Friday, September 22, 2017

Pirates! And we're seeing double!!

If one has ventured near The Music Spot in Browns Plains in recent times, one may have had cause to do a double take. That strapping young lad with the man-bun, wasn't he just over there? Wait, there's TWO of them??
Chris playing a Baby Taylor
Introducing Sean!
No, there's actually not. We were lucky this week to welcome SEAN to the Music Spot Team, and although he does carry a style extremely reminiscent of a certain drummer we all know and love, we assure you, he is not Chris!

Sean is great with all things Guitar, and is pretty well known around Brisbane as the frontman of two great bands: Harvey Djents and Soul Solitude. He's also got five years teaching experience behind him, so if you have any Guitar questions, he's your man!

Keyboard News

Have you seen our Casio NLA Synthesiser? This thing is pretty impressive. It's a 61 key performance synthesiser with Casio's exclusive (HPSS) Hybrid Processing Sound Source. Providing screaming virtual analog monophonic leads and basses, drawbar organs, complex layers, stereo pianos, drums and more, the XW-P1 has the sounds and real-time control the performing musician needs.

Providing everything from pulsing dance grooves to animated synth textures and arpeggios, the Step Sequencer is the first of its kind. With nine tracks for drums, basses, synths and chordal parts, four controller tracks for adding panning, filter changes and other animation to existing parts and eight patterns make up each sequence; the user can build and mix their performance on the fly. Sequences can even transpose live from the keyboard, providing a completely interactive experience.

In addition to the solo synth and Hexlayers, the XW-P1 performance synthesiser is armed with an arsenal of gig ready sounds like stereo pianos, vintage electric pianos, strings, brass, guitars, basses, drums and more. It also has a new drawbar organ mode. Utilising the nine sliders on the XW-P1 you have full range control over each drawbar. The XW-P1 even has dedicated controls for key percussion and rotary speaker while also providing vibrato, distortion and more for the ultimate drawbar organ experience.

Utilising Casios exclusive (HPSS) Hybrid Processing Sound Source, a six oscillator monophonic solo synth is just one of the amazing sound engine in the XW-P1. The solo synth has the power to deliver classic analog sounds and sounds with an aggressive edge unlike anything else. Two virtual analog style oscillators, two PCM based oscillators, a noise oscillator and an external oscillator via mic and line inputs can be combined to make up a single solo synth tone. Each oscillator has an independent filter, envelopes, independent key tracking, portamento, two LFOs and access to master resonant filter. With impressive modulation and control capabilities at your fingertips, the solo synth is capable of a wide range of sounds and expression.

In addition to the solo synth, the XW-P1 also features HexLayer tones. A HexLayer is a single sound comprised of up to 6 components, allowing complex layers, splits and velocity switched sounds. The sliders on the XW-P1 can be used to mix sounds on the fly to create evolving pads and rich synth textures while key velocity can be used to create dynamic velocity switched orchestral sounds and more.
Sean and the Casio XW-P1 NLA Synth

The XW-P1 has powerful arpeggiators. In addition to typical arpeggio patterns, this arpeggiator can create polyphonic synth gated patterns, acoustic instrument emulations and is even fully programmable allowing you to create your own unique sounds. An additional phrase sequencer allows you to quickly capture any riff that you play on the keyboard and have it available on a front panel switch or triggered and transposed live from a range of notes on the keyboard. The combination of the Step Sequencer, Arpeggiator and Phrase Sequencer provides an endless array of sound possibilities.

The XW-P1 has 4 realtime controller knobs, pitch bend and modulation wheels, along with 9 sliders to provide control over internal sounds and external devices. Through standard MIDI ports and with a class-compliant USB port the keyboard can be used as a controller for other instruments, including computer software and iPad based software applications. It also includes an audio input allowing you to monitor an MP3 player, computer or other device without the need for a mixer.

Folk News

Are you a fan of Ukuleles, and Bass Guitars, and forever lamenting that you can't combine your two loves? Fear not, we have the answer!

Behold, the Kala Ubass!  
Chris loves the Ubass, arrr!
This revolutionary short (short!) scale bass produces the same pitches as a standard bass instrument with traditional bass tuning E-A-D-G. The Rumbler model is strung with proprietary strings that incorporate a great bass feel with balanced tension. It may look like spaghetti, but it is a true pleasure to play, with amazing tone.

Evan of StringTech fame
Our friend Evan (stringed instrument extraordinaire, you may know him from such enterprises as String Tech orchestral stringed instrument repair and set up) instantly fell in love with the Kala Rumbler U-Bass as soon as it landed in the shop, so he had to get one for himself.

In his own words: "I’ve been a guitar and bass player for more than 50 years now. Sounds like a long time but I never grow tired of the challenge and
the joy of making music. Sometimes, it can be a bit repetitive, same songs, same feel etc, but recently we added a Ubass to our inventory . What an amazing instrument. A little larger than a tenor uke, tuned just like a normal
bass, and with a warm rich tone. So much fun to play. I can’t tell you how often folks come over to inquire what it is I’m playing. It’s as versatile as a bass guitar but with some WOW factor. You should definitely try a Ubass real soon."

He's convinced us!

Band & Orchestral News

This week we are looking at Yamaha Clarinets. Schools are preparing their 2018 music programs and parents are being notified by enthusiastic young students that they will soon be hearing the wonderful sounds of choking geese and angry cats. Not really, but the beginnings of any music career always sound a little.. unpolished. So that's why starting off with a good quality student instrument is so important (after all, you don't want the choking geese and angry cats to continue for any longer than they have to - if you have a nice instrument, those nice tones will start to appear much, much sooner!)

Yamaha has long been recognised as the name in student instruments, and when it's a Clarinet you're after, you need to know that the brand you buy is one you can trust. Clarinets have many small moving parts, and if these are not made from the highest grade materials - especially in young, inexperienced hands - they will not last long, and your repair and service bill will quickly offset any savings you may have made by buying a cheap instrument.
Dave knows a good Clarinet when he sees one - even with only one eye!

We have two popular Yamaha Clarinet models on sale at the moment - the 255 Series and the 450 Series. The 255 is the perfect starting point for students, being a great price yet incorporating all the lessons Yamaha has learned from crafting their high-end models. Made of sturdy ABS resin, it is low maintenance and durable for inexperienced Clarinet owners, and it's easy-to-care-for V-Pads extremely resistant to damage.

The 450 Series is for those who want an excellent quality instrument or are a little more experienced in handling both the instrument and their sound. Made from Grenadilla wood this model offers a professional sounds with an easy response. The new bell design gives improved intonation and projection, especially in the all-important lower register, while the new barrel enhances the 450's response, flexibility and tonal focus.

Either way, with a Yamaha instrument, you're on to a winner right from the get go!

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Ahoy me hearty! So you may have noticed some of our staff looking a little.. different lately. 
Pirates! Not even Sherrinford could keep this scary lot out ;)
This week we celebrated International Talk Like A Pirate Day (Tuesday 19th September). In addition to dressing and speaking like weirdos, we were privileged to be able to support special needs children by helping to provide music therapy lessons and musical education, through our partnership with B1G1. 
B1G1 enables us to turn our customers' support into meaningful impacts around the globe
So far, with your help, we have made 286 impacts to people's lives around the world. It has been such an uplifting experience we have decided to launch Saturday Impact Day, where on the first Saturday of every month for each and every customer we serve, we will provide seven days of clean water to a family in Cambodia. Come down to the shop next month and be a part of something great!

Until next time, keep being awesome, arrr!

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