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Winter NAMM 2014 Reports


Geoff Grace

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Any show that you get to jam with Brian Auger (Dolphin Dance, with Nick Smith jumping in afterwards!) and jam with Larry Dunn is a win in my book!

 

But my time with Howard Levy was awe inspiring. I'll admit that I only knew he played harmonica... I used to go see him at the Green Mill in Chicago back in my earlier Casio days with our area DSM. When he came up and asked a few questions, I saw his badge and asked if he was... him. :-)

 

He sat down and played and blew my doors off. Then he explained his approach to Giant Steps, which I didn't completely absorb... but it involved not playing all the ii-V of the progression, so the chordal structure could be reduced to chords descending in whole tone steps in the left hand, with the right hand able to move up in chromatic steps. I know... this doesn't make sense as I'm explaining it, but what he showed me playing was deep.

 

I found this link

 

In the player on the left there's a snippet of them playing Giant Steps, but it's not quite the same.

 

Suffice it to say I will be checking him out - and you should too.

 

Jerry

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I got to sit down and play the Vintage Vibe electric piano for a bit...wonderful instrument, I might start buying lottery tickets

 

:D

 

Didn't play one exactly...well, I played just a few lines, but it sounded good.

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Jerry,

The moment with Howard Levy, may have been captured in the Ustream footage. I haven't sorted through it yet but I'll let you know if I find it.

-Mike Martin

 

Casio

Mike Martin Photography Instagram Facebook

The Big Picture Photography Forum on Music Player Network

 

The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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Jerry,

The moment with Howard Levy, may have been captured in the Ustream footage. I haven't sorted through it yet but I'll let you know if I find it.

 

Cool... but you'd need to hear him talking to me for it to make total sense. I'll reach out to him and see if he can share (or already has) the concept with us all.

 

Jerry

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http://elevenshadows.com/sss/namm2014/images/70908kenlee_namm2014-hammond-keithemerson.jpg

 

From the Hammond show at the Hilton, this is Keith Emerson performing.

 

NAMMbulating 2014:

http://elevenshadows.com/sss/namm2014/

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Any show that you get to jam with Brian Auger (Dolphin Dance, with Nick Smith jumping in afterwards!) and jam with Larry Dunn is a win in my book!

 

But my time with Howard Levy was awe inspiring. I'll admit that I only knew he played harmonica... I used to go see him at the Green Mill in Chicago back in my earlier Casio days with our area DSM. When he came up and asked a few questions, I saw his badge and asked if he was... him. :-)

 

He sat down and played and blew my doors off. Then he explained his approach to Giant Steps, which I didn't completely absorb... but it involved not playing all the ii-V of the progression, so the chordal structure could be reduced to chords descending in whole tone steps in the left hand, with the right hand able to move up in chromatic steps. I know... this doesn't make sense as I'm explaining it, but what he showed me playing was deep.

 

I found this link

 

In the player on the left there's a snippet of them playing Giant Steps, but it's not quite the same.

 

Suffice it to say I will be checking him out - and you should too.

 

Jerry

 

Mike found it here:

 

Casio Ustream - check out hour 2:30

 

Still hard to fully grok.

 

Jerry

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I thought the group was called The Spanish Moss

 

Oh, no. Kill that thing before it spreads.

 

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3709/12191428315_5873348187_c.jpg[/url]

Steve Weingart by Mike M Martin, on Flickr

:facepalm:

 

Apparently he's started a band with this guy called The Rodents.

 

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/noisecreep.com/files/2013/01/jordan.jpg

 

 

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Here's a couple things that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet.

 

1) Cymatic Audio uTrack 24. For some time I've had my eye on the JoeCo Black Box recorder . For those of you not familiar with it, it's a 24 track mobile recording unit. Takes balanced line in, records directly to USB hard drive or thumb drive. It's designed as a live recording rig, so there's no way to enable only certain tracks, set up cue mixes, but... when you're done, you unplug the drive, plug it into your DAW, import the tracks and you're off to the races. And it's only 1U. Unfortunately it's also $2800. So this year at NAMM I randomly discovered that JoeCo will soon have some competition. On one hand, it does not do higher sample rates, just 24 bits @ 44.1, but on the other hand, MSRP is $1000. And unlike the JoeCo box, it will connect via USB as a 24x24 interface for Windows and MacOS.

 

http://www.oceanbeach.com/temp/Cymatic.png

 

 

2). Analog Outfitters recycles the wood and electronics from old spinet and ratchet console Hammonds. Here is a MIDI controller reminiscent of the one Mate Stubb made. No velocity but the switches and drawbars all trigger MIDI messages. The drawbars felt like smooth drawbars, not ratchets, and I forgot to ask how they accomplished that without replacing the whole assembly inside.

 

http://www.oceanbeach.com/temp/AnalogOutfitters.jpg

 

 

 

Lastly, best shirt of the show:

 

http://www.oceanbeach.com/temp/StoogesWorldTour.jpg

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The Cymatic uTrack looks interesting, but as it isn't so well-known, I should remind people that RME's Fireface UFX has a standalone (no computer required) recording mode where all input channels are available (including ADAT connections).

 

Yes, it's a more expensive unit, but it does more, and may be all anyone ever needs for quite a few years. I've been tracking drums with it all year before overdubbing other parts, to avoid having to drag a computer back and forth between studios. It uses a USB flash drive to record to. I haven't checked the Cymatic and JoeCo to see whether they are internal hard disc based or record to external media.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I don't think anyone posted this... it appears to be a set of programmable hard buttons that work wirelessly with an iPad. Could be nice for the times you want a hard button rather than a touchscreen button for something, or want buttons placed somewhere other than where you have the screen, or perhaps want simultaneous access to controls that do not appear on the same screen. Anyone have any more info about what this can or can't do?

 

[video:youtube]

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I've played much worse-like the Kurz Artis. Now that's bad to put it mildly! A shame because the new sample is quite good.

+1

 

I played the Artis yesterday. Action is horrid. Worse than the Kross!

 

I actually think the Artis sample sounds excellent, not just quite good. However, I agree with you both that the action is dreadful. I feel sorry for Kurzweil. Any other company would have their top action in the same board as their top sound. They should at least release the artis piano sound as an expansion option for the PC3K...

Kurzweil PC3x

Technics SX-P50

Korg X3

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If Kurzweil is smart, they'll put the new sample in a new stage piano -- perhaps a revised SP88X -- with the same action as the PC3K (Fatar TP40, I think), new EPs, and a small palette of bread and butter sounds. I think this could compete quite well against the Nord Piano and others. Also, this new Steinway sample kicks the crap out of Nord's Steinway samples which lack body.
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