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Scott R. Garrigus' DigiFreq(TM) - Holiday Guide 2008

ISSN: 1531-6505; Issue 38
Music technology downloads, news, articles, reviews, tips and tutorials for home recording and professional musicians. Over 21,000 readers can't be wrong!

SPONSORED BY: DigiFreq Deals - 10% off all products!

For those of you that don't already know, DigiFreq has a Deals program that provides you with special discounts on a variety of music technology products from a number of different manufacturers.

* Innovative Music Systems are the makers of IntelliScore Ensemble, which converts multiple-instrument audio to multi-track MIDI.
* Musicrow develops high quality audio software for the professional musician.
* Blue Cat Audio focuses on providing flexible and powerful audio tools for musicians and audio professionals.
* Groove Monkee provides premium MIDI drum tracks in a wide variety of convenient formats.
* Smart Loops is a leading provider of professional audio loops.
* Live Studio Drums provides a custom drum track recording service.
* Acon Digital Media is specialized in the development of software within the field of audio and video editing.
* Precisionsound produces high quality multisampled instruments for music production.
* Drums On Demand takes live drum track construction to a new level of simplicity, versatility and realism.

Through the DigiFreq Deals program, you can get 10% off any and all products offered by these manufacturers! Visit the DigiFreq Deals page for more information:

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Scott's Notes - Holiday Guide 2008 and SONAR 8 Power!
Hey, guess what? The holidays are here! With holidays come gifts and I've got a top ten list of my favorite music technology products from 2008. You should also know that Sonar 8 Power! is almost here. But before we get to that, here's what else you'll find in this issue... articles (StompIO, Background Vocals, Compression, Loops), free downloads (SPAN, sfZed, SuperRiff, Sound Delay, RX Guide), news (Pocketrak, POD Studio, Beats, Ozone 4, SmartScore), discussions (Melodyne, Miroslav, Cakewalk, Kontakt, KVM), reviews (SampleMoog, SampleTank, Audition 3), music (The Journeys Encounters and Aprillee 5 Song SP) and more!

Sonar 8 Power!
The ultimate book covering the new version of Cakewalk SONAR 8 is almost here. The book covers all the new features of SONAR 8 including TS-64 Transient Shaper plug-in, TL-64 Tube Leveler plug-in, Beatscape, Dimension Pro, Channel Tools plug-in, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 LE, TruePianos Amber Module VSTi plug-in, Instrument track, Loop Explorer enhancements, Arm tracks during playback/recording, Insert Send Assistant, Exclusive Solo mode, Solo Override, Live input bounce, Clip selection groups, Aim Assist line, Free Edit Tool, Quick Group enhancement, Edit tools enhancements, and much more.

I've finished the writing and editing. Now the book is going through the publishing and distribution processes and should be here around the first or second week of next month (December). I'll definitely keep you posted. In the meantime, you can pre-order the book for a discount using this special link to Amazon:

Sonar 8 Power:

And for those of you not planning to upgrade just yet, keep in mind that my Sonar 7 Power and Sonar 6 Power books are still available at a discount as well:

Sonar 6 Power:

Sonar 7 Power:

Power Books site: http://www.garrigus.com/powerbooks.asp

Thanks so much for reading DigiFreq! Now lets kick off this issue with my favorite music tech of 2008... Enjoy!


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DFreqFEATURE - 2008 Holiday Music Tech Gift Guide

Are you having trouble trying to find the perfect gift for that special musician in your life? Well, look no further... here is a list of my ten favorite music tech products of 2008. And keep in mind that I actually own and use all these products myself, so you can be sure they are excellent. In alphabetical order, here are my choices:

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Headphones
These have recently become my go-to phones for everything from monitoring to rough mixing. They provide great comfort and excellent sound for a very reasonable price. More info:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Headphones

Cakewalk SONAR 8 and SONAR 8 Power!
I would be remiss if I didn't include my favorite DAW software and (of course) my own book. Cakewalk has done an excellent job of revamping the audio engine in SONAR 8 to provide much better performance. They've also included some new editing features and plug-ins that bring the package to a point where you can do all your work in one application. More info:
Software: Cakewalk SONAR 8 Digital Audio Workstation Software
Book: Sonar 8 Power! - The Comprehensive Guide

Edirol FA-66 FireWire MIDI/Audio Interface
Though not really a brand new product, the FA-66 is a solid interface with excellent drivers that work great with SONAR (and other audio software). I use this interface with my laptop for my portable studio setup and I love it. More info:
Edirol FA-66 FireWire MIDI/Audio Interface

Edirol PCR-800 MIDI Controller Keyboard
Although I have a weighted keyboard for piano performances, the PCR-800 is the keyboard I use every day for most other tracking. It works great in conjunction with SONAR (and other software), and provides a wide variety of controls making it easy to manipulate software synths and other plug-ins directly from the keyboard. More info:
Edirol PCR-800 MIDI Controller Keyboard

Frontier Design AlphaTrack
The AlphaTrack and the Tranzport (see below) are two of my most favorite music tech devices. The AlphaTrack is a small-scale DAW controller and I use it with my main DAW for editing and mixing. I usually have my left hand on the AlphaTrack and my right hand on the mouse when working with my DAW. More info:
Frontier Design AlphaTrack

Frontier Design Tranzport
The Tranzport is also a DAW controller, but it's unique because it's wireless, which means you can use it up to 30 feet away to control your DAW from a distance. I use the Tranzport mainly for recording tracks. It's great because I can be over in a different room or a vocal booth and still have control of my DAW when recording alone in the studio. More info:
Frontier Design Tranzport

IK Multimedia SampleTank
While I use a number of different audio sampling applications (including NI Kontakt), I was pleasantly surprised by the power and ease of use that SampleTank provides. It runs great on a laptop and I find myself using it on a regular basis to put together scratch tracks and even using many of the sounds in final productions. More info:
IK Multimedia SampleTank

iZotope RX Audio Restoration Software
This is hands down the very best audio restoration software on the market at this time. RX provides every tool you might need to clean up and restore audio. For example, if you have someone coughing in the background, you can literally erase the coughing sound by selecting it in a graphic display of the audio spectrum. It also provides many other great functions like high-quality dithering. More info:
iZotope RX Audio Restoration Software

M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal
With today's virtual instruments, it is absolutely essential to have an expression pedal. Using an expression pedal along with your MIDI keyboard allows you to create much more realistic sounding performances. I happened upon the EX-P earlier this year and while it's made of plastic, it's a solid product and is priced nicely. More info:
M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal

Saitek Eclipse II Illuminated Computer Keyboard
If you work in a studio with subdued lighting, you'll find that an illuminated computer keyboard is an essential tool. And it also looks very cool giving your studio a very high-tech appearance. I've found the Saitek Eclipse to be a nice choice. More info:
Saitek Eclipse II Illuminated Computer Keyboard

Finally, the DigiFreq Deals page provides 10% off all products from a number of different manufacturers that you might like to purchase as gifts for someone special this year:

Also, be sure to check out the next issue of the NewTechReview newsletter where I'll tell you about my favorite consumer tech products of 2008:

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DFreqMUSIC - The Journeys Encounters and Aprillee 5 Song SP

Some of the latest music listings added to the DigiFreq site:

The Journeys Encounters (Mark Larsen)
"The Journeys is as distinctly original as it is a shattering of the usual in various music genres. There's a movement that changes and reshapes itself so much as to reflect the mystery of life as ever changing. It will involve the listener emotionally, touch something within them deeply, and leave them wanting to listen again to catch all the intricate sounds that make their experience a new journey, each time."

Aprillee 5 Song SP Limited (Aprillee Roberts)
"Female Rocker with a Punch, New Sound, with respect to old school, that you can shake your tail to if you like. Driving Rock with commercial edge. Pays tribute the classic 80's sound with a modern edge. Aprillee Roberts brings aggression and quality musicianship together on her 5 Song SP Limited CD in a way that few independent artists are able to achieve."

For more of the latest music listings, go to:

And if you're serious about your music, promote it by submitting it
to DigiFreq today:

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DFreqNEWS - Pocketrak, POD Studio, Beats, Ozone 4, SmartScore

Some of the latest music technology news:

Yamaha Now Shipping Pocketrak CX Pocket Recorder

Line 6 Announces POD Studio Family of Recording Interfaces

Monster's Beats By Dr. Dre High Definition Headphones

Waves Silver Collection - Affordable New Effects Plug-In Bundle

iZotope Announces Ozone 4 - Audio Mastering Plug-In Suite

Yamaha Unveils Flagship Electronic Drum Kit - DTXTREME III

Best Service Chris Hein Horns Vol. 1.5 Solo Instruments

Convert Sheet Music to MIDI with Musitek SmartScore

KitCore Deluxe Version 2 with New Groove Browser and LiveDrummer

Groove Monkee Releases Power Rock MIDI Beats Library - Get 10% off!

For more of the latest music technology news, go to:

Also, be sure to check out the latest consumer technology news at:

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DFreqREVIEWS - SampleMoog, SampleTank, Audition 3

Some of the latest music technology reviews:

IK Multimedia SampleMoog - the Moog Synth Anthology

IK Multimedia SampleTank 2.5 XL Sample Workstation

Adobe Audition 3

For more of the latest music technology reviews, go to:

Also, for some of the latest consumer technology reviews, go to:

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DFreqDISCUSS - Melodyne, Miroslav, Cakewalk, Kontakt, KVM

Some of the latest music technology discussions:

Gretsch Guitar

Celemony Melodyne - NOT SO MELLOWdyne!

IK Miroslav MIDI question

Cakewalk Projects - external hard drive

PC Optimization - Clicks and Pops, Not so random

NI Kontakt - Latency problem as plug-in soft synth

KVM extender - putting computer in another room

Microsoft Windows - Delete windows 64 bit dual boot

To read up on other interesting topics, or to post and get answers to your own questions, go to:

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DFreqARTICLES - StompIO, Background Vocals, Compression, Loops

Some of the latest music technology articles:

IK Multimedia StompIO on Tour with Dave Matthews Band 2008

Creating and Editing Multitrack Background Vocals

Setup Suggestions for Audio Compression and Limiting

Creating a Song Structure Using Sample Loops

Getting Rid of Problem Vocal Pops (Plosives)

For more of the latest music technology articles, go to:

Also, be sure to check out the latest consumer technology articles:

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DFreqTIPS - Past Music Technology Tips

There are no new tips for this issue, but there are plenty of past tips to browse in the DigiFreq Tips web site area:


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DFreqDOWNLOADS - SPAN, sfZed, SuperRiff, Sound Delay, RX Guide

Some of the latest music technology downloads:

Voxengo SPAN Spectrum Analyzer Plug-In (Windows - Free)

sfZed - sfz Audio Music Sample Format Editor (Windows - Free)

SuperRiff Guitar Electric Guitar VST Instrument (Windows - Free)

Voxengo Sound Delay Multi-Channel FX Plug-In (Mac/Windows - Free)

iZotope RX Audio Restoration Guide (Mac/Windows - Free)

Groove Monkee - 300 Free MIDI Drum Loops (Mac/Windows - Free)

For more of the latest music technology downloads, go to:

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DFreqFINISH - Sign Up For the DigiFreq Forums Now!

Yes, I know... there are a lot of music and home recording forums available on the Internet, but the DigiFreq Forums are special. Not only am I there every day, we also have a dedicated group of people that are ready to answer your questions.

Yes, I know... you probably already have a favorite forum at which to hang out on a regular basis, but the DigiFreq Forums are special. They are open, friendly, and free of junk or troublemakers.

Suffice it to say... if you're reading the DigiFreq newsletter, but not visiting the Forums, then you are missing out on a big part of the services that DigiFreq provides for you. Go to the forums today and register for your free account:
Register at: http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/discuss/policy.asp

Main Forums page: http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/discuss/

Come on over to hang out, make new friends, and share your thoughts... and of course, get answers to any questions you may have.

Thanks and I'll see you there!


DigiFreq(TM) is provided for informational purposes only. Any damage resulting from the use of the information herein is the sole responsibility of the reader.

Copyright 2008 by Scott R. Garrigus. All Rights Reserved.

Please tell your friends about DigiFreq. If you'd like to recommend this newsletter to a friend, go to:

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