Last night i picked up an Amplitude iRig from Best Buy (about $40). It wasn’t too long until I had some old gear going through any music Apps that allowed input. The photo above shows a Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-110 into the Moog Filtatron app. iRig works as advertised and I was very impressed with Filtatron. I think that Moog hired some good coders because it sounds right. I also think it was smart of them to release this on touch devices and not as a plug-in that you would have use a mouse with. This thing begs to be played with. The feedback and tape delay effects are great. I tried to plug a Shure SM58 directly into the iRig but I think I need a pre-amp to get my signal much hotter before it will be of any use.
“Simply plug the iRig interface into your mobile device, plug your instrument into the appropriate input jack, plug in your headphones, amp or powered speakers, download ‘AmpliTube FREE’ version for iPhone or for iPad, and start rocking!” – ikmultimedia.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
I start my songwriting with the drums. Touching actual buttons and watching flashing lights go left to right as the sequencer plays is more fun than pushing around a mouse. My iPad is getting a lot of attention these days for the fun factor too but the sound is not exactly the same.
“The famous Roland TR-808 was also launched in 1980. At the time it was received with little fanfare, as it did not have digitally sampled sounds; drum machines using digital samples were much more popular. In time, though, the TR-808, along with its successor, the TR-909 (released in 1984), would become a fixture of the burgeoning underground dance, techno, and hip-hop genres, mainly because of its low cost (relative to that of the Linn machines), and the unique character of its analogue-generated sounds.” – Wikipedia
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.
A few weeks ago The New York Times had an article on The Bronx neighborhood Kingsbridge. Sometimes I ride my bike through Kingsbridge on my way to Inwood Park. Recently I stopped in the thrift store the article mentioned and played with some old music toys. If you can’t see the flash slideshow above: click here
“3 P.M. Dive in at Unique Thrift Store, 218 West 234th Street, (718) 548-1190. Forget the secondhand shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where hipsters and bargain hunters have already snapped up the good stuff. Here you can take your time combing through the Hawaiian shirts, vintage blouses and snow parkas. Recently spotted gems include a corduroy suit for $9.99, a giant feather-bedecked floppy hat, and a book about high-stakes gambling called “The Man With the $100,000 Breasts.” – The New York Times
Here’s some samples and photos from my latest eBay splurge. There’s something special about a vintage drum machine. I can’t place what it is but the sound and groove is just “it”. The recorded waveforms have more valleys and peaks than ITB synthesized drums. Panning seems wider. This Yamaha RX11 from the early 80s is really large, heavy and built like a tank. Pure joy for $50.
“The RX11 was one of Yamaha’s early drum machines (maybe even their first?) and as you can see from the panel cosmetics, it comes from the same era as their DX synths. At the time, it was a marvel – a (relatively) low-cost programmable drum machine with 29 ‘real’ drum samples and no less than 12 individual audio outputs.” – hollowsun.com/vintage/rx11/
Sonic Charge’s MicroTonic is one of the best software drum machines. Now you can browse patterns and drum sets on their website in the Patternarium. You can thumbs up or down patterns, save patterns and if you have MicroTonic running simply copy the pattern with a few clicks. I think it’s a pretty interesting web meets sequencer diddy!
“What you are experiencing above are computer generated patterns for µTonic created through principles of evolution. All the sounds and rhythms you are hearing are produced by algorithms running on our servers (even the names are made up by random). Think of Patternarium as a giant collaborative patch randomizer. Our servers are regularly spawning new generations of a thousand unique patterns, each one being the cross product of two other patterns picked at random. The higher votes a certain pattern receives, the more likely it is to get picked and bear offspring into the next generation. This means that you may participate and influence the outcome of Patternarium simply by voting.” – soniccharge.com/patternarium
Today just a sample of a few channels of pure Roland SH3 and Korg KR-55 drum machine. Both are vintage analog and wonderful.
“The SH-3A is a monophonic analog synthesizer that was manufactured by Roland from 1974 to 1981. It is unique in that it is capable of both subtractive synthesis and additive synthesis. Two LFOs and a unique sample-and-hold section provided capabilities not found in competing self-contained synthesizers of the time. The SH-3A was Roland’s first non-preset based synth. It was unique for its time in that it offered mixable waveforms at different footages. The predecessor, the Roland SH-1000 could also do this but didn’t offer as much control as on the SH-3A. The rhythmic pulsing in the Blondie song “Heart of Glass” is an example of its sound. The initial version “SH-3″ infringed radder-filter patent of Robert Moog, and Roland revised their copy circuit after warned by Moog Music. NOTABLE SH-3A USERS: The Human League, Vangelis, Blondie, Chris Carter” – WIkipedia.org
I can’t wait to get one of these. Total boutique unique loud snappy analog sound. Novamusik has them for $350. A kick from an MBase and snare from this box and trust me people will know your in the room.
“Analog Membrane Modeling. Two analog T-bridge oscillators become electronic membranes. Why? Because they can be coupled. And because their dampening can be controlled. Then add a little noise, add a little envelope, and the brand new electronic percussion synthesizer of Jomox is ready.” – novamusik.com
I definitely want one of these. There is some real vintage analog snappiness to this box. What do you think?