Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Font Of Uncertainty

I am planning to make a few Buchla format modules but what has been driving me a bit crazy is trying to work out which fonts were used on the 100 series (1960s) and 200 series (1970s) modules. I have spent a lot of time on forums and google trying to work out what the beautiful sans-serif font he used was, and I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't exist anymore! It is NOT a standard typeface that is currently available as a downloadable computer-based font (such as helvetica, folio, universe, akzidenz) it would have been type-set by hand to Don's specifications. Anyway, I have found what I think is the closest thing possible on a computer and it is a typeface called "Grotesque No. 9 SH Bold Condensed Italic OT". I actually had to BUY IT WITH MONEY! which surprised me. Have a look at the screenshots below. The first is of the Buchla 259 dual oscillator from the 1970s with its lovely blue typography. Below that is my test. In black is my attempt using Grotesque No. 9. I had to change the letter spacing and weight on to match it up. It's pretty close though isn't it?

Hand-Held Positioner Called A Mouse

I saw this over on matrixsynth, a very early (1971) video animation system. This machine is sort of responsible for all that horrible CGI that you see in hollywood films these days


Here is a remix me and Foxxy did of Gazelle Twin's song Changeling What you are hearing synth-wise is Moog Modular and Linn LM1 and Lexicon 224 and Arp Odyssey

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Stick Men

Had a mega-day today working with Sefa on things. Quite a lot of people came in to help. Amongst them were the drummer and guitarist from Bo Ningen. They make doom-rock, maybe better than anyone else? My friend Mike left his Fender Twin amp here ages ago because it was broken but it fixed itself - which was lucky because it sounded amazing today when Kohhei was using it:

Pic Of The Week

My modulars have won the IDOW / Matrixsynth pic of the week contest again. This time the picture was taken by Neil Fellowes (see the full gallery here). Nice one GTK!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Gina's Brain

Look at lovely Gina and her brain! And a VCS3 synthesiser. This was just on BBC2 - its Mark Lawson's look at TV in 1973 featuring James Burke's pioneering science show...

Serge In Green

Here is a patch on the Serge Modular. I sent the output to the oscilloscope and it makes a lovely green accompaniment. The patch uses two VCOs, one LPF (with CV of slope - look it up!) and three VC Phasers. Also a ton of VC modulation and two sequencers


In Britain, April traditionally sees the start of the rainy season, which usually lasts until the end of March. I took this picture from my office window just now

Friday, 20 April 2012

Park Life

I mentioned in this post the other day about a walk on Hampstead Heath and how nice it was up there. Well I found a house for sale that overlooks it, its really amazing isn't it?

Click below to read the blurb

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Word of the Week #34


UPDATE: Here are the latest panel designs (the top two)

A Walk In The Park

Hampstead Heath is really nice

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Big Buchla Box

I'm going to build one of these for my Buchla, except its going to be 6 panels wide not 7


While looking for pics of the big Buchla cases I dug out my copy of Hubert S Howe's Electronic Music Synthesis (the first serious book I ever got on the subject) and found these great photos. This big Buchla is 10 panels wide

Monday, 9 April 2012

Work In Progress

Here is a video of us playing on the synths. We used a centralised trigger to control the sequencers of the Moog Modular and ARP 2500. James was on the Korg Trident and Stephen the Korg Lambda

Birth and Death

I went to see Damien Hirst's show at Tate Modern yesterday. I did my fine art degree at Goldsmiths and he was in the year above me. At the end of each year you have to help one of the final year students put up their degree show, and I helped Damien. His work was always really good, and he was a very funny and charismatic young man, but nobody could have guessed at the incredible success he has found

I wrote my degree thesis on the subject of Alchemy, the art and science of changing base materials into precious ones. It seems to me that Damien has epitomised this concept and the retrospective show at Tate Modern is literally a walk-through demonstration of it

The exhibition begins with a charming and totally innocent piece he made in 1987 (while I was at college with him) called 8 Pans (pictured above). It then proceeds through all his iconic work like spot paintings and sharks and through to his work with gold and diamonds and all the excesses he now represents and enjoys

It's a horrible journey and the curators of this show have managed to present his work in a way that, for me, deteriorates both aesthetically and conceptually with each room you walk through. Eventually you reach a shop at the end where you can buy Hirst-branded things like deck chairs and T-Shirts and suddenly you realise the appalling commercialisation of the art world today, and his place in it. I actually really like a lot of his work and was hoping for a much more inspiring show. Instead I felt like one of his doomed butterflies

So it was very relieving to take a look at Yayoi Kusama's strange and beguiling world, especially her magical infinity room:

Busy Week

Its been another really busy week at Bengestudios, with lots of interesting sessions and amazing people. Here is a gallery of pictures taken during the week, staring off with Sam Genders (Diagrams, who was in doing a cover version of Airbag by Radiohead (featuring another Sam on flugelhorn, 1st pic by Sammy G)

Second up was another day with John Foxx and Diana Yukawa, and we are nearing completion of that project

Then there are some pics of our mega two day synth-o-jam session with James Murphy (LCD Sound system) and the Dewaele brothers (Soulwax / 2manydjs). I love this job

Acton, Baby!

Me and Big Al drove over to Acton to pick up a Dolby noise reduction unit I bought cheap on eBay. The unit is going to be connected to my Soundcraft 16 track tape machine, and will hopefully impart a certain 70s flavour to the sound, something strangely overlooked by most vintage-heads I think

It was in a really nice studio called Heart of Gold which has the same console as me (Studer 900) - the only other one I've ever seen

The Dolby rack actually came from Sarm West studio, and this means it was used on some amazing albums, I'm guessing everything from Grace Jones to Frankie Goes To Hollywood...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Fiddle About

Heres a little video I made of me wandering around the studio fiddling with things. Featuring the Moog Modular, the ARP 2500, Roland Juno 60, Yamaha CS80, Studer 902 console, Roland Space Echo

Thumbs Up

This has been a week of visits (more on some of those later I hope) and yesterday David Dewaele and James Murphy came round. What nice people! Below is some of their iconic work

Word of the Week #33

Shaping Up Still

Another good review!

Fact Magazine

Wow House

This amazing house is for sale today. Its in Ipswich, Suffolk, England and proves that we can do beautiful stylish minimalism as well as anyone