Nov 14

 Genelec Studio Monitors

I think its time for some music to chill but at the same time consider some excellent studio monitors from Genelec who have put this video clip together demonstratiing their speaker range during the HiFi Expo 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. The first song is the excellent Rio De Janeiro Blue by Joe Sample & Randy Crawford (? 2006 Emarcy / PRA Records, Inc.) I just love the piano in this as well as Randy Crawford seductive voice – enjoy.

Oct 8

If you haven’t seen this You Tube Clip before it is certainly worth a look. A very tallented guy, Mike Tompkins demonstrates exactly what is possible, with a decent voice and shit loads of technology, if you know how to use it. Armed with Ableton Software on a laptop and what looks like 3 Novation Launchpads and two AKAI APC20 controllers and an iPad, that leaves a great song Cinema by Skrillex and the many voices of Mike Tompkins. What a brilliant idea, sound and performance as well as some clever film behind him- excellent.

Sep 18


Here is a first for me; I am going to look at matched pair of stereo microphones. There are many on the market today such as the sE Electronics SE-1A and SE-2A mics. I have been informed that one of the best value for money matched pairs are the Sontronics STC-1S Condenser Mics. I have a very sexy black pair of these and I am hoping that by the end of this review, I will have a greater understanding of their use and suitability.

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Sep 7


Recording Vocals at home is always a challenge mainly because you may not have a vocal booth or sufficient room for a vocal booth. The trouble is you really want that quality of sound especially if you have just succeeded in recording your perfect take, but when you play it back, you realise it is not quite as good as you envisaged and does not have that professional dry quality. To solve this problem the company sE electronics designed something called the Reflexion Filter just over four years ago, which is a portable device that mounts on a mic stand and acts as an effective acoustic absorber surrounding the mic. sE Electronics was founded in March 2000 by Siwei Zou from Shanghai. They are well known for their extensive and very competitive microphone range.
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Aug 31

Here is something new, small and handy for vocalists – it is the Roland VT-12 Vocal Trainer announced in Rolands third quarter of the year announcements of new products. This looks very interesting, it is quite colourful and compact. It has been described as a practice and warm-up tool for vocalists and has a visual pitch display, built-in exercises and backing tracks, two-voice support, and so much more.

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Aug 24


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 22

Those generous guys at TC-Helicon are at it again and have some free presets to give you. You may remember that they have this new featured artist of the Month who have been creating free vocal presets for your VoiceLive 2, VoiceLive Rack, VoiceLive Touch, VoiceLive Play or VoiceLive Play GTX. Serj Tankian is the Featured Vocal Artist for August 2012. He is best known for his work with System of a Down.

He has provided eleven exclusive presets covering massive reverbs to distorted harmonies. Here is a list of the presets for you to download:-

Serj Corn 1 – Cornucopia, Serj Corn 2 – Cornucopia, Serj Figure – Figure It Out,
Serj Ching 1 – Ching Chime, Serj Ching 2 – Ching Chime, Serj Occupied – Occupied Tears,
Serj Deaf – Deafening Silence, Serj Reality – Reality TV, Serj Weave – Weave On,
Serj Democracy – Uneducated Democracy and Serj Tyrant – Tyrant’s Gratitude.

Jul 13


There have been a few announcements at this year’s Summer Namm show that have caught my eye. The first is a small pedal called the Mic Mechanic (Great Name) from TC-Helicon which is meant to be a toolbox for vocalists. It seems to have been designed with the basic promise of providing you quickly with a great sound, automatically adjusting EQ, Compression, De-Essing and Gating. It comes with Reverbs, Delays and Auto Chromatic Pitch Correction. I will not provide any more details at this time as I am about to review one. So in the next few weeks I will be putting one of these through its paces to provide you with a complete review of the results, so please bookmark this site.

Available now at Absolute Music

Mar 21

Musikmesse 2012 Boss VE-5 Vocal Performer

Roland and Boss have certainly released a few products at this year’s Musikmesse in Frankfurt like the new Boss VE-5 Vocal Performer. It looks like it has some similarities with the TC Helicon range of products. Here is a You tube clip to give you some idea:-

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Mar 19


On my last review we looked at a great vocal product from TC Helicon – The VoiceLive 2 vocal stomp-box. TC Helicon have decided to also market a product for those on a budget by providing us with the VoiceLive Play announced at NAMM 2012 last month and which is also available immediately which makes a very pleasant change from having to wait months. They seemed to have approached the product however from a slightly different angle by stating that “VoiceLive Play gives you two hundred plus song & artist presets to choose from, helping you create amazing vocals. Plug in your MP3 player and sing along with your favourite tracks or create instant HIT effects for your own songs”. Well if it still has that professional sound and allows you to get that vocal sound you love from your favourite artist, all at the third of the cost of VoiceLive 2, then I think I want to give this pedal a look.

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