The BBC has a great story titled, “Giving up my iPod for a Walkman” in which a 13 year old named Scott swapped his iPod for an original Sony Walkman. I often think what must young kids think when they play with old cassette decks and such.
“Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn’t is “shuffle”, where the player selects random tracks to play. Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down “rewind” and releasing it randomly – effective, if a little laboured.” – Scott Campbell
Scott also is late to discover there another side to a tape and that “metal” doesn’t mean “metal band eq”!
If you’re looking for a very good sound analog synthesizer you may want to check out the new Analogue Solutions SEM clone Telemark. I can think of a long list of main brand synthesizers that cost around the same price ($1250) or higher than the Telemark that don’t have 1/10th of it’s character. Check out the video and audio sample below:
For a history lesson concerning Oberheim’s SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module) head over to vintagesynth.com: click here If your about to go shopping keep in mind Tom Oberheim is also preparing to release a new version of his own classic. Read about the new SEM and check out a video over at Matrixsynth: click here
As musicians we all spend time checking out music tech blogs, participating in pro-audio forums and listening to tunes on various social music sites. We can all justify the time we spend on such sites as learning (and it really is!). I’ve found a new time waster: Craigsphone (iTunes link). I know the iPhone app has been around for a while. I know you could do the same searching over at Craigslist. However, I had not searched for local synths for sale on my iPhone until today. There’s something to be said for laying in the backyard on a chaise lounge chair and finger flicking through used goodies with knobs. There’s some great stuff you can find such as “3 Non-Working ADATS”.
D16 have released their Roland TR-606 clone called Nithonat. I love all the D16 drum machines because they sound fairly close to the original hardware they emulate and also have terrific internal sequencers. My favorite feature is the random function. It is well worth reading the manual if you try/buy any of the D16 drum machines so you get the most out of them. Here is a set of samples I created from the new box:
Yes it is true you can get Antares Mutator for $10 from AudioMidi.com: click here Keep in mind you need an iLok. I love mangling my voice and lay it on thick when it comes to vocal effects and tricks.
“Torley is a happy human being, video tutorial/screencast pioneer, virtual world expert, social media guru, thought leader, freelance blogger, wild dancer, graphic designer, freesoul, ex-concert pianist, techno producer, loving husband and father to a couple cats…” – torley.com
Want a nice afternoon project? How about taking a Styplophone, hacking it to make the “Dominator” sound (Roland Juno-1) and added Midi to it? Sounds crazy but that’s exactly what Jason from the UK did in the video above.
“Just for fun… not the most useful synth mod ever made. The technicals… Soldered wires to Stylophone PCB to use its keypad / resistor ladder.. put 5V across it and read voltage at stylus by analog input pin on arduino clone (miduino). Found out input value for each note and sent out MIDI note on/off messages thru serial connection when notes are detected. Simple.” – hotchk155
Just for a bit of comparison here’s the video for one massive classic techno by Human Resource called Dominator (iTunes link). This song really showcases how a stock synth preset can become a monster hit.
Here’s a nice video that drove me to discover Calvin Cardioid from Toronto, Canada. Besides this nice video he’s got a nice blog called cl516. It’s full of original content with a synth slant. Here’s a nice set of sounds of a Frostwave Resonator, modulated by Freqbox and Sherman Calvin posted over at SoundCloud:
I’ve been consistently using music applications on my iPhone. Recording the iPhone’s output through the headphone jack directly into Ableton is remarkably pleasing for some reason. I’ve been enjoying Curtis (App Store link) from The Strange Agency (based out of Los Angeles). They recently posted a preview video of their next toy “Sound Scope Space”.