Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.

Archives: September 2005

September 27, 2005

Man, oh, man...

by Chris Randall

I almost can't wait until Hardcore Gear Porn Friday, because I have a special feature. An unknown person provided me with pictures of the most ludicrous modular synth setup you'll ever see. The problem with putting these pics up is that all HCGPF entries after this one will seem kind of weak by comparision.

Well, no matter. Suffice to say that Friday's special edition of Hardcore Gear Porn will be a stunner.

September 27, 2005

Okay, this is silly...

by Chris Randall

I'll readily admit that I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to sound-generating equipment. I'll happily spend 3 hours trying to get an SE30 running UpBeat to sync with my main Nuendo box, so I can get it to make its special hi-hat fills on some ass-down shitty 80s digital drum machine, when I could easily do the same thing in about 4 minutes with a sample directly in Nuendo.

In that light, I've been eyeing the Yamaha TX16W sampler for quite some time. These things are cheap as hell, generally going for $75 to $100 on the 'bay, and with good reason. They are generally accepted to be the single most unfriendly instrument every conceived by man. The operating system makes so little sense, it might as well be throwing text on its tiny screen in cunieform or some other language that only 4 people can read.

However, this translates in to "challenge" to me. One of my hobbies (at least that's what I call it; most other people consider it a sign of obsessive/compulsive disorder) is getting obsolete or unusual operating systems to run on modern computers. (Or vice versa.) I can, to the dismay of people I work with, wax poetic on BeOS for days. All this translates in to an unseemly desire to have a sampler that no one else likes.

On paper, it seems like a powerful instrument, for its time. It's a 12-bit sampler (which is 4 more bits than the holy land, but 4 less than anything that sounds remotely good.) Hardware samplers have pretty much been obviated en mass as a result of the emergence of the DAW, so they're _all_ cheap. But this one has something about it that I can't put my finger on. I personally can't stand Yamaha gear. Every Yamaha product I've ever owned could fit nicely under the descriptor "asserific." I'm under no illusion that the TX16W is any different.

However, it does have one thing which most older samplers don't have: an alternate operating system, in the Typhoon2000. This is a free replacement OS for the TX16W, that adds a few features, and makes it almost bearable, I'm given to understand.

Well, time will tell. I'm this close to picking one up. We'll see how it all works out.

September 26, 2005

Keepin' it real...

by Chris Randall

Dangerous will be releasing this bad boy at AES; it's called Monitor. There will be two parts, the Monitor ST (which is stereo), and the add-on Monitor SR (which makes it surround.) It has the most bad-assest of all remotes, as you can plainly see. Think of it as a PreSonus Central Station with a serious meth habit. Apparently it is going to be $1800 for the stereo bit and the remote, which may seem like a lot for what is essentially a volume knob, but it sure does have a purdy mouth. Hit their website for glamour shots and better descriptors.

Dangerous has also dropped the Master, which is the ass-end of a mastering console. This is an area of the music production industry with which I have only passing familiarity. I master my own records now, but back when I was rich and famous and able to afford Bernie Grundman, I sat there while Brian Gardner repeatedly pressed the Good button. Basically, my visits to Bernie Grundman consisted of a flight to L.A., 3 hours spent admiring the several hundred gold and platinum records on the wall while Brian made my shit listenable, then flying back to Chicago. I don't know what the hell those guys do, and I don't understand the tools they use to do it. Anyways, yeah, Dangerous has some of that now. It's on their website. Etc.

September 25, 2005

A bit of a scoop...

by Chris Randall

Here's something worth talking about, right here. A fellow on the OSX Audio newsgroup posted a letter he received from Sony, as follows:

The current versions of the Oxford plugins for the Powercore platform,
(EQ, Dynamics, Inflator & TransMod), will run as both VST and Audio
Units compatible versions, but require Powercore hardware to provide DSP

We will, at some time in the future, produce native 'Audio Units'
versions of the Oxford range of plugins, but this won't be before the
first half of 2006 at the earliest due to other workload commitments.

Rod Mansell.
Sony Plugins Support.

So, if one would read that a certain way, some time after Q2 '06 Sony will be releasing native (read: VST and AU, no need for a PoCo) versions of its absolutely stellar plug-ins. Of course, the letter only mentions AU, but they would, of course, be silly to do AU and not VST.

However, if you read the thread, you'll see that our new friend Rod wasn't too happy that the person had posted his letter on OSXa. There is a psuedo retraction later on. Quite frankly, I don't believe the guy that posted it is at fault. If the information wasn't supposed to be made public, it shouldn't have been told to any random schmoe off the street, right?

So, Rod, you can come work for Audio Damage. It doesn't pay for shit, and we aren't as sexy as Sony, but we have a lot fewer secrets to keep, so it might be better suited to your temperment. You are, of course, being fired from Sony for breaking your NDA. I think that's a safe assumption.

September 24, 2005

These are sum of my favorite things...

by Chris Randall

Okay, all heated debates about the relative merits of various summing mixers (or lack thereof) aside, here's the first glamour shot of the new Neve box, and I'm sorry, but that shit looks fine. Here is the full-size pic. Try not to slobber on your keyboard.

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