Jan 25

It has been a bit quiet on the Spectrasonics Omnisphere front recently so I was pleasantly surprised that they have been very hard at work creating version 2 of this software. For those of you wanting to upgrade it is a reasonably costly upgrade at nearly half the price of the full product. So for this amount I am expecting a great deal of changes and improvements.

At Namm 2015 Spectrasonics has just introduced Omnisphere 2 as a major upgrade to its best-selling flagship software synth. Spectrasonics say that Omnisphere 2 “adds a vast amount of new synthesis and creative capabilities for sound design and significant user interface innovations”.

The Omnisphere 2 upgrade includes the most requested Omnisphere feature: Audio import for user created soundsources. I really like the sound of this which opens up endless sound possibilities. The next biggest change has got to be it’s new oscillator features which give you a hundred times the number of DSP Oscillator waveforms, morphing Wavetables, new granular synthesis optionsand over 3,000 unique new sounds. Yes that is what I said over 3,000 unique new sounds. These have been created by Spectrasonics excellent sound design team.

OK amonst the thousands of new additions and those fantastic features above you also get 25 new FX units and a much better user interface with fast browsing features.

Spectrasonics state “Our biggest goal with Omnisphere 2 is to offer more freedom to create for every type of person using it,” I was surprised to learn that this the first ‘version 2’ of any of their software instruments.

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Jan 24

NAMM 2015: Roland Unleash the JD-Xi Compact Crossover Synth

This is a lovely looking synth, the only thing I hate is 37 mini keys – great if you are a child. I don’t understand why they could not make it like the Roland SH-01. Admittedly it would be more square-shaped but at least it would be nicer to play. Actually looking at this a bit further, this would make a great rack unit. I know many companies seem to not be making rack units anymore, but it is a real shame, especially as if it was rack you could have it right in front of you to connect up to you favorite keybed like my Fantom G 88. Come on Roland make this little beauty into a rack unit as there is a limit to the amount of keyboards one can own.

However, also in the news but not for release yet is it’s bigger brother the Roland’s flagship’ JD-Xa Analog/Digital Crossover Synthesizer also on preview at the 2015 NAMM Show. The Roland JD-Xa maybe available by the next great show at  Musikmesse 2015. The Roland JD-Xa briefly has a keyboard jam packed with knobs and controls but with full size keys. It also has four independent analog monophonic voices, so you can use it as a four-voice polysynth. As you would expect it comes with four additional synth voices, based on Roland’s SuperNatural technology and lastly it has eight channels of step sequencing.

Anyway, let’s not get carried away with things to come let us focus our attention on the Roland JD-Xi.

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Jan 23

Print

Yes, we are bang in the middle of it -the National Association of Music Merchants (Namm) show 2015 from Anaheim, California on 22-25 January 2015. We have already looked at Nord Electro Series 5. Cakewalk Sonar Platinum and Casio XW-PD1 Trackformer.

Press the more option to see my favourite products amongst many being announced this week:-
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Jan 19

Well welcome to Namm week 2015 and Nord have just announced some familiar looking keyboards. Yes they look like all the other Nord keyboards but it is actually the new Nord Electro 5 series.

nord-electro-5-namm-2015

They come in three types, the Nord Electro 5d 61 note, the Nord Electro 5d 73 note and the hammer action Nord Electro 5HP 88 note. So what is the difference between the Series 5 and the previoous 4 series? Well Nord have made enhancements to every sound-generating section. They have improved its user-interface and functionality. Nord tell us that the Electro 5 series keyboards are more refined, live-focused, flexible than any of their previous models.

Nord introduced the Electro in 2001 and it has been used my many players over the world who crave for that authentic emulations of classical electro mechanical and acoustic instruments in a portable package.

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Jan 14

It is definately that time of year again. Cakewalk have made an anouncement a week before Namm 2015, no doubt in readiness for the show to say they have a new Sonar family. No it is not Cakewalk Sonar X4. Roland Cakewalk have decided to drop the “X4” to reflect that the new SONAR will now get new features regularly throughout the year instead of a big annual update. The new family names starting from the smallest is Sonar Artist, Sonar Professional and at the top they have Sonar Platinum

Have a look at the YouTube clip to give you a taster:-

There are some significant changes this year in terms of costs and some people will no doubt like the new plan whilst others will be dead against the changes – read on to find out:-

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Jan 6

casio-XW-PD1-trackformer

 

It is getting near that Namm time again. I hope we have some great new products. Have you heard any Namm 2015 rumours yet? How about this one from Casio – the new Casio XW-PD1 Trackformer. There is not much information about this yet but I am sure this teaser will get you interested.

I think it some kind of Groove Box with the old familiar 16 pads. Do you have any thoughts?

Can’t wait till Namm to find out

 

 

 

 

Jan 3

nord_synths_free_akg_headphones

Here is a great UK promotion from Nord UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd that is lasting until 31 March 2015. You can get a free pair of AKG K612 Pro headphones (worth £119) with all purchases from an authorised UK of Nord Lead A1, Nord Lead A1R, Nord Lead 4 or Nord Lead 4R synthesizers – What a great offer.

I have always wanted a Nord Synth which are hand made in Sweden with quality sounds and live performance features.

To claim the free AKG K612 Pro headphones, you just need to complete a postal claim form which you can get from an authorised UK store or claim online via Sound Technology’s website. A copy of a dated receipt from a participating retailer is required.

Dec 31

happy_new_year_tony_long_music

I hope to see you all in the New Year – have a great New Year’s Eve, wherever you are in the world.

Very Best Wishes
Tony

Dec 24

*Happy Christmas 2014 from Tony Long Music*

happy-christmas-tony-long-music

I just want to say a sincere thank you for your support this year, without you I could not do this. Let’s make 2015 a year to remember, with new hardware, new software, inspiration and the love of all things music, not forgetting Namm 2015 just around the corner.

2015 for me will the year I have been waiting for, full of promise, hopefully the completion of my new album, the creation of some new and exciting sounds, some great new gear to look at and have fun with and review.

I shouldn’t forget education. I have learned a terrific amount this year, especially mixing and mastering. Whilst I may still not be where I want to be, I have moved on leaps and bounds and have been delighted with my progress to take into 2015.

Exciting times ahead, so stay tuned! Until then, I would like to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and New Year. See you all in 2015.

Tony

Dec 20

Native Instruments Free Plugin Replika

native-instruments-replika

It is nice to receive a free gift especially at this time of year and from a great company call Native Instruments. This freebie is a streamlined delay effect with two delay modes and a powerful diffusion algorithm. Native Instruments tell us that it is very easy to use – that’s a good start and it has a resonant filter and classic phaser built in – sounding good to me already. You need to download it before the end of the year to get it free because in the new year it will cost you the usual 44 Euros.

REPLIKA gives you three distinct delay algorithms. ‘Modern’ to give you that crystal clear digital delay. ‘Vintage’ with the John Wayne Grit that you used to find in old Studios. Lastly is ‘Diffusion’ which is lost somewhere between a delay and a reverb. You can even adjust your signal’s placement in the mix with normal, wide, and ping pong stereo modes.

Native Instruments inform us that Replika requires graphics hardware support for OpenGL 2.1 – if you see any issues on your computer, please download and install the latest drivers for your GPU. This can be necessary even if Windows reports them as up to date.

Here is a great review from Saintjoe – he always does an excellent job:-

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