MXR 185

There is a MXR 185 drum machine on Ebay right now (link). It’s an EPROM based machine like the Oberheim DX. Hollow Son sampled it for their Nostalgia Kontakt product. Whenever I think I’m sure I have seen every drum machine ever made another one appears. I’m not sure the 185 is worth $900 but it does look nice.

“I have no idea why the product wasn’t successful but the MXR 185 pretty much disappeared without trace almost as soon as it was released.” –

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All Dressed In White

I tend to go for the ultra modern style. I have as much white furniture in my house as possible. That table with Tiffany on it is where I sit and do much of my blogging to you. One thing that most definetly should not be bothering me is the color of my 3.5mm Eurorack cables. However it has been driving me crazy. Right now I have yellow, red, black and blue spaghetti blocking the view of my pretty modules. Luckily I came across a thread on the Muffwiggler forums titled All Dressed in White. There sat the pretty photo above from urbanscallywag and his kind words sharing where he got his white cables. They are available at Erthenvar in various sizes. There is some utility to using nearly all white too. My plan is to have a few red ones when I need to patch something vital in I need to keep an eye on.

“I needed more patch cords… so I decided to do something fun.” – urbanscallywag

For more info:

Come in we’re open

Wire to the Ear is back online! Sorry about the hiccup yesterday. Long story short it was entirely my fault. A few years ago this site was hosted by iPower. It was on a shared server and well for a site this size that’s not a good thing. The site was slow and any popular story made the site go offline. I switched to my own server with Wiredtree. Wiredtree is one of the best providers. It costs be a bit more but well worth it. All my domain names are with Hover or Godaddy. At least I thought they were! Apparently eons ago when I started Wire to the Ear I purchased time on iPower servers and my domain name from them. Anyway you can see where this is leading. When I canceled with iPower they assumed I wasn’t renewing my domain name with them. I never recieved any notifications it was about to lapse so Thursday night the site dissapeared. Luckily when this happens there is a grace period where no one else can buy the domain name. Surely the world goes on without Wire to the Ear online but it felt pretty strange to me!

“The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. A Domain Name Service resolves queries for these names into IP addresses for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide. By providing a worldwide, distributed keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of the Internet.” –

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Impaktor is an iOS drum app. Very simply you put your device on a table and then hit the table to play drums. When this came out a few weeks ago everyone said it was amazing but since I’m not a drum circle kind of guy I overlooked it. Big mistake. This is a wicked app! There are two things that make it so great. First your drum taps and strikes are picked up by the iPhone/iPad very sensitively. Very light brushes of the hand and extreme punches to the table make the sound quite different. Next the drum synth is very good. There are some really futuristic synth sounds and metal clangs to play with. You can record your performances and more. This is one of those oh wow cool apps. Use with microphoneless loud headphones.

“Impaktor is a drum synthesizer with a vast sonic palette, that turns any surface into a playable percussion instrument.” –

For more info:

Qneo Voice Synth

Qneo Voice Synth is another good audio app to have in your iOS music making arsenal. I’ve been using it quite a bit adding an extra vocal bit here and there on my tracks. The app is pretty slick and the audio is good. Try having this and Samplewiz’s audio plugged into your DAW. You will get some different results rather than simply resampling ITB.

“Voice Synth is a specialized synthesizer for creative voice sculpting, for endless fun and serious productions. Speak, sing, hum and beatbox in the mic, tweak the controls and turn your voice live into a human from baby to tenor, a popstar on AutoPitch, a robot from Cylon to iDalek, a church or close harmony choir, animals from birds to dogs and lions, musical instruments from organs, guitars and a groovy bass to percussions and rich 70?s vocoders, ambient, lush string/storm soundscapes. All effects applied simultaneously, polyphonic and live in real-time with low-latency. One app, two interfaces: dedicated interface for iPad, and a compact interface for iPhone and iPod that includes all features” –

For more info:

New Myspace

The new Myspace from Myspace on Vimeo.

MySpace is going to try again. It’s hard to believe they were once the defacto social network and that it was based mostly around music. The new site is very pretty but the chances they can get people back to the site is slim. That said I think everyone is sick of Facebook and Google+ seems off a bit. You can head over to the new site’s place holder and sign up to be one of the first to check it all out. The comeback kid?

“Although we’ll have to wait and see if the demoed functionality comes together into a coherent and enjoyable service, there’s no denying that the design shown in the preview looks absolutely gorgeous. This is especially surprising, considering how rough around the edges Myspace has always been.” –

For more info:

Intellijel µFade

So I’ve been slowing building my Eurorack Modular and I’m realizing a few things. First the size of the modules are important to me. I want to get to a Monorocket 104HP Skiff for a first system. With that case I can take my system around to friends studio and convince them they to get into Eurorack too! To do so and get everything I want well I need to watch it. Width and depth matter. The other thing is there is some really unique and interesting modules that modulate stuff and those are fascinating to me. Take a look at the Intellijel µFade linear crossfade or “micro Fade”. I’m not going to try and explain what it does so watch the video above ok? The µFade goes for about $140 USD.

Linear crossfader in 4HP. DC coupled linear crossfader. External cv to control fade position. Special circuitry limits the range of incoming cv so that the xfade boundaries are not exceeded (when summing external plus offset position). Switch to change direction of xfade.”

For more info:

Weekend Studio Fun

I decided to stay home this weekend. I stopped by Control in Williamsburg and picked up a new module for my Eurorack system. I bought a Toppobrillo Multifilter. You can hear it in the above videos filtering a Wiard Oscillator, Make Noise Echophon and a iPad Police Scanner. The clock and drums are from a Korg Rhythm 55. An Analog Solutions Telemark is providing some LFO modulated white noise snares and a Korg Monotribe is joining in with some resonant rides and a synth line. Both the Telemark and Monotribe are being pinged by an Intellijel uStep. There’s also an Intellijel uVCA and Pittsburgh Modular ASDR doing some utility work. There’s won’t end up as songs as sometimes it good to just play around.

“The so-called state-variable filter has a long history in electronic music- traditionally the most versatile voltage-controlled filter at any analog synthesist’s disposal. there were several classic design examples and variants produced throughout the heyday of analog synthesis, such as those implemented in the Oberheim SEM, the EDP Wasp, and the fabled,albeit lesser known filters such as the famous Serge filters and Arp 1047; the classic SVF configuration is simple and versatile- with several different filter responses available simultaneously ‘for free’ by nature of it’s design with no elaborate mixing schemes. traditionally there have been some considerations when designing a wide-range filter with variable Q using this topology, for instance, relative instability/ generally poor sound and behaviour at very high Q, many designs get around this by limiting the maximum Q available, among other things. those that are designed to allow for self-oscillation will often become unstable at the threshold and have inconsistencies initiating or mantaining oscillation across the entire audio range. The Toppobrillo Multifilter is a new/ traditional state-variable design based on a great modern quad VCA chip, the SSM2164. this, in part, helps make the Multiflter what it is, a clean, quiet, stable and very controllable filter at it’s core, without limiting its palette, well suited for processing anything you can run through it.” –

For more info: and

Noel Reunited

If I had to pick the best freestyle song of all time Silent Morning (1987) by Noel would be number 2 right behind Debbie Deb’s When I Hear Music. I always figured he still performs shows. Recently a friend showed me the video above of a recent live performance of Noel. It wasn’t just a normal performance for him. He was suprised when his two estranged daughters showed up on stage to dance with him. These things are always touching and mix that with an 80s legend and it’s sparkly.

“Noel Pagan (also known as Noel) is a Puerto Rican American and Spanish male Latin freestyle singer born in the Bronx, New York. “Silent Morning” became his first Top-10 hit on the dance singles chart and peaked at #47 on the Hot 100 in 1987. “Like a Child” peaked at #67 in 1988, but it became his first number-one single on the dance chart. He topped the dance charts again later that year with “Out of Time.” – Wikipedia

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Make Noise Knobs Switch

Make Noise is probably my favorite Eurorack module company. I’m in love with my Echophon and a DPO, Photogene and redesigned Maths surely are going to enter my studio. If you have an older Make Noise module and want to put their newer knobs on your module check out the video above. I love the soundtrack to this.

“Make sure the potentiomenter does not suffer horizontal force.” –

For more info: