Saturday, 13 February 2010

More Video Art

I think i need to get an analog video synthesiser. Now. I'm just starting to investigate them, and so far have discovered that EMS [yes who make the synthi stuff] also made video synths, such as the spectre. Here is a still from one

Here is the user manual. This is what it looks like

Gavin pointed me to the audiovisualisers site, as he is also on the trail....

Next up is the Chromaton 14, an american unit made in 1977

And here is a video made on one

The investigation continues, especially as I hearing rumours about old Buchla and Fairlight video synths. Could this be one?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Meet Some Synthesisers

This vid had done the rounds of course but I've only just found it, on synthgear. It's from a geek-extravaganza in Austria last year. A bit like an alternate version of 20 Systems

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Analog Modular Video Synthesiser


Here is a short video by Dan Sandin called Colorful Colorado from 1974. Ok so guess what? He made this on a modular video synth! check out this film about it. Cool hat dude

Pixillation 1970

Here is some video art from 1970 by Lillian Schwartz. The amazing music is by Gershon Kingsley, almost certainly done on his modular Moog system. He was responsible for the pop song 'popcorn'

Old Videos

Here are some posts about old videos. I'm really interested in old videos at the moment. The first one is from an interview / lecture with B.E. from the 70's on youtube. I edited these snippets together and put on a track from music for films from the same era

Dope Two

Another patch that plays by itself. I should dig out my video camera....

The Thing Is

Here is a TV programme by Paul Morley about Brian Eno. Its an interesting contest. I like the way 1993 looks so old fashioned

It Bites

I got the Doepfer modular system up and running today, after abandoning the project years ago when the power supply snookered me. I bought some Roland 100M modules about 7 years ago and got some A100 modules in with the deal. I added some more from ebay about 4 years ago, and later some from Emis. I built a home made box for them all out of walnut offcuts from my kitchen, and then realised that the original power supply was not going to be powerful enough. So I bought a new one last week. Fuck, this is a really boring story

 Anyway, the first sound I made is pictured above and sounds like below

Monday, 8 February 2010

Yamaha DX1

I want one of these

Sold for $5595, shipping $900 from Dallas. In the comments is an interesting point made by someone who contacted the seller. From the seller:

Here we have the king of FM synthesis and one of the "Holy Grails" of vintage synths (in my opinion). The Yamaha DX-1. Only around 140 of these were produced at an original cost of $13,900 in 1985. That is $26,500 in today's money! This is serial number 118. Yamaha hand selected the finest components available and hand assembled each synth. This is very apparent when you see, hear and play it. The keyboard action is luxurious. It is equipped with a professional wooden, weighted 73 note keyboard. The sound is stunning. I know everyone on ebay says their item is "amazing" but there is something special about the DX-1. I have A/B compared it with Yamaha's FM plug in board, two DX-7s linked together, and a DX-5 and there was no comparison. The DX-1 has a distinct superiority in sound every time, and it's not just a subtle difference either. There is a rawness to the sound of the DX-1 that is lacking in other FM synths. It feels alive, like an old modular synth's immediacy of sound and control. The only way to get the sound of a DX-1 is to own a DX-1 , no software emulation or other synthesizer compares in my opinion. (I have since sold the other Yamaha synths on ebay and received positive feedback for them all) This synth is functioning perfectly and just received a check up at Audio Electronics here in Dallas. Cosmetically it is a 7/10. It has a few light scratches and spots were the acidity of hands has dulled the finish, especially around the volume slider and from taking it in and out of a flight case when moving it from studio to studio. It has been professionally owned and maintained it's entire life and has been used on countless recording and film scores but over all, it looks fantastic as you can see from the photos, and will stop any vintage synth enthusiast dead in his tracks

Sunday, 7 February 2010


Here is a short film by Gavin Toomey that features music by Oblong, a project I do with Sid Stronarch and Dave Nice. Gavin also released two albums on my electronica label Expanding Records under the name Vessel

Drop 11'30" (2009) from Gavin Toomey on Vimeo.