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My first foray into music production was using a basic Roland Sound Canvas, a pretty static box with little to no controls. So I was excited to get my hands on my first proper piece of kit in 1996: the Roland MC-303. This thing was jammed with classic dance drum hits from the 808, 909 […]

As a reviewer for MusicTech, I’m in the enviable position of getting a close-up view of the latest developments in the world of audio production, watching as trends develop and fall away again. One trend that’s currently on the rise is for software marketed as being “smart” or artificially intelligent, and that use these supposed […]

A few weeks ago, The Beach Boys sold all their intellectual property for an undisclosed amount – business speak for loads. The deal explicitly mentioned the rights to use technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and natural language processing (computer-generated speech), clearly planning for a future where the band would be digitally recreated some […]

Ever since Cubase burst onto the scene in 1989, it has required a physical hardware key – more commonly known as a dongle – to run. Dongle technology has advanced over the years, to the point where the current Steinberg eLicenser is, essentially, an encrypted USB thumb drive dedicated to holding software license keys, of […]

Ever since Cubase burst onto the scene in 1989, it has required a physical hardware key – more commonly known as a dongle – to run. Dongle technology has advanced over the years, to the point where the current Steinberg eLicenser is, essentially, an encrypted USB thumb drive dedicated to holding software license keys, of […]

Some Van Halen fans, and even a former member of the band, have expressed displeasure about the length of time dedicated to Eddie Van Halen‘s death on last night’s Grammy Awards show. To which we say: Why were you expecting classic rock at the Grammys? And why do you care what the Grammys think? The […]

The contemporary music producer is well acquainted with betrayal. Forty years ago, a bunch of computer nerds bearing shiny Ataris promised to make producers’ lives much easier. Then, a decade later, they invented the MP3 and annihilated the ability to sell music. The once-comfortable, reclusive studio dweller would now have to earn their salt on […]

As a synth, a sampler and a multi-channel effects processor, the Kurzweil K2600R has been a regular feature of my working life for almost 20 years – but it’s all an accident. In the early 2000s, I shared a studio and by chance ended up with a K2600R orphaned there. No-one else took much interest […]

While a student at Music College, a kindly and respected professor offered to introduce me to a composer who was something of a musical hero. Paddy Kingsland had been one of the second wave of composers at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. A timely trip to his post-BBC studio in West London afforded me the opportunity […]

Back in 1998, Apple caused jaws to drop when it released the original Bondi Blue iMac G3. That design was enough to cause extreme reactions from both positive and negative criticsbut what really provoked computer-music types was its connectivity. Bye-bye SCSI. The iMac was all about USB. Back then, I was lucky enough to own […]