Unless you’re endowed with a top-sounding acoustic space in which to record, the last thing you need is ambience. And, let’s face it, most common recording spaces aren’t exactly slopping over with attractive vibes. Project studios typically occupy whichever room of the house can be spared and end up filled with all manner of hardware that reflects sound willy nilly. Then there’s the noise from computer fans burbling away, perhaps buzz from a guitar combo and, of course, the hum of the beer fridge.

Pro studios with well-appointed vocal booths, meanwhile, are expensive to hire, booths can sound boxy and they’re none too portable if you’re aiming to record on the road. Then you may have the challenge of miking up various instruments for an ensemble performance and the inevitable difficulty of separating them so they don’t spill overmuch into each other’s mics. What’s needed is something to isolate a microphone from extraneous sound sources and absorb the sound emanating from what is miked so it doesn’t go bouncing around the room. It’s at this point in the reasoning that light bulbs must have appeared over boffins’ heads at SE Electronics. Continue reading

Top 10 music making gadgets

music-making-gadgetsWe all love music, all animals do. However, making it takes special skill and lots of practice. Thinking of producing some music right at home? Here are the top gadgets you should have.

One light keyboard

The devices teach you how to play with light up keys. It comes with 61 backlit touch sensitive keys which make it easy to play music along with its application on a smartphone. You could practise at the comfort of your home. Continue reading

IZOTOPE IRIS | £99/$149 (until May 4*)

It’s said there are 10 types of people: Those who understand binary and those who’d prefer to interface with it in a more human way. Even über nerds need assembly language by which to address the machine when programming, while the rest of us fare better with graphical user interfaces.

Hardware analog synths have GUIs, y’know – the knobs, sliders, buttons and switches that shield our delicate muzos’ minds from the complexity of circuitry within. As for the machine code of digital synthesis, well, that’s just mad stuff for robots. But developer iZotope has taken a chuck from the drill of graphic design to put an interesting spin on how to access the very guts of digital audio and mess it up. You can’t get much more GUI that the environment offered by photographers’ and designers’ favourite, Adobe Photoshop. So how about taking some of this pixel-crunching package’s drawing functions and applying them to a graphic of a waveform, its character to mutate? Continue reading

U-HE DIVA 1.1 | £138.04


Modelling the function of a light switch in code is simple enough. It has an On state, which we could call 1 (or a very small cup with an electron in it). And there’s an Off state, or 0, or an empty cup. So, that’s not a lot of binary data. But what if it’s a dimmer switch? One’s cup may be neither full nor half empty. We’ve a theoretically limitless amount of On-ness (or Off-ness) to deal with, which requires an infinite amount of code. And that’s where coders start making compromises, balancing the accuracy of the model against the resources required to render it. Continue reading