In-depth look: AKAI MPC Renaissance

November 3, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Akai Professional’s top product specialist Andy Mac came down to make demonstration of the new MPC Renaissance.

“Fusing Akai Professional’s legendary MPC layout and workflow with the power of your computer, MPC Renaissance is an unrivaled instrument for music production. The new flagship is a fully integrated hardware/software system: MPC Renaissance allows you to create using classic hardware controls and an integrated pop-up display, while its exclusive MPC Software empowers you with unprecedented, expandable production capabilities on your Mac or PC.”

MPC Renaissance Hardware

  • Fuses legendary MPC production with the processing power of your computer
  • Vintage Mode changes output sound character to MPC3000, MPC60 and more
  • 16 backlit genuine MPC pads, 16 Q-Link controls, and adjustable backlit LCD screen
  • Classic MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing and MPC transport controls
  • MPC SOFTWARE for Mac or PC with 128-track sequencing capability
  • Two XLR-1/4” combo inputs and dedicated turntable input
  • Four-channel USB 2.0 audio interface and two-port USB 2.0 hub built in
  • Up to eight pad banks―more than any other MPC ever
  • Two MIDI inputs and four MIDI outputs
  • Stereo 1/4” out, stereo assignable mix 1/4” out & S/PDIF I/O

MPC Software

  • 128-track sequencing capability
  • Up to eight pad banks — more than any other MPC ever
  • Massive 9GB+ sound library, including all the sounds of the classic MPC3000
  • Includes The Bank plus three additional free MPC Expansions
  • Instant mapping and real-time adjustment of VST plugins
  • Record each track as an MPC drum program, Keygroup program, or VST/AU plugin
  • Works alone as your main DAW or works seamlessly with your current studio as a VST, RTAS, or AU plugin
  • Supports WAV, MP3, AIFF, REX, and SND
  • Supports samples and sequences from any MPC ever made
  • Compatible with Mac and PC

Jordan Passmore Demo of the Roland JX-10, Roland SH-2, Akai MPC-60

October 28, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

This is a demonstration of two Roland analog synths, a JX-10 and a SH-2, combined with the sequencer/sampler the MPC-60. The MPC-60 is loaded with Linn LM-1 samples (courtesy of ToneBldr, http://www.drivenmachinedrums.com ) and is also sequencing the JX-10 and SH-2. The SH-2 is doing the bass while the JX-10 is doing the melody; Jordan is playing lines over the melody on the JX-10 occasionally. All sounds are mixed on a StudioMaster mixer and there is an analog delay (Washburn Accellerator) on one send and a EH HolyStain on another.

“The MPC-60 is sort of out of shot so near the end I bring the camera around to show what I’m doing with that.”

Released in 1985 the JX-10 (Super JX) combines two individual JX-8P’s for an outstandingly warm, rich and analog sound which is still used in many modern studios all over the world. This synth was the first Roland Synth to be fitted with a quality 76 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. Two DCO’s per voice, two ADSR envelope generators per voice, and a resonant lowpass & non-resonant highpass filters are only the beginning. It has a 12 voice polyphony for a total of 24 oscillators and it is by far one of the most programmable synths of its time! However, as on the JX-8P, knobs and sliders have been replaced by low-profile buttons and a nice LCD display. Although this may look sleek and elegant, it makes editing a chore. Assign parameters to the alpha dial for tweaking, one at a time, or get the optional PG-800 Programmer to provide traditional, hands-on, dedicated sliders for editing the JX-10′s parameters.

The JX10 has a Chorus effect and a chase-play Delay function. The chase-play function allows programmable delayed repeats of voices by alternating patches of the upper and lower modules. The simple chorus effect is either off, slow or fast. It has two programmable sliders (if you don’t use the PG-800) for some real-time control which can be recorded along with other effects and keyboard modes into one of the 64 Program Patches. This is in addition to its standard 50 preset and 50 user patch memory. A simple sketch-pad 1-track real-time sequencer is also on-board. It stores sequence data directly to an M16C card, or an M64C card for Patch/Tone OR sequence data. The M16C has a capacity of 400 notes, the M64C 1440, according to the manual.

The JX-10 also comes in a rack-mount version known as the MKS-70. It’s worth noting that the JX-10 can not be edited via SysEx, however the MKS-70 can which is one reason many have chosen the rack version of the keyboard. The JX-10 can make bulk dumps of its sounds over sysex, but only with (discontinued) Roland M64C RAM cartridges.

The SH-2 is one of Rolands’ early synthesizers. It is very simple in design, look and function. It sounds much like the SH-101 synth, including the typical SH-style sub-oscillator. But the SH-2 employed 2 oscillators for a much fatter sound. It has the typical Roland SH sound – it’s a monophonic bass synth that’s flexible enough to provoke punchy analog basses, leads and squelchy sounds. The oscillators can be de-tuned as well, another feature the popular SH-101 lacks. But it isn’t very pretty to look at as it shares the same design and layout as the SH09. Still it makes a simple and easily programmable mono-synth that can be used in place of the more common SH-101. However the SH-2 is harder to find and so it usually has a higher price than other SH-type synthesizers from Roland.

Electronic music performance: One year later…

October 15, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Gear used: Elektron Machinedrum as main sequencer, Waldorf Blofeld, Akai mpc500, Korg Ms2000, Clavia Nord Modular G2 and DSI Tetr4.

Ocelot – Beyonica

October 5, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Live performance duel featuring a grid of squares that come from the monome and Ableton Live; as well as the Akai MPC and effects pedals.

FREE MUSIC FROM OCELOT available for a limited time here >>>> soundcloud.com/o-c-e-l-o-t

Futureretro 777, MPC-60 (Oberheim DMX Sampled) Acid Funk Demo by Jordan Passmore

September 20, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Here is a brief demo of the Futureretro 777 monophonic analog synthesizer/sequencer and the Akai MPC-60 sampler/sequencer. The 777 is running off of it’s internal sequencer and is sync’d via MIDI clock to the MPC-60. The MPC-60 has a sampled set of Oberheim DMX sounds. The delay that the 777 and drums are sent to is the Ibanez DMD2000. All are mixed on my StudioMaster mixer and sent straight to my soundcard (Native Instruments Kore 1).

Moon Modular M569 controls PPG Wavegenerator and more

September 8, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

http://youtu.be/GxrBHGFFOjg

A short test setup, controlling the iOS PPG with the M569 sequencer via the M552 CV2MIDI module.

Download or stream the audio at SoundCloud: http://snd.sc/RuFf7x

Live looping with Ableton Live, a DSI MoPho, an Akai MPD26 and APC20, a DJ TechTools MIDI Fighter 3D, and three iPads running PPG Wavegenerator, Lemur, and Animoog. An iConnectMIDI is sending and receiving MIDI notes from Animoog to MIDI clipslots in Ableton Live. Bass from the PPG app is being looped with Ableton’s looper plug-in, controlled by Lemur. All loops are recorded live, nothing was pre-recorded.

Akai S1000 – ROM waveforms and the four factory disks

August 31, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The internal waveforms of the Akai S1000 and the first four disks of the Akai SL library. Reverb from the Lexicon 200.

Description of the Akai S1000:

An oldie but a goodie. Akai’s great sampler of the late eighties! It actually still stacks up pretty well even today! A 16-bit, 22kHz to 44.1kHz sampler with 2MB to 32MB of RAM. Editing and programming the S1000 is a very good precursor to the advanced S3000 series. There are lots of advanced edit capabilities for looping, truncating, sample merging, time comp/exp, tuning and even analog-like parameters to control its filters and envelopes. Individual outputs for each of the 16 voices, stereo mix out, stereo input, MIDI, and trigger inputs round out this machine as a professional vintage-status sampler that still proves to be very useful even today!

Jordan Passmore Techno Demo – TR-808, MPC-60, SC-880

August 29, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Jordan Passmore demo of the Roland TR-808, Akai MPC-60 and Roland SC-880. SC-880 is playing the rave patches, MPC-60 is loaded full of TR-909 samples and is also sequencing 909/synth, TR-808 is doing 808. All held together by a Garfield Nano Doc Sync/Clock adapter. All sounds are mixed live on an old Studiomaster mixing board; from there they pass through an Electra EQ, then finally into my Native Instruments Kore Audio Interface. The SCC-80 has an analog delay attached to it, which when I’m out of the shot, I’m usually messing with. I also have a Behringer Virtualizer Pro Reverb on an effects send (a bit of the 909 and SC-880 are send to this).

The MPC-60 loaded with 909 samples is pretty hard to beat for completely cutting through a mix. I personally love the 808 so of course I threw that on top as well. The SC-880 is very interesting and totally useful (multitimbral and full of many very usable effects). I found these patches on it and decided to do a short demo from there.

Akai AX-60 Synthesizer Filter Resonance

August 19, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

A video discussing & demonstrating some design aspects of the Akai AX-60 analog synthesizer, in particular the filter resonance.

The AX-60 has been described as capable of some very ‘industrial’ timbres and one reason for this is the very strong filter resonance of the cem3394 voice chip. The design choice by Akai to use a full 5V CV for the resonance brought this out. Additionally, they used a linear taper slider for resonance, and a linear 5V response to the CV (they could have used a log taper, like I did here, or they could have processed the panel voltage and did a voltage taper conversion in firmware – cheaper! – to limit the resonance CV to the range in the cem3394 data sheet, but they didn’t).
These design choices meant many users probably ended up exploring a more ‘brash’ part of the AX-60′s sound palette than if Akai been more like Sequential Circuits in their limited internal programming of the cem3394.

Olympics and London – live projection mapping multimedia mashup

July 25, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

26 Video Live Projection Mapping Mashup
Using some of our favourite London musicians, films and TV shows.

“Today we released our new London themed projection mapping mashup,” says Evans-Roberts. “We used Ableton Live with Max for Live, and Akai APC40, Resolume Arena, MadMapper, two projectors and three laptops for the performance.”

You can download the mashup via Ithaca Audio on Facebook.

Check it out and let us know what you think of it!

Media Sources:

  • Eurythmics – Winston’s diary (1984)
  • Night and the City
  • Mary Poppins – Stay awake
  • Queen – A kind of magic
  • Amy Winehouse – You know I’m no good
  • The Who – Baba O’Riley
  • Blur – Song 2
  • Amy Winehouse – Stronger than me
  • Jamiroquai – Deeper underground
  • Dizzee Rascal – Fix up, look sharp
  • Quincy Jones – It’s caper time (self preservations society)
  • Adele – Rumor has it
  • John Murphy – 28 days later
  • Led Zepplin – Whole lotta love
  • Faithless – Insomnia
  • Florence & the Machine – You got the love
  • The Clash – London calling
  • Eastenders
  • Queen – We are the champions
  • Dizzee Rascal – Bonkers
  • Klint – Diamond (Snatch)
  • The Kinks – You really got me
  • Are you being served
  • Only fools and horses
  • Queen – Another one bites the dust
  • The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

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