The Progster

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What a wonderful day

Isn't it incredible, that on probably the best day of the year so far, half the country choose to sit inside and watch TV? Amazing the pull of Dr, Who isn't it? You just have to see what happens to the Dr, Rose, the Ood and old Mr 666 himself don't you. Gotta admit, I'm hooked.

On that other TV phenomenon though, the World Cup, it's nice to see the BBC offer an 'out' with the choice of setting a cookie to opt in or out if the whole thing. Pity it only applies to the BBC home page, and not in general. I've been looking around for the best deal on a Roland Fantom XR, and can't believe how many big stores are having a World Cup Special. Now colour me stupid, but since when was there ever a link between World Cup and music stores? OK, forgive the few digressions of the popular single buying public when they buy copies of "Were on the march with Ally's army", "Three Lions" or "Vindaloo", but the whole country seems to have gone stark raving mad. Can you believe there are actually 35, yes THIRY FIVE singles released to support the England world cup campaign? Don't believe me? Look Here.

Look at Turnkey . .

Digital Village . .Even Sound Control that started in Dunfermline are in on the footie act . . .

Sorry to not be hanging on every report of this injury or that, and the 3 day build up to the next game, and it's nothing to do with the country of birth either I might add. I went to a school where football was compulsory, and almost no other sport was offered at any time, and you were called a Poof if you couldn't play or didn't like it. Now give me a rugby World Cup, and I'm there watching every match, it's just football isn't my game. Label me all the wierd sexual inuendoes you like, you won't be the first, and it won't change anything. Anyway I know I'm not alone in this non-compulsion for football, and that is a pleasing thought ;O). Now in my defence, I have to say, I was in Japan 4 years ago on a short business trip when the world cup was on, and had a great time in a beer bar in Tokyo with some locals watching the semi-final between Korea and Germany. The atmosphere was great, and the beer was pretty good too. I think I got back to my hotel room at 6am with a 7:30am bus to catch to the airport. I found that day that given a choice, I much prefer ending a long flight tired and the worse for drink than starting one.

Anyway, let the beatings begin . . .


  • Fantom XR?

    What happened to the Motif?

    I'm waiting for a Juno G, trouble is Roland keep putting back the release date. At this rate I might have to get a....(gulps) a Triton!


    By Anonymous Jem, at Monday, June 12, 2006 8:59:00 am  

  • Wellll . . .

    I've had this love hate relatioship with Yamaha for a while, they love my money, and I hate a lot of their gear. A university degree and still programming a Yamaha takes all the patience I can muster.

    Whereas Roland and I have always got on famously. I used to know the D50 absolutely inside out after we got to know each other isolated in a Swiss flat for several months not long after it was released.

    So to cut a very long story short . . . I heard the Fantom a couple of weeks ago, and then heard the quality of the plug in sound roms, especially the new Complete Piano and the existing Orchstra module and was knocked out. I've also got someone at work who is lending me her Fantom XR for a a wee listen.

    But Gosh, faint, OMG, a Triton? Korg never were my favourite, though my very first poly synth ever was a Korg Poly800, more due to budget than taste. Though my second was a Casio CZ1000, so figure that one out. I thought I was Rick Wakeman with TWO keyboards at a gig. This was a while ago you understand ;O)

    By Blogger Stuart, at Monday, June 12, 2006 8:49:00 pm  

  • Yeah, I'm right with you on Roland. Far and away the best keyboards you can buy. I've got a Fantom X7 and a V-Synth and they're both the best hardware synths I've ever owned. It's so cool these days that you can upgrade the software as well, it's like getting a new synth every few months. Plus the V-Synth has the D50 card in the back of it so you get 2 classics for the price of one. Milliontown's got a ton of D50 on it, but the card has a bunch of new soundwaves on it so it's like a 2006 D50. It also comes with EVERY SINGLE data card that was ever made for the D50. It's like 10 banks of sounds. I've still not heard them all. I think the 50 was the best synth ever made actually. It's still good in a mix nearly 20 years later.

    I'm also with you on Yamaha, for some reason all my early synths were Yamaha's - DX100, 27, 21, 7, SY22, SY99 and finally an EX5 which actually was pretty good.

    I want the Juno G because you can expand the sample mem to 512mb. My Fantom's fully mem'd up so I can effectively take a 1 gigabyte sampler onstage with Frost. V book as a lot of the album was done on softsynths, so I can sample the best bits and take 'em out live. I still don't trust laptops in a live environment so this is the perfect solution. I've also got the Classic Keys Xpansion. If you buy any board, get that one. It's mighty.

    The XR is just as powerful as the X7 just minus the sequencer I think. I would have done the same, but I need a second keyboard for live. Plus the Juno G looks pretty cool. :0)

    You cannot get the for love nor money at the moment though. The motherboard had a problem apparently so Roland had to make a whole new batch. Hence the delay. Have you been to the ROland User Forum? It's top quality. Soooo many useful bits of info there.

    Ooh, I love a bit of keyboard tech natter, I get to do it sooo rarely.



    By Blogger Jem, at Monday, June 12, 2006 9:36:00 pm  

  • Yay. Keyboard tech banter. Finally all this blog stuff makes sense :O)

    I've got an EX5R, and that is a beast, in both size and capabilities, and probably the best thing they did up to that point. My TX81Z and TX7 have lain dormant for a long time now.

    About the only thing the XR has over the keyboard series is the 6 SRX slots compared with 4. The 1GB Compact Flash card swapable sampler storage is also a nice touch available on both.

    I better stop, once I get started on there, there's no stopping me ;O)

    By Blogger Stuart, at Monday, June 12, 2006 10:37:00 pm  

  • Hmm, bad news on the Juno G, it's delayed until August. We start rehearsals then so I think it's gonna be too late.

    What do you know/think about the Alesis Fusion 6HD?

    By Blogger Jem, at Tuesday, June 13, 2006 9:32:00 pm  

  • I haven't really looked at this one much except a couple of reviews. the one on the Keyboard magazine site from January isn't too in depth, but does indicate a lack of decent preset samples out the box. The hard drive would be pretty useful I expect for quick access to samples to use live, even 6 tracks of layered samples. The reviewer took it on a gig, and it crashed!! Had to download the OS off the web and put it on a flashcard. THAT sounds scary to me, but it does seem that the latest OS 1.22 has fixed a lot of issues, and updated many of the sounds

    Also in it's favour, it looks like a control panel from the USS Enterprise :O)

    By Blogger Stuart, at Tuesday, June 13, 2006 11:39:00 pm  

  • lol.

    I bought a Fusion this morning. With full memory expansion (192mb), should be here some time next week. Not quite the 512 I was hoping for with the Juno, but with an 80GB hard drive attached it shouldn't be a problem.

    I've just had a really good hour's chat with one of the guys that does the programming on it, really good guy from a company called Hollow Sun. He makes amazing sample CD's, I donated some of my old Emulator 2 sounds to him a couple of years ago and we've stayed in touch. He was really helpful and answered all my "what about this?" questions. It's much more stable now with the 1.22 software rev. The original sounds were the product of it being rushed into release, I think they are based on the QS6 or something...very old anyway. But as I'm going to be using pretty much as a sampler for the gigs, that's not an issue. It also converts Akai samples, so I can dump all the samples I used in Mach 5 on ProTools for the album straight into it. It makes life soooo much easier.

    And, as you say, it looks mighty doesn't it. Can't wait to see that coming towards me on a darkened stage! ;-)

    And all for £800! For what it can do, it's a serious bargain.

    By Blogger Jem, at Wednesday, June 14, 2006 2:24:00 pm  

  • How quickly the Juno G is forgotten when it is delayed :O)
    Yes there are a lot of folks commenting on how good the new Hollow Sun sounds set is. Can't wait to hear those lush Andromeda based analogue strings. I still love to hearing the original Oberheim OBX string patch that so many analogue synths try to emulate.

    They REALLY have dumped the price in a very short time from release for some reason. List is still 1600 pounds, and the US have reduced from a list of $2,399 to $999 already.

    Beam me up Captain Jem

    By Blogger Stuart, at Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:04:00 pm  

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