Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Twenty-First Century Toys

After having just finished a largely acoustic CD, Face To Face (2008), with a live rhythm section, I have to admit that lately I've been having a ball with some of my electronic instruments. Mainly my Yamaha Motif XS8 Keyboard and my Drum/Percussion software, the Stylus RMX.

Back in the day, when I was the MIDI guy at Fantasy Studios, the whole digital world was in it's infancy. It was exciting to be at the cutting edge of musical technology, but it was often frustrating (not to say nightmarish) when machines and software were crashing all around me, and anxious clients were looking on.

But baby, we've come a long way since 1986! The machines and software I'm playing with now are so sophisticated, intuitive, multi-faceted and just so incredibly MUSICAL.

The Stylus drum software lets me use actual live drum grooves that have been sliced up into 16th notes so their tempos can be seamlessly sped up or slowed down. It's got a million cool features and it's just so damn fun to play piano against it. The more I learn the software, the more I'm blown away that guys actually invented this thing.

Of course, if I was on a desert island, and could only have one instrument, it would be a nine-foot concert grand piano. (I'm particularly lusting for the nine-foot Yamaha at the Village Recording Studio in L.A.....) But until I'm banished to that island, I'm more than happy to enjoy all that Twenty-First Century Science has to offer.

Lots of love,

RJ

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