Hands-on review of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones

I recently purchased a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones, and I decided to share my opinion of them. Here’s the short version: they’re good, big, recording studio headphones. If you’re not using them for production, they’re nice headphones for regular use, but, they’re bulky and lack built-in controls for smartphones. In my case, this turned out to be a problem. Continue reading Hands-on review of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones

Hands-On Review of the Ableton Push

I had the opportunity over the weekend to test drive the new Ableton Push, a hardware control surface with 64 velocity-sensitive, RGB-LED illuminated trigger pads, and a host of other controls and goodies.

Continue reading Hands-On Review of the Ableton Push

Testing the New MOTU MicroBook with Volta

This week I tested out the new MOTU MicroBook USB audio interface with Volta. Volta is a really cool control voltage plug-in that enables you to trigger analog synths through a computer. Before synthesizers had MIDI connectivity, people would control them externally with control voltage. However, since the computer recording revolution took over, there’s been no way to send commands these old analog synths with audio software. That’s all changed thanks to Volta!

The audio interface that you use with Volta must have “DC Coupled” outputs. Before the MicroBook came out, the cheapest way to use Volta was with the $530 MOTU Ultralite. At $250, the new MicroBook is now the least expensive Volta-compatible interface.

One thing I did notice while setting this demo up was that having just two outputs represents a severe limitation with Volta. Basically, I was forced to create and save a custom “mix” in MOTU’s CueMix software that allowed me to only monitor a single input on the MicroBook.

Continue reading Testing the New MOTU MicroBook with Volta

Experimenting with the IK Multimedia iRig

I was lucky enough to be one of the early testers of the IK Multimedia iRig, and while it’s fun to play electric guitar through, I was curious how it would sound on a bass, and even an old analog synthesizer. Why not, right? I had a go at it today, and I filmed the results. Check it out:

Continue reading Experimenting with the IK Multimedia iRig

Hands On Review of the ARC Room Correction System

Most of the music recording i’ve done in my life has taken place in home studios. That’s why I was really curious to test out IK Multimedia’s ARC system. The basic idea behind this product is that you test the response of the room that you’re monitoring sound in, and the ARC software creates a custom plug-in for you to use that corrects the frequency response of your monitors.

Continue reading Hands On Review of the ARC Room Correction System

Why Buy a $500 iPad When You Can Get a $2000 Lemur?

“Why should I buy a Jazz Mutant Lemur that can only control software, when I can get a $500 iPad that can do everything under the sun and more?”

This was the question I was asked to answer on my last assignment. Just a couple of weeks after the iPad became commercially available, a $2000 Lemur landed on my desk on a Monday morning, and I was asked to deliver a hands-on review and a script for a video podcast by Thursday. I was not asked answer the eternal question (why not buy a $500 iPad?), but it seemed to me that if I did not make a case for why the Lemur was still worth $2000, then I would be ignoring the one million pound gorilla in my cubicle. Continue reading Why Buy a $500 iPad When You Can Get a $2000 Lemur?

My Ribbon Microphone Shoot Out

I recently had the opportunity to test out four different ribbon microphones. It was pretty fun because I’ve been recording for a long time, but I never had a chance to properly use this kind of mic. Continue reading My Ribbon Microphone Shoot Out