Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lissajou 24 Minute Live Video

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Great video from Lissajou performing live with only a Gameboy. It gotta say, it takes a lot to get up there on stage with nothing between you and the crowd except a Gameboy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rozzbox One V2 Synth: Now Accepting Pre-Orders in the US

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.: Rozzbox One V2 Synth: Now Accepting Pre-Orders in the US:.

Looking for another sweet boutique synth to add to your collection? it looks like Rozzbox is coming to the US in limited quanities via Big City Music. Features include a 4-oscillator polysynth with analog filters, some crazy unknown functions known as the Hacker, the chaotic filtermode, switchable aliasing of the oscillators and much more! From the audio examples I have heard it seems that this one is definitely going for the broken nasty type of sound.

Full Specs:
-4 digital ocsillators with standard and 16 additional waveforms - hard-sync possible
-Configurable FM engine with 7 algorithms
-Noise, external audio input, ring modulator
-Includes 3 self-resonant Filter-Types:
-Digital high pass/low pass filter with resonance and 24dB/octave (4 filter poles)
-Analog low pass ladder filter with resonance and 24dB/octave (4 filter poles)
-Completely tube-driven analog low pass filter with resonance and 12B/octave (2 filter poles)
-2 independent filters per voice
-2 LFOs with standard waveforms and wave tracking, sync with MIDI
-2 ADSR Envelopes with switchable lin/exp characteristics and trigger modes
-4 completely independent sequencer lines per voice, each with its own running mode and sychronization settings
-Envelope follower with separate input
-Complex 4-point modulation matrix with 16 sources and 16 destinations
-Complex trigger matrix with unlimited connection count, for interconnection of LFOs, sequencers, envelope triggers, MIDI -clock, ...
-The switchable "Hacker" adds artificial analog aliasing (tunable)
-Bitreduction / Sample rate reduction
-'Chaos' mode of the digital filter
-Digital hardclipping
-Extensive multimode (up to 5 "Monophonic" sounds)
-Hands-on interface: 27 knobs, 29 slide switches, Full Graphic LED-display
-Individual out for each voice
-Full MIDI control of every parameter
-Compact size: 10" wide x 6" deep x 3 1/2" high (253x150x90mm)

via CreateDigitalMusic.com

Saturday, January 26, 2008

BeatBearing: Beautiful Drum Sequencer Design Has Balls

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.:BeatBearing: Beautiful Drum Sequencer Design Has Balls:.

This one has been going around the net for a couple of weeks now so I have to post it. It is a beautiful experimental drum sequencer using acrylic and ball bearings. I can only presume that it is probably using the balling bearings as a way to complete a circuit, sending the midi information to a drum-machine.

The lighting touches make the device all the cooler though.

via .:Gizmodo.com:.

Dust off your NES

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The current wave of 8-bit mania continues with this little find, the Midines from Wayfar. This retrofitted game cartridge turns any original Nintendo into a midi-capable tone generator by giving the user access to the console's onboard sound chip as well as a fully programmable midi connection via the midi cable mounted at the back of the cartridge. As the website states: Midines provides full access to the 2x Pulse, Tri, Noise and DMC (sample) channels. Including access to sweep, duty, volume and length sound registers. The sound routine is not dependent on the vertical screen refresh rate (vblank) allowing high speed MIDI CC modulation of all parameters. That pretty much sums it up in technical terms. Also included on the cartridge's ROM is a library of 256 all-star drum machine samples and other chiptune essentials, featuring the famous 707/808/909 series, the amen breakbeat, and others.

Each cartridge is made by hand, and reviews found around the web say this has a tendency to result in long wait times. Nevertheless, the unit can be had for $89 American plus $10 for shipping, a bargain considering what it is. Be sure to check the homepage's audio demos as well. Not recommended for midi n00bz, as an in-depth working knowledge of midi and a good sequencing platform are essential in order to program this unit effectively.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Putsch Live at DBreach December 8th 2007

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.:Putsch Live at DBreach December 8th 2007:.

This week's liveset comes from an email I recieved from the artist Nick Ronin aka. Putsch. Not a lot of information on this set, but Putsch is an audio/visual duo focusing on breakbeats and dub.

Quote:

Putsch is a live multimedia electronic act combining the newest possibilities in live video mixing, scratching and fx with a highly visual, attention grabbing musical performance, all controlled by an eclectic variety of instruments and controllers on stage. With a musical style ranging from boneshaking breaks to shuddering dubstep, Putsch is a visual dance act like no other, a hypnotic synergy that will probably be banned as a threat to public apathy. It features audio producer Ronin, visual artist Influssi and the Mission Creep DJs as well as irregular guest performers.


Ronin and Putsch have a whole plethora of website that they are running so lets be sure to checkout them all out.
RoniniAudio.net
NoFixedAbode.info
Putsch.org.uk

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Akai XR-20 and the Alesis SR-18 the same machine?

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Forum member Audioelectronic over at the livePA.org boards brought up a very interesting point in one of today's posts. He noticed some very striking similarities between the newly announced Akai XR20 and the Alesis SR18. As you can see in the above picture both machines share the exact same rear panels.

The similarities do not end there however. They both have 32 mb sound sets; have 100 preset/100 user patterns; feature EQ, compression and reverb effects. Those LCD screen layouts look eerily familiar as well. Coincidenc? I don't think so. Both Alesis and Akai are owned by Numark now adays it might not be any surprise that they are sharing resources, but damn, these are the same machines just one has MPC pads and one doesn't. Lets hope they at least have different soundsets.

Friday, January 18, 2008

NAMM: Tascam DR-1 Portable Recorder

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.:Tascam DR-1 Portable Recorder:.

Always on the look out for a new and better handheld digital recorder, Tascam has announced a new digital recorder featuring stereo microphones and a 1GB SD card standard. Priced very competatively at $299 to compete with the M-Audio Microtrak Pro.

Paul Jenkins, Director of Sales and Marketing for TASCAM

The DR-1 is the portable recorder that everyone's been waiting for. It's the first to include a card big enough for serious recording, and the price point is a wake-up call for the entire industry. TASCAM has a thirty-year history of creating the recorders that musicians want, and the DR-1 is sure to be our latest hit recorder."



Specifications
-Included 1GB SD card media
-Built-in High-quality Stereo Condenser Microphone
-Variable Angle Microphone Mechanism with A/B Configuration
-48 or 44.1kHz / 24-bit Recording Resolution
-MP3 and WAVE file Recording and Playback
-Switchable Low Cut Filter
-Analog Auto Gain Control
-Analog Limiter
-Rechargable Lithium-Ion Battery
-USB 2.0 Connection to Computer
-Built-in Tuner and Vocal Cancel Features
-Overdub Feature to record narration, singing or instruments over an existing recording

NAMM: Mini Moog Voyager OS (Old School)

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.:Sonicstate - Mini Moog Voyager OS:.

So you think you are retro, hip, a synth god of some sorts......you think you are old school? Well now is your chance to prove it to all of us that you can handle a world without midi or presets. Heck, I know I can't, but that doesn;t mean I can't drool over the new Moog Voyager OS

Sonicstate.com

Moog Music have Introduced the Minimoog Voyager OS - Old School, a new synth with the analog sound engine of the Voyager, but without the digital controls.
They say that it is the perfect solution for players looking for a road-worthy replacement for their venerable Minimoog Model D, a full-featured centerpiece for their modular synth rig or just craving direct, hands-on connection to their creativity…



Price: $2595 MSRP

NAMM: Waldorf Blofield

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.:Waldorf Blofeld:.

While the BloFeld isn't really an NAMM announcement, NAMM is actually the first place I think most people are really getting a good inside look at the Blofeld.

"New" from Waldorf the Blofeld is a very deep synth featuring 16 timbres, 25 voices and 3 oscillators per voice. It features your standard oscillator waveforms in addition to Waldorf's famous wavetable synthesis. Specs are way too deep to fully feature here, but be sure to check out Waldorf's website for the full list of features.

Specifications
-16 Timbres
-25 Voices
-7 Continuous Encoders
-Stereo Outputs
-Q, Microwave and XT wavetables
- Load Micro Q presets
- Built in Effects
- Built in Arpeggiator
- 2 Multi-Mode Filters

NAMM: Alesis SR-18 Drum-Machine

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.:Alesis SR-18 Drum-Machine:.

You sick of the drum-machines yet?

Alesis has announced a weird addition to their product lineup with an update to their classic(?) SR-16 drum machine. Known for its ultimate clean sound and toms I can only imagine that this one one brings that back with new updated features. Ironically its specs seem very similar to the Akai XR20 with battery operation capabilities, built in effects such as EQ, compression and Reverb.

Specifications
-AC and Battery Power capability (6 AA’)
-24 voice polyphony
-Backlit LCD
-MIDI In and Out
-TRS ¼” Aux Output
-Drum Roll function
-Headphone output
-Instrument Input
-100 Preset Patterns and 100 User Patterns
-Tempo / Value dial
-Footswitch control- Start/Stop and Count/A-B fill

NAMM: Akai XR20 Drum-Machine

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.:Akai XR20 Drum-machine:.

Well. It is the year of the drum-machines isn't it. Here we are with Akai announcing another drum-machine to the fray with the XR20. The XR20 has over 700 drum sounds with integrated reverb, EQ and compression. Of course it also has the MPC styled pads and it can also run off a battery.

While I am thinking this is just another ho-hum addition to the plethora out there, if it is price right then it might be a great addition to your arsenal.

Specifications
-Backlit LCD
-Bright, glowing, backlit pads that follow the beat
-Microphone input and Headphone output
-Pattern Play Mode - Different patterns can be triggered from individual pads
-Drum Roll / Note Repeat feature for realism and expression
-Battery Power capability and AC Adapter

Guitar Solo on an MPC2000

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A video of DaVinci from Solillaquists of Sound talking about performing a particular guitar-like solo on his mpc sampler, with the addition of a guitar fx pedal. While somewhat long on the talk, this is worth a watch just for the explanation of his technique. Check out the band's website at Solilla.com

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NAMM: Roland Aquiring Majority Share in Cakewalk

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KVRaudio.com - Roland Aquiring Majority Share in Cakewalk

Wow, now here is something that is not really LivePA related, but will defintely have a major impact on the industry. Roland has just announced that it has purchased a majority share in Cakewalk.

Roland Corporation President, Hidekazu Tanaka

"Through this mutually beneficial partnership, both corporations have enjoyed a marked increase in sales and market share. As a logical evolution of our relationship, we have decided to increase our investment in Cakewalk by becoming its major shareholder." New products for musicians and professional audio producers will be branded as "Cakewalk by Roland."
"This is an exciting milestone in the relationship between Cakewalk and Roland. Cakewalk products complement a wide range of our products and we see a great future with the plans we have set for our alliance."


Greg Hendershott, Founder and CEO of Cakewalk

"We all look forward to working on new projects we have planned with Roland. Our two companies work well together and our respective customers will benefit from our ongoing collaboration. Roland makes great hardware. Cakewalk makes great software.



So what do you think; good for the industry as it pools hardware and software resources, or bad because it is another example of consolidation?

NAMM: MPC 5000 Announced

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Akai MPC 5000

NAMM has kicked off and we are now getting our first trickle ins of the latest and hottest gear. First up that has come through my inbox is Akai announcing the new MPC 5000. Packing all the traditional midi sequencing and sampling as you expect from previous MPC's with 64mb upgradeable to 192 this one has a few new features with an 8-track recorder to hard disk and a new 20 voice 3 oscillator synth. Additional features include a new 960 ppq sequencing engine, 64 continuous sample tracks, pad muting and a new effects section with 4 effects busses.

It is not entirely clear if your samples can be stored on the hard disk or if only the 8-track recorder has access to it. No word on the size of said hard disk either (ED: the video states 80 gigs). Overall looks to be a very solid live setup. Let me know if anyone can find the price on this puppy let me know

Specifications:
-64-voice drum/phrase sampler with 64MB memory built-in. Expandable up to 192MB RAM
-Three-oscillator virtual analog synth engine with built-in arpeggiator
-Over 300 Virtual Analog synth presets included
-Eight tracks of Direct-to-Hard Disk recording
-Over 40 all new effects available within a modular 4-bus effects processor
-Master compressor and equalizer
-Built-in hard disk drive
-Optional CD-R/DVD drive
-USB 2.0 port for computer connectivity
-CF Type-2 card slot (up to 2GB)
-Chop-Shop 2.0 - slices a stereo loop into individual samples with automatic pad assignment
-Patched Phrases - creates multiple splits in looped samples to ensure proper tempo sync without changing pitch
-Continuous Sample Track - ensures samples play in perfect sync no matter where you start the beat in a loop
-12 Q-link controllers for internal automation, external MIDI control and quick parameter editing
-240 x 128 hinged backlit LCD
-10 built-in analog outputs, plus 8 ADAT-optical outputs and stereo S/PDIF IO
-Powerful new multimode filter
-Two MIDI inputs and Four MIDI outputs
-Turntable phono inputs with RIAA pre-amp
-XLR / 1/4" combo jacks with selectable mic/line levels
-Sample library provided by Loopmasters.com

Monday, January 14, 2008

$400 Mini Laptop: Everex Cloudbook

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.:Everex Cloudbook:.

Here is a neat announcement for CES last week. Everex, the makers of the $199 desktop computer running the gOS has announced a new mini-laptop called the Cloudbook for a very low price of $400. Now this is obviously not going to be your power house laptop running Ableton Live and visuals, but with the CPU clocking in at 1.2 GHZ that is nothing to sneeze at. You could probably get Albeton Live up and running on that no problem. At the very least it could be a great alternative for running some midi software or as an auxiliary device.

What sets this apart from the similarly priced Asus eee PC is the hardware specs is not only the 1.2 GHZ VIA C7®-M Processor, but the fact that it also comes with a 30GB harddrive. Something you can actually put real files on.

Additional specs include the following:
512MB DDR2 533MHz SDRAM
30GB Hard Disk Drive,
7" WVGA TFT Display (800 x 480)
VIA UniChrome Pro IGP Graphics
VIA High-Definition Audio
802.11b/g
10/100 Ethernet Port
DVI-I Port, (2) USB 2.0 Ports
4-in1 Media Card Reader
1.3MP Webcam
Headphone/Line-Out Port
Microphone/Line-In Port
Set of Stereo Speaker
4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery

It is expected to be available at Wal-Mart's and online starting January 25th.

Access Virus Snow

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Access Virus Snow

Access has posted on their website a delicious new teaser for a new Access Virus called the Snow. Specs are pretty sparse right now, but Access has some drool worth pictures over at their website.

Expect more information on this baby in the next couple of weeks as NAMM kicks off.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Future Retro XS Semi-modular Synthesizer

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In 1996 father and son duo Jon and Jared Flickinger burst onto the synth scene as the fledgling Future Retro company, and a touting a stunning first product, the FR777 monosynth. The FR777's fame hinged on its analogue design and integrated step sequencer, which were able to imitate the famed TB303 so well many claimed there was, for all practical purposes, no difference in sound (though the unit was capable of far, far more than simple imitation, I assure you). Now Future Retro has quietly released another individually hand built marvel, the XS Semi-modular synth.

The XS is a true analogue synth featuring an array of impressive features, including a whopping seven inputs and eleven outputs! It sports two voltage controlled oscillators with individual programmable sub-oscillators that can be 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8 of the oscillator's frequency, plus a wide variety of waveforms and modulation methods, including ring mod, and a white noise generator. Each can be independently modulated by both internal and external signals, as can the 2-pole multimode filter. The LFO can run free or in synch via MIDI to create stepping analgoue-style arpeggios, and the filters are described as self-oscillating, with independently overdriveable inputs and outputs. It accepts both MIDI and CV, and can act as a converter for other devices further down the chain as well. The depth of programming sounds stunning, and the audio demos back it up. It even comes with a universal power supply, for use in countries outside the US and Canada.

As a small, independent company, Future Retro has the ability to create synthesizers of extremely high quality without the design constraints often evident in synths designed by larger, mass production-oriented companies, leaving them free to pursue their own unique vision of what high quality synthesizers should be. This results in innovative units that push the envelope every single time, and the XS is no different in that regard. Take a trip to their website for a full rundown of this unit's features as well as some stunning audio demos. Like the FR777 and the Revolution before it, the XS is sure to be an instant modern classic. The unit has just started production, and carries a price tag of $1299 American. Like the FR777, the number of units made may well be limited, so get yours while (and if) you can!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I Need Some LivePA's From You!!!

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As most of you know the LivePA podcast that I do on this blog is simply nothing more than me finding great LivePA acts out there on the net and linking to them on this site with a link to the artist's webpage. A lot of people have commented to me in emails and comments sections on how much they have enjoyed discovering some of the new artists on these links and listening to their work.

The problem is however, is that I am running out of resources to look for some new LivePA's. Simply put, but pot is running low of soup. So I am calling out to all of the readers and musicians out there. Send me your livesets!!!

If you are looking for some easy hosting of such a large file head on over to Ourmedia.org or Archive.org to upload your tracks. This is a free hosting solution that will allow you embed and link to your files directly and permanently.

Peter Horrevorts LivePA @ IO Festival, Delft

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Great video of Peter Horrevorts performing LivePA at the IO Festival.