Archive for the ‘Guitar modelling’ Category

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Soundcard Buying Guide

October 21, 2009

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We understand that the Soundcard market can be a little daunting if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. With various connection methods such as USB, Firewire, and PCI it is difficult to find the one for you.

This guide should give you an overview of the world of soundcards and hopefully help you someway in choosing the right one for you. Please remember that you can always call us if you ever need help or advice on 0844 815 0888.

The difference you find with soundcards to mixers is that where as a mixer will just take an analogue signal and keep it as analogue. A soundcard converts the analogue to digital. The price of soundcards can sometimes be determined by the quality of the AD converters and mic pre amps. For example the quality of the RME AD converters is better then the ones found on the M Audio soundcard range, although how much better is negotiable.

Tascam US122 M

Will the soundcard on my computer not suffice?

Whenever a customer questions this at Dolphin our response is always to let them try it out first with the onboard soundcard. There is no better way of learning how much of a difference good AD converters can be then to use really bad ones. The onboard soundcard (or internal soundcard) is installed for alert sounds, games and MP3s but when it comes to recording audio and transferring to digital you really do need a better soundcard. Interference from the transformer, hard drive and so on will always inhibit the quality

On board soundcards don’t offer multiple inputs which rules out any larger scale recording of bands or primarily drums. They also suffer from large amounts of latency (glitches in the audio recording) which you will need to overcome via getting a better soundcard. This latency is caused by the onboard drivers not being capable of fast transfer speeds. You really need something with ASIO 2 drivers, which most external soundcards support

 Saffire Pro 24

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

How Many Inputs and Outputs do I need?

In today’s market there is a soundcard for everybody. We always ask customers to think into the future. Will there ever be a time that you will want to record more than two inputs simultaneously. This might be drums, a live recording, a band or the fact that they will have many instruments and don’t want to keep plugging and unplugging cables. If the answer is yes then we recommend 8 inputs. Unless you have a specific reason we would recommend that you have all 8 inputs via XLR and mic pre amps. You may not want this if you are using your own Pre Amps or you specifically need jacks.

 ProFire 2626 High-Definition FireWire Audio Interface

M-Audio ProFire 2626 High-Definition FireWire Audio Interface

If your music work will mainly be you and overdubbing other parts later, you can work happily with one or two inputs which is how a large amount of souncards are designed. Many people realise that they only need two inputs and if that is the case there are many options for you. Solutions range from just a small box that you connect to your computer, MIDI keyboards with soundcards built in (for the musician on the move) to guitar FX modeling solutions that you can connect straight to your computer. More and more manufacturers are seeing the need for combining an audio recording solution with their products.

 POD Studio UX2 Pro Tone Recording & Modelling Interface

Do I need a special Soundcard to use Pro Tools?

In a nutshell “Yes”. DigiDesign software will only work with Digi Design hardware. They obviously do very expensive HD systems for the medium to large studios, but they also have a more budget range of audio recording solutions. They have the Digi 002 and rack version for someone who wants 8 simultaneous inputs into ProTools. Anyone just wanting 2 inputs they have the ever popular MBOX and new MBOX Pro.

Digi Design MBox 2

Digi Design has recently bought M Audio, a smaller company that specialises in soundcards. Since doing this they have allowed users to run Pro Tools on M Audio soundcards. To do this you must purchase software called M Powered and have a soundcard that is compatible and you have a Pro Tools system.

Digi Design 002 Rack

Soundcard Connectivity with Computers

The ever popular question about what connection you should go for is asked by customers every day at Dolphin Music. Firewire is probably the most popular type as of today due to its fast data transfer speed, you will find that M Audio firewire interfaces as well as Presonus are very good. USB 2.0 which is actually slightly faster is also popular with the Mbox 2 Micro , Steinberg CI2 and Apogee ONE using it.

Back in the last century when we started all this USB and Firewire were but a twinkle in some technician’s eye. It was all about PCI cards which are going as string today as they have done. PCI (or PCIX – new versions) can offer faster data transfer but are also more processor dependent. Famous PCI soundcards are the likes of the M Audio Delta range and the older MOTU range of soundcards.

M Audio Delta 1010

It would be rude to talk about connectivity and not mention PCMCIA. This is a method of connecting directly to laptops. Just think PCI for laptops. Due to USB and Firewire it is becoming less popular but some still believe it to be the only true way of getting true recordings onto laptops. This is debatable and we just don’t have the time!

Free Software

All soundcards will come with software that will allow you to control the routing of audio within your soundcard. You will need this software to interface with your recording software. It basically allows you to interface with your soundcard as if it were a mixing console.

Presonus Inspire

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Propellerheads New Record Software was designed for musicians – not audio engineers.

May 12, 2009

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Propellerhead have a very good standing reputation, and it safe to say their flagship program Reason opened up a lot of doors, for a lot of musicians. Its huge sound bank was, and is something every good musician need in their toolbox. Its layout reasonably (ahem) simple.

It just didn’t record audio! One minor flaw, but quite a big one if your looking for that all-in-one piece of software to ‘record’ you band for instance.

That’s where record steps in. Propellerhead Software’s brand new recording software. Record gives you unlimited audio tracks, world class effects and mixing gear, and a whole new take on music recording. With an intuitive, straightforward interface and a hands-on approach to capturing performances, Record was designed for musicians – not audio engineers. This is recording done right.

Record now – not later.

Recording music is all about seizing the moment. Capturing a perfect performance – or even nailing that idea before it goes away – requires tools that are ready when you are. Record is always ready. Created with musicians in mind, Record lets you create record ready channels in an instant, minimizing the steps between idea and actual recording. The result equals more music – and less dialog boxes. Simply plug in, breathe out and you’re ready to go.

Line 6 in the mix

For guitar and bass players, Record comes installed with separate guitar and bass POD® units from amp and cab simulation experts Line 6 Inc. With bass and guitar amplifiers available for every single track in your Record project, you are never short of interesting tones and timbres. As the Line 6 amplifiers are insert effects and don’t affect the original instrument signal, you are free to change your amplifier and cabinet settings at any point in time – even after laying down your track.

The Record rack

All the instruments, processors and effect units used in a song are housed inside Record’s customizable rack. Any device created is automatically and logically patched into the rack, but if you’re feeling adventurous or need to do some routing of your own, just flip your entire Record rack over and all the cables are all yours!

The Record Effects

Your Record rack can be stacked with an infinite number of reverbs, distortion units, delays, dynamic processors, mastering EQs – everything you need to shape and color your sounds. Click and drag effects straight to the rack, or load any of the expertly crafted patches.

EQ Section

The mixing console features a warm sounding EQ section with high and low pass filters, high and low shelving filters as well as parametric midrange filters. This is where you can add some extra polish to your recordings, and the sound is just fabulous.

Channel Dynamics

Every channel has its own fully featured dynamics section with compressor, gate and expander functions.

Effect Sends

The console has eight dedicated effect sends and each channel’s sends can be set to work pre or post fader. Adding a send effect to the mixer is a two mouseclick affair. Simply right-click in the mixer’s master section and select what effect you want to use. Simple!

Insert effects

Record’s mixer features a clever way to handle insert effects. As explained on the Record page, each track in Record is made up of three components: a sequencer track, an rack device (audio track or mix device) and a mixer channel. In the rack device, you can put all the insert effects you want on your sound, and you can also map controls on the insert effects to the insert section in the mixer. These setups can then be saved as patches for instant recall. Record ships with a large library of ready-made insert patches for a wide array of applications. Reason users will recognize this method from Reason’s combinator, so in essence this is like having a dedicated combinator per mixer channel.

Fader Section

Here’s the control you will find yourself using more than anything else in the mixer. As the name and the picture implies, this is where the faders are and this is also where you set the pan, handle solo and mute. Stereo channels also have a stereo width control.

Master Compressor

The Master compressor is what gives your music that final touch. The legendary dynamics processor it was modeled after is in use in studios all over the world.

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How to Make Your Guitar Sound Like a Sax! The Sonuus G2M

April 22, 2009

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No modifications are required to your guitar; no special pickups to install; and nothing needs to be “stuck” onto your instrument. It works with all electric guitars.

The G2M™ is a simple-to-use, highly effective, guitar-to-MIDI converter. It is “Universal” because it doesn’t need a special pick-up mounted on your guitar, but instead simply connects to your guitar like any other effects pedal or tuner.

Designed to give accurate triggering, with low-latency, it is a true plug-and-play solution for monophonic MIDI guitar. It can be used to sequence bass lines and guitar solos add an edge to your live performances — it opens up many creative possibilities.

Features

  • Any electric guitar can be used as a solo MIDI guitar.
  • No guitar modifications or special pickups required.
  • Robust note detection — minimises wrong notes.
  • Accurate pitch-bend determination.
  • Low latency.
  • Built-in tuner for standard guitar tuning.
  • Battery-powered with long battery life.
  • Compact, lightweight and portable.

Universal Appeal

No modifications are required to your guitar; no special pickups to install; and nothing needs to be “stuck” onto your instrument. It works with all electric guitars.

The G2M™ universally appeals to all guitarists from novices to seasoned professionals. Keenly priced to fit any budget, with the robust reliable performance expected by the finest stagemen.

Incredibly simple to use:

  1. Plug your guitar into instrument in to power-up the G2M™
  2. Connect your MIDI device (or computer) to the MIDI out
  3. Play notes on your guitar and MIDI will be sent out!

Powered from a single PP3 battery, its long battery life combined with small size makes the G2M™ the ideal accessory to keep with your guitar. Not only does it provide fast and precise tuning, but it also gives you instant MIDI capability for any electric guitar!

Robust Performance

Research has shown us that the most important aspect for pitch-to-MIDI conversion is reliable and reproducible triggering of notes. While low-latency is important, robust triggering is the key to usability — you can easily adapt to some latency, but you cannot adapt to random, spurious notes.

By virtue of the unique, inherently robust technology used in the G2M™ you will be able to reliably generate accurate MIDI quickly and easily. Notes are generated exactly as played, and the nuances of your performance are captured with fast, accurate pitch-bend data.

Built-in Tuner

The built-in tuner uses our PULSAR™ tuning technology where the power LED doubles as a tuning indicator. This innovative tuner gives you a fast and accurate way to tune your guitar.

Instrument Thru

Featuring a high-impedance input circuit, the G2M™ won’t sap your tone when using it “in-line” before your amp, or other effects pedals. You can then easily combine MIDI sounds with your normal guitar sound for some exciting musical possibilities.

Improves Playing Technique

For optimal MIDI conversion, your guitar playing needs to be clean and accurate. Accidental notes, resonating open strings and other sounds can often be converted into undesired MIDI notes. Often you don’t hear these when playing guitar yourself, but can detect them easily when listening live to the generated MIDI.

Striving to improve MIDI note accuracy, encourages clean picking and accurate fingering, with good control over non-sounding strings by damping them.

Not only will your MIDI output be more accurate, your normal guitar playing will sound clearer and more professional. It’s like having a tutor sitting beside you giving you advice. It’s also great fun!

Most of all, it’s Fun!

When you try the G2M™ and generate some new sounds, the first thing that strikes you is how much fun it is. Unleash new creative inspiration and invigorate your soul.

Specification

  • Power supply 9V PP3 battery. Average current consumption < 10mA. (Typically more than 70 hours operating time.)
  • Tuner notes E2, A2, D3, G3, B3, E4 (Standard 6-string guitar tuning)
  • Tuner accuracy <1 cent when pulsing at <1Hz
  • Note detection range E2 to E6
  • MIDI latency 16ms to 30ms depending on note and characteristics of input signal
  • MIDI power 5V (via 200 ohm resistor as per the MIDI specification)
  • Size 83mm x 58mm x 34mm
  • Weight 80g (without battery)
  • Inputs 6.35mm mono jack (switches unit on when jack is inserted)
  • Outputs 6.35mm mono jack connected directly to input jack. Standard 5-pin MIDI socket.
  • Switches Boost switch to select between low- and high-output guitars
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AmpliTube Fender®: The World’s Most Influential Guitar and Bass Tones On Your Desktop!

February 27, 2009

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

AmpliTube® Fender®

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

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

Features:

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

MORE INFO:

IK Multimedia AmpliTube Fender® Studio Software Amp and Effects Suite

IK Multimedia AmpliTube Fender® Software Amp and Effects Suite

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Line 6 Backtrack – Instant portable recorder/ instant reply for guitar

February 20, 2009

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In a an already very busy market Line 6 have took the plunge into portable recording devices. So lets take a look at what features this has to offer.

“BackTrack™ provides total inspiration control anywhere you play music or feel inspired, including at home, in the studio, at soundcheck and at rehearsal.”

At home, BackTrack offers the best ways to capture and organize all your musical ideas.

* Like a creative safety net, BackTrack makes sure all your ideas are captured
* “Instant replay” anything you just played by pressing “Play”
* Separate your best ideas from the rest by pressing “Mark”

In the studio, BackTrack gives you a head-start turning your inspirations into complete songs.

* Drag the better-than-CD-quality .WAV files right into your recording software
* The clean and pristine audio offers total plug-in processing flexibility
* Packed with your ideas, BackTrack is your portable idea vault

At soundcheck, BackTrack redefines the entire experience.

* Adjust your tone hands-free while BackTrack loops a song or riff
* Walk around the venue and check your tone while BackTrack does the playing for you
* Capture the energy of your live show and drag the high-quality audio to your DAW

At rehearsal, there’s no end to what BackTrack can do for you and your band.

* BackTrack + Mic records your whole band with stunning clarity
* Capture a direct signal perfect for dragging to your DAW by putting BackTrack in-line between your guitar and your amp
* Capture your guitar tone by putting BackTrack in-line after your amp or effects

I would personally would love to see this device fitted in the future with an onboard modelling chip like that of the pocket POD, Im almost suprised its notalready  featured here. But you still get a lot of amazing features for your buck.

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Fender Amplitube by IK Multimedia!!

January 28, 2009

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

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


With a collection of 45 pieces of gear collected from the most sought after classic and modern Fender® amps (including the ’65 Twin Reverb®, ’57 Deluxe™, ’59 Bassman® LTD, ’64 Vibroverb® Custom, Super-Sonic™, Metalhead™ and many more), cabinets, stomp boxes and rack effects, AmpliTube Fender® sets a new standard for software amplifiers.
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From guitar to bass, from Country to Blues and Rock, Punk to Metal, whatever style you play, AmpliTube Fender® is the only amp suite that gives you the world’s most influential guitar and bass tones right on your desktop.

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

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6 Stomp Effects

  • Fender® Blender™
  • Fender® Phaser
  • Fender® Fuzz Wah
  • Fender® ’63 Reverb
  • Fender® Tape Echo
  • Fender® Volume

Fender® Blender™
A unique germanium fuzz/distortion pedal. With a tone unlike any distortion pedal on the market, the Blender™ is capable of a harsh fuzz effect, great as a tool for Psychedelic and Alternative Rock. Perfect for those who want to create instead of copying, with a bit of experimentation, this pedal can deliver a huge range of unique tones.

Fender® Phaser
A Classic analog Phase shift effect as heard on countless recordings since the 1970s. The rate control knob alternately illuminates blue and red at the same rate as the phase shifting.

Fender® Fuzz Wah
A combination of a Fuzz-style distortion effect and a Wah pedal, this is two pedals in one. Due to this combination, and its Fuzz>Wah / Wah>Fuzz selector switch, the Fender Fuzz Wah is capable of effects not easily achieved by traditional units.

Fender® ’63 Reverb
First introduced in the early 1960s, this classic all-tube spring reverb unit is a must have accessory for all Surf players. Blues and experimental players love it, too. It’s presented here in stomp-box form instead of its original head-style unit. The Fender Reverb is capable of producing an incredibly lush or intense crashing Reverb effect due to its post-guitar, pre-amplifier signal path and unique tube driven output.

Fender® Tape Echo
A classic tape echo simulation, as seen in the Fender® Cyber-Twin®. The warmth and wobble of magnetic tape lent a wonderful ambience to the echo effects used on recordings of the last 50 years, and those sounds can be recreated easily with Amplitube® Fender®. The Tape Echo’s controls can also be manipulated for experimental lo-fi echo effects, bringing extra creativity to your playing.

Volume
A classic volume control. Use to control the volume of your guitar signal, or in conjunction with an overdrive/distortion pedal for dynamic control of your signal boost.

In the development of AmpliTube Fender®, IK Multimedia has taken an unprecedented approach to raise the bar of modeling accuracy in order to nail every sonic nuance of the included legendary Fender® gear. Every step in the development process has been constantly supervised and sound-certified, step-by-step, by the tone gurus at Fender® to ensure that the same quality process of real gear tone-testing has been strictly followed in the realization of AmpliTube Fender®.

Never before have you been able to get this close to the real thing on your desktop.

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