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Taylor

Taylor
September 8, 2014

Roland SBX-1 Sync Box Preview

Roland has been pretty busy this year with the release of their AIRA line, new guitar pedals from BOSS (their sister company), and new portable electronic drum kits like the TD-1K. While all of these new products are certainly exciting and generating a lot of buzz, there is one offering from Roland that could see a lot of use on stages and in studios. The Roland SBX-1 is a synchronization box that allows you to connect your digital and analog gear all together to a master clock.

This has obvious benefits for the AIRA line of products, but this is also a great little box for anyone looking to get all of their synthesizers, drum machines, and even modular systems all synched to a master clock. So essentially you can use the SBX-1 as the master clock, or as a central MIDI hub and use any one of your …

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Taylor

Taylor
July 24, 2014

CME Xkey MIDI Keyboard Review

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.

Features

The Xkey really shines as a portable MIDI keyboard. It is super light weight at around …

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Taylor

Taylor
April 23, 2013

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 MKII Review

Very recently, Taylor found himself trapped in a situation reminiscent of Groundhog Day where I was repeatedly rattling off complaints about my drum situation. Having gone to an entirely hardware synth driven arrangement recording, my drums situation had started to seem like more of a time sink than ever. I had been alternating between using Maschine and some old favorites in a loopmasters sample library for a while, and then gradually got around to beating up the same set of samples from 505, 606, 707, 808, and 909 sample sets for every track. Sometimes I would drop these samples straight into an Ableton timeline, or I would use them in Maschine, Drum Racks or Reason’s Kong, depending on what software combinations I was using for the project.

Lucky Taylor sat through quite a long process of me rambling about why this or that device didn’t work.

While I will swear …

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Taylor

Taylor
December 26, 2012

10 Tips and Tricks for Starting and Finishing Tracks

So it’s the holidays, and you finally have that week coming up that you’ve been saying you’d spend in the studio. It’s time to finally drop that opus in your head, or at least figure out how some of your new toys work. On the other hand, what if you get in the studio and hit a brick wall, or just end up chucking unfinished file after unfinished file on the hard drive? It happens to everyone. Sometimes just the pressure of having the time we always wish we did causes us to choke in the studio, only to be filled with inspiration on the drive back to work at the end of vacation. I’ve stared this form of writer’s block down more than once. Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot better at forcing myself out of the rough spots, and today I am going to share a few …

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Taylor

Taylor
December 12, 2012

Akai MAX 49 Keyboard Controller Overview

inMusic, the parent company that owns Numark, Alesis, and Akai, has been pretty busy this year. All three of their leading companies have been releasing much of the gear featured at Winter NAMM 2012 and teased through YouTube videos and company press releases. Gear like the Numark 4TRAK, the Alesis QX line of MIDI keyboard controllers, and the very popular Akai Synthstation 49 and MPC Renaissance. In addition to releasing tons of new gear this year they also acquired formerly AVID owned M-Audio to round out their line of professional audio equipment. We will likely see more from inMusic this year at Winter NAMM 2013 in January and we will have plenty to report from the show room floor.

We first saw the Akai MAX 49 almost a year ago at Winter NAMM 2012 and our first impression was that the MAX 49 was a collection of improvements …