Music

  • Korgs I’ve Owned Part 3 — X50

    In the previous installment in this series, I highlighted the low-point of my on-again-off-again relationship with Korg keyboards, the X2. This time, I’ll talk about my return to the Korg fold and my decision to buy an X50. Korg X50 Music Synthesizer The X50 came after a string of other keyboards I owned after the X2, including an Alesis QS6.1 (another favorite keyboard of mine), and Emu PK-6 (touted as an Ensoniq replacement), a second Ensoniq VFXsd (again, the version 2 with the upgraded piano samples and upgraded sequencer), and an utterly uninspiring Roland

  • Korgs I’ve Owned Part 2 — X2

    In my part 1 of this series, I recounted my initial exposure to the world of things Korg, and a touch on what was my first “professional” live keyboard rig (Korg DS-8 and Sequential Prophet 600). As time went by, I’d wanted to do more, and traded up from the DS-8 and SQD-8 sequencer to an Ensoniq VFXsd ver. 2, which became the standard to which I hold all keyboards to this day. The VFXsd was one of the most advanced keyboard workstations of its day, and perhaps I’ll write about that instrument at some time in the future.

  • Korgs I’ve Owned Part 1 — DS-8 and SQD-8

    On numerous occasions, I’ve alluded to having a love/hate relationship with Korg keyboards. With the exception of a few scant hours with a modular Moog in college, and some experimentation designing various circuitry of my own shortly after, my synthesis adventures in general, and with “modern” MIDI synthesizers in particular, began with Korg. And, I’ve been going back to the well ever since. DS-8 and SQD-8 The first Korgs in my life were the DS-8 digital synthesizer and SQD-8 8-track MIDI sequencer. The DS-8 was an interesting synth. It was

  • Keyboard Shake Up

    I did a thing. On “small-business Saturday” this year, I paid a visit to my favorite local music store: Coffey Music here in Westminster. I’d become intrigued by a new keyboard — Korg’s upcoming Nautilus. The Nautilus is, essentially, Korg’s flagship Kronos 2 minus a feature here and there. Some of the deleted features are minor, and others less so. Korg Kronos 2 61 For all the details, you can read about the Nautilus and the Kronos at Korg’s web site. The Reader’s Digest version is that Kronos has

  • Nu Muzik Toyz

    I’ve added a few new items to my musical arsenal. Two of the three are capable of all sorts of sounds and rhythms, while the third offers some really fun control options. They are, clockwise from upper left, The Elektron Model:Samples, the Arturia Microfreak, and the Arturia Keystep 37. They will, at least initially, be teamed up with my Korg Kross 2 61. The idea is to start again to create some of my own music, probably similar to the old UgotaWanit efforts. In the earliest days of UgotaWanit, we used an Ensoniq VFXsd music workstation, a

  • Another Stab…

    I have a sickness, and it’s called guitars. For years, I’ve regretted not learning to play one before, or at the same time as, learning piano. And more recently, the condition of my hands/wrists has stymied my progress with the guitar. However, some recent changes in my band have had me looking at the guitar again. About a year ago, I sold the Oscar Schmidt I bought back in 2011, so I borrowed an acoustic from one of the guitar players in the band, and set about to see what would happen. Lo and behold, I learned a song.

  • Stereo 2.0

    We’ve been slowly working on redecorating the living room here at the Mortensen Mansion West, and one of the things I wanted to feature was a high-quality, streamlined audio-visual experience. Today’s adventures included a visit to Just Audio to take a look at speakers. When I walked out the door, my idea was to take a listen/look at a pair of Polk TS15s or TS20s. They had the TS15s, along with a gaggle of other wonderful new speakers, including the mind-blowing KEF LS50s and MarkAudio-SOTAs. Needless to say, the latter were not in my budget (the LS50s are around $1,300

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