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Archive for May, 2010

EM and Indaba Team Up For Contests and More

Here’s something pretty cool. EM has announced an alliance with Indaba Music, a music-collaboration site that has a huge membership worldwide (close to 500,000 users, and growing). We’ll be providing Indaba members with EM-branded content, and Indaba will be soon offering EM subscribers complimentary 3-month,”Pro” memberships in Indaba.

One of the other great things about our association with Indaba is that they’re expert at running music-submission contests. In conjunction with EM and sound developers Sonic Reality, they’re launching a new contest called ” Sonic Reality Presents: Electronic Musician Digital Mixtape, Vol. 1.” Here’s a link to the entry page.

Sonic Reality is providing a bunch of loops that you’ll be able to download if you enter the contest, and the idea is to use at least one of them in your composition. Other than that, you can do whatever you want musically. I’ll be helping to judge, along with judges from Sonic Reality and Indaba. The deadline for entries is June 24th. In order to enter, you need to become an Indaba member, but their basic membership is free and it takes just a minute or two to sign up. The top 10 entries will be featured in a special music player on And there will be many more contests to come, so check it out.

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Related Topics: Emusician |

New Stuff from Propellerhead

Dr. OctoRex
The folks at Propellerhead Software are rolling out a bunch of new features for both Reason and Record this week. So far, they’ve announced a beefed up Dr. Rex loop player called Dr. Octorex. Here’s a video they released about it:


They’re also adding a pattern-based “block” feature to the Reason and Record sequencers. Check out the video.

For Record users, Propellerhead announced the Neptune Pitch Adjuster and Voice synth. It will offer pitch correction, the T-Pain sound, and vocal synthesis. Here’s that video.
Propellerhead Neptune

Today they announced a live-sampling feature for Reason. Here’s that video.

We’ll offer more details as they become available. Reason and Record are already very cool programs (which work great together), so these additions should be icing on the cake. Stay tuned.

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Related Topics: Emusician, Mike Levine |

Moog Music Moves

I recently moved from Charlotte to Asheville, North Carolina, a beautiful city and the center of the universe for all things Moog. It all started when Bob Moog and his family moved here in 1978. Now, nearly five years after he succumbed to brain cancer in 2005, Asheville is home to both Moog Music and the Bob Moog Foundation. Moog Music, I’m sure you know, manufactures the Voyager and Little Phatty synthesizers, Etherwave theremins, Moogerfooger effects pedals, and the Moog Guitar. The Bob Moog Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to preserving Bob’s legacy and educating young people about the connection between science and music.

Last Friday, Moog Music held a press conference announcing that it was relocating its headquarters to downtown Asheville’s northern gateway. The site is within easy walking distance to lots of music venues and other areas that attract tourists. Accordingly, the company plans to have a showroom open to the public, showcasing Moog products and technology. Asheville’s city officials are quite excited about the relocation, especially because the 1920s-era buildings Moog will occupy were once home to a fledgling natural foods supermarket chain and have been abandoned for nearly 17 years. To encourage the move, the City of Asheville awarded Moog a $50,000 grant toward what’s expected to be a $2.5 million restoration and expansion project.
New Moog HQ

The press conference was quite a high-profile event, with Asheville’s mayor Terry Bellamy and county commission chairman David Gantt among the guest speakers. Moog Music president Mike Adams couldn’t have looked more proud and humbled as speaker after speaker heaped on praise for his company and its projected role in Asheville’s future. At a time when many musical instrument manufacturers are struggling to keep afloat, Moog Music is setting its sights on continued growth, and that’s good news for electronic musicians everywhere.

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Related Topics: Emusician, Geary Yelton |

Mix and Match

Mix and Match screen shot

Recently, I had an interesting experience while mixing a song for a band that I’m in. I did my initial pass on the mix, and got it to what I thought was a pretty good state. I emailed an MP3 to the other band members, and they all liked it, but had some suggestions for tweaks. “No problem,” I thought, and reopened the file and made a few changes. Then I made a few more changes. And then it was, “Oh, maybe I should adjust the compression on the drums. Hmm, it might help if I EQed the guitar to thin it out a bit. Maybe a little bit more reverb on the keyboard,” and so on and so forth. After what had clearly become more than a tweaking session, I compared my original mix to the revised one. Ugh. What a disappointment. I’d tweaked the life right out of it. And this brings me to the reason that I’m blogging about this. Luckily, I had saved incrementally as I went along, and given my original mix a name corresponding to the saved version of it. So, when I realized that I’d totally f’d up the mix, it was simple to reopen the song at the point of the first mix, and then finish it up, a lot more carefully from there.

So, I took a couple of lessons out of this: First, incremental saving saved my butt. If I had continued to save the same DAW file as I was in the process of squeezing the life out of my mix—and hadn’t created new versions as I went along—I wouldn’t have been able to revert to my good, first-pass mix easily. Second, when mixing, one’s early efforts (like the early takes of a vocal or solo overdub) can often be the most inspired. It’s pretty easy to reach a point of diminishing returns, where, because of lost perspective, additional adjustments start to degrade the overall result, rather than enhancing it.

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Related Topics: Emusician, Mike Levine |


The Bus, EM's editorial blog, features posts from all the EM editors on topics related to gear, recording techniques and much more. It's also home to posts from a selected group of guest bloggers.


May 2010
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