Oct 30

It’s here – the new expansion pack for your Roland TD-30 – Electro Mayhem. 25 New Electro Kits for the Roland TD-30 Module from Tony Long Music. Add a little retro sparkle to your drum sounds. These kits have been designed to make use of new enhancements that came with the TD-30 Module, drawing on effects, compression, EQ, de-tuning, re-sizing and re-shaping.

Just click on the image above

Oct 29


Yes I have one in my mitts to seriously take a good look at and discover what it is that everyone is talking about in the new Roland Jupiter 50. I know it is very lightweight 76 note keyboard and costs about a £1000 less than its bigger much heavier brother the Jupiter 80 but just how good does it sound and practically how good is it to take on the road with its cost cutting reductions? These and many other burning questions I have as I delve deeper into its charms and hopefully not too many disappointments.

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Oct 14


If you have been into Electronic Drums like me since they first came out, you may well have had a Roland Kit at some point. For me, I have been working my way up from my early TD-7, through to the TD-10 and TD-20 modules until now the new TD-30. Affording a £5000 or more kit is not for the faint hearted. I have still not achieved it and I have made as many compromises as I possibly could along the way to achieve a decent kit and keep the cost as low as possible. The primary part of an electronic kit is without doubt the module or brain as it sometimes called. Although this is another big outlay, it did not seem too bad after the sale of my expanded TD-20 module.
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Oct 10

Here is a great little App for your iPad from IK Multimedia – it is the iGrand Piano. 237 Mb in 17 professional sounding stereo pianos. It’s low-latency response makes you feel like you’re playing a real piano.

With high-definition stereo samples across multiple velocities, iGrand Piano brings you the most playable, expressive and beautiful sounding grand, baby grand, upright and specialty piano instruments available on a mobile device that you can play anytime and everywhere.

In addition it also provides you with a full suite of MIDI-controllable adjustable parameters, to make the sound of a particular piano exactly the way you want it. With a built-in recorder that features an audio/visual metronome, and the fact that you can export your recordings as WAV or M4a files – it is an incredible price of $19.99 which is only £13.99.

Because it’s CoreMIDI compatible, you can play iGrand Piano from a MIDI controller, such as iRig KEYS, or use your own keyboard connected to your iPad via iRig MIDI. Either way, you get a piano rig you can take anywhere and play anytime.

Oct 8

If you haven’t seen this You Tube Clip before it is certainly worth a look. A very tallented guy, Mike Tompkins demonstrates exactly what is possible, with a decent voice and shit loads of technology, if you know how to use it. Armed with Ableton Software on a laptop and what looks like 3 Novation Launchpads and two AKAI APC20 controllers and an iPad, that leaves a great song Cinema by Skrillex and the many voices of Mike Tompkins. What a brilliant idea, sound and performance as well as some clever film behind him- excellent.

Oct 4


Another lovely update – this time from Arturia who have just provide a great free update Version 1.5 to their SPARK Creative Drum Machine.

With this update Version 1.5, they have taken the art of creative rhythm programming and performance to a whole new level with a fantastic array of new performance-orientated features and a massive library which has 118 kits (28 new ones) and 1,800 instruments.

There is a new Tune feature, to easily compose melodies on the MIDI controller’s hardware drum pads and sequencer step buttons; the sample engine now enables Choke groups, so users can creatively specify samples that will cut each other off when triggered – this is great for emulating a hi-hat ‘choke’. It also offers creative modes for layering samples (circular, random, stack, threshold). The flexible FX Pad now includes the Oberheim SEM V filter featured in Arturia’s Oberheim SEM V soft synth for unique warmth and depth to those still-sought-after synth sweeps. I have just downloaded it and it sounds great.

Oct 1

Today October the 1st sees the release of a new generation of MASCHINE groove production studio in both black and white and both the existing MASCHINE and MASCHINE MIKRO get an update of hardware and software to O/S 1.8. In addition to this you can now by a stand for your maschine to angle it better and provide better playing ergonomics and there are also colored custom kits to change their looks. Very nice but a little bit expensive to change the colour in my opinion.

I have been trying to find out what are the differences between an existing Maschine with 1.8 O/S and the new Maschine people are calling version 2 or MKII. The most noticable aspect are the Pads. You get better sensitivity with version 2 and the newbacklit multicolored pads give you advanced visual orientation – looks superb. You may also notice that the LCD has been re-designed to give you a wider viewing angle. If you don’t take into account the other significant enhancements that are available to both old and new Maschines under the 1.8 O/S, then it is a difficult decision to justify spending another £150 or more on Maschine MKII. I know it is early days at present but other than the new YouTube clip from Jeremy Ellis, there is very little information on MKII.

Oct 1


Are you up for some analog synth sounds – I mean 100% analog? Well I have got my hands on the Moog Slim Phatty which is a single voice 100% Analog subtractive synthesizer. In terms of big names in synthesizers, you do not get any bigger than Moog.

As you probably know, the very last thing Bob Moog worked on was the Little Phatty Synth. Whilst it still had that old Moog classic sound, it had some up to date additions, one of which being USB connectivity. The Legacy he left behind in Synth design has led to the release of a smaller rack-mounted synth module aptly named the Moog Slim Phatty. I am surprised the word ‘Boy’ wasn’t in there somewhere.

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