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22 October 2010

CUBASE 5 CAN’T FIND VST PLUGINS? HERE WE GO...

EDITORIAL
There comes a time in everybody’s life when Cubase is not enough. To make things right, there comes a time when we need to ask for help, when our VST plugins get lost. Let me be your tech support. I’ll take the pain for you when the user guide is not on your side... Celine! Enough about running Cubase 5.5.1 as a 64-bit app on Windows 7 already! Yup, I’ve been shimmying around the interweb forums and one theme that recurs is the nightmare of lost VST plugins.

20 October 2010

IDOLUMIC RHYME GENIE 2 | $24.95

REVIEW
Ere we polish the lamp to summon a refreshed version of lyricists’ friend Rhyme Genie, may I refer you to 23 June 2010? On that date, I posted searing approbation of Rhyme Genie 1.3, about which the developer, whom I shall code-name Pete, was ecstatically gratified. Unless, of course, you’ve already read the article and are blessed with an eidetic memory. No? OK, click here and we’ll hook up again presently... Welcome back. Now then, time has trooped on a number of leagues since June and we’ve now version 2 over which to pore.

16 October 2010

NATIVE INSTRUMENTS PARANORMAL SPECTRUMS | €69

REVIEW
In the yoof-speak of yore, ‘bad’ meant ‘good’, and still does, apparently. More recently, ‘sick’ also means ‘good’, while ‘well sick’ translates as ‘jolly good’. It’ll not be long before ‘paraneoplastic’ takes on positive connotations, although it’s doubtful today’s young tearaways could spell it. While Native Instruments may present with mild dyslexia, naming its reasonably recently released Komplete instrument as Paranormal Spectrums (Spectra, surely?), the Deutsche developer certainly displays superior audio-assembling aptitude and could well push the bounds of English slang that little further. Thanks to the nature of the instrument’s creepy content, ‘ghastly, gruesome, macabre’ and more may come across to some as meaning ‘quintessentially delicious’ - we may even see the letter ‘g’ re-append itself to ‘chillin’. This Kore 2 instrument is sumptuously scary and, with Halloween approaching, now seems like the time to hide under the duvet, don headphones and audition the wicked thing (‘wicked’ meaning ‘spiffing’, in keeping with the terminological torture afflicted on language by tearaway teenage tossers).

15 October 2010

GET LINKED IN FOR FUN AND PROFIT

EDITORIAL
Right folks, it’s time to get linked in and have some fun. You’ll possibly have noticed a new gadget in one of the right-hand columns of this page. It’s a direct link to the MuzoBlog discussion group hosted by LinkedIn, a networking service used by thousands of professionals in all manner of industries, including music. People post resumés, messages, work up contact networks and generally stay, ahem, ‘in the loop’ so as to further whatever venture they’re adventuring upon. But MuzoBlog already has Facebook accounts for both muzos and industry types, namely Muzo Community and Corporate Muzo, as well as comment boxes at the base of each post. And a Twitter account (hey, be sweet and follow my tweets). So, why another interactive extra? Here’s for why...

13 October 2010

KORG KAOSSILATOR PRO | £350

REVIEW
What is this that stands before me? Little black box that blinks at me. With green LEDs. It’s been about 10 years since Korg's Kaoss pad had muzos scratching their heads thinking: “Well, it doesn’t look like a synth. Or a MIDI controller, for that matter. Where’s the keyboard? The array of knobs and sliders? And what’s with the light-show?” While X-Y controllers feature on many a keyboard synth these days, to have the primary means of note input as merely a backlit X-Y touchpad initially confused folk more accustomed to plonking away on piano keyboards.

With the original Kaoss pad, manufacturer Korg was actually making a kind of point, the point being that there must be a more spontaneous means of making music. At least, more spontaneous than having to spend an age learning how to tickle a tune out of the ivories. Non-pianists and DJs (ie, glorified record players) took Kaoss to their hearts, however. They rapidly realised that knocking out a tune did not have to entail mastering the art of bashing a row of black-and-white buttons. Kooky composers also embraced Kaoss and its potential for experimental musical musings. Korg copped all this and continued development, arriving this year at its most chaotic Kaoss yet, the Kaossilator Pro.