Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Maths Machine

Isn't this beautiful?

I'm trying to get it on ebay for £1 so please don't bid on it


Synthetic Roots

Here is a link to a vinyl rip of Racines Synthetiques, another fantastic find by the Dusty Shelf people. Good work!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Moog and Me

Wow check this out it's a picture Paul took of me and Bob Moog at Sonar in Barcelona in June 2005. That's me on the right [joke]. I totally had to put this up on the blog what a happy moment! Shamelessly plugging the record label there with the T Shirt I gave him. I like to think he wore it a few times that would be so cool. He was such a nice man

Fever Pitch

I met up with Peder from Fever Ray at the studio, I think he's into analog synths or something. He's super-cool and invited me to Sweden to play on a Buchla synth that is held in captivity at the EMS studio there. The last film below is a totally great tour of that facility made in the 70s. But first here is a video I made on the phone of the Fever Ray gig at Brixton Academy. Thanks for inviting me Peder it was amazing. The lasers were genius

Peder also records as The Subliminal Kid, as part of a project called Roll the Dice. Their debut album was one of my favorites of the year

Roll The Dice - The New Black from The Subliminal Kid on Vimeo.

And now, kick back, open a bottle of red wine, and enjoy being shown round a 1970s electronic music studio

Monday, 27 September 2010


Neve Say Neve Again

I put up a post about this desk over on the Balance Blog, but thought I would mention it again here because it is so cool

Emu Modular

I saw this amazing system over on Matrixsynth. Its for sale, so sell your house

I recently found a vinyl rip of Patric Gleeson's Rainbow Delta over on the Root Blog [which I will do a proper post about later]. According to the book Vintage Synthesizers Gleeson's second album was made entirely on an Emu Modular, one of the largest put together, which if the one for sale here is anything to go by must be very big indeed! Here's a pic of him and Herbie at work

Here's a 70's Emu Brochure taken from this website, where you will find more Emu stuff. Look at the studio pic below, is that an MCI desk? Remind you of this pic?

New Teho Teardo Album

We've just released a new album by Teho Teardo. He did a previous album on Expanding Records under the Modern Institute moniker, but this new one is a compilation of his amazing soundtrack work. He makes music for proper feature films, see wiki

Here's his myspace page

More Cars

UPDATE: Read the comments about this as well

I'm not posting car posts here any more, as they don't really fit the brief, so they are going over here now. This sort of stuff:

We are the Music Makers

I was going through some old books from my parents house and I found a huge tome called The Music Makers, which I vaguely remember reading when I was a kid. It was published in the late 70s and focused primarily on classical music. It has this great picture of a studio in London where orchestras were recorded, and in the picture credits it refers to EMS studio, London*. They look very much like a couple of Neve consoles in there, and I'm sure I've seen pictures of this place before. Anyway, as I am just about to revamp my studio I find this extremely inspiring....

*UPDATE - I think it is Studio 3 at abbey road, according to this SOS article

Monday, 20 September 2010


The last few weeks have been all about sitting round the house and not the studio, so I have been keeping myself busy by tinkering with the Serge modular, and trying to build the custom Serge/Doepfer panel for it. I decided to go with knobs which match the later Serge STS modules, as they are exactly the right size for the Doepfer panel holes, and are really nice to use. I got them from Small Bear Electronics in America, who provide an excellent service

What was really hard was working out the measurements for the holes in the panel artwork. I ended up using some digital calipers to measure everything out, then I made a panel design in Illustrator

Then I dyed the paper to match the old Serge panels, printed it out, laminated it and punched the holes. After about 5 attempts, the holes actually started to line up with the metal face plates on the Doepfer modules!

I then populated the panel and created the 'junctions' and fixed it all together. There are some extra holes I made above and below each module so that I can add functions later if necessary. Luckily the Serge and Doepfer modules both use +/- 12v, so I just connected the power supply rails together, and it works!

Another thing I wanted to try were some of those Stackcable cables, so that I could build crazy patches with minijacks instead of bananas. I had to import them from Germany [from - great service again]

Here are some crappy pics from my phone I took late last night. I'll take some better ones soon....

Analoge Instrumente

Theres a really cool buying section on German eBay called Analoge Instrumente which is worth checking. It often has bargains on it if you're prepared to take the risk with shipping. Sometimes it has some very unusual synths on it, like this one which I have never heard of before.

From the seller in googlish
"Tiracon 6V (VEB automation systems Cottbus)
6 voice polyphonic polyphonic synthesizer
VCO Waveforms: Saw 4 'square and 4', 8 'and 16'
VCF: 24 dB low pass filter with adjustable resonance
3 LFO's: one for VCO, VCF and pulse width
32 program memory locations
Sequencer with two lanes for 250 notes
Chord memory function
Tape recorder interface for backing
Midi in out and thru
Weight 14 kg"

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Biba Beat

OK, so here is the reason I haven't posted for ages. I got a dog. She's an 8 week old Briard, and is called Biba. As you can see she has a keen interest in old-school drum programming

Friday, 3 September 2010


I popped in to Maplin on the way to the studio today to check out the knobs. Theres always lots of knobs in Maplin. Here are the ones that I thought looked nicest, so then I tried them out on the Doepfer, as I am planning on modifying some of the modules to put into the spare panel on the Serge

The idea is to create a delay and services panel. There is a pretty big quirk with the Doepfer 188 delay because it doesn't automatically filter out the internal clock that controls the BBD line, and a whining oscillator sound is clearly audible in the delayed signal. So what you have to do is use a separate low pass filter to remove it [it has got a CV output from the delay speed control for this purpose] but then you need to use a mixer to mix the delayed and filtered signal with the original to get what is normally achieved with a delay unit. So in other words you need to use 3 separate modules and six patch cables to get it working right. But I suppose that is the joy of modular synthesis!

Here is the patch in audio form, using an oscillator which is being driven by an LFO through a S&H clocked by a saw wave