Korg MS20 Mini Review

May 4, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Korg’s latest analog baby is actually something we’ve seen before (in 1977!) The MS20 Mini is an exact replica of the classic monosynth – lets see how it compares.

Roland VR-09 Combo Keyboard First Hands-On

May 2, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Keyboard magazines first hands-on time with Roland’s surprisingly affordable (under $999 street) new combo keyboard, which puts organ sounds first but also does great piano, EP, Clav, and synth sounds. It also offers lots of controls for realtime parameter tweaking (with the drawbars doubling as filter and envelope controls on synth sounds–cool!), and super-easy splitting and layering on the fly. Read the full review in our July 2013 issue.

Alesis Vortex Keytar Review – Accelerometer Fun

March 19, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Mitchell Sigman talks about the innovative accelerometer control in the new Alesis Vortex Keytar Controller.

Watch for a full review in the June issue of Keyboard Magazine.

Yonac’s MiniSynth 2 vs. Werkbench

March 19, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

“We got our hands on Yonac’s miniSynth 2 yesterday and fell in love! Werkbench jam starts at 2:07.”

Werkbench: http://www.bolasol.com/werkbench
miniSynth 2: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minis…

Product descriptions:

WerkBench is a new and unique type of beatbox that is part loop pedal, part drum machine, and 100% beat-making magic. At the heart of WerkBench are two sequencers that let you instantly sample sounds into any place in the rhythm and then alter those sounds in real-time.

miniSynth 2 continues the spirit of the original, adding advancements we made in DSP, design and features over the last half decade. Simple and easy to use, miniSynth 2 projects a solid, fat tone from a strategic feature set — an “abbreviation” of the sophisticated features we offer in our pro-grade synthesizers. Like all our synthesizers, no compromises are made with sound and functionality. There are NO samples used, just real-time virtual analog synthesis. miniSynth 2 also includes production-friendly features, such as Audiobus output, audio copy/paste, and a MIDI In port for playing miniSynth with an external controller or a virtual-MIDI app.

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!”

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