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All That Dittos Is Gold

All That Dittos Is Gold

We’ve been enjoying the Ditto looper since it was released last year. In fact it’s pretty much become an essential in my gig bag, alongside picks, capos, slides and electric tape. I wouldn’t be quite as care free with this snazzy little number though, maybe keep it on the mantelpiece and make sure it gets a good polish every now and then.

 

A limited edition with all the same capabilities as the standard Ditto Looper this gold edition makes for a cool addition to any guitarists rig. At that size and this price it won’t make too big a dent in your wallet or on your board.

Fancy a different diminutive device? There’s still time to get a free Spark Booster Mini pedal with TC Electronic’s Mini Tone Print Pedals.

Numark NV DJ Controller

Numark NV DJ Controller

By Hugh McKenna

There’s been a gap in the market for a truly dedicated DJ controller that can untether DJ’s from the laptop screen. Numark and Serato have worked together to develop the NV controller for just this purpose. With dual screens, pads and touch activated controls the NV is a complete DJ solution and one clever piece of gear. Numark have also teamed up with Toolroom records to deliver sample content for spicing up your performance.

 

Numark Serato NV Controller

Carry Your Synth With Style

Carry Your Synth With Style

Novation wants to help you get your gear from studio to stage quickly and easily without any breakage. So if you buy an Impulse controller, SL controller or any synth will get a free bag worth up to £49.99!

The products that you’ll get a FREE Novation bag with:

• Impulse 25, 49 and 61 MIDI controllers
• SL MK II 25, 49 and 61 MIDI controllers
• ALL of the synth range, including the Bass Station 2, Mininova and Ultranova

This offer is available until stock last so grab ‘em whilst you can!

Free Novation midi controller bag
Free Novation synth bag

20syl - Kodama (official music video) from 20syl on Vimeo.

A History Of Electronic Music Production In One Video

A History Of Electronic Music Production In One Video

By Hugh McKenna

One seriously clever and classy video from Kodama. We pretty much want all the vintage gear from this vid, of course you can grab a Novation Launchpad in a range of shapes and sizes.

Hail A Cab! Marshall’s Concept Car

 

Hail A Cab! Marshall’s Concept Car

By Hugh McKenna

Marshall Concept Car

Probably the best British/Italian automotive collaboration since Michael Caine blew our blooming doors off. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘Marshall Cab’, this concept car is a collaboration with Alfa Romeo and features the iconic amp companies stylings and a JVM205H head running two 12 inch 75w speakers installed in the boot. The amp is run on a separate battery and the seats are upholstered with the same materials Marshall uses for it’s amps.

While the car isn’t likely to go into production any time soon and retro fitting an amp into your car might be tricky, we’re sure plenty of music nerds will be considering the modification below.

Marshall Car Interior

Yep, that’s a Shure microphone featuring as a gear stick. Reckon we might break out the tool box and sacrifice an SM58 to make this modification ourselves.

Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Machine Guitar Pedal

UPDATE: Now available to buy in the UK!

Electro-Harmonix are back and doing what they do best - and that is making wacky guitar pedals.

Their latest announcement is the B9 Organ Machine. It turns your guitar into an organ, and it does it unbelievably well. Just take a listen and see what it can do - you seriously won’t regret it.

Electro Harmonix B9 Organ Guitar Pedal EHX

There’s a lot of buzz around the B9 Organ Machine pedal - and rightly so. Who doesn’t want to turn their guitar into an organ?

Here is what EHX say:

“With 9 presets that were finely tuned to emulate the most legendary organs from the ‘60s and beyond, the B9 Organ Machine will transform your guitar or keyboard. Control the instrument’s signature percussive click and sweet modulation. Blend your dry signal to create lush layers. Enough tonewheel and combo organ inspiration to light your fire and cook up some green onions!”

Features of the B9:

  • Transform the tone of a guitar or keyboard into that of a convincing full body, electric organ
  • 9 presets that were finely tuned to emulate some of the most popular and classic electric organ tones
  • Control over percussive attack level, modulation speed, organ and dry volume
  • Rugged and easy to use
  • EHX 9.6DC-200 PSU included

And it has a buffered bypass - hurrah!

The demo has certainly made all of us at Dolphin want one - so as soon as we hear a release date we will let you know. Rumour has it the US price will be roughly $293.

Here is the official B9 manual for all you intrigued guitarists.

by Danny Edwards

 

 

Five Guitar Heroes On How They Got Started

 

Five Guitar Heroes On How They Got Started

By Hugh McKenna

Some guitars are intrinsically linked to certain guitarists, as Slash says “you’re either a Les Paul guy or a Strat guy.” And the man with the hat can’t quite keep the derision out of his voice as he says the ‘S word’ and that shows just how much the Les Paul means to him. Both Slash and Joe Bonamassa site Led Zep as a major influence in choosing the Gibson original.

 

They didn’t all start out with these vintage American made works of art though, Hank Marvin first got a banjo and Slash had a Classical Acoustic with a single string (get he still managed to make it sing though).

The BBC has built up an incredible archive of interviews with great guitarists, acoustic, electric and everything in between. Check out their full range of interviews here.

Richard Hawley loves his Gibson 335.

Hank Marvin on what the Fender Stratocaster means to him.

Joe Bonamassa tells us why the ‘59 Les Paul is special, really special.

Jimmy Page talks to Simon Mayo.

Page and a couple of other guitar heroes talk about what strings they use…

Rotherham College helps its students produce a radio station

Rotherham College helps its students produce a radio station

The Vocal Booth at Rotherham College of Arts and Technology is the home of the Visual and Performing Arts Departments ‘Academy Radio’.

Using a state of the art Sonifex mixing console and Genysis broadcast software, this student-run radio station broadcasts 24/7 over the College intranet and is regularly updated with new shows and content being produced continually.

The Vocal Booth of choice for the College is from the Platinum Series and offers space for a presenter and two guests. The Vocal Booth has provided students with the opportunity to work in a dedicated space, the likes of which couldn’t be achieved using standard teaching spaces.

Students recording 'Academy Radio' in the Vocal Booth

Digitech Drop Tune Pedal

New Product Alert! Digitech Drop Pedal

New Product Alert! Digitech Drop Pedal

This morning Digitech have announced a brand new effects pedal, the Drop. Dedicated to giving you those big down tuned sounds that have been made famous by the likes of Jack White. You can adjust it in semi-tone increments down to -7 and then 9 and a full octave after that. Digitech are boasting a clever polyphonic detection system so chords and more complex passages should be dealt with nicely. The foot switch doesn’t seem to just be latching either, with a momentary mode for those fancy trilling “Morello Moments”. The Drop looks pretty cool, no word on a price as yet.

Play For LA Shure Guitar Competition


Shure are offering amateur guitarists huge prizes in return for their guitar skills.

First place will win a 3 day trip to LA California, an admission ticket for NAMM 2015 Show, a Fender 60th Anniversary Commemorative Stratocaster (worth £1139) and a Shure GLX-D16 Wireless guitar system (worth £386).

2nd and 3rd place will receive one of the GLX-D16 wireless system.

Shure Play For LA Guitar Competition

All you have to do is head over to the Shure competition website and download one of the three backing tracks (pop/rock, metal or funk) and record a video of yourself playing over the top of it.

Post your video on the Play for LA event page before the 31st July to enter. If you get over 50 likes on your video then you will be in with a chance of winning.

If you want to make your entry sound professional here are a few tips on how to mic up your guitar amp properly.

Best of luck with your entry! We would happily watch and support Dolphin entries - just tag us in the post and we will check out your video and give you some support. Make your performance a memorable one so that you stand out from the crowd.

Full terms and conditions for the competition can be found here.

Roland V-Drums Now With Special One-Off Extras

If you are considering a set of the highly acclaimed Roland V-Drums then this summer is a fantastic time to finally get that set you have been saving up for. They have thrown in two special one-off extras if you buy a HD-3 or TD-11/TD-15 between the 30th May and 31st July 2014.

Roland HD-3 - Live Drum Lesson With Craig Blundell

When purchasing a HD-3 V-Drum Kit you will receive a free live 1 hour drum lesson with expert drummer Craig Blundell. This lesson is aimed at beginners who want to learn how to play the drums, and you will learn some tips and tricks that will get you inspired to start practicing on your brand new HD-3 kit. This lesson will be online via live webcams and you will have the opportunity to ask Craig any questions you might have about the drums. A rare opportunity that should not be passed up!

Roland Electronic Drum Kit

How To Claim

All you have to do is purchase your HD-3 with us and head over to http://www.roland.co.uk/myroland/ to register your new purchase. You will receive a 3 year warranty once you do this, and you can then upload a picture of your Dolphin receipt to claim this special one-off opportunity for beginners. Roland will then contact you to arrange a date for your lesson. Simples!

Full HD-3 Offer Terms and Conditions:

  • Free 1 hour video lesson via live video streaming
  • Lesson hosted online with up to 10 students in attendance per session
  • Lessons available on selected dates. To check availability and book your lesson, contact Roland upon product registration.
  • Offer only available on sales made between 30/05/2014 to 31/07/2014
  • All claims for a free lesson must be received by Friday 08/08/2014
  • To take advantage of this offer, HD-3 product registration is required via http://www.roland.co.uk/myroland
  • HD-3 Kit must be bought from an authorised Roland UK Dealer (Dolphin) within the UK and Eire to qualify for the offer
  • Proof of Purchase required. Scan or send a legible photo your receipt and email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), making sure to include the individual serial number of the product (or send by post to Customer Services, Roland UK, Atlantic Close, Swansea, SA7 9FJ). Alternatively, you can fax it on 01792 515048
  • The promotion is only available to customers living in the UK
  • This offer cannot be redeemed in conjunction with any other current offer
  • This offer does not apply to and excludes used or ex-demonstration HD-3 products
  • No cash alternative offered

Roland TD-11 & TD-15 Series - Free Extra Kits

Aimed at players who already play drums, this promotion applies to anyone who buys one of these TD-11 or TD-15 series professional V-Drum Kits. You will receive a free USB flash drive that contains 15 extra drum kits created by the pro Craig Blundell himself, and are available to plug into your new V-Drums kit for a whole new set of sounds! You can also edit and save any kit within the module and use this USB flash drive as a backup source - it’s win win!

Roland TD V-Drums Electric Drum Kit

How To Claim

All you have to do is purchase your TD V-Drums here with Dolphin and head over to Roland to register your new purchase. You will receive a 3 year warranty once you do this, and you can then upload a picture of your Dolphin receipt to claim this rare reward. Roland will then post it out to you - and you’ll have a whole range of new kits to play with!

TD-11 & TD-15 Terms and conditions:

  • Free USB Flash drive containing custom kit data can be claimed upon product purchase
  • To take advantage of this offer, product registration is required via http://www.roland.co.uk/myroland
  • USB flash drives sent via post to qualifying customers with 28 days of claim
  • Offer only available on transactions of TD-11K, TD-11KV, TD-15K and TD-15KV and TD-11/TD-15 module products made between 30/05/2014 to 31/07/2014
  • All claims must be received by Friday 31/08/2014
  • Your product must be bought from an authorised Roland UK Dealer (Dolphin) within the UK and Eire to qualify for the offer
  • Proof of Purchase required. Scan send a legible photo your receipt and email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), making sure to include the individual serial number of the drum module (or send by post to Customer Services, Roland UK, Atlantic Close, Swansea, SA7 9FJ). Alternatively, you can fax it on 01792 515048
  • The promotion is only available to customers living in the UK
  • Items can only be delivered to an address in the UK and Eire and cannot be sent abroad
  • This offer cannot be redeemed in conjunction with any other current offer
  • This offer does not apply to and excludes used or ex-demonstration TD-11/TD-15 products
  • No cash alternative offered

Make sure you claim your reward before 31st August 2014 as this is the last date for claiming. Only available to customers living in the UK qualify for this promotion. If you are unsure which set of V-Drums would be best for you, why not give our friendly sales team a call on 0151 448 2080!

by Danny Edwards

Ableton Push & AIRA TR-8 In Sync

Ableton Push & AIRA TR-8 In Sync

 

                                       

Push is the ideal controller to have at the heart of a hybrid DAW/Hardware setup. Sync via MIDI and plug your hardware into an interface to get the best of both worlds. Complete hands on control of parameters with all the flexibility of software.

 

Shure SM58 - Designed To Dent

Shure SM58 Grille Design

 

                                       

Shure built the SM58 to be tough, real tough. We’ve all seen the classic example of a dented grille at a venue and wondering just how that happened. Shure have explained exactly how the SM58 can survive getting dropped in their blog. Alternativetly you could just watch this, ahem, educational video where they drop the mic out of a helicopter and run it over with a bus.

Orange Amplification Receive A Royal Visit For Awards

Orange Amplification Receive A Royal Visit For Awards

The Duke of Kent visited Orange’s headquarters on 13th May 2014 to recognise the company winning the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade.  They have won it three times in six years, which is unprecedented in the music industry.

Orange Amp Duke of Kent Award for Amplifiers

The Duke, accompanied by The Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Stuart Nagler JP was given a warm welcome as he spent nearly an hour visiting the Hertfordshire based facility with its research and development department and talking with management and staff. Cliff Cooper, Orange CEO and Damon Waller, Managing Director escorted the Duke on his tour showing him where the cutting edge products, that have driven the remarkable expansion of the company over the last forty years, have been developed and made.

For many years the Duke was Vice–Chairman of British Trade International, and then became the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. Today he remains a patron of the Institute of Export and retains a great interest in enhancing the UK’s export performance.

Since receiving its first Queen’s Award in 2006, Orange Amplification has launched many new and innovative products, expanded into the computer market, and celebrated its 40th anniversary. Between its second award in 2009 and the third in 2012 the company grew their export sales by 90% and now sell Orange amps and other products into almost ninety countries worldwide.

Following one of the most exciting days at their HQ Cliff Cooper said “It has been a great honour to welcome HRH the Duke of Kent. Receiving three Queen’s Awards recognising our International Trade and performance how truly global the company has become has been made even more special by this royal visit. The Duke seemed to have a genuine interest in the success of our business in both UK and international markets and our contribution to the local and UK economy. Orange could not have done this without a highly dedicated team of staff throughout the world, they have made this possible and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to them all.”

You can check out our huge range of Orange Amps here!

Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL: The Gig Gear Guide

Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL: The Gig Gear Guide

Thousands of people witnessed Prince and his band of supremely talented ladies 3RDEYEGIRL this year in the UK, and if you were lucky enough to get involved with the tour you would agree that you have experienced an overwhelming presence of greatness that came in the shape of The Artist.

And although Prince’s phenomenal guitar and piano skills were completely enrapturing, we still couldn’t help having a sly peep at some of his snazzy on-stage customised kit whilst at the Manchester gig.

The stacks of Mesa Boogie amps fringed in purple were an easy spot, used with TC Electronic heads. We spied some more TC Electronic gear in the form of Prince’s FX pedals, including Flanger, Delay and Reverb amongst some well-concealed oldies.

3RDEYEGIRL’s drummer Hannah Ford was smashing what we believed to be a customised Gresch drum kit, Ida Nielsen was thrumming funky beats on her Sandberg bass and the hugely talented Donna Grantis was supporting her favourite Purple PRS CE22.

Prince had his go-to touring guitar in tow, the Vox 77, and on this particular night he was thrashing around Hendrix-style with his custom-painted number, featuring a purple flame design - and of course an iconic leopard-print guitar strap.

The performance finished with Purple Rain, were the audience was showered with flurries of sparkling confetti. As the music fades, we catch a last glimpse of Prince letting go a dozen purple balloons that everyone watches rise into the cavernous roof of the Phones 4u Area, “I got a whole lotta people here who can testify nobody can do it like Prince do…”

We completely agree.

prince

 

For a comprehensive look into Prince’s gear, please take a look at our artist feature.

 

Boss DS1X And OD1X Review

Boss DS1X And OD1X Review

                                       

Peter Thorn gives us another great review that really shows what the Multi Dimensional Processing on the DS1X and OD1X is capable of. Pete describes it as dynamic and adaptive, when you’re playing rhythm it’s thick without getting muddy and singing clear on leads while never sounding harsh.

So if you ever find your sound getting swamped when playing chords or you lose dynamics when switching to lead with the pedal engaged, then Boss have a solution.

Carlos Santana Gear Guide

Carlos Santana Gear Guide

Carlos Santana Guitars

                                       

Premier Guitar have been blessed enough to look at some pretty famous guitar rigs over the years. Many of them are impressive due to their sheer scale and complexity but if one man really sums up the “less is more” philosophy it’s Carlos Santana. Of course when you’ve got Pete Cornish pedals, Mesa Boogie amps, PRS custom guitars and Carlos’ fingers then you don’t need a whole lot else.

Digitech Hardwire Pedal Guide

Digitech Hardwire Pedal Guide

                                       

Choosing the right pedal can be tricky, there’s so many to choose from with all kinds of wacky names and every taste catered for. While getting a custom, hand made, painted, tube distortion from a man with a beard in Vermont is great for the studio you really need a big name you can trust for live situations.

That’s why Digitech created the Hardwire series, designed from the ground up as live performance pedals. Compact, tough as nails and every one comes with a range of handy accessories to make sure things go smoothly at the gig, under any conditions.

Digitech Hardwire Accessories

Ace from Skunk Ananasie has long been a fan of Digitech, relying on them for a number of tours and using the Hardwire effects recently for recording. Talking to Guitarist magazine Ace said.

"The only non-DigiTech pedal I have on there is my Pearl Octave pedal because it’s the only thing that can give me that specific sound. I use the CM-2 [Tube Overdrive], the chorus and the delay which is absolutely brilliant…"

Want to hear the pedals in action? Then check out Digitech’s comparison above or visit the Hardwire Soundcloud.

Novation sure is Feelin’ Good

Novation sure is Feelin’ Good

Here’s a YouTube video featuring both Novation’s Launchpad S and Launchkey 49, which has reached half a million views in a week!

The live performance of James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by Pomplamoose is filmed in one take and all sounds are recorded or triggered live: so no overdubbing or lip-syncing! We think it’s rather good.

Also remember there’s that amazing Focusrite/Novation/KRK competition going on too, for more details on how to enter (42 entries left guys!) follow this link.

Fairlight Sampler

Nord Vintage Keys

Nord Vintage Keys

By Hugh McKenna

                                       

Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues demonstrates some of the sounds that made the Mellotron famous back in the 60’s. You can load a note perfect recreation of The Tron into your Nord Wave, Nord Electro 3/4, Nord Piano 2 and Nord Stage 2. You don’t even need to reload tapes and pay for maintenance! It doesn’t stop there though, there’s a whole range of classic keys just waiting to be downloaded and transferred to your favourite Nord keyboard.

Fairlight

It might be ex-Yes man and pop producer Trevor Horn who claims to be the first to buy one but arguably the most famous use of a Fairlight is from Herbie Hancock.

Chamberlin

Before there was Mellotron there was a Chamberlin, similarly dusty and funky.

Analogue Synths

Plus a whole world of analogue goodies, as well as acoustic instruments, drums, guitars and more.

The only thing to do is to get on over to the Nord Sample Library and dig through the crates of classic and contemporary sounds.

TonePros Tune O Matic & Wraparound Bridges Now In Stock

TonePros Tune O Matic & Wraparound Bridges Now In Stock

by Danny Edwards
TonePros Electric Guitar Parts Wraparound Bridge

We are excited to announce the arrival of TonePros guitar hardware at Dolphin. TonePros have earned themselves a reputation for producing high-end electric guitar parts - specifically guitar bridges - that can be used on new and vintage instruments alike. They are now used by many manufacturers such as Gibson USA straight out of the factory - so what makes them so good?

Patented Locking System

The patented TonePros system means that your bridge will always be fixed even when the strings are off. No more messing around when changing strings! The real advantage of this is that you will have no play/wobble in your bridge - meaning that when you play unplugged you get much more resonance and volume through your guitar body, consequently improving your tone. You can feel the guitar vibrating in your hands a lot more, and when plugged in you get more sustain out of your guitar.


TonePros Locking Guitar Bridge Tune-O-Matic & Wraparound

Making the Best Even Better

TonePros are known for basing their hardware on industry standard guitar parts and making them even better than they were before. Their new G-Formula saddles are based on the original Nylon 66 saddles with some hi-tech additions to provide a slippery surface that prevents string breakage on previous Graphite models. Vintage guitar collectors are known to use TonePros as a playable replacement, so that they can take off their original vintage hardware and keep it safe whilst being able to play their prized vintage instrument without fear of devaluation.

TonePros Guitar Bridge G Saddle Technology

A Huge Range

They have released a huge range of Tune-O-Matic and Wraparound bridges for both Gibson and PRS style guitars. Nashville type and ABR-1 replacements are available, with the option of adding some TonePros saddle technology such as G-Formula or Roller Saddles for even better performance. All TonePros guitar bridges come with the System II Locking system, that set TonePros apart from other bridges/tailpieces. They have some limited/vintage looking hardware finishes, but here’s an example of the standard hardware finishes you can get:

TonePros Nickel Chrome Gold Black Colours Guitar Hardware

As Used By

TonePros are used by 52 guitar manufacturers, with notable brands such as: BC Rich Custom Shop, Brian Moore, Cort, Dean, Ernie Ball/Music Man, ESP, Gibson, Parker, Schecter and Washburn.

There is a HUGE list of artists from Metallica to Maroon 5 that use TonePros on their guitars. Check it out here.

If you want to get your hands on some TonePros hardware, visit our selection here. If you need any assistance choosing the right type for your guitar, one of our Dolphin experts will be ready to assist. Just drop us a comment below! TonePros Guitar Bridge TuneOMatic Wrap Around

How Do I Play…? Easy! Go to Learn To Play Day

Want to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix or do a double bass technique like Lombardo? ‘Learn To Play Day’ will teach you how!



Learn To Play Day is a national event that aims to encourage you to learn how to play the instrument of your dreams!  This Saturday 12th April music stores across the country will be promoting free lessons for all instruments: guitars, drums, synths, maracas – you name it; you will be shown how to play it.



The leaders of Learn To Play Day is the UK musical instrument charity ‘Music For All’. Chief Executive Paul McManus of Music For All said: "Wherever you are, whatever musical instrument or type of music you are interested in playing, there will be something close to everyone who wants to take part in Learn To Play Day."



So whether you’re a beginner or an expert in your designated field there will be plenty of free lessons in your area this Saturday.

Nate Mendel From The Foo Fighters On Ashdown

Nate Mendel From The Foos On Ashdown

                                       

It wasn’t until Nate came across Ashdown that he found an amp that could get loud enough without “farting out” on stage. Once he got his core tone down it was time to concentrate on distortion, collaborating with Ashdown to create a signature pedal that works beautifully with bass.

 

It’s not just Nate either, Radiohead, Biffy Clyro and the 1975 have all rocked Ashdown on stage and in the studio.

Waves Gold Bundle Offer In Words And Numbers

Waves Gold Bundle Offer In Words And Numbers

Even better value than ever the Waves Gold Bundle is packed with plugins, from EQ to compression and reverb. It’s a complete studio package.

 

Waves Gold Bundle Offer

 

The History Of MXR Pedals

History Of MXR Pedals

By Hugh McKenna

                                       

From being sold out of a suitcase to a place on the pedal boards of Jack White, Jeff Beck and Slash. MXR have come a long way in their 40 year history and the video above gives a little teaser of a new series of videos from MXR detailing that history.

Do Your Earphones Lack Bass?

Do Your Earphones Lack Bass?

                                       

Shure have produced this handy video for checking that your earphones fit snugly for proper bass frequency reproduction. Even a tiny air gap can cause a serious loss of low end, so it’s important to pick the sleeves that fit best.

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Savings On Ableton & Push Bundles

Savings On Ableton & Push Bundles

Ableton Push Bundle Offer

Simply click on the link above to get savings of up £80 on Ableton upgrades and save over £100 on Ableton Push and Suite together. Ableton was already a lot more than a simple DAW, for years it’s been the choice of live performers who value ease or use, stability and creative intuition in their software.

Sonicstate have neatly demonstrated just how free flowing and intuitive Push is by creating a track in 10 minutes in the video above. Well done lads, we’ve got some tunes that have been sitting on a dusty external drive for 10 years now.

We’ve also looked at a few of them and how you can use Ableton to make dance, trance, electronica, rock, pop, hip hop.



Recording & Production With Ableton Live 9 & Push

Rob Papen Blue II Released

Rob Papen Blue II Released

                                       

With a huge range of virtual instruments in the stable Rob Papen is one of the biggest names in plugins, used by a massive range of artists including Armin van Buuren, Noisia and Teddy Riley. A diverse range of production credits including Trance, DnB and Pop. The new Blue II (like what we did there?) covers all these styles with a range of classic, warm analogue sounds and contemporary complex modulation.

Novation Launchpad S Control Pack with Ableton Live

Novation Launchpad S Control Pack with Ableton Live

Everybody already knows about how cool the Novation Launchpad series is. If you don’t, you need to watch this:

Novation’s next release is the Launchpad S Control Pack. Bringing together everything that is great about the Launchpad in one affordable bundle, it includes the popular Launchpad S, Launch Control, Ableton Live Lite 9, 1GB of loops and sounds and two custom designed soft cases - basically everything you need to just plug in and play.

Novation Launchpad S Control Pack

We really like the custom designed soft cases which make it easy to transport the Launchpad and Launch Control to/from gigs. It looks like they are going to be exclusive to this bundle alone - a nice little touch from Novation.

Novation Launchpad S Control Pack

You can turn your iPad into a creative music monster using Launchpad’s free app, which provides hours of fun as a standalone. But when you plug the Launchpad in to your iPad, it means business. For an ultra compact setup, you can just take your iPad, Launchpad S and Launch Control (in their fancy bags) to a gig, and power your hardware from your iPad - no power supplies necessary!

Buying the Launchpad S and Launch Control individually would cost more than this whole bundle alone. The Launchpad Control Pack saves you £30, plus you get the two free soft cases, a free copy of Ableton Live Lite 9, and 1gb of loops and samples to play with.

If anyone is after one of the new Launchpad S Control Pack’s they are available today from us here.

by Danny Edwards

Pink Floyd compiling multi-sensory exhibition for September 2014

Pink Floyd‘s four decade history is being compiled into a multi-sensory exhibition which will take place in Milan this September. Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason have been working together to create the exhibition which they’re hoping will deliver a “vast and innovative” insight into the bands career.

Over 300 artefacts from Pink Floyd‘s career have been assembled for the upcoming exhibition and former Italian factory, La Fabbrica Del Vapore will host the week long event from September 19th 2014.

Curator Aubrey Powell talked about the event.
“If ever a band lent itself to a major retrospective exhibition, it’s Pink Floyd. Selecting what to include from such a treasure trove is both a dream and a nightmare. However, there were elements that just had to be included, for example a twenty-metre wide sculpture of The Wall, five-metre high inflatables, and of course, a flying pig.

“We’ll be aiming for state-of-the-art visuals and sonic delivery, similar to the experience of attending a Pink Floyd concert; you’ll never know what to expect next.”

The Pink Floyd Exhibition – Their Mortal Remains opens on September 19th however, tickets go on sale this Thursday (February 27). You can purchase tickets from the Pink Floyd Website here

Article by Stefanie Chew

Orange Launch Limited Edition White Amps

Orange Amps announced this week that they’ll soon be releasing a number of limited edition amplifiers in a newly designed white finish. As part of this limited edition release, the popular Rockerverb guitar amps, Thunderverb 200, and 50 heads,PPC412 and PPC212 Speaker Enclosures will all be having a makeover.

For a limited period of time, these new Orange Amps will be available in classic crisp white Levant covering and will feature a gold piping trim and gold capped handles. Orange amplifiers have never looked so good!.

We’re particularly thrilled by this limited edition run as it will feature some of the best amplifiers Orange has to offer.

The Orange Rockerverb amp is of the best Valve Combo amps on the market and earned itself a place on MusicRadar’s ‘best valve combo guitar amps in the world’ list in 2013. The Rockerverb amps feature a distinctive British tone that sets these amps apart from their competitors.

Like the Rockerverb series, the Orange Thunderverb amps are well known for their classic sound, style and features. The Thunderverb 200 has earned great respect for its Extended Tone Range technology and ground breaking engineering whilst the Thunderverb 50 has become a favourite amongst those that enjoy smaller cranked 50 watt power amps.

The PPC412 and the lighter, more compact PPC212 speaker enclosures continue the high standards associated with Orange and those fond of warm midrange tones will not be disappointed with either model.

These limited edition white amplifiers will be on show at the Frankfurt Musikmesse Exhibition later this year before they’re released to the public in April 2014.

Article By Stefanie Chew

Synthesizer Of The Week: MiniMoog Voyager Performer Edition

Our very first synthesizer of the week goes to the MiniMoog Voyager Performer Edition. This monophonic analog synthesizer was originally released back in 1970 when synths were becoming increasingly popular with pop and rock musicians. Moog noticed a gap in the market and aimed to design a new synthesizer that was affordable, portable and ideal for live performance. Many modular synths at the time were large and difficult to transport yet the new MiniMoog was smaller in size, more compact and cancelled out the need for patch cords.
The Minimoog grew in popularity due to its progressive design and powerful warm synthesizer sounds, whilst it also became re-known for its collection of analog synth bass sounds.

In this video footage, Bob Moog talks us through the functions of the MiniMoog synthesizer.

In 2002, Moog redesigned and relaunched the MiniMoog as the MiniMoog Voyager and launched a new series of MiniMoog Synthesizers which incorporated many modern day features with attractive characteristics of past models. A full range of MiniMoog synths were launched which included the Voyager XL, Voyager Electric Blue and our featured synth, the MiniMoog Voyager Performer. (You can browse the full collection here).

MiniMoog Voyager Performer Edition

The MiniMoog Voyager Performer Synthesizer features dual Moog filters, 4 analog envelope generators and like the original MiniMoog, this synth features 3 analog controlled oscillators. The MiniMoog Voyager incorporates modern features such as Midi capabilities and a 128 progam memory, which allows you to capture, record and transfer sounds to your computer.

Check out the playlist of sounds below which explores the collection of sounds that can be created with the MiniMoog Voyager.

More Features

  • Three wide-range, high stability VCO’s (Voltage Controlled Oscillators) with continuously-variable waveforms.
  • Five-input mixer for combining the audio sources prior to filtering.
  • Dual mode filter module includes dual lowpass and highpass-lowpass filtering. Dual lowpass mode consists of two Moog lowpass-resonant filters in parallel, one per output channel. Highpass-lowpass mode consists of Moog lowpass filter in series with a highpass filter.
  • Envelopes Module generates two wide-range ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release) envelopes. The Filter Envelope sweeps the filter and is available for modulation shaping. The Volume Envelope shapes the overall volume.
  • LFO: Low Frequency Oscillator generates triangular, square, Sample & Hold, and smoothed Sample & Hold waveforms for use as modulating signals.
  • Modulation Busses Module: Selects the sources, destinations, and shaping signals for the MOD WHEEL bus and the EXT PEDAL/ON bus.
  • Output Module: MASTER VOLUME, HEADPHONE VOLUME
  • Glide and Fine Tune Module: GLIDE varies the speed at which the keyboard voltage changes, from instantaneous to several seconds. FINE TUNE adjusts the overall tuning of the instrument.
  • 44 KEY KEYBOARD produces Pitch, Gate, Velocity, and Pressure control outputs.
  • WHEELS: Pitch Wheel bends pitch over a range of up to +/-1 octave. Mod wheel controls the gain of the MOD WHEEL bus.
  • THREE DIMENSIONALTOUCH SURFACE provides three continuously-variable control signals which are derived from the up-down and left-right position of the player’s finger, and the amount of area with which the player makes contact to the surface.

Famous musicians using MiniMoog Synths: The Chemical Brothers, The Orb, Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails.

MiniMoog Facts

  • Kraftwerk co-founder Ralf Hutter used a Minimoog on the successful concept album Autobahn, and the Minimoog was used extensively on many subsequent albums ‘The Man-Machine’ and ‘Computer World’.
  • Metronomy‘s Joseph Mount plays the Minimoog on ‘The English Riviera’ featured in the songs “The Look” and “The Bay”.

More information on the MiniMoog Voyager Performer can be found on the Dolphin Music website.

For further guidance on synthesizers, take a look at Dolphin Music’s Guide to Synthesizers.

Stefanie Chew

Jon Hopkins Synth Guide

In 2014, Jon Hopkins released an epic masterpiece that would not only gain him a Mercury Music Prize nomination, but would result in him selling out shows worldwide and gaining prize position on many festival lineups.

Jon’s fourth studio album Immunity featured a collection of immaculately crafted compositions ranging from beat perfect electronic jams to intricate piano led melodies, and Immunity rose to the podium taking prize position on many of 2013’s greatest album lists.

We took some time out to review the synthesizers Jon Hopkins uses to record and perform.

Korg MS-20 Synthesizer

Immunity opens with Open Eye Signal, a track written purely around the sounds of the Korg MS-20 synthesizer. This analog synthesizer is mostly used to achieve rich thick synth sounds and we see them appear throughout this album. Many of the bass sounds and techno riffs on Immunity are taken from the MS-20’s rich catalogue of sounds, a stunning collection of effects which includes bass sounds, worm leads and percussion effects.

Kaoss pad/ Korg Kaossilator Pro

As we see in the video above, Hopkins uses not one, but three Kaoss Pads to perform live. He creates synth sounds on the Kaoss pad by touching the screen as this is an incredibly easily way to play and manipulate sounds during a performance.

With 200 sound patches available, the collection on offer is fantastic and you’re given the choice of synths, percussion, basses and a range of sound effects. The upgraded version of the Kaoss Pad- The Korg Kaossilator pro, also features a vocoder, arpeggiator and four track loop recorder which allows you to overlap and arrange samples.

Another synth used on Immunity is the Roland SH-09 synthesizer, a classic 32 key synthesizer made back in 1980. The Roland SH-09 synthesizers have been discontinued and are hard to get by, however; Hopkins managed to borrow a SH-09 while recording and as a result, the SH-09 synth was used to create many of the bass sounds on Immunity. The sub-oscillator on the SH-09 makes this synthesizer a great provider of bass sounds, though it doesn’t have the ability to create thunderous bass sounds in the way that a Moog synthesizer does.

That’s our run-down of the list of synths being used by Jon Hopkins, however, his recording studio features an incredible selection of equipment. Other items in his setup include a Mackie Control and Mackie Big Knob whilst he’s also said to be using SourceForge and Logic to record.

For more information on Jon Hopkins live dates, releases and news, visit his website. Article by Stefanie Chew

Guitar Of The Week: Gretsch White Falcon

The White Falcon guitar is a Gretsch classic.This 17 inch wide guitar can be easily spotted by its large body and the gold pickguard which features a unique engraved falcon. Featuring the distinctive warm, rich Gretsch sound and endless feedback abilities, the White Falcon is a popular companion for those fond of the classic vintage sound.

This high-end electric hollowbody guitar was introduced in the mid 1950’s and took its design inspiration from the custom painted, chrome cars that were very trendy at the time. Fender had started using custom car paint on their guitars and Gretsch followed their lead. On its release the White Falcon gained the name “The Cadillac of guitars,”.

Designed by Jimmy Webster, the original Gretsch White Falcon featured six wheel saddles and a threaded mounting bar. As we see in the middle photo, the tailpiece of the White Falcon guitar looked very similar in style to the logo used for 50’s Cadillacs.

The 50’s saw Gretsch guitars soar in popularity, mainly due to the fact George Harrison appeared with The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show performing with a Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar. The popularity of the Gretsch continued into the 60’s when Neil Young and Stephen Stills adopted the Gretsch White Falcon as their signature guitar.

In the video below, Stephen Stills talks about his reasons behind using to Gretsch White Falcon guitar.

Many amendments have been made to the White Falcon since its initial launch and there are currently a number of different models on the market. Those looking for a replica of the classic mid 50’s design would be best viewing the Gretsch G6136CST White Falcon however; the Gretsch G6136T White Falcon also stays very close to the 1959 design. The most affordable White Falcon on the market is the Gretsch G5022CWFE White Falcon. This electro-acoustic guitar features a simplified design yet gives a great introduction to the classic Gretsch sound.

You can view our full range of Grestch White Falcon Guitars on the Dolphin Music website.

Stefanie Chew

Rock N Roll Marathon Comes To Liverpool

If you love music and enjoy running, the Rock n Roll Marathon may just be event for you. On May 25th 2014, America’s Rock n Roll marathon series makes its way to Liverpool for the first time and will take over the city for the day with both a full and half marathon.

Participating in the Rock N Roll Marathon is a great way to introduce yourself to the grueling 26 mile event. Bands are lined up to perform at every mile and the Rock n Roll marathon is re-known for its party-like atmosphere. The course for Liverpool has been designed to tour the city centre, starting and finishing at the waterfront and passing many of the city’s iconic landmarks en route.

Though bands are yet to be announced for the Liverpool event, past performers on previous runs have included Goo Goo Dolls, Sugar Ray and Counting Crows.

For more information on how to enter and to sign up for updates on this event, visit the Rock n Roll Marathon Website

Article by Stefanie Chew

Artist Interview : Petrels

Multi-instrumentalist Oliver Barrett, aka Petrels, is well known for his textured ambient music. His previous albums Haeligewielle and Onkalo were highly acclaimed around Europe and led to him touring with Tim Hecker, FIRE!, Nate Young (Wolf Eyes)and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster). We took some time out to interview Petrels before the upcoming release of his third album ‘MIMA’.

MIMA is your third album to date. How did recording this album compare to recording your earlier releases?

I’ve recorded and produced all the Petrels albums the same way myself just with Logic on my laptop. The main thing that’s changed across the three is just the scope of what I’m able to do outside of that. The first album - ‘Haeligewielle’ - was very self-contained and the vast majority of it was recorded at home. But then between that and the second (’Onkalo’) I built my own studio with a couple of friends which meant that I could incorporate a lot more live drums, piano, guitars and other sound sources at louder volumes than my neighbours would let me get away with. With Mima, it’s kind of levelled out a bit again - probably a mix of the first two albums in terms of how much I recorded at home or in the studio. The key difference is that I’ve amassed a few more instruments and other bits and pieces of gear and so there’s definitely a bigger spread of sound sources and instrumentation than on ‘Haeligewielle’.

What sparked your initial interest in recording and performing music?

Happened a bit too early to say for sure I think. Both my parents play and love music and so I grew up with it being a focal point in the house. When I was 11 I managed to borrow a battered old 4-track tape recorder from school over the Summer holidays and spent 6 weeks recording myself doing different things and playing it back at the wrong speed or backwards. I guess that maybe kickstarted my interest in the recording process. I’ve played in various bands and different groups across a load of different genres so there was no ‘eureka’ moment - it’s all just kept on building.

Did you play any instruments at a young age? if so, what did you play?

I played cello from about the age of 4 (it was about as big as a viola) which I played pretty intensively until my teens when playing guitars in bands seemed a hell of a lot more appealing and then kind of came back round to it in my early 20’s again.

Do you have any advice for novices wanting to write music digitally?

Wouldn’t want to pretend I’m any kind of authority but maybe just to not get too concerned with the ‘right’ way to do things. There’s plenty of people who’ll tell you there’s a certain way to record things ‘properly’ whatever the scenario. If it sounds good to you, it is good. I think there’s a lot to be gained from intentionally trying to do things wrong - make instruments and programmes and plugins etc do things that they weren’t meant to do. It’s easy to get into the mindset that you could make exactly the music you wanted to make if you just had that next one piece of gear or software without trying to get the most out of what you currently have. Mind you, I appreciate that’s maybe not the best approach to suggest on an online music equipment retail site, so maybe a better summary would just be: ignore everybody else’s advice and just make the music you want to make.

Your music is very atmospheric and certainly experimental. What equipment do you use to record and perform?

I’m going to answer this and the next question in one. My live set-up is basically a stripped down version of what I use to record with but the amount of scaling down is pretty drastic. For my current live set up I have a couple of synths (I say ‘synths’ - I have a secondhand Micorkorg and a battered old 3-octave Yamaha keyboard I bought for a tenner), my laptop - on which I manipulate a few of the more dense sound samples that I can’t easily re-create live - a bunch of guitar pedals (mostly Boss and Behringer), a Mackie 802 mixer and then a couple of contact mics. To record, the only really consistent thing is that I record to laptop on Logic Express but apart from that I tend to draw on whatever I can get my hands on.

Is there any equipment you would like to add to your live setup?

The list is pretty much infinite! At the moment my live set-up (especially on the continent) is determined by what I can fit in a 20kg suitcase. When I started doing Petrels gigs I was using my cello and had an extra synth and a harmonium - all of that went the minute I got my first gig in Germany (Ryanair are pretty unforgiving with their luggage allowance).

You say you draw inspiration from wide range of both visual and cultural sources. Do you pick a theme before composing?

It tends to vary depending on what I’m working on. The first Petrels album was very tightly focussed around a single subject (the Victorian diver William Walker singlehandedly strengthening the foundation of Winchester Cathedral) and I had this in mind before I started. But a lot of the time the process isn’t this self-conscious, though I generally get my inspiration to write and record from some kind of external idea or subject that gets me thinking in whatever way so I guess the two go pretty closely hand in hand.

What are your plans for 2014? do you plan to tour the UK or perform at any festivals?

I’m aiming to do a short UK tour with Tartaruga Records’ Max Bondi, and a European tour with Talvihorros later in the year. Whether with Petrels or with previous bands I’ve always booked UK gigs myself (through necessity as much as anything else) so it just depends on what pans out. I should also have another LP out on Denovali in the summer and hopefully a couple of release from other projects I’m currently working on. As for festivals, it’d be great - it seems pretty hard to get a look-in on the UK festival circuit these days unless you’ve got some money/PR behind you but who knows.

Petrels third album MIMA will be released on Denovali Records on February 21st 2014. For more information on Petrels and to listen to more music, visit Floating Limb, Bandcamp or Facebook

Article by Stefanie Chew

Squarepusher Joins Forces With Robots For Upcoming EP, ‘Music For Robots’.

Electronic experimental musician Squarepusher will collaborate with a robotic band on his next EP ‘Music for Robots’.

The band named ‘Z machines’ is the result of a Japanese challenge for roboticists which launched in 2013 to create a music-performing system with advanced musical capabilities. After being invited to compose music for the project, Squarepusher released the poignant ‘Sad Robot Goes Funny’ a track composed by himself and performed in full by the ‘Z machines’. The track features 3 robots which function like animatronic MIDIs and in the video below, a guitarist with 78 fingers, a drummer with 22 arms and a mechanical keyboard player all perform Squarepusher‘s composition.

Squarepusher talked about his involvement with the project:

“Each of the robotic devices involved in the performance of this music has its own specification which permits certain possibilities and excludes others - the robot guitar player for example can play much faster than a human ever could, but there is no amplitude control. In the same way that you do when you write music for a human performer, these attributes have to be borne in mind - and a particular range of musical possibilities corresponds to those attributes. Consequently, in this project familiar instruments are used in ways which till now have been impossible.”

Sad Robot Goes Funny’ gives us a taster of what we may hear on the forthcoming EP ‘Music For Robots’ which features 5 tracks performed in full by the Z Machines.

Squarepusher talked about his hopes for the EP:

“In this project the main question I’ve tried to answer is ‘can these robots play music that is emotionally engaging?.”

“I have long admired the player piano works of Conlon Nancarrow and Gyorgy Ligeti. Part of the appeal of that music has to do with hearing a familiar instrument being ‘played’ in an unfamiliar fashion. For me there has always been something fascinating about the encounter of the unfamiliar with the familiar. I have long been an advocate of taking fresh approaches to existing instrumentation as much as I am an advocate of trying to develop new instruments, and being able to rethink the way in which, for example, an electric guitar can be used is very exciting”.

Squarepusher‘s upcoming EP ‘Music For Robots’ will be released on April 7th 2014. For more information visit the Squarepusher website or check out Squarepusher on Facebook.

Stefanie Chew

Korg To Revive Classic Korg Arp Odyssey Synth

Korg announced this week that they plan to revive the classic Korg Arp Odyssey synth. Following hot on the heels of Roland and their Volca series, Korg is hoping that a full upgrade can give the classic Arp Odyssey a new lease of life.

The Arp Odyssey Synthesizer was originally released in the 1970’s as a competitor to the popular Minimoog. Unlike the Minimoog, the Odyssey was a 2-oscillator synth with duo-phonic subtractive capability. The Odyssey also featured a resonant low pass filter, ADSR envelopes, sine or square wave LFO and sample and hold functions. The Arp Odyssey became massively popular in the 70’s and musicians became incredibly fond of it’s unique selection of analog sounds.

Though still in design stage, Korg has announced that David Friend, co-founder and designer of ARP instruments, will work as chief advisor on the new Arp Odyssey Synth.Korg has stated that the forthcoming Arp will replicate many of the classic features however, we would expect the new Arp to be fully installed with USB/MIDI functionality.

As yet, Korg has not announced an official release date for the new Arp Odyssey, however; it has been said that we will see the release before the end of 2014.

Article by Stefanie Chew

5 UK Festivals You’ve Never Heard Of

ArcTanGent
Dates 28th-30th August
Where Bristol
Price Weekend tickets £65
Lineup Three Trapped Tigers, And So I Watch You From Afar, TTNG, Nordic Giants, The Physics House Band, Baby Godzilla
Website

It may not be be the size of Glastonbury, Leeds or Reading, but ArcTanGent Festival is creating a buzz amongst rock fans in the UK. Taking place just outside the city of Bristol, this 3 day festival features a lineup like no other, showcasing the best math rock, post rock and noise rock bands from around the world. ArcTanGent festival was nominated for the Best New Festival and Best Small Festival at the UK Festival Awards last year and featured 70 bands playing over 4 stages. Previous acts to have played ArcTanGent include 65daysofstatic, Future of the Left, And So I Watch You From Afar and Fuck Buttons.

Sounds From The Other City
Dates Sunday May 4th 2014 (Bank holiday weekend)
Where Manchester
Price £10-£18
Lineup KAREN GWYER, Lee Gamble, Pete Herbert, Plank!, Raikes parade
Website

Sounds From The Other City is a real celebration of the Manchester music scene, bringing together some of the best independent promoters and club nights the North West has to offer. Since starting 10 years ago, the festival has grown significantly and cemented itself as a major player in the North West festival scene. Sounds From The Other City is a real DIY affair and features performances in pubs, churches, community centres and train stations. Highlights from last year’s lineup included Deptford Goth, Still Corners and Stealing Sheep.

SuperSonic Festival
Dates 30th-31st May
Where Birmingham Custard Factory
Price £45
Lineup Swans, Matmos, Wolf Eyes, Ex Easter Island Head, Agathe Max
Website

If you’re quick, you may just be able to get some of the last remaining tickets for this years SuperSonic festival. This 2 day festival celebrates 10 years of existence this year, and to mark the milestone they’ve curated ‘Supersonic Festival Ltd Etd’ a small, intimate 2 day event. If previous lineups are anything to go by, SuperSonic festival promises big things as LCD soundsystem, DJ Food and Coil once graced the stages of this inner city festival. 2014’s lineup is already set to be a classic with Swans named as the main headliner alongside Wolf Eyes, Matmos and more.

FutureEverything Festival
Dates 27th March- 1st April
Where Individually priced shows
Price £45
LineupTim Hecker, Darkside, Julianna Barwick, Evian Christ & More
Website

Though Manchester’s Future Everything isn’t purely a music festival, we had to give it a mention due to its incredibly attractive lineup. Named by The Guardian as one of the ‘Top Ten Ideas Festivals In The World’ this week long event focuses primarily on digital culture and technology which links nicely with electronic and experimental music. This year FutureEverything features an attractive lineup of music performances including Evian Christ, Darkside, Tim Hecker and Julianna Barwick.In its 19th year, the festival celebrates with the theme “Tools For Unknown Futures” and will feature conferences and discussions on the veritable future of music.

Threshold Festival
Dates 28th-30th March 2014
Where Liverpool
Price Three Day Wristband £25
Lineup Gideon Conn, Alpha Male Tea Party, Etches, Kusangi, Natalie McCool & More
Website

Threshold Festival aims to celebrate music, theatre, film, performance and visual arts and unlike its big brother, Liverpool Sound City, this small inner city festival places its focus on the upcoming artists of the UK. Some of the best unsigned bands from around the country will perform alongside an eclectic mix of art installations and performance pieces.

Download Novation Sound Pack & Win a T-Shirt

It’s been a few weeks since Novation released their the recent heritage documentary however the celebration of Novation continues this month with even more free downloads.

Fans of the Novation synthesizers will be pleased to hear that Novation have released a FREE downloadable Synth sound pack created specifically for use with the Ultranova and Mininova synths. The sound pack features iconic synth sounds from tracks released in 1992 through to today and includes classic and recognisable sounds from house, dubstep, drum & bass, breaks, trance, R&B, UK garage spanning the last 22 years.

We’ve teamed up with Novation to give you the chance to win a limited edition Novation T-shirt. All you need to do is the following:

1 Watch the video above and write down the name of each track you hear.

2 Share our Facebook Post  to your Facebook page, naming all 7 tracks with your post

Four winners will be drawn on Friday 21st February at 1pm. Good Luck!

To download the FREE sound pack, visit the Novation Website http://uk.novationmusic.co.uk/soundpacks

Terms & Conditions
Please ensure your Facebook share is made public to allow us to see that you have shared the post. All entrants must reside in the UK and prizes must be claimed within 30 days of the closing date. Your Facebook settings must allow Dolphin Music to send you a personal message in order to allow us to contact you directly if you win. Please check your account settings to enable this feature. Winners will be drawn on Friday 21st February at 1pm.

Article by Stefanie Chew

Fender Learn To Play Day 2014

Fender announced this week that they’ll be holding a ‘Learn to Play Day’ in partnership with the Registry of Guitar Tutors in April.

If you’ve always wanted to learn guitar but never had the chance, this is the event for you. Beginners in particular are encouraged to attend the 1 day event and those picking up the strings for the first time will receive a free introductory lesson from one of the Fender team or RGT certified tutors.

Performers of all levels are welcome at the event and for the more competent performer, a range of Fender guitars will be available to try throughout the day at specially setup private practice stations.

Taking place on April 12th, the event will be hosted by The Gallery Soho in London, an event space with fantastic views down Denmark Street, London’s world-famous music shop destination. Local dealers will be taking part in the event and there will be a number of street activities taking place throughout the day.

Learn To Play Day is a national event organised by the Music for All charity to inspire new and lapsed musicians to take up playing an instrument and will take place at the following address: 125 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EW from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday 12th April.

For details of all the 2014 National Learn To Play Day events, visit www.learntoplayday.com

Article by Stefanie Chew

 

Breakthrough For Travelling Musicians

This week news broke that the European parliament has voted in favour of law changes which would benefit musicians travelling by air.

The new proposal would solve many of the problems musicians have faced for years and would mean that for the first time, air carriers must allow passengers to carry small instruments onto a plane. The new proposal also states that air carriers must clearly indicate terms and conditions for the transport of larger instruments in order to eradicate confusion.

The proposal was put to paper as a result of a petition by the FIM (International federation of musicians) which saw more than 40,000 people sign to bring in legislation to clarify rules on travelling with instruments.

John Smith, MU General Secretary and FIM President, says: “I am delighted that the European Parliament has voted in favour of this proposal, which will make such a difference to working musicians..’

“The MU has been lobbying on this issue for years and actually reached an agreement with the Department for Transport in 2006, but we have long been saying that it is only by working at a European and international level that we can successfully tackle this issue, as the problem is much broader than just UK airlines. “The issue has always been that existing law allows each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instrument, and this proposal would bring much needed uniformity and fairness to the whole sector. “I urge the European Council to follow the Parliament’s lead and endorse this regulation as soon as possible.”

The proposal must now also go before the European Council before we find out the outcome.

Article by Stefanie Chew


TONTO: The World’s Largest Synthesizer

Tonto is simply an acronym for ‘The Orignal New Timbral Orchestra’, the largest and most famous multi-timbral polyphonic analog synthesizer in the world. Made by Malcolm Cecil, Tonto became one of the most famous and influential synthesizers of our time and went on to feature on albums by Stevie wonder Quincy Jones, Bobby Womack, The Isley Brothers and Gil Scott-Heron amongst others.

Cecil came from an engineering background and though he’d previously performed in jazz and blues bands, he’d always maintained an interest in electrical engineering. Cecil started building Tonto with a Moog Modular Synthesizer series III which was later joined by a Moog III, four Oberheim SEMs, two ARP 2600‘s, modules from Serge, EMS, Roland and Yamaha. To add to this, Cecil and fellow engineer Serge Tcherepnin designed many modules themselves and what started as a relatively normal sized synthesizer, now took the name Tonto and at twenty foot wide and 6 ft tall, Tonto became the largest modular synthesizer in the world.

“I wanted to create an instrument that would be the first multitimbral polyphonic synthesizer. Multitimbral polyphony is different than the type of polyphony provided by most of today’s synthesizers, on which you turn to a string patch and everything under your fingers is strings. In my book ‘multitimbral’ means each note you play has a different tone quality, as if the notes come from separate instruments. I wanted to be able to play live multitimbral polyphonic music using as many fingers and feet as I had”. Malcolm Cecil

Now that Cecil had successfully created his dream synthesizer, he decided the time was right to unveil it to the world and as a result, ‘Tonto’s Expanding Head Band’ was formed. Cecil joined forces with Robert Margouleff in the 70’s to release a number of albums. Zero time, It’s about time and Tonto Rides again, failed to sell in huge quantities however, the albums were hugely influential to artists such as Tangerine Dream and most famously Stevie Wonder, who went on to work with Tonto’s Expanding Head Band on a number of his albums.

“How great it is at a time when technology and the science of music is at its highest point of evolution, to have the reintroduction of two of the most prominent forefathers in this music be heard again,” said Stevie Wonder.“It can be said of this work that it parallels with good wine. As it ages it only gets better with time. A toast to greatness… a toast to Zero Time… forever”.
Stevie Wonder on working with Tonto’s Expanding Head Band

The video below shows Malcom Cecil, Robert Margouleff and Stevie Wonder working together in the studio and features an interview with both Cecil and Margouleff.

Though Tonto and the Expanding Head Band are still active to this day, the Tonto Synthesizer no longer remains in Mark Cecil’s hands. In the 90’s, the synthesizer was briefly in the hands of Mark Mothersbaugh and Devo, however it has now been purchased by the National Music Centre in Calgary, Canada.

Synthesizer Assembly Kits

NAMM 2014 witnessed more and more brands releasing new synthesizers and one of our favourite new products for 2014 is the Korg MS20 Analogue Synthesizer Assembly Kit.

This is a great purchase for anyone enthusiastic about building a synthesizer and this assembly kit features all the parts you need to re-create a full size MS20 synth with your very own hands.
The MS-20 kit features filters from both early and late versions of the classic synth and even allows you to switch between the two. You can find out more about the MS-20 assembly kit here

If you’d rather have your synth delivered ready-made, you can also check out our
full selection of synthesizers online here

If you’re interested in finding out more information on Malcolm Cecil, you can visit his official website here.

Article By Stefanie Chew

Numark Remix Toolkit

Numark Mixtrack With Free Remix Toolkit Worth £129

Numark Mixtrack With Free Remix Toolkit Worth £129

Whether you need sound effects to drop into your set or loops for production in your DAW Numark have an awesome deal for you. Teaming up with Prime Loops they’ve offering 380+ samples for free with their Mixtrack controllers.

Here’s a taste of just what’s on offer


Robert Smith’s Live Setup

It’s been a while since The Cure stepped out with a new record however; last week the group announced that they will shortly be releasing their 14th studio album, the “tentatively” titled ‘4:14 Scream’.

As yet, the band hasn’t released much information about what’s to come, but sources state that a live concert DVD will soon be made available and another ‘Trilogy’ style show will take place around the world at the end of the year.

In celebration of The Cure’s return, we decided to take some time out to look at the gear Robert smith uses to perform live.

Formed in 1976, The Cure suffered many line-up changes during their 38 year existence, however Robert Smith remained front-man throughout. With 13 albums and more than 30 singles released, the bands style has understandably shifted throughout their career, and after being defined as a post-punk band in the early days, The Cure were later given many labels including new wave and gothic rock. Everything from atmospheric soundscapes to perfectly formed pop songs became part of their set and Robert Smith‘s live gear had to cater for them all.

Robert Smith certainly liked his vintage gear and for his live setup, his guitar of choice was a vintage classic, the Chet Atkins Classic Country Gentleman guitar.

This double-cutaway style guitar was released back in 1958 and was a popular model during the British invasion of the 1960s. The Chet Akins Classic Country Gentleman guitar was frequently used by Smith to create rich twangy sounds whilst its 22 medium-jumbo frets made it the perfect guitar for fast fretwork.

The Fender BASS VI and the Schecter Ultra bass were two more guitars frequently chosen to accompany Robert Smith onstage and later in The Cure’s career, Schecter made the UltraCure, a custom Robert Smith version of their Schecter Ultra six-string bass. Smith enjoyed performing with this bass guitar as it’s said to have made the chorus and flanger sound fuller.

Though not the heaviest pedal user we’ve seen, Robert Smith likes to perform with a good selection of effects pedals, and everything from the Cry Baby Wah Wah to distortion and chorus pedals are part of his live setup.

The Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah Pedal sounds just like would expect it to, twisting and tweaking guitar riffs to give them a more full and distorted sound. One of Jim Dunlop‘s biggest sellers, this guitar pedal is up there with the best and since being released in 1966, the pedal has been used by many guitarists, including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. More Info

The Boss DS-1 Distortion is a classic when it comes to distorting sounds and it’s not surprising that we found this in The Cure’s stage gear. Whether it’s keyboards or guitars you want to distort, this pedal provides hard distorted sounds without the unwanted interruptions. More Info

The BOSS Super Overdrive pedal is being used to produce subtle and smooth overdrive and is perfect for use on the the Cure’s more atmospheric tracks. This compact FX pedal produces rich, warm distortion without drowning out the nuances of the Smith’s picking technique. More Info

The Dunlop Super Phaser is a phaser pedal which produces incredibly thick tone. This versatile guitar FX pedal can be used to create chorus sounds and is great for producing thick rich chords and frequency effects. More pedals from Jim Dunlop

Robert Smith’s use of the BOSS Super Chorus FX pedal, enables him to create rich, heavy chorus sounds with a single strum. The super chorus pedal is a great addition to any setup as it makes any guitar performance sound lusciously rich. More Info

It’s no surprise that Robert Smith’s pedal setup includes a Flanger pedal as distressed warped guitars feature on a good selection of the Cure’s tracks. The BOSS BF-2 Flanger delivers thick stereo flanging, adding life to guitar riffs through a selection of delay, chorus and vibrato effects. More Info

The Boss Tremolo Pan was only in short distribution between 1990 and 1995 and is a very sought after model today due to its ability to emulate tremolo effects of vintage guitar amps. Tremolo settings allowed users to create a fantastic collection of tremolo effects from throbbing amp-like tones through to hard tremolo tones and on-off stutter effects. The Boss Tremolo pan has since been replaced by the Boss TR-2 pedal. More Info

As we’ve seen, Smith is a fan of Boss FX pedals and this is the 6th and final Boss pedal in his live setup. The Boss Digital Delay Pedal has been named many a time as one of the best digital delay FX pedals on the market. This compact stomp box offers 3 different delay modes which offer guitarists the ability to add instant ambiance and atmosphere to any guitar performance. More Info

The Cure altered their live setup over the years and Robert Smith often added to his pedal board. It’ll be interesting to see how the band has evolved since their last tour and whether the band has amended their live setup for their 2014 performances.

To keep up to date with future announcements from The Cure visit www.TheCure.com or follow the band on Twitter

Roland AIRA Update

After weeks of waiting, the launch of the Roland AIRA series is almost here. Next Friday, we’ll be able to show you exactly which products are part of the AIRA range but until then, it’s more teasers I’m afraid.

This morning, the team at Roland have taken 1 step closer to the big reveal and the following photos and videos have been released. In true Roland style, we don’t have a clear view of what’s on offer however; they do give us a good idea of what to expect.

For more information and to watch all the teaser videos visit the AIRA website.

Article by Stefanie Chew

Guitar Of The Week: Rickenbacker 360

Say hello to the Rickenbacker 360, a traditional vintage-style guitar with all the components of a modern model.

Made in the 1960’s the Rickenbacker has adapted with time and over the years this semi-acoustic electric guitar has been updated to meet the needs of the modern guitar player. Though large in size, the Rickenbacker is an incredibly comfortable guitar to play and throughout generations it’s become a favourite of many guitarists.

Fugazi guitarist, Guy Picciotto is just one of the names that swore by the Rickenbacker and he spent most of his career thrashing out hardcore riffs from the Rickenbacker‘s slick design. If you look closely at the video below, you see Picciotto with his Rickenbacker in the opening few seconds.

When it appeared in the 1960’s, the Rickenbacker 360 raised many eyebrows as stylistically, it failed to fit the mould. Though some components have since been updated, the design of the Rickenbacker 360 remains the same as it was back in the 60’s. The Rosewood Fingerboard remains inlayed with triangular pearloid markers and the guitar still features its beautifully bound body. The maple neck of the Rickenbacker guitar features dual truss rods and single-coil pickups have been included to ensure it delivers a range of tones.

Fun Fact: The Rickenbacker most famously appeared in 12 string version on ‘A Hard Days Night, where it was used by George Harrison.

Famous players: REM’s Peter Buck, Guy Picciotto- Fugazi, Pete Doherty- The Libertines, James dean bradfield- the manic street preachers.

Features

  • Body Type- Semi-Acoustic
  • No. Frets- 24
  • Body Wood- Maple
  • Neck Wood- Maple
  • Fingerboard Wood- Rosewood
  • Weight- 3.6 kg (8.0 lbs.)
  • Neck Binding- Yes
  • Fret Marker Style- Triangle
  • Tailpiece- ‘‘R’‘
  • Bridge- 6 Saddle
  • Neck Type- Set-in
  • No. of Pickups- 2
  • Type of Pickups- Hi-gain
  • Output Type- Mono and Stereo
  • Machine Heads- Schaller

For more information on the Rickenbacker 360, visit the Dolphin Website.

Stefanie Chew

 

A brief history of the TR808 and the TR909

With only 1 week left til the release of the Roland AIRA series, the countdown has truly begun and after watching the teaser videos, there’s a slight air of excitement for the launch. Those following the AIRA saga will have seen hints that both the TR808 and TR909 could be part of the AIRA range, and for fans of these drum machines the expectation is high. We took a look at why these drum machines were so popular amongst musicians when they were originally released in the 1980’s.

Introduced in 1980, the Roland TR808 was one of the first programmable drum machines. Using analog synthesis to create its sounds, the TR808 featured a wide selection of drum sounds and effects and became an integral part of music production in the 80’s due to the fact it was a simple, affordable way to produce drum sounds. Whilst its competitors produced more authentic drum sounds,the TR808 was a popular choice with R&B, hip-hop, dance and techno producers due to its unique selection of effects. Crispy snare sounds, tinny hand-claps, its deep booming bass kicks, distinctive cowbell and trashy hi-hat effects all made the TR808 a major player in 80’s composition.

Famous users of the TR808 include Orbital, Aphex Twin, The Beastie Boys, Dr Dre, Ritchie Hawtin and many many more. Here’s a quick demonstation of the TR808 drum machine in action.

After witnessing the soaring popularity of the TR808,Roland decided to upgrade the product and released its successor, the TR909. Introduced in 1983, this partially sample-based, partially analog drum machine featured a 16 step sequencer and an upgraded drum kit with more realistic sounds than the TR808. Techno and house producers quickly took the TR909 under their wing and the collection of bass kicks and analogue sounds heavily featured in a new scene of heavy rhythm based tracks.

Watch the track below for an example of how the TR909 was typically used in techno music.

Now you’ve seen the TR909 in action, why not try it for yourself. The image below links to an online Roland TR909 emulator which allows you to experiment with the sounds and features of the TR909.

It’s pretty clear why the music industry is excited about the forthcoming release of AIRA and though we don’t yet know what new features will be unveiled, we’re expecting big things. The Roland AIRA range will be launched on February 14th 2014. To watch all the teaser videos and follow the countdown, visit the Roland Aira website.

Stefanie Chew

Love Music. Protect Your Ears.

It’s Tinnitus awareness week in the UK and as Tinnitus is a condition that will affect many musicians and music fans in their lifetime it’s something we’d like to bring to your attention.

We’ve all experienced it at some point, either leaving a club or a particularly loud show. That after-party buzzing in the ears isn’t particularly pleasant and normally disappears, however for those with Tinnitus, its there to stay.

Tinnitus is the medical term for noises continually heard in the ears or head and is often described ringing in the ears. With no cure for the condition, those that develop tinnitus will continually hear this buzzing, throughout the day and night, even when in noise-free surroundings. This can be particularly distressing and many sufferers of tinnitus go on to have problems sleeping, anxiety and in some cases extreme cases of stress.

There is however some good news. You CAN enjoy music without worrying about damaging your ears and we’re going to give you a few tips on how to protect your ears.

Sound isolating headphones
Sound isolating headphones work by using ultra soft, flexible sleeves which fit snugly into your ear to block out background noise. In order to benefit from the headphones, they have to fit comfortably and most sound isolating headphones include different fittings to cater for a range of ear sizes.

View our range of sound isolation earphones here

Noise cancelling headphones Noise cancelling headphones differ in the way they actively counter any environmental noise that interrupts your music.The majority of these headphones are designed in an over the ear style and protect your ears by creating sound waves which actively cancel out high frequency noises. Active noise cancelling requires battery power to work and in most cases rechargeable batteries are needed to re-charge the headphones.

For more information on Tinnitus awareness week visit the Action On Hearing Loss website.

Stefanie Chew

 

Introducing Suzanne Ciani

 

Suzanne Ciani was one of the first female electronic musicians to make a living from composing electronic music. Studying music and composition at the University of California, Berkeley was the starting point of her career and on seeing her professor compose sounds from computers, the 60’s cemented Ciani’s interest in electronic composition.

Fixated on the idea of composing herself, Ciani began working under famous synthesizer creator Don Buchla and helped Buchla to build the Buchla series 100 modular synthesizers.

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The Buchla synthesizer (seen above) combines many different components which separately generate or modify a music event. Each box on the synth served a function which included oscillators, amplifiers, envelope generators and analog sequencer modules. Using the different modules, allowed you to alter the pitch, timbre, amplitude, and spatial location of the sounds and the Buchla synthesizer was was controlled with an array of touch and pressure-sensitive surfaces. Along with Robert Moog’s Moog synthesizer, the Buchla synthesizer helped revolutionize the way electronic music and sound is made.

Working on the Buchla synthesizers led Ciani to eventually open a business which allowed her to subsidise performing commercially with the synthesizer

Performing on the Buchla has nothing to do with a keyboard or with notes,” Ciani explains. “It’s a living compositional form. The Buchla has no memory; you switch from one sound to another manually. It’s spatial and full of movement. It’s architectural.

Ciani’s compositions included many film scores, commercial theme tunes and computer game tracks, some of which included the Star Wars theme, Atari game soundtracks and Xenon, the first arcade pin ball machine to use digitally sampled sound clips.

Click through to the video below in which Ciani appears on the children’s television show 3-2-1 Contact. This is great video for anyone interested in the way a synthesizer works, and Ciani clearly demonstrates how synthetic sounds are made.

Suzanne Ciani is still recording and last year the album a best of album ‘Lixiviation’ was released worldwide. Her back catalogue of releases can be viewed on Finders Keepers records whilst she can also be found on Twitter.

Article by Stefanie Chew

Julianna Barwick Gear Guide

 

2013 saw the release of Julianna Barwick’s third studio album ‘Nepenthe’ and like her previous albums, The Magic Place and Florine, Nepenthe featured the looping reverb laden vocals that made her earlier tracks so popular.

In the video above, Julianna talks about her recording process and we get a quick glimpse of the products she uses to create her signature style. We also take a closer look at the pedal boards and effects processors being used in her home recording setup.

In the video, Barwick uses an older version of the RC-300, the RC-50, however this model was recently discontinued by Roland and upgraded with the RC-300. The Boss RC-300 is one of BOSS’s most popular loop station pedals and features three synchronized stereo tracks with individual volume knobs and footswitches for each track.Like the RC-50, it’s built in an ultra-durable metal chassis offering 99 memory locations, each with three independent stereo or mono loop phrases.

As demonstrated in the video, a great selling point of these Boss loop stations is the ability to create ongoing loops. The RC-300 gives you the ability to manipulate three stereo phrase tracks simultaneously and with each track supporting multiple overdubs you can record phrase upon phrase on each track resulting in an incredible wall of sound.The improved RC-300 also gives you more than enough space to keep your loops and offers three hours of recording and loop storage.

Read more about the Boss RC-300 here.

If you look closely, the vocal effects in this video are being created by the TC Helicon VoiceTone Create XT. This Vocal Processing and Effects Pedal allows you to add multiple effects to your vocals whilst you perform and record. In this case, the setting most used by Barwick are the luscious reverb effects. Though the Voice Tone Create XT has since been discontinued, you can easily create these vocal effects with a range of vocal processing pedals.

Our favourite is the TC-Helicon Voicetone Mic Mechanic, a simple vocal effects pedal that allows you to add reverb, delay and pitch correction to your vocals. This easy to use pedal features a simple design and is incredibly easy to use. The Mic mechanic features 8 reverb and echo presets with dedicated settings to control room size for reverb and tap and slap settings for delay whilst it also comes with controls for Adaptive EQ, Compression, De-essing and Gating.

Read more about the TC-Helicon Voicetone Mic Mechanic here.

The final component in Julianna’s setup is a portable sampler. In this case, she’s once again chosen Roland and we can see the Roland SP-404 being used to assign samples as she’s recording. Yet again this is an aged model, so we’ll focus on the upgraded product, the SP-404SX. The SP-404SX provides you with the ability to record an endless supply of loops and recording in real-time is made easy with the pattern sequencer which features quantize mode to ensure you record in time. This sampler is great for stacking instrument and vocal sounds and will allow you to continually layer sounds and instruments samples while the SP-404SX continues to loop. You can store 120 patterns (12 patterns x 10 banks) and when you play a pattern with the Pattern Sequencer, the LEDs surrounding the display blink according to the tempo, which is handy during live performance.

Read more about the Roland SP-404SX here

For more information on Julianna Barwick, visit her website here

Stefanie Chew

 

Guitar And Guitarist Spotting At NAMM With Fender

Guitar And Guitarist Spotting At NAMM With Fender

We saw John Mayer there for sure but there was a number of famous faces and awesome gear on show from Fender at the NAMM Show 2014.

New Tannoy Reveal Monitors In Stock

New Tannoy Reveal Monitors In Stock

Tannoy have long been committed to delivering quality active monitors to engineers and musicians on a budget. Leading the way with great small nearfield monitors. Plenty of the dance producers around our office remember cutting their teeth on a pair of Reveals.

Things have come along way though and Tannoy have moved with the times, using some impressive new tech to get crystal clear, flat response sound from a compact speaker.

Check Out The Reveals At Dolphin

An Early Look At The Universal Audio Apollo Twin

An Early Look At The Universal Audio Apollo Twin

 

They’ve been pushing the boundaries of analogue audio design for half a century and changing the way we see digital audio for over a decade. UAD bring both together for the Apollo Twin with incredible Realtime Processing and their renowned plugin processing. Get the right sound when recording and treat it later with perfect recreations of vintage, boutique and unique audio hardware in the mix.

Check Out The Apollo Twin

Vintage Echoplex Mojo From Jim Dunlop

Used by tone freaks like Van Halen, Jimmy Page and Eric Johnson the Echoplex delay had a preamp that many guitarists felt made their guitar sound sweeter and thicker. So Jim Dunlop have gone to great lengths to recreate the vintage circuit and deliver it in a handy stomp box.

Blackstar At The NAMM Show 2014

Blackstar At The NAMM Show 2014

There’s not much to go on yet but there is this sweet little teaser of some great sounding guitar.

Johnny Marr On ‘Producing With Your Feet’

Johnny Marr On ‘Producing With Your Feet’

Above is simply one of the best explanations of why multi fx are great, Johnny Marr describes it as "producing with your feet". Don’t let the number of effects overwhelm or dictate your sound, use that big palette to make dramatic changes and hone your perfect tone for the song. Further Johnny defies anyone to tell the difference between the GT-100 and his boutique pedal collection in a blind test, considering the man clearly knows his effects that’s a pretty big thumbs up. The new ME-80 from Boss is a little more compact and affordable but contains some of the COSM amp models and effects from the GT-100.

If you fancy winning a signed T-Shirt With Q Magazine

Or learning about Johnny’s signature guitar

Have A Listen To The New Boss ME-80 Here

 

 

Novation Bass Station II - Six Synths Jam!

Novation Bass Station II - Six Synths Jam!

                                                               
Wolf Lamb Novation
        The Bass Station II has been garnering rave reviews and turning up in loads of pro setups. Wolf & Lamb, Rudimental.
Novation Bass Station
        How does the Bass Station II stack up to the original vintage synth?
Pretty darn well, with greater features, bigger sounds and it’s even more affordable.
Novation Launchpad
        Fancy checking out some more impressive performance vids?
The Novation Launchpad is a phenomenon, incredible scenes inside courtesy of some young musicians with perhaps a little too much time on their hands.


Alt-J Choose sE Microphones

Lance Reynolds is the live sound and studio recording engineer for British band, Alt-J. The four piece who won the Mercury Music Prize in 2012 with their debut album An awesome wave are about to tour America this Christmas after performing to packed out audiences on this years festival circuit.

Alt j recently introduced the sE X1 to their live setup after hunting down a low cost large diaphragm microphone for their recent tour. Though the sE X1 was initially introduced to project vocals, sound engineer Lance Reynolds speaks about how it altered the overall use of microphones in Alt-J’s live setup.

“I’ve used the sE X1 as an overhead, I’ve used it as an audience mic and I’ve tried it on guitar and bass cabinets. It seems to be all- purpose, and seems to work on just about anything you put it on.” Reynolds has even been using the sE X1 as an audience mix for the in-ear monitor mix, “Often, a little pencil mic is too focused. The sE X1’s give it the bigger picture.”

The sE X1 has become a favourite for Reynolds and since introducing it into the Alt-J live setup, the mic has been used with almost every instrument onstage. Reynolds has recently begun using the sE X1 with a couple of toy glockenspiels as well as hats and overheads and has nothing but praise for the se X1 model.

“All these sE microphones seem to do what they need to do on anything I’ve put them on,”.

Since becoming a fan of sE mics, Reynolds has also experimented with other models;

“I tried the sE4400a on a guitar amp, mostly as a recording source, but ended up using it a lot as an overhead, like a drum ‘picture’ type thing. To my ear, the 4400a is similar to the X1 and the sE2200a, but it has a smoother top end and just seems bigger.”
Reynolds has also experimented with the VooDoo VR1 dynamic mic and he recently used this model on an Alt-J guitar amp. Reynolds states; “I put it on a guitar amp and it sounded beautiful, it just sounded huge, almost too big for my live mix.”

For more information about Alt-J visit the band’s Facebook Page
Click here for more information about the sE electronics microphone range.
Article by Stefanie Chew

New Skindred Album ‘Kill The Power’ recorded with sE Electronics

James Loughrey is a producer, engineer and mixer who’s worked alongside a long list of artists such as Def leppard, Lionel Ritchie and Bjork. After starting his career as a studio assistant, he moved on to secure a job at Britannia Row Studios where he honed his engineer, mixing and producing skills. James talked to Se Electronics about his current role, recording and producing on future releases with My Vitriol and Skindred.

Fans of Skindred‘s music will be familiar with with their distinct style; Loud, gritty guitar riffs and heavy thrash percussion. James explains how the sE Voodoo VR2 and a pair of sE Rupert Neve RN17‘s were used when recording the bands upcoming album ‘Kill The Power’.


"I’ve used sE mics to record the latest Skindred album - the guitars wouldn’t be the same without them" he starts, he continues to explain why he chose the sE electronics over other brands stating "I use them to record heavy guitars as they give an amazing amount of bottom end. I also use them for percussion and anything else that is ‘roomy’" explains James.

The sE Voodoo VR2 active ribbon mic captures frequencies from 20Hz to 20KHz and emits a detailed clear and natural sound which is known to work superbly with a wide range of instruments. James mentioned how impressed he’s been with the mic stating "I’ve used various sE microphones and I strongly believe they are well made products that you can take into any recording environment".

James explains further how he chooses to use the microphones in a live setup, "When miking a 4X12 cab, i use the sE Voodoo VR2 directly onto the cones and phase align them which results in the VR2 giving me warmth,".He continues, "If you place the voodoo VR2 at a 30 degree angle on the cone it helps with the high transients. They are really useful high gain ribbons- I’ve used the Royer R121 and the VR2 comes out tops against it!". 







sE Voodoo VR2 Ribbon Mic Features

     
  • Diaphragm 2 aluminium ribbon
  •  
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-18KHz
  •  
  • Sensitivity: 10mV/Pa -40 ¡À 1.5dB
  •  
  • Polar Pattern: Figure 8
  •  
  • Impedance: ¡Ü 200 Ohms
  •  
  • Equivalent Noise Level: 20dB(A weighted)
  •  
  • Max SPL for 0.5% THD@1000Hz: 135dB
  •  
  • Power Requirement: Phantom power 48V¡À4V
  •  
  • Connector: 3-pin
     
      For more information, check out the VooDoo VR2 on the Dolphin Website

Take a listen to Skindred’s lead track from the forthcoming album ‘Kill The Power’, released in 2014 and find more information via their website

Article by Stefanie Chew

Behind the Scenes: Will.I.Am and Novation Launchkey


When it comes to Synthesizers, Novation are up there with the best and many artists are turning to their ever increasing range of MIDI synthesizers and innovative control surfaces to perform live.
In this article, we’re focusing on the Novation Launchkey range, a series of 25,49 and 61 note controller keyboards. These controller keyboards are becoming increasingly popular with musicians and DJ’s as they easily integrate with DAWs such as Ableton live, allowing you to trigger and control samples, easily slotting them into your live set.


Will.I.Am is one of a number of artists whose live show has been enhanced by the use of the Novation range. After performing with backing tracks for recent tours, the singer recently decided he wanted to change his live setup. His decision to have all sounds performed live resulted in extra musicians being called upon.

Keith Harris is the musician that recreated Will.I.Am’s live setup and his current role is to prepare all music, digital audio and live equipment for Will.I am’s performances.

"It’s important to have lots of control at my fingertips. My Launchkey 25 packs loads of features into a compact size, and the Launchpad is my main session controller. Both are really robust: perfect for life on the road." Keith uses Novation Launch controllers to power three live rigs. In Keith’s drum setup, for example, his Launchkey 25 and Launchpad were both positioned within arms reach — nestled among his drum pads, sound modules and cymbals — giving him complete control over his Ableton session.

Keith talks about Novation stating its also his first choice when it comes to recording, "I love Novation gear. In my studio, I have the Impulse and SL MkII controllers, plus the MiniNova. They are an irreplaceable part of my powerhouse". The picture below shows how Keith has integrated Novation equipment into his home studio.


The Launchkey controller keyboards carry upto 50 physical controls and 16 velocity-sensitive three-colour launch pads to control clips and allow expressive playing in the drum rack.The video below gives you an example of how it can be used to perform alongside Ableton.


Check out our range of Novation Launckey Controller Keyboards today.

Eddie Mapp Live Sound With Paramore & Evanescence

Eddie Mapp Live Engineer Paramore Evanescence

Eddie Mapp Live Sound With Paramore & Evanescence

After speaking with his mate Ken ‘Pooch’ Van Druten Eddie was converted to the sound of sE Electronics for guitar are crucial part of the sound for big live acts like Paramore. He’s not alone though engineers for Queens Of The Stone Age, Linkin Park, Aerosmith and Black Sabbath are all getting on board, whether it’s deep, smoky ribbons or precise, huge sounding condenser mics. The use of reflection filters has changed the game too, minimising unwanted ambience and keeping a dry sound for larger arenas.

sE Electronics - Big Guitars And Drums On Stage And In The Studio

Electro Harmonix Get Tubes Screaming With East River Drive

Electro Harmonix Get Tubes Screaming With East River Drive

Electro Harmonix East River Drive

Guitarists have been clamouring for Electro Harmonix to make a JRC4558 style pedal for some time. Well now it’s finally here and it sounds awesome. Perfect for kicking your amp into blissful distortion. For a pedal that brings all it’s own distortion to the party then try the Micro Metal Muff.

Electro Harmonix East River Drive

Numark Orbit - Must Have DJ Kit

Numark Orbit - Must Have DJ Kit

Check out Eddie from Watch The Duck going through his Numark Orbit setup. By setting up Cues and FX on this intuitive wireless controller he can step away from behind the decks and engage with the music and the audience at the same time. More than just a MIDI controller or piece of DJ Equipment the Orbit is like having your own instrument for mixing on stage. Bust it out for dramatic breakdowns or use it as your main hands on effects controller.

Numark Orbit

John 5 On Shredding & Sessions

John 5 On Shredding & Sessions

You only need to watch the playing examples from this video to see that John 5 is a seriously talented guitarist, switching from finger picking to full shred in the blink of an eye. Starting out in LA working as a valet and selling frozen yogurt before playing guitar for Marilyn Manson and ultimately receiving an accolade that would make any guitarist swell with pride, a compliment from the late, great Les Paul himself after playing on stage together. As far as gear goes John is a big Telecaster fan and loves his Boss effects, here’s his current selection.

                                       
Boss Super OverDrive
        Boss Super Overdrive
Boss Adaptive Distortion
        Boss Adaptive Distortion
Boss Chorus Pedal
        Boss Super Chorus CH1

Korg Keyboards Remix

Korg Keyboards Remix

It’s always nice to hear instruments being used in a creative fashion by a real band. The Spinto Band have put together a cool little video of a Korg based remix of one of their singles. Starring every bands favourite, the legendary MicroKorg as well as Korg’s pure analogue MS-20 and Monotrons.

                                                           
Korg Monotribe
        Korg Monotribe
Korg Monotron
        Korg Monotron
Korg MS20
        Korg MS20
Korg MicroKorg
        Korg MicroKorg


Felix Da Housecat Using Traktor X1

Felix Da Housecat Using Traktor X1

A DJing legend, Felix has been on the scene a long time but has always remained on the cutting edge with DJ performance tech. This awesome video from Native Instruments shows us exactly how he does it all.


If you fancy getting in on some of that action the Z1 Traktor Mixer and a pair of X1 controllers will give you the same kind of control, just not 4 channels like Felix gets from his Pioneer DJM-900. Or if you already have a mixer/sound card and want to add Traktor control to your setup, we have a bundle for you.


On top of a great DJ setup you get €100 worth of vouchers with either of these bundles, so you can buy Traktor Pro 2 or other software from Native Instruments.

                                 
Traktor DJ Setups
Traktor Z1 And Pair X1
        Traktor Z1 And Pair Of X1’s

       
        A kind of miniature version of Felix’s setup, super compact but with total control over Traktor.
Traktor F1 And X1 Bundle
        Traktor F1 And X1 Controller Bundle

       
        Add Traktor control to your existing setup.

Guitar Rig 5 Pro Free With Komplete Audio 6

Guitar Rig 5 Pro Free With Komplete Audio 6

Komplete Audio is living up to it’s name, offering an incredible range of free software out the box. Whether you’re a guitarist seeking new tones, like playing with pro VST sounds or recording in Cubase. It’s all their with the Komplete Audio 6.

Offer ends 2nd September 2013.

Komplete Audio 6 Offer

Vintage Models Make A Comeback With Squier

Vintage Models Make A Comeback With Squier

Fender Bass VI

                                       

Cabronita and the Bass VI might not be big household names like the Stratocaster but that didn’t stop them being popular in there time. With the Bass VI in particular seeing action with Cream, the Beatles, Aerosmith & the Black Keys. Now there’s no need to trawl through Ebay looking for something out of the ordinary as Squier have made these near forgotten classics available to all. The proof is in the hearing and Jack Bruce playing Strange Brew is a pretty good example of what the Bass VI is capable of.

If a straight up four string is more your thing for bass Squier have also brought back designs from past eras with the ‘70 & ‘77 Model Jazz basses.

Have a scan of the full range of Squier Vintage Modified guitars, new for 2013.

Or learn a little more about the history of the Bass VI


Roland Talk To Roger Taylor From Duran Duran

Roland Talk To Roger Taylor From Duran Duran

He’s an incredibly experienced drummer with number one singles, hit albums and countless driving grooves under his belt. They’re currently working with Mark Ronson on a new album and with the TD-30KV kit they can get inspiring sounds as well as good levels. Even the biggest acts have to deal with getting the volume right and hearing each other in the practice room!

For the sounds Roger has always been a big fan of electronic music like Kraftwerk and tight acoustic players like Tony Thompson (Chic). The TD-30KSE delivers those sounds and more in a fully expressive electronic drum kit.

Roland TD-30KSE

Fuzz Face Pedal Shoot Out

Fuzz Face Pedal Shoot Out

Everyone loves a shoot out, the result countless forum arguments and debates about who’s got the greatest tone. Why not get an opinion of your own with this superb Fuzz Face comparison from Dunlop.

With HD quality on the video and a very nice signal chain for the recording you can get a real feel for how these sweet, fuzzy animals sound compared to an Eric Johnson Signature model.

                                               
Eric Johnson Fuzz Face
        Eric Johnson Fuzz Face
Fuzz Face Mini Germanium
        Fuzz Face Mini Germanium
Jim Dunlop Fuzz Face Silicon
        Fuzz Face Mini Silicon
Jim Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini Hendrix
        Fuzz Face Mini Hendrix


Traktor X1

Native Instruments X1 Mk2 Announced

Native Instruments X1 Mk2 Announced

Joining the Z1 to deliver great new performance options to digital DJ’s. The X1 Mk2 sees the addition of a touch strip that can crossfade, control and drop in as needed. The X1 also provides greater visual cues with 7 Segment Displays and LED indicators. Naturally it’s already neatly integrated with Traktor, just plug and play.

Peavey Max Bass Combos

Peavey Max Bass Amps

Peavey Max Bass Amps

Peavey have developed new Transtube technology to give your bass tone bite and psycho acoustic enhancement to give serious low end out of a portable combo. A built in tuner makes them a perfect all in one practice or gigging solution.

                                       
Peavey Max 158
        Peavey Max 158

        20 Watt
        1x8"
        £109
Peavey Max 110
        Peavey Max 110

        100 Watts
        1x10"
        £239
Peavey Max 115
        Peavey Max 115

        300 Watts
        1x15"
        £309

Genelec M030 & M040 - Green, Creative & Inspiring Sound

Genelec M030 & M040 - Green, Creative & Inspiring Sound

Genelec have always been a favourite with studio engineers, used in professional facilities around the world. Now they’ve made inspirational speakers for musicians, DJ and home studio engineers. With an incredible flat response and calibration options to fit your environment. The M030 & M040 are made with recyclable materials and pioneer Genelec’s energy saving technology.

                                               
Genelec M030 Pattern
        Genelec M030 -Patterned
Genelec M030 In Black
        Genelec M030 - Black
Genelec M040 Pattern
        Genelec M040 - Patterned
Genelec M040
        Genelec M040 - Black


Primal Scream Take MS-20 Mini On The Road

Primal Scream Take MS-20 Mini On The Road

If anyone knows about great synth tones it must be Andrew Innes, from the mellow days of Screamadelica to the distorted grunge of Xtrmntr. It’s the latter that Andrew particularly likes from his MS-20 Mini. Check out this great interview with Korg were Andrew reveals it’s going out on the road with them and may even make an appearance at Glastonbury.

Find Out More About The Korg Volca Synths

Find Out More About The Korg Volca Synths

Korg Volca Synths

We already knew they sounded great from demos at Musikmesse but here’s Korg’s Chief Engineer Tatsuya Takahashi explaining in great detail just what the Volca synths are capable of.

It’s not every hardware designer that can explain so clearly the musical potential of their creations, so hat’s off to him. Plus the audio quality is great.

New From Fender - Satin Strats & Pedals

New From Fender - Satin Strats & Pedals

Fender’s Standard series delivers the feel and tone of those most famous guitars, Strats, Teles, Jazz and P-Bass. Now they’ve got a lovely new look, with Strats and Telecasters now coming in a satin finish.

Satin Finish Strat

Fender have also put together some great demos of their Competition Series pedals, hear the whole range.

Four Tet

Four Tet Runs Through His Live Gear

Four Tet Runs Through His Live Gear

You don’t "invent" the genre of Folktronica without being a little out there and experimental. Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden) prefers to keep the deep tweaks for the studio though and his live setup is all about hands on effects and improvised looping.

Kieran’s first album was made on an ordinary desktop PC with a built in soundcard and Cool Edit Pro, so it’s fair to say he likes to keep things fairly low tech. So while you might not want to build your own Monome MIDI controller or root out the Boss Dr Sampler he uses we can recommend a few alternatives for a sweet improvisational live electronic music setup.

Pioneer DJM750

At the center of it all, you don’t want to scrimp on the mixer. You can rely on Pioneer to deliver awesome build quality, inspirational FX and even a built in sound card. Just couple the DJM750 up with Ableton Live Standard and you’ve already got a huge number of options for tweaking samples and arranging on the fly.

The Monome he uses is one of the first MIDI controllers designed for real time arrangement and step sequencing. A great piece of kit but the Novation Launchpad S is setup for Ableton out the box and is cheaper. If you really want to turn Ableton into a hands on instrument, then get a Push, perfect for live use and coming up with ideas in the studio.

Ableton Push


For live looping there’s a number of options available but the Boss RC-505 is designed for tabletop use with your hands rather than footstomping guitarists. A whole instrument unto itself, just check our Guide To Loopers to find out more.

If you want to find out a little more about the creative process behind his seminal album Rounds.


And check out this awesome track from his latest album.

High End Headphones From AKG

New Headphones From AKG

From the 414 range of microphones to these K series headphones AKG have a reputation for impeccably engineered gear. Nothing quite beats the immersion of listening to your favourite music on a truly beautiful pair of headphones, the K712 are handcrafted without compromise. It’s also important to have headphones for mixing, to hear detail that might be hidden on speakers and get your stereo imaging spot on. The K612 headphones are made with this mind, giving a balanced and detailed portrayal of your mix.

                                 
AKG K712 & K612 Headphones
AKG K712 Pro
        AKG K712 Pro
AKG K612 Pro
        AKG K612 Pro

Bernie Marsden Roland Strat

Bernie Marsden Talks To Roland

Bernie Marsden Talks To Roland

Roland caught up for a chat with the man BB King said can play the blues the way it’s meant to be played.  Bernie talks about his favourite gig, getting to play Rory Gallagher’s Strat and offers advice to aspiring professional guitarists. Talking about the future of guitar he also speaks high of his Roland Guitar Synth...

I think it’s great the way they’re being developed all the time. I still find it a bit magical.



Roland GR55 And Strat

Of course moving to the future we needn’t forget the past and so PRS offer the Bernie Marsden Signature guitar for his classic singing tone.

Check out the full interview with Bernie Marsden.

Arturia SparkLE Gets Glowing Reviews

Arturia SparkLE Gets Glowing Reviews

Designed for live performance with endless potential for tweaking and creating beats on the fly. The video from Source demonstrates just how much this little box can do, check out the last 9 minutes to see it in full flow.

Future Music were very impressed by it’s inspirational features and ease of use, even comparing it to a £1000+ analogue drum machine in feel. Check out the full review below.

A powerful beat making tool with functionality and sound quality way beyond it’s low price point.

- Future Music

SparkLE Review

sE Electronics Mics

sE Electronics Best Pick For Ultimate Drums

sE Electronics Best Pick For Ultimate Drums

They’re already a firm favourite of the Stereophonics and here’s another sE Electronics fan.

A collection including an sE1a Pair along with an sE4 Pair, an sE 2200a, an sE4400a Pair and a couple of sE Rupert Neve RNR1’s were used to record the samples for Frontline Producers drum sample collection Ultimate Drums.

“We thought we would set out to use some of the best recording equipment on the market so after a careful selection process we decided to use sE microphones almost exclusively. From the Beautiful Rupert Neve RNR1 Ribbons, to the ever versatile sE 4400a, sE1a’s and sE4’s and even an sE 2200a as an ambient mic. Apart from the sE 2200a all the other mics were used to record Toms, Overheads, Snare, Hats and Kicks. The sE RNR1’s worked especially well on the Overheads as they EQ beautifully and give a really nice full response. We then smashed these through some of the Rupert Neve Pres and a couple of Portico II’s and we had a really beautiful selection of sounds that we could mix into some great sounding stems and samples.”

Will Smith And Jazzy Jeff Reunited

Will Smith And Jazzy Jeff Reunited

It’s been a while since the gang got together but here’s Will Smith and son Jaden performing alongside ‘Fresh Prince’ co-stars Afonso Ribeiro and Jazzy Jeff, with the man on the decks getting a little assistance from his Novation Dicers.

That’s the second Youtube hit that Novation has cropped up in recently, with the Launchpad appearing in Jack Conte’s superb Pedals video.

Lennon Bus Audio Technica

Audio Technica Help Launch The Lennon Bus

Audio Technica Help Launch The Lennon Bus

It’s been touring around the US for a number of years now. A portable professional studio, teaching young people at performing arts facilities, colleges and festivals. Now the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is coming to Europe.

It’s decked out with a range of lovely Audio Technica gear, including M50 Headphones as well as 40-Series Ribbon and Condenser microphones.

Tom Harrold, Audio-Technica assistant marketing manager pro-audio said, “The John Lennon   Educational Tour Bus does an incredible job of providing free workshops to students in a truly   professional facility. Audio-Technica is delighted to be involved with the bus and its work in inspiring   a new generation of songwriters, performers and video producers, who will get the chance to record   with some of our most popular high-end microphone models.”

 

New Squier Affinity Strats

New Squire Affinity Strats

Nothing is quite like a Strat when it comes to tonal versatility, except maybe a Strat with a humbucker in the bridge position. Get a bit of beef mixed in with your single coil sting.

Now they’ve got even greater personality, coming in a range of bold new colours.

If it’s good enough for Bruno Mars, he started out playing a Squire Strat and currently has a Fender ‘57 Reissue.

If you’re just starting out on the guitar then you should check out Fender’s guide to setting up your Strat.

Squier Strat New Colours

Pioneer DDJ-S1 Now Comes With Serato DJ

Pioneer DDJ-S1 Now Comes With Serato DJ

Pioneer DDJ-S1 Serato DJ



If a high grade controller from Pioneer wasn’t enough already now the DDJ-S1 comes with Serato DJ. With new features and FX from iZotope now’s the time to get involve with Serato.

Features

     
  • Slip Mode - DJing function that allows tracks to continue playing in the background while other tracks are looped, scratched or hot cued, without affecting the original track.
  •  
  • New FX From iZotope - High quality FX newly developed by iZotope. With the new effects, DJ can apply more creative and more unique arrangement to the music.
     
  • Other new functions -
  •  
  • 5hot cue points can be set in each deck.
  •  
  • Vertical waveform display to visually sync the tempo.

If the blurb doesn’t convince you then why not check out the video, DJ Blakey tearing it up with a DDJ-S1.

KingKorg Vs. Vintage Analogue

KingKorg Vs. Vintage Analogue

We’ve been making a lot of noise about the return of analogue synths lately. However here’s Keyboard Magazine demonstrating the power of VA. Comparing the KingKorg’s filters to it’s vintage forebears.

KingKorg

Traktor DJ For iPhone

Traktor DJ For iPhone

Traktor DJ For iPhone


Already available for the iPad Traktor has now shrunk onto an even smaller device, the humble iPhone. Perfect for playing out at parties or keeping as a backup for gigs.

If you want to take things a stage further then grab the iPad app and a Traktor Audio 6 or Audio 10 for pro grade connections and more screen real estate for easier mixing.

Get them in the Scratch DJ packages.


Traktor Scratch A6Traktor Scratch A10

Reason 7 Available

Reason 7 Parallel Compression & Quantisation Tips

Reason 7 Available Soon

Propellerhead have released a couple of very informative videos demonstrating just what’s possible with Reason 7.

The first features James Wiltshere of the Freemasons demonstrating parallel processing in Reason. This powerful technique originally came from engineers blending one heavily compressed version of a mix with a clean, uncompressed version. This lets you get the great, chewy character of analogue compression while retaining dynamics and clarity. Of course it can be used in a number of other applications, anywhere you need a wet/dry blend for signals.

There’s also a rundown of Reasons audio quantising and time stretching. Creative and informative stuff.

So get your order in now for a copy of Reason 7 for sound design, compressor pumping, beat making and song writing.

Alex Hutchings Jumping Through Loops

Alex Hutchings On Roland & Boss

We’ve covered him before in our guide to loop pedals and here Alex Hutching is giving a detailed run down on just what is possible with a GR-55 guitar synth and RC-300 looper. Some impressive chops on display and an amazing array of sounds.



GR-55K Guitar SynthBoss RC300


Doctor Who Soundtrack On Guitar

Doctor Who Soundtrack On Guitar

With the range of guitar effects available today it’s possible for the experimental axeman to end up with a pedal board that resembles a modular synth (or spaceship). But just like a modular synth it’s best to break a setup down to it’s constituent parts if you want to understand the whole.



Electro Harmonix do a marvelous job of this with their Effectology series of videos, very handy considering just how many weird and wonderful effects they have. So whether you want to recreate the Blader Runner soundtrack or make your guitar sound like a tin whistle it’s a great resource. Our favourite has to be the recreation of Doctor Who however, simply awe inspiring stuff.


If you want to get inspired by some effects that will morph your guitar into something else entirely then we’ve got a selection picked out for you.






Launchkey & Reason

Launchkey & Reason

No longer simply an Ableton controller, what started on the Launchpad is taking off and enhancing even more software with full tactile controls. The Launchkey allows you to get inspired rather than being tied to a keyboard and mouse,  ideas flow quicker and can be implemented more easily on faders, knobs and buttons.

Novation know this only too well and the Launchkey MIDI controller offers superb support for Reason, program a beat with Launchpads on the step sequencer in Thor, switch to playing a piano on NNXT with the keyboard before making broad mix changes using the faders and knobs on the Reason mixer.

Check out this vid explaining how.

Beatles Vox

Rare Beatles Vox Guitar Up For Viewing & Auction

Rare Beatles Vox Guitar Up For Viewing & Auction



Vox Rare Beetles Guitar


Lennon On VoxBeing based in Liverpool and possessing a pair of ears we love a bit of the Beatles and would jump at the chance to see this piece of Fab Four history in the flesh, as for buying it, well one can dream. But if you’re after a great guitar from the iconic British manufacturer then you should check out our selection of Vox Guitars.

The guitar body has a unique scroll design, marked “Vox Custom” on the headstock. It also featured 24 fret rosewood fingerboard with rectangular inlays, mahogany hollow body, single f-hole along with electronics which include six push buttons for: treble, bass, top boost,  mid-boost, fuzz and repeat. The guitar was not originally designed as part of the VOX Kensington line but it has become known as such.  The guitar is discussed by Andy Babiuk in his book “Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments: From Stage to Studio” and seen in “Beat Instrumental” November 1967 which shows an image of George Harrison playing the guitar.  Because of the relationship with the Beatles and Madras the guitar adds a unique emotional pull to Beatles lore.

New Ways To Play With A Superego

From the Microsynth & Superego to the POG and Voice Box Electro Harmonix love giving guitarists, bassists and vocalists fresh sounds for the stage and studio. Of course with all the different features and controls on these pedals it can be a little overwhelming as to exactly what the possibilities are and how you might use them with the band at practice.

Fortunately there’s plenty of people who love the pedals willing to show you exactly what can be done. Check out the videos below for examples of guitar & bass providing synth beds, vocoding and full organ tones live from some talented musicians.


RCF Ayra White

RCF Ayra 5 In White

RCF Ayra 5 In White

RCF have a superb pedigree in the PA speaker market, researching, designing and manufacturing their products in purpose built facilities. They’ve taken their decades of experience and distilled it into the accurate, detailed sound of their Ayra series of monitors. Sound On Sound agree stating that the Ayra 5 have

...a wonderfully smooth mid-range capable of delivering a realistic vocal sound, balanced by a nice sense of high-end detail, but without any abrasive tendencies. - Sound On Sound, July 2012

We’ve got these great near field monitors in a snazzy white finish, a limited edition and exclusive to Dolphin! Ideal monitors for home studios or if you need high quality playback.

Dr. Green Review

Rave Reviews For Dr Green Pedals

Rave Reviews For Dr Green Pedals

The first reviews are in from Guitarist magazine and not one of the pedals under test earned less than 4 stars, with special plaudits for Black Death Distortion and Booster Shot Signal Boost.

This is on top of the great review for Hayden’s new range of Mofo amps.

Gretsch Greats - Tim Armstrong And Billy Duffy

Gretsch Greats

In stock now we’ve got the Tim Armstrong signature Electromatic hollow body, joining Billy Duffy in Gretsch’s roster of hard rocking axemen. With the fine design and quality bracing that Gretsch are renowned for you won’t have any of the issues that can plague hollow bodies in a high gain situation. Check out Billy describing exactly what it is that he loves about Gretsch.



Billy Duffy White Falcon

Roland 808

808s, 303s & 909s - Roland Synths On Radio 1

Being massive fans of Roland synths we really enjoyed Kutski’s documentary for Radio 1, seeking out the origins of the classic 808, 909 and 303 drum machines and synths that helped change the way music was made. Of course Roland are still at the leading edge of great synthesis and have revisited their roots with the Gaia SH-01, Juno-Di and Jupiter-80.


Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi

Deluxe Bass Big Muff In Premier Guitar

Deluxe Bass Big Muff In Premier Guitar

Premier Guitar have reviewed the Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi and have come to the same conclusion that we did…

"This pedal is the Big Muff many bassists have been waiting for." - Premier Guitar

With blend feature, DI out and a tone based around every bassists favourite Russian Muff this is the fuzz pedal the bass world has been waiting for. Don’t just take our word(s) for it though, why not use your ears…

Novation Release Launchpad App for iPad

Novation have released an app version of their Launchpad controller, now iPad users can get hands on control of loops, beats and effects for free. While it doesn’t have all the features of the hardware Launchpad it is great fun and an excellent way to get your musical juices flowing with the built in loops and effects.

If you fancy full integration with Ableton Live and control over all aspects of your music then the Launchpad offers that same spontaneous creativity with a wealth of depth and features. You can also choose Black or White to suit your setup on stage.

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