Maschine Mikro

Video: Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Review

Maschine Mikro is the little brother to Maschine;  the software’s the same, but the hardware and price have both been slashed. I’ve been giving it a fair trial and here’s the video lowdown of the Oh Drat verdict. Text and photography to follow soon!

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Back in the Saddle…

Just a quick video to explain what loyal readers and viewers amongst you will already know – and the first alpha footage of the new Oh Drat studio. Get in touch if you have the skills to help out with web development, and let us know if you have any requests for future videos! (the Maschine Mikro Review link will be live as soon as the extremely tardy YouTube gets its skates on and finishes processing it!)

Fulgeance - To All of You

Fulgeance – To All of You

This week’s Friday music review is written by the newest writer to the Oh Drat fold, Andrew McHarg.

To All of You, the first LP from French producer Fulgeance, is an eclectic mix of worldwide styles all fused into a record that captivated me from beginning to end. Bass is a central element to all the tracks; standouts ‘Glasgow Lunacy’ and ‘London Falling’ throw the UK sub-bass style, future melodies, robotic vocals and pulsing chords into the pot, resulting in a totally unique take on bass music.

often aggressive, yet with a hint of quirkiness, resulting in an LP full of character

The album not only provides thick, in your face, bass centric tracks, but also treats listeners to a laid back, chordal number -’Hiver Normand’. The track’s ebbing and flowing chords are king here, and whilst the characteristic bass makes an appearance it is in a more subdued voice. Fulgeance often pulls no punches, yet his restraint here highlights the producer’s musical awareness.

To All of You is a credit to Fulgeance, who manages to impressively mix so many styles into a fresh sound. It’s often aggressive, yet with a hint of quirkiness – resulting in an LP full of character that will surely not disappoint.

The Questions: Lynx

Today’s visit to The Questions is from Lynx, a Drum & Bass producer whose new album Devil’s in the Detail is out on his own label Detail Recordings. The album itself – at least what we’ve heard thus far – is an interesting piece of work both rhythmically and thematically; check out the 6/8 time signature (a rarity in a sea of 4/4) Burn, below, and look out for the interesting half time and leftfield construction of Time Machine and Without Warning. A forthcoming Loopmasters sound pack will allow you to deconstruct Lynx’s thought processes and production style to see what inspiration you can get from him – for now, read on…

The name of the first song I was really proud of was called: Underdogs Revenge…I wrote it back in 1999. I thought it was an absolute dnb hit. It never did get released but still sounds pretty good to me.

Ignorance is bliss…. And im sure it would produce either the most exciting (or bonkers) music out there!

Most fun person I’ve ever worked with: So many cool collaborations. I enjoyed working with Kemo on tracks like Global Enemies and Apocalypse. Also Calibre is a great person to collab with. But for most fun it has to be my old friend Dave (Aphex) who is sadly not with us anymore. It was always great fun writing with him back in the 90′s. He was also the person that hepled me start writing music so it will always have special memories.

Best musical advice I’ve ever been given: Be yourself.

A piece of gear I couldn’t live without: Cubase. Other sequencer are great but im so in tune with Cubase its really at the core of everything i do.

A piece of gear I wish I could live without: Edirol Orchestral VST instrument. Its such a cool piece of kit that emulates Orchestral instruments. I wish i could stop putting it in my tunes but i cant! It has such an instantly pleasing tone to it that it slots in so nicely in the mix on any style of music.

My studio environment in three words: Dark, loud intense.

A song I wish I’d written: Watching You by Instr:umental & dBridge

If I could do it all again, I’d: Lock myself away and never listen to other music, just write what comes out with no preconceived notion if how it ‘should’ sound, or the pressure to follow the latest trends. Ignorance is bliss…. And im sure it would produce either the most exciting (or bonkers) music out there!

Lynx: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud

Nomad Magnetic II

Nomad Factory Release Magnetic II

We don’t shout about every new software and hardware release here at Oh Drat, because it’d be all we ever did.

One of the most characterful stages of the analogue recording process is the final mix down to tape

However we do like to keep our ear to the ground for news of things that we think you guys will find most interesting, and one of those things is Magnetic II from Nomad Software. We get a lot of questions about how to get ‘that’ sound, and ‘that’ sound is usually something vintage related. One of the most characterful stages of the analogue recording process is the final mix down to tape, but a studio quality reel to reel tape recorder is not only extremely expensive, but HUGE (and the bigger things get, the more frustrating they can be to maintain). Nomad’s latest, then, should definitely be interesting, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it really sounds – but for those of you looking for a potential bargain and in case we can’t get a review out before the offer ends, we thought we’d let you know that Magnetic II is $79USD instead of $149 until the end of the year. Head over to Nomad’s site now to take a look, and keep your eyes open for our review!

Halion 4.5

Steinberg Release HALion 4.5 Update

We recently reviewed HALion 4, Steinberg’s flagship sampler – and really liked it.

Steinberg have just let 4.5 out of the bag which introduces even more new features

In case you bought it based on our recommendation we thought we should let you know that Steinberg have just let 4.5 out of the bag which introduces even more new features – addressing the user interface issues we had with an improved browser, adding advanced multi processor managements, introducing an audio warping engine based on the one in Cubase 6 (which we spoke about in our review here) increasing the synth’s oscillator count to a maximum of eight. Best of all, it’s a free update, so head over to Steinberg now to get the details…

Colonel Red

Colonel Red – Rain a Fall Remix Contest

We’re big fans of Tokyo Dawn Records, a label that spills out at the seams with funk, soul, and boogie talent.

Tokyo Dawn have decided to offer up the vocal stems to Rain A Fall for a remix competition

Stable regular Colonel Red’s latest album Keep Walkin’ is packed with inventive, inspired neo soul, and the label have decided to offer up the vocal stems for Rain A Fall – a classy melting pot of jazz, g funk and r&b – for a remix competition. Entries don’t have to be in until the very end of the year, and winners will be picked for a TDR released remix LP along with prizes and a chance to work with Red on an original track. Give it a go by downloading the stems from here!
Colonel Red – Rain A Fall by Tokyo Dawn Records

Untold

The Questions: Untold

London UK’s Jack Dunning, better known as Untold, is a relentlessly brave producer, whose willingness to throw musical curveballs results in exciting and sometimes innovative music (for conclusive proof, check the 2009 scorcher Anaconda at the bottom of the page). In between music, running his own label Hemlock Recordings, and a brand new collaboration in the works, we got Untold to drop some wisdom on The Questions…

Name: Untold

“You’re only as good as your last record” Untold

The name of the first song i was really proud of was called: “Test Signal” on my first Hessle Audio release in 2008

Most fun person i’ve ever worked with: Samuel Chase - The singer I’m writing with on my side project “Dreadnought” He’s probably the most infuriating person I’ve ever worked with too.

Best musical advice i’ve ever been given: You’re only as good as your last record.

A piece of gear i couldn’t live without: SSL Duende plugins

A piece of gear i wish i could live without: My K701 headphones when I have to turn the volume down late at night.

My studio environment in three words: Standard nerd cave

A song i wish i’d written:  Dillinja – Silver Blade

If i could do it all again, I’d: Do less remixes

Untold: Twitter / Facebook

Check out the highly individual Anaconda below, and those of you who want to get inside the sounds of Untold can do just that if you own NI’s Massive, with his new DnB/Dubstep Presets Loopmasters pack.

p_FLStudio10

FL Studio ‘Performance Mode’ Unveiled

When it comes to live performance, there’s not a lot of DAW software that can hold a cande to Ableton Live. Logic has a separate app (MainStage), and there are plenty of standalone apps/programs that work well for live use (Kontakt/Halion and so on), but a seamless connection between studio and live use is pretty much Live’s domain. Image Line are looking to move in the live performance direction, though, and here’s a video of their alpha release. As you can see, the performance is recorded as it is performed – similar to recording from Live’s clip view to the session view – and whilst there’s a lot of work to be done it looks to be a good direction for one of Windows’s premier recording solutions. In fact, with the native (well, dynamically ‘bottled’) Mac version on the way, maybe FL Studio is going to start to get a little more buzz in 2012. Let us know what you think!

Has-Lo - Conversation B

Has-Lo – Conversation B

Hip Hop albums are increasingly falling into one of two danger zones: the ‘throwback’ and ‘future’ piles. The synthetic bubblegum sound of hip pop has forced the burgeoning mainstream movement of ‘real’ hip hop back into the underground, and a casualty of that effect seems to be the pushing in one of the two directions, both of which sound, ironically, as cliched as what they’re trying to escape. Well, this album is the antidote.

classic boom bap and avant garde, spacey beats go hand in hand

14 tracks and 14 producers (an impressive roster, including Exile, Oddisee, Eric Lau, Kev Brown and more) should make this LP feel a bit disjointed, but the direction is fantastic and everything gels together with real panache as classic boom bap and avant garde, spacey beats go hand in hand and result in an LP that sounds fresh throughout. Has-Lo has an impressively broad content spectrum; he doesn’t exhibit a particularly impressive flow or delivery – despite both being tight – but listening to all of Conversation B never feels like hearing the same song over a different beat. A production technique of note is the treatment of vocals in many of the songs – from the distortion in tracks like Face in Disguise to the slight echo tap on Retro Chic, it really reinforces the general feeling of Conversation B being a fully conceived album, rather than an emcee jumping on 14 of his favourite beats and pressing record.

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