Ableton Push: Review and First Look with Mad Zach

March 13, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · 2 Comments 

Mad Zach takes a sit down with Ableton’s new controller, Push.

Push is a new controller from Ableton that features a high-performance 64-button grid, backlit LED screen, and a plethora of function buttons dedicated for total control over Ableton. Although at quick glance Push might look a bit like a Novation Launchpad on steroids, it’s actually much more.

The Good: Great feeling buttons with accurate velocity sensitivity and nice rebound (suitable for clip launching and finger drumming). Impressively bright LED’s with included power supply. Groundbreaking integration with Ableton lets you build grooves and compose songs without ever touching a mouse. Super long throw touch fader with pitch bend resolution.

The Bad: A bit on the heavy side. Although the knobs feel smooth, they are endless rotary and are not optimal for extreme knob twisting and controllerism. Grouped drum racks behave like instruments. Drum rack grid on left side (would have made more sense on the right). Would have liked to see more routing and sound design tools accessible through the hardware.

The Bottom Line: This versatile and thoughtfully-engineered control station makes working with Ableton a much more musical experience. A true “instrument,” Push gives us an intuitive and expressive way to build songs, grooves, melodies, and harmonies. Although it doesn’t do anything we couldn’t technically do before using a mouse, it excels in recontextualizing the Ableton platform and getting you into music world instead of mouse land.

Read his full review and preorder a Push here: http://www.djtechtools.com/2013/03/12…

Checking out the Propellerhead PX7 FM Synthesizer in Reason 6.5

January 11, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

A nice review of the recently released PX7 FM synth for R6, details below:

More info: http://bit.ly/X3rh1F

Recently Propellerhead approached me about designing some sounds for a new FM synthesizer in Reason. As you may recall from some of my previous video tutorials, I showed you how to create an FM synth out of several Thors and a Combinator. The purpose was to demonstrate how to get some of the more modern, edgy FM sounds that we associate with dubstep and electro.

Although my method for creating FM sounds this way worked, Propellerhead have made this easier now with a new FM synthesizer engine, the PX7, now available as a Rack Extension for Reason 6.5. The PX7 is a true six-operator FM synth with some dazzling math behind it, resulting in a replica of the Yamaha DX7, the first commercially available FM synth from the early 1980s.

Just so you all know, the DX7 and I didn’t have a great relationship when we first met. I first encountered it in the labs at Berklee when I was studying music synthesis. It was a million miles away from what I wanted to achieve soundwise. I was very into the big, fat, warm analog sounds that I was hearing in all the drum’n’bass tunes I was into at the time. The DX7 was also difficult to program at first. It didn’t make sense to me and was really tedious. It had a very small display that required you to scroll through dozens upon dozens of parameters to create and edit a sound. More importantly to me at the time, it was seemingly not capable of producing the analog sounds I was into.

Years later, after a revival in software form, FM synthesis has found a very special place in my heart. I now find it to be very exciting as I am now very clear on what I can and can’t do with it. I have developed an appreciation for the highly detailed and exotic sounds that FM can produce. So I hope you all enjoy and appreciate the irony of this situation and my love/hate relationship with FM throughout the years. Most importantly, I hope that you enjoy the lesson in the PX7 and ultimately FM synthesis. – Chris Petti

Closer look at Samplr, Borderlands and Korg iPolySix

December 27, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

This episode Gaz takes a look at the beautiful Samplr – a sampling and playback app, plus Borderlands – a granular sample player with a unique interface. Nick checks out Korg’s new iPolysix synthesizer

Akai MAX49 Midi/Mackie CV/GATE Controller Review

December 7, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

A quick look at Akai’s new Controller keyboard with touch faders, Mackie Control/HUI and MIDI CV/GATE.

Exploring Gestrument, iDensity and iPulsaret iPad instruments

November 19, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The show dedicated to making music on touch devices – this time we look at Gestrument – a brand new App for generative music/intelligent arpeggiator and two new Granular synthesis apps from Apesoft

OP-1 Accessories Review – Unit Portables Bag

September 17, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Presented here is DJ Thomas White’s review of the new Teenage Engineering OP-1 Accessories line including:

Brick Knobs
Antenna
Crank
Bender
Screen Protector
Accessory Bag
Unit Portables OP-1 Bag

Thomas provides a brief overview of each item with as much detail as he has at this time. His focus is on packaging, quality and basic application. In depth use and techniques may be presented in future videos.

“I love the bag! Get one now to protect your OP-1 from the elements. Thank you Teenage Engineers and also to you, the viewer for checking out another one of my videos. Happy music making!”

Dave Smith Mopho analog synthesizer review

September 6, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

http://twitter.com/soundsandgear
http://soundsandgear.com/dave-smith-mopho-analog-synthesizer-review

In this video they are doing a review of the Mopho synthesizer from Dave Smith Instruments.

“It’s a monophonic analog synthesizer module that I’ve had for about a year. I love the aggressive analog sound it has, plus it doesn’t take up much space on my desktop. In this video I go through the front panel, go through some of the sounds, and show why I feel it’s definitely a great bargain for anyone looking to purchase an analog synthesizer.”

Magellan and Cassini – iPad Show

August 30, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

This week Sonic State takes a look at the new update to Animoog and hooking up class compliant devices for MIDI and audio connectivity. Then they check out two new synth releases
Yonac – Magellan and Icegear’s Cassini

Featured Apps:
Animoog – innovative Moog synth at a price $29.99/ £20.99
Magellan- complex analog modelled synth $4.99 / £2.99
Cassini – clean, tabbed synth $4.99 /£2.99

Hosts
Gaz Williams – Songsurgeon.co.uk
Nick Batt – editor sonicstate.com

Closer look at Auria, Taychon and SpaceWiz for iPad

August 21, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Featured Apps:
Tachyon – Simple morphing instrument $1.99 / £1.49
SpaceWiz – hypnotic generative music $9.99 /£6.99
Auria – multitrack DAW $49.99 / £34.99
Here’s a new  episode from sonic TOUCH – the show dedicated to music creation on touchscreen devices.

This week we take a look at two more instruments from Jordan Rudess’s Wizdom Music – Tachyon and SpaceWiz. Then we take a look at the big new release from Wave Machine Labs – Auria. Is it the future of the DAW?

Review: Magellan soft synth

August 16, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Yonac have unleashed an astonishingly powerful synth, with features that will be welcomed by both new and experienced users.

Magellan comes with two independent synth engines that can run simultaneously. Use one synth for bass or FX, the other for lead or pads. Or couple the synths together to get the full growl of 6 oscillators, 4 filters and 4 LFOs running at the same time! Absolutely NO samples used: only actual, realtime audio synthesis. Each Magellan synth engine has 3 virtual analog oscillators, with oscs 1 & 2 capable of true PWM wave generation. With the dedicated osc unison module, you can approach “super-wave” territory with ease. In addition, Magellan’s FM module is an extra sound generator in itself so that no frequency goes uncharted!

Each Magellan synth has two dedicated filter slots able to receive any of the 11 unique filter types. You can run the filters in series, or in parallel and blend them to taste. Each slot has its own ADSR envelope, cutoff, resonance/Q and contour settings, as well as tracking and envelope curve selection. Magellan has a built-in polyphonic step sequencer influenced by revered analog boxes. With upto 8 note polyphony, 16 or 32 step programming, pattern bank, settable end step, step skip, note velocity and gate, as well as a performance friendly timelock feature, it is a comprehensive live performance tool. In addition, it has a programmable timeline for composing songs out of sequenced patterns, and a file import/export feature.

For more info go here >>

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