Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

Due to the complex nature of the bass lines I write,  I often use soft synths such as Native Instruments Massive. The soft synth realm allows you to modulate and twist up sounds to your hearts content, with DAW’s such as Ableton Live providing ultra flexibility. So I surprised myself, just over a year ago when I bought my first hardware synth, the Moog Slim Phatty.

I was in my local synth store (Production Room, Leeds) and one of the guys said “Hey Keith, check this out, you will love it”, and there it was, a Moog Slim Phatty. I must admit at first I was thinking “Are these guys nuts, it’s a Moog, it’s just for prog rock guys, have you forgot that I do dnb?”. Once I played it though, and the speaker cones started shaking, I was like “Wow I need one of these!!!”.

So now back to the current time line, I want to share with you my experience with this synth for Modern Electronic Dance Music production.  (more…)

It’s not exciting, it does not have flashing lights, but it in my experience it has been the best investment for my studio, so here is why….

I have always struggled, like many producers, with trying to get the low end to translate well across different systems. I have done many a mix where I have mixed on my monitors, checked on headphones, then gone to the car, then my hi-fi and found that the bass level either sounds too loud, or too weak. So you just keep going from house to the car and back again, and again and again and again, for weeks on end. So much so that your neighbours start twitching at the curtains, wondering why the hell the strange guy next door keeps going to the car to listen to music for a few minutes, disappears then keeps repeating the process. (more…)

When I first got into music production I had my heart set on an Korg Electribe, I wanted hardware, but the nice guys at the Production Room Shop in Leeds suggested that I try out a Launchpad at a fraction of the price, and use the free software that came with it, Ableton Live. What great advice it was, as I found the Launchpad (and Ableton Live) was a great introduction to music production, great fun & shaped the way I make music.

So I thought a Launchpad review was in order, as it has been so instrumental to how I make my music.

Right, first a quick overview:

Novation Launchpad

The Novation Launchpad is a 64 button USB powered midi controller (no power cable required) and comes with Ableton Live (music production software). You can use each of the buttons to trigger loops (clips) in Ableton Live, pan, change the volume, add effects, programme beats, the list goes on. It feels well-built and the buttons have a nice feel to them.Lets now go into a bit more detail on its functions:
Launching clips and Scenes

I have got to say that the launchpad is excellent for Launching clips and scenes. Basically the Launchpad Grid copies what’s on your screen, indicated by a red box on your Ableton Live Set (whatever is within this box, is displayed on the launchpad). It works pretty flawlessly with the Launchpad providing coloured feedback on the state of each clip (playing, recording, stopped). (more…)