Nov 27

Here is some great drumming on electronic kits. Linda Mertens (Milk Inc) is assisted by some famous drummers all playing Roland V-Drums live – see who you recognise. Milk Inc. (previously known as Milk Incorporated and briefly known as La Vache in France) have been around since 1996. They are a vocal trance band that formed in Belgium. Concerts are performed annually by Milk Inc. at Sportpaleis.

Sep 4

There seems to be a new product around every corner at the moment. Whilst Korg who recently surprised us with the release of the Kronos X, they have surprised us yet further with the release of the Korg Krome Workstation.

It looks a bit like a Kronos with some costly ommissions but with some features that look interesting to me. The first thing I noticed was how the screen looked. It is a huge 800 x 480 pixel TouchView Color display can show numerous parameters at once, ensuring great visibility. Although I have not seen it in the flesh the text on screen looks much larger and clearer than the Kronos. The other facination that I am always talking about is the weight. The weight of these keyboards are extremely portable 61 note is just 7.2kg (15.87lbs) , the 73 key is 10.2 kg (22.49 lbs) , and the 88 note is only 15.2 kg (33.51 lbs).

Obviously the cost is a big deciding factor when buying a new keyboard, but the prices look too good to be true. The 88 note is only £1249.00, the 73 note £ 949.00 and the 61 note £749. I was not too impressed with M50 or the Kronos 61 note keybed, so I am wondering how good these keybeds are or are they the same as existing Korg keybeds? The 88-key has a Touch sensitive Natural Weighted Hammer Action keyboard but there is no aftertouch on any of the models. Also the polophony is not too great – 120 note in single mode, 60 in dual mode but it does include a German D Grand acoustic piano.

I am sure you will read all the other info at Korg’s website and it really looks fantastic value for the money, but for now, I am not going to pass judgement until I have tried one.

Aug 24

INTRODUCING THE VOICETONE MIC MECHANIC

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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Aug 7

INTRODUCTION

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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Mar 20

Musikmesse 2012 – Clavia Nord Electro 4D

It is that time of year again where new products get announced. For us Europeans, we have the Musikmesse show held at Frankfurt. One such company who have been delighting us with their bright red products is Clavia. They launched the Nord Electro 10 years ago and have just announced the release of the new model called the Electro 4D.

This is a lightweight 7kg, 61-note keyboard that has that lovely semi-weighted waterfall key action also has excellent organ drawbars found on the very popular Nord C2D. They have updated the click modelling, added a brand new delay effect, given it a new rotary speaker simulation with a new drive feature and made it compatible with the fantastic Nord Sound Libraries collection

The Nord Electro 4D also supports Long Release which is suitable for legato playing and selectable String Resonance. To assist the handling of programs, there are four Program Banks and four Live Locations and the USB port now doubles as an USB-MIDI interface.

It should be shipping in May and cost is 1699 Euros – Can’t wait to hear it.

Mar 7

INTRODUCING THE TC HELICON VOICELIVE 2 VOCAL HARMONY BOARD

 

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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Feb 5

INTRODUCTION


Mackie Speakers have been around quite a few years now and I have been a few bands that have used their SRM (Sound Reinforcement Monitors) range of speakers and I must say I have always thought they do a very professional job, are reliable with a great build quality and sound great. Mackie decided to re-design them and they now have a version 2 range of SRM speakers and following my review of their cheaper Mackie Thump range, I decided to look at the SRM 450v2.

I thought that the SRM 450 (both version 1 and 2) had 15inch woofers because of the frequency range that they both cover from 45Hz – 20KHz, but they do in fact have 12 inch woofers. This frequency range is as good as many 15” active monitors on the market.
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Jan 22

Namm 2012 and here is another great little product for Live Mixing where you can Mix on the Fly – Mackie DL1608 16-Channel Digital Live Sound Mixer with iPad Control. Mackie have also made this very funny video to show its potential:-

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Jan 23

I am a great fan of both Imogen Heap and TC Helicon Vocal hardware so it was good to see Imogen and the VoiceLive 2 being used on stage. Imogen really knows how to get the best out of today’s technology and makes a great effort to discover a wide range of products to create herindividual sound. Her child-like approach to touch and play with everything around her musical life has trained her to be a master of today’s musical inovations. The vocal complexities that she achieves both live and in the studio need the type of products that TC are producing today. I have thought that there has been a wide gap in the market for a number of years for vocal hardware. There are too many pedals in the world for the guitarist and nowhere near enough for the vocal performer. I hope TC continue to produce these products.

Have a look at Imogen:-

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