Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Being an active XBOX 360 user I was anxiously waiting for the unveiling of the new Xbox from Microsoft.

After watching the #Reveal video for 5 minutes, I was unimpressed with Microsoft's presentation for a number of reasons.

First, they began selling me on the idea of their beliefs and concepts about what I should realize as my reality for gaming, TV and entertainment. This bored me to tears. I am a gamer. Show me the new console! Show me the new features!

Well they finally did get to showing me the new console; nearly 30 minutes later. And, again, many of the features having to do with television and watching movies. Which for me, is now managed superbly using AppleTV and Netflix on my iOS devices; and occasionally on my Windows PC.

The XBOX One surely is a powerful 64-bit console. But I use a wireless controller when I play games. Further, I am not interested in playing games using Kinect. And, if new games that come out require Kinect, then it will force me to Sony Playstation4.

One feature about the XBOX One that annoys me is the hand gestures. If you're holding the controller in your hands, why would you set it down just to make hand gestures to use the operating system. Perhaps you don't truly need to do this and they are simply showing how to command the console using Kinect. But for the controller-minded gamer, this makes no sense whatsoever.

Also the new console turns on and signs you in when it sees you. Does this mean that every time I walk into my living room and just by chance happen to look in the direction of the XBOX One, that it is going to turn on and log me in? I find this rediculous. Logging into XboxLIVE is not a difficult or complex task using a wireless hand controller.

Further, I am glad the new XBOX One now has a Bluray drive. This makes sense because the stores already have been phasing-out the DVD movie inventory and Microsoft needed to get the XBOX up to speed anyhow. I am sure the new NextGen games will require the Bluray's massive storage space. But in hindsite, Playstation3 has had Bluray all along and in years I have not seen any real graphic improvement having 50GB game discs. But from what I saw during the presentation, the XBOX One NextGen games truly do look "nextGen".

Microsoft is vague about the release date stating only that the console will be available "Holiday 2013" which this alone does not appeal to me. Moreover, they have not "revealed" any pricing information, something that Microsoft severely needs to learn from Apple when they announce new products.

I am guessing the new XBOX One will sell for $399 or more. Whereas I am not a cableTV watcher I am already not interested in the new console. I own a quality Phillips™ Bluray player and 5.1 optical surround system so I won't purchase an XBOX One to watch movies. And my current movie-watching is managed using AppleTV and Netflix on my iOS devices.

With regards to this topic, the only upcoming home entertainment purchases that I can see happening will be: A) 
60-inch, 240Hz LED TV, B) a new 5.1 surround system to replace my 7-year old 300-watt, Sphere-X 360.system (which is still working just fine!)

To add insult to injury, the new XBOX One does NOT support any XBOX 360 games or XBOX.LIVE.ARCADE games! This is a serious mistake that really pushes me into buying a Playstation4 for console gaming.

So, what is the verdict? I will continue playing using both my XBOX and XBOX.360 consoles. I still have NEW games to play on the 360 and don't see my burning out on the 360 even in the year 2014. And, Playstation4 is now in the back of my mind.


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Digital Piano Purchase

In my previous blog I discussed some details about my shopping digital pianos. I continued my research for quite some time before making my final decision.

After much thought and consideration I have chosen the Yamaha MOX8. The MOX8 was not my favorite graded hammer keyboard. But, it's very playable and its other features out-perform the majority of the other stage pianos and digital pianos.

My primary wishlist was:

  • 88 weighted action keys
  • Transpose ability/function/control up on deck
The MOX8 has weighted action keys and Transpose function up on deck. In addition, the MOX8 is providing me a security blanket in the DAW/Recording department in that it offers 4-channel USB audio recording and no latency monitoring. This is but another way to create and record music in lieu of my other gear failing or becoming obsolete altogether.

Additionally, like the MOTIF XS the MOX8 has a multipart editor allowing for complete internal control of the synth. You can also create VST and mixing templates. This allows you to control your VST plugins using the front panel controls of the MOX8. This alone is a stellar feature, besides the fact that the entire control surface of the MOX8 has been integrated out-of-the-box for Cubase.

The MOX8 arrives today and I'm excited to play it in the new recording space.