Jan 24

Namm 2014 – Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter

waldorf-2-pole-analog-filter

Well, we did not have to wait long – The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter is here for Namm 2014. The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter is an interesting beast because it is simply that – an Analog Filter for you to manipulate your sound(s) whether they are from a raunchy guitar or a synth or used by a DJ. I suppose if you are going to have a filter it may as well be one of the best, and Waldorf make some great filters. Looking at it my first thoughts are it is just like the Waldorf Rocket as it has the same size metallic case. The new Waldorf 2-Pole Analog Filter has a completely analog signal path and its Filter can be modulated by LFO, envelope follower or an external signal.

You get quite a bit to play with as it has extensive controls which are an input Gain with level LED; Rectify pot for mixing-in the rectified input signal; Filter Cutoff pot; Filter Resonance pot; Bipolar Filter Env Mod pot; Filter Type switch; Overdrive pot; Activation switch; Output Level pot; LFO Range switch with 3 positions; LFO Rate pot with LED; LFO Mod Depth pot; Trigger Button with LED; Trigger Threshold pot; Trigger Hold pot; Envelope Follower Source switch with 3 positions; Envelope Follower Attack pot and an Envelope Follower Decay pot.

Connections around the back give you Audio In and Out, Cutoff CV In, Envelope Follower CV In, Trigger In and a 12V DC Power input.

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Jan 24

Best of Namm 2014

SONY DSC

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:-

NORD AI
ARTURIA SPARK 2
IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER
ELEKTRON THE ANALOG RYTM
KORG TRITON TAKTIL
WAVES: ABBEY ROAD REEL ADT,
KORG GADGET SYNTH STUDIO FOR IPAD
KORG KEYTAR RK-100S

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

Jan 22

Namm 2014 – New Product – M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro

m-audio-trigger-finger-pro-namm-2014

Hot off the press as Namm 2014 starts its journey is the new M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro USB Controller with Step Sequencer. Is this M-Audio’s answer to Native Instruments Maschine. It certainly is a colourful piece of hardware with just as impressive software containing over 8 GB of instruments, one-shots, loops & so much more.

Like the Maschine and MPC it has 16 Pads which M-Audio say are ultra-responsive with illuminated RGB feedback. I like the fact that you get Hybrid 3 High Definition Synth by AIR Music Tech plus 16 custom drum kits from Black Anomaly (Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown). Also you get 10 great loop expansion packs from those guys at Prime Loops and 5 Artist Sound Packs from ToolRoom Records. In all there are over 2000 combined artist patches and presets for Hybrid 3 and Prime Loops content for only $399- Wow

I must say that I like their slogan “Weapon of Mass Production”

Jan 18

New Roland TM-2 Trigger Module

Another unexpected new product from Roland is the new Roland TM-2 Trigger Module. There have also been quite a few rumours about a new drum machine based on the Roland 808 and I hope to bring you details of this when it is launched next week at NAMM 2014. Will Roland have any other surprises for us next week?

Anyway the Roland TM-2 Trigger Module is aimed at acoustic drummers who want to electronic sounds to their existing setup and/or beef up their acoustic sounds with a layer of electronics.

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Jan 16

The second new Roland Product that caught my eye was the new Roland RD-800 Piano

This You Tube Clip from Keyboard Mag does an excellent job of showing just how good this Piano is. It is a quality instrument but will cost you £1799 but watching this I am sure you will think it is worth it.

I had an RD-150 some years ago and loved it. I always remember its simple quick two track recorder for quickly putting ideas. There is now a much better version on the RD-800 allowing you to record as a wav file on a USB stick.
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Jan 15

Roland FA-06 and Roland FA-08 Workstation

 

Roland -FA06-FA08-Music-Workstation-2014

I was really looking forward to finding out what new products Roland would be announcing today for their first quarter of 2014 just prior to Namm 2014.

At first, I was a little disappointed as their are not many and their didn’t appear to be anything ‘new’ in the true sense of the word. On closer inspection their are a couple of interesting additions and to start with I want to have a look at the new FA synth workstations that come in two sizes the FA-06 (61 key) and the weighted action FA-08 (88 note).

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Jan 11

Forget Christmas – January is the Month for Music Makers

 

roland-connect-2014-new-products

January is my Christmas with the anticipation of what is to come. On the 15th January, Roland are to announce their new products and from the 23rd to 26th January 2014 we have the famous Namm show from Anaheim Convention Centre, 800 West Katella Avenue Anaheim, CA 92802.

namm_show_2014

So what are we likely to see in 2014? Will it be something new from access like a Ti 3 or something outstanding from Yamaha to put to bed the MOTIF and MOX series for good. I am sad to see the undeveloped Roland Fantom 8. In my opinion there is nothing like it out there. It had so much potential. I truly hope that if Roland bring out another 88 note synth it has a fantastic piano action keyboard like the Fantom 8 unlike the MOTIF or the Kronos who quite frankly should supply a much better key action for the cost.

roland-fantom-g8

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Dec 25

Happy Christmas from Tony Long Music

merry_christmas_tony_long_music

Hi,
I just want to say a big thank you to you all for your continued support this year. Already I am looking forward to what I call ‘Christmas in January’ with the Namm 2014 show only a few weeks away now.

Lets hope that as technology and progress moves forward at the speed of light and we will see more great products to assist us with our neverending dream to create better and more interesting music and also have great fun in the process. Whether or not we become better musicians or better techno wizkids is the big debate but each require a level of skill, be that a different skill.

My personal aim for 2014 is to become a little better both as a musician and a technician.

Merry Christmas to you all and have a great New Year!

Best Wishes
Tony

Sep 26

waldorf-pulse-2-analogue-synthesizer

Its here at last – what a wait – the new Waldorf Pulse 2 Analogue Synthesizer. Do you remember my post from the NAMM show back in January 2012? Well I really didn’t think we would be waiting until September 2013 before the first of these became available. What have Waldorf been up to? I did however have a little go on this at Musikmesse this year – great fun especially the arpeggiator.

Sometimes you just have to wait if you want something good and the new Waldorf Pulse 2 Analogue Synthesizer certainly looks worth it. Waldorf have grown and grown and their products today are well liked and if you know of their previous products in the Pulse Range you will know they are legendary. With a newly designed Pulse 2 for 2013 (should have been 2012), Waldorf are about to give you all what you desire in this great, powerful and strong metal box of tricks.

It has for starters three analogue oscillators which seem to be right at home with my favourite – the VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter). This is no basic VCF and offers 12dB Highpass and Bandpass modes in addition to 24dB/12dB Lowpass for providing some real beef to the sound.

There is so much more to this synth, with a 128×64 character backlit LCD, a powerful arpeggiator, a Noise Generator, VCA, Ring Modulator, Analogue Filter FM, Pulsewidth Modulation, LFO, two Overdrive circuits and hard Sync, an Alternating Pulsewidth Modulation mode, an XOR Osc mode, CV Out, Gate Out, USB, Midi In and Out

If you want to create those sort-after sounds – you need a Pulse 2 which you can purchase direct from Waldorf €461.00 EUR/$610.00 USD (excluding tax). I have seen some UK prices as low as £406.

Apr 20

Well what a great time I had in Frankfurt, we have seen the keyboards and drums in a bit of detail but there was some other memories to keep of this visit such as the Rhine, the Bose lorry, the Light show, the girls, the buildings and the guitars. Oh I nearly forgot, I have a small clip of Monolith – what a great performance and sound with their fantastic talent with midi controllers. Read on to see the clip.

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