Roland have been teasing their new range of AIRA products for the last month and now we're finally allowed to reveal what they are! What's more is that a selection of Absolute Music staff were invited to a special, super-secret demo of the new AIRA range before the announcement, where we got to see, hear and play with them. Now that's what you call a perk of the job!
In this article, we'll talk about the brand new AIRA TR-8, which brings together Roland's classic TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines in one modern design. We'll let you know about its features, as well as what we thought of it and how it sounds.
It's finally here! Roland have re-introduced their iconic TB-303 bass module and what's more, some of us at Absolute Music got to hear and play with it before the official announcement! Unfortunately for you guys, we've been bound by a strict contract that has forbidden us from sharing our knowledge with our customers and many of our colleagues... until now! As Roland have now released full details to the world, we're also free to share our thoughts with you (something that we've been bursting to do for a long time)!
In this article, we'll describe exactly what the Touch Bassline TB-3 is, what features it offers and exactly what we thought of it. Excited? You should be!
*** UPDATE: I ended up buying one in the end! Read the updated end of my review to find out what I now think of the TB-3 as an owner of one! ***
After all those teases, we finally know what the Airas are! In fact, we have a confession to make... some of us have known for a while and have even got to hear and play them! Unfortunately for the rest of us, those people were bound by a strict contract that meant that they had to keep schtum until the official announcement... but that's now here!
So, the Aira line-up consists of the TR-8, which brings together the sounds of the TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines in one easy-to-use unit; the TB-3, which gives you the classic sound of the Roland TB-303 bass synth; the VT-3, which is a compact vocal transformer for adding electronic effects to your voice in realtime and finally; the System-1, which can be loaded with your choice of soft-synth sounds in order to model a selection of classic Roland instruments (including the SH-101), as well as featuring its own, unique synth engine.
This review was written by Mark Harris, who works in the Absolute Music web team.
iZotope RX 3 is a high powered suite of restoration plugins. I have been working with the Advanced version of the software, which adds extra modules to the suite and extra features to some of the standard modules. The software can be used in either standalone or plugin mode although in plugin mode, some of the more detailed controls are disabled as they cannot be run in realtime.
Amongst other things, Novation are famed for making high-quality MIDI controllers that integrate flawlessy into the modern studio or live set-up, thanks to their superb automatic mapping software. This probably explains why Novation keyboards are so popular, with plenty of professionals and home studio owners favouring their products over competitors'.
If you're in the market for a MIDI controller keyboard, then you're probably considering a Novation, but with SL MkII, Impulse and Launchkey ranges to choose from, what's the difference between them and which will best suit your requirements? As I've used all of them before, I've decided to compile this article in order to help answer these questions and hopefully help you in your quest to find your perfect controller.
This review was written by Joe Mann, who is part of the Absolute Music guitar team and one of our guitar technicians...
I currently own a Digitech Whammy & so when we got our first shipment of Electro Harmonix Slammi pedals in, I couldn't resist performing a side-by-side comparison to see how it shaped up. Before going into any details, I'll cut to the chase & just say that I was very impressed!
This review was written by local engineer, Dave Thomas...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have been engineering for 20 years and have a modestly equipped home studio comprising of Cubase 7, Pro Tools 10, UA Apollo Duo and an AKG c414, which I use as a vocal microphone. I also engineer in Absolute Music’s recording studio in Bournemouth.
My regular client base is mostly made up of singer-songwriters and artists recording to backing tracks and as technology and times have moved on, I've found that many of them have come to expect more and more for their money in ever decreasing time frames. As a consequence, it’s rare I get the time to experiment with vocals and although I generally get good results, I tend to err on the side of caution and use the same trusted techniques and settings over and over again. However, having not used a dedicated vocal 'all-in-one' plug in before, I was really looking forward to trying iZotope's Nectar 2. Could this be what I need in order to push me to try new things?
Following on from my recent review of the AC Plus (CLICK HERE to read it), I thought I'd write a quick article comparing Xotic's venerable AC Booster, RC Booster & BB Preamp models. These units have become modern classics & can be found on the pedalboards of many a tone-hound (from the likes of Eric Johnson to Greg Howe), yet you'd be forgiven if you found choosing between them a little confusing. In this article I shall attempt to clear up the differences & help make your choice a little easier...
Xotic effects have become synonymous with tonal quality & their range of boosters/ overdrives have been adopted by players such as Eric Johnson, Scott Henderson, Steve Stevens & Greg Howe (to name but a few). Models such as the AC Booster, RC Booster & BB Preamp all became instant classics shortly after their introduction & the range has continued to grow even more impressive with every release since. Xotic are a company that listen to their customers &, having found that a number of players were stacking their pedals together (e.g. a BB Preamp with an RC Booster, or an AC with an RC), it was in 2007 that they released their first dual pedal: the AC Plus.
The AC Plus is a dual overdrive/boost pedal that can be used in varying combinations to achieve a whole gamut of different drive related tones. Its adornment of knobs & switches offer true flexibility & its pedigree certainly sets the bar high. Why don't we dive in & see how it measures up...
Earlier this year, one of our customers, Russ Davey, purchased a Korg Krome 61 workstation as his new gigging keyboard and decided to write an in-depth review on it. We thought that he did such a good job that we've decided to share it with you!