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. demos. Don’t like a high-end hardware synth that requires wading through endless menus to program? Not an issue with the Poly Evolver’s 78 knobs—60 of them now potentiometers—and 58 buttons. And it can process external audio. The Poly Evolver is capable of producing sounds ranging from classic.com. Find out why Keyboard hailed the Poly Evolver as “nothing less than a future classic and a major event in synth design. real analog to biting. edgy digital textures. and more. It is also multitimbral. visit davesmithinstruments.” For specs.F U T U R E
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42 44 46 POP Play the signature synth riff from Muse’s “Uprising. We fit as many as we could onto one page. 2 0 1 0
. 32 ADAM FREELAND Check out the plug-in tricks and production secrets the reigning king of breakbeat used on his slammin’ new album Cope™. composition. Jones.
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74 Warfus “Moon” Powell has 75 keyboard and rack synths in his studio. and technique behind Place To Be. Chester Thompson. right here. Learn all about the inspiration. Learn from some of the best organists to ever hit the keys in our exclusive videos.com
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@keyboardmag. 38 JACK’S MANNEQUIN Piano rocker Andrew McMahon on songwriting roots and the resurgence of the piano as a rock instrument. and Tom Coster converged on our offices to discuss the influence of the B-3 organ on their musical lives.JAN UARY 2010
C O N T E N TS
12 ARTISTS ALEX BROWN JAMES TALK BROOKE WAGGONER UNSIGNED ARTIST OF THE MONTH ADVICE QUICK TIPS: RACHAEL SAGE SESSION SENSEI CAREER COUNSELOR COMMUNITY CD REVIEWS GO SEE WEEKEND WARRIOR
26 HIROMI The fleet-fingered fusion master returns with a stunning solo piano album — and takes Oscar Peterson to Vegas in the process. iGOT RHYTHM Continuing his iPhone music app blog.” AMERICANA Get close and comfortable with the Floyd Cramer country slip-note. JAZZ Spice up your voicings with upper-structure triad textures.
48 50 52 54 DANCE MIX Think you can’t change vocal melodies when sculpting remixes? Learn how to re-pitch the vocal and keep the feel here. and compare some of the latest clonewheels. electronica guru Francis Preve focuses on groove and beat-oriented apps in this installment. SOFT SYNTHS Rock down to “Electric Avenue” and re-create the “motor” sound from Eddy Grant’s one-hit wonder.
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SOUTHWEST: Albert Margolis amargolis@musicplayer. P. Lowell.” That just plays into the “either-or” of it. & SOUTHEAST: Jessica Sullivan jsullivan@musicplayer. or “Giant Steps.0296 SPECIALTY SALES ASSOCIATE. NORTHEAST.0325 PRODUCTION MANAGER: Amy Santana MUSIC PLAYER NETWORK VICE PRESIDENT: John Pledger EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Michael Molenda SENIOR FINANCIAL ANALYST: Bob Jenkins PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT MANAGER: Beatrice Kim DIRECTOR OF SALES OPERATIONS: Lauren Gerber WEB DIRECTOR: Max Sidman MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER: Tim Tsuruda MARKETING DESIGNER: Joelle Katcher SYSTEMS ENGINEER: John Meneses ASSOCIATE CONSUMER MARKETING DIRECTOR: Christopher Dyson NEWBAY MEDIA CORPORATE PRESIDENT & CEO: Steve Palm CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER: Paul Mastronardi VP WEB DEVELOPMENT: Joe Ferrick CIRCULATION DIRECTOR: Denise Robbins HR MANAGER: Ray Vollmer IT DIRECTOR: Greg Topf CONTROLLER: Jack Liedke SUBSCRIPTION QUESTIONS? 800-289-9919 (in the U. note range. 949. recorded at 192kHz” without blinking. San Bruno. and at best. or keyboard?” a lot. In our cover story beginning on page 26. musos of the day worried that patron-backed composers would spend less time interacting with — and less money compensating — orchestral
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players. NORTH: Reggie Singh rsingh@musicplayer. KEYBOARD (ISSN 0730-0158) is published monthly by NewBay Media. MIDWEST. You’re in good company. Lowell. then hit it again. and was so impressed by the correspondence between musical intervals and the physical world — cut a string in half and the pitch goes up an octave.O.: Greg Sutton gsutton@musicplayer. take a page from another great ancient Greek smarty-pants. Box 25542.com. Reproduction of material appearing in KEYBOARD is forbidden without permission. Socrates. 36. and tonal variation to work out melody. where the above examples prove it’s more of an “and. (I get “So do you play piano. Keith Emerson.
Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts. or artwork. So. NO. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to KEYBOARD P. bassists. Immediately. Hiromi points out that the piano lets you think of your fingers as different players in an orchestra. that was an application of technology. & NEW BUSINESS DEV.com Keyboard Magazine. though. MIDATLANTIC.9967 ADVERTISING DIRECTOR.343. I know I’ve found a kindred spirit who’s into both music and technology.238. harmony. 770. causal observers tend to perceive that it’s mainly about the player and his or her talent — whatever technology is involved (whether that’s an amp. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. CA and at additional mailing offices. 1 #406 JANUARY 2010
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Stephen Fortner SENIOR EDITOR: Michael Gallant MANAGING EDITOR: Debbie Greenberg EDITOR AT LARGE: Craig Anderton ART DIRECTOR: Patrick Wong MUSIC COPYIST: Elizabeth Ledgerwood GROUP PUBLISHER: Joe Perry jperry@musicplayer. 650. offer to buy a round of drinks. highbrow acoustic piano was once a technological controversy.9978 ADVERTISING DIRECTOR.com. guitar synth.com. If technology is the use of tools to improve our lives. CANADA. hit a fret two-thirds of the way down the string and you get a fifth. That’s precisely why even the stately.425. or more about technology?” In the case of guitarists. believe it or not. Suite 125.F R O M T H E E D I TO R
VOL.com. 925. just because the sound and vibrations felt good. MA 01853.com.582.) At worst. London.com
Music or Technology? Yes!
When someone asks me “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” I usually say. It’s the old dichotomy of “Are you more about music. All material published in KEYBOARD is copyrighted © 2009 by NewBay Media. All rights reserved. you could keep one at home. a cheat. The point? The instrument we see today as the epitome of musical purism was once seen by some as a technological cheat. and answer with a question of your own: “Music? Technology? Can you help me understand the difference?” If they don’t begin backing away slowly.com. you have to answer some version of the above question. etc. Pythagoras wasn’t just the reason you had to study all those triangles in freshman geometry. NORTHWEST.) is seen as being there to improve the listeners’ experience of what’s already being performed on the instrument.” Instead. “To the root major seventh. 661. I’d like to suggest an alternative to showing them you can play Rachmaninoff. He was a musician. SOUTH: Will Sheng wsheng@musicplayer. The piano gave you the polyphony.S. only) 978-667-0364 keyboardmag@computerfulfillment. when someone asks you if you’re more about music or technology. technology didn’t make music — music was the source of all technology. you’re a buttonpusher. Let’s ride the wayback machine even further. Box 9158. Stand behind something that has black ’n’ whites and a power cord.O. KEYBOARD is a registered trademark of NewBay Media. and dynamics for any orchestral part you could think of. then again. Why the waxing philosophical? Because the next time you get some form of that recurring annoying question.2753 SPECIALTY SALES ASSOCIATE. 650. The pun between the music theory and audio recording meanings of “resolution” points to an identity issue that always faces tech-savvy keyboardists. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International. 2 0 1 0
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Find a back issue 800-289-9919 or 978-667-0364 keyboardmag@computerfulfillment. to take just two of his observations — that he saw music as the purest expression of the mathematical secrets that drove the universe itself.2719 ADVERTISING DIRECTOR. To put it another way. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Bruno. then the first time a caveman hit something with something else. If they don’t begin backing away slowly. ON N6C 6B2.255. Box 9158. CA 94066.
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Good job.com. Executive Editor COVER CREDIT CORRECTION The lovely photo of Tori Amos that appeared on our December ’09 cover was taken by Miranda Penn Turin. CA 94066 Subscription questions 800-289-9919 (in the U. —Michael Gallant. The clavichord allows the player to bend a note by pressing harder. and that’s why Bach tested his students’ touch on the
0 1. first of all.com Find us online or join the forums at keyboardmag. and Countryman’s expertise preserves the delicate sound only a real clavichord produces. 2 0 1 0
. Hope this is of interest to you. I. However. I don’t recall them ever offering a clavichord kit. and coveting stuff from their catalogs of build-it-yourself electronic gear as a kid. even if it had a flat
Back in the ’70s. But how do all of the talented keyboard players in Keyboard magazine keep their fingers in shape when they are traveling on tour? If you fly all over the place. so I’m intrigued. I believe I’ve seen it listed as 512MB. as well as a better Clavinet (as I mentioned in the review). but as you know. They must practice for hours to get their technique so refined. I concur that they could have foregone some of the sounds to devote more to an additional Rhodes patch. lamented the curved top on the SV-1 and wished it had a flat top on which to stack another ’board.com.com Keyboard Magazine Box 9158 Lowell. It’s a very undersung and misunderstood instrument. I suppose. I’m hard pressed to find any current keyboards out there that are conducive to stacking. but I would have traded looks for the ability to place a second keyboard on top. thought by Bach and many others to be the best keyboard on which to perfect your touch. The instrument itself was built from a Heathkit. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the amount of ROM in the instrument. nice review. At any rate. Flip to page 26 for her excellent advice.com Keyboard Magazine 1111 Bayhill Dr.S. I’d like to invite you to post them on our Keyboard Corner reader forum at keyboardmag. LET’S HEAR FROM YOU Contact the editors keyboard@musicplayer. Third. —Jim Lowe Jim.
KORG SV-1 KUDOS Nice job. If you have more photos of yours. I’d love to see the breakdown by instrument family. etc. Offhand. —Tom Brislin. so I didn’t want to single out the SV-1 unfairly. this mod is surely one-of-a-kind — definitely one of the most interesting and original keyboard photos we’ve received in quite some time.” I’m sure the SV1 looks stunning. from the Keyboard Corner Forum I must say I do agree with much of what you add here. Anyway.LETTERS
top. Korg didn’t indicate how the memory was allocated. Korg gets big points from me for not using an external AC adaptor. —Jamey Was Right. Bands and artists can be on tour for months at a time. I left my Casio adapter at home and had a hard time matching one at a local Radio Shack for a gig last week. am I to understand that there is only a single set of Rhodes samples? Personally I would have traded the synth brass or even the organ sounds for multiple Rhodes sample sets a la the Nord Stage series: the Mark I. Use a pick and steel bar and it turns into an abstract electronic monster. I gave it a pass because. MA 01853 Find a back issue 800-289-9919 978-667-0364 keyboardmag@computer fulfillment. Just the geek in me. like the piano is 150MB. there’s a judgment call to be made as far as what any manufacturer deems practical and attractive as far as sound selection goes. Click on the “Community” tab. then on “Forum” and you’re there! —Stephen Fortner. Suite 125 San Bruno. Bummer. I’m also enough of a geek to remember Heathkits. Mr Brislin! A couple of comments: I would have included lack of a flat top as a “con. Contributing Editor WORLDWIDE WOODSHEDDING I listen to some of the recordings of the artists you write about. only) 978-667-0364 keyboardmag@computerfulfillment. there probably wouldn’t be enough real estate to securely hold another keyboard.. As far as sample resources go. Fourth. you may not be able to get to a piano to practice. The ability to bend a note also makes the clavichord a great blues and folk instrument. That’s a lot by current standards. —Gabriel Speak of the devil — our cover artist Hiromi addresses this very topic in our interview. Many of them are amazing. Senior Editor CLAVICHORD CRED clavichord and not the harpsichord. this one-of-a-kind pickup (with preamp) was invented for my clavichord by Carl Countryman. while bringing it into the realm of amplified sound. too. I can feel my chops slipping if I’m away from a piano for even two or three days. Second. Mark II and Mark V samples all sound different to me in the Nord and I liked having the variety.
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” Brown says. to get you to the point where you are out playing. but a lot of people don’t know how to promote themselves. “Danilo’s incredible. “He was actually directing the Latin Jazz Ensemble at New England Conservatory. He’s incredible.” Brown continues. “I have friends who never played any gigs during the four years they were in Boston.S. outside of school.” Brown tells me from his home in New York City. and I didn’t really know what to do at all. and the world. I started studying with the pianist Stanley Cowell. I’m from Maryland. When asked for advice to the next generation of aspiring jazzers. I had no idea what was happening. So I decided to start taking lessons on my own. Paquito’s drummer.com. But I started realizing that I needed to check out the people who came before the people I was listening to. 2 0 1 0
. who graduated Boston’s New England Conservatory to occupy the piano chair in legendary saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera’s band. Then in high school.” he says. Brown waxes practical: “There are so many great players. I was really fortunate to hook up with him. “He is one of my favorites — maybe even my favorite pianist of all time. I needed to go back to the roots. “In fact. C O M M U N I T Y
Rising Star of Latin Jazz
Few aspiring jazz artists finish college with a top tier gig waiting for them in the wings. But that’s just what happened to the prodigious 22-year-old pianist Alex Brown. but wouldn’t develop a penchant for jazz until years later. I joined the jazz band. About two weeks later they asked me if I could do a trio gig with them in Washington.” Brown started playing classical piano at age six. fortuitously fueled by admiration for his current employer. A DV I C E .” Jon Regen For more. Oscar introduced me to Mark Walker.
0 1. And I guess Paquito was happy enough with my playing to offer me the gig. “I was always interested in it. just to play with those guys.” Brown would also develop an interest in Latin jazz. and that’s where I met him. There were a few gigs that his last pianist couldn’t make.K E Y S PA C E
A R T I STS . I was always a huge Paquito fan. “In middle school.” Brown will have a full schedule throughout 2010. and I started playing with the two of them. but honestly. so I subbed for him a couple of times. DC. visit alexbrownmusic. That’s supposed to be the whole point of school.” At NEC. Brown would study with the acclaimed pianist and educator Danilo Perez. “I ended up having to do an improvised solo. but I really wanted to learn how to do it. They ended up inviting Paquito to the show. touring with Paquito across the U. and I was going to be down there anyway. as part of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival.” Brown continues. “I met Paquito’s bassist Oscar Stagnaro in Boston. I probably would have driven down there even if I wasn’t.
“Off That (Ft. Sometimes I think that’s better — you perhaps try notes together that shouldn’t work. retailers. emotional and spiritual dedication.” Massive Attack.” I have hundreds of notebooks full of rambly prose and poems from the last 20 years. Play by ear or play as written: I play by ear. Also. memorable but professional.” Jay Z.com.” Dealing with distributors. Francis Preve
Sound: My sound is a mixture of deep. it’s the title song! Influences: Having grown up in the ’90s. and Terry Francis on the Essential Mix. it’s all part of a process that has helped me get my ideas out of my head and onto the page. you’re still developing your “voice. and tech house. listening to DJs like Pete Tong.” Enigma. religiously. Webpage: jamestalk.” I have also done two new tracks with Ridney. and a genuine respect for the individuals with whom you’re communicating. Favorite artist we’ve probably never heard of: Reset Robot. and booking agents is no different from cultivating your creative audience. Drake). No one else has the same experiences or reactions that you do. 2 0 1 0
. Beyond that. publicists. He also engineers for half of the South Coast DJs including Tom Budden and Alan Fitzpatrick. “Teardrop” — I’ve been watching House all week. and while I’d never show anyone most of it. and rave like the Prodigy. my sound is influenced by early ’90s piano and acid house. radio folks.co. I don’t have any musical training. You want to be charismatic. but I have a little understanding about keys and scale. remember that there’s always someone excited to work at a label for college credit — so harness those interns! For more: Visit keyboardmag. Newest project: I’ve been working on a lot of music on my own as well as a remix of Booka Shade’s “Mandarine Girl. that’s the only way to keep from “burning out. Even if you never directly write a song from the observations you make in a notebook. Running your own label: Approach the business side as creatively and reverently as you would your musical endeavors. Michael Gallant
0 1. but do. He’s a production genius and can create amazing grooves in the studio. and use Mackie HR624 monitors. and try to always consider the other person’s point of view when presenting your work. just for fun! Words of wisdom: Eat within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning to kick-start your brain and your metabolism.M O R E O N K EYB OAR D MAG. Josh Wink.
Recording artist and Founder of MPress Records
Finding your unique songwriting voice: Write in a journal. acid. “Gravity Of Love.C O M
K E Y S PA C E
Acid House and ’90s Rave
Favorite songs: This week? Souls Of Mischief.uk Favorite gear: I write all my music in Logic Studio. Practice Regimen: I sit and play on my keyboard almost every night — not religiously. “Infinity. because in my experience. I find that it requires so many of the same personality “muscles” to stay sharp as a label owner as it does when pursuing music: physical discipline.
I record it in my phone. the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel.K E Y S PA C E
A R T I STS . . You can play something right a million times. showcasing strong horn arrangements over another soul-rocking B-3 solo. charismatic baritone. Influences: Debussy is a huge influence as well as film scores from Masterpiece Theater productions. Studio keyboards for GELD: I used two different Yamaha grand pianos. but it’s usually just one special take that harnesses the emotion behind it. Michael Gallant davekeyes. If I find something I like.” by contrast. 2 0 1 0
. I also experimented a bit with the actual piano strings — strumming. or jot down the melody in my tiny staff paper Moleskine notebook.” the opening track of Dave Keyes’ punchy Roots in the Blues.com
0 1. usually from times of boredom when I’m jotting little ideas down on random materials. Wow. “Down To The Bones. and novels by Larry McMurtry. A DV I C E . From afternoons of sitting with old
manuscripts and discovering combos of instruments that I thought sounded so pleasing together. the artist proves himself a down-home quadruple threat — between verses sung in a husky. Michael Gallant
UNSIGNED ARTIST OF THE MONTH
On “Blues Bearing Down. Cool string arrangements on GELD: They came from old scores I had written in college and wanted to revamp. Biggest challenge in the studio: Learning how to capture “moments” on record-
ings. . piano-driven funk territory and features one of the hottest breakdowns we’ve heard all year.com Latest album: Go Easy Little Doves. maybe that’s stretching it a bit. From piano melodies I loved and decided to orchestrate. Dave fills out the original tune with a rollicking piano solo. Songwriting process: It’s usually just random moments of me tinkering on the piano. For the rest of this interview: Visit keyboardmag. the poetry of Pablo Neruda. which then morphs into an even-more-rollicking B-3 solo. C O M M U N I T Y
Chamber Pop Piano
The music: It’s fairly piano driven with heavy orchestral elements — a mix of chamber pop and cinema. Dave is a class act. delves into tasty. Lyrics usually come from scraps of lines I’ve collected over the years. a baby and a full grand. old Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Website: brookewaggoner. or on my little handheld recorder. Sounds like: Someone once told me that if Elton John and Tinkerbell had a love child . and it’s an honor to name him Keyboard’s Unsigned Artist for January. etc. well. “Black and Blue” is another standout.com. using the damper pedal while plucking the high treble piano strings.
NAMM | Booth 6720
Work on a style you’re not comfortable with. the worse you may sound to yourself! Just be cool. do it again. and think about the long haul. Let It Go Last month. or rekindle a sonata. work it until it improves. In fact I feel that trying to stick to a regular schedule of anything can set you up for a major guilt trip at best. it’s that very unique perspective that makes true innovators sound the way they do. ears. but the environment in which a musician gets his or her proverbial chops together has remained virtually unaltered for generations. and mind become synchronized. but not obsessive. you have a good vibe and a clear head. Presenting to the students was a rare chance to give back. 2 0 1 0
. and the talented students studying there. although the more critical you get of your own sound. It’s all too easy to skip. The best part of practicing is that there’s no downside. It’s just about impossible to get worse. You listen. you may have to make do with a semi-weighted keyboard and a set of headphones. that never giving up is much of the battle in mounting a music career — that no matter how offbeat their musical ideas may seem to others (and even themselves at times). and viscerally moved by just talking about music made me realize how lucky I was to have had the chance to study in such a nurturing atmosphere as that one. as well as a chance to revisit my musical youth. It always feels great to spend a few hours in the shed. it would be to practice more. you learn.K E Y S PA C E Session Sensei
A R T I STS . Don’t be disappointed if things don’t stick for a while. time. What else? Practice that tune you stumbled through last night on the gig. and most of the rest of the world is not. I’ve always noticed about a six month lag in musical improvement — it seems to take a while before things really sink in and become part of your automatic musical skill set. So returning to UM two decades later as a guest artist and clinician would prove to be an honor. the pianist that would become my mentor at Rutgers University. Just make sure that whatever your situation. Seeing younger versions of myself practicing. keyboardist for The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien If I were to make just one New Year’s resolution. Being back at UM after so many years in the “real world” made me realize what a utopian atmosphere music school really is. In the words of Reverend Al Green. Where? You may not always have a tuned Steinway B in a soundproofed room at your disposal. I was invited down to the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami to give a master class and concert to the school’s jazz piano majors. I performed a few of my own songs with a rhythm section from the school’s concert jazz band. and the feeling of failure at worst. or just noodling around. before leaving to apprentice with Kenny Baron. Then grab your iPod and play along with some great record. as you might find improvement when you least expect it. Hearing kids nearly half my age play my music with fire and ferocity reaffirmed my faith that the music of tomorrow is in good hands. I had studied jazz piano at UM for a year back in 1988. though. The world outside music schools may change. Hack through some Bach. “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.
GOING HOME AGAIN
by Jon Regen. you practice your brains out until your hands. recording artist of critically acclaimed album. can carry you a long. Anything more? Be critical of your playing. Hanon’s great too. performing. Two decades ago I set out on an uncharted path towards a career in music. but realize it’s only in the key of C. These elements are universal and independent of the style of the music. Just get to it when you can. and no amount of playing with other people can replace it. styles. that anything is possible if you never give up. After finishing my lecture. Believing in yourself. and so I offer these tips as encouragement to join me in my commitment to practice more in 2010. Practice your favorite ten tunes in different keys.” I returned to New York with a sense of accomplishment. If you hear something you don’t like. and what the keyboard player is doing in relation to the song. Truth be told. and staying open and positive to what life hands you. through anecdotes and examples from my own professional career. but make an effort to plan each day so you can find the time. C O M M U N I T Y
by Scott Healy. Returning to the place where it all began showed me. A DV I C E . If you do something that you like. tunes. whether I’m working on technique. I have really mixed feelings about metronomes — but more on that next month. long way. When? I’m not the kind of guy who insists on a rigid practice routine. Listen to where the drummer’s putting the beat.
0 1. What? There’s nothing wrong with practicing scales and arpeggios. My career is proof positive of that very idea. I told them.
” —ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN
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“Ivory is without a doubt the finest sampled piano that I have ever played.com
champian. KENNY WERNER REDEMPTION 251 Seattle bassist Dan Dean is no stranger to Keyboard magazine: His sample libraries have won three Key Buy awards and he’s played with piano heroes like Dave Grusin. DAN DEAN WITH Richard Leiter GEORGE DUKE. Go shines here as both writer and performer. Whether you play B-3 (like Larry Goldings on “Georgia”). taking their production cues from past hits by perennial favorites like U2 and Coldplay.” “So So.and synth-driven prog that gets fists pumping and eyes lifted upward. On her latest Venus release Sometimes I’m Happy. New York City-based double threat dishes up a tasty serving of gutsy. fleshes out one section of groove with unexpected lofi blips. Jon Regen (Venus Records. More than just another singerpianist on the retro scene. (Origin Records. and scores more. whoisgarygo. grooving trad jazz. mixing dirty keyboard and guitar tonalities into an engagingly warped metal soundscape. Snowfall on Judgment Day contains more than enough gritty and glittery keyboard tones.-born songsmith (and iPhone music app expert) fuses deft production with emotionally charged songwriting.K E Y S PA C E
A R T I STS .” Fulton (nimbly backed by bassist Neal Miner and drummer Fukushi Tainaka) finds her own way through even the most familiar of material. accordion (like Gil Goldstein on “Lover Man”). On 251 (think jazz changes) Dan invited four stellar keyboardist buddies into the studio for a fantastic romp through ten standards and a George Duke original that will teach you how to play ballads. boiling grooves. From her tasty block chord solo and proud vocal prancing on the album’s opener “When Your Lover Has Gone. “Fistful of Sand” rumbles deliciously.” to her spirited take on the venerable ballad “Darn That Dream. Tracks like “Open Arms. LARRY GOLDINGS.K. “Black and White World” opens with a piano solo that foreshadows the rock to come. the U.” the introspective songsmith turns the volume down with a string-drenched piano ballad. or straight-ahead jazz (like Kenny Werner on “Dolphin Dance”) this uplifting album shines an exciting SNOWFALL ON JUDGMENT DAY The accomplished rockers of Redemption know how to deliver the sort of driving. swing. Recommended.com)
CHAMPIAN FULTON TRIO
SOMETIMES I’M HAPPY Don’t let her age fool you — jazz pianist and singer Champian Fulton is still in her early 20s. and harmonic and rhythmic surprises to keep things interesting — but to its great credit. Tastefully explosive! Michael Gallant (InsideOut. songwriter. guitar. delivering a soaring set of polished pop hits.com) new light on a classic collaboration. Go’s originals span the stylistic as well as emotional divide. And on “Brooklyn.net)
0 1. and throws in lithe synth leads as well. A DV I C E . but she sings and swings with the authority of a seasoned pro.com) GIL GOLDSTEIN. the Oklahoma-born.” and “Wonderful” (the album’s first single) brim with kinetic energy. C O M M U N I T Y
Gary Go Singer. Bill Mays. and multi-instrumentalist Gary Go’s eponymous debut is fine-tuned power-pop at its best. Supported by a band of ace session ringers. “Life Gets In the Way” injects a vintage vibe by way of a swirling Hammond organ. On his new album. insideout. Joey DeFrancesco. and funk with a bassist. funk piano (like George Duke on “It’s On”). Champian Fulton is an artist to keep an eye and ear on. Jon Regen (Decca Records. artfully avoids going too far into wankiness. 2 0 1 0
and fundraisers. There are several good sounds in that keyboard. I’ve transitioned to working on web-based software and custom programming for websites. so it wasn’t until I was nine that we got a piano and started taking lessons.com
Carpenters. We started out in late 2005. I wrote software for large mainframe computers. which I use as a submixer and monitor.
Webpages: dennyrussellband. so I use it in the band.org Day job: I’m a software designer based in Grass Valley. I’m sure Richard’s style has shaped the way I play. I was in my early teens. By age 15. and was in the high-school jazz band. sports bars. retreats. and soon after. even before I understood them. is one of Don Stamey’s favorite players. and got very frustrated because I couldn’t voice chords the way I could on the keys. helping a friend record his songs. California. We’ve performed at casinos. especially his arranging and orchestration. “I mostly need piano. How I got started: I had wanted to play since about age six.com
color. In the last few years. I love the ability to play what I feel are the best chord voicings possible on any single instrument. Both keyboards are plugged in to my Roland KC-100 amp. except I have a Yamaha C7 grand in front of me. “When the Carpenters became popular in the early ’70s. In the early days. I didn’t intend that. Why I play: Music caught my attention at an early age.com
“In the Denny Russell Band. which is amazing for our small town. probably after hearing the piano in church. 40/40 (A&M) Richard Carpenter. I became self-employed in 1986. “Karen’s voice really caught my attention. When playing at church. wedding receptions.com.
Bill Charlap managramusic.C O M
K E Y S PA C E
Check out these keyboard-heavy acts. When I wrote a song for my wedding.com
Tegan and Sara teganandsara. I tried to learn guitar when I was 16. parties. My family wasn’t musical at all. county fairs. and the piano was the best way for me to create those sounds. As I listened. I like the same basic setup. a country-rock outfit that plays mostly original music.” says Don. of the iconic pop group the Carpenters. I’ve also been playing with the Denny Russell Band.com/ artists/billcharlap
0 1. I’m also trying to start a Carpenters tribute band. A few years ago I bought a portable Yamaha PSR-282.000 attendees. I was playing regularly in church. I noticed all the great things Richard had done. including some organs.” says Don. so the Roland RD-500 is the main keyboard in front of me. started writing software for Macintosh. We have about 2. In the last few years. I really liked hearing chords with a lot of
Lady GaGa ladygaga. on tour this month. but I guess that’s what happens. and a Roland XP-80 to my left. because I wanted something small and battery powered. stamey. 2 0 1 0
. Band: I currently play at Twin Cities Church in Grass Valley. I’ve been involved professionally with computers since 1983.M O R E O N K EYB OAR D MAG. many people said it sounded like a Carpenters song. and by 2006 we had become a band.”
Squirrel Nut Zippers snzippers. Ed Coury
Marcia Ball marciaball.” A solid collection of the Carpenters’ best work can be found in the 2009 greatest hits compilation 40/40.
THE BIG DEAL All-new samplng sessions compared to The Grand 2. a Steinway D. EQ.com
Want to check out the same press releases that we see about new gear. THE BIG DEAL Has three capsules. Two mic positions at up to 20 velocity layers. WE THINK You should watch Keyboard for a full review soon! $449. Patterns include cardioid. Loads WAV files.com
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS PIANOS AKOUSTIK A LA CARTE THE PITCH Pick and choose updated versions of the four pianos formerly available only in the $229 Akoustik Piano software. Has 128MB of non-volatile sample memory. AU. figure-eight. THE PIANOS Berlin (shown). Takes USB thumb drives. KB-3 mode. Still does everything the original PC3 does: VA oscillators. $79 each or $189 for all four. all that. steinberg. WE THINK This has gotta be the coolest USB mic we’ve ever seen.com STEINBERG THE GRAND 3 PREMUIM VIRTUAL PIANO THE PITCH Yamaha C7 grand and CP-80 electric grand. as soon as we receive them?
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KEYBOARD 0 1. $149. kurzweilmusicsystems. $350 street. VAST. native-instruments. even ReWire.net
BLUE YETI THIS IS A USB MIC? THE PITCH The world’s first THX-certified USB mic. New York.99 list/approx. Steinway D. plus a full tuning editor. Vienna. Onboard reverb. Uses VST3 spec for best results but supports VST2.95 list. a Bösendorfer Imperial. two of them in an X-Y orientation. and a stereo mode we think is doing mid-side miking.NEW GEAR
by Stephen Fortner
KURZWEIL PC3K BACK TO THE FUTURE THE PITCH The PC3 gets a load of most-requested upgrades. Headphone out effectively makes it an audio interface. a Steingraeber 130. 2 0 1 0
. WHY NOW? Andrew Lloyd Weber’s people asked Kurzweil for a modern K-compatible synth that could load user samples. and Nordiska upright pianos. WHAT UPGRADES? Full backward compatibility with K series sounds and setups. a Bechstein D-280. bluemic. All four work with the free Kontakt Player or your full Kontakt soft sampler. Bösendorfer Imperial. omni. so there’s no reload wait after turning it off and on. Thus began the PC3K project. $TBA.
Takes SDHC cards up to 32GB for tons of sampling time. davesmithinstruments.600 street. $300 street. Transport and mixer control of every major DAW.com
ROLAND SP-404SX GROOVE SAMPLER RELOADED THE PITCH Roland’s most popular portable sampler gets even more powerful. THE GOOD DEAL A kit with the circuit board and knobs to convert your old PEK is $399 and easy to DIY. 49 keys: $379. THE BIG DEAL High-quality Fatar synth action. and software integration — for a remarkable price. $400 street. Records in 16-bit uncompressed WAV format. 2 0 1 0
. WE THINK It’s a bitchin’ controller. say. $465 list/approx. Automap for controlling plugins. pads. $250 street. $2. It’s $449 factory-installed.com
BITNOTIC OCTAVIAN 1. THE KEY SPECS Battery power and built-in mic for sampling anywhere.NEW GEAR
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0 1.95 list/approx.99 at iTunes App Store. novationmusic. LED-ringed endless knobs. knobs. and any inversion. THE BIG DEAL Prophet-5 style knobs give great tactile and visual feedback when.899 list/approx. Glitch-free switching between 29 built-in effects. $2.com
DAVE SMITH POLY EVOLVER POT EDITION GET YOUR TWEAK ON THE PITCH Putting pots (old-school knobs) on the Prophet ’08 instead of endless encoders was so cheered that Dave did the same to the Poly Evolver Keyboard. now with keys. Bigger drum pads than Novation’s otherwise high-end SL Mk. any mode. giving you all the essentials — keys. 25 keys: $329. Just about any chord extension or alteration you can think of is accounted for. High-quality piano samples do the playback. THE BIG DEAL Shows you chords and scales with any root. you’re sweeping a filter in live performance. and modes instead of just seeing them.1 THEORY IN PRACTICE THE PITCH The popular iPhone keyboard calculator now lets you hear the scales. rolandus. II. chords.95 list/approx. which include a voice changer and a looper. WE WONDER Is the Mono Evolver Keyboard up next for this makeover? $2. bitnotic.
Photo by William Hames
allowing you to see which controls your soft synths and effects are assigned to easily. size and whether its even visable. Change its opacity.com
info@AmericanMusicAndSound. Nocturn Keyboard’s award-winning ‘Automap’ software graphically displays the entire control surface. turning Nocturn into a full keyboard-DAW controller.In 2008. Can you imagine the possibilities when you can simply click on a parameter. real Fatar keyboard with aftertouch. Novation’s Nocturn redeﬁned plug-in control. touch the controller and see it all laid out for you on screen? Its time to play. 8 ‘soft-touch’ drum pads and transport control.com
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0 1. 2 0 1 0
so I try to sing a melody. Do you play inside the piano often? I’ve been doing it since I was very small. Of course. Why did you decide to record a solo album? It’s something that I wanted to try for many years. and I just wanted to make an album with the gratitude I felt for my audiences. and that’s why I started it kind of oldie style. How did you come across the idea of using a metal ruler as opposed to bubble gum. this is kind of similar. contemplative solo piano album. or her über-funky work with guitarist Dave Fiuczynski in the quartet Hiromi’s Sonicbloom. I recorded the album just before I became 30. Just through curiosity I started playing with strings and putting stuff inside the piano. When I record songs. I had some chances to play the harpsichord. I wanted to make that transition from original to current. Sometimes when I see a landscape. I write things that I’m not used to playing. you’re aware that she’s a free spirit of outstanding technique and fierce compositional prowess. skill. When I was considering making this solo album. I had to practice so I didn’t make noise when I took it off — and I had to make sure I didn’t go out of time with my left hand when I was doing something else with my right hand. I don’t like to go with the habits that my hands have. If you know Hiromi’s synth-y trio with bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora. frenetically joyous and angular — you can tell that Hiromi’s Place To Be is anything but another sleepy. her stellar collaborations with Chick Corea. Your version of Pachelbel’s Canon is striking.” Pachelbel’s Canon is such an old song. I realized I was touring and traveling to so many places.” such eclecticism. I compose bit by bit. so that
0 1. a melody lands in my head — that’s how I start writing.Hiromi
The Solo Piano Sorcery of Place To Be by Michael Gallant
concerts in her native Japan. and have it be close to the image that I saw. to discuss the roots and realization of Place To Be. trying to construct the song. I was fascinated and I was looking for that same kind of sound — and I just found it with the ruler. Coming from the same mind that created the unforgettable synth-fusion epic “Kung Fu World Champion. and fun is entirely to be expected. I wanted to do something that went from the past to now. It’s just like how some people paint — but I write music. So that’s hard stuff. I have to practice so that I can play complex things with one hand. [Laughs. as well as a truly original. “Yeah. marbles. so that my fingers don’t lead the way. filling the space left by her excellent regular bandmates. I write things that I can’t really play. leading the listener through a glitzy Las Vegas-themed suite. How did you get such an interesting sound out of the piano? I just put a metallic ruler in the piano and I took it off with my right hand while I was playing with my left hand during the song. I just hear it. write it. I wanted to thank the people who gave me the places to be. It was pretty hard. I started to think about how my life has been these past ten years.] What was the compositional process like for this album? I wanted to choose songs that came from physical places. time-travel reinvention of Pachelbel’s Canon — all while continuing to pay tribute to jazz piano greats like Oscar Peterson throughout. [Laughs. I do that so often. and then realize that I need three hands to play what I’ve composed. shortly after her return from When I was small. or anything else? From its very first moments — a machine-gun volley of perfectly-timed notes. have it make sense. In fact. the young jazz fusion keyboardists’ musical energy manifests even more vibrantly. I thought. resulting in one of the most explosively creative solo piano albums Keyboard Central has ever heard.] So you really push your comfort zone when it comes to technique. 2 0 1 0 KEYBOARD
. We caught up with Hiromi at her home in Brooklyn. Place To Be showcases her talents on both fronts.
The important thing is if I’m conscious of each one.] That’s good news. Every piano maker makes a different instrument.Hiromi
the melody really has to lead itself. But I think that if I did that. the left half of the piano would miss out. I was looking for a keyboard that fit on top of the piano. so I have to practice hard. It’s very hard to find a very warm piano that also has a very clear attack. Awareness is always the key. Even though the piano is only one instrument. but at the same time. [Laughs. tend to use the upper side of the piano because a bass player covers the lower range. but I just don’t feel home when I play them. The melody that is ringing in my brain. and I’ve written for orchestras and big bands. The piano is like a living animal. That’s
how I think when I make music for the band as well — I want to be aware of the existence of 88 keys and make them happy. For me. and words. If you’re trying to make the piano sound like an orchestra. Having small hands made me have to work hard to play piano — and I still have to work hard. A lot of pianists. 2 0 1 0
It’s just like any orchestral piece. and trumpet. in my heart. Sometimes it’s flutes only. I don’t always play every key in one show — that could be too busy. I use the piano as a melodic instrument and a percussion instrument as well. but to be aware of them. What advice could you offer to piano players who want to make the piano sound as big as you do? When you play. you have to hear the orchestration in the piano. Why the MicroKorg? It’s a very simple keyboard and I just needed some extra sounds. so I really want to capture that as a pianist. has to lead the song. Sometimes I just write words that
. when they play with a bass player and drummer. The top two — the ring finger and the pinky on the right hand — can be flute and oboe. [Having had that experience] definitely helps in my solo piano playing. That’s what I see when I play. I feel that each key has a soul and every key is trying to get my attention to be played. notes. I’ve met many beautiful pianos from other companies. Of course. Maybe three fingers in the right hand
Hiromi On the Road
Piano preferences: Most of the time I try to bring the Yamaha CF-IIIS. it can be so many pieces of an orchestra. and then maybe guitar with the other three fingers in the left hand. you’d never guess. Everyone doesn’t always have to play. I can hear how much potential that instrument carries. do you write it by hand. and a Korg MicroKorg. My goal as a pianist is to make the instrument sound full. How wide do your hands stretch? Can you hit tenths? No. I can play more. Yes. Octaves are very hard already. use notation software. So even though I love the sound. I’m the player. It sounds like you’ve really spent a lot of time with orchestral and big band music.
Music doesn’t come from music — music comes from experiences. My body’s just accustomed to playing Yamaha. how do you avoid playing too much?
KEYBOARD 0 1. it’s so important to honor all 88 keys — not necessarily to play all of them. Try thinking like you’re playing bass with the pinky and the ring finger on the left hand. and with the Nord Lead [there already]. Given how strong your technique is and how quickly you can move. I only had a very small physical space available. or neither? I write by hand. Whenever I listen to amazing pianists. from C to D. they make the instrument sound like an orchestra. a Nord Lead 2. and be sad.
can be trombone. It can be chords. I just don’t feel I belong to the instrument. I grew up with a Yamaha. When you write music. I’m like a conductor in charge of 88 players. To make it happen with small hands is not that easy. saxophone. but that’s the maximum. Synth rig: I’m playing a Nord Electro 73. I love their sounds. Sometimes it’s strings only. no way! Octaves — and if I stretch harder. so the action and the pedal — everything feels like home. which I used on the two albums before this solo album.
Do you ever get nervous? No. not only for the technique. as long as I’m responsible for what’s coming next. because music doesn’t come from music — music comes from experiences and what you see. What sorts of words? I’m walking down the street and then suddenly I think. I always can create new drama in the song. of course. It’s important to feel the seasons. and learn. I go in earlier than the performance time so I can feel the piano.
You cannot think about notes when you compose. So that I can reconnect to that image and feeling. and how much is improvised? It depends. “Why am I standing here?” And I look at the sky and it’s blue. too. they do. I also just love playing standards. Then the person who’s sitting next to me will ask. You have to think about something else — to translate what you feel into notes. Sometimes some idea hits my brain when I’m playing —
okay. I think. and improvised stories that I can only tell on that very day I play them. So if you spend all of your time in a practice room. I don’t realize that I’m moving the fingers and making these huge noises on the armrest. it’s nice to put [reference words in the musical score] as I write. Or something like that. I do play a little classical music. “What are you doing?” And I’m like. I want to stimulate that part of the brain that makes you see the landscape in the music. I’m always curious if the images I see and the images the audience sees are the same or not. 2 0 1 0
How do you keep your fingers in shape when you’re flying all over the world? You can do so much practicing just from a table. That’s the most amazing practicing source. The interlude actually stands for the skyline that suddenly brings you back to the reason why you came to New York in the first place. but others are less so. The BQE [BrooklynQueens Expressway in New York City] is chaotic and hectic. And when I’m not with a piano. and just experience life. It’s more like a standard where I only have a lead sheet. Can you talk a little bit about how you practice? When I’m with the piano. You cannot think about notes when you compose. Songs like “Somewhere” are very open. Every day has different places and directions that you have to take — of course in the expressway — but in life. and then bring back to your music. I do exercises. I want people to see a landscape. I listen to great musical giants. Definitely not. then I can go anywhere and make new stories. No one will save me if I’m about to jump out. It’s so much fun. It’s important to talk to people. But practicing is an important thing. I’m like a soundtrack creator and listeners can be the film director. because [this time] there’s nobody else on the stage apart from me. And it’s very risky as well. you suddenly see the beautiful skyline of Manhattan. But it’s important to feel the weather changes. and I have so many stories to tell. The “Viva! Vegas” songs are more written. which makes everybody dream. Either way. Do people ever look at you funny on airplanes when you just move your fingers around a lot? Yes. what you feel. I love that edgy feeling. “Huh?” I’ve been doing it for too many years.Hiromi
can make me connect to the landscape. but more for the compositional aspects because classical composers really know how to make the piano sound full. especially because I’m playing solo. The BQE is kind of the road that you have to take to get to the dream.
KEYBOARD 0 1. I think. and there is a crazy contrast between reality and fantasy. How similar are your overall performances show to show? I want to be a storyteller when I play music. let’s try this route.
How much of the music on Place To Be is written note-for-note. I am a practicer — I love it so much. you’re not going to have much to say. Then when you are very tired of the drive. Music and visual images are very strongly connected. It’s very important because there are so many things that you can learn outside of the practice room. It’s a completely new journey that I’ve never taken before.] Sometimes. So when I’m playing in a performance. so I have to be responsible for every single decision that I make. I always try to move my fingers somehow. Maybe it’s completely different. In a live performance situation. and music makes people dream. They have a deep understanding of the instrument. [Laughs. which parts were written out beforehand? The melody and the interlude are pretty much it. I don’t even realize it sometimes. I have a lot of freedom. but then I also have these improvised parts. It’s just far too much fun. so I do sometimes lock myself in the house and practice hard. I always have to come back to the interlude. When I can be in a club for a couple days. On “BQE” in particular.
. What advice could you offer to musicians or composers who want to do that as well? Experience more things in life. When I play music. so that my muscle memory doesn’t go away. Some parts are set.
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and shoegazey guitar tones. The year 1998 saw the launch of his über-influential imprint. Shortly thereafter. Adam Freeland is something of a legend. This summer. Here’s what he had to say. thoughtful atmospherics. Since then. I had this epiphany moment and realized I could do both. I don’t really see myself as a “DJ writing an artist album” —
it’s just that I’m more known as a DJ. Marine Parade. then realized it was way beyond my audience and too self-indulgent. From his 1996 mix CD Coastal Breaks to his initial productions with Kevin Beber as Tsunami One. Adam took a few steps in a different direction with the release of his lat32
KEYBOARD 0 1. More and more. I’m just an artist who also DJs. What was the overall inspiration for Cope™? It’s my second “artist” album. How did that come about and what were his contributions? We met through a mutual friend. We caught up with Adam and got him to reveal some of the secrets behind his latest electronica tour de force. and I think my eighth album release. 2 0 1 0
est artist album. DJs are blending the intricacies of dance music with their more private musical tastes.In the world of nu-skool breaks. so I wrote a record on that tip. So I wrote a dancefloor electronic album and decided that was just too “now” with not enough longevity. his collaborations with BT (“Hip-Hop Phenomenon”) and groundbreaking remixes for Nirvana and White Stripes have earned him his place in the pantheon of world-class DJs. Freeland quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the breakbeat world. I played him some
. Matt Diehl — who’s writing the Devo screenplay — and really hit it off. Gerry Casale of Devo even makes an appearance. With guest appearances that run the gamut from Gerry Casale of Devo to the needs-no-introduction Tommy Lee. That’s how Cope™ came about. In my head. desert rock. Cope™ is a star-studded affair that blurs the line between tough-as-nails breaks and brooding. Cope™. which showcased white-hot releases from Bassbin Twins and Evil Nine. I’m really into heavy droney ‘om’-like sounds.
Hardware? Software? Both. I have some really nice outboard guitar pedals that I use a lot. He’d jam on them. but not all were right for the album. [Camel Audio] CamelPhat and D16 Devastor plug-ins also played a big role in what you’re talking about. just overdriving it to hell.
0 1. We’re also running synths really hot through the Roland Space Echo set with no delay or reverb on. There are a lot of different flavors of distortion and overdrive throughout the record. But as far as really nailing down that sweet final mix on “Under Control. A lot of stuff was slammed through the UAD gate/compressor then sidechained to the kick using the Logic compressor.” it’s down to Q [from Überzone]. On the record. We wrote most of the album in Apple Logic. In fact. so we started working on stuff together. I’d write general vibes and play them to Tommy.
The compression and tightness of the whole album is especially evident in tracks like “Under Control. Then I’d mix and edit his drum takes and beef up the sounds with more electronic drums to give it real oomph. 2 0 1 0 KEYBOARD
. You’ve got Tommy Lee at one end of the spectrum and tightly quantized grooves at the other. it’s all pretty tightly quantized! To me.tracks and he freaked out. to get that really nice warm distortion. Alex Metric wrote most of it with me and I also wrote some with Damian Taylor. it’s really just the sounds
you choose that give it the more live feel or electronic feel. He’s been a mentor to me in how to get things sounding they way they do. I start all of my beats in the computer. For ideas. such as Q and the South Rakkas crew — who did the final mixes on the album. he performs the lead vocal on “Only a Fool” and backing vocals on “Under Control.” The entire approach to drums blurs the line between live and sequenced. The key to what I do is knowing my limitations and delegating to someone who’s really the don of their field. Tell us about the drum production.” What’s the secret to nailing those punchy mixes? Universal Audio UAD plug-ins were really key to the sound of the record. Well. We wrote about three songs together. That is.
Song-by-Song Sound Secrets
The huge synth pattern that runs through “Do You!”: That’s the [Arturia] Moog programmed in Logic and used in arpeggio mode with a tickle of CamelPhat distortion. we distorted it more with CamelPhat in sections and jammed through the UAD Dreamverb. which can be hard to get right in such an electronic track. The live setup includes Kurt Bauman on lead vocals and guitars and Hayden Scott on drums and backing vocals. tours and are now gearing up for a big European festival summer. and U. which added the beautiful harmonic distortion. plus Tony Bevilaqua playing guitars through lots of UAD Dreamverb. but I think it works.K. We were trying to do something heavy for this Marilyn Manson remix we were working on but it came out too beautiful. There’s also me whispering through a mic.
Keyboards. evolving pads in “Mancry”: Surprisingly. The beautiful. After that. All of it was processed and then edited heavily in sections. Then we ran it into the computer and edited and chopped it to hell. layered. Synths & Pianos are all we sell. After that we’re planning to do more comprehensive U.K. • Customers are raving about their experience with Kittsdirect. so we used it for the album. He’s a bad-ass drummer. and some live guitars which are going through a lot of reverb. edited and distorted. What’s doing what and how was it arranged? It’s really a play between Arturia’s Moog soft synths.Adam Freeland
The call-and-response arrangement of “Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada” is quite intricate. you’ll find a real keyboard experience with demos from the Pros.com
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. The ethereal vocal treatments in “Wish I Was Here”: The key ingredient there is a great vocalist: Kurt Baumann! That’s many layers of his vocals through the UAD LA-2A and then UAD Dreamverb. I’ll be on computers. The granular effects in “Bring It”: Minimoog Voyager hardware synth. The breakdown really lets it step into droney shoegaze territory with layers of feedback. We’ve also done a couple of short U. and people have been comparing him to John Bonham. What about touring to support Cope™? Will you be doing any live P.A. The other layers that come in later in the track are pads. compressed and chopped up. through tube warming and distortion pedals. 2 0 1 0
direct. tours with Spinerette this fall. which was great. not so many layers on this one. and we do it best: • Advice from the Pros • Video demonstrations • The lowest prices
• Part of America’s largest keyboard and piano retailer • No boring static pics and stats. and a hint of reverb. The stabs in “Do You!”: That’s a random sample.S. direct to you!
KEYBOARD 0 1. effects. and synths. We played to a way bigger and more receptive crowd than anticipated. That main riff is a toy Casio synth that cost two pounds in a jumble [garage] sale playing chords and jammed through Alex Metric’s broken Roland Space Echo. gigs? We rehearsed for a month solid in Los Angeles and did our debut shows this year at South by Southwest in Austin. a load of compression. All our edits are manual — we’ve never used glitch-type plug-ins.
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am has gotten his hand caught in the cookie jar by sampling huge chunks of Freeland’s “Mancry” for a new Black Eyed Peas track. Not that Freeland sampled anything without clearance for Cope™.Adam Freeland
Will you also include DJ gigs in your touring plans? Yes. as we’re big fans of both artists!
0 1. Adam Freeland has found himself at the center of a sampling brouhaha.
Gear to Cope™ With
Hardware Mac running Logic and Ableton Live Event ASP8 and Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors TLA Audio M3 Tubetracker Lynx Aurora 8 sound card Korg MS-20 analog synth Hughes and Kettner Tube Factor pedal VHT Valvulator pedal Electro-Harmonix Memory Man and Germanium pedals Oohlala Truly Beautiful Disaster pedal Roland RE501 Space Echo Software Apple Logic Pro Ableton Live Arturia Moog Modular V2 Camel Audio CamelPhat Universal Audio Powered Plug-ins: Dreamverb. as touring the way we do is expensive. Will used a big ol’ chunk of Daft Punk’s “Around the World. LA-2A.” for his single “I Got it From My Momma.” Let’s just hope that by the time you read this.i.’ WTF!” Astute fans may recall that back in 2007. “OK. Neve88RS. so the DJing kind of bankrolls the live shows. everything will have been sorted out amicably. “Party All the Time.’ Now listen to Black Eyed Peas ‘Party All the Time. Listen to our song ‘Mancry. Freeland tweeted. I’m lucky to have this option. 2 0 1 0
. It seems that will.” In mid-July. and Gate Compressor Live’s Resonator effect is also used a lot for rich harmonic drones
As this issue went to press. I DJ a lot still. Quite the opposite. Check this.
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Andrew McMahon’s Piano Pop Phenomenon
by Robbie Gennet
What do you think of Jack’s Mannequin? Post your thoughts on our forums at keyboardmag.com.
For those in the know, Andrew McMahon has been an underground sensation, a wunderkind who spent his formative years fronting the piano-punk pop of Something Corporate, only to shift gears a few years back into his newest project, Jack’s Mannequin. His latest record with the group, an elegantly upbeat offering entitled The Glass Passenger, has found a wide audience and a cherry opening slot for the Fray all summer long. Keyboard met up with McMahon at his house in Los Angeles to get the scoop on the new record and what it’s like being a piano rocker in the 21st century. THE MUSIC If their debut album Everything in Transit was the opening salvo of a newbie band, 2009’s The Glass Passenger is a transcen38
KEYBOARD 0 1. 2 0 1 0
dent step-up, a catchy and listenable journey through McMahon’s stories of love, life, and loss that moves from full-on, upbeat rock (“Spinning”) to melancholy introspection (“Annie Get your Telescope”) and all that lies between. Now that Jack’s Mannequin has established itself, it’s delivered a sophomore effort more than worthy of both old fans and new. “Glass Passenger was so involved and intense,” says McMahon. “It took the better part of a year, and a portion of a second year. But I’m always writing songs. It usually takes a few months to digest what’s happening in my life.” GROWING UP AT THE PIANO “I discovered piano when I’d just turned nine,” says Andrew. “I played eight to ten hours a day, usually until my parents told me to shut up. My mother was a good
player, and I started playing by ear. After a year of that, I began writing songs, and found outlets to perform them at school assemblies. Eventually, I got lessons.” Lessons or not, McMahon had something he needed to express and the piano provided a great outlet. “It was more personal experience that drove me to sit down at the piano,” he says. “I had always been infatuated with it in some sense. I had always written words. What drove me to the piano was having something to put my poems to.” One piano man in particular stood out as an influence. “Early on, I was a Billy Joel freak,” McMahon says. “I would listen to him all day long, every record. I was obsessed with it. My favorite was Songs in the Attic, which had the really early stuff like ‘Summer Highland Falls.’ I was so young when River of Dreams and
. I like Blonde Redhead and Autolux. I didn’t expect it to be as smooth of a transition as it was. “As to newer bands.” he continues. and began playing — and winning — the requisite Battles of the Bands here and there. I find more often than not. I wanted to see what happened when I thought of a song in my head and just tried to drive it as hard as I could in that direction. a loyal bunch that sings along to every song and revels in McMahon’s exuberant stage performance. It’s funny — the shows are as full as they were from the Something Corpo40
KEYBOARD 0 1. “If I didn’t. “Eventually before my senior year. which is what the Something Corporate records did. especially Revolver. “I studied for a good handful of years but when you’re young. but I’m going to follow it for my own purposes — those are the pieces that work.” We turned our discussion to music education. It is at moments like these when one feels that this Glass Passenger may very well be shatterproof. If you think about the foundation of rock ’n’ roll. as soon as I start thinking about that. though mostly from the old school. but it doesn’t mean you can coast.” “We did a Something Corporate show in 2000 with Ben Folds and I loved him. my parents went out and got Elton John’s Greatest Hits. But then it took on this life of its own.” McMahon says. Serving the song is the big thing. But I still have a place in my heart for all of it. It was an accident. tons of Tom Petty. “We were all burnt out but we still toured. we met down the line.” he says. so we did a goodbye show for them. But Ben Folds has that gift. It could have been Something Corporate demos at first. “You know that eventually something that you like is going to end up being heard.” says McMahon. My older siblings turned me on to Jimi Hendrix. “I try to be as much of a player as I possibly can and I try and push myself on every record. Then I learned in retrospect that those weren’t considered his best records. to finally have a dude rock it and be so good [was amazing]. But like anything.” he continues. I always say I play piano out of necessity. I don’t think that I’d do it. Most of the people I know who got force-fed classical music don’t play anymore. It’s approaching 300. I think we’ve done a good job of trying to keep Jack’s Mannequin it’s own thing. We had 300 to 400 people show up! After that.Jack’s Mannequin
Stormfront came out. that’s what tanks a piece of music. there are a lot of Jack’s fans who aren’t aware of Something Corporate. But at the same time. “If U C Jordan. McMahon sometimes jumps on top of the grand piano. Something Corporate. McMahon still feels he can connect with the more solitary reasons he began writing in the first place. I felt a need to split off and get out of the communal thought process of making songs. I try to disassociate as much as possible.” says McMahon.” So does fronting a band on piano mean you have to out-shred everyone on the scene? Not necessarily. which I think is great. I was a senior in high school and there was a dude named Jordan who was going to hunt me down and kick my ass. I tend to find that it’s the moments that I break out and think something isn’t going to work. like many bands. I was 17 when I wrote that song.” he says. and you’re seeing piano reemerge as a focal
Webpage: jacksmannequin.” McMahon has a deep connection to his fan base. “I think training is super important. and I loved those. we were blown away that it did as well as it did. the Beach Boys. especially early albums like Junta. it seems juvenile in retrospect.” says McMahon. formed during his sophomore year of high school. There seems to be a lot more piano in rock these days. He and I both incidentally did work for the same charity. “Being a kid who grew up playing piano. two of the guys had to leave for college. because I need to write. “Not having an album to support took the pressure off and I really had a bang-up time the year that I was working on the Jack’s record. there was always a piano or B-3 player in the mix. and now the Beatles. they needed a break.com Early influences: As soon as I got into the piano. When inspired. we were flying guys back to do gigs. 2 0 1 0
rate days and I would say the core of the Jack’s base is original Something Corporate fans.
people who want to come but don’t jam it down anybody’s throat.” Something Corporate’s first single: No question.” ROOTS OF WRITING Even though he knows he has a larger audience listening to his music. it’s another tool to communicate art. ” Something Corporate went strong for a few years until. point in a lot of popular music. Truthfully. the Grateful Dead. “Myself and my producer Jim Wirt were really in a zone together when we did [2005’s Everything in Transit]. That’s how it began. “I love to play piano. “Jack’s Mannequin didn’t start as a band.” And as it happens. It’s funny.” CORPORATE LIFE McMahon’s first band. but I’ve gone back to Wilco.” he says. Originally I didn’t intend to put it out. and the impact on budding musicians. It’s about finding your art form. McMahon draws his inspiration from a wide variety of artists. The only problem was that there weren’t many gigs for underage groups besides parties and said Battles of the Bands. we agreed to paint a playhouse if they let us use it for one night. Bob Dylan. I don’t think your appreciation for classical is what it is later in life. “Since nobody would give us a gig. And then KROQ played it.000 copies. and Phish. We put it on an EP because we thought it would just come out and go away. At that point.” INFLUENCING MANNEQUIN As a touring and recording musician.” Jack’s Mannequin emerged as the vehicle for a maturing songwriter and lyricist to further hone his craft. Bob Marley. Bring over the
Most of the people I know who got force-fed classical music don’t play anymore. “I love the new Kings of Leon record. “It was a superintense and fun process that started as a very impassioned project. singing his heart out for the crowd which returns the love with voices raised and arms outstretched — in case he decides to stage dive and let them carry him away. “Frankly. “It was a moniker to apply to the stuff that I was doing on the side. what started out as a side project turned into a full-time gig around 2005. and sometimes you’ll overthink it. I made clear in a lot of interviews that I never expected that song to hit. as a studio project.
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then come back up. 3. For the next three notes in the phrase. which
The Resistance (Warner Brothers)
walk you through a simplified version of that memorable introductory motif. The timing is easy for this one — just count along as indicated. Power on your synth.
0 1. 1. note the slightly different fingering and hand position from Example 3. here’s where your hand should sit on the keys. For the next eight notes. hold your hand as shown here and play the notes in this order: D. Bb. A. Here’s how you hold your hand for the first seven notes of the signature intro synth line. 2. Wrap the phrase up with the final two notes. 4. warm up your fingers. Just start on the high A.. Pay attention to how the hand position and fingering are slightly different from those in Example 1.com. grungy keyboard anthem “Uprising. Listen to the track and check out the examples below. shown here: Play the G first.
5 2 3
1 2 3
“Uprising. 5. written in traditional notation.P L AY I T !
What’s your favorite Muse synth moment? Share on our forum at keyboardmag. play the notes in order from high to low.
4 5 A Bb
Ex. © 2009 Loosechord Limited (PRS).” defiance never sounded so good. Inc.” Words and Music by Matthew Bellamy. All Rights Administered by WB Music Corp. All Rights Reserved. Again.
= Middle C
Ex. Start high and go down and up. ending on the same A you started on. Here’s the simplified phrase. before resolving down to the F. just like in Example 1. but drop down to the lower A at the very end. Used by Permission of Alfred Music Publishing Co. All of the notes here are part of the A major triad. The band ushers in their rally with a simple but effective synth riff built around D minor and A major triads. You might just end up featured in print or online!
by Michael Gallant In Muse’s throbbing. 2 0 1 0
. and rise up!
Ex. All the notes here are part of the D minor triad.
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make sure there is a future version of the software you are h using.
and the type of major chord
harmony it implies. and sixth. and Donald Fagen. and you get a double stop with a slip note that sounds a lot like a pedal steel guitar lick. moving up and down with gospel-tinged voicings. all while implying the maj(add 2) harmony and a rootsy feel. influencing a wide rage of players such as Chuck Leavell. Adding the upper note changes the sound a bit.P L AY I T !
AM E R I CANA
Share your own country and Americana playing on our forums at keyboardmag. and makes it even more bluesy. maybe with a bit of an accent.com. and a few embellishing notes after the beat. If you’re doing it right you can bring out the melody under the top note. Put a note on top. then a bass line in the left hand. As part of a two.
Ex 1. The best place to put them is leading up to the third. but stay relaxed. Add some slip notes in 4b. Matt Rollings.
Ex 4. similar to the example in 3a. as in 3c — it changes the whole vibe. and always relaxed. on the beat. it should sound even and clear.
5 2 2 1 1
5 2 3
5 2 3 1
5 2 3
5 2 3
5 2 3
3 4 3 4
5 2 3
0 1. Take the simple scale in 2a and add a few embellishing notes. is a huge part of the Americana style of roots music that has evolved over the past few decades. Experiment with the way the notes ring. The true Floyd Cramer style is sparse and restrained. and stay relaxed but moving. Start in 4a with a melody and chords.
5 5 2 23
5 5 1 2 2 3
4 1 2
5 2 3
5 5 3 4 3 5 2 2 3 1 1 2 2 3 1 1
5 5 4 2 3 2 3 2 1 1 1
Ex 3. and he plays it softly in the high register. the “slipped” note itself provides a melodic embellishment.
a) = or b) = 5 2 3 or
Ex 2. Try the same thing with triads in 2c. It’s probably going to sound closest to a 32nd-note going into a dotted sixteenth. on-the-beat grace note that usually leads up to a chord tone.
COUNTRY SLIP NOTES
by Scott Healy Pianist Floyd Cramer’s “slip note” technique is one of the most identifiable types of riff in country piano playing. Try the same lick with a whole step instead of the blue note.or three-part right-hand chord. How fast you play it depends on the tempo and feel of the tune. Cramer developed this in the ’50s and made it his trademark sound: a relaxed. 2 0 1 0
. In his famous piano intro for Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” he uses half-step “blue” notes. It looks like a grace note on paper. as in 1b. Make it all swing a little. fifth. Make sure to play the grace note on the beat and with the top note. usually an added second (or ninth) or major sixth. as in 1a. Bruce Hornsby. Now add a top note with the fifth finger in 2b. but play the slip-note on the beat. as in 3b. Add a top note in 4c. The open intervals ring out nicely and the slip notes imply harmony and embellishment without getting too fancy. connect the chords without too much pedal. True Americana. This style. Benmont Tench. listening for harmonic movement and direction.
To re-imagine something. more features – and the best part – it’s all free to registered users. the ﬁrst step is to keep all that is great about the original preserve its essence while forging into new territory.arturia.arturia.com or see your local retailer. At Arturia. Check out the latest updates online at www. and start re-imagining your music today.com
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too. which can substitute for a major seventh chord. d) Fmaj triad over Cmaj7 creates Cmaj7sus4.P L AY I T !
JA Z Z
What are your favorite recorded moments that involve upper structure triads? Share on our forums at keyboardmag. e) Amaj triad over C7 creates C7b9. notice the sus4 in the left hand as well. and are normally used over dominant seventh chords.com. c) Gmaj triad over Cmaj7 creates Cmaj9. These triads are usually major or minor. b) Ebmaj triad over C7 creates a C7#9. As the name implies. Although the ear can extract the triad from the underlying chord. an upper structure triad (UST) is simply a triad placed over another chord with a different root. c) Abmaj triad over Cm7 creates Cmb6.
4 4 4 4
MAJOR TRIADS OVER MINOR SEVENTH CHORDS a) Ebmaj triad over Cm7 keeps the chord Cm7. f) Fmaj triad over C7 creates C7sus4. e) Gm triad over C7 creates C7sus4. due to the natural 13. and creates colors and tensions which add depth to the voicing or line.
4 4 4 4
C7 9 11
MINOR TRIADS OVER DOMINANT SEVENTH CHORDS a) C#m triad over C7 creates C7b9#5. a dominant seventh alteration that often resolves to a tonic minor. c) Gb major triad over C7 creates C7b9#11. 2 0 1 0
Visit Andy LaVerne online at andylaverne. h) Dbmaj triad over C7 creates C7sus4b9.com. g) Bbmaj triad over C7 creates C7sus4. a dominant seventh alteration that often resolves to a tonic minor. the b6 replaces the third and seventh in the left-hand voicing. the UST blends into the harmony seamlessly. This is not exclusive. e) Gbmaj triad over Cm7 creates Cm7b5b9. f) Em triad over Cmaj7 keeps the chord Cmaj7. which contains the “avoid” note of the fourth is not usually found in standard tunes. f) Dm triad over C7 creates C7sus4.
Cm7 5 9
4 4 4 4
KEYBOARD 0 1. e) Bmaj triad over Cmaj7 creates Cdim(maj7). g) Am triad over Cmaj7 creates Cmaj7 (with a 6th). b) Ebm triad over C7 creates C7#9#11.
. it has a slightly richer sound than the F#maj triad. c) F#m triad over C7 creates C7b9#11. a dominant seventh alteration that often resolves to a tonic minor. a dominant seventh alteration that often resolves to a tonic minor. d) Am triad over C7 creates C13. b) Emaj triad over Cmaj7 creates Cmaj7#5.
MAJOR TRIADS OVER DOMINANT SEVENTH CHORDS a) Dmaj triad over C7 creates C7#11. d) Abmaj triad over C7 creates a C7#9b13 (C7alt). which can serve the same purpose. b) Fmaj triad over Cm7 creates Cm11. a dominant seventh alteration that often resolves to a tonic minor. a dominant seventh alteration that doesn’t necessarily resolve to a tonic. This diminished chord can be used to delay resolution to a major tonic.
by Andy LaVerne Want to add some bite and spice to your voicings? Look to upper structure triads for the uplifting effects you desire. This is an easy way to create the half diminished sound. one of the prettiest chord qualities in jazz. This dissonant sound. g) Bbm triad over C7 creates C7sus4b9. John Coltrane used this to good effect to create tension. d) Bbmaj triad over Cm7 also creates Cm11.
4 4 4 4
C7 9 5
C7 9 11
C7 9 11
MAJOR AND MINOR TRIADS OVER MAJOR SEVENTH CHORDS a) Dmaj triad over Cmaj7 creates Cmaj7#4. as USTs can go
over major and minor chords as well. Some of the hippest sounding voicings have USTs at their core.
RE-PITCH THE VOCAL. you have to stay true to the song while leaving your thumbprint. With an instrumental track. Before you do any of this on your next remix.DO IT!
DAN C E
What was your most radical use of pitchshifting? Let us know at keyboardmag. That locked it with my key changes during the crucial choruses. provided they could hear it and say yea or nay ahead of time. dice. using unusual ratios and transpositions to keep the carriers musically aligned. If you do it right. wanted me to infuse it with my funky tech-house sound. Vocals present a much greater challenge. make sure it’s cool with the label. I got a shot at remixing Winter Kills. foreboding character that didn’t quickly lend itself to a bouncy house treatment. The verdict? Run with it! One listener didn’t even notice the note that was changed. Another nifty trick is to use “rubber-band” automation to transpose right inside your arrangement. Or is it? Last fall. listen closely to the words “on my own. I did this in Ableton Live.
Fig. but none as significant as this. the dance floor. Call’s voice has a lush quality that most producers would die for.com. They said yes. and Figure 3 shows the exact spot. asking if I could change three notes in the vocal performance. I called the label. it’s all good. As long as the sound and vibe of the original is in there somewhere. as counter-intuitive as that seems. First. If you’re on a budget. I created the chord progression. There were also a couple of tiny changes in the verses.” For my version. In the audio examples at keyboard mag. KEEP THE FEEL
by Francis Preve Remixing can be much more complicated than creating an original track. I only needed
the vocal to go up one more half-step (see Figure 2). and slap-chop the stems within an inch of their collective life. Meredith Call’s vocal from Winter Kills’ “Deep Down” before editing in Celemony Melodyne. a new artist generating a massive buzz in the trance and progressive communities. 1.
Fig. the artist. The same goal achieved via automating Ableton Live’s onboard pitch warping. I loved the original track — Meredith Fig. they just might say yes. The label. Melodyne is a magical app that lets me massage a performance with almost complete transparency. With a remix. Meredith’s vocal slides up during bar 79 when she sings “own. and if all goes well. but it’s not the only tool I could have used. yourself. and promising to keep the track’s soul intact. paying careful attention to the sensitivity and intensity parameters (unless you’re T-Pain. I submitted the draft and waited for everyone to weigh in. You have to preserve the original performance. Different Pieces. then the band. which sounds like parallel fourths. From there. You have to please the label.” In the original.com/gear. there’s latitude when it comes to key: You can slice. but is actually microtonally perfect fourths created in Ableton’s FM soft synth Operator. but I digress). which means changing the vocal pitches is out of the question.
0 1. try the pitch correction tools that come with your DAW. Squint at the second half of bar 79. I layered the original vocal (see Figure 1) after feeding it into Melodyne. 2. 3. 2 0 1 0
. The track has a dark. and you’ll see the small but very effective repitching up a half-step.
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Originally designed to let you stream the audio output of Propellerhead Reason into the DAW of your choice (as Reason doesn’t record audio). This is especially useful in film scoring sessions or a live performance setting. In this example. Each entry will also have a fly-out menu with different numbers of channels. Choose which ReWire output pair you would like to create an aux channel for. As with any other ReWire application. Go to the Mixer and find the ReWire group. You’ll be able to control this
5. route it to a bus. you need to have some score opened in Notion 3 to use the slave application. I’m launching Ableton Live. you need to launch the host application before you launch the application it will control. I can use both applications in the regular workflow that they offer. will follow my performance in real time. regardless of whether it’s audio or MIDI. 1. together with the Notion 3 score. just select the first one if you’re unsure. pan it — in other words. Using Notion 3 as a ReWire host has many benefits.DO IT!
N O TAT I O N
Any special Notion tricks up your sleeve? Share on our forums at keyboardmag. I can also use any sound or technique that the sequencer can offer in real time. ReWire now lets you transmit audio and sync between any two supported applications that reside on the same machine. Make sure ReWire support is enabled in Notion 3. You are now ready to launch the slave application. audio from the Notion 3 mixer. From this point on. Clicking on it will reveal a pop-up menu of all available ReWire applications that can serve as a slave to Notion 3. or start from scratch. 4. Any project that I have in the sequencer. 6. 2.
REWIRE HOSTING IN NOTION 3
by Lubo Astinov One exciting new feature in Notion 3 is support for both ReWire host and slave functionality.com. This quick lesson will help you get acquainted with setting up Notion 3 as a ReWire host for your sequencer. This is found in Preferences under Audio. Create a new score. and I’ll get all audio into Notion 3. For example. where the “Enable ReWire” box needs to be checked. In either case. you can manipulate the audio just as if it was coming from a Notion 3 instrument. and write a new piece. you can sync a sequencer and Notion 3 together on a single DAW in your studio and use the power of both applications for your project. if I start Performance mode in Notion 3 and begin performing the score with its live performance features. then the slave sequencer will follow my tempo and my performance. assign effects to it. You have now created the necessary aux track that will receive audio from the slave application and route it into Notion 3. 2 0 1 0
. Launch Notion 3. It looks like this: You’ll notice the plus sign right after ReWire. Thus. 3.
and keep in mind that different mics work best on different instruments. funky basses. If you’re not working in a commercial studio. to share their wisdom. or steal the best mics and preamps you can. and punchy drums. And every week. .
SO YOU WANT TO MAKE A SAMPLE LIBRARY. . separate yourself from your computer. composer Jimmy Hammer. incredibly freaking hard — but not impossible. Record somewhere soundproofed. a large diaphragm condenser for others. Jimmy did a great job playing all 1. Notice the tiny Hohner Marine Band harmonica next to the bigger ones — and the many pages of notes underneath. And your children. right. someone somewhere thinks. And the world.com. but he’s never actually sold a disc in either country. You don’t want to invest time and money so some kid can buy your library for ten euros. 5. In advance. How hard could it be?” In a nutshell. .com) and L. or soundproof where you record. “My [insert unique or vintage instrument here] is so unique and musical. 4. to help save your time. even a good dynamic mic for that vintage bass amp.com). Research copy protection. and center channels).000 bass harmonica samples for Harpordian — while engineering! — but this brings us to . as all NI instruments handle authorization via the NI Service Center app. Sample libraries.000 people will each pay $100 for a library of it. create a consistent file naming system to handle your thousands of samples. We all rely on them for sweeping strings. Get the best musicians available to play the sampling sessions. beg. Buy.A. Names should capture all the important attributes to ease OS-level searching for samples. borrow. Each note required three files (left. Dan’s stuff is popular in India and China. 2 0 1 0
. 1. Become obsessive-compulsive. Jimmy Hammer paid $15 per disc to bundle Harpordian with Native Instruments Kontakt Player — which provided a turnkey solution. Dan routinely books players who command at least $100 an hour.
by Richard Leiter
Just a few audio tracks from Jimmy Hammer’s Harpordian sampling sessions. Mediocre performance equals mediocre sample. 3. . Look for mics with a low noise floor. and your marriage. I bet that 1. rent.DO IT!
SAM P LE LI B RARY
Read about one guy’s real-life sampling adventure and hear the Harpordian at keyboardmag. 2. . You may need a ribbon for some sounds. who recently created his first library (harpordian. your money. We’ve asked sample library guru Dan Dean (dandeanpro. then distilled it into a top ten — make that top 11 — list. Sounds you never hear in the course of everyday events (Did you know there was a fan in your Tivo box?) are even more ruinous to sampling than to recording bands. but err on the side of simplicity: A name like “Zfff41lp119d67Y” is useless when you’re
read them.Take3. Jimmy saved to external and internal hard drives every day. Your library will be many times larger than any song you’ve ever recorded. because repetitive motion injuries are real. he made DVDs every week.” If you know a performance is a little long or short or pitchy and you want to handle it later with editing and EQ — don’t. knock off for a while. Hit Record and get it right.
Visit your authorized BBE dealer today for a demo!
Huntington Beach. 9. Towards completion of the project.C2. voice intelligibility.” Write down everything. Whether recording or editing. too. Back up like crazy. 10.bbesound. Besides.May12. How will you handle articulations: Key switches? Mod wheel? Velocity? Study existing sample libraries so you can record yours in a way that’ll make it easy to learn and play. it will . so make sure your project is desirable. texture. Don’t “fix it in the mix. 6. Vividly imagine your final product. Do market research before you record one note. California 714-897-6766 · www. have others read them. and solicit brutal honesty about whether the concept is compelling. break the project down into manageable sections. Mock up a cover. Better something like “Loud. and a press release. Otherwise.
“BBE® is the most hearable advance in audio technology since high ﬁdelity itself!”
With today’s exacting requirements for accuracy. and most important. Make sure your computer can handle enormous files. someday I might be calling you for tech support. when everything begins to sound the same. You don’t want to spend ten minutes opening your session and 30 seconds every time you save. Dan used an Exabyte 8mm tape drive and multiple hard drives in a WeibeTech enclosure.exhausted and overwhelmed. Also. Then. People buy the fantasy of the library.com
0 1. 2 0 1 0 KEYBOARD
. BBE is an essential element in state-of-the-art systems. an ad. so make sure you have the horsepower to handle giant projects: a separate audio drive from a reliable maker such as Glyph. for starters. defeat you. Perhaps that last tip should have been first. 11. detail. 7 Defeat ear fatigue. Shake out your wrists a lot. but I didn’t want to rain on your parade. 8.
If you have a Universal Audio UAD card. play with the delay time knob. and download an Apple Logic file set up with the “Electric Avenue” delay effect at celebutantemusic. You can do the same in a DAW by setting up a simple synth with a delay insert effect. but different types have different tones. their Memory Man models sound great too. “Electric Avenue” sounds like an ’80s analog “bucketbrigade” delay. At first. and MXR Carbon Copy. followed by a noise gate with a sidechain input. Because I wanted to record many passes of revving sounds without playing a note and starting over every time. and makes great roaring sounds — and lots of other watery weirdness! You can use newer digital delays. bypass the gate so you can hear the delay feed back. If the feedback is high enough. amps. I used my Electro-Harmonix Stereo Poly Chorus re-issue. In the computer world. Though it’s called a chorus. Delays “store” incoming sounds and replay them at a settable later time. Now. For this example. watch the volume).com/keybmag. Other cool stomps include the Roland RE-20 Space Echo. like how a mic feeds back when pointed at a speaker.
0 1. By adjusting the delay time. Now try cranking the feedback almost all the way (again. I fed the pedal output to the synth’s VCA and controlled it with a simple on/off envelope triggered by the keyboard. so turn the master volume down for safety. 4. The main channel would use a synth with a brief tone for the delay input. and ears. I left the delay in infinite feedback and improvised a gate so I could turn the sound on and off by playing keys on my modular synth. Now I could play the keyboard with my left hand and twist the delay time knob with my right. insert a synth with any simple on/off sound (such as an organ) and select its output as the input for the noise gate’s sidechain. try Tape Delay in Apple Logic or Filter Delay in Ableton Live. 2. Once it’s feeding back without you holding a note.
EDDY GRANT’S “ELECTRIC AVENUE”
by Mitchell Sigman “Electric Avenue” was one of the biggest MTV hits of the ’80s. the delay will self-oscillate. It takes a little time for the feedback loop to bloom harmonically. I realized the trademark “engine-rev” sound wasn’t a synth. Moogerfooger Analog Delay. switch to the second synth.DO IT!
STEAL TH I S S O U N D
Listen to audio samples at keyboardmag.com. Here’s the weird part. This is what’s behind the “Electric Avenue” motorcycle rev. It doesn’t matter too much what your initial input sound is. Set the delay time close to maximum and the repeats about halfway up.
WHAT DELAY TO USE? I used an Electro-Harmonix Stereo Poly Chorus. and still gets crowds bumping on the dance floor. un-bypass the gate. and use it to “play” the effected sound. 5. Any delay will work. some of the delayed signal is fed back into the input. but old-school analog and tape delays typically have the tastiest feedback. Be careful when cranking up feedback with hardware or software delays! Volume can get out of control and blow speakers. On a second track. because the delay’s own feedback tonality is so dominant. Recently I had to recreate its synth parts for a cover band’s backing track. This should get you into “engine revving” territory. anything brief with a wide range of harmonics should be fine. Play a note on the first synth and crank the feedback. 2 0 1 0
. bright synth bass. under the hood it’s a short analog delay. This can turn into something that sounds nothing like the original input. Try a quick. 3. Play a note. Listening. the Roland Space Echo plug-in is killer. To get repeats. but actually delay effect feedback. 1. you can “play” the pitch of this monster noise.
Yamaha is consciously addressing a couple of trends gleaned from user buzz: First. which was based on the original Motif but focused on live use. The only drawback is that the knobs are mounted close to the back edge of the panel. for which the integration goes especially deep. the LCD seems tiny compared to the large color screen on the Motif XS.300 street. or join the Keyboard Corner forum. sounds. etc. the XS generation of the S series offers not just the full Motif XS sound set.GEAR
YA M A H A S 7 0 X S
Is 76 weighted keys the magic size for gigging? Leave a comment on this review. However. Small display.com HANDS-ON 1 Performance Creator lets you roll your own splits. 4 Just below. you notice a lot of new things. ’03). so I’m very familiar with the interface. INFO S70XS (76 keys): $3. $2. 5 These toggle buttons select which four parameters the knobs control (filter/envelope. 7 There’s enough real estate here to park a small laptop or a tabletop synth module. and performance control of the S series in a 76-key size for years — with fully weighted keys.699 list/approx. yamahasynth. Lots of backlit buttons and
15. layers. At first glance.400 street. Second. once I got into the greater number of controls and more
51. Also. Then. EQ. 3 These backlit buttons select parts of splits and layers. or Sonar — or the included Cubase AI software.25"
0 1. sounds. 2 Dedicated octave-shift and transpose buttons are placed so you could hit them with a free finger of a hand that’s playing a chord. S90XS (88 keys): $3.com. CONS Nearly as wide as some 88-note keyboards. The knobs open up more possibilities for realtime control. making them harder to access if a second keyboard is stacked above. 6 Faders have four pages of functions: volume and panning for parts. Logic.799 list/approx. with virtually all the preset sounds thoughtfully programmed to use these knobs in musical ways. so you’re never more than one click away from the function you want. The two toggle buttons that select knob functions were a piece of cake at gigs. four new knobs augment the four faders of the S-class ancestors.). not the springier semi-weighted sort usually found on 76ers. Deep sound editing requires computer software. Super-easy to create splits and layers on the fly. musicians have wanted the action. and the knobs quickly became an extension of my brain. the S90ES came on the heels of the Motif ES — both had double the polyphony and greatly improved sounds. and features of this original S90 (reviewed Jan. at keyboardmag. Expanded control surface functionality for DAWs.9"
5 3 4
I’ve had an S90 “classic” in my gig rig since 2003. but a gorgeous main piano sound you won’t find in the Motif XS. and drum performance setups with minimum button pushing.
New Standard in Performance Keyboards
by Eric Lawson PROS Great sounds including stellar new S6 piano.” In response. USER INTERFACE Even at first glance. especially setting up splits and layers quickly. $2. these buttons activate and latch the arpeggiator for each of the four independent parts. Yamaha revamped the user interface with a focus on the most common gig tasks. 2 0 1 0
. a perception that the S was just “a Motif without a sequencer. and sends for the master chorus and reverb. Now. and turn them on or off. 8 DAW Remote button turns the S70XS into a control surface for DP.
and surprisingly easy to hoist onto a keyboard stand. My favorite for live rock use is “Piano Rock S6.
©2009 Yamaha Corporation of America www. New backlit red buttons turn individual Voices (Yamaha’s term for single sound programs. and for keeping it playing when you release the keys.com
www. stage piano. it’s a managable 44. Many users might prefer the latter position and a smaller size — being able to buy a smaller case. Like the knobs. I didn’t feel at all inhibited. “I loved the main piano sound in the CP-300. especially if you drive something smaller than a minivan or SUV. but also enough brightness to drive it through the mix.2 pounds. the display could be mounted a little closer to the keys to make it more visible in multikeyboard rigs. which is most welcome at gigs. do-it-all synth (as opposed to a vintage-keys clone. Using
• The sounds of the Motif ES • Both a song and a loop-based pattern sequencer for everything from making beats to complete arrangements • All the hook-ups to use the MO with your computer including built-in stereo digital out. Clavs. or MIDI controller) we know that has 76 fully-weighted keys. In other words. send-based reverb and chorus. you won’t run out. you get many variations of classical. gorgeous orchestral strings. But this does make the S70XS only two inches narrower than my 88-key S90 classic. last-in-the-chain master effect and EQ. What’s the big deal with 76 keys? Don’t other keyboards come in that size? Yes. How many effects can it do at once? Eight inserts. dozens of analog leads and lush pads. That’s true — most players are trained to reach here. and have a nice brightness that cuts
NEED TO KNOW What are the best sounds in the S70XS? The new S6 piano and the entire Motif XS ROM. particularly keyboard sounds like EPs. jazz. which was several cuts above the Motif XS main piano. through a mix while remaining realistic and warm. are certain new grand piano Voices in the S70XS and S90XS. What does it have that previous Sseries synths didn’t? That S6 piano. and more control surface ability. You get separate buttons for engaging the arpeggiator. and this is one deep sound set. FORM FACTOR Yamaha opted to put the pitch and mod wheels to the left of the keys. wellbalanced to carry.com
0 1. Among the presets. better realtime arpeggiator control. They’re based on the prestigious Yamaha S6 concert grand. On all the new S6-based Voices. edgy modern synth tones. much easier creation of splits and layers. Just about anything you could possibly need is on hand. 2 0 1 0
. complete remote control of your computer software and even Studio Connections compatibility so you can treat the MO just like a VSTi software instrument • A great price! That’s all there is to say. plus EQ per multitimbral part. even with complex setups. All there is to do now is––make MO’ music. Why would I get this instead of a workstation or other ROMpler? Because it’s focused on features that really make live gigging easier — and that piano sound we keep mentioning just kills. and there’s no problem accessing the wheels if another full-length keyboard is above the S70XS on a stand. though. not to be confused with voices of polyphony) in a Performance (a multitimbral split or layer) on or off. What you won’t find in any Motif.intuitive menu structure (compared to the S90 classic and ES).yamaha. breathtakingly realistic woodwinds. and still the most realistic acoustic guitars you’ll find in any hardware synth. you can really hear that realism and attention to detail has been kicked up quite a few notches from the Motif. But this new S6 sample is a whole other level still. Yamaha says they made a conscious decision based on playability. There’s even a hidden feature that super-sizes the fonts. I saw this kind of attention to hardware control throughout the instrument. Nonetheless. which is where they were on the S80 and S90 classic. and it inspired me to a new level of performance. is one of the main value propositions of a 76-key keyboard.” The rest of the sonic landscape covers a broad base: meaty. B-3 organs that sound darned good for sampled sounds. Keyboard’s Stephen Fortner chimed in. but the S70XS is the only deeply editable.” which has lots of expressive ability.motifator. and analog synths. funky electric pianos and Clavs. SOUNDS The S70XS has the complete factory ROM (and synth engine and effects) of the Motif XS (reviewed July ’07). for each Performance part. and pop pianos. This adds about five inches of width as compared with putting them on the top panel.
and of course. If your soft synth has a “MIDI learn” function.hearnet. and for years to come. or store it with your Cubase song for recall. Dan Stecko the Favorites feature. the editor also works in standalone mode. as well as ’80s cover band Flat Elvis.™
We can help. the faders do track volume. meaning the keys are the same weight across the whole range. you can send it back to the XS as a Multi.® is
a non-profit organization co-founded by musicians and hearing professionals that is dedicated to the prevention of hearing loss in musicians. H. Of course. the editor software also lets you automate the S70XS as though it were a VSTi. aside from the older keyboard being broken in. This also works with Performances.
H. Select “External S70XS VST” in a Device slot. the synth’s name appeared in the XS’ display.R. you can create up to 50 control assignment templates for your soft synths. In the editor software. I had a USB drive with all my gig sounds. the arrow buttons change tracks. you get similar functionality in Digital Performer. Having used the S90 classic for years was a great primer.A. if I selected a soft synth’s track. The S70XS’ scroll wheel scrubs through tracks. Since I’d previously owned a Motif XS7.] With Steinberg Cubase booted up and the S70XS connected to a Mac or PC via USB. you can make these controls edit whatever you want. 2 0 1 0
. In Cubase. This action is a joy to play. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the S70XS and S90XS load files from the Motif XS. I played the S70XS for several gigs and rehearsals with my soul/dance band SoulerCoaster. but the sound quality and realtime control of the S70XS were breaths of fresh air.A. and given that it has aftertouch.E. Logic. and some of its settings became editable with the knobs and faders.E. hear tomorrow. Once you create a setup you like.com 58
0 1.YA M A H A S 7 0 X S
[Keyboard Corner forum regular and S70XS/Cubase power user Dan Stecko (“DanS” on the forum) provided insights on the S70XS’ software editing and DAW capabilities. –Ed. Very cool.® today. Via Mackie Control Universal protocol. and you’re in business. about the best combination I’ve played for digging into acoustic and electric pianos as well as ripping synth and organ leads. which loaded right into the
and your hearing survives!
the hearing you have now. Exclusive to Cubase. and Sonar. I could tell very little difference between it and my careworn S90 Classic. I could simply tag Voices I liked (signified by a heart icon in the display) for quick call-up later. AT THE GIGS The S70XS action is balanced. pressing the DAW Remote button turns the arpeggio select/effect toggle buttons into transport controls.
Purchase your hearing protection at www. click “Auto Sync” once the editor opens to get Cubase and the S70XS talking.R.
• Key sounds from the Motif line including piano. frankly. I could write an entire review on this hypnotic capability that. Performance.motifator. you had to edit together a Performance preset containing the sounds and key ranges. filter cutoff. None of the competition combines these capabilities with fully-weighted keys. In previous S-series keyboards. creating new splits and layers was time-consuming. and effects.
The MM Series synthesizers combine sounds from the Motif. Having blank memory to store edited Voices and Performances felt a lot more logical than overwriting duplicates of factory sounds in the User bank.com
www. selectable by a button under the Voice. but with a semi-weighted action — fully-weighted keys are on the 88-note PC3X only. (An Element is like an “oscillator” in a patch. rocks harder than anything else I’ve played in a digital stage piano anywhere near this price. most of the content is musical phrases of the sort you’d expect from better loopware libraries. 2 0 1 0
. but deeper edits at the Element level require connection to a computer. while the Graded Hammer action on the 88-key MM8 delivers natural touch and expressive control over the complete piano range. including four-part arpeggios — very cool! ARPEGGIATOR In the studio. The front panel and menus can edit common settings such as key range. This act seamlessly creates a Performance. which is what you did on Motifs and previous S synths.000) of up to four-part arpeggios. I would have made the unit a bit smaller. strings. and the current sound is automatically coupled with another. because for each one. Not to be confused with Yamaha’s usual Performance mode. though as Motif and S users know. it lacks the huge variety of sounds and deep synthesizer engine of the Yamaha.) While the included software editor is pretty slick (see facing page). filter. the S70XS isn’t just a stage piano — it’s a full-on synth that does every sound well and many sounds exceptionally well. The Kurzweil PC3 [reviewed Dec. which you can set as the default “second sound” or quickly change by scrolling through sound categories. Multi mode allows access to 16 Voices via MIDI. but it’s really an entire synth chain with waveform. and the S70XS will actually do “patch remain” — sustained notes on the old Voice won’t be
cut off by the patch change. “Rosanna”-era Toto? There’s an arp for that. piano. The S70XS is an outstanding and game-changing entry in the “goto gig keyboard” field. modulation.yamaha. street smart grooves from around the world and a simple to use interface in a portable package. Whether you’re just jamming with friends. Though there are classic up/down synth patterns aplenty. but because it’s primarily a vintage clone. and Master buttons. It’s similar to the Motif’s Pattern or Song mode in how it lines up Voices side by side.S70XS with nary a complaint. the MM Series lets you hit the streets in style. Helpful Multi templates contain popular combinations of drums. and what’s especially cool is that you can switch sounds while holding keys or a sustain pedal. PERFORMANCES VS. You can also execute a “Job > Copy” command that imports a full Performance into your Multi. which you then save into an initialized memory spot. You can address these from your DAW or sequencer — or use Multis as speedy-access sound banks at gigs. Need to sound like Herbie Hancock during the Headhunters era? There’s an arp for that. can turn you into a one-musician band.com
0 1. The MM6 is the perfect choice for musicians on the go. ’08] is the most similar. making songs on board or with the bundled Cubase software. resonance. Caliente piano montuno? There’s an arp for that. MULTIS Worth noting on the S70XS is the “Multi/Seq Play” mode. The Nord Stage EX has 76 weighted keys. Only. with some preparation. I’d like to see this work in plain old single-patch mode as well (as it has on Kurzweil synths since K2000 days) but it’s good that Yamaha gives you a way to hold a chord and sound-hunt at the gig. “arpeggios” is an understatement. drums and bass or complete backing tracks • Performance Mode let’s you play layers or split sounds along with grooves • Cubase AI 48 track audio/ MIDI DAW software included
©2009 Yamaha Corporation of America www. and so on. etc. CONCLUSIONS The S70XS is a true performer’s instrument with killer sounds sourced from the Motif XS. but this is hardly a dealbreaker. I explored the S70XS’ immense selection (over 6. along with a new acoustic piano that. bass. The S70XS has a one-touch approach: Simply press the Split or Layer button. guitars. It runs the gamut from country to heavy metal to smooth jazz to urban to Latin to film score — almost any style you can imagine. some players will miss being able to dive into every parameter from the keyboard itself. drums & more • Real Time Knobs for controlling filte and EG • Built-in grooves with drums. aside from a few differences in the Voice pointers. which splits and layers up to four Voices.
triangle. Dave Smith has been on the roll of a lifetime. Tetra is also the first real analog polysynth to include MIDI-over-USB. fat.
0 1. Now. voices consist of two oscillators. ’09). and the tuning drifts in real time for a more vintage analog sound. each oscillator sports its own sub-oscillator. Twopart splits/layers are savable per patch. it’s thick. CONS Four-part multitimbral mode is a global toggle. Outputs 1 and 2 are a stereo mix when nothing’s plugged into 3 and 4. four step sequencers. which gives it way more bass than the Prophet. warm. there are individual glide amounts for each oscillator as well. davesmithinstruments. There’s also an audio mod parameter that delivers FM based on the output of oscillator 1. so you’ll need an interface to record Tetra audio into your computer. No power switch. SOUND ENGINE As with the Prophet ’08 and Mopho. This really defines the modern Prophet sound.and four-pole modes.GEAR
D AV E S M I T H I N S T R U M E N T S T E T R A
Use a Tetra or Mopho? Cooked up some killer sounds? Share ’em on the forums at keyboardmag. Dave has taken the monophonic Mopho. four step sequencers. There’s also a noise generator for whipping up whooshes and drum sounds. along with a triangle-saw hybrid that sounds like a muted saw with a tad more beef. and still sells like hotcakes. with more subtle resonance. brought massive analog sound to earth at a price almost anyone could afford. and creamy. In four-pole mode. each oscillator includes coarse and fine tuning.9"
DAVE SMITH INSTRUMENTS TETRA
Poly Analog Madness for the Masses
by Francis Preve PROS Big. There’s also a nicely-amped headphone jack and the wonderful Poly Chain connector for adding more Tetras (or Prophet ’08s) to increase polyphony. His follow-up. it’s a bit buzzier. and made the thing multitimbral. Designing your own sounds from the front panel is a tad fiddly. Naturally. Modulation. HARDWARE The Tetra is just a hair bigger than the Mopho. ’07). On the back are four discrete outputs for each of the voices. In two-pole mode. you can dial in everything from a touch of grit to a wall of filth. a fully resonant lowpass filter. You can hard-sync the oscillators for those metallic squawks the Cars made famous. and an arpeggiator. expanded it to fourvoice polyphony.com Since releasing the Prophet ’08 (reviewed Nov. $800 street. but it has two.com!
7. Like the Mopho (and unlike the Prophet ’08). Direct USB control from computer yields very tight timing. The USB port doesn’t stream audio. INFO $879 list/approx. the Mopho (reviewed Jan. not per patch. Filter. Tetra’s filter is lowpass only. Each oscillator includes sawtooth. 2 0 1 0
. and side-vented for cooling. kept the book-like size. This is great for everything from grit to squelchy ring-mod type effects. Three envelopes. Multitimbral mode means the Tetra is four Mophos in one box. and the timing is slammin’ — the improvement over using a regular MIDI cable and interface was especially noticeable when lining up Tetra sequences with parts recorded on soft synths in my computer.” Turn this up. and variable-width pulse waveforms. and between the feedback gain and feedback volume settings. For more extreme pitch experiments. four LFOs. a feedback input in the oscillator section routes the audio from the left channel of each voice back into the filter section. Oscillators. four LFOs. juicy analog sound. To ratchet up the heat even more. three envelopes. but with an extra twist: oscillator “slop. and a truckload of destinations make the Tetra extremely well suited for creating complex sounds with abundant rhythmic and tonal changes.
so the latter provides better tuning stability. which allows for MIDI tempo sync. When the LFOs aren’t synced. At press time. Comparing sound quality was easy. 3 What was a program/global switch on the Mopho now includes a third mode for the Tetra’s combo presets. and (except for the rack version). true analog synth for around $800 would be a game-changer. 5 Tetra’s back panel ditches the Mopho’s audio input in favor of separate outs per voice. the sound is identical but the flexibility is vastly increased. Hit a key or the “Push It!” button and stand back — this is where the Tetra is in a league of its own. They can sync to tempo for rhythmic effects. but only if the global multimode parameter is set to on. resonance. 2 These four knobs are freely assignable. Each of the four voices can be its own independent synth. few presets. both were standalone apps only. which sound especially tight via USB. and amp — is fully analog. both vintage and new. All the usual pitch. but things get really interesting when you sequence changes to. Each of the four sequencers can drive almost any Tetra parameter. thanks to Dave’s care in designing their curves. Are DCOs really analog? Absolutely. a Poly Chain connector for turning multiple units into one big polyphonic synth. 6 An included universal AC adapter comes with plugs for every country — nice. the Tetra is four-part. two-part splitting or layering (just like on the Prophet ’08) is available per patch. the envelopes have a lovely snap to the decay segments. These are equally satisfying. and pan options are present. 4 The “Push It!” button triggers sounds or sequences. The LE version is included. IN USE With my Prophet ’08 and Mopho at the ready. While we’d rather see this handled as part of each combo preset. many of which are layered multitimbral sequences. they can embed TB-303style note riffs in your patches. CONCLUSIONS It’s no secret that I love my Prophet ’08 and Mopho. volume. so its sound has a bit more meat on its bones. I took the Tetra out for a spin to see how it handled. which delivers even more FM and ring-mod nastiness. but voltage control is a tad less consistent than digital. the limitation only applies to four-part mode. The LFOs. Unlike some other analog synths. Their sound has been a key component in almost every recent track I’ve done.
0 1. might have bought it instead of the Prophet. it’s the same as the Prophet. but that’s barely scratching the surface. Unreal. there has never been a better time to jump. so polyrhythmic madness awaits more adventurous players. pulse width. or envelope segments. Sure. as expected. the sound is identical to the Mopho. sequencers. rich. that you get multitimbral mode at all in an analog synth at this price is tremendous. and DCOs (digitally controlled oscillators) have analog guts. On the downside. As mentioned before. One this good means that if you’ve been on the fence about buying an analog synth. as all three units share quite a Tetra Editor Tetra’s editor (Mac or PC) makes designing your own sounds (or sequences) much easier than flipping through parameters on the hardware’s LCD. square. whereas others are massive unison leads.GEAR
HANDS-ON 1 Four dedicated knobs control cutoff. Like the Mopho. their rates cover an extremely wide range. Dave Smith has hit another one out of the park — an obvious Key Buy winner. responding to its own MIDI channel. The four LFOs include triangle. The Tetra’s sound is every bit as deep. A sizable chunk of these multis are one-finger demonstrations of the versatility of this beastie. Speaking of presets. As if that weren’t enough. the Tetra also includes a bank of 128 combo patches. 2 0 1 0
. How does it compare to the Mopho? Since the Tetra is basically four Mophos in a box. and the factory patches do a great job of exploiting them. filter. had the Tetra been available in 2007. polyphonic. That’s not a knock against my baby. filter FM amount.99.com. but Dave Smith is working on a plug-in version that’ll let you automate the Tetra from within your DAW. Plus. and a smattering of electro-friendly patches. and random options. the Prophet is only twopart multitimbral. What does the Prophet ’08 have that the Tetra doesn’t? Four more voices. and decay/release — usually the four mosttweaked settings in any patch. and USB for connection to your PC or Mac. extending well into the audio realm. and fat as the others. and envelopes are digital. club-oriented sounds. each sequence can have a different number of steps. attack. LFO rate. the Tetra is packed with sounds ranging from legendary vintage patches like the ELP “Lucky Man” square wave glide and Van Halen “I’ll Wait” brass to modern. a keyboard. and is flanked by a semi-circle of LEDs that indicate which voices are in use. We’ve posted an MP3 of some of the highlights in the online version of this review at keyboardmag. Both VCOs (voltage controlled oscillators). Unlike the Prophet and Mopho. I NEED TO KNOW Is it fully analog? Tetra’s audio signal path — the DCOs. say. and when feedback or sub-oscillators aren’t involved. it’s just a testament to the Tetra’s unprecedented value. In fact. lots more knobs. What does the Tetra have that the Prophet doesn’t? Sub-oscillators and a feedback loop back into the filter. Also. positive or negative sawtooth. so you unplug it to turn it off. Step sequencers. the Tetra omits the Mopho’s external input. with stylistic emphasis on progressive. a Pro version adds librarian features and other amenities for $39. cutoff. tech. there’s no power switch. Any two-oscillator. so you can’t process external audio through it. These are a total knockout.
4 Want a 30-foot grand? Increase the string length. 6 Four pedals — damper. Various historical tuning temperaments are tucked away in a menu. A pinpoint EQ gives you more control still. Pianoteq
(reviewed June ’07) aimed to change all that. but even Standard has extensive options for placing virtual mics around the virtual piano (see Figure 1 on page 63). Now. hammer hardness. this piano has four pedals. $480 street. pianoteq. Modartt tells us their “C3” sound is in fact modeled on a Steinway. C3 and M3. I’m not sure what the M3 is based on.com Pianists are obsessive about tone. using the magic of physical modeling and additive synthesis to give musicians a software piano so adjustable as to be a sort of piano physics construction kit. you’re pretty much stuck with whatever piece of furniture happens to be available. PROGRAMMABILITY Almost every aspect of the tone is under your control: string length. but it has a
0 1. including one that permits staccato playing but with the lingering harp resonance you’d get with the sustain pedal down.
PROS No sample loops. In Pro’s Note Edit window. The velocity curve can be programmed. 2 0 1 0
. MAIN SOUNDS Pianoteq comes with two modeled grand pianos. INFO Standard: $349 list/approx. In Standard. 5 This button opens the mic placement window. Standard to Pro upgrade: $225. In Pianoteq Pro. $300 street. and no-damper staccato. Does all this tweakability translate into a realistic sound and playing experience? Let’s find out. only volume and detuning are programmable per
note. crank up the unison width.000 VPiano (reviewed Sept. ’09). and with good reason: We can do so little to control it! Other than bringing in a different piano (if you’re playing a concert) or having your technician do some regulation and voicing (if it’s your piano). and though they sound similar. sostenuto. The only other virtual piano that gives you this level of control is Roland’s $6.GEAR
M O DA R T T P I A N OT E Q P R O
Modeling or sampling? Sound off on our forums at keyboardmag.com.
MODARTT PIANOTEQ PRO
by Jim Aikin
HANDS-ON 1 You get a handy MIDI file player/recorder in the standalone version. CONS Release velocity sensing could be improved. of course. and much more. Historical tunings. the Pro version goes a giant step further: You can control the 22 voicing parameters separately for each key on the keyboard. Highly programmable. 2 Select presets from this menu. Adjustable mic placement. Pro: $559 list/approx. the amount of time it takes the dampers to fall back onto the strings. Can produce both realistic and exotic tones. I happen to own a Yamaha C3 grand. and audio recording. you can do it per key. you can control many more harmonics. 3 For a honky-tonk effect. unison detuning. which are very handy. 7 These sliders control the loudness of each of the first eight harmonics. No unwanted tonal differences between key ranges and velocities. The standalone version sports a MIDI file recorder/player. What’s more. Noteby-note editing. una corda.
2 0 1 0
. adjust the lid. though we do know Modartt worked with an actual CP-80. mezzo. and a slight amount of octave stretching can compensate for inharmonic overtones. and direct sound duration. chorus. If you know how pianos are tuned. I found that boosting both string length and low EQ gave me more of the rich tone of a nine-foot grand.com
Fig. Also on offer is an attempt to model a Yamaha CP-80 electric grand. and the amount of effect the una corda
NEED TO KNOW What is it? A software piano that creates sound exclusively by modeling — no samples! Runs on: Mac/Windows/Linux. hidden in the Effects section. Pro lets you tweak each one of those per key. Optional add-ons include “Rhody” (tine) and “Wurly” (reed) electric pianos. Direct sound duration is not something you can adjust on a real piano: It’s the amount of time the modeled strings take to transition from the full-bodied tone at the beginning of the string’s vibration to the somewhat thinner tone that sustains afterward. and something called the quadratic effect. standalone. • New UI with large color LCD and 8 knobs and sliders • Xpanded Articulation Synth engine with 355 MB of wave ROM • Studio style mixing environment with Virtual Circuitry Modeling effects • 4 intelligent Arpeggiators with instant Performance Recording • Integrated Sampling Sequencer with 1 GB of optional memory • Total Computer Integration and Cubase AI software included
©2009 Yamaha Corporation of America www. hammer strike point. What’s the difference between Pro and Standard? Standard lets you tweak 22 separate tone and behavior settings. richer tone. making the outer octaves sound more in tune. and limiter. or boost the 5th harmonic to add clang. which causes louder hammer strokes to produce slightly different overtones.yamaha. Computer connectivity and Cubase AI software expand your possibilities. VST. damping duration. octave stretching.deeper.motifator. Really. has sliders for damper position. Unlike the others. 1. AU. string length (shorter bass strings produce more inharmonicity in the overtones). Performance Recording with 4 intelligent arpeggiators instantly capture your ideas. pedal has can all be adjusted here. and vibraphone. Is there a downloadable demo? Yes. Even in Pianoteq Standard. TUNING The Tuning panel has sliders for unison width. the loudness of the sympathetic resonance and duplex scale. In the Voicing panel. say. Built-in effects: Room/hall reverb. An Integrated Sampling Sequencer with studio style mixing and VCM effects let you create complete MIDI/audio productions. Seven sliders in the Design panel control soundboard impedance (how fast the soundboard absorbs string vibrations). With the NEW direct to USB stereo recording feature making great sounding music has never been easier. The basic Pianoteq install includes demos so you can check these out. VOICING This is where it gets really deep. boost the fundamental for more body.com
www. and forte keystrokes. RTAS. Got surround? You can send the five different mics to different output channels. the first two will make sense: Some tuners deliberately set the unisons so that a given note’s multiple strings beat slowly against one another for a richer sound. Hammer noise. this one didn’t sound as realistic to my ears. sliders for the first eight overtones let you. Both Pianoteq Standard and Pro let you move virtual mics around the piano. ACTION SETTINGS The Action panel. you can adjust hammer hardness separately for piano. Weirdest parameter: You can adjust the speed of sound.
0 1. the key number of the last damper (above which the strings will
Xpanded Articulation sounds inspire your creativity. or choose a binaural (human head) listening configuration. cutoff and Q factor (which work vaguely like a lowpass synth filter).
after which I overdubbed the release noise can be MIDI-controlled or cello. In order to produce a glitch-free sound. key sonata. but I’m about 95% convinced.com. or even classical chamber The spectrum (overtone) editing of music. Pianoteq Pro lets you adjust each parameter. and with an editable releasePianoteq Pro on my Windows XP velocity map. in the detachable Note Edit window. be it a jazz group. I was so inspired by Pianoteq’s tone that I cal results. not believe it. It’s adjust its overtones. CONCLUSIONS Does it really sound like a piano? Yes. When the release noise is responding realistically to Steinberg Cubase 4. pop ballad.5 worked as expected. and sustain pedal noise. However. your change will apply change on a real piano). 2 0 1 0
. the d kt On th ﬂ th desktop or i a rack. key by key. 2. so you can have several pianist tell the difference between Pianopen at once. and you click on any key to with it. or grab a handle to adjust a whole listening test? Yes — but in any kind of range at once. For more musi. I’m still not 100% convertical bars in the display correspond vinced that you could get away with not to the keys but to the overtone recording a close-miked Chopin Ballade series.
M MF-101 L Lowpass Filter F
Fig.0GHz Intel Core Duo processor. Pianoteq will fool most listeners individual keys is a bit different: The most of the time. Note Edit windows are realistic. Automation of parameters in controls the damper duration. a smoothing tools are included. automate these two paramecouldn’t resist laying down the beginning ters separately in your sequencer. key release across the keyboard. in k Moogerfooger effects processors are the secret weapons of top musicians and producers worldwide. This means that in just stupidly good. Could a conservatory-trained detachable. and the CPU hit of all the realrelease velocity by getting louder and time number-crunching involved in physisofter. two or more keys. so you get smooth transitions improved. This noise doesn’t have the across the keyboard. NOTE EDIT absolutely. but when you edit noise. half a second or keyboardmag. Randomization and ensemble recording. you can adjust all overtones. If you be undamped — another thing you can’t only edit one key. mechanical complexity of the key release on a real piano — it just kind of thumps. Things like the envelope Pianoteq Pro’s interface for editing spedecay and the delicate interplay of overcific keys is simple and elegant (see Figtones in the bass strings are extremely ure 2 above). more may pass before you hear a parameter change reflected in new notes.GEAR
M O DA R T T P I A N OT E Q P R O
O the ﬂoor. Check out the audio example at automated in your host. You can edit one note at a oteq and a Steinway in a double-blind time.
M MF-102 R Ring M Modulator
MF-103 12-Stage Phaser
M MF-104Z A Analog Delay D
M MF-107 FreqBox F
0 1. of the piano part of a Brahms cello Like Pianoteq’s other parameters. Pianoteq interpolates Key release noise is one of the few what the overtones in between should areas where I feel Pianoteq could be be. the dampers will fall back onto the cal modeling wasn’t too bad on the strings much too slowly at all but the highest release velocities. Key Buy? You’d better Pro. just the first eight as in Standard. this map also machine. IN USE This noise responds to MIDI release I had no trouble installing and running velocity.2.
It’s equally at home on the ﬂoor. it also sports an extensive MIDI implementation. In addition to the full range of Control Voltage inputs. Control front panel knob settings with MIDI CC messages and play the ﬁlters in real-time with MIDI Note On commands. resonant.
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95 list/$500 street. I thought the 40mm sliders felt jerky. They’re speed-sensitive. A slider has to hit the current value of whatever it’s controlling before changing it. me too. Once I had them controlling stuff. I grabbed my 61-key review unit at either end and twisted my hands in opposite directions. The keyboard itself retains the old Axiom’s piano-shaped keys.] You’re a keyboardist. Synthogy Ivory. because programming your keyboard’s MIDI controls to work reliably with your DAW and plug-ins sucks more. Meet Control Surface
by Stephen Fortner PROS HyperControl works very well with supported software.com [Street prices are approximate. transport. The drum pads are larger and feel better than those on both the Novation SL Mk. “No way can you write smooth automation with these. Can send QWERTY shortcuts.com!
M-AUDIO AXIOM PRO
Keys. m-audio. I could change values by one increment per metronome beat! The original Axiom’s sliders are much looser. not a mixing control surface. Keyboard strikes good balance between piano chunkiness and synth speed. Rubbery end blocks reduce the guilt of setting your keyboard end-up on the pavement while closing the car trunk. 61 keys: $699. you keep doing it. CONTROL Though 20 of the 50 memory slots have presets for major DAWs and soft synths. INFO 25 keys: $499. The big deal. .GEAR
M-AU DIO AXIOM PRO
Does your keyboard double as your DAW controller? Tell us about your setup on the forums at keyboardmag.95 list/$600 street. Does it deliver? HARDWARE HIGHLIGHTS This is one solid slab. is HyperControl. deep editing of each control’s behavior. my opinion changed. and have a molasses-like resistance that can actually make your moves more precise. At first. and 50 memory slots to store setups. Yeah . 2 0 1 0
. . To test the rigidity. It has all you’d expect from a full-featured MIDI controller: four key zones. though. You create splits and layers by striking low and high keys for each zone. CONS HyperControl mapping can be inconsistent in third-party plug-ins.” I worried. so it’s a keyboard that sits between your speakers. 49 keys: $599. II and Akai MPK series. for starters. AC adaptor for use without USB power not included. The idea is that it just works — for mixing. Enter the Axiom Pro. and the four graphical keyboards on the LCD make this as intuitive as anything I’ve tried. and plugins — with no programming required. which avoids unwanted parameter jumps. and keyscanning (the electronics looking at the keyboard to see if you do something) is faster. You can really hear the playability benefit with any instrument that uses a lot of velocity layers — say. As much as mixing and tweaking plug-ins with a mouse sucks.95 list/$400 street.
0 1. Deeply programmable. It didn’t flex a bit. With practice. but aftertouch is more predictable.
The Axiom Pro was best at this sort of “group management” with the supported DAWs’ included plug-ins. undo. wiggle that” MIDI learn. A soft button steps through further pages of that plug-in’s settings. but if
Fig. 5 Sliders have more resistance than the old Axiom. letting the numeric keypad and drum pads send whatever MIDI messages are determined by the current “regular” preset. almost always mapping things in such a logical way that there’d have been no gain in programming it myself. Pro Tools 8) can stop HC from working.4). and all flavors of Pro Tools. and Live was almost as gratifying. Maybe it’s no surprise that everything was peachy in Pro Tools. you can toggle which control group it loads settings for: keypad. A cool thing is that when you load a preset. This lets you mix and match existing presets. solo. you can definitely tell a difference. Installing one in a host that doesn’t need it (e. 3 When HyperControl is active. 1. 8 Velocity-sensitive drum pads feel great. and are bigger than anything we’ve seen on a keyboard. Of course. banking.GEAR
HANDS-ON 1 Included presets let these buttons (or the drum pads) send QWERTY shortcuts — switch arrange and mixer views. HYPERCONTROL M-Audio’s website has great PDFs that show how to set your DAW preferences to use HyperControl (see Figure 1 above). I sometimes had to step through pages of settings to find ones I wanted. a weightier keyboard. not in HC. but I was surprised that performance in Logic. are smooth. which could be useful if you’ve spent time creating templates for your favorite plugs.. Most surprising feature: HyperControl lets you tweak plug-ins whose windows are closed!
0 1.g. save. updating the knobs as you go. and a cool hydraulic feeling when you move them. Reason.com).. the buttons just below them. a soft synth’s oscillator has seven controls and it makes more sense to begin the filter stuff on the next page. and HC releases control of everything but the NEED TO KNOW What does the Pro have that the base Axiom doesn’t? HyperControl. Does it run on USB power? Yes. etc. With the Axiom Pro hooked up via USB. with abbreviated names for the first eight parameters showing up on the Axiom Pro’s LCD. Third-party plugs were hit-or-miss. the point of HyperControl is that you shouldn’t need to invest that time. and unlike the original Axiom. What is HyperControl? M-Audio’s way of turning the Axiom Pro into a control surface for DAWs and plug-ins. record-arm. Every plug-in I tried got fully mapped. Logic. HC doesn’t make you load presets. Engage it. 2 Faster keyscanning makes for smoother velocity response. F1 (Mode) is the magic button that makes the knobs control the virtual instrument on the currently-selected track. say. Reason and Pro Tools 7. and mute worked instantly and consistently. something like “HyperControl In” and “HyperControl Out” should show up in your DAW’s appropriate preferences dialogue. and/or drum pads.
a plug had tons of parameters. For some hosts (e. Cubase. That ability lives in these presets. you’ll need to download a “HyperControl personality” (insert joke about boss or in-law here). without you having to program stuff. especially with sounds like piano and EP. the knobs. Such plug-ins are better served by programming a quick template using good old “click this. these are “regular” MIDI templates for when you’re not using HyperControl (HC from here on). so check first! HyperControl takes over the sliders. and the transport. You might see less than eight if. 2 0 1 0
. What software does HyperControl work with right now? Live. and want to grab crucial control areas for several in the heat of a project. track select. sliders-plusbuttons. Sliders do track volume. Does the keyboard feel better? Side by side with an original Axiom. Cubase. In my tests (every supported DAW on Mac and PC). this button switches the knobs between controlling stuff in the DAW mixer (like pans) and stuff in your plug-ins. though it works at the same time as HC. which is where HyperControl’s Transport Only mode comes in. and speedsensitive sliders. knobs. not clicky. a much more informative graphic LCD. Here are correct settings for Pro Tools (top) and Logic (bottom).g. and was very stable in our tests. 4 LCD continuously updates to show the status of the last control you touched. 7 Dedicated transport controls include a loop mode button. Reason. and knobs default to track pan. You may have heard that the Axiom Pro can send QWERTY shortcuts from the numeric buttons or drum pads (find a tutorial on this in the April ’09 issue and at keyboardmag. 6 Eight knobs are endless. it’s simply active if your DAW is set to use it (see below).
and each track’s Channel EQ. In Logic. You can even instantiate plug-ins right from the Axiom Pro. Whichever vibe is more you. you get separate LCD soft buttons for editing inserts. II (reviewed July ’09). Getting to them varies slightly from host to host. . though this is one of the rare tasks where I still reach for the mouse. If you have a supported DAW and can spend a little time weaning yourself off mouse and QWERTY. The SL has touch-sensitive controls.
0 1. But HC’s “plumbing” is simpler — it doesn’t create wrapped duplicates of your plug-ins. HC also controls effect plug-ins. Where Automap has a cool onscreen window to show control mappings. HyperControl uses the knobs for everything plug-in related. .GEAR
transport buttons to whatever “regular” MIDI preset is loaded. which I think is a good thing. This is the smartest MIDI controller M-Audio has ever made. period. Just sayin’. CONCLUSIONS The Axiom Pro manages to stuff most of a good DAW control surface into a keyboard. it feels more like an extra layer of software. HyperControl will likely get your hands off your mouse and onto your music faster. You can swap the knobs’ and faders’ roles. and that the price makes it a Key Buy. as sometimes I wanted to retain HyperControl of my mix while letting the knobs do what I’d programmed. sends. so a lot of the difference here comes down to “vibe. and street prices of the two lines are close. even when the thingy onscreen is a toggle or button. Because Automap is
M-AU DIO AXIOM PRO
designed to work across most of Novation’s hardware.” HC’s vibe is more direct. there’s no question that the Axiom Pro’s features and performance make it a world-leading MIDI keyboard. The other is the Novation SL Mk. Unless you settle for Transport Only mode. as they’re busy with track select and other HC tasks. Hardware differences are a Mercedes-BMW comparison: Both have great actions with aftertouch. making surprisingly few compromises along the way. HC doesn’t need one. Automap does let you make custom assignments without popping back to regular MIDI mode like on the Axiom Pro. Now if M-Audio really wants to devour some market share. HyperControl delivers similar results to Novation Automap. for example. the buttons under the sliders aren’t an option. I do wish there were a “Sliders and Transport Only” mode. Where Automap (the Pro version in particular) is more powerful for creating monster multicontroller setups. you’ll need to program a numeric keypad button or drum pad manually. you’ll positively fly in a couple of weeks. the Axiom Pro’s LCD updates to reflect the slightest nudge. they’ll do an Axiom Pro 88 with a great weighted action. . but to control an onscreen button with a physical one. and one of the two smartest out there. and its Peek function lets you see what controls do without nudging them. M-Audio’s keys are piano-shaped and Novation’s are synthshaped. 2 0 1 0
. HC just feels like what the Axiom Pro does.
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How was it created? Samples were recorded in studios. you’re getting a lot of bonus space for other libraries. Morphestra isn’t about usual suspects such as orchestral brass. Since it takes up just over 27GB. woodwinds. The Instrumentals are less complex but just as animated. Finally. interface. so if the street is in Hollywood. Rupert Gregson-Williams. which results in some timbral redundancy. Euphoric. Pro Audio. or video game composer looking for modern. evocative material. classical guitar. You can literally hit any combination of keys in nearly any order and generate minutes of mind-blowing aural scenery.com U. it serves up an epic collection that’s anything but traditional. and more. VST.GEAR
Scoring From a Synthetic Pit
by Jason Scott Alexander
SAMPLE LOGIC MORPHESTRA
NEED TO KNOW Who’s this for? Any film. What sets these programs apart from the rest is their deep internal movement and complex. bowed and struck orchestral percussion. TV. mvproaudio. scraped and reversed transitions. Simple interface with easy controls for morphing. David Lawrence. harp. samplelogic. and so on. Sounds come in three top-level categories: Atmospheres. music box. conveying a sense of blurred emotion. With five tabs of more than 40 onscreen performance and effects parameters to pick from on the clean and simple
0 1. offering some of the most inspiring and relevant modern cinematic material I’ve heard in any synth or sample library.” for instance. metal and bamboo flutes. Mood-based preset organization is intuitive. Kontakt’s advanced scripting is leveraged to create exciting morphed material that you can further sculpt. and FW800 and USB2 connections. world and symphonic drum loops. in a stepping Wavestation-esque sort of way.V. Capable of huge textures right out of the box.S. If you can’t whip up a killer score to any edgy film. evolving nature. powerful. containing around 230 presets grouped in subcategories such as Dark ’n’ Scary. vibe. chimes. In “Days of Old. You get imaginatively tweaked renditions of solo and ensemble strings. harpsichord. edgy. CONS Not as many electro beats as in previous Sample Logic libraries. machine shops. warehouses. Developed in association with Kirk Hunter Studios. banjo. and more. Can the included hard drive keep up with high track counts? Absolutely. and Percussives. 2 0 1 0
. ideal for initially building the mood of a piece. Morphestra truly impresses.
PROS Diverse. you’re set. Mystery/Suspense. RTAS. woven between droning organ and reversed string loops. While the 225 main Instrumental patches loosely run the gamut of what you’d expect. AU. concert halls. In the Percussives category are hundreds of dynamic impact sequences. The Atmospheres bin is arguably the
crown jewel. dist. Some redundancy in Instrumentals bank. Instrumentals. INFO $699 list. altered and prepared instruments. What about street cred? Multis were programmed by Mark Isham. Clavinet. TV drama. Included hard drive means near-zero install time and no impact on storage space. and Bill Brown. but Morphestra will ship on a 160GB drive by the time you read this. Disturbed. too. there does seem to be a lot of repurposing from the same few dozen multisample sets.200rpm SATA-II drive with 8MB cache. bus power. and natural habitats all over the world. sitar. maybe gear isn’t the problem. over 130 jaw-dropping multis amount to ready-made soundtracks in construction kit form. Still. by M. Morphestra itself is powered by Native Instruments Kontakt Player 3 (standalone. Creators of electronic and experimental music will find a lot to love here. random phrases of mournful sax are seamlessly. almost incidentally. all the patches are individually compelling.com Morphestra puts a fresh spin on how we view and approach orchestral film scoring. relevant sounds. Under the hood is 7. Likewise. or video game with this bad boy on hand. My copy came pre-installed on a Glyph 80GB PortaGig hard drive. or legato strings — all you get here is a trio of Kirk Hunter bonus programs. a built-in arpeggiator/gater is the secret weapon behind tempo-synced layers that give movement to many of the melodic instruments. DXi).
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Ensoniq MR-61 above Fender Chroma Polaris.
Fisher SC-300 boom box with built-in SCK-30 “Stereo Music Composer” keyboard.” says Warfus. Right rack includes (top to bottom): Akai S2000 sampler. Yamaha CS1X and DX7.GEEK OUT
S U P E R STU D I O S
SYNTH HEAVEN IN THE 805
Warfus “Moon” Powell plays keyboards in San Luis Obispo-based Urban 805. and Korg Wavestation.com/synthheaven. top to bottom: Roland E-5. Stephen Fortner
Keyboards. clockwise from rear: Roland Fantom above Yamaha Motif 8. I’m 52 and own 75 synths. and Korg O1R/W.” Since we can’t fit all 75 on this page. “I see you have a section where people show off their rigs.
Just one of Warfus’ many stacks of synths. Roland D-550 and JV-1080. with PC and Yamaha NS-10M speakers on top.com. Atop left rack: Yamaha AW2816 hard disk recorder. Kurzweil 1000SX string expander. “A sequencer with an eight-pattern memory stores just over 500 notes.com. one of the most enduring smooth jazz combos on California’s central coast. we put the full list and more photos at keyboardmag. Yamaha S80 above Kurzweil K250. Visit Warfus at myspace. Warfus sent us a brief MySpace message that read.
Roland Super JX in grand piano shell. The small line mixer atop the JX’s panel is for the Yamaha TG-33 and E-mu Proteus 2000 modules hiding in the shell. and his band at urban805. and would love to get in your mag before I’m 53 — or own 76. He’s also built live speaker cabinets for Rick Wakeman of Yes. 2 0 1 0
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