New Release For Korg Kronos V14 Classic Rock

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Kid Nepro’s Classic Rock sound collection for Kronos contains an amazing mix of new sounds for Mod-7, AL-1, MS-20 & Poly 6 sound engine. A wide assortment of vintage synth sounds that are perfect for your next Classic Rock recording session or live gig. ONLY $39. USD.

64 programs and 16 Combis included. A great mix of new Synth Basses, Leads, Strings, Pads and lot’s of classic rock rhythms that were used on countless recordings during the 70’s and 80’s. 

There’s also a several effects added to the controls, which add a nice variety to each program. 

Kronos Classic Rock is perfect for your next studio recording or live gig. Or if you just want to jam along, the cool KARMA grooves included on all Programs and Combis will have you jamming for hours.

More info, easy online ordering and sound demos at the Kid Nepro Web Site

Some Talk Talk About The Synth Sounds On It’s My Life

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Someone over at the Korg Kronos forum was looking for the synth sounds used on this tune, so I went on over to YouTube to have a listen and it brought me right back to early 80’s and the sound of Long Islands WLIR. Synth pop heaven. Great song, great track!

I googled around to see if I could find out what instruments where used and could not find much, but I did run across a web page that mentioned that Talk Talk had a pair of Roland Jupiter 8’s and used them on the “It’s My Life” album. Also, while searching around YouTube I found a cool live video that has the keyboard player using several Roland Synths, including a JP8. The JP8 was very popular at the time and lot’s of guys had them in their rig.

In the original track there are three sounds used in the song. So I’ve created three new programs for Kronos. They are set up to load into USER-G program bank.

1- Synth “Lead” for verses

2- Mello Pad for verses

3- Bright Synth for end of verses and chorus

Since parts 1 & 2 play together at times I’ve created a split combi which includes both programs. I’ve also created a second combi to use during the part 3 end of verse and chorus. It’s essentially the same as the program, only set up in combi mode. This way you can easily switch from one combi to the next when going from verse to chorus and back. The combis load into the USER-D bank.

There is a bridge in the song that has what sounds like a Soprano Sax sound on it, but I did not program anything for that. Hopefully you have a sax player to do that part, or you can just improvise something with a lead sound on Kronos. The live versions feature the percussion instead.

Parts one and two were created using the Kronos HD-1 ROM samples. They are close to the original, but I added a couple of things to help them cut through the mix. I could not find anything in the HD-1 engine that would sound as awesome as that bright synth sound on the chorus, so I sampled my old Roland MKS80 – which is a close cousin to the JP8. Nothing like the real thing! I already had a patch that I had programmed with this tune in mind and with a bit of tweaking I think I got it pretty close to the original. After importing into Kronos, I just added some reverb and a chorus on SW1 along with a couple of other effects to the Kronos controls.

Also included is a .KSC file that includes the new samples and an additional folder that has the raw wav samples, so you can set them up in another hardware or software sampler if you like.

I did not bother to do any KARMA programming since the sounds are meant to be used while playing a live gig. I’d be interested in how the sounds hold up during a live performance. It’s cool to see a couple of Talk Talk’s live performance of this tune, where you have two keyboard players doing all the synth parts in addition to using a Yamaha Electric Grand and Organ. The E-Grand and Organ sounds certainly add a lot to the band on a live gig, so I’m wondering how these sounds hold up compared to using the organ and piano sounds. The best approach seems to be how they set things up live at the Montreux gig, with two keyboard players. One doing the piano and organ and the other doing the synth stuff.

Anyway, it was lot’s of fun putting everything together. Hope you can use them on your next gig!

Download folder contains the following files:

1- IML folder – contains Kronos KSF files for Chorus

2- IML Chorus Wav Files – If you want to set them up with another hardware or software sampler

3- IML_UserBank.KSC – To stream the samples from disk

4- IML.KSC – If you want to load into the chorus samples into your sample RAM

5- IML.PCG – Contains 3 programs and 2 combis. Programs load into USER-G bank. Combis load into USER-D bank.

Deconstructing Sgt Pepper

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This has always been one of my favorite Beatles tunes, so it was a real treat for me when one of my Facebook friends posted the link. As a recording engineer and Beatles fanatic, I wondered exactly how this was done. My best guess was that someone got hold of the master tapes and was able to isolate the four tracks. I didn’t think it could be done with software ripping apart the stereo mix. It sounded too good. And that ending – It blew my mind! No way you can do that with software. I’ve been listening to the track for 43 years and never heard that ending before. What a great find.

I also thought about how The Beatles catalog has always been guarded by tons of lawyers and if someone did indeed use the master tapes without getting any authorization then I wondered how YouTube would allow this to be posted. Something just did not seem right. I asked a couple of my friends about it and they were like, “Oh Yeah, when they did the remixes for The Cirque De Soleil shows, they actually made everything into Pro Tools Sessions and one thing led to another”. I was like “ohhhhhh right”. Sometimes I’m a little slow.

Anyway, I guess it’s OK with the powers that be that this is allowed to stay online. I’m sure glad it is. To be able to see how George Martin and the boys set up the tracks is a real treat. It’s also a great learning tool. Amazing how they were able to create this landmark recording with only two four track machines. It just proves what you can do with limited resources if you know what your doing. Of course, at the time it was all state of the art. We’ve come a long way in 43 years!

When Analog Was King – A Video Tribute

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I wanted to do something different for this video so I decided since the theme of my new M3 sound collection was “Vintage Synths” that I would pay tribute to some of my favorite synthesizer players.

One thing that I had forgotten and was made obvious while assembling the video footage, is how difficult is used to be for synth players back in the 70’s and 80’s to keep their keyboards in tune during a live performance. The early analog synths while sounding great did have their problems getting through a gig. You never knew what was going to happen when you turned them on!

While the synths that they were using back then were primitive compared to the modern keyboards of today, the music certainly was not. Some of the greatest music ever made was created during those years. It’s fantastic that YouTube has been able to document it all so that anyone who is interested can see it all with just a few clicks of a mouse!

I’m sure I left out many great ones, but It would take an hour long video to list them all. Here they are – in order of appearance…..

Steve Wonder, Thomas Dolby, Herbie Hancock, Howard Jones – 1985 Grammys

George Duke with Frank Zappa 1973

Joe Zawinul – Weather Report Offenbach 1978

Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters 1975 Nice bracelets

Chick Corea with RTF 1977

Yan Hammer with Mahavishnu Orchestra 1972

Keith Emerson – ELP Knife Edge 1970

Rick Wakeman – Cool Cape – Yes 1971

Stevie Wonder – Funk Master 1971

Herbie, Stevie, Dolby  @ 85′ Grammys

Keith Emerson with Theriman 1970

Edger Winter – Frankenstein Midnight Special 1973

Billy Preston – Round In Circles – Amazing hair! 1973

Billy Preston – Concert For Bangladesh 1971

Peter Gabriel – Red Rain 1986

Tony Banks – Early 70’s

Bob Moog demos Mini Moog 1981

Jean Michel Jarre with ARP2600 – no date

Edgar Winter beating the hell out of a ARP2600 during Frankenstein 1973

A New Take On ELP’s Trilogy

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ELP swings! Just discovered these guys. Emerson Lake and Palmer Song “Trilogy” by Jad&Den Quintet recorded at La nouvelle Athenes PARIS FRANCE. Great version of the old Emerson, Lake & Palmer classic.

Rock Is NOT Dead

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Was checking out “Later” last night and contrary to what many may think – Rock Lives!

Not only one, but three very talented acts that I had never heard of all rocked. I think the “Later” format with all the bands playing in a circle, really forces everyone to bring their best game. Kind of like a battle of the bands. The thing that impressed me the most was that all three groups looked like they were in their twenties.

The first artist that got my attention was the singer/bass player Amy LaVerne – who performed the ultra cool “Killing Him” (didn’t make her love go away). Interesting topic! Great melody, hook and chord changes topped off my Amy’s smooth and sexy voice. The band was small. Only a trio of bass, guitar and drums, but they were really tight.

Next up was the incredible “Sia” – who looks like she has the potential to be a big force in the music biz. Sia has an amazing voice and is backed by a bunch of great players. I hopped over to You Tube to check out some of her stuff and really like what she’s doing with video. The Breath Me video reminds me of something that Peter Gabriel would do. When reading her bio at wikapedia I see she released her first solo recording back in 2000 so I guess I’m late in discovering this very talented singer.

The last act that brought the house down was the amazing “Cage The Elephant” who performed their hit “Ain’t No Rest For Wicked”. I’ve been singing the very catchy hook all morning. I’m sure there are a lot of people out their that can relate to that one! These guys really rocked with a great funky beat and slide guitar. If they can keep up this kind of stuff on future releases, I’m sure they are going to be big.

What really got my attention is that after checking out all three acts on YouTube, as good as their studio tracks sounded – they were even better when playing live. MUCH better. In this age of lip syncing and pre recorded sequenced tracks, it’s good to see young musicians out there that actually can play the hell out of their instruments. Makes an old rocker like me feel good that the future of Rock is not as bleak as I thought.

Rock On!

Woodstock – Back To The Garden 40 Years On

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woodstock

Hard to believe it’s been 40 years. The original 1969 edition will be all over the air this weekend, both the music and interviews with the artists who created it.

For those who wonder how radio covered Woodstock back when it actually happened, Dennis Elsas of WFUV (90.7 FM) has dug out some archival tapes from WNEW-FM. The tapes feature Scott Muni and Rosko reading commercials for the festival, including the artist lineup, ticket prices and the important news that the concert had been moved to White Lake.

Elsas has mixed the commercials into a montage that also includes WNEW’s coverage of the weekend and Elsas’ interviews with Richie Havens and John Sebastian. He’ll be playing this feature on his Friday afternoon show over WFUV and posting it at www.denniselsas.com.

FUV: Music by Woodstock artists all day tomorrow, with a World Café special, 2-4 p.m., that includes interviews with artists, producers and engineers.

Pete Fornatale of WFUV, who wrote a new Woodstock book, “Back to the Garden,” talks with Darren DeVivo at 7:40 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. tomorrow about the festival.

Fornatale also features Woodstock on his own shows, “Mixed Bag,” Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 7 to 8 a.m.

John Platt has Woodstock music and artists Sunday, 8-11 a.m.

Meanwhile, WFUV’s HD2 channel and Web stream (www.wfuv.org) will play Woodstock all day Saturday and Sunday.

Sirius XM: The Deep Tracks channel, Sirius 16 and XM 40, will become Woodstock Radio from noon tomorrow through midnight Sunday.

The channel will include music from Woodstock and interviews with performers and officials from the festival. Artists will be played in the order they performed at the festival, with the complete performances of Santana, Janis Joplin, Sly & the Family Stone, Johnny Winter and Jefferson Airplane. David Hinckley

Looked around YouTube and found this cool video that has the set lists for each of the 31 bands that played that weekend. If I only had one day to choose from, I’d have to pick day two. What a day that must have been!

Paul, Michael And The History Of The Beatles Song Catalog

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paul-michael

Interesting history of one of the greatest collections of songs ever written. I guess whoever winds up with it next is one hell of a lucky person(s)! Just came across this on the cnn web site…..

First the rumor went around that Michael Jackson was leaving the Beatles catalog to Paul McCartney in his will. Then the rumor was that McCartney was upset that Jackson didn’t leave the Beatles catalog to the Beatle in his will. Neither is true, said McCartney in a posting on his Web site.

“Some time ago, the media came up with the idea that Michael Jackson was going to leave his share in the Beatles songs to me in his will which was completely made up and something I didn’t believe for a second,” McCartney said. “Now the report is that I am devastated to find that he didn’t leave the songs to me. This is completely untrue,” he added.

The story of the Beatles song catalog is long and tangled. At the time McCartney and writing partner John Lennon wrote their songs, they retained only a portion of the rights in the publishing company created by the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, and London music publisher Dick James. (The company was called Northern Songs, a nod to the Beatles’ Liverpudlian roots.) The company went public in 1965.

According to the myth-busting site Snopes.com, Lennon and McCartney each had 15 percent of the shares, Epstein (and his NEMS Enterprises) had 7.5 percent, James and partner Charles Silver had 37.5 percent and Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr had less than 2 percent. The rest was available for public investment.

Over the years (and partly due to the group’s legal battles) the Beatles lost or sold their control, and the catalog of about 250 songs — almost all of Lennon/McCartney’s creations — ended up in the hands of British media mogul Sir Lew Grade and his ATV Music Publishing. ATV added the Beatles’ songs to its holdings, a cache that eventually grew to more than 4,000 songs. (Other songs in the catalog include those recorded by the Kinks, the Moody Blues and Elvis Presley.)

In 1984, the catalog was put up for sale again. McCartney wanted to buy his creations back, but for various reasons wasn’t a front-runner. Jackson — who had taken to investing in music publishing at, ironically, McCartney’s recommendation — came up with the winning bid of $47.5 million. The sale went through in 1985.

In 1995, Sony paid Jackson $95 million to merge the catalog with its Sony Music. Jackson maintained 50 percent control. In 2005, Sony/ATV Music had more than 200,000 songs in its catalog, a CNN.com article reported.

To finance his lifestyle, Jackson borrowed money, using the catalog as collateral. Nevertheless, he never lost the asset. The entire catalog was estimated to be worth between $600 million and $1 billion in 2005, according to a 2005 article in USA Today.

Digitally Remastered Beatles Coming In September

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beatles-sgtpepper

Looking forward to this release in September. My Beatles CD’s have never sounded as good as the LP’s and I’m hoping that this will bring better sound to some of the best songs ever recorded. I guess the 9/9/09 date is no surprise since John always had a thing for the Number 9. Revolution 9, Number 9 Dream, Born on October 9th, Etc.

The new release includes all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK. The package will also contain the LP version of “Magical Mystery Tour” (initially released as a double-EP in Britain, though available on CD since 1987) and the collections “Past Masters Vol. I and II” combined as one title. 

The release marks the first time that the first four Beatles albums are being made available in their entirety on compact disc, and it also coincides with the release of “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game. Speaking of which – I think really blows big time. I saw a video of these kids demoing it on youtube the other day and it was pathetic. I mean, learn to play your own instruments kiddies. You will be glad you did.

Robert Levine, executive editor for Billboard, said the timing is genius in terms of marketing. “Most bands, when they do a big project like this they pay for publicity,” Levine said. The Beatles got paid for ‘Rock Band’ and then they are using that for publicity to rerelease a catalogue. It’s pretty amazing.

Piers Hemmingsen, the author of two books on Beatles music, said there has long been a clamor among fans for good, high-quality versions of Beatles songs. “The technology that was available back then was very limited, and with the newer technology they are able to do far more with what they have than they have ever been able to do before,” he said. “For people who are plugged into iPods and the whole digital music scene, it’s going to be a lot better for them.”

In acknowledgment of the more technologically advanced listeners, each CD will contain, for a limited time, an embedded brief documentary film about the album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-released studio chat from the Beatles.

The remastering project was four years in the making. Engineers used de-noising technology and cleaned up glitches like electrical clicks and microphone vocal pops, so long as it didn’t affect the original integrity of the songs. They also slightly boosted the volume levels. Andrew Croft, publisher of Beatlology Magazine, said the announcement of the release of the remastered recordings “is long overdue in the Beatles community and for music fans alike.”

“Bootleg releases over the years used rare and obscure vinyl pressings from countries like Japan and Germany to compile the best of the best recordings of The Beatles songs, presenting to the public a better sound that Apple could not offer prior to the remastering. “While the new remasterings will replace a library full of bootlegs of their commercial releases, there remains a massive market for their more obscure tracks, outtakes and live performances,” Croft said.

The 14 remastered albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo boxed set. A second boxed set, “The Beatles in Mono,” includes all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two additional discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on “Past Masters”).

The mono “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all of the original inserts and label designs.

Croft said, “The songs have lasted for a long time because they are great songs. It’s just that simple. Those are amazing, amazing albums”.

Text Courtesy of CNN.com

Jim Gordon – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Many of you may not recognize the name of Jim Gordon, but I can assure you that you’ve heard his music. Gordon was the drummer on many of the 60’s and 70’s greatest recordings in the history of rock and roll. During this period he performed on many classic recordings including George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”, The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” and Joe Cockers “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” among many others. Gordon also played on the Derek & The Dominos’ 1970 classic album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” and contributed the piano coda for the title track, “Layla”, co written by Gordon and Clapton.

There was a reason why Gordon was on all those great recordings. He was the best. The man could set a groove like no one else. As a keyboard player I’ve always thought that when the drummer is playing the right beat, the rest of the band always sounds better and Gordon could do that like no one else.

After listening to Layla the other day I was inspired to google Gordons name thinking he was dead and was made aware of a few things. In the late 1970s, Gordon complained of hearing voices in his head. He was later diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia, which had been worsened by a cocaine addiction. By 1981, this ended his music career. June of 1983 Gordon stabbed his mother to death with a butcher’s knife. In May 1984 he was sentenced to sixteen years to life in prison. He has served his sentence at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, Atascadero State Hospital in Atascadero, and the State Medical Corrections Facility in Vacaville. He is still incarcerated.

More googleing brought me to Gordon’s Myspace page where you can sign a petition asking the parole board to consider his release. I signed the petition and forwarded this info to many of my friends and colleagues and was met with some interesting responses. Most were very supportive of the petition. However, there were some who argued that it was none of our business getting involved since we knew nothing of the details of Gordon’s case and a petition was “meaningless”. Some argued that just because he co-wrote Layla does not give him a pass to commit murder, which I totally agree with.

Yes, he did commit a serious act of violence (over twenty five years ago), but has done his time and if the doctors who are treating him feel that he is ready to return to the street I support their decision. If he’s been deemed mentally balanced while medicated, has served the time he was sentenced and will be supervised while on parole and as a condition of release, possibly supervised for a time longer than his parole, he deserves a chance to prove himself, just like any other paroled killer that’s walking the streets.

As far as the petition goes, it’s certainly not “meaningless”. It offers hope and inspiration to Jim that people are pulling for him and just might help him in the healing process. It shows support. I agree that it will probably not influence the parole board much, but I would think with a boarder line case where they are weighing all their options, something like that might just make a difference.

I do admit that I know nothing of Jim’s current condition, but I support him none the less. I sincerely hope that his demons are gone and whatever drove him to commit such a violent act is part of his past. I’m pulling for you Jim and look forward to seeing you released one day soon. Best of luck with the parole hearings.

Check out this amazing video of Jim playing during the Mad Dog’s tour. Delta Lady with Joe Cocker Live at the Fillmore East, March 1970. 


 
More info on Jim can be found at; www.wikipedia.org

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