Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thomas Blug Signature Pedals by XVive

For those of you unfamiliar with the Xvive range of pedals, I’ve waxed lyrical about them before, but essentially these are USA designed, Chinese made ‘Micro’ pedals that sound very, very cool and take up minimal room on your board.

In an earlier post I talked about German guitar wizard and ‘Tone guru’ Thomas Blug.

Thomas has recently teamed up with the guys at Xvive and helped them to voice 4 different pedals for their range, and as you would expect, each one brings a different but remarkably accurate variation on a classic amp tone.

GOLDEN BROWNIE: LN68957

The first of these is the ‘Golden Brownie’, which is designed to give you the high-gain rock tones of the 80’s style Marshall sound, “Like a JCM800 in a box” is their claim.

The sound is definitely synonymous with the classic British Rock tones of that era, and some judicious cutting or boosting with the Tone and Presence knobs can dial in quite a wide variety of transients to give you more or less of the Presence or Brightness required.

The beauty of this type of in-expensive yet high quality pedal, is that even if you don’t play too much classic rock, it’s just a great tone to have in your palette, just in case you’re called upon to produce a minutes worth of Eddie Van Halen in the middle of your Country band’s set…..

 

TUBE SQUASHER: LN68956

The Tube Squasher is a Low Gain sound, capable of big fat squashy tones, with a little compression to back it up. Add the Bass for a full on Jeff Beck fest, and it takes on an almost “Dumble-esque” quality. Lo-cut the bass, and you have a quintessential rhythm tone, with a sharp, Punky voice as well as a mature Rocky growl….

Again, even if you don’t use Classic tube amp tones in your day to day set, these little units are so inexpensive, it seems silly not to have at least one of these type of pedals in your armoury..

 

SWEET LEO: LN79344

The word for this Overdrive unit is ‘Transparent’.

Your original tone shines through without being masked or shaped which immediately marks it out as being a fantastic rhythm pedal, but it can also conjure up the sound of an old tweed amp being pushed through its paces. Indeed it has a ‘Growl’ knob, specifically to control this.

So if you want a lovely Clear Bell like overdriven tone or indeed to spit out a little more broken up  venom, this could very well be the pedal for you.

 

DYNAROCK: LN79346

This pedal cuts through with a lot of clarity, no mushy tones here. However, it also features a mid- boost that can deliver a lovely full fat tone, perfect for those fusion-y legato players.

If you’re called upon to put on a little Metal or Hard Rock, here’s all your High Gain tones in a little box…

 

 

 

The Scan Pro Audio Show

The Scan Pro Audio Show: Preview episode

Scan Titles
 

Many of you will remember our Pro Audio Webcasts which ran until the back end of last year. For those of you that didn’t manage to catch one, many of them are still archived on our Scan Pro Audio channel.

https://www.youtube.com/user/ScanProAudioTV

Well, this year we launch the new look, Scan Pro Audio show, in which we build on the webcast idea, to produce a full blown magazine type TV show featuring, news, items of interest and demonstrations from the world of Pro Audio.

Last week we aired the very first “Preview” episode, featuring Luke Edwards from Korg talking us through the new Korg Minilogue Synth and an item featuring Ben from TMS ( The UK’s most prolific Hit Producers ) talking us through how they use the Universal Audio Apollo console application and break down in detail the vocal monitoring effect chain that they use when recording acts such as Little Mix, Professor Green, Emeli Sande, One Direction, Jess Glynne, The Vamps & Rita Ora

You can catch the show here…

https://www.scan.co.uk/shops/proaudio-show

and you should also remember each show features the “codeword”, where viewers can email in for some exclusive offers of the week.

Cover Page!

 Congratulations to our own Pete Gardner on reaching the cover page of the prestigious Sound on Sound magazine!
Pete has been a contributor for a while now, but this month, he has put together the definitive version of “What’s the best CPU for todays Audio Production software”.

Pete is one of the most informed guys in the country (probably Europe!) when it comes to attaching things to the innards of a PC, and in this issue he shows all the various benchtests he uses to measure the different CPU’s available.

Sound on Sound is probably the best Audio Production mag available, and if you’re serious about the world of Audio Recording, you should make sure of your subscription now.

Its that time again!!!!

It’ll soon be that time of year again!!!
Whilst I don’t like to start any kind of festivities until around a fortnight before Christmas, we have to acknowledge that for Mums and Dads especially, they have no choice but to start planning WAYYYY beforehand, so here are a couple of thoughts as to gifts for the coming season….
Alesis DM7X Session Kit:
For the noisy blighter in your life….

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This is a cracking little version of the DM7X from Alesis.
Packed with premium Alesis sounds and onboard extras, the DM7X module is the heart of the DM7X Session kit. Extremely playable pads offer realistic extras such as a dual-zone snare for accurate rimshots, as well as a crash cymbal with choke. The enhanced bass drum system is fast, responsive, and extra-quiet. The sturdy, all-in-one drum rack features a wide stance with longer feet for improved balance. Compact and complete, the DM7X Session Kit fits easily into a home studio or performance stage. Add an extra tom pad and/or cymbal pad to grow this expandable kit as your needs change.
And for Mum and Dad?

NO NOISE!!!!!!
Seriously, your little Drummer can make as much racket as they like inside their own headphones, they can practise along to their mp3 player or to the 60 included play along tracks, and you won’t hear a thing!!!!

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COMPACT AND COMPLETE
The entire DM7X Session Kit sets up on a compact and sturdy 2-post drum rack. The wide stance and long feet offer stability for any style of drumming. Four Alesis DMPad 8″ drum pads are provided; three tom pads and a special dual-zone snare pad offering realistic rim sounds. Next, add in a collection of three 10″ cymbal pads—crash, ride, and hi-hat. The crash cymbal pad allows authentic choking of the cymbal sound. Quiet and compact, the bass drum system includes the responsive chain-driven X Kick pedal with an inverted beater for use with the super-silent StealthKick 2 trigger. Additionally, a cable snake is provided for easy and neat connections from the drum module to the drum pads, cymbal pads, and pedals.

EXPANDED SOUNDS
The DM7X module comes complete with 40 classic and modern ready-to-play kits. Easily tweak any existing kit, or create your own using the 385 premium drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds. Drum and cymbal buttons are arranged to resemble the layout of a traditional kit, so it’s simple to assign sounds and create kits quickly. Plus, the backlit LCD screen makes navigation a breeze.

EXPANDED FEATURES
Inside the DM7X module you’ll find valuable extras. The built-in learning mode features, sixty play-along music tracks, and an onboard metronome allow you to improve your skills. There is even an advanced sequencer and a performance recorder to expand your music-making potential. In addition to the USB MIDI connection for use with computers and mobile devices, the DM7X module also offers MIDI In and Out jacks so you can connect to your favorite MIDI-equipped drum machine, sound module or other audio gear. There is a headphone jack for private practice, plus stereo outs to connect to a PA system, amplifier, or recording interface. The stereo aux input allows you to jam along to your favorite tracks on your CD player or mobile device.

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So this Christmas why not treat your budding Buddy Rich to a great sounding kit that they’ll enjoy every day, and that won’t cause you any earache (especially from the Neighbours!)…….

Errrrm, 417 Sleeps……..

So, the best laid plans of Mice and Men eh?
The Manchester Music show has been postponed by a year, and now has a new home to boot….
It will take place on the 6th ,7th and 8th of November 2015, and is now going to be held at Event City, Manchester.
Event manager Chris Martin said: “We made the decision to postpone the show so that we can take the time to refocus the event, ensuring that it offers visitors and exhibitors alike a truly interactive experience, with a packed programme of features for musicians and music teachers, as well as those pursuing music industry careers. We’re also expanding to run over three days instead of two, which means we can put on a more substantial event for the industry.”
So….. See you down there in 2015!!

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SCAN/NVIDIA LOCK IN NIGHT!!!

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So, it would seem a little strange us Audio boyz blogging about the recent Scan/Nvidia Lock in Night featuring the launch of the new NVIDIA Shield, if it weren’t for the fact that the whole evening was supported by a riot of musical entertainment.18
Whenever we do this sort of thing, we never do it by halves, and last Friday evening/Saturday was no exception.12
From the Pro Audio side of things we had a blast featuring DJ sets from in-house Scan employee Penrar, our very own Tom Autobot and the Godfather of House, all the way from Chicago via Manchester, Mr Marshall Jefferson as well as a set from the Winners of our Velcocity 2014 competition rock section “Day Old Hate”.

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On the Saturday we had our old buddy, the freshly crowned UK DMC Champion Turntablist DJ Rasp with us, and in all, the whole weekend had a very cool and vibey feel to it.

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Arturia Beatstep……

So, along comes another controller!

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Ahh but………

Arturia’s BeatStep offers a new degree of functionality and performance for a portable pad controller.

BeatStep is highly versatile, capable of triggering clips in such applications as Ableton Live, it also allows you to play drums in conjunction with such applications as BFD or EZDrummer.

BeatStep is also a 16-step analog sequencer for creating all kinds of musical phrases to be sent to analog synthesizers, MIDI drum machines, MIDI keyboard devices, or computer programs. Its vast connectivity allows you to interface BeatStep with a computer or iPAD using USB, a drum module using MIDI or an analog synthesizer equipped with CV/GATE.

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Main Features :

    MIDI controller Mode – RED LED MODE

    Step Sequencer mode – BLUE LED MODE

    16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads

    16 encoders

    16 MIDI Controller presets

    16 Sequence presets

    Works with MIDI Control Center Editor

    Internal and External clocking

    CV outputs

    USB I/O

    MIDI output

    iPAD compatibility (using camera connection kit)

    Transports can send MIDI CC or MMC

    Kensington Lock

    Standalone MIDI or CV operation when powered via standard USB power adaptor

    USB Class compliant (no drivers)

Xmas Shopping Tips…..

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So, with limited shopping days until Christmas, I want to put to paper, my thoughts on a little argument I was having with a friend the other day.

My friend was bemoaning the loss of ‘Christmas Spirit’ when shopping on-line, as opposed to the ‘human contact’ of traditional shopping which apparently embues one with the “Joys of the Season”.

Well, recalling my own experience these last few years, which has mainly involved, wet feet, freezing cold hands, queuing up (Which I HATE), shop assistants that have plainly ‘ had enough’, and finally that awful bit of trying to remember when your extortionate car park ticket runs out… may I suggest the following steps this Yuletide….

Set aside an hour one evening soon, in a nice warm and slightly darkened room….

Make sure you’re not disturbed, by telling others they will ‘ruin the surprise’ if they come in.

Take a glass of something festive, sherry or port, and a couple of mince pies, open your browser and find this page http://christmassongsradio.com/   tune in, and get ready to browse.

Make sure you have a pad and pencil with you, (or open up wordpad or its equivalent) and start your shopping. You don’t have to buy straight away, just take notes of what might do for who, and spend the next hour just happily clicking and sipping and nibbling with the gentle songs of Christmas spilling forth from your speakers. (Oh by the way, start here…  www.scan.co.uk   🙂  )

I promise you’ll get ‘Christmassy’ a lot faster this way…..

On behalf of everyone here at Scan, we wish you a Happy and Peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.

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FOCAL Spirit Professional Headphones…..

FOCAL  SPIRIT PROFESSIONAL

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Any Regular readers of this blog will know that every now and then, a product comes along that causes me to shout very loudly….  OK, here goes…

THESE ARE UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!index 4

I’ll calm down for a minute and explain something….

In the same way that certain monitor speakers can ‘colour’ the sound of your mix, i.e. they can accentuate certain frequencies to boost or cut the highs and lows, the same is true of headphones.

In the world of Hi-Fi, this sort of thing is not only common practice, but it is considered one of the prime reasons for buying a certain brand of headphone over another, i.e. you ‘like the sound of them’.

In the world of the recording studio however, exactly the reverse is true. Or should be…..

The goal in recording studios is to monitor exactly what is being output from the desk/computer in order to mix it precisely for your needs. That’s why top studio’s pay literally 10’s of 1000’s of pounds for monitor speakers which accurately reflect your m8ix, warts and all. After all, the last thing you want is a mix that sounds good on your speakers, but sounds dreadful everywhere else (and believe me this is very possible).

The same is true for studio monitor headphones. index 2

In a studio, you can probably get away with lesser quality headphones when it comes to tracking instruments, and to a lesser extent Vocals, but when it comes to Mixing, (and there are times when you’re forced to mix on headphones, either because of noise constraints in home studios at night, or mixing on a laptop whilst travelling..) there is no way you can afford to compromise.

Here at Scan we take our listening skills very seriously.

We have industry professionals at the heart of our team, and we are merciless when it comes to quality. (Our very own Tom recently paid $2000.00 for his current studio phones..)

Every one of our team was so impressed with these Focal Pro’s that we each bought a pair.

That’s how good they are.

THEY ARE JUST AWESOME!!!!

The first thing I discovered when I got them home wasn’t just the detail within the sound, but the stereo imaging was absolutely bang on. You can stand in front of your studio monitors, and match the volume between phones and monitors, then remove them and put them back to your hearts content, the imaging is exactly the same, and that is a very, very good thing.

LN 54126

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