80′s awesome wonderful! In England in the summertime…
“Introducing the Fairlight App for iPhone & iPad, available from the Apple App Store in March 2011. Over 30 years since the original Fairlight CMI first changed the way we make music, we are proud to present the iPhone & iPad Apps, giving you the experience of a CMI Series IIx in the palm of your hand, complete with the full Series IIx factory library and expandable to include the best of the Series III library and even your own samples. Marvel at the then revolutionary Page R step sequencer, gasp at the three dimensional waveforms in Page D and bask in the wonder of some of the most famous sounds of the Eighties! The sound track of this video is also one of the app’s built-in demos. ‘Octagonalle’ was created using original Series II library sounds on the Fairlight iPad app by producer/composer Justin Shave. Shave confronted his first CMI in 2006 when he co-produced Darren Hayes’ album “This Delicate Thing We’ve Made.” Darren had decided that the Fairlight was the only instrument which could deliver the ’80s sensibility he was seeking, bought one on eBay, and handed it to Shave to tame. The rest is history.” – FairlightInstruments
Here’s a trio for Tuesday. Three new interesting pro-audio related products. Number one we have Steinberg LoopMash. LoopMash mangles four loops. It’s an iPhone App. I grabbed it and it has a pretty cool faux 3D swipe to different screen effect worth checking out. Years after abandoning Cubase I’m using a Steinberg product again. Number two is Mike. It’s a microphone from Apogee that goes directing into your iOS device. It’s from Apogee so it deserves mention. Convenience and AD/DA conversion wise it should be a winner however I’m all about high end mic pres and Mike can’t use one. Number three we have SuperAnalog808 a Roland TR-808 sample pack from Goldbaby designed for Loopmasters. If you don’t own a real 808 or Acidlab Miami then samples are your friend. Goldbaby does them right and there’s a million suble differences between 808s and ways to record them so another sample set is always welcome.
I really want one of these vintage Telefunken Echomixers. I’m not sure they are worth Sonic Circus’s price of $2650. It’s definitely a piece you want if your building a musical time machine. What a sweet distortion and spring reverb from Germany.
“Telefunken Echomixer, a great vintage piece form 1960 years with old discrete comoponents (old transistors, no tubes) It is a Mixer + an amazing spring reverberator. the first A channel is dry, and on B and C you can select the spring reverb amount between the two lower sliders. Great unit for a unique sound and collector.” – soniccircus.com
Drum kits made from vintage analog synthesizers are a good thing. Here’s one set up for you in an Ableton Live pack created with a Korg MS-10. It’s $10 AUS via Paypal. Audio samples and more info: click here
“All the samples have been programmed on the MS-20 from the ground up and treated with the utmost care to provide you with pristine and unique sounds you wont find anywhere else.This is our most comprehensive pack to date as it includes 6 unique LIVE sets, 6 Drum Racks, 77 samples, 58 midi clips as well as unique FX such as our Geiger and 3F-Sat.The samples and FX have been grouped within the racks and have useful macro controls assigned to them to broaden the pallet of sounds you can produce.” – voltagedisciple.com
Puremagnetik creates and sells mini monthly sample packs for Ableton, Kontakt & Logic. I recently met Micah Frank at IMSTA FESTA and thought I would follow up with this interview.
I really like your subscription model. Tell Wire to the Ear readers how it works.
Puremagnetik produces a new “Micropak” each month. A Micropak is a small (usually under 600MB) sound set that is very focused on a particular instrument. You can subscribe for $5.75 per month and download the Current Micropak. We keep each Micropak current for 2 months, so there are two Current Micropaks available at all times. You can also buy a full year subscription or buy the entire catalog. Additionally, users can purchase back catalog Micropaks individually – similar to back issues of a magazine.
Tell us about your recording chain. Are there any microphones or outboard processors your in love with?
I mostly program Puremagnetik’s electronic content. I prefer to keep my signal chain as transparent as possible. Good A/D matters most to me. I rarely use compression during tracking but sometimes I like to use my API Lunchbox’s 512C’s as a DI. Our other sound developer Brian produces all of the acoustic stuff in some great studios. He uses all of the Pultecs, Chandlers and Neumanns.
Digital Blasphemy by micahfrank
How do you go about finding the instruments to record? I can’t imagine you own all the toys ToyBox Micropaks!
Sometimes we go shopping (Toys r Us). We also have a great network of studios and synth geeks all up and down the east coast. If I can find a good deal on eBay, I’ll jump on it – Synthi owners speak up! A lot of the stuff I’m working on now is more conceptual so it requires less defined devices.
What percent of your customers would you say subscribe vs just buy a pack they like?
It’s a 50/50 split. Some people like the subscription model. Just as many people are happy grabbing them once they become back catalogued.
What is your most popular Micropak and what are your top 3 personal favorites?
The most popular Micropak is an oldie but goodie – Eight Bit. It is a pack of sounds from a Commodore 64 SID chip.
The Micropaks I like the most are the ones I enjoyed working on the most. I love the ability in Live to reverse engineer the concepts behind some great synths. If you look at Puremagnetik’s Vector, Waveframe and P-50 Linear you will see that I have broken the synths down into their core components and reconstructed them in Live Racks. In Waveframe for instance, I took all of the Fizmo’s wavetable content and reconstructed the whole synth in Live using Ableton Sampler’s modulation functions.
Brian also did the same kind of reverse engineering in this month’s Omnichord inspired pack. In my opinion, this is where Puremagnetik really shines – when we break away from the same old multisampling conventions.
I know you make music yourself. Tell Wire to the Ear readers some of the bands you work or have worked with and some places online they can hear your music.
The only band I have worked with in the past few years is a local artist named Atarah Valentine. I got in touch with him through Ableton and Damian Taylor (Bjork). The highlight of my work with him was this past June when we opened for La Roux at Terminal 5. He’s a very talented singer so I look forward to working with him a lot more in the future.
My big project for the past year is Tectonic. It is a realtime sonification of earthquake data as interpreted by Max and then synthesized by a Kyma/Pacarana system. http://micahfrank.com/tagged/tectonic. For the past few years I haven’t really enjoyed making horizontal music. By that, I mean music that is pre-composed in a given timeframe by a horizontally oriented DAW. I am finding it much more gratifying to create a system like Tectonic or just grab my DrumKat and improvise under my alias Kamoni (kamoni.net) You can see and hear all of the other stuff I’m up to at micahfrank.com or soundcloud.com/micahfrank.
What music are you listening to lately?
Tim Hecker, Robert Normandeau, Ben Frost, Alva Noto, Zoot Woman
Here’s a public offer. If you want to make a Micropak out of my Electrocomp-101 (number 521 out of 2000) feel free but you have to come to my place. I’m not lugging that thing to Brooklyn!
Thanks Oliver! That would be totally awesome. You have just been inducted into PECSGN (Puremagnetik East Coast Synth Geek Network).
Lawrie Cape from England sent me an email this morning with details of a new project he/she has been working on called Cellular AutoMidi. It’s a generative audio app running inside Adobe Air. It has internal sounds but also uses the Flash Midi Server system so you can control VSTs with it. If you don’t have your copy of Audio Damage’s Automaton at work this could get your Cellular Automata algorithm fix in!
“I’ve just finished work on a generative audio app called Cellular Automidi. Cellular AutoMidi is a generative music app, making “music” based on a modified Cellular Automata algorithm. It can make music itself, or you can use it as a midi controller with other software/equipment. Each cell can be alive or dead. Once in a generation, each cell looks at it’s surrounding cells, and dies if it is lonely or overcrowded. If a dead cell has an optimum amount of neighbors, it will come to life! Each generation, all the cells which have come to life will sound a note. The notes are assigned based on the cell’s y position, and are all in the pentatonic scale.” – Lawrie Cape
Wave Alchemy has released a free sample pack of the vintage analog Roland TR-606 drum machine. Four free kits are included titled: Driven Kit, Dry Kit, Stereo FX Kit and Warm Kit. To grab the samples: click here
“606 Drums by Wave Alchemy serves up 290 drum samples from Roland’s sought-after TR-606 drum machine. The samples included have been lovingly recorded through an API pre-amp with many sounds boasting multiple round robin variations, accent and velocity layers! 606 Drums contains four pre-mapped drum kit patches for use with Kontakt 2, 3, & 4 and Battery 3. Each kit makes extensive use of multiple velocity layers, round robin sample playback and choke groups to create truly expressive sample instruments.” – Wave Alchemy
Disclaimer: Wave Alchemy is an advertiser on Wire to the Ear.
Goldbaby has recorded some more drum machines to tape. The new Vol.3 sample pack is $29. He has some good free packs on his site too. Having a few Ableton Impulse patches created out of these nicely recorded machines is handy.
“Drum Machines used: RZ-1, TR-55, XD-5, MFB-522, DDM-110, DDM-220, DPM-48, RX-21L, R-100, ED-10, PB-300 and the DSM-1. The Tape machines used: Otari MX5050 1/4″, Rolla 77 valve mono 1/4 inch, and the Hitachi Cassette deck. Plus the UBK Fatso was also used!” – goldbaby.co.nz
Here’s a link to some audio samples from The European Organization for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider and computer room. Listen and download the samples: click here
“Above all, we want everyone to be able to share in the wonder and excitement of the greatest experiment ever built. We feel passionately that everyone is capable of appreciating what is happening at CERN and that it is the responsibility of those of us already `in the know’ to find new and better ways of sharing the awe-inspiring magnificence of it all. The LHC belongs to us all; you paid for it to be built and you will enjoy the technological advances it brings.” – lhcsound.com
For those who like there music making with a heavy click swing, deep bass and the flavor of Berlin.
“The Live Sets were made exclusively for Ableton by ten artists from the Minus roster. Each Set comes with a companion Lesson that reveals insights into the artist’s musical vision and offers valuable production tips. Includes material from: Click Box, Hobo, Heartthrob & Troy Pierce, Magda, Marc Houle, Fabrizio Maurizi, Barem, Ambivalent, JPLS and Gaiser. This Live Pack requires Live 8.1.3 or higher. To install the Pack, download it, unzip it and double-click the .alp file. You’ll then be asked where to save the contents of the Pack.”