For example, simply plugging an expression pedal into a synthesizer lets you inject a lot more soul into a part by creating more expressive nuances. Using a hardware fader box with a software DAW allows putting your human stamp on a mix by making the mixing process a real-time, performance-based activity. And if you think about it, it wouldn’t seem like you could get much soul out of an organ—after all, it’s just a bunch of on-off switches. But work those drawbars, spin that rotating speaker (real or virtual), and phrase those notes with care; maybe you’ll reach the same level of soul as a Jimmy Smith or Joey DeFrancesco.
Furthermore, there’s no law that says drum machine parts have to be quantized, or recorded without velocity, or that you can’t process the output through all kinds of cool processors that you tweak in real time. I’ve known session drummers who, instead of fleeing in horror from drum machines, learned how to program them and became eminently successful in their craft. Why? Because they were drummers, so they knew how to put the soul of drums into the machine.
Today’s gear includes lots of ways that let you put more of the human essence into musical technology, but the responsibility for doing that is up to you. Maybe you’ll need to create a template for your DAW for make it easier to capture inspiration, or edit some synthesizer patches to make better use of controllers, or follow amp sim software with a parametric equalizer to notch out “fizzy”-sounding harmonics and give a warmer, more soulful sound.
Soul is not something you take out of a machine; it’s something you put in, and the machine reproduces it. So if your drum machine truly has no soul, maybe the first place to look for a solution is in the mirror! —Craig Anderton
by Craig Anderton
It's small and inexpensive, with the same sound engine as the UltraNova. So is there a catch? Let's find out
by Jon Chappell
by Craig Anderton
Forum member Hiwatt Bob video-demonstrates his new Binson Echorec 2 Special Evo, a modern-day take on the vintage Echorec delay. Made famous on early Pink Floyd and Led Zep recordings, the Echorec is similar to a tape delay, but actually uses a magnetic drum instead of tape.
|New My Bloody Valentine Album?|
What happens when a once-innovative band returns from an extended hiatus? The conjecture begins anew as the Effects forum discusses, and makes their best guesses about, the recently announced and long-awaited follow-up to Loveless.
|What's Your Favorite Studio "Secret"?|
This long-running thread in the Recording forum is chock-full of useful techniques, helpful tips, and practical approaches to the art of recording. Need some fresh ideas to help improve your recordings and mixes? This thread has them in abundance.
|Where Do You Buy Your Gear - Online or Locally?|
Local stores vs. online: Each has their advantages, so the members of the Electric Guitar forum discuss their preferences, and the reasons behind them.
|Let's See Your Les Pauls|
A stunning display of beautiful Gibsons, Epiphones, and clones. Sunbursts of every conceivable shade, Gold Tops, and Black Beauties - Deluxes, Customs and Standards - they're all here.
|How Do You Encode Your MP3s?|
How do you get the best quality vs. size when encoding MP3s? What are FLAC, LAME, and Variable Bit Rate, and how can they help? What are the best conversion quality and bit rate settings? This thread delivers all the answers.
|Radial Introduces the Submix 500 4X1 Mixer Module|
The Submix allows patching in any four signals, then sending the combined output to some other device. Unlike a traditional mixer that requires a separate input pad and level control, the Submix employs Radial's unique input circuit that simultaneously adjusts sensitivity with gain, enabling usage with high- and low-level signal sources.
|Fender Limited Edition Sheryl Crow 1959 Custom Telecaster|
Sixty Limited Edition Sheryl Crow 1959 Custom Telecasters have been made, with one signed by Crow and donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Available in Faded Chocolate Three Color Sunburst, the guitar features a double-bound alder body, mid-’60s oval “C”-shaped maple neck, rosewood fingerboard with vintage-style frets, vintage 1963 Telecaster pickups, and modern Telecaster wiring.
|Apogee ships the Quartet desktop Studio Interface|
Apogee’s Quartet USB audio interface, designed for Mac-based studios, features 4 inputs and 8 outputs of Apogee’s AD/DA conversion technology as well as 4 mic preamps. Quartet bridges the gap between the 2-channel Apogee Duet and the 8-channel Apogee Ensemble.
|Lynda.com Adds Audio Recording Techniques Video Training|
Audio Recording Techniques is a five-hour program hosted and written by audio recording educator Bobby Owsinski, who shows how to capture recordings of drums, acoustic and electric guitars, upright and electric bass, keyboards, horns, strings, vocals, and more.
|Steinberg Announces Nuendo 6|
The latest iteration of Steinberg’s production environment offers a new mixing console with full-screen mode and scalability, new channel strip, automatic EQ and loudness adjustments to surround sound signal panning, upmixing up to 8.1 surround sound, Remote Control Editor for mapping of effect and instrument parameters to external controllers, and more.
|Propellerhead Software’s Radical Keys Rack Extension|
Radical Keys faithfully recreates three classic electro-mechanical keyboards―Rhodes, Pianet and Wurlitzer. Based on the same ‘Radical’ technology as Propellerhead’s highly praised Radical Piano, Radical Keys goes beyond emulation by enabling users to sculpt their own instruments from the originals.
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