Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: Nord Electro 3 61

I was not really prepared for this one to be honest. Once I had too much time in a music store in Berlin and I started to check out all the electronic pianos they had. I have an old piano from the 1920s in my studio and I never really enjoyed playing on an electric piano - for me it's always something that can work in a band context but not really on it's own. I think it's something for people who really learned how to play. For me, as I have a slow left hand, it's easy to get some kind of mood on a real piano but it's hardly possible to play pieces "with feeling" on an electric simulation. Anyway, I found that red little thing and I was  happy not to have to choose out of 500 sounds and even more gimmicks to get what I want. It's simple and offers just three piano sounds to choose from - one grand, two uprights and an easy set of effects and an eq that's it. Just a few but very good sounds! I found myself playing on it for another hour in that shop. Now I own one myself and use it a lot in the studio or with my band. I ordered it with the bag (that perfectly fits of course) and I love that it's very easy to carry and super light. High quality made, real wood, a very interesting organ section (B3, Farfisa, Vox) and the possibility to upload new sounds and samples really got me stunned. Clavia offers a lot of other piano samples on their homepage - the only bad thing is that it's connected via usb 1 (!) and it needs super long to upload a few MB. And the fact that I can not upgrade the memory is also not nice... The biggest mistake they made is the power supply that is damn noisy and really goes on my nerves easily. Not really made for a studio jam. It's fun to play and very very useful to me and but regarding the power supply I rate it a 7/10.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: Genelec 8020 Monitor & 5040 Subwoofer

Once I lent a pair of these from a friend for a mixing job. I was very skeptical when I unpacked them and could hardly take them serious regarding their size. They are so small you can call them "portable" but they are also damn heavy for their size... When I first listened to them I instantly fell in love - easy as that! I just came back from mixing at a guys place with KRK monitors (don't remember which models) and the genelecs sounded way more sophisticated and natural. It's just another league. Much more of a working tool than a compromise! I didn't want to let them go and decided to buy a pair for my home studio setup. As they lack some deep frequencies I decided to get a subwoofer and ordered the 5040A that is big enough for my mixing room (25sqm). This is a beautiful little setup and I think the 5040A fits perfectly with the 8020s (even if this sub is usually advertised in combination with the even smaller 6010s). Genelec states that the 5040 was designed for both models and I can say it works and sounds great. You have to put the monitor volume at 12 o'clock and control the overall volume via the funky remote control of the subwoofer. The connectors of the bigger brother 7050 are more professional but for a small studio the chinch connectors of the 5040 are ok. The only real bad thing is that it's not possible to sync the two volume controls of the monitors, which means there is always the chance that one side is louder than the other one... I rate this speaker combination a  8/10 cause it really makes me happy.