April 8, 2011

Messe Redux...

by Chris Randall

It occurs to me that I could just re-post my MusicMesse comments from last year, and nobody would be the wiser. (Synopsis: cool little analog synth from Korg, and the rest of it is kinda whack.) But in the interests of thoroughness, I've gone through every press release so far, and here's some interesting shit that might have got lost in the shuffle, since we're all completely blinded by the awesomeness that is the Roland Jupiter 80.

Alesis Nano Verb 2: There is nothing really outstanding to say about the original Nano Verb. It is what it is. We've all had to use them at one time or another. They're simple little workhorse units that does what it says on the tin, and you can get one on Craigslist for like $40. Alesis has finally revved that model with a Nano Verb 2 that uses exactly the same form factor, but jacks up the available algorithms considerably. I am absolutely certain that it'll be worth the money, but if you wait a few years, it'll really be worth the money, just like the first one. My opinion: Must Buy, in 2015.

Focusrite Control 2802: Like another British company, Focusrite is trying to come up with a marriage of a small high-quality analog console and a DAW controller. The 2802 is a little more analogue than its competitor, and almost certainly cheaper. Focusrite has been doing their damnedest in the last few years to dilute their brand in to meaninglessness via slapping it on every piece of worthless Chinese kit imaginable, but they can still make something pretty slick, given the desire. Although I assume this is also Chinese kit, seeing how "Made In The UK" isn't plastered all over the marketing material. In fact, if you look closely at the high-res image of the backplane, under the Focusrite logo, it looks like a little Photoshop smudge tool was applied to the image, to ostensibly hide the "Made In China" text. My Opinion: I'll skip it in lieu of American and European-made gear, of which there is no shortage, unless someone can prove to me it wasn't made in China.

Kosmonaut: I don't have any opinion about this one way or the other, but the Gearjunkies report provided me with a good chuckle. Note the last sentence before the picture, "[t]he user-friendly layout guarantees an exceptional playing experience." Then look at the picture. I'm giggling again just typing that. Too funny.

I'll amend this post if anything else catches my eye. Back to working on this plug-in UI that is fighting me every step of the way.


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Apr.08.2011 @ 9:55 PM
dman typos lol

Apr.09.2011 @ 2:17 AM
Speaking of Alesis, the 3632 was also a nice surprise.

I first started producing music back in the late 90's and my use of compressors was limited to a few compressor settings I could assign on a SP808, so when a friend of mine sold me his used 3630, it opened up a lot of possibilities and understanding I didnt have before. Like the nanoverb, it was affordable and it did what it was supposed to do well. I can only assume both of these new iterations of the nanoverb and 3630 will do exactly that and a little more.

Apr.09.2011 @ 6:46 AM
Another announcement worth mentioning is the Lionstracs Groove XR :

link [www.sonicstate.co...]

Apr.09.2011 @ 11:03 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah, when I saw the 3632 and the Nano Verb 2, I thought the next announcement would be a new ADAT or 1604. Creepy.


Apr.09.2011 @ 12:46 PM
beauty pill
I'm waiting for nostalgia for that brief, kinda tacky, but kinda fun period in tech to take over and become hip again.

The "Cigarette Girl" EP was done with Sytek pre's (which I still love), 20-bit ADATs, and --- our one concession to fancypants --- a single ADL1500 compressor. All of the above scored used from the classified sections of newspapers.

link [www.dischord.co...]

Tape Op did a cover story on me a few years ago and it was fun surprising them with the modesty of the process.

We're reissuing the record later this year as a 10th anniversary 180g gatefoldy vinyl & high-res digital thing with period outtakes, etc. So I am no snob about Alesis tech. Or, really, modest tech of any sort. I have nostalgia for those times.

I wonder if it will be the only ADAT-recorded album ever to be reissued in a fancy audiophile presentation.

Maybe it will inspire some kind of Williamsburg-based ADAT revival.

Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed.

- c

Apr.09.2011 @ 12:54 PM
Chris Randall
I produced a couple records on ADAT for other folks, and frankly, the rewind and lock-up times about put me over the edge. I don't have the attention span for those things. If I'm gonna get all anachronistic, I'd prefer actual tape.

That said, they sure did level the playing field in a hurry. The Mackie 8 Buss / ADAT combo was really the first readily available combo that could provide a fairly "pro" record at home, for cheap (where "cheap" is relative to what a lockout in a proper analog studio would cost at the time). As was oft mentioned in Mackie ads of the era, that 5-million-selling Boyz 2 Men album was done on exactly that combination.

And those dudes couldn't even really sing that well.


Apr.11.2011 @ 1:28 AM
@Chris Randall

I dunno if you follow anything to do with the guys over at MIDIBox.org but a company by the name of Mode Machines "announced" a product at Messe that was a blatant ripoff of their IP. Specifically, the MIDIBox SID. The company not only ordered and used their PCBs and software but almost the entirety of the design.

Here is a link to the article on Matrix
(link [matrixsynth.bloot.co...])

And here is a link to a thread about it over at MIDIBox.org
(link [midibox.org])

Scumbags, eh?

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