Thursday, April 30, 2009

Waldorf Xtk on Ebay

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Looks great, works perfectly. Awesome portable digital synth with a great, sharp sound.
Ebay Auction Link

Friday, April 24, 2009

On the Pirate Bay Verdict

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There are still people out there who think that copying digital data from another person is evil. Their perception is that music or software has value, and that copying it is equivalent to theft. There are logical problems with these arguments. In this overview I will go over two important statements I have which put holes in common arguments against "piracy". I also will note on the Pirate Bay itself at the end.

1. For there to be theft in the computer world, the accessed data must have monetary value or be privately held. Music downloads are often copyrighted. You cannot resell them. By the time they get your hard drive they are essentially worth $0. Therefore from the user's perspective, they have no monetary value. Since there was no monetary loss accumulated and the data copied was already being distributed publicly its really hard to call if theft or pigeonhole people as thieves. Having download services exist with copyright protection actually increases downloading because users can only find monetary value in purchases they can resell later, and not monetary value in what they have access to.

By seeding people are extending the lifespan of the data, making it available. In a world where everyone needs the next thing, seeding increases the digital data's lifespan, giving it more value. This is a service of modern times and its beautiful.

Leading to the next one...

2. Piracy does not make it impossible for careers in music & software to exist. People holding the opposite view have not opened their eyes. Right now artists and musicians have every oppurtunity NOT to fail. With iTunes, Myspace, Last.FM, Youtube and Torrent sites like pirate bay, artists have the largest FREE distribution point available to them in mankind with no middlemen. Before, unseen artists would have to spend much more money to "make it" and never hear back from recording execs. If you look at the landscape today, not much has changed. There are still hitmakers. Now they have more distribution, more fans, and instant feedback. We have heavily copied artists like NIN releasing something themselves and instantly making a million dollars...If you can't do that, then you have alot more work to do, and shouldn't be blaming pirates.

3. For there to be pirates, there must be pirate ships.
You cannot sail on the internet. You can't wear an eye patch and rape someone across the phoneline or cable modem. It just doesn't happen. You can't steal anything either. Essentially any computer connected to the giant network thats turned on is making data available, sometimes inadvertantly. Its bad enough to prosecute hackers, its worse prosecuting people freely and openly using programs to make data on their machines available. These aren't hardcore people you want to kill or put in jail. We need to put rapists and murderers in jail, not regular people. When was a time they killed regular people and locked them up? Oh yea it was called WW2, and the people doing the judgement were Nazis.

On the Pirate Bay Verdict Itself:

The people running the pirate bay wanted to make it easy to access large bits of information. Thats called effeciency! In the computer world, effeciency wins out. Nothing left to argue about and nothing to do about it.

Worse, its could be morally wrong to send someone to jail for duplicating content that maybe has no monetary value. These people are merely extending the lifespan of the data on the internet by copying it and making it available. Should society or an artist look someone in the face and hate someone so much, to directly say they are responsible for not having a career in music or software or say they should be in jail? No.

Lastly, technical innovations are sometimes their own reward. People make things because they think its cool. This can't be stopped. If you make things for the sole purpose of money while people are dying and the environment is getting ripped apart, maybe you need to reflect more on what is really important and have a positive effect on society instead of complaining about it.

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The USERS will decide what has value. Thats the main message & answer getting lost in the wind.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

3 Radiuses In custom stand. Nice Vid

A really nicely produced video from RadiasMg on youtube showing off 3 Korg Radiuses (sp?). plural...Radi?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Varying Arpeggio Triplets

Here is my first tutorial with actual sheet music. It is just a musical idea I thought I'd share.


Click image above for higher resolution version.

A nice way to make interesting synth arpeggios is to vary them. On the way down your fingers play all naturals. Two beats later, the arpeggio starts again, and instead of hitting a D, you vary just one note and play a C# instead. This keeps your music more lively, as small changes are noticed by the listener. Using Triplets in 4/4 time also feels slightly more interesting than normal.

Here is the Mp3 to listen to the arpeggio (550kb)
Note: Bassline slightly changed

This type of notation works great with strings and synth leads.


Top 5 Obsolete Gear/ Do you own one?

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1. Modular Synthesizers - Now relagated to niche sound design or teaching children about electronics, these synths are probably only getting use in Trent Reznor's basement.


2. The original Yamaha DX7 - There are many alternatives to this board which have much more power and actual filters. Its battery changes are not fun. Its a poor midi controller as velocity only goes up to 100. Alternatives sound EXACTLY like it. You can learn FM synthesis on the DX7 but mostly you won't want to.

 Events Snamm98 Boss Dr-202-Large

3. Drum Machines - The non-analog type. Have a wide variety of samples? Your already good to go. You can even multisample your own real drums and get better sounds than most cheesy drum machines. Samples of every drum machine are likely to be on the internet already.

 Images Korg M50
Did you purchase a workstation without a sampler or sequencer? Shame.

4. Workstations released minus sequencer & sampler. If your a company manufacturing a keyboard over $1000 without these features, they are DOA. Here is a list of recently released, obsolete boards.

Korg M50 - Dead
Juno Stage - No sequencer? Dead
Yamaha MO8, MO6 - Both Dead
Roland Gw-8 - Dead
Roland TRs - Sampler option, but still dead.

If you truly don't need these features; Alternatives are Roland's Sonic Cell & a Midi controller/ various used gear. You can defend your decision, but really, everyone should have these features on outboard gear this day and age. There are cheaper Casios with more features than those listed.

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5. Anything with a floppy drive. Give it up!

This has been Reality Check!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rare Yamaha Prototype Synth DX-2000???


(artist's rendition)

Could it be true? A Yamaha DX-2000 FM synthesizer that was never put into production available on Craigslist? Careful searching of the internet shows that no such "DX-2000" model has ever existed. However a Yamaha DX-200 does exist. Could the poster have been confused? I say no! The description is too subtly detailed. This machine either exists or is a total joke. Evidence of this, the USB port, which the DX-200 does not have, the 200 note polyphony, and wav playback. The description actually resembles a roland D-50 on steroids. More than a groovebox, this prototype is unreleased competition to the Roland V-synth. Requests for pictures were not yet returned.

Click image to enlarge
Link to the Craigslist post:
Hi, this is a prototype synth (DX-2000) from Yamaha I bought off of some one who worked there. It was a concept that was never actualized. The synth works identically to the FM8 software and has several effects and operators can call up pre recorded wav sounds which can be loaded in via USB. It features a sequencer and 200 notes polyphony. I have two and am selling one. The unit is one of a kind, you will not find this any where else. I will consider any trades or offers.
If you know anything about a Yamaha DX-2000 or have pictures of this synthesizer please let us know!!! It sounds like an amazing product, one which I want to own and test out. -Sammy

Gear Hunting with MASH

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Ever needed to find a new piece of used gear? Chances are that if your looking for the best price and you don't want to spend time searching many sites. Mash helps simplify your search and will get you better prices.

So you've checked ebay and were taken back by the poor deals. You checked Craigslist, but there wasn't what you wanted in your area. If you were smart you might have tried a google search "craigslist + the name of your wanted gear." The problem is that google doesn't update fast enough and doesn't show you enough results. Its also hard to compare right against ebay. It was an okay method, but not after I found Mash.

Check out Mash script with this example:
Which simultaneously searches ebay & craigslist for the Moog Voyager with newest results first.

Awesome! Just beware of scams and make sure you always get enough information from the seller!