Recording Music On A Laptop With the UA-4FX

UA4FXAsk any artist, they’ll likely tell you their best work comes when they least expect it. Inspiration knows no schedule. With the UA-4FX you are no longer tied down to the computer desk, forced to be creative while sitting at your home PC or Mac. This USB audio interface sources its power from your laptop and is small enough to fit inside a backpack, giving you the freedom to record your tracks on the go, wherever and whenever the mood hits you.

Fitted with a variety of I/O options, the UA-4FX makes it easy for you to plug in your microphone, electric guitar or instrument of choice, add the desired effect and start recording. You can also connect external synths, sound modules, and MIDI controllers to enjoy an ultra-fast, stable performance with FPT (Fast Processing Transmission) technology. As summarized by Gear-Vault’s Mike O’Cull:

“The UA-4FX is a worthy contender for anyone seeking an affordable and portable interface for laptop or desktop recording. If you are considering a unit like this, make sure it is on your short list.”

Get the artist’s perspective on the UA-4FX at Gear-Vault.com

Cakewalk’s V-Studio 100 Tops ‘Sound Guys’ Holiday Wishlist

V-Studio 100The Ask A Sound Guy bloggers, Ben and Sanjay, were first introduced to Cakewalk’s V-Studio series last winter at the NAMM Show. The smaller of the two units, the V-Studio 100, impressed them so much that they included the unit in their 2009 Holiday Wishlist.

When they later got hold of a unit to review, they put the portable music studio through its paces. Ben began by recording vocals and electric guitar remotely using the V-Studio 100’s built-in XLR inputs (with phantom power). “The preamps were exactly what you would be looking for in an interface like this,” he exclaimed. “They’re quiet, transparent, and boost the signal accordingly.”

To track the project live, Ben used the V-Studio 100’s on-board EQ and Compression. And to edit and mix the project, Ben integrated the V-Studio 100 with his own DAW. “I set it up to be used inside Logic and Live, and it worked well both times. The 100mm touch-sensitive motorized fader was a really nice feature to have. It’s probably more of a personal thing, but I enjoy seeing a fader move when its reading back automation inside my DAW of choice.”

Lastly, in hopes of pushing the envelope of the V-Studio 100, Ben recorded a full band (drums, bass, guitar and vocals) in a rehearsal space situation. He placed “two mics on the drums, a SM57 on the guitar cab, condenser on the bass cab, and vocals directly into the V-Studio.” Although it was live and “sloppy rock and roll,” Ben reported that the band was pleased with the final recording.

In all, Ben recommends the V-Studio 100 to producers, engineers and musicians on a budget, looking for an “all in one” solution for music production.

Visit Ask A Sound Guy to read the full review.

Produce Powerful Music with the Fantom VS Synthesizer

Designed by Roland, the Fantom VS hardware synthesizer is built into the SONAR V-Studio 700R interface. It’s a perfect complement to the powerful SONAR digital audio workstation. The Fantom VS includes 1400 patches suited for all kinds of productions and accepts Roland’s specialized ARX expansion cards for piano, drums, brass, and more. Watch the video below and visit the SONAR V-Studio website for more information.

Remembering the Original Guitar Hero: Les Paul

One of our heroes here at Cakewalk passed away today. Les Paul the original guitar hero, namesake of arguably the most popular guitar of all time, and the innovator of multitrack recording, succumbed to complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital. Les was 94.

In 2005, I had the distinct honor of dining with Les Paul at the TEC Awards banquet. Cakewalk had been working with Gibson on the launch of the Digital Les Paul, which included a copy of SONAR Producer, and Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s CEO asked me to join him and Les for dinner. I was so psyched to meet Les, being both a guitar player and someone involved in the art of recording, he represented a double inspiration to me. And getting to sit with Les for a few hours and listen to him casually talk about all sorts of topics ranging from guitar, to recording, to women (yes he was quite flirt, even as an nonagenarian…the ladies at the table will agree) I was on cloud nine. I count that evening as one of the highlights of my career, and I feel so lucky to have experienced it before Les passed on.

Les, we owe it all to you. Beyond pioneering multitrack recording, you had the vision to introduce the world to overdubbing, phasing, delay effects, and more. And where would Eddie Van Halen, Slash, or Eric Johnson be without the techniques you introduced on the guitar.

There have been so many great songs, and countless listeners, that have benefitted from the sonic advances that you brought to the table. Thank you for everything…you will be missed.

– Carl Jacobson, Vice President of Marketing