Tuesday, 27 January 2015

NAMM 2015 - New Roland gear

I can just picture the rage around the Roland office over the last couple of years - while Korg decidedly trump them each year with cheap analogue gear, they had to bide their time with electronic accordions and development of the Aira range before coming back with any kind of clout. Which is what I am glad to see them doing, as it doesn't do for any company like Korg to get complacent and not keep pushing the envelope to stay on top.

Monday, 26 January 2015

40 Years of Yamaha

While I get my thoughts together on NAMM 2015, here's a great run through of Yamaha's history from Sonic State that I couldn't help but share. Includes the SY1, a working CS80 and innards and a better look at FM synthesis. While they have been a little quiet on the synth front in modern time, I am glad that the company recognises its rich heritage in music hardware like this.

Monday, 19 January 2015

NAMM 2015 predictions

On a day that is supposed to be the most depressing day in the calendar (so-called Blue Monday - when the brain figures out that going to work for a third week after Christmas isn't a temporary thing - you're stuck with it until spring), I have taken to listening to long stints of Robert Wyatt and plenty of Dark Side Of The Moon to keep the demons away.

However there is plenty of good news this week with NAMM coming up in Anaheim and the promise of lots of news stories with new videos and technology. I had the good fortune to speak with John Price of Kenton Electronics over the weekend, who will be exhibiting alongside Andreas Scheider and the Schneidersladen - it seems that like most exhibitors they have new products to show off, which strangely enough is the topic of this post. So after sifting through all the pre-NAMM articles in the press what am I most looking forward to?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

ChucK - music programming language

Something I've come across recently via the Coursera website is a programming language for making music with, called ChucK. More or less you can program entire synthesisers and music with it in code, which seems like a nice meeting-of-the-minds for me!

Not yet actually made anything worth listening to but it's definitely cool to see what people have done with this.


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Sister Ray

A recent walk through Soho's trendy Berwick Street and came across the following, disturbing sign. Whiteout on the windows? Bill posters everywhere? Shop closed?

No more Sister Ray Records? Please say it ain't so!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Reverb Units part 1: Alesis MicroVerb

Despite a reputation for the stomach-churning low end bass sounds that the Minibrute and Microbrute can produce, both are capable monosynths in their own right for fluttery leads, clean arpeggios, sequenced runs and all sorts. In fact, I really enjoy using the MiniBrute to simulate CS80 leads for Vangelis-like synths. The only thing I find fault with is the flat, mono output; it doesn't really sit well in a mix or if you're just jamming. In fact, what the world needs is more reverb.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2015, I hope the Christmas and New Year has passed and that everyone is well.

Sorry for the near 6 months of silence; it's all been on hold for some time. However, I have plenty of other things coming up, especially in the light of the new NAMM show coming up in a fortnight's time. Always a good time to look at new gear and equipment!

Looking forward to posting more into 2015!