In the late 1960s Mike Matthews worked as a salesmen for IBM. He then started Electro Harmonix in NYC. The legendary effects pedal company is still going strong. His most famous pedal is the Big Muff fuzzbox. I’m far more interested in his very early analog products. One of them is awesomely named the Sequencer Drum. It’s a simple analog synth with an 8 step sequencer. You can hook two together and they will be in sync. You don’t buy these for their features. You buy them for the sound. Like calves liver it’s something not everyone is after. After watching the video above some of you are already on eBay. You won’t find these often. If your looking to recreate an early 80s Soft Cell demo cassette this is a good starting point.
“The Sequencer Drum is one of the rarest Electro Harmonix pedals. Unlike some of the other EH obscurities, this one is actually useful and sounds amazing! Not only is it an 8-step CV/Gate sequencer, but it has a built in synthesizer and a mode that allows you trigger the sequence at a set decay! The leather pad on the front is meant to be tapped to activate the trigger (hence the “drum” in the title). This particular sequencer is the fully patched out version, with an input that allows you to clock the unit externally, and CV and internal Clock outputs for sequencing other synthesizers.” – Matrixsynth (captured eBay description)
This entry was written by hardware, synthesizer and tagged analog sequencer, Electro Harmonix Sequencer Drum, Electro-Harmonix, Soft Cell, synthesizer. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Here is a great custom synth now available on eBay called the DiVision-B. It was created in Greece and has a large built in oscilloscope. Right now the auction is at a little less than $400 USD.
“Arduino based Custom Made Analog Synthesizer compiled with 2C.V.s & C.V. Divider” – monopolis.gr
This entry was written by hardware, synthesizer and tagged DiVision-B, Greece, monopolis, synthesizer. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
In my own opinion Skinny Puppy’s album Vivisect VI and the tour that went with it was the pinacle of their career. I saw that live show and have a jacked covered in fake blood to prove it. What you see above is a diagram CEvin Key posted on his Facebook page (link). It was used to set up their synths including Akai S900, Ensoniq ESQ-1, Emax, Moog, SPX90, Pro-1, Mirage and a Roland TR-808. What a nice find.
“This is the only Skinny Puppy album on which Dave Ogilvie (credited as “Rave”) is given songwriting credit and listed as an official member of the band. This was also the only album (until 2004′s The Greater Wrong of the Right) to feature a photo of the band.” – Wikipedia
For more info: facebook.com/cevinkey
A few days ago Jack Tramiel past away. For most people it’s the his product the Commodore 64 that has them teary eyed in rememberance. For me however it is the Atari ST. When it came out the 520ST not only competed with the Mac it bested it on many fronts and it cost much less. I remember the first time seeing the Atari monochrome screen. People rave about the clearness of the new iPad 3′s screen and like today’s raves for the iPad that Atari screen was something to behold. It was so sharp and clear for the time. In addition the ST had something no other main computer system had: MIDI ports. I used DR T.’s KCS (Keyboard Controlled Sequencer) and later Cubase on a 1040ST. By the way theses were also in my own opinion beautifuly designed machines. Just look at that image above. Like my Apple products today I really loved that machine. It tempted me to create. I did also own an Amiga and loved it as well.
“In 1953, while working as a taxi driver, Tramiel bought a shop in the Bronx to repair office machinery, securing a $25,000 loan for the business from a U.S. Army entitlement. He named it Commodore Portable Typewriter.” – Wikipedia
For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Tramiel
This entry was written by hardware and tagged Atari, Atari ST, Commodore, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Jack Tramiel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Gijs Gieskes the wonderful Dutch hardware artisan/hacker who created my beloved HSS3i video generator shows us his take on a hard drive turned into a turntablesque music device which his calls Analog HD-2.
“Gijs Gieskes is an industrial designer from the Netherlands who is probably best known for the fascinating mechanical devices he constructs for musical and visual expression.” – 8bitpeoples.com
For more info: gieskes.nl
This entry was written by hardware and tagged Analog HD-2, Gieskes, Gijs Gieskes, HSS3i. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
What is the fastest adopted gadget of the past 50 years? It must have an Apple logo on it right? Nope. The boombox entered our lives quicker than the iPhone, Wii or Walkman. I had several including a massive Conion with an alarm system. Be sure to check out the Ghettoblaster flickr Group: click here. If you’re looking for the best modern take on a portable radio check out the Jambox or TDK Three Speaker Boombox. I always liked the idea of people blasting their music and forcing their loved art onto others. Oh well… back to my white earbuds.
“It’s the boombox. The boombox. This startling revelation was brought to light in a paper in the Journal of Management and Marketing Research. The conclusion is the result of checking the overall level of adoption of a variety of new technologies by the 7th year of their existence. The numbers show that the boombox was number one. For a little context, not only did it beat out the cellphone and the desktop computer but also every other variety of mobile music devices, of which I think we can all agree, the boombox is by far the least efficient and the most annoying.” – geekosystem.com
For more info: geekosystem.com/fastest-adopted-gadget
Turn anything into a control surface with Mogees. This is part IRCAM project. The results in the video seem great.
“Mogees is a project that uses microphones to turn any surface into an interactive board, which associates different gestures with different sounds. This means that desktop drummers could transform their finger taps and hand slaps into the sound of a marimba or xylophone. Users plug any contact microphone onto a surface — be it a tree, a cupboard, a piece of glass or even a balloon. They can then record several different types of touch using their hands or any objects that cause a sound — so one sound could be a hand slap, another could be a finger tap and another could be hitting the surface with a drumstick. Users can train the system to detect new types of touch recording them just once.” – brunozamborlin.com/mogees
For more info: brunozamborlin.com/mogees
Nick from Sonic State added MIDI to his Korg Monotribe using a kit available from Brasil called Miditribe I/O. I’m very tempted. It looks easy to install, also adds clock sync, aftertouch and some knobs also respond. $64 + shipping.
“Pre-assembled, no soldering, just plug and play!” – amazingmachines.com.br
For more info: amazingmachines.com.br
This entry was written by hardware, synthesizer and tagged Korg Monotribe, midi, Miditribe I/O. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Today I received my latest eBay purchase in the mail: a Suzuki Omnichord OM-84. Add a star to my hipster cred wall. Nevertheless I love the (analog) sound and playability of these instruments. There were a few variations and you can buy new digital models with MIDI called Qchords. If you have an iPad and you want some Omnichordness download the very good Polychord app (link). There’s a good blog that covers old Omnis here: omnichords.blogspot.com. Any of you Wire to the Ear readers own an Omnichord?
“The Omnichord is an electronic musical instrument, introduced in 1981 and manufactured by the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation. It typically features a touch plate, and buttons for major, minor, and diminished chords. The most basic method of playing the instrument is to press the chord buttons and swipe the touch plate with a finger or guitar pick in imitation of strumming a stringed instrument.” – Wikipedia
For more info: qchord.net
This entry was written by drum machine, hardware and tagged Omnichord, Qchord, Suzuki Omnichord. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I’ve been creating some music with Tom Carpenter. He’s the man behind the wonderful Analogue Solutions synths and modules. He did an unexpected “nice” for me and printed my alias The Horrorist on his upcoming Spring Reverb modules. So I guess I broke some new here… yeah AS has a new Spring Reverb module coming up. If you follow Tom on Facebook you can also see his new very nice looking Telemark Keyboard. The first song we recorded is called “Forever for You” although we could change it to Cold Wave.. what do you think Tom? My friend Gabri is also doing a mix and there will be some other tracks. Samples coming soon…
“Your name is imortalised on the new spring reverb circuit board. hopefully it will be released in a few months!” – Tom Carpenter
This entry was written by hardware, music and tagged Analogue Solutions, circuit board, Richter, spring reverb, The Horrorist, Things to Come Records, Tom Carpenter. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.