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Howard Jones Classic Albums Tour - Fall 2011 North America

Howard Jones is playing a series of dates in North America this fall . On most of the dates, he’ll be performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums in their entirety. I’ve copied the basic info from his tour page and pasted it below.

Both albums were remastered in 2010by Howard Jones and Robbie Bronnimann and are available on the official web store.

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I caught the show in 2010 and did a show report here.

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I’ve copied the basic info from Howard’s site and posted it below. For the most up to date schedule and for tickets visit Howard’s official tour page.

13th Oct 2011

Cox Auditorium, Dixie State College, St. George, Utah
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums

USA
14th Oct 2011
The Music Box, Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums
USA
15th Oct 2011
The Summit Music Hall, Denver, Colorado 80202
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action album
USA
18th Oct 2011
The Flying Monkey, Main St, Plymouth, NH 03264
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums
USA
19th Oct 2011
Irving Plaza, 17 Irvine Place, New York, NY
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums
USA
20th Oct 2011
Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums
USA
22nd Oct 2011
Walt Disney World, America Gardens Theatre,
Epcot Theme Park, American Adventure Pavillion
USA
23rd Oct 2011
Walt Disney World, America Gardens Theatre,
Epcot Theme Park, American Adventure Pavillion
USA
25th Oct 2011
Oakville Centre for Performing Arts, Oakville, Ontario
Tickets onsale General 30/5/11
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums
Presale Password
Special offer for Howard Jones Fan List:
Only available by phone to our box office beginning Wednesday May 25 at 11am.
Canada
26th Oct 2011
Oakville Centre for Performing Arts, Oakville, Ontario
Tickets onsale General 30/5/11
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums
Canada
27th Oct 2011
Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL
Tickets onsale 15/4/11
Performing Humans Lib & Dream Into Action albums in full.
USA
28th Oct 2011
Paramount Center for the Arts, Peekskill, New York
USA

I'll see you Denver and Boulder Howard Jones fans at the show this Saturday October 15th :^)

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com


2nd Fridays at Art Institute California/Sunnyvale: October 14th, 7:00 PM Jack Hertz and Robert Edgar

An FYI for my bay area, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale readers - my friends Robert Edgar and Jack Hertz will appear Friday October 14th at the Art Institute of California/Sunnyvale at 7:00 pm. Visit the Facebook page for more info. If you live in the area stop by and support this great series.

2ndfridays_sunnyvale_2011-10-14

Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com


Music Monday: Armen Ra "Plays The Theremin"

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I was first introduced to Armen Ra’s music through the radio show and podcast Spellbound, a brief program of music for theremin where I heard the song “Dle Yaman”. The song is both beautiful and haunting. I immediately bought his album Plays the Theremin which is simply fantastic.

Most of the songs have sparse accompaniment leaving plenty of breathing room for the Theremin virtuoso’s dynamic emotive playing style to shine through in each piece. The exception to this rule “The Call” which is beat driven. In some cases Armen over dubs with additional Theremin parts. For example in the track “Garouna”, at the 0:53 mark, he plays another line an octave up but dancing around timing of the first line which really adds tension to the piece. The entire album is great so I recommend you give it a listen and support Armen’s indie work with a buy.

You can buy the album on iTunes US, iTunes UK/EU, or Purchase Physical CD.

In other Armen Ra music news, he will also be appearing on an episode of CSI which will air around Halloween, and his tracks will be be on NPR’s Nationally syndicated show Hearts of Space (most stations will run it on October 16 – check local listings http://www.hos.com/#stations).

Videos

Armen has a YouTube channel so I thought I’d include some videos. Here is a video of the song "Crane” which is track 2 on the album.

Here is another video Theremin CHOPIN NOCTURNE ARMEN RA rehearsal. This song is not on the album but I thought I’d include it as it shows off Armen’s Theremin skills which he’s been developing since 2001.

 

Links:

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Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com


A First Look at the DSI Tempest Drum Machine with Sound Designer James Kojac (Syndicate Synthetique)

Tembest Logo and Knobs

James Jaret Kojac Plalying the TempestEarly last week I got a message from Denver Sound Designer James Kojac of Syndicate Synthetique.

"I happen to have a pre release DSI/Linn Tempest sitting in front of me… I figured you may want to swing by and check it out.”

Duh! Of course I jumped at the chance to see one of the first Tempest Drum Machines in the wild - #0026 to be precise.

While I was there, James was kind enough to take me through the paces, show me some of the kits he had created so far, and let me play and do a little sound design with it. Before I talk about first impressions let me give you a brief rundown on the core features.

 

Top Feature Summary

The Tempest is an analog drum machine first introduced in at the Winter 2011 NAMM and is a collaboration between Dave Smith and fellow instrument designer Roger Linn.

  • 16 velocity and pressure-sensitive pads arranged in an 8 x 2 array to facilitate both real-time and step entry of beats.
  • Two pressure and position-sensitive Note FX slide controllers 6 analog voices each with 2 analog oscillators plus 2 digital oscillators (with a large bank of included samples)
  • Dave Smith’s classic analog low-pass filter with audio-rate modulation, an additional high-pass filter, analog VCA with feedback, 5 envelopes, 2 LFOs, a variety of analog modulation routings. “Although optimized for drum sounds, it excels at tuned sounds as well, and even doubles as a 6-voice analog synth.”
  • In addition to the 6 direct voice outputs, there are stereo mix outputs and phones outputs, plus 2 inputs for foot switches or expression pedals, MIDI in/out and USB
  • 90 panel controls, and bright 256 x 64 OLED
  • A variety of unique effects are provided while maintaining a pure analog signal path:
    • Stereo analog compressor and distortion circuits affect the stereo output mix
    • Beat-synced delay is achieved by generating additional delayed note events within the sequencer
    • A beat-synced "stutter" effect is created entirely within the sequencer by looping short portions of the drumbeat on demand.

First Impressions

I’ve played a lot of drum machines and synths in the past 20 years and found Tempest exceeded my expectations. It has great GUI design and is extremely expressive,  and to me was instantly addictive. I planned on stopping by for a quick look and ended up spending like 3 hours jamming! The Tempest was so cool, I  think I would have stayed longer if I didn’t have to get up 6:00am the next day – lol.

The OLED display is vivid, the machine looks great in the dark and offers visual feedback from the pads. The pads feel great, are taught and not spongy, don't travel down much and respond well to pressure. Once you spend a little time with the GUI you'll find the dual-function “shift” concept to be quite brilliant and flexible and as it offers quick access to deeper parameters without interrupting performance workflow. I certainly didn’t master it in 3 hours, but definitely started to “grok” the concept and it didn't take long at all to start making interesting music and sound. I got some immediate results with the analog synth architecture and created an interesting snare drum that James was kind enough to name after me in one his kits – woot!

OLED Display with a Snare Programmed by Yours Truly

The sound and performance possibilities are simply stunning! It can sound huge and punchy. It can also sound nasty without sounding brittle – and I mean nasty. It also can sound silky and warm. The modulation matrix combined with modulation sources including inputs from pad strikes and pad pressure, slide controllers and knob movement make the Tempest a live performance monster. And since your controlling parameters driving instances of analog synths, it’s insanely expressive. In other words it has a massive sonic range and the potential for unique output based on an individual performer. It is truly a musical instrument and not some sort of cookie cutter sample-based drum machine ROMpler.

Besides live playing on pads, you can sequence and step sequence patterns. There is a performance mode that allows you to to assign patterns to slots and trigger them from the pads – plus play over the top. There are also modes that allow you use the pads to play pitch intervals and set scales.

After a three hours session (without cracking open a manual) I feel like I just dipped my toe in the water and there are lot of other features under the hood that I didn’t experience.

Video of James Jaret Kojac Playing the Tempest

 James (Syndicate Synthetique) has been working with the Tempest for a few weeks and was kind enough to let me film a quick jam which I think illustrates the potential and sonic range of Tempest. In this video James is jamming with some of his sounds with some sounds also initially designed by colleague Al Nesby of A23P and Acid Allstars. The video really shows off the range and performance aspects of the DSI Tempest analog Drum Machine.

View embedded video in HD

Photo Slide Show
While I was there I shot a bunch of photos. View embedded Flickr slide show.

Availability and Price

From what I hear the unit should be available any day now. My friends at Sweetwater list the price at $1999.00 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Tempest (note I don’t benefit from sales of Tempest – just love Sweetwater and recommend  you ask for Jeff Green).

Closing Thoughts

This is not a comprehensive review since I only had three hours with the unit. I will say I was blown away by Tempest. Before I played it I thought 2K was pretty damn expensive for a drum machine. After playing it I realized this was way more than a drum machine and is an outright performance instrument with a massive sonic range. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? If you are looking for a desktop analog drum machine that doubles as an instrument this seems like a good value and I think it's worth a look.  

With the great analog synth elements from Dave Smith combined with the design of Roger Linn, Tempest is more than a luxury synth item – it’s a tool that will allow you to uniquely express yourself as an electronic/experimental musician for both beat and synth oriented work. I also see Tempest being well suited as a companion throughout the entire process of making music from composition, to production through to performance.

I'm not immediately in the market for an analog instrument, but after playing Tempest, I'm quite intrigued and would put it on my wish list if I decided to add an analog performance instrument to my hardware rig.

Tempest Links

James Jaret Kojac Links

Website: http://synsynth.net/
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/syndicate-synthetique
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/SynSynth
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/synsynth

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Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com



Music Monday: Tara Busch "The Rocket Wife EP" A Benefit for the Bob Moog Foundation + Remix Contest

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Back in late August Tara Busch (http://analogsuicide.com/)  released The Rocket Wife EP. Sales of the album benefit the Bob Moog Foundation. The album is available on bandcamp and I’ve embedded a preview below. It’s a great EP with some cool ethereal tracks featuring Tara’s awesome synth work and vocal stylings. Give it a listen below and please buy to support Tara’s art and donate to a good cause.

Remix Contest Ends October 15th

There is also a remix contest associated with the album. 17 stem tracks from the title track of the EP, Rocket Wife. The stems are here http://bobmoogfoundation.bandcamp.com/album/rocket-wife-remix-contest.

According to the Bob Moog Foundation Site:

All submissions should be uploaded to the “Rocket Wife” group on SoundCloud via this link:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/rocket-wife-remix-contest-tara-busch-and-the-bob-moog-foundation

The Bob Moog Foundation will announce three winners on November 10, 2011. The winners will have their remix posted on the BMF Bandcamp site where it will be available for sale, with proceeds benefiting the Foundation. The grand prize winner will receive a framed limited-edition archival image of Bob Moog, a selection of BMF merchandise, and the opportunity to collaborate virtually with Busch on a track where she will supply vocals and synth soundscapes.

All Proceeds Go To Bob Moog Foundation

Tara was quoted on the foundation’s web site as saying:

“I’m excited and inspired by their quest to educate children and adults alike about ‘the intersection of science & music’ and hopefully this EP will help introduce more people to the Bob Moog Foundation. One hundred percent of the profits from the EP and the remix stems will be donated to the Bob Moog Foundation.”

Song Notes

1) Rocket Wife: A bombastic, orchestral- electronic theme written from the perspective of a wife of a doomed astronaut about to embark on what will be his final flight. I’m a big fan of juxtaposing dark, melancholic subject matter with big, flourishing melodies, M-Tron Pro Mellotron strings and rich,1930′s Disney- style backing vocals. I used my Minimoog Voyager extensively for sound effects and also prominently featured the Moogerfooger Ring Modulator. I used the Moogerfooger Analog Delay on one f the lead vocal tracks, and backing vocals were filtered through the Moogerfooger MF 101.

2) Calendura: Simultaneously childlike and threatening, this song tells the story of a woman overcome with jealousy, beside herself at the thought of losing her love to a far more desirable woman named “Calendura”. The basis the song relies on my Casio SK! and Omnichord OM 27 spitting out a drum loops into the Moogerfooger Ring Modulator, Lo Pass Filter & Analog Delay. These were edited & “sewn together” with a big kick courtesy of Native Instruments’ Battery 3. Also featured is the M-Tron Pro Mellotron and shades of Moog Voyager bass pushed through the Moogerfooger Freq Box at the very end.

3) Motorcrash– I felt this song was appropriate to add as it features my very first adventure using Moog gear in a recording that I created on my own. Dating back to 2006, I used my newly acquired Fender Rhodes to pin down the main melody & popped it through my Moogerfooger 12 stage phaser. Excitement mounted as I discovered how fantastic my Etehrwave Theremin sounded through the MF 103 and into the MF 104…it was with this song, I became curious and hungry to constantly reinvent and “make new sounds”. My bandmate, Mike Walters popped in later to add beautiful swoops on his Minimoog Model D and his widely beloved invention, the Melloman (the Mellotron make with Sony Walkmans).

Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com


Richard Lainhart's Sound Design Work with Puremagnetik

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199809_1004158219165_1081166317_30029847_5898_n[1]Puremagnetik just released a new sound library of high quality multisampled wooden marimba instruments called MalletPak One. This Micropak was created in collaboration with Richard Lainhart. In addition to being an award-winning composer, author, and filmmaker – Richard also spent a number of years as a jazz vibraphonist. Puremagnetik conducted a great interview on the trajectory of  Richard’s musical journey which I linked to at the bottom of this post.

I met Richard for the first time earlier this month at Electro-Music 2011 and I also caught his wonderful live performance. When I read that he was involved with this Micropak I reached out to him for some additional information on this library. Richard was kind enough to send me some high-rez photos from the recording session (click the photos to enlarge).

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According to Puremagnetik, the vibraphones were “recorded in a reflective room with a pair of Shure KSM32s in an ORTF configuration to capture the wide stereo field of the instrument..”

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The Micropack contains a collection of 13 multisampled instruments in Ableton Live Pack, Kontakt, Renoise and Apple Logic formats. There are over 900 high quality samples under the hood and the samples include “multiple mallet types, hit variations and sophisticated velocity.”  I’ve embedded the audio samples from Puremagetik’s Soundcloud set below.

Puremagnetik MalletPak One by Puremagnetik

 

imageI bought the Ableton Live format of the library and I’m really enjoying it. The source samples from Richard are fantastic and the collaboration with Purmagnetik has resulted in an excellent use of Ableton Live racks that I’ve come to expect from Puremagnetik. The macro knobs offer excellent performance articulations of the marimba. Some patches are programmed to take the sound into the synthetic realm with excellent use of AM and FM synthesis and Ableton effects.

 Puremagnetik System B Micropaks

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This is not the first time Richard has collaborated with Puremagnetik. They have also released two Micropak’s based on Richard’s work with the Buchla 200e modular analog synthesizer. The instruments in these libraries are based on a dense and complex master performance patch that was years in the making by Richard. Here is an excerpt from the interview Puremagnetik conducted with Richard that offers more detail:

The reason I got the Buchla in the first place was to have a flexible modular system that I could perform with, which the Buchla is ideal for because of its patch memory. So, since I've gotten it, I've been developing and adding to one master performance patch, which lets me change its configuration quickly in performance but still allows for the maximum degree of sonic variety. That's the patch you're referring to, and which by now, after a couple of years of work, has gotten pretty dense and complex. The Continuum interfaces with that patch via the Continuum Voltage Convertor, or CVC. The Continuum senses finger position on its surface in three dimensions - horizontal, vertical, and depth or pressure - and the CVC converts the data stream from the Continuum into a set of 12 separate control voltages of three dimensions of control for up to four separate voices. Most of the patches are set up so that the X dimension controls pitch, Y controls filtering, and Z controls amplitude, but there are some patches where the Y dimension controls oscillator waveshaping or timbre modulation,for example, or the Z dimension control modulation index. It all depends on the patch and what I want to be able to control in that particular sound, and the system has a lot of flexibility that way.

To put this in more concrete terms, checkout this fantastic video of Oraison, composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1937 for six Ondes Martenot, transcribed for Buchla 200e synthesizer and Haken Continuum Fingerboard controller and performed by Richard in 2009.

 

bsystem_basses_leadsB-System Basses and Leads Features:
A richly programmed library of Buchla leads & basses from the synth arsenal of Richard Lainhart.

• Over 1000 24-bit Buchla 200e samples

• 20 expertly programmed multisampled instruments

• 30 Ableton Live Clips with integrated Macros and effects

• 30 Apple SIAL loops

• Custom Kontakt KSP GUI and native Kontakt effects

imageB-System Percussives Features:
A unique sonic adventure through 10 electronic drum kits and 40 rhythmic loops recorded from an original Buchla 200e modular synthesizer.

• Over 650 24-bit electronic percussion samples
• 10 expertly programmed kit menus
• 40 Ableton Live Clips with integrated Macros and effects
• 40 Apple SIAL loops
• Custom Kontakt KSP GUI and native Kontakt effects

 

Again, both of these Micropaks are simply excellent and highly recommended.  I especially like the “Morphopox” instrument in Basses and Leads and the “Voltog” kit in Percussives.

Get the Micropaks
Note that MalletPak One is the current Micropak so you need to be a subscriber to get this today. Subscribers pay $5.75 a month or $60 per year. B-System Micropaks are available to those with an “All Access Pass” or for a $12 fee for everyone else.

More on Richard’s Work
Watch for a future “Music Monday” post featuring some of Richard’s Releases. Till then use the social links below to explore his work. I think we’ll also see some future collaborations between Richard and Puremagnetik in the future so watch for those Micrpaks as well.

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Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com 


Music Monday: Speakeasy by dRachEmUsiK

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I picked up the Speakeasy CD by dRachEmUsiK at the merch table at Electro-Music 2011 and it’s now in my favorites playlist.

dRachEmUsiK is the most recent project by international, award wining electronic musician, sound designer and producer Charles Shriner. I first met Charles last year at EM2010 and really enjoyed seeing his live performances and got to take part in a jam with him in 2010 as well. Here is a photo of one of one of dRachEmUsiK’s live performances at EM 2011.

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Charles describes Speakeasy as “Studio versions of improvisations done at parties. Mid-tempo grooves with simple melodies and improvisation floating on top of of glitchy, swirling backdrop.”

You can buy digital album on Bandcamp and get the physical CD on CD Baby. Give it a listen in the embedded player below and of course you should buy it it help support Charle’s art.

 

Links:

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

http://modulatethis.com/
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com