I love vintage hardware reverbs. My sole use of Altiverb is to load it up with old Lexicon Impulse Responses. There’s a lot of hype going around about a new plug-in from Relab called the LX480. It’s a obvious recreation of one of the all time best hardware reverbs the Lexicon 480.
Depeche Mode’s Some Great Reward album from 1984 is one of my favorites. I can sing every lyric on the album in order from beginning to end. It has a romantic feel with plenty of melodies, early sampling and fantastic 80s drums. I don’t know the story behind these demo versions of the album tracks but from a musician’s stand point they are very interesting. The highly produced gloss is gone revealing many of the songs parts which on the CD meld together (in a good way).
“In September 1984, Some Great Reward was released. Melody Maker claimed that the album made one “sit up and take notice of what is happening here, right under your nose.” In contrast to the political and environmental subjects addressed on the previous album, the songs on Some Great Reward were mostly concerned with more personal themes such as sexual politics (“Master and Servant”), adulterous relationships (“Lie to Me”), and arbitrary divine justice (“Blasphemous Rumours”). Also included was the first Martin Gore ballad (“Somebody”) – such songs would become a feature of all following albums. “Somebody” was released as a double a-side with “Blasphemous Rumours” and was the first single with Gore on lead vocals. Some Great Reward was the first Depeche Mode album to enter the US album charts, and it made the Top 10 in several European countries.” – Wikipedia.org
It’s always interesting and a bit funny when people go at it in public. Apparently Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance thought Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) wasted his time regarding an ill-fated tour they were planning together.
“The truth of the matter is that PM [Peter Murphy] wasted months of my time, energy and effort. It was he, after all, who invited me to tour with him and then reneged on our agreement not once, not twice but three times… can you imagine my frustration? … I would not have minded so much if he had shown some remorse by way of an apology, this would have been the very least I could expect from such an honorable and ‘spiritual’ man. Right? Well wrong… When I last wrote to him to enquire how he was and what the problem was, he basically told me to mind my own business… Cuckoo!” “The guy has too many albeit mysterious health issues to deal with and, to be honest, he’s a sandwich short of a picnic.” – Brendan Perry
And the response…
This reminds me a little of when techno legends Frankie Bones and Joey Beltram fought it out on various forums for a few months. Here’s my Wire to the Ear tip: keep your musician mystery alive by keeping these types of matters a private conversation.
Considering this video from Australian comedy band Axis of Awesome has almost 5 million views most of you have probably seen this. For those musicians who haven’t you have to admit is pretty interesting. It surely explains why everything on the radio sounds the same.
“Australian comedy group ‘Axis Of Awesome’ perform a sketch from the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Footage courtesy of Network Ten Australia. See http://www.axisofawesome.net/ for more details of the comedy trio including Jordan Raskopoulos, Lee Naimo, & Benny Davis.” – random804
Wave Alchemy has released a free sample pack of the vintage analog Roland TR-606 drum machine. Four free kits are included titled: Driven Kit, Dry Kit, Stereo FX Kit and Warm Kit. To grab the samples: click here
“606 Drums by Wave Alchemy serves up 290 drum samples from Roland’s sought-after TR-606 drum machine. The samples included have been lovingly recorded through an API pre-amp with many sounds boasting multiple round robin variations, accent and velocity layers! 606 Drums contains four pre-mapped drum kit patches for use with Kontakt 2, 3, & 4 and Battery 3. Each kit makes extensive use of multiple velocity layers, round robin sample playback and choke groups to create truly expressive sample instruments.” – Wave Alchemy
Disclaimer: Wave Alchemy is an advertiser on Wire to the Ear.
A few weeks ago The New York Times had an article on The Bronx neighborhood Kingsbridge. Sometimes I ride my bike through Kingsbridge on my way to Inwood Park. Recently I stopped in the thrift store the article mentioned and played with some old music toys. If you can’t see the flash slideshow above: click here
“3 P.M. Dive in at Unique Thrift Store, 218 West 234th Street, (718) 548-1190. Forget the secondhand shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where hipsters and bargain hunters have already snapped up the good stuff. Here you can take your time combing through the Hawaiian shirts, vintage blouses and snow parkas. Recently spotted gems include a corduroy suit for $9.99, a giant feather-bedecked floppy hat, and a book about high-stakes gambling called “The Man With the $100,000 Breasts.” – The New York Times
We are having a major heat wave in New York right now. It’s been over 95F and humid for two days and the weather report says nothing is going to change for at least a week. Considering it’s only Tuesday we are in for some long hotness. The one song that really triggers my mind into summer mode is Cruel Summer by Bananarama. Something about the melody and singing just feels like summer.
“Hot summer streets and the pavements are burning I sit around. Trying to smile but the air is so heavy and dry. Strange voices are sayin’. What did they say. Things I can’t understand. It’s too close for comfort this heat has got right out of hand.” – Bananarama
That’s the reason Ableton Live is the best production tool: different modes. I can use Live in Arrangement View and work like I did years back in Cubase and Pro-Tools. I can use Live in Session View and have a play/scratch area to let ideas explode or just build the parts Im going to use in Arrangement View. I can use Live when I’m on stage triggering video and controllers. I’ve almost never had Live crash in the studio and never once on stage. Yep this is an advert except I didn’t get paid for it. Just saying thanks for something I use a lot. We tend to worship the tools that make us sound good (and make us money!). To people who aren’t convinced there is a fully functioning free trial of Live (no saving).
“Ableton Live is about making music; for composition, songwriting, recording, production, remixing and live performance. Live’s nonlinear, intuitive flow, alongside powerful real-time editing and flexible performance options, make it a unique studio tool and a favorite with live performers. If you’d rather be “making music” than just “using music software,” Ableton Live is for you.” – ableton.com
I’ve always found Motu interfaces to have super solid drivers. In fact I still use a Motu 828 from 1996! They have a new interface called the MicroBook that could be a great box for new musicians and for those of us who want a small interface next to their home laptop. It’s defintely shooting a bit at the Apogee One and Duet and the Mac Market. I like that they include the XLR mic adapter and have micro stereo inputs and outputs for iPhones/iPads and computer speakers. I also like that it’s tiny. It will be less than $270 when it hits the street next month.
“With professional analog stereo outputs, digital output, and stereo-mini output jacks for both headphones and desktop speakers, you can monitor your live audio and recorded tracks any way you like.” – motu.com/products/microbook.html