Friday, May 31, 2013

Synthmania quick tip #9 - The 1980s pop ballad sound

If you're not already subscribed, SynthMania has one of the best YouTube channels, always examining gear and the making of 1980s style tracks.  The above shows how easy it is to create an 80s ballad with an 808, MiniMoog, and DX7.  You can hear a ton of other trance, house, and italo style sounds on his channel.  Check it out here.

Bonus: Using a sequencer

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Korg MS-20 Mini Video Updates

The MS-20 Mini is slowly making its rounds around the globe, and we're finally seeing some user videos come up, but the majority of us haven't gotten one yet-- Korg's distribution is strained, and there are rumors that there's a major slowdown, but let's hope that's not the case.  Obviously, the MS-20 Mini is a big hit, so let's hope it encourages more Korg analogs in the future.

Videos found on MatrixSynth

More videos below.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Analyzing 'Random Access Memories': Daft Punk's classic record, or just a nice attempt at one?

I've been listening to Random Access Memories a ton this past week, and been trying to ask myself- does the record really live up to hype, or am I just projecting greatness on a "pretty good" record?  Before it came out, Daft Punk said they were trying to make a classic 70s and 80s dance album- did they succeed, or fall short?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Buying Your First Analog Synthesizer: The 2013 Guide

2014 Edit: Thank you for the tremendous support of this guide!  This has easily become the most popular post of the site.  If you're looking for the latest synths, check out the 2014 analog synth guide.  This current page is still mostly relevant and I don't plan on removing it, so you can still enjoy the 2013 guide!

We're only in April of 2013 and we've already seen a huge influx of awesome gear come out.  I still see a fair amount of traffic on my "What to Buy" article, so I figured it was time to revamp the whole thing for a better look at the cool synths you can buy this year.  So without further ado, I give you Synth Guide 2013.

This guide will be focused on new synthesizers, so don't expect anything that's not currently in production.  Also, I may tend to focus on newer gear more so than older synths.

Special note:  I've included Amazon links on the names of all the synths, so if you're interested in buying from Amazon, use that link!  It'll help support the blog. #ad

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vince Clarke meets the Minibrute

So here's a bit of a silly one- Vince Clarke, of Depeche Mode/Yazoo/Erasure fame (and many others) gives an interview with Arturia about using the Minibrute.  Arturia knows who to give their synths to to impress the gear heads.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CDM uncovers more about the Korg Volca series

Dying for more info on the Korg Volca series?  So are we.  Fortunately, the Create Digital Music blog got the inside scoop on the Volca series from its creator, Tatsuya Takahashi.  Important tidbits from the interview: the Volcas can be hacked to give MIDI out, the delay circuit is new, and that these boxes are not "toys"-- they're serious instruments, especially thanks to their MIDI in capabilities.  Check out the whole article on CDM.

Friday, May 3, 2013

In-depth look at the Novation Bass Station II from Sonic State

Curious about the new Novation Bass Station II? Sonic State goes through the sounds and interface with a Novation spokesman, giving the most in-depth look at this synthesizer yet.  Be sure to check out my upcoming synth guide 2013, where the BSII will get a mention or two.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Frankmusik sets out on first Headlining US Tour

Frankmusik, one of my former guests for interview and an old favorite as an artist, is setting out on 20 date tour across the US this June as headliner.  This is FM's first tour as a headliner in the US, so we'll get to see a full set of Frankmusik tracks, from his first record to the latest, Between, coming out this summer.  If "summer" is too vague for you, check out "Chasing Shadows" on May 9th, the new single.

FM is an incredible live performer, and his shows are always a ton of fun-- you can tell the man loves to sing.  I highly recommend checking out the show in your nearest city.  For more information or to check back for more dates, visit his website.  To hear his newest tracks, check out his SoundCloud.

Bob Moog Inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Bob Moog was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his creation of the Moog Ladder Filter, one of the most important inventions in modern music.  It's great to see such the father of the synth industry acknowledged with such a prestigious award!

Weekly Daft Punk Update

Behind on your Daft Punk news?  Here's the latest from this week.

Above is a video of YouTube user SinclairEoin performing a note-for-note attempt at Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, which helps you appreciate the fantastic soloing in the track.  Great work.

The two latest collaborator videos (seen below) are from Chilly Gonzales and Panda Bear.  Chilly goes into a discussion about musical theory, and how Daft Punk used his songwriting talents to help connect the chords of the album to create a bigger picture-- which shows just how in depth with songwriting the robots are trying to go.  Panda Bear's video is less technical, but he instead talks a bit about what it's like to work with such a mysterious duo.

According to this French website, the next two singles will be "Lose Yourself to Dance" and "Instant Crush", featuring Pharrell and Julian Casablancas, respectively.

Word is also floating around that the record will be up for streaming a week before it's release.

Finally, the first reviews are starting to crop up, giving a better insight into what each track sounds like (NME, MixMag).  Don't read this if you're looking for a full surprise of everything on the record-- here are the cliff notes.  Giorgio Moroder's track has him speaking about his life to a click track, but apparently expands into an epic landscape of sounds.  Todd Edward's track is described as a letdown by MixMag compared to his first collaboration, Face to Face.  The Julian Casablancas and Panda Bear tracks supposedly sound a bit like each of their bands.