Aug 29

I had my suspicions a few weeks back when Native Instruments lowered the prices (until the end of August) of both their Maschine and their Mikro. I was very tempted to buy a Maschine which is such a great product at such a low price but at the same time was wondering if I would be instantly annoyed if they brought out a much better version 2. Well they have so have a look at Jeremy Ellis on this clip of the NI Maschine MKII and see what you think:-

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Aug 24


TC-Helicon need no introduction and for the world of vocals they have been slowly bringing more and more products onto the market to assist us both live and in the studio with achieving the vocal sound we are seeking. I am always intrigued to find out what they will do next and I did not have to wait long. At the Summer Namm show in Nashville this year they announced the release of the VoiceTone Mic Mechanic (I do love this name – excellent choice) which they tell us is a complete vocal toolbox in a pedal. The initial advertising seems to suggest they will be available in October, but I have got my hands on one and they seem to be available now – which is good. TC-Helicon describes their new pedal as a no-frills, compact effects pedal for vocalists who just want to sound great.
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Jul 13


There have been a few announcements at this year’s Summer Namm show that have caught my eye. The first is a small pedal called the Mic Mechanic (Great Name) from TC-Helicon which is meant to be a toolbox for vocalists. It seems to have been designed with the basic promise of providing you quickly with a great sound, automatically adjusting EQ, Compression, De-Essing and Gating. It comes with Reverbs, Delays and Auto Chromatic Pitch Correction. I will not provide any more details at this time as I am about to review one. So in the next few weeks I will be putting one of these through its paces to provide you with a complete review of the results, so please bookmark this site.

Available now at Absolute Music

May 17


The Line 6 POD range has been around for quite a few years now and has been a source of great effects and Amp Modelling both off stage and in the Studio. Based in California, this company now boast a new POD HD range with five models; the POD HD Desktop, POD HD 300, POD HD 400, POD HD 500 and the POD HD PRO. I have managed to get my hands on a POD HD Desktop (known as “the Bean”) announced at Musikmesse 2011 but unfortunately I am not a Guitarist, so I will have to review this from a Studio point of view and perhaps look at the possibilities of how I can get a better guitar sound from my keyboards. Fortunately the POD HD Desktop is aimed at the Studio user and has not been designed for the Live-Playing Guitarist who wants good LCD visibility and stomp-box type foot pedals to effortlessly change effects, whilst in full flow of his Blackmore-type solo.

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Mar 25

Audacity Audio Editor Version 2 – Free


Well here is something that you just got to read. If you are like me and have been using an excellent free piece of software called Audacity, then you will be thrilled to find out that it has just been upgraded to Version 2. Did I also mention that it is free? Those guys on the  Audacity Team deserve a very big “Thank You”

You will probably know that you can do many things with Audacity such as :-  Record live audio ,  Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs ,  Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files, Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together,  Change the speed or pitch of a recording and much more.

Some of the major changes in 2.0.0 over 1.2.6 are:

  • Many effects significantly improved, especially Equalization, Noise Removal and Normalize. Vocal Remover now included plus GVerb on Windows and Mac. VAMP analysis plug-ins now supported.
  • Improved label tracks with Sync-Lock Tracks feature in the Tracks Menu. Multiple clips per track. Tracks and selections can be fully manipulated using the keyboard. Many more keyboard shortcuts.
  • New Device Toolbar to manage inputs and outputs. Timer Record feature. New Mixer Board view with per-track VU meters.
  • Automatic Crash Recovery in the event of abnormal program termination.
  • Fast “On-Demand” import of WAV/AIFF files if read directly from source. FLAC now fully supported. Added support for optional FFmpeg library for import/export of AC3/M4A/WMA and import of audio from video files.
  • Go on download Version 2 now – you know you want to:-

    Mar 21

    Musikmesse 2012 Boss VE-5 Vocal Performer

    Roland and Boss have certainly released a few products at this year’s Musikmesse in Frankfurt like the new Boss VE-5 Vocal Performer. It looks like it has some similarities with the TC Helicon range of products. Here is a You tube clip to give you some idea:-

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    Mar 19


    On my last review we looked at a great vocal product from TC Helicon – The VoiceLive 2 vocal stomp-box. TC Helicon have decided to also market a product for those on a budget by providing us with the VoiceLive Play announced at NAMM 2012 last month and which is also available immediately which makes a very pleasant change from having to wait months. They seemed to have approached the product however from a slightly different angle by stating that “VoiceLive Play gives you two hundred plus song & artist presets to choose from, helping you create amazing vocals. Plug in your MP3 player and sing along with your favourite tracks or create instant HIT effects for your own songs”. Well if it still has that professional sound and allows you to get that vocal sound you love from your favourite artist, all at the third of the cost of VoiceLive 2, then I think I want to give this pedal a look.

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    Mar 7



    You can’t get away from the fact that Vocals are one of the most important aspects of music. There is nothing to compare with the Human Voice and we all wish we could sing and sound like our favourite artist whose recent recording has made them sound unbelievable but at the same time believable. These include artists like the lovely Imogen Heap who are continually pushing and shaping the vocal sound to new limits creatively using every form of effect processor out there, including many that were not designed for the voice and they demand new technologies to find their next new sound.

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    Jan 27

    Namm 2012 and it is amazing how many small items sound so huge. Korg have a couple of updated items with so much more but they have become very small – The Korg Kaossilator 2 which is a palm-size phrase synthesizer and the Korg Mini Kaoss Pad 2 a great little effects processor. I think this You Tube Clip says it all. Have a blast with these:-

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    Aug 31

    Here is something a little bit different that can capture the sounds of India and I am sure will bring out the Hippy in you (Love and Peace Man). It is the new stomp box pedal from Electro-Harmonix called the Ravish Sitar Pedal and it should be available in the next few weeks. With this pedal you can transform your guitar into the harmonic and dynamic flexibility of a sitar.

    Electro-Harmonix state that they have streamlined the essence of the sitar into a compact enclosure that offers a polyphonic lead voice and tunable sympathetic string drones that dynamically react to your playing. You can also create your own custom scales for the sympathetic strings while you set the decay time for the lead voice. There are two expression pedal inputs which allow you to bend the pitch of the lead voice and control the volume of the sympathetic strings simultaneously. These unique controls offer the player the ability to program the Ravish to become a totally unique and organic instrument unto itself. The Ravish is a truly new design with the flexibility to be a crossover tonal wonder.

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