Saturday, 10 July 2010

Awkward Delays

I wouldn't go to all the bother of maintaining a studio full of ancient synthesisers and effects units if I believed they could be adequately modeled on a computer. I firmly believe that an analog tape based echo unit has a sound that simply cannot be achieved in any other way than by sending a signal through analog circuits and onto magnetic tape and so on, and all the artifacts and quirks and degrading of the signal that goes on when you do this are what makes it so interesting and desirable to me

The same goes for the next stage in the development of the delay effect unit - analog BBD chip-based units such as the Ibanez AD 80. They have an equally unique sound and the way the various controls work together [feedback, delay time and blend] makes them very intuitive to use. The AD 80 in particular has a wildness and immediacy that  never ceases to amaze me, and again it cannot be recreated in the digital domain. It uses analog electronics, and therefore any digital model will have inherent compromises and will only be as close to the real thing as the skill of the person designing the algorithm can get, in other words an interpretation by the designer using one medium to mimic another

I want to get some analog delay modules for my Moog modular format system, and also for the Serge modular. I know that Serge made the excellent Wilson Analog Delay, but they are impossible to find and would probably cost thousands to get as you cannot buy Serge modules individually [they are all in 19 inch wide mixed panels]

As far as I can tell there are no current manufacturers of Moog format modules that make true BBD units. There is a COTK delay module that looks absolutely amazing but it uses a digital model inside and as I have been trying to explain I don't want that. So I am looking into [with Big Al] the possibility of DIYing some panels based on the AD80 circuit, but adding a few twists such as voltage control and dual delays and an LFO

Here is the COTK VC delay module

And here is the Serge Wilson Analog Delay

Below is the MN3005 BBD datasheet

3005 Datasheet

Here is the Ibanez AD80 shematic:


And here is the Ibanez FL301 flanger schematic which has an LFO:


Here is a very interesting and relevant article by Scott Swartz about his PT80 digital delay model:


Seventies Films

Here are some cool youtubes I've seen recently

New Console Blog

I have decided to start a new blog, all about vintage mixing desks. I am a geek. Its called "Balance", like as in to balance a mix. Pretty cool huh? So that means I will post console-related stuff over there, but I will link posts from here as well

Great Guns Jam

Here we have JG on the Moog Modular [and dotcom] jamming along to a Linn LM1 pattern

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Studio Hand

A mysterious hand appeared at the studio yesterday, so i put it to use straight away

And together we made the track below, using a Moog Modular 3C, a Smallstone phaser, a Vesta DigiDelay and the analog console, with a bit of spring and plate in there too. The 960 sequencer isn't actually triggering the envelope, we decided to use the trigger buss so that the envelope can complete it's full decay without the next step of the sequence getting in the way

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Did you know Gary Numan recorded a song for a 7up ad that was never used? Check

[Via aliveinsound] In 1982, American-based 7-UP got in touch with a UK agency to get a 30 second tune made by someone who was "happening" at the time to advertise their drink. So the agency contacted Gary and offered a £10,000 deal so he recorded 3 pieces of music with lyrics supplied by them. When the recordings were sent to the Americans they had not heard any music like this, and they were expecting something in a punk style as that had just arrived over there so these recordings were never used

There were some pretty amazing 7up ads that did go out though, here are my favorites