Farrah & Michael R.I.P

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farah_fawcett_poster we-are-the-world

I can’t say that I ever remember two icons passing on the same day before. Certainly Farrah Fawcett did not fall into the same class of icons as Michael Jackson – not many people do, but nevertheless she was as an iconic part of the 70’s as anyone. Yes, I did have that famous poster hanging on my wall – as did millions of other young men back in the 70’s. I’m sure that millions more will admire her for the courage that she showed during her illness. She will be missed.

I guess there is a lot more to be said about Michael – of which I’m sure there will be many books, movies, TV mini series and who knows what else coming down the pipe over the next few years. I’m reminded from a line in the movie “The Birdcage” where one of the news media say’s “we are in enquirer heaven”. This story is likely to go on and on for many years to come.

Although it’s way to early to tell, I did hear one report that Michael left Paul McCartney the rights to his share of The Beatles catalog in his will. For those of you who did not know, Michael Jackson still owned part of the The Beatles catalog which he had purchased back in the 80’s. If indeed that is the case, talk about karma coming back around. We shall see.

Yes, Michael Jackson was well known for his eccentric/crazy behavior over the last thirty years, but I prefer to remember his other side which was capable of writing a song like “We Are The World”. I don’t know why, but that’s the first thing I thought about when I heard the news yesterday. I had not heard the song or watched the video for many years, but the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was to click over to YouTube to check it out. Seeing it again was a reminder of what good us humans are capable of – when we are not so busy killing each other. This is how I prefer to remember Michael.

There are dozens of versions of the song and video on YouTube to choose from, but this version stood out because of the editing and background music that was inserted. Kind of erie in a way. Brought me right back to 1985 – when the world was a much different place.

We Are The World

We Are The Children

We Are The Ones Who Make  A Brighter Day

So Let’s Start Giving


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

Korg M3 Soundtrack Mix Updated to Version 1.5 – New Video “Ode To NASA”

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Kid Nepro has updated our Korg M3 Soundtrack Mix collection to Version 1.5. The new update adds 16 new combis. Soundtrack Mix now contains 64 Programs, 48 Combis and 60 Megs of new samples. All well crafted and fully KARMA-fied! More info and demos can be found “HERE”

Along with the new sounds, we just finished producing a new video which features several new sounds included in the update. It’s titled “Ode To NASA”. Video footage courtesy of NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Ever since watching the Apollo Space Missions back in the 60’s, I’ve always been a big fan of NASA. They have proven time and time again that what seems impossible can be accomplished once you put your mind to it. The recent mission to fix the Hubble Telescope is a perfect example of that. The tune up that the talented astronauts gave Hubble will continue to provide us with more spectacular images for years to come and help us learn more about the universe that we live in.

Loading Sounds Via Midi On The PC Using Midiox

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It may be a bit confusing if you never loaded in new sounds into your synthesizer via the midi port – so we have put a tutorial together on exactly how it’s done. When you purchase any of our sounds in PC format we usually provide the files in both system exclusive (.syx) and standard midi files (.mid) formats . This gives you a wider option as to what programs you can use to load the sounds. There are many programs that you can use to load the standard midi files including DAW programs such as Logic, Cubase or Digital Performer. We also provide a easy to use program called MIDIOX (http://www.midiox.com) that you can use to load our SYSEX files. This tutorial will show you how to load in SYSEX (.syx) files using MidiOX.

1- Make sure you “Save” your internal sounds before loading in our sounds. Our sounds will replace your internal presets, so it’s best to save them to disk so you can reload them in later if you wish. Many synths have a “re-initilize memory” setting which you can use to restore the original factory settings. Each synthesizer is set up differently – so refer to your owners manuel on how to transmit a “Bulk Dump” or “Sysex Dump” from your synth to your computer.  Be sure you have installed the latest drivers for your MIDI interface (these are available from the maker of the midi interface).

2- First you need to set up your synthesizer to receive the file. The owners manuel will also inform you on how to set up your synth to receive a “System Exclusive” or SYSEX Dump. Some synths require you to turn off the memory protect. Others require you to “Enable” or “Turn on” the System Exclusive. It varies from synth to synth. We recommend that you set your synthesizer to Midi Channel #1. This is the default channel when “Midiox” loads. 

3- Connect a midi cable from your computers midi interface or sound card midi out to your synthesizers midi in. Also connect a cable from your computer midi in to your synthesizers midi out. If your sound card just has one port then connect it to the midi in of your synthesizer

4- Open Midiox and click on “Help/Contents/Getting Started” and read that. 

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Also click on “Making Connections”. That tells you how to connect Midiox to your synthesizer.

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You set this up by going to “Options/Mididevices”. While your in the contents menu also click on “System Exclusive/Sending A File”. Under the “Options” menu, select “MIDI Devices”. Look in the “MIDI Outputs:” box and select the appropriate MIDI OUT device (this tells MidiOx where to direct the MIDI data). If you do not see an entry for your MIDI interface, then you probably need to reinstall or update the appropriate drivers for your MIDI interface.

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5- Then take any one of our sysex files and drag them from your desktop into the “Monitor – Output” box. The Sysex View and Scratchpad window should pop up and you should see the data in the window. Then go to the File Menu and click on “Send Sysex File. The data will automatically begin sending to the synth. Wait for the progress bar to complete.

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If you have everything set correctly the file should now be loaded into your synthesizers internal memory.   

 

Complete info on all our sounds can be found at: www.kidnepro.com. If you have any questions please contact us via phone or e-mail.  

Ray Charles On The Tonight Show

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Had enough of winter? Got the blues? Watch this and feel better.

Ray visits Johnny Carson on the old Tonight Show back in 1990. It’s Ray and the Tonight Show band at their best. You won’t see anything like this on Leno or Letterman.

Enjoy!

©

Korg M3 Soundtrack Mix – Schoenberg Orchestra

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One of the great things about using the KARMA section of the Korg M3, is that your easily able to create stuff that would not be possible on your average music workstation. The KARMA generated effects – or better known as GE’s, give you the ability to take your music in many different directions. Some that you’ve never been before. More info on KARMA can be found at Stephen Kay’s Karma Lab website. 

In creating the M3 Soundtrack Mix, I’ve started working with the “Atonal GE’s” for the first time and quickly discovered that you can do a ton of cool stuff with orchestral instruments. The first combi in the collection is titled “Schoenberg Orchestra” – named for the Austrian/American composer Arnold Schoenberg. In case your not familiar with Schoenberg, he is credited for his pioneering innovations in “Atonality”. Atonality is music that lacks a tonal center, or key. Schoenberg developed twelve-tone technique, a widely influential compositional method of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale. 

I set up a three part combi using a piano, strings and orchestra hits and assigned the same Atonal GE to each of them. Very little actual playing of notes is done. Rather, I trigger the part and then let the GE cycle though it’s atonal pattern. KARMA randomizes the pattern so you don’t hear the same loop over and over again. The key is to know when to play and when to change notes or parts. The fun is it’s never the same twice so make sure you have your sequencer recording al all times! No overdubbing was done on the track. It’s all played live into the sequencer.

I thought I’d have a little fun and create a video when playing the audio through the iTunes “Visualizer”. It seems that the Visualizer and KARMA are a perfect match for creating all kinds of wonderfully random stuff. I simply set up my video camera in front of the computer monitor and hit record, imported the video into Apple’s iMovie, added some effects and here are the results.

Click for more info on our Korg M3 Soundtrack Mix

Korg M3 Soundtrack Mix Video – Watchin The Clouds

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Music from our second collection of sounds for the Korg M3 – Soundtrack/Film Mix.

Soundtrack Mix contains 64 Programs, 32 Combis and 60 Megs of new samples. All well crafted and fully KARMA-fied!

Music and Video: Steve Proto 

Filmed in Barbados. 

More info and demos at: www.kidnepro.com

©1984-2009 – Kid Nepro Productions

Apple Mac Turns Twenty Five Today

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Not many people can say that they changed the world for the better, but Steve Jobs is certainly one of them. You wonder what things would be like if the Mac never existed and we were all destined to use Windows for the rest of our lives. I mean, the world is screwed up enough without having to deal with that! I run Windows XP on my Macbook Pro when I have to and the OS looks like the Mac did ten years ago. All the amazing things that we do with our Mac’s every day and we now take for granted would have never come to pass if it was not for the vision of Jobs. 

Just came across this classic video of Steve demoing the very first Mac. Steve may look a lot different now – the suit and bow tie are a real hoot, but you could see that he was the same brilliant showman back then that we all know and have come to love. As Steve deals with his health issues, we wish him the best and hope that he’s around for the 50th anniversary of the Mac. 

Thanks Steve!

Return Of Uncle Tony – The Original Gangsta Rap

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Twenty years after the original 1989 release, Uncle Tony has returned. We wanted to have a little fun and do a remake and video for the 20th anniversary. Your first thought might be that we are just ripping off The Sopranos, but Uncle Tony was written long before anyone every heard of Tony Soprano. Created at a time when rap music was just starting to appear on the scene, it’s the original “Gangsta Rap”!

We always thought that Uncle Tony had the potential to become a hit just because it’s so bizzare.  It got a fair amount of radio play when it was first released, but as things often go in the music biz – it never caught on. When The Sopranos became popular we sent them a copy though our friend Mike Russo – who was a stuntman on the show, but they never used it.

“Hey my son come kiss the ring. Uncle Tony say’s – you did the right thing”. Spread the word. Uncle Tony’s back. Bada Bing!

You can purchase an MP3 of Uncle Tony directly from us for only $1.00 US. Payable by Paypal. Just send your payment to: kidnepro@mac.com from your paypal account and we will e-mail you the MP3.

You can contact our favorite Uncle via e-mail at: uncletony@kidnepro.com

Anthony Spinelli – Uncle Tony

Steve Proto – Music & Video

Anthony Spinelli and Tom Vespa – Lyrics

Karla Sheman – Background Vocals

© – 1984-2009 Kid Nepro Productions – All Rights Reserved

New Korg M3 Sounds – V2 Soundtrack/Film Mix

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GOOD NEWS!! Kid Nepro brings you new sounds to play with for the holidays.

Korg M3 Volume #2 – Soundtrack/Film Mix our followup to our popular “Proto Rock” collection, is now available. The new collection contains 64 programs, 32 combis and 60 megs of new samples including over 100 new samples from our “Effectron” sound effect library. All well crafted and fully KARMA-fied to produce only the highest quality sounds for the M3 series music workstations.

While Proto Rock was more “meat and potatoes” type sounds, this new PCG sound collection is more unique. M3 Soundtrack is perfect if you’re doing television, film work or video game scoring and you require background effects, killer pads and synth sounds or unique rhythms not found in the M3 factory presets. Using KARMA GE’s and real time controls, we have created an assortment of different “atmospheres” that can be used as background to a video track. Many of the sounds can also be used in New Age or Synth type audio tracks. 

With KN Soundtrack, we have tried to do some new things using the effect samples. Combis 9,11,12 & 31 have some interesting loops that trigger the samples using KARMA drum patterns. As far as we know that’s never been done before. We think you will enjoy those. The demo “Johnsons World” features one of the loops. It’s one of our favorite samples! Great how you can tune it down so low without any aliasing.

As with Proto Rock, we will be adding more sounds in future updates and all KN Soundtrack owners will be eligible for free updates and discount prices. If you need any more info please contact us via phone or e-mail. Thanks again for your support and happy holidays!

More Info and audio demos at our Korg M3 pages

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