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12:37PM

The Tech Side of Music!

     As technology advances and the masses demand more and more, different avenues of technology have received the overflow of benefits.  One of those avenues happens to be music.  Music has integrated itself with tech from amps, to synthesizers, to computer software, but with the rising popularity of DJ's, techno, and electronica in general, some products truly show how intuitive they really are.  One of these products happen to be the KP3 (KAOSS Pad).

     This piece of equipment has conjoined sampling with amazing effects that allow you to alter tracks as a DJ, program and record with an interesting twist, or completely change a song played live.  Most of this can be done with other equipment, but what makes the KP3 (rather the entire line of KAOSS Pad products) is the touch screen display.  Manipulating music becomes nothing more than setting up samples, synth loops, and anything else you can put on an SD card, then dragging your finger across the pad to create an amazing breadth of different sounds.  New effects algorithms give it originality when using the built-in synth settings and  a new pad lighting system sets 64 individual LEDs in an 8x8 grid under the pad to track what is being manipulated/ what patterns are currently being played.  Many bands have picked up the trend of this amazing piece of equipment and have brought out the possibilities of what can be done with it.

     An example is my band (shameless plug insert here).  Follow the link and have a listen here!
 
     Other bands have used this product and have shown that it isn't limited to the electronica genre.  Having personal experience with the KP3 live and in the studio, I have to say it is an upgrade from previous KAOSS Pads and is truly a unique item among the knobs and buttons most offer.   This is a definite buy for serious musicians, but at a solid $400, it might not be for the casual musician, although Korg does have smaller versions for around 100-300.  Enjoy!

12:26PM

Innovation with great Expectations!

     Over the past few years the Mac community has grown a great deal. Millions of Apple products have been sold. Apple products are not only advanced, but are also innovative. Mac OS X Leopard is the worlds most advanced operating system to date. The next release of the operating system, Mac OS X Snow Leopard will surpass Linux and Windows in advancements such as performance, stability, security and overall ease of use. Apple has taken digital media to the next level with the new iPod line.

     The iPhone and iPod touch are portable Macs on the move. With them you are always connected to what you enjoy doing best. At Macworld ’09 the company released the new 17-inch Macbook Pro that set a new standard for the next generation of portable Laptops, with its new built-in battery that lasts up to eight hours on a single charge. With a company like Apple creating outstanding products, the Mac community has a great deal to look forward to in the future.

     I present the Mac community with a new slogan for 2009:

                                            “Innovation with great Expectations”


12:09PM

Xbox 360 Wireless Headset - Review

     I recently picked up the Wireless Headset for the Xbox 360 due to my two wired headsets being broken, at first I was a little cautious about getting it after reading a few review dotted around Amazon and places of such. However I decided just to go for it, the wireless headset obviously provides you with the ‘wireless’ feature, which I’m sure a lot of you love – so now feel I’ve used it enough to provide a respectable, honest review on it. The unit itself is rather compact, it has the ear piece and the microphone, which is just a few inches long - rather than the long flexible wired version, the ear piece has 3 buttons located on the side; The up and down volume keys and the on/off and mute button.

      Upon first opening the Wireless Headset it’s going to need a good charge. It comes with a recharge cable, which connects, to the Xbox 360 via USB; the charging port is located at one end of the Headset. The headset comes with 2 earpiece fixtures a small and medium. I used the small as the medium is rather generous, when first adjusting the headset to your comfort zone it is a little awkward, in a sense that it feels like it will fall off, at first I felt I had put it on the wrong way, the headset it made to fit your right ear, it feels strange when on your left. The microphone comes a little down your face, well away from your mouth - you may think that this will make your audio very poor, but doesn’t. When fully charged the Headset will last a good couple of days. The audio that comes through the earpiece is very impressive, its clear and the volume controls make it more than easy to get the headset to a comfortable audio quality. One thing that I do find a little difficult and getting used to is the mute, on the wired headset it is very simple to mute and un-mute the headset by a flick of a switch located on the controller, however on the Wireless headset the mute button is on the center of the ear piece this is really annoying if your in a intense active game you will find muting the mic most annoying.

     When using the headset for a long period of time - in which I mean ‘without’ a break, you feel weird feeling in your ear, kind of like mild ear ache, not sure what that is all about but it is not enough to make you stop using it - just a slight feeling. When syncing the headset to your controller you have to press the sync button on the headset and the Xbox 360 - not the controller that was the mistake I made, when you do that it will sync to the first free controller.

     Overall this headset is really good if you like your equipment wireless - it tidies up your gaming experience, its also good if you’re the type of gamer that likes to talk without muting. The price is a little expensive for what you get but seems okay, as I’ve bought two wired headsets that add up to one wireless. If your doubting on whether to get one just go for it, it’s a good little gadget.

Read Corresponding Review: here

10:15AM

Microsoft Dream Machine

 

      What is the best way to fix the ill fated Zune “iPod killer”? Let’s start with cramming a mobile phone in it, then while you are stuffing it full of dreams, wishes and pixie dust, let’s shove in a mini-XBOX. Now we can take all three of those features, wave a magic wand, say “gibbidy gobbidy goop” and click our heels three times and we get nothing at all like this most excellent render from the fine folks at T3 magazine. One can only dream someone in Redmond reads T3…or at least iConcept

 

 

More Concepts.


 More Concepts.

6:19AM

Microphone Recommendations

     Throughout my time on the net, making videos as well as writing, I have been into podcasting. Everyone knows that to be a good podcaster, you need a good microphone. Some of the microphones I have used vary from the traditional clip-on, desktop microphones, as well as condenser microphones. 

     If you are looking for optimal quality, and have a budget of up to $100, I would recommend the Samson C01U. It runs for about $80 and has amazing quality. You will want to buy the stand and the shockmount, which are about $40 total.

     If you have a budget of about $30, I would recommend the  Logitech USB desktop microphone which runs for only $20 on Amazon. It has good quality for a desktop microphone, but it doesn't sound like your voice, it sounds like someone talking, it is not recommended for podcasting.

     Finally, if you just want a cheap microphone, I would recommend the Hands Free Clip on Mini Microphone which is only $5! They are cheap microphones, so be forewarned, you get what you pay for.

     In general, when getting a microphone you pay for what you get.