Quick review of Neon Drive Expansion for Maschine

IMG_2971Native Instruments released a new expansion for Maschine today by the (as always awesome) name Neon Drive. Neon Drive promises ‘a cascade of lush chords, pads, enraptured melody, and distinct retro drums’ that will ‘teleport through 80s production techniques and arrive in the future’, and it certainly does not disappoint.

I’ve been dabbling in 80s pop sounds for a while now so getting this one was a no-brainer.

The first thing that struck me was the quality of the included drum kits and one shots. The kits and individual hits really brings back the 80s in style, while at the same time feeling fresh and up to date. My favourite so far is the Neon Lights kit.

Moving on to the instruments, those sounds really good too. I’m especially impressed by the basses and the pads, not so excited by the leads. Don’t get me wrong, the leads sound good too, but you can cook up most of them in Massive without too much tweaking.

In all I haven’t been this excited about a Machine expansion since Pulswerk came out like 2 years ago and I really recommend you checkout this one if you are into synthpop, and especially the 80s / early 90s sound.

Neon Drive comes with:

  • 8 projects
  • 40 Drum Kits
  • 297 Drum Samples
  • 359 Oneshot Samples
  • 268 Patterns

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Cubase vs. Logic

I’ve been on the fence for some time, going back and forth on Logic as a DAW.

I like how simple it is to get going with a melody and a groove, and how snappy the UI of the actual DAW feels, but at the same time the state of the built-in instruments and effects really drags the whole experience down.

It’s not that they sonically sound bad, but the design and presets are really starting to feel old. I’m sure this is great for old time users, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with the engines under the hood, but for me the design and look and feel of a creative is just really important to get in the zone…

With this in mind, and after carefully looking into other DAWs at the market, I’ve decided to finally give Cubase a chance as well. I’ve only just recently installed it, and at the moment I’m plowing through the manual while finding my way around the UI.

So far though the impression is excellent. I really think Yamaha / Steinberg has made a fantastic job with laying out the controls while retaining a super fast response and a very logical workflow.

There are some things that require a bit of un-learning, such as Instrument Tracks and how the mixer and internal signal routing works, but it all makes sense once you open your mind to it.

Given the above though I’m uncertain if I will manage to pull a whole track together for Feb, but I’ll try…

Right, one more thing! The other reason I’m really excited about Cubase is because it will allow me to run the Hatsune Miku vocaloid plugin natively on the Mac. The standalone editor is only available on PC, and the plugin only works in Cubase…

Problems with the Maschine HW controller display

After upgrading to the MK2 of the Maschine controller about 2 years ago I soon ran into the issue of one of the displays flickering and ultimately ending up much dimmer than the other.

At that time I didn’t think too much about it but sent it back to the store for a replacement right away.

IMG_2935A couple of weeks ago I noticed that my replacement controller also started acting bad. The same problems with the display was happening on this unit.

Since I bought it in another country I figured I was out of luck and would have to simply use it with one display darker than the other.

Then something interesting happened. As I was drumming out a pattern and I hit the pad in the upper right, the display suddenly came back to full brightness.

Now whenever it drops in brightness I just tap the upper row of the pads a couple of times and it comes back up again. Probably there’s a loose connection in there somewhere so I’m going to open it up someday and poke around when I have the time.

New Track: Tribute to Tom

This is the January track. First monthly track of the year. The news here is that I’ve recorded and mangled some analog electric guitar parts as well as synth loops. Other than that it’s entirely in the box. 99% Logic Pro X with some samples edited in Live.

The voice over parts are from an old sci-fi radio show called ‘Tom Corbett – Space Cadet‘.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Corbett,_Space_Cadet

Questions and Feedback is as always welcome in the comments!

その2015のお約束はどう?

今年入ったところ新年のお約束を6つした。一ヶ月経ったので振り替えてみようと思った。

  1. 毎月一曲完成する
    1. 完成したけど、まだミクシングが残っている。
      ギリギリセーフとしよう。。。 笑
      リンクはまた後日
  2. 5つの曲のデモを完成する
    1. まだだね。デモの曲を集めるため上記の1はあるけどね。。。
  3. 週一度このブログを更新
    1. ここまでオッケー!この調子で進めたら。。。
  4. 毎日少しでも運動する
    1. ウゥゥ。。。出来ていないね。やはり仕事やら、いくらでもいいわけできてしまうからだめだね。もっとしっかりしないと。
  5. 毎週琳と一緒にピアノの練習する
    1. ちゃんと進んでいる。日本で買った本「はじめから1人で学べる 大人のためのピアノレッスン 上巻 (DVD付)」で毎週ちゃんと頑張っている。琳もどんどん上達している。全然追いつかない  笑
  6. 日本で買った本を全部読む ;)
    1. 読んでいる。今一番楽しいのは「DAWで曲を作る時にプロが実際に行なっていること」興味のある人は是非読んでいみてください。

ということで。ここまではままよく進んでいる気がします。

まだ2月だけどね。。。

これからも頑張る。(運動もね。。。)