“Gaz is in for a flying visit this time, just back from Paris where he is working on a major Rock opera production. Still he’s managed to get some quality time with the iPad working on this project. We hear about the apps that have really helped him out.” – sonicstate.com
Google+ Hangouts live “On Air” are now available to anyone. This is certainly going to be great for musicians. If any Wire to the Ear readers broadcast your studio or a live show please let me know. I really like that you can record the sessions.
“Today we’re excited to launch Hangouts On Air to Google+ users worldwide. So if you have something to say—as an aspiring artist, a global celebrity, or a concerned citizen—you can now go live in front of a global audience. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to: Broadcast publicly. By checking “Enable Hangouts On Air,” you can broadcast your live hangout—from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website—to the entire world. See how many viewers you’ve got. During your broadcast, you can look inside the hangout to see how many people are watching live. Record and re-share. Once you’re off the air, we’ll upload a public recording to your YouTube channel, and to your original Google+ post. This way it’s easy to share and discuss your broadcast after it’s over.” – Google
As I am about three fourths of the way done with my next album and my studio is a mass of wires. I’ve become obsessed with syncing my old drum machines and analog synthesizers using various methods. I’m not looking for perfectly quantized MIDI. I’m looking for some Control Voltage madness. Last night’s experiment will definitely make it to a full song. I haven’t shared anything with you in a while with regards to my upcoming music but it’s time I start breaking the ice. The audio sample may not be your cup of tea but the method can be used to create all sorts of nonsense in many music styles.
I have an old Korg Rythm 55 drum machine. I go out of it’s Trig Out to a Doepfer Dark Time analog sequencer’s Click In. On the Korg you can set the sequencer to trigger in various times. If you select a 16th note you will get your typical Giorgio Moroder type of thing. This time I have it set to follow the Korg’s kick drum (blue arrow above). The Doepfer is hooked up to one of the oscillators on an Analogue Solutions Telemark synth (both pitch and filter). This time around I don’t want the Dark Time telling the synth to play different notes. I only want it to Trigger a very slight pitch change and that’s why (see the green arrow) I have the pitch line stop after the second step. The two steps are just slightly detuned. The filter does change open and closed over 8 steps (which you can only hear when the filter is partial closed at the beginning). If you notice there is a grey Midi cable plugged into the top of the Dark Time. If I wanted I could play different notes on my attached MIDI controller and the entire sequencing line would change pitch.
Hit play on the Korg and off we go. I turn up the filter, bring in the Korg’s snare and you have something from a different decade. To add to the whole vintage feel the Korg has some Boss DM-100 on it. You can hear when I hit the fills on the Korg the synth follows and it’s really magic. One last thing to note is if you look at the Analogue Solutions Telemark photo above you see that orange arrow? That points to the other oscillator that’s not being controlled by the Doepfer. Its another reason you hear a detuned sound. I can bring it and the noise knob in and out for great effect (or verse/chorus parts). Time to add the vocals.
“At its most basic, an analog sequencer is nothing but a bank of potentiometers and a “clock” that steps through these potentiometers one at a time and then cycles back to the beginning. The output of the sequencer is fed (as a control voltage and gate pulse) to a synthesizer. By “tuning” the potentiometers, a short repetitive rhythmic motif or riff can be set up.” – Wikipedia
Acidlab who already make great Roland TR-808 (Miami) and TB-303 (Bassline) clones is recreating those products in beautiful Eurorack modular form. As far as pro-audio gearlust these things rate high on the wow I want to touch them scale. You can read an interview I did with Klaus Suessmuth here. Klaus posted these photos and information over at the Muffwiggler forum (link).
“The newest products are FRAME with 84TE space, a 5-ch Mixer and the POW-Modul. 3HE Case is at 75 Euro; the Powermodul with powersupply is at 65 Euro. POW-modules’ performance is +12V/700mA und -12V/700mA. Another new products will follow in the near future: 6HE Case, 303VCO & M303 (303-module); the 808-Drumodule will need more time. -a V/Octave to V/Hz Converter (for Korg-CV & Metasonix) will follow, too!” – Klaus Suessmuth
In the late 1960s Mike Matthews worked as a salesmen for IBM. He then started Electro Harmonix in NYC. The legendary effects pedal company is still going strong. His most famous pedal is the Big Muff fuzzbox. I’m far more interested in his very early analog products. One of them is awesomely named the Sequencer Drum. It’s a simple analog synth with an 8 step sequencer. You can hook two together and they will be in sync. You don’t buy these for their features. You buy them for the sound. Like calves liver it’s something not everyone is after. After watching the video above some of you are already on eBay. You won’t find these often. If your looking to recreate an early 80s Soft Cell demo cassette this is a good starting point.
“The Sequencer Drum is one of the rarest Electro Harmonix pedals. Unlike some of the other EH obscurities, this one is actually useful and sounds amazing! Not only is it an 8-step CV/Gate sequencer, but it has a built in synthesizer and a mode that allows you trigger the sequence at a set decay! The leather pad on the front is meant to be tapped to activate the trigger (hence the “drum” in the title). This particular sequencer is the fully patched out version, with an input that allows you to clock the unit externally, and CV and internal Clock outputs for sequencing other synthesizers.” – Matrixsynth (captured eBay description)