The Band Velvet Acid christ

Apple: Ipad 16gb wifi model, Hexfix93’s Review.

April 11th, 2010 by Hexfix93

apple-ipad
Why did I take the plunge and become an early adoptee on the iPad? I was so skeptical of most of it’s features when they announced it. Over time I kept my eyes on the matrix synth web blog and saw all these ipod touch apps and iPad apps that made me really go wow, cool drum machines and soft synths with touch controls, no mouse crap like computers offer. I also always wanted a touch gaming console as well, but the nintendo ds is too much fluffy crap and kids stuff to bare, plus the tiny screens. I was very skeptical of apples mp3 players because I always hated their sound quality on the iPods. I have really expensive in ear headphones. I would always go to the stores and demo the units, and sony’s walkmans always came out on top in my tests. Not to mention the fact i hate using iTunes, and not being able to browse my mp3s by folder and files like on a computer. These things kept me away from the iPod touch. The video below shows me messing around with the Ielectribe, putting together a beat, tweaking it, running it through my EMU E6400 Sampler’s filters.

So what was it that made me impulsively buy the iPad? I decided to go to the apple store on the launch day. I have been wanting another laptop to use around the house so I am not always in the studio. I mostly wanted it to read, surf the net, and write up reviews and things. I also wanted the iPod touch for the games and nothing else. I also wanted the iPod touch for some of the audio apps I had seen over the last year. Especially the drum sequencer type drum machines. Very cool with the touch controls as are the soft synths. The idea of being able to be any where with my headsets banging out beats with automation and good sound quality really appealed to me. I am working on the new LP already and didn’t want to wait for the next gen ipad. I picked up the unit, loved how it felt in my hands, then I plugged my headphones in, listened to the iPod part while surfing the web and noticed how the sound quality was a lot better, when over to the ipod touch and listened to that too, the iPod touch sounded worse. DACs are a big deal to me.

I was amazed at how fast it was browsing the web, that this 1ghz arm processor felt faster than my 2.16 duo core MacBook pro. So this is life with out flash? A fast browser? Bring on html5. Death to flash, that slow inefficient processor hog. The swipe gestures you use to scroll the screen is so fast and responsive, as is pinching to zoom in and out. Some times on web pages, I would have to zoom in to hit the link I wanted but only when i held the iPad in the thin horizontal view angle. Launching apps is weird, sometimes it will think I am swiping instead of selecting. Typing is great actually, except if you need numbers all the time, then its a major issue, so doing math stuff in a text editor is really annoying because you have to switch back and forth to the number mode or letter mode. No arrow keys to move the cursor around either. So you have to hit the pad on the text and hold and then this magnifying glass thing pops up and you move that around then it lets you drag the cursor to where you need to go, this is kind of annoying.

synth_screenshot

I plan on reviewing games and audio apps on this device for the VAC site and e EDT site. Games were lack luster at first. I first downloaded this diablo like dungeon rpg. It had this fake analog stick control, and it sucked. It wasn’t for a few days that I realized that I could us tap controls on that game, and that instantly made it better. Then i downloaded the need for speed game, and it looks ok, kind of a bad frame rate, and is fun and controls well by tilting the iPad to steer it like a steering wheel. kind of cool. It wasn’t until I downloaded Flightcontrol HD, and Mirrors edge for the ipad that I really was kind of impressed with it as a gaming device. Mirrors edge looks great and is fun to play. Flightcontrol HD is a simple game where you draw flight paths with your fingers to land air planes. If two planes collide its game over. This is surprisingly fun, I saw the review for this on the Iphone via AREA5 and thought I’d give the iPad hd version a shot. It didn’t disappoint. The games are really cheap compared to DS and PSP and this is a real plus for me. Comparing the games on iPad isn’t fair though, the iPad games are shorter on average than a psp or ds game. So far as a gaming platform, it has potential, but it’s not even close to worth it for that yet. The video below shows me messing around with the ipad and all the stuff I have for it.

Overall how do I feel about the iPad?
Music Tools:
Audio apps kick major ass, the Ielectribe software drum machine from korg is worth the price of the iPad alone $9.99, a used electribe costs a little less used on the second hand market but I feel the software with the ipads DAC sounds better to me than the old electribe I used to own. Not to mention it’s easier to use with the drag menus. Other apps are coming as well. Being able to control a daw with it via Bluetooth is really cool. Using it as a drum pad, mixer controls. This thing is amazing for this kind of thing. Seriously, using the Ielectribe is way better than using the hardware. Easy to name stuff, and i love turning knobs with the touch screen, takes a little getting used to, but its kick ass like real hardware finally as far as the interface goes. For Audio apps, I give is a 9 out of 10.

Internet Device:
I do hate flash but the lack of flash on the iPad really is a hinderance if you want to look at sites like hulu and fail blog and media based sites that use a lot of flash players for video. I really like the touch interface for web browsing, so as long as you are reading sites its fine. This is a double edged sword, great interface but a lack of content due to the lack of flash support, so no flash games on Facebook or myspace, i hate those any way. I want html5 to take over because it is open source and flash is not. So in the end I think if enough ipads sell, flash could come to an end, and I couldn’t be happier about that. The lack of a good free chat i’m chat program that runs in the background is a big minus as well. Internet features gets a 7 out of 10.

Media:
Too big to be an effective iPod player, even though it has way better sound quality over the iPod touch. The iPod portion lacks cover flow as well, WTF apple? The screen is 4:3, not wide screen, so movies have a huge black bar, that really sucks. I think the 4:3 is a throw back to old computer screens, which i prefer for web viewing honestly, but for movies, epic fail. Media gets a 6 out of 10.

Games:
It’s to early to say weather or not it will succeed. I will say the fake analog controls have got to go, they are awful. The games here now are um, ok, not great, not terrible. kind of generic and no where near sony or nintendo, but way ahead of the zune and the other phone companies touch phones. The. Video a card in this reminds me of old pc stuff, like a few generations back. Reminds me of a dreamcast on roids in higher resolution. Nothing ground breaking other than the battery life. As a gaming platform I give this a 6 out of 10. I must say though, I see a lot of potential for god games and touch games.

Apps:
The lack of a number pad really ruins this for many types of applications. I have not tried pages, or iworks. It’s on here though so that really says to me that this is serious, because the windows media apps for phones are awful. These apps are very polished compared to the competition. The PDF stuff on this is garbage. I could not even. Read the manual for my access virus snow on this thing. They have a lot of bugs to fix on this thing, even the text app it comes with is buggy and has word wrap issues when typing large text files, I am experiencing this as I type this. It gets stuff wrong but the stuff it gets right is spot on, the Marvel comics app is amazing. The Book store and reader is great. There is a lot of promise here. I give the apps for the iPad a 7 out of 10. Lots of potential, but not there yet.

paper_ipad

The Hardware:
The screen is gorgeous, this is what attracted me to it in the store. WOW. It’s a little heavy, but not a problem for me. Playing certain games does get tiring tho, because of holding it up, its not heavy, but its heavy enough that after an hour, its tiring. The motion controls are great. The touch interface is great, typing is pretty good, the keyboard is ok, but having to hit a key to switch the keypad to numbers and symbols is really annoying. Ok for text, but bad for typing in numbers. The battery life is amazing, i can use it all day and still have charge the next day for a while before I have to charge it, more than 10 hours and 1 month on stand bye. WOW. The interface is very responsive. No camera, so what, I don’t care, bad viewing angle because of how you hold the device, camera up your nose is not a good thing. I give the hardware a 9 out of 10.

Overall:
Apple is wrong, this is not revolutionary. It is good, but fails in many areas. It is great because finally we have a tablet that reminds me of star trek. The lack of being able to multi task apps is a major downer(yes it’s coming, but not till fall). It lacks flash, needs a bigger screen for wide screen two work. It’s not perfect. I must say though, It has apps other devices don’t like some of the games, Iworks, and Ielectribe that are all priced just right. This is a multi media device that has some functionality of computers. This is not a laptop. This is more like a Ipod, nintendo ds, Sony psp mixed into one device, with a big screen and a touch of osx thrown in. Does it live up to apple’s hype? sort of. If you like audio apps, or iphone apps, its a good thing. If not, you want and internet laptop device? Stay very very very far away from this thing.

What does apple need to do to fix this? We need flash, we need directional control, and screen stretching functions, in word press(no arrow keys), i cannot do any real editing because of this on the ipad. If it was not for me liking the ielectribe so much, i might actually sell this thing. I only like this 100% for the audio apps, everything else needs a ton of work. They have to fix this shit! I will say it though, I really love this thing, the Ielectribe, taking beats any where with 10 hr battery life, man this alone makes it worth it for me. I do use it for media, internet and everything despite thinking it is kind of weak at some things. By no means is this a bad review. Its a good device, but it is far from perfect. I give this overall a 6.955555 out of 10.

Category: 07-VAC StudioVideo, 08-Synth Reviews!, 09-ProAudio Reviews | Comments Off on Apple: Ipad 16gb wifi model, Hexfix93’s Review.

Synth: Video: Polivoks, Moog, MFB, Modular, Review.

February 14th, 2008 by Hexfix93

If you want to hear a better version of the audio click : http://www.velvetacidchrist.com/synth/polivoks.mp3

Moog Freqbox: Okay, let me start first with the moog. When I first got it, it didn’t scale worth a damn, I had to open it up and calibrate it, even then i only could get about 2 and a half octaves of stable tuning. The plan b was better, but would lose its calibration all together after a few hours. Not the case here, the moog holds it’s calibration. 2 and half octaves is awful. But what makes me forgive it? This thing is huge, big bass, big sound. even if it gets sour, I still love it, its so fat. The plan b and mfb only wish it could sound as fat as this oscillator does. This is not stable enough or musical enough to really hold the fort. To me this is the perfect add on to something more stable to fatten up bass lines and kicks. I have not used it as an FX processor, but man this thing can crazy modulate other stuff great, and a nice big frequency knob to boot, something most of these modular modules do not have.. I like the moog a lot, but i sure wish it tracked a little better. A great addition to a stable modular system.  

Okay now onto the Harvestman Polivoks filter. Wow. The resonance on this thing is great, it can rip your face off. I love it for aggressive acid sounds, a new flavor. Its not moog, its not roland, and its not korg. It’s something new, even though it’s old. I’ve never even heard a filter that sounds like this before. The sound still stays big, even with a lot of resonance. This is what the original minimoog did well too, but its smooth, this is mean, and rough, and aggressive, much different. The bandpass is ok, but i prefer the bandpass in the livewire frequenseiner. This is the perfect addition to my ssm and livewire filters. I highly recomend this!  

I am set on filters. This gives me evil acid. SSM gives me the girthy glass 80s chip sound. And the frequensteiner gives me a great band and high pass, bland if you don’t saturate the inputs, but if you push the filter with a big sound and drive it hard, nothing beats that high pass. On the oscilator front, if and when the livewire AFG comes out, i will probably pick one of those up and an analog systems r95. This will get me by for now. Its big, and the demo I made shows that off.. Hope you enjoyed this video and review. Peace out.. A fellow gear whore.. hexfix93  

Here is the high quality divx version of the video on stage6. Click here for the Divx version of the video, needs divx plugin

Divx plug in makes my browser act weird, so i put a link to it and the youtube one back as the default.

Category: 07-VAC StudioVideo, 08-Synth Reviews! | Comments Off on Synth: Video: Polivoks, Moog, MFB, Modular, Review.

Synths: Velvet Acid Christ Roland SH-2 Demo, Futile riff.

February 14th, 2008 by Hexfix93

Updated, high res hifi divx version of the sh2 futile demo..

Ok, i made a video of the sh-2 using the riffs from futile to show off the sh2., i love this synth! I don’t need a moog, when you have a sh-2, you will never need one. Rolands are the heart and soul of VAC. I HEART ROLAND! well, old roland..

 

Here is the high quality divx version of the video on stage6. Click here for the Divx version of the video, needs divx plugin

Divx plug in makes my browser act weird, so i put a link to it and the youtube one back as the default.

Category: 07-VAC StudioVideo, 08-Synth Reviews!, 09-ProAudio Reviews | Comments Off on Synths: Velvet Acid Christ Roland SH-2 Demo, Futile riff.

Video: Roland Jp-8080 Demo by Velvet Acid Christ.

November 21st, 2007 by Hexfix93

Yes, i decided to show off some of the patches i made, forgive the sound quality, but this is just to give you an idea of it. I recorded it with just the mic in the camera. Don’t care, you can tell what the sound is like, if you like it, go buy one. no big deal. I love this thing for strings and aggro electronic sounds… Very glassy, glossy, and metallic sounding. I like it. Enjoy.

Category: 07-VAC StudioVideo | Comments Off on Video: Roland Jp-8080 Demo by Velvet Acid Christ.

Video: Tripping Out at Electric Death Trip Studios. Home of VAC.

November 21st, 2007 by Hexfix93

Check it out. This is a Video of my current studio set up. Be prepared to enter a strange world! MATRIXSYNTH, NO BUENO DIABLO. Sony XBR trinitron 34 inch analog 1080i HD TV, Driven by Sony Playstation 3. PSP hombrew running final fantasy 8 stable! Awesome! Gear list: dr 880, futureretro revolution, doepfer modular with plan b, livewire, and harvestman modules. Mackie onyx 1620, kurzeil ksp8, roland jp8080, Korg micro x workstation, tubestation compressor, 2x empiric labs distressors, roland sh-2, novation remote 61 keyboard controller, line 6 spider valve 112 tube guitar amp. Martic acoustic guitar, Fender geddy lee jazz bass, Gibson Flying V, Macbook pro 2.16 ghz, core 2 duo. bowers and wilkins 602 s3 studio monitors. Halfer TA110 amps. Chameleon labs 7602 neve micpre and eq clone, emagic amt-8 midi 8 in 8 out. mackie 1202 vlz pro..

Category: 07-VAC StudioVideo | Comments Off on Video: Tripping Out at Electric Death Trip Studios. Home of VAC.

Doepfer modular Reviewed by Velvet Acid Christ, +Videos, +mp3

November 6th, 2007 by Hexfix93

Kenton pro solo: Amazing midi to cv converter, its tight, real tight with logic sending it midi. i like the portamento and other things i can get out of it.. very good, worth every peny, also can do extra cv modulations with the aux out jack.

 

doepfer a-105 ssm 24db low pass fitler: The resonance is kinda weird just like the monopoly, but great for scifi zaps and weirdness. And man, when i do osc to the filter for fitler fm, holy smokes, crank the resonance, mess with the freq of the model 15, mes with the frew of the fitler, oh boy, 60 sci fi galor, so far my favorite. Amazing. But for bass duties, its nice and fat, and i can get it pretty aggressive. Much fatter than the frequensteiner in lp. So for me this is a must have. Shawn at analog haven told i would love this on bass. he was dead on.. Very smooth and aggro, kinda moog, but not really. more like a monopoly but with snappier envs on the doepfer. very cool. i would buy this again if i lost it.

 

doepfer a-137 waveshaper: Kind of boring to me, just not drastic enough. Cool for drones and weird textures, but honestly its not to my liking at all. to vanilla. i expected much more. takes a lot of valuable space, i might keep it if i had two racks. but all i have is one, and it didn’t win me over enough.

 

Plan b model 15 osc UPDATED: Click Here.

modular

doepfer a-118 Noise/random: wow, i love the colored noise on this module. and the random voltage thing is kinda neat as a modulator on my filter and other things. nice.

 

doepfer a-138 mixer: Wow this sounds decent. if you over drive this past 7, it gets pretty aggressive, great for the kind of music i do. nice..

 

doepfer a-131 VCA: Again decent sounding, and man if you go past 7, it gets real mean. i love it..

 

doepfer a-143 quad lfo: nice to have 4 lfos, i like the speed switch, this goes real slow and nice and fast. i love it. better than most synth lfos i’ve had. Can go real fast in the high mode, fm audio. nice…

 

doepfer a -125: this is the best phaser i’ve ever had, and i haven’t had many, makes the phaser in the virus ti sound like a toy..can sound real thick and heavy, very psychedelic. wow. this will make my psy trance tracks kick major butt..

 

doepfer a-188-1 1024 bbd: Very cool short delay that does chorus and flange ok, not the best i’ve heard, the modcan sounds the best so far. but for strange detuned rubber band delay modulation sci fi weird stuff, this thing really rocks, but it makes me wish i had room for the 188-2 instead.. hrmm… still really good for the money.

 

a-140 adsr: Very snappy. i mean this thing handled my 160 bpm bass duties at 16th notes very well. better than most stuff i have owned. i have not tried to make kick drums yet or other percussion, so i don’t know how well it does there. but for bass and leas, out standing fast poppy envs. i have not messed with the other speed settings other than the m. and that suits my needs so far. i got two of these. and man, i’m loving it…. so fast tho, they can pop, you have to mess with the attack and release a tad, but man. it snaps..

 

1-180 multiples: what can i say, they split the multiply a signal by 3. awesome. does its job well. i get 1 in and 3 out x2 per module, i got 2 of these..

Livewire Frequensteiner multimode filter: i saved the best for last. what can i say, this thing is aggressive, and man, it is simply the best multimode filter i have ever owned. The low pass is very aggressive, as is the bandpass, and the highpass, but man, the high pass is the best on this filter. it hisses and bites and cuts in a mix so well, i cannot explain how much i love it. But honestly i really like all the filter modes a lot. if i push the audio input past 7 or 8, it over drives and gets really mean, i mean super pissed. AMAZING. This thing is worth every penny, i love the knobs, and the nice big frequency knob is much loved here. What other multimode filters have i owned? nordlead, jp8080, virus up to the ti, the jupiter 6, the andromeda. This thing is sick, i mean so great, i cannot rave bout it enough. This is now my favorite synth filter ever. Even beating out my love for the minimoog and jupiter 8 filters.. i’m just into that aggressive exciting sound this thing gives me.

 

I sold my roland jupiter 8 for this: i am not looking back, i love the old vintage lush instruments. but i needed something with more balls and bite and aggression, i got it. What i am able to pull of with this is amazing seriously mean bass and leads, that cut on all frequencies of the spectrum. And all the strange ufo sci blips and beeps that modulars are know for as well. This doesn’t sound vintage, it has its own new sound, its stable and alive, but very precise and tight. zippy, and responsive. so much more so than i am used to. the modulations in the andromeda were sluggish and oogy, this is lightning fast and responsive, just how i like it. I am so glad that i took this big step. Sure i have some issues with the implementations on the the plan b model 15 with its pwm strangeness, but other than that, i love it all. I took back my virus ti and vsynths because they just didn’t cut into my analog drum machine and monosynth dominated mixes. This thing does. it can get in there with my sh2, and future retro revolution just fine. as to where my virus would sound all faint and wouldn’t cut, even with the high pass, it would kinda get lost and not stand out. that is not a problem here with this system. This is why i love analog so much more in the kind of music i make, i need stuff that has presence in the mix. digital doesnt. ANALOG DOES!

 

I bought it all from http://www.analoghaven.com .. please if you do buy stuff because of these sound demos, tell them that you heard the clips from velvet acid christ and read this review. I want a hook up for getting him business. I’m addicted to this modular stuff, and i need all the help i can get now.. 🙂 Shawn really is the one who help me build this system. He and i go way back. I’m so glad his store exists now. really helped me out here. i’ve been lusting after a fat system with a multimode filter for years. I FINALLY HAVE FOUND IT.. i’m so happy..

 

Samples:
model15frequensteinera-125vcp.mp3
model15frequensteiner2lp125vcp1881bbd.mp3
model15frequensteinerlp3.mp3
model15frequensteinerlp4.mp3
model15frequensteinerlp5.mp3
model15frequensteinerbp6.mp3
model15frequensteinerhp7.mp3

and also:
hexy

I finally got my attenuator. Now i can use the PWM on the plan b model 15. So i made some basic growly pwm osc lead and bass pad patches and showed off the ssm filter i got as well and the frequenstiener.

this is the model 15 pwm into the ssm lowpass filter. basic sweeping of the filter. pretty big if you ask me.
model15pwmssmlp.mp3

Same as above but with the frequenstiener in lp. but the lp on this is not as fat as the ssm, its more noisy and aggressive. notice my horrid bad live playing 🙂 ouch. talk about slop. ehehehe
model15frequensteinerpwmlp.mp3

I love this pwm in band pass. kind reminds me of my old juno 60 but with bandpass. nice..
model15frequensteinerpwmbp.mp3

This just sound viscous to me.. i mean it rips and is nasty in that growling good way.
model15frequensteinerpwmhp.mp3

Warning, this will blow your ears loud heehehehe. model15 pw out into filter in on ssm filter with resonance all the way up in self osc. then mess with freq on the model 15, and the freq knob on ssm to get outer space ufo 60s sci fi sounds. this filter does it the best, much better than the frequensteiner. Let’s hear a digital synth modular or not sound like this, not a chance in hell. never..
model15ssmfm.mp3

these are all recorded directly into my rme fireface 800… nothing else..

Category: 07-VAC StudioVideo, 08-Synth Reviews! | Comments Off on Doepfer modular Reviewed by Velvet Acid Christ, +Videos, +mp3

Roland SH-2 reviewed by Velvet Acid Christ, + Video!

November 5th, 2007 by Hexfix93

sh2

This is simply the second best bass synth in the world. next to the minimoog of course. I say its the 2nd best roland mono synth ever, next to the sh5.. This thing can sound fat, 2 osc + a sub. this means, big fat bass. fast snappy envs, with the perfect shape for bass. If you can’t afford this, i suggest the sh09. i don’t like the CEM osc in the sh101, its not discrete so it doesn’t glow or sound as warm as these oscs do.. forget the over priced sh101.. makes wicked 909 and 808 like kicks and percussive sounds. Used on Hex Angel, lust for blood. After further use i have discovered that it can also make wicked trance lead lines and arpegios. The interface is simple, and easy to get around. I love how the envelopes snap, very musical. And very different from the moog and korg synths from the same era. The modulations are simple, but it has auto bend, 1 lfo that can be assigned to the osc and the filter. The env can be routed to the pwm as well.


Click ME for VAC’S SH-2 SOUND CLIPS

Ok, i made a video of the sh-2 using the riffs from futile to show off the sh2., i love this synth! Fuck moogs, when you have a sh-2, you will never need one. Rolands are the heart and soul of VAC. I HEART ROLAND! well, old roland..

 

Okay here is the crappy lofi version via youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsTqD93CNe4.

Category: 07-VAC StudioVideo, 08-Synth Reviews! | Comments Off on Roland SH-2 reviewed by Velvet Acid Christ, + Video!