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MPN GearLab • Interactive Reviews

Community-based interactive gear analysis and evaluation.

 

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  1. Hot Tips!

    Tips, tricks and hacks - both conventional and not so conventional - for getting the most out of your gear and your musc making experience. 

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  • Trending posts on MPN

    • Probably like many on this forum, I played every weekend FOREVER. Every Friday and Saturday. After missing numerous weddings, funerals, and family growing up and getting older I started reassessing my priorities. It took a teenaged kid getting in a life-threatening car accident over a decade ago (she was hurt but is now fine) to slap cold water on me and wake me up to getting me out of the nonstop gig cycle. Life was happening all around me and I was too much in the zone to realize it. After many years away, I'm jazzed to start picking up gigs again, though on my terms. It's nice to no longer think I need to do music to pay the bills. I just thought I needed to do that to be a good provider. And I had forgotten the reason i started playing and enjoying music in the first place.
    • Greetings, everyone.   Sorry I haven't checked in lately, but my computer is seriously screwed up, to the point where I couldn't even stand to use it, or try to. If there's a ghost in the machine, it's a poltergeist, and the poor bastard is dangerously insane.   I'll spare you all the interesting things that it does, but if it were a car, you wouldn't let your worst enemy drive it, for fear that there would other, innocent people on the road with them, and it.   We have a handful of recent and older Macs, in varying states of disuse or disrepair, so I'm trying to Frankenstrat something that will work for a while. Nothing could tempt me to buy another Mac, at this point. If I had the $$$ for a new one, I'd pay some bills and buy a pizza with the change. If money were no object, I'd spend a few thousand on Music gear I probably don't need, and then I'd look for half a dozen used or refurbished Macs, and assign each one to a specific function, Music, Photos, Writing, Internet. I'm not a Gamer, YouTuber, nor Influencer, so I don't need the newest or the fastest, I just need something that mostly works.   Getting a late start on a light day here, hoping your days are good!
    • Musicians should approach being in a band like any other job or business.  It should be all about the music.  Leave that emotional sh8t elsewhere. 😎
    • Here's something good. This is Matthew Kaminski, jazzer and organist for the Atlanta Braves. I took a lesson from him via Zoom recently, and it was a beneficial lesson. He's a cool guy, and I recommend him for anyone. https://www.matthewkaminski.com/
    • Bowled a little and golfed a little when I was still in school.   After graduating, I toured the country in a rock band for a few years. Never went back to any sports after that (unless you consider chasing females to be a sport).   I actually quit watching TV in 1986. We had a 3-week with options gig on a cruise ship. We set revenue records in the lounge we were gigging in, so we stayed on after the 3 weeks. 3 years later, Mrs. Notes' mom got sick, so we 'jumped ship' and became landlubbers.   During the ship years, there was no TV, except for a movie that played over and over and over or the advertising station that promoted all the ship sponsored shore excursions. I got out of the habit of watching because it wasn't there. Instead I found other things to do.   I got off the ship, hooked up the cable, and found neither of us were watching it. So we disconnected. I could hook up an antenna, the house is wired, and there was a mast from the pre-cable days, but I never did. I eventually took the mast down when I had the house painted. I'm in a fringe area, so without that, I get zero TV. We went over to our mother-in-law's house to watch the last Johnny Carson Tonight show and the first Jay Leno edition.    Instead, I created over 600 backing tracks for my duo, from scratch. It's ongoing to this day. I learned to write aftermarket styles and song software for Band-in-a-Box, created a mail-order biz, which turned into an internet biz. I wrote the code for my websites. I also learned how to play wind synthesizer and lead guitar.    There is nothing wrong with TV, but I guess I'm the type that prefers doing things than watching.  Full disclosure. Mrs. Notes and I turn the TV on once a week to watch a movie. At first, it was Blockbuster, then the minimal disk-in-the-mail subscription from Netflix, and now either the library, redbox, kanopy or hoopla.   OK, back on topic.   On the cruise ships, there was a small orchestra that played to a click track. In the main production show, the musicians duplicated what was being broadcast through the speakers. The 'production singer' (star) sang live, but a dancer mimed any other parts. His/her voice was on the track. No microphones for the orchestra, they just fattened the sound of the track.    That was in the late 1980s. It's been going on longer than most of us know.   Notes ♫
  • In MPN’s GEARLAB

    • I just bought one used two days ago.   I had in the past (a very past) the original ARP Odissey and an Avatar (the guitar version of the Odissey). They sounded quite differenti, and now I understand why: two different version of the filter. A friend of mine still have the all black one with coloured sliders, which Is again different, maybe two poles filter?   Anyway the Behringer sounds good but a bit differenti too.   My ARP had a ring modulator I used to build fabolous bell like sounds: metallic, full of harmonics.    The kind of sound you can hear on Japan Tin Drum or Oil on Canvas albums.   Until now I couldn't recreate this sound.    Neither the Avatar did. Just my ARP Odissey I sold for little Money :(
    • In V.A.S.T., be it the original V.A.S.T. or the newer vaster V.A.S.T. with Cascade and Dynamic, there are several ways you can use internal DSP sources with Samples:   1. Samples only 2. Internal DSP Oscillators only without any Sample 3. Samples mixed with internal DSP Oscillators   In the new V.A.S.T., you can certainly use a multi-sampled Keymap, alongside an internal anti-aliased DSP Osc, e.g. a 2-block SINE+ for a single Layer, or even an aliased one like the old SAW+.   For larger AA DSP Oscs, e.g. the 4-block SAW, you'd need to use Cascade Mode, a passthrough signal and a Mixer ALG.   So these aren't mutually exclusive. Instead, what the manual seems to indicate is that if you want to do a traditional analogue subtractive synth, then you'd rather not use a Keymap, which makes sense since analogue subtractive synths don't use them at all.   You can  still use a Keymap's sample Envelope if it is set to Natural, even if the Sample itself isn't sounding via the Layer, say, if you have simply a 4-block AA DSP SAW. That SAW block effectively cuts off any of the Sample signal. However, as the AMPENV mode is set to Natural, it is the factory AMPENV for that multi-Sampled Keymap that is applied to the Layer.   The Natural envelopes have more details than can be produced with a User AMPENV.   The thing that happens with setting the Keymap to Silence is that it sets each key's amplitude to the same maximum amplitude. Maybe that's what you need in a certain program, but sometimes, if you are doing an emulative program, you could be better off actually referencing the emulation's Keymaps Sample although the latter isn't heard, with the corresponding Natural Envelope, or of course, you could just go into User Mode and make your own envelope.   Hope this helps.
    • Sweetwater might accept to deliver to Canada, but you will be charged transport accordingly and as anything going USA to Canada your item will go through customs and it is always possible to end up with extra fees - sometimes very expensive. I personally had a very bad experience about 10 years ago and promised myself to never import again from the USA unless the seller confirms on paper he pays for all possible customs and duties extra fees.   Buying Kurzweil products in Canada has always been complicated. In the 1990s a few stores in the province kept a couple of them, but if you wanted something they didn't have you had to order sight unseen and wait months to get your purchase. That is how I bought my MIDIboard, K1200 and finally, around 2000, a PC2X. I hated the Fatar action on the PC2X from day one and swore to never buy a keyboard sight unseen ever again.
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