunt Mimi and uncle George was similar to his own “modest” upbringing.

He was said to be particularly “enthralled” by the musician’s bedroom, where he wrote many early Beatles hits.

Dylan – who was a member of supergroup the Travelling Wilburys along with late Beatle George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Electric Light Orchestra star Jeff Lynne in the 1980s – recently revealed he wants to duet with John’s former songwriting partner Sir Paul McCartney.

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The 68-year-old musician said: “That would be exciting to do something with Paul. But you know your paths have to cross for something like that to make sense.”

Friends say 66-year-old Paul – who has previously worked with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello and recently declared the folk star his favourite living songwriter – would love to take up the offer.

A source said: “This would obviously be a major moment in musical history if Bob and Paul got together and it’s quite likely that Paul will be interested.”

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Beatles: Rock Band guitars announced. Replica Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars will be made available as standalone music peripheral controllers!

May 12, 2009

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Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet to be made available as standalone controllers

Harmonix, MTV Games and Electronic Arts have announced that replica Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars will be made available as standalone music peripheral controllers for The Beatles: Rock Band.

The Beatles: Rock Band will allow fans to pick up a guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles’ extraordinary catalogue of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band’s legendary career. It will be available simultaneously worldwide in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other territories on September 9th 2009.

The Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars are hailed as two of the signature, most celebrated instruments played by John Lennon and George Harrison throughout their careers, respectively.They will be made available at a retail price of £89.99 in the UK.

These wireless instrument controllers join the previously announced Höfner bass controller, a large-scale replica of the bass famously used by Sir Paul McCartney, and the Ringo Starr inspired and Ludwig-branded Rock Band 2 drums, with a classic pearl finish and vintage replica Beatles kick drum head. All controllers will be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Playstation 3, Wii and will be compatible with all Rock Band titles.

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Glade 2009 Festival Details!

May 8, 2009

Glade 2009!

HEADLINERS:
UNDERWORLD (UK FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE)
BOOKA SHADE
SQUAREPUSHER
JUAN ATKINS (UK FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE)
MUTANT CLAN AKA TIMO MAAS & SANTOS DAVE CLARKE
FREELAND (ADAM FREELAND LIVE)

PLUMP DJS / KRAFTY KUTS / VENETIAN SNARES / RUSKO LIVE / JAPANESE POPSTARS / THE QEMISTS / FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE / NITIN SAWHNEY FINLEY QUAYE / DIGITAL MYSTIKZ / KID 606 / ATOMIC DROP / ANTIX / RENNIE PILGREM & MC CHICKABOO / THE BAYS FEAT. BEARDYMAN / TRISTAN / PERFECT STRANGER / PAUL TAYLOR / KASEY TAYLOR / LUCAS / LURK / EARTHLING / CHROMATONE SENSIENT / DICK TREVOR / DIMITRI / / ISHQ / WATERJUICE / KUBA LIVE / DJ ZINC / DEEKLINE & WIZARD / JAY CUNNING / VENT / STEREO: TYPE / THE EGG / LOS ALBERTOS / ORCHESTRA DEL SOL / TRAGIC ROUNDABOUT / GADJO / THE CORRESPONDENCE / JIM MASTERS / DURAN DURAN DURAN / FAR TOO LOUD HEXIDECIMAL / TODDLA T / TAYO / NAPT
+ more to be confirmed!

After months of nail biting anticipation, Glade Festival 2009 are proud to announce a cracking line-up with lots more news to follow. The electronic festival – which takes place at a new site near Winchester from Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th July 2009 – will feature an exclusive UK festival performance from dance dons Underworld, world music by the likes of Femi Kuti, a live set from dubstep’s brightest star Rusko, a debut set from techno God Juan Atkins and The Qemists to name a few….

Thanks to its new home near Winchester (the secret location will be revealed to ticket holders nearer the time), Louder, Later and Longer is what you’ll get at this year’s Glade Festival, which moved from its previous home at Wasing Estate due to crippling noise restrictions.

In addition to the belting line-up, Glade Festival will also be unveiling two new areas at this year’s event. First up is the Carmaggedon area – a post apocalypse space which will house multiple venues hosted by Breaksday, Overkill, NSB.co.uk (formerly Nu Skool Breaks) and Cool & Deadly (hosted by Fabric dubsteppers Dublime and Kiss’ Jay Cunning). The area will also feature mind bending art from Nevada’s Burning Man Festival, the scrap yard regeneration creations of the Mutoid Waste Company and the twisted cabaret of the Interstella Circus.

Avalon is another new creation this year and is conceived as a festival within a festival – dedicated to a Psytrance way of life and attitude to living, as much as partying. Psytrance was born from the international alternative and psychedelic scene in the late 60s – which is now alive and well in places as far apart as Brazil, Japan, California and India. And in Avalon it has its UK home at Glade Festival 2009. You’ll find an area where music, art and all forms of expression, thrive and connect at what is undoubtedly the UK’s highpoint of the Psytrance movement.

And if that wasn’t enough, our friends from BLOC (from BLOC Weekend) host the Vapor Stage – the late night techno stage. The Glade Stage makes a welcome return in all its glory and will feature an amazing variety of live acts including world music for the first time on Sunday.

Visually Glade Festival 2009 will have a look and feel of Mad Max meets Alice in Wonderland. They’re cranking up the wow factor with surreal 3D installations to create 3D otherworldly spaces.

Watch this space for information on two other new areas – in addition to more exciting features.

Glade Festival 2009 will soon be launching their new flash website, which will have a stage by stage breakdown of all the areas, including information on all the acts and promoters we’re working with.

In a move to help the recession blues tickets are on sale now for a very reasonable £125 (the same price as last year). Glade Festival is also running a Student Initiative for a limited period only where students can buy tickets for a mere £99 from now until 31st March 2009. All tickets include free on-site camping. Camper & caravan tickets cost an additional £45. Details of the VIP Tepee camping area will be announced soon.

Glade Festival won Best Dance Festival at this year’s UK Festival Awards and is a 10,000 capacity event, visited by dance music and free spirited aficionados from around the world. Glade Festival is known as one of Europe’s best underground electronic festivals and will celebrate its sixth birthday in 2009 after starting life as part of Glastonbury festival (of which it is still a part of).

Glade Festival will have more artist details up on their new website

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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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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Whether you’re 5 or 95, you can benefit mentally, physically and socially from playing a musical instrument

May 5, 2009

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Everyone knows that playing musical instrument is fun and entertaining.  But did you also know that playing music is scientifically proven to benefit peope of all ages.

Children and Teens — Playing music positively affects the development of children’s cognitive skills.  It builds confidence, self-discipline and inspires creativity.  Also playing music can increase productivity and help kids and teens connect socially with their peers.

Adults and Seniors — Playing excercies the brain and helps fight memory loss.  It helps reduce stress and lower blood pressure.  And it can stave off depression and loneliness.

Science says there are good medical reasons to play…

  • Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level, according to studies conducted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems (as published in Medical Science Monitor)
  • Making music can help reduce job burnout and improve your mood, according to a study exposing 112 long-term care workers to six recreational music-making sessions of group drumming and keyboard accompaniment. (as published in Advances in Mind-Body Medicine)
  • Playing music increases human growth hormone (HgH production among active older Americans.  A study following 130 people over two 10-week periods measured participants’ levels of HgH.  The findings revealed that the test group who took group keyboard lessons showed significantly higher levels of HgH than the control group people who did not make music. (University of Miami)
Music lessons: Take up an instrument to enrich your life, mind thumbnail

You’ve decided to invest in music lessons for your child – not because you believe they’ll ever grace the professional stage, but because of the many other ways music can enrich a person’s life.

Or maybe as an adult you finally have the desire to commit to an instrument in a way you never did as a somewhat scattered 12-year-old.

Learning an instrument takes a fairly substantial commitment of time and money to realize those sought-after benefits – poise, discipline and better concentration, to name a few. So here are several important tips that can help the budding musicians in your house get more out of their musical education.

Gallup was commissioned by the National Association of Music Merchants (Namm) in the US to carry out a survey, which revealed 97 per cent of people either strongly or completely agree that music can help to develop creativity.

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In addition, 96 per cent feel playing in a school band can assist children to develop team working skills, while 93 per cent believe music can help them to make friends.

A further 88 per cent said music can boost school performance and 94 per cent think it can help kids to relax.

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Why not take advantage of our FREE Dolphin Music Lesson Blogs.

These are user generated videos picked by us here at Dolphin Music to save you time trawling the Internet for hours….

Have a go today!

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Get in touch on our forums and visit our artist pages

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Kings Of Leon write songs in GarageBand, plus GarageBand ’09 An in Depth Look again

April 30, 2009
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Matthew (left) and Caleb (third from left) use GarageBand at the start of the creative process.

Kings Of Leon are no strangers to high-end recording studios, but in their recent interviews with MusicRadar, band members Matthew and Caleb Followill revealed that many of their songs begin their lives in Apple’s GarageBand.

Speaking about the process of coming up with new guitar licks, lead guitarist Matthew said: “If it’s really good I’ll pull up GarageBand on my computer. It’s awesome for musicians.

“If you’re in a hotel room and you have your computer it’s got an internal mic. You just press record and do whatever you want – you can cut it up and put it into pieces. It’s great – I love everything about it.”

The star also recognises GarageBand’s potential as a full-on production tool, saying: “It’s just so easy to work – and if you really get into it you can even make a whole song, even a whole album if you have to.”

Matthew’s cousin Caleb seems to be equally keen on Apple’s software, saying that he uses it to come up with songs ideas to play to the rest of the band.

Kings Of Leon are just the latest act to reveal that they demo new material in GarageBand, with the likes of Oasis, Fall Out Boy and Justice confirming their use of it in the past.

GarageBand ’09: An in Depth Look

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Make and learn music with the latest GarageBand

Unless you have an active interest in producing podcasts or creating a musical score, it’s likely you’ve opened GarageBand once and then never bothered with it again. Of all the programs that make up the iLife suite, none is more overlooked than this application. And, given its original focus, that’s not too surprising. Making music requires a skill not common in the general population of computer users.

Lessons are well presented and move quickly toward learning songs; multiple views in lessons; guitar amps and stomp boxes are intuitively presented and sound good; Magic GarageBand supports recording; interface reorganization makes it easier to locate features.

No MIDI control of stomp boxes; can’t have more than one GarageBand project open at a time; no improvement in notation printing from last version.

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And so, with each version, Apple tries to explore a different angle, hoping to bring in a new audience for GarageBand. Two versions ago, with GarageBand 3 (), it was podcasting. In GarageBand ’08 (), Apple introduced Magic GarageBand, a feature that allows you to jam along with a canned band. With GarageBand ’09, the new lure is guitar and piano lessons—nine basic lessons for budding musicians as well as a handful of optional artist lessons for learning specific songs by such well-known musicians as Norah Jones, John Fogerty, and Sting.

Veteran GarageBand users who’ve already mastered their axes aren’t left out of the mix. Guitar players now have the opportunity to play through five newly modeled amplifiers and a host of stomp box audio effects. Players who were frustrated by Magic GarageBand’s inability to record what they noodled will be pleased to learn that recording is now part of the magic. And, regardless of who opens the application, users will discover a redesigned interface that makes existing features easier to find.
Lessons learned

The marquee feature of GarageBand ’09 is Learn to Play, the application’s basic and artist piano and guitar video lessons. GarageBand ’09 includes the first basic guitar and piano lessons. You can obtain eight additional free lessons for each instrument by choosing the Lesson Store entry in the New Project window, selecting the Basic Lessons tab, and then clicking the Download button next to the lessons you want to download from the Internet. Artist lessons are obtained similarly, but cost $5 each. Unfortunately, these lessons work only on Intel Macs with a dual-core processor, though the rest of GarageBand ’09 works with PowerPC-based Macs.

Each basic guitar and piano lesson is taught by “Tim,” an approachable instructor who begins with the physical layout of each instrument and, in later lessons, walks through the basics of playing the instruments. For the piano lessons this includes left and right hand notes and fingering, sharps and flats, rhythm, major and minor chords, and scales. The guitar lessons include basic major and minor chords, major and minor barre chords, strumming, single note melodies, and power chords.

Nearly every lesson ends with a song that you’re welcome to play along with. Each lesson also includes a Play section that allows you to play along with the teacher (and record what you play). The lessons are nicely produced, well paced, and presented in a way that you can easily zero in on exactly what you’d like to see. You can, for example, use the Mac’s number keys to switch views. In the piano lessons, nearly every view includes Tim at the top of the window and a keyboard at the bottom. But you can switch views to see the treble clef, bass clef, grand staff (both clefs), or chords in between Tim and the keyboard. In the guitar lessons, there’s Tim above and a fretboard below with switchable views that include guitar chord boxes, chords, tablature, and notation. Lefties can also change the orientation of the fretboard at the bottom of the screen.
You can view the instructor, instrument, and music in a variety of ways.

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When Tim plays, you can see what he’s playing reflected on the piano keyboard or fretboard at the bottom of the screen—when he places his third finger on E above middle C, for example, a blue 3 appears on the keyboard’s E key. It works similarly on the fretboard—when he fingers a chord, those frets associated with the chord gain a blue dot and the strummed strings vibrate.

When you plug a MIDI keyboard into your Mac, it becomes available to GarageBand, allowing you to play a piano sound within the lessons. If you’re using a guitar, you tell GarageBand whether you have an electric guitar plugged into an audio interface attached to your Mac or you’re using an acoustic guitar and a microphone. GarageBand will record it accordingly. You can switch on a metronome as well as slow down the speed of the music so it’s easier to play in time (when you adjust the tempo, Tim’s voice is muted). You can also change the sound mix, adjusting the teacher’s voice, teacher’s instrument, the band (and each instrument within the band), and the volume of your instrument. You can also loop sections of lessons so you can repeatedly practice them.

The Artist lessons are just as beautiful to look at and offer the same kind of interactivity. The teaching ability of the artists varies—some are more thorough instructors than others. Norah Jones, for example, speaks as if she’s had formal musical training and explains the way she voices her chords by describing their position (root, first, or second position). One Republic’s Ryan Tedder doesn’t offer this level of detail but rather shows you how he plays a particular chord. Sting assumes you know how to make more complex chords on the guitar and so simply tells you the chord names and shows you how to finger them. Not surprisingly, none of the artists completely agree on technique so you may see them do something—finger a chord, for example—that contradicts something Tim has taught you.

Some of the artist lessons are offered in both Simple and Advanced versions, allowing both beginning and experienced musicians to get some enjoyment from them. And each artist lesson includes a video of the artist speaking about the song or another subject close to their heart. (Norah Jones doesn’t touch on her song at all, for example, but rather discusses the advantage of hauling a relatively portable Wurlitzer electric piano to a gig versus the back-breaking Fender Rhodes.)
Getting you started

GarageBand’s approach to teaching piano and guitar is an intriguing one—providing enough information to have you playing a song as quickly as possible. It’s a great approach for giving nascent players the kind of success they need to keep at it, but there are compromises as well. Some subjects aren’t covered very deeply and, of course, there’s no one standing over you to check on what you’re doing. But depth isn’t what Learn to Play is about. Rather, it’s a starting point for learning to learn how to play.

Fortunately, you have other choices as GarageBand ’09 isn’t the only instructional game in town. You can get more in-depth computer-based lessons from iPlayMusic, iPerform3D, and eMedia Music. And iVideosongs offers some beautifully filmed artist lessons. (I discuss some of these and other instructional methods in Learn to Play an Instrument.) Of course, there’s still no substitute for a real teacher who can give you customized assignments based on your ability.
Rock on

In previous versions of GarageBand, you could play real instruments through the program’s amplifier simulations (or apply those simulations after the fact) as well as apply effects to that instrument. But many people missed these features as they weren’t easy to find. GarageBand ’09 includes interface changes that make many features more obvious (as I discuss later), and none more so than the guitar amps and effects. Not only did GarageBand’s designers bring these guitar features to the fore, but they completely rebuilt the amps and effects from the ground up.

These features are found in the new Electric Guitar tracks. These tracks are real instrument tracks that place one of five amp models (modeled after Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Vox, and Fender Combo and Tweed amps) front and center. You can easily change amps as well as adjust the settings of each amp—the amps carry knobs for adjusting Gain, Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence, Master, Output, Reverb, Tremolo Rate, and Tremolo Depth. (Those who find adjusting virtual knobs clumsy with a mouse will be happy to learn that you can click on a knob and then twist it by moving a mouse’s scroll wheel up or down.) You can also edit the amp’s master echo and reverb settings. The work that went into these amp models is apparent—they sound very much like the real deal, complete with noise when you’ve cranked them up.

The new Electric Guitar tracks support modeled amps and stomp box effects.

Electric Guitar tracks use stomp box effects—effects modeled after the small effect boxes that routinely litter the floor around electric guitar players. Stomp boxes include Phaser, Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Chorus, Flanger, Vibrato, Filter, Delay, and Sustain. You can have as many as five stomp boxes at a time and changing the position of where the stomp boxes appear in the interface changes the sound coming from the track (so the boxes work in serial order). Each stomp box includes an On/Off switch as well as knobs for adjusting the parameters of the effect. The stomp boxes also sound very much like the real deal.

You’re welcome to create your own arrangement of amps and stomp boxes, but before you do you might care to try one of the 37 included presets. If you want to sound like The Edge from the early ’90s, for example, choose Dublin Delay. Dick Dale wannabes can dial in Surf, which features the Combo amp with a fair bit of amp reverb and tremolo and a Sustain stomp box.

Before you toss your outboard gear in favor of GarageBand’s amps and stomp boxes, note this crucial omission—like much of the rest of GarageBand, amps and stomp boxes can’t be controlled via MIDI, and that’s a shame. Guitar players like to kick in effects as they play and the only way to do that in GarageBand ’09 is to take your hand off the guitar and click a stomp box’s virtual buttons. You can control parameters for stomp box effects after the fact using GarageBand’s automation controls, but it’s not the same thing. Electric Guitar tracks demand some way to stomp a real switch while you’re playing and a MIDI controller is the means. It’s time, Apple.
Additional enhancements

Magic GarageBand has seen some needed improvements. While the band is still limited to the same nine songs as before, you can now record what you play and export that recording as a multitrack project in the usual GarageBand interface. You also have the ability to shuffle the backing instruments by clicking anywhere other than on an instrument. This makes for some unexpected (and sometimes welcome) combinations. You can also now mix the levels of each instrument as well as quickly mute or solo each one with the click of a button. And you can choose any software instrument sound you like as your instrument when playing through a MIDI keyboard. You’re no longer limited to a handful of instruments as you were in GarageBand ’08.


Magic GarageBand now lets you record your part and mix the band.

Finally, Apple has rejiggered the look of GarageBand in helpful ways. It now bears the same gray tone as Aperture () and Logic (). The New Project window contains a broader variety of projects including Piano, Electric Guitar, Voice, Loops, Keyboard Collection, Acoustic Instrument, Songwriting, Podcast, and Movie, making it easier to start with a template configured for the kind of project you want to create. For example, choose Podcast and the resulting GarageBand window is populated with Podcast, Male Voice, Female Voice, and Jingles tracks. (Regrettably, you still can’t have more than one GarageBand project open at a time.)

When you add a new track, you see a redesigned window that lets you easily choose a Software Instrument, Real Instrument, or Electric Guitar track. Loops are now found on the side of the main window rather than below. Effects are no longer hidden at the bottom of the Info pane but rather available from an obvious Edit tab in the Info pane. And text is larger throughout the interface. Taken together, it’s easier on the eyes as well as easier to find the functions you’re after. Veteran GarageBand user though I may be, with the new interface I was able to find features I’d forgotten existed.
Macworld’s buying advice

As a musician and podcaster, GarageBand remains one of my favorite iLife ’09 applications—I’m able to pull compelling results from the program without a lot of work or worry. Nothing about the latest version changes that. What GarageBand ’09 brings to the table is the possibility that more people—specifically those looking to get some use from a guitar or keyboard crammed in a closet or electric guitar players seeking a more authentic sound—will stick around for a second look.

Souce:musicradar

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Atmospheric images of Liverpool’s youthful and exhilarating post-punk era

April 29, 2009

Atmospheric images of Liverpool’s youthful and exhilarating post-punk era feature in a new exhibition by photographer Francesco Mellina at the National Conservation Centre from 1 May to 31 August 2009.

Sound and Vision: Music and Fashion photographed by Francesco Mellina, Liverpool, 1978-82 showcases 60 photographs – most of them previously unseen.

The exhibition reveals a unique visual record of the city’s music and fashion scene, capturing the striking individuality and self-expression of gig-goers and acts in this pivotal era from New Wave to the New Romantics and Rockabillies.

Featuring  iconic Liverpool bands and artists such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Pete Wylie and Pete Burns, Mellina’s photographs document key gigs and music venues of the time, along with many more names who went on to achieve worldwide status including Roxy Music, The Clash and The Ramones as well as artists such as Mick Hucknall and U2 who were opening support acts at the time.

As well as being a photographer, Mellina also managed Liverpool band Nightmares in Wax, who later became Dead or Alive. This established him on the music scene and uniquely positioned him to intimately capture bands and fans alike through his pictures.

The exhibition offers a unique visual record of the edgy fashion and music trends that were created, nurtured and encouraged in Liverpool during the late 70s and early 80s. Pauline Rushton, the exhibition curator,  says:

“Liverpool’s difficult times bred creativity in both music and fashion while the city was in the grip of economic decline. Teenagers’ antidote to life on the dole and low wages was to embrace music and fashion, seeing it as a means to express themselves.”

Followers of the emerging music scenes had their own look and fashion sense.  Their distinctive outfits could not be bought ready-made, so were carefully put together and developed to produce individual looks.

“It is fitting for National Museums Liverpool to display Francesco’s work as the exhibition is unique to Liverpool and captures a time that no other city can lay claim to.”says Pauline.

Mellina captures these distinctive styles and creations giving fascinating glimpses and rare insights into a time that many still try to imitate but can never truly replicate.

This is the first time Mellina has displayed his work on such a large scale, he says:

“Although Italian, I consider myself an honorary Scouser. I love the city and it has been my home and creative inspiration for many years. I couldn’t play an instrument and I couldn’t sing but my photography was my contribution to the cultural and artistic scene so to be able to display my work in the city is a huge thrill.”

Francesco Mellina was born in Polistena, Calabria, southern Italy, in 1952. He taught himself English by listening to early Beatles and Rolling Stones records before setting off, aged 16 on a tour of Europe that would see him eventually settle in Liverpool in his early 20s. Francesco trained in photography at Liverpool Art School, now part of Liverpool John Moores University. In the 1970s he went on to manage the Liverpool band, Nightmares in Wax – later re-named Dead or Alive – and he also set up Black Eye Records. Mellina was also nationally recognised and regularly contributed to magazines such as The Face, Smash Hits, Melody Maker and NME

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