Check out Tristan Shone’s machine and music which he calls Author and Punisher. Einstürzende Neubauten where are you?
“Author & Punisher is an industrial doom and drone metal, one man band utilizing primarily custom fabricated machines/controllers and speakers. I have performed and shown these machines in festivals and exhibitions in the United States and abroad recently.” – soundcloud.com/authorandpunisher
Imagine a room which is totally silent. Imagine you hear your own organs. Imagine it drives you insane. Apparently such a room exists at the SAE Institute Adelaide. Living in noisy as hell NYC I wouldn’t mind some silent room therapy.
“Scientists at Minneapolis’ Orfield Labs created their own soundless room, an anechoic chamber. Their studies have found that when putting subjects within the chamber, they begin to hallucinate within 30 minutes. With an average quiet room having a sound level of 30 decibels, the anechoic chamber’s sound level is -9 decibels. The ceiling, floor, and walls of the chamber absorb sound rather than have it bounce off as normal objects do. The chamber is so quiet that the subjects can even hear their own organs functioning. Although extremely interesting, the experience is rather unpleasant. Not one subject has spent more than 45 minutes in the chamber alone. Leaving a person to only their thoughts, the chamber could drive them insane.” – abovetopsecret.com
I really recommend people grab a hardware synth if they make music. For the same price of a lot of plug-ins you can grab something like the new Waldorf Rocket. In the US it’s about $330. It reminds me a little of the Eurorack module from Synthesis Technology called the Cloud Generator in that it’s mostly based on 8 digital Saw waves. Don’t let the digital part get in your way because bringing hardware into a DAW sounds different then using a plug-in. I also like that this box is small and can run of USB power making it cool to have around a laptop on the go. Sure it isn’t going to give you a enormous range of sounds but I’m all about limitations these days. The Rocket also has an arpeggiator, pulse width modulation and some other niceties.
“Monophonic Synthesizer with Variable Oscillator,Variable Waveshaping, Analog Filter, Arpeggiator, LFO, Modulation Envelope, Boost Circuit, and USB/MIDI I/O” – Sweetwater
Metro is one of my all time favorite songs. Check out Berlin’s lead singer Terri Nunn on Terri on VH1’s Where Are They Now? She talks about what pushed her to make the vocals and she says what I always say: The best music comes from frustration. Synths and sex forever people.
“Berlin is an American synthpop band. The group was formed in Los Angeles in 1978 by John Crawford (bass guitar). Bandmembers included Crawford, Terri Nunn (vocals), David Diamond (keyboards), Ric Olsen (guitar), Matt Reid (keyboards) and Rod Learned (drums). Learned left during the first EU tour and was replaced by Rob Brill (drums). The band gained mainstream-commercial success in the early 1980s with singles including “The Metro”, “Sex (I’m A…)”, “No More Words” and then in the mid 80s with chart-topping single “Take My Breath Away” from the 1986 film Top Gun.” – Wikipedia
I really love the technology in Yamaha’s Vocaloid series. Basically it’s a sequencer that allows you to play a synthetic voice. The newest Vocaloid incarnation is named Avanna. From what I understand these voices are used a lot by videogame producers and some are even stars in Japan. Unfortunately this is PC only software but many of us have virtual machines these days. It would be more useful if I could re-wire it into Ableton on my Mac side though. This version is $130 USD. Let me know if any of you use Vocaloid in your own productions.
“AVANNA is the clearest and sweetest sounding English vocaloid yet. Ideally suited to pop and celtic, she can also be used in a myriad of musical styles. The new Vocaloid 3 interface allows you to import wav files so Avanna can sing along with your compositions from within Vocaloid. Avanna also comes with a default reverb for added realism and you can add vibrato and expression to her voice. Whether it’s sweet and pure leads, harmonies or backing vocals, Avanna can sing anything you like any time you want!” – soundsonline.com/a>
Later today I am going to The Silent Barn at 603 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11206. There is an event called Modular Equinox that will be running from 5:30PM – 1:00AM. A huge number of modular synthesizer performances and installations will be taking place. Be sure to click to the event page to see the lineup. See you tonight!
“Drew McDowall (Coil) + many more — installations and workshops”
“The Wobblatron. Wobble, tweak, modulate, filter, scream, wibble, wub wub streaming audio into new exciting things. Run any audio through it and turn it into sub-atomic bass!!!” – Ned Rush
The Wobblatron by Ned Rush is a very cool new Ableton device that lets you do more than just Wobble your sound. Check out the video to see it in action. I can see this getting a lot of use. Available now for $25.
Sometimes you need a very basic great techno track. Ronan Portela’s Among Noise remixed by Jonas Kopp hits the spot. If you don’t go out often trust me if this is playing in a club people will be dancing.
“Jonas Kopp was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1981. He has been a producer since he was 19 years old.” – Discogs
Here’s a nice video overview of the new MMG Eurorack module from Make Noise. Like all of Tony Orlando’s Rolando’s creations it has many features and uses.
“A vactrol based Voltage Controlled Filter and Low Pass Gate using our QMMG core. The MMG bridges the Far East and West Coast synthesis styles by allowing for highly resonant acidic squelch and organic, percussive animations to be programmed simultaneously with a single module.” – Make Noise