Jan 23


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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Mar 10


Doesn’t it come around quickly – It is here again that great show at Frankfurt, Germany – Musikmesse 2014. Last year’s show with some really great sunshine may just be beaten by this show, which has already got everyone interested in new products two days before the show opens.

Today we have seen announcements from Waldorf, Akai, Nord and Waves and I am sure there will be more to come. Of course the eagerly awaited Roland Aira kit will be there.

My list of Musikmesse and new products is looking like this at present:-

Nord Lead A1R rack-mountable version of the Lead A1
Akai APC40 mkII Controller
Akai Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine & Bass Synth
Waves and Abbey Road – Real ADT Plug-In
Waldorf Streichfett – String Synth
Roland AIRA – System – 1 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer
Roland AIRA – VT-3 Voice Transformer
Roland AIRA – TB-3 Touch Bassline
Roland AIRA – TR-8 Rhythm Performer
Arturia Spark Version 2
Audient ASP880 New 8-channel mic pre with Digital I/O

Jan 24

Arturia Spark 2 – Namm 2014


I love my Spark, so I really delighted that Arturia have updated it further with their new version which really gives you a new look and a new feel which is just what you want from a Drum Maschine.

Namm seems to have as many Drum related products as it does guitars. Perhaps that is a bit of an exageration but maybe it just me that is drawn to all these new drum machines spoiling us for choice. In comparison to say the drum maschines from Elektron, this is a much cheaper option as a hybrid hardware/software instrument but it is just as interesting and a quarter of the price. I can’t wait to try this out.

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Jan 24

Best of Namm 2014


The NAMM show is such a great event running from 23 January 2014 to 26 January 2014 in its usual location of Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, although I have seen there will also be a Namm show in Russia in September 2014.

Sometimes the companies build the hype to such an extent that you feel a little let down when you see the new products, but as you dig a little deeper, there is normally something for everyone. Whether it is precisely what you are after is another matter but you can easily get drawn in and dream of possibilities for you.

For me, I have my own selection of goodies from the show, so apart from the four that we have already looked at:- ROLAND FA-06 and FA-08 Synth Workstation, ROLAND RD-800 Stage Piano, ROLAND TM-2 Trigger Module and M-AUDIO Finger Trigger Pro, my favourites are:-


It looks like ROLAND VT-3 VOCAL TRANSFORMER and ROLAND ARIA will not be at NAMM 2014 and following Waldorf’s tease of possibly a new synth, nothing as materialised as yet.

I hope to look at the above in a little more detail, so stay tuned

Jun 28



It is good to see that manufactures are still bringing out new Analogue Synths. Many of them are small and compact with sufficient knob-tweaking controls for you to create your next Dubstep sound or effect for a movie soundtrack. Arturia are one such company and have taken the step in producing their first Analogue Synth – the Arturia Minibrute.

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Apr 10

It is a great privilege to be attending Musikmesse in Frankfurt this weekend. Already there has been a surprising announcement of new products – Korg Kross Synth, Novation Bass Station II, Roland RC-505 Looper, Native Instruments Komplete 9 software package, Avid Pro Tools 11 DAW, Arturia KeyLab range of professional-grade MIDI keyboard controllers with all-new accompanying Analog Lab synthesizer software, Genelec M Series Monitors, Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 software synth, Softube Console 1 hardware/software music mixing solution, TC Helicon Harmony Singer, Novation Launchpad S, Universal Audio Apollo 16 Audio Interface, Nord Drum 2 and Nord Pad, Nord Lead 4, Korg Volca analogue groove boxes, Nord Piano 2 HP, RME MADiface XT – the world’s first USB 3.0 audio interface, SPL Crimson USB Audio Interface & Controller, and at long last the Waldorf Pulse 2 Synth.

I am sure there are many others that will capture my heart and interest and possibly my wallet. I hope to bring back some great pictures and useful information to share with you

Jan 25

Here is one of my favourites a great little drum machine hardware / software hybrid from Arturia called SPARK and now for NAMM 2013 the SPARK LE at a great price of only £229.

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Nov 14


Here is a totally new product from Arturia – Spark DubStep. This is a powerful interface to easily make your own beats and bass patterns. SPARK DubStep brings a complete and powerful production suite to the Dubstep producer. It gives you a comprehensive library of 30 kits / 480 instruments created inpartnership with Sample Magic. From atomic wobble basses, to filthy FX and dirty drums, everything is at your fingertips in one single and easy to use interface.

This is a stand-alone product. Spark Dubstep IS NOT an expansion pack for Spark (an expansion pack will be released soon. Spark Dubstep is a complete software package that gives you access to Sparks intuitive, organic, features and work flow using the Dubstep Library

Have a listen to the You Tube clip and feel the Wobble – You know what I mean

Oct 4


Another lovely update – this time from Arturia who have just provide a great free update Version 1.5 to their SPARK Creative Drum Machine.

With this update Version 1.5, they have taken the art of creative rhythm programming and performance to a whole new level with a fantastic array of new performance-orientated features and a massive library which has 118 kits (28 new ones) and 1,800 instruments.

There is a new Tune feature, to easily compose melodies on the MIDI controller’s hardware drum pads and sequencer step buttons; the sample engine now enables Choke groups, so users can creatively specify samples that will cut each other off when triggered – this is great for emulating a hi-hat ‘choke’. It also offers creative modes for layering samples (circular, random, stack, threshold). The flexible FX Pad now includes the Oberheim SEM V filter featured in Arturia’s Oberheim SEM V soft synth for unique warmth and depth to those still-sought-after synth sweeps. I have just downloaded it and it sounds great.

Mar 6


Why not take a look at our drum page – http://www.tonylongmusic.co.uk/drums/ , with plenty to see, laugh about and learn. It is full of interesting clips with Michael Schack, Ian Paice, Korg Wavedrum, Dave Smith Tempest, Arturia Spark, Native Instruments Maschine, The Corrs own Caroline Corr with her Bodhran – lovely, Roland TD-20 and TD-30, The Who, Drum Lessons, Gen 16 Zildjian Electro Acoustic Cymbals, Super Mario Bros 3, The Shuffle, How to make a Porthole in your Bass Drum head, Wishbone Ash classic drum rolls, Urban Drumming, Black Eyed Peas – Drums in the Snow, Double Bass Drum Pedal, Jeff Porcaro, Battle of the Drummers, Stick twister lesson, The Wedding Drummer, Backstreet Girl – Everybody, Birch Drums, Steve Gadd and more.

If you love drums why not bookmark the page :- http://www.tonylongmusic.co.uk/drums/

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