First Impressions: Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MK3 Finger Drumming Pad

AKA how to get the Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MK3 to play nice with Universal Audio’s LUNA DAW.

I recently bought a Maschine Mikro MK3, to use for percussion / finger drumming. Have I finally found something that suits me, or will the search be continuing? Read on for my First Impressions.

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#TweedTalk 2: First Impressions: Universal Audio Fender 55 Tweed Deluxe Amplifier Plugin

#TweedTalk is my occasional Tuesday column, where I talk about all things related to tweed amps and tweed-tone pedals.

In the recent Black Friday sales, I finally picked up Universal Audio’s Fender 55 Tweed Deluxe amp plugin to add to my collection of tweed tone options.

Is it going to get much use, or am I going straight back to the real amp? Here are my First Impressions.

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New Arrivals: November 2021

You know the old joke about how you wait ages for a bus, and then three turn up at once? It’s been a bit like that with second-hand gear.

Five of my bucket-list items turned up on the second-hand market this month. I could only snag one of them. The three guitars and the amplifier were well outside my budget atm, and the only sensible thing to do was to hope that they bring joy to the people who have bought them. It just isn’t worth going into debt for a hobby, not to me anyway.

What was the one bucket-list item that I did get this month? And what else found its way to the Hermit’s Cave? Read on to find out 🙂

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Studio Diary #25: The Roland SPD-SX and Universal Audio Luna

MIDI drums and drum samples. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re a fact of life for just about everyone who records music at home. And, just as most of us can’t accommodate the noise of a real drum kit in the house, most of us have nowhere to keep a digital drum kit either. We’re left with using much smaller percussion pads, or we compromise and use something we can sort-of play like Roland’s SPD-SX.

But how do you get them into Universal Audio’s LUNA DAW in the first place? When I googled, I couldn’t find any instructions anywhere on how to do this.

So I wrote my own.

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First Impressions: Universal Audio’s LUNA DAW

The thing I hate most about digital recording? Latency. Even though I’m about as far away from a technically-accomplished player as you can get, I really struggle with coping with latency when I’m recording with Reaper. It’s the main reason that I bought my first UAD Apollo interface back in 2016.

So when Universal Audio announced LUNA, and made a huge song-and-dance about how it enables recording with virtually zero latency, I had to try it.

That was at the end of April 2020. I’ve been using it on-and-off throughout May, and scribbling down notes as I went along.

When you read this, please remember that it’s perfectly possible that some of these points may have been addressed in more recent releases of LUNA. UAD seem to be doing a great job of getting regular updates out for users.

That kinda hints that I ran into a lot of pain points with LUNA …

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Studio Diary #20: How Am I Going To Hear All Of This?

With the home studio revamp,

  • I’ve addressed my lack of preamps
  • My Synergy rig is now back up and running
  • I can easily patch in any of my affordable pedal platform amps
  • I’ve got a way to play (rather than just program) drums
  • The signal chain’s now in a sensible order
  • I’ve bought so, so many cables

… and I’ve revamped the layout of the space, as part of improving the vibe. It feels like the end is in sight, at last.

I’m not quite finished yet though. I need to add a set of studio monitors to my setup.

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