Macbeth Micromac

On my morning RSS read through my favorite pro-audio sites Synthtopia re-posted some photos from Ken Macbeth’s Facebook page. The photos show Ken’s idea for a small synth to compete with the Doepfer Dark Energy, Vermona Lancet and other mini boutique desktop modules. Ken the man behind Macbeth Studio Systems created what could be the best synth of all time the Macbeth M5. I know it could be the best because I’ve played with one in Berlin and never heard anything as good before or after. He gets the core stuff right like the speed of the envelope’s, etc… So if this little box makes it into the world count me in.

“?…as well as the 5U stuff that I’m working on…..I play with the idea of designing some very small (42HP in 3U) midi driven analogue! Whay just have one oscillator and one envelope generator when you could have three oscs and two independant envelopes?!” – Ken Macbeth

I don’t follow synth makers on Facebook. Who else is worth friending there? Any recommendations?

For more info: macbethstudiosystems.com

IMSTA FESTA

I will be speaking on a panel with Peter Kirn (Create Digital Music), Micah Frank aka Kamoni (Sound Designer & Founder of Puremagnetik), and Julie Covello aka DJ Shakey (DJ, Creator & Promoter of the Warper Party, Music Collector) on Saturday, September 25 at the SAE, 1293 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 10001.

The IMSTA FESTA is free and should be good fun and of great interest to anyone who reads this blog. It’s a pro-audio manufacturer get together and panel series. It’s from 11:00AM – 7:00PM. Some of the exhibitors include Ableton, Arturia, Bias, SSL, Celemony, IK Multimedia, Image Line, Native Instruments, Pianoteq, Propellerhead, Rob Papen, Steinberg and Waves.

UPDATE: Over 1,000 people are registered. Come on down!

“IMSTA FESTA, a celebration of music software is coming to the heart of New York City. The First IMSTA FESTA started in Japan where it was highly successful for technology companies, producers and hobbyists alike. IMSTA FESTA brings a collection of the top audio technology companies together in an environment where they can interact with music makers face-to-face. If you use music software you will benefit from this event in a number of ways.” – http://www.imsta.org

For more info: http://www.imsta.org

Moog VoyagerXL

Moog VoyagerXL. Is this real or a Photoshop? Matrixsynth says $4995. Here’s the post where people are discussing this monster: moogmusic.com/forum/9853

“Looks slightly photoshopped–but perhaps only to correct colors for posting to the web….To that point, I think that this thing looks real. Nothing jumps out at me as indicating that it’s polyphonic. But it does appear to have something like a ribon controler between the keyboard and the control panel! In all It looks like a Voyager with extended patch capabilities–something that expands the Voyager’s playability further towards the modular synthesis roots on which the original Minimoog was based. This could be quite interesting.” Jaguarfooger

For more info: moogmusic.com

Depeche Mode Bar in Estonia

If you happen to be in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia and you’re a huge Depeche Mode fan you may want to go to the Depeche Mode Baar. The owner Dan Buinenko says the band has been there a few times and expects them to stop over again. When I lived in Germany I noticed regular Depeche Mode nights at bars and clubs all over the country.

“What did the band make of the bar/the concept in general? I think they liked our bar. Actually, we were quite surprised when they visited us first time. But second time we were really prepared and waiting for the band, although we hadn’t sent them an official invitation. Probably they would come again, if possible. The last few times they’ve had quite good security and a nice, warm welcome.” – drownedinsound.com

Read the full interview with the owner of the bar: click here

via iPad Today

Back from a West Virginia vacation

I spent the labor day weekend in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I took Amtrak down from Penn Station, NYC to visit my friend Matt. Matt who by day is a programmer by day at a company down there called The Library also records under the name Satronica. My brother also met us in WV and when he’s not in the science lab (he’s a neurobiologist) he records under the name Acrosome.

We tubed down the very warm Potamac river, biked 27 miles to Harpers Ferry, had a few meals in the trendy Shepherdstown, saw the movie “The American” and played a few competitive rounds of Fruit Ninja and Glow Hockey on the iPad. Matt lives on what seems like a few hundred acres of pseudo desert. The insects are far louder than anything out my window in NYC.

Matt has a bedroom studio where he sequences with Cubase and has a Sherman Filter Bank and Dave Smith Prophet 8. My brother just bought about 4k worth of new gear and is about to start recording again. He picked up an new Oberheim module, Jomox Mbase & Mbrane, DSI Tertri, Motu Volta and Vermona DRM1 MKIII (you can see he reads this blog!). I would have checked in via Facebook Places but why tell the world I’m a few states away? On the way back I was pleased to see the Amtrak Acela train had WiFi so I caught up on a few KVR Audio forum posts.

It was a good trip and if you’ve been stuck in the studio too much I hope this post inspires you to call some friends and head outside.

For a few more photo: click here

Apple Ping

As a musician the word to describe how I feel about the new Apple Ping social network is: exhausted. Musicians have become the tech industries guinea pigs. Why not? We try anything and work cheap right? After creating and curating profiles on MySpace, Last.fm, Imeem, Facebook and then Facebook Fan Pages and on and on now it’s time for Ping. Of course most musicians I know won’t be able to create and artist page yet will they? At this point in time indie artists will have to create normal user profiles and watch the Lady Gaga’s get all the love. As an Apple fanboy I’ll download iTunes 10, create my profile, share it with the world and friend a bunch of people I don’t know. Let’s hope the new network really does help music discovery.

“Follow your favorite artists with a click and become part of their inner circle. Get in on the action with artist photos and status updates. Even add comments to join the conversation. Find out what music an artist likes and pick up a few recommendations. Ping is built into the iTunes app on iPhone and iPod touch. So you can see artist updates from anywhere.” – apple.com/itunes/ping/

Download iTunes 10 with Ping: click here

My current iPad music creation apps

Here are screenshots of the two pages of music creation Apps I currently have installed on my iPad. The apps are: Aeolian Harp, audio palette, bleep!BOX, Beat Counter, Bebot, DopplerPad, Dropophone, Everyday Looper, FunkBox, iElectribe, ImproVox, iSample, iStylophone, iVoxel, Loopseque, Jasuto, Magic Piano, Melodica, MorphWiz, nanoloop, NanoStudio, NESynth, NNN MONO, Radarhead, sampletoy, SongMaker, SoundPrism, Soundrop, SoundyThingy, synthPond, Tiction AV, technoBox, TOPLAPapp, TweakyBeat and VoiceKeyboard.

Some of the Apps are iPhone Apps but because of screen size are much more fun on the iPad. There are a few music creation iPhone apps I have that I didn’t put on my iPad because they work fine on the smaller screen. Interesting the combined total price for all the Apps above if you bought them today is $137.74. I think that’s pretty good for all the touch screen sounds and creativity you get.

“The iPad has two internal speakers that push mono sound through two small sealed channels to the three audio ports carved into the bottom-right of the unit. A volume switch is on the right side of the unit. A 3.5-mm TRS connector audio-out jack on the top-left corner of the device provides stereo sound for headphones with or without microphones and/or volume controls. The iPad also contains a microphone that can be used for voice recording.” – Wikipedia

If you have any questions about any of these or want my own review just let me know.