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Gear: AKAI Unveils APC40 MkII and Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine and Bass Synth

In anticipation of the Musikmesse conference in Frankfurt later this week, AKAI has unveiled a slew of new products—including a revamped version of its classic APC40 controller and the Rhythm Wolf, "an analog drum machine and bass synthesizer module with built-in sequencing." Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/10/2014

Gear: Artist Tips - Max Cooper Details Five Ways to Focus Your Artistic Vision and Tighten Up Your Productions

Max Cooper is a quiet artist. While some producers garner acclaim that's based as much on their personas as their tunes, Cooper has been content to hone his craft and steadily build a following by issuing a stream of cinematic, glitch-infused creations. In recent years, his output has occasionally been lumped in with that of the "bass music" crowd, but the UK producer's reach extends much further than that, and his freshly released debut LP, Human, is even prompting comparisons to the likes of Jon Hopkins and Pantha du Prince. Of course, some of these similarities can be traced to the fact that, much like those revered artists, Cooper is someone who more or less lives in the studio. His productions are precise, mutilayered, and full of nuance, which makes him an excellent candidate for our Artist Tips series. When asked to share a bit of his knowledge, he chose to focus on maintaining clarity, both of artistic vision and sound itself. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/10/2014

Gear: Watch Goth-Trad Make a Beat with Ableton Live

In a new video from Dubspot, Japanese dubstep specialist Goth-Trad builds a new track piece-by-piece in Ableton Live, and we get to watch it all happen in real time. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/07/2014

Gear: Untold Shares Five Essential Modular Synth Components

Although we here at XLR8R generally like to keep our focus on the music, it's also become clear that our readers have a genuine interest in how exactly that music gets made. Our In the Studio and From Studio to Stage features regularly take in-depth looks at artists' production lairs and live set-ups, but we figured that it might also be helpful if some of our favorite beatmakers simply compiled a list of their favorite pieces of gear. Our first subject is none of than UK producer Untold (a.k.a. Jack Dunning), whose excellent Black Light Spiral LP just dropped via his own Hemlock label. Dunning's move toward an increasingly techno-oriented sound has been well documented in recent years, but a significant part of that process has stemmed from his embrace of modular synths. Now that his new album has found its way into the world, he'll be spending much of 2014 on the road with a new, gear-centric audio-visual set. In the midst of preparing for that, we asked Untold to detail the most critical pieces of his on-stage rig. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/05/2014

Gear: Matthew Herbert Explores the Art and Science of Looping in New Radio Show

Longstanding producer and master sonic manipulator Matthew Herbert was recently enlisted to put together a 30-minute radio segment for the BBC, in which the UK artist explored the art and science of the loop. Now—for those of us who can't find BBC Radio 4 on the dial, or just happened to miss the broadcast—Herbert's immensely informative program can be streamed in full online. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/04/2014

Gear: Artist Tips - Com Truise Shares Five Keys to Getting the Most Out of Your Productions

Over the past few years, Com Truise (a.k.a. Seth Haley) has garnered plenty of attention for his synth-laden, pop-inflected music, including his freshly released new EP for Ghostly International, Wave 1. However, the New Jersey-based producer has arguably received just as much acclaim for his technical prowess, as his multi-layered creations have earned him something of a reputation as a studio wizard. As such, we took the opportunity to tap into some of Hayley's knowledge and asked him to pass along a few insights about how he gets the most out of his time in the lab. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 02/24/2014

Gear: Korg Plans "Faithful Recreation" of the ARP Odyssey

In a somewhat surprising announcement, Korg has revealed plans to develop a "faithful recreation" of the ARP Odyssey—a renowned '70s-era analog synth (pictured above)—for release later this year. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 02/17/2014

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