Jan 24

The Mastering Process is either expensive or difficult to do yourself. As technology moves forward, more and more people are attempting to Master themselves with the aid of plugins. They all claim to be the answer but more often than not they fail because every piece of music recorded is diferent and requires individual mastering unique to that recording.

At NAMM 2016, Softube are telling us they have a foolproof new plugin – The Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor. This has been modelled on Drawmer’s 1973 Three Band FET Stereo Compressor hardware. This plugin brings complex analogue-style multiband compression down to just a handful of controls and assists you by
making the choices a mastering engineer would make.

You just select from one of ten preset mastering Styles which have names like :- ‘More air’, ‘Clarity’, ‘Punch’, and ‘De-rumble’. Sounds very easy and to some extent it is as it automatically adjusts compression, EQ and mid-side processing parameters to provide your mix with its stated style.

There is an Amount knob that will set the depth of the processing; the Air switch seems to activate a high shelving filter and the Mix and Gain knobs control the wet/dry mix and output level respectively.

Although this all seems too good to be true, Softube’s reputation for creating top of the range plugins means that I am willing to give this a try.

You cannot get the Drawmer S73 until February 2. It is being sold at an introductory price of $75 until February 29 when it goes up to $99. See what you think on the youtube clip

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 24

No it is not Kylie Minilogue it is another little GEM from Namm 2016 from Korg – the new Korg Minilogue Analog Poly. The information on this synth was leaked before the Namm show. It’s an all-new 37-key, 4-voice true analog polyphonic synthesizer with onboard delay and 16 step poly sequencer.

Korg believes that the Minilogue is the first of its kind in design, virtue and affordability. They say that newly developed analog synth circuitry provides a rich, diverse sound palette, instantly recalled from its 100 factory presets plus 100 user programs.

Specifications:

Keyboard: 37 keys (slim keyboard, velocity sensitive)
Maximum Polyphony: 4 voices (8 voice modes inc unison layering)
Controls: 41 dedicated panel controls deliver immediate parameter access
Sequencer: 16 step polyphonic sequencer with automation of up to four synth parameters
Connectivity: MIDI IN / OUT, USB B, Sync IN / OUT allows you to jam with volca and electribe series
Sound Generation: 2 VCO (saw / tri / sqr), 1 VCF (2 / 4pole), 2 EG, 1 VCA, 1 LFO, DELAY
Input / Output Jacks: Headphone Output, Line Output, Audio Input
Oscilloscope: Real-time OLED oscilloscope provides visual feedback of parameter changes

Display
Real-time OLED oscilloscope provides visual feedback of parameter changes

Dimensions (W x D x H)
500 x 300 x 85 mm / 19.69″ x 11.81″ x 3.35″

Weight
2.8 kg / 6.17 lbs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 23

I haven’t heard from Kat in a long time. I bought their electronic bass drum many years ago. It wasn’t quite as responsive as the current Roland V-Drums but it was very heavy and would not move no matter how hard you played. I was also very interested in their TrapKat, but I did not get around to buying one.

It seems today Kat Digital Percussion are at Namm 2016 with their new kt4 digital drum set. Have a look at the youtube clip above showing the drum and percussion sounds that were created. I love the sounds on this kit. You can see all their latest KAT gear on their website at katpercussion.com

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 22

Another fantastic idea from Zoom – the new Zoom ARQ Wireless Bluetooth Control. It is a Drum Machine, it is a Sequencer, it is an electronic tambourinesque percussion instrument, it is a Synth, it is a Midi Controller, it is a looper with a built-in accelerometer. What can’t this thing do?

You should see it in the shops about April time $599. Zoom say it is for Electronic Music Production and performance. With its wireless Bluetooth Ring Controller, you can get out amongst the crowd.
Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 22

One of the biggest surprises for me this Namm is the release of the Yamaha Montage with its new Motion Control Synth engine. Yamaha state that it “sets the next milestone with sophisticated dynamic control, massive sound creation and streamlined workflow from the company that brought you the DX and the Motif”. The Montage is certainly very good-looking synth packed with sounds, so much so that I immediately think this is going to be expensive. There are the usual 3 models with 61, 76 and 88 keys and the cost ranges from approx £2100 to £2800. I really wish they would bring out a rack mounted version of it as I have said before like many other synth enthusiast, I do not have room for another keyboard.

The Motion Control Synthesizer Engine controls two famous Yamaha Sound Engines – Advanced Wave Memory 2 (AWM2) and FM-X. What is really useful is the AWM2 engine is compatible with previous generation Motif libraries, but is exponentially more powerful than the previous Motif XF flagship, with nearly ten times more wave memory, integrated flash, double the effects and twice the polyphony.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 21

Namm 2016 and Roland release the new EC-10 Electronic Layered Cajon. Have a look at youtube clip above and you will hear it performed by the very beautiful Professional percussionist, Heidi Joubert.

The new Roland EC-10 EL Cajon is the first of its kind. It is an acoustic cajon but it can be with layered with electronic sounds. These range from electronic drum sounds to more traditional acoustic percussion sounds as well as FX. It is the same size as a standard cajon (50 x 30 x 30 cm) and the playing surface is made of sapele wood.

It has 30 built-in electronic kits for layering with acoustic cajon sounds and each kit includes two independent sounds that can be triggered from the head and edge of the playing surface. It also includes studio-optimized cajon sounds to enhance the instrument’s acoustic sound, providing additional depth and punch.

It comes with an Integrated amplifier and coaxial speaker and runs on AA-size batteries providing you with up to 12 hours of continuous playing time or an AC adaptor (DC 5.7 V).

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 18

Here is an interesting plugin from Waves and Greg Wells. Greg has given us two plugins in this series so far the VoiceCentric and the PianoCentric. This one is called the MixCentric and is designed to sit on your master buss. Greg states that “This plugin is very special, and much agonizing and experimenting went into it. The MixCentric plugin will quickly get your track sounding like an expertly EQed and compressed mix, using the same techniques employed by many of the best mix engineers.” This plugin has been designed as a quick and easy way for you to finalize your mix by using EQ, compression and harmonic distortion. You can use it on your master buss or groups.

Greg is a songwriter and mix engineer who has worked with some great artists like Katy Perry, Adele, OneRepublic and Mika.

Jan 16

Namm 2016  – IK and Gavin Lurssen – new mastering product

Here is a great teaser that we may well have to wait until Friday next week to find out exactly what it is that IK and Gavin Lurssen are set to unveil that will assist us with Mastering. Have a watch of this YouTube clip and see what you think. I am not sure if it is going to be hardware or software but I am guessing it will be software.

In addition you only have a couple of days left to submit  your  mix which if selected will be mastered by world-renowned mastering engineers Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen.   At NAMM 2016, during the live presentation of this new mastering product from IK Multimedia and Gavin Lurssen , it could be your mix that is mastered.

To enter your mix go here : – http://submityourmix.hscampaigns.com/, simply fill out the submission form and upload your mix to SoundCloud or Dropbox  – Good Luck.

Jan 16

celemony_ melodyne_4

Just when you least expect it, they go and release a new version of Melodyne called Celemony Melodyne 4. I am sure this will be shown at Namm 2016.

If you are already a user of Celemony Melodyne, I would suggest you log into your account and check to see if you are entitled to a free upgrade. If you are not the pricing and upgrade pricing is as follows:-

New users to Melodyne 4 Prices for the four different versions are:-
Melodyne 4 Studio €699, Melodyne 4 Editor €399, Melodyne 4 Assistant €249 and Melodyne 4 Essentials €99

Upgrades to the big Melodyne 4 Studio package
Upgrade from Melodyne assistant (all versions) is €449
Upgrade from Melodyne essential (all versions) is €599
Upgrade from Melodyne studio (Version 1 or 2) or Melodyne cre8 (all versions) is €149

Upgrades to the Melodyne 4 Editor package

Upgrade from Melodyne assistant (all versions) is €149
Upgrade from Melodyne essential (all versions) is €299
Upgrade from Melodyne uno or Melodyne plugin is €149

Have a look at Celemony’s website to give you more info on the versions but this update is mainly about the big studio package.

Jan 15

PD*60708286

Hi,

I am very sorry but 2016 has started badly with my website out of action. I am very pleased to announce that it is now back up and running again and I appologise for any inconvenience this has caused you.

It may well be half way through the month but we are getting very close to The 2016 Winter NAMM trade show in Anaheim, California which begins next friday . Already the excitement has started with the anouncement of a new synth from Korg called the Minilogue, a 37 slim-key fully programmable analog polyphonic synthesizer costing £435.

Also, there are the rumors of a new synth from Yamaha called the Montage. Speculation as to whether or not this will become the successor to the Motif is being discussed in Yamaha forums.

We may also see a new Roland sampler added to the product line-up, possibly as part of the AIRA series.

It seems that all the main companies have been recently bringing out products regressing back to yesteryear recreating sounds from the 70’s and 80’s. Personally I wish one of these companies would build a synth for 2016 that would produce sounds like Spectrasonics Omnisphere which are right up-to-date but not rely on a computer to store all of its sounds and have problems of latency. The Korg Kronos is probably the best at this at present but it is still heavily loaded with presets that look to recreate real instruments. Whilst this is good to have, it would be nice to have a synth that recreates solely the software synths sounds that we have today.

Anyway, let’s see what Namm brings us next week.