Japan Shopping #2 – A New(?) Method

I’ve decided to use the downtime in Japan to get serious about some academic studies around the science and history of music. I haven’t gone so far as to actually join a course, but I found a great series of books in the Japanese amazon store that I decided to dive into, and so far its paying off. IMG_2668 Have you done any music theory studies or are you mostly self taught? Are the ears really the best path to musical understanding or is a solid theoretical foundation a necessity to truly grasp musical concepts and become proficient in song writing and composition? What are your thoughts?

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Best Monitor for Audio Production?

I’m using an iMac in target display mode with my new Mac Pro, but the idea is to sell the old iMac and get a new monitor. The open question is, which one?

At first I had my mind set on one of the cheaper 28 inch 4k monitors that Dell, Samsung (U28D590DS) and Asus (PB287Q) have released this year, but the reviews are mixed and its really hard to get a feel for where they cut corners to get the price down.

So I started looking at 27 inch QHD displays like the Dell UltraSharp U2715H and the NEC MultiSync EA274WMI, but they are clearly made more for business users and are often more expensive than the 4k displays mentioned above.

In the end it seems to come down to either a cheaper 4k display with a TN panel, or a more expensive QHD monitor with a better IPS panel. The price difference isn’t that big, and looking at refresh rates and other attributes both options look good enough for audio production work.

What are your thoughts? Which one would you go for? At the moment I’m leaning towards the Asus PB287Q…

Mac Pro

The main computer in my home studie is an iMac that I bought back in mid 2011. It has served me really well and is actually still holding its ground on simple tasks like browsing and emailing.

Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 23.07.35However, trouble started about a year ago when I decided to upgrade my software catalog (mainly Maschine and Live) and also to try out Cubase and Logic. Turns out that my old iMac was not up to par anymore and could no longer handle much of the new software I tried to run on it.

Since then my productivity has actually been pretty low since Live and Maschine kept crashing due to memory and CPU not keeping up, and Logic kept dying since the disk was not fast enough.

Tired of dealing with this I decided to buy a new Mac, and given that I expect this types of investment to last for a while, I aimed high and pulled the trigger on a pimped out Mac Pro. It’s not top of the line, but I got the 6 core, 16GB, 512Gb version.

Hopefully this will keep up with developments over the next 3-4 years at least.

What are your thoughts on the new Mac Pro? Have you made the jump? Are you thinking about it? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.

Japan Shopping #1 – Vocaloids!

One of my favourite things about Japan is all the great books that get published (only) here. Being able to read Japanese certainly helps…

Today I picked up ‘Logic Pro X + Vocaloid Editor 3′ from the local bookstore. A really nice find since I’m super interested in getting more vocaloids into my work flow, but the editors and bundled software are really just a heap of digital poo…

Hopefully with this book guiding me I’ll be able to figure things out a lot faster :).

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New Ear Phones (Shure SE425)

I realised after landing in Tokyo that I had completely forgotten to bring any form of head or ear phones. I already have a pretty wide array of head phones, but my old sony ear buds that have served me well for the past 5 years are starting to give up on me so I decided to turn this unfortunate situation into a chance to look for a replacement.

After much research I settled for a pair of Shure SE425. The main reason being their great ergonomics and super flat response curve. Their mostly made for in ear monitoring applications on stage, but some people also use them for mixing and tracking on the road.

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I have to say they are incredibly comfortable to wear, very well isolating and super detailed. Almost to the point where they are too unforgiving in the sound stage. I can make out and hear details in tracks that I never noticed before, even ‘hear’ the starting and end point of individual samples and sounds in some electronica tracks.

It’s going to be very interesting to work with them over the coming 3-4 weeks until I’m back in Sweden again. Perhaps I’ll write a more detailed review once I’ve put some more hours on them.

Leave a comment if you have any questions.