Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Analog Sofa

Do you remember when I was looking for a sofa? If only I had seen these!!!!
(via matrix synth; get one here)

Room With A Bu (chla)

Another reason I was in California was to pick up some more Buchla modules (227e quad mixer, 225e midi decoder / preset manager, 258v analog dual oscillator clone and 254v quad voltage processor). I got them from a film music producer. He used to own the ARP 2500 that was featured in Close Encounters. DAMN! (See this post on matrixsynth for more about this)

So I got the modules from the very nice Bryan and he also lent me a boat so I could mess with them at my hotel. The hotel was up in the hills and had an amazing view. I made the tune in the video below using the Buchla and a Roland MC500 which I bought on ebay while I was there

Recording The .....

So I just got back from my couple of weeks in LA, what a great time I had! I love that place more each time I go there. My main objective was to record vocals for a new top secret album project (more on that later) so I hooked up with the inimitable Brian Kehew and borrowed his studio. He is the co-author of the book Recording The Beatles which I have posted about before on this blog and is a total authority on all things vintage and lovely and wonky. He is also the archivist at the Bob Moog Foundation, and owner of a brand new super cool vintage studio in beautiful downtown Burbank, in fact we were his fist clients. Below are some pics I took. We had a great recording path, through some Altec compressors and EMI preamps, as used by Abbey Road in the 60s on practically everything. There were also some Helios channel strips from the actual console that came from The Who's studio in the early 70s, which sounded amazing. His desk is a stunning Quad Eight Pacifica. He also had some very interesting keyboards which I will mention in another post

word of the Week #26

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Window Seat

I've gone to LA. I jumped on a plane and headed over to sunny (rainy) California for a couple of weeks, to finish recording an album I started ages ago. More on that later, but the next few posts will be coming from a lovely seventies studio the other side of the pond

I love sitting by the window on the plane and seeing the world from space. I always see things that intrigue me, because things look so different form above. Here are some snaps I took over Canada and the western coast of America. Look at the bottom photos of the set. What are those weird grids? they are covering a massive area. I checked the location on the live flight map, then when I could I looked on google maps and found the area. Put 'Kearl Lake Canada' into google maps and look at the satellite view. Then pan down and right a bit, you will see the same thing I saw from the plane. What is it? I like things like that


heres some shots of LA on the way home:

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Are You Filming?

Heres a little studio footage of Great Guns, featuring Jeanga on Korg Monopoly, and thats George and a very shy Riz there too from our meetup last week

Saturday, 19 November 2011

On The Telly

OK so its not really the telly, its the internet, but here I am being interviewed by sonic state, explaining our Maths live rig: (sorry bout the ads)

And here I am with Tara Busch and John Foxx doing more talking about techie stuff:

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Prize Winning Photo

I won a prize! Its for a photo I took of my modular synths. These people are making a documentary film about modular synthesisers, which is a really good subject I think. So to help raise awareness they teamed up with the Matrixsynth synth blog and opened a photo competition. I won this weeks best picture award! I get some free stuff and also got to chat to Solvent via email. I love his music! Heres the pic:

Heres the trailer, enjoy:

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Heres a patch me and Big Al made, it's a random voltage source going into a S&H then into a quantizer so the notes are decided by God / The Supreme Random Being

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Fire Works

Bill Ding

I was wandering around Shoreditch sunday market today, which I had totally forgotten existed even though I used to come to it every week when I was a student, and I saw this mad black building. Its quite mysterious, maybe its even a house. I like!

EMS Buchla

Heres a video of the beautiful vintage Buchla 200 system that featured in this post and this post

Ebay of the Day

This one is just plain weird. £166 - 10 bids!

"You are bidding on an incredibly limited edition remix of John Foxx's "A Falling Star" , remixed by Gazelle Twin
There were only 75 of these pressed and ONLY available to VIP ticket holders at John Foxx's current UK tour.
Moreover this has been SIGNED by JOHN FOXX at the Bristol gig Meet & Greet for VIP Platinum ticket holders.Anyone who has looked at John's website will see that there were only 75 of these remix CD singles pressed.For added proof as to the provenance of this item , i've also uploaded a photo of me with the great man from last week's Bristol thekla gig. Good Luck"

Friday, 4 November 2011


I have a lot of reverb units - I love them! They fascinate me because they take your sound and they put it into a 3D space, and they all do it in their own unique way. They have evolved so much over the years, starting off with analog springs and metal plates, through early and very clever digital algorithmic processors and onwards through the growing bit depths. My favourites are the EMT 140 stereo plate, the Lexicon 224, Yamaha Rev1 and the Telefunken Echomixer mono spring thing. I bought a Roland R880 years ago really cheap which was their attempt (in 1988) at a supa-mega-reverb and it is an extremely underrated unit actually. So I took it home so I could experiment putting a Buchla through it. I had a hunch that they would sound good together! I spent a few hours re-aquainting myself with its shocking operating system (which was like that scene in Contact where they build the spaceship based on blueprints deciphered from an alien language downloaded from outer space)

Anyway - here is a live tweak of the Buchla and R880 together

Buchy 880 mix by zackdagoba


I decided I needed an adaptor panel for the Buchla because its nice to be able to convert between all the different types of audio connector that I seem to suddenly need (banana, minijack , phono, 1/4 inch jack), and between mono and stereo jacks. Also I'm using a spring reverb and other FX units in patches and it's cool to have those connections on a panel in the system too. So I used one of the Buchla blank panels as a basis for some handiwork, with connector parts and a Pillar Drill from Maplin. Heres a pictorial record of what I did

Tango And Synths

I was watching this film last night called Tango and Cash. It is a really bad film and god knows why I didn't turn over channels but actually I was glad I didn't because there is an amazing scene where Tango's sister starts playing Simmons drums - EXACTLY LIKE I DO IN THE MATHS!

Theres also a scene where Cash goes to a crazy music studio to get some MacGuffin (on cassette), and theres a VCS3 right there on the sideboard! Just like in my studio!

Word of the Week #25

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Get well soon!

This is a "GET WELL SOON" to John Foxx from the Maths!