It’s a firesale!

So I’ve listed a bunch of stuff on ebay. The haul includes a Yamaha RY-30, a Roland TR505 and a Roland TR707. I’ve also included a bunch of other small bits and pieces that I have had laying around un-used for many a year. This is all part of a greater plan that I have conceived to refresh some of the gear in my studio. I do this every few years, sell some old stuff, buy some new stuff. The plan even includes selling off of my old Yamaha 03d mixer and replacing all that messy cabling with a UAD 7-10d preamp and a patch bay, which I have already bought… hehehe…. Work still continues and my studio is a mess but I’m sure it will all be worth it once things are finished!

 

Cubase 7 is mine!

I just got back from the Cubase 7 clinic that was held at Turramurra Music. I was interested to see how the pro from Steinberg used the tool, he was quick I tell you that and he certaily knew the new features. But what I found most interesting was the demographic that was there, mainly older, balding men. There was about 40 people in the room, so let me try and paint a picture.

First thing I noticed was that there where only two woman in the room, nothing wrong with that but I expect more. Next thing I noticed is that there where only about ten people under 40, and only about five under 30, the crowd was by far, in a word… old… This lead me to think that these old timers must have been studio engineer gurus so I felt a little out of place… But then the presenter started to ask a few questions, ‘who plays keys ?’, me and five others put their hands up, “who plays guitar ?”, even less put their hands up. Then finally “who uses Cubase in anger ? who makes money using it ?”, only me and another guy raised their hand…. ok now I find this strange, if these guys aren’t playing instruments and they aren’t professional engineers or producers, what exactly are they doing with Cubase ? I can’t figure this one out….

Anyway, the clinic was good, I got to see the new features up close and I got myself a copy of Cubase 7. And because of the timing in Australia, we get it first before the rest of the world, and because this was the first Cubase 7 clinic run in the country, I was in effect, one of the first in the world to get the product….Yeah for me !

I even bumped into another DJ friend of my while I was there, DJ Matirx,  it was good to catch up.

(also, just noticed that the Stienberg site is down, it says,  “We are offline to prepare a smooth Cubase 7 launch. We’ll be back soon”… why???)

Technics SA-300-XAL

I had been asked by a family member to get them a ‘new’ amp. What’s this amp for I asked ? ‘Well I need it for the pool shed out the back’…. Turns out that the amp they had been using out there had broken down, I was not surprised as it was a cheap, small and plastic Karaoke amp that was probably made for about $2.50 by slave labour and sold at JB-HiFi for some ridiculous mark up. This family member said he went to the shops to look at replacing it and was told it would be $400!! An you know how I feel about shops… So I suggested that he get a vintage amp to replace it, made sense to me as the simplicity and reliability of older hardware can’t be beat, and for this job and older amplifier was perfect. So I went on the ebay hunt and turned up a beauty, it’s a Technics SA-300-XAL, a beautiful analogue vintage amplifier from the early to mid 80’s which includes an AM/FM radio. It has one AUX input which will allow a CD player to connect and if they need to connect an iPOD that can be done using one of the 2 tape playback connections. For a vintage amp this unit has some great features, like two tape inputs, 2.5A speaker protection fuses, snap lock speaker wire holders and one of them weighted radio tuner knobs, which is fun to spin back and forward. All up very happy and I’m sure they will be as well when I go over for Christmas and install it.

 

Technics SA-300-XAL

Technics SA-300-XAL

What, Another CDJ!

So I’ve splashed out and got myself another CDJ800 !! Woooooot!!! For a vinyl DJ I certainly have a lot of CDJ’s, well two now. I bought the first one about six months ago so I could practice and learn how to use a CDJ, well, that took me the best part of five minutes then I went back to using DJ Decks on vinyl. I bought the second one today after I was booked in to supply the equipment for a job on Thursday, they wanted 2x SL1200, 2xCDJ’s, a 4 Channel mixer and a few other things, I almost have all the gear and I wasn’t about to go and hire just a single CDJ so I figured it would be easier to simply buy another one, meh what you gonna do…. In fact I was surprised at how many single CDJ’s there are on ebay, getting them as one off from a store I can understand but I would expect that secondhand CDJ’s would generally come in pairs… strange… and after all this the funny thing is that nearly as soon as I got it in the studio I was thinking of selling the CDJ’s and my mixer and going for a DJM900… hmmmm…

Komplete

So I’ve bought into the juggernaut that is Native Instruments Komplete, but I didn’t go the normal way about it. These days I’m all about doing things cheaply and relatively efficiently, so I bought an older version of Komplete,  Komplete 5. I’d had a search going on ebay for almost 12 months and nothing had really come up, then finally about a week ago I got a hit on a version of Komplete 5 going for $199 so I snapped it up. My plan is to upgrade this at a later date to the most recent Komplete 8, I can do that for about $200, which all up is cheaper than diving straight into Komplete 8 at about $550. The fun part of all this is the installation, it took 12 hours! There are 12 DVD’s in this thing and umpteen number of updates to download. Combine that with the fact that I also got a copy of Komplete Elements and I downloaded and install all the Komplete 8 players at the same time it turned out to be about 100gb of installed stuff! Yeah, it’s amonster, I can now see why Komplete 8 Ultimate comes with it’s own harddrive !

How to record a video conference

So over the last few days I have been working out at Homebush at the V8 Supercars event. Once again I was working for DART as the sound guy and working with another company called Powa Productions to deliver a video conference into about 30 schools throughout NSW. This was a pretty straight forward gig, unlike previous V/C’s! This time all I really had to do was take a feed from the V/C codec and send that to the FOH desk then take a feed back from the stage mics back into the codec. I patched this all through my desk and took an AUX out to record everything into my Zoom recorder… simple… and it really was!  This time however I did something a little different when I recorded. I took each side of the call, the local end, and the remote end, and split them into separate tracks on the recorder. This gave me the local stage mics on channel 1 and the remote classrooms on channel 2. This then allowed be to cut the tracks up and mix it down in post-production and get a nice clean recording. Generally there is so much background noise and echo coming from the remote end than if you record it all into one track to gets messy and garbled, not this time however. The result was great the the client very happy!

DJ Warehouse Fail!

So I went to DJ Warehouse today, let me start by saying that the experience was not pleasant. I went there to get some road cases for my SL1200’s, which I had been shopping around for, for sometime. I found that DJ Warehouse had the best price on these type of cases, but, unfortunately the cheap price reflected the cheap service.

Now, generally I buy this kind of thing online and I have it shipped to me so I don’t have to deal with the dosh bags in the store, but when I discovered that these guys had cases at a good price and the shipping costs where extortionate I decided that I would go pick them up myself since the store is local to me in Sydney. It started last week when I rang the store and I spoke to ‘Jayson’, I asked the guy twice and I wrote the name down. When I rang them today I asked for Jayson and I was told that Jayson only works in the warehouse and ‘No, he never works on the front counter, you must be mistaken’

‘oh god, ok whatever, what is your name ?…’

‘Olivier’ he said

‘OK cool I’ll be there shortly’, in other words I was saying, ‘Get my shit ready I will come and get it and get out of your hair real quick!’. But this was never going to be the case.

First, when I get there, there is some cretin crapping on to the sales dude, who I assumed was ‘Oliver’. He was crapping on for about 20 minutes talking about shit which I am sure he knew nothing about and which I am sure that Oliver knew equally nothing about! Why do this? Before even stepping foot in a store like this you should be well armed and understand exactly what you are about the fork out cash for, never trust a salesman! There is so much stuff on the net these days that the salesman has become almost irrelevant, along with the store itself. The only value I see in a store is to act as a warehouse to store good that you may need to get on a whim or in an emergency…. anyway.

I just wanted to get my cases and go, but it continues. Oliver then suddenly asked me to pay, I said ‘Can I look at the cases ?’

”They are out the back’, he says

‘Oh really what do they look like ?’

‘Blah, blah, blah, they look like the ones on the website’

‘ok fine whatever, here’s my card…’

He then proceeds to bill me and print an invoice, but, there is no paper in the printer!! Arrrg, while he is trying to get the printer sorted out the phone rings, twice! Then after 10 minutes of searching he decides that there is no paper and rings the warehouse to ask if he can email the order to them… ummm… why don’t you just do that all the time!?!?!  Anyway, whatever, I think to myself.

So finally I head out to the warehouse to pickup my order, where low-and-behold, I meet a guy called Jayson! He also screwed around… couldn’t find the cases and when he did find them one of them had scratches on, which to be honest I was not that worried about. Finally I get these things and tried them out in the studio, they are good, pretty happy in the long run but it was a long painful process. It’s this kind of experience that has really put me off going to shops, if the retail sector is serious about keeping customers then they need to sharpen up their game and stop being so full of themselves!

 

 

Positiva, another Dj Mix for ya!

A new DJ mix for you today. This one is a celebration of the record label ‘Positiva‘, arguably one of the most influentual record labels of the 1990’s. From dance, house and trance this label had plenty of hits, and misses! Artists such as, Hyper Go-Go, Dj Quicksliver, Deepdish and Fragma are just a few of the sensational line up that has had hit tunes on Positiva. Mixed on 21st November 2012, and you can download the mp3 from HERE. Enjoy….

 

 

Focusrite and Windows 8 No Go!

THIS is bullshit.  Manufacturers of hardware have had months and months to get Windows 8 drivers for their products sorted out. I am a proud owner of a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24DSP, it has been my workhorse for around 2 years now, I had to buy it when my last card, an EDIROL DA-2496 was passed by for 64bit drivers when I went to Windows 7, now there exists the potential for the same to happen again with my new-ish Focusrite! I can only hope that they will get their act together and develop a driver and save me from throwing yet another piece of hardware in the bin!

Great ad, technical fail.

I’ve seen this ad once on TV. I love it, great tune and cleverly down using a turntable. But there is one big problem, the turntable is spinning the wrong way! I suppose that if you want to lick the record with your tough like this then it has to spin this way, only a minor problem!