My music

Tonifrax

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Ooh i do like zoom but have not used their mixers :yikes:. I have the zoom q8 video camera which is quite good. Bought it for doing YouTube covers although ive not used it as much as I would have liked. i need some decent editing software thats not going to cost me an arm and a leg!
 

JackAndRob

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It is a nice compact mixer. The panel is quite minimal - full control is done wirelessly with an iPad. It has a built-in digital recorder too.
 
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JackAndRob

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Ooh i do like zoom but have not used their mixers :yikes:. I have the zoom q8 video camera which is quite good. Bought it for doing YouTube covers although ive not used it as much as I would have liked. i need some decent editing software thats not going to cost me an arm and a leg!
I have a Zoom H4n portable audio recorder too. It has built-in stereo mics, but it also has a pair of XLR/line jacks for 'proper' mics - dynamic or condenser. I have a Shure SM58 dynamic and an AKG C214 condenser. The AKG is very sensitive, so it is pretty useless in a house that has birds ;)

I don't do a lot of video editing, but I do have Cyberlink PowerDirector. It has everything I'd ever need and didn't cost the earth.
 

Tonifrax

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The q8 has a built in mic that you can swap out for other compatible microphones although I used to use a rode NT1A microphone with it. Software wise i think it was pro tools i had on my old computer but used to use garageband/sibelius when I had access to a mac. In need of new equipment. Wasnt so bad 6 years ago when I had access to our schools recording studio and equiptment but would like a decent set up some day. Have not really done much musically in a while but started writing again so might have to invest in better equipment. Also had a blue yeti usb mic but just sold it. No chance of recording using that with birds in the house 🤣
 

JackAndRob

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I think GarageBand is installed on my iPads but I haven't looked at it.

Pro Tools is very popular as is Ableton. I use Steinberg Cubase Pro. My audio interface is a Steinberg UR44C. That's what my main keyboard is hooked up to. It's a Roland FA-08 synth workstation, which is a pretty decent synth, but I use it almost exclusively as a controller. It has a really nice 88-note piano weighted keyboard.

On the computer I have all the usual suspects - Serum, VPS Avenger, Hive, plus far too many others to list. Steinberg Absolute suite, Arturia V Collection, Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate, etc, etc, etc.

I have hardware from Arturia, Roland, Modal Electronics, Akai, Behringer, plus three Zoom MS-70CDR stereo multi-effects units. They are guitar stomp boxes, but as they are stereo they work really well with instruments that don't have on-board effects.

Latest addition is an Akai Force, which is a standalone music production system. It has its own built in instruments plus it can drive external instruments via MIDI. I have barely had any time with it, but it sounds incredible. This image shows everything except the FA-08.


Map.jpg
 

Tonifrax

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I see the benefit of having the Roland synth with the 88 note piano keyboard. I still need to look into getting a digital piano at some point and have been looking at Rolands products. It would be nice to have something I can also plug into my pc but then trying to find something that feels like an acoustic piano is always a battle. The akai looks like a lot of fun. I could probably just sit and play with all of that for hours before surfacing again 🤣
 

JackAndRob

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I nearly always use my headphones, as practising the same piece a hundred times makes other household members quite weary ;)

The FA-08 has an "ivory feel" keyboard. Or is it "real feel"? Can't remember. Whatever they call it, it is really tactile with the right amount of grip/slip. It is plastic, but it doesn't feel like that. The weight is just right for me too. The instrument itself feels reassuringly heavy and most of that weight is in the keybed.

Take a look at the Roland FP digital pianos on Andertons.co.uk. Jack Duxbury's reviews are chaotic, but very entertaining and informative, especially his review of the Roland AX Edge - "T-rex hands". He does a few reviews with product specialists and they are hilarious - Luke from Korg (search for Volca Beats), Alex from Moog/Arturia (search for Minbrute 2), etc.
 

JackAndRob

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I finally got all of my music software installed on the new PC. A few hiccups along the way, including a few "Blue Screens Of Death". I had to reinstall everything (twice!) taking restore points after every step. I have less hair now, and what remains is greyer.

Room looks like a bomb site. Coffee stains on the desk, various cables and hardware that needs hiding. Spare bedroom full of cardboard boxes - new PC, monitors, various other bits and pieces. I have been getting grief about clearing them out since Friday ;)

The on-screen project features my three favourite keyboard instruments - acoustic piano, electric piano and tonewheel organ. It is based on a 6 note phrase I heard on a TV commercial. It runs at 144 BPM, but I hit the limit of my playing ability at 90 BPM when I recorded the parts - the e.piano solo was quite busy and the finale of the organ part is full of big right-handed chords :D

Link to song: Bounce IT

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JackAndRob

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A long time ago you might have found yourself in a crowded place. A phone would go off and you weren't sure if it was yours. My ringtones are custom :)

Link: It's complicated
Link: FourToTheFloor

A ringtone is supposed to attract your attention and a really annoying ringtone does that perfectly, so I'd create a sound that cuts through any ambient noise and loop it. Nothing got as many complaints as these two:

Link: LFO
Link: Skrillex Bass
 

JackAndRob

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So the Zoom mixer needed a custom made case due to its shape, however, the Akai force is a 'slab' so finding a case for it was far easier (and considerably cheaper!).

Gorilla DJ case. Very popular and several sizes are available. Not just useful for music/DJ gear, they can be made to accommodate all sorts of devices. On this particular model, once the clasps are opened the top hinges back and can be removed completely:
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Well constructed, with regular clasps at the top and butterfly clasps on the sides:
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Two layers of block foam inside. Making holes in this stuff is as satisfying as popping bubble wrap :)
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Make a space for the Force (top foam layer only) and drop it in, then do the same for the power supply and cables. Note the small indentation that I added in the Force's space (far right), to make it easier to lift out:

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Job done. The lid has foam in it too, so the contents are all cozy and well protected :thumbsup:
 

JackAndRob

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Ooh, a new toy! Lots of knobs and pretty lights! :D

Behringer_2600.jpg

This is a Behringer 2600, a clone recreation of the monstrous ARP 2600 synth of the 1970s.

The original 2600 synth was a cut down version of ARP's 2500. The 2500 was a modular synth - a number of discrete sections that manipulated the sound signal in different ways, connected using patch cables. The cables routed the signal(s) through the machine and you brought in whatever modules you needed to create the desired sound.

The 2500 was physically huge, like a freestanding double wardrobe laying on its side. It was very expensive too. ARP (named after company founder Allen R. Pearlman) decided to create a more accessible and smaller version, and so the 2600 was born. It was touted as a machine that could be used for educational purposes e.g. sound design, and the layout of the synth lent itself to that. The modules are laid out so that signal flow is (typically) from left to right and top to bottom on the panel. It is a semi-modular synth, meaning that it will make a sound without using patch cables, but to get the most out of it, you'll need to create some spaghetti on the front panel using the 90+ patch points.

You will have heard sounds from the 2500 and 2600. The 2500 was used for "that 5 note phrase" in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Can't remember if it was the 2500 or 2600 but one of them created R2D2's voice for Star Wars. The 2600 was used extensively by the likes of J-M Jarre, Vangelis, Tony Banks (Genesis), Stevie Wonder and many others. A little later it was popular in songs by Erasure, Depeche Mode and Yazoo - the common denominator in those last three is keyboard player Vince Clarke. One instantly recognizable example of the 2600 would be the punchy synth brass in Yazoo's "Don't Go". I will attempt to recreate that and post it on here, when I've worked out how to program it!

In more recent times, an ARP 2600 was heavily used in Netflix's Stranger Things. The series was set in the eighties and the 2600 was perfectly suited to creating an authentic 1980s sci-fi soundtrack.

Behringer have had a lot of success creating clones replicas of many vintage instruments - synths and drum machines - as well as their own unique instruments. I have one of their DeepMind synths, which is also excellent. The 2600 is one of their latest and it very faithfully captures the sound of the original ARP. It is considerably cheaper too. Behringer's version is about £550, whereas the original ARP 2600 was released in 1971 for about £1900. That would be about £12,800 in today's money and the last few surviving examples change hands for considerably more that that now.

Behringer made their 2600 smaller than the original ARP, so that it can be mounted in a 19" enclosure. It will lay flat on a table top, but mine is mounted on an 8U freestanding rack so that the entire panel is right in my face :)
 

JackAndRob

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Goodness me that is mind boggling.
I agree. It took me about 20 minutes of scanning the panel to work out what controls I needed to raise just to get a simple bleep out of it :D

I do not need one of them with all the noises my flock can produce between them Ha Ha
I have seen an example of how the synth is used to produce random bird sounds - a bit like dawn chorus in a woodland.
 
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