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Animal Collective turn to Korg M3 for next album

Call it “noise pop,” “neo-psychedelia,” or “avant-garde electro-folk,” it doesn’t really matter; the fresh and experimental approach Animal Collective takes to their music creates a sound all their own.

Animal Collective

Members Deakin, Avey Tare, Geologist, and Panda Bear have garnered critical acclaim and gushing blog praise as they continue to redefine their sonic signatures.

Panda’s 2007 blissful solo album, Person Pitch, received tons of applause, making numerous indie “Best of” lists, including Album of the Year from major internet publication Pitchfork Media. He, Avey, and Geologist, put together Animal Collective’s most recent offering, Merriweather Post Pavilion, which is already being received as a musical landmark for 2009. We were lucky to have Panda share his thoughts on creating music, and how Korg products help him sculpt his work.

Take us back. How did you begin your journey as a musician?
I started taking piano lessons when I was 8 or so. Then I moved on to cello and then guitar and drums and a bunch of other things. I really had a good time singing in a choir in high school, too, and I feel like it informed most parts of my process these days.

When you create music for Animal Collective or your Panda Bear releases, do you have any go-to techniques or formula…or is each recording approached differently?
I think I’m a little afraid, or at least wary, of having go to techniques, and I feel like I’d rather steer clear of repeating things if I can. I’d like to stay in a zone that’s sort of uncomfortable creatively speaking, if you know what I mean. I’d say that being in the possession of some kind of mastery and being a beginner are two very similar states of mind. So I’d like to stay as close to those extremes as possible.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is out and receiving great reviews…do you have any favorite songs on the album? Any memorable stories from putting it together?
I’ve gone through a couple of favorite songs, and it changes all the time – which is a good thing, I would say! “No More Runnin” is the most emotionally resonant for me these days, and I like a lot of Dave’s words on that song. There was a tornado one day while we were recording (in Oxford, Mississippi), and it passed maybe only 15 miles or so from where we were. We went outside because we heard the sirens, but it seemed really calm and sticky warm out there. Then lightning struck and the sky lit up, and you could see the massive black triangle off in the distance a little bit.

Korg M3Korg M3 workstation…an Animal Collective new favourite

Why did you choose the Korg M3?
I started making songs on a Korg 0/1W pro that my family had, and I feel that by using it so much I came to understand how the thing worked inside and out. I guess I felt like I had learned the Korg language, if you know what I mean. So when I first heard about the Korg M3, I was excited because it felt like a familiar face coming back. I was really into the idea of the Karma engine too, and how it could throw surprises and twists and turns into the sounds. I really like how you can manage the sounds in detail and how you can kind of rip the thing apart from the inside out.

I’ve also really been into the idea of using current equipment and new technologies and devices. I feel like there’s a lot of interest in older machines and gear, and I’d rather go the other way and try to embrace what’s now or what’s new.

Do you have any favorite features of the M3?
I really like the arpeggiator and the Karma engine. I feel like I can get all kinds of sounds just using combinations of those two. I don’t use a keyboard at all, although sometimes I’ll hook up a guitar with a MIDI pickup, because it’s fun to see how things end up melodically and structurally that way.

How did your Korg gear fit into the making of Merriweather Post Pavilion? What do you plan to use live on the upcoming tour?
The other guys used the KAOSS Pads on the record, for sure. I hadn’t gotten the M3 until after the recording of that release was over, but I’m planning to use the m3 nearly exclusively to make my new songs. I really like how with the M3 and other devices Korg seems to be looking forward, and I’d like to be that way creatively if I can.

Check out Merriweather Post Pavilion and find out more about Animal Collective and Panda Bear at www.dominorecordco.com/artists/animal-collective !

Link:

Korg M3 products at Dolphin Music

Animal Collective Artist Page at Dolphin

Animal Collective Myspace page

Slim Line models bring a new dimension to the Clavinova range

The recently introduced CLP300 series Clavinovas have been very well received by pianists across the world. In addition to the current range, Yamaha is proud to present two new members of the CLP family, the CLP-S306 and S308. These elegant new models introduce a new design concept to traditional digital pianos – the new CLP Slimline series.

New Clavinova

This new concept has been specifically designed in response to market demand for an overall smaller cabinet whilst maintaining a full size, 88 note piano keyboard. These new models feature a reduced depth dimension all contained within a very stylish design. The new slim-line cabinet evokes the traditional elegance and atmospheric appeal of an upright piano but occupy a smaller footprint in the home. These instruments will appeal to traditionalists and modernists alike, thanks to the classic Polished Ebony finish and detail finishes such as chromed fittings. The same “Pure CF Sampling” technology featured in the CLP300 series has been included, ensuring the best possible piano sound reproduction – whilst Yamaha’s premium GH3 and Natural Wood keyboard action (S308 only) provide the ultimate in keyboard response and sensitivity.

The new models roster of features is completed with the inclusion of Yamaha’s unique Internet Direct Connection service, allowing access to hours of streaming background music and online practice aids.

Key Features

Unique new slimline console piano design in Polished Ebony
Pure CF Sampling technology with 3-level Dynamic Stereo Sample
GH3 keyboard with synthetic ivory keytops (CLP-S306)
Natural Wood keyboard (white keys only) with synthetic ivory keytops (CLP-S308)
Internet Direct Connection, Clavinova Radio and Exercise-On-Demand features
USB To Device

For more information contact your local Yamaha Clavinova dealer or visit http://www.yamahaclavinova.co.uk

Tip For 2009: The New Roland V-Piano

Roland proudly announces the next chapter in the V legacy … the V-Piano. Throw away all preconceived notions of what a digital piano was and is. This instrument changes everything.

New for 2009

The new Roland V-Piano: a revolutionary digital piano

The V-Piano has already been chosen one of the “Best in Show” products at NAMM 2009. One panelist said: “This is an unbelievable sound. The first time I heard it, I said it’s like sticking your head inside a Steinway D. If you thought the V-Drums revolutionized electronic drums or the V-Guitar [revolutionized guitars], this is beyond.”

Breaking Barriers

The V-Piano soars above the limitations of past technologies with its revolutionary “living” piano core, allowing every note to respond and evolve naturally, seamlessly, and perfectly without requiring samples. With the V-Piano, there is no velocity switching, and it provides a smooth, natural decay that must be heard to be believed.

Create Your Dream Collection

With the V-Piano you can choose from beautifully crafted vintage grand-piano presets or you can create your own custom dream collection. Vary the hardness of the virtual hammer felts. Experiment with exotic string configurations and tunings. Put a world-famous grand under your fingertips or play a futuristic piano that has never been heard before.

New PHA-III Ivory Feel keyboard

Even the most demanding pianist will appreciate the V-Piano’s new PHA-III Ivory Feel keyboard with Escapement This advanced keyboard technology reproduces the real feel of ivory for the natural keys and ebony for the sharps, and provides a true grand-piano touch and response. Even the subtle click feel when the “hammer” is released from the key (escapement) is reproduced.

Friendly Complexity

High technology doesn’t have to equate to high complexity for the pianist. With its clean control panel and logically designed user interface, the V-Piano is amazingly fast and friendly to navigate. Even deep-level editing is easy to access and understand. You’ll be customizing and creating new sounds within minutes of first touching the instrument.

For more info: visit the V-piano product page

M-Audio Debuts New Axiom Pro Series Keyboards

M-Audio, a part of Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) introduced a new series of USB MIDI keyboard controllers designed for professional musicians.

M-Audio Axiom Pro

The Axiom Pro family builds on M-Audio’s acclaimed line of USB MIDI keyboards by adding a number of enhancements that provide musicians with a more responsive playing experience as well as deeper tactile control to mimic the feel of playing a real piano.

Available in 25-, 49- and 61-key models, the Axiom Pro series offers easy software integration to digital audio workstations (DAW) including Pro Tools®, Cubase, Logic and Reason – as a result of M-Audio’s HyperControl™ technology, which automatically maps keyboard controls to commonly accessed parameters in software instruments and DAWs. The constant two-way link with the host DAW means that the Axiom Pro series keyboards are always in sync with the software’s active parameters. The intuitive graphic LCD constantly updates the current values, to ensure seamless editing and prevents parameter jumps—even when plug-ins are closed. Users can also easily toggle between Mixer and Instrument control modes, making the music creation process much more seamless.

Axiom Pro series keyboard controllers are also the first to combine MIDI control with ASCII keystrokes, allowing users to assign any button to send QWERTY key commands like cut/paste or undo directly to the host software. The controllers offer M-Audio’s premium TruTouch semi-weighted keyboard action for a more tactile and responsive playing experience. They are also equipped with eight velocity-sensitive trigger pads with M-Audio’s exclusive Trigger Finger technology for triggering loops and samples.

“The Axiom Pro series will equip our customers with an entirely new level of performance and flexibility by allowing them to control a whole session directly from their Axiom Pro keyboard,” stated Tex Schenkkan, Vice President and General Manager, Audio at Avid. “We’ve received numerous requests from our user community for a more full-featured version of the Axiom keyboard controllers for professional applications and today’s announcement delivers just that.”

Pricing and Availability
The Axiom Pro 49 is currently shipping and carries a USMSRP of $599.95. The Axiom Pro 61 is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2009 and will carry a USMSRP of $699.95. Pricing and availability for the Axiom Pro 25 will be announced at a later date. All three Axiom Pro models are currently on display at the NAMM convention in booth 6700.

UK pricing will be available shortly.

NAMM 2009: CME Launches Special Edition Pink MKey/UKey Controllers

CME is launching a special edition of their 49 note M-Key and U-Key controller keyboards in a vibrant pink finish. This colourful new release was announced at last week’s NAMM.

the new CME M-Key...in pink

The pink versions will focus on female customers, from professional keyboard players to music fans, and provide all the features of the original with a unique finish that will help her stand out.

CME’s M-Key, which is already available in hushed grey, has an ultra-slim, full action semi-weighted keyboard with velocity sensitive keys, a programmable joystick, and various other controls. It includes connection s for USB, MIDI, and two pedals which are compatible with switch and expression control. M-Key is class compliant for both Windows and Mac (Vista/XP and OS X).

The CME U-Key Mobiletone keyboard, which is also available in White and Blue, has ultra-slim, full-action semi-weighted keys, a built-in 64-polyphony high-quality sound module and an internal, high-fidelity speaker driven by a digital amplifier.

The U-Key comes with more than 20 user-defined controllers, including a joystick, trigger pads, an encoder for data entry, and pedals. All controllers are fully-programmable and each function can be easily set up and saved for later loading by pressing certain keys. USB powered and compatible with both Windows XP/Vista and Mac OSX, the U-Key is a great solution for composing on laptops.

NAMM 2009: Korg Releases the microKORG XL!

Korg, a leading innovator in keyboards and synths for the studio, touring and DJ markets, expands its micro line of portable synthesizers with the microKORG XL synth with vocoder (MKXL), offering a variety of tools for performers, producers, computer musicians and beginners alike.

New release! microKorg XL

Joining the ranks of the top-selling originals microKORG and R3, the 37-note velocity-sensitive microKORG XL offers Korg’s legendary analog modeling, along with an ergonomic interface, in a lightweight and portable keyboard. MKXL employs full eight-voice, multi modeling technology, a 16-band vocoder, on-the-fly parameter editing and USB MIDI connectivity, all packaged with the all-new, great-feeling Natural Touch keyboard action.

The microKORG XL utilizes Korg’s powerful RADIAS engine to offer a rich analog sound with 128 stunning sounds right out of the box. Everything from thick basses and crisp leads to sumptuous pads and fantastic arpeggios are never far out of reach with the unit’s intuitive genre and sound categorization system. In addition, external audio inputs let players use any audio source as the waveform, which can then be processed using MKXL’s synth engine. Also on board are 17 effects derived from Korg’s KAOSS series of dynamic effects processors. Included are reverbs, choruses, decimation, distortion, grain shift, several types of delay, flanger and much more. Users can apply two effects at a time to any program or performance. A virtual patch mode lets users further sculpt their sound by setting synthesis parameters to be modulated by other parameters. Up to six virtual patches are available per program.

microKORG XL’s interface provides clean, uncluttered control. Three large knobs let players instantly modify the current sound to their liking. The knobs can also be used to explore the full edit mode with the large backlit LCD screen as their guide. The full edit mode allows users to choose filters, adjust AMP, EG and LFO settings, add effects and EQ the sound, then save it all on the spot.

The built-in vocoder features 16 bands with formant shift. An included heavy-duty gooseneck mic provides immediate access to the vocoder. In addition, any sound source can be run through the vocoder via the stereo audio inputs. A fully sync-able step arpeggiator lets users choose from six preset patterns (Up, Down, Alt1, Alt2, Random and Trigger) or create their own with the on-board step arpeggio editor.

microKORG XL offers direct USB connectivity with users’ computers, allowing it to act as a MIDI controller for their favorite software. The three real-time knobs on the front panel can transmit MIDI messages (control change), so they can be used as controllers for software synthesizers. USB also provides instant access to the dedicated Editor/Librarian, without the need for additional interfacing hardware.

The microKORG XL’s compact size is perfect for musicians or DJs looking to add a synth to their setup, especially when space is an issue. It is also a great choice for use in a computer-based music setup. With its battery power option, it can be easily transported from studio to stage to living room.

For more details, view the microKorg XL product page

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