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 1, 2013
It’s been quite a long time since we have seen anything drastically new from the Native Instruments line of Maschine groove production controllers. Sure we got the Maschine Mikro and two new versions with the MK2 line, but these added only slight improvements to workflow and left a lot of active Maschine users (myself included) wondering if there was ever going to be anything substantially different on the horizon. Well those questions can now be answered with the latest controller in the Maschine line, the Maschine Studio.
There are tons of new features on the Maschine Studio which, in my opinion, really improve the sound design process because it gets your eyes and your hands off the computer screen and mouse and onto the actual controller. That’s not to say that this was not achievable on the Maschine MK2 or even the first Maschine, but it was not perfect. …
September 17, 2013
So, I’ll be the first person to tell you I’m a hardware guy. I don’t “do” purism, and you’ll get my computer out of my studio ONLY if you are handing me a newer/bigger/better one. However, when it comes to sound, my computer mainly amounts to being the editing and summing facility. In that arrangement, my computer is where effects are applied and things are locked in. I do it for a few reasons, among them being that I love not even worrying about my CPU load once during the course of very dense productions. That said, as much as I can appreciate a good software instrument, I typically would rather have the hardware equivalent any day. That’s why I was deeply troubled this past January when I was watching Arturia’s Mike Hoska bang out some of the best sounding beats I’d heard from hardware or software from a little …
May 9, 2013
Ok, let’s be real with ourselves for a second here. How many more boring repetitive apps do we need for the iPad? There are hundreds of apps out there which basically do the same thing as the guy next to them; only, it comes in a pretty package with different labels and claims. Samplers are oh so common these days, and I can understand why Akai is getting their piece of the piece taken from them at every other corner. On the half software, half hardware side you have items like the Maschine which do a fairly good job at what they claim it can do, and on the 100% software side you have thousands of apps competing for your five dollar purchase.
If these app developers really want to make move and shake the ground beneath us, they need to do it different. I don’t care what it is. …
April 28, 2013
Creating music from an iPhone app rather than a true and tried desktop creates some unique problems yet it also creates some unique situations that can be a benefit to your workflow. For one, the typical workplace or studio is something that we are too used to. By that I mean that there is nothing very special about the place you sit or the objects you sit in front of. This familiarity can be tiresome and even a bore, and even though it is nice to have each of your instruments in arms reach, it can be hard to feel inspired when there is nothing new or novel about your setting.
It is when you introduce something new and unknown that your creativity is often sparked. Thinkers often need to take a walk outside and clear their heads before they can begin postulating a new idea. Musical ideas are often …