I have no idea if the Smack Attack steering wheel drum machine is a joke or not. Is this real? Really?
“Put cover on any steering wheel, start the iPhone app, and wirelessly play drums with your iTunes over your car’s existing speakers. Red lights, traffic jams, and tailgates will never be the same again because tapping on your steering wheel just got way more awesome.”
What do you call your company if it gives it’s users what they want? Korg. For years everyone has been yelling “real analog” “inexpensive” “analog poly” “303 reissue” and at Frankfurt’s Musikmesse Korg announced the Korg Volca series which pretty much covers all those wants. All the boxes have MIDI and Sync (like on the Monotribe). The Beats has some analog voices and a few samples. The analog voices can be edited via knobs and the length of the samples can also be adjusted. There’s a digital stutter effect for the samples. The Volca Bass is similar to a 303 albeit with a Korg 700s filter and the Volca Keys has a Polyphonic mode. They come out this summer and will be $150.
“Following in the footsteps of the monotron, monotribe, and MS-20 Mini analog synthesizers, Korg announces the volca series. volca is a new lineup of EDM production tools comprised of three distinct models: the volca Keys lead synthesizer, the volca Bass synthesizer, and the volca Beats rhythm machine. These powerful and fun-to-use true-analog devices deliver a diverse array of fat sounds that can be obtained only from an analog synthesizer. Each is also equipped with sequencing/recording capabilities for intuitively generating performances. Multiple volcas can be used in tandem via the vintage-style sync in/out, and with your favorite DAW software or MIDI keyboard via MIDI In. Battery operation and built-in speakers mean that you can conveniently play anywhere and anytime. These are the next-generation analog synthesizers, bringing you the ultimate sounds and grooves with ease and depth. Whether used together or by themselves, the volca series is poised to inject true analog power into any performance or studio setup!” – korg.com
Jomox is going to release it’s Mbase kick drum and Mbrane snare/percussion modules in Eurorack format! I have both desktop versions and I think this is an exciting thing. Besides the fact you can use this in a modular system notice there are now more dedicated knobs for parameters. Want!
“Continuing the proven Jomox analog drum desktop modules, we have decided to expand into the 19” euro rack market while keeping the tradition of our storeable analog sound production. To achieve this, we had to develop a complete new analog control system for our circuitries inside these modules. Everything is storeable and can be recalled via encoder klick from 128 presets. But for the analog feel of modular, eight potentiometers give you the fine and precise editing of the most important parameters without stepping through menus. E-Drummers can create complete E-drum setups, because there is an internal Jomox analog connection bus with a fast digital link which can do a submix and an FX send mix from each module hooked up to the bus. Over this system bus you won’t need to use the audio outputs but instead you have a programmable bus system that can link to future master, sequencer and mixing or effects modules – which can take control over the single modules. This makes the whole modular setup recallable and storeable from a center module like a drum machine.” – jomox.de
Here is an interesting find for you all drum machine collectors! How about an MFB 712? It’s a early digital machine with 40 sounds, dynamics and MIDI. The one you see above is on eBay for $300 (link). I really want a 501 if I can find one.
“One of the world’s first digital drum machines. A pioneering piece of electronic music gear from legendary synth designer Manfred Fricke, Berlin. Beautiful in terms of its design and form factor, this drum machine has the same white housing shared by the legendary MFB-501 analog preset drum machine which is next to impossible to find. Used by Conrad Schnitzler, as evidenced by video of him in his studio.” – spinalgrommet (eBay)
Trigger sequencer are the rage right now in Eurorack. We recently saw Pamela’s Workout, the upcoming Tiptop Audio Trigger Riot and now the Delptronics Trigger Sequencer. They all have interesting ways to get your drums and bleeps going. The Delptronics will be $190 USD and available soon.
“This is a preview of the new trigger sequencer eurorack module from Delptronics which debuted at NAMM 2013.” – delptronics.com
This months issue of Sound on Sound has reviews of the MFB-522 and 503 drum machines. The 522 is sort of a Roland TR-808 clone. It is full analog and in the ballpark but really sounds like it’s own machine. I’ve have a lot of music on my to do list and because I’m using a lot of analog hardware these days I decided to put a mini studio on my dining room table. The heart of it is the 522. I also have an old Boss BX800 mixer from the 80s. I have fond memories of the way it distorted. Unfortunately after playing with it a bit I ended up switching it out to a new Yamaha MG102c. The kick’s attack is much sharper on the new mixer and that’s very important to me. The 522 has individual out, lots of knobs to control the sounds, a fill pattern and it’s fun to program. Check out the little video above of my MFB in action. You can hear it has a nice tight groove and how fun the fill is. The video was recorded with an iPhone though the iPhone’s speaker with the audio coming from a TDK Boombox. There is a suped up version of the 522 called the 523 coming this year. You can buy a 522 for $425 USD.
“MFB-522 is a drumcomputer with a fully analogue sound engine that offers plenty of editing capabilities. It includes a step-sequencer with popular TR-style running-light-programming. Memory locations are available for 72 patterns as well as for 8 songs.” – mfberlin.de
The Trigger Riot is one of three new sequencers from Gur at Tiptop Audio. If you read this blog you know I am really enjoying the TTA drum modules. Very simply you hook some modules to the Riot and as you change knob positions you get different patterns of all sorts. I’ll be getting this one for sure.
“From a conceptual view, the Trigger Riot generates 16 clock streams consisting of multiple time manipulation functions (division, offsets, etc) that interact to create the trigger output, and direct access to each parameter via individual knobs allows for quick manipulation. The 8 outputs are the sum of those manipulated streams per row. The outputs of the module are arranged as either a 4×4 matrix, where each of the 16 knobs affects both row and column, or as a set of independent outputs for each row or column. This allows forming 8 complex musical interactions in a ‘Matrix’ mode or 8 independent streams in ‘Independent’ mode and is switchable from one to the other on press of a button for some unexpected results. Since each of the 16 knobs represents a real time tweakable trigger generator/modifier the Trigger Riot is extremely playable and can result very complex patterns with only few knob turns; patterns that would otherwise take much longer and in some instances be almost impossible to produce using grid based step sequencing. Patterns can have unique time signatures that can repeat or be randomized through probability, time shifted and phased, divided, multiplied and counted, it’s unbelievable how complex this module can get with minimal input.” – Gur (Tiptop Audio)
For years nothing beat having a real Roland TR-909 or 808. Today I would say the Tiptop Audio modules are even better. Just listen to the Tiptop 909 high hats with some Synthesis Technology E355 LFO destroying them on and off. Such pleasure for someone like me.
The HATS909 is the TR-909’s original Closed and Open Hi-Hats circuits adapted for use in Eurorack modular synthesizer format and was tested to sound like a machine coming fresh off the assembly line back in the 80’s. Improving on the original, we have added some great new features that expand the sound palette of hats that can be produced with this small, powerful module. The original TR-909 circuit is made with a combination of low-fi 6-bit samples that pass through a series of analog elements to provide envelope and filtering to the source sound. The HATS909 module allows for manual and voltage control of the sample’s tuning, which provide anything from crushed hats and short ticks to the original sound and anything in between. A modulation with external control signals or for adding AM or FM synthesis in the audio range from external oscillators, other drum sounds, or just about any sound source. HATS909 also offers a switch for a direct tap to the output of the original sample, bypassing all other internal analog processing, giving you the pure source sound for synthesis any way you want with your own modules.” – ctrl-mod.com
My brother got me a Blue Lantern Asteroid BD for X-mas! Here’s two videos and a direct recording for you. It’s teamed up with some Tiptop Audio 808 modules and a Metasonix R-54. No other effects were used. Everything is being triggered by an Innerclock Sync-Gen IIls. I think they all sound fantastic!
“Introducing the new blue lantern modules analog drum kick. This design was sitting in my pc for over 2 years, and i am barely getting around to releasing it. Shame on me. This drum kick module can cover a good range of analog drum kick sounds. I included the essentials in bass drum control and sculpting. You can go from chi-town muddy drums to Detroit techno drums really easy. The key feature i included is that the decay will go long (almost infinite) when fully clockwise. there is a trimmer to adjust and fine tune the decay knob. I already calibrated for the best setting.” – Blue Lantern
I’m really into Eurorack drum modules at the moment so I was excited to discover the Elby Designs CGS747 Cynare Drum Synthesizer. I really like that is has a full EG, VCF and VCA built-in. I’ve been using my AS Telemark for some slowly filtering white noise bursts but the Cynare should be able to cover that and free the Telemark up again for more synth duties. $337 USD.
“The CGS747 is one of a family of 3 CGS drum simulators from Ken Stone. It generates a single drum sound that can be adjusted to sound like a cymbal, hi-hat, snare drum, electronic drum, or numerous other percussive sounds. It is a complete dedicated synthesizer in its own right, including six oscillators, a noise source, a mixer, an envelope generator, a VCF and a VCA.” – elby-designs.com