Posts Tagged ‘instruments’

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Maschine: What is it? An in depth look

May 6, 2009

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Finally merging a fast and intuitive groove-box workflow with the power and versatility of software, MASCHINE enables an inspiring and spontaneous creative approach for today’s computer-based music production setups.

MASCHINE is built on an intelligent combination of timeless groove box and drum machine workflows, systematically refined and expanded to take advantage of the best aspects of computer technology. It brings together flexible step sequencing and real-time polyphonic recording in a forward-thinking pattern-based arrangement concept that makes it easy to jam out ideas, and turn them into full-blown songs in a way that is efficient, effortless and fun. MASCHINE was designed to accommodate and facilitate inspiration at any point in the creative process, from spontaneous beat creation to sophisticated multi-timbral arranging.

The advanced MASCHINE controller was designed as a natural extension of the software, and makes the system feel and respond as a true instrument. The 16 pressure-sensitive drum pads have been carefully engineered for the best possible response and durability, and they illuminate to visualize sequence patterns and other crucial information.

Eight rotary encoders, a concise layout of dedicated buttons and dual high-resolution displays give immediate access to all functions of MASCHINE without touching the computer mouse or keyboard. By design, all features are quickly accessible “on the surface” rather than hidden away in hierarchical sub menus. The MASCHINE hardware also doubles as a powerful universal controller for any MIDI compatible music gear, thanks to an included MIDI mapping application and support of the MCU protocol for sophisticated DAW control.

Native Instruments Maschine

Based on a powerful high-resolution sample engine, MASCHINE is a versatile instrument that renders intricate drum kits and percussion, loops and multi-sampled polyphonic instruments with uncompromising sonic accuracy, assisted by automatic sample mapping, beat slicing, note repeat and more.

The advanced real-time audio recording and resampling features in MASCHINE also allow producers and performers to capture, map, sculpt and transform any external or internal signal immediately, and seamlessly integrate the result into a running track without ever breaking the flow of the music. Multiple performance effects sections on the sample, group and master level provide a versatile arsenal of 20 highquality algorithms ranging from conventional to experimental, all optimized for profound sound shaping and creative real-time control through the MASCHINE hardware.

MASCHINE lets everyone get into making music right away through its massive library of drum and instrument sounds for contemporary urban and electronic music styles, created in collaboration with international cutting-edge producers and sound designers.

Based on several GByte of studio-quality samples, the arsenal of MASCHINE provides hundreds of drum kits, synthesizer sounds and acoustic instruments, with around ten thousand individual sounds overall. All kits, instruments, samples and effects can be efficiently managed and located through a highly convenient browser that uses categories and concise metadata.

With MASCHINE, all crucial functions including parameter automation, sample mapping and sound editing are always immediately accessible through the controller and within the concise single-window user interface of the software. Usable both as a self-contained standalone instrument and within any DAW or music sequencer, MASCHINE utilizes all the benefits of computer integration like total recall, superior processing power, memory and file handling, project transfer and more, while retaining the inspirational handling and tactile appeal of a hardware instrument.

NI Maschine

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

May 5, 2009

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

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

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

Science says there are good medical reasons to play…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a go today!

drumlessons

Get in touch on our forums and visit our artist pages

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Dave Smith: Mopho the little analog mono synth

February 6, 2009

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Dave Smith Instruments have a new addition to the family: a little analog mono synth called Mopho.

According to Dave Smith:

“The challenge with Mopho was to deliver the renowned sound quality of a single voice of the Prophet ’08 in a package that would be affordable for a much broader group of players and recording artists without sacrificing the performance features so important to making an analogue synth really sing.”

To achieve that end, the Mopho user interface was pared down to certain essential controls and four user-assignable controls per program. The assignable parameters can control any of Mopho’s parameters, so the synth is fully programmable from the front panel. Mopho also includes a basic software editor for Mac OS or Windows.

Never content simply to repeat himself, Dave Smith wanted Mopho to be more than just a monophonic Prophet: “I wanted to give it a character of its own, something to distinguish it from its big brother.”. Each of the oscillators has a suboctave generator; oscillator 1’s is one octave down and oscillator 2’s is two octaves down. Mopho also features an external audio input that allows processing of external audio sources as well as the ability to mix the output back in pre-filter for feedback effects. By varying the mix amount, feedback effects can range from a subtle distortion to completely trashed.

“The Dave Smith Mopho has taken on a life of its own,” enthused Dave. “It’s an inexpensive, feature-rich mono synth that really excels at basses and big, fat lead sounds.”

  • Affordable, fully programmable mono synth with a 100% analog signal path.
  • Classic, real analog sound—including legendary Curtis analog low-pass filter.
  • Process external audio through the filter and envelopes.
  • Just 7.5″ x 5″ (19.05 cm x 12.7 cm).
  • Free editor for Mac OS and Windows.

mopho_page

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Turn your laptop into a multi instument keyboard and vocal-processing powerhouse

January 9, 2009

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Regardless of what instrument you play or what software you use to record and compose, it’s never been easier to access massive libraries of synth and sample sounds, guitar and bass amp emulations, vintage-derived effects and so on. While all of this power and flexibility has been a boon for the home recordist, bringing these same software-derived sounds to the stage continues to vex many. The good news is that today’s multicore laptops have more than enough horsepower to handle the needs of most keyboardists, guitarists and experimental-leaning vocalists, as well as multi-instrumentalists who may need to jump between several instruments during a set. By choosing the correct software and hardware, as well as doing some critical housekeeping and asset-management chores, you can easily bring your best software instruments and effects to that stage and consolidate your hardware needs down to a few roadworthy essentials.

The host with the most

First and foremost, all of your software instruments and effects need to live somewhere. While it’s completely feasible for a keyboardist or guitarist to work solely within a workstation-style product such as Propellerhead Reason or Native Instruments GuitarRig, if you really want to take advantage of your plug-in collection or jump between instruments, you need to employ a more open-ended option. Two products that are built expressly for this purpose are Apple MainStage — part of the Apple Logic Studio bundle (; www.apple.com/logicstudio) — and Native Instruments Kore 2, which is now available in a software-only edition , as well as the software/hardware package  (www.native-instruments.com). Both programs do many of the same things: 1. They allow you to access, organize, edit, combine and recall the majority of the third-party plug-ins on your machine. 2. Both allow you to play software instruments and process live audio sources (guitar, bass, vocals and even feedback loops). 3. By largely removing the traditional elements of a DAW, both of these apps allow more CPU resources to be used for instruments and effects, thus keeping latency in check.

Choosing a host performance application will depend largely on what software you already own. Logic Studio users have a clear advantage in this department because all channel strips and saved plug-in settings are immediately available in MainStage; in other words, what you did in the studio shows up in MainStage. Kore, however, requires a little more prep work in the beginning (users will need to batch-convert their third-party plug-in sounds over to the KoreSound format), but it offers support for a wider range of plug-in formats as well as Windows PCs.

Time to organise..

The second major task in prepping your sounds for performance is figuring out exactly what you need and exactly what you don’t. If your goal is to replicate the sounds you used in your recordings, a recent demo or what have you, then that is the obvious place to start. Open up the original sessions, isolate the plug-ins that you need to use live and give each preset a specific name before saving them to a new folder. Of course, you can skip that step if you want to dive in and start playing. Either way, once you start to have a firmer grasp on what you’re going to need in a live show or rehearsal situation, that’s the time to start creating a performance library.

MainStage and Kore have different ways of creating that library. With MainStage, you’ll need to create a new Concert. A Concert can comprise any number of live audio and instrument channels, and the Performance pane can be customized to include a wide array of assignable controllers (which you can then easily map to your hardware), meters and patch selectors. You can load instruments and live signal processors in a row and select them interchangeably like presets on a piece of hardware. A single preset can comprise both audio and instrument plug-ins, and a Concert can include any number of presets. When you load a new Concert, all the associated instruments and samples are loaded in the background, and nothing really nails the CPU until a preset is selected. The load time between presets is generally very minimal.

The no hassle, buy nothing keyboard workstation

If you’re a budget-conscious keyboardist and you want a simple and reliant way to access an array of keyboard sounds that requires practically zero mousing around and almost no MIDI assignment editing, here it is.

Load up an empty 16-track session in your DAW of choice. Starting with the first track in the session, load up your first instrument sound and set this track to receive only MIDI channel 1. Repeat the process as needed (track 2 to MIDI channel 2, etc.) until you’ve loaded up all of the sounds you need or you’re out of MIDI channels. Changing MIDI channels on most portable MIDI keyboards (M-Audio Oxygen 8 V2, Axiom 49, etc.) is a simple one- or two-button process. With this setup, you only have to load one session into your DAW, and switching between sounds is as simple as changing the MIDI channel on your controller.

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Guitar Hero leads children to pick up real instruments

January 6, 2009

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Online gaming, PC’s, Hand held games and video game consoles  have long led many anxious parents to fear that their children could turn into addicted, uncultured sloths.

But research by one of Britain’s largest music charities suggests that the popularity of active music titles such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have prompted up to 2.5 million children to learn the instruments for real.

The report conducted by Youth Music found that of the 12 million young people aged from 3 to 18, more than half played music games. A fifth of those gamers said that they now played an instrument after catching the musical bug from the games.

“We have long known that young people are encouraged to take an interest in music if it is presented to them in a compelling way,” said Andrew Missingham, the music industry expert who wrote the report. “This research for the first time shows conclusively that young people are being inspired to make their own music by games that first piqued their interest.”

Guitar Hero, where players strap on a plastic guitar and strum along to rock hits, has sold 5.5 million copies worldwide since its 2005 release and spawned several games including Guitar Hero: World Tour, which came out last month. Rock Band, which features a plastic drum kit, has sold 4 million and the karaoke game SingStar has sold 4 million copies globally.

Guitar manufacturers and instrument stores told The Times that sales of instruments featured in the games are on the rise and music teachers said that the games were encouraging the uptake of music lessons.

Nick Matthews, 13, from Buckinghamshire, said that he had started to learn playing tracks such as School’s Out by Alice Cooper on a real guitar. He first heard the song while playing Guitar Hero with his 67-year-old grandfather.

“I like it because it’s really fast,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t like the songs if it wasn’t for game.”

Adam Easton, from Music Ground, the parent company for the majority of the musical instrument shops in Denmark Street, in the West End of London, said: “Because getting a guitar is actually cheaper than buying a new computer at Christmas, when kids get influenced by Guitar Hero and think they really want to play an electric, mums and dads say, ‘great, I’ve got him off the computer at last! Here’s 200 quid, go buy yourself one’.”

The US guitar-maker Gibson said that it had seen sales on the rise, particularly those that are featured in the video games such as the iconic Les Paul guitar.

Source: The Times