If you have an iPad already this is surely the no brainer of the year. The rather excellent functionality of the Launchpad is now available for free in App form from the iTunes store.
Head over to for your copy now.
Many of you will remember the CMC controllers we featured last year, indeed we even had dear old Andy from Steinberg come over to one of our Pro Audio days and talk people through them.
The CMC series comprises 6 slim but powerful units, each of which has all the control options you’re looking for — whether you are recording, editing and mixing music, creating beats or performing live. Each of the six slim-sized controllers is unique in its own way and features a dedicated set of rotary encoders, touch faders or pads designed to take hands-on control of a specific section in Cubase.
In the past, each of these units was available separately, and were priced around the £70.00 -£80.00 mark, however….
Steinberg have released a CMC Six-Pack!!!
All 6 X CMC Controllers in one box. At the unbelievable price of £244.00!!!!
That’s a saving of over 50% if you were to buy them separately!!!!
This is a limited run, only available while stocks last!
We don’t often blog about useful apps, but this one comes from the Genelec stable, and for anyone who has taken heed of our very own Professor Tom’s advice to acoustic treatment and speaker positioning in the studio, it’s a blessing…….
It works with either a Stereo or Surround set-up, and it’s simplicity itself to use.
Set your speakers at the right height, and get them all facing the same way, (i.e. not angled in)
Next, place your iOS or Android device on top of the speaker parallel to the top, front edge.
If you then hit the button on SpeakerAngle, and start to turn the speaker inward towards you, the angle will be displayed. The button goes Green within 3 degrees of 30 degrees rotation. You then hit the button, which locks and turns Orange. Then move the device onto the other speaker, and the app remembers the first angle, turning the button Yellow.
It has full instructions included, but to be honest it’s really pretty intuitive, and a really handy little device for someone who wants to be spot on with their listening angles.
Now if they make an app this useful, how good must their speakers be…. ?
7.1 surround set-up.
Just a brief word or two about these splendid kits that come as part of the Komplete 8 Ultimate package.
There are now 4 Abbey Road kits, each recorded as the name suggests, in the famous abbey Road studios down in London. It goes without saying that the kits are well recorded and offer a truly authentic sound, but I’m just going to explain a little of what makes these sounds so usable.
Basically, if you’re looking to pinpoint a musical moment in time, there’s a kit for you.
Abbey Road 60’s kit features two highly sought-after 60s drum kits: A Gretsch Round Badge White Marine Pearl kit (Jasper Shell) from the early 60s and a Ludwig Hollywood kit from 1967. Both kits provide a choice of two 60s snares, and all cymbals used are genuine 60s originals, including a rivet cymbal dating from 1963.
Abbey Road 70’s kit:
The Abbey Road 70’s kit comprises two highly sought-after vintage kits, each with a choice of two snares, deliver two highly distinctive 70s drum sounds. The Open Kit is a Ludwig Vistalite Tequila Sunrise from 1972 with the big, roomy sound of classic rock. The Tight Kit is a vintage 1970s Premier model with the tight, dry, punchy sound that was popular throughout the 70s.
Abbey Road 80’s kit:
Into the 80’s and the The Black Kit, recorded in Studio Three, is a vintage Yamaha 9000 from the mid-80s – one of the most recorded drum kits in history.
The Chrome Kit is a Slingerland Magnum fitted with single-headed concert toms – very fashionable during the 1980s.
Snares include Ludwig, Gretsch, Slingerland and Pearl models. And no 80s kit would be complete without a full set of Octobans (Think Stewart Copeland) – melodically-tuned tubular toms that were popular among many of the decade’s top drummers.
Abbey Road Modern Drummer:
Two top-of-the-line drum kits deliver two very different contemporary drum sounds in Modern Drummer. They provide a choice of three snares per kit and a number of ‘character’ cymbals, including the Sabian Chopper and Zildjian Spiral Trash.
Recorded in Studio 3, the Sparkle Kit is a contemporary Pearl Reference kit with a tight, disciplined sound for modern pop, ballads and all-purpose use.
The White Kit is a Drum Workshop Collector’s Series kit from the mid-90s. A maple kit, tuned low for drive and edge, and recorded in Studio 2.
So, armed with the proper kits and sounds, you can now set out to record some authentic drum parts.
The Mixer Section provides spot-on control over the mic levels on each drum, plus overheads, stereo room mics and any other specialist mics used during the recording process. The Mix Presets give a completely professional sound, and provide a perfect starting point for detailed tweaking.
Each snare provides faders for top and bottom mic, plus adjustable bleed level. Here, ‘bleed’ refers to how the rest of the kit rattles the snare wires — raise the bleed level for more realism.
Each drum has its own effect chain with a selection of routing options. All the updated ABBEY ROAD DRUMMER instruments include a top-qualitystudio EQ – a uniquely musical 4-band EQ with switchable fixed-bell curves on the low and high bands, plus adjustable Q settings on the midrange.
A powerful compressor adds presence and drive to your drums without blurring the detail. And it’s not just for bus compression – this studio compressor is available on each of the mixer tracks.
There’s a Transient master to emphasize attack to make a drum hit harder, or shorten the resonance tail of a drum that rings too long. Bring drums to the front of the mix or smooth out spiky drums without touching the levels, and a Tape Saturator which by simulating the natural, harmonic compression of analog tape, adds a pleasing warmth to your sound. And pushed a little harder, it delivers a smooth, organic overdrive.
Finally a Convolution Reverb— 30 high-end impulse responses ranging from small rooms to big halls, for extra space and depth on your drums.
Now, once you take the combination of some beautifully recorded drums, and some very competent effects, you’ll find you are able to lay down effective, believable drum tracks that sit well in the mix and enhance your music in a way that just wasn’t possible a few years ago.
Native Instruments Komplete 8 Ultimate.
SCAN E-CAST HUB:
Having just returned from the BETT show in London’s docklands last week, it’s probably time to mention the Scan E-cast solution that we were demoing live at the show.
Together with Roland systems group, we were showing how easy it is to webcast using minimal equipment. The secret behind this is a cracking little piece of technology called the Roland VR3 box.
Essentially, is allows you to video switch, audio mix, preview monitors and take advantage of streaming-ready USB output all in a single unit. As a USB Video/Audio class device, web streaming is made easy by simply connecting to a computer running a live streaming service such as USTREAM , Livestream, Stickam, Justin.tv, worshipstream.com, websharelive.com, etc.
OK, I here you say, but what does that mean to me?
Well, here’s the plot….
Over the next few years, webcasting will become more prolific.
Already the greatest growth on You Tube has been tutorial lessons on musical instruments. However, with the advent of companies like Virgin Media including You Tube as a channel on your TV, viewers are becoming more discerning. They are calling for higher production values in the videos they watch. It’s no longer enough to see a murky figure, dimly lit, hanging off the edge of a grotty bed, teaching you the solo to “Stairway to Heaven”. Viewers want better quality, and if you’re a guitar teacher giving lessons over Skype for example, the same thing will apply, the better the quality or look of the lesson, the more people will subscribe.
Using a piece of code, written by our own Tom ‘Autobot’ Francis, which uses a Midi switch pedal to control the VR3, the presenter is able to take control of which camera is seen by the viewer (very handy for switching to a close up of the left hand for example), they’re able to control what type of background is showing, spin in various jpegs or images, and control the wipes between camera changes. After a little practice, It’s possible to deliver a very slick presentation, controlling 2 or more cameras, and generally ‘upping your game’ in the video presentation stakes.
The good news is, that although we were lucky enough to have some very high end cameras, pretty much any camera with a composite output will do. You probably have the cameras you need already, and things like the little Go-Pro cameras are awesome.
Working with our partners at Scan Pro Video and Roland Systems Group, we can provide you with a solution for something you didn’t even realise you needed! Take a look at some of the applications below…..
Music Lessons for You Tube:
Performances for You Tube/Web sites
Skype lessons over the net.
Here are some examples of how it could be used in Education:
The Hub will enable your School or University to broadcast live to the web or to archive “Speciality Lessons”. Let’s say that you have a teacher or lecturer who has a great lesson on a particular subject. Using this Hub, they would be able to present the lesson and have it simultaneously broadcast to a URL, and/or be stored for use by future classes, extending the life and reach of the lesson content with on-demand versions.
Imagine subject specific presentations by department heads, explaining which courses would be useful for various careers, and what the pupil’s could expect during the course. The teacher would have the opportunity to ‘sell’ their subject, and have it viewed by the children with their parents at home in their own time.
Sports day, Prize Giving, Music Performances, Drama performances; All these can be streamed live to the Net, to be watched in real time by parents or invited guests.
What about a visit from a ‘specialist’. Maybe a Poet or a Musician is coming to school. Capture a performance unique to your school.
Interactive Homework Club:
In conjunction with VOIP, a teacher could stay behind and run a Homework club over the net. Able to answer questions in real time from pupils who are tuned in to the relevant URL.
Demonstrating Teaching Skills for Performance based teaching assessments:
An OFSTED requirement this year.
High Production Value Skype Lessons:
The biggest increase in You Tube traffic has come from tuition videos on the web. However, viewers are becoming discerning, with the move from pc monitors to the living room and companies like Virgin Media featuring You Tube as a channel on your TV, the future will be higher production for private tutors on the net.
We know the popularity of Podcasting, what about the move to Student TV?, or Lectures broadcast as standard to the web, so they can be watched from a sickbed.
Drama workshops or performances streamed live to people who couldn’t make it to the show, or maybe in a BTEC environment, the Hub could be used to assess performance in Music and drama.
More and more colleges and universities are use Webstreaming to record learning activities and campus events, and managing huge libraries of video-based instruction.
Webstreaming can integrate with your existing classroom and campus systems to make it easy to teach courses online as well as in the Classroom.
The truth is that this technology is the face of the future.
Personalised digital content will be the way of the future, for everyone from families to teachers to rockbands, everyone will have their own outlet to present their ‘thing’ to the world…..
Live Rock Music: SOS Festival 2013
Here at Scan Pro Audio we are passionate about all kinds of music.
Tom Francis is a renowned Producer, DJ and recording artist with his band the Autobots. He works with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Steve Fairclough is a Composer and Producer, providing original music and sound design for television, radio and cinema to directors, producers and agencies all over the UK. He is also an acclaimed veteran of the British guitar scene.
Pete Gardener is a DJ and writes for Sound on sound magazine. He is probably the countries leading expert in Audio PC’s.
Simon Lyon is also known as the Ruthless Producer, and is currently working with some of the North’s leading singer songwriters .
These guys make up the core of Scan Pro Audio.
Elan our CEO is a guitarist and Shelley our MD is a music promoter, and that is what this little blog is about… you see not only do Scan get involved at a very High level, promoting and sponsoring tours by the likes of Toto and Steve Lukather , but we also sponsor Grass roots music in local pubs like the Moses Gate and the Railway.
However, this year, we’ve got a whole festival to sponsor.
It’s gonna be loud, lairy and live, and it’ll feature some of the cream of this countries Rock talent. Including the Hard Rocking “Ten by Ten” fronted by our very own Chris Ward.
Check it out, here’s the url….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76s-O0l-0z4