Notes From The Underground [November 2014]

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Product Review
Trigger Finger PRO

The new trigger finger pro is a long-awaited update on the beloved original but is the change just cosmetic or does it live up to the hype?

Something tells me that if you’ve been into making music for a while already, there’s a healthy chance that you’ve laid your hands on the original Trigger Finger.  Back in the day, its simplicity and small footprint, plus no nonsense layout really made it a strong contender among the then really popular Korg and Akai offerings. However when everyone’s coming up with controllers of all sizes and purpose, the original TF is by now obviously dated and in need of a face-lift. So that’s why it has now returned with a “pro” tag. But does it live up to the expectations?

Apart from the updated RGB-color-coded buttons (which are certainly bouncy),  M-Audio also tucked in a 16 step sequencer. The obvious question is how it compares to the one on Beatstep. Clearly this is more sophisticated as it comes with 4 parts in total which means you can drive 4 destinations simultaneously (plus display on board). The flexibility easily wins out but don’t forget that the Beatstep is only HK$800, which is a fraction of the cost of the TFP. In addition,  if you’re really looking forward to using the sequencer, prepare to spend some time with the manual. You’ll also need an additional power adapter if you want to run it on a hardware synth without computers.

The bundled software, Arsenal, is a library manager for different presets and there is downloadable content from popular manufacturers such as NI and D16. I found this approach much better than offering a self contained DAW-like work environment, as learning another full software package is always a pain.

To conclude, I’d say it’s a welcome update and since other brands require a steep learning curve,  this is quite a nice alternative.

Special thanks to Tom Lee Music.

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Interview
Alex @ Basic Principles

Mixtape iPhone cases are a reminder of our shared musical history and of music’s future.

Since I’m extremely lazy when it comes to keeping up with my friends, I always try to drag them into whatever I’m working on, for the sake of catching up mostly. The story began when I was looking for a handy phone case online and happen to find BP’s mixtape case, which led to our friendship and collaborative project last year.

S: Why did you decided to do a mixtape phone case?

A: We live in the age where we used to use cassettes, MD, CD and vinyl, and all these have been our gadgets. From the cassette to the iPhone case, I just wanted to remind people that there used to be something that you loved long before iPhones.

S: Do you collect mixtapes? Any recent mix that you like?

A: I love mixtapes. You can really  understand the music sense of the creator of the mixtape. And loads of great musicians started from mixtapes. I’m listening to HELLOFDP – Sheeptape #43 by PRIMAT

S: You’ve been using the local BASS representative N1D as a Facebook banner (even making a t-shirt of his logo), and that you’ve shown support for the local scene by collaborating with us at SSS. So what do you think about the local scene?

A: The scene keeps growing and is healthy, I like what it is now. I’m hoping to see HK people accept different types of music, so organisers can introduce different styles of artist to people here.

S: What should we expect from Basic Principles in the future?

A: We will do more and more collaborations with local brands in the future.

S: The iPhone 6 is out now, what do you think? How would you solve the  “can’t operate it single-handed” problem of the iPhone 6+?

A: Use it with two hands. It’s great to see a new iPhone come out, but sadly I’ll have to say good bye to my lovely legacy iPhone someday.

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To check out more products from Basic Principles, visit http://www.b-ponline.com/.