Moog Source Blue Monday

One of the most famous synth synth sounds ever recorded is the bassline on New Order’s Blue Monday. It is in fact a Moog Source. Above Retrosound gets close but I think he needs a little more resonance. Ministry also used a Source in their Twitch era recordings. When I lived in Berlin I used the band Camouflage’s Source and was blown away by it. It’s also in my top five most beautiful looking synths ever. The Source was released in 1981 and Blue Monday in 1983.

“At nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, “Blue Monday” is one of the longest tracks ever to chart on the UK Singles Chart, and is the biggest-selling 12″ single of all time. Despite selling well it was not eligible for an official gold disc because Factory Records was not a member of the British Phonographic Industry association. According to the Official Charts Company, its total sales stands at 1.16 million in the United Kingdom alone, and “Blue Monday” came 69th in the all-time UK best-selling singles chart published in November 2012. The song begins with a distinctive semiquaver kick drum intro, programmed on an Oberheim DMX drum machine. Gillian Gilbert eventually fades in a sequencer melody. According to band interviews in NewOrderStory, she did so at the wrong time, so the melody is out of sync with the beat; however, the band considered it to be a happy accident that contributed to the track’s charm.” – Wikipedia

For more info: vintagesynth.com/moog/sourc

Wire to the Ear’s Winter NAMM 2014

So The NAMM Show 2014 is kicking off today. Usually I wait until the show is over then do a post about the stuff I like. However, this year I think I will keep this post up and just add to it as I find cool things I like. Refresh and re-vist this post if your interested to see my own thoughts on the new stuff!

HEXINVERTER.NET DRUM MODULES

HEXINVERTER.NET DRUM MODULES – About a year ago I contacted Stacy of Hexinverter.net. I wanted to know if I could buy his DIY HiHat Kit pre-built. At the time the answer was no. After some begging here we have not only the Hi Hats but a Kick Drum. Tiptop has the TR series nailed down (he used to repair those units I believe). Stacy is bringing some new flavors and just like synths we need variety in electronic drums. Very nice!

MOOG SUB 37

MOOG SUB 37 – Even though I am very much into my modular this Moog does look really great. Nothing in my studio has the bass of my Slim Phatty and I have a lot of equipment in there so there’s something to be said for the Moog sound. The SUB 37 really looks beautiful. I’m in love with my Microbrutes SH-101 like sequencer and the SUB 37 has one too. Even though it’s a simple little feature on a $1500 synth its the workflow that makes all the difference.

SSF ULTRA RANDOM

SSF ULTRA RANDOM – Sample and Hold is really important. I like old detuning oscillators. Using S&H and some other tricks I can make my new stable Eurorack oscillators sound bad. Bad meaning good. So I welcome the SSF Ultra Random!

IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER

IZOTOPE BREAKTWEAKER – They key to liking this is to think about using your own content in it. Once you do that you see there is some really cool stuff in this plug-in. The built-in sequencer allows you to use different tempos and time signatures for each channel. There is also a “generator” that gives you wavetable sequencing over parameters and MIDI control over everything. This looks to be another good remix tool.

ARTURIA BEATSTEP

ARTURIA BEATSTEP – An analog sequencer for a DAW, iOS and… Eurorack! No brainer awesome!

KORG GADGET

KORG GADGET – Nostalgia crack for musicians! No one can dispute you can use iOS for real music these days. I recently bought an iConnectMIDI2 just to do so. Here we have Korg making cool little retro inspired software gadgets on the most impressive gadget of all.

ELEKTRON RYTHM

ELEKTRON RYTHM – I know Elektron stuff is highly regarded but this is the first E box I want to own. I don’t think there is an analog drum machine I don’t want to own. I like how you can have parameter settings per sequencer move. It even has DIN Sync!

MAKE NOISE

MAKE NOISE – Six new modules! Rosie, Teleplexer, CTRLSEL-V, CTRLSEL-G, Mysteron and the Erbe-verb enter the amazing Make Noise world. The Teleplexer and Erbe-verb will surely end up in my studio.

More Wire the Ear picks coming as NAMM goes on over the next few days!

“The NAMM Show is the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry. It is held once a year, namely every January in Anaheim, California, USA at the Anaheim Convention Center, and is one of the two largest music product trade shows in the world. Its European counterpart is the Musik Messe in Frankfurt.” – Wikipedia

For more info: namm.org

Omar Leon Moog Club Barcelona

Earlier this year I performed in Barcelona. One the highlights was listening to the club owner’s (Omar Leon) DJ set before I went on. I had no idea I was among musical friends so when I heard his mix of classic EBM and some New Beat records I hadn’t heard since the late 80s I was thrilled. I was again pleased this week when Omar sent his mix so here it is for everyone to listen to!

“”Adolf is only sleeping…” (Opening for The Horrorist)” – Omar Leon

For more info: soundcloud.com/omar-leon

White Slim

Moog has released a limited edition Voyager, it’s Moogerfoogers and the Slim Phatty in white. They also released white wood sides for the Slim. Why didn’t the regular Phatty didn’t get the white treatment? I have a Slim and really like it a lot. With it’s overdrive and Moog heritage it has a sound all it’s own. In addition to the snow color job Moog has sent an email with a download link for 100 new presets to all registered Phatty owners. The presets are designed by Phil and Paul Hartnoll AKA Orbital, Chad Hugo of N.E.R.D./The Neptunes, and DJ/Sound Designer Dom Kane. I do think the Phatty is one of those synths where presets are useful so this is welcome. Don’t forget there is also a Little Phatty Editor Librarian plug-in available too.

“Today Moog Music announced the limited edition release of an all white series of its classic analog instruments. Moog has polarized the color of their traditionally black steel and natural wood instruments to a solid white finish.” – Moog

For more info: moogmusic.com/products/phattys/slim-phatty

Sonification of Everday Things

Dennis P. Paul lives in Bremen, Germany. He’s a professor and self proclaimed “interaction designer”. He’s created a pseudo Theremin, Roland D-Beam lazer device to show how every day physical objects can be used as sequence generators. Who needs a MIDI file when you just just pick a plastic clown head?

“A translator and controller module transforms the measured distance values into audible frequencies, notes, and scales. It also controlls the stepper-motor’s speed.” – dennisppaul.de

For more info: dennisppaul.de/an-instrument…

Robotspeak

Robotspeak from Oliver Chesler on Vimeo.

San Francisco Studio from Oliver Chesler on Vimeo.

On my recent trip to San Francisco I went by the synth shop Robotspeak. They have some cool stuff inside. New synths like the Minitaur and old cool items like Opcode Studio Vision Pro on display. They also have a modular workshop where you learn how to build your own modular. Tom Oberheim lives nearby and as you can see by the photo Bob Moog visited the store. The only thing in the store I wanted to buy wasn’t for sale. It was a circuit Vtech Tiny Tot Driver. Just see the video above to know what I am talking about. When he hit the horn I started offering money. Before I returned to NY I went by my brother’s studio space and showed him (he’s in the video above) and his friend Chris how cool the Doepfer Dark time is. You can see all the photos from my trip on flickr: click here.

“Once a Month, learn how to build Modules for you Modular synth setup. This is an ongoing workshop series that will feature different synth designers and focus on different components each month.” – robotspeak.com

For more info: robotspeak.com

Herbert Deutsch

The Mini Moog Synthesizer with Herb Deutsch from Michael Sterling on Vimeo.

Herbert Deutsch the co-inventor of the Minimoog talks about the invention and plays the instrument. Directed by Michael Sterling. For the record I really enjoy my Slim Phatty!

“Herbert A. Deutsch (born February, 1932) is an American composer, inventor, and educator. Currently professor emeritus of electronic music and composition at Hofstra University, he is best known for co-inventing the Moog Synthesizer with Bob Moog in 1964.” – Wikipedia.org

For more info: moogmusic.com

Happy Birthday Bob Moog

I wish you a special Wire to the Ear Happy Birthday Bob where ever you are. I love my Slim Phatty!

“Robert Arthur “Bob” Moog (May 23, 1934 – August 21, 2005), founder of Moog Music, was an American pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. Bob Moog’s innovative electronic design is employed in numerous synthesizers including the Minimoog Model D, Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Moog Minitaur, and the Moogerfooger line of effects pedals.” – Wikipedia

For more info: moogmusic.com

April Fools

So far none of the April Fools jokes are all that good so I’m posting a Cat Playing a Theremin video. Google tried way too hard with Google Maps 8-bit for NES, Gmail Tap and the Google Fiber Bar. Moog released a sound pack for Animoog “based” on a certain bodily function. Side-Line magazine let us know Justin Beiber covered a VNV Nation track (link). Let me know if you’ve been tricked by anything good today.

“In France and Italy children (and adults, when appropriate) traditionally tack paper fish on each other’s back as a trick and shout “april fish!”” – Wikipedia.com

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/April_fools

Nothing But Noise

Imagine waking up, looking in your email box and finding an email from a member of Front 242. That happened to me today. DanielB reached out to me to let me know about his project Nothing But Noise. His email comes at an interesting time. Last weekend I ended up on Youtube watching November Növelet’s Misanthropy video. I realized for the first time that like any genre there is great and average. Misanthropy just blows me away so I started looking for more in the genre. I found more I liked and this morning after reading the email clicked to the Nothing But Noise website. I have to admit I was a little worried. I knew I had to honor one of my musical teachers by posting about his music on the blog. But what if I didn’t like it? I did a quick scan of the page. Images of silhouetted men coordinated in front of machines. They got this part correct. Image does matter and usually it’s a tip off if the music is going to be anything special. Before I hit play on the videos I noticed at the bottom of the page some gear. I found Livewire, Moog, MakeNoise and analog sequencers. I started to get excited. You see in the hands of these Belgians 80s Emulators or real analog works. Its the VSTs and such I’m not so sure they know what to do with. So I hit play and with great relief I am very pleased. It’s a serious effort. Yes I am starstruck but I never lie about music. This is good and as you can see by another recent 242 related post (link) I’m glad to be hearing from my old friends again.

“Nothing But Noise is the new musical project from Front 242’s mastermind Daniel Bressanutti, Dirk Bergen (ex Front 242) and Erwin Jadot. Upcoming is the project’s first album “Not Bleeding Red” (expected to be released… April 12, 2012).” – side-line.com

For more info: nothingbutnoise.be