Sunday, 29 January 2012

Moon Base Beta

I just found this great blog by the designer of the recent scifi film Moon. I love this movie, its one of my favourite 'ambient films' [I like putting it on in the background while i'm working]. All the design in this film amazing, especially the moon base where Sam lives. I might use it for inspiration when I build my next house...

Here is a 3d render that Gavin Rothery made, but I took the liberty of adding some music from Space 1999:

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Quantum States

My MXR Digital Delay hasn't been working lately, so I decided to try and fix it. How did I approach this task? I BANGED it on the right hand side quite hard - and fixed the problem! My friend Spongeboy used to have a theory that banging broken electronic equipment jolted it into a different quantum state, thereby resetting the electrons or something. Its certainly a procedure worth trying out before employing the services of a qualified technician

Friday, 27 January 2012

Word of the Week #29

Studio Colours

Will from the band I've been recording took some pics of the studio and here are the wonky ones, which I put through the colour machine

Monday, 23 January 2012

Lone Taxidermy

The Yamaha CS80 is such a massive synth it takes at least two people to operate it

Started work today on an EP for Natalie. Its good to be back in the studio....

UPDATE below are Natalie's pics

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Lathe Cut

Me, Phil and Pete (from records) went down to Curved Mastering in Hackney to cut our new Wrangler seven inch. More to follow soon. Here is the crazy lathe they cut the vinyl on


Today I experimented with the Buchla preset manager. Some of the 200e modules are equipped with recallable functions, which are controlled by the preset manager section of the 225e module. The thing is, not all settings are recallable, only certain things indicated by a blue capped knob. Plus obviously you can't recall cable connections or the parameters of non 200e modules (such as the Eardrill and Verbos ones), but its still quite a useful area of exploration and certainly opens the system up to some otherwise impossible sounds

This patch uses the clock of the pendulum/ratchet module to sequence through the 30 storage locations in the 225e. You can see me plugging the banana cable into the 'advance input' near the beginning. I had previously edited the blue knobs on various modules to alter the VCO and LPG settings and stored them in sequence. I also used the p/r clock to scroll the 291e stage sequencer

Sunday, 15 January 2012


I didn't know anything about Frank Judd until today. You can find out too here and here

Practical Electronica: A Trailer from Public Information on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Teenage Buchla

Just prior to packing all my stuff up ready for my return to London I wanted to try controlling the Buchla from my new Teenage Engineering OP-1 which I bought off Alessandro the other day. Its a beautiful little workstation, and even though it looks like a toy it most certainly is not. I hooked it up to my laptop with the USB cable, then from the laptop out to the Buchla 225e. I'll post more on the OP-1 I'm sure, but for now heres a very abstract 'proof of concept' video

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Bend Your Ear Radio Programme No.3

This time on the Bend Your Ear radio show I have decided to play music taken from just one album. Its a beautiful and very obscure Library album made in 1982 by Robin Artus, Paul Kass, George Axon and Harry Forbes on the Canadian imprint Parry Music. You can see the discogs entry here

The album is called 'New Technology Volume Three' and to me is an absolutely perfect encapsulation of early 80s synthesiser-studio music. Hope you enjoy it

Palm Reader

In this post I mention that Big City Music in Burbank are selling one of the original PPG Realizer units. Well over on Matrixsynth there was an update from Wolfgang Palm himself, pointing out that there is a complete history of PPG on his blog HERE

It really is a fascinating read, and shows what can be achieved by one man and his enormous passion for synthesisers

Photos (c)Wolfgang Palm from his blog

Yes Men

When we went to Krakow last October me and John Foxx were invited to do a little talk by Resident Advisor in front of an audience. Well today they published a transcript of it here. The text is below as well

Friday, 6 January 2012

Word of the Week #28

Its Real

The first time I met Stephi from Big City Music in LA she told me that she knew the whereabouts of one of synthesiser-folk-lore's greatest legends, the iconic PPG Realizer. I had first read of this mythical instrument in a book called Keyfax 2, which when I was growing up into a serious synth-nerd became my bible. Since then I have heard speak of this behemoth of digital synthesis, that perhaps only one or two ever existed, and how it can model any synthesiser ever made using a unique and groundbreaking sound engine. Of course I didn't believe Stephi and her tales of obscure german monster-machines, what would be next - that she had a giant Buchla 100 in her loft? A Synthi 100 in her garage? Well it turns out it was true - Sorry to have doubted you Stephi!!!!


Wednesday, 4 January 2012


I saw this strange thing in the sky this morning. I think it's called a cloud. The scary thing is if the sun had been up the cloud could have gone in front of it causing a huge shadow over the land. Luckily that didn't happen

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Run Yon

I discovered a beautiful place just round the corner where I can take my morning jog: Runyon Canyon Park. Here are some overly-processed pics:

Drum Bloop

Testing the Buchla drum presets. You can find them on page 247 of the user manual...

Nike Missiles

I love Mulholland Drive. Its my favourite road. Today I noticed on google earth that it doesn't actually end where it seems to end when you drive down it, it turns into a small dirt track and carries on winding through the hills above LA and Santa Monica. It eventually connects up with Malibu. So I drove down the crazy dirt track and discovered a secret decommissioned cold war nuclear army base called the LA96C Nike Missile Site. You can wander around and take in the beautiful views, and wonder at the idea of huge radars and computers monitoring the skies in the early 1960s