When you think “keyboard,” you might think of a grand piano or Hammond organ, old-school analog synth or cutting-edge Korg digital workstation. But the possibilities for keyboard instruments go far beyond. Read More.
When playing keyboards, latency can refer to the delay between hitting a key and hearing the resulting sound. Just a little delay can derail your part. Read More.
Having an inspired idea is one thing, but actually recording great keyboard parts in the studio can be another. Here are seven tips to put you on the right track. Read More.
Jordan Rudess, keyboardist for Dream Theater and founder of Wizdom Music, gives us his picks and favorites in the ever growing world of music making apps for your mobile devices. Read More.
You can transform your mobile device into a Swiss army knife of synths and virtual musical instruments with these recommendations from Dream Theater keyboardist and musical entrepreneur, Jordan Rudess. Read More.
Game composer Tom Salta and music publisher Jake Versluis advise hooking up with a quality music publisher if you can – or making a strong pitch directly to game-makers if you can’t – but how do you approach either sort of party and get taken seriously? Here’s advice on how to pitch your music for video games. Read more.
Ever wonder who plays the Hollywood scores? Not so long ago, film scores were recorded in studios and on sound stages. These days, that brilliant score might not have been played by a live orchestra. Technology allows virtual instrument developers to create near-identical versions of real-life instruments. Read more.
MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a language by which computers, virtual instruments, and hardware samplers/synthesizers can communicate. There are a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts in the MIDI world, so let’s take a look at a few questions that I typically hear from first time users. Read more.
Synthesizers are musical instruments. You wouldn’t mic a drum set by taking the first mic you found and pointing it the general direction of the drummer. A little extra effort spent on avoiding unnatural sounds when mixing synths with acoustic instruments, improving expressiveness, and tightening timing inconsistencies can help you get the most out of your virtual synths. Read More.
The technical elements of a live performance have changed dramatically over the last two decades. Artists – including Foster the People, Passion Pit, and Capital Cities – have integrated samplers, triggered sound sources, and MIDI control surfaces into their live shows. As a result, MIDI controllers have been steadily rising in popularity and are a prized piece of gear for beat makers from the hip-hop and electronic world, as well as across a host of other genres. Read more.
As the home studio has evolved, so too has the MIDI controller to fit the needs of the musician and the software that has become a part of the studio arsenal. Controllers now have moved well beyond acting as a keyboard for module synths and enhance any musician’s DAW and SoftSynth, enabling one to retain a tactile experience in an environment that seems to require more and longer use of the computer keyboard and mouse. Read more.
With multi-track recording programs like GarageBand, Pro Tools, and Logic becoming nearly ubiquitous amongst tech-savvy musicians, it’s easier than ever to take your own music all the way from first inspiration to finished audio file without leaving your room. But just because these high-powered tools are available, it doesn’t mean we all know how to use them well. Read more.
More than ever, the NAMM show is becoming a mash up of the analog world – with its historic musical precedents made up of strings, reeds, mallets, speakers, mics and the best traditional music making elements – with the increasingly digital music world, where speed, portability, and innovation rule. When it comes to acoustic instruments and music making, there really are no new products, simply refinements and leaps ahead that improve existing tools and techniques. Read more…
Yesterday, I ran into a friend who suggested I check out a soft synth program from Spectrasonics called Omnisphere 1.5, and I caught the tail end of a demo by keyboardist Jordan Rudess that day, but just what the Omnisphere program could do was still a bit murky to me. So today, I trekked back to the Spectrasonics’ booth and got a full 20-minute demo from the company’s founder, Eric Persing. Rarely have I seen a company’s found having as much fun with his creation as Eric did. Read more…
Today was my first day at the 2011 Winter NAMM Convention, a gathering of more than 80,000 people involved in the music products industry. Everything from harmonicas to the latest recording hardware and software is on display from more than 1,300 companies, often demoed by the engineers and techs that invented them. This will be the first of three postings about what I discovered at this year’s show. Read more…