Feb 5


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 27

Namm 2012 and a great looking product to tempt you away from your existing Pad Controller – The KMI QuNeo 3D Multi-Touch Pad Controller which adds the power of touch recognition in other dimensions. It has 27 Pads, sliders and rotary sensors are pressure, velocity, and location sensitive. Even the 17 switches respond to how hard you press. It has a fantastic lumination scheme combining variably diffusive elastomers with 251 multi-color LEDs to give you immediate visual feedback that is responsive and very informative. It is a true experience of light, feel and sound.

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Jan 19

OK lets kick off this great show with the Akai MPC Fly designed for iPad2. Have a look at this quick YouTube Clip to get some idea of what this is about:-

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Aug 21


If you are in a local band, you are very familiar with the lugging of heavy gear, upstairs, through fire-doors, down narrow corridors, in fact quite often through an assault course of obstacles until you reach the stage or area where you are to setup your gear. With heavy back-straining PA speakers this can often be a very painful experience and quite frankly it is not what you really want to do before performing for a couple of hours.

It has been a challenge for speaker manufactures to create a very powerful speaker with an in-built amplifier in a lightweight package, especially as more often than not these cabinets need a vast frequency range to cope with anything from deep Synth basses to crisp sizzling hi-hats and therefore must have a 15” bass-pounding woofer as well as a high-frequency compression driver.

Mackie are a leading speaker manufacture and have been looking at this problem for some time. Their famous and most popular cabinet the SRM450 almost achieves this with a great sound and a weight of 40 lbs. (18 kg) but these are reasonably expensive speakers and still not very light in weight. With this in mind they have produced a cheaper and lighter speaker – the Mackie Thump. The Mackie Thump comes in two sizes – The TH-15A with a 15” Woofer and the TH-12A with a 12” which is even lighter.

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Jul 30

If you are like me and have been a great fan of Imogen Heap and follow her impressive volume of social media comunications you are probably aware that she had a pair of gloves specially made to allow her to control aspects of her performance such as sounds, effects and drums using hand and finger gestures.

She gave a great performance last Wednesday at Wired Magazine’s The Future Of Music Event in London however, I think she missed a couple of beats on the air drums and played just like our drummer does. It did look very impressive and just shows the many different ways of making music and a glipse at what the future holds. She seemed to be wearing 4 radio packs on her and you could just make out a USB cable trailing down her leg!

The gloves were developed by Tom Mitchell, a lecturer in music systems at the University of the West of England, Bristol and allow Imogen to mix her music live on stage. Apparently, they have sensors that monitor the motion of the wearer’s finger joints, along with a gyroscope and accelerator to track the orientation of the wearer’s hands in space and microphones attached to the wrist for sound capture. All the data is then streamed to a laptop for analysis and audio processing. Imogen’s sharp wrist rotations step through a number of modes and then arm and finger positions can be used to control stuff such as volume, pan, reverb send, low-pass filter, distortion, looping, sample triggering and pitched instrument playing. She just doesn’t stop pushing the boundaries of music technology forward – what a great artist. Have a look at the You Tube clip:-

Jun 12


I am just about to look at 480 instruments and 30 Kits from both vintage drum machines and acoustic kits all in one drum solution made of a software application and a dedicated hardware controller. It is the new Arturia Spark creative drum machine announced at NAMM this year which combines multi-layered drum samples from all the vintage greats and adds power with Arturia’s TAE Analog Synthesis and physical modelling.

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Mar 6


Well here is a Blast from the Past. I am writing this review because despite the fact that I have written to Roland and Boss on the matter of upgrading this machine, 6 years have passed and this is still their top drum machine – why is that? Whilst I know I like hardware drum machines, a great many people prefer to use software but this machine was aimed at a slightly different market – the guitarist. The Roland Boss DR-880 is much more than a drum machine; it is also also partly a bass guitar synthesizer and partly guitarist effects package with built-in COSM Drive/Amp models and effects such as chorus, delay, reverb, wah, crunch, and others. Add to this a direct input connection for a guitar, a built-in chromatic tuner and a Composition function for drum and bass sounds, guitar players just love this and you can’t blame them. You don’t have to be a guitarist to make use of this unit as it can be used by any musician wanting a drum and bass guitar backing. It is really an excellent tool to jam along with providing you with both rhythmic and melodic ideas for song creation.

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