Posts Tagged ‘Alesis’

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Become a better drummer. Alesis E-Practice Pad

May 6, 2009

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Become a better drummer.

The Alesis E-Practice Pad is the fun way to learn and practice the drums. This electronic drum pad has 65 different drum sounds, a built-in metronome with six different sounds, and more than 50 practice games and exercises. The E-Practice Pad is way more fun than you can have with a standard practice pad. It feels great, it sounds great, and it gives you a full range of dynamics from the lightest touches through the loudest accents.

Just plug in your headphones and play silently or plug into an instrument amplifier or your stereo system and jam with other musicians. When you’re not using the E-Practice Pad as a traditional practice tool, you can mount it on a standard cymbal stand or snare stand and use it on your drumset to expand your range of sounds.

Unlike a standard pad, the E-Practice Pad has an advanced metronome built in with six different sounds and the ability to play nearly any note value or subdivision in the time signature of your choice. On top of the metronome, the e-Practice Pad has advanced games and learning features like Beat Check, Stroke Balance, and even recording and playback so you can hear your performances. The E-Practice Pad is an instrument that helps you grow as a drummer, developing your time, dynamics, consistency, and more.

The E-Practice Pad runs on batteries for portability or on wall power with the included adapter. You can add bass drum and hi-hat pedals using Alesis Expansion Pedals or any other footswitch.

  • Electronic drum practice pad with metronome and learning exercises
  • 65 different drum sounds
  • Metronome with six sounds, adjustable time signatures and subdivisions
  • 60 practice games and exercises
  • Natural feel and performance with full dynamic range
  • Headphone jack for silent practice
  • Amplifier outputs for playing with other musicians
  • Mountable on standard 8mm cymbal stand or snare stand
  • Recording and playback for listening to your playing
  • Runs on batteries for portability or on wall power with the included adapter
  • Expandable with optional bass drum and hi-hat pedals
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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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New Alesis MasterControl FireWire Mixer

January 7, 2009

Alesis MasterControl

The Alesis MasterControl delivers eight channels of audio to your computer via FireWire with two XLR inputs, channel inserts, and six TRS inputs. Eighteen additional inputs are possible through the S/PDIF and S/MUX ADAT Lightpipe options.

For monitoring, the Alesis MasterControl features 6 analogue outputs, configurable as discrete, 5.1 Surround or Stereo x 3. The Alesis MasterControl functions as a master control surface with hands-on, dedicated control over your HUI-compatible DAWs.

Features

  • 8 Built-in analog inputs – 2 XLR mic preamp inputs with Phantom Power and channel inserts, 6 TRS 1/4″ line inputs
  • 192kHz analog recording / playback capability
  • 6 analog outputs – configurable as discrete, 5.1 Surround, or Stereo X 3, with dedicated speaker switching
  • Nine 100mm motorized faders and eight 360° virtual assignable knobs (three banks each) Provides instant access to 28 different parameters on every DAW channel
  • 2 banks of 8 fully-assignable buttons provide 16 different functions per preset (setting markers and loop points, setting automation modes, cut/copy/paste)
  • Expandable audio inputs for up to 26 simultaneous inputs. S/PDIF and dual S/MUX ADAT Lightpipe inputs provide 18 additional recording inputs
  • 16 channels MIDI I/O
  • 2 X 16 character LCD provides instant controller feedback and enables customization of knob and button functions
  • Fully-editable presets allow for instantaneous, dedicated control over DAWs (HUI-compatible) and external MIDI devices
  • Removable, customizable templates provide total visual overview of preset operation
  • Preview button shows knob, button, and fader parameters before sending them out to DAW
  • Built-in talk-back microphone and control-surface based cue mix setup
  • Bundled with Cubase LE software and compatible with most digital audio workstation software products
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Tips & Tricks: Gain Staging

December 15, 2008

How do you get microphones, instruments, and other gear all to play nicely in your recording or PA system? We break down the basics of managing gain to help you get the most out of your system.

Setting the gain right...

Regardless of which microphone you are using, which audio sources you are recording, or what signal level you are sending into your recording software, sometimes it can be tricky to get the levels you want or enough of certain signals.

Getting the levels right.
The basic principle here is to figure out the dynamic range of your source (singer, snare drum, turntable, sampler, etc.), and then maximize that source’s gain level without distorting or clipping. From there, you can mix the levels of different sources using the faders or volume knobs on each channel. This way, you get the lowest-noise performance and the highest level of flexibility in your mixer or recording system. This is called gain staging.

Before we go any further, let’s define some of the terms we’re using:

  • Sound source refers to any device that creates sound. The sound sources a recording or sound-reinforcement engineer deals with are human voices, acoustic and electric instruments, and other electronic sound equipment.
  • Signal is the electrical equivalent of sound. Sound is generally created when a sound source vibrates air, and a sound signal is that vibration (sound wave) converted into electrical current.
  • Gain is the ability of an amplifier to increase the power or amplitude of a signal.
  • Dynamics refers to sound pressure level: how loud or quiet a sound is.
  • Preamplifier (preamp) refers to an electronic amplifier that prepares an electronic signal for further amplification or processing. Most commonly, a preamplifier is used in music for amplifying a low-level sound source (microphone, turntable, or pickup) up to line level. Many mixers and some low-level sound sources such as turntables and pickups can contain built-in preamps.
  • Line level refers to the operating level of a signal that is easily manipulated by other devices such as mixing consoles, effects, and recording systems. In professional audio, this level is referred to as +4 dBu.
  • Noise refers to unwanted system sound (usually hiss and hum) created by electrical components’ operation.
    Sound-source levels

Dynamic microphones (for example Shure SM57 and SM58, Electro Voice RE20, Sennheiser MD 421) are designed to be able to capture very loud sound sources without distorting. These mics can be placed at close proximity to a guitar amp or kick drum with the mixer set to unity gain (applying no additional gain). You can shout into these microphones without generating a signal that would clip (overload) the mic preamplifier.

Condenser microphones (for example Shure SM81, Sennheiser e614, Neumann U 87) are designed to capture extremely detailed sound, so they are more delicate than dynamic microphones.

Both dynamic and condenser microphone have low levels of output, so they require you to pre-amplify them so that you can more easily work with them. Similarly, if you are working with an instrument pickup or a turntable, you will likely need to booth their output levels for best use.

Some great tools for accomplishing this level boost are the Alesis iO series. The iO|14 and iO|26 each have lower noise than many of the legendary mixing consoles and provide up to 50db of gain. This means that these interfaces can apply more clean gain to a signal than many other devices.

Here are some tips for approaching gain in different situations.

Recording

Accurately capture the performance with a good signal level, but without clipping (reaching 0dB).
When recording/overdubbing over pre-recorded material, provide the performer with a headphone mix of the pre-recorded material that is loud enough to allow them to perform their take well.

Mix-down

Apply volume adjustments, effects, EQ, compression, and limiting to shape the sound of individual tracks so that they fit well with the other tracks.
Balance the tracks in relation to one another to get the best possible complete picture.

Mastering

Apply adjustments to the final mix (stereo or surround sound) including EQ, compression, and limiting to maximize the recording’s overall volume and ability to play well on a variety of sound systems.

If a complete album is being mastered, each song is also balanced for volume and overall tone in relation to the other songs.

We hope this is a good introduction to gain staging and management. It can be a tricky concept to master and the best way to improve your understanding and skills is practice. So get out there and start tracking, mixing and, mastering!

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I need to record my band…

November 4, 2008

Visiting studios can be a very costly affair, and usually just a couple of days will be spent on recording AND mixing something which simply takes a lot more time.

Since the early 90’s Cubase, Pro-Tools and other Audio Sequencers have changed the face of how audio is edited. Computers are now so advanced that now even the most humble of modern home PC’s can effectively run a fairly powerful workstation.

Combined with the ever growing range of Audio interfaces available and microphones at prices I previously only dreamed of, there is nothing stopping an interested musician/ engineer from running a full scale production from their rehearsal space or spare room.

Equipment round up

Edirol FA-101

The FA-101 is a feature-packed 10×10 audio interface that can handle a full 10 channels of input/output at 24-bit/96kHz. Record and monitor all 10 channels simultaneously in full duplex. Phenomenal audio power for the studio musician! In addition, the FA-101 offers 6-channel recording and playback at 24-bit/192kHz for performance at DVD-A quality.

This system is Ideal for live applications where the user requires multiple sends for live monitoring AND recording. This will do both excellently.

At an event, all of the band’s hardware can be routed through the FA-101 to output to monitors and, at the same time, the show can be recorded. During the break, CDs can be burned to sell on the spot. The Performance DJ will rely on the FA-101’s rugged metal chassis for reliable, club-tough operation. Back at home, the FA-101 will return as the centerpiece to the home studio.

M-Audio NRV10


The NRV10™ is a new breed of gear that combines an 8 x 2 analog mixer and a 10 x 10 24-bit/96kHz digital audio interface in one convenient package—the perfect tool for computer-based recording and performance. Route and record mixer channels discretely to individual tracks in Pro Tools M-Powered 7.3, Ableton Live 6 and other software studios. You can also return multiple discrete audio channels from your computer to the NRV10 for CPU-free mixing and monitoring complete with on-board digital effects—great for live performances. And that means you don’t have to change settings like EQ and reverb in your files every time you play a new venue. Flexible monitoring options also make vocal/instrument recording and DJ-style audio previewing a breeze. And the included NRV10 interFX application allows you turn your NRV10 and host computer into a powerful live mixer with access to all of your VST effects. The NRV10 seamlessly integrates your computer with your studio—and bridges the gap between studio and stage as well.

Example set up using Alesis Multimix Firewire 16

Only 13 channels are used here

Alesis MultiMix 8 FireWire

The Alesis MultiMix FireWire 8 Mixer is part of the new line of MultiMix mixers featuring FireWire data connectivity. The MultiMix FireWire Series includes 3 different tabletop mixers, all featuring exclusive DICE II FireWire technology. Allowing for transfer of multiple audio data streams from mixer to PC using a standard IEEE-1394 interface, these mixers provide lightening fast connectivity to a wide range of PC-based audio production applications.

The MultiMix FireWire mixers are compact mixers featuring low noise analog electronics, 100 studio-grade 28 bit digital effects, and rock-solid construction. The mixer features high-gain mic/line preamps, phantom power, auxiliary send/returns, and on-board effects engine including reverbs, delays, chorus, flanging, 3-band EQ per channel with high/low shelving and mid band pass/reject.

Drum Microphone Kits

Samson 7kit – 7-piece Drum Mic Set

Everything you could want for micing drums. A complete set of our dynamic drum mics and a pair of C02 pencilcondenser mics for overheads or close-micing cymbals.

Features

  • Seven piece drum mic kit
  • One Q Kick kick drum mic with mic stand swivel mount
  • One Q Snare snare mic with rim clip
  • Three Q Tom tom mics with rim clips
  • Two C02 pencil condenser mics with shock-mount clips
  • Gold-plated XLR connectors
  • Road case included

Shure PGDMK6


A complete drum mic package. The PGDMK6 drum mic kit includes three PG56 snare/tom microphones, one PG52 kick drum microphone, two PG81 instrument microphones, three A50D drum mounts, six 15ft. (4.5m) XLR-XLR cables and a durable carrying case.

  • The PG56 is a compact drum microphone for close miking.
  • The PG52 is a high-performance microphone tuned to capture low-end punch.
  • The PG81 is a sensitive, flat response microphone ideal for overhead and cymbal miking.
  • The A50D drum mount can be used on most standard drum rims. The flexible, yet sturdy rubber construction provides stability and ease of installation.