Archive for the ‘Drum Machines’ Category

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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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Cubase 5 Features Workshop with Steinberg Part 1

April 8, 2009
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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.

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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.

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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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AKAI release Vintage Beat Machines for MPC

March 17, 2009

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Fat kicks and raw snares.

Vintage Beat Machines is a a sample library for MPCs containing all kinds of classic drums and percussion sounds. You’ll find some of the most common sounds, and some sounds you’ve likely never heard before. These sounds are from drum machines, beat and rhythm generators, and other synthesizers dating from the 1980s all the way back into the 1960s!

These sounds have the less-refined, more raw sound qualities that many producers prefer for their drums. Until now, building a library of these classic sounds has meant locating expensive and rare equipment – a time-consuming and costly process. With the Vintage Beat Machines Sample Pack for MPC, you’ll have everything you need in a single, affordable download.

According to the manufacturer, this sample pack works with all MPC models and contains samples and analog synthesis-based sounds from nearly all well-known units dating back to the 1960s.

This sample pack works with all MPC models and contains samples and analog synthesis-based sounds from more than 55 different beat machines.

  • Sample library for all MPC models
  • Classic drum and percussion sounds from drum machines, beat and rhythm generators, and other synthesizers
  • Less-refined, more raw sound qualities
  • Samples and analog synthesis-based sounds
  • Sound from from more than 55 different beat machines
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Tascam DP-004: 30 years after the first Portastudio

February 24, 2009

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Thirty years ago, Tascam were pioneers of a new market: home recording. With their Portastudio products, they brought simple, accessible recording to the masses, and gave thousands of bands and instrumentalists the tools to capture tracks in their garages and bedrooms.

TASCAM’s DP-004 Digital Pocketstudio is based on 30 years of easy-to-use cassette Portastudios, updated with four tracks of CD-quality digital recording. Like those groundbreaking Portastudios, a row of knobs set levels and pan instead of a list of menus.

The DP-004 can record two sources at once to the included 1GB SD Card. A built-in stereo condenser microphone makes it simple to record anywhere you go, perfect for concerts, rehearsals and songwriting inspirations. A pair of 1/4″ jacks on the rear panel allow you to connect your own microphones or sources. You can even switch the inputs to guitar level for recording.

The DP-004 allows you to build up your arrangement until you’ve filled up all four tracks. The Bounce feature allows you to consolidate tracks and make room for more overdub layers. Also available is an autopunch feature for fixing problems, track editing and an undo function.

Mixing is also built into the Digital Pocketstudio. Once you set levels and pan, record your mix onto a dedicated stereo master track. You’re able to transfer your tracks and mixes to a computer over USB 2 for CD burning and sharing online.

Despite its go-anywhere compact design – smaller than a paperback book – the DP-004 is simple enough for students, songwriters and musicians who want to keep their recording process simple and creative.

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Connections:

  • Two 1/4″ unbalanced mic/line inputs
  • Switchable guitar input
  • Headphone/Line output
  • USB 2.0 connector

Recording:

  • Four-track digital multitrack recording
  • CD-quality 44.1kHz/16-bit WAV recording
  • Records to SD Card media (1GB card included)
  • Autopunch, repeat and record undo
  • Dedicated stereo mixdown track

Physical:

  • Powered through AA Batteries or optional PS-P520 power adapter
  • Battery life: About 8 hours recording, about 8.5 hours playback (alkaline batteries)
  • Dimensions: 6.1″ W x 1.3″ H x 4.2″ D (155mm W x 33.5mm H x 107mm D)
  • Weight: 2.8 oz (360 g, w/o batteries)

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Akai MPK25 Portable Keyboard Controller with MPC Pads – Coming soon

February 20, 2009

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Portable performance and production.

The Akai Professional MPK25 is a portable keyboard controller with MPC production controls. Based closely on the MPK49, the first keyboard ever to feature MPC pads, the MPK25 scales down the keyboard by 24 keys and retains the utility, capability, and flexibility that makes the MPK49 one of the world’s hottest keyboards.

Its smaller, more portable size makes the MPK25 the perfect travel companion. Its small footprint can fit in your lap on the couch or on a plane, enabling you to create tracks whenever inspiration strikes. All you need is your laptop and the MPK25.

CREATIVE INPUT
MPK25 combines a 25-key keyboard and 12 genuine MPC pads. The keyboard is semi-weighted and features aftertouch for expressive melodic control. The MPC pads are pressure and velocity-sensitive to capture every nuance of your creative concepts. The pads can access four banks of sounds, so you have 48 samples at your fingertips with the touch of a button.

MPK25 places dedicated transport controls within your reach for easy control of some of the most important tracking and editing controls. The MPK25 has modulation and pitch-bend wheels for expressive musicality, and two assignable footswitch inputs enable you to connect an expression pedal or other continuous controller and a footswitch for momentary controls like patch change or start/stop.

Q-LINK COMMAND
One of the most important input devices on an MPC is its Q-Link assignable control section. The MPK25 gives you twelve virtual knobs and four virtual buttons that are assignable to control nearly any software parameter. You can control two different parameters per Q-Link thanks to the knobs’ dual-bank selection.

EXPRESSIVE ENGINE
Two technologies pioneered in the MPC series and built into the MPK series are MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing. These note-modifying features can be heard in many of the most popular tracks over the last two decades. MPC Note Repeat is a capability that enables the MPK (or MPC) to automatically play a rhythm pattern, such as 16th notes on a hi-hat, for accuracy and speed of entry. MPC Swing is sometimes referred to as “the heart and soul of hip hop” because it turns perfectly aligned sequences into human feeling time alignments. You can specify exactly the degree and timing of swing you want to apply for the perfect feel.

On top of MPC technologies, the MPK25 has its own arpeggiator, which enables you to create quick, creative riffs in seconds.

MPK25 also has MPC Full Level and MPC 12-Level on its pads, as well as Tap Tempo and Time Division so you can nail the tempo, timing, and dynamics exactly as you hear them in your head.

COMPLETE SYSTEM
The MPK25 is a MIDI controller that sends its MIDI values over USB. It is bus powered, so all you need to connect and power the MPK25 is the supplied USB cable. Because it is MIDI compliant, the MPK25 works with most MIDI recording, sequencing, and performance software for musical performers from keyboard players to producers to DJs and even VJs!

The MPK25 comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition, one of the most popular and powerful performance and production programs in the world. Ableton Live Lite enables musicians to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise, and edit musical ideas in a seamless audio/MIDI environment.

Create and perform anywhere with the MPK25. It’s the most expression you’ll find in a portable, convenient package.

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Alesis USB Pro Drum Kit – Professional USB Drumset

February 18, 2009

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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.

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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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ROLAND PRESENTS DRUM TUTORIAL SOFTWARE FOR HD-1 V-DRUMS OWNERS

January 28, 2009

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PC software makes learning drums easy for HD-1 owners

Roland Corporation is proud to introduce new drum lesson software for owners of the HD-1 electronic drum kit. The DT-HD1 teaches introductory drum patterns and techniques in ways that are fun and easy for any entry-level drummer.

This new software integrates seamlessly with the Roland HD-1 V-Drums Lite electronic drum kit, which is made with the same revolutionary V-Drums technology used by professional musicians. Incredibly quiet, conveniently compact and affordable, the HD-1 brings quality sounds and ease-of-use to anyone who wants to learn to play drums. The DT-HD1 drum tutorial software bundle includes a USB-MIDI interface and an audio cable, allowing drummers to learn while practising with the HD-1. Players can learn how to perform basic drum patterns from different genres of music, all the way up to playing full songs with a backing track. Users can even load their own favourite song data (SMF) and jam along.

In the Notation Screen, a bouncing ball guides players through the patterns and demonstrates which pads to play and which hands to use when playing a fill. The software also allows drummers to slow or speed up tempos, repeat sections, and select specific pads for playback to help them learn more difficult patterns.
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The DT-HD1 software makes learning drum technique fun, with features like the Game Screen. Drummers play along with co-ordinated falling blocks to obtain a high score, while learning precision, timing, and technique.

The DT-HD1 drum tutorial software is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, and is scheduled to be available in February, 2009.

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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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Spectrasonics Stylus RMX 1.7 Now Here

January 23, 2009

Stylus RMX 1.7 demonstrated at Namm

Spectrasonics demonstrated Stylus RMX®version 1.7 featuring an innovative and completely new capability called ‘Time Designer™’ which intelligently transforms RMX audio loops into different time signatures and features the ability to “Groove Lock” the feel of any groove to another – all in real time.

Time Designer also lets the user create instant pattern variations with smart algorithms based on musical rules, and to ‘simplify’ any RMX groove in a musical manner. Version 1.7 is also the first 64-bit native software release from Spectrasonics and includes useful workflow enhancements to RMX, such as Suite Editing and Host Transport Sync.

Eric Persing, Founder and Creative Director of Spectrasonics notes, “Stylus RMX version 1.7 with Time Designer will be a major creative boost for many users with its ability to instantly Groove Lock to the feel of any groove across the whole core library of grooves and expanders. It’s like suddenly having ten times the amount of grooves at your fingertips! Over the years, many composers and arrangers have requested the ability to have any groove in any time signature: now they can. With all of this and the ability to create pattern variations in a totally musical way, the new version of RMX is almost a rebirth of the plug-in and how it can be used. We are really looking forward to seeing how this inspires our users to take their groove production into brand new musical directions.”

The new RMX version 1.7 reveals a totally new way to browse and use the entire RMX core library and SAGE Xpanders by offering the user the ability to Groove Lock any loop in real time to another loop or MIDI File. The user simply chooses a designated loop as the Groove Lock master, and switches one button: now all the loops that are played as the user browses are Groove Locked to that main feel.

And all of RMX’s Time Designer capabilities are available in any designated time signature. Once new Time Signatures are selected, the browsing experience works the same way – dramatically changing the experience of groove production in time signatures other than 4/4. Working on a 6/8 ballad? Simply choose 6/8 in Time Designer and the entire RMX library is now instantly available rearranged in 6/8 patterns!

For multiple time signatures in a piece of music the user simply sets the first time signature variation, drags and drops the MIDI file to the sequencer, then sets the time signature to a new one and repeats the process for each section of music that requires a new time signature. The MIDI Files that are dragged to the host sequencer are “imprinted” with all the Groove Lock and Time Signature changes in the MIDI data, making it easy to customize the loops further.

Time Designer’s Pattern Variation section allows the user to instantly check out useful variations on a loop – which works differently than the constantly shifting/improvising ‘Chaos Designer’ feature that RMX introduced. Time Designer makes rearrangements of the pattern based on a series of musical rules creating useful variations, and is available for all time signatures (including 4/4 pattern variations). Best of all, Time Designer and Chaos Designer can be used together!

All Time Designer features will also work on third party RMX libraries and imported REX files, as long as the grooves are sliced properly.

RMX version 1.7 also sports several user-requested features such as suite editing for easy customization and better ‘Favorites’ management of users own collections of loops, sequencer host transport sync so that RMX will follow the host sequencer’s transport controls and song position.

Version 1.7 is also the first 64-bit native software release from Spectrasonics, keeping pace with the industry-wide move towards 64-bit systems and access to more RAM. Windows 64-bit compatibility will be released first, then 64-bit Mac versions to follow.

The release date for Stylus RMX v1.7 with Time Designer is March 2, 2009, the update will be FREE to all registered RMX users as a download from the Spectrasonics website.

Here is some details on the previous versions applications.

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Roland MV-8800 Complete Production Solution

January 2, 2009


mv8800

Since 2003, Roland’s MV-8000 has been a coveted centerpiece for many of the world’s greatest hip-hop and R&B producers. With its powerful hands-on features, and its ability to incorporate a VGA monitor and mouse, it brought the best of the hardware- and software-based production worlds together. Today Roland sets a new standard in production power and flexibility with the MV-8800.

  • Complete production solution, from beat creation and multitrack recording to mixing, mastering and CD burning
  • Tight integration of drum machine-style pattern recording and DAW-style linear recording
  • Realtime control of audio pitch and time, groove quantize, and pattern/song arrangements — great for both studio and stage
  • World-class sound library pre-installed on the internal hard drive
  • Legendary Roland instrument and effects models onboard, including TR-808, TR-909, SRV reverb, SDD-320 Chorus, SBF-325 Flanger, Boss BF-2 and HF-2, and RE-201 Space Echo
  • Three MIDI ports (IN x 1, OUT x 2) for connecting external MIDI devices
  • Color LCD with icon-oriented interface
  • Accepts external VGA monitor (optional) and optical mouse

Create your own sounds or load up to 128 instruments or drum kits at once from the MV-formatted sound library that’s preinstalled on the hard drive. Newly created drum kits are provided, including a special collection of 16 vintage drum machines such as the legendary Roland TR-808 and TR-909. Acoustic and electric pianos, strings, guitars, horns, synth basses, and other essential instruments are also included.


Amazing Pitch & Time Control

Load hundreds of loops, hits, or vocal phrases at once, all with realtime BPM matching. Just tap the tempo and all the samples lock to your new tempo! You can match the pitches of melodic phrases just as easily. Create loop-based tracks on the fly, all locked together in perfect pitch and time sync.

Vintage & Modern Effectsl

An incredible lineup of modern and vintage effects is built into the MV-8800, including models of classic Roland SRV reverbs, SDD-320 Chorus, SBF-325 Flanger, Boss BF-2 and HF-2 pedals, and the legendary RE-201 Space Echo. The MV-8800’s multi-effects processor includes an Analog Modeling Bass that turns the MFX engine into a virtual SH-style bass synthesizer. All MFX knob tweaks can be automated as you mix.