LEGO Jupiter-8

I played with LEGOs and Matchbox cars a few years later than I probably should have. I still have my entire collection safe in boxes in my mother’s basement. Rooms in the house I grew up in with blue carpet were water worlds. Asian rug’s patterns were elaborate streets. I would roll up the corners of the rug’s to make hills and mountains. For some reason my parents let me keep my worlds intact for weeks at a time. It’s hard for me to walk by LEGO stores in malls and not go in. One of the biggest reasons I want to have children someday is so I can play with my toys again. Needless to say I love this LEGO Roland Jupiter 8 synthesizer from percussives. He has a few more shots on his Flickr page.

“The company’s flagship product, Lego, consists of colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts. Lego bricks can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots. Anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects. The toys were originally designed in the 1940s in Denmark[1] and have achieved an international appeal, with an extensive subculture that supports Lego movies, games, video games, competitions, and four Lego themed amusement parks.” – Wikipedia

photo credit: percussives

For more info: lego.com

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on August 11, 2011 at 6:56 am, filed under synthesizer and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



MIDI Roland TR77

MIDI-fied Roland TR77 from Brandon Daniel on Vimeo.

I would certainly love to get some classic analog drum machines MIDIed like this. According to Wikipedia the TR77 was Roland’s very first product. Hey Brandon how about some individual outs and some tuning for the kick drum (always the one weak point in most early drum machines)?

“Just finished building trigger shaper/converter circuits x12 for this project, and it works! Still need to work something out for the Guiro, but all in all, I’m happy with it.Sounds triggered over MIDI from the Electribe.” – Brandon Daniel

For more info: wikipedia.org/Roland_Rhythm_77

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on July 17, 2011 at 6:52 am, filed under drum machine and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



3rd Graders Learn the TR-808

Grade 3 and a Drum Machine from Selwyn House School on Vimeo.

This is how it all begins with a little honest playtime. One of these kids will go home and dream of drum patterns. They will hear 808s on records and know where the sounds came from. They will realize how special that machine they played with was. One may become the next Hawtin. I started young obsessing over a TRS-80 Color Computer. When I hit my teenage years, fell in love and heard Depeche Mode it was all over. I knew my calling.

“During computer class some of the grade 3s decided to teach themselves how to program a 30-year-old Roland TR-808 drum machine.” – Selwyn House School

photo credit: fr4dd

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on January 12, 2011 at 8:36 am, filed under drum machine and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Axel F

First off, I apologize for including the Crazy Frog version of Harold Faltermeyer’s wonderful song Alex F in this blog post. The (very European) remix doesn’t hold a candle to the clean fresh sound of the original. However, the remix is a large part of the songs history so here you have it. There are a few reasons the original is so great. I always like music with a strong lead melody and no one can deny this isn’t catchy as hell. Now let’s talk gear: Roland Jupiter-8 (lead), Moog Modular (bass), a Roland JX-3P (chord stabs), Yamaha DX7 (bell/marimba), and a LinnDrum drum machine. I wish Eddy Murphy would make a real comeback and I wish there were more songs like Axel F.

“Axel F is the electronic instrumental theme from the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop performed by Harold Faltermeyer. The title comes from the main character’s name, Axel Foley (played by Eddie Murphy), in the film. It topped musical charts in 1985 and remains a popular remix track. Mixes of “Axel F” topped European pop charts in 2003, and again in 2005 as the Crazy Frog song. In addition to the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, the song also appears on Faltermeyer’s 1988 album Harold F. as a bonus track. Reportedly Faltermeyer was against including it, but MCA insisted, as it was his most recognizable track.” – Wikipedia

Buy the song: iTunes or Amazon

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on December 29, 2010 at 4:52 am, filed under music and tagged , , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Transistor Rhythm

808 Drum programming (by Eekkoo) from Eekkoo on Vimeo.

Roland TR-727 from Clocklife on Vimeo.

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

For more info: wikipedia.org/Drum_machine

photo credit: Ethan Hein

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on September 25, 2010 at 3:56 am, filed under drum machine and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Free Roland TR-606 Sample Pack

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.

photo credit: BatterseaTrump

via Synthtopia

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on July 8, 2010 at 4:29 am, filed under drum machine, sounds and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



iPad Drum Machine Loops

2 Korg iElectribe Loops by thingstocome

Funkbox iPad -TR-808 Loop by thingstocome

So I’ve had my iPad for about a week and I can say it actually is a very different experience than the iPhone. Case in point the are drum machine Apps above. Funkbox on the iPhone is ok but I never really used it past a novelty show off item. On the iPad I can sit comfortably and knock out loops with pleasure. The iElectribe really knocks you out. It feels like hardware. Fanboyism aside if you have not had a chance to play with these and you make electronic music go do so.

Is it real or Memorex?

For more info: Funkbox and iElectribe.

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on June 21, 2010 at 6:08 am, filed under drum machine, iPad and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Roland TB-303 Documentary BASSLINE

Roland TB-303 Documentary BASSLINE BASELINE by Nate Harrison from Jack Time on Vimeo.

I first heard Acid House at club Mars in the late 80s. I believe the first Acid record I bought was from Fast Eddie called Acid Thunder. I bought my first Roland TB-303 from Rogue Music in New York City for $300. I later bought another one and used them live. They eventually were stolen and since then I used various soft versions such as the Audiorealism ABL.

“If you’re interested in the early history of ROLAND, the Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and the TB-303 Bassline, you’ll enjoy this 20-minute video. The TB-303 and its design are described in depth, and many examples of popular music made with the machine are presented. Director: Nate Harrison” – Jack Time

For more info: wikipedia.org/Roland_tb-303

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on May 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm, filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Label Label

Here’s a quick beginner tip that may save you from loosing a sound. If your using hardware and you want to remember what patch you are using label your Ableton clip with the same patch number! Some hardware will respond to a MIDI Program change. In Ableton double click a MIDI clip to enter Clip View and in the Notes section you will see Bank, Sub-Bank and Program. That’s where you can pick and save the corresponding hardware’s patch number.

When I used DR. T’s KCS and a Roland Juno-106 I would create a sound then slightly change it, save it over 16 patch locations and then have DR. T’s cycle through each patch using Program Change messages. With different filter settings saved in each Patch the Juno sounded like a more expensive synth. Imagine old school Depeche Mode arpeggio patterns with filters opening and closing. It was a pain to set up but worth it in the end.

Happy music making.

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on April 26, 2010 at 4:43 am, filed under Ableton Live, hardware, song writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



FunkBox Drum Machine iPhone App


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmt0ru2Y7wQ

FunkBox looks like it will be the most fun drum machine emulation on the iPhone yet. Coming soon for $1.99.

“Demo of the FunkBox Drum Machine iphone app from Synthetic Bits. FunkBox is a pocket-sized emulation of a classic vintage beatboxes, along with all their dirt and quirks.” – syntheticbits.com

For more info: syntheticbits.com

UPDATE… Available now: click here (iTunes link) Definitely fun!

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on January 18, 2010 at 9:26 am, filed under iPhone and tagged , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



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