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Free Vocoder VSTi - Vocov

While it's still an early release, the free Vocov vocoder VSTi still sounds capable of some cool effects.


Akai MPD24 OS 1.07 Update

Akai have released a new OS version 1.07 for their MPD24 MIDI pad controller. The OS update appears to address a few bugs and alters how some features behave:

New features/Changes:
1. When working with Uniquest in ECSM mode, sysex pressure from pad is sent when note-on is confirmed.
2. Improved handling of multiple simultaneous note-ons
3. Default PARAMETER_LCDCONTRAST set to 66
4. Improved fader and pot ballistics.

Bug fixes:
1. Fixed bug where aftertouch value of zero was not sent with Note-Off
2. Fixed bug where first message in pad toggle mode was not note-on under some circumstances

As with any firmware OS upgrade, be careful and follow Akai's upgrade instructions - it's software that you're loading into the actual MPD itself, so you don't want to stuff it up somehow!

You can get the MPD24 OS 1.07 update here

Thanks to Melek for letting me know about this.


NAMM 07 Musical Instrument Tradeshow

As many of you will be aware, the NAMM 07 tradeshow was recently held in Anaheim. Four days of the latest and greatest musical instruments, hardware, and other assorted goodies.

Being on the other side of the planet, I didn't make it, but thankfully some camera toting musicians were there, and Moose from midiZoo has put together a whole collection of his photos with brief explanations of what each piece of gear is!

Here are just a few of the things on offer, and remember you can check out the rest at midiZoo.


Traktor Scratch - Mix & Scratch Digital Audio!

Native Instruments have just launched their latest offering, called Traktor Scratch. Its a pro DJ hardware and software system which comes equipped with some special time-coded vinyl control records and CDs, and allows the producer/DJ to mix and scratch with their turntables, but controlling the digital audio files on their computer!


Excellent Free VST Synth - Orca

FXpansion are most known for their drum sampler software BFD, with it's premium quality acoustic drum kits, and their Guru software sampler with it's assignable MPC style banks of samples, but it turns out they also do synths.

Free synths, and excellent ones at that. They have made their Orca VST Synth available for free download at their website (linked below).


Native Instruments Demos

Many of you will recognize the Native Instruments name, as they've built a reputation for extremely intricate, and powerful, studio software. Even if some of it is insanely complex!

They have put out several great software synths, such as Reaktor, Absynth, FM8, and the aptly named Massive, and also have a couple of cool samplers, Kontakt and Battery.

These and several of Native Instrument's other programs and effects are available as demo software, which you can check out here.


Free Audio Midi Sequencer - Reaper

For the financially challenged home studio musician, finding good free software can be a bit difficult at times.

This is especially so when it comes to the more complicated software that is capable of full audio/midi recording, editing, and sequencing.

Still, that said there are in fact golden nuggets to be found out there in the wide expanse of the Internet.

Reaper is one such piece of software it seems, and if the feature list is to be believed, this uncrippled, unexpiring shareware is quite a find at that.


Worlds First Terabyte Harddrive Announced

As everyone who works with audio recording will know, the raw audio file sizes can really start to add up quickly. So quickly in fact, that even the large hard drive capacities that we take for granted these days can soon be filled to the brim.

Thankfully however, as technology keeps striding forward relentlessly, the maximum hard drive sizes keep increasing. It seems relatively recently that the 500 Gigabyte harddrives were launched by some of the leading manufacturers, and that was just another step on the ladder of progress.

Hitachi has just released news of their latest offering in the ultra sized hard drive category - the World's first Terabyte harddrive. For those not familiar with that term, that's 1000 Gigabytes!

1000GB's should be plenty for most musicians DAW machines I'd imagine.

These drives should be available second quarter of 2007, and have a RRP of $399.

For more info you can read Hitachi's Press Release.


Listen to your Ipod Underwater!

While it's not strictly a product designed with musicians in mind, as soon as I stumbled across this little beauty, I knew it deserved a mention!

If you're addicted to listening to all the great music on offer at MakeTunes, and your own musical creations of course, it might pain you to have to sometimes be out of reach of an audio playing device - I know I've often thought along these lines!

One of the more common things which can come between a musician and their music is water.

Whether its water in the shower, or water in the swimming pool, most of us aren't able to play our MP3 collection in wet conditions. Well, at least not without either electrocuting ourselves, or destroying our treasured portable MP3 players in the process!

Well turns out we're not the only ones, and a company called Ego (what a modest name!) have come up with a total waterproofing solution for your Ipod, complete with waterproof speakers. How cool is that.

They actually use pool and shower shots in their advertising. Ok, so the shower shots were probably just an excuse to photograph a lovely lady in the shower, but the concept is still pretty cool right?!

Check it out in detail on the Ego website.


Distortion VST Effect - FuzzPlus by Audio Damage

Everybody loves to fuzzify their sound sometimes, whether it's making your bassline sound twisted and evil, or your drums grimy and hard hitting.

FuzzPlus by Audio Damage is the virtual equivalent of a famous vintage fuzz pedal.


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