Aug 11

I just had a quick go of the new Roland Jupiter 50 at Andertons Music in Guildford. Kevin Jubb the Product Specialist for Roland took me through the benefits of this keyboard and some of the deeper editing screens. Kevin owns a Jupiter 80 and was therefore extremely familiar with the Jupiters. For me, I wanted to ascertain some of the advantages to the ‘Live’ player. Number one has got to be the weight. I picked it up off the stand and it is just so light to carry, yet playing it feels very stable indeed as if you are playing a much sturdier product. The keys felt great to play and this was the one thing that I was concerned the most about. There may be a difference between the key beds of the Jupiter 80 and the 50 but I could not detect it. The Jupiter 80 was on a stand under the Jupiter 50 so I could compare them nicely. Yes I would love to own an 80, but with the increased weight and the fact that it costs a £1000 more, the 50 looks a much more attractive proposition.

The next point is obviously the fact that it has no after touch. Kevin explained that this can still be achieved by assigning it to a pedal. I played quite a few of the sounds and the lack of after touch did not seem to bother me. OK now to the screen which is not the touch screen found on the 80. The screen seemed a lot better and bigger than I imagined it to be and Kevin reminded me about the iPad App for it, which is a great bonus. All the information is clearly laid out and editing can be done but the iPad App is going to make the process so much easier.

Soundwise, I fould this Synth really does have some oomph. The bass sounds were really giving Roland speakers some aggravation. You have only got to start to play a lead or a bass sound and you realise just how powerful the Jupiters are. The weakest sounds to me were the Brass but they were still very good and I felt that I could do something with them. Kevin explained how he uses a pedal with his Jupiter 80 to bring in other layers. For example you could be using a brass sound for the verse and then bring in a layer of another Brass sound or the same sound but an octave higher for the Chorus. This is ideal for ‘Live’ players as you don’t have to change to another patch and your existing sound becomes ‘thicker’ just at a tap of the footswitch – great stuff.

My time was running out so I asked Kevin about playing Wav files as backing and whether you could adjust the levels between your own playing and the backing. Kevin quickly showed me the editing screen that not only adjusted the levels but also the pitch and the speed making ideal to reheaese with singers and slow it down to practice.

Well it is looking very impressive to me. Thank you Kevin for your help and advice today.

Aug 10

Here is another new iPad App from that cool keyboard wizard – Jordan Rudess. It is called SpaceWiz and will allow you to make some great sounds as you shape the universe. Is there no stopping this man. He has brought us some great Apps to bring hours of creative fun to our homes – thanks Rudess. See what you think of this clip, I can’t wait to try it out:-

Aug 10

He is a smart looking App. It is called MUZA and is a Synth and a MIDI Controller for your iPad,iPad2, iPad3 or your iPhone, Great sounds, smart looking GUI. You can get it now from Apple’s App Store at a reduced price for a limited time. Here is a You Tube clip to demonstrate it along with the famous Native Instruments Maschine which is also on offer at present. Have a look at this:-

Aug 10

Here are some more sound demos of the Roland TD-30 showing the fantastic combination of acoustic and electronic drum sounds. This is the best set Roland have done in my opinion and the content is far better than the TD-20. Roland usually focus their efforts on achieving real drum sounds and whilst that is great, in today’s music, you need far more than this. Have a listen to Craig Blundell’s demo here:-

Aug 7


In September 2011 Roland updated their now discontinued PM-01 Personal Drum monitor with the release of PM-03. This new addition to V-Drums personal-monitor family is the first 2.1 Channel monitor in this series. I always found that the Amplification of Electronic Drums to be the most difficult to achieve. There are of course different requirements and if you are at home with your exciting electronic kit, you want amplification that brings out the quality in the sounds and rhythms you are producing so that you have a similar experience to an acoustic drummer. Electronic kits have such great stereo facilities with sounds sometimes auto – panning, so your requirements are definitely stereo with something that can suitably cover the high and low frequency ranges. The live Electronic Drummer has a more complex requirement and personally needs to hear what he is playing, needs the rest of his band to hear the same and needs to project out to mix with the overall sound through the main PA to the audience. Roland provides a range of personal drum monitors to suit the varying demands. I will be looking at the PM-03 which is the smallest in the range but is a 2.1 setup. Whilst this has been designed more for the home user, I would like to evaluate its suitability as a personal monitor in a small live environment.

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Aug 2

Here is some great drumming from COOP3RDRUMM3R. I really like the way he throws the sticks around, very tight playing and a great kit:- Pearl Icon 3 Sided Rack and all Pearl Hardware, Pearl Demon Drive Eliminator 3001 Double Pedals, Pearl ELX Series Ruby Fade 7 Piece -10 x 8″ 12×10″ 13×11″ Rack Toms,16×16″ 18×16″ Floor Toms,22×18″ Bass,14×4.5″ Snare Pearl 13×2.5″ Piccolo Snare, Pearl 13×4.5″ Steel Shell Snare, Pearl 10×4″ M-80 Firecracker Snare

16″ & 18″ A Custom Crashes, 8″ & 10″ A Custom Splashes, 20″ A Custom Ride, 14″ A Custom Hi-Hats, 12″ Oriental Trash China, 16″ Oriental Trash China and 8″ & 10″ ZXT Trashformer Splashes.

I think he is drummer of the month – What do you think?:-

Aug 2

Here is an invaluable piece of software for your DAW. Most of the Home studios either have no acoustic panels, tiles, bass traps or insufficient acoustic treatment and mixing is a complete nightmare. Those that do have, probably still wish it could be better, to achieve results as good as the professional studios.

IK Multimedia developed a piece of software to assist with this problem called ARC which stands for Advanced Room Correction System. They have just announced that they now have Version 2 of ARC for Mac/PC DAWs.

How does it work? Well it combines a measurement microphone, measurement software and a correction plug-in for most DAWs. It is designed to improve the acoustics and sonic reliability of your home studio by generating an algorithm to provide a correction of your room’s acoustic problems. You can then apply this to your mix using the plug-in. The idea is as it has always been – you make a recording that can be played on any hardware to faithfully represent your sound that you have recorded and mixed.

Arc Version 2 gives you a higher resolution especially in the very low frequency range which is where it is needed most but you get enhancements across the whole frequency range. You now just need to give it seven measurements for it to do its job. Do your mix, remove the plug-in and make your CD – simple. I really like the look of this product and think I will place an order.

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Aug 2

Well here is some info hot off the press – Dave Smith has a new Mopho. This time it is a 44 note semi-weighted keyboard analogue subtractive Synth and it is Polyphonic – four voices hence the name X4. Just imagine what you could achieve with four Mophos playing all at once. It has two fantastic analog oscillators and two sub octave generators. You then get selectable two or four pole Curtis low-pass filter, three 5-stage envelope generators, four LFOs, a re-latchable arpeggiator, and a 16 x 4 step sequencer. Its voice also comes packed with 20 modulation sources and almost 50 destinations.

The keys are velocity sensitive and you get aftertouch. (Every keyboard in the world should have these as standard). What I like about Dave Smith products is their ability to chain their other products together for greater fun an awesome sound possibilities and greater polophony. Simply add a Mopho, a Tetra, or a Prophet 08 and create yourself a 16 voice monster synth.

Aug 1

PussPuss by ETSY really know that they have a real winner with their exciting range of eye-catching swimwear in many designs based on classic synthesizers and Drum Machines. These models look very playable, tweakable and I am sure they make all the right noises. It is just what you need to brighten a dull wet British Summer’s Day.

Aug 1

Whilst existing Korg Kronos owners sit patiently on the edge of their seats waiting for O/S version 2 to be available, Korg slowly try to tempt us with the Kronos X, drip-feeding us bits of information as to how much more you can do with the extra room. They even pre-load demos of their expansion sets to lure you into buying them, demonstrating how easy the sets can be loaded and accessed. Here is one of those tempting You Tube clips to wet your appetite:-

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