Magma ExpressBox 3T

With the Magma ExpressBox 3T there really is little reason to buy a Mac Pro. Use your PCIe cards with an iMac. This is great news for musicians wanting to upgrade old tower macs but keep their DSP and interface cards.

“ExpressBox 3T provides an ‘outside-the-box’ solution for using PCIe® cards with Thunderbolt-equipped computers. High-performance flows are possible by connecting a Thunderbolt equipped computer to a Magma ExpressBox 3T containing PCIe cards such as video capture, media transcoding, audio processing, and fast data storage. And because Thunderbolt is also based on DisplayPort technology, you can daisy chain a high-resolution display with your Magma ExpressBox 3T.” –

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Oliver’s Early Electronic

As record stores disappeared and cassettes disintegrated we lost access to some obscur electronic music from the early 80s. You can find tidbits on iTunes, Spotify and assorted blogs. Youtube on the other hand has become a treasure trove of underground material. Not only is a large portion of early recorded material being uploaded but it seems anyone that had a local electronic band is posting their demos. I’ve started a playlist of my findings. So far I have 35 videos in the playlist that runs over two hours. Of course there is a huge amount more that can be added. Feel free to post links of songs you think I should include. The more tape hiss the better!

“The domain name was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months.” –

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Behringer ADA8000

Even in the music business I learn something new every day. I always knew I could add more inputs to my old Motu 828 via the ADAT interface but I never really looked into exactly how to do it. In fact, it’s been something that’s been nagging me recently because I like many people are getting more and more back into hardware. In addition, with Ableton Live’s wonderful External Instrument device and routing it’s really easy to integrate hardware synths and even hardware effects units into your workflow. I looked at what RME was recommending. They said go for their ADI-8. The problem is that’s a $2600 unit. I posted over at Gearslutz and expected more expensive answers but low and behold it seems an old Behringer ADA8000 will do the trick easily. Maybe I am being captain obvious today but I am pleased. The ADA800 is about $200. Sound on Sound Magazine gave it a good review (link). So anyone using one of these? Or do you all recommend something else?

“In my own studio, I plan to use an ADA8000 to utilise the ADAT input port on my MOTU 828 interface, so that I can have access to more mic and line inputs over and above the existing analogue inputs. The tests I’ve done so far confirm that this works perfectly, with no fuss, provided that you remember to set the 828 to its ADAT optical sync mode.” – Sound on Sound

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Regular readers of Wire to the Ear know I have a “day job” in the energy business. I am a partner at ENVEN Energy Services. ENVEN is what NY calls an ESCO (Energy Services Company). We have a contract with a California based company Willdan and Con Edison (the main utility company in New York) to help them reduce the energy usage of their small commercial customers. We have an exclusive territory containing about 50 zip codes and stringent monthly goals. It’s a great program for customers because ConEd helps pay for the cost to go green. As Director of Operations I am involved in every aspect of the company from billing all the way down to training the salespersons.

Today you will see a new banner on the right side of this blog. In some US States energy has been “deregulated”. In the simplest terms it means there is competition. You can choose who you buy your energy from. I don’t ask much from Wire to the Ear readers. Have I ever asked you for anything? Here is my request: Buy green energy. Buy energy from a local wind farm. You will save money off your electric bill and help the environment. If you live in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania or Maryland please follow the link and switch your energy supplier to Viridian:

The utility still provides delivery and service, and still sends the bill like they always have. Same reliability, better rates and better for the environment. No long term contract so there is no real risk. If you want to let me know you switched I will personally thank you. If you have any questions let me know.

“Viridian Energy provides greener electricity at an affordable price, allowing our customers and independent Associates to make a difference in the environment and their personal lives simply by switching energy providers. We are proud to stand out among competitors who charge a significant premium for green electricity. We understand that you may not be able to pay more but still want to do your part. We take a lower profit in order to deliver a higher quality product, offering the best of both worlds – greener electricity and affordable prices.” – Viridian

For more info:

Tempest QuickStart

This is going to hurt my bank account ($2,000 USD). I really like how you can record real time effects on the two pad strips (link). I hope the included samples don’t ruin a near perfect analog thing. So far the demos sound pure enough for me. Anyone NOT getting one?

“The all-new Tempest analog drum machine (created by none other than the living legends Dave Smith and Roger Linn) is expected to be available sometime in Fall 2011.” –

For more info:

Only You

I was watching a comedian on TV the other night. He was saying it’s going to be funny when old people listen to hip hop. Since there is a generation into now it it’s only natural eventually they will grow old, reminisce, play and “sing” the songs. That fact alone is worth a blog post. I mean it’s going to be rediculous no? My TC Powercore has been on it’s last legs lately. There are a few key effects in it I really don’t want to live without. I contacted TC Helicon and what I am looking for is also available in their Voiceworks Plus unit. Off to Youtube to see a few videos and I came across the video above in which the performer uses a Voiceworks. He’s also covering one of my all time favorite songs Only You by Yaz. Time is a strange thing don’t you think? Where’s my bucket list again…

“Only You” is a ballad written by musician Vince Clarke. He wrote it while with Depeche Mode, and offered it to them when he was leaving. They declined, and Clarke recorded it after forming the duo Yazoo with Alison Moyet. It was an instant success, hitting number two in the UK, and charting in the U.S. (number sixty-seven, Billboard Hot 100), a feat only attained by one other Yazoo single (coincidentally, that single was “Situation,” the original UK B-side of “Only You”). “Only You” also made the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart at number thirty-eight.” – Wikipedia

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Mike Sweeton has SirenAudio asked me to take a look at his products. He has three stand alone applications for Mac & PC. They are simply titled Feedback, Generative and Sampler. Mike created the apps using Max/MSP. What do you think? Have any of you tried these out?

“A folder of audio files or a single file can be used as the source of the 16 random samples. Each sample is given a random start time and can be triggered via MIDI from either a sequencer or an external device. The length, pitch, pan, and filter values can be set to randomise within specified ranges.” –

For more info: