I can’t imagine a cooler clock for a synthesizer recording studio. You can special order this Heathkit OR-1 oscilloclock and a very cool looking Model 1 version at oscilloclock.com.
“From 1947 to 1992, the U.S. based Heath Company produced electronic kits for everything you can imagine: radios, TVs, computers, robots, ham gear, and electronic test equipment. Yes, you guessed it – they also produced kits for oscilloscopes! My Grandpa purchased one such scope, the Heathkit OR-1, around 1960. …The problem is, I have too many oscilloscopes. But I don’t have enough Oscilloclocks. What more fitting way to keep Grandpa’s legacy alive, than to retrofit his Heathkit?” – oscilloclock.com
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
Gijs Gieskes the creator of many crazy music and video devices such as my beloved HSS3i has some of his work on display at an exhibit in The Netherlands called Sounds Like Art.
“But in the exhibition SOUNDS LIKE ART are not sound artists in the spotlight, but the instruments they make. The result is an exhibition in which the unique interplay of form, materiality and technology of these new instruments can be heard, but also good to see. Participating artists are American Andy CAVATORTA specifically for Björk a set harps made to be played by gravity, hardware hacker Gijs Gieskes from existing special new electronic synthesizers and composing musician / artist Tom Verbruggen, better known as TokTek that ingenious sculptures makes that sound.” – mu.nl
There will be a Theremin concert next Wednesday, March 27th in New York City. It will take place at Joe’s Pub at the Public theater on 425 Lafayette Street. The show starts at 9:30PM. I think I will go to this one!
“Performances on Theremin by: Dorit Chrysler, Benjamin Ickies, Scott Robinson, Rob Schwimmer, & special guest Joe McGinty on Therevox. We are pleased to continue the NY Theremin Society’s concert series by announcing an exciting line-up of accomplished Theremin Virtuosos to perform March 27th at Joe’s Pub. Thereminists include Dorit Chrysler, Benjamin Ickes, Rob Schwimmer and Scott Robinson as well as special guest Joe McGinty on Therevox. Each player has their own unique style and approach to the instrument making for a night full of contrasts and musical surprises. ATTENTION: May contain some very rare theremin duetting or trios! Join the growing movement of infatuation with the Theremin in the 21st century!” – thereminworld.com
Everyone knows I love Ikea. Pretty much everything in my apartment is Ikea. My studio has a great Broder system for my synths. I adore this promotion video they put out last week. In the video they use EXPEDIT, STOLMEN, KVISSLE, FÖRHÖJA and more. Also spotted in this video is an Atari ST and a black cat. They are getting me from every angle here.
“Look at how we helped Harry organise his passion for more than 4500 records and make room for his family life. If you could do with some help storing your things, maybe some of the solutions we used for Harry might help you too.” – Ikea
When I saw the new Korg MS20 Mini I should have out $600 aside for it. There was one problem though. My heart now belongs to my Eurorack modular. But wait The Harvestman has come to the rescue! Scott has announced the English Tear which is an attenuverter and Eurorack interface for the Korg. He says it will be available in April and be inexpensive. Spend. Spend more now!
“I announce with great satisfaction ENGLISH TEAR, the first in a line of small utility modules. This module features the expected “voltage processor” attenuverter and big offset knobs, but also includes a full set of functions for interfacing to an MS-20. Easy conversion from exponential volt-per-octave to linear hertz-per-volt and back, as well as V-trigger to S-trigger conversion. Jack normalling fixes the voltage processors to these converter circuits, so you may scale the input voltages as desired. The log/expo converter ciruits also have many other uses in your modular system beyond the conversion of pitched voltages.” – The Harvestman
Check out this hand made distortion feedback microphone with an arcade push to talk function. It’s called a Dr Moonstien. I can see this being used at many a live show around 3AM. It’s available on eBay (link).
“This is a hand built noise machine built by me. it is a push to talk mic with very cool arcade style big red button. you can mix your very overdrive mic preamp with 3 extremely nasty octave modulators. this is the ultimate noise crust mic kind of a death metal version of a vocoder can be used as a feedback machine. this is good noise machine for the person that is more into destructive tambor than clarity. great way to juice up those vocals or control feedback to do your evil bidding. runs on 9v battery has 1/4 inch audio out has regular volume knob and 3 volume knobs for the different octaves of crust. on off power toggle blue led.” – drmoonstien
I’ve never really wanted anything on the Android platform. I also never really cared for a smaller iPad. As a musician I want more touch screen space. Windows 8 is bringing the world just that. In fact, the new Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon is so large it comes with wheels. Wheels! A few years down the road imagine a main touch sequencer with multiple music touch apps all on the same screen. I hope SKB makse a nice case so I can use mine live. I really hope Apple combines iOS and OS-X and makes everything they do touch. If not this could be a little “in” for the Windows eco-system.
“How badly have you wanted to turn your iPad or, better yet, touchscreen all-in-one PC into a table? OK, so maybe you haven’t thought of it. But don’t worry, Lenovo has. At CES 2013 the company unveiled its IdeaCentre Horizon, a 27-inch desktop all-in-one that transforms into a table. The all-in-one can actually be purchased with a separate table stand with wheels.” – abcnews
I was 13 years old when this episode of The Computer Chronicles aired. This means I was logging onto BBS’s and CompuServe with my TRS-80 Color Computer. $9.99 of a floppy disk with a low res christmas card on it!
“The Computer Chronicles was an American television series, broadcast during 1981-2002 on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television, which documented the rise of the personal computer from its infancy to the immense market at the turn of the 21st century.” – wikipedia.org
Ray Kurzweil is in the news this week. I think he’s a pretty interesting person. He believes the singularity is coming. If we can survive that long I think it’s a sure bet too. He’s just been hired at Google which seems highly appropriate or frightening depending on how you look at it. On a side note (pun intended) my favorite sample makers UVI are teasing a virtual version based on the Kurzweil K250.
“The technological singularity is the theoretical emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted. Proponents of the singularity typically state that an “intelligence explosion”, where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent’s cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human.” – Wikipedia