Have you ever wanted a drum kit laid out differently on the keys or pads of your MIDI controller? The Drum Mapper Max for Live device lets you do this quickly and easily. Simply play the key or pad you want to assign a sound to and then adjust that note’s MIDI output in the Drum Mapper’s interface. In a just a few minutes you can re-assign every sound in the kit to the key you want it on. Once the new mapping is complete, you can then save it as a preset. Create a drum map for each hardware/software combination in your studio and load that preset into Drum Mapper when you need it. Now you can play drum kits the way you want instead of the way some software developer decided. Check out the video below for a walkthrough on how to remap a drum kit with Drum Mapper.
Usually pressing a keyboard key triggers playback of a single sound. With the MIDI Track plugin, something a little more happens each time a key is pressed. The plugin works by stacking additional notes on those that are played. These stacked notes can be 4th or 5th intervals and/or a sub octave. The result is an overall thicker, more complex sound that may even inspire new ideas. MIDI Track also features useful tools for transposing notes and compressing the incoming notes velocity range. All in all, an effective toolkit for enhancing the notes you play.
Advanced touch control for Traktor has arrived. Based around five pages covering EQ, FX, BPM, Cues, and Looping, the Mixer template has everything needed to mix. Just load this into your iOS or Android tablet and step into the future of mixing.
Tied to the rise of the software synthesizer, the MIDI keyboard controller has become increasingly popular as well. Though MIDI keyboard controller mania has died down a bit over the past few years, possibly tied to the resurgence of hardware synthesizers, the keyboard controller is still a staple of the modern music studio. With so many shapes and sizes available, it’s hard not find a space in the studio that one will fit nicely in. And with it’s combination of keys, sliders, knobs, and DAW transport buttons, the keyboard controller layout is a musical interface that’s stood the test of time.
The MK-iii is a new Max for Live drum machine available from Desert Sound Studios. The design of the MK-iii comes out of a careful study of the Boss DR-550, a drum machine from the late 1980’s. Back then to make the DR-550 low cost, Roland cut out a lot of features, leaving only the essentials without compromising the overall sound. The result was an easy to use and effective drum machine that hit a nerve with the public. It remained in production for almost a decade and helped to define the electronic drum sound of the era. This combination of essential features, ease of use, and uncompromised sound quality is the driving force behind the MK-iii drum machine.
The Boss DR-550 was a popular low cost digital drum machine released by Roland in 1989. It was part of a wave of digital sample-playback drum machines and synthesizers which would go on to shape the music of the late 80’s and early 90’s. In contrast to earlier analog synthesizers which used electronic components to generate sound, the new digital synthesizers used pre-recorded digital audio samples as a sound source. Even though these new synthesizers were wildly popular, many at the time thought digital sounded cold, thin, and even lifeless compared to the warm analog gear of the past. Nowadays the thick lo-fi digital sound of these early digital synthesizers is often desirable and instead it’s the latest software-based synthesizers that are often described as cold and lifeless.
Particle of God is a cool Reaktor effects ensemble created by Noizefield. The effect is based on speeding up and slowing down various individual delays to create interesting patterns. The acceleration of the delays is also synchronized to tempo, resulting in unique and musical effects. The official page to download the Particle of God Reaktor ensemble is here.
The SID chip is one of the most successful synthesizers of all time. Through rather small and fitting entirely on a single chip, the design of the chip was far ahead of it’s time. So far in fact that it’s one-of-a-kind sound is still in demand today. The SID chip, or MOS6581 has had songs named after it, spawned entire DIY communities, was the lead sound of a classic trance anthem, and gave birth to one of the most cutting edge hardware synthesizer companies today, Elektron whose first release was the SID station. With all these relatively recent accolades, it’s hard to imagine that this sound chip came out all the back in 1981. But regardless of era, this chip deserves to be remembered and acknowledged as the classic that it is.