Tag: MIDI

Roland’s Lucina AX-09: Last Chance to Save $100!

That’s right! Right now, Roland is offering $100 cash back on the Lucina AX-09 and the Lucina AX-09B! But not for much longer…

We at Sonic Electronix consistently strive to give the best prices to our customers, and with the addition of this special manufacturer promotion, there’s never been a better time to pick up one of these fantastic Roland synthesizers.

Available in both white and black, the Lucina sets keyboard players free of the restrictions of keyboard stands and AC adapters. The Lucina is essentially a “keytar.” It’s designed for one hand to play the keys and the other to work the modulation bar, pitch bend touch strip, D-Beam controller or anything else they so desire.

With its 37 velocity-sensitive keys, 150 high-quality sounds, built-in USB audio player and its battery-powered functionality, it’s no wonder that professional keyboard players who perform with stars like Usher, Ke$ha, Kanye West and Lady Gaga use and love the Lucina AX-09.
Roland also has a series of lesson videos & mp3 backing tracks to help get you performing at your full potential.

If you’re thinking of integrating video into your performances, you’re in luck! Both Lucina AX-09 models come with V-Link MIDI outputs; simply hook up a standard 5-pin MIDI cable from your Lucina into a compatible video mixer or presenter unit, and you’re ready to go! The more elaborate details of that process are well outside the scope of this blog, but the possibility is there. What you do with it, dear readers, is up to you. Whatever you do though, you should do it sooner rather than later, because the aforementioned manufacturer promotion ends after March 31st, 2012!

Don’t forget to pick up the LUCINA BAG,
the only carrying bag specifically designed for your new Lucina synthesizer!

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PreSonus Audio Box Studio Comes With A Lot For A Little

PreSonus Audio Box Studio

If you’ve ever wanted to get into audio recording, but were intimidated by the vast variety (not to mention the often high cost) of gear and software, your solution has arrived! With the Audio Box Studio by PreSonus, you get a high-quality selection of gear and software from a brand that’s trusted by audio professionals around the globe that doesn’t weigh too heavily on your wallet.

The Interface:

AudioBox USB

First up is the AudioBox USB interface. This impressive little guy has two XLR/TRS combo jack inputs for both microphones and guitars and MIDI I/O for, well, any instrument that utilizes MIDI. MIDI‘s not just for keyboards, you know! Anyway, its Main and Headphone outputs are 1/4″ TRS, and it hooks up to your computer via USB. Honestly, with this interface, you’re pretty well set in just about any recording situation.

The Microphone:

M7 High Definition Condenser Microphone

It also has +48V phantom power for use with condenser microphones, which is certainly good news considering that the included M7 high-definition, large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone requires it! This package includes a 9 foot cable, and a protective cloth carry bag for the microphone, making it nicely portable and perfect for recording on the road. To read more on condenser microphones and the cardioid polar pattern, check out these two previous blogs of ours: Demystifying Microphones & Polar Patterns (Demystifying Microphones, Part 2).

The Headphones:

HD 7 Headphones

Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with a quality set of headphones like these. With high-resolution neodymium drivers, precision-tuned acoustic chambers and an extended bass response, you’ll hear everything you need to hear with the clarity that professionals require. These babies are lightweight, comfortable and have a single-sided 8 foot cable, giving you plenty of room to move around if necessary.

The Software:

HD 7 Headphones

Finally, we come to the software; which, in my opinion, is the highlight of this package. Many other DAWs have finite amounts of tracks you can make, but not Studio One Artist! You can have unlimited audio, MIDI, virtual instruments, buses and FX channel tracks. Studio One Artist boasts the “most intuitive MIDI-mapping system available,” real-time audio timestretching and resampling, not to mention automatic delay compensation which is fantastic for sessions that have a lot of effects in them. If all that wasn’t enough, the Studio One Artist DVD-ROM comes with 4+ GB of third-party software, loops and virtual instruments. How’s that for value, hmm?! So, what are you waiting for? A top secret jambalaya recipe or something?!

The Jambalaya:

Jambalaya

Well, hilariously enough, PreSonus actually does include a jambalaya recipe on page 81 (all the way at the bottom) of their quickstart guide for the AudioBox Studio. I think they’ve become my new favorite manufacturer. Frankly, I’ll be picking one of these AudioBox Studio packages up myself soon, because bundles as great and affordable as this one don’t come around very often. Hurry before they’re all gone! What are you doing wasting time still reading these last sentences?! Go! Go! Go! And make jambalaya!

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Roland V-Drums Available Now!

V-Drums

The V-Drums® name has been carrying a LOT of weight in the electronic instrument industry for many years now, and now we at Sonic Electronix can help you see why. The Roland TD-4K2 electronic drum kit pictured above is great for beginners and experts alike; especially if you’re on a tighter budget and/or if you live in an apartment where an acoustic drum set is rather impractical due to potential noise violations (I certainly know about those, trust me!). This kit has a module that boasts a wonderful, built-in Rhythm Coach feature that’s packed with a broad variety of functions that will help you warm up, tighten up your timing and improve your technique.

“Sounds Great! Tell Me More!”

The TD-4K2 kit comes packed with 5 V-Drum pads, 3 V-Cymbals, 1 Hi-Hat Control Pedal, the MDS-4 Drum Stand and the TD-4 Drum Sound Module – pretty much everything you need to get rockin’ right away!

Let’s talk for a bit about the brains of this operation: TD-4 Module The TD-4 Module. With this, you get 125 instruments and 25 unique kits, you get the ability to tune and muffle the kick, snare and toms individually from the front panel and a convenient Quick Record function that (you guessed it!) quickly records your performance. If you’re not particularly into solo drum music, you can always plug in an external media player to the Mix In jack and record yourself playing along with your favorite songs. You know, see how well you can match up with Neil Peart, Joey Jordison, or whomever your favorite drummer(s) may be!

And Speaking Of Matching Up…

Roland has this awesome, new (and FREE!) social networking software for V-Drums owners called Friend Jam. V-Drums Friend Jam was made for drummers, by drummers, and it lets users connect with each other while beefing up their drumming skills with play-along MP3s and performance evaluation features. The software is available here for free and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Once you have installed the software, Friend Jam automatically downloads a diverse collection of practice songs onto your computer including rock, pop, jazz, metal and more. They also have full-band arrangements without the drums, so you can throw in your unique style to the song. For more information, see this PDF. Need some lessons first? Check out the boatload of videos on V-Drums Lessons.

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Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) 101

What is MIDI?

For starters, for anyone who isn’t yet “in the know,” MIDI is NOT music.

I know, I know; shocking, right? It is not a digital audio codec like MP3, AAC, FLAC, etc. No actual sound ever passes through MIDI cables, either. There are .mid files, yes, but they’re made up of data that when run through the proper software, one can indeed hear music and/or musical sounds. In fact, anyone who’s ever played Rock Band or Guitar Hero has a bit of experience with MIDI, whether they realize it or not. Let me simplify a bit and say that MIDI is a digital communications language.

What is it used for?

MIDI is a set of instructions that one uses to tell instruments and software what to do. The acronym “MIDI,” stands for “Musical Instrument Digital Interface.” However, MIDI can also be used to control lighting equipment and even animatronics and robotics. As you can most likely guess after reading that, MIDI can do far more than simply tell instruments what notes to play when. Through MIDI, users can turn volume up or down, open filter controls and pan around the stereo spectrum among many other things. Like most any other sync protocol, MIDI is transmitted through a Master/Slave relationship. Master devices ONLY transmit data. Slave devices ONLY receive it. What are some examples of said devices, you ask?

Why is it important? Who uses MIDI?

Master devices are essentially tangible things: keyboards/synthesizers like the Akai Pro LPK25, electronic drum pads and DJ software controllers like the ION Discover DJ (ICUE3) as well as the various buttons, sliders and knobs on the devices themselves. DJs and musicians alike use devices like that to control software on their computers, manipulating the music (like more traditional DJs do when they “scratch” records) and thus achieving their own unique sound. Slave devices can be tangible too, like in the case of daisy chaining keyboards together, but they can also be plug-ins and software instruments like Logic’s EXS24.

What are software instruments and plug-ins? Well, that’s a whole other blog right there (maybe you’ll see that one sometime in the near future!) Anyway, through a little customization, users can assign software functions to knobs to control things like flangers, echoes, etc. so they can affect the music with a vast variety of special effects. Actually, if you’re thinking about getting into DJing, now would be a great time since we’re currently offering 15% off all DJ controllers, and a lot of them come packaged with reputable software like Traktor LE, Serato or Ableton Live to get you started.

In conclusion, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little introduction to MIDI, and I encourage anyone reading this to ask any questions you might have. Believe it or not, we’re all actual people here at Sonic Electronix, and we do pay attention to what our customers and fans have to say. Thanks for reading!

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