TruePianos VST

Until recently, the two front runners in the virtual piano race were TruePianos and Modartt PianoTeq. TruePianos was slightly more affordable and was generally thought to be more playable and realistic, while Pianoteq, although an impressively flexible and powerful piano model, suffered from artificial overtones. Since Version 3 of Pianoteq, this is no longer true, in my opinion. Pianoteq has seen some impressive upgrades and options and is definitely worth the additional expense.

However, I've stuck with TruePianos. It's still a very inspirational virtual instrument.

January 19, 2007 12:08 by colin


Digitech GSP21 FX Processor

Serial# 288889

Ah, my trusty multi-effects unit. I can't remember where or when I purchased this but it was my main guitar FX for years until I realised what the tube amp afficionados were on about. This has mediocre distortion and compression when compared to what's available these days, but in my opinion the delay and reverb algorithms are outstanding. I now run the fx loop out to my POD for compression and amplifier modelling duties.

I have the floor-board for this, but I don't use it since I accidently unplugged it while the power was on and it reset the patch memory. Disaster.

July 24, 2005 18:54 by colin


Line6 POD 2.0

 

Amplifier modelling is the best thing to happen to recording guitarists since the invention of the Floyd locking nut. In my opinion.

I have been unable to get a decent bass patch out of this thing, though. I know it's theoretically possible (albeit it is a guitar effect unit) and there are instructions on the Line 6 web site. I should try following them sometime.

This is one of the few pieces of equipment that made me scrap my existing recordings and rework them, this time with the lead and rhythm guitar using the POD. I didn't know what I'd been missing.

 

July 24, 2005 18:52 by colin


Behringer TRUTH B2031P passive monitors

Behringer gets a fairly bad rap for producing "cheap and nasty" products, but let me tell you: These monitors produce a much better sound than that I was getting though a pair of little Boston Acoustics bookshelf speakers. Now I switch between the two speaker sets for comparison purposes.

July 24, 2005 17:56 by colin


Roland D-550

 

Serial# 811067

Those "Glass Voices"... that "Guitarrrr"... there are many patches on this box that I used to think that I could not live without. If it broke down I would have to shop for a D-50 on E-Bay, I would say to myself.

Interestingly, as I re-work projects that featured this synthesizer, I find myself using alternative instrumentation in preference to the venerable D-50 tones. I don't know why, exactly. Many synths of its era have disctinctive patches that were overused in commercial productions of the day, to the point where the patches now sound cheezy. The D-50/550 certainly has its share of these, but it is still capable of many unique and fresh-sounding sounds with depth that hold up today.

 

July 24, 2005 17:47 by colin


MIDIsport 2x2 USB MIDI Interface

A lot of people have said that they have had problems with these M-Audio USB MIDI interfaces, but mine has worked flawlessly with Windows 2000, XP, and more recently, Windows 7 (although the drivers were only released in beta form very recently). I originally only used the IN/OUT-A because the Roland A-880 handled the rest of the devices. When I got the Roland VK-8 I'd run out of ports on the A-880 and so I plugged it into the In/Out-B ports. This works out really well because the VK-8 will actually respond on several MIDI channels as a multi-timbral device.

July 24, 2005 17:40 by colin


Roland A-880 MIDI Patchbay

 

Serial# ZA98548

I live in fear of this device breaking down. Where the heck can you find MIDI patch bays these days? Apparently no-one makes them any more, but I don't see why that should be. They are still a vital component of any comprehensive MIDI studio.

This one has been very reliable. But still I worry...

 

July 24, 2005 17:39 by colin


M-Audio Delta 66 PCI audio interface

I had no problems at all with this interface in Windows XP. Sonar just profiled the device and away we go. I initially thought I would never use the SPDIF inputs but then I got the Roland Fantom, which has digital audio out. Apart from being lower in volume, I figure it has got to be better, right? So I feed the Fantom digital out into the SPDIF on the Delta-66 card.

Since moving to a Windows 7 64-bit workstation, I have had some issues. Occasionally I'll hit the playback or record in SONAR, and instead of getting sound I'll get silence. I've learned to hit the stop button pretty quickly when this happens, because if I don't I'll get a pulsing pile of digital rhythmic feedback noise on my electrodes

I suspect the Win64 drivers from M-Audio are to blame. It happens whether I select ASIO or WDM/Kernel streaming mode, and is not affected by buffer sizing.

If M-Audio don't produce updated drivers that solve the proble, then at some point, I am going to have to switch to a different vendor. Probably Echo Layla 3G.

July 24, 2005 17:03 by colin


Korg TR-Rack synth module

 

Serial# 011114

This has some truly excellent sounds, both synthesized and drum kits. I originally purchased it to replace what I thought was an ailing Korg M1. Until Addictive Drums came along, it was my main source of standard drum kit sounds..

 

July 24, 2005 15:15 by colin


Korg M1

 

Serial# 043388

The Korg M1 was our first real "workstation" keyboard. Actually, some might say that it was the first true "workstation" keyboard available on the market. Man, when I heard what this could do in the store I knew I had to have it, because it would take our music to the next level. I think it did. Suddenly we could use sequencing and drum samples, and our overdubbed sketches turned into pretty nice well-rounded demos.

 

July 24, 2005 13:19 by colin


The Prodigal Sounds: Fruit of the Steel Tree

About

Our debut collection of songs is now available on CD Baby!

Melodic progressive rock songs and instrumental interludes, a touch of 70's influence but a product of the dystopian Now.

 

"Very smooth, hi-tech sounding delivery..."
- Chris Jemmett, alt.music.yes

"This guy is awesome."
- Dazed, on the Carvin Forum.

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