Corteo

December 9th, 2005

Cirque du Soleil has become somewhat of a holiday tradition. Some people do the nutcracker, but for my friend, Michela, and me, heading over to the pacbell park parking lot is the ticket. This year’s visiting production, “Corteo” was definitely not a disappointment. Despite the subject matter being the death of a clown, the music and tone was anything but somber.

There were some interesting musical highlights to this performance. One scene featured musical water glasses as part of the arrangement. When amplified through the tent the water glass tones created this fantastic ambient texture. The other impressive performance was a whistling virtuoso whose range rivaled a soprano playing the role of Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. It was quite amazing to see someone whistle at such a high pitch with such control over dynamics.

This kind of performance is about spectacle, but it would be trite without the interesting musical compositions. I’m not one of those people who will go on raving about the music, playing the CD all of the time, but in the context of performance, it really is fantastic. As a gift at the end of the show, we were given copies of the “Delirium” Dance Remix CD which features cirque compositions remixed by the greats like Lil Louie Vega, Roger S, Sasha & Tiësto! It’s quite good.

7 years of APAture CD

December 8th, 2005
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I met up with my friend, Goh Nakamura to give him a hand on a project he’s working on. It would be rather indecorous to reveal any details, but it’s quite an exciting opportunity for him. Goh helped me and John Hinson out with a demo track featured on REDD47.com. Since January when we recorded the tracks, I’ve been messing with the mix and editing the raw tracks into something a bit more polished than the demo track on the Revolution Recording Equipment site.

Goh was asked to submit a track for a compilation CD released by the Kearny Street Workshop, and he selected the version of ‘Surrogate Valentine’ that I produced. He gave me a copy of the CD, and I was surprised to hear that it was copied almost verbatim from the mastered file i delivered. Usually a track is tweaked and equalized to fit with the rest of the album, so i thought it would sound a bit different than the original.

No, i didn’t use Reason’s MClass effects. The rendered mix was imported into logic and processed through my old manley tube compressors which were tracked back digitally into logic pro. With all of the analog gear used to record and master the track, you can hear some noise in the background, but it gives the track a nice character.

Props NA Tour Wraps Up

December 6th, 2005
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I caught the last evening of the Propellerheads North America Tour at the Apple Store in San Jose. It was nice to meet up with Hayden again and see his presentation. Apple Stores are normally outfitted with a presentation area with a large projector and sound system, making these locations an ideal place to do product demos. Hayden told me that these were pretty painless gigs in terms of setup, since Apple provided just about everything.

I was quite impressed with the presentation. Two Hours seemed to sail right by with a lot of time was spent explaining the combinator as well as the other new features of R3. Pictured: Hayden is showing patches from Lizard’s FSB-01 Workstation Replacement Refill

Following the presentation, a few of us were chatting, and I met this one guy, Zolt, who is working on a Max/MSP patch for ReBirth. It’s an editor that will edit 303 patterns and send them to ReBirth as MIDI events. It was also nice to meet other Reason users and talk shop.

Afterwards, Hayden and I went to dinner along with a new acquaintance, Dan, who is out here for the holidays from Tennessee. As usual, when you get a group of music guys together talking about electronic music stuff, we overstayed our welcome at the restaurant and shut the place down ;-)

Vintage RDK Final on the Props Website

December 2nd, 2005

The final version of the Vintage RDK combi Refill is now available on the Propellerhead Software website. There were a few bugs in the Release Candidates which were fixed and a selection of over 40 REX Loops have been included in the archive.

Originally I planned to do a separate REX Loop only archive, but apparently this would have violated the license agreement for RDK. In other words, people cannot use the Reason Drum Kits refill in order to produce drum loops for sample libraries-commercial or otherwise. With their permission, I’ve been allowed to produce a number of loops which are all included in this one ReFill.

The Combinators are structured from the producer kit template included in the RDK2.0 Refill.

Vintage RDK Controls

PRESSURE controls the aux return input on the primary mixer which adds a compressed kick, tom and ambience signal back into the main mix creating a fuller low end.

TUBE PHASE CXL is tone control created using phase cancellation. The Aux 2 bus is routed through a scream 4 set to the Tube Distortion algorithm which induces a slight phase offset. Sweeping this control causes certain frequencies especially in the treble range to filter out.

AMB & VERB LVL controls the amount of ambience and reverb in the final mix.

FIDELITY CV primarily controls the gain of the high shelf eq on the MClass Equalizer. This control is driven by the Gain Reduction control voltage of the MClass Compressor and the optimum setting is around 63. The rotary control also modulates decay release, pitch bend, and PEQ-2 equalizer parameters which creates real-time variations based on the loudness of the mix.

BASS BOOST enables a low frequency parametric equalizer section on output MClass EQ.

TUBE BIAS switches the bias settings on the Scream 4 Distortion which induces the phase shift for the TUBE PHASE CXL control.

AMB & VERB MONO switches the stereo spread of the ambient microphone signals and the reverb outputs to mono.

SHELF EQ MOD enables the Hi Shelf EQ section modulated by the Fidelity CV control. Disabling this button will only switch off the high frequency contouring. The pitch bend, envelope, and PEQ-2 Equalizer modulation routings are not affected.

PTR-3 Finally

November 30th, 2005
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I finally received copies of Power Tools for Reason 3.0. What is it that people say? “Better late than never”!? — whatever. Anyways, thanks for everyones’ patience. I certainly hope that it’s worth the wait.

I’m fairly certain that I received these copies before the distributor, so it might be a few days before Amazon pre-orders are fulfilled. I may try to get copies available for direct sales if anyone simply needs a copy right away.

At first glance, it’s much thicker than the first edition - over 300 pages. The new cover image is pretty cool, especially with Hami’s combi skin spread across the little polygonal window. The CD-Rom envelope is improved, so there’s less of a chance of destroying the CD or the back cover. The layout is a little crammed in certain chapters, but the printing appears to be far superior than the first edition. The new illustrations look really clean with more detail.

Vintage RDK Graphics

November 16th, 2005
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Voila! Hami has sent me the combi skins and splash screen for Vintage RDK. He’s been working on creating a worn out interface GUI and I thought it would work perfectly for these combis.

Due to personal reasons, i’ve had very little time lately to work on stuff, and this project has been a way for me to blow off some steam at the end of the day. Things are progressing at a leisurely pace, but eventually it will get there.

The refill has gone through a few changes from the early beta version, including a few more REX loops and more example RNS files. It’s doubled in size, and looks great with the new skins.

I’m going to test it out again, over the next few days and do some final tweaks. If you have RDK and wish to test the release candidate you can download it here:

Peff 029 - Vintage RDK Combis.rfl RC2

* The File has been updated on 05.11.18

Delete any previous version of Vintage RDK if you downloaded the beta. If you happen to find some problems, please let me know. Thanks!

Vintage RDK Beta

November 12th, 2005

I’m close to finished with the Vintage RDK ReFill. Other than some customized skins for the combinators, it’s pretty much ready to go. Rather than create just a fill that relies on owning Reason Drum Kits 2.0, I’ve added a few REX loops created with the combinators along with the RNS files.

The end result of this project is exemplified in the VRDK REX.rns file in the ReFill. The idea was to use RDK2 to create my own breaks rather than rely upon the same old loops with questionable copyrights. Once processed with ReCycle, the loops are processed into a little dnb-ish sequence.

So if you don’t own RDK, the combinators are useless, but you can still use the 8 loops included in the ReFill. However, if you do own RDK, then you can use the combinators as well as the loops and loop creation song files.

I’m waiting to see if hami will come up with a skin for the combis, and for now the refill is still a beta:

Peff029-VRDKbeta.zip (Offline)