Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vision Take Two

  • Novation controllers, because they are the best controllers available for reasonable money.
  • Blue microphones, because they are elegant, functional, and unique.
  • M-Audio monitors and interfaces, because they're cheap and they work.
  • Spectrasonics synths, because they sound better than anything else, and are really flexible.
  • Tone2 filters, because they sound better than any others, and the software has a superb interface.
  • Massive, because it's got one of the best interfaces to modulation I've seen, combined with a huge, wavetabliciously digital sound.
  • Vember Surge, because I love it: the WT sound, the interface, the modulations, the "I'm digital, now deal with it" attitude.
  • Audjoo Helix, because it sounds awesome, uses WTs, and takes so little CPU.
  • Rapture, because of it's uniquely digital sound.
  • MicroTonic, because it sounds great doing the "electronic percussion" thing.
  • Drumaxx, because it sounds great doing the physically-modeled percussion thing.
  • Ableton Live, because it has a great workflow, decent mastering tools, and an elegant interface.
...This "plan" will be setting aside some truly incredible synths, some of which I already own, but... I like the message this setup sends, I love the sounds, and I think this will be enough to keep me inspired for a long time.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I made a post on a Synthtopia article where I mentioned, loosely, that we don't buy synths because of the sounds they make, but because of the message they send just by using them.  This is a combination of the state of mind they put us in to use, the "type" of sound they make and how that influences our music, and, of course, directly in how we "advertise" the synths we use.

I started wondering about the "message" of the synths I was touting in the last post... and even about the synths I'm presently using.  And keeping that in mind, I'm (once again) not sure I like the selection of synths I've come to.  :)

Synths that tell a clearer story of who I am are... mostly wavetable synths like Massive, Surge, Helix, and Rapture... but also the kind of "fringe-awesome" synths like Rhino, Zebra, and Blue.  I also think there are some synths who's sound lends itself to the updated-Berlin-school sound that I'm looking for: Predator and Albino 3 leap to mind.  And for drums, Microtonic and Drumaxx speak my language pretty loudly.

There are other synths that I don't "mind" the message much: Omnisphere is incredible (if a bit over-inflated), RMX similarly works because of its electronica slant.  FM8, Morphine, and Absynth aren't quite my "bag" in terms of lining up perfectly, but they're not too far off-target, either.

The whole of Komplete, though, kind of rubs me the wrong way.  It's massive in a bad way.  Hmmmn.  Perhaps I need to spend some time thinking about my message.  :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Studio Update

Here's what I want my music-production studio to look like (bold means I don't own it yet):
  • ReMote (controller 1)
  • LaunchPad (controller 2)
  • iMac (computer)
  • Studiophile DX4 (monitors)
  • HD555 (headphones)
  • Blue Yeti (mic)
  • Ableton Live (mixer) [I am stuck at version 6, want to upgrade]
  • Snapper (editor)
  • Omnisphere (rompler 1, modular 1)
  • Surge (wavetable 1)
  • Komplete (wavetable 2, fm, effects, modular 2, rompler 2)
  • Rapture (digital)
  • Morphine (additive)
  • Helix (wavetable 3. Hey... I love WTs!)
  • Stylus RMX (drum loops)
  • MicroTonic (synth drums 1)
  • Drumaxx (synth drums 2)
  • FabFilter Creative Package (analog sound 1, delay/phase/flange/filter)
  • Predator (analog sound 2)
  • Albino (hybrid sound)
  • Zebra (modular 3)
...So the "elegant" solution here is a concept of patronage. I like and support and use hardware from Apple, Novation, M-Audio, Sennheiser, Blue; and software from Spectrasonics, Native Instruments, FabFilter, and to a lesser extent, Image Line; and three of my favorite synth developers: Claes Johanson, René Ceballos, Magnus Lindström, Urs Heckman, and Rob Papen*. ...and quite possibly Jonas Norbergs, though it's a little early to say. :)

It's also worth mentioning that I'm clearly trying to be "a software guy". I love Access, Elektron and Waldorf hardware, but I cannot justify the cost for it, since this is only a hobby for me. :)

I won't be getting all of the products from all of these sources, of course. I don't need everything. But these are the ones I watch, the ones I support, and the ones whose stuff I use most (and most proudly).

So there.