Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I demoed the Axiom Pro 25 for about a month and the only good thing I have to say about it is the drum pads are OK. This keyboard is 199 retail. This is above the cost of a video game system when I was a kid and above cost of an Xbox 360 today. You'd think I'd be able to get a quality keyboard.
The Axiom Pro has no internal sounds. Oh wait it does: Squeeky springs. The bottom keys play fine and are almost silent, but the top black keys make spring noise. This is what happens when your outsource your build.
Overall the software and USB stability is no greater than Novation or other brands. The interface is confusing. Program changes are hard to do on the 25 key. I had to use the manual to find out the secret button combo. Worst is the outer rounded egdes are obtrusive and prevent me from playing normally.
I still hate M-audio as a company, their support, and all their poor products. I gave them a chance again and they failed me. M-audio still caters to low budget products with zero value for users. I cannot recommend the M-Audio Axiom Pro 25 for anyone who respects themselves as a synthesist or keyboard player.
If you use a V-synth or JP-8000 system you know that the resonance on all these machines is lacking. What you may not know is that the extra Peak filter on the V-Synth is pretty amazing for funky sounds. It comes closer to the sound of analog filter resonance on the Jupiter-8 and others.
Here is the basic chain:
OSC---->-12db Lowpass Filter----> Peak Filter--->VCA
We are cascading the filters into eachother. The Peak filter on the end adds the resonance that is lacking in the regular lowpass filter. Both can have resonance boosted, however you should set the envelopes and frequncy amounts to approximately the same exact settings. If you get tricky you could also use the TB-303 ladder filter instead of the regular low-pass, then experiment with filter settings. Using the peak filter gives us a more pleasant resonance response than the basic LP filter and will sound more vintage. Enjoy!
Update: Also note that using the LFO on the TB-303 filter gives a more realistic resonance sweep than the envelope...go figure.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Here are some reasons NOT to use synthesizers in your productions.
1. If You need a natural sound, then don't use a synthesizer. Synthesizers do not cover enough audio ground unless they are also romplers/samplers. Most people don't listen to pure synth tones. Any programming to make them sound natural will be time wasted.
2. If you could have bought something else that makes you feel more creative.
3. Learning synthesizer takes away time from learning keyboards or production.
4. When they eat up your entire recording budget. You might have a problem! Synthesizer are very expensive for what they really do.
5. If synths don't fit into your style. You may like playing with them, but some instruments are just wrong for different reasons. Make music you want to listen to. For example, if you are more of a punk, going vintage or buying a new digital keyboard won't fit with your modern aesthetic of a laptop or converted video game console.