Haken Continuum

Haken_Continuum

A customer of Schneiders Beuro in Berlin demos his wonderful Haken Continuum. I’ve played one of these before and it feels and sounds terrific. I really want one of these but at $5290 it’s not in the cards at least this year. If your looking for something in the same thought arena check out the Eowave Persephone: click here. Be sure to check out video 2 at around 56 seconds in!

“Designed by Dr. Lippold Haken and manufactured by Haken Audio, the Continuum Fingerboard is a Midi performance controller that allows unprecedented realtime musical control. With a greater pitch range than a traditional 88 note Midi keyboard, the Continuum offers realtime continuous control in three directions for every finger that is placed on the playing surface. Included internally is a custom designed synthesizer, specifically programmed to take advantage of the subtle and dramatic expressive musical possibilities of the Continuum. The Continuum is available in full-size (nearly 8 octaves) and half-size (nearly 4 octaves) versions.” – hakenaudio.com

For more info: hakenaudio.com

Working for it

Musician for Hire

I took this photo near Madison Square Park yesterday while waiting for the bus home. I wonder if these advertisements actually work. I guess I should have pulled the paper up a bit to expose the contact info. In NYC there are often a groups of Hip Hop artists on corners that try and put their CDs in your hands. If you take one they follow you and ask for a few bucks for it. I think a better way to make money on the street is to actually play music and have a few things for sale on the spot. I remember seeing a story about a guy in LA who had some techno gear selling a few CDs an hour at $20 each. If your looking for some free hipster subway music in Brooklyn hang out in the Bedford Ave L train stop on Friday night. I do try and throw a buck into a guitar case every now and then.

Best Service Whistler

bestservice_whistler

Humans are born with a musical instrument attached to their face. All they have to do is mush their lips together and blow to make pretty sounds. Germany’s Best Service has released Whistler. A Native Instruments Kontakt library full of real human and bird whistles. I think this is pretty interesting. Why not add a background layer of whistle at the end of a song now and then? Sitting on the Dock of a Bay (iTunes link) by Otis Redding comes to mind.

“With the help of talented whistler Eduardo Tarilonte and a few birds, Best Service has released Whistler (19.99 EUR or approximately $30), a comprehensive library of every type of whistle tone you can imagine. No synths were used to create this library” – gearwire.com

Whistler is about 20 Euros. For more info: www.bestservice.de

Two ways to stream free Christmas Music

Grooveshark_Christmas

Most people don’t have homes with a stereo with a FM Tuner in it anymore. Most people aren’t disturbed enough to have 50+ Christmas music CDs lying around. Here’s two ways to listen to FREE streaming Xmas tunes this year. Remember to hit play while putting your tree up, cooking and opening gifts.

Grooveshark/search/songs/?query=christmas: click here
Last.fm/listen/globaltags/christmas: click here

Every year my mind decides some cheesy Christmas song is the best song ever. Unfortunately for me this year it’s “We Need A Little Christmas” by Johnny Mathis (iTunes link).

Any X-mas song stuck in your head this year?

via Tech Blog

Frosty the Synthman

Frosty_the_Synthman

We set up our pink X-mas tree today. For some photos: click here When I was a little kid there was a store in Rockland County called CostCutters my mother used to take me to to buy me school supplies. Before the store closed down last year I bought the Frosty Ornament you see above. If you want a way to get into the spirit why not try the SoundCloud Christmas song contest? You can win a Premium account. They have a thing against the band Wham too. Read all about it: click here

“The SoundCloud staff will then listen to every submitted track and select one winner who will receive a yearly Premium account and see the track featured with an own blog post, tweet, Facebook, Tumblr… just in time for Christmas. The winning track will be the one that knocks our red socks off.” – blog.soundcloud.com

Frotsy the Synthman was a jolly happy soul, with a glass body and a Yamaha CS5… lalala…

Today just some Roland TR-606


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLnf_gtBZtg

This morning I had to scan about one hundred energy audit survey sheets collected from our salespersons. Even though I have a nifty (fast!) ScanSnap S1500M I still have only a few minutes for Wire to the Ear before it’s off to the races. I have nothing important musically related in my head so I revert to one of the best things in the world: an analog drum machine. The good old TR-606 is a metal looking and tight sounding box that unbelievable can still be found on eBay for a reasonable price. YouTube and cheap video camera compression works well on the 606’s sound. Someone please tell my wife to throw one of these under my tree this year.

A cool little box! So primitive and cute! The 606 was the percussion side-kick to the TB-303. It even looks like the 303. It stores up to 32 patterns and 8 songs. The 606 allows switching between Pattern Play and Write mode while running – making the 606 the only drumcomputer in the X0X series that can be edited while performing and switching patterns. It is also possible to link up to 4 consecutive patterns in Pattern Play mode. There is only a mono audio output, however there are mods from Kenton Electronics and Analog Solutions that will add individual outputs for each drum tone. The 606 has seven analog drum sounds which are simple, yet great! Kick, Snare, 2 toms, open hat, closed hat, cymbal, accent. The hi-hats are a very tinny electronic sound…” – vintagesynth.com

For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_TR-606

Harmony Improvisator

Improvisator

I believe melody is hardwired into human’s brains in a way different than hearing just sounds. We remember notes as they hum up and down scales. Every time I leave The Gap I end up singing whatever song was playing over and over in my head for hours. So I always say piano lessons beat a new Apogee interface for making your tunes better. I really like helper applications like Harmony Navigator or even something like Microsoft SongSmith. Harmony Improvisator is a new plug-in from Germany in the same vain. The cochleor website says videos and a demo download are coming soon. It’s Mac/PC VST for 99 EUR.

Improvisator is a programmable chorder and sequencer VST plugin which outputs chords as MIDI data or sound from an internal synthesizer. It can be controlled via MIDI input or by clicking the harmonic functions of the graphical user interface. The first thing in the process of working with Improvisator is to click chords with the mouse which you hear immediately. – www.cochleor.de

For more info: www.cochleor.de

Modern – The Horrorist

Modern

Modern (sample clip) -The Horrorist by thingstocome

Here’s a sample of a new song I am almost finished with called “Modern”. Clearly inspired by my day job at Energy Management Solutions. Most of the song is real analog equipment: Vermona DRM1 MKIII and Yamaha CS5. My voice is through a Shure KSM-32 and TC Powercore.

“All the modern. Super Building. Super Building. Growing into a new day.” – The Horrorist

photo credit: boliston

A great demo of the Waldorf Blofeld


http://www.youtube.com/v/jdXWsv41lx8?hl=en_US&fs=1

“Demo of 2007 Waldorf Blofeld. All sounds & arpeggio lines programmed by WC Olo Garb. Video editing by WC Olo Garb. Stuff going on: M – Notes triggered by external midi device. S – At least one oscillator uses a factory sample, so this sound cannot be achieved on the desktop version without the license. The patches do not comprise any external/custom samples.” – Jexus

I love Jexus’s synth demo videos. I’m all in when it comes to Eastern European style. I’d even like to live in one of those warn out commie blocks. Weird I know but what can I say? Back to the Blofeld… I didn’t know it could sound that cool did you?

For more info on Jexus: syntezatory.prv.pl
Grab a Blofeld keyboard for $1200. For more info: waldorfmusic.de

Sugar Bytes Consequence

Sugar_Bytes-Consequence


http://www.youtube.com/v/_sJrZ1nHBOo?hl=en_US&fs=1

I like almost all the plug-ins from Berlin based Sugar Bytes. I can see thier new plug-in Consequence being really useful. Sometimes it’s good to have a virtual helper in the room. You know the scenario: You’re in the studio and you hit middle C, next it’s D# and up to G. You can’t seem to hit any new keys. Your melodies are your melodies and you can’t seem to go anywhere else. Consequence can help by having it’s “Sound Generators” spit out sequences, chorus, envelope curves, etc… It can’t hurt right?


http://www.youtube.com/v/0bO_8-G6stQ?hl=en_US&fs=1

“The word Synquencer describes the combination of a powerful synthesizer and complex step sequencer which creates pitch-, modulation-, and trigger data. Consequence uses 16 chords to play them in sequence, extract melodies to trigger a unique sound section with lots of available instrument sounds and intelligent trigger interpretation. The Consequence VST plugin sends MIDI data, so all kinds of MIDI-compatible gear can be controlled by Consequence.” – Sugar Bytes

There is a demo version available. Consequence is $199.
For more info: sugar-bytes.de