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.