August 11, 2014
Debuting in the late 1970s, the original MS-20 was an extremely popular synthesizer well into the 1980s with the explosion of synth-pop and other experimental electronic genres. Along with companies like Moog, Korg are among the champions of classic synthesizers still heralded today for their signature sound. We first saw the MS-20 Mini on the NAMM show floor back in January of 2013. It was a little hidden gem amongst the onslaught of new synthesizers and drum machines coming from some of the most popular brands in the market.
A little over a year and a half later and we have begun to see countless artists using the MS-20 Mini in their production as well as on stages around the globe. So what makes the Korg MS-20 Mini such a popular synthesizer the world over? Well we decided to break down the features that make the MS-20 Mini such an …
August 5, 2014
Debuting in the late spring of 2013, the Nord Lead 4 is aptly named as the fourth generation performance synthesizer in the Lead series. It’s a four part multi-timbral instrument with each part having access to all of the front panel controls independently. It’s most notably a two oscillator synthesizer with an easy to use modulation system. It’s lightweight and compact making it a great gigging synthesizer and a low profile instrument for your studio. It’s got 6 different filters or 7 really if you count the bandpass filter in there. It also has a robust FX section making it fantastic for dynamic performance.
After a little over a year on the market, the Nord Lead 4 has been championed by artists and producers across a plethora of different genres of music. So what makes the Nord Lead 4 such an appealing synthesizer? We dive head first into the Nord …
August 1, 2014
Debuting in the Spring of 2013, the Nord Drum 2 added some interesting improvements to the already popular Nord Drum Electronic Drum Module. A little over a year after its release and a lot of people are still singing its praises. We can barely hold on to them when they come in because so many people love this little Modeling Percussion Synthesizer.
The inspiration for the Nord Drum 2 was a box that could mimic some of the drum machines of the past into a single unit. There was also a motivation to get away from samples and explore the sounds of synthesized drums. Other products that have hit the market in the past 2 years signal a growing interest in synthesized drums over samples. The Nord Drum 2 eliminates the tiring task of endless sample hunting and replaces it with intuitive control to create unique and inspiring drum sounds. It’s …
July 30, 2014
Released in the Fall of last year, the Pioneer DDJ-SR is the more portable and compact answer to the behemoth flagship digital DJ controller the DDJ-SX. Pioneer has made this version much smaller and more affordable for those DJs that want a quality controller but are on a budget. There are some features that have gone missing when you compare the DDJ-SX to the DDJ-SR. These include the absence of strip search and dual deck mode amongst others but Pioneer has included a feature specific to the DDJ-SR with the Pad Plus mode.
We decided to take a look at the layout and features of the DDJ-SR and give our impressions of how this controller performs.
The general construction of the DDJ-SR is a combination of metal and plastic throughout. The jog wheels feel great and are built out of a sturdy and lightweight aluminum. The majority of the …
July 24, 2014
I first noticed the CME Xkey at Winter NAMM 2014, but I wasn’t sure what I was looking at besides just another MIDI keyboard. The booth had what a lot of booths are doing now: obligatory T & A to draw the male dominated musical retail space to their product. I refer you to Exhibit A:
Months later I saw the CME Xkey (without the distracting sex appeal) while looking for a portable MIDI keyboard solution for myself. I was pleasantly surprised at the design, functions, and portability of the CME Xkey. For a 25 note keyboard with aftertouch, it’s a pretty great choice for a mobile musician or as a small desktop keyboard solution. Before you make your decision, let’s take a look at the features on the CME Xkey.
The Xkey really shines as a portable MIDI keyboard. It is super light weight at around …