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Fostex PX-6

Written by Site Update on October 31st, 2014

Read more about Fostex PX-6 at MusicRadar.com


The new PX-6 Professional Monitor Speaker from Fostex is the larger of two in the PX range, the other being the PX-5.

It’s a powered two-way nearfield monitor that is equipped with totally new 6.5-inch LF and 1-inch HF drivers and features extensive onboard DSP – Fostex says that the superior digital FIR filter is designed to enable unprecedented accuracy in imagery through precise time alignment that would not be possible with analogue crossover designs.

Practically sized and with a weight that won’t strain your muscles when moving them, the PX-6s feature the curvy front edging that’s prevalent among the latest breed of nearfields. They look smart with a black rubberised finish and feature a Fostex logo that lights up orange when they are powered up.

“There a range of adjustments available to tailor the monitors to your tast”

An electricity-saving standby mode kicks in after four hours of no signal causing the illuminated logo to flash, returning to full illumination with signal. The soft-dome 1-inch Urethane film-laminated, polyester fibre dome tweeter is unusual in that it is a red colour, although, perversely, it’s the (unremittingly black) 6.5-inch woofer that Fostex describes as Crimson.

It also says it is constructed of aramid fibre with mixed diaphragm impregnated with resin to enhance fibre bonding for higher rigidity. Two bass reflex ports towards the bottom of the cabinet complete the look.

Fine tuning

Connection facilities are provided for a range of different users and their cabling. You get a combined balanced XLR/unbalanced jack input and an unbalanced RCA (phono) input.

There’s also a range of adjustments available to tailor the monitors to your taste, courtesy of a single rotary encoder surrounded by a ring of LEDs. You can adjust Volume, Trim (fine tuning of the volume), HF level (+/-3dB in 0.3dB steps) and LF roll-off frequency – plus you can also adjust the phase if you are using the monitors in multi-channel monitoring environments.

A switch combined with a push of the encoder selects whether you are adjusting Volume, Trim, Treble or Bass. You then turn the encoder as necessary with the LEDs indicating your selection. There are 20 values available for each but only 11 LEDs, however, as each step is notched, you know where you are and can set up each monitor equally.

We, of course. realise that putting the knob and LEDs on the front would spoil the aesthetics, but getting round the back to tweak things could be a pain in some set-ups, still, for most users it’s a done-once set-’em-and- forget-’em process.

Competent performers

With 50 watts driving the low-end and 28 watts driving the top, the PX-6s should be plenty loud enough for a small/medium sized room. The DSP certainly seems to be doing its stuff when it comes to imaging as everything seems pinpoint accurate and precise across the stereo field, so no worries in that department – likewise with the depth of the soundstage.

Running the monitors in the default settings as supplied, without any of the HF or LF adjustments dialled in, we felt that the sound was lacking a bit of bass, but adjusting the roll-off frequency downwards improved matters to a point where we felt more comfortable with making bottom-end mix decisions.

Overall there were no nasty surprises in the sound, the overall spread of frequencies seemed fairly naturally balanced with nothing unduly emphasised or lacking, and the top-end adjustment seemed tastefully-engineered to brighten things or subdue them slightly to suit your preferences.

So, are these monitors that you’d be able to use on a day-to-day basis? We’d say so. They are competent performers that, at an RRP of £475 for a pair, are not overpriced, but they do have plenty of competition, as there is a massive choice of similarly sized and powered 2-ways out there.

Read more about Fostex PX-6 at MusicRadar.com







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For Allhallowtide, Here Are Hours of Brilliant Underground Music to Make You Feel Undead

Written by Site Update on October 31st, 2014
Life is short. We're going to die. Listen to good music. (CC-BY-SA) David Dennis.

Life is short. We’re going to die. Listen to good music. (CC-BY-SA) David Dennis.

Happy Hallowe’en, and the entry in the northern hemisphere into short days and long, dark nights – perfect for getting lost in music listening and music making. That means it’s time to start queueing sounds to pass the time, and as it happens the CDM inbox has a selection just arriving. These are mixes unafraid of shadows and adventurous sound, and — well, the best is to let you listen. Leave the cheesy horror Theremin to someone else, and let’s enjoy something that is truly and deliciously evil in music.

Lower Order Ethics, aka Szilvia Lednitzky, can send chills up your spine – in a good way – with unforgivingly shadowy, industrial selections. If you have no interest in fancy costumes or giving yourself diabetes, in other words, Szilvia is the way you want to spend Halloween, so you can press play now. And — oh, look, it seems that she has over 16 hours of music on MixCloud, which means she can easily fill the endless nights arriving here in northern Europe, or, in a few weeks, Transylvania. (Disclosure: Szilvia is a collaborator of mine on the forthcoming Alchemic Harm project, because I was a fan of her aesthetic.)

Gothic electronic keeps getting richer – not just some distortion and all-wet reverb added to tracks, there’s some spectacular selections here from the likes of Samuel Kerridge and Cut Hands that are best of breed. Szilvia mixes for Liber Null, the Berlin event and collective that specializes in such thick, dark brews.

Lower Order Ethics – Liber Null VII by Libernull on Mixcloud

For more descent into Lower Order Ethics:

http://www.mixcloud.com/lowerorderethics/

Meddling in arcane Mexican magic is that country’s Cesar Urbina, a talented DJ and artist who heads deep into the question of death in a Dia de los Muertos mix.

Playlist:

01 – Julian Carrillo – Cometa
02 – Seekers Who Are Lovers – Cereza
03 – Toncho Pilatos – Blind Man
04 – Chac Mool – Sombras de la Noche
05 – Murcof and Erik Truffaz – Al Mediodia
06 – Jorge Reyes – Invocation
07 – Antiguo Automata Mexicano – Chez Nobody (Latinsizer Remix)
08 – Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – Waitin’ for the Orange Sunshine
09 – Casino Shanghai – Sexy Bodies
10 – Sanchez Dub – Where Are All The People Now (Macario Remix)
11 – Vía Aerea – Le Corres de Mi

Worth also reading the article that accompanies this podcast, at Infine Music:

Echoes beyond Death podcast by Cesar Urbina

Detroit-based Annie Hall is a perennial favorite, an unparalleled grand diva of techno. Those of you who know were convinced once you saw her name; those of you who don’t – know. An October Mix from her is definitely a treat, to be emptied out and devoured. With your ears. I really shouldn’t write metaphors on Fridays. Just listen:

Annie Hall October Mix by Hive Management on Mixcloud

Terrence Fixmer – Dark Line
Thinkfreak – Forte
Deauwd – Hydrofluoric
D_FUNC. & MARIO BERGER – Shifting Frames (NX1 Remix)
Kill_Ref___Ashurbanipal_(Kike_Pravda_Remix_2)
Unam_Zetineb_-_Interpolate
Miki_Craven___18.00
Speedy J – Shoegaze (Edit Select Dub)
Sanys___Told_You_So
Fabrizio_Lapiana_-_Osmosis
Synthek_-_Coherence
Exium – Sick Of Promises
Leghau – Tension (Monomood Remix)
Korova___Deep_Water_(IY_Remix)
Annie Hall – Ruido3 (Truncate Remix)
AnD – Power Spectrum

Meanwhile, in London, 7th November appears to be the best party of the fall for heavy techno heads. Plex plus Corsica Studios adds Ancient Methods, Inigo Kennedy, Bintus, Skunkrock, Donor (with special guest), Black Amiga, Ansome, JoeFarr, J.tijn, Altar, Waterworks, Tengui, Hieroglyphic Being, Charles Manier and Ekoplex, plus residents James Tec, Luke Handsfree, Volte-Face, and Blacknecks live.

Name dropping is no fun – you need to hear what that achingly-frightening lineup sounds like, which you can do here. The Quietus approve, and they’re so excited, they resort to a whole string of English expletives to express themselves. (Something about the bee’s tits being being balls-up in a pint of … tea. Or something. Sorry, too American to hear what you’re saying and CAN’T ANYWAY OVER THE POUNDING SOUND OF THIS AWESOMELY INDUSTRIAL TECHNO COMING OUT OF THIS SPEAKER!)

LISTEN: Plex BleeD Them Playlist

We can’t go all mixes here, so I turn next to Robert Lippok, with whom I had the honor of playing and speaking at ADE. Robert is a terrific improviser, passionate about spontaneity and devilishly anarchic about sound. He’ll create something sparkling and delicate and then, like a sand castle, wreck it – with nicely destructive auditory results.

URSSS continues their stunningly good live series with a nice outing by Robert, just released.

http://www.ursss.com/2014/10/robert-lippok/

Robert Lippok’s labelmate Frank Bretschneider (another true Berliner, not one of us ex-pat hipster pretenders like myself) also had a terrific musical sculpture on 4DSOUND in Amsterdam, as well as a tightly-conceived audiovisual set, rendered live on Modul8 and Elektron Octatrack, which I caught last week. He is readying an audiovisual project for raster noton slated for January, and here shares a ‘wave of the week’ with us:

Speaking of ADE, let’s listen, too, to Paula Temple, my other favorite part of Amsterdam this year – more on that soon.

PAULA TEMPLE – part 1 from URSSS on Vimeo.

Also out this week is a mix of 50 years of electronic music by some of the women who have most inspired many of us, coming from Dweomer (Jef Drawbaugh) of the Zodiak Klub radio show on Portland, Oregon radio. Pioneers like Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegel and Pauline Oliveros and contemporaries like Holly Herndon constantly challenge me personally to make better music, so, naturally, I love this mix.

Zodiak Klub – Women in Experimental and Electronic Music by Zodiak Klub on Mixcloud

Tracklisting:
3:00am Time to Tell by Cosey Fanni Tutti on Time to Tell (Conspiracy International, 1993)
3:16am The Third Wave – Love In The Waves by Suzanne Ciani on Seven Waves (Finnadar Records, 1982)
3:21am The Four Aspects by Daphne Oram on An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music vol. 2 (Sub rosa, 2003)
3:28am Chimera by Pattern and Shape on n/a (n/a, ?)
3:29am Music of the Spheres by Johanna M. Beer on An Anthology of noise and Electronic Music vol. 2 (Sub Rosa, 2003)
3:35am A Light Change by Grouper on Inca Ore/Grouper Split (Acuarela Discos, 2008)
3:41am Tangled Emotions by Andrea K on n/a (n/a, 2013)
3:45am Movement by Holly Herndon on Movement (RVNG Intl., 2012)
3:50am Rocket USA by Nik Void on Shadazz/Radiation EP (Blast First Petite, 2008)
3:50am Rocket USA by Nik Void on Shadazz/Radiation EP (Blast First Petite, 2008)
3:54am Auf Engelsflugeln by Deutsche Wertarbeit on Deutsche Wertabeit (Medical, 1981)
3:59am Chromapassage by Sci Fi Sol on Dominant Dream (n/a, 2012)
4:03am No Moondoggies for 3 Weeks by Karen Gwyer on I’ve Been You Twice (Kaleidoscope, 2012)
4:08am Norton’s Apple Software by Doris Norton on Personal Computer (Durium, 1984)
4:14am Doctor Who Theme by Delia Derbyshire on n/a (BBC Radiophonic Workshop, 1963)
4:16am Patchwork by Laurie Spiegel on The Expanding Universe (Unseen Worlds Records, 1980)
4:26am Syv Cirkler by Else Marie Pace on An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music vol. 6 (Sub Rosa, 2010)
4:33am The Fool’s Circle by Pauline Oliveros on Crone Music (Lovely Music, Ltd., 1990)
4:39am Coconut by Fever Ray on Fever Ray (Rabid Records, 2009)
4:46am om Nano Ocean Road by Vektroid on Color Ocean Road (PrismCorp, 2012)
4:57am La Vie En Rose by Clara Rockmore, Nadia Reiseberg on Clara Rockmore’s Lost Theramin Album (Bridge Records, 2006)

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve been listening today to more experimental frontiers with German-born, Paris-based Christine Webster, whose projects range from mixes to three-dimensional composition. Here, she takes us way into outer space in an eclectically-conceived set of mixes for the ongoing Terminal Radio project:

Five Minutes Alone,Circular, Christine Webster. Herd, Adrian Moore and Akkya.

www.fsolboard.co.uk/

Terminal Radio 20 – Herd Takeover show
Intro by Nmesh
Five Minutes Alone (timereleasedsound.com/shop/releases/)
@five-minutes-alone
Part 6, Dead Pόlis: The Dream

Five Minutes Alone – Let Things Be (Unreleased)
Dickon Hinchliffe – The Fields (Pale Blue)
Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne & Leopold Ross – 7 Years Later (BFD)
Harry Gregson-Williams – The Rifle (Kirtland Records)
Roque Baños – Trapped Into Elevator (Filmax Music)
Tool – (-) Ions (Zoo Entertainment)
Darkstar83, 3bc & Tetsuroh Konishi – Into Ruins (Aural Films)
Cliff Martinez – What’s Your Daughter On (Tvt)
Tool – Useful Idiot (Zoo Entertainment)
Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne & Leopold Ross – Left Alone (BFD)
Henry Francis Lyte & Will Henry Monk – Jim’s Parents (Abide With Me) (XL Recordings)
Tool – Cesaro Summability (Zoo Entertainment)
Cliff Martinez – Weathermen (Milan Records)
MbLWb – Always (Unreleased)
Five Minutes Alone – Birds (Terminal)
MbLWb – Dane 2,1 (Unreleased)

Circular (Loki Foundation, Deep Audio)
@circular-ger

Circular – BENEATH THE LUMINOUS SKY – Deep Audio
Circular – THE PATHWAY DOWNWARDS – Loki Foundation
Circular – FROM A CONCEALED AWARENESS – Deep Audio

Christine Webster (soundwebster.wordpress.com/)
@info-738

Christine Webster – Kintsukuroi – Unreleased
Christine Webster- Remember me – Itunes
Christine Webster – Oberheim Mantras – Unreleased
Christine Webster – The Rawbot – ITunes

Herd (FSOLdigital,Darkfloor)
@herdtangents

Oberman Knocks – Fewton Tension Kords – Aperture
Locust – Xenophobe – Apollo
Burial – Roughsleeper – Hyperdub
Leon OST – The Fight part one The Swat Squad – Eric Serra
Larvae –Crazyeye – ad Noiseam
BT – Finobacci Sequence – Headspace
Peter Gabriel – Sandstorm – Geffen Records
Blackfilm – Sonar – Spectraliquid
Leon – A bird in New York – Eric Serra
Demdike Stare – Regressor- Modern Love
Larvae – Crazyeye- ad Noiseam
Mad Fish – Dif:use – Thin Conselation
Autechre – Treale – Warp
Grooverider – Secrets – Higher Ground
Padrone – Dif:use – Symbolic Interaction
Zorak – Arcon 2 – Reinforced Records
FSOL – Room 208 – Virgin
Peter Gabriel – Sandstorm – Geffen Records
FSOL – Heat Distortions – FSOLdigital.com
Goldie – Sea of Tears – FFRR
Legiac – Emriz – Sending Orbs
Protogroup – Anahata – Autoplate
Protogroup – Ope Um Ra – Autoplate
Deaf Center – Thunder Night – TYPE
Protogroup – Love Gives Strength to my Soul – Autoplate
FSOL – Newfoundland – FSOLdigital
Autechre – Secon Bad Vibel – Warp
David Morley – Ghosts – Ursa Major
Seefar – Before dawn – FSOLdigital

Adrian Moore (www.electrocd.com/en/bio/moore_ad/discog/)
@adrianmoore

Adrian Moore – Nebula Sequence Remix – electrocd.com

Akkya (City Wall Records)
@akkya

Akkya – A Distant Constellation that is Dying in the Corner of the Sky – unreleased
The Thin Red Line – Nature
Akkya – From an Imprisoned Room I See – unreleased
Akkya – Orange Liquid Orbs (Section 2) -Itunes
Akkya – The Rains over the Land – unreleased
Akkya – A Distant Constellation that is Dying in the Corner of the Sky (Outro) – unreleased
Primal Scream – Higher Than The Sun – Creation

Artwork by Herd – jason-thomson.tumblr.com/

futuremusic.fm/

It’s worth poking and peeking around her site – and thanks for pointing me to this epic mix, Christine:

http://soundwebster.wordpress.com/

The post For Allhallowtide, Here Are Hours of Brilliant Underground Music to Make You Feel Undead appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Beyond Traditional Instruments, a Status Report from the SoundLab

Written by Site Update on October 31st, 2014

liberty_thereminis

There’s nothing more personal than creative expression. And so experimenting with how you make music is more than just novelty: it’s a way to understand the fundamentals of how we relate to machines. And thinking outside the normal avenues means the ability to reach new people, as SoundLab is doing with audiences with learning disabilities. Ashley Elsdon joins us to give us the latest of how the project is going.

A little while ago, CDM kindly posted a piece on our SoundLab project, which aims to help people with learning disabilities make music and collaborate in music creation. That was as we were starting out at the beginning of the project’s 12-month lifespan. Almost five months in, and we have learnt a lot and made more progress than I could have hoped for. However, in doing that, we’ve raised both awareness of the project and expectations of it in a big way.

So what have we been up to? The short answer is quite a lot. But here are the highlights since you last heard from us …

NIME: SoundLab were involved in the NIME hack day and we met some amazing people doing great work in music technology and accessibility. It was a crazy day. Playing with some amazing technologies and making connections with some great people, too.

nimething

nime_meeblip

The Liberty Festival: SoundLab were invited to run an installation at the London Mayor’s Liberty Festival at the end of July. It was already a busy time for us, but we wanted to be a part of it, and it was really worth it. We decided to use a setup which had Ableton at the center. We used Live to set the clock for all our devices and act as the backbone of the whole installation. Here’s what we used:

  • Ableton Live was running drum loops controlled from an iPad via MIRA. The MIRA patch also controlled the pulse sent to our two [Moog] Thereminis so that they would pulse in time to the drum loops. We used a Max for Live patch to send a volume ramp to the Thereminis to achieve this.
  • We had two of our three Moog Thereminis at the event. These we set to the same scale and key and pulsed as I mentioned above. They were incredibly popular, but more of that in a bit.
  • iPad running Thumbjam. We had another iPad running Thumbjam standalone. Thumbjam is such an accessible instrument that it also proved to be incredibly popular.
  • Lastly, we had a late addition to the set up, in the form of an AlphaSphere.

nime_patchblocks

How did it go and what did we learn?

Well, it was a huge success. We were due to be at the Liberty Festival for six hours and in that time we probably had about two or three minutes where we weren’t busy, which was unexpected in itself.

The Thereminis were a massive hit with everyone who came to our marquee. The advantage that they had was that people didn’t see them as a traditional instrument and because of this, they didn’t feel as though they were doing something alien. People who had never made music before found them a joy to play and satisfying to work with as they could learn very rapidly how to control the pitch and volume through fluid movements.

The other huge hit was the AlphaSphere, which was constantly occupied throughout the day. I think its tactile nature and feedback makes you think of it as a playful device and not a musical instrument and so people weren’t put off by it at all. Also just the amazing look of the device was a pull for anyone who saw it. Of course, we barely scratched the surface of what it can do, but for our purposes it worked like a dream and we were so pleased that nu desine brought it along on the day on the off chance that it might be handy.

Of course, the back bone of the whole set up was Ableton, which ran the show — although no one knew that at the time.

octcrowd

The Beautiful Octopus Club: This was our next event and certainly our most ambitious to date. This was the second time that SoundLab had been at the Beautiful Octopus Club and this year we decided to be three times bigger than before. We had three sites inside the Royal Festival Hall; they were:

The Cage: –which sounds awful! But it was where we had two really popular technologies. On one side, we had Native Instruments’ Maschines mikro. We had three of these, which were all set up to run the same project. Maschine is a complex technology, and we had to do a lot of work to make it accessible enough for anyone to walk up and just play and at the same time get a satisfying experience for even just a few minutes. But it worked and it worked well.

cage_alphasphere

The Digital Band: This was basically the same setup as for the Liberty Festival but with the addition of another AlphaSphere, which just made it an even more enticing experience. This space was really busy throughout the night.

alphasphere

The Workshop Space: The last, but by no means the least, of the spaces was our workshop space, which is where we had Dentaku with their Ototo board and Mogees with their amazing app and lots of interesting objects too play with. We were really lucky to have both of these running so well together and also have the amazing Jo Hinchcliffe running the space. The response to both of these technologies was tremendous.

But if that wasn’t enough we were also at Music Tech Fest, as well:
For Music Tech Fest, we were lucky enough to be included in their hackathon, setting one of the challenges over the same weekend. I wasn’t able to be at all of MTF this year, but what I did see was truly inspiring and the responses to our hack challenge were amazing. We were also very happy to have the prize for our challenge given by FXpansion.

mtf_controllers

So, overall, it’s been a busy time for SoundLab. We’ve achieved so much in a really short space of time thanks to the amazing help of the music tech community. Our next challenge is to start to put our research into a code framework to help users and developers connect music technologies together in ways that make sense for them and that enable their creativity. More of that another time, though.

What have we learned?

We’ve learnt a great deal about getting people to engage in making music and understanding the barriers that are present that stop people from getting involved.

We used our Thereminis’ sync with Live to get people making music without touching an instrument – as this is a real barrier to starting.

We also had the whole rig running even before people came in contact with it, so that they didn’t feel that they had to start making music, instead it was already running and so it removed another barrier to making music.

In more pure research terms, we’ve learnt about how different technologies can work together == things like CV, gestural and motion-based, and tangible interfaces, and have started looking at how these will be brought together into our eventual code framework.

So we’re halfway through, and that’s an interesting point. We have also learnt a lot about how we run our own workshops and how to make sure that we get the right outcomes from them.

Video of Dentaku / Mogees:

Resources:
Dentaku
Mogees
Studio Amplify
Native Instruments Maschine
Ableton
Heart n Soul
SoundLab
Moog Theremini
AlphaSphere
FXpansion

The post Beyond Traditional Instruments, a Status Report from the SoundLab appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Embertone releases “Arcane” – Limited Free Kontakt Library

Written by Site Update on October 31st, 2014

Embertone has released Arcane, a new, free product for Kontakt Player. Ember tone calls it an Experience Instrument – Half instrument, half game. A user must interact with the evil Kontakt spirits [Read More]
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Synthblitz Audio updates VA RAXS (1.2) Mastering Rack for Windows

Written by Site Update on October 31st, 2014

Synthblitz audio has updated VA RAXS to version 1.2. VA RAXS is a multi-effect mastering rack for windows. VA RAXS is now equipped with its own saturators that allow the rack to operate in several [Read More]
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Green Oak Software updates Crystal Synth XT for iOS to v2.0.6

Written by Site Update on October 31st, 2014

Green Oak Software has updated Crystal Synth XT for iOS to v2.0.6. Crystal Synth XT now includes a piano style keyboard. When used on the iPad, a user now has the option of using either the circular [Read More]
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Korg Triton Taktile 49

Written by Site Update on October 30th, 2014

Read more about Korg Triton Taktile 49 at MusicRadar.com


The new Taktile range of MIDI controller keyboards nicely fills the gap left by the discontinued KONTROL range of MIDI controller keyboards. But, never to rest on its laurels, Korg’s latest controllers include even more real-time control and functionality, with the surprising addition of the old but well-respected Triton sound engine.

“Not only can you use the touchpad to affect the internal sounds during recording or live performance but it also sends MIDI”

First off, build quality is generally good for the money and all the buttons/ pads are made of translucent rubber and feature multi-colour backlights – this is great for onstage or in a dark studio. There’s a pitch bend and an assignable mod wheel above the keyboard (to enable a shorter footprint) and next to those are eight sliders with eight rotary dials above, all of which can be assigned to MIDI CCs of your choice.

The sliders and rotaries feel fine (though there’s some play in the rotaries) and the keyboard is nicely playable, though there’s no aftertouch. Connectivity-wise there’s buss-powered USB (or power via an optional USB mains adaptor), a mini-jack/headphone audio out, MIDI out and two pedal connections.

Each slider also has a function button below it which can be assigned to a MIDI CC of your choice (you can store all front panel user-assignments in scenes too) and when in Sound Mode (which turns the Taktile into a Triton-based synth) the rotaries control the filter, envelope and the two master FX blocks, though there’s no deeper editing of the sound engine beyond these rudimentary parameters – a sound editor would really open up the possibilities here, so perhaps this could be included in the future.

Also, there appears to be no way to save edited sounds so once again perhaps this could be addressed in an OS update.

Touch of class

Moving to the centre, you’ll find the Mini Kaoss Pad 2-style touchpad and ribbon selector, which are indispensable features.

Not only can you use the touchpad to affect the internal sounds during recording or live performance but it also sends MIDI on both its X and Y axes, it can be used to play scales and, as a further bonus, it can also act as a mouse-style trackpad (the ribbon selector is generally used as an incremental controller for scrolling through sounds or parameters and it works well too).

“There are 512 solid bread-and-butter sounds onboard including some good pianos and EPs, lush strings, juicy synth basses and leads, drums and more”

Clear and concise parameter/function feedback is given via the handy OEL screen and you always know where your settings are at a glance. All things considered, the Taktile is very easy to navigate for beginners and pros alike.

The 16 assignable velocity sensitive backlit pads (which most folks will assign to drum duties) can also be quickly assigned to play individual notes or chords according to a user chosen scale and my three-year-old daughter was playing chords and scales (and sounding good!) within seconds without touching the keyboard once! Let’s also not forget there’s a six-mode/50 rhythm arpeggiator onboard too that fires out MIDI information.

The Taktile also ships with preset templates for all the major DAWs which takes the headache out of those tedious controller set-up sessions!

Setting up the Taktile to use with Logic X was simple – you install a controller plug-in and editor/driver and then the sliders are auto-mapped to user-chosen groups of eight mixer channels, the rotaries mapped to the pan controls, the function buttons to mutes and the transport to Logic’s transport.

Finally, though the Triton sound engine is pretty much a preset affair, there are 512 solid bread-and-butter sounds onboard including some good pianos and EPs, lush strings, juicy synth basses and leads, drums and more – it’s a pretty versatile little controller/synth!

To conclude, as an all-round package with a street price of around £339, the Triton Taktile 49 is hard to beat. It’s a surprisingly inspiring and versatile controller and a solid/portable performance synth too.

Read more about Korg Triton Taktile 49 at MusicRadar.com







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Auxy Is The Best Piano Roll Editor for iPad Yet – And Not Much Else – By Design [Free]

Written by Site Update on October 30th, 2014

auxy1

It’s been asked over and over again: can a simpler software tool attract more people to music making? But the next question is, invariably – what’s the right stuff to leave out?

Auxy, released today, is an extreme exercise in app minimalism. It radically reduces what’s in the UI by focusing on making and cueing patterns — and leaving out the rest.

It’s also free.

Built exclusively for iPad, Auxy centers on a grid as its main screen. You’ve got four tracks in which you can create, edit, then trigger different patterns. Tap on one rectangle, and you draw in patterns in a familiar “piano roll” sequencer view. Drag notes to draw, then drag to move or elongate them. It’s even easy for clumsy or large fingers.

Each pattern is one, two, or four bars. There’s a drum kit with three sets of sounds, a bass track with four sounds, and two synth tracks with a choice of five sounds. Tapping a circular icon on the left brings up clever draggable knobs for controlling a filter, volume, and (in all but the drum kit) one sound parameter.

The basic functionality is clearly borrowed from Ableton Live. Each column is a track, and can trigger just one pattern at a time. Playback is quantized to the bar. There’s even a stop button at the top of each column.

It’s all so obvious, that you’d be forgiven for thinking this exists already. Weirdly, it doesn’t. You can try an experiment: open up Apple’s GarageBand on iOS and see how long it takes you to get to this same editing view. I stumbled around the UI for a couple of minutes before I found it, and once I got there, tapping tiny icons apparently supposed to represent the piano roll editor and puzzling over what a pencil toggle with a lock meant, I realized it’s nothing like Auxy. My feeling that I had seen Auxy before was more to do with a sense that this is how touch piano rolls should work, more than how they generally do.

auxy2

So, combining this sort of editor with Live-style triggering is great. The problem is, that’s where the app ends. It’s almost as easy to write a missing feature list as a feature list – even if that’s by design:

You can’t record external audio.
You can’t play in patterns – you can only drag in notes in the piano roll.
You can’t sequence other apps.
You’re limited to a small handful of sounds, and always drums, bass, synth, synth.
You can’t change time signatures.
You can’t export patterns as MIDI.

You can export audio. Tap the record button in the upper left-hand corner, and Auxy lets you live record an arrangement by triggering different clips. When you’re done, you’re given an option to save the audio to iTunes, copy it to another app with AudioCopy, or use iOS 8′s new share functionality (which connects to AirDrop and other apps you’ve installed, like Dropbox).

Using audio export, you can find some use for the app. The developers of Auxy clearly have some talented friends, and so in addition to the slick demo video, you can listen to a whole track made in the app:

I love the minimalism, in that it makes an app that’s uncommonly friendly to beginners. But just allowing an easy point of entry isn’t enough to make software a success: you need a compelling reason to keep using it.

And I can’t help but feel that Auxy isn’t just minimal: it’s a beautiful tool, but it falls just short of some real-world use after an initial play. If it worked with inter-app MIDI, it might become my go-to pattern maker for the various interesting synths you can now collect on iOS. If it exported MIDI (or, as KORG recently showed, Ableton sessions), it could be the perfect mobile idea recorder. That’d be doubly true if there were an iPhone version; that seems a missed opportunity with this compact interface, especially with roomier iPhones 6.

And I don’t think that’s just because I’m a “pro” user. The typical non-producer musician often cares more about mic input than us electronic folks – because they sing, or play guitar, for instance. Once you have something with a mic input, it becomes more personal.

Stockholm-based developer Henrik Lenberg, a veteran of SoundCloud and Propellerhead, is evangelical in his commitment to Auxy and its less-is-more approach. I think the key question is what happens in its next revision.

auxy3

It’s easy to see how so many music creation tools have become massive bundles of features: even beginners and amateur musicians often cover a wide gamut of use cases. Finding a narrower set of features that still appeals to a broad range of people is a bigger challenge.

But I don’t think Auxy has really tackled that challenge yet. As version 1.0, Auxy is a compelling demonstration of design discipline. If that discipline can be applied to providing a broader range of possible sounds, and some ability to use Auxy as a sketchpad for other music (with MIDI and Ableton export, for instance), I think it could be a landmark tool. For now, less is less – but it could be more.

Auxy is a free app, so grab it now and watch it grow.

http://auxy.co/

The post Auxy Is The Best Piano Roll Editor for iPad Yet – And Not Much Else – By Design [Free] appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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