Sep 19

I don’t know if you have ever seen this before or like me if you believed it was possible for one person to sing two notes at the same time. Well the very talented Anna-Maria Hefele shows us in this live video that polyphonic overtone singing is possible and that every human being is capable of doing this.

Apparently, you can sing the overtone scale on one fundamental. Another fundamental has its own overtone scale, so in order to have more overtones to sing nice melodies, you can use different fundamentals and change them while singing.

You can do this with different movements of your tongue, lips and jaw and by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx to produce the harmonics (fundamental and overtones) of a sound wave.

Wiki states “Overtone singing—also known as overtone chanting, harmonic singing or throat singing—is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out of the lips to produce a melody”.

If that all sounds too complicated, Anna-Maria Hefele shows you how at her site :-

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Sep 12

Amongst the new recent products released by Roland, I couldn’t help but notice a colourful green synth from their AIRA range – the new System 8. This is the second Plug-Out synth from Roland that features their Analogue Circuit Behaviour Technology (ACB) to create a wealth of sounds. Have a listen to the great Scott Tibbs at Kraft Music demo the System 8 in the Youtube clip above.

The System 8 however, can control up to three Plug-Out software synths. Two of which are included in the price. One of which is the Jupiter 8 and the other which will not be available until Spring 2017 is the Juno 106 Plug-Out. This will leave a space for a future Plug-Out synth that they may release or one of their existing ones already available such as the SH-01 or SH2. You should note that the Plug-Out synths are separate from the internal engine. These plug-outs of these classic synths have been recreated with all their analogue character using ACB.

The Roland System 8 has a 49 note velocity sensitive key-bed, 8 voice polyphony, three powerful oscillators, powerful hi-res filters, very versatile LFOs, a built-in vocoder, an arpeggiator, polyphonic chord memory functions, CV/GATE outputs, a large selection of great effects, and it can be used as a USB/MIDI interface for easy integration with your DAW – all sounds good to me. But, how much does it cost I hear you say?. Unfortunately, this will set you back £1239.00.

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Sep 10


At last, Roland after all these years, have upgraded the TD-30 drum Brain to the TD-50. It has been a while and I wasn’t sure if they ever were going to do it. Their 909 day although I am sure has been a great success took a little flak from the people who commented on this on-line. One of the main comments was their ability to market and recycle all that they have done in the past and this is definitely true. Although, we all love the sounds of the 808 and 909, it makes me wonder when they are going to invent something new. That said, I am all for improvements and if Roland can build something further on the Roland TD30 by way of the TD-50 then I will be very pleased that it exists in this world. However at a cost of £1939 for the TD-50 module or £6599 for the TD-50KV kit, we are talking some serious money. The smaller TD-50K is £4129 which makes me think that the TD-50 module is over-priced being half the price of the whole kit. I think £1400 – £1500 is more realistic.

I sincerely hope that we don’t hear their repetitive saying that “it has been built from the ground up”, because it clearly has not. It has been built up from its predecessors the TD7, TD-10, TD20 and TD30 but yes it will without a doubt be their Flagship V-Drum sound module. At this stage it is hard to properly comment on how it sounds and feels and to do any comparison with the TD-30 but the most obvious advantage I can see is the ability to play your own samples via an SD card. I never understood why this was not on the TD-30 as it was crying out for it.

Roland’s information on the SD card tell us that it’s easy to trigger your own WAV files using any of the TD-50’s drum pads, and you can loop or layer them alongside the internal sounds while controlling volume and tone via the TD-50’s front panel. There’s even a choice of audio sampling formats: 48 kHz, 96 kHz, and the standard 44.1kHz – all sounds great to me.

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