Acclamation Digital Media


Recording
I love keyboards and sound modules!  They are some of the most fun instruments to play!  They allow you to play almost any instrument in the world and be a one-man-orchestra!  I have been using syntehsizers and sound modules since 1990.  I currently have four keyboards, four sound modules, and about four soft-synths (software sound modules).  I use a Microsoft Windows notebook computer to control all of the keyboards and sound modules using several different software applications to record, play, and score music.

The first synthesizer I bought (which I still use) is a Kurzweil K1200.  It has about 900 sounds that find a way onto some of my recordings.  It is the only 88-key keyboard that I have.

The next purchase I made was a drum machine; the Alesis SR-16.  I'm not much of a drummer, so I can use all the help I can get.  The neat thing about this guy is that it not only contained patterns, but it provided some very nice drum sounds.

It wasn't long and I needed more sounds...escpecial GM (General MIDI) sounds.  Everyone was publishing songs to the Internet using GM sounds.  My Kurzweil had a GM bank, but they really didn't match the GM sounds very nicely.  So, I found a really nice GM sound module made by Roland.  The SC-55 (aka Sound Canvas).

I still use the SoundCanvas.  It has some excellent keyboard sounds.

As continued to get more experienced with sequencing, I was finding out that different manufactures of keyboards excelled in different sounds.  Kurzweil had really great piano and string sounds. Korg excelled in pads (background sounds) and leads.  Roland had great keyboard and pop music sounds.  At the time, there was a new company in the industry named Alesis (not real new, just new to keyboards).  They had a series of keyboards that boasted of true 64-note polyphony.  This was awesome back then!  Sound modules and keyboards at the time counted a note as a voice and were limited to 32 notes.  This meant that at a single moment in time, no more that 32 notes could be heard at one time...even if all of the notes were of the same sound.  Alesis could double that feat.  Not only that, Alesis built an effects loop right into the keyboard so you didn't need any of those fancy audio processing devices between your keyboard and the amplifier to add reverb or chorusing with professional quality.

One thing I really liked about the QuadraSynth was the PCMCIA slot in the back of the keyboard that allowed me to expand the keyboard and add more sounds.  After a few months of playing the keyboard, I found an expansion module for the QS called a Q-Card.  It had every instrument in the orchestra sampled on it!  It was a really nice addition to the keyboard.

I was having fun with all of this stuff!  I was able to compose full orchestrations with rich strings, soft woodwinds, booming timpani's and all kinds and sorts of percussive instruments.  It was great!  For several years I used the equipment to create all kinds of music for all kinds of reasons.

Well, not all pieces of music are orchestral symphonies.  A lot are pattern based songs.  One neat little gizmo I acquired really came in handy from time to time.  Roland created a little device called the Personal Music Assitant (PMA-5).  It was a minature SC-88 with a built-in arranger.  It has a touch-sensitive screen that allows you to select a pattern and then enter a chord structure.  The device then generates a five-part band track using the chords and pattern you chose.  Other than being a neat little arranger, it gave me another sound module to add to my system.

After a series of tracks with weak drum sounds, I decided that I needed a more professional sounding collection of drums.  Low and behold, Alesis came to the rescue.  They made an excellent drum sound module named the D4.  It has been a very nice addition to my system!

A few years ago (about the middle of 2003), I got the itch to get a new set of sounds.  The instruments I had were aging and technology had really improved.  So I started visiting the music stores to see what was out there.  Roland had made some serious improvements in their products.  I became very fond of one particular keyboard; the Fantom.  It has a sensor that can respnd to hand movements.  Not only that, but the keyboard was better designed for live performance.  It had several buttons on the top of the keyboard that were very easy to program allowing me to make system changes very quickly.  Another feature about the keboard was that it was expandable.  I could add more sounds by plugging in integrated circuit boards into slots inside the keyboard.  Over the next couple of years, I filled every slot.  The keyboard has about 3000 sounds in it after the expansions.

About two years ago, I decided that I needed something that could really make getting sound tracks done a lot faster.  Sequencing takes considerable time and patience.  My full-time job (programming) was eating up a lot of my free time.  I still wanted to make music, but I just needed something to really make things go faster.  Well, I found what I was looking for.  I found the Roland G-70!  I love my G-70.  It does everything!


Here's a list of what this one keyboard can do...

  • 1596 sounds, 48 drum kits

  • 32 Multi-timbre parts

  • 128 voice polyphony

  • 285 style pkus 14 built-in custome styles (expandable - I have added almost 2000 styles.

  • D-beam (reads hand signals to control expresion or trigger sounds)

  • Draw-bars for organ mode

  • Guitar mode for simulated strumming and picking

  • Intelligent Real-Time Arranger

  • Video out to display lyrics or score

  • Built-in 16 track sequencer

  • Built-in Vocal Harmonist (use a microphone to sing into the keyboard.  The keyboard will generate harmony parts (male and/or female) based upon the current chord being played on the keyboard.

  • V-link to control stage lighting from the keyboard

  • Floppy drive, USB port, MIDI connections, digital out, digital recorder.

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