I like random sequencers of any type. I’m always adding little variations in my music using Ableton’s Random plug-in. In Buchla form a random sequencer in action is video worthy. With bright blue digital numbers, red and green buttons and yellow cables who wouldn’t stop for a few minutes and watch this.
“I did this when i first got the 200e. The stages of the 250e are being selected by the random voltages from the 266e. The tip of the sonic iceberg that is the 200e and the lovely uncertainty that Don so thoughtfully provided us! The old SFTMC 100 is helping out.” – Joe Pascarell
There is a large collection of really good looking Monome videos on Vimeo. This one is my favorite.
“Monome is a small Philadelphia-based hardware company that makes controllers for electronic music performance and new media art. Their first product, 40h, is an eight-by-eight grid of backlit buttons, which connects to a Mac or PC using a USB cable and the OpenSound Control protocol. Originally developed as an open ended performance interface for electronic music, its developers have said “The wonderful thing about this device is that it doesn’t do anything really,”. As a result, developers have begun to use the monome as an interface for other types of software, from text displays to games.” – Wikipedia.org
The SM Pro Audio V-Machine looks like a micro competitor to the Muse Research Receptor. It’s a $599 box that allows you to load a few VSTs into it and then play without a computer. If you load more than one VST in you can chain them into layers for more complex sounds. From what I read there is “control figuration” software for Windows/Mac with Linux coming soon. However, I believe the hardware box only accepts Windows VST plug-ins (am I right?). Could this be a way to get Windows VSTs playable on a Mac (other than using Bootcamp/Parallels)?
I think price is going to make or break this thing. If they can eventually get these down to $399 I can see justifying it as useful purchase. The problem is at any higher price you could just get a PC laptop. SM Pro Audio also has two more V-Machines coming out at a later date including a a Pedal type device (V-Pedal) and higher powered V-Rack rackmount version.
* External hardware host for Windows plugins (VST instruments and effects)
* Banks, presets (incl. chaining, layering, splitting) can be edited with the V-Machine or the host software
* Create synth layers and chain them with effects
* Connect nearly every MIDI-Controller to the V-Machine
* Multiple VSTi’s can be combined
* MIDI learn functions included
* All effect and synth chains can be switched latency free
* USB-Ports for copy protection dongles
* Use software samplers and stream its content from any USB drive
* sensor to adjust the display’s contrast automatically
My guess is you won’t find these advertised over at KVR (Muse Research owns KVR).
Last week I took a walk to my favorite store in the world Schneiders Buero. Herr Schneider is a really cool Geschaftsfuher (store owner). When you enter his palace of new analog synthesizers for sale a Theramin greets you by sounding off as you enter the door. Scattered around the shop there are postcards and adverts from some of our favorite gear. I grabbed some of them and scanned them for you. Remember when viewing images in flickr you can click “all sizes” to see larger versions of the scans.
Musikinstrumente & Design is a small vintage music instrument shop in Berlin. In fact, it’s directly three doors down from where I live. This means everyday I walk by and have to force myself not to buy anything! It’s a typical Berlin “GeschÃ¤ft” meaning it opens “whenever” and there is usually three or four people just hanging around drinking and smoking cigarettes.
Please click here to view a small photo set from inside Musikinstrumente & Design. I’ve never seen some of these pieces so please feel free to comment or tag the photos in flickr. Please note I put a Creative Commons license on these images so feel free to use them as long as you link back to this article.
Synthesizer fans have been coming across photos of your Analog Miniature collections on the internet. In fact your set on ï¬‚ickr.com has been viewed over 80,000 times. What inspired you to make these?
Well I’ve always been interested in human/machine interfaces and I think analogue synths and equipment are quite exciting visually because of all the knobs and sliders (usually one control for every function). I always wanted to design a synth but lacked the skills and resources, and making small models was something I could do. As far as I was aware nobody had built miniature synths before. I was already building small sculptures out of framing mattboards so this seemed like a logical step.
How long does it take you to make one?
Generally I’ll spend 2 to 3 days on each model, but I’m a perfectionist so if something isn’t right I will always redo it.
The photography of the miniatures is an art in itself. Do you have any comments about that? Are you a camera, lighting or Photoshop geek?
All of the above. I use a Nikon D-80 and a couple of speedlights. All of my diffusers and snoots have been constructed from cardboard and copy paper, so it is very much photography on the cheap. I love the process of setting up a photographic composition, but I still don’t see myself as a professional photographer.
Are the Miniatures your most popular work? Did that surprise you?
Absolutely. I had no idea they would appeal to anyone outside of the synth community.
I see your miniatures have found there way onto Steven Jansen’s CD cover. Are there other commercial places the Miniatures can be found?
Well I’ve done a couple of CD covers. The Moog Acid record is the other major one. I was delighted to be involved with that because I’m a big fan of the artists (Jean Jacques Perrey and Luke Vibert) and I think Non-Format also did a terriï¬c job with the sleeve design (link). I also produced some work for a compilation on Canadian label Do Right! Music (link). There are a few other commercial projects featuring the miniatures which should see the light of day soon.
There are many reasons why I am in love with this video: clear plastic, chrome spheres, multi-color LEDs, laser scanner and Roland TR-808 sounds. I am really happy things like this and other unique sequencers such as the Monome and Tenori-on are being produced. I’m on the verge of either building one myself of buying one.
A tangible rhythm sequencer. Ball bearings are used to trigger drum sounds. Visual feedback is displayed from underneath to indicate the current time and the state of each ball bearing.