Friday, 30 September 2011

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Useful Triggers

Heres another Buchla sketch. I'm getting to know this machine a bit more, and it really is quite astonishing. For example this patch has two VCOs and two short sequences interacting together, cross-modulating each other. The timing is coming from the Pendulum/Ratchet module, which loves throwing out complex and very useful triggers

Monday, 26 September 2011

Layer Cake

Heres some Buchla passes, layered up x 3, with a bit of Ace Tone spring:

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Studio Fellows

Neil Fellowes came down to the studio the day before I went away and took some shots. I had seen some of his work on flickr of an abandoned car graveyard and really liked the effect he gets. He thought it would be interesting to apply it to my studio - its like it had been sealed up for 100 years then he discovered it and took his camera along for the reopening. Im going to put them on my website when I get it ready, in highres - these blog versions are limited to around 500k each. All pictures (c)2011 by Neil Fellowes

Maths Talk

Did I mention I've had a busy couple of weeks? If not its because Ive been too busy. Anyway, the week before I went to California me and Foxxy put the finishing touches on our new Maths album The Shape Of Things. So this is our second album this year - and whats more its a double album - with disc two being various remixes by other artists. It was a pretty hectic mixing job, but I really enjoyed it because it was done completely analogly (new word?). Also I hauled in tons of old analog and digital outboard

Heres a track from it called Talk, which uses the extremely funky Electro Harmonix DRM16 drum machine, and the Moog and Paia modular synths

Word of the Week #23


I have had a really busy week in the studio mixing a new band featuring Hannah Peel, Earland Cooper and Simon Tong, called Magnetic North. Its a very good album. We were averaging 4 tracks a day, phew!

Ghost Synth

I went down to Cafe Oto the other day to see Peder performing an amazing live set as half of Roll The Dice. I love this band, they are one of the few making interesting synth music using modulars live. In this case it happened to be a medium sized Buchla 200e, and when I arrived it was hidden underneath a white sheet, waiting to be unveiled. Check out their 2nd album, which has just come out on Leaf

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pattern One

Finally I had some time with the Buchla today, so I started experimenting with sequencing patterns. It likes doing these

Monday, 19 September 2011


Check out my video for the Wrangler remix of Shatterproof (featuring Mal from Cabaret Voltaire, see here too). Kind of low-fi I know, but what did you expect?

Spasiba Moscow

Ive just got back from more travels (it's been a busy week!), having done a synth presentation for my friends Vlad and Boris and the nice people of Moscow. What a big city! And one day is certainly not long enough to capture it, but I did try and here are some Holgas

Trunk Lines

It was delightful to invite Johnny Trunk into the studio last week for a brief tour, and also to show him the EMS VCS3 which he is doing something special with. His friend Marek (on the left) came down later too to examine the little synthi in more detail. More on this story later!

Johnny very generously bought me a vast selection of his CDs which was nice

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hi Rez Boat

Piano Music Centre

Also Chris invited me out on the friday night which was really nice of him (and his wife Jane). First we had some great hotdogs, then headed over to the amazing brutalist University of California Berkeley Art Museum to see one of my musical heroes Terry Riley playing his piano music. Below are some iphone pics and a very short video clip, but you get the idea. I happened to take this book with me about the San Francisco Tape Music Centre, and it was really cool heading off to see Terry Riley, and Ramon Sender (who Chris pointed out to me), and I'd been round at Don Buchla's house earlier that day too - these are virtually all the people at the centre of the SFTMC story! Damn I love stuff like that


I mentioned that I visited Chris Muir in Alameda to check out the Pendulum / Ratchet module. Well while I was there in his workshop / studio I noticed a huge and wonderful looking modular synth standing in the corner. As it turns out Chris worked on the design and manufacture of the SMS synths back in the day, and this was his personal system. Nowadays it gets a little bit neglected in favour of the Buchla, but it sure looked pretty. SMS's most successful product was the Voice 400, pictured at the bottom. Synth-tastic

Monday, 12 September 2011

Buchla Boats

So here's a first patch on the 200e, and a shot of it in the hotel I was staying at. This is the 4 birth boat that Don lent me

Buchla test1 by zackdagoba

New Video

Look! Jonathan Barnbrook has made an official video for our song Interplay


I just got back from my trip to San Francisco / Oakland / Berkeley where I was on a specifically Buchla mission. I got to meet Don himself at the very leafy HQ. He is a very courteous and quiet man, and I really enjoyed talking to him about some of the minutiae of his current 200e system, and he lent me a boat and power supply so I could do some experiments at my hotel

I also met up with Chris Muir who makes the Eardrill modules at his lovely house in Alameda, near Oakland. We chatted for four hours about synths! It was great! I'll post more about that later, but for now here are some holiday snaps I took