Totalmusik is a NY sales rep for Metasonix and Eowave gear. They seems to also record the equipment and make sample libraries with the blessings of the manufacturers. They have released a Kontakt Polyphonic Wretch Machine sample pack. The samples were recorded to tape and they also included some Impulse Responses. The pack is 2GB and will run you $65. It’s on sale now for $50.
“For this library, no attention to detail was spared in capturing the true essence of this instrument. The Wretch Machine features a dual gas-tube oscillator configuration – each oscillator is switchable between three waveforms: Saw, Squarer and Subosc (squarer with suboctave). Realizing that everything sounds better through tape, and our personal philosophy that “Old is Good, Old and Broken is BetterTM” – we enlisted the assistance of our TEAC Reel to Reel to handle our tape transfer needs.” – totalmusik.com
NPR has posted an audio story on the history of the Vocoder. They interview Dave Tompkins who recently wrote a book called How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder From World War II to Hip-Hop. Grab the book from Amazon (about $20): click here
“If you’ve listened to pop music in the past 40 years, you’ve probably heard more than a few songs with a robotic sound. That’s thanks to the vocoder, a device invented by Bell Labs, the research division of AT&T. Though the vocoder has found its way into music, the machine was never intended for that function. Rather, it was developed to decrease the cost of long-distance calls and has taken on numerous other uses since.” – NPR.org
I first heard Acid House at club Mars in the late 80s. I believe the first Acid record I bought was from Fast Eddie called Acid Thunder. I bought my first Roland TB-303 from Rogue Music in New York City for $300. I later bought another one and used them live. They eventually were stolen and since then I used various soft versions such as the Audiorealism ABL.
“If you’re interested in the early history of ROLAND, the Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and the TB-303 Bassline, you’ll enjoy this 20-minute video. The TB-303 and its design are described in depth, and many examples of popular music made with the machine are presented. Director: Nate Harrison” – Jack Time
Today just a sample of a few channels of pure Roland SH3 and Korg KR-55 drum machine. Both are vintage analog and wonderful.
“The SH-3A is a monophonic analog synthesizer that was manufactured by Roland from 1974 to 1981. It is unique in that it is capable of both subtractive synthesis and additive synthesis. Two LFOs and a unique sample-and-hold section provided capabilities not found in competing self-contained synthesizers of the time. The SH-3A was Roland’s first non-preset based synth. It was unique for its time in that it offered mixable waveforms at different footages. The predecessor, the Roland SH-1000 could also do this but didn’t offer as much control as on the SH-3A. The rhythmic pulsing in the Blondie song “Heart of Glass” is an example of its sound. The initial version “SH-3″ infringed radder-filter patent of Robert Moog, and Roland revised their copy circuit after warned by Moog Music. NOTABLE SH-3A USERS: The Human League, Vangelis, Blondie, Chris Carter” – WIkipedia.org
Here’s Reggie Watts doing a piece he calls Binary Existence. I think all musicians get diarrhea of the mind. We babble and have moments of awesome babble. Reggie manages to capture some pretty good moments. He’s getting a lot of buzz because he’s opening for Conan O’ Brian’s tour. Well deserved I think… Not long ago I drank some very sugar packed red juice and began beatboxing, mouth 303ing and screaming I am a robot over and over. I think I went on and on for 20 minutes. If I only had the best 3 of it on tape maybe I could be opening for Conan too. Ah well more likely it would have just been a source of ever ending embarrassment.
“Reggie Watts is a Brooklyn-based comedic/musical performer. Watts’ shows are mostly improvised and consist of stream of consciousness standup in various shifting personas, mixed with loop pedal-based a cappella compositions. He also performs regularly on television and in live theatre.” – Wikipedia.org
I like to keep my electronic music studio as modern looking as possible. I also like to set a mood. During my day job I came across these very cool lights from Philips called Livingcolors. They are LEDs that change colors. The original has a remote that has a color wheel in which you can select out of 16 million colors. The mini version has the color wheel on the lamp and lets you choose out of 256 colors. You can get the Philips 818564 LivingColors Mini on Amazon for $89 and the larger Philips 818566 LivingColors Translucent Changing LED Lamp with Remote for $190. I would say forget the lava lamp and live in twenty ten with one of these.
“Bright sunshine yellow when it’s grey outside. A pale leaf-green to relax you. Touch the color ring and LivingColors lights up your world in any shade you choose, from soothing pastel shades to rich, intense colors. 16 million colors possible. Dimming and adjustable color intensity. Intuitive remote control. Including automatic color changing.” – consumer.philips.com
If you have serious money and are building your studio new consider Go Energy’s GO FLL Planar Lighting GFS03T Troffer (your build it into the ceiling). It’s a 2×2 Foot panel made of LED light with a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) that allows you to change it’s color temperature and brightness by remote. These run about $600 each but if you see one in person you will appreciate the look.
The best part these lights are all energy efficient.
I can’t wait to get one of these. Total boutique unique loud snappy analog sound. Novamusik has them for $350. A kick from an MBase and snare from this box and trust me people will know your in the room.
Sonorasaurus is another DJ App. There’s going to be a lot of them and the idea really makes sense on the iPad. It should be interesting to see how long it’s going to take before they are common place in clubs. This one is getting good reviews. You can grab it here for $12.99: click here (iTunes link)
“Two standalone decks each with a dedicated effects module offering reverb, flange, distortion, tremelo, echo and high pass. Beat-highlighted waveforms to further fascilitate beatmatching. BPM Tapper for easy BPM calculation. Pitch controls for adjusting the playback speed of your tunes and a dynamic jog area for getting your beatmatching just right . A crossfader and volume controls for mixing your songs together to any degree you choose. EQs and Gains for fine tuning the volume, low, mid and high frequency ranges. Split audio mode for headphone cueing (requires a Y adapter). A built in HTTP upload interface for adding songs to your mixing library.” – sonorasaurus.com
If your into electronic music this should interest you. Note: The songs are available to download so maybe you should.
“Lots of obscure Vince Clarke tracks in the Vince Clark Rarities Soundcloud account, including rare tracks from Depeche Mode, Yaz/Yazoo & Erasure. Not sure if this is official or not – so Vince Clarke fans may want to check this out sooner. rather than later.” – Synthtopia