My very first synth was the Poly-800 which I bought the year it was introduced in 1984. It was the first programmable polyphonic synth for under a thousand bucks (I bought mine for $795 new). It was an incredible value at the time with these features:
Here is a fascinating documentary released in 2006.The entire 27 minute video is available on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/70164353 or you can watch it in the embedded player below.
It's defintely worth your time if you've never seen it - so bookmark for later if you don't have time to watch it now. Some nice Dr. Who action at 6:46. Also, fascinating info on an early seqeuncer built with a Digital Equipment Coporation PDP-8 at the 10:32 mark.
Post-war Britain rebuilt itself on a wave of scientific and industrial breakthroughs that culminated in the cultural revolution of the 1960’s. It was a period of sweeping change and experimentation where art and culture participated in and reflected the wider social changes. In this atmosphere was born the Electronic Music Studios (EMS), a radical group of avant-garde electronic musicians who utilized technology and experimentation to compose a futuristic electronic sound-scape for the New Britain.
Comprising of pioneering electronic musicians Peter Zinovieff and Tristram Cary (famed for his work on the Dr Who series) and genius engineer David Cockerell, EMS’s studio was one of the most advanced computer-music facilities in the world. EMS’s great legacy is the VCS3, Britain’s first synthesizer and rival of the American Moog. The VCS3 changed the sounds of some of the most popular artists of this period including Brian Eno, Hawkwind and Pink Floyd. Almost thirty years on the VCS3 is still used by modern electronic artists like The Emperor Machine.
What The Future Sounded Like colours in a lost chapter in music history, uncovering a group of composers and innovators who harnessed technology and new ideas to re-imagine the boundaries of music and sound. Features music from Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Roxy Music and The Emperor Machine.
The recoridng starts with the original sample just to illistrate the starting point. I built an Absynth preset with granular synthesis to manipulate the play head plus grain size. I use the Aetherizer effect to further manipulate the signal with a comb filter with feedback. I achieve non-linearity by setting the sample start envelope to "Loop" which causes the sound to keep re triggering and playing through the grains and filing up the Aetherizer's buffer. When played at certain pitches, this non-linearity feedback results in a Geiger counter-like sound. All that from a coke can strike :^) A play the preset with various notes to show how different the harmonic content is as it feedback at different frequencies.
I've become quite handy with Absynth, so if there is some aspect of Absynth you'd like me to do a post on, leave a comment.
I stumbled on this bizarre and cool video of an MTV Cribs episode of Cribs featuring the Gorillaz. Yes it's animatied. The video is loaded with tons of funny and snarky comments about rock n' roll and celbrity :^) It's definitly worth watching all the way through. Favorite quote at 3:14 in the video...
"I've seen quite a few episodes of MTV Cribs and every house is the same. What's all that about?. The first thing these peasants do when they get any money is buy some tacky show home and then fill it up with all this shit.".
Working with the Elektron Octatrack has gotten back into sampling big time. Some of the things you can do with an Octatrack - like per step automation - can also be done with Ableton Push when working in "Note" mode in drum racks.
One you turn on a note in the step sequencer, you can then hold the note down to acces all sort of parameters for devices. While holding the step...
Adjust params to your liking. In this example I'm changing the pitch of each step in the step-sequencer.
You can of course record real-time automation by simply pressing the "Automation" button when in record or overdub mode.
Below is an example audio snippet I put on soundcloud of doing such that. I sampled audio from random needle drops on vinyl into clips and used them to build a custom drum rack. I then improvised using Push to perform and sequence these clips including per step automation of various parameters.
Hands-On Review of Nord Lead 4 v1.30 OS UpdateOn December 23rd, 2014, Nord released an OS update for the Lead 4 Synthesizer bringing it to version 1.30. Download the update from here http://www.nordkeyboards.com/downloads/products/nord-lead-4. I applied the update to my Nord Lead 4 yesterday and got some hands-on time...
Modulate This! Synth Blog Turns 9Wow – the last year has ben my busiest music year ever! I released more music and played more shows than ever before over (photos) with my solo work (http://www.MarkMosherMusic.com), I formed a new duo http://www.AIWinter.net and released an EP.,...
Modulate This! Interview with Gary NumanGary Numan will be playing Denver tonight at the Gothic Theater. Show starts at 8pm. He’s currently on tour supporting his fantastic album Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). I caught the show at the Mountain Oasis Festival 2013 and...