Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What are those crazy propellerheads up to?

In an earlier post I speculated on the announcements I was anticipating at winter Namm. More specifically I said I expected we would hear from Ableton and Propellerhead software. As it turned out I was half right. We heard from Ableton, but we didn't hear anything from Propellerheads! Now the reason I thought we'd hear from the propellerheads is because they have been posting to their .plan file so much. Specifically Dan has been posting a lot about some tech design he has been working on. I thought this was significant as the level of posting seemed unusually high. However mum was the word from these guys, so they definitely have my curiosity up, but in typical propellerhead fashion, they are being quite secretive...

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Dark Knight.

I am seeing The Dark Knight tonight on Imax. The new Batman movies are totally awesome, and I didn't get to see Dark Knight in the theater the first time around, so I am glad my friend Kevin noticed that they are doing a limited re-showing. I hope the theater isn't too crowded, because I hate crowds.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A question to Waldorf that will probably not be answered.

Okay, you guys make fantastic synths. I've never owned a hardware synth, but I've been fortunate enough to play them, including yours. The main reason I haven't owned a hardware synth is because of the cost. Now you've made the Blofeld, and it's actually affordable, but there is one problem. You've omitted one thing that makes hardware so cool, an audio input! Now i can't honestly understand why you wouldn't include this basic feature. I can't see how it could be a cost issue, a quarter inch jack is like 10 cents! So please tell me what the deal is? I've noticed that the newly announced Largo doesn't have an option for audio in under its feature set. Have you guys become anti external audio processing? It just doesn't seem to be in lock step with your previous synths. Oh well, this is just something I've thought about ever since Blofeld was released ( actually since it's specs were posted ), and makes me hesitant about buying.

See waldorfs site for the products mentioned in this post.

File under: Just for fun!

Roland announced the return of the AX line midi controller. Their new offering has a synth engine built in, but of course it can control any synth via midi. So for all you keyboardists who want to take the limelight and kick the guitarists out, here is you chance!

Namm 2k9 wrap up

Well I was wrong and right. Ableton Live did indeed announce version 8, however Propellerheads made no announcement. I personally was very impressed with the developments from Ableton. Their partnership with cycling 74 has born fruit, that has ramifications for musicians that are into a more hands on approach to sound design. Max for Live looks promising. I'm mildly disappointed that MFL is an add-on product, but given the amount of R&D that must have went into it, if the price is fair, it is forgivable. Also the Akai APC40 looks fantastic! Tailor made for Live, this tactile interface integrates with Live and furthermore can be programmed for in MFL. There is already a cool video of a step sequencer running in Live with the patterns being changed via the APC40. Some have put forth that Live had been losing its focus for awhile. I think these new developments show that Live is back on track, with a plan firmly in place for what it wants to be and do.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's all about the synths.

Ultimately, for me, that's what it's all about. So I'll share some of the synths that have caught my eye at Namm 2009 so far.
First up we have Waldorf's first made for vst synth, Largo. Waldorf's hardware is pretty famous. I've never owned a synth made by them, not because I didn't want one, but because hardware is more expensive. Now I can, I will definitely pick this synth up when it is released.
Second synth that has caught my eye is actually a group of synths. FXpansion's Synth Squad is a group of three synths that seem to share interface style. While the literature leaves you with the impression they are ultimately emulations, they seem to have been programmed to have more originality than the average emulation. A nice paradox to be sure, however, when you look at FXpansion's track record ( or listen to audio samples ) This is a company that seems to always deliver quality.
Okay, next up is Alchemy. Now if you are going to name your synth after the fabled art of turning stone to gold, it better be good. Camel Audio does not disappoint! There are three demo videos on their page ( a demo version is in the pipleline ), and they will leave you drooling. This is a hybrid synth, it does V.A., and does it well, but it also does spectral, granular, and sample manipulation in very novel ways. It ships with 2GBs of samples to get you rolling. I definitely want to add this synth to my arsenal.
ImpOscar 2 was announced by Gforce media. This is one emulation synth I do really like. I demoed it awhile back and liked the sound, but felt the interface was fidgety. Perhaps with this update these issues have been ironed out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Namm DAW news

Looks like Cubase has been updated to version 5. That is not a true representation of Cubase's life, but I don't feel like doing the research to plot out it's chronology. Next, I discover that Ableton Live 8 has been announced. Also, information has been released about the fruits of their relationship with Cycling 74, the creators of MAX/MSP. Turns out that Cycling 74 has created an add-on for Live in the form of Max for Live. I feel that Max for Live warrants a separate post, so I will begin working on that soon.

While not announced at Namm, Renoise has been upgraded to version 2.

90 Namm related RSS feeds!

I woke up to see that there were no less than 90 new items about Namm. Sent to me via RSS, I was blown away, now on top of doing some school work I have to sift through all those posts for some of them gems. However, in true procrastinator fashion, I am going to go to the music store and book store to waste time.
Just an update; I guess one of the obnoxious things about suscribing to multiple RSS feeds, is all the repeats. Everyone posts the same thing worded just slightly differently. I know it's because everyone is so wrapped up in the Namm excitement, but it still makes for a ton of reading!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Namm from Analog Industries perspective...

I got a chuckle out of this post by the author of Analog Industries blog. His focus is on the darker side of Namm. I even remember the device he refers to that never made it to production, which was a shame. It is true that products are announced, that for whatever reason, never make it to production. I wonder what will catch my eye this year that will never actually be made. Not that I can afford most the stuff that catches my eye anyway. I've always had expensive tastes.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

NAMM is almost here!

I think I get more excited about Namm than I do about Christmas. I love gear. I love looking at it, reading about it, and every so often when I can afford to, buying it. I hope it's a good show this year, with interesting announcements. That's the funny thing about Namm, things are announced. So in reality, you are simply getting riled up. How long you have to wait for the "toy" you can't afford? I expect to hear something interesting from Ableton, and Propellerheads software, simply because it's been awhile since we've heard from them. I know it's not because they're in trouble, so they must be working diligently! It'd be nice to hear about some forward thinking midi controllers. It is always fun to hear about synthesizers!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I signed up for Twitter. You can follow my incredibly exciting life @ this link

Saturday, January 3, 2009

PS3 tinkering advice.

First off, The PS3 will only recognize USB mice and keyboards. I tried a PS2 to USB converter and it did not work! Also, don't bother trying to install another OS if your television cannot display at 720p or better. You won't be able to see enough of the screen to complete the setup. I speak from experience, so I thought I should share how I was able to revert to the PS3 OS since I couldn't not type anything. Simply turn off the
PS3 using the switch on the back, then turn it back on, hold your finger on the power button for three seconds and you will hear a beep. The beep indicates that your PS3 will boot into its default OS. I am disappointed that my first attempt at installing linux on my PS3 was unsuccessful, but I remain undeterred. I will buy a USB keyboard, and an HDTV and try again! However,since I am not a millionaire it will probably be a couple months 'till I get the T.V.