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Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer,TB-3, VT3 Sam Ash

March 24, 2014 1 comment

Roland TR-8 overview with TB-3 and VT-3 VIDEO

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Roland TR-8

The Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer

Sam Ash Huntington hosts Roland’s Demo Day as Dave Dickerson stops by to run through the features of the new AIRA line. TR-8 Rhythm Performer, TB-3 Touch Bassline and VT-3 Voice Transformer.

Studio AVX and the Roland TR-8

 Sound examples from the Roland AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer

 

Kit samples captured through USB. Elements normalized and fed into Propellerhead Recycle 2.2.4 and exported as individual slices.

Drum kits were left at default positions with no additional tweaks.

Some sounds, including High, Mid and Low Toms are excluded.

Sound Manipulation Examples :

 Tuning a Kick

Kick sample is started at 0%, 9, midnight, 3 pm and 100% or 6

Decays a Kick 1 and 2

Tune 12 O’clock

Attack at 0%

Compression at 12o’clock

Snare Tune + Snare Snaps

Taken through six positions and captured

Tune and Compression at 12. Decay at 0
Snare Decay

Tune, Compression and Snap at 12.

Taken through six positions and captured

http://www.StudioAVX.com Better Sounds for Beats

Producer’s Edge XC Subscribers have been sent a package containing all the audio samples and kits.

Check your email for download links.

*What’s an XC Subscriber?

Carving out space for Rap Vocals – MIXING TIPS

Sonnox drops some science….

Jonathan Roye at MixNotesTV has again come up with another nice quick tip. In this video he describes how to carve space out of a Hip Hop track for a Rap vocal.

This week I’ve got a quick tip for you. A subtle eq move for mixing rap vocals to a beat or 2 track mix.Throw on some headphones to really check this one out!

To learn more about the Oxford EQ go here:
http://www.sonnoxplugins.com/pub/plug…

Get in touch!
http://www.twitter.com/jroye82
http://www.facebook.com/mixnotestv
http://www.mixnotes.tv

Support Via Patreon!
http://www.patreon.com/jonathanroye

IsoBuster: Powerful Data Recovery Software Return of the ASR-10 Part II

January 2, 2014 1 comment

IsoBuster: Powerful Data Recovery Software

Return of the ASR-10 Part II

The tool for recovering and retrieving the difficult grabs.

–words by Drew Spence

IsoBuster Software

You recovery is covered

After replacing the floppy drive with an SD card reader, I needed a way to create the images of my floppy disk library so that they could be archived and later transferred to the SD disk- mounted in the ASR-10. The problem is, Ensoniq uses a unique file system that a standard PC floppy drive can’t read. The ‘image’ is a complete and exact copy of the floppy disk stored as a regular file on your PC  that can be moved around and manipulated like any other type of data. The ASR-10 will see this image and treat it like an actual floppy disk.

OmniFlop [that doesn’t flop like Reggie Miller]

We need to get Windows to see the floppy drive in an Ensoniq sort of way and so we replace the Windows drivers with the OmniFlop drivers.

[http://www.shlock.co.uk/Utils/OmniFlop/OmniFlop64.htm]

[Griffin’s note: make sure you grab the right drivers for your system. 32 or 64bit]

We had to put in a little extra work to circumvent the Windows 7 driver system, but that process went off without a hitch. You can find out the Whys and Hows on that same Omniflop website under Overview. With the new drivers working, I basically have an ASR-10 floppy drive on my PC.

Enter the Iso

For a very reasonable $39.95 USD, you get a robust and feature laden software recovery tool. It can pull from CD/DVD, Hard Drives, USB Flash drives, Zip drives and on and on. Mind you, I had tried just about every free solution out there, including some recommended by the hardware manufacturers themselves, but none worked. I mostly got two errors No floppy in the device or continuous prompts for formatting. Not good. I spent hours trawling through forums and always saw damaged hardware as the suggested problem. I know my floppy drive worked fine on the PC and I know my floppies had projects on them.

On one site, IsoBuster was suggested as an end all-be all solution and I realized I never thought about using recovery software to get my images made from the ASR-10 floppies. IsoBuster saw my disks and made images easily. The newest update, which is 3.3 reads the ASR-10 formatted Disks and creates an image that is 1,600 KB. That means everything is there and the job is done. They have full instructions on their site and have tech support should you need any help with their products. Now that I have this tool, I’m digging through all my old CDs and DVD+Rs that wouldn’t mount and getting back my lost files. Life is good. http://www.isobuster.com/isobuster.php Demo version is available.

ASR 10 FlexiDrive Installation and Notes

December 24, 2013 3 comments

FloppyEmulator.com Return of the Ensoniq ASR-10

Part I: FlexiDrive

Harden your Hardware and forget your Floppy – words by Drew Spence

FlexiDrive

FlexiDrive Multi-Volume mounting mission

They don’t make them like this anymore. We turn back to a time when a sampler meant you recorded audio and created…samples. The Advanced Sampling Recorder is a classic piece pulled from the days of hardware-only, in a time when a collection of crates was known as your soundbank. Writer Sean Maru has covered the ASR-10 in great detail in his Vintage Series article in issue 01 (page 35).  Here, we take a look at ‘dropping the floppy’ and adding a more modern storage system to the ASR-10.

FloppyEmulator.com is all about replacing the floppy drive on your machine with USB and SD mounted media. They cover a wide range of brands, including Kawai, KORG, Yamaha and Roland.

[More info here: http://www.floppyemulator.com/category/applications/musical-instruments/]

For this article, I will focus on my own experience with the ASR-10. I chose the $385.00 USD FlexiDriveMV-SD, which is a multi-volume SD card-reading drive. I could have also chosen the USB reader for the same functionality and cost. The idea is to have EVERY floppy disk saved on a single SD card (including the O.S. Disk). They boast a single card solution can store up to 2,500 Disks and that’s more than enough.

Faceplate and Facepalms

Firstly the disclaimer: Producer’s Edge Magazine is in no way suggesting you follow this article or video as an instructional guide and is not responsible for any damage to you or your equipment. Maintenance and upgrades should only be done by qualified persons and any attempted alterations may void your warranty.

My package from FloppyEmulator.com arrived shortly and included a nice SD card reader and a 4 Gigabyte Kingston SD card.

There are numerous screws on the bottom of the ASR-10. I removed these to lift the faceplate and get access to the internals.

ASR-10

ASR-10 Internals

b-drives-fit-same-way

The FlexiDrive sits in the same bay and connects to the exact same cables from the floppy drive. I took pictures as a reference to see how everything was connected. I also took note that the ASR-10 was upside down, so the drive bay would be installed upside down. Although the FlexiDrive came with proper mounting screws, I reused the ASR’s screws. I used two different screw drivers, a normal Phillips for the body screws and a smaller PC Phillips-head driver for the smaller screws that secure the drive’s mounting bay. Since the holes are in a tight space, I used tweezers to hold the screw in place and then screwed down from the space above, in the drive mount’s frame.

ASR-10 Internals

ASR-10 getting Screwed

d-Hold-in-palce e-Screwing-inmplce

Once secured, I only used a few bodily screws to put the faceplate back on since I wanted to make sure the new drive worked before closing up the ASR-10. Nuts! The drive powered up, but the ASR didn’t see it. I opened her back up and re-secured the drives’ connecting ribbon and voila, we are in business. Oh wait! I forgot to make an image of the O.S. Disk before removing the floppy bay. No problem, you can find ASR-10 Operating Disk images on the internet in various places.

AND HERE: http://www.ProducersEdgeMagazine.com/griffinavid/asrosimage.zip

When I start the ASR-10, she tunes the keyboard and then asks for the systems disk. I use the browser on the front of the new FlexiDrive and load the image of the O.S. floppy and the ASR-10 boots up.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this purchase and the tech support from FloppyEmulator.com. It’s a relatively expensive solution, but when weighed against the cost, concern and hassle of maintaining an extensive library of floppy disks, it’s more than worth it. FloppyEmulator.com

**** NOTE: You can load an image of your ASR-10 Operating Disk and save it to the INTERNAL DRIVE of the FlexiDrive and load that image first upon start up.

This means you can skip the step I show of loading your ASR-10 O.S. Image every time you start the ASR-10. This is much better solution. The instructions are located in chapter 2 of the Settings & Functions pdf.

Alternatives Storage Recommendations -10 (well, maybe two, not ten)

There are other solutions for working with a single loading floppy bay emulator. The HxC Floppy Emulator is a hardware unit designed to retro-fit and can be found on a few sites and eBay for ~$70.USD

There are numerous USB to Floppy drives available, ranging from $30 to $60 USD. These work for normal PC floppy drive operations but DO NOT work for reading/writing/emulating our specialized drives and their formats.

My modern PC [Griffin Avid edit: It’s really old, but runs Windows 7 just fine] doesn’t have a floppy bay/drive so I decided to visit the nearest mom & pop computer store and pick one up for $15 USD. I had old spare ribbons sitting around and luckily, my mother board had the right slots. The next mission is to archive all of my old floppy disks, on my PC and then transfer them to the SD card reader on the ASR-10. isoBuster is next.

Setting Goals as a Producer

May 17, 2013 1 comment

Forum hound Griffin Avid chimes in over at FutureProducers and drops a gem or two…

A poster named Benjah had this thought and question…

Music Production Producer at console

Without a definite end, you may find yourself at the beginning.

Setting Goals as a producer.

So my summer has started and I am trying to Create a goal and a Plan for improving my production skills.

My only problem is the goal is extremely fuzzy. ” Considerably improve production skills.”

All research suggests that goals are best set as Specific Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Time-Framed statements.

So how do i go about Making a Goal like this for production? What do you guys do? What is your goal setting process like? And while your here you can also give me some general suggestions on the process of improvement.

What is your goal setting process like?
=============================================================================
So how do i go about Making a Goal like this for production?
I say if your goal involves becoming a better producer, you need to do some producing.
Make your end goal to produce a real record by summer’s end.
If that’s the finish line; to release a project, then you can work backwards, step by step figuring out what you need to do and be doing week by week, day by day.

I don’t know too many people who just keep getting better and better (forever).
I know early on, it’s technical concerns…how do I…what fixes….what’s the best…
But after that, it’s all what you choose to do….
and I don’t think you make better choices without EXPERIENCE.

What I see are artists who always like their newest stuff more so they think they are improving-
when really they are just staying in the same place, which is slightly behind the curve.
When strings were poppin, they made 100 beats with strings….
When 808s were what’s up, they made 100 beats with 808s…..
When trap beats are….you get the idea…that guy will always be following the current trend trying to be relevant and always remaking his catalog.

That is also close to eras, like when you kept making the same kind of beats….and then you switch up. It’s possible that people could like a certain style of tracks more, but you don’t really find that out till you get out there and show some consistency.

What do you guys do?
First, pick your lane/direction. Understand that your goal is to be the best (you can be) in that direction.
I say you get past the technical concerns.
Can you make music? You got that part down yet?
Next, grab some acapellas and make some remixes.
Mostly, it’s about working with vocals. If that’s what’s at the end, why spend all your time playing around with loose beats and unfinished instrumentals?
Make some songs with other rapper’s vocals. That is the process.
You’ll learn to work harder and construct bridges, hooks, intros, outros, variations and you have the original track as a bar to rise to.
Not only can you share that music as a primer for what’s to come, you can use that feedback (FROM A LOT OF [regular = not other producers] PEOPLE) to figure out your weak/strong areas.
Real data on what works and what doesn’t.

Your music needs to improve to the point where NO ONE has technical concerns and feedback is only like or dislike or they like one track better than another.
When people want copies of your music to listen to and rappers want to rhyme and make songs with them…
makes it pretty easy to figure out how close you are. People should like and want to listen to your remixes. Someone should suggest you send it to the artist.
Comments like that are your gauge. If everyone just says “That’s nice” or “That’s cool” you’re not done yet.

What is your goal setting process like?
I write a list and have documents called planners. Planners are outlines for projects [title, song names, artists, business ideas even a tally of money spent]
There is also a list I have with things to do. It’s on one sheet of paper and as I do something I cross it off. When I get everything done that can be done in a day, I can relax fully.
There are so many things to do, you can’t possibly carry them around in your head, you’ll need to write them down. One column might be small stuff and another might be far off stuff that needs prep time.

And while your here you can also give me some general suggestions on the process of improvement.
Honestly, the simplest one is to decide who your target audience is and expose yourself for feedback.
There’s no point to using your imagination. “Boy when they hear this…”
“This is something they ought to like” “I wonder if…”

I’ve already typed too much but there is a balance between pleasing yourself and pleasing others.
You can do both, but if you (mentally) can’t; then you should pick one and accept your decision (and its consequences and/or benefits) and keep it moving.

– Griffin Avid 2013

Sounds and Samples review Prime Loops Party Anthems – Electro Synth Sessions-EDM Essentials Progressive

Prime Loops: Samples and Loops review

Party Anthems – Electro Synth Sessions – EDM Essentials Progressive

words by Griffin Avid

Prime Loops hit us with 3 packages this week so we are going to go in and explore what’s on offer in a trifecta of producer tools. Firstly, these are packages in zip file format that are downloaded instantly once your order is placed. After unzipping, you are usually presented with two main folders; one is MacOSX and the other PC. They can be ordered specifically as WAV, Apple Loops, Rex2Loops, Ableton Live packs and as Reason Refills. 24bit, 44100

 

Prime Loops Party ANthems

Party People Proper Props

Party Anthems ~ $27.80

In sub-folders you’ll receive 44 Basslines, 22 drum loops, 10 synth chords and 47 Synth Leads. Under one shots you also get about a dozen hits of every category including kicks, snares, hats, percs, claps and even a combination of kick and snare layered together. The Vocal FX loops and vocal one-shots (about 8 each) range from the sweeps used in breakdowns to little snippets of vox with delay effects.

The Synth Chords are several bars of a melody ready to be dropped straight into a mix by a live DJ. In the studio, you would need to build counter or additional melodies or use these longer loops with generous effects to add variation. They are straight [No chops] synth lines with the only accents being slight note bendings as if they were played from a touch pad like a KORG Kaossilator, iPad or Moog Voyager. Only a few have alternate versions, as in ‘this one is verse and this one is for choruses.

On both synth chords and Synth Leads, you’ll get BPM and key so working out the rest of the tune won’t be a guessing game. I’m going to suggest Party Anthems as being more pitched towards live DJs and remixers than producer-in-the-studio only because this is an offering of ‘perfect as they are’ elements and they have the polished sheen of effects already added. The drum sounds and one-shots are obviously meant to be added your arsenal of EDM sounds & kits. As a push for someone who creates much of their material from scratch, it would be the mission to change the small elements, like chord stabs or note pitches (a bit of work) or simply be inspired by the melodies and recreate or build off the ideas presented here.

http://primeloops.com/party-anthems.html

 

Prime Loops Electro Synth Sessions

Elite Electro Elections

Electro Synth Sessions ~ $26.25

 

The package starts as three folders of 43 Basslines, 19 combined synth loops (layered mix of bass + synth [more on that later]) and 148 synth loops of chord progressions. The basslines have that signature rezzed-dub-chopper feel that needs little more than a breakdown and backing drums to get you going. There are 8 main bassline groves with 5 or 6 variations. As a producer, you would build your arrangement with these variations and have the main elements of your track already lain out. Nice. The first loop is the main verse type pattern and the following set of loops grows to become more twisted and affected. These 148 loops are based on approximately 13 different foundations. This means you’d have (potentially) 13 different songs with a great number of similar, 2-bar length alternates. In the studio, it would be easy to create your song by stringing these loops together and spending your time on the total arrangement, like breakdowns and other effect (post) processing.

In a live context, this is more about a single song (of yours) being broken down into pieces and triggered on the fly. Although I really love the sound design and quality of the engine behind Electro Synth Sessions, there is a little too much sameness going on across all the loops. It does sound like the same synth patch (with some modifications) was primarily used to create the chord progressions part of the library. That’s good news if you like ANY of the demo samples, but not so good if you were hoping this package would cover your next several releases. Your best bet- would be to buy several different Prime Loop products or space out your release schedule to avoid too similar a sound. There is a third folder called Combined Synth Loops that has, what feels like, a random bassline mixed with a random synth line. I took this folder as a hint as to what is possible when…well…when you combine the loops. To my ear at least, only some of the 19 combined loops sounded useable. The big hint seemed to be what I could do if I were to chop up the different bass and synth loops and re-arranged the parts into my own (totally) original tune.

The bassline loops have a nice range of character. Some are background foundation-type elements that you build on and others stand alone and might be suitable for other genres besides electro if tempo-adjusted. As good as some of those basslines are, I would say the highlights of this package are the 148 chord progression loops. Those are records in the making. Enough said.

http://primeloops.com/electro-synth-sessions.html

Prime Loops EDM Essentials progressive

Foundry of Foundations


EDM Essentials Progressive ~ $20.05

This is a package that offers constructions kits. This would be something close to entire songs broken down into loop-able parts and presented in various folders. You have 20 bass, 10 SFX, 20 Synth loops and also 8 folders of full drum loops- further broken down into isolated kick, snare and hat/perc loops. You also get one-shots of SFX, bass and drums as kits. There isn’t a huge selection of individual hits (between 4 and 8 of each), but it’s enough to sprinkle extra hits in any of the included drum loops to add variation or further add-ons for your growing EDM drum library.

The idea here is pretty straightforward. You can combine different loops and sub-loops from these folders and create your own variations. You can choose to use as little or as much of this library as you see fit. The synth loops are very nice but you only get one exact 2-bar loop so creating variations enough to fill out a whole song is somewhat of a challenge. I consider the music to be suited for bridges, hooks or some kind of drop. A sweep or gate effect could increase the usefulness, but I do wish some of these did have alternate versions.

And so, EDM Essentials Progressive offers some very nice bass and synth lines, but the real prize here are the drum loop elements. They have the potential to be a key piece of ear candy or simply a role player adding support to one of your productions. I would consider this library to be the most universal and adaptable. The term ‘essential’ is appropriate as it speaks to the kind of foundation this series could provide if added to inspire and push you along.

http://primeloops.com/edm-essentials-progressive.html

All and Overall

Prime Loops creates a strange paradox and circular relationship with the EDM world. These libraries and offerings are inspired by today’s top records and artists and at the same time provide the foundation for tomorrow’s hits. They come in at such a low price point, it makes sense to grab one when you need a little nudge of inspiration. Each package offers something for every production style and scenario. So far, Prime Loops has found that perfect balance between giving us too much help and supplying enough elements to gently guide an artist towards a creative end. You get to decide whether these are a trail of breadcrumbs, a roadmap or a compass.

 

Prime Loops extended information

Prime Loops provide award-winning sound libraries, fresh in tune with the evolving music scene. We are an extremely passionate team of engineers, sound designers & DJs, hailing from London, UK. All of our loops, samples, sounds and presets are completely royalty free and have been designed to give you instant inspiration for your music productions, scores, sync projects and a whole lot more!

http://primeloops.com/

Deconstructing the Construction Kit – Samples for music or sample-based music?

February 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Look and Listen! More lunacy with Loops

BFA Hands on Fantom

We have two articles on this subject already, but new questions about using royalty-free samples in the production system have come about. And so, how many samples may you sample before your song is no longer a song, but instead a series of samples? And more importantly, why does any of this matter?

Well this whole idea is personal and totally subjective. There is a reason each individual makes their own bar for considering when their art is their own.
I don’t walk down the purist path because there is always someone more PURE than you. And if you believe more pure is better than objectively, factually someone will ALWAYS be better than you. Even if their output is horrible by your own standards. It’s putting the Process before the Product.

For drums….we can create a line of thought that gets ridiculous but makes logical sense.
Guy A uses a step sequencer loaded with samples to make his drum pattern.
Guy B says A is not as good because he uses drum pads and really finger drums.
Guy C says B is not as good because his electronic drum set is more real playing than cheating with pads.
Guy D says C is not as good because he plays a real acoustic drum set.
Guy E says D is not as good because he samples real world noises and natural sounds and is more original than using something as limited and boring as a drum set.

Guy A loads D’s samples and creates a drum pattern…and somehow he’s the fake-est for doing so.

BFA Drive

Think of all the reasons for NOT using construction kits/samples/presets/templates etc……

1. Someday someone might use the same sound.
2. Someday someone might recreate my song on youtube and make it look easy.
3. Someday someone might sampleID one of my tracks
4. Someday someone might have a beat/track/song that sounds like mine.

And now deal with the reality that ALL of these are based on FEAR.
Afraid of how someone who is meaningless to you will think about you and your art.
This is a self-esteem issue when you only have imaginary confidence -based on what you think *might* happen in the future over your music.
As opposed to dealing with the reality of whether or not it’s WORKING FOR YOU.

Make music for money, hope it makes you rich.
Make music for fun, hope you’re having fun doing so.
Make music for no other reason than you are driven to do so, then I hope enough of the two previous reasons happen to sustain your desires.

BFA hands on controller

This (PURITY) is IMPORTANT as an INDIVIDUAL CHOICE is- it may well decide how far and how seriously you take your music.
If you INVEST yourself heavily (Money, Emotion, Time, and Effort) in your music, you are more likely to take your ambition to an end result.
Not saying the end will make you rich, famous, popular but it’s harder to walk away from something you care about.
And if your music is YOU, then you will care enough to do something with it.

Anyone can noodle, move some sounds around…press some buttons, slap some keys…
Mixdown, limiter, upload and post on a profile/forum.

Anyone can tear down that process. Criticize, belittle, analyze it…
What they can’t discredit is the effect and impact your music has on others.
That’s the part that isn’t subjective and determined by a peers opinion.

If you can accept that idea then you will realize the importance of picking a creative workflow and ethic that TOUCHES YOU FIRST so that you are inspired, no – DRIVEN to give your music a chance to touch others.

Griffin Avid is a Media Editor for Producer’s Edge Digital Magazine.

Production related videos http://www.Youtube.com/GriffinAvid

Previous articles dealing with using loops and samples in your music.

https://producersedge.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/using-construction-kits-in-your-production-loops-of-music-phrases-etc/

https://producersedge.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/drum-works-ii-the-ideology-of-loops/