IMG_20150220_210122_hdrLet me start by saying that I am posting this at Studio Noize because I think anybody who’s in the music business also need the BlackBerry Passport in your life.

Now a little backstory. When the supposedly and rumored prototype of the BlackBerry Passport was introduced at CrackBerry, I was not inspired. Months later when the real deal had blossomed is when it began to grow on me. By the initial launch date, I was already in love. On Feb 20 (AT&T launch), I purchased my very own BlackBerry Passport.

Now the goods: If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook, you already know how I feel about this phone. It’s an elite masterpiece. BlackBerry built this phone with much attitude and sass knowing there is nothing out there like it right now. AT&T’s version has the rounded edges, wider metal band, and a slightly longer lip below the keyboard which are the only differences between the two devices. An overview of specs include a Quad-core processor, loads of internal storage (32GB), 13 megapixel camera (rear-facing), and 3GB of ram.

The BlackBerry Passport is weighty, but in a good way being it’s solid and well-built. It simply feels good in the hand – both hands. The keyboard is genius technology. While I was slightly skeptical of the keyboard experience, a couple touches later is when I knew they had thought of everything.

The BlackBerry Passport is fast, the display is gorgeous, and the user interface is well designed. The battery life is the best I’ve experienced on any phone. The BlackBerry Hub continues to spoil you as it gets better with each OS update. The plethora of apps in the BlackBerry World (BlackBerry’s app store) are plenty, and if you need more – the Amazon Appstore comes pre-installed on the device. You can also directly download APKs which Blackberry inspects upon install. I downloaded Instagram, Pocket, and Office Mobile APKs directly. Everything else I use is from the BlackBerry World.

The experience on the BlackBerry Passport is like no other. It’s not your phablet toy. It’s your personal assistant. It’s your professional companion that gets a lot of attention when you take it out in public. The BlackBerry Assistant (voice and text command application) is quite impressive and very useful especially in the car, and the new BlackBerry Blend is a welcomed addition in taking the BlackBerry experience to your computer’s desktop.

Visit AT&T and BlackBerry’s website to learn more.

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mpcren hardware software studio noizeEver since I became a member of the MPC family just shy of a month ago (upon publishing of this post), I’ve read numerous accounts of everyone wanting the MPC software to be a dedicated DAW. Whether these requests are to remove having the hardware connected when using the software or turning the software into a full stand-alone DAW; I don’t agree with this request and here’s why:::

  • Akai has come a long way with the well-known workflow of the MPC. It’s a classic platform. Let’s keep the aces in their places.
  • The MPC software is evolutionary and proprietary to the MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio hardware.
  • The MPC Renaissance/Studio were designed to exclusively intergrate with its software to manipulate its useful numerous and impressive features. They are a marriage. Why break that up?
  • Changing this could change everything regarding the MPC platform. It’s going to open up a slew of DAW-like requests. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  • If it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix it! Stop the greed!
  • The software already allows various export options into your favorite DAW. Shouldn’t that be enough?
  • You can mix down your tracks with its dedicated mixer and feature-rich plugins. Shouldn’t that be enough?
  • Remember when you used only hardware to produce your music? Remember how you could mix your track within that keyboard or drum machine? Remember how you’d rather not? Remember how you would dump that mix into your recording platform (via digital recorder, tape, etc.) Remember how that was a normal and expected workflow?
  • If the MPC software became a DAW, then it means the MPC hardware could become obsolete. That would just be wrong!
  • 1.8 should have you very very very happy at the moment… I know I am…

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mpc_sn

The Connection

When I received my Akai MPC Renaissance (just recently), I was tossed between using it as my main audio interface or having my Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 as my main. I decided upon the following connections which keeps my Focusrite as the main device for external inputs i.e. mic, mixer/turntable. I’m able to function within the hardware as normal. Yay!

My MPC

USB cable Out and into the computer

Focusrite (Audio Interface)

USB cable Out and into the computer

Powered Monitors

Plugged into the Focusrite

MIDI Keyboard

MIDI cable Out and into the Focusrite

MPC Software

  1. Go to Preferences
  2. Select Focusrite (or your interface) as the device
  3. Check desired input channels (to use for for sampling via a CD player or turntable/mixer)
  4. MIDI settings (Select your active midi input) In my case, it’s my keyboard controller routed into the Focusrite.

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PLUGIN

 

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