January 3, 2014
There were a lot of great new musical instruments, audio software developments, and music technology that came out this year. As NAMM 2014 approaches, we wanted to take a retrospective look at some of our favorite releases from the past year. While this is not an exhaustive list, and there were certainly some things that got left off, we encourage you to post your amendments in the comments below so we can all revel in all of the great releases of 2013. As we gear up to cover all the secret new products from NAMM 2014, here are our top 10 picks of 2013 in no particular order.
Ableton Push & Ableton Live 9
Arguably one of the top releases this year was the Ableton Push controller as well as the update to Ableton Live 9. The Push controller was one of the most talked about pieces at Winter …
November 19, 2013
Few people will ever understand how much of their computers are used during music production and live music creations. Let’s just say that it can take a great deal of power under the case. As long as there are no notable glitches and freezes during use, a user would never take notice to what is actually being used. The problem is when there is too much going on for one computer to handle. This is when we begin to notice the computer slowing down and screens freezing midway through a performance. Our first reaction is to think that the computer we are using cannot handle the task – however, it could be that the software itself is just not optimized to run as well.
This is the case with the NI Maschine Studio 2.0. The hardware has definitely changed from the first round, and is much larger with much more …
September 4, 2013
A company called Nektar made some headlines a while back when they announced that they were developing a controller that was made specifically for integration with Reason. In the time that has passed since then, the Panorama series has seen a few iterations of the device, including the P4, which we made an overview video and demo for. More recently, Nektar announced the Panorama P1, a slimmed down version of the keyboard controllers that removes the keybed in favor of a compact solution. I was personally very excited to see it released, as I have more than enough sets of keys around the house, and really enjoyed their controls for use with Reason. Updated and perfectly suited for working with the updated Reason 7, the P1 is a dream to work with. The controls feel more conveniently placed, and I discovered along the way that the P1 quickly …
August 15, 2013
Ableton’s Push has been turning lots of heads since its announcement last year, and now that it’s out there, there’s no shortage of opinions about whether it is the greatest thing since Ableton or something one can live without. I love mine, and have been using it to simplify the process of driving my hardware (guided by Ableton) based studio. One thing I have noticed some folks grousing about is that Push isn’t set to handle all their favorite plugins out of the box. What this complaint overlooks is the very simple and easy to use “Configure” dialogue available in the track view for third party plugins. I’ve been living off of the freedom and ease afforded to me for configuring third party plugins as I use the Korg Legacy suite almost non-stop when on the road.
In this video I try to show how fast and easy it is …
July 22, 2013
One of the simple ideas behind a keyboard is its linear design. Everything from the key layout to the actual strings on the piano are laid out in a sequential order. This makes it very easy to tune or re-string (since each string is no greater than a half step from the next). The one area that creates difficulties for a piano is its size. A piano with 10 full octaves will have eighty keys to deal with – so from the highest note to the lowest note, there is a decent amount of space to reach to and from. Other pianos like the organ are spaced much more effectively make use of octaves and keys.
Sometimes, a small organ can fit a smaller size by having three stadium rows of keys instead of one long keyboard. While it may take the hands and eyes a bit more time to …