Category Archives: LivingRoom

Home theater, speaker, amp, av component and TV technology news and reviews.

Audio for the People: Caustic 2, Windows and Android Music Production Made Easy…

The touchy feely tablet revolution is spawning a new wave of audio applications, putting the power to make music in every tablet owner’s hands. Single Cell Software are riding this wave of change with Caustic 2, bringing affordable music production to Android tablets and Window PC’s everywhere.

Caustic 2 is far more than a virtual synthesizer or rack-mount simulation, with its touch screen interface and affordable price tag ($10) it is the gateway to success, add talent and time for best results.

Highpants in-house audio expert ‘Norbut Verse the World’ has put on his headphones and dived head first into a tablet full of Caustic. Turning out the tunes with a swish and a tap here is his take on this audio app.

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The Return of the Mehdi, How Not to make an Electric Guitar…

Mehdi Sadaghdar returns to YouTube’s hallowed halls once again to educate and entertain us all. With his eyebrow at the ready Mehdi prepares to take a 110 volt hit for our amusement, you have to respect someone willing to go this far for a laugh.

On this death defying journey to educate Mehdi sets out to build his own electric guitar, the rock star within must be heard. Theoretically not the most dangerous of task, that is unless you do it the Mehdi way.

Put your laughing pants on people this one will shock you with how amusing taking a hit of the AC/DC juice can be. With your stretchy pants on, sit back, relax and hit the play button for today’s lesson in pain.

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Audio for the People: AudioTool, the Incredible Web Based Audio Production Machine that’s Free…

Driven by the dual revolutions that are the internet and mobile devices there is an explosion of audio applications occurring around the World. Applications that are bringing a simplified and more accessible audio revolution to life. Bringing audio to the people this is the democratization of making music.

Fresh out of the Highpants Review Labs for your reading pleasure we are proud to present our first next generation audio app review, AudioTool the audio production app that can make you smile.  A free to use Flash based web app that will have you expressing your inner voice in no time at all. Stay tuned for more to come as well, this is just the first article in our new series on next generation audio applications, Audio for the People.

In the not too distant past (a decade ago) if you wanted to start that first chart topping electronica track you would get yourself a PC or Mac (very large cheque in hand) then choose from the dozen or so sequencer applications. How quickly things change, desktop applications have now been joined by Web, Android and iOS applications. Apps number in the hundreds and collectively musicians have the power to choose how they want to work.

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Unusual Sound Sources: The Battle of the Floppy Drive Orchestra’s, MrSolidSnake745 versus Whiteside…

Floppy drives may not be the musical instrument for everyone, seriously if you want to annoy the entire office play these video’s loud. They are though a humorous trip down memory lane, surprising all with their untapped (till now) musical abilities.

Heck, you need to be over a certain age to even remember what a floppy drive was used for, the torture that many endured at the coal face of their disk drive. Hands up who remembers the multi disk install? The death of the floppy was near when Windows Office 97 Professional was released, requiring 55 floppies and hours of time swapping disks to install, it was a killer exercise.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are arguably the two best tracks by the two best floppy drive musicians on the internet. MrSolidSnake745 performs a rousing rendition of Ghostbusters while George Whiteside stuns with a compelling performance of Phantom of the Opera.

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Alternative Sound Sources. Speakers That Can Kill!…

Music, some say an essential part of our souls expression, for others simply an auditory sensation to tap your toes to. No matter which holds true for you listening to our favorite music is an almost universal passion. Providing the driving force for this passion is the greatest technological stalwart in history, the speaker, the trusty direct drive voice coil. It’s a tried, true and simple technology designed to move air, but it is by no means deadly enough.

The other unusual thing about humanities fascination with tunes is the desire to play them on every item we can use to generate noise. Like a Rolf Harris mad scientist it seems there are many other ways to generate noise, dangerously deadly and unusual ways.

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The Antelope Rubicon AD/DA Preamp, the Atomic Amplifier…

Antelope, makers of the most drool worthy audiophile equipment have released the world’s first atomic pre-amp. While it may not run off uranium it does however contain a Rubidium Atomic clock. The most accurate timing device available, just part of what makes the Rubicon special.

By replacing the standard crystal clock, which provides the timing for the digital circuits, Antelope have created a timing signal that is 100,000 x more accurate. In audio terms this should make the output signal far more accurate. This technology also allows Antelope to raise the DAC’s bit rate to 384Khz, another world’s first.

Antelope have created not only a technology tour de force but possibly one of the most incredibly stylish amplifiers of all time. The Rubicon is one of those components that looks just as amazing, even when idle. With a touch of steampunk style that marries old and new the Rubicon a device everyone will want but few will afford.

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B&W PM1 Uber Audio Bliss…

B&W – Bowers and Wilkins – produce speakers that sound so good it could be considered porn for our ears. June 8 B&W announced a new model, the PM1 Prestige Monitor loudspeaker, music to our ears. The PM1 Monitors are packed to the rafters with technology and design brilliance, B&W has pushed the boundaries to make the PM1 something special, in the process delivering an extremely high performance audio experience in a stylish and refined package.

B&W speakers are synonymous with audio quality, amazingly accurate sound reproduction. During movies you will be looking over your shoulder, checking if that knock on the door was real or in the movie. Don’t be mistaken speakers of this quality make a difference. There’s 45 years of speaker manufacturing experience and technology built into these speakers and it shows. B&W has long worked with many sound engineers across many famous studios in order to improve his speakers performance. This has led to B&W speakers being used by classical music studios, Abbey Road has used B&W speakers since 1988.

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