Oi oi, Selectors! Ahoy! The Tech Selection Section is running a little behind schedule this month. But it is a leap year and February had an extra day. So, to get our own back, and reclaim the calendar, we skipped it. However, now we’re coming up smiling with roses, as mad as a March hare, here in the month of Musikmesse Frankfurt, which kicks off 21-24... Hurrah, it’s good to be back!
For this episode, we won’t (for now) be speculating about the iPad 3 or iPad HD or whatever it’s going to be...
Nor shall we mention Sennheiser’s new Masters of Sound competition where you can win (facebook.com/SennheiserUK) a chance to collaborate with the Simon Cowell-signed singer/songwriter/producer known as Labrinth. And we certainly don’t want to delve into the moral maze of Cowell’s DJ talent show, ooo nooo! Uff. *Shudders*
So what is new? Well, this month we bring you news of AudioRaiders’ Sasha Soundlab, Line 6’s Mobile Keys controllers, Loopmasters new portal, Pluginboutique, and David Cranmer’s out of this world Badgermin. Enjoy!
|Sound like Sasha, only different
Founded by a mystery team of DJ/producers, AudioRaiders is a new development to hit the web. And its debut project is a massive library of samples and flexible production tools called Sasha Soundlab...
Sasha Soundlab houses over 4,000 signature sounds sourced from the depths of Sasha’s vaults. It includes such useful stuff as 220 customisable software instruments, 100+ loop instruments, 69 drum and percussion sample banks, and 11 custom effects banks with 400+ effects…. and the list goes on… Using Native Instruments Kontakt engine, the AudioRaiders team has incorporated each selection into a customisable software instrument. This means you can tailor Sasha’s iconic sonic building blocks to suit your own output – just like Kassey Voorn did to soundtrack this promo video.
“It’s definitely a treasure trove,” says the man-like Sasha. “You can produce a record from top to bottom with it. You can make your beats in it – you can do everything from within this Soundlab.”
|Music on the move with Mobile Keys
Line 6 has introduced two new plug and play keyboard-style USB MIDI controllers: Mobile Keys 25 and Mobile Keys 49, described by da hype as ‘the world’s first tri-platform keyboards’...
As you can see in the video clip, both Mobile Keys can control numerous (CoreMIDI standard) iOS music apps on both Mac and Windows PCs, so they can be used with anything from GarageBand to Logic, drum machines to synths. As a result, if you’re into making music on the fly via your iPad or iPhone these might provide new portable keys to added creativity. Plus, while directly connected (an iPad/iPhone jack comes included) and bus-powered by your device, you can get up to nine hours of use from each charge.
Aspiring players will be pleased to know that, among other features, Mobile Keys have full-sized velocity sensitive keys and include pitch bend and modulation wheels for extra control.
|Freaky or uniquey: it’s Pluginboutique
New from Loopmasters, Pluginboutique is an online resource selling downloadable goodies, including effects, instruments and studio tools, from music software companies. So far these include Fxpansion, Ohm Force, Flux, PSP, D16, Sinevibes, Waves, Sonic Charge, G-Sonique, and so on…
The crux of Pluginboutique is that it brings things together in one place, which could save you the legwork of trawling various different sites on the intraweb. There are (independent) reviews, free trials and demos, alongside instant downloads and authorisation – something that ensures your plug-ins remain up to date. It also allows you to compare ratings before you buy, and when you do there’s a loyalty scheme.
As an introductory offer, first timers get a free sample CD from Loopmasters. And, until the end of March, every additional £100 you spend gives you a second free sample CD. Crikey!
|Sounds like a Theremin, looks like a Badgermin...
When the going gets weird the Badgermin gets going! Brought to you by the brilliant sculptor David Cranmer, Badgermin is a killer customised creation using electronics from a PAiA Theremax Theremin kit and antennae that are skilfully embedded into a super-cute taxidermy badger. Bless!
Badgermin follows in the paw steps of David’s other projects, which include such wonders as the Owl Organ, Programmable Musical Pig and Pneumatic Drums (the latter of which was created initially for cult video maker Chris Cunningham no less).
What better way to make an impression? And, as David himself says on his site: “200 points to whoever it was that said ‘can’t wait to see it play a live set…”
Beegeesus. Talk about unusual instrumentalists. Now why the hell can’t we see more of this type of stuff in Ibiza? What’s wrong with people? I so need one of these!
Right, that’s all, I’m done, you can go now!