Drum Machine History

Here’s a nice video history of Roland drum machines with the narrator Robbie Ryan beat boxing examples and then playing audio samples from actual songs.

“This is a documentary celebrating the 25 year anniversary of the Roland TR909. In this documentary, narrated by Robbie Ryan, we traverse the history of the programmable drum machine from the CR78, TR808, TB303, TR909, and LinnDrum, with audio examples of each.” – iloveanalogue.blogspot.com

via synthtopia

photo credit: matrixsynth

Rewind Festival

Forget the Olympics there’s something far more interesting happening near London this summer. OMD, Grandmaster Flash, Kool & The Gang, The Bangles, Mark Almond, Adam Ant, Rick Astley and Jimmy Summerville are just some of the acts performing August 17-19 2012 at the Rewind Festival. The 80s event takes place at Temple Island Meadows, Remenham Farm, Remenham, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 3DB. There’s only one problem: it’s sold out! At least we will get some good concert footage on YouTube! Anyone who has an extra ticket and wants to take me a long feel free to let me know.

“The biggest 80s festival in the world!” – facebook.com/rewindfestival

For more info: rewindfestival.com

Tom Waits 1979 Interview

I adore Tom Waits. Some of my favorite Wait’s songs include I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You, What’s He Building in There?, That’s the Way and Green Grass. Grab the songs, a drink and let your head spin.

“Thomas Alan “Tom” Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.” With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona.” – Wikipedia

For more info: tomwaits.com

Ableton Live Auto Sidechain Plugin

There are a few ways to very easily get sidechaining going in Ableton Live. Sidechaining triggers a compressor on the master bus or channel using a kick from a different channel. This causes a pumping effect ala Daft Punk. Used subtlety it can make sure the sharp transients of you kick always sit above the mix by itself. Live’s built in Compressor has sidechaining and you can also simulate the effect using Autopan. The Point Blank Music School has a nice free Max For Live drag and drop device available to download: click here. If you have Max For Live why not grab it? Take a look at the video above for the demo.

“Point Blank instructor and course developer Daniel Herbert has created this Max For Live custom auto sidechain plugin for use in Ableton Live. Watch the video to see how it works, what makes it unique and and how to set it up.” – pointblankonline

For more info: pointblankonline.net

Delptronics LBD-1

Serious cool alert time. There is an all new fully analog drum machine with 64 patterns, pattern programmability, MIDI and trigger out called the Delptronics LBD-1. It’s priced quite nicely at $240 USD. There is also a kit and Eurorack module.

“The LDB-1 “Little Drummer Boy” is a modern recreation of the classic analog drum machines of the 80′s, like the Roland TR-606 and TR-808. Our goal was to recreate the warm sounds of the classics, using all analog circuitry – not samples. The brain of the LDB-1 is a powerful digital microcontroller that triggers the analog drum sounds and provides the sequencer, programmability and connectivity features. Easily interfaces with other instruments, synthesizers, DAWs, etc. through analog connections, MIDI, and DINsync.” – delptronics

For more info: delptronics.com/ldb1

via Matrixsynth

Instruments of Robot Repair

Robot Repair is a NY and LA based music production company that specializes in advertising. They created the above video showing off some of the music instruments they own. It’s a great collection and the video shows off some nice gems that I haven’t heard before.

“From analog drum machines to vintage guitars, orchestral percussion to circuit-bent children’s toys, 1980s Russian synthesizers to Indian harmoniums…these are the instruments of Robot Repair.” – vimeo.com/user3378259

For more info: robotrepair.net

Photos from Containerfest

I’m back from Rotterdam and as you can see from the photos I had a great time. I met Juan Atkins, re-connected with Mathis (Panacea) and screamed into the open air. Mathis was a bit late setting up his gear so I ended up performing one of my longest sets ever. As more an more time when on and Panacea wasn’t quite ready the only material I had left to play live was really songy slow stuff. To my amazement the crowd really loved it. It goes to show you sometimes you have no idea what’s going to work. The stage was built in sections and the section leading to the audience was about seven feet up. As I do in smaller club I really love going out and getting to the crowd. I had to jump up and down off the stage many times. My legs are totally black and blue. This happens so often I’m considering some sort of shin guard sports equipment the next time I perform. Be sure to look at the full set of photos (link) to see some of the art and mobile performance pieces that were on display. It’s fairly certain that Containerfest will now be a regular annual event. I am please to be noted in history as performing the first one. Toward the end of my set the sun went down and I have to say I felt pretty lucky to be standing up there.

“ContainerFest 0.1. On the 21st of July 2012 from 12:00h till 23:00h the first edition of ContainerFest…Schiehaven of Rotterdam. ContainerFest0.1 is a new, multidisciplinary festival with different styles of progressive electronic music styles, industrial designs, cool performance art, visuals and art and light installations. This year you will be spoiled with two big area’s filled with big (inter)national headliners.” – Containerfest.nl

To see the full set of photos: click here

Ableton Pack: Tape Hiss Vinyl Crackle

I’ve become internet friends with Brian “AfroDJmac”. In passing I mentioned a possible idea for one of his incredible free Ableton Live packs. Basically I love cassette tape hiss. I suggested that if he access to some old tapes I would certainly like a “pack of hiss”. Well a week later and viola Brian surprised me with this nice gift: Free Ableton Pack #60: Tape Hiss Vinyl Crackle! Watch the video above because this isn’t just some samples. Brian has spent time making things work properly and also added vinyl crackle. Eat that Slate Digital!

“An Ableton Live Instrument Rack that turns any synth you have into a synth that sounds like it came from tape or record!” – afrodjmac.com

Download the free pack now: afrodjmac.com/2012/07/19…

Alan Wilder to rejoin Depeche Mode?

Side-Line has posted an interesting story (link). As you can see in the above screenshot Depeche Mode has posted on their official Facebook page a photo of Alan Wilder sitting in front of The Policy of Truth video. The text reads, “Never again is what you swore”. Fans are interpreting this as a possible return of Alan to the band. Honestly as such a lover of DM I really would love to see that. Pair that with Martin’s new obsession with Eurorack synth modules and some ingredients are in the pot that could produce a real DM album again! Let’s hope!

“Following the departure of Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode placed an advertisement in the music magazine Melody Maker: “Keyboard player needed for established band – no timewasters.” Even though the ad was looking for someone under 21 (Wilder was 22) he lied about his age to get the job, and got away with it. He joined Depeche Mode in January 1982, initially as a tour keyboardist, and soon thereafter as a full member of the recording band… On 1 June 1995 (his 36th birthday), Alan announced his departure from Depeche Mode: “Due to increasing dissatisfaction with the internal relations and working practices of the group, it is with some sadness that I have decided to part company from Depeche Mode. My decision to leave the group was not an easy one particularly as our last few albums were an indication of the full potential that Depeche Mode was realising.” – Wikpedia

For more info: facebook.com/depechemode