Monday, August 11, 2008
Studiogear: Karoliina's portable studio
The studio gear nowadays fits to a very small space. This setup has Kate's Macbook, M-audio Axiom keyboard (which is USB powered) and the Mac runs Apple Logic Studio and also Novation V-Synth. At home I am using iMac.
I no longer use the Wavestation or Roland D70 as a sound source very frequently, I rather use them as keyboard controllers. The Access Virus b I have is still quite useful instrument (although the Access Virus Snow costs the same as new now than the b-model costed used when we purchased it). Same applies for the Nord Modular (which I purchased from Fin (Christian Worton)). I have the Fin's patches still on it. I don't have the official editor for it for any of my operating systems though, but that is no problem, someone has done a open source editor for the NM and it works great on Mac and Linux. I don't usually have that much time to tinker with the sounds since I have so wide selection (many thousands) of presets available that I would be stupid to not use some of them - maybe edit a bit to suit my needs, but why to reinvent the wheel if someone has invented it already, I rather concentrate on making music nowadays.
I really love the Logic Studio, it is propably my best software purchase I have ever made to the date. Excellent software with excellent add-ons. Everything is top-notch and as Apple products in usual, everything is also very nice... I would highly recommend Logic Studio if you are serious about producing music. I have tried demo-version of Abbleton Live and, tried Sonar longer time ago etc., but none of them are like the Logic. And now, when the Logic is an Apple product, the user interface has gone through some renewal, it is no longer like it used to be on PC "press middle button of the mouse on top of nowhere and use your nose to push CTRL at the same time while pressing some magic keys with your left hand". Now all the features are available for ordinary mortals like me.
So how I like the Axiom? I read some praising reviews and some reviews where the reviewer totally disliked the keyboard. Based on my experience on different synth action -type keyboards (Korg, Roland, Nord etc.), the M-Audio Axiom is not at all a bad one. Actually it has propably the best feel of all keyboards I have. It only has 2 octaves on it, but for portability's sake, it is an acceptable compromise. I really like it. It is semi-weighted and it seems that some people don't like semi-weighted keyboards, but I like it very much and I can play very accurately with it. The Nord Modular's keyboard someone said to be good is quite crappy toy compared to this one, the Korg has sticky black keys, the Roland has pretty elegant action, but this one can be really used for serious playing and the semi-weighted feel is in my opinion great. The build quality is good and the price-value ratio is excellent. It does not have a metal case, but who cares, I don't want any steel case for something I am going to put in a backbag, this already weights quite a bit when combined with the Mac, but the studio is now movable, and usable - instead of studio being lots of gear disconnected in a storage room, this thing works and producing music is fun an easy - no cables, just one USB-cable and the headphone cable.