Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Battery 3 - Why I love it

Lately I've been experiementing with different beat machines, the one that I've come back to and wins by a long shot is Battery. There is one big reason for me -

Flow: There is a clear flow in battery's interface.

- The top half is all about drum pads - easily color coded, and each pad lights up when hit for an instant understanding of what is going on.

- The Bottom half is tabbed, and flows from left to right - and makes sense.

- Starts with the sample graphic: I always want to see this first, to help identify a sample visually in my mind, and how I can shape it. Envelope shaping is overlaid on the sample graphic itself - giving you a clear understanding of what these otherwise cryptic knobs are doing to the shape of the original sample. There is also a big bonus here: the Vintage sampler mode with different sampler emulations for a more natural sound.

- The next 4 tabs allow for down and dirty stuff: like voice management, humanizing, and velocity sample layering, wave editing and looping.

- Then we have the very easy modulation and effects pages: it's easy to modulate a nice bit of LP filter with velocity, or have use a random square wave LFO to modulate slightly random pitches and avoid the machine gun effect.

- Finally there is also the sample browser - it could be larger, but it is very convenient to drag samples you like into straight into a drum pad.

This is my personal experience, and I have heard many others. Please feel free to enlighten us if you have any other faves!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

To Bit Or Not To Bit... (64-bit vs 32-bit)

So I've spent some quality time fucking around with 64-bit and 32-bit settings in OSX and in Logic.

3 Points:

- We are in an awkward transition phase
We either have too little memory (32-bit) or too little compatibility (64-bit)

- 32-bit AU Bridge
Apple's solution for running old 32-bit plugins in 64-bit logic works, but isn't rock solid (stability / compatability)

- Many plugins are still 32-bit only
Big names such as: Waves bundles, Synthogy Ivory, Soundtoys and many others, have to run using this almost stable 32-bit AU Bridge.

Considering stability is such a high priority for most professionals, I feel that logic is not quite ready for 64-bit.

Let us hope that this awkward period comes to an end soon!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Apogee Duet 2

The Apogee Duet 2 was released just a couple months ago, all the goodies of its original 2-in, 2-out firewire interface, but not without the awkward firewire cable.

- USB baby!
- Bus powered
- OLED Color screen for metering and tracking knob controls.
- Independent headphone mix
- 2-in, 4-out

And of course you're going to get those very crisp mic-pres..

Very nice upgrade.. I'm considering selling my duet to make the change.. if only so I never have to deal with the horrible epic fail mistake that is the Firewire 800 Cable plugs.

Monday, 23 May 2011

A Pop Musician's Role

You'll find that a lot of music that becomes popular pushes an attitude or lifestyle further than the average Joe or Jane.

An artist who pushes limits more than socially typical becomes a conduit for the masses who want to feel this excitement and 'out of bounds' land, in safety, in abundance and under their own terms.

Even a song inspired by late nights - a time where many have decided is too late to be awake, because there is work in the morning, and it is unsafe to break the rules of sleep time - contains an element or a vibration, that is 'out of bounds'. Now safely available for the listener, under their own terms.

In this way, an artist is someone who lives lives out of the bounds of the masses, exploring things the masses are unconfident or unwilling to explore. An artist is someone who does this and reports back to the masses, with the help of a beat, a melody, a relate-able and easy to follow story.

This is just one small example of a pop star's role that I feel isn't explored much.

What role does a pop star have in your life?

Lacie Minimus

Just setup a 1TB Lacie Minimus as a Time Machine backup for all projects and settings. I haven't been this impressed with a hard drive for years.

Lacie Minimus
Good points:
- Very Solid Build
- Smallest 3.5" External I've seen
- Beautiful elegant design
- Good decoupling from base
- Reliable
- Quiet Sonically
- Visually Quiet
- Instant setup

Bad points:
- AC powered (it is a desktop device)
- USB 2.0/3.0 (not suitable for high speed data streaming on a mac, good for backup)