Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dubriq Stylophone Beatbox


I received my long-awaited Dubreq Stylophone Beatbox yesterday and just could not resist making a short video featuring it. This one features the Stylophone Beatbox for bass and drums, and three overdubs of my Reverend Warhawk played through my Korg Pandora PX5D as computer interface, effects processor, and amp simulator. As usual I used the Vox AC30 patch. The lead guitar part features one of the Pandora's phasers quite prominently and I think it sounds quite analog and good. It was all assembled and effects were added in GarageBand on my Apple MacBook.

First impressions of the Stylophone Beatbox? Well I LOVE the cheesy samples it contains, There is something about that bass that is just perfect! I can see using it for a lot of stuff in the future. That's the good part. The bad part??? The loop function is almost useless. You have to hit the record button on the downbeat so you have to leave that off to get anywhere close to a one bar loop going in whatever time signature you are playing in. The good part is you can fill these missing notes after you "close the loop" by hitting the "rec" button again. The bad part is even if you manage to do this the loop almost always sounds slightly off time. Who knows this may appeal to some folk but not me. Perhaps with a ton of practice one can learn exactly how to time the open and close of the loop to get the Beatbox to play a tight loop.

So what about Brett Domino and his so-dorky-its-cool "Hip Hop Medly" featuring the Stylophone Beatbox on youtube? I just have to imagine it was not played live. The only other possibilities there could be is mine is broken or there is some trick to getting it just right, but believe me I tried for several hours and I think it's just off. The thing that would reinforce this opinion of mine is all the out of time Stylophone Beatbox videos there are out there on youtube where someone makes a loop and it is completely off. I originally though this was just because it was non-musicians who were using it, but now that I have one and I am a musician and someone who has worked with looping devices before I think its just dumb luck if you happen to get a loop perfect on this thing. The other strange thing is even if you get it close to perfect you can mess it up by overdubbing.

So my advice to would-be Stylophone Beatbox buyers is don't expect to get much use out of the looping function. Just plan on playing the Beatbox live

Saturday, February 20, 2010

There's Still Hope...

...for a battery powered Zoom SampleTrak ST-224! I was flipping through the latest issue of Performer magazine and saw this odd stomp-box shaped battery called the Sanyo Eneloop Music Booster in the gear section.

At first mistaking it for some kind of line booster I reluctantly read the description and was excited to learn that it was in fact a stomp-box shaped battery pack made especially for powering musical gear! While it clearly seems to be geared toward use with guitar pedals it does appear to be capable of powering other musical gear like synths and samplers.

This could be just what I have been searching for as a solution for how to make the ST-224 meet the requirements for my new studio. I am trying to build a whole music studio around gear that is portable, inexpensive (well relatively), and battery powered. I have been contemplating the Korg MicroSampler as a possible replacement for the ST-224 but I am a bit put off by its price tag. If this battery pack works out I just need to find a good source for SmartMedia cards and the ST-224 could be close to the sampler of my dreams.

By the way, the whole Sanyo eneloop line of products looks quite intriguing. I'll be interested to see what else the come out with in the future.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On Order

After lusting for one of these since I first learned about them right after the holidays I finally broke down and ordered one online. Sort of a poor-man's Korg Kaossilator the Dubriq Stylophone Beatbox is exactly the kind of instrument I love to work with these days; a wonderful blend of modern technology and vintage styling at a price point that almost anyone should be able to afford. Clearly not a "professional" instrument one can arguably still coax "real music" from the device.

These are actually kind of hard to find here in the states with Urban Outfitters being the only brick-and-mortar retail store that I know of that has stocked them; and they have not had them in the Atlanta stores since the New Year. So when I saw that Urban Outfitters online had them in stock again I went ahead and ordered one preferring to have it shipped within the US rather than having to pay for international shipping and the headache of having to send it back should there be a problem. Can't wait till it arrives so I can add the Stylophone Beatbox's cheesy tones to my tracks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Snow Falls" - So73 Original



It was snowing here in the Atlanta area yesterday so I used it as an opportunity to create a video for this short tune I finished back in January. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Homepage Image



Wanted to come up with a new image for the Sound of Seventy Three website homepage and quickly shot this image of one of my Stylophones this morning using a cakeboard as a background. I'll try to come up with something better soon - perhaps a collage - but this will have to do for now.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Finally!!!



Download this music @: http://soundofseventythree.bandcamp.com/track/flw-aquarium-remix

After several failed attempts and a few hours spent at a local coffee shop using their free wi-fi to upload this video to YouTube I bring you Frank Lloyd Wright - the Aquarium Remix. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Slow Week!




Download this music @: http://soundofseventythree.bandcamp.com/track/frank-lloyd-wright

I took two old songs I had finished last year and created videos for them at the beginning of the week. I've only uploaded one of them so far which is featured above. The music was done about a year ago. That is the only creative thing I have gotten done this week.

I continue to work on getting my entire iTunes library updated and on one hard-drive. This is actually related to my creative output as I am very bad a documenting my work and I have a lot of old songs scattered all over random CDs and DVDs that need to be put in one place.

I hope to get the other video uploaded ASAP but I am running out of bandwidth for the month so it may have to wait till I can get a couple of hours to kill at a coffee shop or library while I wait for the video to upload.