iPhone

July 7th, 2007
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Ok, before you get all crazy about Reason 4.0 being on the iPhone, this is just just the screenshot from the props website set as my wallpaper background…

After having an iPhone for a week, I have to say that i’m pretty happy with this piece of technology, worthy of the hype. For me, it was worth the wait. Obviously, email and voice is nothing really new, but having a single communications device for email and voice and web browsing is something unbelievably handy. I was on the verge of going with a treo or crackberry last year, but decided to hold off when the iPhone was announced.

My first iPhone malfunctioned after 3 days of use. Perhaps it was all of the people who touched it and wanted to play with the features, but the touch screen simply stopped responding. I could still dock the device and sync it, but I couldn’t unlock and use it. I tried restoring the settings, but nothing seemed to work. Fortunately, i managed to pop the sim chip out and drop it back into my old Motorola V3i, and I had voice and sms back up and running in a matter of minutes. I was relieved to know that in the worst case scenario, I could have voice com back up in seconds.

The next day, i scheduled an appointment with the Apple Store in Santa Clara, and had a new iPhone in my hands within minutes. We swapped the Sim over from my Motorola, and reactivated the new phone and restored my contacts, music, video, bookmarks, and email settings from my laptop. It was pretty painless!

i can certainly echo the main complaints others have voiced: Namely, the speed of the AT&T Data network. However, it’s fast enough to get the basics done. I’ve been at a couple of meetings where a quick google search was in order and no wi-fi was available, and in a few minutes i had the answer to the questions.

Another issue I’m facing is spam going to my email account. Having access to the POP server is great, but the client application is bombarded with spam, so i’ve spent a lot of time sorting through the inbox. It’s going to be another expense to figure out a solution for this problem. I’ve got a system of filtering through gmail, but the POP client through Gmail is less than satisfactory at the moment since I don’t have access to the bulk folder.

Considering that Apple is so important in the audio industry, one would think that there are cool set of ringtones included in the iPhone, but most of them suck… bad… My other big complaint is that I cannot customize ringtones! I used Reasons to make a custom ring tone set for my motorola, and can’t transfer these over, so i’m stuck with the insipid system sounds. When I get some free time, i’m going to look into the hacks to see if there’s access to the audio resources….

Propellerheads Announce Reason 4

June 19th, 2007
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It’s been months since the sneak preview of Thor was announced at the winter NAMM show. Finally the speculation is over and the anticipation begins as Propellerhead Software Announces Reason 4! Besides the new synthesizer, THOR, the upcoming release will include the RPG-8 arpeggiator, new transport interface and features, a new sequencer with improved automation features, and a new groove quantization system.

www.propellerheads.se

Did I not previously say that this would be an exciting month for Reason Users Worldwide?

Thank You Denmark, Italy, and the UK!

June 18th, 2007
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Yes, Thanks to all of the people who came out to the events in Copenhagen, Rome, Nottingham, and London. It was great meeting everyone. Special thanks to the people at Luthman Scandinavia, MIDIWARE in Italy, and M-Audio in the UK for organizing the conferences, and the people of Artlab, The Saint Louis College of Music, Confetti Studios, and Access to Music for their hard work at each event. Of course, I’m extremely grateful to the Props for asking me to participate as a guest lecturer.

Normally I would have been a writing like a mad-man about the trip on this journal, but the lack of sleep, and in some cases, the lack of internet access made checking email as difficult. Fortunately, I did take quite a few notes and scribbled down a bit of what happened at each event. I’ve sent in these reports to the Props head office, and they should be posted up on the Producers Conference website:

theproducersconference.com

The Producers Conference - Worldwide

May 25th, 2007
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June is going to be an exciting month for Reason Users worldwide! The Propellerhead Software Crew has organized Producers Conferences scheduled in various cities in Europe as well as Tokyo! The schedules are packed with some outstanding artists who use Reason. You can find out more information about the events by visiting:

theproducersconference.com

I’ll be back in Europe in about a week to present at the dates in Copenhagen, Rome, Nottingham, and London. James Bernard and I will be traveling together during this tour, and we’ve planned a few days of respite in Rome to explore the city before heading to the UK. I’m looking forward to visiting Italy for the first time, and especially to meeting fellow Reason Users in all of the cities we’re visiting.

Virtual Instruments Magazine Composers’ Workshop

April 25th, 2007

A new forum on the Virtual Instrument Magazine Website has been launched. Dubbed “The Composers’ Workshop”, this messageboard allows people to post a link to their MP3 files and receive honest feedback from other composers, as well as the forum moderator, respected guru of electronic music, Jim Aiken!

To quote Jim, “I’ve noticed that a lot of electronic composers (including myself) work in isolation in our studios. The Workshop is an opportunity for us to share our work with one another and offer support, suggestions, etc. It’s about the music, not the gear … and not primarily about the style or genre, either. I’m hoping to attract musicians from a wide variety of genres, because I feel we can all learn from one another. As the moderator, I’ll be trying to stimulate discussion and keep the threads from going too far afield.”

To find out more about participation, please visit Jim’s Site, MusicWords.net

or

Visit the Virtual Instrument Magazine Website - Composer’s Workshop Forum

The Producers Conference LA

April 23rd, 2007
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The Propellerhead Software Producers Conference in Hollywood was yet another great event. It sold out with over 150 people attending, and users from the SF Bay Area trekked down to club King King on Hollywood Blvd. The program started at 10:00 in the morning - a decent hour - but people were arriving well before 9:00. We anticipated a crowd who would be into hip-hop, but there were people into a wide range of genres. The one facet we didn’t think about was the film and tv industry people who came. It was very cool mix of interests all related to Reason.

Despite a lack of sleep the night before, Rob Pointer and Dave Dolan were at the venue early setting up. Even though the venue has a sound system, they had to bring in their own Mackie rig for the conference. There always seems to be some kind of technical issue with these gigs, and the Producers Conference LA was no exception. We ended up using S-Video rather than VGA for the main projector. It was passable, but not quite as sharp as it could have been.

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Chris Petti started off the schedule with a demonstration of ReWire into Ableton Live and exporting Reason songs as individually recorded tracks. He then went through and demonstrated using a variety of Line6 plug-ins to sweeten up his mix.

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James Bernard followed up with a demonstration of his new Multi-Band Toolbox Refill. The Refill features a variety of BV512 based effects including some excellent chorusing modules and the phat parallel compression effect that produced some huge drum sounds. This is a free download from the Propellerhead Software website.

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After sorting through some other technical problems, Richard Devine rounded off the morning schedule with his presentation on sound design and Reason. This was definitely one of the highlights of the day especially when he played some quicktime movies of commercials where he applied his sound design skills.

My session in the afternoon was not without it’s problems. I was dealing with micing issues. Eventually James came through and fixed me up with a better mic with a fresh battery. My presentation on Control Voltages and modular routing in Reason was based on Power Tools for Reason 3.0, but presented in a different manner for people who are unfamiliar with synth programming.

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DJ Babu finished up the presentations with his excellent demo of using ReCycle to cut up samples and working them into Reason productions. The interesting part of Babu’s presentation was a discussion of sampling and royalties where he talked about some of the exorbitant fees paid for the rights to sample a track. Afterwards we were shooting the breeze and he told me about another project where the original artist started to comment on changes that should be made to a project produced with licensed samples. I told him that he should start working with live musicians and bands to get his own original material - support the hard working musical talent that’s out there!

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Arabian Prince and Mocean Worker MC’d the afternoon listening session where attendees submitted their work for review by the panel, which included James. There were some really nice tracks presented including an excellent IDM piece from Quantum Anomaly. Eric from Chronic Productions, a music licensing company in LA, was in attendance and made several offers to people for production work based on what he heard!

As usual, I had a great time. It’s always a lot of fun meeting up with fellow Reason users, and I spoke with Kenny, who runs the MySpace Reason Users page about the idea of setting up a Los Angeles Reason Users Group for people who want to get together and talk shop. If this gets off the ground, I would probably make another trip down to hang out. For those of you who came and asked about Reason Workshops, GW and I will seriously consider taking our show on the road to the LA area. Please send me an email and I will keep you in the loop on when this happens.

Again, thanks to everyone who attended!

More photos are on my flickr gallery

On a side note, I spent Sunday cruising around downtown LA to visit a couple of museums. My first stop was the Japanese American National Museum and then the Geffen Museum of Contemporary Art. The current exhibition at the MOCA is titled “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution”, which features an amazing collection of work. I stumbled across a little installation with hand written notes from Pauline Oliveros from her composition, “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe, In Recognition of Their Desperation”! It was cool to see these notes on the use of synthesizers, tuning of oscillators, and use of amplification.

RB-303 Final Now Available

April 22nd, 2007

For those who may have missed it, the final RB-303 Refill with skins by Hami is now available for download off of the Props Website. You can still download the old version from the refill page on this site, however, the latest version has a few new features including rhythmic polyphonic combi patches.

More information about the skins

More Information about the patches